Is Fashion Art? (Information and Interpretation)

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Is Fashion Art?

Everybody questions art. You would think art is merely created for admiration, but its not. The average person would describe art as a drawing on a piece of paper, and this quote by Clement Greenberg (1909-1991) suggests why:

"The task of self-criticism became to eliminate from the effects of each art, any and every effect that might conceivably be borrowed from or by the medium of any other art. Thereby, each art would be rendered ‘pure'…"

"Painting is not sculpture – it is two-dimensional;
Painting is not photography – it should not reproduce appearance; Painting is not literature – it should not tell stories;
Painting is not music – it is silent."
But if we did believe that art was purely a drawing created by the markings of an ordinary medium (such as a pencil, paint, etc) on a piece of paper, then that would be ignorant. Times have evolved, and everything is becoming more modern, from the way we think, to the things we do, to the things that are being made/designed/thought of, etc. Art is now a much broader term and a lot of the time does not even result in the use of a pencil and paper. Art can comprise of architecture, music, sculpture, magazines, films, and fashion, and those are only a few examples.

On a recent excursion to the Tate Modern, I came across two pieces of art which left me baffled. The first was half a glass of water on a stand, and the second was a large canvas painted completely in grey, which was actually titled ‘Grey' by Gerhard Richter. I looked at both and could not understand why anyone would consider this to be art. It just seemed so simple and effortless, and as though anybody could accomplish an exact replica. What exactly is the meaning and the concept behind something so ludicrous? What could have possibly triggered a person to think ‘I will paint a canvas grey and claim it to be a piece of artwork'. Where has the passion and thought gone? The ideas, the detail, and the complexity that we crave to marvel at?

During a lecture a few months back, we were informed of artist Paul Klee's description of art, which is that it begins with the foundation of a single point. It is where all pictorial form begins, with the point that sets itself in motion. The point then leads to a line, then the two-dimensional plane, followed by the three-dimensional.

"Vertical and horizontal lines are the expression of two opposing forces; these exist everywhere and dominate everything" – Piet Mondrian, 1921.

And if we reminisce back to the times of the Pre-homosapians, they made images on surfaces that mean something, like on caves – the meanings of these images were unknown. We are unsure as to whether they were for any specific purpose, for admiration, for communication, or any other reason. But it is interesting that art goes back all those centuries ago, and that it was possible to create without the use of a pencil and a piece of paper.

In my experience and opinion, art is anything. It can be created to cause controversy, to view, to sell, to buy, to create, to design, to question, to interpret, to admire, to disapprove, or to judge. It can be displayed for personal use or for society's use.

So to conclude from this information, art really is anything and everything. If it is correct that it all begins with the point, then paintings, sculptures, architecture, and fashion should all be considered art. A painting has to begin with the point of a medium on a canvas, a sculpture and architecture has to begin with the point of a material, and fashion has to begin with the point of a stitch onto a piece of fabric.

Which leads me on to my next question, is fashion art?

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening" Coco Chanel.

In my opinion yes, fashion is art. But who decides? Fashion is not usually put in a gallery - although a notable exception is...
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