The fashion industry coincides with the art world, we all know that. Fashion explicitly embodies the artist’s sense of self awareness and expression. It is no wonder many fashion labels support the art community by offering grants and scholarships for up and coming artists. Hugo Boss is possibly the most generous; since 1996, the German label started giving a $100,000 award to an artist, and an open exhibit at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
Past nominees were undoubtedly memorable: China’s Cai Guo-Qiang, known for his experimentation with gunpowder and fireworks, and Vancouver’s own Stan Douglas, a modernist who manipulates cultural mediums in order to express a critical analysis of social reality. This year, Danh Vo, a Vietnam-born, Berlin based artist, took the prize with his brooding exploration of memory and identity. His latest piece titled “We Are the People” experiments with scale and material. He deconstructs the status of liberty into fragmented, copper pieces, and shuffles them around the United States. “If you engage in building a monumental thing, you should also be able to treat it as water” said Vo, expressing his desire to disperse every piece throughout the country to be viewed somewhere, at any given moment. Totally cool. Next spring will Vo will be showcasing his exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum; stay tuned, I’ll be reviewing the show!