I Spy Mike Kelley
I was recently introduced to the series, Memory Ware Flats by the late artist Mike Kelley. Kelley’s installations – which were frequently compromised of stuffed animals and other toys – often, feel very whimsical in nature. This particular body of work, which he began in 2000, reminds me so much of one of my favorite books as a child, I Spy. The series is about re-examination and re-use of everyday objects that people otherwise cast aside. Each ‘paining’ is comprised of tiny household trinkets that come together to make a larger overall statement. From a far the canvas may not look like much, but as you get closer more intricacies begin to appear, much like the tiny dots that make up Seurat’s masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
This idea is very similar in nature to the art of couture. If I learned anything from attending last week’s shows it is that pictures do little justice. Just when a dress appears to be a print, up close you find that rather than fabric the entire look is made up of individual sequins. Or, as was the case at Valentino, there could be tiny butterflies stitched beneath layers upon layers of tulle. In both art and fashion work comes along that is so intricate where just when you think you have seen everything in a piece, you find something new and exciting to explore.