The Artist Speaks

I attended a talk by the artist Gavin Turk yesterday - actually he was the speaker directly before me at UEL's inspiration day for their students.

Waiting for my go, I sat in the audience to enjoy his irrepressible playfulness before my more earnest delivery on being a disruptive lover of fashion. He was clearly having fun, encouraging us not to take it all too seriously and I laughed out loud several times.


He can afford to laugh too. His art is bought by the likes of Saatchi and Damien Hurst.  The above self-portrait sculpture of Sid Vicous is entitled POP.  At question time, I asked him whether he felt any doubt about how his work might be received. Doubt about what? Well you know the sort we all feel when we think we are not good enough and maybe that affects our confidence.

Doubt requires approval and reassurance and feint praise he told me, was the worst experience of all. He'd rather everyone hated a piece of work. "If everyone hates it, it's good because that means everyone loves it really."

Good answer but that kind of sassy belligerence wouldn't work in fashion. "LOVING IT dahhhling" for a season at least...well it's a pre-requisite for success in our world.

Despite the difference in aesthetics and end product, Gavin's talk highlighted huge overlap with fashion and set up some important themes I would later explore in my talk from an entirely different perspective.

The artist should ask who the audience is

The frame adds a lot to the story

Dressing up helps to serve the performance of being

Art aids the process of seeing things differently from the way you saw them before



The bin bag full of rubbish shown here is actually a brass sculpture that has been painted to look like a plastic bag of rubbish. It's a popular piece that he has replicated for variety of clients.

It was fun to sit, be inspired and investigate the perspectives of others. Maybe that was my true purpose yesterday.


























































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