Transhuman Traits: Seeing Samy LaCrapule

Samy LaCrapule is a French artist and designer based in Paris. Taking inspiration from the transhumanist movement and future-oriented aesthetics, he primarily works in digital art and is a self-confessed screen addict. Spending almost all of his waking hours designing and creating during the lockdown, he recently gave an interview with Vogue Italia which shed light on his recent success and media exposure. Establishing himself as a name to be watched, his oeuvre is composed of both personally definitive work, and joint associations with labels like Louis Vuitton and Adidas.

Samy started life in the city he now lives in, but he traces his strongest influence to the internet. Wanting to use modelling software and computer-aided design like a painter with a paintbrush, his craft began with the discovery of photoshop when he was 11. The zany unrealness of photo-edited creations shows through in his current work. In an “SS2089” fashion show, he transplants luxury label prints onto skin surfaces. In this experimentation, the vision of fashion is changed. The project of creating aesthetics becomes not what is to be worn, but what is to be purely and only seen. The couture ideal is relocated from the canonical high-fashion runway and model to an impalpable and even more distant realm. In redistributing the ideological structure of what fashion is to achieve, LaCrapule extends the realm of design possibilities. Paradoxically, this virtual approach also allows the incontestable beauty of the idealised garment or human form appear much more honestly. Its unattainability is a permanent separation between its world and ours. Through this, he affirms the centrality of the real human gaze in art and fashion, and its power to create art itself.

Hermès girlz, Collaboration with Hermès, Samy La Crapule, 2019

His work, embodying a kind of diversity, also deals with a plethora of skin tones and ethnic representations. Although the trope of lithe and young bodies finds itself emerging in his work, it is nevertheless modulated with critical attention to, and rebuttal of, gender and cultural norms. Samy employs motifs from a range of cultures in clothing and vivifying his figures. Often, however, he makes his stylised humanoids appear bare-fleshed, and immaculate attention to detail comes out. Every follicle pore and freckle seems to be crafted onto the girls of the Exhibition Mag cover, the tightness of a muscle or tendon emerging beneath shaded skin.