23 apr. 2009

Fashion Prey

(scroll down for english version)



Industria fashion modeleaza puternic aspectul individului in raport cu societatea in care traieste si genereaza imagini si icon-uri (logo-urile firmelor) foarte prezente; in opozitie, leg asta de lumea animalelor, deopotriva plina de simboluri puternice din punct de vedere vizual, dar amenintata, mai mult sau mai putin, de disparitia fizica a reprezentantilor ei; ca motivatie pentru alegerea acetui subiect ar fi si faptul ca multe brand-uri au ca logo imaginea unui animal (LaCoste), eventual si numele acestuia (Puma), plus ca multe animale mor intr-un mod brutal, extrem de crud, pentru a se obtine materiale pentru haine. Sub acest aspect se atinge un punct important in intelegerea felului in care omul a interactionat de-a lungul existentei sale cu celelalte specii si cu natura in general; inca de la definirea sa ca specie, omul a trait in stransa legatura cu animalele, care au constituit sursa de hrana, de materiale prntru imbracaminte si de inspiratie pentru primele manifestari spirituale - picturile rupestre. Aceasta fascinatie primordiala pentru animale justifica dorinta mea de a ilustra un numar de mamifere in relatie cu o arie de interes foarte prezenta in postmodernitate, industria fashion. Prin invadarea universului zoomorf cu simboluri din zona fashion vreau sa arat reversul situatiei in care brand-urile se inspira din frumusetea formelor naturii (pentru a-si crea logo-uri, materiale, design) si anume natura este afectata grav de toate aspectele activitatii umane.

Titlul proiectului se bazeaza pe un joc de cuvinte plecand de la sintagma “fashion victim” de unde termenul “victim” este inlocuit de cel de “prey” (prada). Aceasta optiune pentru intitularea seriei este data de prezenta a doua personaje in fiecare imagine, ambele identificandu-se cu postura fie de “victima” (personajul feminin vazut ca principal consumator de fashion), fie de “prada” (aici este vorba de statutul incert al unei specii, nu de pozitia ocupata in cadrul lantului trofic; animalul salbatic privit, asadar, ca “prada” a actiunilor de continua transformare a planetei de catre om, intr-un mod accelerat). Fiecare imagine prezinta astfel un set de elemente recurente (cele doua personaje si cadrul in care coexista, de regula habitatul obisnuit al vietatii alese).

Inaintand in explicarea si sustinerea imaginilor, voi adauga modul in care am decis sa asociez imaginea unei specii cu un anumit brand. Aceasta alegere se bazeaza in mare parte pe o asociere facuta intuitiv, dar care respecta si cateva criterii: potrivirea dintre forma logo-ului si arhitectura corpului animalului; stilul de viata pe care il propune brand-ul si tipul de animal (daca este un animal agil sau lent, comun sau deosebit, pretiozitatea pe care o etaleaza prin proportii, volume si colorit); utilitatea produselor unui brand in raport cu habitatul animalului; iar in unele cazuri, apropierea este evidenta - puma primeste elementul decorativ al firmei cu acelasi nume.

Femeia si animalul sunt ambele fiinte care contin un frumos universal. Diferenta este insa ca femeia este constienta de aspectul ei placut, mai mult, accentueaza asta prin folosirea produselor cosmetice si vestimentare, fapt ce ii confera o masura de autoaparare in societate. Prin aura ei urban/trendy/ trashy/sporty/chic/glam/cool, femeia agreseaza spatiul vizual rezervat animalului, animal care este purtator al unei frumuseti brute, salbatice, nestavilite. Logo-ul sau insemnele unei firme se insereaza pe corpul mamiferului in mod organic, ex: ca si cum blana s-ar recolora de la sine pentru a reflecta imaginea unui anumit brand.

In ceea ce priveste calitatea imaginii, mi-am propus sa experimentez plecand de la o pictura in esenta realista, dar sa o directionez catre o zona in care se intalnesc o intelegere de tip naturalista cu una sintetica. Prin ritmicitatea pensulatiei si cromatica am vrut sa dau senzatia unor obiecte sintetice, aproape ca de plastic, aparent goale pe dinauntru; culorile sunt alese de asa maniera in cat sa para acide si sa defineasca un spatiu artificial, peisajul trebuie sa aduca aminte de o butaforie de muzeu de istorie naturala, in care prim planul este realizat in volum din diverse materiale facute de om iar ce se apropie de linia de orizont este pictat pe suprafata plata. Tot acest demers stilistic vine in paralel cu preocuparile mele recente, in care imi propun, atat prin aceasta serie cat si in lucarile viitoare, sa fac o munca de muzeograf inainte de cea de pictor, in care sa colectez date si imagini definitorii pentru contemporaneitate.










Fashion Prey



The fashion industry has a strong impact on the individual's aspect in relation to society and generates extremely numerous images and icons. By contrast, I connect this phenomenon to the animal kingdom, which is full of prominent visual symbols but the representatives of which are more or less threatened by extinction. The reason why I chose this subject is that many brands choose to use the image of an animal as their logo (LaCoste) and some of them even their names (Puma). A lot of wild animals are killed in a totally cruel manner in order to be used as raw material for clothing. This is an essential point in understanding how humans interacted throughout the ages with the other species and with nature in general. In the beginning, as a new species, humans used to live in a close relationship with animals, that represented their sources of food, clothes, and inspired the earliest manifestation of spirituality - cave paintings.

This primordial fascination with animals justifies my intention of illustrating a number of mammals in relation to an area that is fully integrated in postmodernity: the fashion industry. Zoomorphic motives are invaded by the fashion imagery and I used that in order to show the reverse process, in which brands are inspired by nature (to create logos, materials, design), and the fact that nature is severely damaged by all human activity.

The title of this project is based on a pun, changing the term “fashion victim” to “fashion prey”, to reflect the situation of the two characters in each image, whether it is a “victim”- woman (seen as a main consumer of fashion products), or a “prey” (with reference to the uncertain status of some animal species, not to their position in the food chain; the animal presented as the "prey” of man’s continuous actions of transforming the planet). Each of the images has a set of recurrent elements, the two characters and a landscape in which they stand, the usual habitat of the creatures.

Trying to give an explanation of the images, I would also like to refer to the way in which I decided to associate the image of certain species with a specific brand. The choice is made in a somewhat intuitive manner, but also based on the following criteria: the correlation between the logo’s shape and the architecture of the animal’s body; the lifestyle proposed by the brand and the type of animal (if it is agile or slow, common or unusual, its preciosity as revealed by proportions, volume and colour); the utility of a brand’s products in the given habitat. The closeness is obvious in some of the cases - the cougar gets the design element of the brand with the same meaning in its name, Puma.

Woman and animal are both creatures who contain a universal beauty. The difference between them lies in the fact that women are self conscious of their pleasant looks, and underline it with the help of cosmetics and clothing, making it a sort of self-defensive means in society. Women's urban/ trendy/ trashy/ sporty/ chic/ glamorous/ cool aura aggresses the visual space reserved to the animal, as a bearer of a raw, untamed beauty. The logo or the brands’ specific elements are inserted on the animal’s body in an organic way, as if fur changed its colour by default to signal the image of a brand.

Talking about the quality of image, I wanted to use what can be called realistic painting, but I redirect it toward an area in which a naturalist type of understanding meets with a synthetic one. By means of brush strokes and chromatics I wanted to represent certain synthetic objects, almost plastic-like, apparently empty on the inside; the colors of which are chosen as to look acid and to define an artificial space. The landscape must resemble an artificial scenery, similar to the one in a natural history museum, in which the front line is a 3D set of man-made materials, and the background is painted on a flat surface.

This stylistic approach parallels my recent interests in painting and will be reflected in my future works as well. In both this series and in the following one I intend to do the work of a museologist prior to the one of a painter by collecting
essential data and images that are characteristic for present times.

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