As an artist, Greg Lauren explores the idea of what it means to be a heroic figure. Such investigations began in Lauren’s 2004 exhibit entitled ‘Hero.’ Powerful black and white images done on oil and paper depicted extraordinary figures such as ‘ Batman’ and ‘Wonder Woman.’ Typically seen performing acts of strength and valor the images portrayed these superheroes in mundane everyday settings, showing their conflict between mortal and immortal, heroic and human, strength and vulnerability. “Identity, image development, aspiration and the heroic figure,” explains Lauren, “are all themes that I explore in my work. “
In the fall of 2009, Lauren continued his examination of heroic figures in his installation, ‘Alteration’ which debuted in New York and Los Angeles and which featured over 40 sculptures crafted from paper. Through a meticulous, detail orientated process, Lauren hand-sewed Japanese paper in true-to-scale uniforms, suits, shirts, boots and various accessories. Manipulating the Japanese paper, Lauren was able to produce the impression of wool, cotton and gabardine with added frayed edges, creases, wrinkles and folds, which created an authentic lived-in appearance. In addition to the paper sculptures on display, Lauren presented a small group of wearable garments, created from repurposed materials that challenged the classic proportions of traditional menswear.
Following the success of the exhibits Lauren turned his attention to creating his very first fashion collection, which debuted at Barneys New York in February 2011. Combining “forgotten materials,” as Lauren likes to describe the repurposed fabrics he uses, he was able to create a distinctly modern line that included deconstructed suits, field jackets and even tuxedos retaining the original features of the chosen material, such as grommets, snaps and button holes. “My Journey has always been about identity,” says Lauren, “I have realized that through my work as an artist, I had spent years worshipping the heroes I had inherited.”
Most recently Lauren opened a “retail installation” entitled ‘Barracks’ which was comprised of 30 one-of-a-kind garments created from repurposed military fabrics that came from vintage Army Duffle bags, Tents and Parkas. The wool found in the collection started out as vintage U.S Navy jumpers. All of the garments and accessories were hand crafted in Lauren’s Los Angeles based Art Studio. Lauren teamed up with the Operation Mend Veteran’s Charity, which specializes in reconstructive surgery for military personnel injured during combat, and donated a portion of all sales.
Lauren continued his ongoing exploration of personal identity and its relationship to clothing in his ‘Alteration for Colette’ Installation (2012) that was held at the renowned boutique in Paris during men’s fashion week. The installation serves to further define the evolution from paper sculptures based on iconic menswear garments, to wearable pieces that make up the Greg Lauren Collection.
Greg Lauren was born and raised in New York City and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Lauren is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a B.A in History of Art.
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