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What Artists Wear


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A revelatory journey through the wardrobes of modern and contemporary artists, by fashion critic and art curator Charlie Porter, featuring original interviews, as well as over 300 images selected by the author

About the Author

Charlie Porter is a writer, fashion critic, art curator and lecturer in Fashion at the University of Westminster. He has contributed to titles such as Financial Times, Guardian, New York Times, GQ, Luncheon, i-D and Fantastic Man, and has been described as one of the most influential fashion journalists of his time. He was a juror for the Turner Prize in 2019, and lives in London.


A liberation and a joy, beautifully written and brilliantly thought. What Artists Wear is at once a revelatory account of how art is made and an electrifying investigation into the relationship between clothes and autonomy, freedom and power
*Olivia Laing*

Brilliant, loving, visually incisive
*Hilton Als*



An insightful account ... whether offering visual analysis or social observation, Porter writes with clarity and wit

A fascinating exploration of the clothing worn by the rebels, rule breakers and outliers of the artistic world, and what it means to live in it ... The book defies convention ... Porter's curiosity is infectious

Eclectic, invigorating ... the chapters devoted to female artists make for the most fascinating reading, their clothes liberating them by giving them permission to be different

Unique, intelligent and enlightening, super interesting and so well researched. It is rare indeed to come across a book that not only captures the imagination, but informs and amuses at the same time. Each turn of the page is a surprising delight. Perhaps what is most striking about this book is its authenticity ... Charlie Porter's seriousness and genuineness, coupled with his off-kilter sense of humour, not forgetting his huge talent, seep through the entire production. Not a fake nor pompous note anywhere. This is simply the real article, just like Charlie.
*President of Comme des Garçons*

A roving, intimate analysis of the clothes that inform art
*AnOther Magazine*

Wonderful ... I read it in one delicious gulp. An important page-turner.
*author of The Mirror and the Palette*

Delicious ... What Artists Wear can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of your art or fashion knowledge ... Porter shares each anecdote with the confidence and clarity of a story teller, weaving memories into the book

Timely ... intimate ... A leisurely, contemplative journey through the art world of the 20th Century, as shown through the medium of the artists' own clothes.

Brilliant and unexpected... What Artists Wear approaches fashion in a wholly different way

Personal and brimming with anecdotes ...Porter explores the intrinsic connections between artists and their choice of clothing with agility, nuance and insatiable curiosity... His diverse curatorial eye holds both geographic and historical breadth
*A Magazine Curated By*

A clarion call to examine not only the clothes of artists but also our own
*The Art Newspaper*

Unexpected, lushly illustrated ... As a connoisseur of the lived-in, Porter delights at Lee Krasner's paint-spattered slippers and the tactile richness of Alberto Giacometti's rumpled suit
*V&A Magazine*

As he cycles through the lives of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sarah Lucas, Martine Syms, and Joseph Beuys, Porter's deep dive is a tender report on the legacies we leave behind and the clothes that accompany us along the way.
*Dazed Books of the Year*

Inquisitive and insightful, Porter's skillful dissection of the historical context, social commentary, and personal symbolism behind each artist is a pleasure to get lost in
*Publishers Weekly*

Unique, wide-ranging... Style guru Charlie Porter takes us on a voyage of discovery
*Creative Boom*

Porter captures the various 'archetypes' associated with artists. He emphasises the shift from the 'codification of patriarchy to the breaking of the canon
*The Art Newspaper*

Clothes can be a prison. But Porter makes a powerful argument that they offer freedom too, to work against the structures "that control what we all wear"
*Times Literary Supplement*

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