Untitled (Studded Suit)

Untitled (Studded Suit)

  • Artist

    Giovanni Intra

  • Production Date


  • Medium

    wool, polyester, metal studs

  • Size

    1600 x 560 mm

  • Credit

    Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Chartwell Collection, purchased 2003

  • Accession Number


  • Accession Date

    24 Jun 2003

  • Department

    New Zealand Art

  • Classification


  • Collection


  • Subjects

    suits, studs (buttons), punk culture

  • Description

    Giovanni Intra's studded suit is a belated tribute to punk style. Needing an outfit for the Elam arts school ball, he took an op shop suit and decorated it with metal studs, imitating the look punks originally borrowed from bondagewear. "The outfit was a huge success - even if the fastenings did leave the bare-chested Intra lacerated and bleeding by the end of the evening", reported Kelly Carmichael. Later Intra hung his suit on the wall to recall the way Joseph Beuys displayed his felt suits. The contrast was telling. Where Beuys cut himself a dour grey felt suit to exemplify his job of artist as healer, Intra's uniform was dazzling. Part punk, part S'n'M, part Liberace, and very K Road, it sponged up all manner of associations, folding fashion into religion. As Bridget Sutherland imagined it, Intra's "suited yet absent figure presides over some debased ritual - a science-fiction priest who wallows in the glamour of a low and aggressively vulgar materialism. Like a devilish performer, he conjures for us the breakdown of reality into dream, object into fetish." (Snake Oil, 2005)

Exhibition history