On September 12, as part of an exhibition titled “Original Sin” opening at New York City’s Mayson Gallery, Ukraine-born artist Misha Tyutyunik will unveil a series of painted works that “deal with the relationship of today’s society to sex, fashion, overconsumption, and our reliance on technology.” How timely, considering tomorrow marks the end of a long and frenzied (and not to mention, Instagram-wild) New York Fashion Week.
Envisaging a wasteland Eden of sorts, Tyutyunik’s art—which is anchored in illustration, à la Shepard Fairey, et al.—desecrates the cherubic Adam and Eves of pop-religion lore. Here, his original beings are “oversexed, wealthy yet trashy thespians, their forbidden fruits being brands like Chanel, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton.” That satiric verse of industry misappropriation relates, incidentally, to a current trend in the ready-to-wear biz: look no further than upstart brands LPD New York and Conflict of Interest NYC, both of which riff on designer names and labels in their wares.
Continuing, Tyutyunik says, “I wanted to show the Garden as a place of overindulgence, as it would be if it collided with the modern era, exploding in a pornographic, branded cornucopia of sin.” It’s a loaded statement, and one that could very well toe the waters of convenient sensationalism, but Tyutyunik handles the theme with good-humored aplomb. One piece shows a cowering Adam behind a multi-breasted antelope, blanketed in a Louis Vuitton-monogrammed shawl. Another portrays an engorged Eve, lounging on a Burberry pillow, her hangover placated by McDonald’s and cigarettes. Yet while all the above may look bitter and biting, Tyutyunik insists he has nothing against fashion—in fact, he “appreciates both the gaudy, and the clean and neat,” citing Tom Ford to vintage Emilio Pucci. Thus, his work seems to suggest a kind of contradictory proposal: when it comes to all things sartorial, why not sin, so long as you know you’re biting the apple?
“ORIGINAL SIN” OPENS TOMORROW NIGHT, SEPTEMBER 12, AND IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC SEPTEMBER 13 THROUGH OCTOBER 19 AT MAYSON GALLERY.