I have wanted to feature Cecily as our Monday Muse for some time now and in light of her exhibition opening next weekend in Paris, I choose today.
As I have said before, our muses have ranged from women of great celebrity to personal inspirations of mine. Though not exclusively, Cecily is certainly the latter – and someone I am honored to say I have come to know on a personal level.
Cecily Brown is a painter, born in London, and now living and working in New York. As an artist, she is inspired by the history of painting. From the Rubenesque to the expressionism of de Kooning her work transcends traditional notions of genre and narrative, freeing subject matter from its original context and giving it a new aesthetic reality. It is this freedom and liberation I was initially so drawn to, and that inspired many of the prints of my Fall 2014 collection.
With public collections including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Tate Gallery, London, Cecily is undeniably one of the most interesting artists of our generation. There is a uniqueness to her that perpetuates both her work and her personal aura. From her artistic approach to her professional and personal etiquette she is someone who refuses to let outside perception obstruct her creative process. She once told me she frequently chooses not to always read the reviews of her critics. She says for The Guardian,
‘you’d never make a mark if you started worrying too much about how it will be received in the world, or if anyone is going to look at it.’
Her words resonate with me enormously. As we work towards the constant promise of the public sphere, whether it be an exhibition or a runway show, it requires a great deal of resolve to focus only on your work, and refuse to let the opinions and preferences – either positive or negative – of others weigh in. This is something I know well.
Our Monday Muses are women of exceptional talent, who also maintain a resolute strength and unwavering confidence in themselves. This Cecily has in abundance, but most importantly she is someone who constantly pushes boundaries, she is curious and not afraid of a challenge. My muse is an explorer, she is cultured and global. I adore her paintings, and I admire her spirit. Cecily inspires me creatively and personally, and is this Monday’s muse.
Gagosian Paris will present new paintings by Cecily Brown, with her first solo exhibition in Paris opening on October 19th
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