Irregular; Outside In

By Jo Phillips

At 34 Christopher Kane is a man, it’s fair to say, with the world at his feet.  In January 2013 he signed a deal with Kering the French luxury goods holding company owner of Alexander McQueenBalenciagaBrioniGucciPumaVolcomSaint Laurent Paris.  In fashion terms this is the creme de la creme therefore marking him and his company amongst the most sort after and desirable brands in the world.  So when the renowned Frieze art fair comes to town, what you probably expect from Kane is something artworks wise that is akin to his own brand to pop up in his store.

However, this is no ordinary fashion genius but someone with a somewhat left field take on the world.  After all he is the man that put both Crocs and Reef sandals on the catwalk (one wonders if he did it with a somewhat cheeky smile on his face?) so don’t expect the expected. Kane has in fact recently collaborated with Document Journal, in the most recent issue with an article celebrating the importance of creative freedom and expression, particularly the work on show at the Austrian Gugging Galerie.  The gallery is an exhibition site for ‘Art Brut’, an “unspoiled, rough” form of art, created outside the cultural mainstream, showcasing works from the private foundation ( a collective of artists in residence), alongside International Art Brut and Contemporary Art.  Some refer to the movement  as outsider art.  (see here for other articles on this art form)

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Kane talked with .Cent regarding the very personal nature of the exhibition and why he choose to explore outsider art  saying, “I grew up every weekend visiting my granny in a home which was a mixture of those with dementia but also young patients with mental health issues,  so its something I have always been around.  After our father died my sister Tammy went back to Scotland to do art therapy so in my holidays I used to go and help her.  The work of outsider art has always been close to my heart; the artists have been are lost and forgotten yet they are such credible artists.  I love to see the real things, the real emotions not made up concepts.  People should recognise art is all around us  and that people with mental health issues  just see the world differently”

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Artworks on display:

·         Johann Korec, Untitled, 1971

·         Johann Korec, Untitled, 1971

·         Alfred Neumayr, Untitled, 2014

·         Heinrich Reisenbauer, Red Trousers, 1992

·         Heinrich Reisenbauer, Chesnuts, 2005

·         Heinrich Reisenbauer, Flowers, 2015

·         Arnold Schmidt, Human, 1998

·         Arnold Schmidt, Human, 2012

·         Arnold Schmidt, Untitled, 2014

·         Jurgen Tauscher, Airport Vienna-Hamburg, 2013

·         Oswald Tschirtner, Heart, 2005

·         Karl Vondal, Untitled, 2013

Christopher Kane visited the gallery in July 2016, where he met the artists in residence. The pieces on show in his store are from 12 artworks by those residents. These will be displayed in the London store 6 Mount St, London W1K 3EH and of course are available for purchase until the 11th October.  The October issue of Document Journal is available to purchase now.