Walk into Barclays Monaco on avenue de la Costa and you’ll be greeted by Prince Albert. Not personally, of course, but a formidable portrait of the Sovereign Prince by Benjamin Shine, made from over 1,000 recycled plastic bottles that were collected by the International School of Monaco, hangs proudly in the lobby.
A tulle-netting portrait of Princess Charlene by the same artist, equally as stunning, captures your attention over the stairs.
Tulle is Mr Shine’s signature work for which the graduate of Fashion Design at Central St Martins in London has not only gained widespread attention over the past decade, but his tulle creations have frequently been shown alongside luxury fashion houses. His recent collaboration with John Galliano for the Maison Margiela’s Artisanal Collection, culminated in the famous “Face Coat”, which received “a tremendous reaction globally”. He also collaborated with Riccardo Tisci on a series of couture/tulle art pieces for Givenchy.
Mr Shine, whose family has strong ties to Monaco, is in New York as part of his 3-month residency, in which he is working on several new public projects.
His current exhibition, Seeing Through The Material in the windows of Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue – a five piece installation consisting of the British artist and designer’s signature ethereal tulle flows – debuted on July 7.
Mr Shine told Monaco Life, “The iconic Bergdorf Goodman windows go beyond visual display – they are an ever-changing and popular public art gallery which people go out of their way to visit.”Seeing Through The Material consists of individual installations, each created by manipulating a single length of tulle – a lightweight, fine netting fabric. Through this unconventional medium and technique, Mr Shine explores ideas of invisibility, solidity, flux and impermanence to question and consider the relationship between the superficial and the spiritual.
The artist, who generated over 100 million views last year when his tulle work was showcased on Huffington Post, described, “I am thrilled, after several years of discussing this project, to finally realise this concept and delighted by the incredible response it has received.”
Seeing Through The Material will be on display at Bergdorf Goodman in New York until August 3.