Helmut Lang Drop Taps Go-Go Boy Culture

Helmut Lang Drop Taps Go-Go Boy Culture

Russian emigre Slava Mogutin and Sean Ford collab for Lang's latest "Logo Hack."

Russian emigre Slava Mogutin and Sean Ford collab for Lang's latest "Logo Hack."

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

The art of the readymade—or the filtering of non-art through an elevated context—pervades the latest Helmut Lang drop, an extension of the brand’s “Logo Hack” series featuring Russian-American artist Slava Mogutin. The installment is comprised of two subcollections, “Helmut Go-Go” and “Stock Boyz”— extensions in themselves of Mogutin’s unabashedly queer artistic practice. While the series’s title may imply a pre-existing framework, Helmut Lang’s famously modest “logo” offers a carte blanche for collaboration, reflecting, in Mogutin’s case, a range of readymade queer iconography, from adult entertainers to male-wrestler silhouettes.

Since fleeing Russia’s anti-gay climate in the mid-90s (and becoming the first Russian citizen to gain U.S. asylum on such grounds) Mogutin’s work has foregrounded queer sexuality and gender, collapsing seemingly disparate subcultures in the process. “Helmut Go-Go, ” an implicit reference to Mogutin’s mockumentary-like 2017 portraits of Helmut Lang-wearing go-go boys, appropriates the utilitarian design of technical uniforms, while “Stock Boyz” layers eroticized male wrestlers under rows of stock exchange figures.

The erotic readymade plays a functional role in queer art: after years of institutional marginalization, the readymade offers a means of dramatically centering queer sexuality. This process is still underway, as the Wade Guyton show at Galerie Chantal Crousel, not far from the original Helmut Lang HQ, is currently demonstrating with a blown-up XVideos scene entitled “Gay sailors enjoy piece of navy cakes.” Mogutin went one step further, casting adult film actor Sean Ford in his “Logo Hack” collection’s self-shot lookbook. See all the looks, available online and in select stores, below.

Sean Ford for "Logo Hack" by Slava Mogutin (Photo by Slava Mogutin)

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