Johny Dar approaches his artistic practice from an innovative angle, painting directly onto his models’ bodies. Dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what is perceived as art, he works across fashion, bodypainting, books, art installations, multimedia and events. His project Dare blends clothing and paint, placing his models in a catwalk show that appeared at Berlin Fashion Week earlier this year. We speak to Dar about his interest in collaborative projects and his audience.
A: Please can you outline why you wanted to take your art onto the catwalk?
JD: I think the catwalk was birthed out of art. Therefore, I think it is really important to bring the art back to the runway and to give people the power to be artists with their bodies and to express art through their bodies.
A: Who did you collaborate with for this project? There are so many elements to it: music, dance, lighting, clothing, staging etc.
JD: Basically I collaborated with everyone that was necessary to create this fusion of art, music, performance and fashion. So I worked with everyone from dancers and music producers to professionals and young students. I like to work with students because they are still exploring and just preparing to take on the fashion world. Essentially, I worked with whoever had the passion and the talent to complete the team and bring the vision to fulfillment.
A: Do you see the lines between art and fashion becoming increasingly blurred?
JD: I believe you can have art without fashion but you can’t have fashion without art. So, for me, bringing art to fashion is all about bringing the art of the body into fashion and creating movement, a feeling and a new artistic expression of the human form. I believe fashion is lacking a new way of expressing itself and it really needs art to reinvent itself.
A: How do you want audiences to respond to your work?
JD: I want audiences to be inspired. I want my viewers to be able to explore a new experience and to grow with it. I don’t engage in any project or any design unless I am inspired to do it and I see an opportunity for growth, and I do my best to translate that inspiration onto the piece. Therefore, I expect people to find the piece inspiring as well, and original in its expression.
A: What do you have planned next?
JD: Some really exciting things are coming soon that I can’t disclose yet. But, we are making an art film about the making of the Dare project that we are in the process of completing, to be released some time in October. It was a 24 hour production set that was filmed at every stage, and I had to paint 11 models and three performers so it was quite a venture. I’m very excited about the film. It’s quite entertaining and it’s a huge step for me because for most of my career I definitely stayed away from being in front of the camera. So we are working on it at the moment and everyone seems to be quite excited.
Find out more at www.johnydar.com.
1. Dare by Johny Dar.
Follow us on Twitter @AestheticaMag for the latest news in contemporary art and culture.