Installation as Collage: Duro Olowu

What do Yoruba costumes, Cindy Sherman, and giant sculptural sunglasses have in common? They’re all part of a new installation put together by fashion designer Duro Olowu (he doesn’t use the term curated).  It all started with his mother.

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Photo Collage: Miguel Rio Branco

Miguel Rio Branco installation (Photo: Pedro Motta)

It’s been called another Versailles.   Or the Disneyland of the future.   It’s Inhotim——-a huge art complex and botanical park in southeastern Brazil.   Privately owned, it’s got international art star installations and 12,000 varieties of palm trees.    Miguel Rio Branco  has his own pavilion there.

Rio Branco is a Brazilian photographer whose work, though stunning, is usually too seamy for me.   Among his favorite subjects are prostitutes —————not exactly Disney.  He describes the essence of his work this way:  “… being in paradise, yet having something absolutely terrible taking place.”

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Installation Collage: CandyCoated

Children's costume,  "Martha Washington,"  Early 20th c.,

Children’s costume,
“Martha Washington,”
Early 20th c.,

Say you’re planning a show of antique children’s costumes.   You know, Little Red Riding Hood.  Martha Washington. A  Maltese water carrier.  But you want to jazz it up a little———–after all, this is 2013.  Who you gonna call?

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Tartan, Pablo Neruda, Comme des Garcons


Still from Nick Relph’s “Thre Stryppis Quhite Upon ane Blak Field” 2010

I like putting things together that you wouldn’t normally connect. Once I Googled on “Pablo Neruda” and “Allen Iverson.”  Who else might connect the late Chilean poet and the hip-hop NBA star?   I got some weird links, but clicked on one which turned out to be a blog partly in English and mostly in another language. Which  I  couldn’t even identify. The only thing that came to my mind was: Tagalog? I wasn’t even sure what that was.

Turned out to be right! Tagalog is a primary language of the Phillipines, and I verified from towns mentioned in a blog post about shopping that the blogger was a twenty-something woman in the Phillipines who shared my fondness for both these guys with poetic crossover moves and a tendency to stir controversy.
A British artist living in New York, Nick Relph likes to come up with surprising combinations.

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