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Eliza loses it

31 Jan

Eugène Leroy paints like there has been a disaster.

The vision field is a battle field, matter is distorted, fragmented, teared, melted, smeared… Leroy’s painting is a layer of solidified past events, all of which were violent.


Yet the works convey a sense of  serenity, hardly tainted by a light sadness, of cosmic proportions. The catastrophe already took place. It doesn’t really matter. Self portrait of a painter, and there’s no eyes left in this face: just an intent, intense, absence of gaze, stubbornly directed to the world.

Sef-portrait (1952)

For Leroy’s painting is also strangely patient and obstinate in its hopelessness. Like against all odds, the painter knew that he would reach the world, or better that the world itself will at the end emerge in its order from the chaos of melting matter.

Paysage Rouge (1996)

Eugène Leroy was an important artist. He died in 2000. You should try and see his work.

Punk Fashion

29 Jan

This place have been sanctified by the visitation of Manolo himself! He even wrote comments. I cannot tell you what happens in my lady parts without telling wordpress to protect innocent eyes from my blog. But lots of moisture is involved.

So the point (directly taken from one of his recent posts) was to discuss “the perennial fashion trend of extremely costly clothing made to look like garbage.” Like this:

Good bad taste

I seem to be going to do my snobbish bitch and throw a little discordance in this harmonious gospel of commonsensical obviousness. You know me, right? I’m quite the bitch. I would buy blood and semen fragrance.

So why is that I get tickling in my lady parts when I read consensual abhorrement of the trashy expensive fashion?

Firstly, as I happen to know first hand (you guessed right), hot girls are even hotter in well chosen trash, which does provide the spice of a contrast. It’s just a question of measure (it always is). So it all makes sense when you go for hot.

Smoking hot trash

I don’t. But I see fashion (at least the interesting part of it) more as one of the fine arts than anything else. And not engineering. Nothing in the world will justify the price tags of fashionable shoes when seen from the point of view of functional efficiency (as the Manolo himself discovered to his great stupefaction on the occasion of a pair of Timberlands if I my memory doesn’t betray me).

Fine arts are more than anything about the expression of freedom, which received during the last century a peculiar interpretation: systematic transgression (not that the element was lacking before, it was just not systematic). There is great joy (of undeniable artistic nature) in the sadist and deliberate aggression of well established values. Ever since the divin Marquis himself. One of those being the monotonic function from production costs and use value to price tags. So it will be outrageously expensive. And it’s not a downside, it’s meant that way, it really matters (read L’Erotisme of Georges Bataille for an elaboration of the tension between art and technology).

Another establishment to merrily demolish is good taste. Since Baudelaire at least, good taste is the worst enemy of art. But taste is racing close behind art. There has been times when a play by Oscar Wilde or some apples painted by Cézanne sufficed to raise storms in the circles blessed with good taste and manners. But modern taste has a much stronger stomach, the boundaries have been pushed far away, there is much space in the playground.

Only, you know the artists, how they are. They won’t leave those boundaries alone. They just have a problem with the notion. They want to have bad taste, to kick the bourgeois where it hurts. These guys are impossible people.
And the worst part is that they will find obnoxiously wealthy and hot bitches not unlike yours truly (except maybe for the wealthy part) willing to give them shocking amounts of easily earned money for a bag looking just like the trash bag, just a french-rose-scented trash bag with carbon nanotube in it, nothing too fancy.

Until, of course, there’s nobody left to be shocked by that. You know, like you would make a statement saying you love Van Gogh or Beethoven. Wow. Punk.

Trash Art, circa 1886.

Furniture heels

26 Jan

It’s a painful confession, but I’ve been watching lately the first season of the FN Shoe Star. I blame the Manolo for this. Even if there’s undeniable talent in the candidates, I just have a hard time bearing the cheap drama oozing from this ‘unforgiving competition’ stuff. When we will finally reinvent the Roman circus games, I’m sure will innovate. We’ll get close-up on the eyes of the son of the guy dying in the arena. I’m expecting great shows.

Anyway, that’s not really my point. Last year, the girl ending third in the competition went overboard when trying to convey what inspiration she could gather from the French Decorative Arts gallery of NY’s Metropolitan Museum.

Epic. Fail.

The shoe was horrendous, and especially the heel, which tried to translate something of the furniture feet. But the poor girl may have pleaded for extenuating circumstances: the challenge is too tough for a rookie, even seasoned designers have struggle hard.

Evidence #1. United Nude EAMZ.

I have the greatest respect for Koolhaas and Clark, in particular because the former is a world class architect, the work of which I find at times extraordinary, often really good, and always interesting. I’m bound to post more about UN shoes, which are good indeed. Here are their Eamz:

United Nude's Eamz

This particular design caught my eye when I first saw it in a shop in Antwerpen, but I never really loved it no matter how hard I tried. For I really wanted to love these shoes. I mean, the idea is brilliant: they are meant as an homage to the classic 60s furniture designer Charles and Ray Eames. I’m seriously biased towards such referential design. That’s what high doses of philosophy does to you I guess. But it just doesn’t really work.

Now I was musing in the neighborhood this morning, and guess what I find in the Style Bubble?

Evidence #2. Tyake Tyoke shoes.

Now there is something seriously wrong with these. Susie Bubble says she has doubts, but then she’s such a nice person. I say: n.o. .w.a.y.

One of the reasons I see behind the not-so-great-ness of these shoes is the inevitable kitsch of a figurative representation of what inspires you. Imagine Messiaen putting actual recorded bird singing in his Réveil des oiseaux


I have another theory one the subject, which is good, of course. But I’ll post that later. It has to do with static vs. dynamic. Stay tuned.

And you, did you ever saw convincing furniture citation in a pair of shoes?

Genius meat

23 Jan

Case study one. The Gaga in the meat.

This whole affair caught my eye otherwise globally uninterested by all pure showbiz stuff.

Platform wedges with a twist

Well, THIS is an instance of what makes life worth living. You would be hard pressed to name a single fashion statement strinking a deeper note about everything showbiz, media, woman image, person vs. product, etc. than the Lady’s outfit for the 2010 VMA edition. I cry: genius!

Surprisingly (or not), very few people noted that the idea was not new. When they did, as C. Knight in the LA Times, it was usually to scorn it as déjà-vu. Which is, per se, interesting: art-educated gents could not miss the strength of the message, so it was either hailing the Lady as the über-bitch-with-a-brain she is (which will cost you friends in some circles) or point that the show was good indeed, but actually not Gaga but Franc Fernandez, and not even Fernandez but Jana Sterbak ’87.

Alas my friends, this is a little short-sighted. For, as anyone should know since Duchamp’s farsical invention of pop art in 1917, provocation is absolutely contextual. The meat dress on a mannequin in Paris’ Pompidou center is interesting at best, as an outsider’s critical view about fashion etc. Now take the idea, put it in the hand of a higly capable fashion designer, and dress a sexy star with the outfit for a mass-mediatic event, what do you get?

I tell you: a situation. As much in the cops’ sense (like in ‘we have a situation here’) as in Debord‘s sense: a surrealist and concrete here-and-now where no one really knows what is happening. This is what the context-shift is all about: in contemporary art, you are supposed to be provocative and challenging. Not on MTV, where you are rather (if you are a female pop singer) expected to be glamorous (that is, essentially, determine the exact amount of flesh you want to show to the cameras, then add some). You know what’s best? The Lady Gaga does exactly that! But genius (I insist) kicks in when she does it in a way that will detonate in the face of eveybody else.

(sigh) If only her musical endeavors could match her iconic abilities…

But come on now, let’s come back to fashion and forget about meat. The bondage-y touch of butcher strings on the platform wedges had me producing moist in some of my lady parts. Which is good, of course.

Does anyone know about a non-meat version of this idea?