MISSION ONE APRIL 2018
MADE IN CANADA
A PRODUCT OF VISION REQUIRED MEDIA Â©
E N I Z A G A M
/ Ë&#x2C6;mav(É&#x2122;)rik/ (noun) 1. an unorthodox or independent-minded person
Photographed in Ottawa, Ontario by Editor-in-Chief Anthony Best, our premier issue presents a man about to face a challenge but, more importantly, it is an image of a man destined to conquer. And this, in the face of adversity and barriers both apparent and intangible, is the pursuit of happiness and personal success. The brooding mood and shadows captured are meant to spark curiosity and propel the mind on a journey, one that took us to trying places, where the mind finds its own salvation and brings you face-to-face with the maverick within.
JOHN FLUEVOG BOUTIQUE - OTTAWA visit www.johnfluevog.com
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the making of a magazine Thoughts / Ideas / Challenges / Music
EDITOR’S CORNER 17
When the idea to start this magazine came to me, I didn’t have a blueprint or instructions to follow to make it come to fruition. All I knew was that I wanted to use my passion and interests to do more for men. As a photographer and professional stylist, I have used my skills to transform individuals for magazines or fashion shows and reported mostly on seasonal trends and “must haves”. Of course, looking one’s best is important and goes a long way both professionally and personally but the fact is, more often than not, the focus is on projecting an artificial image and not really embracing yourself. I wanted this publication to be different. Instead of putting the emphasis on transforming men, I would chronicle their lives, using my passion for photography and fashion to highlight their interests, obsessions, faces, and physiques. The objective is to reveal our similarities and when necessary, our complexities. Without dismissing our love of quality apparel, cars, and all the shiny shit, we will focus on our first objective, which is to present the idea of man with a modicum of depth. Men have been branded ‘simple’ for as long as we have been walking upright, a box we have been made to fit into but one in which we definitely don’t belong. As a gay man, the examples of boxes I must contort myself to fit into are endless. For instance, it’s expected we gay men love fashion, cuisine, travel, and home decor: we are the “arts”. Anything that seemed overly “cultured,” and by that I mean “soft” or “feminine,” was meant to fit directly in our wheelhouse. Similar stereotypes for all men have resulted in prevalentsocietal attitudes that neglect to consider our individual characteristics. After all, not all gay men love fashion and not all straight men care for sports. Yet, we seem to be embarrassed to admit otherwise. We are all individuals who love and want to be loved, and who want to love an eclectic range of things. It is in this space, between what man is perceived to be and who he really is, that allowed MALEIQ to come to be.
EDITOR’S LETTER 19
I created this publication to continue conversations that I had been frequently having with male clients working as their stylist, most of whom were heterosexual and of varying ages and backgrounds. This time, though, I didn’t want these conversations to take place in a vacuum. I wanted other men to see that they were not alone in their thinking or rationale. Many of them felt like there was a conflict between what they liked and what they were expected to like. It became a passion of mine to create a space where these men were not being pandered to or being told what “real men” are. Rather, the goal is to be a project their own lifestyles and, where possible, offer a sounding board that would support and validate their interests. Soon, I realized that this was all easier said than done. It still wasn’t clear how I would achieve this but I also knew that greatness took time and that what I needed to do, simply was to start. So the work began to see what it would take to bring this idea to life. It wasn’t long before I started meeting other people who started their own businesses to follow their passions and others who chose to project their own identities. Their life philosophies aligned with ours: to break free of the mold society was forcing them in. While some of them will be the subjects of this life essay, others have agreed to join me as contributors to my project. To both, I am most sincerely grateful. Understanding that we will learn as we go, our focus will remain on ensuring that we give each issue our best shot at keeping it raw and honest, to promote a clearer and stronger brand, and to always remember this is a marathon, not a sprint; failure is nothing more than an opportunity to learn and to improve. Our vision is that with each issue, men are given a space to be as alternative or as contemporary as they want by learning and growing from others who are cool enough to share their stories.
THE MAKING OF MAVERICK PLAYLIST 1. Love & Hate - Michael Kiwanuka 2. The Story of O.J. - JayZ (4:44) 3. All The Stars - Kendrick Lamar feat. SZA (Black Panther Offical Soundtrack) 4. Subtle Thing - Marian Hill 5. Move your body (Alan Walker Remix)- Sia 6. HUMBLE.- Kendrick Lamar 7. Unforgettable- French Montana feat. Swae Lee 8. Vai Malandra (feat TropKillaz & DJ Yuri Martins) Anitton, MC Zaac, Maejor 9. Mad Over You - Runtown 10. Mi Gente (feat Beyonce) - J Balvin, Willy William 11 . Lemon - N.E.R.D feat Rihanna 12. Numb - Rihanna feat Eminem 13. Fashion Week (feat G-Eazy) - Wale 14. Fade - Kanye West 15. America - Razorlight 16. What About Us - P!nk 17. Young Dumb and Broke - Khalid 18. Thunder - Imagine Dragons 19. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons 20. Bodak Yellow - Cardi B 21. Wild Things - Alessia Cara 22. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m Better (feat. Lamb) - Missy Elliott 23. Hotline Bling - Drake 24. Make Me Feel - Janelle Monae 25. Ready - Hael
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ANTHONY BEST
COPY EDITOR ANAND MODHA
ANAND MODHA ANTHONY BEST BRIAN GREEN MARC STEWART
JARYD NILES-MORRIS JARROD CARTER DAVID VELEZ TARIK CARROLL BOBBY CRAY JOHAN GAY VISION REQUIRED MARKUS BREHM
CREATIVE CONSULTANT ELIAS HANNA
VISION REQUIRED MEDIA
CRUST AND CRATE OTTAWA JOHN FLUEVOG OTTWA BALLWASH SKULL AND BONES NYC 22
LATER PAGE 26 LIVING THE DREAM PAGE 38 A STYLISH MAN PAGE 58 “CURTIS” PAGE 68 MODEL OF A MAN PAGE 76 NEVRE TOO MUCH PAGE 88 “BENNY PHYSIQUE”
PAGE 98 THE ISLE OF MAN PAGE 110 ON THE ROCKS PAGE 118 RULES TO MAN BY (PT:1) PAGE 128 “LESTER” PAGE 144 RULES TO MAN BY (PT:2) PAGE 154 IN SERACH OF GENIUS
ISSUE... PAGE 162 ...A24 & THE SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING PAGE 166 DESATURATE PAGE 184 JOHAN GAY: “DARK” PAGE 194 “MAVERICK” A PHOTO STORY
THE CIRCLE Let’s get out and meet some people
LIVING THE DREAM
GOT WOOD? It was the love of creating, working with their hands, and wanting to set and live by their own rules that motivated the Hughes brothers to start their own business. Now, the Ottawa brothers have a growing furniture business in Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital and after discovering their work on social media, we wanted to find out more about what makes them tick, what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like working with your sibling, and what inspired them to live their dream. 26
It was a frigid morning back in February and, by Canadian standards, a nice day when I had an interview set with the two strikingly handsome brothers, Chris and Jason Hughes who make up the Timberware Handcrafted Furniture Company. I was eager to meet the guys whose skills and looks were capturing our attention on social media, to learn more about their relationship as brothers, their love of craftsmanship, and what they hoped to achieve. Handcrafted furniture has long been a labour of love for artisans, one that seemed to be slipping away with the opening of stores like IKEA and other big chains, offering easy assembly and lower price points over anything unique or of distinguishable quality. However, the work of a skilled craftsman cannot be substituted; he knows that the right material and a great eye for design can produce an enviable product and lucrative business, especially for anyone brave enough to risk a finger-tip or two. Standing in the Timberware workshop, it was clear I was out of my element. In the workshops I’m used to, there would be bolts of fabrics, piles of garments, and sewing machines but as long as I didn’t have to name any power saws, I’d probably survive. The atmosphere was relaxed and the brothers’ demeanour pretty cool, which meant all I needed to do was be myself and let them lead. 28
MIQ: WHAT MADE YOU TWO DECIDE TO GO INTO BUSINESS TOGETHER ? CHRIS - Having a handcraft wood-shop, where I can get creative and bring my design style to anyone, has been a dream of mine for years. The timing had never been right as I was working full time with my contracting business. JASON - A few years New Zealand. As I returning to Canada I a job in carpentry. carpentry like furniture
ago, I was living in was thinking about was hoping to get Specifically, in fine and cabinet making.
CHRIS - When Jason got back to Ottawa, he mentioned what his plans were. I told him about my long time idea which he thought would be a good fit and we decided to take the leap! Within a week, I had leased our shop space, got a business licence and purchased the tools to get started!
MIQ: WHO IS THE ALPHA PERSONALITY? CHRIS: I would say that I am. I’m the older one and technically “the boss” in the company. JASON: Chris...
MIQ: WHY CHOOSE HANDCRAFTED OVER MASS PRODUCED? JASON: It’s personal and specialized. I really enjoy making the one-of-a-kind pieces, even if we make a similar style of furniture, it’s always unique. That makes it fun for us, and special for our clients. CHRIS: The nature of wood is so unique from piece to piece. I think that each piece of furniture should be unique as well. We’re always trying to keep things fresh; I have so many ideas for new designs that I can’t wait to build and show people. Furthermore, the quality and craftsmanship of handmade furniture just isn’t there when you get a mass produced item at a big box store. We make furniture to last for generations.
MIQ: WHAT’S YOUR SEXIEST QUALITY? CHRIS: My girlfriend says it’s my eyes and my creativity. I’ve also been told that having the skills to build pretty much anything is an attractive trait.
...GET A LITTLE PERSONAL
JASON: Probably my devilishly handsome good looks. Haha...or my modest sense of humour.
MIQ: MARRIED OR SINGLE?
MIQ: WHAT DRIVES YOU CRAZY?
CHRIS: Not married yet, but I do have a serious girlfriend. She absolutely loves what I do and is very supportive.
CHRIS: Haha. A lot. I can be pretty OCD at times. Being covered in pet hair drives me absolutely crazy. My girlfriend has a German Shepherd/ Husky mix who is really cute and awesome, but also very furry! I have to have a lint roller close by. At the shop, I don’t like when my work space is messy and full of clutter (or my house or truck for that matter). A clean work area makes me a lot more productive.
JASON: Married. MIQ: (IF SINGLE) WHO’S BETTER WITH THE CHRIS: I guess Jason is better with the ladies as he managed to land one first. JASON: Yup...the ring speaks for itself.
JASON: Slow walking people...especially if it’s a group of them blocking any possible way around them.
MIQ: WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES FURNITURE DESIGN SO REWARDING?
MIQ: THAT’S TORTURE!
Taking a design idea and making it a tangible product is awesome. Some ideas don’t work out the greatest, so we’ll often have to tweak things as we go or sometimes scrap an idea all together. That’s part of the creative process, but we love stepping back and seeing the finished product. Passing a piece on to a client and seeing that they are just as thrilled about owning it as we were about making it; it always makes our day.
MIQ: ONE PLACE YOU’D LOVE TO TRAVEL TO? CHRIS: A trip to Europe has been on the agenda for a while now, especially Ireland and Northern Europe like Finland and Sweden. JASON: I would say Europe as well. I’ve never been and always wanted to go there.
MIQ: ONE PERSON WHO INSPIRES YOU? CHRIS: I’ve been learning different trades and specific ways to be hands on my whole life. I’ve been inspired and mentored by many people along the way. We grew up on a farm and I would watch my dad fix stuff around the house and in the barns. At 14 years old, I was a welder’s apprentice and learned how to weld, work with metal and the ins and outs of that business. Without those skills, I wouldn’t be able to make all of our steel table bases and furniture accents. In high school, I got started in carpentry and continued to learn from those experienced people around me every chance I got. JASON: I’m not sure I can think of a specific person, but I’ve always been inspired by stories of achievers. You know those stories of people who may have started as a nobody, but through hard work and perseverance, even in the face of adversity, have become something or made a difference. Haha! I guess that’s your classic hero story eh? MIQ: SO, HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO SEPARATE THE PERSONAL FOR THE PROFESSIONAL? CHRIS: This business is such a passion of mine that I don’t really separate the two. My personal life and things I do on the weekends may give me inspiration for new designs. I know everyone says to “leave work at work”, but I don’t remember having any bad days in the shop that I need to escape from. I’m the happiest when I’m building things and being creative. JASON: We don’t really. I guess we just do life, and Timberware is part of that. MIQ:WHAT CAUSES YOU TO GET ANGRY AT THE OTHER? CHRIS: Jason is pretty easy going, so we don’t really get in many arguments. I can be impatient at times, so sometimes I’ll snap at him if he’s being a bit too laid back and taking a while to get things done. JASON: We jam out to music quite often and if he thinks his dance moves are better than mine, that’s the last straw! Haha nah...I don’t really get mad that easily, so I can’t really think of anything.
MIQ: ANY OTHER HIDDEN PASSIONS OR TALENTS? CHRIS: I love boating, wake boarding and scuba diving, pretty much anything to do with the water and being on the water. I also have an interest in cars and enjoy working on my truck. JASON: I really enjoy playing guitar. There were a few months in New Zealand where it became my livelihood. MIQ: ONE MALE STEREOTYPE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO DEBUNK? CHRIS: I’m probably a big male stereotype. I’m a guy’s guy and love all the things that you’d think I would...beer, cars, sports and …smashing stuff? Or whatever else men are supposed to enjoy. One male stereotype I don’t like is how guys have a fear of aging. That “life is over after 40” or “your best days are behind you”. I’m 33 this year and I feel as young and happy as ever. Yeah, I have a bunch of grey hair. So what?! I’m finally accomplishing things that I’ve wanted for a long time and look forward to the future. You’re only as old as you feel. JASON: …We don’t always have to be the strong perfect ones. We can have sensitive sides too.
MIQ: (COMPLETE THIS) I THINK MY BROTHER IS _________ AND _________, THAT’S WHY I LOVE WORKING WITH HIM. CHRIS: I think my brother Jason is very talented, patient and has a great eye for detail that’s why I love working with him as a man/person JASON: A “manperson” eh? LOL!! I’d probably say Chris is creative and brings a lot of ingenuity to what we do. It’s kinda something you need in this line of work.
A STYLISH MAN
MALEIQ MAGAZINE MEETS UP WITH ONE OF MOST STYLISH GUYS WE KNOW TO SEE WHAT HE’LL REVEAL TO US ABOUT HIS STYLE.
Nothing gets your attention like a well dressed man. His demeanour is usually one of confidence seldom of arrogance. Like everything else change is constant, and popular trends are no different. Men’s streetwear has become the standard measure of being well dressed, a departure from the classic style of men’s fashion. Joseph Allaham is a fashion consultant by profession and embodies himself a passion for men’s style. He uses his knowledge and model stature to pull off some of the coolest outfits a man can wear. As a young man, he faces the dilemma of balancing a professional lifestyle in a libertarian world. While many guys avoid suits because they are too conformist and even too traditional, he defies the rules by presenting a young renegade approach to something that is quite often more generic and old fashion. Being able to take risks in his style makes Joseph feel more in control of his image, expecially when wearing a suit. He clearly demonstrates that even if suits are a requirement in your workplace, you can always bring your own style to your appearance. So we thought it would be fun to meet up at #crustandcrate Ottawa for a little morning photoshoot and interview with someone that we think is one of the city’s most stylish men. 39
FOR A STYLISH MAN
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? J: I WAS BORN IN MONTREAL AND SPENT MOST OF MY LIFE IN OTTAWA. MY PARENTS ARE FROM DAMASCUS, SYRIA.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FRAGRANCE? J: TOM FORD SOLE DI POSITANO
WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL SEXY? J: A CUSTOM FITTING SUIT.
WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR LOVE OF FASHION? J: I ALWAYS HAD A LOVE OF FASHION SINCE I WAS YOUNG - WON MOST FASHIONABLE MALE IN HIGH SCHOOL GRAD YEAR - WHICH RE-ASSURED MY LOVE FOR FASHION.
A STYLISH MAN
WHY SHOULD A MAN DRESS WELL? J: IT SAYS A LOT ABOUT HOW A MAN PUTS HIMSELF TOGETHER AND THE WAY HE IS DRESSED WILL TELL EVERYONE HE MEETS THE TYPE OF PERSON HE IS. A MAN THAT PUTS EFFORT INTO A WARDROBE AND LOOKING WELL PUT TOGETHER, WILL GIVE OFF A FEELING OF CONFIDENCE AND SUCCESS. THE DETAILING, TAILORING AND ACCESSORIES WILL TELL YOU HOW ATTENTIVE HE IS TO HIS PERSONALIZED LOOK. I ALWAYS THINK THAT IF YOU LOOK GOOD, YOU WILL FEEL GOOD!
WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNER? J: TOO MANY FAVOURITES BUT I GOTTA SAY ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA BECAUSE THEY’RE SECOND TO NONE WHEN IT COMES TO FABRIC, CONSTRUCTION AND CREATING A LIFESTYLE WARDROBE.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU HIGHLY RECOMMEND? J: SAXX UNDERWEAR, PAIGE JEANS AND A GOOD SET OF WHITE SNEAKERS (WOULD RECOMMEND THE E. ZEGNA XXX COUTURE SNEAKERS)
ON WHAT WOULD YOU SPEND YOUR LAST DOLLAR? J: ESPRESSO
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD? J: BBQ RIBS
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT MEN’S PERCEPTION OF FASHION? J: THAT IT’S NOT WORTH INVESTING IN QUALITY CLOTHING. A WELL TAILORED SUIT, SHIRT AND SHOES WILL WEAR LONGER, HANG BETTER AND MAKE YOU LOOK AND FEEL AMAZING.
A STYLISH MANï»¿
PERSON OF INTEREST Discovering the young and very dynamic Tevin Evans on social media was a great find; it was immediately clear he was someone we wanted to getto know. During the process of putting this issue together, we knew it wasour job not just to seek out established men but to also keep an eye outfor the up-and-comers, men who were destined to make an impact on the lifestyles of many. When he isn’t blowing up Instagram or rubbing shoulders with the music industry’s elite at the Grammy awards, he can be found spending quality time with the people he loves, those who he confesses “keep him grounded”. One thing that made him stand out for us, other than hisobvious confidence and flair, is his affiliation with the cause known as “The Every Man Project”.
PERSON OF INTERESTï»¿
MIQ: WHO ARE TWO IMPORTANT MEN IN YOUR LIFE? T: One of the two of the most important men in my life, though not to be a cliche is my Father. As imperfect as we all are, he’s been a wonderful dad to my sisters and I, despite the many obstacles that comes with having 4 kids. The second is the first man I honestly and truly loved. Although our relationship didn’t last forever as I once hoped, I loved him ferociously. He saw things in me that at times I couldn’t see myself. And even though things ended, I have memories I’ll cherish for a lifetime and a knowledge of what it means to love and to be loved.
MIQ: WHAT IS ONE MALE STEREOTYPE YOU’D LIKE TO DEBUNK? T: We aren’t hardball, emotionally dejected. We are compassionate and loving and yes, we do cry!
MIQ: HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE YOU WEREN’T GIVEN A FAIR CHANCE? T: There was a stylist I worked for, she had an intern and I pick up all the garments and bring them to her home and hang them up. Whenever I asked about shadowing her to learn from her, she replied that she wouldn’t have the time or space to deal with me.
MIQ: (WTF?!!) WHAT DID YOU DO ABOUT IT? T: I told her I couldn’t stay on with her team without compensation for my travel and a real opportunity to learn from them instead of being a messenger.
MIQ: WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? In five years I would like to live in London or Montreal, signed to an agency and hopefully working full-time in fashion.
MIQ: THREE BAD HABITS? T: I’m always singing. Sometimes I should be quiet but I can’t help it when I’m happy. I’m an avid shopper. Eating French fries.
MIQ: WHAT'S YOUR GUILTIEST PLEASURE? T: My guiltiest pleasure just might be texting while I'm in church. It's such a silly little thing but it would drive my mother insane! Plus Sunday mornings is when my friends and I unload our stories about our Saturday night escapades!
MIQ: WHAT'S THE WORST DATE YOU'VE BEEN ON? T: The worst date I've been on was the time I went to see the last film in the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 2! I really wasn't into this guy but I figured I'd give him a chance. He talked so much during the film and I left right after not wanting to go to dinner because I felt like there was nothing more to talk about. I had no clue as to what happened in the movie and I was so over the entire ordeal.
MIQ: WHAT MAKES THIS CAREER FULFILLING FOR YOU? T: I feel fulfilled when I'm creating. Whether it’s creating looks on set during a photoshoot, dressing a client or dressing myself. There's a sense of calmness that comes over me.
PERSON OF INTEREST
MIQ: IF YOU COULD WORK WITH SOMEONE FAMOUS WHO WOULD IT BE? T: Can I pick two?! That’s a hard one! If we’re speaking creatively, I would love to work with French Designer and adult film star turned model Francois Sagat. He’s got an interesting view on the world around us. I believe a collaboration between us two would lead to wondrous things. In modeling I would love to work with Rob James Evans. A model I truly admire for the work he’s done and the stand he’s taken on promoting a healthy body image despite repeatedly being told to lose weight to book jobs.
MIQ: ARE THERE ENOUGH MEN DOING WHAT YOU DO? T: There’s definitely a lack of men doing what I do. I think this profession is still dominated by women to a certain degree and I think it’s fine! There’s so much that men dominate and tend not to leave room for women to thrive. In fashion, I admire the strong female figures who are true movers and shakers. They offer a lot that we as men can learn from.
MIQ: RIHANNA OR BEYONCÉ...OR A LITTLE OF BOTH? Rihanna for sure ! Don't get me wrong, Beyoncé is a talented woman but....... as of lately I just haven't been feeling her music. Rihanna, on the other hand, I think is really having a moment; she's fun and she's interesting!
MIQ: COMPLETE THIS: (WHEN I'M ...................THAT'S WHEN I FEEL MOST CONFIDENT IN MYSELF) T: When I'm naked that's when I feel most confident in myself. There's a level of freedom I feel when there's nothing but my body. It's taken me a while to have found beauty in my body and although I have goals and aspirations for how I'd like to look, right now, I love what I see in the mirror.
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BOBBY CRAY LONDON
MODEL O MODEL O
OF A MAN OF A MAN Model: Lorin Symington - Photographer: Anthony Best - Location: Ottawa, Ontario
MODEL OF A MAN
MUCH MEN’S UNDERWEAR REDEFINED
Model: Samuel Fernandes. Photographer: David Velez. Location: Lisbon, Portugal.
Model: Tiago Santos Lima Underwear: MUCH (Portugal) Photographer: David Velez Location: Principe Real - Lisbon - Portugal
BENNY PHYSIQUE MODEL: BEN DOUCETTE PHOTOGRAPHER: ANTHONY BEST LOCATION: CANADA
THE ISLE 98
MODEL: ARAM - PHOTOGRAPHER: JARROD CARTER - LOCATION: QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA.
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Model: Max Small (instagram @_maxsmall) Photographer: Jarrod Carter (instagram @jarrodcarterphotography); (www.facebook.com/jarrodcarterphotographer); Location: Gold Coast, Australia
RULES TO MAN BY THINGS WE LEARNED THAT ALL MEN SHOULD KNOW MODEL: JORIS PHOTOGRAPHER: BOBBY CRAY
For this issue, we wrote down all the things we wish we could say to men. Regardless of age, background or sexual orientation, all men, at some point, will face the struggle of reconciling social expectations with personal beliefs. Straight men may have to learn to connect more on an emotional level, while gays are expected to prove their masculinity. We wanted to highlight these issues and hope to support those wanting to free themselves of stereotypical expectations.
THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER ARENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T JUDGING YOU
Learning this one thing will help give you the confidence to always remain true to yourself. People-pleasing is one of the things we do when we think we are being judged. Trying to make everyone happy will slowly leave you hollow and deplete your ability to connect to the real you. Always be you and never compromise your principles for the people who love you, the ones that matter the most in your life, will support the real you.
WALK THE PATH LAID BUT IN YOUR SHOES Don’t spend too much time trying to live by other people’s rules. The path laid by those who inspire us is just that: a path, a guide, or an outline. Success is not to follow someone else’s journey but to use it as a blueprint to conceive your own. Living your life to meet others’ expectations kills the spirit and is damaging to the soul.
MAKING AN EFFORT MEANS YOU CARE Faced with stress or distress, men often feel they must be perceived to always remain cool, appear unflappable in the face of adversity. In an effort to manage our own expectations and minimize our potential disappointment, we sometimes disengage prematurely or find excuses not to fully commit, which, in the long run, will do us more harm than good. If you honour and live by your own values, interests and expectations, you must exert your greatest effort to meet these challenges without reservation.
YOU ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOU GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR The thing about a mold is that eventually, if you don’t resist, you contort yourself to fit into it, which can sometimes be the path of least resistance. The key to your freedom from such conformations is within you; you must take the time to establish who you are and what you truly believe in. Make space for your passions. A fulfilled life means leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of becoming complete.
BOBBY CRAY LONDON U.K
RULES TO MAN BY THINGS WE LEARNED THAT ALL MEN SHOULD KNOW MODEL: PHILIP PHOTOGRAPHER: ANTHONY BEST
TALK ABOUT IT Men have a hard time opening up, as if by doing so they would show signs of weakness. They prefer fighting their own silent, internal battles. Yet, speaking out and getting things off your chest is an important step in confronting our issues and demons and making room for finding solutions. Others around us can be a valuable source of support and advice especially those who have endured similar struggles and are the ultimate form of proof we are not alone.
DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY YOUR INTERESTS Many men fail to follow their passions just because they feel it might not conform to preconceived, and mostly outdated, ideas of masculinity and what it means to be a man. Doing so is a terrible disservice to the self and the meaning of what makes you you. Identifying and pursuing your interests is a necessary expression of who you are and allows you to mesh those facets of your individuality with your dreams and aspirations. Never be intimidated by the potential of something you are passionate about.
PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR IMAGE DOESN’T MAKE YOU GAY, IT’S YOUR BRAND Enough guys out there believe that taking pride in your appearance or how you look is a gay trait or somehow not masculine, which is patently nonsense. The way you present yourself, in a number of different settings, helps to define you in business as well as socially. In fact, it can be the one thing that separates you from the pack. Furthermore, assuming all gay men are into fashion is a stereotype and is simply not true.
GAME RECOGNIZES GAME We see women do it all the time: walk up to another woman they do not know and compliment her make-up, outfit or shoes. For most men, to do something similar would be a breakthrough. The simple truth is nothing bad comes from putting positive energy out into the universe plus you may also make someone’s day.
YOU ARE WORTHY Take that in: positive reinforcement is not lost on guys but yet, we tend to deflect from the the moment we’re given a compliment. Hearing positive feedback is good and necessary. Your happiness is important to you and those that love you. Don’t let pride or self doubt stop you from accepting and savouring the admiration and approval from others.
We are creatures of habit and many of us will hesitate rather than embrace change. We keep ourselves out of the winnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s circle because the path to get there may be outside our comfort zone. Confront everyday with a YES mentality, allowing yourself to be open to whatever comes. When presented with a negative situation, face it as a learning opportunity. There is little gain without risk.
Art is the thin line between planned actoin and instinct.
THE ARTS COURT 153
A CREATIVE IN SEARCH OF GENIUS
BY ANTHONY BEST 154
With a decidedly disarming approach and innate ability to put you at ease, he quickly disregards personal boundaries yet manages to remain unobtrusive. His camera lens is an eye peering into the depths of your soul and with it he will make you his study, his object of investigation. He has an affinity and aptitude for photographing nudes, which further illustrates his boundless creativity. And though he prefers to shoot the female form without clothing, his resulting images are layered and textured. His work refuses to be pigeon-hold, fluctuating between fantasy and reality, which is, in itself, a delicious dichotomy permitting him to tell stories that depict otherworldly beauty and distinct clarity. Yet, nothing he does seems overprocessed or artificial and he avoids, at all costs, becoming obsessivelyinvolved in his work. This guy isn’t like the others, even his name is different. This is Jaryd
IN SEARCH OF GENIUS
PHOTOGRAPHY JARYD NILES MORRIS
Jaryd Niles-Morris takes compelling pictures you want to see. His work is not the generic, gratuitous stuff which far too often focuses more on the artist than the subject. At the age of 31, he is someone who has cultivated a style I like to describe as one-third voyeurism, one-third instigation, and one-third ambition. Jaryd, a young native of the Barbados publishes stunning images for exhibitions, commercial projects, and fashion editorials equallysomething increasingly rare as most photographers tend to specialize. While many others can’t afford to shy away from wedding photography to make ends meet, his solid reputation has allowed him the freedom to travel a different path to develop his artistry.
This creative genius masters the art of bringing different worlds to play in the same sandbox. His fashion editorials are conceptual formations with the attributes of the finest art. His recent project “Chop Suey” which closed last month, was referred to as an “immersive” project. Hoping to connect both Barbadian and traveling artists, it presented patrons with an alternate or “unexpected” way to experience art and music. This exhibit paid close attention to sexuality, power and mortality and featured all black and white compositions. His use of music adds another dimension to his art; it sets the tone and context in which the audience is to receive and appreciate the collection, inviting the viewer to follow the artists’ creative journey.
His story is one of persistence and confidence. On an Island the size of Barbados, there is only so much one can do if your dream is to pursue a career in the arts, even though they are taught at a post secondary level. Funding opportunities for artists is a struggle in larger countries like Canada and the US; the realities and limitations, by contrast, are far greater on an island the size of Barbados. I will never forget when I first met JNM: It was about 11 years ago when I was coming up as a stylist in Barbados. My best friend and business partner, at the time, and I were being photographed by one of the island’s top talents, Joel Brooks, and Jaryd was his apprentice. We created some stunning photos that day, which was my first time working with someonewhat I respected and who maintained a level of professionalism one doesn’t see too often. Since then, Jaryd has established himself as a leading creative in the Caribbean, to rival any other.
JNM deserves respect for his ferocious drive and ambitious approach to telling a story through his photographs, making him one of my favourite artists to work with. He travels extensively leveraging, commercial opportunities to develop his artistic portfolio. And unlike other passionate artists, this one isn’t reclusive at all. Jaryd is quite the extrovert, an attribute that clearly contributes to his success. His ability to network, mingle and engage with people allows him to capture them and tell their dynamic stories. While his recent exhibition is deep and somewhat visceral, he loves and lives to challenge all paradigms. Having had the opportunity to watch Jaryd’s career progress has been akin to witnessing the work of a magician: while we are distracted by the captivating and stunning beauty of his images, we risk missing the real piece of art, his creative process and the ingenuity he brings to each composition. And though we dare say that this guy is a genius, he would correct us and say, “nah, but I’m chasing it”. 160
PHOTOGRAPHY JARYD NILES MORRIS
PHOTOGRAPHY JARYD NILES MORRIS
A24: AND THE SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING
CONSIDER THIS SH!T: A24 AND THE SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING
While the rest of Hollywood continues to churn out endless sequels, unnecessary remakes, perplexing video game adaptations, superhero blockbusters ad nauseam (Exempt: Black Panther and Wonder Woman), and whatever artistic abortion The Emoji Movie was, one distribution/production studio offers films appealing to an audience looking for something with a bit more substance and maybe some depth.
THE ARTS COURT
BY ANAND MODHA NEW YORK
ith an intrinsic sense of which way the culture is headed, A24 produces and distributes works that are not merely films—they’re cultural events, capturing and distilling the zeitgeist to offer viewers a unique perspective on society as a whole. Distinctive, oddball, and sometimes truly horrifying subject matter can be difficult to sell, especially for independent films, but A24 has found a way to package and market the kinds of out-there stories that will never find mass appeal to audiences who are yearning for something different from the usual major studio fare. As Alex Garland said speaking to the Seattle Pi, “I’ve been told by executives, flat out, that ideas movies never work. They can say never work by all sorts of different criteria. It could mean they never make any money or they never work creatively.” Lucky for him, and filmmakers like him, A24 is the kind of company that celebrates ideas and the visionaries behind them. Founded by three independent New York-based film producers in 2013, David Fenkel, John Hodges, and Daniel Katz, the original business model was based solely on distribution– buying, marketing, and releasing films. Fenkel was previously president and partner at Oscilloscope Laboratories while Hodges was head of production and development at Big Beach Films. Initial backing was provided by Guggenheim Partners, where Katz was previously working in film financing, and additional funding arrived later via distribution partnerships with DirecTV and Amazon and a line of credit which grew to $125 million in 2016. While filmmaking titans such as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas sound a death knell for the traditional way movies are produced and distributed, A24 has found a way to find mid-sized and compelling films for audiences that may be more inclined to consume their movies on smartphones rather than on giant screens at the local multiplex.
Finding its niche at the mid-budget level between micro-indies budgeted at less than $2 million and major releases coming in at over $20, the company has carved its own path to becoming one of the most successful and exciting studios working in the film industry today. The company achieved early success with films such as Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers and Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring and in 2016, A24 received the Oscar imprimatur with Amy winning best documentary, Brie Larson winning best actress for Room, and Ex Machina taking home the golden statuette for best visual effects. No longer the rebellious outsider with an eye for eclectic projects and stories, the company had arrived to make its presence known in Hollywood and beyond. 163
A24: THE PRODUCTION COMPANY THAT COULD
The films are not the only things a bit different at A24, the marketing efforts around each release are equally creative. Take, for example, the fake Tinder profile created for Ava, the android played by Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina or the James Franco as gangster-douchebag Jesus artwork that went viral before the premiere of Spring Breakers. They even went so far as to publish a series of advertisements with the tagline ‘Consider this Sh*t’ to lobby members of the Academy to consider Franco as a bona fide Oscar contender. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Harmony Korine, the director of Spring Breakers said, “They saw that marketing was a creative act that could be entertaining in and of itself. They were thinking in a different way, trying something newer and maybe more radical with their approach. That broke the film out. It became something more like a cultural event.”
One year later, its first foray into film production, Moonlight, would cause a major upset in stealing the best picture award from heavilyfavored La La Land in what is probably the most ridiculously farcical moment in Oscars history. Upon being handed the wrong envelope for best picture, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced the Ryan Gosling/ Emma Stone film as the winner before the mistake was cleared up in front of a stunned and gaping audience. Needless to say, it was B-A-N-A-N-A-S. And hilarious. The film won best supporting actor (Mahershala Ali) and best adapted screenplay awards as well. This year, Lady Bird, The Florida Project, and The Disaster Artist were all nominated across a variety of categories but none managed to win.
the arts court
For the David Foster Wallace biopic, The End of the Tour, A24 partnered with Medium.com on a project called ‘Just Words’ that encouraged writers and artists to celebrate the author’s work with shared posts and comments. The company’s social media presence, most notably its Twitter account, is funny, irreverent, and creates conversations about the films rather than merely trying to sell movie tickets. A recent tweet about the way a character pronounces ‘Doritos’ in Lady Bird is nothing short of deliciously delightful. As a former cinephile who came of age and entered university to study film in the late 90s when independent film was in what can only be described as a golden age, to witness what A24 is doing with its film distribution and production is nothing short of absolutely inspiring.
Back then, studios such as Miramax (before Harvey Weinstein was revealed to be an alleged serial rapist and unrepentant scumbag), Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, Lionsgate, and many more were championing and showing films that are very similar in tone and execution to what A24 is doing today. The only difference being there were no clever social media tactics to help market the titles. In Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, for example, the plot is essentially non-existent, backstories are ignored, and the ending fails to answer any of the questions it might have raised in its nearly two-hour runtime but it is still an artistic triumph. The story of a six-year-old girl and her mother living well below the poverty line in a lavender-bathed motel outside what is meant to be the happiest place on earth, Disney World, becomes an incredibly moving tale peering into the lives of people existing on the edges of society. And Willem Defoe’s performance therein is a revelation. In today’s current marketplace where over-the-top spectacle and rehashed ideas have become the industry standard, the cultural norm, it is encouraging and more than mildly heartening to see A24 truly understand and support the filmmakers it partners with, achieve critical acclaim, and enjoy a modicum of financial success. And if their slate of current and upcoming films is any indication, what they’ve accomplished thus far is just the beginning. 165
STEVE JAMES RANGER
TOBIAS H. PEPPERSACK
JOHAN GAY PHOTOGRAPHER
DARK MODELS Joe Abraham Marcus Dimitri Rhuri Marc
RICK A PHOTO STORY
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NEXT ISSUE . JULY 2018