artful, not landfill

As childish as I strive to be, I’ve been recently noticing my tendency towards a life more grown. Whilst masking, metaphor-ing and trying to add poetics to this status update, the reality of big banks enforcing weekly payments in case of accident or death has left a slightly metallic, dirt-coated taste in my mouth.

grown up in a fashionFortunately, years of frock-lingo kick in and even as I type, I begin to see images of me dressed head to toe in sleek tones of sculpted silver.  Gunmetal layers of galvanised tailoring upon vapourous whisps of softly moulded, metallic greys.  My skin in pale and powdery, with an ever-so-faint postmortem pink; eyelids and lashes are bare. My lips are dark and chocolately, speaking in otherworldly, velveteen, muted and matted tones.

Heh – as much as I sometimes diss it, I do enjoy the playfulness of fashion-speak. This is a very quick and dodgy photoshop chop-n-paste I just made of how this could sort of look…the melted glue-gun hat and image is by Stephen Jones. The coat is a cut and paste and re-angle from a random image search.

My current grown-up-ness also has me looking this pale (or perhaps even anaemic as my mum kindly hinted over the phone today). I think I need to apply a bit of fashion-speak to redescribe me (I say reaching for some heavily contrasting lipstick and military-tailored coat to make it all better).

Exhausted complexion aside, one of the great virtues of becoming grown-up is that I’m accepting that I can’t and won’t get there first.  < There > being that strangely elusive place where idealistic hopes and agrandising dreams intertwine. Instead of feeling frustrated / despondent / indignant / jealous that the shadow of an idea I once had has been wholeheartedly explored and executed by a conscientious and devoted other, I’m learning to silently and very briefly mutter my curses and then go on to sing their praises.

One such example needing accolade and praise is the outstanding body of work by the artists ‘Guerra de la Paz‘. Born in Cuba and based in Miami, these two guys have been exhibiting together over the past 14 years or so. According to their bio, they “create work with a universal message, using recycled objects as our medium and the guidance of the unrelenting amounts of information that fuels today’s mass consciousness and it’s subversive parallels.”

More specific to my quest, Guerra de la Paz use discarded clothing destined for landfill, to create incredibly tender, poignant and powerful, sculptural installations. Here are a few examples from their site. I recommend a full viewing over a favourite cup of tea – Lady Grey seems apt to me.

guerra de la paz - inner circle - 2004

guerra de la paz - mandown - 2008

guerra de la paz - eden - 2003

guerra de la paz - double threat - 2008

Consider me gob-smacked, awed and impressed – with just the faintest hint of being miffed. This is a very vague cross-section. You can see heaps more here.