Fashion Prey

The fashion industry strongly shapes the aspect of the individual in regard to society and generates utterly present images (company logos); as a counterpart, I correlate this with the world of animals, both brimming with powerful symbols, yet more or less endangered by the physical extinction of its representatives; as a motivation for choosing this topic there would be the fact that many brands bear as a logo the image of an animal (Lacoste), or even the name of one (Puma), and in addition to this, many animals die in a brutal, extremely cruel manner, so that materials for clothing are obtained. In the light of this, a significant point is made for comprehending the way in which man has interacted, throughout his becoming, with other species and with nature in general; as early as his definition as a species, man has lived in a close relation with animals, which comprised a supply of food, materials for clothes and a source of inspiration for the first spiritual manifestations – the cave paintings.

This primordial penchant for animals accounts for my intention to illustrate a number of mammals in relation to a very important contemporary area of interest – the fashion industry. Through the invasion of the zoomorphic universe with vestment elements I intend to create the reverse of the situation in which brands get inspired by the beauty of natural forms (in order to create their logos, materials, design) so I can highlight the way in which nature is severely afflicted by many aspects of human activity.

The title of this project is based on a pun, replacing the word “victim” in the term “fashion victim” with the word “prey”. This option for the title is given by the presence of two characters in each image, both identifying themselves with either the victim status (the woman seen as the main fashion consumer throughout gender stereotypes), or the prey status (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 coexist (the usual habitat of each chosen species). Extending the explanation and the sustainment of the images, I shall present the way in which I decided to associate the image of a species with a certain brand. This choice is roughly based on an intuitively made association, which – nonetheless – also covers several criteria: the match between the logo’s shape and the animal body’s architecture; the lifestyle the brand proposes and the type of animal (whether the animal is fast or slow, common or unusual, whether it displays preciousness through proportions, volumes and color); the utility of the products of a brand in regard to the animal’s habitat; and, in some cases, the pairing is obvious – the cougar receives the ornamental element of the company entitled likewise.

The tense relation between man and animal is stressed through the relative dissonance of the beauty enhancement methods appropriated by the woman, which highlights her pleasant appearance through the use of cosmetic products and clothing, so that she can comply with the exigencies of the culture in which she is socialized. Through her urban/trendy/trashy/sporty/chic/glam/cool aura, the woman abuses the space reserved to the animal, which belongs to a rough, wild beauty. The logos or the trademarks of a company are inserted on the mammal’s body organically, as if the fur could recolor by default in order to reflect the image of a certain brand.

Regarding the quality of the image, I aim to experiment starting from a painting of realist origins, which – however – I intend to further direct to an area in which a naturalistic comprehension meets with a synthetic one. Through the rhythm of the strokes and of the colors I wanted to offer the sensation of some synthetic, almost plastic objects, which are hollow inside; the colors are picked so that they look somehow acid and they define the artificial space, the landscape has to recall a scenery of natural history museum, in which the foreground is depicted volume-wise through several man-made materials and what goes towards the horizon is painted on a plane surface. This whole stylistic endeavor parallels my recent concerns, in which I intend to do the work of a museologist prior to the one of a painter, in which I collect and render data and images which are defining for present times.


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