The motorcycle jacket has long stood as a pop culture emblem of toughness and cool—as worn by the Ramones at CBGB, supermodels in the 90s, and the bikers who actually needed them. And no one was more obsessed with the idea of cool than Andy Warhol, who amassed his own collection of leather jackets, many of which were decorated by his favorite artists.
This fall Glenn O’Brien, the late artist’s friend, has curated the “Sisley Art Project,” an exhibition of one-of-a kind Sisley leather jackets—painted and personalized by seventeen artists—as well as pieces from Warhol’s own collection. From veterans of the graffiti scene (Fred “Fab Five Freddy Brathwaite, Lee Quiñones) to emerging young artists (Nate Lowman, Rita Ackerman), the Sisley collection celebrates the notion of a walking works of art. “Leather brings all sorts of associations that a canvas doesn’t,” O’Brien says. “It’s tough and a little nasty.”
The exhibition opened during Milan Fashion Week in September and has finally landed in New York for auction at Christie’s, with profits benefiting Pittsburgh’s Warhol Museum. “I like the idea of one-of-a kind artwork that you can wear. “ O’Brien says. “It’s the antidote to mass production and everybody looking like everybody else.” Those looking to snag one of these unique pieces before the auction’s end on November 10th can participate online at charitybuzz.com