avant garde artist

I am not an avant-garde artist. My art is contemporary, literally speaking: a product of its time. Vanguard, on the contrary, represents the most modern innovations – neither better nor worse; like the sharp point of a spear which opens up new paths. However, that sharp point needs all the power and weight of the rest of the spear, the weight of Art History. Without all this History, there is no push to open up new ways. Vanguard Art represents freshness, novelty, surprise, the truth and the fake. A risky and fascinating bet. However, what interests me is to draw from the classic and contemporary traditions, deepen into the walked path, and remain vigilant – like many other artists – to provide vanguard artists a solid foundation. Much in the same way as an older brother holds his youngest brother’s hand with fascination, as the intrepid child peeks, with wonderful daring and without fear, into the abyss. I need to keep an eye on the Avant-garde Movement because it keeps me young as artist, it cleanses me, it clears up my spirit, so that my view doesn’t sour. I am a part of the body of the spear and, from that vantage point, I observe with fascination the young art sharp poking at the same time that I draw from the magnificent work of the masters of all times, the powerful legacy that sustains us. I am not part of the sparkles – sometimes ephemeral – of the spearhead. Each one of us has his role, and mine, nowadays, is not in the vanguard.

////José Manuel M E R E L L O 

My history crush is Robert de Montesquiou, a french poet and aesthete from the XIXth centuy (1855-1921). His poetry wasn’t that good, called “untranslatable” (he was even mocked by some of his contemporaries), but the man himself is awesome. He was an insolent dandy and a real charmer : « Tall, black-haired, rouged, Kaiser-moustached, he cackled and screamed in weird attitudes, giggling in high soprano, hiding his little black teeth behind an exquisitely gloved hand—the poseur absolute. »

He supported the artistic avant-garde of his time : the poet Verlaine and the composer Debussy (among several others).

He inspired Marcel Proust for the character of the baron de Charlus. This character became the archetype of the closeted-conflicted homosexual. It made Montesquiou furious. Montesquiou was indeed homosexual, but he wasn’t closeted, his homosexual tendencies being quite obvious. He lived for twenty years with Gabriel Yturri, a young and handsome south-american immigrant, who died in 1905.

He is said to have once slept with the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. He would then have vomited for twenty-four hours (but they remained close friends).

The poor guy never wrote the masterpiece he dreamt of, but eh, he was a handsome and exquisitely arrogant-provocative mofo.

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Triadisches Ballett (Triadic Ballet) is a ballet developed by Oskar Schlemmer. It premiered in Stuttgart, on 30 September 1922, with music composed by Paul Hindemith and with the performers Elsa Hotzel and Albert Burger. The ballet became the most widely performed avant-garde artistic dance and while Schlemmer was at the Bauhaus from 1921 to 1929, the ballet toured, helping to spread the ethos of the Bauhaus”- Wikipedia Link

Filmed version of this ballet (30 minutes) is available for viewing here.

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We can’t fucking believe there are still 10 designers who will only cast white people

They’re forward-thinking, incredibly talented designers; like Demna Gvasalia from Vetements and Balenciaga, who, in the five collections he’s designed and 206 models he’s employed in his runway shows, has only used one model of color. They’re avant-garde, established artists; like Rei Kawakubo, who hasn’t used a Black model on the runway in over 10 years.

Photos: Rex

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