Fashion Meets Art: James Rosenquist

The news isn’t your only source for current event updates and commentary…just visit your local art gallery. For over six decades, artist James Rosenquist has used his art to foster dialogue on everything from politics and advertising to celebrities and science. 
 "New York Says it All," 1980

With a career that began as a billboard painter, he made the transition to fine art, continuing his use of large scale designs that began to get attention in the 1960s. 
"The Bird of Paradise," 1989
Though rooted in the Pop Art movement alongside artists like Andy Warhol, Rosenquist also integrated Surrealist techniques by placing seemingly unrelated images together to create a larger statement.
"China Bugle," 1988

This juxtaposition technique was clearly used in his portrait of Marilyn from 1962. The pin up beauty immortalized by Andy Warhol as a sex symbol, was portrayed by Rosenquist in a fragmented form alongside pieces of the classic Coca-Cola logo. 
With his interest in advertising, this was perhaps one way of looking at the portrayals of the film starlet. As a consuming public, we were only exposed to pieces of who she really was, and when those pieces were revealed, they were neatly packaged by media in ways that never truly allowed anyone to see the real Marilyn.

 The fragmented designs and collage techniques used throughout many of Rosenquist’s works remind me of Anna Sui’s Spring 2017 collection
"Sand of the Cosmic Desert in Every Direction," 2012
Using different colored, textured and printed fabrics, the designer found ways of taking a 2D collage technique and translating it into a 3D form to be worn.
"Shriek," 1986
Her designs exist outside the confines of a time period or single style as she combines details from sources as varied as 1970s folk art, 1950s Navy uniforms, vintage postcards, western wear and tropical imagery. 
"Electrical Nymphs on a Non-objective Ground," 1984
By combining images, fabrics, time periods and styles together, both artists prove that every subject is multifaceted. There are always new ways of looking at an idea and we must take a step back to see the full context and all the pieces that make the whole. 

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