Miami to New York to Miami – Wearable Art hits Miami and you too can be painted
While Miami prepares to welcome an annual surge of 70,000+ collectors, celebrities and art lovers for Art Basel, we are excited to this year be wearing the art and talking to visual artist Zuzanna Kozlowska who creates painted dresses, based on people’s unique energy.
Starting out as a traditional artist, and a former Miami Beach resident, Zuzanna’s collection of drawings and paintings have been exhibited internationally. Her silk dresses have become a wearable-art collection that are designed by her mother, Olga Kozlowska; a fashion design icon who’s signature pieces include the 70’s khaki cargo-style jumpsuit. This year, Zuzanna will be live painting for Art Basel Miami, not only on her silk garments (which are available for purchase) but also on personal garments of those who encounter the artist during Art Basel.
We talked to Zuzanna about art, life between New York and Miami, and what to wear when preparing to become a living work of art.
What inspires your art?
My art has always been about people. In 2013, when I stopped working figuratively and began responding to the sensations that I felt from individuals, I began to see my work as a greater truth. We are all so concerned about the way things look, especially between people and especially in art, that I believed it was more important to focus on what was felt. My work then became about dealing with how to visualize that, what is felt.
So how do you go about showing what is felt?
Ah, my secret! Really though, I am a very sensitive person at heart, but more so, I discovered that when I let go, my hands respond to energy vibrations that can be mapped out via pen, pencil or other medium. People often ask if I visualize the pieces before I create them, which I don’t and can’t because the image is created in a reaction to a specific person / time period / moment and therefore doesn’t exist to be seen before it’s created.
How did you start painting on silk?
Well, I had just moved to New York and was planning to attend an evening event at the Guggenheim, alone, to connect with the art lovers about my work. I was nervous, and I painted a red gown that my mother had sent me, really as a conversation starter and to be able to readily show my work. My personal style was so distinct at that point that it was easy to apply it to any surface. In the process of painting the dress I fell in love with how smooth the fabric was to paint on and how beautiful the results were!
How do you go about designing your dresses and wearables?
I approach garment design more like a sculptor which is why I often create using mutable fibers such as soft wire within the fabric and paint around the figure, rather than print on the fabric and cut it. The dresses are a collaboration with my world-famous uber-talented mother Olga Kozlowska, using patterns she’s perfected over her career. While I continue to collaborate with other designers, I find that my mothers gowns fit magically and her design sensibility aligns with my style seamlessly; probably because we are related!
Tell us about your time living in Miami.
I left Miami beach in 2012, when Wynwood was still quite dangerous and South Beach was dominated by elite nightlife. I both, loved and hated feeling like I was constantly on vacation in Miami and I moved to New York City for the art. Since then I come back at least once a year and find it healing, inspirational, and am proud of the city for supporting the arts in such a major way. Things are really happening here!
Do you still create paintings?
Always. Paintings have a resilience and a classic appeal that I will always adore. In New York, space is a hot commodity so right now I sketch a lot more and experiment with new media but l’m manifesting a larger space in either Miami or California where I can explore on large canvases again!
How do you go about painting on a person?
It’s definitely challenging to paint on people live because they are unpredictable! They move and breathe and each are unique in their shape, which is actually what I love! I use fabric markers and fabric paint that’s dry cleanable and match my brush movement and strokes to the persons’s vibrational energy while mapping a visual journey that’s personal and flattering to their body. Simple really!
Where can people find you during Art Basel?
This year I am pleased to be showing wearable art at Spectrum Miami Booth #319 as well as hosting an art brunch at SLS hotel on Saturday December 9th, where I’ll be paining live. Aside from these wonderful events, I’ll be flowing around Miami, painting across the entire platform that is Art Basel. I will be sharing my locations with Miami Shoot Magazine and you can follow me on instagram @zuzafy for locations and live feed.
What should people who are looking to be painted by you wear?
Light colored silk is optimal as a canvas, but really something they feel comfortable in, a fabric that is smooth, in a plain, solid color. Lighter shades show color more vibrantly. Polyester and stiffer fabric (rather then stretch) also work well. And have good energy! It’s amazing how we can feel positive vibes and that is something that I am both drawn to, and want to draw to share with the rest of the world!
Thursday, December 7 1:00PM – 9:00PM
Friday, December 8 1:00PM – 10:00PM
Saturday, December 9 1:00PM – 9:00PM
Sunday, December 10 12:00PM – 5:00PM
Saturday, December 9 12PM – 3PM
Artist – Art Director
Green / Graffiti Wall: 2550 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127