13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?
To mark Charlie Porter's new book, we take a look into some of the iconic clothing of famous artists

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?
To mark Charlie Porter's new book, we take a look into some of the iconic clothing of famous artists

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?
To mark Charlie Porter's new book, we take a look into some of the iconic clothing of famous artists

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?
To mark Charlie Porter's new book, we take a look into some of the iconic clothing of famous artists

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?
To mark Charlie Porter's new book, we take a look into some of the iconic clothing of famous artists

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?
To mark Charlie Porter's new book, we take a look into some of the iconic clothing of famous artists

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?
To mark Charlie Porter's new book, we take a look into some of the iconic clothing of famous artists

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/10/2022
Discussions
Adam Wells
What do Artists Wear?
To mark Charlie Porter's new book, we take a look into some of the iconic clothing of famous artists

Picture an artist in your mind, and what do they wear? Perhaps a long, flowing coat? A smart, self-serious black suit? Or maybe a traditional white smock covered in flecks of paint? Charlie Porter’s new book, What Artists Wear, considers just this, analysing the looks of various artists throughout the decades. In celebration of the book’s publication, we present here a look at the outfits of five artists, both within their work and outside of it.

Laurie Anderson’s white suit

On the cover of her 1982 debut album Big Science, American multi-hyphenate artist Laurie Anderson wears an all-white suit and identity-shielding shades. Initially cultivated in 1978 in homage to William Burroughs, Anderson has later noted that her use of tailored suits, along with her digitally pitched-down voice in her work, centres around challenging masculine paradigms of fashion and authority. The shades Anderson wears on the album’s cover, reflective to the point of impenetrability, serve as a further distancing from Anderson’s implied audience which, coupled with her hand gestures, suggest a level of control through detachment.

Big Science (album cover), Laurie Anderson, 1982

Cindy Sherman’s Jean Paul Gaultier dress

In her 1983 self-portrait Untitled #123, photographer Cindy Sherman similarly obscures her features, writing in her notebook about her intention to attack the very concept of clothing and fashion. The long-tailored dress she wears, with its exaggerated shoulders and fitted waist, obscures her form, with her hair covering her face. This creates something of a visual continuity with Sherman’s other work, as if to replicate and equate her with the outcasts and historical ‘others’ who served as the subjects of her photography.

Untitled #123, Cindy Sherman, 1984

Agnés Varda’s potato costume

Costume can also be employed as a part of the artist’s work; for her 2003 installation Patatutopia, Agnés Varda commissioned a giant resin potato costume to underscore her personal connection to the show’s subject matter in characteristically playful fashion. Following her uniquely personal documentary The Gleaners and I, Varda grew obsessed with the potato as a signifier of class disparity and the perceived throwaway culture in France at the time. After her death three years ago, potatoes are still left at her grave in tribute.

Agnés Varda’s potato costume from Patatutopia, 2003

Andy Warhol’s jeans

Charlie Porter’s book takes a whole chapter to investigate artists wearing denim, focusing particularly on Andy Warhol. On his love of Levi’s, Warhol wrote in 1975 that “I wish I could have invented something like bluejeans (sic). Something to be remembered for”. Fitting with Warhol’s work on the iconography of consumerism, Porter notes the reflection of this in his choice of outfit, clothing that had come to represent various facets of American life. The recently-released series of photographs depicting his friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat also depicts him exclusively in blue jeans and can be read as a rejection of the establishment and a kinship with the younger, emerging generation of artists who idolised him.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984

Shoji Hanada’s kimono vest

Finally, the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hanada’s clothes represent the method of his craft. This photograph, taken in 1976 by Susan Peterson, captures Hanada crouched in front of his potter’s wheel, with his kimono vest and loose-cut trousers chosen for their practicality rather than their appearance. With Hanada making the already physically strenuous act of pot-throwing even more so by opting to crouch in front of the wheel, the outfit stands out as one of extreme functionality, reflecting the artist in the process of creation.

Shoji Hanada, photographed by Susan Peterson, 1976

What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter is available now from Penguin Books

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