As an artist, the designs of animal’s markings have always fascinated me. Whether fish, bird, reptile or mammal, they are ever so unselfconsciously dressed for the occasion of life. And yet their trappings are exquisite, bold, subtle…sometimes dangerous, each uniquely designed to camouflage, protect, attract and identify.
Stealing animals clothes began as a necessity and then became ritualized. We made their clothes our clothes, we wore their skins as trophies and we fashioned them into symbols to brand our accomplishments and to advertise our status.
Association with animal traits is an ancient empathy. Feathers to show freedom, tiger stripes for bravery, innocence wrapped in soft bunny fur.
Now evolved, donning the costume of bird or beast is archaic. Luckily for creatures, their depiction has become more and more the benevolent province of art. Morphing animal bodies with our own in imagery is legendary.
By warp & weft, paint, print and stamp, zoological emblems decorate our garb the way we would have, in days gone by, worn a bear claw or feathered cape.
Today the modern logo T-shirt serves as our ceremonial robe. Ironic that what began as a concealed undergarment should become the most ubiquitous outward expression of individualism. A standard to fly our distinctive colors. Our choice of attire when we just want to be ourselves and escape the daily uniform of mediocrity, T-shirts are our Party Clothes.
T-shirts have become tradition and the modern expression of identity—the universal badge, flag of the individual, pride of the pride. And this is what human creatures really want, not just to belong but to show they belong.
T-shirts record the historical fabric of culture with more veracity than any chronicle. T-shirts illustrate popular culture as it is spontaneously lived, a faded legacy worn over the hearts of the species. They’re desirable, cherished, collectible.
Simply put, T-Shirts are truth!