Fashion is more democratic, or universal, than most art or religion. Did you see an opportunity to interact with a wider audience with your digital fashion designs?
That's right. Instead of spending time shopping, I spent my months in lockdown watching resources online and learning how to design digital clothing. They produce zero waste. All you need is electricity and a good computer to make your clothes. After months of creating, I selected some garments and released my first fashion collection.
You caught our attention with your collection 'Paleo Punk', where you have crafted garments out of digital spikes, leather and skin. Human skin is a pretty wild material to choose for clothing. How did you land on the idea?
This first collection went back to the spirit of the art I was creating in my early 20s. I was really influenced by post-punk and grunge. I made this bed with spikes and rubber latex. It was a little weird, a little BDSM, and it was exhibited in a clean gallery. Paleo Punk was an expression of these art objects. I turned the bed into a digital skirt covered with spikes. The skin bodice comes from the rubber sensation, but I wanted to do it in digital human skin. I approached Paleo Punk with each piece as an artwork, a part of a series.
What bands were you influenced by?
Sonic Youth, The Breeders, not so grunge but Death Can Dance, Medieval electronic experimentations, This Mortal Coil a mix of dark punk, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, and Nine Inch Nails. The inspiration was also pop art, kitsch, camp, queer sensibility, arthouse movies, and religion. And I'm obsessed with religion, and connecting science and spirituality. Materiality and immateriality. And how they connect in this reality which is real. Oh, and museums; contemporary, historical, botanical, museum of bibles, the most random museums, and churches.
Does spirituality inform your work?
I was from a household with a very religious mother and a father who was anti-religion. There was always this conflict between the materialist view of life - you have to succeed and work, life is what it is, and that offered a valuable lesson to enjoy this life - but my mum was focused on this future paradise and this other reality.
For me, spirituality I tie with looking for your identity. I did a series of self-portraits every day when working as an artist. Now we live today in a selfie society, your own layer. So, again, back to skin. For the exclusive pieces for Special Items, I focused on skin patterns and hair.
And that concept also served as inspiration for your puffer jacket Under My Skin you created for Special Items
Under My Skin is a self-portrait in a garment. The print is made of a direct scan of my arm. I made this print in 1997 when I got my first home scanner. It was an impulse to scan my body, just like the Palaeolithic men printed their hands on the caves. With these few inches of my own skin, I designed a virtual endless pattern of my skin. By reflecting the pieces, I obtained different hair waves and created rhythms and different shapes made out of human hair. This garment also plays with the concept of human fur in that sense as well. When I created my first collection, I rescued this ‘vintage print‘ from my personal archive and transformed it into a puffer jacket. Since then, different versions have seen the light. Three of them will be dropped in collaboration with Special Items. This is a garment about empathy. It is not just an ego trip to have other people wear my skin. It is an invitation to the user to step into someone else’s skin, anybody. An open invitation to see from another perspective. A garment that will spark conversations about being the other, inhabiting a skin that is not yours, showing human hair, nudity, and hopefully many more conversations around the notion of the self and the body.