Consider this project an eclectic mixtape, but rather than music, it’s focused around imagery. What started off as drawing commonalities between photos that have always inspired me began my project to juxtapose images that are not always necessarily similar in subjects, but have links in their coloring, shapes, and moods evoked. For me, a bulk of my inspirations and visions trace back to fashion; be it a SoundCloud discovery as a potential Balenciaga soundtrack, or a DMV line-up as an imagined setting for a shot by Mario Sorrenti for a Vogue Nippon editorial. I wanted the worlds of my inspirations, be it art, fashion or music to become more interconnected than ever and to create possible mood-boards that my treasured visionaries may have used when creating the very works that are now an integral core of my aesthetic vision.
1) “Madonna & Child” by Liana Murray (2012) x Debra Shaw at Chanel haute couture (1998)
Liana Murray’s used oil paint and magazine collage to create a playful overlay in “Madonna & Child”, as she re-imagines Jean Fouquet’s “Melun Diptych”. Liana states that she feels a duty to “present the subject that the majority of art history has overlooked: the strong, brown eyed, brown skinned subject.” She does this by shying away from Eurocentric facial features and oftentimes recreates pieces that originally centered around porcelain skinned, blue-eyed religious figures with Black representation. In “Madonna & Child”, The Madonna is depicted as the Queen of Heaven and is meant to reveal her as between the veil of heaven and earth, and she wears a dark maroon lip shade and fitted dark-denim dress, a look similar to Debra Shaw’s appearance at a Chanel haute couture show in 1998.
2) “Discus Thrower” by Timothy Hull (2012) x Junya Watanabe “Techno Couture” (2000)
The projection of power and silhouettes are something Junya Watanabe and Timothy Hull have excelled in. Timothy’s painting “discus thrower” silhouettes the powerful motion needed for a successful discus throw. A seamless silhouette, as is Junya Wanatabe’s display of architectural constructions that relied on technologically advanced fabrics, amply titled “Techno Couture”. To accomplish his stylized “futuristic Elizabethan ruff”, Watanabe used a polyester chiffon that could hold its shape so that sculptural skirts and coats could be brought to life. Despite all its usage of technologically innovated fabric, this design was stitched together by hand.
3) Yuna x Devon Aoki at Jean Paul Gaultier (1999)
Based on warrior women in Historical Japan, Jean Paul Gaultier asked Devon Aoki to wear a look based on the color tones closely associated with Lady Hangaku Gozen to life, who like Yuna, was a summoner. In addition, rose hues and flowing chiffons tie together two demigoddess representations.
4) “Akrobaat” by Nico Krjijno (2012) x Nagoya World Design Expo by Koichi Sato (1989)
Nico Krijno explores the connection and correspondence between the human body and its surroundings in an otherworldly way, but not only that, he photographs his subjects in everyday scenes to capture intimate surrealism. Carrying with the theme of surrealism, graphic artist Koichi Sato has since the 1970’s been meshing refined tastes and futuristic imagery, with vivid colors and spirituality crafted gradations to create representative posters, such as the one commissioned by the World Design Expo hosted by Nagoya in 1989.
5) Foxy Brown x “Makeup Your Mind” by Nars (2001)
Foxy Brown, from the utmost beginning has never been afraid of experimenting with daring cosmetics like metallic lipsticks, toned shimmers and pitched eye shadows in high intensities. So as I flipped through a book put out by Nars, “Makeup Your Mind”, I couldn’t help but imagine many of the palettes put together by Francois Nars on Foxy, hence the pairing.