18 August 2010



NOCTURNE IN BLUE AND GOLD I SIMON FOXTON'S ' SITTINGS : 30 MEN '



LIVING PORTRAIT # 29 OF 30- LEE. JIL SANDER A/W 2006. LIVING PORTRAIT # 21 OF 30- SEBASTIAN. RAF SIMONS A/W 2006


OVER THE MONTH OF APRIL 2005, SIMON FOXTON STYLED 30 MODELS AS ' LIVING MAGAZINE PAGES '. EACH DAY, A MALE MODEL, GROOMED AND SEATED IN FRONT OF A SHOWSTUDIO WEBCAM, WOULD TAKE QUESTIONS FROM SHOWSTUDIO VIEWERS VIA TELEPHONE. "ADVANCING FROM THE SIMPLE BUT COMPELLING CREATION OF A LIVE FILM PORTRAIT, ' SITTINGS: 30 MEN ' PRESENTS THE VIEWER WITH A SITUATION WHICH CONFLATES A VARIETY OF CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL TRENDS. WHILE THERE IS AN ART HISTORICAL LINEAGE WHICH CONNECTS THE SOCIETY PORTRAITURE OF THE LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY TO THE FILMIC GLAMOUR OF BEATON'S PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAITS, THERE IS ALSO REFERENCE TO REALITY TV AND MEDIA TREND FOR PRIVATE LIFE AS PUBLIC SPECTACLE. THE MALE MODELS IN FOXTON'S PROJECT ARE ALL MINIMALLY STYLED, EACH DRESSED IN AN OUTFIT BY A SINGLE DESIGNER AND POSSESS THE IMMEDIATE ELEGANCE AND FORCEFULNESS OF PRESENCE THAT ONE WOULD EXPECT OF THEM. BUT WHERE WE ARE USED TO SEEING THE MALE MODEL AS A STATIC IMAGE WITHIN PRINT MEDIA AND ADVERTISING, HERE THE SINGULAR PERSPECTIVE OF WEBCAM CREATES A SITUATION IN WHICH THE METICILOUSLY PREPARED IMAGE OF THE PROFESSIONALLY STYLED MODEL BECOMES FRAGMENTED AND DESTABILISED. " MICHAEL BRACEWELL, SHOWSTUDIO.
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