SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Monumental Fashion T he line between fine art and utilitarian (decorative) art began to evaporate as early as the late 1800s with the advent of the Arts and Crafts movement in the West. This distinction further eroded in the early 1900s with the development of Dada, Surrealism, and other movements that sought to redefine art. By the 1960s, the line had been permanently erased with the coming of instal - lations, happenings, and performance art, which exploited t he combination of numerous art forms in one work. Architecture has often inspired or been incorporated into other art forms. For example, the Art Deco style had a decidedly strong influence on a wide range of art forms from painting and sculpture to decorative arts, particu - larly fashion design. Art Deco, which flourished between 1 925 and 1940, was inspired by architectural and indus- trial forms. Pierre Kauffmann & Pika-Monuments No amount of architectural influence in Art Deco fash- ions, however, could rival the exhilarating and fantasti- cally ingenious costume/constructions of French artist P ierre Kauffmann, who creates costumes inspired by architectural landmarks from around the world. He has elevated the emulation of architecture to new heights of sophistication and beauty, with creativity and gentle humor. His complex costumes, combined with the per - formative aspects of his work, create an entirely unique a rtistic practice. Called Pika-Monuments, these complex artworks have been a major focus of Kauffmann's work since 2008. He chooses monuments that appeal to him through their color, form, scale, and ease of photographing. He creates a suit in the same color as the building, with sculptural elements attached. Kauffmann travels to wherever the buildings are located and is photographed while posing and performing on or nearby the monument, creating a connec- tion between the human body and the built environment. In photographs of his Metropol Parasol (October 2016) installation/performance in Seville, Kauffmann's work seems to become an extension of the building. Born in 1973 in Alsace, France, Kauffmann received two degrees in the visual arts in Mulhouse (1994 and 1996). Some of his earliest work was in theater and street performance, where he developed skills in costume and set design. He also participated in the KMK Company, a group of artists, architects, and performance artists who stage installations, workshops, and performances throughout Europe. He has also explored sculpture and light installations. All of these experiences impacted the development of his Pika-Monuments. P I E R R E K AU F F M A N N A R T I S T, D E S I G N E R , A N D P E R F O R M E R Pika-monument Kobe, Kobe Port Tower, Japan, April 2016. Courtesy Pierre Kauffmann. All rights reserved. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 23 L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G

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