Yarrow Mazzetti Peter Ruprecht Shannon Shiang
IMAGINE BELIEVE CREATE SHARE LOVE REPEAT
MASTHEAD Founder and Executive Editor Amanda Ho Art Director Tara Ghazanfar Contributing Editors Alexander Aller Brittany Cohen Sophie Dabuzhsky Jessie Halsey Tiffany Yu Contributing Artists Yarrow Mazzetti Peter Ruprecht Shannon Shiang Austyn Weiner B.D. White Contributing Photographers Gene Bradley Oliver Correa Cynthia Cortes Chloe Lee Danilo Lewis David Terranova James Weber Contributing Stylists Katalina Mitchell Shari Edwards Special Thanks Michael Stern at Stonehenge The Do Art Foundation Roome Mate Hotels Juriﾃｫl Zeligman and Waﾃｫl Mechri-Yver at BABﾃ記 New York Eloise Jacobs and Sharoni Rotberg at Own It PR
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR During my trip to Lightning In A Bottle in 2013, I was immensely inspired by The Do Lab and the experience they had created with their festival. From taking my first yoga class to participating in sound-healing meditation, I found myself aware of the ever-expanding human consciousness. With a mission to bring my new-found mindfulness back to New York, this issue is a manifestation of my trip out west and all of those moments and encounters . I hope to spark your own form of self-expression. Since I founded Electrify Mag back in 2011, we have strived to bring the movers and shakers of our generation to the forefront. Inspired by music, we embody an independent grass-roots culture that is defined by a creative outlet. We believe that groundbreaking thoughts are cultivated by pushing the boundaries. Our innate desire for seeing the world gives us a distinctive global mindset that we aim to share with our readers.
Amanda Ho, Founder of Electrify Mag
TABLE OF CONTENT
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PETER RUPRECHT GYPSY ROSE B.D. WHITE BOB MOSES SHANNON SHIANG DO ART FOUNDATION YARROW MAZZETTI AUSTYN WEINER SURVEYING THE SCENE: NEW YORK
PHOTO CREDIT: GENE BRADLEY
NAVIGATING THE DEFAULT WORLD
PETER RUPRECHT BY ALEXANDRA ALLER OUR IMAGINATION NEVER LEAVES US; IT SIMPLY WAITS TO PRESENT ITSELF AT A KEY MOMENT. AS FOR PETER RUPRECHT, “I AM OFTEN ASKED IF I CAPTURE EXISTING MOMENTS OR IF I CREATE THE MOMENTS TO PHOTOGRAPH. MY ANSWER IS SIMPLE. NEITHER. I CAPTURE THE IMAGINATION,” HE EXPLAINS. FROM EARLY BEGINNINGS DOCUMENTING HIS BUSINESS TRAVELS, TO TRANSITIONING INTO HIGH-END FASHION, BEAUTY AND COMMERCIAL WORK, IT SEEMS THAT HE HAS ONLY JUST YET EMBARKED ON WHAT WILL SURELY BE THE MOST FULFILLING AND EXCITING VENTURE IN HIS CAREER. BY CAPTURING AND CREATING HIS OWN VERSIONS OF REALITY THAT CAN SUSTAIN IN WHAT HE CALLS THE “DEFAULT WORLD,” HE PRESENTS THE “IMAGINE GALLERY.” ONE OF RUPRECHT’S RECENT CELEBRATED WORKS IS A SWEEPING IMAGE OF LAURA KIMPTON’S “BELIEVE” INSTALLATION ILLUMINATED BY A CELESTIAL SKY IN THE NEVADA DESERT AT BURNING MAN FESTIVAL 2013. THE CANDID PIECE IS A KEY, DEFINING ADDITION TO THE GALLERY, BUT ALSO SERVES AS HIS PERSONAL TOKEN OF SELF-ENLIGHTENMENT. RUPRECHT SAYS, “MY PHOTOGRAPHS WILL ACT AS BREADCRUMB TRAILS INTO MY IMAGINATION, BUT ‘IMAGINE’ AS A PLACE WILL BEG THEM TO NOT STOP THERE.”
You have a well-versed background in filmmaking and photography; can you pinpoint a defining moment in your career that has shaped who you are as an artist today? The answer to that question is actually quite complex. There is not defining “moment,” but there is a defining process. My official background in the creative visual fields is actually not one that includes formal training. Technically, I attended Dartmouth College, where I majored in International Economics. After graduating I worked in finance, marketing and management consulting for years. During my travels as a consultant, I purchased a camera and started taking landscape photographs of the locations I was working at. I was emailing these photos for fun to my friends and one thing lead to another. First individual friends really liked them, then restaurants became interested in them, and then a gallery. I won an award and I found myself wondering if I wanted to trade my suit in for a camera permanently. Before jumping from the business ship completely I took a position at Marc Ecko Enterprises as the Vice President of New Media. In this position, I was responsible for the conceptual and visual design of our interactive marketing campaigns. This gave me a lot of exposure to the fashion world. I translated the skills that I had learned shooting popular landscapes to shooting models. It was at this time that I began to shoot a lot of fashion photography. Fashion photography made me spend many hours inside the studio learning about artificial lighting verses simply using the natural lighting present in landscapes. So now when one looks at my photographs, you can see the blend of precise artificial lighting blended with natural ambient lighting that gives many of my photographs a slightly hyper real look without looking artificial.
Can you detail the exact moment you took the photo of “Believe” at Burning Man? Was it an arduous process to capture that shot or was it spontaneous? This year at Burning Man, I learned something that had eluded me for many years of attending. And that elusive lesson was the power of being alone. My girlfriend, Shannon Shiang, had the brilliant idea of us camping at separate camps so that we have more autonomy for exploration. We both camped with different sets of our best friends and allowed our friends to experience us again as individual human beings rather than some sort of Siamese twin
that couples have a tendency of becoming. The extra time created by the mere fact of not having to worry about your partner twenty-four hours a day, allowed me to spend many hours by myself meditating and absorbing the environment. One morning I had just spent hours and hours by myself at the “trash fence” which is the outer perimeter of Burning Man. It is not a typical place that most people spend time at, but one I found myself meditating about the definitions of human existence and my part in the world as a human being, but also as a photographer. I had been struggling with an issue for a bit of time leading up to this moment. I had been producing “pretty images” for some time that people loved, but I really had not found my voice. I had not been able to figure out how my images would produce some added benefit for the world. How would I as an artist help affect the world in a positive manner? The message I have been refining for some time is rooted in utilizing my work product as proof positive that if you simply “believe” in yourself and follow your dreams tirelessly, and get up after every time you fall down, you can and will make it. However, it was an anecdotal message rather than a visual message directly coming through my work. After ruminating on this for some time, I returned to camp and drove a friend to the playa airport in one of ‘The Lady Buggies’ art cars you can see at the Imagine Gallery. After dropping her off, I was looking at the sky and noticed that it was clear except for a patch of clouds that had that stereotypical movie look as if God was coming down out of the heavens, like in the Simpsons opening. After all the thinking I had done that morning about delivering a visual message with my work, I arrived to that part of the sky to a pretty conspicuous scene. The message was staring me right in the face. Before I brought my camera out, I noticed another friend of mine there with his girlfriend appreciating the same magical moment. I took a photo or two of the installation but also thought to myself: “Wow it’s a beautiful image, but if there was going to be a message, I would love it to be unique…” At that moment an art car drove by dropped people off on top of each letter making the scene surreal and unique. Just when I was about to congratulate some photographer for having the great
idea of organizing and mobilizing a group of people to humanize what was already a beautiful shot, I realized there was no other photographer. It was as if the scene had been set up for me…and in essence it was…with no other photographer around, I took the photo, and with the amazing synergies between Laura’s installation, the glorious sky, and the human element newly introduced to the image, my photo of “Believe” was born.
What is your ultimate hope to achieve through your work and the Imagine experience? To open up the world of inner imagination to the visitors. The imagination is a peculiar part of the human experience. It seems to separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom and creates a lit path by which our destiny follows. As it relates to photography, well, I am often asked if I capture existing moments or if I create the moments to photograph. My answer is simple. Neither. I capture the imagination. Sometimes the subject of my photograph will be an image translated to paper that is a capture of my imagination as it relates to time and place. There is something that brought me to that place at that time with a camera in hand. At that point I can capture that situation which my imagination has brought me to. Other times I have visions within my head that I would like to bring to the outside world for others to see, and there also, I work with camera, lens and printer to capture my imagination and give the viewer a paper window into it. I could not tell you what the defining elements are to one of
my photographs or what the signature telltale sign is that identifies a piece of work as my work, but I can tell you that there is something. It is rather strange to see others identify my work amongst anonymous collections of work. In the end I simply understand and believe that each person’s imagination is an independent unit that comprises the collective imagination. It is this individuality that must translate into differences across contrast, composition, color and other factors that give a particular work their respective creators signatures. ‘Imagine’ as a gallery will be nothing more and nothing less than what the word implies. Imagine is a verb…indicating action. One needs nothing more than to imagine an inward or outward to other lands, philosophies or concepts. Imagine will be a place that allows individuals to be transported to other places inspired by the collections of work within its walls. My photographs will act as breadcrumb trails into my imagination, but Imagine as a place will beg them to not stop there. People will be invited to experience art, jewelry, 3d projections, furniture and more as the fodder to catapult them into new ways of thinking.
“KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR.” While such a simple, healthy concept is so often lost on the Manhattan dweller, at the Stonehenge Real Estate Agency, it lies as a fundamental value that the company is centered around. “Stonehenge is driven by this very concept. We believe that our residents are vitalized by an actively caring community,” says Creative Director, Michael Stern.
happy hours, yoga classes and networking gatherings featuring participating near-by retailers. Here, residents are able to openly voice whatever opinions and concerns with the reassurance that matters will be catered to as swiftly and effectively as possible. In addition to ministering to the care and content of their clients,
As one of the driving forces behind Stonehenge’s business ethics, Stern aids in maintaining their company’s integrity by laying down the “standard of living” blueprint for the ideal home environment. In what he calls, “vertical eco-systems,” Stonehenge helps to contrive healthy living and respectful communities where neighbors and landlords are able to maintain a common respect for one another, value social responsibility and communicate effectively.
Stonehenge also participates with philanthropic organizations such as God’s Love We Deliver and Ronald McDonald’s Foundation and supports local galleries and art walks. Stonehenge’s efforts within the art community have helped to establish local galleries as quintessential establishments within the borough’s community. Stern and his associate, Lauren Macaulay linked up with, “Imagine Gallery,” to inspire a better, more responsible, and more joyous world. Stonehenge firmly holds that, “with the right mix of convenience, interest, and appeal, we can help residents discover so much about themselves, each other, and the city they call home.”
The natural progression of forging these strong ties between neighbors is accomplished through what Stern calls, “local warmings,” where their in-house events team arranges
GYP S Y R OS E Photography
Hair Accessory Model Assistants
MASHA LUNARA KIM ‘KIMBA-JI’ SCHNEIDER BRITTANY COHEN & AMANDA HO
KIM 'KIMBA-JI' SCHNEIDER RESIDENT
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
OLD SLAVIC MASKS, AFRICAN TEXTILES, GLITTER, AND THE ONE AND ONLY SUN RA!
WORKING ON MY MASKS AND PUPPETS.
I AM WORKING ON MY FIRST CHILDREN'S EDUCATIONAL BOOK TO TEACH KIDS HOW TO MIX COLORS USING A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE BASED ON VISUALS AND SOUNDS.
REVEALED STREET ARTIST B.D. WHITE WALK THE STREETS OF WILLIAMSBURG AND YOU WILL GARNER A GLIMPSE OF B.D.WHITE’S WELL-RECOGNIZED, STATEMENT CHARGED STREET ART.
“None of us are free until all of us are equal.” As White’s work continuously becomes more political, he aims to raise awareness and shed light on issues that he thinks should concern the masses. “Too often people are struck with the ostrich syndrome, burying their heads in the sand with an ‘out of sight’ ‘out of mind’ attitude. For a social change to occur, society as a whole needs to be behind it,” he says. This large-scale stencil artist also specializes in creating portraits and hand draws and cuts each stencil. White’s latest large-scale piece comes in the form of a mural, commissioned for by an up-
coming eatery in Astoria called Republic. “His sincerity and beautiful nature made us want to work with this talented artist. The piece has all the attributes we want for Republic and the consciousness we want to assist in advancing,” Jack Trantides and John Solo, the founders of Republic explain. “We saw his work while walking around Brooklyn and knew immediately that with White, our restaurant is going to give a new feel to the neighborhood.”
17 “The mural is a portrait of my sister,” White explains. “I created it at the time I was transitioning from portraits to more political work. I wanted to capture her personality, but at the same time start to have a message with my art.” While the Native American headdress showcases her personality, it also set the stage for a subtle message. “I chose to pair the painting with a modified Robert Frost quote, ‘Miles to go before we sleep,’ to vocalize the ongoing Native American struggle in this country,” he says. “I just want to help spark that fire. You’ll always find me fighting on the side of human rights.”
PHOTO CREDIT: CHLOE LEE
LET’S GET PERSONAL WITH
BOB MOSES RISING STARS IN THE UNDERGROUND MUSIC REALM, BOB MOSES (COMPOSED OF JIMMY VALLANCE AND TOM HOWIE), HAVE FOUND THEIR HOME BASE IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK WITH THE BOUTIQUE SCISSOR & THREAD RECORD LABEL. RENOWN FOR THEIR MOODY BLEND OF MELODIC DEEP HOUSE, THESE VANCOUVER TRANSPLANTS HAVE SEEN A WHIRLWIND 2013 WITH THE DEBUT OF THEIR LIVE PERFORMANCE, A BREAKTHROUGH SET ATOP THE ROBOT HEART BUS AT THE BURNING MAN FESTIVAL IN NEVADA, AND THE RELEASE OF THEIR LATEST EP ‘FAR FROM THE TREE.’ THE DUO KICKED OFF 2014 WITH TWO MESMERIZING PERFORMANCES AT THE BPM FESTIVAL IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO, SETTING THE STAGE FOR WHAT IS PRIMED TO BE A MONUMENTAL YEAR. READ ON AS THE
PAIR SPEAKS TO ELECTRIFY MAG ABOUT THEIR UPBRINGING, THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE EP, AND SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THEY FACED IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THEIR LIVE ROUTINE.
BY JESSIE HALSEY
19 How did you both meet and start producing music together? Tom: We met in New York in a Lowe’s parking lot actually. We had been friends from high school, but had never worked together before, as back then we were doing totally different kinds of music. We hadn’t seen each other in a few years and our meeting led to dinner, hanging out, and then to a studio session just for fun. Then, once we started making music in the same room together, we thought, “Wow, there might be something special here.” It kinda just evolved out of that. The formation of Bob Moses happened naturally, born out of a real respect for each other’s musicality.
What was the inspiration behind your ‘Far From The Tree’ EP? Jimmy: We just worked on a whole bunch of tunes and once we had five that we thought went well together and made a nice little package so we called it an EP. But overall we were just exploring what we are still exploring: how to merge the sounds and textures we love about underground dance music with cool vocal and song ideas. It’s equal parts deliberate and stumbling around in the dark really.
How did you make the transition to performing live? What are some challenges you faced in the beginning stages of your live show? Jimmy: We started DJ’ing and Tom would sing the vocals live on our tracks. Francis and Jordan, both from Scissor & Thread, really helped us with the technical side of getting the Ableton live set together. Since then, we’ve just kind of been experimenting and tinkering with the way we do it. Challenges were just the technical side of getting it all figured out, learning how to make a set go well with only our own material. But that has also influenced our material, which is nice. If we play out and think, “Man it’d be nice to have a really banging track here,” or a slow track, we can go back into the studio and work on one that we think will create the moments we want live. It’s a cool process and really fun.
What can we expect upcoming from Bob Moses? Tom: We’ve got lots of new songs and track ideas that we’re working on that we’re really excited about. You can expect to start hearing the beginning of those live as we work through them and test things out. We’re just focusing on playing live a lot right now and trying to balance that with studio time and staying creative. We’re definitely in album mode though, as far as creative headspace is concerned, so hopefully that will come together in the not too distant future. influenced our material, which is nice. If we play out and think, "man it'd be nice to have a really banging track here," or a slow track or whatever, we can go back into the studio and work on one that we think will create the moments we want live. It's a cool process and really fun. PHOTO CREDIT: DAVID TERRANOVA
PHOTO CREDIT: JAMES WEBER
WEST Shannon Shiang BY AMANDA HO
Muse, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Shannon Shiang emulates a mesmerizing aura. Using jewelry as her craft, she ignites a spark in those blessed by her magnetizing sacred energy. Born to Chinese parents, this California native links the realm of eastern philosophy with western modernity. Leading a life of harmony and balance, her art acts as a connection between the material and esoteric world. Shiang’s different jewelry outlets awaken the different sides of her personality. Her two current lines are Shiang New York and Skins & Stones, both mirroring the distinctive aesthetic that is grounded in her cultural background. Her namesake line, Shiang New York, stems from the Chinese translation of her last name denoting ‘direction.’ “I have really deep Chinese and Taiwanese roots,” Shiang says. “I respect the culture and everything that’s been passed on through the generations to make me who I am.” Ranging from an intertwining cosmic serpent pendant forged out of sterling silver to a diamond ring featuring interlocking swans, she designs Shiang around sacred geometry and ancient symbolism to foster awareness, openness and enlightenment.
Adjacent is Skins & Stones, her collaborative jewelry brand. She reflects back on the birth of Skins & Stones, which formed from an initial partnership with artist Hans Haveron. “Haveron was the first artist that I approached. He was really established in the community and reluctant at first to give me his art work,” Shiang says. “It was inspiring for someone who I thought was so incredibly talented to take a chance on me. It gave me a little pick-me-up in courage. Therefore, I always wanted to collaborate with other artists to give them the same opportunity.” Since first making the scarab Haveron had designed into a piece of jewelry to gift at the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, she continued on to create one-off designs inspired by artists, musicians and creators such as Adam Lambert, Random Rab, David Starfire and the Lightning In A Bottle Festival, operated by The Do Lab in California. “The Burning Man experience taught me that the more you give, the more you get,” Shiang says. “So I like to give exponentially and I do this through my jewelry. ”
Since first making the scarab Haveron had designed into a piece of jewelry to gift at the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, she continued on to create one-off designs inspired by artists, musicians and creators such as Adam Lambert, Random Rab, David Starfire and the Lightning In A Bottle Festival, operated by The Do Lab in California. “The Burning Man experience taught me that the more you give, the more you get,” Shiang says. “So I like to give exponentially and I do this through my jewelry. ” Her upcoming collaborations include a design for Daniel Pinchbeck who is the co-founder of Evolver, a lifestyle community platform that publishes Reality Sandwich, an online magazine centered around spirituality, philosophy and activism, and for Cuddle the World the charitable organization founded by Dream Rockwell, who is the director of the famed Lucent Dossier Experience, a mystical high-concept cirque circus troupe. Shiang’s latest endeavour was curating the IMAGINE Gallery, a concept exhibition and artistic experience where attendees have the opportunity to be introduced to provocative philosophies and concepts. The works on display from the key artists, Shiang, Peter Ruprecht and Yarrow Mazzetti, represent the physical manifestations of the artists’ imaginations culminating in a variation of mediums. Bridging her blend of eastern and western philosophies, Shiang is on the path to bring her brands worldwide. With each piece of jewelry transmitting a message of spiritually inclined wisdom that empowers their wearer to make a positive contribution, she makes a powerful imprint on society.
PHOTO CREDIT: CYNTHIA CORTES TAKEN AT ROOM MATE HOTELS NEW YORK
»» ART By Tiffany Yu
A LOOK INSIDE THE DO ART FOUNDATION BETTER OUT THAN IN—THE NAME OF THE GRAFFITI ARTIST KNOWN AS BANKSY’S MONTH-LONG RESIDENCY IN NEW YORK CITY. IF BANKSY TAUGHT US ANYTHING, IT WAS THAT:
“Outside is where art should live - amongst us.” Founded in 2010 by creative event company The Do Lab, The Do Art Foundation is a nonprofit that works to improve art access and education by promoting and creating work visible in the public landscape. And it’s not just any work. Do Art was created out of the idea that art should help bridge communities and create important humanitarian cultural conversations through collaboration and public access.
Carmen Zella, co-founder and Executive Director at Do Art, stresses why the organization is so important: “Art is what creates awareness of ourselves, our environment and permeates our subconscious mind. That is powerful, and should not be marginalized or disregarded as superfluous and unnecessary.” She adds, “Creativity is the birth of all great inventions and needs to be developed and honored in our society more then it currently is.” Simply put, Do Art wants the public to “do art.”
This is accomplished by facilitating events, programs, and exhibitions that inspire creative expression within society. In addition, through interaction and education, Do Art helps develop the careers of visual artists and foster artist-audience relationships in these local and international communities.
mural artists to revamp the exteriors of the Hollywood shelter. “The pieces we have now give us a place of conversation with the young people […] and for the community as well. My hope is for people to explore what My Friends Place is [and] also think about the issue of youth homelessness in a different light,” says Let’s take the example of My Friends Place, Heather Carmichael, Executive Director of My a community center that works to assist Friends Place. and inspire homeless youth. Do Art brought One of the five artists invited to work on the project for My Friends Place, Aly Kourouma, adds: “I’m
very excited every time I work with Do Art because they’re always concerned about the impact of the work of the artist on the community. ”That’s just one example of the communities and artists that Do Art has impacted. There are a handful of ways you can support Do Art’s work Become a member and get discounts to Community Partner businesses, Do Lab shows, and other perks. Memberships range from $25 for students to $200 annually. Make a donation. Funds will support the creation of publicly visible pieces by contemporary artists. Volunteer. Do Art is looking for help with photography, social media, research and projects. You can also go on a meaningful trip to Haiti for Do Art’s latest Community Outreach Project ($4,000-6,000 per person). Buy art. Prints in the online gallery store start from $100, while original paintings start from $500. Follow Do Art on social media or email them at email@example.com.
Electrify Mag is proud to be a supporter of Do Art’s work. At our event at the IMAGINE gallery on February 11th, 2014, we will be raffling a print of “BELIEVE” by Peter Ruprecht. Proceeds will benefit The Do Art Foundation.
DEFINING THE ABSTRACT WITH YARROW MAZZETTI BY SOPHIE DABUZHSKY
It’s difficult to classify Yarrow Mazzetti as any one particular type of artist. The range of skills he has mastered give him a plethora of colors with which to paint a canvas using his distinctive style and technical ability. Williamsburg-based Mazzetti began his first apprenticeship with Will Mooney, studying the Propagation of trees in Washington State. From there he landed in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula where he decided, that if nothing else, he should always have a personal home to escape to – near a beach he could surf on. He designed and custom built a home under the apprenticeship of Maxamilliano Hernandez Ponce – a genius in creating concrete structures. Mazzetti’s lessons continued when he moved back to the North West where he apprenticed under Jarin Lindsey, a master in the lost art of timber framing. Timber framing requires cutting a series of interlocking joints found in large timbers and pegging them together with wooden dowels, an ancient process requiring no nails. Together, Jarin and Mazzetti carved and assembled the Kranzler Dojo.
29 Mazzetti’s unique vision and skill in design were cultivated during his apprenticeship with Santo Cominos. Under Cominos’ tutelage, Mazzetti perfected the art of fine furniture using a range of materials including wood, metal, stone, concrete, tile and glass to create doors, cabinets, tables and other furnishings. A large part of the joy Mazzetti receives when creating something – is making it truly unique for that individual – reflecting his or her spirit through customized touches. This in itself is an art form – and in 2010, Mazzetti was commissioned to build a custom art car, Shagalac, to be premiered at Burning Man. Following Shagalac, Mazzetti designed and built several art cars for private clients – which led to his inspiration for “The Lady Buggies.” 15 Ladies in total, The Lady Buggies are mobile art installations that light up in color-changing patterns. They each come equipped with booming sound systems and can be found spreading joy and light at festivals, parades and private functions across the country.
Today, some of Mazzetti’s latest work can be found at Imagine Gallery, in New York City through February 2014. The furniture featured is an ode to Mazzetti’s fascination with the benefit and beauty of recycling quality materials. His tables repurpose findings from Heritage Buildings across New York where he salvaged gorgeous slates of raw wood as well as steel beams. Most recently, he excavated an abandoned metal scrap yard where he found machine gears, industrial fixtures and tools with which to further expand his creative vision. A jack of all trades? Not if you ask him – because there’s always something new to create.
DECONSTRUCTING AUSTYN WEINER BY AMANDA HO
24-year-old Miami native, Austyn Weiner is a vibrant by-product of her ever-changing surroundings. This emerging artist exploded onto the art scene, utilizing digital platforms such as social media and her blog to reveal her multifaceted-personality. Weiner’s art is striking, as she takes her photographs and turns them into seductive graphic surrealism. Her most recognizable piece is a portrait of model, Cara Delevingne, taken backstage while shooting for Michael Kors during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Using a multitude of layers of paint and ink to reconstruct the original image, Weiner created “Le Modèle.”
Weiner’s aesthetic is a culmination of her nomadic past. After two years of studying fine arts at the University of Michigan, she decided to return home to Miami. Soon thereafter, she relocated to Tel Aviv where she refined her eye exploring her technique in film and photography before finally deciding to pursue formal training at Parsons in New York. Now residing in Little Italy, Weiner is currently working on her debut solo exhibition following her first showing at Art Basel Miami 2013. Her largest scale piece to date is an astounding 40-by-10 foot Plexiglass image that is on display at the re-
cently formed artist collective, The Arts Initiative. Curated by Primary Projects, the collective is dedicated to placing highly interactive visual art in public venues. Weiner’s piece is housed at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago alongside Daniel Arsham, Friends With You, and Jim Drain, among other nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artists. Electrify Mag sat down with Weiner for a candid chat about her background, influential experiences, creative process and the on-going search to discover her identity.
31 Where do you find your inspiration?
collaging and painting over them to push the images a little further. Those experiences and visuals are so personal to me, as they evoke such emotion; so by taking that extra step to manipulate the images, I work myself into them.
Can you pinpoint a significant experience that influenced you as an artist?
Do you think you have found your identity?
It has always been color, shock value, and oddities. Like the ‘wow’ moment. I have always been attracted to that.
My best friend told me three years ago, ‘listen if I ever do one thing for you, I have to take you to Burning Man.’ I spent the whole year knowing I was going, but not asking one question. Honestly I didn’t even look it up and had no idea what I was in for. It completely freed me and changed the concept of art for me. It took art off the white walls of the galleries, which for me is the most intimidating and unattractive part of the art world. It brought art to the people, by the people, for the people and added a real purity to the way I try to create my art. Overall, it’s made me stronger in every sense of radical self-expression.
How has your creative process changed over the years?
I think I have changed more. In terms of my art, I think about a completion of images that I see in the world and stick together random scenarios of people, places or things that I’ve seen and meet. I think that surrealist sort of Burning Man visual will make its way into my canvasses in more of a fine art way then a photographic sense. I plan on turning a lot my photographs into paintings one day and freezing the moment that way. I am more interested in
Austyn: Figuring out the art world is very much like figuring out anything else in life. Like figuring out where you fit in, what type of people you want to exhibit with and what you want to make. So I am just figuring it all out. I have the tendency to want most of the questions answered before I create my work, but I am really starting to believe that the work leads you in the right direction.
You just have to be honest about what you’re expressing and what you want to make. Then, you’ll attract the people, places, and things that are right for you.
SURVEY ING THE
WITH NEW YORK’S BURGEONING NIGHTLIFE INDUSTRY, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF UP-AND-COMING EVENTS AND PROMOTERS SPROUTING ONTO THE MAP. SWITCH UP YOUR WEEKEND PLANS WITH THESE TWO SPOTLIGHT COMPANIES WHO ARE SHAKING UP THE BIG APPLE.
DISCO BEFORE SUNSET Disco Before Sunset, Tara Ghazanfar and Nessy Khem’s homegrown company from Brooklyn, brings a niche groove on the horizon. Placing the sun in the center of their concept, their idea came from a simple conclusion; the party is at its peak when the sun sets or when it rises after a long night of dancing.
“When we arrived to New York, we discovered these unique warehouse techno parties. This underground scene appeared to us to be more than just a random crowd, it was actually a real family composed of music lovers who just love to gather around a DJ booth at a BLK Market, Resolute or Sheik N Beik party. The freedom and the energy that was coming out of it was nothing like we have witnessed before. Tara and I just felt that we could add something to it.” Khem says. Since its launch in the summer of 2013, DBS has hosted satellite events at the Output’s Canopy Bar in Brooklyn, during Art Basel in Miami and most recently at a villa in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve during The BPM Festival. Reflecting on their intimate gathering featuring Bill Patrick alongside Dan Ghenacia and Shonky from French house trio, Apollonia on the decks, Ghazanfar explains, “Our concept is to gather a fun crowd around quality music in an intimate environment where the landscape, the sun and the soul matter.” What’s next for DBS? Be on the lookout for their pop-up party in Dubai in the near future!
SCENE: NEW YORK BABËL
BABËL was born after a long observation of the polarized New York City music landscape. Brainchild of Waël MechriYver (co-founder of the famed Cirque Bonheur in Paris and Marquee New York’s Ambassador) and Juriel Zeligman (former manager of Lee Burridge), the duo observed that New Yorkers were segmented and separated between social categories, reflecting in the vast variety of nightclubs and parties across the spectrum. “You had the high end nightclubs where music was secondary and bottles were queen, meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum you had the underground warehouse parties where nothing else was important except for the music,” says Mechri-Yver. “Everyone was scattered and partied on their own, which wasn’t fun for me. We are not about competition, but we are all about collaboration. Our goal is to offer the
best experience possible to the people of New York.” BABËL’s inaugural Parisian Ball on Governors Island this past summer exemplifies their ideology for events. Taking place on Bastille Day – a celebration that marks a key moment in the French Revolution (the storming of the Bastille and eventual freedom for the masses), BABËL brought attendees to an enchanted world. Held at Fête Paradiso, the world’s first festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels, the ball was a sensory experience of romantic splendour. “In order to create something new, we decided to utilize the best venues Manhattan could offer including the McKittrick Hotel, Governors Island and the Bowery Hotel with the best acts in deep house and tech,” Zeligman explains. “I always dreamt to party at Studio 54, Area, Limelight and all those legendary clubs; so I thought with BABËL, we could bring back this magic from the past! We hope to unify the different tribes of New York and bring them together.” Uniting entrepreneurs, innovators, and artists of the city, BABËL is on the forefront of revolutionizing the New York nightlife experience with their innovative concept parties and upcoming launch of their music label. Now the only question that remains is… do you believe in magic?
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555 6th Ave. New York, NYC 10011
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Celebrate Shannonʼs birthday with surprise guest performances
Facebook.com/ImagineExhibition #ImagineGallery 555 6th Ave, New York, New York 10011 555 6th Ave. New York, NYC 10011