Have you ever heard the name ‘Coco Capitan’? A new exhibition of Coco Capitan, who earned fame through her collaboration with ‘Gucci’, has opened in Daelim Art Gallery in Korea, and for the first time in Asia. Coco is a multi-media visual artist, whose unique work as a photographer, sculptor, and movie director are on full display at the exhibition ‘CoCo Capitan: iS iT TOMORROW YET?, letting us see not only photos of her but also handwriting works, movies, and sculptures as well. By viewing work from several different categories, we can understand how Coco views the world, what fears she feels, and how she has overcome those fears. Moreover, as a person living in the same age, we can sympathize with her works. Since the messages she tends to give are different depending on the works, let us open our eyes big and enjoy her exhibition ‘CoCo Capitan: iS iT TOMORROW YET?’
Coco Capitan, Who Is She?
Coco Capitan is well known to the public as an artist who collaborated with the brand ‘Gucci’. She was already working for other brands such as Vogue, Dazed, and Mulberry, but Gucci took an interest in her handwritings and wanted to print them on its shirts. Being young, she is concerned about what she really wants to do, her future, and other themes that young people can relate to. Coco expresses these concerns in her artworks and her work has gained sympathy and love from the public. Moreover, she always writes down any idea that pops into her mind and this soon becomes one of her works too.
Coco Capitan as an Artist
Fashion without the Fashion
Coco Capitan was attracted to the field of fashion after majoring in Fashion photography at the Fashion University of London. Afterward, she undertook an intensive study of photographs while completing a master’s degree in Photography at the Royal College of Art. Every form of fashion photography that Coco encountered emphasized ‘fashion’, but she wanted to show the beauty of the photo itself. Coco Capitan reflected on the features of portrait photography, which shows the inner side of people through their appearances, within fashion photos. She not only focused on the fashion but also the poses models make and the environment around them. For example, in one of her works ‘Boy in Socks’, it seems like the blue socks are the main element of the photograph, but actually Coco concentrated more on the ‘situation’ of the model, which is the action of putting socks on his feet. Since her pictures also contained elements of fashion, she called her photographs as ‘fashion without the fashion’.
Coco’s View of Art and Commerce
Coco Capitan was recognized for her ability when she was young, and this recognition led her to getting to work for several famous brands. It is said that the collaboration with Gucci was the ideal one among the many collaborations she did. This is because her handwriting was used, not her photography skills. Her collaboration with Gucci was a chance for Coco to be shown as an artist to the public. This way, her works were commercialized. Since she never thought about her works being sold, she later got to think of the meanings of art and commerce. The conclusion she made after was “There is no boundary between art and commerce.” The basis of her thought is that her work is sold in the form of t-shirts, and these clothes are worn by models in the pictures again. In Coco’s exhibition, we can see models wearing Gucci shirts with those displayed just next to the photography.
Coco Capitan Becoming an Adult
In this exhibition, we can see many self-portraits of Coco Capitan. However, it is unlike the other portraits since she is not facing the front. She captures herself in strange postures, with looks of her face that are hard to interpret what she wants to express. The portraits she has made are not drawn or captured just to show her appearance. Coco intends to give serious messages through her works. These days, many people are into media. The problem here is that people living in a world overflowing with media tend to focus more on how they are shown to others than on their real features. Coco’s work criticizes this problem and shows how she views herself through her self-portrait.
Fear of Death
Death is always frightening for anyone living in the world. This also applies to Coco Capitan. As time passes by, as she earns more and more fame, as her life becomes more fun, fear of death dominates Coco’s mind. Since then, there are so many handwritings about death in her exhibition. However, her growth has resolved the fear. As she became older, she accepted death and understood that people live with passion since there is death at the end of their lives. As we view Coco’s artwork related to death, we can also think deeply about death, and it will be a great chance for us to develop like her.
Positive Message Coco Capitan Delivers
Coco Capitan also creates artwork that cheers on the passion of dreams. In the fourth floor of Daelim Art Gallery, there is a long message together with photos of Olympic synchronized swimmers practicing hard. The photograph can be seen as Coco cheering for those who dream and work hard to achieve their goals. Through her handwritings, she emphasizes the value of infinite possibility of effort.
Coco Capitan was recognized as a genius artist when she was young. Even though she is famous to the public, through her artwork we can see that she is concerned about the same thing others are. We cannot but sympathize with her works since our lives are also the continuity of these concerns. Moreover, as we live in the same age, it was a great chance for CAH to think and agonize together with Coco through this exhibition.
Location: Daelim Art Gallery
Hours: 10:00~18:00 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday/ 10:00~20:00 Thursday, Saturday/ Closed on every Monday
Admission: Adults 8,000 won
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