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Do something radical!

“Do something radical!” - the inspiration and the process.

by Emeli Mårtensson

In the 1950’s, the cut-outs of Matisse were considered very radical. Just like the punk flyers, and of course the whole punk movement, were extreme with their disturbing expression in the end of the 70’s. 

I’m standing in front of Matisse’s “Blue Nude” (“Nu bleu IV”) at the Matisse Museum in Menton.
I’m zooming in. The shapes that look all filled up from a distance appear to be made out of overlapping small pieces of paper. Altogether they create a texture that you don’t really notice in print. Papers painted with gouache color, glued on thick watercolor paper, attached to the canvas. It‘s among the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen, in it’s simplicity. 

I’m more inspired by graphic work, lettering, art and color than clothing itself. The clothes in this 5preview collection become like empty canvases to fill with expression. The more simple the shape is, the better it is. 

I got the advice some months ago (regarding design):  “Do something radical!”. Sometimes it’s hard. You get tangled up in the circumstances of work and life and it’s difficult to get the whole picture. 

One evening I was in my studio. On a table there was a pile of glossy fashion magazines. I started to look in them and was fascinated by all the brand logotypes in the advertisements. Famous brands, extremely loaded with value. They’re so loaded that people are ready to sell their soul to be a little piece of this imaginary bigger something. Influencers spread pictures from fascinating events, among desirable pieces of creation. Most of it looks like it’s just found in a thrift shop and it’s all about the styling of it. The brands copy themselves, and I think, a wonderful, extremely inspiring mess. 

I took a pair of scissors and started to cut out logotypes and words. Cut them apart, spread all the letters on the work desk and then put them together to something new. Little messages. Like a ransom note. New logotypes for brands that do not exist. Like the punk flyers I’ve always loved and collected.  With limited, or no, resources create something new. It was liberating, sometimes really silly but fun. It felt like coming back to the roots of 5PREVIEW. All in, edgy, bold and eye-catching.

The last years of his life, Henri Matisse was sick and lying in bed. He cut shapes of gouache painted paper and with help of his assistants he glued it onto the walls that surrounded him. All the remains of the cut-outs, the negative parts we usually throw away, are all archived there at the museum in Menton. Behind glass, in frames.