Been hard at work writing this article about one of SVA’s favorite teachers, Keith Mayerson.
Here’s an early bit as I hack through the transcript
“I’m on the ‘Have my cake and eat it too’ plan, where you can have content, make work that’s about something, but unlike post-modernity where they were worried that beauty would seduce you to put your brains in a bag and not think about what you were looking at I can make work that is smart in how it is aware of itself and how it performs in the world but also but also allows formal nuances and the things that I can’t quite describe, the ineffable.”
Mayerson spoke of a trip he made for Interview magazine to paint the 2007 Paris Fashion Week. He wanted to comment on the superficiality of the fashion world. We looked at his painting of Karl Lagerfeld.
“I’m painting Karl Lagerfeld I want it to be Karl Lagerfeld for everything that he represents good or bad but also speaking through the vehicle of his iconic status as a major fashion designer, I want people to look at that and see Karl Lagerfeld and bring whatever they feel about Karl Lagerfeld but also know that this is also about being a fashion designer.”
We looked in depth at his portrait.
“You know how Goya would paint the royals and comment on them and do it tricky enough to get those people to enjoy his work enough to buy more? I wanted to do that here.”
I interrupted, “You are be getting that here in the Lagerfeld. That’s a bizarre portrait of him, it might be because he’s a bizarre looking guy. He feels small and large at the same time. It feels like he is tiny but wants to loom larger than he does.”
KM: Thanks. he’s exactly like that. He feels like this weird frail, small, older guy now. But he’s so larger than life. You go up close and you realize his hair is all powdered, like a wig, and you really see the excess flour, the white stuff on his head. And he looks like a grandpa. He lost a lot of weight and it looks like anyone of us can beat him up easily and yet he’s such a powerhouse.”
You can see this painting in super-high res at Keith’s Site, under ARCHIVES