Fashion illustrator takes her art homme
Spanish artist Paula Sanz Caballero is best known for her embroidered illustrations of the jet-set pack, an imaginary cast of characters — all skinny, stylish and slightly snooty — that she creates with little more than fabric, needle and thread. You may have seen her work on the covers of Neiman Marcus catalogues, on greeting cards for Roger la Borde, in British Elle, Spanish Vogue or in the pages of W. This month, Sanz Caballero gives us a glimpse into another (more disturbingly titillating) side of her oeuvre with an exhibit at Barcelona’s Arts Santa Monica museum, “The Soft Book of Men.”
Sanz Caballero’s done away with those cafe society figures. Instead, the show’s protagonist is a rather dumpy, older fellow sporting a bowler hat and a pot belly. His most defining feature? A giant boner shaped like a pistol. The exhibit features plenty of her signature embroidered “drawings” as well as oil paintings, collages and sculptures. Our favorites include a tiny plastic sculpture of the poor guy wedged under a stiletto heel and the battalion of men standing guard (below) like Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army. “This is why all men are the same, all gray,” says the artist, “all forcing the man ahead with the penis/gun to do what others do, without questioning why or where they go.”
Sanz Caballero’s clay figurines have proved so popular that eight out of the 200 men have already been stolen. On the plus side: “I know now that everybody likes to have a little man at home,” she notes, adding that she also hopes to one day make jewelry, shirts and patterned china based on the excited little dude.
An example of Sanz Caballero’s previous work.
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