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Integrating the Victorian with the virtual, Gary James McQueen‘s inaugural U.S. solo exhibition at West Chelsea Contemporary is a profound homage not only to his legendary uncle, Alexander “Lee” McQueen, but also to a heritage of artistic innovation. Gary James McQueen’s art transcends the traditional, weaving narratives of life, death, and rebirth through his multidimensional lens.

The exhibition, running from March 2-24, 2024, invites onlookers into a digital tapestry where the realms of life, death, and rebirth are explored across various mediums. It features an array of digitally sculpted skulls, delicate floral compositions, and evocative humanoid figures, offering a window into McQueen’s expansive creative narrative. These pieces, far from mere visual artifacts, craft an immersive narrative landscape that is as haunting as it is enchanting.

According to McQueen, “My work is simultaneously immersed in darkness and surrounded by light. It is raw, visceral, but also delicate and somehow ethereal. I like the idea that my artworks challenge the viewer to navigate through the unexplored territories of our existence, juxtaposing the beauty and the brutal, the macabre and the romantic, life and death.”

McQueen’s work stands as a dialogue between eras, marrying the artisanal integrity of traditional craft with the transformative potential of contemporary digital techniques. The collection serves as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between humanity and the natural world, rendered through the meticulous lens of McQueen’s craft.

Highlights include “The Flayed Angel,” a garment resonating with the anatomical precision of Jacques-Fabien Gautier’s illustrations, a nod to the McQueen dynasty’s storied past. Similarly, the “Guiding Light Scarab” brooch, created in collaboration with the distinguished Barnard & Westwood, is a tactile celebration of McQueen’s pioneering digital fashion show, illustrating the versatility and finesse of digital art in tangible form.

The limited edition “FABERGÉ” lenticular piece, with its intricate interplay of jewels and motifs, embodies the opulent spirit of its namesake, offering a modern reinterpretation of the Fabergé legacy. Furthermore, the “LIFE, DEATH, & REBIRTH” series weaves an intricate narrative of transformation, originally conceptualized as fashion designs and now reborn as exquisite artworks.

This curated assemblage is not only a tribute to the McQueen lineage but also an introspective look at Gary James McQueen’s artistic evolution, deeply rooted in the rich soil of cinematic influence and familial bonds. His journey through the darkly romantic worlds of horror cinema with his uncle has profoundly shaped his aesthetic vision.

“Metamorphosis of Tradition” is more than an exhibition—it is an immersive exploration of Gary James McQueen’s vision, where the pursuit of beauty transcends the temporal, etching a legacy that reverberates through the fabric of art, fashion, and technology. The show at West Chelsea Contemporary promises a transcendent experience, inviting visitors to partake in the unfolding of what McQueen envisions as “the extraordinary future of creative expression.”


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