Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Madam Chino: Paper Moon

Dynamic local designer, Madam Chino (Aka Vanessa Devaki Andrew) spends some time with us to discuss handmade happenings, gnomes and the details of her latest show!

You are a Renaissance woman: designer, artist, teacher, maker and shaker. For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, give us a window into a day in the life of Madam Chino:

Madam Chino is a persona in the loose sense, of an active state-of-mind that urgently seeks resolve.  In a hopeless pile of loose ends urged on by instant gratification, this state momentarily extends beyond the time-consuming standard form-follows-function; embracing formalism experimentally, and resulting in transformations and newness that is unencumbered by details.   Execution is of course, a lot of shop-keep, physical science and rule following; but where streamlining and modularizing are ever boring, they are also relaxing and satisfying.   

Third Coast Style has been an exciting development to follow. Can you tell us a little about that experience?

Third Coast Style is a new source for local styling, fashion and art in the heart of Downtown.  It is very cool to see what the owner is growing and inspiring, including pride and morale in our Midwest culture and lives.

TCS has the wearable works of over 36 of the most active local designers, local spirit swag, participation in Gallery Nights with rotating gallery exhibits, holds monthly classes and workshops, bi-monthly trunk-shows, and even has a daily walk-in hair salon.

Upstyle Saturdays are every second Saturday where new customers can bring in their own pieces and come get free styling advice from house designers.  It’s a self-esteem boost for everyone involved and Milwaukee can take a compliment!     


Let's talk about your upcoming exhibition, Paper Moon. Whet our appetites! What can we anticipate?

Paper Moon is a double entendre that reflects on the idea of mere flatness as a medium for conveying individual realities, and also a joke about how these images moved from paper as inked hand-drawings to the computer to be composed, and back again without notice.  The style is warm and retains the feeling of drawing and printmaking, but the compositions were originally just raw data, grounds without figures and vice versa.  The images were not new, but greater fluency in the graphic process, its endless inconsequential risk-taking capabilities breathed new life into my figures and grounds, awakening a motivation to explore with new eyes. 

 How do your drawings and wearable designs intersect? One would imagine they would inform one another. Is that true? What is that process like?

Painting and drawing are a good primer for creative problem solving that translates to any medium. Drawing in particular embraces the non-committal attitude that is necessary to be open to new solutions and lends itself to instant-gratification when used to expel ideas in raw form.  My work in sculptural textiles has grown out of an initial interest in adding value and accessibility to my 2-dimensional screen-printed work through the utilitarianism of clothing.  

Primarily my approach to building dresses was much like drawing and collage.  Currently my illustrations and graphic works are done and marketed separately from clothing but expand out of ideas and processes that guide and support one another.  Both the clothing design and illustration work is informed by personal ideas about humans and our vessels, and I am very much an environmentalist who through forms and images can attempt to dissolve and resolve the semantics of space. 


Tough question time: You're climbing a mountain and an avalanche traps you in a particularly cozy cave with a toaster oven and a comfy davenport. You have three art materials in your ruck sack to live out your days as a mountain gnome. What would they be?

I’ve always wanted to make shoes, but if I only had three art supplies, I’d say it would be a guitar, a folder full of typing paper, and a technical pencil.  I’d draw cartoons and sing about getting rescued. 

 The Look Nook is always buzzing! Where can we expect to see you over the next few months?

Look Nook has been only by appointment since summer because we are working on the website for madamchino.com very diligently and hope to get it off to a rolling start at the New Year.  
 After Hover Craft Sunday December 8th at Turner Hall, Look Nook will be open for two consecutive Saturdays: December 14th and 21st for POP UP GIFT SHOP, and in store event for last minute gifts that includes free gift wrap!  

Follow Madam Chino all over the web at @madamchino for the news!

Paper Moon will be on display at Third Coast Style from December 1st through January 31st.

See you there, Kittens!

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