ORDER sat down with Australian born, Madrid-based menswear designer Edward Cuming to discuss his current rotation of inspirational works, the art of creativity, and why Tracy Emin had him gagging.
- CRISTINA STOLHE: Cristina and I met shortly after I moved to Madrid in 2018. We initially met with the intention of collaborating. It would be over a year before we actually worked on anything together as we became fast friends and kept getting distracted. Cristina is a prolific artist, hyper aware, hyper intelligent and uncompromising in capturing her vision of the world around her. There is a manic compulsion to the way she photographs, it’s instant, its quick and she moves on. Some of her best work happens when we are walking down the street and Imm completely unaware that it is happening…I adore that.
SELECTED WORK - CIRQUE DU SOLEIL SERIES- SOLEI POR PLAZA SOL, 2017-18
- RYAN HOFFMAN: Ryans work is so tender. The meticulous process of his air paintings is insane. What drew me to his work initially is how desirable it is. Satisfying shapes, insane colours. It really commands the space it hangs in. When I delved a little deeper into what his work was about I felt such a strong connection to his thinking. Translating the ephemeral into something so permanent and strong. Each piece has a connection to a specific moment he has experienced. It’s such a gorgeous way to archive memories and create something that stands so beautifully on its own.
SELECTED WORK - RH 244 Marrickville (2020 010216), 2016
moulded oil paint, synthetic polymer, gypsum, CSM, marble dust, wax, Tasmanian oak, marine ply and aluminium
145 x 145 x 25 cm
- DANNY ROMERIL: Danny was my fit model while I was studying my masters degree at Central Saint Martins. His studio was across the hall from the fashion department. I was obsessed with his paint covered shoes and clothes, his style in general really. The scale of his work is what I’m most drawn to, especially in his figurative style. The colours, the size and boldness are so honest to who he is, which is a truly generous and warm person.
SELECTED WORK - Shiny shoes dirty vest 2019
Oil on canvas 127x167cm
- VIVIAN SUTER: I only discovered Suters work this past year but she has fast become a favourite of mine. She currently has an exhibition of near 500 works inside Palacio Velazquez in Madrids Retiro park which is a satellite space for the Reina Sofia Museum. Stepping into the space I was overwhelmed with a feeling of freedom, the sheer scale and expressiveness of her work is euphoric. I love her trajectory, for decades she seemed to have turned her back on the art world, living in a secluded part of Guatemala with her artist mother. A l lot of her work she buries in the rainforest around her home, and leaves it there exposed to the elements for long periods of time. I love this idea so much- what a luxury.
SELECTED WORK - Installation View, Vivian Suter, at Gladstone Gallery, New York, 2019 (prefer to see the composition of her work in situ)
- ALBERT RIERA GALCERAN: Albert is an artist from Barcelona who also co-founded an incredible fine art biannual publication, Émergent. We connected through an order he placed with the brand and have maintained contact ever since. His work for me has such wonderful balance and truly is experimental in his choice of materials. The way he curates his space is poetic, sensitive and is capable of achieving fantastic results across so many mediums. What really stands out to me is how generous and curious he is about art. As a practicing and accomplished artist himself, setting out a large portion of his time to run a publication dedicated to highlighting the work of others, is such a modern and fresh attitude, especially in industries that can often feel solitary.
SELECTED WORK - “Madrid se come el enchufe” - Cake eaten at the inauguration of Existencia Domestica, Galería Nueva, Madrid, March 2020
What elements in an artist's work do you look for when you're envisaging a collaboration?
EC: I’m rarely looking for anything specific, it is simply the feeling when I see something. If a few weeks pass and I keep coming back to the work then I generally reach out and try to initiate a dialogue.
Have you always been interested in fine art?
EC: Absolutely. I didn't study art in high school, I studied design and technology. I always had such admiration for the art students. They seemed so free in their work and so skilled. I needed more structure for my creativity than what fine art seemed to provide. I have since learnt that this was a misguided notion as many artists adhere to a stricter more focused and evolved process than mine probably is.
What are your first memories of art appreciation?
EC: I remember seeing Tracy Emin’s video piece “Why I never became a dancer” (1995) when I was in my final year of high school, and gagging. That is definitely not the first time I appreciated art but it sticks out to me as it was the first piece that spoke to me in a real and emotional way.
Do you think of your designs as pieces of art?
EC: No I don’t. I think the worlds of art and fashion have some superficial overlaps but are completely different beasts. Fashion is more immediate, I think of my designs as pieces of clothing. Expressive pieces of clothing, yes- but I don’t see them in the same sphere as fine art, their reception and consumption is vastly different.
How do you incorporate human behaviour into your clothes?
EC: A lot of my initial work aimed to achieve a certain feeling of the handled, the washed and the used. It was a central theme in my Masters thesis, Wash Rinse and Repeat. In that sense I am interested in the way clothes age over time, pieces that exist for certain situations and the cyclical decay of things that once were symbols of joy.
Your clothes are often described as "sensitive" can you explain what is meant by this?
EC: This word does come up a lot in conversations around my work and the clearest explanation I think can be found in material choice. We launched as a menswear brand with fabrications that traditionally may skew more to traditional ideas surrounding women's clothing. Tailoring stripped of structure, and silhouettes that float and drape around the body paint a softer idea of masculinity than what the broader ideas of masculinity may suggest. Feels retrograde to even say that… but the reality is the fashion bubble is not the best indicator of where we are at as a society I feel.
|Features & Special Projects Editor||Michelle Grey-Campion|