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Portrait of Bjarne Melgaard © 2013 Tony Cox
Portrait of Bjarne Melgaard © 2013 Tony Cox
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Get your Hands on Free Designer Fashion as Artist Gives Personal Collection Away on Valentine's Day

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 27 February 2017
Between 5-8pm on February 14th, Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard will be giving New Yorkers the chance to walk away with designer pieces by the likes of Maison Margiela, Lanvin, Yohji Yamamoto, Stussy, Issey Miyake and Comme des Garçons free of charge, the snag, it’s on a first come, first serve basis.

Melgaard‘s act of generosity coincides with New York Fashion Week and the opening of his exhibition The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment on February 16 at Red Bull Arts New York.

Bjarne Melgaard, ‘The Purge’
Bjarne Melgaard, ‘The Purge’ | Courtesy Red Bull Arts New York, 2017

The New York-based artist–often regarded as the most famous artist to emerge from Norway since Edvard Munch–has converted the gallery space into a “multilevel, psycho-pathological department store” in which “an army of genetically enhanced mannequins” have been styled in bespoke looks by Avena Gallagher.

Promotional image for BJARNE+BJØRG jewelry collection. Image courtesy of Gavin Brown’s enterprise.
Promotional image for BJARNE+BJØRG jewelry collection. Image courtesy of Gavin Brown’s enterprise. | © Bjarne Melgaard

For Melgaard, fashion is an “ethical compromise” that is “driven by an infinite cycle of disappointment and desire.” Known for his provocateur antics, the exhibition reflects Melgaard’s critical and cynical viewpoint of the fashion industry whilst at the same time employing its commercial and marketing strategies with the inclusion of fashion editorials, look books, and brand identities.

Bash Back Bomber from the MELGAARD collection, 2017. Courtesy of Red Bull Arts New York.
Bash Back Bomber from the MELGAARD collection, 2017. Courtesy of Red Bull Arts New York. | © Bjarne Melgaard

Melgaard will also launch his eponymous menswear/unisex clothing line made in collaboration with creative director Babak Radboy. During The Purge visitors will get the first look at the MELGAARD streetwear collection, with 100 plus pieces also up for grabs.

Suprem(e) “I Love Dick” Puffer Jacket from the MELGAARD collection, 2017. Courtesy of Red Bull Arts New York.
Suprem(e) “I Love Dick” Puffer Jacket from the MELGAARD collection, 2017. Courtesy of Red Bull Arts New York. | © Bjarne Melgaard

Whether you buy into the “obsessive and self-destructive aspects of fashion and consumerism”, this is the one fashion event you don’t need an invite for.

Bjarne Melgaard: The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment is at Red Bull Arts New York, 220 W 18th Street, New York, NY 10011 from February 16 to April 9 2017.