July 6th, 2017
Do we need to develop an interest in clothes if we have a solitary job? I walked in three artists’ studios and spoke with another one over the Internet to see how they work and what kind of working clothes they choose to wear.
Dan Perjovschi lives and works in Bucharest (Romania). He is a visual artist mixing drawing, cartoons and graffiti and commenting on current political, social or cultural issues. With his long experience gained in the early 1990s in post-Ceausescu Romania as a press artist, Dan Perjovschi brings an incisive nature coupled with his signature dark humour to the graphic genre.
His studio is mobile because he’s always traveling around the world. We spoke over the Internet about clothing and the way he chooses to wear them at work.
What does the verb “to wear” mean for you?
I never really cared about what I wore. I have always chosen comfortable and casual garments, so for me this verb simply means to wear something.
What are the clothes that you wear when you go to work?
The same clothes I wear daily, except for the days I’m painting the wall in Sibiu (Romania) or when I’m doing different projects in the public space. I always put on overalls with thicker fabric so that I can sit on the ground without worry. For the lunch break I go downtown, sit in my overalls and drink coffee. I like it when people think I’m a construction worker and I imagine them saying – Look at this one, he has time to slack off.
Oh, I also have many hoodies in gray, black, and I wear them when I feel cold or when I fly. Or puffer vests, easy to pack and they don’t take up too much space in the backpack.
Where do you buy them? How often do you invest in your work clothes?
I buy them from supermarkets, chain stores, usually when they have discounts. I own many items bought from Germany or New York because they were cheaper. I buy from H&M or any store with reasonable prices. I think that after every shopping session I come home with socks, scarves, gloves or caps because I lose a lot of them on airplanes or in taxis.
In the last few years I’ve noticed that I’ve been looking for higher quality stuff, especially shoes or shirts made of natural fabrics. Maybe because I have grown old and my body and legs have become more and more moody.
Do you think your clothes influence your work in any way?
I have to find what I need right away and to have everything with me all the time. When I work, I need practical stuff on me, clothes with many pockets to house my notepads, my camera, the credit card, my business cards, my mobile, money, passport, markers and pens.
Do you think there is a dress code in your field of work, as is the case for lawyers for instance?
I do. In the art scene, clothes are usually black, but this black has multiple shades. There’s the shade of black worn by gallerists, the shade worn by artists, the shade for designers and another shade of black worn by photographers. Also, if you go to New York, you will see a different shade of black than in Berlin.
Even I wear black T-shirts, black jeans and gray or black hoodies, but my reasoning is that they’re easier to wash.
Do you remember the changes you’ve made over time? What criteria did you use to change your style or buy clothes?
Yes, of course. We used to have bespoke flared pants and used to compete on who had the most flared ones.
Otherwise, I do not bother with buying trendy garments, I choose classic stuff because they don’t go out of style that easily. Black on black.
Are you attached to some clothes or accessories? If so, what kind of stories do you have with them?
Yeah, I’m attached to the hoodies, which I call dwarfs and my heart breaks when one of them gets worn out. I also like my wool socks from Rosia Montana because they keep me warm in the winter. I was also attached to some boots from the US because they were super comfy. They broke up a couple of years ago, and I remember that I kept them for another year or two in the house, just so I could look at them.