Here are a few interesting statistical tidbits for you dear reader as the ishotkatemoss project starts to enter its way into the not-so-mainstream cultural conversation:
(i) As of last week, www.ishotkatemoss.com has 479 images included in the collage; and
(ii) The greatest number of submissions from one single artist is 22 images. Street artist, Gregg LeFevre, who we featured in Photographer Series 13, holds the record …
that is until we were introduced to the remarkable work of British artist Ant Pearce, who sent us 92 kate images, all of which he has created over the last 9 months.
|Kate #1#1x2 (59·4x84·1cm), Cotton thread sewn on paper|
Influenced by Freud’s theories and the writings and philosophies of Dostoyevsky, Kafka and Camus, Ant’s practice alludes to the idea that “external authority is what brings about man’s aberrant destructive behaviors”. His work is inspired by Freud’s structural model of human consciousness, being that our minds are made up of three interconnecting entities: the id, the ego and the super-ego. He addresses such an idea through the presentation of series of Thread Drawings, with select pieces created as Line Drawings (ink on paper) and Syringe Paintings (emulsion on medium-density fiberboard). Through a web of cross-references between color, medium and form the viewer is positioned before the image in a conversation between order and chaos. As Ant specifies, ”Each work brings into visibility the sense of imprisonment and anxiety, which underlie human existence”.
His work has progressed into pieces, which explore aspects of gender, narcissism and the life and death drives, as discussed by Freud, through various imagery including the depiction of fashion icons, which of course leads us to kate.
|Twenty-five different Kate images from Ant's #6 series|
iskm: Why Kate Moss?
Ant Pearce (AP): My work addresses the fragility of life through aspects of human psychology - the constant flux of breaking apart and reforming. Kate Moss embodies these ideas to me. In a world increasingly littered with celebrity and vulgarity, Kate Moss is a true icon flowing with artistic talent and elegance with a twist of 'rock 'n roll'.
|Kate #2#2x2 & Kate #2#3x2 (both 21x29·7cm), both Gold thread sewn on paper + cotton thread sewn on 24kt gold leaf|
iskm: We have never featured someone who has made so many kate artworks. Why so many reflections on her?
AP: Kate has a chameleonic quality, which I find bewitching and inspiring - she emits a sense of hope. As Vogue stated '…Kate Moss defies categorisation'.
|Thirty different Kate images from Ant's doubled sided work|
iskm: Given that 'chameleonic' viewpoint, each time you are creating a piece are you seeing or finding something different about her, yourself or us? Do you find the need to keep coming back to her repetitive? Is it meditative? Are you trying to capture an essence that maybe you, and we (as external observers of her image), simply can't grasp?
|Kate #1#3 (81x116cm), Emulsion + yatch varnish on MDF|
AP: I do not feel it has anything to do with a compulsion, nor does it relate to repetition (since I always create something new and different) and it is only meditative in as much as making any thread drawing is. Although my choice of word would be 'relaxing'.
The reasons are mainly to do with my dissatisfaction with the images I end up creating. There is something I find magical about Kate Moss (as I do with Jane Birkin), which I seem unable to express. Although she is very much of the world, I feel that trying to capture her is like trying to take hold of 'air'. She has an unworldly quality about her, like a will-o'-the-wisp. No matter how many times I try and represent her, and convey the feeling she evokes, I never seem to manage it. With this in mind it is likely that I will return to creating more work based on Kate in the future.
iskm: How do you select the source kate imagery?
AP: I was lucky enough to be given a collection of magazines that featured Kate. I chose images that captivated me either as portraits or full figures. It's a bit like being moved inside by a piece of music. I thought it would be interesting to make the Playboy series, combining image with branding, particularly after I learnt that Kate had chosen the Playboy bunny ears and costume, used in the 60th edition shoot, in the Vogue UK Christmas 2014 feature 'A few of my favourite things'.
|Kate #2 #1 & Kate #2 #2 & Kate #2 #3 (each: 21x29·7cm), all Cotton thread sewn on gold mirror paper|
iskm: Can you explain your process?
AP: My creation process oscillates between the desire for structure, through mapping, which I then abandon in favour of fluidity. Thus, each work is created through a combination of control and chance, conscious and subconscious. New works rely more heavily on intuition, with the formation of overlapping and intersecting angular planes resulting in a stronger sense of flux and instability.
iskm: Why do you chose to use thread? Draw? And Paint? Is there any conceptual distinction in choosing one tool of creation over another?
|Twenty-eight Kate images from Ant's Playboy series|
AP: I had been making installation-based work using various materials, one of which was thread. When I moved to making more accessible works I decided to continue using the thread since it gives the work a three-dimensional textural quality. The action of sewing is delicate and traditionally thought of as feminine. I am able to use it in a way that creates strong images formed within a web-like structure. Thus, adding a real sense of fragility, imprisonment and movement into the work. The same is true of the other tools I use - paint is applied with a syringe and fine needle while lines are carefully drawn in ink on paper.
iskm: Why is the straight line critical in your work regardless of the chosen tool?
AP: I work around the idea that 'man is condemned to exist imprisoned' while drawing on aspects of human psychology as discussed by Freud. The underling focus relates to 'the life and death drives' - breaking apart into smaller matter and then reforming.
These concepts are communicated through ‘breaking' and 'reforming' the image(s), using the straight and diagonal lines formed by sewing thread onto paper, drawing with ink and applying paint with a syringe. Each piece embraces the idea of deconstruction and 'the spiritual importance of the line' as explored by Dutch avant-garde, constructivist Theo van Doesburg while the style of abstraction termed ‘painterly architectonics’, developed by Russian Cubo-Furturist Lyubov Popova, is clearly visible. Each medium has it's own quality and I often create a series of three works based on the same image using each of my creation methods. This demonstrates to the viewer how the same image appears very different while remaining the same, causing a sensation of movement between different states.
|Kate #1#3 x2 (59·4x84·1cm), Cotton thread sewn on paper|
ishotkatemoss pondered how kate tied back to the notion of “external authority” that brings about “man’s aberrant destructive behaviors”? Is the external authority as it relates to the choice of kate the fashion industry? Is it society at large? Is it more the idea of beauty? And then what is the associated destructive behavior? Our consumption? We asked Ant but in a way he preferred to leave the question open and give us the space to consider, question, deliberate and muse with his muse …
|Kate #1#1 (81x116cm), Emulsion + yatch varnish on MDF|
AP: I find Kate Moss inspiring. She gives me a sense of hope somehow. She embodies the idea of fragility and the human disposition in a positive way, something, which is broken while remaining intact - in a state of constant flux. My practice as a whole relates to the idea of the ‘external authority’ and how it brings about ‘man’s aberrant destructive behaviors’ through image and image style. I touch on the concept of the cultural super-ego, which Freud suggested influences the development of civilization and can be thought of as the introduction of ethics within society, which if not adhered to, results in punishment through a fear of conscience.
I cannot help but feel that we often search for things that aren’t there, while not seeing what is.
iskm: Which photographers/artists would you most want to most see involved in ishotkatemoss?
AP: Lichtenstein, Bacon, Schiele, Picasso. There is a clear linkage between my practice and these artists, particularly Bacon and Scheile. The interest in 'the flesh', the unconscious, movement and sensation. Something that Bacon refers to as 'deforming and reforming reality' while instinctively creating images within a 'deeply ordered chaos'.
|Kate #1#2x2 (59·4x84·1cm), Cotton thread sewn on paper|
Given the number of artworks, it is difficult to display the intricacy and detail associated with each piece. As such, iskm suggests you delve more deeply into the work and Ant’s practice by looking at antpearce.com.
Better yet, for those in London, you have plenty of opportunities to see some of Ant’s Kate work in person including at: Espacio Gallery (18-23 August) as part of Sweet Art's Summer Art Festival; the Art on a Postcard stand at the Moniker Art Fair (October), to raise funds for The Hepatitis C Trust; at The Other Art Fair (October); and there will be a month long exhibition being organized by After Nyne in South Kensington (November). And for those outside of the UK, Ant is represented by Artvera's Galerie in Geneva, Switzerland and internationally by White Court Art.
With so many images to see you simply must:
Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.