The Mediators

Fashion is only the attempt to realise art in living forms and social intercourse”  
Sir Francis Bacon
The relationship between the visual arts and fashion has long been pondered and debated. It represents the intersection of numerous planes of reflection. They both act within reality and nourish it, contributing to its renewal. They are both social objects with a fundamental cultural dimension, while at the same time being part of an important economic system. They are both material culture and commodities, experience and communication, commentary of our identities and societies, entertainment, language and fantasy, hierarchy and luxury.
For this project, we explore the way fashion and visual arts interact and interconnect with an intentional juxtaposition. What kind of dialogue and emotions exude between these distinct creative practices? How do they inform each other when displayed side by side?
One major source of inspiration for this exhibition is acclaimed British photographer Sir Cecil Beaton's editorial photoshoot for Vogue US entitled American Fashion: The New Soft Look. Published in the March 1951 issue, it showed two models wearing Haute Couture garments by Irene and Henri Bendel while posing in front of Jackson Pollock’s Lavender Mist, Number 28, Number 27, and Autumn Rhythm.
Beaton’s stylized manner softened the manic behavior of Jackson Pollock's paintings with the elegance of the designers’ fashion beauty. Skillful color matching between what is in front and what is behind unite the two subjects.
This exhibition, in collaboration with Homme_DC and Agents of Alternatives, implores you to further look at fashion through art and vice versa, and to capture the way fashion and art interact when displayed as objects next to each other.

Featured artists:

Kim CooperKim Cooper has created a series of fascinating portraits and body works on canvas flush with unusual combinations of color and techniques. Many begin with photos of recognizable individuals and then are transformed into living personalities of their own exuding character not previously there. She also creates stunning versions of the femal body that produce beautiful representation sof the shape. The unusual combination of her classic textile techniques and brilliant coilor is often seen in her multiple portrait versions displayed in series. Her work is currently displayed in her Washington D.C. studio and overseas later this year in Madrid and Monaco.

Jacklyn LaryeaJacklyn Laryea is a Ghanaian designer and painter living in Washington, D.C. She has been drawing and sketching since she was old enough to hold a pen. To her, art has always been a conversation. It is a forum in which she feel entirely free to express the way she feels about surroundings, her life, and the myriad of experiences that continue to make her who she is. Beauty, erosion and contradiction in humanity are concepts that fascinate her. She is inspired by Klimt, Dali and Elizabeth Catlett. The motivation in her own work is always to explore the layers and fragments individuals must confront in order to determine their own identity.

John Brendan GuinanGuinan's art practice spans from found material and mixed media collages to textile pieces and ready made sculptures. His work explores the ways in which individuals use materiality to signal identity, cultural association and socioeconomic status. He is also interested in the notion of renewal and the assemblage and collaging of objects that we typically might discard - the tattered and worn t-shirt, a piece of cardboard on the side of the road, or the forgotten book collecting dust. In the artist's words, "I like the idea of exalting ruins - to treat them as sacred, to tend to a thing that was forgotten with dignity." Threaded throughout his work are nods to mark making, minimalism, abstract expressionism and child-like iconography. Guinan was born inWashington, D.C. and has exhibited in solos and group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Richmond, and Miami.

Garments selected from Tribute’s collection and archive.