While designing the Spring’14 collection, designers Bridget McCall and Nicholas Van Messner came across the works of Spanish artist Ernesto Artillo whose work could not be overlooked. The visual collaboration is a beautifully surrealist and elegant take on the up-and-coming Spring’14 collection, showcasing Artillo’s signature fashion illustration style using entirely collaged images.
“ For me, collage is a technique that allows you to break the conventions of art-making. It allows you to literally break images apart for the purpose of exploring and re-arranging them in a way that is more meaningful to your current state of emotions. Pictures are great but they show just what you see on the surface, not what it is in your mind. Collage has allowed me to express what there is behind images and in turn, expand on the emotion within an image. I suppose collage makes me challenge my own conventions.”
Is there a single work that you have seen in the past that has had a major impact on the way you thought about your art making?
My work recalls elements as wide ranging as ancient sculptures, such as the Greek sculpture of Laocoön and His Sons, Renaissance portraits with vast landscapes in the background, to modern day artists like Dalí's surrealism, Matisse's colours, Picasso's cubism…I was brought up in a family where tradition matters, so elements like Spanish culture and folklore, religion, flamenco are always there too.
When and why did you start making collages?
My father has always made collages, but I didn't start to use the technique until five years ago. I started painting, then I took great interest in photography, specialising in fashion photography. Now all these disciplines have converged in my artworks. For me, collage is a technique that allows you to break the conventions of art-making. It allows you to literally break images apart for the purpose of exploring and re-arranging them in a way that is more meaningful to your current state of emotions. Pictures are great but they show just what you see on the surface, not what it is in your mind. Collage has allowed me to express what there is behind images and in turn, expand on the emotion within an image. I suppose collage makes me challenge my own conventions.
You have mentioned in the past that collaging makes you challenge your own conventions, do you feel a sense of emotional attachment to the finished artwork?
Always, not just in my personal work, but also when I make collaborations like this particular one. I like to generate an emotion and explore the beauty and depth of the fashion industry. I’m not sure I know how to make anything without feeling that emotional attachment.
Would you say that your work is mostly influenced from a fashion or an artistic point of view, or a melange of the two worlds?
I am interested in the more creative /artistic side of fashion. In a sense, I use images as a tool to create new personal concepts. I use sculptures, landscapes, paint and mores, but it seems that the result is very often attracted by the fashion industry.
What are your thoughts, process or inspiration in direct relation to the works you have created for LIFEwithBIRD?
When I received the images I was immediately inspired by the lightness, clean lines juxtaposed with bright, bold colours, this made for a real good canvas to work with. Moreover, it gave me an understanding of the LIFEwithBIRD woman, someone with a strong sense of fashion, who uses clothes as an expression of her personality, a woman who is aware of trends but follows the beat of her own heart, adding something special in her appearance with colours, prints or patterns, related with an artistic attitude. A woman who wants to please herself rather than others. I like this kind of woman and thats what I wanted to portray.
Inspired by the sense of lightness within the imagery – clean lines juxtaposed with the bright colours – Ernesto identified the LIFEwithBIRD woman as someone with a strong sense of fashion and an artistic attitude, who uses clothing as an expression of her personality. Ernesto’s artwork portrays this woman through the bold manipulation of those images; a constant sense of exploration by breaking images apart and piecing them back together.
Campaign Imagery shot by Tracey Lee Hayes