Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Lavender Hinge is a provocative collaborative venture between the artists Lisa Z. Morgan and Eric Magnuson and resides within the blurred boundaries of what is considered art, fashion and life. Their work inhabits a tactile space and dimension which straddles and bridges different, or opposing, genres, approaches and medium. Art and fashion, ideas and craft, living and design, passion and philosophy are found in the reflection of the other. Their creative output ranges from sculptural garments to sewn paintings, sartorial gestures, short non-films, and sound pieces, written fables, effleurage works and fragrant plantings. Each project and body of work joins and mingles at the point and hinging between presumed opposites. The void as object emerges as subject and in doing so, the hole as a signifier expands into the positive as an image, concept and form. The male becomes female and recto verso. Discipline, gender, authorship and meaning are sublimated, merged and the yin and the yang fuse and are married as one.

The Lavender Hinge has zeroed in and focused on the ubiquitous everyday buttonhole, infusing it with a sensual personality and character. In doing so The Hinge has elevated this particular ‘hole’ to the level of a cipher or sign and of a tool, device and vehicle for storytelling. While black holes spin at the speed of light, buttonholes by The Lavender Hinge flout and examine the eternal feminine symbol as both void and object. Fashioned from artist's fine linen as well as luxurious gentleman’s suiting fabrics using cashmere, wool, mohair and silk etc (most notably donated by Holland and Sherry) and stretched over wooden stretcher bar supports, the oversized buttonhole resonates and signifies a calculated historical exposing, violation, and celebration. Through the lens of painting the work is charged with a Fontana-like explicitness and bold sexuality, yet is devoid of and beyond, graphic or vulgar illustration. When the handmade larger-than-life buttonhole is inserted into a suit designed by Kiton, Marc Jacobs or Sean Jean, the penetration and marking of a man’s power suit with the sewn slit becomes both a highly subversive and loaded act and artifact. This is finely crafted work with an acutely critical edge, weaving together a delightful sense of play with a poignant and enigmatic mindset.