If you are still under the impression that painting is simply painting and a sculpture is made from stone (or 3D printing), you need to watch the first episode of The Final Touch, our new series that gives an exclusive view of the extensive process behind a piece of art. In this film, we follow the young Brooklyn-based artist Stewart Uoo finish his Curtain Moment IV (Goodbye to Summer). The 82x43x29″ sculpture is completed with an array of intricate techniques that usually aren’t revealed to the public.
A 2012 graduate of the renowned Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany, Uoo already had his first breakthrough when the Whitney Museum of American Art mounted the artist’s first major museum solo exhibition, Outside Inside Sensibility, in 2013. The exhibition, which consisted of 8 mannequins busts inspired by Sex and The City, received rave reviews (The Observer commented: “This exhibition, in the Whitney’s lobby gallery, is a thriller“) and put Uoo on the map of artists to watch.
Although Uoo’s curtains might seem like a departure from his mannequins, the inspiration is still found within contemporary culture, fashion and a solid knowledge of art history. The slouchy feel of the curtain is inspired by Robert Morris wall hanging, felt sculptures of the late 60s/early 70s, while the flowerless pods are somewhat inspired by Comme Des Garcons’s more recent collections. These “highbrow” references are mixed with more “lowbrow” hints; such as a Neo Classical floral lamp base that Uoo spotted at The Belvedere Guest House, a clothing optional hotel exclusively for men famously located on Fire Island. The fabric used in the sculpture Uoo says comes from “my outsider understanding of New England style of madras patchwork tops and khaki bottoms made iconic in my memory through Abercrombie and Fitch.”
Uoo further explains: “Madras patchwork fabric originated in India and became popular in England and was (maybe still) associated with leisure of a certain class and is still sold as summer-appropriate in America as well. I ombre-dyed the madras from light to dark to create a sort of narrative element as if the forms are dying, drying-up or simply retiring as part of season shift leaving these poppy pod forms with puckered orifices.”
Watch the khaki cargo shorts often associated with college frat boys turn into a beautiful piece of art in the first episode of The Final Touch!