The Muses of Jean Paul Gaultier by Annie Kevans at Barbican
by Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop
7 April 2014
Amy Winehouse by Annie Kevans, 2014
Jean Paul Gaultier
Over the years, the enfant terrible of French couture Jean Paul Gaultier has been inspired by a variety of muses, ranging from David Bowie and Boy George, to Naomi Campbell, Beth Ditto, Madonna, and his grandmother Marie.
To celebrate these and complement the London presentation of the touring exhibition “The Fashion World of Jean Gaultier: From The Sidewalk To The Catwalk,” opening at the Barbican Galleries on April 9, curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot commissioned hot London-based, French artist Annie Kevans to create a series of small oil-on-paper works of around 30 of Gaultier’s muses along with a painting of the grand couturier himself.
“Annie Kevans’ work caught my attention years ago when I saw her fantastic oil paintings, All The Presidents’ Girls, at Volta in New York. As she is a great storyteller who works in series, I thought she was the best artist to create these eye-catching and delicate portraits that tell Gaultier’s story about his muses and inspirations, all great characters, these paintings translate well the humanist message in his work. I am delighted Kevans is now taking part in the exhibition tour,” Loriot said in a press statement.
Since graduating from Central St. Martins in 2004, at which time Charles Saatchi bought her series of 30 paintings of dictators as young boys (Boys), Kevans has hold several solo exhibitions. Her next one, “Women and the History of Art” opening at the Fine Art Society in London on May 13, will feature portraits of successful female artists over the last 500 years, many of whom have been all but written out of art history.
The exhibition, including Kevans' drawings, will run at Barbican Galleries until August 25, before moving to the National Galleries of Victoria in Melbourne (17th October 2014 – 8th February 2015) and Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais in Paris (1st April – 3rd August 2015).