Pin It
Harry Nuriev, Denim
via Instagram (@harrynuriev)

Do not show Julia Fox this exhibition x

From joots to jinner tables, Harry Nuriev has transformed a Parisian gallery into a denim-clad dwelling

Earlier this year, Julia Fox recounted her experience of being trapped inside a mouse-infested apartment by a selfish child. In a now-viral TikTok, the actor walked viewers through her cluttered, bless-this-mess home where corners are piled high with shoe boxes and plant pots bear no signs of life. Fox – a sort of 21st-century Rapunzel – is more than happy to be living alongside kindly rodents that “come out and clean up the crumbs that [her] son drops on the floor,” but where is she transported to when she closes her eyes and sees beyond the confines of her Brooklyn HQ? 

Perhaps a derelict rooftop where she can preach fire and brimstone sermons? Or an arcadian hinterland where she can wander through wooded groves in fig leaves and centaurian costumes? Or perhaps it’s Harry Nuriev’s most recent exhibition space, where every surface is covered in distressed denim – much like Fox’s own wardrobe. “I’ve been interested in how our personal style extends into the spaces we inhabit,” Nuriev says. “Why don’t we dress our spaces the same way we dress our bodies?” Based on that idea, the artist has transformed the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris into a “denim-clad dwelling” where conversation pits, dressing tables, dining tables, office chairs, and workout benches have been wrapped in weathered scraps of durable indigo.

“Denim is one of the rare materials that get better with age. It becomes more beautiful and more comfortable and it never really goes out of style. Denim has endless transformability,” the artist says of his exhibition, which, in a stunning coincidence, is also called Denim. “The pieces are meant to mould to the user’s body like a pair of broken-in AppleBottoms.” There’s clearly a psycho-spiritual connection between Nuriev and Fox’s approach to design. To look at images of the exhibition is to hear a siren call specifically engineered to reach the actor and all her DIY joots, jags, justiers, and jorsets. But there’s also something quite raunchy about seeing domestic items repeatedly smothered in the same material. “It’s something we’re used to wearing and feeling so close to our skin, and there’s definitely a sensuality to that.” 

Nuriev’s work is all about “recontextualising ordinary, everyday things and seeing how that alters their perceived value” – like the $46,300 pile of fuzzy blankets that he recently sold in Balenciaga stores, or the standard issue office items he once emblazoned with Balenciaga branding. “All those projects have at their basis the idea of transformism, which is a concept that has been central in my work in recent years. I want people to gain a sense of radical possibility: that one’s space doesn’t have to remain static,” he explains, which is a coded way of saying ‘Julia Fox, let down your hair! Let me climb thy golden stair’ etc. Despite the denim DJ booths, the denim barbells, and the denim walls, Nuriev is not an extremist and there are limits and boundaries to his practice. When asked what he wouldn’t bewitch with denim? “A sink, perhaps.”