Original source Fashion Monitor
Article by Emily Cater
Seven foot-tall pop artist Pandemonia , known for her love of plastic, her glossy blonde hair and sidekick Snowy the dog, has become a regular fixture at London fashion week and high profile events alike. The walking, talking, larger than life lady, is the creation of an anonymous London-born and based artist, designed to reflect 21st century culture and the glamorisation of ‘the celebrity’. If you don’t know her by now, you should. But how did it all begin?
“Since early 2000 there has been an enormous amount of coverage on celebrities in the media, I felt it would be good to create an art work that could be placed in the celebrity slot, one that could communicate and capture the public’s attention. Pandemonia was perfected and ‘born’ in 2007”.
The living embodiment of a 21st century celebrity, and fake on almost every level, Pandemonia has become an icon of our times, a living artwork and entity “The initial idea was to create something that directly interfaced with the public, technological communication has completely changed in the last decade, Pandemonia is cross-platform, meaning she is designed to be experienced over a range of media platforms. Pandemonia exists in the real world outside of the gallery space”. If you’ve seen Pandemonia out and about, it is inevitably hard not to notice her. At fashion week, her mere presence at a show causes mayhem amongst photographers, clambering over one another desperate for a second of her attention, subsequently causing them to ignore other A-listers. “The press and public were captivated” she laughs. “They wish to engage with Pandemonia and capture the moment on camera. On one level you can take it purely as spectacle. On another you can see it as a mirror of the social event or a subtext to culture at large”.
What is perhaps most telling about the concept of Pandemonia is the fact she is female, clearly a considered point when she was created, “I wanted to make her female because in the public arena 90% of visual appeal is female. Females command more public interest and the female form is more appeasing to the naked eye. If you’re a visual artist it’s better to have something people like to look at. Both male and females like to look at the female form”. Boasting model proportions, Pandemonia is certainly something to look at. Clad in tighter-than-tight rubber and body con dresses, dark glasses and towering heels, it’s fair to assume she reflects what she sees in the modern world of the celebrity “Yes, Pandemonia mirrors the world” she agrees. “Images from adverts, newspapers and fashion designers around the world are interpreted into the Pandemonia style. As a figurative artist I use traditional methods of drawing and modeling in clay to develop each piece. Like a logo I always go for clean lines and strong colors. Pandemonia is designed to be seen and reproduced; the mediated Pandemonia experience is as relevant to seeing her first hand”.
Naturally the fact Pandemonia is both one of a kind, yet ubiquitous in society has created great interest in her, physicality aside. So was the plan all along to become a celebrity? “Yes. There are many persuaders out there. Pandemonia embodies the commercial ideas, forever young, shiny and new, she portrays the idealized image, one made from all the best parts. The celebrity machine is very much part of 21st century culture. It’s the most effective way of promoting ideas and concepts, it doesn’t matter which end of it you are; everyone is affected by it”. Where Pandemonia is most at home, and most often seen by the fashion crowd is London Fashion Week, pictured on the front rows at PPQ and Belle Sauvage among others, it is perhaps the perfect environment for the concept to work. “I always look forward to seeing new creative ideas on the runway. PPQ is one I keep an eye on as well as Fred Butler. From right across the board though, Elsa Schiaparelli, Isabel Toledo and Vivienne Westwood are favourites. They dispense themes and theatrics and let the work speak for itself”.
In terms of parties and socialising, it’s only the best and most exclusive for Pandemonia, “In previous seasons I’ve had fun at Pam Hogg, Acne and Joe Corrie’s parties, but the great thing about the London scene is it’s so diverse. High tea at Sketch, The Arch hotel for Pandemonia cocktails – yes, I have a cocktail named after me! You can find it under tall and slender!” she laughs.
It turns out, for Pandemonia, cocktails are just the start of it. As with many celebrities, branding and self-promotion is a crucial cog in the machine, “there are several projects in the pipe line, the first, a fine art print show, followed by a sculpture show. After that, I’d like to develop a product range. Imagine a whole product range relating to Pandemonia art, retailed through museums, art galleries and supermarkets” she enthuses.
For most, Pandemonia is perceived as a fun and flamboyant figure with a tongue-in-cheek take on the world of fashion, but behind it all lays a very clever concept and an artist perpetuating a real influence in fashion and popular culture, however subconscious it may be. “The Pandemonia influence is far and wide” she tells me. “Having one’s image reproduced in the media means Pandemonia is seeping into the public’s consciousness. It’s no mistake her image photographs well, from camera phone she transfers easily to Facebook and beyond. There are Pandemonia fans all around the world”. “On another level, as a conceptual artist Pandemonia reflects our present times with a wry smile. Being a celebrity “role model” she has the ability to make us look at ourselves”.
Role model, artist, celebrity, whatever you want to call her, there’s no denying Pandemonia is one of the most talked about figures in fashion right now, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.