"Watch out you might get what you're after. Cool babies strange but not a stranger..." Gary Card and Dover Street Market are both fashion treasures of London town. Gary's inimitable aesthetic - bright and mesmerising, always with a touch of humour - has been seen on catwalk sets, photoshoots and now the Dover Street Market windows for the fourth time. DSM itself is the legendary fashion mecca whose artist commissions continue to breed not only great work but relationships and visual feasts. Gary Card and DSM are burnin' down the house!
What was the inspiration behind this installation?
Like all of my favourite projects the idea was very simple - display this season's sunglasses range with some fun heads. Adrian Joffe sent me an email enigmatically titled "Talking Heads". I was given no constraints; they really let me go as wild as I wanted with this, absolutely no constraints! I was constantly enthused with "crazy clown heads please". My inspiration for this being a kind of clown head making factory that had a terrible malfunction during the painting process. I had tremendous fun throwing paint everywhere.
What do you enjoy most about collaborations?
I like discussing ideas, getting excited and going off on crazy tangents together. When you have a good working relationship with someone it's like hanging out, and when you've got a good team that you enjoy the company of it's like hanging out all day.
This is your fourth collaboration with DSM, what inspires you most about the space?
DSM was one of my first ever commercial clients. They have been so wonderful to me over the years. They are bold and daring yet make it look effortless.
How long does something like this take to set up?
The initial idea is relatively simple to devise, maybe 40 minutes. Making it on the other hand takes ages, about 3 weeks! But that's only because I was such a maniac with this project, I personally sculpted every single head and loved every second of it. Making figurative forms is a great passion of mine so a job like this is a dream. Once I'd found my stride, I was sculpting two heads a day.
If you had to describe your artwork in three words, what would it be?
Earth shattering genius.
If you could make a talking head of any one person, who would it be and why?
Well the obvious answer is David Byrne, right? I bet his disembodied head would be a great companion... Or John Waters! Or Woody Allen? Or how about Randy Newman!
What have been the most challenging projects you've worked on?
Actually this month has been extremely tough, whilst making these guys I've also been working for a window for Hermès’ new London store as well as a floral installation for Chelsea Flower Show with Hugo Boss. All installed in the last three days. Me and my team have been pulling all nighters all week, we're pretty tired.
DSM is so linked to tachiagiari - the process of new beginnings/ starts. What to you symbolises the new?
My flat is above a primary school so I wake to the sound of children laughing and playing every morning. Children are my alarm clock, whilst this may sound charming it's actually incredibly annoying.
What is your dream DSM gift?
I'd like to keep my head installation please.
What’s next for you?
Well this is only part one of a two part project. I am just about to start work on the next lot of heads to be displayed in Dover Street New York, then later next month all 36 heads come together in Japan!