The Observer has been to our fair share of gallery parties, but last night Harper’s Bazaar put on a fête fit for a king, or at the very least a hyper talented Chinese artist by the name Liu Bolin.
You’ve probably seen his work, although would be forgiven for not recognizing his face–Mr. Bolin is the guy who meticulously paints himself into real world living backgrounds, all but disappearing behind his paint crusted army fatigues.
Something of a chameleon, he’s a massively humble man, which may in some part be responsible for his Cool Hand Luke attitude about painting Jean Paul Gaultier (who managed to sneak out of the gallery as we were walking in) from head to toe.
The Observer: “Mr. Bolin, are you excited about your newfound audience that Harper’s is going to expose you to?”
Mr. Bolin (through an incredibly attractive translator, we must add) : “Of course it’s terrific to have your work viewed by more people, I’m very grateful to Harper’s for that, however it must be said that the pleasure I take from my work is internal.”
The Observer: “That’s understandable, however a fan would hope that a newfound notoriety might lead to an increased body of work, no?”
Mr. Bolin: “For some artists, maybe that is the case, I know that I’m focused on quality, not quantity. That’s not to say that I don’t have some exciting projects in the works…”
Gallerist Eli Klein, a charming bulldog of a man, approached as our conversation with Mr. Bolin wrapped up, taking a brief moment to wax poetic on his artist’s body of work: “He’s fantastic, we’ve worked together since ’06 – I’m thrilled that Harper’s has been able to help bring more of his work to the world.” A sentiment apparently shared by Carolina Herrera as she ogled a colorful Angela Missoni blending into her signature prints.
While we poked about, Harper’s Bazaar’s Laura Brown worked the room–a feat made no less impressive by her expertise on the snacks being peddled to party-goers. “Oh my god, you have to try the Arctic Char …”
We absolutely did.
“But Laura, what do you make of Mr. Bolin’s work?”
She stepped back, surveyed the room. “It’s fantastic. Just look at it. What could be cooler than painting Jean Paul from head to toe?”
You can see more of Liu’s work commissioned by Harper’s online.
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