Menswear icon of the moment #2: Gordon Matta-Clark

Posted on 7th April, by Colin Chapman in menswear, Menswear icons. No Comments

Inspiration can come from the smallest detail. So it is with a grainy, B&W photo of the artist Gordon Matta-Clark at the current Barbican exhibition, Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s. Matta-Clark made his art from buildings, sometimes from the gaps between them, or by literally slicing them in two. Shot outside Food, the restaurant he co-ran with fellow artists at the heart of New York’s then dangerous, crumbling¬† SoHo in the late 70s, the photo shows Matta-Clark in iconic SoHo artist mode: in a simple T-shirt, VANS and jeans. No doubt he would hate to be considered an icon of something as vacuous as ‘fashion’ but style transcends that. To me he exudes downtown cool. It is impossible to dress like this today, with such a lack of knowing and self-reference. The details have it: the cut of the T-shirt, the grown-out post-hippie, pre-punk hair, VANs and the length of the jeans,¬† finished perfectly though, unintentionally, at the ankle bone. RIP Mr Matta-Clark. You were of a specific time and place yet something about you says ‘now’.

Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s is at The Barbican

A retrospective piece on Matta-Clark in the New York Times

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