One of the more edifying recent developments in the art-writing landscape has been the fast rise of Topical Cream, an online-publishing outfit that bills itself as “a media platform focusing on women working in FAT: fashion, art and technology.” Over the past two years the New York–based group has published interviews with a wide array of female artists as well as some major pieces of criticism, like Emily Rapport’s hotly debated treatise “Fuccbois, Beta Bros, Softboys, Man-Children.” The group has also organized events around town. Now it is organizing its first fundraiser.
“Everybody does T-shirts,” Lyndsy Welgos, who founded Topical Cream with Ara Anjargolian, told me in a phone interview yesterday. “We were just really not excited about that idea. We wanted to do something that would be super female. So one day I was like, okay, no one wants to do T-shirts, fine, we’ll do sports bras.” The group tapped artists Lena Henke, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Rachel de Joode to design the athletic wear, which are now on offer on Topical Cream’s website.
“We talk about women’s health a lot at Topical Cream,” Welgos said, “so it made a lot of sense that we would combine something super health and art. It’s the perfect combination of what we do and what we stand for.”
It’s hard to pick a favorite! Henke’s resembles chain mail, de Joode’s seems to present tantalizing close-ups of thick brushstrokes of brown paint, and Satterwhite’s is emblazoned with a slice of one of his trademark digital fantasy worlds, which features quite a few nude images of the artist himself.
Those in Miami this week can acquire the bras at Martos Gallery’s booth at the NADA fair, or see a sample of Henke’s at the Real Fine Art’s booth at Art Basel. (They have been printed in editions of only 100, so it’s possible that they could go quite quickly.) On Friday afternoon, Topical Cream will be hosting a launch party for the bras—a “software release party” to borrow their parlance—at a volleyball court along the beach, a collaboration with artists Monica Mirabile and Sigrid Lauren, as well as Common Space, Martos, the MyPizza pizza delivery service, and Material Vodka. “It’s a women’s sporting event,” Welgos said. “Everybody’s going to be there.” Its title: Nothing But Net.
It’s a busy time for Topical Cream. They’re also involved with the Baby’s All Basel party in Miami, and have contributed a special section about female artists ”aged 100 to 27,” including Carmen Herrera and Avery Singer, to the next issue of PIN-UP magazine, which drops December 7.
As for the bras, it will be up to their buyers whether they want to wear them to the gym and risk damaging the art, but Wegos emphasized that each one is fully functional. “You can totally workout in it,” she said. “You can do a yoga handstand and it won’t fall. It’s made so well.”