‘Contemporary art is a part of my daily life – I’ve been following it for many, many years,’ muses Angela Missoni on the eve of the launch Surface Conversion, a new art programme which has been brewing for two years.
and launched this week in the fashion label's New York flagship on Madison Avenue. The Italian creative director recalls seeing galleries like Emmanuel Perrotin's arriving in the area and thinking: ‘those huge windows can be used for more than just fashion.'
In terms of volume and surface space, the store is exceptional – hence the project’s title. Missoni is literally converting the shop floor and putting it to a different use. The idea is to create a multi-faceted creative platform where diverse interventions can take place: from exhibitions through to talks, book launches and live performances.
At yesterday’s launch event, two of these initiatives could already be ticked off. Servane Mary, the Brooklyn-based artist who kicks off the programme, filled the corner windows and a series of lightboxes with her visual art, press and publicity images from the 1940s and 1970s, riffing on female mis-representation and identity. But Mary also performed live with her band, The Cornichons.
‘I was twelve in 1970,’ says Missoni, ‘so I took the revolution for granted. Even so, I know it’s still necessary to have a voice and give other women a voice.’ The feminist message in Mary’s work is something Missoni feels close to – consider her mission accomplished.