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Exercise in Style
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Manet exhibited his painting Olympia in 1865 in Paris. At the time painters were supposed to depict women in historical, mythical or biblical themes. But Manet decided to paint a real naked woman, in a mundane context and free from any idealization of her body. Olympia was a challenge for the viewers not only because of her name, which at that moment people would associate with prostitution, but also because she is staring directly at the viewer. She was perceived to have an imperfect body at the time. Manet was very brave at the time to show this kind of painting. He faced a lot of criticism, nevertheless he continued working and ended up being one of the most famous artists in the history of art. As for myself, I too felt the need to be brave in my creations, so I made my own humorous version of Olympia, with unique and wonderful tights, ready to go out, exercise and feel empowered!
When I was young and studying Fine Art at Uni, I came across a photo of a magnificent sculpture by Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi. Carved out of limestone, and called the kiss, it depicts 2 intertwined figures hugging and kissing.
Years later, when I was living in France, I visited the Montparnasse Cemetery and witnessed one of the several versions of The Kiss. I liked it even more. This version is placed on Tatiana’s Rachewskaïa ‘s tomb, a Russian girl who fell deeply in love and committed suicide at a very young age in 1910. Her lover, a Romanian doctor named Solomon Marbais, was a friend of Brancusi’s and purchased the sculpture directly from the artist to place on Rachewskaïa’s grave.
Why I keep finding it so fascinating? I guess because of the simplicity of the piece, its primitive form and the geometrical approach. How can such a simple piece of art, be able to express a powerful feeling of union and love? Love is all we need, and we sadly tend to forget it easily. So I thought, what a great idea to design my own version of the kiss to remind us daily when we exercise, a pure and powerful emotion of love. I hope you enjoy it!
Sandro Botticelli painted between 1485 and 1486, “The birth of Venus” in tempera. This painting is at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. It depicts the Greek goddess Venus arriving at the shore after her birth, emerging from the sea, oddly fully grown up. Venus’ body is quite elongated, and she doesn’t look happy, my guess is because she wants to cover herself?.. so I did! She has an ethereal look, as if she was daydreaming… Like me, I have been dreaming, for a long time, of create a project that unites my passion for exercise and my career in art. Finally, this year 2020, Art2go was launched in earnest. I decided to create a pattern full of joy and celebration. It’s a creation that was born during a pandemic with the simple intent to remind ourselves about the beauty of being alive.
ODA IN LOVE
This lady is based on a painting called Une Odalisque or La Grand Odalisque from 1814 by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. The painting was exhibited in 1819 at the Grand Salon in Paris. This woman is depicted with a strong eroticism and seduction. I decided to create my own version with a slightly arrogant attitude. She is wearing a pattern that has the words love and amor (love in Spanish), with love hearts everywhere. The main colour is green with bits of pink, black and white. Green colour is generally associated with the concept of hope. So again, my desire is to spread love to the world with my sportwear.
My sister Michele is a physical oceanographer, and of course she loves the ocean. For years she shared with me her passion for the sea and its creatures. Her worries about the extinction of the Great Barrier Coral Reef has had a huge impact on me. This pattern represents a black and white picture of a coral reef, as a reminder of the importance of protecting the world’s biodiversity.