Arts & Culture News

Designer/Artist Elisa Jimenez Returns to Dallas for MADI Museum's Geometric Gala

The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art began 12 years ago when Bill and Dorothy Masterson were first in us explain: The movement encompasses all branches of art (the plastic and pictorial arts, music, literature, theater, architecture, and dance) and promotes concrete art, or non-representational geometric abstraction, and artists working within this movement typically focus on the physical reality of the medium they choose to create within. As a movement, Carmelo Arden Quin founded it in the mid-1940s in Buenos Aires and solidified its existence when he publicly read the MADI Manifesto -- one that lives in a playful world that is open to non-figurative in concept but whose colors are flat and sharply defined, and is often three-dimensional.

Got that?

OK, it's still a bit of a mystery to us too, but what's interesting is the fact that the MADI Movement continues today through the movement's original artists encouraging younger artists to adopt the MADI mentality, and the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art works to place a rather heady concept into an understandable realm. For them, the theory behind MADI is more than just an assemblage of colored shapes; it is about the universality of the art and the accessibility of it. One way of achieving this mission is with their exhibitions and programming, and their annual Geometric Gala.

The Geometric Gala, which benefits the museum, is a unique event that features a silent auction of work from local and international artists and tries to provide a tangible example of the MADI Movement. This year, their approach is just as unique as their mission. Their honorary chair for 2014 is fashion designer and interdisciplinary artist Elisa Jimenez. And if you had to try to define her, you might find that MADI is the best fit.

Also, her name might sound familiar. Maybe you saw her on season four of Project Runway. Or maybe you caught a show of hers at New York Fashion Week. Or maybe you know her visual artwork. Jimenez has wide breadth of talents, and while fashion seems to be inherently three-dimensional, her take on design, structure, and aesthetics is what pushes her work past just fashion and into art.

Jimenez is a fourth generation artist and innovator who combines the different disciplines she works within -- from drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, marionettes, photography, film, to performance and fashion -- to manifest a pseudo-fictitious socio-mythic world called "The Hunger World." For Jimenez, this world is motivated by the emotional, spiritual, intellectual and sexual. These motivations are also very real for her, and are her own inspirations for how she lives her daily life.

"When I was 30 years old I made a decision to be a philanthropist ... I offer myself up for benefits and for fundraisers for causes that I believe in. I also just listen and pay attention and when something comes along that I want to be involved with, I'll give myself over to it," said Jimenez over the phone as she prepared to travel from New York to Dallas this weekend.

When she was approached to be involved with MADI, she jumped at the chance to come back to her hometown and be a part of the forerunner of design in Dallas. She really connected with the transformative power that can come from MADI artworks and how that power can change an individual. It's that latter concept that really connects to her work.

"Artwork is fashion. Fashion is passion. I get to tell stories with my artwork, and connect with people, and that's a really beautiful thing. There's magic in it," Jimenez said. She has been supported by almost a cult following for over 17 years, so there's a sense of truth in what she says, and it comes from her clients who work very hard at being themselves and following their passions, like she does. Some of the more well known ones are Marisa Tomei, Cher, Drew Barrymore, Pink, Cindy Sherman and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Ok. You had me at Cindy Sherman and SJP. Carrie, you guys. Carrie.

Jimenez makes very special pieces that highlight the inner goddess in you. Inspired by the Three Graces -- you will always find them in her work or in any show she does -- she'll be bring them with when she comes to Dallas for the Geometric Gala. She will create works on three models throughout the evening, and the resulting dresses will be available for auction to benefit the museum. So you could go home with a Jimenez original.

You can take home a piece of fashion history this weekend, all the while supporting Dallas art. You can also enter a drawing to win a work by artist Morton Rachofsky.

Geometric Galafrom 7-10 p.m. Saturday, November 8 , The International on Turtle Creek. Reserve a ticket here.

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Danielle Georgiou

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