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Art Digest: September 21—27

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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: September 21—27

Does it feel like Indian summer in the place you’re now? In my place it does: the temperature is slightly above 20 degrees, the sun is shining, and the wind is like a sea breeze (though there are no yachts in sight, just cars on the jammed-up roads). The weather might be playing games with us — why, actually, when it occurs to our benefit… This time positive news only — no cancellations or postponements of the events (hopefully, most of them have been left behind), just openings, inspiring projects, and bombshells. Jump in!

P H O T O G R A P H Y

David Bowie’s friend to reveal his photographs at upcoming exhibition 

Who doesn’t know David Bowie: singer, songwriter, and actor, he managed to take over the world with his extraordinary appearance and extravagant looks (the latter rather served as a framing for the former). As a boy (back then he was called by his real name David Robert Jones) he used to make friends with Geoff MacCormack — the future vocalist and composer, better known as Warren Peace. So where am I going with that? It’s Geoff MacCormack, who is opening the next exhibition focused on Bowie’s persona at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery (Brighton, UK).

Titled as Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me Bowie/MacCormack 1973-76, the upcoming show is set to cover the three-year tour of the two including scenes from the Trans-Siberian Railroad journey and shooting of the The Man Who Fell to Earth. The organizers also promise some intimate shots testifying close friendship between Bowie and MacCormack as well as a short movie on their trip to Moscow in 1973 for the Victory Day parade. The exhibition will last from October 17, 2020 till June 06, 2021, tickets will be available from October 02. Get ready to see a few photographs of David Bowie never made public before (while anticipating the enthralling visit, you can study MacCormack’s rich photo archive on his website).

F A S H I O N

Trans, disabled, and new face of Moschino — meet model Aaron Philip

The story of the 19-year-old Aaron Philip, on the one hand, is not to be envied (the girl was born with cerebral palsy), and yet could be viewed with admiration. In 2018 at the age of 17 Antigua-born Philip signed a contract with Elite Model Management. Since then, being a fine specimen of the minority group (black, disabled, and defying herself as a trans), she was featured in such glossies as British Vogue, Vogue Italia, and Paper Magazine, also modeling for Collina Strada. The young model seems to be conveying the message, which is quite straight and strong:

‘My future plans are to progress in my modelling while celebrating my sense of self and carving a space for my communities in the fashion world’. (Aaron Philip)

And it feels like currently she has a window of opportunity to make her statement. The celebrated Italian brand Moschino has invited Aaron Philip to star in its black-and-white Fall/Winter 2020 campaign. This comes to be the model’s solo major debut in high fashion. Congratulations, Aaron! And good luck, we’re excited about what’s coming next.

C O N T E M P O R A R Y   A R T 

Urs Fisher’s installation to add fresh light to artworks by Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy

The task: how to represent the art by the acclaimed masters from the past in a new light? The check answer: marry them with a living artist. A mesmerizing postmortal collaboration has been recently presented by the NY-based gallery Nahmad Contemporary. Famous paintings by the 20-century surrealists Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy have been set against a wallpaper installation by Urs Fischer, who is 47 now and lives in Switzerland. 

Mysterious foreboding and biomorphic forms appearing in the works by Ernst and Tanguy are perfectly complemented with Urs Fischer’s graffiti-like Gap-toothed City installation, a gloomy portrait of the Big Apple. The desolate and distant New York of today vs the wake of the first World War in Europe — a kind of unexpected intersection of feelings, isn’t it? The SUPERUNKNOWN exhibition will last at Nahmad Contemporary till November, 5. Save the date and set aside some time for a visit! 

C I N E M A 

Next movie by Wes Anderson to start filming in early 2021 

While we are still waiting for The French Dispatch release promised for so long, Wes Anderson is about to start shooting a new film. May it be a follow-up to the unfinished work (which trailer Timothée Chalamet fans would gladly see over again and again) or quite a separate story, is rather unclear: film critics say only that the plot is romantic, the chosen location is Rome, and the casting is already in full swing.  

Also some parts of the production are claimed to be live-action with a few stop-motion animated sequences mixed in. Yet having no idea what kind of a Mediterranean love story the legendary filmmaker has in mind, one can’t help but marvel at Anderson’s sense for Italian culture. Just take his short film for Prada called Castello Cavalcanti (produced by Roman Coppola, 2013). Hopefully, this time it won’t take too long to wait — at least, Wes Anderson is reported to begin filming the novelty in spring 2021.

A R T  &  T E C H 

Explore heritage of Sol LeWitt together with new Microsoft app

Sol LeWitt worked as a night receptionist at MoMA first, among his colleagues were Lucy Lippard, Dan Flavin, and Robert Ryman. Not only did he manage to become an artist himself, but also to contribute greatly to the acknowledged breakthrough that happened in the world of arts in the 60s. Father of minimalism and conceptualism, a big creator and thinker, Sol LeWitt’s figure is certainly worth attention — this time Microsoft plays tribute to the great artist announcing a new app on his life and creative biography. 

Would you like to take a 360° tour of the artist’s famous studio in Chester? Or, perhaps, you might like the idea of learning more about Sol’s artistic practice, discovering his previously unreleased interviews and coining facts about his works? Whatever you choose, the new Sol LeWitt app developed by Microsoft in collaboration with Sol LeWitt Estate (headed by the artist’s daughter) provides you such an opportunity. If you feel like going for more, try unlocking special content by Microsoft Azure Al. More details are available on the company website

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In Focus: Alma Haser

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Julia Kryshevich

In Focus: Alma Haser

She used to roam across the matchstick factory as a child, having left for a world trip with her family at 13. She usually mixes up words (finding herself quite dyslexic) and prefers visual narratives to the verbal ones. An amazing girl coming from a distinctive background, Alma Haser has decided to turn her life into art and magic. Learn more about her cubist, origami-structured works today.

01. From the ‘Cosmic Surgery’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

Alma Haser was born to a rather creative family of a painter and a sculptor in the Black Forest (Germany). Her parents used to work on the territory of a matchstick factory in turns, thus, Alma and her brother were often on their own, making up and playing games and exploring the world around them. The artist recalls, it was her wild and free childhood that really shaped her. 

‘We were very much given the freedom to experiment and use our imagination, which I believe is the bedrock of my practice now.’ (Alma Haser, from the interview with AnOtherMagazine, 2018)

03. From ‘I Always Have To Repeat Myself’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

04. From ‘I Always Have To Repeat Myself’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

Alma Haser got acquainted with photography while traveling around the world with her mum and her brother over 6 months (instead of attending middle school in the interim). She didn’t lose much, though. During the trip she tried shooting and modeling (for her mother, who is a keen photographer as well). Alma’s rising interest in the world of visual arts resulted in her entering Nottingham Trent University, where she graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Photography in Art Practice in 2010. Fairly predictable, the artist tried using Photoshop during her studies, but realized soon, it wasn’t the only (and the best) way to manipulate the picture.

‘I preferred to do things by hand and assemble the picture off screen. It’s not perfect, it’s not crisp and clean, and that’s what I like about it.’ (Alma Haser, from the interview with AnOtherMagazine, 2018)

05. From the ‘Cosmic Surgery’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

06. From the ‘Cosmic Surgery’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

Having spent much time experimenting with self-portraiture, Alma liked the idea to bring other people in photograph. Thus, in the majority of her projects the artist focuses on creating multi-layered portraits. In her work Alma Haser combines such craft-related techniques as weaving, folding, cutting, stitching, and painting, finding them surprisingly relevant for contemporary photography. 

‘I love making things, so I’ll often add other elements before, during or after taking a picture.’ (Alma Haser, from the interview with Photoworks, 2016)

07. From the ‘Cosmic Surgery’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

08. From the ‘Cosmic Surgery’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

Fascinated with Japanese culture and origami, in particular, the artist integrated paper folding into her creative process. For instance, in her debut series Cosmic Surgery Alma transformed parts of the subjects’ faces to place them back with a complicated modular construction. Re-photographing the final composition, Alma Haser received a completely different image, uncanny and futuristic in a way. Interesting enough, it’s the younger generation only, not their parents that the artist exposes to such kind of a metamorphosis. Why so? Here is the answer firsthand: 

‘The people in the photographs represent the next generation from us — the ‘alien people’. The mother and father (the first generation) aren’t defaced, but the others (the next generation) are. Cosmic surgery is a playful statement on that.’ (Alma Haser, talking about ‘Cosmic Surgery’ series in the interview with Metal Magazine) 

09. From the ‘Cosmic Surgery’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

10. From the ‘Cosmic Surgery’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

By the way, the title of the series Cosmic Surgery is a wordplay itself. And not just a play, but a play based on a slip. Alma misspoke the word once while discussing the topic of cosmetic surgery with her parents… and decided to name her project after that! The amazing thing is, Alma Haser managed to find her dyslexia a more useful way, fulfilling her artistic narrative with visual puzzles. Intentionally mixing up elements of the works, each time she arranges a new picture and new meanings.

11. From the ‘Twins’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

Another series by Alma Haser really worth noticing is Within 15 Minutes, which is puzzle-based in the true sense of the word. To back the story a bit up, Alma has always been amazed by twins — their external identity and closeness to each other. She even devoted one of her prior series to this phenomenon, shooting two girls who, though not being sisters, experienced their made-up affinity posing together. 

‘Intrigue and mystery need to be strong. It’s far more interesting to look at a portrait which doesn’t tell you everything all at once.’ (Alma Haser, talking about ‘Within 15 Minutes’ series in the interview with Visura, WPO, 2020)

12. From the ‘Twins’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

For Within 15 Minutes (a time range during which twins are born) the artist photographed real twins to cut the portraits pictured into puzzles and blend them into each other a bit. Thus, we still have a couple of perfect pictures of twins, but there is something bizarre about each of them: e.g. three nostrils or a narrowed eye on the face. Sounds like an automatically generated image, right? Well, almost — in the series Alma intends to reverse the process of gene transfer, demonstrating how different, actually, twins can be. 

13. From the ‘Within 15 Minutes’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

There is also a project in Alma’s practice that stands out because of the focus suddenly shifted… to plants. In Pseudo the artist refers to plants as a metaphor for the fake, strongly believed to be true. Plants as a distillation of nature yield us a highly authentic experience, however, it’s plants again that people so often try to imitate. Here Alma Haser skillfully draws a link to the way we interpret and respond to information.

‘It relates to the way we hear, read or see things on the news. We tend to cherry-pick things we think we can trust and believe in’.(Alma Haser, talking about ‘Pseudo’ series in the interview with AnOther Magazine, 2018)

Speaking on the whole, Alma Haser is recognized (and loved) for her paper aesthetic, which has something of a gloomy mystery and a bedtime story at once. So contradictory and complex is Alma Haser herself as an artist. 

16. From the ‘Pseudo’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

17. From the ‘Pseudo’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

18. From the ‘Pseudo’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

P.S. Obviously, Alma’s projects mentioned above haven’t been left unnoticed — the artist received 3rd place People’s Choice Award for Cosmic Surgery series at the Foto8 Summer Show in 2012. Her Within 15 Minutes series debuted at San Francisco PHOTOFAIRS and was on display at Photo London in 2018. In addition, British Journal of Photography called Alma Haser one of the best graduates in Photography in 2010. 

Alma Haser’s website: haser.org
Her instagram: @almahaser

Art Digest: September 14—20

By /BLOG/, /FASHION/, /NEWS/
Text

Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: September 14—20

Remember, once we devoted an art digest to photography only? Let’s repeat the experience and discuss the field of unearthly inspiration that shows through in our everyday lives. Yes, I’m talking about fashion. Meet a pick-out of solely fashion news for this week!

J U S T   F A S H I O N 

Welcome new show by Vogue exploring fashion industry 

Vogue has recently become famous for coming up with different initiatives aimed at helping the industry of fashion. A Common Thread program launched in May 2020 might be a bright example of that — outfits by the 20 American designers selected by the Vogue & CFDA experts were put up for sale on the Amazon website. However, Vogue shows no signs of stopping, and the next ambitious plans are already here. 

Good Morning Vogue is an innovative fashion news show exploring the challenges the vogue industry faces today. The 12-part-series show features major actors of the field sharing their experience and thoughts on the topic live and is aired three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The show is available on vogue.com, and each release has something special about it. For example, in the series from September 14 the show host, American plus-size model Paloma Elsesser gives the floor to Tom Ford (Tom Ford), Virgil Abloh (Off-White and Louis Vuitton Men), Pierpaolo Piccioli (Valentino). Curious what’s coming next? Tune in, the program might surprise you. At least, the opening statement by Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour sounds conscious and promising:

‘For years all of us have been talking about how bloated and old-fashioned the whole system of the shows is. It was this extraordinary spectacle which at the same time generated a huge amount of impressions and an enormous amount of interest and following in fashion. But as a way to run a business it simply wasn’t working.’ 

(Anna Wintour, Vogue)

Amazon Fashion to partner with London Fashion Week 

Well, it was rather predictable — an online-shopping giant has been recently considering the idea to partner with a big name from the world of haute couture. The above mentioned A Common Thread program could have planted the seed of further collaboration between Amazon and Vogue, but in the end it turned out… to be not Vogue.  

London Fashion Week has joined Amazon Fashion to create a mutual online store where British designers can sell their items. Amazon Fashion users from 5 countries only can access the digital boutique, including Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. The platform features outfits from the previous collections as well as some new items from the upcoming SS/2021 shows, such as ready-to-wear, party wear, loungewear, lingerie, footwear, and, of course, face masks. Among the brands presented at amazon.co.uk/LondonFashionWeek are both British menswear and womenswear designers: e.g. Preen, Les Girls Les Boys, Grenson, De La Vali, Kat Maconie, Teija, 1×1 Studio, Ponder.ER, and Olubiyi Thomas. The digital storefront is hosted by the wider project called Amazon Fashion Connects, which Amazon Fashion implements together with its partners throughout Europe. 

CFDA announced Fashion Awards winners 2020

‘2020 has been anything but typical, and we decided to forego the in-person event and instead announce the winners here today at the beginning of New York Fashion Week’.

(Tom Ford) 

With these words Tom Ford started the 2020 awards ceremony. Yes, though being moved from June 8, Fashion Awards finally took place this year — online, as you can guess. At the beginning of the week the CFDA launched a video where Tom Ford (who is the Council’s chairman, by the way) solemnly announced the winners. 

The CFDA judge panel comprises about 1,500 members, fashion editors, stylists, and retailers who vote for the nominees in the secure procedure. According to Tom Ford, not having a gala show this year allowed the CFDA to focus on the nominated designers exclusively, paying more attention to such issues as scholarships and racial equality. And now for the winners: Kim Jones (creative director at Dior) has been chosen the 2020 International Men’s Designer. Taking the award, he outraced other competitors for the title: Craig Green, Dries Van Noten, Jonathan Anderson (Loewe), and Virgil Abloh (Louis Vuitton). It’s Pierpaolo Piccioli (Valentino) who has been announced the International Women’s Designer of the Year. Look for the complete list on the CFDA website

Raf Simons to launch womenswear line 

Legendary Belgian designer Raf Simons is no stranger to women’s fashion: he has been creating womenswear working for Jil Sander (2005—2012), Dior (2012—2015), Calvin Klein (2016—2018), and currently for Prada. However, never before has Raf Simons specialized on women’s under the auspices of his own brand. Well, time has come.

Actually, one could have guessed which way the wind is blowing. And it’s not about Simons’ professional background only, but also his latest pieces — some of them from the previous collection looked rather unisex, thus, a few stores tried selling men’s for female. On his Instagram account Raf Simons wrote that his upcoming SS/2021 men’s and first-ever women’s collection will be presented on October 23. The format of the show is yet to be confirmed. 

Dresses by Zac Posen embellished Central Park

That’s upsetting — American designer and ex Project Runway host Zac Posen had to close his brand at the end of the previous year. The designer explained he had failed to find an appropriate business partner, thus, he took a break and time to think about his future plans. And despite that, Zac Posen didn’t go into hiding — just look at his recent inspiring project located in Central Park (New York).

A new installation by Zac Posen in Central Park consists of 6 mannequins wrapped in gorgeous cream-coloured evening gowns. Fairy-like silhouettes, which bows in the back are like wings, look weightless because of the chosen materials such as muslin and tulle. What did the designer want to say with the installation? The idea was to support New Yorkers celebrating their resilience in changing times. And, of course, to acknowledge the beauty of the city itself, which is meant to encourage people and bring them together. 

‘I was just thinking a lot about the city and what fashion means to the city and fashion as a creative force here. And that it has to remain creative’. 

(Zac Posen)

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Art Digest: September 07—13

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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: August 31—September 06

Marigold and French Blue will rule the upcoming New York Fashion Week, Miyazaki works to get inside the museum’s walls, while art by another artist has elicited many controversies… What else is new in the art world this week? 

F A S H I O N 

Pantone announces colour palette for SS/2021 NY Fashion Week

You’ve probably heard that 2021 colour of the year is Al Aqua. Annually chosen by the Pantone Colour Institute, the shade should capture the spirit of the period as well as set the tone for the world leading couture houses. This time it’s SS/2021 New York Fashion Week that is going to benefit from the Pantone careful pick. The upcoming fashion show definitely won’t do without its main shades: Marigold, Cerulean, Rust, Illuminating, and French Blue, all of which have either been featured on the runways or spotted on celebrities in 2020. 

The other principal colours include Green Ash, Burnt Coral, Mint, Amethyst Orchid, and Raspberry Sorbet. The Pantone Institute experts traditionally recommend a few core classics to mix the standout shades with: for instance, Butter Cream or Ultimate Gray. According to the Pantone direction, the colour palette selected for SS/2021 NY Fashion Week is designed to be both relaxing and energetic, so that we all could recharge our batteries and feel some optimism after the challenging times of the pandemic. 

C I N E M A 

‘Body of Truth’ featuring Marina Abramovic, Shirin Neshat, Sigalit Landau, and Katharina Sieverding released 

The film Body of Truth is a very feministic work (in the best sense) both written and directed by Evelyn Schels, who filmed the Georg Baselitz documentary in 2013. The official release date is September 10 (Germany).

The four main characters, performance star Marina Abramovic, film director Shirin Neshat, multimedia artist Sigalit Landau, and self-portrait photographer Katharina Sieverding, who actually play themselves, tell their stories of political confrontation against the war, violence, and suppression. The statements are different as well as the women’s biographies, however, the main weapon is the same: the artists’ own bodies.

‘The mind can lie, the mind can mostly lie, but the body never can lie’ — says Marina Abramovic about the film. Sigalit Landau shares the position, admitting she trusts her body more than her mind. In the film Landau immerses a barbed wire in the salt wire, thus, seeking ways to crystallize her story physically. Shirin Neshat acts more drastically, showing writing on the faces of Iranian women as the only visible part of their skin… and a battlefield for political ideologies. In her turn, the film director Evelyn Schels says no previous knowledge is required to understand the work, it’s all about the emotional perception.

New museum of motion pictures to open with Hayao Miyazaki show 

The new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles is to open on April 30 with a fascinating retrospective of the famous Japanese film director Hayao Miyazaki. His animated films, such as My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Kiki’s Delivery Service will be carefully incorporated into the space of the exhibition.

‘Miyazaki has the talent to combine to create movies that are both entertaining, but if you want to take a closer look, also very meaningful and relevant for our own lives’. (Jessica Niebel, the exhibition curator) 

The visitors will have a chance to explore some materials from the production process, including concept drawings and storyboards (that what Miyazaki usually uses instead of a script). The show will also feature 3D installations, which aim at immersing the viewer into the animated worlds of the cartoons. The exhibition is designed as a 7-part journey, so get ready to follow the character’s voice and slip into a daydream. A bit closer to the ground, but still amazing: many works exhibited will leave Japan for the first time and stay in the Museum for about a year because of their fragility. 

A R T 

Berlin Art Week runs from September 9—13

The major annual cultural event Berlin Art Week organized by Kulturprojekte Berlin fortunately takes place this year. During the 5 days, from September 9—13, visitors will gain a chance to join talks, performances, contemporary art fairs, biennales, and many other appointments (the program is particularly rich). The participating venues are just amazing, take at least, ℅ Berlin, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Nationalgalerie, and Tempelhof Airport.

Since you are there, there are a couple of events definitely not to miss. First, the Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art — taking place every two years since 1998, the Biennial runs from September 5 to November 1, 2020 for the 11th time. The Berlin Biennial has the nature of an art contemporary lab and a space open for experiments with the latest art trends. About 130 participants are on the list. The other noteworthy event is the POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair (September 10—13). Running at Tempelhof Airport Hangar 3-4 each year, the art fair gathers collectors, galleries, and artists in one place to offer them a liberal discursive platform and a perfect meeting place.

Artwork by Erik Kessels criticizing plastic surgery called into question 

Destroy My Face is a new artwork by the Dutch artist Erik Kessels, which consists of algorithmically generated images of female faces that have undergone plastic surgery. Kessels invited skaters from Pier15 Skatepark to destroy the faces while riding on the installation, which the latter gladly did. On the BredaPhoto Instagram account some posts have emerged saying: Status after one day skating!. 

However, not everybody appreciated the idea of the artwork. A group of artists, designers, and other creatives have recently sent an open letter to the board of BredaPhoto and Pier15 Skatepark, calling for Kessels’ explanation. The opponents criticize the way Erik Kessels highlights the issue as an artist, finding it sexist and violent.

If you share the opposing position, you can add your signature to the open letter here

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Art Digest: August 31—September 06

By /ART/, /BLOG/, /NEWS/
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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: August 31—September 06

Autumn has come unnoticed… Did you see that? That means the strangest summer of our lives has been left behind, yet we have no idea what’s coming next. Joking, for sure — summer (of any kind) has always been my favorite season, and early autumn doesn’t yield much to it: it’s usually warm, sunny, smells like a new beginning, and has so many openings. For example, the famous Linz-based Ars Electronica festival welcomes its visitors just in a few days, while probably the first-ever makeup museum in New York seeks your attention (bring yourself and let your friends know). Discover the other news and enjoy our selection of professional opportunities from the latest Art Digest:

F A S H I O N 

Makeup Museum opened in New York
Yes, you heard it right — it’s a real museum, not a makeup studio or other sort of a promotional activity. 

Based on the collection of the famous makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, the Museum features an extensive digital archive that sheds a light on the history of beautology. By the way, it’s been 10,000 years since people started wearing makeup, did you know that? If you feel like visiting the place, take care of the tickets: the ongoing debut exhibition focuses on the makeup era of the 1950s’ in America.

Kevyn Aucoin (1962—2002) is probably one of most famous names in the makeup industry. In the 80-90’s the artist ‘sculpted’ looks of many celebrities (Madonna, Cher, Tina Turner are among them) and top-models (e.g. Claudia Schiffer, who has recently been announced to curate a fashion photography exhibition, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell). Interested in makeup since early childhood (back then Kevyn tried putting cosmetics on his sister), the artist decided to follow his dream and made a fascinating career, collaborating with Vogue and Allure, working with Revlon, Shiseido, and finally launching his own brand, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, in 2001. Many colleagues say Kevyn Aucoin was ahead of his time and, thus, pioneered the industry, bringing makeup out of the shadows, making it more accessible and yet very desirable. 

C O N T E M P O R A R Y  A R T 

Keith Haring’s personal art collection at Sotheby’s 

140 works from the personal collection of the Keith Haring will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s from September 24—October 1. The works include those by Andy Warhol, Jean Michel-Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Kenny Scharf, and other famous contemporaries of the artist, either bought by or gifted to Haring. The sale, which goes under the title Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring, might be called charitable: the money raised will be donated to the New York City LGBTQ+ center. 

‘Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further’. (Keith Haring)

And the proceeds might be enough! The most expensive painting, Warhol’s 1983 portrait of Haring, is expected to bring between $200,000 and $250,000, while the cheapest lots range from $100. Remember, Keith Haring (1958—1990) was a prominent American pop-and street artist, whose graffiti-inspired works contained many allusions to the same-sex relations. Thus, Haring tried to draw public attention to such problems as homophobia and AIDS. The cruelest joke is that the artist himself died of the AIDS-related complications, just like his close friend and lover, artist Jean Dubuffet. Keith Haring managed to elaborate a widely recognized visual language that still serves as a call for social activism.

Ars Electronica opens September 9

The legendary art festival takes place from September 9—13 this year. As usually, in Austria, Linz, but not only — more than 120 locations around the world will host Ars Electronica activities, which guests will be able to watch online. Running under the theme In Kepler’s Garden, the 2020 festival focuses on new communication channels as well as specially intensive and highly individual experiences, which most of us have faced during the pandemic. 

‚We’re not excited about technology, we’re excited about what we can do with it.‘
(Gerfried Stocker, Artistic Director of Ars Electronica) 

Ars Electronica is the pioneering festival for art, technology, and society, which was established in the far 1979. Annually a couple of dozens artists and scientists meet up in Linz to discuss the prospects of the digital future and present some groundbreaking projects in the field.

O P P O R T U N I T I E S 

Art opportunities for September 2020

Entering autumn with a safe list of some attractive ops sounds as a good idea, doesn’t it? Artwork Archive is as usually glad to offer young artists a rich variety of international fellowships, competitions, and exhibiting options, deadline for which expire this September. It’s up to you whether to seek creating a perfect street photography for the New York Center for Photographic Arts (NYC4PA) or apply for SERF+ COVID-19 Relief Grant. Don’t be afraid of trying, and luck will be with you! 

P H O T O G R A P H Y 

Meet LensCulture Critics Choice Award 2020

LensCulture is famous for granting aspiring photographers with opportunities to display their works and make a statement. Each few months artists can apply for a new award nomination, and LensCulture Critics Choice Award is, arguably, the most captivating one

Members of the jury panel, all big names in the field of photography, each selects a work and gives a critical explanation to one’s choice. Those artists, whose works have been chosen by more than one critic, enter the Top Ten and win a $1000 cash grant. Among the jurors are, for instance, Jim Casper, LensCulture Editor-in-Chief, and Cory Keller, Curator of Photography at SF MOMA.

71 Self-Portraits in Isolation by Daisy Noyes. Selected by Cory Keller, Curator of Photography at SF MOMA. Photo_ Courtesy of the Artist_

Mother Earth by Ola Zdeb. Selected by Khalifa Al Obaidly, Director of Photography Festival at Qatar Museums. Courtesy of the Artist_

Concrete Flowers by Vanja Bucan. Selected by Jim Casper, LensCulture Editor-in-Chief and publisher. Courtesy of the Artist_

Enjoy the works by the favorites of this year edition and learn more about the selection criteria with specific examples as well. 

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In Focus: Richard Renaldi

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Julia Kryshevich

In Focus: Richard Renaldi

And here we are back with the column In Focus, where we talk about outstanding photographers and their projects. Richard Renaldi is on the air today.

Richard Renaldi’s works are primarily about the personality and her character. Renaldi calls himself a photographer’s photographer, explaining that both outward and inward looking are equally important for him. Portraits are definitely the artist’s strong virtue and passion, though considering his creative approach, Renaldi might find a landscape shooting an intensive communication process as well.

‘<…> the camera is an extension of the eye that legitimizes that stare’. (Richard Renaldi, from the interview with LensCulture, 2020)

From ‘Pier 45’ series. Courtesy of the Artist_

From ‘49_50’ series. Windward Beach, O‘ahu, HI, 2007. Courtesy of the Artist_

Richard Renaldi was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1968. He took up photography at the age of 18. Having given up the opportunity to join family business, the young man entered the Fine Arts Faculty of New York University to study photography. In the 90’s Richard Renaldi tried working as a photo researcher at Magnum — that’s how his interest in portraiture was shaped. 

‘<…> I saw a lot of photos in a reportage style, and I think that inherently gave me the desire to slow things down and engage with my subjects. I could really dig into what it meant to make a portrait of a stranger on the street. (Richard Renaldi, from the interview with LensCulture, 2020)

From ‘Typology of the American Teenager’ series. Ashley and Ashlee, 2004. Courtesy of the Artist_

From ‘Typology of the American Teenager’ series. Josh and Lindsey, 2012. Courtesy of the Artist_

From ‘Typology of the American Teenager’ series. Bianca, Shailah, Kayla, and Ashley, 2011. Courtesy of the Artist_

As mentioned above, Richard creates a lot of portrait projects, five of which have been turned into books. Upon his first series, Figure and Ground (2006) the artist worked for 7 years, shooting sceneries and people all across the US with his 8×10 camera, thus trying to portray the American landscape, both natural and social one. In the Fall River Boys (2009) Renaldi explores the category of young men from the so-called small city in Massachusetts. Again here the photographer shows interest in human nature and the way it’s revealed in a surrounding and/or a relationship.

‘In the moments where I haven’t been making work I end up feeling quite restless and the only way to alleviate that is to make art’. (Richard Renaldi, from the interview with LACPhoto)

From ‘Fall River Boys’ series. Raymond and Jeffrey, 2002. Courtesy of the Artist

From ‘Fall River Boys’ series. Shane, 2006. Courtesy of the Artist

His homage to New York nightlife Manhattan Sunday (2016) and autobiographical I want your love (2018) have reached out to the hearts and minds of people, but it’s the project Touching Strangers (2014) that became the artist’s trademark. 

‘If a portrait has a narrative, I’m usually drawn to it. I don’t necessarily mind if something is staged, but when things start to feel too artificial, I think it’s a crutch’. (Richard Renaldi, from the interview with LensCulture, 2020)

It took Renaldi 7 years to produce about 70 images depicting strangers in various parts of the US paired up quite randomly. At least, for them — we can only guess what inspired Renaldi, but for the models from the streets the decision was a complete mystery and a big surprise. The task sounded simple and, at the same time, hardly feasible: to pose together with a stranger like if you were lovers/relatives/friends (put the right word here). Actually, some of the participants easily catched on, while others seemed to be confused and couldn’t get into character.

From ‘Touching Strangers’ series. Jacqueline and Halle_ Columbus, OH, 2011. Courtesy of the Artist

From ‘Touching Strangers’ series. Nathan and Robyn_ Provincetown, MA, 2012. Courtesy of the Artist_

From ‘Touching Strangers’ series. LeAsia and Rebecca_ New York, NY, 2013. Courtesy of the Artist

However, it’s not about judging how well Renaldi’s models fit in the created picture. Perhaps the project Touching Strangers might encourage us to think of the possible narratives that could be taking place in someone’s life — something you can never be sure about looking at strangers. Is this charming girl in love? She’s lighting up with joy. Or: those two look like brothers, so alike. And hundreds other guesses like that in a day.

From ‘Touching Strangers’ series. Cheyene, Charlie, and Omarian_ Cincinnati, OH, 2014. Courtesy of the Artist

From ‘Touching Strangers’ series. Alfredo and Jessica_ Queens, NY, 2011. Courtesy of the Artist

From ‘Touching Strangers’ series. Hunter, Margaret, and Abigail_ New York, NY, 2013. Courtesy of the Artist

Exhibiting frequently (his solo projects run worldwide, including but not limited to, Robert Morat Galerie in Hamburg, Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, and Fotografins Hus in Stockholm), the artist willingly shares his expertise with emerging photographers. His schedule is full of workshops, and he seemed to enjoy teaching. However, Richard Renaldi admits, he can’t give any magic formula on how to approach strangers, though his students just crave to learn that. It’s about making people relax and one’s own experience — the only tip the photographer is ready to sign.

From ‘The Grand Show’ series. Miami Beach, FL, 2011. Courtesy of the Artist_

From ‘The Grand Show’ series. Coconino County, AZ, 2013. Courtesy of the Artist_

What’s more remarkable, perhaps, is Renaldi’s own attitude towards his work and the photographic medium. The artist says he has never been close to giving up photography, though it’s quite a common story in the artistic milieu. Despite admitting the complexity of a career in photography, Richard Renaldi finds such a way valuable and enriching. And here is what he advises his aspiring colleagues (better make a note): 

‘Most important however is finding your voice and honoring it. Listening to the work you are making and nurturing it for its own sake not necessarily in the pursuit of some immediate goal’.

(Richard Renaldi, from the interview with LACPhoto) 

Richard Renaldi’s website: renaldi.com
His instagram: @renaldiphotos 

Art Digest: August 24—30

By /ART/, /BLOG/, /NEWS/
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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: August 24—30

It’s been a while, isn’t it? Following a much-needed two-week break (holiday is always a good idea), we’re proceeding with discovering the most interesting art news. With renewed vigor and fresh eyes. Come and join us! 

F A S H I O N 

Claudia Schiffer to curate exhibition for Dusseldorf Museum 

Since it was announced in the mid-August, it can’t really count as news. However, the story is so breaking that we’ve decided to include it in the digest. Supermodel Claudia Schiffer will organize her first exhibition for Dusseldorf’s Kunstpalast. Not too surprising, it’s a photography show devoted to the fashion scene of the 1990s. Get ready to see some shots by such stars of the period as Juergen Teller, Karl Lagerfeld, and Ellen von Unwerth. Apart from the magazine images and advertisements, the exhibition features a few curious things from the personal archive of Schiffer. Save the date: Fashion Photography From the 1990s – curated by Claudia Schiffer runs March 4 – June 13, 2021 at Dusseldorf’s Kunstpalast

‘It was an intense and amazing time that had not been seen before, when shoots lasted for days and fashion was front-page news for weeks’ (Claudia Schiffer, speaking of the fashion world of the 1990s)

A few things you wanted to know about Claudia Schiffer, but were afraid to ask (in case, there are no experts on her biography here). Claudia was born in the small town of Rheinberg, not far from Dusseldorf on August 25, 1970. Coming from a wealthy family of a lawyer, the girl planned to follow in her father’s footsteps by joining his law firm. However, it was the chance that did things right. After  being spotted by the head of the Metropolitan Model Agency in a nightclub, Claudia flew to Paris to have her trial photo shoot. Despite her slightly critical attitude to the idea of becoming a model, everything went well — very soon she would appear on the cover of Elle, followed by campaigns for Guess and Chanel as well as fashion shootings for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Playboy. An inimitable muse of Karl Lagerfeld, Claudia Schiffer entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the model with the most magazine covers. By the way, she still carries the proud status of a supermodel, posing for covers and ad campaigns from time to time. 

Meet calendar for New York Fashion Week 

Good news: NYFW shows will take place both physically and digitally on September 13—17. Guests will be invited to Spring Studios to watch some shows live, while other events will be hosted online at NYFW.com. Virtual talks, Q&A’s, exclusive designer content and many more to be live streamed across social networks and can be followed by @NYFW.

However, not all the expected participants are aboard: to be more precise, by now there are only 60 brands out of the 177 labels announced on NYFW review calendar earlier in February. Such fashion giants as Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Brandon Maxwell have declined to participate. Some of them probably lack a mission, while others don’t seem to expect much from the current format of the show. Among those on calendar are Jason Wu, Proenza Schouler, Christian Siriano, Badgley Mischka, and quite a few young American brands (check the NYFW website for the full list as well some engaging stories). 

P H O T O G R A P H Y

Last call: Bird In Flight Prize’20

Hurry up! August 30 is the deadline for applications for Bird In Flight Prize 2020. What’s good about the award, it’s hard to imagine a looser format than Bird In Flight has. You as an applying photographer neither have to follow the topic, nor comply with the set criteria (there are not just any). You’re even allowed to retouch photos and use someone’s images, in case the copyright is respected. What organizers expect you to show, are some new ways of telling a story. €2,000 is at stake. There is also a special nomination with a separate prize, and a chance for some 25 participants to get their portfolio reviewed by the experts.

And do you know, what kind of a bird is the organizer? Bird In Flight is an international online magazine devoted to photography and visual culture. The resource features art by various photographers working in different techniques and genres from all over the world. Bird In Flight focuses on fresh unexpected trends in photo industry and encourages good visual storytelling. Bird In Flight Prize is the annual photo contest set up by the magazine. It’s international, and aims at serial works (5—12 photographs each). The jury panel includes recognized photographers, artists, curators, photo editors from such countries as the Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, Poland, and Sweden

D E S I G N 

3daysofdesign to take place on September 3—5

Better late than never: the major Denmark’s design event will happen from September 3—5, 2020 in Copenhagen. To be more precise, the festival will take place just at every turn of the Danish capital: in the streets, historical buildings, galleries, exhibitors’ showrooms. An unexpected surprise from the organizers: this year visitors don’t have to acquire tickets for the events of 3daysofdesign, as those initiatives requiring a ticket are postponed to the 2021 festival due to the pandemic.

3daysofdesign is Denmark’s annual event that showcases latest and brightest ideas in the fields of furniture, lighting, interior, and lifestyle design. The theme of the 2020 edition Circular Economy is celebrated by the artist Alfredo Häberli, who has created an abstract expression to identify this year topic. Now with a few days left, you can already start discovering the festival by peeking (virtually, of course) at designers’ studios and workshops or listening to some interesting podcasts on the 3daysofdesign website. 

Photo_ Filippo Bamberghi_3daysofdesign

Photo_ Filippo Bamberghi_3daysofdesign

Photo_ Filippo Bamberghi_3daysofdesign

C O N T E M P O R A R Y    A R T

Moscow International Biennale for Young Art coming soon

For those interested in contemporary art and specially works by young (both emerging and somehow established) artists. The 7th edition of Moscow International Biennale for Young Art is to set off on September 05 and last until early December.  The main venue is Museum of Moscow, which internal facades will be lined with some site-specific works by the chosen artists during the first part of the Biennale. Other events from the educational and parallel programs will take place in different art institutions across Moscow, culminating with the special project Our Worlds On Strike by the artist Abhijan Toto at MMOMA in the beginning of 2021.

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Making a statement: Transformation of the British Vogue

By /BLOG/, /FASHION/

Text
A l i n a  S t e b l o v s k a y a

Making a statement: Transformation of the British Vogue

The future of fashion magazines is an ongoing debate between the old and the new. The old is reluctant to change and tries to hold on to what it is used to. The new is whispering: “We cannot continue like this. The world is changing, we ought to as well”. The customers are voting with their cash – and it comes as no surprise that the sales of the traditional printed magazines are dropping. The readers prefer to get their information instantly via online platforms and influencers who are often much more relatable than the unattainable editors of Vogue. In fact, this has been slowly happening for the past decade, and by no means is related to the pandemic.

Amongst this overall downward spiral, the British Vogue has become one of the first giants that started looking into different direction. It all started back in 2017 when Edward Enninful was appointed a new editor-in-chief replacing Alexandra Shulman. This became truly a steppingstone to a new era of a magazine with a 100-year history. A magazine that was traditionally seen as a publication for upper-class white women was now headed by a gay man of Ghanaian decent.

Ever since Edward Enninful has taken his position, he committed to drive change making the British Vogue a more inclusive and diverse edition. This touched upon not only the diversity of the team, but also the diversity of the topics covered in every issue. In the past three years, the magazine featured non-white women on more than a half of its covers as well as the first openly transgender model.

This is why it comes as no surprise that September issue 2019 was named “Forces of Change” co-edited by Meghan Markle. That issue featured a variety of public figures from political activists to artists influencing the global agenda and driving a much needed change. The sales of the September issue 2019 went through the roof demonstrating that the British Vogue can appeal to a wider audience. That was a turning point that has shown that even some giants can change and adapt to the new reality.

It only makes sense that the course on diversity and activism continued in 2020, with the global pandemic, climate change, continuous political tensions across the world, and the BLM movement. Even though no one would have imagined having a healthcare worker instead of a model on the cover of a fashion magazine, yet again the British Vogue has become the publication that did that without hesitation. We are now expecting another September issue, this time dedicated to BLM and named “Activism Now” with Marcus Rashford & Adwoa Aboah on the cover. And who knows what is next?

Art Digest: August 03—09

By /ART/, /BLOG/, /NEWS/
Text

Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: July 27—August 02

Andy Warhol is everywhere: on the screens (coming soon) and yet in the halls of Tate. Wong Kar Wai is tasting new waters not leaving his beloved Shanghai, while Virgil Abloh as usual doesn’t find it difficult to surprise the audience. Scroll down to learn more about the interesting news of the week.

C I N E M A 

Now confirmed: Jared Leto to play Andy Warhol in new biopic

The biographical film is titled Warhol and based on the so-called book by Victor Bockris. The producer is Terence Winter, the screenwriter of the famous The Wolf of Wall Street. Back in 2016, the actor was already rumored to be starring in the film about the king of pop art. Recently Leto has paid a surprise to his fans by confirming the information on Instagram:

‘Yes it’s true I will be playing Andy Warhol in an upcoming film. And so grateful and excited about the opportunity. Happy belated birthday Andy. We miss you and your genius.’

Andy Warhol would have turned 92 on August 6 (Leto’s post was published one day after that). The celebrated American artist died at the age of 58 from a sudden irregular heartbeat in his sleep, recovering from a gallbladder surgery. Prior to that he had already been close to losing his life, when writer and radical feminist Valerie Solanas tried shooting the artist in his own studio in 1968. Coming from a poor family of Americanized Slovak migrants, Warhol (born Andrew Warhola) started out as a commercial illustrator. Having realized it wasn’t the way to take over the art world, Andy Warhol resorted to the winning strategy: he decided to give people what they wanted by creating images of celebrities, money, and fast foods in large quantities. Warhol is famous for using silkscreen a lot and believed to be one of the pioneers of video art. His Factory where both social life took place (a major celebrities hangout) and films were screened became a phenomenon of the American art world. Probably, the most recognized works by Warhol are his Campbell’s soup cans (1962) and the Marilyn Diptych (1962), the latter created immediately after the death of Monroe

Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-Wai to work upon his first TV series 

Remember talking about Wong Kar-Wai on the website of Haze Gallery, while discussing the figure of the brilliant photographer Wing Shya? The two collaborated on the movie Happy Together (1997), where Kar-Wai took the direction and Shya documented the production process. This case as many others represents Wong Kar-Wai as an experienced film director, however, it’s time the maestro tried a new role. 

Kar-Wai is set to produce a new TV drama project called Blossom Shanghai. Originally thought just as the film Blossoms, the idea has evolved into television series. The series will serve as an adaptation of the short stories novel by Jin Yucheng, featuring the life (and love) adventure of a young opportunist in the gilded city of Shanghai. For Kar-Wai Blossom Shanghai is a perfect chance to confess his love for his hometown as well as to try his hand on television. 

A R T 

Andy Warhol exhibition at Tate extended until November 15 

The major retrospective of Warhol’s art at Tate Modern was to take place before September 4. Due to the pandemic the exhibition went digital: since the middle of March viewers could enjoy a curator’s tour of the exhibition, exploring it room by room virtually as well as the high-quality images of Andy Warhol’s works. Good news: you still can try all of the online options plus attend the show live until late autumn. The only thing is you should book tickets in advance and comply with precaution measures, more details on this are available on the website

Tate Modern hasn’t seen such an extended show of Warhol’s works for about 20 years. From his early tender illustrations in pencil till the perimortem works that are rather grotesque and mystical… Let alone the already mentioned images of Monroe, soup cans, and Coca Cola, viewers will discover works never exhibited before in the UK. For instance, Warhol’s  Ladies and Gentlemen series that contains images of mostly black drag queens and trans women hasn’t been on display for a long time and, thus, remains obscure.

Tate Modern reopened Steve McQueen’s exhibition 

Still art lovers don’t live by Warhol alone. Tate Modern reopened the exhibition of Steve McQueen’s artworks on Friday, August 07. The art by the winner of the Turner Prize (1999), proclaimed artist and filmmaker McQueen hasn’t been exhibited in his home town London for two decades. 14 major works by Steve McQueen await the viewer at the show at Tate, including film, photography, and sculpture. The exhibition might become a sort of a wrap-up of McQueen’s latest creative period. 

‘I remember my first school trip to Tate when I was an impressionable 8-year-old, which was really the moment I gained an understanding that anything is possible. As we all gradually emerge from lockdown, and in some ways begin to see the world anew, I hope visitors experience that same sense of possibility’.
(Steve McQueen)

Among the works on display are Exodus 1992/97, the artist’s first film shot on a Super 8 camera, and the two-part film Caribs’ Leap. Within the latter work Steve McQueen suggests the viewer to split the experience: watching the first part of the film inside the exhibition, and the other one in front of the museum, overlooking the River Thames. There is also a recent work called End Credits (2012–ongoing) where McQueen plays tribute to the actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. 

F A S H I O N 

Louis Vuitton presented Spring/Summer 2021 Men’s’ collection 

Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s wear department, presented a new SS21 collection on August 06. The presentation took place at the port of Shanghai inspired by the song I’ll Wait For You (Strange Worlds in My Mind) by the American jazz composer Sun Ra. The collection is supposed to be the face of the LV new upcycling program, however, that was the case just for a few garments presented on the runway. 

‘Ideas – the very foundation of fashion – are no longer disposable’. 
(Virgil Abloh)

About half of the garments from the collection are made of recyclable materials, while the other half comes from past LV shows. The general mood of SS21 is dreamy: deep cartoony colours, sophisticated patterns, clean lines interrupted by disjoint seams… The SS21 collection by Louis Vuitton is a perfect example of what you call: the devil is in the details. The concept of the collection is available on the brand’s website. 

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Quick guide to properly fitted men clothing

By /BLOG/, /FASHION/

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A l e x a n d r a  A z a r o v a

Quick guide to properly fitted men clothing

The fit of your clothes is more important than the design in many respects. It determines how you wear them, how they look and can influence how you carry yourself. If you spend the time to find clothing that is a good fit, it will pay off in the long run.

The most common offense among the male fashion community is ill-fitting clothing. For some reason, most men don’t understand how to dress themselves properly. Maybe they have no idea how their bodies are shaped, maybe they don’t know what they look like or maybe they have no notion of space. And so, we’re going to spend some time explaining the methods one should use to get the best threads.

Pants

First and foremost, your pants have to come to your waist and stay there by their own power. Since you’re not in high school, you can’t have your jeans riding somewhere around the level of mid-thigh.

The numbers on the label should be followed religiously. This is true no matter what style you’re going for. Different sensibilities spawn different approaches: some of the more urban aspects of our culture balloon out a bit, some of the rock type tend to shrink wrap themselves into their denim, but you should try to at least approach your proper waist size. If you insist on looking like Akon, you can still have a pair of baggy jeans that look stylish without having to clutch the front in your fist all the time.

Also, minimize the amount of junk in your pockets. Do not keep a fat wallet in your back pocket. Don’t carry a mound of keys and a cell phone in your jeans. It ruins the line of your pants, especially with dress pants, it’s unattractive and it’s less comfortable. Try to carry as little as possible.

Shirts

In a wrong shirt all of the problems of your body type become apparent. If you are a fellow who is anything less than sleek and toned, you have to be careful about what you wear. If you are in fact in shape, you’re still not off the hook. A lot of men with very developed muscle structure wear things that are too small for them to highlight their superior physique, but it ends up being gross. You shouldn’t be constricted by your clothing. You should be able to wear it easily and comfortably.

Color is an important factor; light colors highlight body shape, since you can make out shadows and folds more clearly, while darker colors mask them. A fellow of gravity in a white shirt is a very sad thing indeed. If you’re a heavy guy, you’re pretty much given the best opportunity in the world to buy button-up dress shirts, since they are all made for big people. Skinny men spend a heck of a time finding shirts that actually fit them properly, but they have to do it because they can’t walk around in a dress shirt that is pillowing and puffing out on them.

Suits

The most important thing to think about when it comes to the fit of a suit is the shoulders. Since most suits are made to be sold off the rack, you’ll have the hardest time with finding one that fits your shoulders properly while also fitting your arm length and body size. This is because the shoulders aren’t usually altered by most retail shops. If you buy a suit that has over-sized shoulders, you end up looking like old Japanese Samurai class, all goofy looking. Conversely, if the shoulders are too small, you’ll just be uncomfortable and you won’t be able to move. When you’re trying the suit on, move your arms around while looking in a mirror to make sure that A: you have an acceptable range of motion and B: they don’t pop up or slide around when you move.

And do remember always: properly fitted clothes are a key to success both in professional and in private life!

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