Occupation Adjunct curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art
You do a lot of work with hip, young artists. Do you worry about what you wear when you meet with them?
I’ve been in the art world for a while, and it didn’t really matter what I wore until I began to work with street artists. So before that my wife styled me. She’s the one who turned me on to Helmut Lang and Jil Sander. But the art fairs that I attended did not prepare me for the street art world.
My first meeting to talk about street art was with the artist Rick Klotz, and I was wondering what to wear. My wife thought I was being silly, but I did have a uniform at that point. It was a pair of Helmut Lang cotton slacks, dress shirt, and Tod loafers. Rick was in standard LA hipster gear. You know, tight jeans, and this is before tight jeans were even cool. I thought, Oh, wow. I was not prepared for this. The second time, I basically wore the same thing for a party for a street art show. I wore the Helmut Lang slacks, and my wife had bought me this short-sleeved shirt from Pink. I showed up and everybody was wearing hoodies and sneakers. I just felt so uncool and so old.
For a while I went back to wearing what I wore in high school, which is Levi’s, Converse sneakers, and sweat shirts with hoods. Now I just mix it all up. — Christopher MutherInterview has been condensed and edited. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.