Art

Artsy, Bergdorf Goodman, and Dior Launch the Artsy Vanguard Initiative

Take in works of contemporary art while you shop at New York City's legendary department store.
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When you embark on a day of shopping, what might you see? You can probably count on posters announcing the sale of the season, salespeople scurrying around the store assisting customer upon customer, and usually, abhorrent art adorning the walls. You know the kind: huge framed monsters of overlapping, gargantuan brush strokes in every color, tacky portraits of seaside escapes, the list goes on and on, but luckily, one iconic New York City department store is looking to change that. 

Yes, the legend that is Bergdorf Goodman has partnered up with online platform Artsy and Dior to present The Artsy Vanguard: a special exhibition featuring works by breakthrough contemporary artists and fashion from Dior Fall 2018. It's a creative takeover like you've never seen, with photographs, paintings, and sculptures on glorious display throughout and window installations curated by Elena Soboleva. 

Selected artists include Hayden Dunham, Lena Henke, and Hannah Levy (who are presenting new site-specific installations in Bergdorf Goodman’s iconic Fifth Avenue windows) and pieces by artists TM Davy, Rochelle Feinstein, Allison Janae Hamilton, Tyler Mitchell, Cynthia Talmadge, and Lina Iris Viktor placed throughout the second floor. 

L’Officiel USA caught up with three of the artists at a cocktail party celebrating the exhibition’s launch. Below, Tyler Mitchell, Alison Janae Hamilton, and Hayden Dunham walk us through their pieces and talk about the importance of creative collaboration.

Tyler Mitchell

So Tyler, what was it like to get invited to collaborate with Bergdorf and Artsy?

It [was] really exciting! I didn't know Artsy even knew about me or what I was doing [so] I felt like I had to do it.

 

Can you walk me through the concepts you used for these works?

A lot of what I shot is personal. It's all kind of a mixture. It's very documentary and simple, spur of the moment ideas about black masculinity. It's kind of symbolic and the way I chose to install it looks at doubles and singles of Black men that I've cast over the past year or so. The shots themselves use styling, posing, [and] symbolism to talk about connection and visibility amongst Black men.

Allison Janae Hamilton

How does it feel to have your work shown at Bergdorf Goodman?

It's an interesting kind of full circle moment 'cause I worked in fashion originally when I moved to New York City. 

 

Can you talk me through your work that's here today?

I have two sculptures on view here. One is called Nightstand , [a] furniture piece playing with interior and exterior motifs that kind of appear throughout my work. I also have a fencing mask which is another repeated theme  I use to think about struggle and battle over landscape throughout the history of the rural south.

 

What do you think the art world can benefit doing sort of partnerships like these?

I think it's always beneficial to do partnerships with other realms of creative activity and art in other fields [like] music, dance. I always enjoy collaborating with creatives outside of my usual realm and this was one of those opportunities to do that.

Hayden Dunham (Left)

Hi Hayden, can you talk me through your window installation?

It was a really moving experience. It started off as a liquid and then it changed states several times. The final iteration is a solid but there's actually a live element to it that you have to look for that might not be seen initially but can be felt.

 

I love that. How did it feel when you got the call that you were gonna be able to work on the windows at Bergdorf's?

[It was]...so exciting.

 

Have you always admired Bergdorf’s?

I'm really interested in this entire system of distributing ideas and exchanging content through these different materials so it really resonated with me.

 

Debuting May 3, the windows and in-store installation will be on view through May 20.

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