The name Montblanc is synonymous with quality, integrity and innovation. Themes that run through every product, thus resulting in a brand that can always be relied on to be at the forefront of new initiatives. The Montblanc Cultural Foundation is one of such initiatives.
Now with 15 years under their belts, this landmark see’s Montblanc celebrate their years of partnership with the Hamburger Kunsthalle/Galerie der Gegenwart, by the opening of a new exhibition by the talented German artist: Ulla von Brandenburg. Titled Das Versteck des W.L., 2011 (translated to ‘The hiding of W.L.’), the work consists of several sculptures, objects, diverse silhouettes and a 16-mm film curated by Brandenburg’s mysterious alter ego: W.L.
The idea of W.L. is never explicitly explained, neither is what he is hiding from, but through this exhibition we can begin to learn more about this character Brandenburg would like to express. The exhibition is reminiscent of a lot of Ulla von Brandenburg’s work, as she brings in references to archaic notions and certain occult themes. This is overtly present in the film which is projected onto a white wall in a separate room.
While viewing the movie, immediately the tone of the exhibition is changed, as we are shown an ancient ritual being performed in Sardinia. Filmed in one take, we become privy to an intimate and sinister dance -consisting of a circle of men dressed in costumes of Mamuthones and Issadores, taking part in the celebrations of St Antonio in January.
The men portraying the Mamuthones wear black masks, heavy black fur jackets and bells that create a shocking sound with every movement, while the Issadores are shown wearing white masks and appear to not have as much power within the group. Like most of the pieces in the exhibition, each work of art has a sense of mystery surrounding it, linking in with the idea of ‘hiding’ but also ensuring viewers are allowed to speculate themselves. Creating a story around this elusive W.L. and what this character might be trying to articulate.
Another theme surrounding Das versteck des W.L. is the idea of time, a theme which can be intrinsically linked with Montblanc itself. Their handmade unique products are considered pieces to be handed down through generations, thus becoming timeless. With this exhibition though, we see a conscious contrast which Ulla explained, “I really love this kind of ephemeral art -which is also in the theatre, because it’s only here for the second and then it’s done- and so I like this idea to integrate with my shows … that they are only lasting for this moment, and that they are always adapted for every space differently.” This loop is then closed through the mutual acknowledgement of craftsmanship and authenticity found in Ulla’s work and, of course, within the Montblanc brand.
The Montblanc cultural foundation works by supporting projects in the field of contemporary art, be it experimental theatre to classical music. With the art initiative, it sees the brand working with Hamburger Kunsthalle/Galerie der Gegenwart by acquiring a work of art every two years which is then loaned to the museum for 100 years. With the collection already featuring pieces by renowned artists such as Stephen Huber, Sylvie Fleury and Marcel van Eeden, the cultural foundation appears set to continue going from strength to strength.
When speaking with the CEO of Montblanc, Lutz Bethge, he explains why this is so important to Montblanc. “I believe it is the soul of the Montblanc brand, Montblanc has always somehow been linked to art and culture because our roots are of course, within writing. We believe that time has become so precious, that you really have to make sure that you make the most of it … that you take time for the most important things in your life. When it comes to art the only rules they follow is to break the rules, and that is something which is exciting, inspiring and which is what we feel makes life worthwhile”
Ulla Von Brandenburg, Das Versteck des W.L., 2011 will be exhibited at the Hamburger Kunsthalle/Galerie der Gengenwart from May 16th – June 23rd, 2013. After which the artwork will be shown at the Montblanc Gallery in the company’s Hamburg headquarters for a period of two years, before it finds its permanent home at the museum.
For more information please visit: http://www.hamburger-kunsthalle.de/index.php/brandenburg/articles/brandenburg.html
Words / Jade Thompson
Follow her on Twitter @IRWRITER
Hauser Gallery in Zurich is currently exhibiting the solo show “des astrum” by twin brothers Markus and Reto Huber, known as huber.huber. Throughout the series, the artists address the transience of man and nature with a great subtleness that takes a while to identify, but feels perfectly appropriate to its subjects after. Butterflies, rich colours and dreamy illustrations are arranged in collages, drawings, photographs, objects and installations. All of these are cleverly arranged layers, so each piece is its own statement of the ambivalent relationship between civilization and nature.
The main themes of hopes, fears, beliefs, death and failure of mankind is being analysed in an artistic yet quiet way that has a peaceful effect on viewers despite the fact that exploring topics like ‘failure’ are quintessentially destructive.
One of the most interesting aspects about the brothers’ works is the way they are inspired: For a previous project ‘Small Bodies I’, they found personal black-and-white photographs of holidays, landscapes, playful horses, fireworks, celebrations and nude women found at flea markets in New York. For Des Astrum, huber.huber follow the same theme by destroying the idyllic atmosphere captured in the images through natural forces, using multi-layered motifs and a vast array of different techniques and materials. The intriguing mix of destruction and peace found in the pieces leaves us unable to draw away from the images, as the art cleverly captures the calm before the storm.
Markus and Reto Huber (*1975) studied Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts (HGKZ). Since beginning to work together in 2005, their work has been exhibited and awarded internationally.
For more information please visit: www.hausergallery.ch
Words / Caroline Schmitt
Follow Caroline on Twitter @caro_schmitt
Modesty personified is how I’d describe my first encounter with light artist Chris Bracey. Dubbed The Neon Guru, Bracey’s CV includes collaborations with Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton and David LaChapelle. Chris married at 17 and with a wife and young children to support he was determined to ‘make some money’. Now after 55 years in the business Bracey is opening his first solo exhibition entitled ‘I’ve Looked Up to Heaven and Been Down to Hell’ at Scream. Chris states with a chuckle that he is a few streets away from where he started his career in Soho making neon signs for the sex establishments in the 1970s. As he talks me through the pieces,Chris casually mentions that Professor Green has bought one of the pieces from opening night. I learn that a further six have already been snapped up. The proud Londoner is so unassuming that you can’t help but smile as he mentions little anecdotes for each piece. He explains, ‘Everything in here is from my heart and what I consider to be my art is if I don’t want to sell it then it’s good enough for somebody else. It’s got to be from the soul, from the spirit.’
You’ve worked on some really amazing projects…How much influence do you have on a brief?
Sometimes it’s really tight but Kubrick was good – he was really open. Burton is really good. Some people can be very controlling with what they want and they’ve got their vision and they want what they want. Then, it’s not so creative for me it’s more the nuts and bolts of making it all work which some people don’t understand but that’s my speciality.
What has been your most challenging project to date?
I think the Vegas Supernova [project] – that was eight years ago. Last year I did Palais de Tokyo for Chloé. I did a 30 metre light structure. I only had a couple of weeks to design it, build it and get it there but it worked out. My life is full on. It’s never a dull moment. I often think, ‘When am I going to wake up? When am I going to pinch myself to wake up and it’s all a dream – that I’m actually a roadsweeper and I’ve been dreaming.
What is so appealing about working with lights?
When [my mother] used to push me in a pram –there was one tree that had Christmas lights on it – and even if we were going the other way I used to cry if we couldn’t go past this tree with lights on. There used to be a barn store in Walthamstow Village and the [owner] had hand painted a coach on a bit of cardboard and put some bulbs round it and that’s a magic thing. That initial vision has driven me on with what I’ve done for nearly 55 years. I still find old drawings of that coach and those lights. It’s always been there – it’s in my blood. It’s like visual cocaine. Even after all these years I still love it. When you make something and you turn it on for the first time – it’s like wow – I’ve still got that.
You’re heavily influenced by pop culture – which iconic figure would you like to produce something for?
I’ve always liked [Led] Zepplin. Probably now it would be The Stones.
This is your first solo show – it’s been 40 years. Why now?
It’s [taken] me 40 years to reach this point. I don’t think I was meant to get here until now. I don’t think I was ready for this moment.
Your exhibition is titled ‘I’ve Looked Up to Heaven Been Down to Hell’ you’re quoted as saying, “I have lived and worked in hell – You always think you are going to end up in heaven but it doesn’t exist.” Explain what you mean.
It’s not that [heaven] doesn’t exist – we don’t really know what it’s like. It’s just that it’s not so good down here where we are now (laughs). Heaven looks good from hell.
What piece are you most proud of in the show?
The Hand of God – I think because it’s controversial and different concept. I always loved the iconography of religion. It’s like the first ad campaign. Every other ad campaign – Coca Cola, McDonalds etc pale in insignificance to Christianity.
If you had to make a sign to sum yourself up what would it be?
“That’s Entertainment” or “Neon Guru”. But I think “That’s Entertainment” because that’s really what I’m doing. I’m entertaining. It’s giving people a rush – it seduces people. It’s amazing the effect it has but I still think it’s like Marmite – you either love it or hate it.
‘I’ve Looked Up to Heaven and Been Down to Hell’ exhibits at Scream, from April to 1st June 2013. For more info please visit: www.screamlondon.com
Words / Ihunna Eberendu
Follow her on Twitter @ihunnamatata
Great art provides dialogue for viewers; it catches observers off guard and can at times conjure feelings which make for uncomfortable experiences. Ron Mueck’s latest exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, in Paris is one of such experiences. For the first time in 5 years the elusive sculptor Ron Mueck showcases a selection of amazing works, including three never before seen pieces specifically created for the exhibition.
Born in Melbourne to German parents, the London based artist honed his craft as a model maker and puppeteer for television and film, however in 1996, it was a sculpture titled ‘Dead Dad’ which became Mueck’s first standout piece. Receiving worldwide acclaim and creating the starting point for his career in contemporary art. Mueck’s work has a way of inciting a strong feeling of intimacy, not only due to the minute attention to detail but also through his ability to create works of art out of the mundane. We are drawn to his work because of the startling everydayness in the majority of each piece, we pass these people in the streets, we see them as we do our weekly shopping and as we observe them in the foreign surroundings of a gallery you are drawn into their world realising how familiar they are and yet how much we don’t know anything at all.
One of his newest sculptures titled ‘Young couple’ is a reduced sized twosome, seemingly peaceful standing side by side. As you discover the piece you are confronted by the sight of the boy gripping the girl by the wrist, immediately transforming an otherwise normal sight into something potentially sinister. However Mueck’s subtleness is one of the great things about his work, and something that creates the dialogue within each piece. Is the grip protective or aggressive? Is her face turned to the side an expression of timidness or just an effort to listen in closely? Also included in the exhibition is an elderly couple transformed into monstrous proportions, making ‘Couple under an umbrella’ extremely striking to view. The immense size of this fairly normal interaction gives you a feeling of intruding on a moment that we were not invited to. Having a piece so large means Mueck’s handiwork is much easier to scrutinise, but he leaves no stone unturned, from the detailed toenails to the fine hairs on the man’s legs, it is a wonderful work of art and yet the life like aspect of the sculpture is what also makes it so unsettling.
Another intriguing aspect about the exhibition is the inclusion of an insightful 20 minute documentary shot by French filmmaker Gautier Deblonde. ‘Still Life: Ron Mueck at Work’ follows the artist over the course of 18 months, in which Deblonde visited Mueck’s North London studio every day, capturing the sculptor as he created his three latest works for Fondation Cartier. Deblonde as a filmmaker is very discreet, and in the run up to the exhibition in Paris, it’s this talent for being able blend into his surrounding, that helps to create a film which gives a unique insight into Mueck’s life.
Fondation Cartier began as a creative environment in which to nurture talent, and it’s in this specifically designed space (by the architect Jean Nouvel), that Ron Mueck’s striking sculptures are ironically, brought to life.
To find out more please visit: www.fondation.cartier.com
Words / Jade Thompson
Follow her on Twitter @IRWRITER
Jonathan Hobin is a talented photographer, but his vision has encountered a certain amount of resistance. Awash in Canadian sunlight, two of his own images hanging on a stark white wall behind him, and drawing ever-closer to his soon-to-open exhibition at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, he tells Schon!: “I’ve had a couple of critics say, ‘Oh, I think what you’ve done is horrible and you would have been able to accomplish the same thing by using teenagers.’ To use teenagers? Why would you suggest that other than the fact that it makes you uncomfortable?”
Uncomfortable is a fair enough way to feel when you see Hobin’s work, particularly his latest series. In the Playroom depicts children at sinister play recreating recent history’s most traumatizing events. His September 11th tableau got a lot of press, but there are more powerful images in the series; more delicately handled, carefully considered and constructed with a painstaking attention to detail and careful eye for beauty. A fair number are stunning in more ways than one. “It’s complicated enough for me,” Hobin says of the events his chooses to depict, from the Jonestown Massacre to Abu Grabe (the photograph, cleverly titled “A Boo Grave”, is an image of children dressing up for Halloween as torturers and the tortured). “So how would someone who has less context and experience comprehend something as massive as mass death?”
Hobin’s work is more tableau than photograph. His images are dominated by complex and beautiful backgrounds, sets that clearly required as much—if not more—creative energy than the photos themselves. It was this talent for establishing a setting that led him to a career in art direction and set design for films before he found his way back into the photography world. Hobin says of his time at university, where he studied photography: “I was making images, not photographs, and the photo became just a tool to document the set that I had created.” The disciplines are linked, and you can see the range of Hobin’s experience in the photographs that comprise In the Playroom. “They definitely have fed off each other,” he says of his two disciplines. “I’ve brought what I learned from my own experience doing set design for boring made-for-TV movies and transitioning the heavily orchestrated things to be able to do that on a much smaller scale, when it’s just me and maybe one other person creating stills.”
Hobin’s inspiration for In the Playroom, and for much of his broader work, is the encroaching darkness of the adult world onto childhood and our willingness, as adults, to ignore the way the most gruesome elements of our world filter down. Hobin explains: “I think there are a lot of people who reflect back on childhood with rose-coloured glasses [but] everyone’s had a sort of traumatic childhood event. I didn’t want to lose sight of the fact that it can be an incredibly complicated and pivotal moment in people’s lives.”
Hobin’s photographs are shocking to some, and fascinating to others, because they so clearly demonstrate what we already know to be true: children play at being adults until they are adults, and that play often includes a thorough exploration of the darkest parts of grown-up life. “We seem to gloss over this idea that kids pretend to murder each other all the time,” he says, “but as soon as you put it into context for adults— as to where [children] might have possibly learned about killing— people become uncomfortable. I think that using children as models is crucial to the impact of what I’m trying to say.”
But it isn’t all doom and gloom. “Sometimes the imagery can be really serious and sometimes, like childhood, it’s more complicated. It can start with a little bit of whimsy and dark humor and a little bit of a chuckle.”
To View more of Jonathan Hobin’s work please visit www.jhobin.com
Words / Lucinda Beeman
Follow her on Twitter @LucindaBeeman
The world of female fashion modelling has quickly evolved from showcasing girls no differently to the way they would an inanimate object, to creating an entire industry of role models. Today’s girls such as Karlie Kloss, Coco Rocha, Liu Wen, Gisele Bundchen, and Kate Moss are not just hangers; they are game changers. These models are world ambassadors who broadcast their voice through social media outlets. Instead of giving life to garments, some models now give life to others through human rights activism, AIDS research, and various charities. These girls are more approachable than their supermodel predecessors such as Linda, Naomi, or Cindy. By being accessible through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, today’s fashion models sell dreams that we can be a part of, making fashion a growing reality.
However, it has not always been this way. From the first photographs of the 19th century to the pages of magazines, to moving pictures of commercials and videos, the model was created by and for the fashion clothing industry. She embodies contradictions between commerce and creativity. The exposition Mannequin: Le Corps de La Mode (Model: The Body of Fashion), presents the history of the women underneath the clothing. This retrospective bares all with nearly 120 prints, most of which are from the collections of the Museum Galliera. You can find the current exposition at Les Docks: Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris. It unites a variety of videos (from Gareth Pugh, to a Theirry Mugler runway show, to PhotoShopping techniques on how to create a slimmer model), actual wicker mannequins, and photographs. Works of several photographic giants are displayed, such as Horst P. Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, Henry Clarke, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Nick Knight, Corinne Day, and Juergen Teller.
Similar to how the first wirework mannequins in the mid-1800s showed dresses at a storefront window, the living model served to bring clients to the fashion designer. Wood, wicker, or wax before being flesh, the first models ambiguously fluctuated between object and subject, of thread and life. The model was a manipulatable object, a living doll. The model gave shape to clothes, but was somehow more than just this. She was the feminine ideal of beauty and youth, with an aim to seduce. Slowly but surely, models became the living and breathing part of the fashion system. She is a product of her time, but the generic standard that many models are expected to up hold, leave little room for individuality or realism. From the early 20th century, women of high society and actresses were fashion icons, bringing fame to brands and magazines. Recognizable, but mouldable, professional models undertake fictional roles under the direction of photographers and directors. Beyond the fashion system, they embody fantasies.
In 1924, the couturier Jean Patou in Paris brought “tall, thin, hipless, and fine ankled” American models to Paris and the standards of female beauty were altered, and now attractiveness was defined by the cult of thinness and youth from the 1960s. In the late ’80s, Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel created the supermodels: Christy, Claudia, Linda, and Naomi providing a strong narrative for models. In the 1990s however, the notion of imperfect beauty stormed into the fashion world. Photographs suddenly depicted reality, even intimacy, with the photo of Kate Moss by Corrine Day showing that beauty was accessible.
Whether an anonymous cover girl, supermodel, or the girl next door, the role of a fashion model does more than question our aesthetics and tastes. She is a vision of admiration; she reinforces what beauty means in this day and age. Moreover, she brings the clothes to life and places a whole new meaning on what fashion is and what fashion can do for others.
Mannequin: Le Corps de la Mode is at Les Docks: Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris from now until May 19, 2013. For more info visit: http://www.paris-docks-en-seine.fr/
Words / Sheri Chiu
Follow her on Twitter @schiuonthis
‘Fashioning Fashion: Two Centuries of European Fashion (1700-1915),’ takes a retrospective look at our attire of the past. After being shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in 2010, the exhibition has sashayed over to Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris where it currently showcases an excellent selection of ancient clothing and accessories.
A hundred male and female garments offer a historical and thematic overview of the major trends in European fashion from the early 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century. A demonstration of our changing tastes, the exhibition also unearths fashion’s technical and frequently concealed aspects. Shedding light on the dressmaking and tailoring techniques used, the quality and delicacy of fabrics, embroideries, and trimmings.
The goal of the exposition is to deliver a richer understanding of how fashion and sophistication were captured and created in Europe for over two centuries.
From the mid-1700s, women began wearing the robe à la française, or sac-back gown, which quickly came into fashion as a regular day dress. Such an extravagant gown pieced together with a boned corset and petticoat would seem excessive today, but clothing was a method to communicate wealth and status back then. For example, an elegant Portuguese dress had a very long train that required the assistance of attendants, showing social power and material wealth.
In the mid-1800s, dresses spoke of a woman’s role in society. Women were portrayed as a model of virtue and were not expected to do anything physical. The burdensome skirts they wore at the time succeeded in stopping them from being anything but idle.
Fashion also communicated a history of international affairs. With the development of trade, Europeans were more and more influenced by India and the Far East. Traders brought back luxury goods such as spices, tea and of course, fabrics. This led to the craze for cotton painted fabrics known as Indiennes, these were used for both upholstery and informal wear. Europeans discovered Indian muslins, turbans, fans, and exotic plants, which influenced European fashion in creating shimmering, palm frond motifs. Chinese, Japanese, and Turkish influences impacted not only on clothing, but also decorative arts, painting, and theatre.
Women were not the only ones conscious of their figure at the time, as even men wore corsets to narrow their waist. The outfit was normally composed of fitted trousers, a shirt, a colourful vest and a coat. A top hat and a tie added a hint of colour to the solemn silhouette, providing that final touch.
The beginning of the 20th century showed a transition from the hourglass to a more cylinder silhouette. The early 1900’s Art Nouveau philosophy allowed women to become more casual in their attire, but still exhibit their female form. Sinuous lines in clothing gave women a serpentine shape resembling the letter ‘S.’ By heightening the body’s natural shape, the corset intensified and redefined curves and bust, while accentuating the slim waist and forcing back the derrière.
Slowly but surely, all of these developments led to the establishment of haute couture. Charles Frederick Worth (1825 -1895) is considered the father of the art. For the first time, dresses were not pre-ordered by customers: Worth sold pre-made gowns that came straight out of his imagination. Other couturiers, such as Madeline Vionnet (1876-1975) and Jacques Doucet (1853–1929), also had a tremendous impact on fashion. They paved the way for today’s fashion designers.
The monsters well known to sleep under the bed have joined forces with 58 established and upcoming fashion designers to create the imaginative ‘ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion’ exhibition in Paris. Eighty mesmerizing creatures are presented at La Gaîté Lyrique, fashioned by Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Gareth Pugh, and Rick Owens to name a few. These monsters are unusual characters that test our comforts and conventions, reminding us that our differences are an important value to defend.
“ARRRGH!” is the cry of surprise, fear and worry. We scream to send a message to others, to notify them of potential danger. It is that very scream that reminds us that we depend on other’s human relationships to coexist. The monsters in this exhibition bring us together to study our fear and to reflect on fashion norms.
What is a monster? For the ancient Greeks the word ‘monster’ described anything that was inexplicably strange, including the astonishing, heavenly, phenomena of the world and universe.
In the current fashion industry, the human body is constantly mutated into mysterious, strange, and sometimes monstrous figures. Designers and artists experiment to provide unusual shapes with textiles, creating abnormal forms and extreme volumes. These artists mask the human face and dress the body with animated colours, while simultaneously adding abstract elements.
In today’s globalised society, ‘natural beauty’ is questioned. What is considered beautiful and desirable in one culture can be revolting in another.
In this exhibition, fashion steers clear of ‘Who I am,’ but focuses on ‘What I experience.”
What lies hidden behind a person or an identity? What constitutes identity in a secularized society in which we see ourselves both as a citizen of the world and as a member of a local community? Besides our real lives we now also lead virtual, digital lives on the Internet. We create and develop our very own avatar. Then who do we become when we look within ourselves and give our fears and fantasies free rein?
ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion is at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris from now until April 7, 2013
For more information please visit: http://www.gaite-lyrique.net/en/theme/arrrgh-monsters-in-fashion
Words / Sheri Chiu
Follow her on Twitter @schiuonthis
One of the most anticipated fashion events in the world takes place in Paris every Summer: the Haute Couture runway shows. While access to the spectacles are strictly invitation only, you can still view exquisite handmade dresses up close at the Paris Haute Couture exhibition, supported by Swarovski, at Hôtel de Ville. For the very first time in Paris, an array of 100 pieces is displayed for the public eye, free of charge. The garments were selected from the Musée Galliera by the museum’s director Olivier Saillard and curator Ann Zazzo.
In the exposition you can expect to see extraordinary dresses dating back 150 years, as well as creations from up and coming couturiers. Lanvin, Chanel, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vionnet are just a few of the many French designers whose work is shown.
Amid the cream satins and luxurious embroidered tulle, beads, stones and crystals are delicately worked into the fabric. Numerous evening gowns, coats and handbags are embellished with Swarovski crystals. Conventional shapes are challenged and geometrical silhouettes dominate the scene. Bright, eye-catching colours make their appearance, as do graphic motifs that were often influenced by art. We see Asian inspirations, flowered patterns, jewellery and diamonds. Moreover, the sketches of the couturiers themselves are presented, along with several photographs to provide an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the craftsmanship involved in high fashion.
This is both the history and future of Haute Couture.
‘Be a man!’ It’s an all-too-common order to males around the world, implying that perhaps masculinity isn’t as innate as we all first thought. Exploring this concept – and posing the questions, ‘How does a man see himself?’, ‘How do women see men?’ and ‘How do men see other men?’ – is the ‘Be a Man!’ exhibition at the Sumarria Lunn Gallery in Mayfair, London.
Featuring artworks from Claude Cahun, Alexis Hunter, Mahtab Hussain, Ali Kazim, littlewhitehead, Miguel Rael and Hank Willis Thomas, this groundbreaking exhibition showcases the various representations of masculinity, taking into consideration social, political, historical and cultural mores.
Artworks include a series of photographs from Alexis Hunter, which when previously shown at the Belfast City Gallery in 1978, caused such controversy that the security guards walked out until they were removed! By using a nude male porn star as an object of sexual desire, Hunter combats the male gaze which sees females adorn the majority of advertorials and publications.
Further pieces detail the complex relationship between cultural traditions and modern-day ideas of masculinity. Photographs by Mahtab Hussain feature British Pakistani men who consider body-building to be as important as their religion; traditional facial hair offset against rippling muscles embodies this paradigm.
Claude Cahun’s work continuously blurs gender lines and challenges the concept of masculinity. One of the earliest autobiographical photographers to explore sexuality, Cahun used her own image to defy the sexual and social norms of her time, the results of which are still relevant today.
The notion of masculinity is one which carries with it many difficulties, especially when it comes to definition. This exhibition intends to explore the concept of maleness further, with the help of evocative artists the world over. So ‘Be a Man!’ and head to the Sumarria Lunn Gallery in Mayfair from 14th March – 19th April 2013.
For more information, visit http://www.sumarrialunn.com/
Words / Roxanne Golding
Follow her on Twitter @RoxanneGolding