Yesterday I found out that I’ve got two exhibitions coming up in the next two months. One of these exhibitions has asked that I have the work made inside of a week. Understandably, I am suddenly all dour and nose-to-the-grindstone. It’s actually really exciting, and fantastic to be motivated to paint. I suddenly feel kind of electric in a way that I never do when I’m on holiday.
But it also means I’m suddenly back to wearing “painting clothes”. These include an old pair of skinny jeans, babydoll nightgowns, plain white wifebeater singlets, and in the privacy of my own home, plain ol’ underwear.
Not exactly style-tastic.
One of my aims for this year is to develop a stylish kind of uniform that I can wear while painting, without fear of it getting painted or destroyed – that I can wear with the knowledge that anything I do to this uniform will simply add to its overall patina.
While I haven’t dreamed up this perfect painting uniform yet, I thought I’d look at historical artists who had style. And try to develop a potential uniform around their stylish bits and pieces.
First up, it’s the monobrow’d Frida Kahlo. I am not into Kahlo, or portraiture as a whole, actually, but there’s no denying that the woman had a striking look. I love the row of flowers in her hair, the strong masculine, um, brow, and ethnic dress and jewellery. And colour. She definitely knew how to wield colours, both in the garments she wore and the pigments she used.
Photograph by Steve Coron.
Dali with Gala.
Secondly, it’s Dali. Another artist whose work I don’t particularly admire, but whose outlandish style I love to death. It’s widely known that Dali’s flamboyance was a means of masking his shyness, but his mode of dress was mostly dapper, rather than crazy – ascot neck ties, suits … even if he did collaborate with Schiaparelli on the famous Lobster Dress:
Louise Bourgeois is not someone I know much about, aside from the infamous salons held in her New York residence. But this photograph I came across – nuff said, really.
And when I combined the aesthetics of these three artists, this is the new painting uniform I ended up with:
Not bad! Although I would probably cry if I got paint on that feathered vest.