Ralph Pucci, a high-end mannequin and furniture designer, has collaborated with a wide range of artists throughout his career, producing unorthodox renditions of mannequins since the 1970s. After inheriting his parents’ mannequin repair business, Pucci sought to stretch the stringent commercial parameters of the design object. The Museum of Arts and Design is currently celebrating Pucci’s innovations with a retrospective that features mannequins designed by him and his collaborators, as well as a studio space that provides spectators with a window onto the assembly process.
The studio is a replica of the space used by longtime Pucci collaborator and sculptor Michael Evert, who will be designing and building mannequins in the museum on the first and last Thursday of each month throughout the exhibition’s run. While the mannequin is a ubiquitous object, the process of its construction typically goes unseen and unheralded. Just viewing the space itself (you can’t enter), which showcases sketches and tools, illuminates the craft of putting these figures together. Behind the objects’ often homogenous image lies a labor-intensive process.
The exhibition’s swath of unique takes on the common retail object reveals Pucci’s curatorial and creative sensibilities. In a statement on his website, he explains: “I am not interested in the mass produced product. I want the hand of the artist to be seen and experienced.” This is achieved by deviating from the strict commercial standards of the fashion world to show a wider breadth of colors, positions, and characterizations in the mannequins.
Through his partnerships, Pucci has given artists the space to project their styles onto the mannequin form. Kenny Scharf’s “Swirly,” for example, is a three-dimensional incarnation of the fluid creatures that populate his paintings and murals. Jeffrey Fulvimari’s “Camille” is animated through active body language, rather than standing in a still pose like most of its kind.
Through the colliding aesthetics of the models on display, the show reveals Pucci’s desire to push the boundaries of high-end fashion design, taking full advantage of the canvas provided by the mannequin. Also on view are selections of jewelry that Pucci showcases on the mannequins — but while that work is attractive in its own way, the revelations provided by the mannequins are much more interesting. These figures feel like a new form of sculpture in the wake of Pop art, exploring the humanoid through the commercial object.
The artist’s portrait of her mother, painted in 1977 and reproduced on the vaporetti of Venice, may be one of the most evocative artworks in the Biennale.
A new box set of four of the Iranian director’s features offers a great opportunity to get to know his singular style.
Shows at the Hudson Valley’s Hessel Museum of Art feature artists Dara Birnbaum and Martine Syms, as well as new scholarship on Black melancholia as an artistic and critical practice.
It’s not a “greatest hits” show, or a comprehensive survey; rather, it is a starting point to reconsider an expansive vision of Chicana/o art.
“I’m focused on contemporary Native American stories, the modern-day ups and downs of that lifestyle, but I’m not trying to do it in a traditional manner,” the award-winning filmmaker told Hyperallergic in an interview.
PLEASE SEND TO REAL LIFE: Ray Johnson Photographs reveals the “career in photography” that occupied the artist in the last three years of his life.
The Tweet comparing an ominous screen capture from the Tucker Carlson Show to one of Holzer’s Truisms is being sold as an NFT to benefit crucial organizations in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Pérez was sentenced to nine years.
Contemporary Black-Indigenous women artists Rodslen Brown, Joelle Joyner, Moira Pernambuco, Paige Pettibon, Monica Rickert-Bolter, and Storme Webber are featured in this digital exhibition.
On the day of the Supreme Court’s decision to undo 50 years of constitutional rights to abortion, artist Elana Mann’s “protest rattles” feel especially poignant and urgent.
This week, Title IX celebrates 50 years, the trouble with pronouns, a writer’s hilarious response to plagiarism allegations, and much more.
Since antiquity, women’s eyebrows have been sites of intense scrutiny, constantly shifting between trend cycles.