BOYHOOD / CHICAGOFebruary 06, 2017
Written by Alex Assil
This work presents the merging of artist Sophia Bedolla’s Mexican-American upbringing in relation to designer Colleen Allen’s interest in boyhood and paleontology. Both artists met, where they were raised, in Chicago. Photographer Lola Dement Myers and I made earnest efforts to draw comparison to Bedolla and Allen’s work; This is why you see 90s super-aesthetic Heelies with soft sculpture and pleated workwear.
“Eight year old boy with an eight hour shift, where does one’s mind drift to during the work day?—My father owned a produce market in West Humbolt Park, Chicago. There my brother swept the parking lot as his first occupation, beginning at the age of eight,” writes Bedolla. The work is told by this allegory of drifting off and where that daydreaming will take us to or, in the case “el mercado,” where it might relieve us from. Bedolla’s weavings and sculptures are included in the work to draw on feelings of childhood longing. The papaya, specifically, was something her mother fed to her as a child.
Allen’s collection is about paleontology. The garments were prompted by the idea that kids, especially boys learn so much about dinosaurs when they're young. However, when they grow up, that becomes an element of history that is treated almost as fairy tale—mostly relevant to children. The garments are an exploration of who this man is as he continues to explore paleontology in his adult life and the sense of adventure that comes with that.
Both works call on excavating boyhood, and more or less childhood. Bedolla and Allen are working to bring remote fantasies into current climates. However, in Bedolla’s case the climate is el mercado, and for Allen it is child’s-play.
Clothing Credits: Issey Miyake, Docks Dora, Colleen Allen, Muji, Falke, Lake of the Isles, Comme des Garcons, Converse, Junya Watanabe, Heelies, Ann Demeulemeester, Donald J Pliner, Looney ToonsProps: Sophia Bedolla weaving & papaya sculptures, tassle, felted wool & wax papayas, and fibers
Photography: Lola Dement Myers
Styling: Alex Assil
Art Direction: Sophia Bedolla
Production: Alex Assil & Sophia Bedolla
Models: Nikki Milan Houston & Kel Walls