Art, fashion collide at ‘The Underground Artist’

By Talia Milavetz, Staff Writer

Renowned street artist Bradley Theodore partnered with Mackage, the high-fashion outerwear store, to create “The Underground Artist,” a temporary exhibition featuring a range of sculptures, paintings, photography prints and a large scale projection. Bradley Theodore is street artist best known for his murals of fashion icons, most prominently Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfield. Through their collaboration, the team has turned the store into a temporary art gallery. This exhibit marks Mackage’s second annual Soho Summer Series, an event that transforms storefronts into art displays.

Mackage has a window decked out with “Kissing Skulls,” a painting of colorful intertwining skulls hanging above a coat from their new Fall/Winter 2015 collection. At first glance it appears that this art is nothing more than a window display. However, upon entering the store, it’s clear that it is part of a much larger collection.

Theodore was a natural fit for Mackage’s high fashion and contemporary brand because Mackage has cultivated its own iconic fan base with its fashion. At the gallery opening, celebrities such as Johannes Huebl, Nastia Liukin, Christiane Seidel, Danielle Bernstein and Baylee Soles all came out to attend.

The art in the gallery is hung throughout the store, making it feel intertwined with Mackage’s new clothing collection. Both the art and the clothing create an edgy, yet sweet atmosphere.

“Dancing Skulls” best embodies this duality. The painting consists of a plane of colorful one-dimensional skulls. This dark subject contrasts with the bright colors of the painting.

Another stand out piece is “Still Life. Fast Food.” This painting features a classic fruit bowl and wine bottle next to what is presumably a box of chicken nuggets and French fries. This ironic and unexpected vibe is present in many of the pictures in the gallery. Friendly skulls, abstract bodies and mysterious photography line the walls of this store.

In addition to Theodore, other artists in this gallery include Byflore, Jay West, LeRone Wilson, Humza Deas, Hassan Kinley and Ray Smith.

Overall, this hidden gallery is unexpected and exciting. Each piece of art is different, but still works together to create a cohesive collection. This parallels Mackage’s Fall/Winter 2015 clothing line. Their line has everything from sleek leather jackets to big puffy coats, with everything working together to create a unified collection. The art makes the Soho store stand out and brings color to the space. The collaboration between Theodore and Mackage creates a playful way to look at art and clothing.

“The Underground Artist” is on display at Mackage through Sept. 25.

Email Talia Milavetz at [email protected]