Edgar Degas, Misty Copeland and New York's Museum of Modern Art

March 07, 2016

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There is something special about Edgar Degas' ballet-inspired paintings and sculptures. There's a beauty to them that gets me every time. And, no matter which city I'm in, when I'm at a new museum, I always look to see if they have any works by Degas.

Photo credit: Ken Browar & Deborah Ory

Hence, when I saw a recent article in Harper's Bazaar that paid homage to some of his paintings and sculptures, by enlisting ballerina Misty Copeland, you can imagine my excitement. To add to this, it should be noted this was all inspired by an upcoming exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art - "Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty."

Before sharing details on the exhibit, here's more about the Misty and Harper's Bazaar shoot. Misty got to wear an array of designer clothing, from Valentino to Carolina Herrera to Alexander McQueen, in order to become transformed into the figures from Degas' Dancer, Swaying Dancer and The Star paintings to even his Little Dancer Aged Fourteen sculpture. The editorial seemed to breathe new life into Degas' work, by making his pieces seem to almost come to life.

As for the Degas exhibit at the MoMA, it opens March 26 and runs through July 24. The exhibition includes roughly 120 monotypes and abut 50 paintings, drawings, pastels, sketchbooks and prints, many rarely seen and many related to one another.

According to Harper's Bazaar, "'People call me the painter of dancing girls,' Degas is said to have once told his Paris art dealer Ambroise Vollard, the Larry Gagosian of the day. 'It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.'" 

"Degas' focus on dance is part of his engagement with depicting the subjects, spaces, rhythms, and sensations of modern life," commented Jodi Hauptman, senior curator in the department of drawings and prints at the MoMA, to Harper's Bazaar

"His vision wanders and focuses, taking note of what usually is overlooked and homing in on what best reflects the conditions of his time."

I must say, I'm eager to see this exhibit and am certain to be looking at Degas' work in a whole new way.

And, to channel your own Degas-inspired ballet look, why not begin with Adea's Stretch Leggings in Italian Jersey.

- Aimee



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