Marianne MarpLondon is a visual artist who lives in-between two cultures, which she sees as a state of inter-being in itself – so it comes naturally to her to manoeuvre with ease in and out of these spaces. Her collection ‘Icons of Modern Civilization’ is represented exclusively by Lahd Gallery and focuses on the female figure, and more specifically on the clothing that drapes it. MarpLondon asserts that female dress has always been an object of desire on its own, making the wearer play an insignificant role in comparison to it. Obviously, this is an extremely superficial representation of women, who should not have their persona reduced to a piece of cloth; faceless and nameless. Such detachment inspires women to fight for the right to their own unique identity, which brings Marianne to the question: to blend in or to stand out?
According to MarpLondon, “it seems to me that the female body can covered up, run away, stripped naked, pushed up, shown entirely or hid in drapes … as much or as little one likes. Regardless of what she chooses, the world seldom allows her to forget that she is, first and foremost, an alluring sex object, that sells cars, a trophy, a political discourse etc. If she is anything else, then she is considered to be a superwoman. Not just a human being.” Of course, women’s fight for equality has always used the female body and various fashions as a tool to fight, to be noticed and to be heard. MarpLondon explores this concept to the extreme in this collection.
Her current collections span the known and the unimaginable, cutting through the boundaries of traditional and contemporary visuals. MarpLondon aims to merge pop culture with social commentary and personal experiences with collective narratives, which ends somewhere between reality and fantasy. Marianne is able to draw on many cultural influences, as she has experienced them from living in London, one of the world’s biggest melting pots.