George Condo and Mickalene Thomas Turn Jessica Chastain Into Art for W’s January Issue

“Art Meets Fashion” is the theme for W magazine’s January issue, which explores the convergence of the the two creative forces. W designated actress Jessica Chastain as the muse to four artists — Mickalene Thomas, George Condo, Rineke Dijkstra, and Chantal Joffe — who each used Chastain as an element in their work for a different cover of the magazine. “We wanted to feature a range of artists to emphasize how one subject can be seen and approached in such disparate ways,” W magazine arts and culture director Diane Solway told ARTINFO via email. “And these are four of the most exciting artists working today.”

Thomas photographed Chastain in the vein of Michelle Pfeiffer in “Scarface,” placing her in one of the 1970s interior installations in her current Brooklyn Museum retrospective. Dijkstra made Chastain the subject of one of her portraits, dressing her in rather muted ensembles and shooting her against a solid grey background so that her red hair would pop out. Joffe, who was in her London studio, painted Chastain from photographs Max Vadukul took in a New York hotel room (Joffe directed the shoot over Skype).

Condo designed two cotton dresses for Chastain, each of which he then taped over a different canvas that he painted on, removing the dresses so that there was a blank spot where they stood so that the dresses would look like parts of the painting. Chastain modeled each dress in front of each painting, becoming one of his goofy characters. “The idea was that when she wore the dress and stood in front of the canvas, she would look as if she were breaking free of the painting and create a kind of 3-D effect,” said Solway.

The issue featured several other art and fashion collaborations. Solway chatted with Regen Projects gallerist Shaun Caley Regan about her life in Los Angeles, and two photographers active in the art and fashion worlds — Roe Ethridge and Ryan McGinley — shot fashion editorials. “Artists, designers, and musicians have long been influenced by each other,” said Solway. “They are all powerful forces in contemporary culture and the boundaries between them have become pretty elastic. That’s why we cover cultural stories throughout the year — they are so interconnected.”

-Ann Binlot

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Images: Courtesy W Magazine