Edgy art is great, the weirder the better. But it must actually be art to get and hold my attention. You can look up ‘weird art’ on Google and find all kinds of innovative, harrowing quasi-Dali imagery in every permutation from oil paints to digital illustration, fairies, 3-headed boys, variations on Beavis and Butthead. What makes some things art and other innovations, well, something else? Silver CarCrash (Double Disaster) by Andy Warhol sold for $104.5M at Sotheby’s. I’m not judging the worthiness of this piece - I’m illustrating my fascination for what things in our world have value, why, and to whom.
But I’ve always felt the sharpest edge of art in the realm of haute couture. Fashion differs from art because it’s a bigger challenge. It’s not meant to hang on a wall and inspire as a static monument of unmovable ideas. It’s supposed to be worn, over the frail human form amongst the folds and flaws of age and evolution, being simultaneously form AND function.
Acclaimed British designer Gareth Pugh, 33, is considered one of the hottest voices in modern design, with an unconventional aesthetic that stretches from fashion to film and beyond. Below from his Sping/Summer 2015 Collection:
Avant garde fashions, like truly innovation-gone-rogue, give me this uncontrollable urge to climb inside the minds of their creators, desperate to understand their truths, their rebellion, their oppression, and their unique redefinitions of beauty and radiance.
Abstract art in any form is intended to challenge, to wake us from the stupor of soft-lit femininity, elevator music, Thomas Kinkade. Sometimes the point is not to feel good, necessarily, but just simply to feel SOMETHING, or something different. To overtly and publicly loathe a piece of modern art is likely a bigger compliment to the artist than having their piece ignored. The point of any art is to make us see better, bigger, and to ignite something new that we’ve never touched or experienced before.
No doubt there’s a small part of each of us that seeks to step outside of what’s expected, to deviate, to be dangerous and do risky things and be scorned but also loved for our courage to experiment and widen our hearts. Modern design brings us in contact with those secret desires, and lets us live temporarily on that ragged edge of rogue.