quotes »
quotes

"Lady Gaga has never met her true Mother Monster. She has influenced such sensations as Madonna, Daphne Guiness, Norma Kamali, Gaga, the list goes on... Recently, a line of interpretation has been crossed with 'Gaga's Boudoir'..."

Jessica Lapidos. Omen Magazine. June 2012

"Colette is Colette. She is true to her vision. Her work is certainly informed by a self-sustainable ideology...I really respect Colette's work and think she deserves a lot more serious attention. I won't mention the current "controversy" surrounding her work, but it does seem to be very relevant at the moment culturally, thinking about artists and musicians and their all encompassing environments."

Dmitry Komis. 2012 (Regarding her installation for "Quality of Presence" at Chelsea Hotel )

"Colette, is a gauze-draped pillar of the New York art world, a maker of installations, a painter and a performance artist."

Anthony Hayden-Guest for The Art Newspaper - June 2010

"Also on the album is Peter's disco version of Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer," with a vocal by Colette, the performance artist whom we can now see as a precursor to the goth loli movement -- you could also perhaps make a case for her as precursor to Lady Gaga -- originally released under the artist name Justine
and the Victorian Punks".

Excerpt from review by Ned Sublette in "Nedlist" news mailing list 

"Colette invented the "victorian punk." She often sported an ethereal, feminine look, dripping with lace, tulle, and beads. "'Victorian punks' was the perfect combination," she says. "I actually wore Victorian corsets and bloomers and then I would add a punk element to it. Usually if you saw a punk in those days, they would be wearing black; I would mix it with something very soft." In retrospect, it's easy to see echoes of Colette's signature aesthetic in the goth movement that picked up steam in the '80s, and in Madonna's early look during the time of 'Like a Virgin'".

The Beautiful Dreamer LP  (re-released Nov - 2010 by DFA)
GEETA DAYAL NPR Magazine, October 21 - 2010

 

"Colette is a young artist who has already made a serious contribution to two significant areas of contemporary art: the creation of a total environment; and the use of the artist's own body as an instrument of expression. In her work, these two areas, while they may be analyzed separately, are infact integrated...an achievement worth noting in itself."

Sarah Faunce, Brooklyn Museum - 1976


"Colette is perhaps the only person who has reached the objective sought by the artists who look for the integration of life and are. She defines both identically as her own living space."
Erica Bileter, Kunsthaus Zurich - 1979



"Colette is an original. Her subject matter -- the archaeology of female self-image, the role of sexual transactions, the intertwining of power and passivity of female archetypes -- anticipated the preoccupations of artists like Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons by at least 10 years."
Stephan Ellis, Art in America - 1985



"To list only a few of Colette's major contributions...I would first point to her pioneering introduction of anonymous urban spaces...Colette has greatly influenced the area of modified photography, specifically photography in which the artists herself takes on a variety of disguised personas...Here as elsewhere, Colette has been ten years ahead of her time."
Alan Jones, Arts Magazine - May 1991

" At the core of colette's work is a nomadic principle an openness to any media, material, or cultural network as a means of circulating images or ideas....an enduring concern to speak to many audiences, large and small, elite culture and mass culture... Colette's art, like Warhol is bound up with the idea of uninterrupted performance, so that her physical presence itself becomes a kind of signature, a trademark. Both of them have experimented with various ways of integrating art making and commercial production, playing with the ironies of that intersection and with the reduction of the artist to commodity status... Colette undertook the step of establishing a business corporation for the distribution of her Beautiful Dreamer  Products in 1978...”
Johnthan Crary - Arts magazine, 1983

"The environments, constructions, collages and performance works by Colette have transgressed the conventional boundaries between art, design, fashion, theatre, and architecture. Working with silks, satins, found objects, and sound, Colette has created environmental pieces, in some of which she appears as a central element."
Excerpted from Women in Art - February 1980



"Colette's use of media and wide range of expression make it difficult to place her within a specific group or trend. Yet those very qualities that often confuse her public reinforce her strengths as an artist."
From article by Carolle Thibaud-Pomerantz



"It is on this new wave circuit that palladium painters Haring, Scharf and Basquiat were first able to test their work. But the pioneer of art in clubs, Colette has already been bridging the gap between the gallery and disco with events she labeled "Reverse Pop" through the 70's."
New York Talk



"...Awake and asleep. Standing center stage. Alone and with great determination, throughout the years Colette has taken risks threading on many borderlines. Alan Jones speaks of "an art this is both radically confrontational and deeply personal at the same time." An art that is also keenly aware of its machanics ans politics. Colette has not been shy to publicity, she knows "the marketplace realities of contemporary culture" (Crary_, but refusing Warholian Cynicism, she calls for "Reverse Pop," which is the exact opposite of Warhol's elitism, as a courtier of the rich and famous. This exhibition at the Rempire Gallery is a wonderful mini-retrospective of Colette's career and evinces the influence she had on artists who surfaced in the 80's, Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons included."
Gianfranco Mantegna



"Colette's altered photographs offer a good introduction to the messages she creates with annexed images from familiar Old Master paintings. Her inventions have almost as many layers of content as layers of abundantly gathered and crumpled satins and gauzes. Not only do the Colette concoction provides a new context for images but they also display a radical attitute toward the potographic surface by affixing materials, cutting scratching, marking and adding paint. Confusing reality and illusion is part of the intention..."
Phyliss Braff, New York Times - 1991



"Colette is a mistress of glamour, long before the current obsession with issues of identity constructions (via Ru Paul, Madonna and Prince). She was busy inventing fantastic scenarios and characters and incorporating them into her art and life. She began to exhibit her self-transformations in nightclubs, store window, art galleries, museums and as constructed photographs before such practices round the theoretical and economic encouragement that they recieve now, e.g. Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring as well as a multitude of upcomingj female artists. Her fictional, fantastic characters merge imperdeptibly with her public and private lives. Her "minimal baroque environments demonstrate her visionary style in the arenas of both fashion and art."
Dana Simmons Fan Interview - 1994

"For the Model Homes exhibition, I invited Colette, an artist working out of New York, well known for her ability to "sabotage" the traditional museum or gallery format. Colette has many years played with the art community's definition of place; she has created installations in night clubs, dress salons and store windows; she has produced catalogues as records, rock bands as catalogues, recording always the under edge art and the art of fashion.

She has been known to give us important road signs as we hurtle down the highway towards the end of the century. While relatively unconcerned with the art "product", neither is a pure conceptualist. Colette produce objects that can be felt and touched and sensed and seen and has a history in surrealism and a future in cyberspace. 

Allanna Heiss - For Model Homes Catalogue. 1995. Lausanne, Switzerland.

"I have been told that Colette's environment - and it took ten years for it to grow to what it is now-is in danger of disappearing due to the total lack of support from museums and institutions. This would be a real tragedy. it wuld deprive New York of one of its last peotical spots. I cannot believe that they could be blind to art and deaf to the harmony of love. For love has nested in Colette's apartment."
Arturo Schwartz, for Politi Monogram - 1981



"I am beginning to realize that sometimes it is through the imitation by others that leads the public to the source. In this case, the more imitation the better..."
Colette, Interview - 1994



"As Colette has become increasingly renowned in art circles, she has watched her ideas filter into the products of designers, decorators, and others in the commercial world...the beautiful dreamer has become a "Reverse-Pop" artist, exploring the channeling of art ideas through commercial media instead of framing commercial images for art world consumption."
Jeff Deitch for Politi Monogram - 1981



"Colette may be said to represent the eternal gamine. She is the art world's mischievous urchin in search of shelter in the lap of luxury."
Christopher Street, ARTnews - May 1991




"Like trans-media chameleons before her, from Cocteau to Warhol, Colette has always been as equally home in places like the Museum of Modern Art (1977) as at the Mudd Club (1979."



"Colette follows the advice of Cocteau: "What the public reproches you for, cultivate that. It is you."
Alan Jones, Arts Magazine



"Sometimes with the anger inspired by indignation but always with an exuberant generosity of spirit, Colette is never afraid to be the first to climb over the barricade, like Liberty Leading the People."
Alan Jones, Arts Magazine - May 1991



"Colette has been a visionary presence on the New York Art scene since the early 1970's. Her work is complex and encompasses many concepts that stretch our notion of art. She explores the role the artist plays in our life, the female persona in art, and the line between fine and commercial art and fashion. Many of her ideas are echoed today in the art world as well as throughout popular culture."
Paul Tchinkell from Documentary on Colette - 1993



"But Colette, for example, a performance and conceptual artist as well as image maker and scilptor, has been creating with clothes and costumes and lengths of filmy tulle since the 1970s, using them and herself as key agents in her attacks on contemporary culture. Her Love in the Closet from Secret Lives of Count & Countess Reichenbach, Munich-N.Y. 1987-91, an arresting piece of wreathed frippery in which the artists appears as a parody of her supposed muse, provides the sort of Colette experience that has kept her high on the list of significant artists."
Helen Kohen, Miami Herald - 1993



"To me, art is like magic, the making of art alchemy, therefore the medium that I use is not as important as the fact that I transform it into art!"
Colette - 1978



"Colette is now regarded as being ahead of her times with these early forays into popular and consumer culture and her self-parody and ultra feminine, feminist historical revisionism. Colette's strategies and styles have been expended by such 80s artists as Jeff Koons."
Ann Wilson Lloyd, Art in America - 1992

..."Inside a room of her making, even the sence of hearing is affected; all sounds are gentled, and the total effect is one of extrodinary peace and calm...; More than that, in her works she creates images which cause the person experiencing them to think about the biological self, not as an end in itself, but as an integral part of a larger universe. Rather than turning her considerable energies on to self mutilation, self-mutilation, self-deformation, self-exploitation, or any of the other frequently met auto-actions, Colette is exploring the self as a given creature. possessed of both beauty and terror, at once whole and subject to fragmentation and reconstitution, vulnerable as the tenderest actual flesh, fragile as silk and yet strong with the strength of constructive purpose. For her, this self is never isolated, but is always a part of a greater mystery. In her work, she is seeking expression for some of the most serious themes of art".

Sarah Faunce
Brooklyn Museum 1976



"At once both tabernacles and provocations for participation, Colette's delicate environments invite both distance and access. As she permits us to enter her autobiographical sanctuaries of illusion, we become participants in her artful distillations and share Colette's aesthetic-life experiences."
Peter Seiz, Arts Magazine - 1978



"Colette conquers the dividing line between appropriation and and deconstructionism."
Jeff Wright, Cover - 1994

 

 

In Colette's representations of lying females, more than acceptance and passivity, one finds trust and romantic abandon, Sleeping Beauty waiting to be awaken. In death we discover that beauty overcomes death, as in The Wake Of Madame Recamier (1974). The reclining Colette is a state of reverie. She is "The Beautiful Dreamer" (works from 1978-82). Dreams as another dimension of reality, revelations of the unknown, soothing peace, realization of impossible desires. Or the healing "Yoga Of Dreaming" and the all-encompassing universality of the Dreamtime of Australian Aborigines".

The Essence of Olympia, Night Magazine, April 1997
Gianfranco Mantenga