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2023. 08.29. - 2023. 11. 11.


Space Fountain proudly presents "ART TOPS" a solo show of Travis Fish (b. 1989~), who creates a new discourse in visual culture by combining fashion and art. Born in Wisconsin, U.S.A, and studied at The School of Art Institute of Chicago, Fish actively works based in LA. Growing up listening to hip-hop music, the artist naturally has depicted the faces of hip-hop musicians onto canvases. Bold lines and flowing brushstrokes characterize Fish's daring portraits of rappers such as Migos and Offset, which served as a momentum for introducing the artist to the public. In addition, the artist perceives that fashion is one of the most important factors in creating the iconic style of hip-hop musicians, and boldly constructs an image emphasizing eye-catching fashion items such as hoodies, T-shirts, and accessories from famous fashion brands. Alongside, the artist borrows hoodies and T-shirts, which are like rappers' specific uniforms, to express the social image created through fashion and the resulting speed of culture. 


In contemporary society, fashion serves as the most significant means of expressing one's identity and stands as a prominent industry that shapes trends. In this exhibition, "ART TOPS," Fish presents his iconic artworks in which hoodies and T-shirts are used as canvases, filled with a blend of logos from renowned brands and images of masterpieces. Fish literally transfers luxury brand clothing onto canvases. Through the swift cycle of fashion trends and the resulting consumer culture, Fish showcases the pace of contemporary trends and visual culture through his artworks. Furthermore, the artist adopts a rapid production approach for his own works, labeling them as 'Fast Painting,' thereby creating a point of convergence between fashion and art. The artist's intention to reflect speed can be directly observed through a monumental T-shirt artwork that celebrates Pharrell Williams, who started to work as the menswear creator for Louis Vuitton from this summer.

This exhibition mainly focuses on artworks that combine T-shirts with images of artists. Fish transforms historically acclaimed works that spanning generations, such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as fashion garments onto canvases by recreating them. In his pieces, the most common T-shirts were replaced with canvas and fashion transforms into artworks, and it generates diverse discourses about contemporary culture. The intersection of art that has been sustained alongside humanity and the rapidly evolving and dissipating fashion industry prompts inquiries into the pace of our contemporary culture. Viewers naturally sense through artworks the feeling of possessing both the identity of a fashion brand and masterpieces simultaneously. This exhibition will offer a meaningful opportunity to experience the diversity of human desires and the resulting transformations in visual culture, as they intersect on Fish's canvases, where the valuable and the commonplace, the enduring and the swiftly changing converge.


An artist presenting the aesthetics of fast painting

Travis Fish, based in Brooklyn and Wisconsin, is a young American artist that the art world is paying attention to. Defining himself as a "sweater-obsessed person," he mainly paints brand sweaters, sports hoodies, and caricature portraits of celebrities. Fish's large-scale acrylic work of quirky and distorted style is often reminiscent of clothing fabrics at the intersection of art and fashion. He refers to the trend of the fashion industry, also known as "fast fashion," and immediately reflects it. Fish makes high fashion a playful but meaningful monument and transforms it into an icon. His way of expression is childish and naive. Without a clear line, watercolors, and random dots, it seems like an intentional mistake, which fits well with the current trend of naive paintings with childlike motifs.


Photo by Hunter Harvey

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