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Artistic Divergence: A look at how the art landscape is being transformed

| Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ArtisticDivergence_WebERIC RICHELSEN | The Observer

The seamless fusion of music, fashion and performance art that was the Yeezy Season 3 showcase/”The Life Of Pablo” album release/Vanessa Beecroft piece undeniably changed the traditional concept of art. Say what you will about the inexplicable yet ingenious Kanye West, but his Madison Square Garden show raised the bar and transformed expectations for what it means to be an artist. After coming off of two previous Yeezy collections, which were highly criticized by fashion elites yet (unsurprisingly) very successful, Mr. West seemingly stopped the world with his art spectacle.

With his signature earth-toned, oversized clothing draped over mostly black models wearing neutral undergarment body suits, West proved himself as a true contender in the world of fashion. Surrounded by 1,200 extras dressed in similar garbs, standing confidently and poised for the entirety of his nearly two-hour show, the collection was perfectly accompanied by his new music and Beecroft’s dystopia-inspired performance. The level of execution and cohesiveness spoke volumes of Ye’s creative intuition and passion for diversification. He’s not afraid to experiment in other fields, and he’s even less afraid to bring these fields together in a way that has never been done before.

The very next day, the always elusive and cooler-than-everyone-else Rihanna made her New York Fashion Week debut with a black and white, semi-gothic street-style collection for her new Fenty x Puma collaboration. Clearly inspired by her own unique sense of fashion and tendency to be an absolute bad a– at all times, Rihanna left her initial mark on the fashion landscape and proved that she is a force to be reckoned with amongst the world’s top designers. Not to mention, this was all done a mere two weeks after releasing her already-platinum eighth studio album, “ANTI.”

The superstar’s first Puma collaboration with the Puma Creepers sneaker immediately sold out, leading critics to believe that the footwear in Rihanna’s new collection, specifically her unnamed sneaker-stiletto hybrid, have the potential to become shoe of the year. With West’s Yeezy Boosts being 2015’s shoe of the year and Rihanna’s new kicks slotted to be 2016’s number one hit, it is clear that the worlds of fashion, music and art are colliding with great force.

It’s becoming more and more common to see music artists becoming more involved with the fashion industry, setting trends, sitting front row at the most renowned fashion shows and even creating their own successful lines, like Ye and Rih. Artists like A$AP Rocky and Young Thug are breaking down fashion norms and becoming the muses of top designers. Jaden Smith bravely became the new face of Louis Vuitton’s women’s line, while his younger sister, Willow, released her own sock collaboration with Stance. Artists are turning to fashion to further express their creativity and ingenuity, breaking barriers and transforming their musicality to a more physical representation of their artwork.

So, what does this mean for the future of art? It means there are no longer expectations to hold or categories to stay within. Artists are pushing the boundaries of what it actually means to be an “artist.” With various art forms already being fused together by the world’s most well known faces, we can expect the landscape of art to be completely revolutionized in the very near future.

It’s inspiring to see how hard these already-famous artists are working in order to put their visions into action, exploring different fields that mimic their evident self-exploration. With time, we will continue to see just who these indefinable artists truly are through their commitment to art and be inspired to pursue a variety of avenues in our own lives that allows for true creativity to exist.

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