Paradise Row presents Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s first solo show”Triumph of the Sign” from 3 Apr – 2 May 2009. Throughout his ground breaking career as a fashion designer, Castelbajac has employed a strategy of ‘cultural hijacking’- the appropriation, recycling and synthesis of images, signs, symbols and styles from both popular culture and high art to create still newer designs and visions. In keeping with his openness to the ever-shifting world of contemporary visual culture, Castelbajac has collaborated with artists including Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Bettina Rheims and Loulou Picasso.
These pieces are great in a way, but I am actually also surprised that Castelbajac has used symbols that so many students in school or graphic artist will use to make their point about our consumer culture. In the Paradise Row information is mentions Castelbajac is looking at the synergy between art and mass consumption. I have to admit I have a weak spot for these kinds of compositions. Is that a flaw?! (the McDonalds logo is my least favourite btw).
Here some readings that inspired Castelbajac:
“Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
“The bastard form of mass culture is humiliated repetition… always new books, new programs, new films, news items, but always the same meaning.” Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text
Thank you Supermarket Underground