Marios Dik was a conceptual project and a form of performance art. Radziszewski took us on a journey into his romantic and boyish imagination, where colourful centaurs gambol against smashed crystals
Where Fashion Meets Art
MARIOS DIK was a landmark artistic project which used fashion as a form of expression. Part bold art project, part striking fashion collection, MARIOS DIK ran for four years between 2008 and 2011 and was the result of a collaboration between Karol Radziszewski, an exciting contemporary artist from Warsaw, and Marios, an avant-garde streetwear label from Milan.
Radziszewski is founder and editor-in-chief of Dik Fagazine, the first and only art publication in Eastern Europe with a specific focus on homosexuality and masculinity. The magazine has been showcased at a number of prestigious cultural events, including Colophon 2007 in Luxembourg, the New York Art Book Fair and Paris Fashion Week. It has also made an appearance at the Visionaire Gallery and New Museum in New York, the White Cubicle Toilet Gallery in London and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
The aesthetic of the marios dik collection was directly connected with that of the magazine. The label produced classic unisex sportswear and deconstructed, geometric clothing, which were adorned with artistic designs by Radziszewski. These designs typically depicted young men engaging in erotic acts. The majority of the drawings were executed with a black marker and, in terms of style, were reminiscent of the work of Keith Haring. Radziszewski took us on a journey into his romantic and boyish imagination, where colourful, naked centaurs gambol against a background of smashed, sparkling crystals. However there is a poetic sadness which runs through Radziszewski’s designs. The MARIOS DIK collection also featured a print comprising tiny penises.
MARIOS DIK was a conceptual project and a form of performance art. An important element of the project was Radziszewski’s participation in the production process at trade shows and fashion workshops. “From the very beginning I was most interested in the process, in being able to watch the successive stages step by step, in balancing at the junction of fashion and art — this is what fascinates me here,” explains Radziszewski.
A series of films complemented the MARIOS DIK clothing line. Underpants embellished with penises were sent to artists and readers who supported Dik Fagazine. The recipients were tasked with making short, low-budget films with the offending underpants as the lead role. Slava Mogutin, Gio Black Peter and Brian Kenny all made films for the project. The project also included a photo shoot alluding to Polish performance art of the 1960s and 70s.
The MARIOS DIK collection was shown during the Rendez-Vous Femme trade show in Paris (2008), Marios Left Tanker in Tokyo, and Ground Level Gallery / Jeanette’s in London (2009). In 2009, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw opened a temporary MARIOS DIK boutique, a move which provoked much discussion about whether fashion stores ought to be operating in prestigious public galleries.