Art Seen

This Woman Shows Her Admiration For Art By Dressing Up Exactly Like It

"I liked the idea of bringing a painting off the wall. By wearing it, you make it more accessible and raise questions about it."

Some people show their appreciation for the arts by studying it, visiting museums, or donating to art programs. Or, in Ariel Adkins' case, designing outfits that match her favorite artworks. 

In her project Artfully Awear, Adkins highlights masterpieces she admires by making clothing inspired by the art. She's hand-painted red dots on a white jumpsuit to blend in with Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli's Field and shown up to the Guggenheim Museum in a dress that perfectly matches Vasily Kandinsky's Several Circles painting hanging on the wall. 

Both of Adkins parents were artists and she studied painting in college, so she's been inspired by art throughout her life. The inspiration for Artfully Awear came one day when Adkins found a skirt at the thrift store that reminded her of Monet's Haystacks.

"When I saw that garment, I started thinking about the possibility of wearing art and began to forage local secondhand stores to find clothing in colors and patterns that resembled artworks that I loved," Adkins told A Plus. "I liked the idea of bringing a painting off the wall. By wearing it, you automatically make it more accessible and raise questions about it." 


Before she started creating her own outfits, Adkins would find clothes with colors or patterns that were inspired by the palettes and designs artworks she admired. She later decided to experiment with creating her own clothes which gave her more opportunities to express herself and better match the artists' works. 

"Creating the clothing myself opened up a whole new world of possibilities and challenges. Now I love figuring out how to translate works of art into something wearable, and the process of research and discovery that comes along with it," she said. 

Adkins is excited that this project allows her to explore many different mediums, genres, styles, and techniques. It's taught her to embrace mistakes and that every project is an opportunity to learn something new about both art and herself. 

"I'm really excited about the possibility to use Artfully Awear to help other people understand and appreciate art, and that visiting a museum or gallery does not have to be a passive experience," Adkins said. 

She hopes to inspire more people to ask "How did they do that?" about artworks they admire and maybe even try to emulate an artist's technique themselves. 

"When you try to do it yourself, you understand the unique challenges of creating. When you wear the finished piece, you create a dialogue with the work of art and you as the viewer. The whole process leads to a much deeper understanding of the work and the creative process as a whole, both for you and for those around you," she said. "I hope that others will try to create their own Artfully Awear pieces, or even just find the inspiration to make something new." 

You can check out some of her masterpieces below. 

1. Vincent Van Gogh's "Sunflowers"

2. Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field"

3. Henri Matisse's "The Sheaf"

4. Vasily Kandinsky's "Composition VIII"

5. Gerhard Richter's "256 Farben"

6. Carmen Herrera's "Green and Orange"

7. Frank Lloyd Wright's "Playhouse Stained Glass"


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