We visited the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum late last year. I had heard great things about the showing but I did not know what to expect. Earlier in the year I visited the De Young for a Masters of Venice art showing and was impressed, but the Gaultier fashion exhibit blew me away!
One of the most remarkable parts of the showcase was the talking mannequins. The curators clothed blank faced mannequins in Gaultier’s famous ensembles. They then used a technology called “video mapping” to project an image of a face onto the mannequins. The then “mapped” mannequin faces made facial expressions, moved, talked and interacted with visitors. It was an unexpected and pivotal part of the exhibition. It was also great to see video mapping in real life because I had been recently talking to a local lighting designer about bringing mapping into the special events industry.
The lighting of the exhibit was also extraordinary. It was moody and ambient like an event would be. The show designer’s also went to great lengths to highlight the clothed mannequins with pins pots lighting much like and event. The showcase felt more like a nightclub then a museum tour.
And finally the clothing was dramatic and provocative. It was truly inspiring to see the clothes that Jean Paul had created through out the decades. One of the costumes that Madonna wore in her Truth or Dare tour was present as well as many other assembles that have changed the way that we think about clothing and ourselves. I think that this was the biggest lesson that I walked away with from this exhibit. That our art can change the way we look at things. It can change the way that we perceive ourselves and interact with the world. Creating art can change the world.
If you missed the exhibit I believe it is coming back to the de young March 24th-August 19th. Check out www.deyoung.famsf.org for more information. Also check back next week as I will blog about this exhibit one more time…. except next week’s fashion gets a little more edgy☺