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Pioneering German Artist Katharina Grosse Exemplifies Gagosian’s ‘Artist Spotlight’ As An Innovative, Immersive Way To View And Buy Art

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Brazen bursts of brilliant color explode from the canvas, inviting the viewer to escape into the delightful frenzy that guides the eye and frees the mind. 

Gazing at Untitled (2017) offers comfort and escape from the feeling of being trapped during treacherous times, as joy and delight abound in the abstract dance of colorful, forceful gesture. It subverts the agony overwhelming us while we cope with isolation and distress amid the pandemic.

“I like to say that art should derail us. Art should arrest our emotions and our ongoing stream of consciousness—and it doesn’t matter whether it does so through discomfort or pleasure. It’s not about a message; it’s about finding an alternative option to our habitual way of thinking,” said German artist Katharina Grosse, best recognized for her monumental in situ paintings, created with a spray gun shooting paint, often onto architecture, interiors, and landscapes, which act as the canvas. 

Untitled (2017) went on sale May 15, priced at €265,000 ($289,799), and found a buyer that day, as part of Gagosian’s Artist Spotlight. The world-leading mega gallery successfully launched the multi-media Artist Spotlight, featuring a work by Sarah Sze, along with an array of video, editorial, and photography, to elevate the experience, on April 8.

Gagosian features a single work by a different artist every Friday, presenting it for sale at 6 a.m. EDT, with pricing information, for 48 hours. Building on her popularity at a Gagosian solo online booth for Frieze, Grosse’s Untitled (2017) was quickly snapped up. 

The global art world has grappled to reimagine itself in the wake of COVID-19 which forced museums, galleries, and art fairs to quickly transition to an online platform. Artist Spotlight was developed ahead of the pandemic and has proven to be an inspiration for the new marketplace. 

MORE FROM FORBESArtist Sarah Sze Leads Gagosian’s Ambitious New Online Art Space As World’s Largest Gallery Redefines How We View And Buy

“It really is such a great opportunity. We’re giving viewers and collectors the chance to see things from our archives that we usually wouldn’t publish in catalogues: sketchbooks, behind-the-scenes photos, and pieces of art that inspire me,” Grosse said in an online interview. “I feel like I’m able to show just how numerous and diverse my strands of thoughts are, and how they all lead and spiral and tie back together to create a single work.”

Untitled (2017) is related to Katharina Grosse: Is It You?, an exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art which was shut down due to the public health crisis shortly after it opened on March 1. The BMA displayed five recent paintings in an immersive installation that occupies the central gallery in the Contemporary Wing by suspending spray-painted cloth from the ceiling, draping it across the floor, and developing a space with undulating walls. 

Curated by Virginia Anderson, BMA’s Curator of American Art, the presentation of paintings was scheduled to close June 28, and the Is It You? installation will remain on view through January 3, 2021, once the museum reopens.

“It has been a challenging situation, of course, but we are all discovering that there is no one way to show a work of art. We consume and create so many different kinds of media, and with each kind of media comes a set of new and different realities and perspectives,” said Grosse. “These days, I’m more open to showing things that aren’t always as accessible or obvious to the viewer at first glance, such as the making of the piece—be it the models I use, or the painting process itself. But at the end of the day, the best way to experience the work is still in the flesh.”

Quarantine has wildly transformed how and where artists work, lending to fascinating, emotionally charged perspectives and breakthroughs. 

“When the lockdown in Germany started, I had just come back from Baltimore and the installation of my upcoming show in Berlin at the Museum of Contemporary Art – Hamburger Bahnhof was already underway. A crew had already packed these huge, pre-carved polystyrene pieces into the museum’s main exhibition hall so that I could carve out more detailed shapes with these super long 40-foot hot wires,” said Grosse. “That’s what I’m doing now. The lockdown has turned the museum into my studio for the past eight weeks. It’s given me so much more precious time to think and work on the show, which is now set to open on June 14.”

Grosse’s most recent site-responsive paintings incorporate long swaths of painted fabric, draped from the ceiling and pouring onto the floor, further expanding the scope of her immersive experiences. Prototypes of Imagination, Gagosian Britannia Street (2018) took over a full wall of the gallery. She’s always pushing the boundaries of her technique and the space she uses to create. 

“I very much hope my work is groundbreaking,” Grosse said. “Yes, my aim is to keep looking even more deeply into color and the energy it emits. I want to bring color outside of site or context and explore its pure independence.”

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Fashion & Style

Happy Birthday Angelina Jolie: ALL the times the diva rocked a thigh high slit and made it a raging trend 

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Angelina Jolie Birthday: The pioneer of thigh-high slits, classy black gowns and deep red lips, Angelina Jolie turns a year older today. We take a look at how she kicked off the raging trend. 

Today, a mandatory trend on any red carpet is the thigh-high slit. It oozes sexiness, can look classy and is a totally glamorous style that almost all celebrities have rocked at some point in time. The diva who made this trend popular – Angelina Jolie, turns a year older today. 

Jolie known for her phenomenal acting in films like Mr and Mrs Smith, Maleficent, Salt and more is more than just an actress. She is a style icon way ahead of her time. Most of her looks are iconic, especially the black gown with the thigh-high slit she sported at the Oscars. Her red lips, chiseled cheekbones and flawless, icy skin have also set new standards for the beauty industry. We delve into the diva’s style to see all the times she sported the thigh-high slit statement-making slit before it was cool!

One of the first times she sported a gown with the slit was at the We Are the Future benefit concert back in 2004. She rocked a shimmery sequin dress with the slit that showed off her right thigh. She covered up with a black drape to stay warm. 

At the premiere of Alexander in 2004, Jolie began showing her love for black outfits. She sported a black gown with a plunging neckline and a thigh-high slit, right in the centre that showed off both her legs!

At the Golden Globe awards, Jolie then opted for a slinky silver sequin gown that featured her favourite thigh-high slit and showed off her tattoos. Safe to say she looked like a trophy herself in the outfit!

At the Japan premiere of her film Salt, Angelina Jolie opted for a black gown with a high neck and a slit that almost went up to her waist! A risque look for the diva when she was pregnant!

Taking a break from black again, Jolie opted for a contrasting colour in a pristine white dress with a plunging neckline and a thigh-high slit. Kohl-lined eyes and natural makeup ensured she looked red-carpet ready!

At the 2012 Golden Globe Awards, Jolie opted for yet another white gown with a pop of colour to match her bold, scarlet lips. One of our favourite looks of the diva by far!

Back to black, Angeline Jolie opted for a lacy black gown with a thigh-high slit for her next glamorous yet classy look. 

Finally, at the 2012 Oscars, Jolie got the world talking by sporting an elegant black strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline and a thigh-high slit. Her deep red lips only added to the sizzling effect of this look!

Taking it slow with the trend from then-on, Jolie was next spotted in her favourite trend while on the red carpet in an outfit similar to that of her Oscar look. With her hair pulled back and diamond earrings, Angelina Jolie looked like a vision! 

After taking a break from the style for a while, Jolie sported the slit again in 2019 when she sported a simple black dress, looking elegant yet sophisticated inthe number. 

What are your thoughts on Angelina Jolie’s kicking off the trend? Which is your favourite look? Let us know in the comment section below!

ALSO READ: Angelina Jolie Birthday Special: Having reptiles as pets to her tattoos; Check out these facts about the star


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Upcycling Is The Coolest Part Of The Ethical Fashion Movement

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Would you pay $1000 for a hoody? What about if it was a hoody assembled from scraps of fabric that had been left behind in the process of making another, likely cheaper piece of clothing, would you buy that? Should a hoody made in this principled way command a higher-than-average retail value, or does the fact that it was born of ‘waste’ materials mean that it should cost less? And what would buying it say about you? Are you helping to solve the problem of clothing waste by buying offcuts, or are you just buying more clothes?

A wave of ethical, ecologically empathetic design is rolling through the fashion and beauty industries – including Everlane, Pangaia, Veja, and The Ordinary – and ‘big’ brands can’t afford to ignore the tide. According to the latest report from campaign group Fashion Revolution, big brands (those with a minimum turnover of £320million) are improving their transparency, and in turn, changing their production and employment practices. Based on a set of 200 indicators, the average score for the 250 brands tested was 23%, but some did much better. H&M Group, which includes Arket, & Other Stories and Weekday, scored 73%, for example.

lmcc greater goods

Greater Goods Tote Bags

LNCC

Adidas just announced a new partnership with All Birds, the sustainable shoemaker and official foot-shodder to fin-tech bros and earth children alike. Together, they will “push the boundaries of what’s possible in sustainability” by creating the world’s lowest carbon footprinted shoe by 2021. And last week, Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director stated that the brand was not only removing itself from the fashion-show calendar, but suggesting that the wider industry’s unsustainability was, well, unsustainable.

“So much haughtiness made us lose our sisterhood with the butterflies, the flowers, the trees and the roots,” he wrote on the brand’s Instagram. “So much outrageous greed made us lose the harmony and the care, the connection and the belonging.”

As high fashion pivots, it’s worth noting that there are already scores of interesting brands and individuals occupying the space for artful, ethical clothing. For example, those that ‘upcycle’.

The poster-person of this altruistic, resourceful movement is Emily Adams Bode, a designer we at Esquire think is officially wonderful. She takes antique fabrics – bed linens, curtains, flags, upholstery; anything – and turns them into bohemian-American clothing loaded with symbology and meaning.

bode quilt jacket

A Bode jacket, made from quilts from the 1930s

Bode

“We’re founded on the preservation of craft and I think that’s the general idea and the foundation of the brand,” she told Esquire earlier this year. “It’s always been most intriguing to me to work with textiles that have a true relationship to the private space, the domestic space. Around 40% of our brand is made from antique textiles that has a true female history that’s intrinsic to it. Usually it’s cloth made by women for the home; quilting, mending appliqué – a lot of these historical techniques that otherwise aren’t used so much in clothing, especially not in menswear.”

Bode showed a seasonal collection in Paris for the first time in January and was a finalist for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion designers last year. But she’s just the tip of the iceberg. Walid Damirji, better known as By Walid, has been making similarly antique fabrics into similarly kooky, patchworky, haberdashery-y clothing, although his are all one-of-a-kind, rather than limited edition.

In Los Angeles, Atelier & Repairs takes existing clothing that isn’t so sexy and turns it into proper sexy, grungy stuff that you didn’t realise you wanted until you saw it. This ‘Tanganika’ jacket, for example, was once a tattered Levi’s trucker, but A&R restored it, dyed it and then fitted it with a brand-new ‘Nehru’ neckline. They only made a few of them and each is unique, which is more than can be said for the Levi’s jacket.

atelier and repairs tanganika

Atelier & Repairs Tanganika Jacket

Atelier & Repairs

Down the road (we assume; he’s in LA), Greg Lauren – nephew of Ralph and maker of the aforementioned $1000 hoody – is preparing for the Autumn launch of GL Scraps, an offshoot of his eponymous clothing brand. Fusing workwear, military surplus, sartoria and technical sportswear, GL’s mainline already offers a ‘found’ aesthetic, but around 40% of the new collection will be made from ‘scraps’ – bolts of fabric comprised of offcuts he’s collected or created over the years. It’s quilting for Californian prep lords.

Elsewhere, the upcycling scene is less earnest. Fokohaela takes vintage football ephemera and turns it into neo-retro, team-specific sportswear. In much the same way that Emily Bode imbues her collections with subtle meaning, founder Jason Lee laces his upcycled garms with wry humour, tribal energy and the odd political statement. A bucket hat made from an Aldi shopping bag is adorned with German National Team and Mercedes logos, for example. In London, Sam Nowell is taking old Burberry towels and turning them into new Burberry shorts; taking old bar towels and turning them into new drinking trousers, and taking old Gucci dust bags and turning them into utility gilets fit for even the hype-iest fishermen.

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But the neatest example of upcycling, I think, is that of Greater Goods, an accessories company that cuts its totes and pouches out of old Arc’teryx and North Face Gore Tex. The bags, all handmade and one-of-a-kind, hit the trends for upcycled goods, Gorpcore and niche.

“I’ve always been drawn to using existing materials from discarded products and found that it made every project more engaging and unique,” explains founder Jaimus Tailor, “while also having a positive environmental impact. I started with woodwork and slowly expanded my skill set to textiles, that’s when I started making the tote bags.”

greater goods

Greater Goods Tote Bag

Greater Goods

Totes from Greater Goods are equipped with the requisite zips and pockets and general attributes of function that good accessories need. But despite their patchwork nature, they don’t look like they’ve been upcycled, and closer resemble something you’d find in a store on Cat Street in Harajuku. (And therefore, only on Cat Street in Harajuku.) Greater Goods products are weird, interesting, unique and useful. The dream.

Tailor is keen to promote his fellow upcyclers and general clothemakers of good. “There are so many creative people working on wild new projects by using old materials,” says Tailor [such as Loutre and Helen Kirkum]. “It’s a growing community and we all share the common ground of actually physically making and being involved in the process of production.”

Clearly, we’re at a turning point – one that Covid-19 seems to be accelerating – and it is no longer enough for fashion brands to speak in support of sustainability, they need to demonstrate that they’re pointing their businesses in the right direction and ploughing forward, too (see the launch of R-EA, the new imminent collection of recycled, regenerate and organic fabrics from Emporio Armani).

It’s hard to see how the landscape will change in the near future, and how the very nature of fashion, luxury and commerce will evolve, or devolve. There will always be stuff to buy, but small business run by idealistic, altruistic people are challenging the status quo, and that can only be a good thing.

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Paris prosecutors seek trial for Kim Kardashian jewellery theft suspects

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The trial of 12 men accused over a Paris heist in which reality TV star Kim Kardashian was robbed of millions of dollars’ worth of jewellery appeared one step closer after prosecutors asked for the case go to court, a source told AFP.

Five members of the gang stormed the luxury residence where Kardashian was staying during Paris Fashion Week in 2016, holding the star at gunpoint and making off with a huge diamond ring and other gems worth a total of nine million euros ($9.5 million).

Prosecutors will seek to take the case to court for all 12 – who are currently at liberty but under legal supervision – charging them with armed robbery, kidnapping and criminal association, a judicial source said Wednesday.

Examining magistrates must now decide whether the case will proceed to trial, the source added, although any trial is not expected to begin until 2021.

Wearing police uniforms, the gang burst into Kardashian’s apartment, gagged and bound her and locked her in a bathroom before helping themselves to gems including a 20-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond ring worth some four million euros.

One of the alleged robbers, Yunis Abbas, fleeing the scene on a bicycle, dropped a diamond-encrusted cross worth 30,000 euros, which was found by a passer-by a few hours later.

It remains the only piece to be recovered from the brazen heist, the biggest jewellery theft from an individual that France has seen in more than 20 years.

The alleged mastermind, Aomar Ait Khedache was arrested after his DNA was found at the site. 

He told investigators he had struggled to find a buyer for the Lorraine Schwartz ring, complaining it was “too recognisable” and that he had given it to an unidentified third party.

(AFP)

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