Venice abstract artist Chuck Arnoldi is famous for incorporating nontraditional materials—like parts of trees—into his paintings. But now, he’s branching out into a new medium: schmattes. The 76-year-old Guggenheim fellow was recently approached by British luxe label Alexander McQueen for collaboration on its spring/summer 2023 line.
“They’d seen a painting of mine and wanted to use it to create dresses for women and suits and T-shirts for men,” Arnoldi says. “I had no idea who or what Alexander McQueen was. Didn’t have a clue.”
But Arnoldi’s wife, novelist Katie Arnoldi, explained who the late designer was and how his company is still producing high-end fashion, and then Arnoldi received a packet of sketches from McQueen’s design team.
“I said to Katie, ‘This stuff looks pretty good.’ I told them, sure, they can use it,” he says. “They offered me 50 grand, and I said, ‘OK.’ I don’t care about the money. My lawyer told me I could have asked for four times as much!”
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