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Posted by Philip Burchill on


 ‘‘…deep mirrors and screens

reflected scenes, the splendour and arts of the East, would all whisper their spell to the rapturous soul in the soft tongue she spoke first.’- Charles Baudelaire


Originally inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Portrait of Pere Tanguy’, a wealthy merchant who had come from Brittany taken part in the uprising of the Paris Commune, and had been imprisoned for his political beliefs. Tanguy lived according to the ideals of the Communards, who had fought for a better world, by sending letters to young, impoverished artists, feeding them and accepting paintings as payment. Artists such as Camille Pissarro, Paul Gaugin, and Paul Cezanne. Cezanne like Van Gogh was at times unable to exhibit anywhere but at Pere Tanguy. Tanguy, along with a small group of intimate friends, would attend Van Gogh’s funeral.


I set my own self portrait in this tradition. I placed Goethes color wheel (a symbol commonly placed in artists studio used to guide color scheme decisions.) Here, I place it as a halo, following the tradition of icons equating the artist ‘s role to a spiritual vocation in ones ability to reveal the invisible by visible forms. As Martin Heidegger put it, “Beauty is truth disclosing itself through being.”


Each of the surrounding block prints colors correlate with the color wheel, embodying a harmonic totality of being in spectrum, season and geography. Each print is a cultural artifact that I have encountered before, during, and after my visit to Japan. This is a display of my picture of consciousness (the amalgamation of art, books, movies and nature I encountered that left an impression, constituted my psyche and shape the lenses in which one interprets the world.) This illuminates the particular feature of human subjectivity: we all encounter interpret the world through our own unique picture of consciousness. Similarly Oscar Wilde stated ‘a work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.’ When I designed this artwork last summer the medical mask was merely a staple of Eastern culture I encountered on my trip last year to Japan. Now here in the west the mask is much apart of our everyday life due to Covid-19. In my upcoming collection Tradition & Innovation I explore a transnational aesthetic, bringing together aesthetic elements of the east and west into streetwear couture. I look forward to sharing more. Medical masks and new collection coming soon @_omneity

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