es featuring the artist’s work. However, it is probably Supreme that continues to be the winning brand in choosing the right artists to feature. Ranging from soul music legends, a photographer known to capture the underground scene, a hip-hop group that rebelled against society, and to a British filmmaking genius, Supreme never fails to astound the world when it comes their boundless search and selection of artists of all ages and background. In 2018 alone, Supreme worked with more than 10 different artists, and had the world raving with all its collections successfully selling out in seconds. It is needless to say that Supreme’s artist collaborations have fashion gurus all over the world longing for its release. There is one problem to this phenomenon though: every time an artist collaboration is released, most people do not know much about the featured artist, with the rarity of the items or visuals being more important to them. This ruins Supreme’s effort in selecting the unique cream of the crop. It is simply a waste to wear something without knowing the brand’s intention, and it is not too late to gain this understanding. Here we will look at artists that Supreme featured in the last year, and focus on their career background and styles. This way we think that you will grow a better attachment to that beloved piece you own.
There are many photographers that choose drug addicts, LGBTQ, and the minorities as their subject for their work. However, most of them are only use minorities as recognizable symbols, or just used as a short-term way to get their own name out. Such photographers’ work is only superficial and full of lies, and do not represent anything. If one really wants to succeed in documenting the minorities in photos, they either must have been from that community, or need to belong to that community to fully understand them. Nan Goldin’s photos teach us that lesson. Goldin’s work does not show any boundaries between the subject and herself, and captures explicit “realness” by accepting and sharing every living moment with them. Sometimes they explicit to the level that we want to shift our eyes away from it.
Anyone who currently is one, or is an aspired artist or photographer should know who Nan Goldin is. If you do not know who she is, we would be pleased if you could take the opportunity to learn more about her today. Goldin was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Boston, but when she was 11, her older sister Barbara lied on the railroad tracks and committed suicide, which destructed her family. At age 14, Goldin left her home and started living with drag queens. She picked up photography the following year to capture moments that would never come twice, and also to overcome traumatic events and to never leave behind memories of her sister. Snapshot-like portraits, which later becomes Goldin’s signature style, made many of her subjects and housemates happy, and motivated her to dive deeper in to the art of photography (Goldin mentioned that in her early career, she was influenced by photographers like Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and also named Diane Arbus and August Sander as influences for taking portraits).
From there, Goldin observed closely and captured with her camera the lives of herself, her partners, and friends who were undergoing the threat of AIDS in the 1980's in America and Europe. About 800 of these photos eventually went public in 1985's Whitney Biennal as a slideshow, which is now known as her most famous work, "The Ballad of Sexual Dependency". The slideshow was published during the following year. Loaded with subjects that included herself and other minorities, with extremely direct expression of drug use, violence, sexuality, and diverse subcultures at the time, the book was hugely sensational but also left some feel repulsive. Nevertheless, Goldin gained worldwide fame.
It is quite understandable that Supreme, a brand that originates from street culture and still proactively reaches out to people of underground culture today, could relate to Goldin and how she openly portrayed the underground culture and minorities. Supreme handpicked three impactful photos that were taken between the 80's and 90's: "Jimmy and Paulette in a Taxi" which is regarded as one of her most important work, a portrait of a friend titled "Kim in Rhinestones", and a self portrait titled "Nan as a dominatrix" to be used for printing the Nan Goldin collaboration. Two years ago, Goldin started Instagram, and remarked "I'm proud!!" in regards to the Supreme project.
The timing that Supreme began to focus on Goldin's work overlaps with the same time around when the media accelerated to pick up on LGBTQ, #metoo movement, and issues that women and minorities are facing. This collaboration could be Supreme's way of delivering a political message to the public. Either way, it is a fortunate event to be able to wear Goldin's work through Supreme, and for also for being able to watch as Goldin continues to release more new work today.
Text_ LUDO OSHIKAWA