It was at the Take Home a Nude benefit auction that I came accross Greg Lauren’s work: an oil-on-paper, 3-dimensional jacket with tie and shirt that stand alone in the middle of the Sotheby’s exhibition room.
Greg is outstandingly handsome for an artist – as an actor, he would never been cast to play one- but what intrigued me most was the jacket he was wearing. Something that looked like a ragged blanket with a stream cut, and scraps of paper and various material sewn onto the fabric like a collage piece.
I went to visit him a few days later at his gallery space at the corner of Wooster and Grand. A place that I immediately identified from a distance a month ago as an upcoming Yohji store, with half opened crates, and mostly black silhouettes.
It’s also where Greg had set up his studio, surrounded by a forest of mannequins bearing his works.
The various style paper jackets and coats evoked the remains of an abandonned house, where clothes left hanging have been dried in the shape of the wearers who have long ago vanished. Upon closer inspection, some pieces have a darker, battered and stepped-over texture, with faded comics colors slightly appearing from underneath, as if they had been unearthed from a junkyard.
In a general way our clothes determine us, and will survive long after: no matter if it’s a dude’s long gone plaid shirt from Uniqlo or a guitar hero’s leather fringed jacket.
Only a very few of us has the power to influence their own clothes.
Greg also does real jackets that can be worn. But they are more like art pieces that can be worn. There is a “Paris jacket” with sewn-on torn euro bills. Or the “Mistake jacket” with the Mistake explanation hand-written inside on a piece of paper. I’m not obsessed by practical details, but I brought this up to Greg: How do you clean them? You can’t. You don’t bring an art piece to the cleaner, or wash it yourself. You keep it as it is.
I like the idea of never cleaning the fabric, so it gets even more personalized by stains and time. Like a hipster.