FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Highlight Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Belgian designer and artist Christophe Coppens. Barbra, a new body of work that explores the artist’s lifelong fascination with pop icon Barbra Streisand, will be on view from September 9th through October 30th, 2011.
In Barbra, Coppens investigates an enchantment with the singer and actress starting at age 11, when he received the single, “Woman in Love,” from his favorite aunt. Since then, “Babs” has always been present in his life, but without any clearly definable reason why. Now, at age 41, Coppens has decided to analyze this elusive affinity through photography, video, and installation. He focuses not only on his own vague devotion, but also looks to broader public perception and Streisand’s fluctuating popularity among decades of cultural mood swings.
In the show’s titular piece, a photographic self-portrait, Coppens inhabits Streisand’s stage persona, but does not aspire to a perfect simulation. Instead, a starry-eyed Coppens balances the almond-shaped eyes against a bandaged nose. Though Streisand never went under the knife herself, Coppens’ disruption of her most controversial feature places it at the intersection of the exhibition’s most conspicuous themes: obsession, popular culture, and stardom.
Christophe Coppens was born in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium in 1969. Since his very early start in the 90s, his collections have covered a wide variety of accessories for men and women, becoming extremely popular in the streets of Japan, where Coppens opened his first flagship store in 2006. That same year, Coppens presented his first haute couture collection at the Paris Fashion Week, followed by two other couture collections: all three were recognized for their fine balance between art and fashion. He has recently collaborated with the performers Roisin Murphy, Rihanna and Beth Ditto, and upcoming designers Manish Arora, JuunJ and Romain Kremer. He has also been much lauded for his art trilogy exhibition “The Dollhouse,” “No References” at the Boijmans Rotterdam, and “The Collector,” a combined video and collection. In 2011, he was awarded the title of Royal Warrant Holder from the sovereignty of Belgium.
Coppens’ creations are present in prestigious boutiques all over the world, while fashion tastemakers are casting him as the next breakthrough designer of this decade. At the same time, he continues to develop his art work and is preparing new installations and exhibitions.