Portable Art: A Project by Celia Forner
April 20 — June 17, 2017
Fifteen globally renowned artists channel their creative vision for wearable art in Portable Art: A Project spearheaded by Spanish model and jewelry designer Celia Forner. What began as a collaboration with Louise Bourgeois in 2008 has evolved into an expansive project in which Pipilotti Rist, Paul McCarthy, Subodh Gupta, Stefan Brüggemann, John Beldassari, and Michele Oka Doner created wearable art in varying fashions. Each reflecting its creator’s unique mastery, wearable items range in style, creative force, and aesthetic form. Modeled by the Spanish actress Rossy de Palma who is known for her appearances in Pedro Almodóvar films, wearable art pieces strike with their sleek charm that combines artistic commentary and fashion. Artspeak editor Osman Can Yerebakan interviewed Celia Forner.
Osman Can Yerebakan: Portable Art project began with Louise Bourgeois. No other artist could convey physical and sensual connection between art work and human body. What was your reason to reach out to Bourgeoise to initiate the project and how did your collaboration with her evolve?
Celia Forner: As you pointed Louise Bourgeoise express in a unique and poignant way the bodyand art work connection. Given the nature of this project, she was my first choice. I have loved her works ever since I discovered her more than 2 decades ago; she is one of my favorite artists and my intuitive first choice. Louise was very generous and I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet her and collaborate on this project.
OCY: Wearable art has a performative aspect. The wearer in a way becomes the performer of an art piece considering the impact an object or jewelry has on the body. How do you consider such performativity of wearing jewelry?
CF: In the case of portable art, once the artist has created the piece, the meaning of it changes depending on where the piece is taken to. Usually an art work is placed in a particular context. In the case of these pieces you walk with them around so the piece keeps changing its meaning depending on many external factors and different context of where it’s taken. I believe that it can have a transformative power for the wearer similar to a performance.
OCY: Some pieces refer to traditional jewelry as wearable objects and some are more challenging to put on. How did you create the balance between experimentalism and traditional jewelry?
CF: Everything happened in a very organic way. It all flowed in every aspect from the collaboration with artists to the balance that we seem to have achieved.
OCY: Pipilotti Rist’s design includes computer wire or Phyllida Barlow’s pieces reminisce her immense scale sculptures of color and form. Did most of the artists submit pieces that align with their artistic practice?
CF: You can recognize each artist on their pieces; it is an extension of their practice.
OCY: Rossy de Palma modeled for Portable Art Project and you can see from the photographs that she expresses that performative notion of carrying wearable art. How did your collaboration with her start?
CF: Rossy is an iconic actress and performer as well as an old friend of mine so I know how she works and that it would be an easy and fun process. When we started considering different possibilities to show the pieces as they would be worn, it just seemed the perfect choice to have someone with her sensibility to do so.