Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Weds 13th July: Interview with Alex Noble
I often wonder why people want to visit me at my studio as its essentially full of alot of stuff that's been hanging around and collecting dust .......... but when I stepped inside the wold of Alex Noble it was a little revelation into the intrigue. Out the back of an antique furniture shop is an opening to the hidden treasure trove where the alchemist artist resides to rustle up his wares with a mix of stylistic sorcery. Centre stage in a shaft of light stands a couture silk gown pinned to a tailor's dummy undergoing extensive beading embroidery. Alex explains how he has sunk in the seams and aligned the panels of the breast-piece........and points to his "sketch" on the wall which is more akin to a traditional accomplished couture illustration than any other working drawings that I have seen! I think this dichotomy best sums up the breadth of Alex's implicit unconscious output. Although there is a physical division in the studio between his sewing station to his painting domain - there is no separatism in his talent across the skills. And boy, this talent has skills.
Alex studied womenswear at LCF and spent a substantial slot of this time outside school learning under the wing of Mrs Jones assisting her making costumes for iconic pop moments. Although he allocated only a limited time set to 6 weeks for his own degree collection, these pieces came together and are still requested for shoots to this day. Over the course of the next few years Alex explored both styling and display, becoming part of the 3D creative team at Selfridges. This period exploring spatial awareness in terms of presenting a visual narrative gave him the perfect platform to jump into putting together a story that was entirely his own. To bridge the gap, Alex dedicated himself to creating a body of artwork and set up his first one-man show at The Old Shoreditch Station. Believing "art is for an audience" he wanted to share his vision and plant his private paintings into a public arena for feedback and discussion.
Alex now provides exactly that opportunity for other artists as curator of the exhibitions and shows at The Dalston Superstore. When he found out that his friends were opening up the business, he inquired if anyone else had been appointed the position ......... in turn nominating himself for a role that he has carved out for the establishment. However, his residency is winding up in September as he hands over the responsibility to focus on conjuring up his next solo show which will find a new premises. This will mean more time spent the other side of his studio, dipping into oils and clay to paint and mould his signature anatomical figures.
Alex's fine art approach to creating one-off objects of beauty in relation to the human form is probably the most distinctive body of work that readers of this blog will recognise. You can see here sketches of outfits for a certain someone and if you squint you can spot newspaper clippings stuck on his wall............a regular client returning to his aesthetic being Lady Gaga. The red bondage bandage dress in her "True Romance" video and the white lace body suit and cloak from her Brit Awards performance are two very memorable looks and both by Noble! The alignment with her styling team came about firstly from commissions for editorial fashion spreads and then later specific pieces for the musician when the consultancy started. Amongst the archive that Lady Gaga HQ are amassing are a quite a few of Alex's designs which you can research by heading over to his blog. As most of his accessory work is produced purely for unique projects, Alex cannot answer to requests of appointments to trawl his archive. The majority of his back catalogue is scattered across the various collections of clients. Therefore if you are wishing to borrow an original it is unlikely that the man himself still holds onto the item. This means if you want a piece of the Noble pie, you need to put your order in! Just at the moment it looks like Alex has his fingers in quite a few pies of which some I am not able to disclose as it is classified information but in his own words yesterday:
"1 day, 2 fittings, 1 icon of draje with 1 cup, 1 pagean starlette with a 2 lungs, 12 meters of elastic, 3000 crystals,2 sewing machines, 12 rollies, 6 hours of hand stitching,6 cups of tea, 1 round house, 1 tescos cous cous salad eaten with a plastic fork and 1 me, and its only Tuesday!"
His most recent published project has premiered as costumes for the band "Monarchy" directed by Price James. Don't bother trying to find out anything about the act - I can confirm there is nought on the net and according to inside info that is a strategic manoeuvre from the band who have agreed not to disclose their identity and instead generate a mass mystery! Oh! To see the clip for "Love Get Out Of My Way", click here.
You may also be able to witness the next Noble unveiling on Jonny Woo at Lovebox on Sunday..............
Now make a cup of tea, close your eyes and listen to the temperate tune that was whirling melodically in the background of his studio for this soothing interview and picture the scene by clicking here.