Welcome to my newest column, “The Art of Lingerie,” where I will be pairing some gorgeous pieces of lingerie with the work of famous artists. This idea came to me as a combination of my post about the way I think about my lingerie collection and my recent post on Frida Kahlo for LGBT History Month. I’ve had a lifelong love of art and art history and I’m enjoying the challenge of these pairings. Have fun with my new series and let me know what you think.
I chose Jasper Johns for my first post in The Art of Lingerie series because his graphic style and interest in texture which fit so well with lingerie. Also, I can’t believe I went so long without knowing that he and Robert Rauschenberg were longterm lovers! I only learned about it in the last month or so, when I went to a lecture on the Warhol show that is currently at the Metropolitan Museum. Despite reading about both of them as artists, the fact that I had never learned that they were together just shows you how much queer history is simply silenced– while I’ve read repeatedly about the straight artist couples of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo or Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. Not that that necessarily has anything to do with lingerie.
Back to lingerie + art:
The pairing of this What Katie Did corset and Jasper Johns’ most famous painting Three Flags might seem obvious, maybe even trite. But I think that the bold colors and lines in the shape of the corset make a kind of sense when paired with the duplicated flags in Johns’ work.
I think this piece White Flag by Jasper Johns fits so well with these pieces of lingerie because they all play with the subtly of shade and texture in supposedly neutral white. The stripes in the Lola Haze chemise echo the almost invisible stripes of the flag, while the mottled fabric of the Brulée playsuit gives you the optical illusion effect that is a key feature of the Johns painting.
This painting Map is so vibrant and active, these two sets from Zinke and La Fée Verte seemed just dramatic enough. Although the Aztec-inspired print on the La Fée Verte set isn’t a perfect match, I felt like the mood of the print and the painting went well together.
The abstract pattern represented in this painting is well suited to these two lingerie sets which both play with black and gray sheerness. The swirls are of the Fair Verona romper not the same pattern as the painting, but I liked the fact that they have a similar abstraction. The Princesse Tam Tam set‘s orange bow accents actually go perfectly with the yellow outline to the Johns diptych, making it a fitting pairing.
What do you think? Did I choose good pieces? Do you like this new column? Are there specific artists you would like me to feature? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.