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Leonard Mattis Blog

KUSHANA BUSH X SKARFE

June 15, 2015

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Recently shot here at the Studio. Sydney based boutique Skarfe (Brad McGlashan) are back with another collaboration, this time with acclaimed New Zealand based artist Kushana Bush.

Three of Bush’s intricate gouaches on paper have been transformed into an exclusive collection of wearable art. Each luxurious, lightweight silk scarf is digitally printed and finished with hand-rolled hems.

Artist Kushana Bush lives and works in Dunedin, New Zealand, and regularly exhibits throughout New Zealand and Australia. In 2009 she worked in South Korea at the National Art Studio, Changdong, Seoul. That same year she won the Art and Australia Contemporary Art Award. Since then she has been the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at The University of Otago and was awarded the Arts Foundation New Generation Award. The three artworks featured in this range were first exhibited at the 2014 Melbourne Art Fair and acquired by the prestigious Michael Buxton Collection.

The limited edition range is available now at www.skarfe.com, in store and from selected stockists from this Tuesday.

Photography by Byron Spencer.

Leonard Mattis Blog

CLEMENT LOUIS

June 12, 2015

Artist Clement Louis. By Benjamen Judd.

At first glance, the work of French artist Clement Louis proffers a macabre, almost grotesque interpretation of beauty.

Bone structure and facial cavities are exaggerated; flesh is bleached to a corpse-like pallor that is made the more shocking due to the juxtaposing colour palette. For anyone from the MTV generation they might immediately recognize the treatment of the human form as redolent of Peter Chung’s groundbreaking animation Aeon Flux, with a touch of Egon Schiele’s stunning skeletalism.

A similar haunted beauty operates within Clement’s photography (Clement is one of those rare artists with a genuine eye for both mediums). Stark and romantic, these images are as haunting as Louis’ paintings, and no less peregrine for all the visible flesh of his human subjects.

This affected gauntness, and delicate dance between revulsion and romantic in Clement’s art, may be what brought him to the attention of Rick Owens, for whom Louis was commissioned to photograph one the renowned designer’s most recent collections.

I got to chat to Clement and learn a little bit more about his art, his inspirations and the process of becoming a self-taught artist and what inspires him to create.

INTERVIEW WITH CLEMENT LOUIS

1532133_10201827547622773_237464011_n(Artist portrait by Julien Martinez Leclerc)

Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where did you grow up and what inspired you to become an artist?

I grew up in the north of France near Lille, it was the most inspiring time of my little life. I was a solitary child, always finding himself better in his mind than outside playing with other children.

I don’t remember deciding about art or to be an “artist”, it was just simple, it was me – I didn’t choose anything. My parents were very open about this and helped me this way. My sister is a photographer too so I think that’s the thing in my family – you can do whatever you want to if you do it good.

You have mentioned in previous interviews that you are mostly self-taught. Can you describe the process of how you honed your skill and developed your particular style of painting?

Yes true! I didn’t take any classes in drawing. I’ve always drawn, even as a child, of things like flowers or my mother. I’ve never not drawn, really. I tried to learn drawing and technique when I was in middle school with my best friend, trying to understand the style and the brush of artists like Hans Bellmer or Dali. I don’t’ really know where my style comes from, I think its more about an eye. I know what I like and want I can do. After that I just express myself with my influences and my inspiration.

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Your work is reminiscent of Austrian painter Egon Schiele and the illustrator Robert Gould – have these artists ever influenced our work?

I love Egon Schiele! I went to his museum in Vienna to see his paintings in person, he is amazing and I think he will always inspiring me. His brush is strong and bad. I love that. I’m trying to be more direct and brut too but I’m at that level yet.

Can you name some of your favourite artists?

As you said before Egon Schiele, Van Gogh, Hans Bellmer and a lot more designers, architects and even people from Instagram! I see so much talent there.

How would you describe the overall aesthetic of your work?

I’m trying to show the beautiful in the scary and disturbing things. I always loved villains, not for what they do but for the little beauty and magical thing you can see in their eyes. So…in a way strange, and not so much understood by word or concept but the little thing. You could say, “it’s ugly strange, I don’t understand it…but I like it”.

CLEMENTLOUISPATCHWORK2(Fashion Illustration. Fendi. Marni. Vivienne Westwood. Givenchy. Marc Jacobs)

Where else do you turn for inspiration in your work?

From many designers, from light? and my life everything can be inspiration if you know how to open your eyes.

You work across two mediums – photography and painting. Do you have a preference for one? If so, why?

No at all! It’s always a fight with myself about this cause I can’t choose, and in fact I just think maybe I will not – I love both of them, I find inspiration in both of them so I will just try to combine my two passion to become maybe stronger in both.

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What is next on the horizon for you?

I don’t know. I’m just about to leave London to go back to Paris. Let’s just hope more projects, more collaborations, more paintings, more photography. And just keep the passion intact.

tumblr_n7sdibWEpC1qzxuzqo1_1280tumblr_mtr2er1HYG1qzxuzqo1_1280(Photography for designer Rick Owens)

Follow Clement Louis on Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram.

Leonard Mattis Blog

HAIR LOCKS

January 7, 2015

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I recently got my hands on a copy of the new Alexander McQueen biography, by Judith Watt. Reading through I was not only reminded of his fashion genius, but also how heavily hair was a feature throughout his collections. One of my personal favourites being his 1992 MA Graduate Collection ‘Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims”, where garments featured encapsulated human hair.

In McQueen’s words:

“The inspiration behind the hair came from Victorian times when prostitutes would sell theirs for kits of hair locks, which were bought by people to give to their lovers. I used it as my signature label with locks of hair in Perspex. In the early collections, it was my own hair.”

Leonard Mattis Blog

THE MUSE

August 25, 2014

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‘All the world’s a stage and all the men and women are merely players.  They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts’ – Extract from ‘As You Like It’ by William Shakespeare.

Throughout history The Muse has been the constant companion to The Artist. Kiki de Montparnasse, Patti Smith, Edie Sedgwick – all contemporary embodiments of this elusive spirit.

For some time, good friend and Sydney based artist Lexi Land has been my own muse.  A dynamic heroine with a flamboyant style and her own fiery talent.

For me, the creative process is about nurturing and bringing to life what comes through me.  There is no set agenda or outcome.  It’s a feeling.  A feeling that moves me and has to be set free.

Lexi’s process holds a similar philosophy.  A  few months ago I asked her if she would be interested in being the subject for a concept I had been working on.  She agreed and the collaborative process began.

And so here are the results.

Photographed by Kiki Sjoberg at Leonard Mattis Studio

Corsetry by Joucelen Gabriel

Lexi Land’s annual solo exhibition opens at the studio in October this year.

Leonard Mattis Blog

THE GREAT SHAVE

July 15, 2014

WESCARR

Remember the opening scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 war epic ‘Full Metal Jacket’?

That was one of the first things that came to mind when I was recently asked to collaborate on a video clip for Australian singer Wes Carr’s new single.

Now an independent artist with a recently finished national tour under the guise of Buffalo Tales, Carr is back with a new sound!

The new single is called ‘ANTHEM’ and features myself as the anonymous man with the clippers.

Directed by Alyssa McClelland.

Released on 8th August 2014.  Pre-order here.

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Behind the scenes images by Kiki Sjoberg.

Leonard Mattis Blog

HAIR: FASHION AND FANTASY

March 13, 2014

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Hair: Fashion and Fantasy.   By Hairstylist Laurent Philippon.

Celebrating the art of hair, Philippons new tome delves into the origins of hairstyling.  Combining historical references with pivotal moments in fashion photography and celebrity culture.

‘Hairstyling is a genuine art form: it symbolically represents our transition from unkempt barbarians to civilised social beings.’ – Laurent Philippon