Designer Jean Paul Gaultier French

Not on view

President Eisenhower's famous idiom "the military-industrial complex" is the starting point of this Gaultier outfit. Olive-green and cargo pants suggest the military or paramilitary. But the military rigor is impugned by indefatigable graffiti. Graffiti--that paradigm for art historian Kirk Varnedoe of high art informed by low art--defaces the military appearance. A medium of defilement and of language--often slightly vulgar in this instance--sheathes the facade of the proper soldier. Given Gaultier's many ingenious permutations of sailors, his cognate transfiguration of the army man is hardly surprising.

Ensemble, Jean Paul Gaultier (French, born 1952), cotton, ink, French

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