on m ere C e Th
351 GRAHAM AVENUE
I’m writing this from the back of my girlfriend Thistle’s
rising artist Diana Al-Hadid’s unorthodox methods.
car. I’ve just wrapped content on the Ceremony issue
We interview celebrity photographer-turned-humanist
of Beautiful Savage magazine and we’re driving to
Carter B. Smith, London-based model-turned-rocker
Dia:Beacon with creative director Steffanie Gillstrap.
Carmen Villain, and Irish sculptor Kevin Francis Gray,
It’s a stunning mid-summer day: the sun glints off the
who, by the way is creating some harrowing work for
Hudson River as we cross the George Washington
Frieze London this October. We’re all so grateful to
Bridge. We’re flying toward the wall of trees on the
have these amazing artists sharing their stories of
other side, and the landscape beyond.
ceremony with us.
For many New Yorkers, leaving the city is an essential
Since ordering the first prints of Beautiful Savage
ceremony, and one of the best parts of living here.
in January, and planting a stake in the ground as
People often find refuge from the concrete jungle’s
editor, I’ve realized how lucky I am to have this project
intensity in the Hamptons, the Catskills, or some
and the people around me who create such incred-
other nearby pastoral sanctuary, even if for just a
ible work. Without them, I am nothing. And without
moment. The very act of ceremony—those little rituals we
the creative communities of Brooklyn and beyond,
undertake during the creative process—is what we at
Beautiful Savage magazine is nothing.
Beautiful Savage tried to capture for this issue.
My job now, is to encourage artists and to tell the story
Every artist has a ceremony. These behaviors are
of where they are right now and how they got there.
fascinating. Our cover subject, fashion star Katie Gal-
My team and I celebrate the ceremonies of the artists
lagher spends her time painting before crafting her
we champion. We’ve worked really hard on this, so,
visionary pieces. Punk icon Richard Hell, who spoke
with our culture editor Mickey Woods, just keeps writing, drilling the depths of his own consciousness “to stay disoriented,” as he says. His first memoir
I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp is the result; it might be his greatest achievement yet. This issue includes contrasting editorials by supert alented photographers, from the celestial The
Wisdom of Ayuhuasca by Jodi Jones to Joey Falsetta’s chilling The Sabbath . Aaron Nachmann uncovers
CHAD SAVILLE @CHADSAVILLE FOUNDING EDITOR BEAUTIFUL SAVAGE MAGAZINE
The Ceremony Issue
Founding Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Fashion & Culture Editor email@example.com
Chad Saville is a New York City-based editor and freelance writer. Heâ€™s lived in New York nearly 10 years, but grew up on a dirt road in a small town in the Adirondacks.
By day, Mickey Woods is a pop-culture writer and editor for Glamour magazine. By night, and every other hour in-between, he's fashion and culture editor for Beautiful Savage. When he's not whipping writers into shape, he's likely talking passionately about Britney Spears (kidding, kinda).
Art & Design Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor in New York City. With two years of Chelsea gallery experience in under his belt, heâ€™s lent his art expertise to us for this issue.
Paola is a freelance artist, writer, and editor currently based in Milan, Italy. She works remotely for Beautiful Savage as our editor-at-large. We call her in when we need inspiration, pretty words, or somebody to charm the pants off a PR agent.
Creative Director email@example.com
Distribution & PR Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Steffanie Gillstrap is a New York City-based creative director. This Kentucky-born aesthete got married in Iceland and once directed a herd of elephants during monsoon season in Mumbai. Her favorite things include the 1970s in general and her dog, Rufus.
Courtney Baldwin has lived in New York City for nearly 10 years and has worked in advertising, public relations, and brand management. Right now, she’s serving as the public face of Beautiful Savage.
Associate Art Editor email@example.com
Curator & Art Events firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenni Crain is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer, and curator. She studied sculpture and art history at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Crain is currently the manager of Y Gallery on the Lower East Side.
Daine Coppola is a Brooklyn-based curator and uptown gallery associate with an instinct for uncovering new talent. He divides his time between the uptown art scene and the studios of Brooklyn, pulling inspiration for his next show.
INTERNS: Libby Peterson, Editorial Intern. Inny Taylor, Editorial Intern. Kevin Golden, Design Intern.
Photos by Elizabeth Waugh
L R DE IO V MO HA BE
X with Carmen Villain
TO GET IT OUT OF THE WAY: Norwegian-Mexican singer-songwriter Carmen Villain used to be Carmen Maria Hillestad, model. And she was quite successful by the modeling industry’s standards: moving to New York at 17; traveling the world; appearing in international magazines; walking Ann Demeulemeester’s runway shows, etc. You can Google if you’re curious to know more. The end. Villain will have no more of that now. Please don’t ask her about it. She won’t bite your head off if you do, because she’s quite lovely. She’ll tell you the truth if you ask. “I had to quit the other job to do music properly,” she says. “ But it’s okay, it’s just like, what I used to do.” Villain’s recent album, Sleeper, is about the state of perpetual cloudiness she experienced when she wasn’t “very active or present in society.” It’s dark, sinuous, and evokes a mood reminiscent of Nico of the Velvet Underground or Sonic Youth. What’s more striking is that the same oddly detached, emotionally resonant quality that makes Villain’s music alluring is also what draws you into her personality. She’s disarmingly real, not self-possessed in a way common among young rock stars seeking the limelight. She doesn’t keep a large crowd. She likes solitude, and prefers nature to material things. Beautiful Savage sat down with Villain to speak about her work, life, and music.
What was it like for you to live in New York as a teenager? Carmen Villain It’s funny: I came here for work, but I have to say I’m not sure what would've happened to me if I didn’t have anything concrete to do, because it’s a funny city, New York. For me, it was actually fine being 17 because I was desperate to get the fuck out of Norway, so I was like, ‘Yay,’ but I wasn’t totally naïve, so I always kinda saw through a lot of people’s bullshit. A good part of being Norwegian is how you see that. But then I started working—I got a lot of work quickly—and so that was my life here. I think that helps with New York: you need to have something to do because you can totally get lost in the city. So as far as Sleeper goes, did I read that you recorded this in an interesting location? CV Oh man, it’s actually not that interesting, it was just an airless place full of recording studios in old nuclear bunkers in Norway. I was down in the pre-war cellars with these massive metal doors. I worked there with [my co-producer] Emil [Nikolaisen] from 10 in the morning to 6 the following morning. It was a vacuum that was good to lose track of where the hell you were in time. So in that way, things sound really intense. You get inspired by your surroundings; by what you hear and by what you can see. How’s performing? I know you’re touring with the album now. CV Well, I’m touring minimally, but yeah, it’s good. I really like playing live. It’s really funny because sometimes it’s just awful but still fun anyway. And then sometimes, when it’s brilliant, you can tell because you feel the audience and connect with the people who are listening. Then, it’s completely amazing. That’s the best feeling. How do you gain confidence as a performer? CV It takes time; I’m still like a total mess and I get really nervous. A lot of artists I’ve known for many years, they still get fucking nervous and they’re like, ‘I wish I was in somebody else’s band where I could just play guitar or whatever in the background.' You feel this incredible responsibility when it’s your own project to really sell it. I’m definitely still working on it. Maybe it’s best to just release your work and let the people do what they will? CV I love that. If you get love and hate, that’s the best thing. If everyone loves you then it’s boring. But releasing your work and having a distance is the best way of approaching it. It’s easier said than done. It’s easy to just go into over-thinking everything and being super critical. Self-criticism is very prevalent for me, at times. I’m sure it’ll pass one day! When do you find is the best time for you to be creative? CV It often happens for me at night if I’ve been working, recording or writing for, like, several days in a row; that inspires me
more creatively because I’ve already got a flow going. And then I go to sleep and it’s like things will come to me in my sleep. Sometimes I’ll sit for days and nothing will happen. Did sleeping actually inform the choice to name your album Sleeper? CV The word ‘sleeper’ just describes a state of mind I was in when I wrote most of the songs. I was very clouded and not too present in a way. Like the deeper I dug into my life, the darker things got. Sleeper addresses a feeling where you don't feel active in society, almost completely detached. That detachment was very real for me. And it’s about the deep frustration of somehow not knowing why you can’t get out of that state. But also, since I was a little kid I had problems waking up. I love sleeping; it’s my favorite thing in the world. So it’s a little nod to my friends and family who know me for that and are like, ‘Hahaha,’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, I know it’s fucking funny.’ But part of it is also just a dark joke. You actually play lots of instruments, right? Did you grow up in a musical family? CV On the record I play guitar, piano, even clarinet sometimes, but not on the record; there’s no clarinet on the record. Just for fun. And drum machines, bass, all that stuff. I wouldn’t say I was properly engaged in music all the time, but my parents used to play the guitar. They encouraged me from early on so I started clarinet and the piano when I was about eight, then I picked up guitar at 13, but not properly. I just learned it from school, then I taught myself the rest. I’m not very good, but I like it that way, because it’s not too good, you know? Like, I don’t show off or anything. Is this new way of expressing yourself through music where you were meant to be all along? CV When I first started writing and recording, I had no idea it was going to turn into what it’s became. It definitely feels like I’m doing the right thing. I wouldn’t change anything, but when I first started writing I wasn’t like, ‘Oh, that’s what I want to be; that's what I want to become,’ because everyone has role models and I really hate when people talk about stuff that they do or want to do when they haven’t actually done anything. Like, there’s nothing to show for. There’s a lot of talk and no kind of action in this world. I do my best to avoid that. Are there any ultimate goals for your music career? CV I’m nowhere near. But I don’t think I have a goal because I think the process is the goal. My plan is to keep writing, maybe do some collaborations—Kurt Vile would be amazing!—then play as much as I can live because that’s just what I need to do.
with DIANA AL-HADID by Aaron Nachmann
It’s been a busy year for 32-year-old Brooklyn artist Diana Al-Hadid. For starters, her first New York solo show, The Vanishing
Point, premiered at Marianne Boesky Gallery in Chelsea last September, and she just completed a survey at Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. When I caught up with her, she was preparing for her wedding. “I’m so sorry I’m running late,” she said, joining me at a table at Milk Bar in Brooklyn. “I’ve been on-the-go all day. There’s so much to do.“ Born in Aleppo, Syria, Al-Hadid grew up in the suburbs of Canton, Ohio. “In a lot of ways, I had a typical childhood growing up, but I was aware of being raised in a household that was somehow different.” She and her two brothers were raised Muslim. Al-Hadid always wanted to be an artist, but wasn’t initially drawn to sculpture. Early on, she studied drawing at Kent State University. However, after attending her first lecture in sculpture, there was no turning back. “I loved experimenting with materials,” she confessed. “The possibility for different worlds and things I could build felt limitless. I love the challenge sculpture presents.” After graduating, Al-Hadid continued her education at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she honed her construction skills. “In undergrad, most of my process was welding. It was fast. In school I learned to interrogate myself and think about art more than how things should look.” Al-Hadid moved to New York City in 2005. Her first studio was a 320-square-foot space. She made sculptures within literal inches of the walls, and credits this constraint with teaching her efficient use of space, time, and money. “My early work was distinctly architectural. It almost had a script,” she said. “A lot of the problems I explored then were structural. How things are built: The way things fit together, the height of the walls: it was all part of the story. I didn’t have many resources. It taught me to be efficient.” With notable influences from Middle Eastern culture, Greco-Roman mythology, and classical architecture, Al-Hadid’s work is a process of layering; a study in negotiating polarities. Each piece is built slowly. Though the ruinous aesthetic of her work may suggest a stage of subtractive editing, she rarely takes anything away. Often her sculptural progressions are materially led, directed by a problem inherited from a previous work, but she finds equal inspiration in things she reads or stories she hears on the radio.
Tower of Infinite Problems, completed in 2008, was inspired directly by the biblical Tower of Babel. Constructed from such crude materials as plaster, Styrofoam, wax, and cardboard, Al-Hadid’s toppled tower spirals out like a hexagonal bee colony. She became interested in the story of Babel after seeing images of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s paintings of the tower.
The Tower of Infinite Problems, 2008
In Mortal Repose, 2011
Spun of the Limits of My Lonely Waltz, 2006
“At the time, the work I was producing was about trying to get to absurd places, and Babel was the story of that,” she said. “So, those paintings, the tower, and it’s failure and imperfection inspired my first New York gallery show. Babylon signaled the birth of culture and religion.” Similarly, that fall, Al-Hadid also read about the Large Hadron Collider project. Like the Tower of Babel, the Large Hadron Collider represents a type of ascendency: “It’s the biggest international science project. They’re looking for the God particle: the hexposon, which is the thing that gives mass to an atom,” she explained. “Just like Babel, the workers all talk to each other in a mono-language, the international language of math. They work together just like bees. I imagined that in my Babel, there are bees collaboratively building, so I placed honeycombs in my tower.” Figurative elements are absent from Al-Hadid’s early work, though there are some quiet suggestions to the human body in certain pieces. Particularly, in 2006's, Spun of the Limits of My Lonely Waltz; in which the artist waltzed in a circle to map out the points of contact between her sculpture and the ground. Full figurative representation is a relatively recent development. “I never felt perfectly at ease depicting the figure, until my first bronze, In Mortal Repose, in 2011,” she told Hyperallergic magazine last October. “Working with a new material helped me reconsider my discomfort with figuration. I loved how mannerist paintings depict the human form as weightless, contorted, distorted, and elongated. I was less interested in the fleshiness of the body or the actual character being depicted.” Lately, Al-Hadid has managed to embrace the body while continuing to defy convention. Her last show at Marianne Boesky featured a sculpture, Antonym, with a female figure reclining atop a cubic pedestal. Like it’s namesake, the piece is a study in opposites; though the figure is physically present, it’s only her shell. Next up for Al-Hadid will be a show at Gallery Workshop in Italy, a solo museum exhibition at Akron Museum of Art in Ohio, and a second solo exhibition of new works at Marianne Boesky this coming fall. When I asked her how she manages her deadlines under such a busy schedule, she admitted, “Sometimes, it’s hard: It’s hard when you get a lot of OCD kids together to know when a sculpture is complete. Sometimes, space and gravity cause me to stop, or time, but I’ve had some pushback against deadlines to complete work before. My work is never done.”
ART DIRECTOR/PHOTOGRAPHER JODI JONES AT WONDERFULMACHINE MODEL TABEA KOEBACH AT IMG MODELS STYLIST ROWSHANA JACKSON HAIR AND MAKEUP LORI ESPOSITO MANICURE GERRY HOLFORD FOR ZOYA AT RONA REPRESENTS PHOTOGRAPHER'S 1ST ASSISTANT STEFANO ORTEGA PHOTOGRAPHER'S 2ND ASSISTANT CHUYNAN LIANG DIGITAL TECH ADAM RODRIGUEZ
SHORT CAPE BY JORDAN WOLK SWEEP COAT BY STIJULS
OPPOSITE PAGE: GOLD DOUBLE COLLAR NECKLACE BY LARUICCI THIS PAGE: VINTAGE SILK NIGHTIE RED FLOWER AMBROSE NECKLACE BY CIRCA SIXTY THREE
THIS PAGE: APHRODITE LINK NECKLACE BY LARUICCI BLACK CHIFFON SWEEP DRESS BY STIJULS OPPOSITE PAGE: STRAPLESS SEQUIN FRINGE DRESS BY CHENG-HUAI CHUANG RING BELT NECKLACE BY LARUICCI
THIS PAGE: CROWN PIECE (KNITTED NECKLACE WITH EMBELLISHMENTS) BY CIRCA SIXTY THREE NECKLACE BY LARUICCI VINTAGE SILK UNDERGARMENT WITH HOOP SKIRT OPPOSITE PAGE: ROSE EMBELLISH CROWN BY ROWSHANA JACKSON
HELL'S NEW HEAVEN BY MICKEY WOODS
Photos by Elizabeth Waugh
I’M DISORIENTED AND INSECURE WHEN
centric mantra of faking it ‘til he made something of himself?
WRITING ABOUT PUNK ROCK ICON AND AUTHOR
Probably. But with practice, he got there. Writing is now Hell’s
RICHARD HELL. It’s akin to being in a new world, where you’re
world. His relationship to life these past 15 years or so—hav-
unsure of what you want to say because the subject seems larger
ing released Go Now (1996) and Godlike (2005), for example—is
than life, stranger than fiction. When meeting Richard Hell, who
processed through the lens of his books.
undoubtedly helped shape a balls-to-the-wall approach to life, I wasn’t particularly star struck. But my hands were shaking when I shook his. I was uncomfortable and couldn’t stop grinning— thinking the only way to disarm someone I’d long admired was to tell him so. He was gracious, if just a touch skeptical. Hell has the
With Tramp, he tells us how Richard Meyers, straightA student misfit of Lexington, Kentucky became Richard Hell, iconic punk-poet lothario of New York City, or as he puts it, the story of “what it was like to outgrow my youth.”
modesty of a man accustomed to people mentioning his profound
influence on their lives.
stories of Hell’s past, of the people in it, and of his human condition.
At 63, he’s ruggedly handsome and seems often lost in
thought. But am I just projecting because I was nervous? Likely. Wanting to impress him, I had the conceit to dress like a punk—vintage leather, safety pins, ripped jeans, the works—when he strolled into the photo shoot in a button-down and pinstripe pants.
Hell’s innovations stretch beyond punk, but he’s often
plugged as the movement’s founding father. So what does he have to say about it? “Well, punk doesn’t have a lot of meaning to me. I don’t really think in terms of punk. I don’t,” Hell said. “There was no dogma or set of principles that punk represented. I mean, I was just doing what I found interesting and what was true to my intentions, and eventually the word ‘punk’ became associated with it.”
Yeah. We’ll take his word for it, or, rather, the many beau-
tifully written words comprising his first—and let Hell tell it, his last—memoir, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, which captures the gritty, nostalgic glamour of a life lived on the edge, and the lessons learned along the way.
However, Richard Hell, I learned from reading, was
never trying to rebel (Amazing I didn’t know this when first listening to my stolen copy of Blank Generation, his seminal 1977 debut album as frontman of the Voidoids). He simply followed his own rules. “It wasn’t really like I found a so-called ‘punk’ party or movement, or punk… manifesto,” said Hell. “It was just, I had my own values and my own intentions and eventually people attached a word to it, and that’s not my business. People would fling around that word in all kinds of different ways, you know, and it wasn’t really, it just… it wasn’t my concern.”
When he moved to New York as a teenager, Hell dreamt
of being a poet, but wasn’t confident just yet. “I knew it then. I was like, all this stuff I’m writing, I’m only pretending to be a writer,” he said. Was Richard Hell just following the New York-
Tramp is written with unflinching honesty. It's filled with
Stories of friends, lovers, and literary comrades are rendered with humility and humor. He admits failure and embarrassment as easily as he does his many accomplishments—like the time he tried starting a lit mag, but had no idea what he was doing.
Hell's observations of New York in these last few
decades are particularly sharp. One that stands out is a present-day tangent early in the book, where he walks around the flower garden outside his late grandmother’s West Village apartment. Hell writes: “The ground ivy of each flower bed surrounded a broad strip of tulips blooming in four or five different monochromes. They were everywhere I looked. The flowers had that unconscious beauty that makes you understand how women get compared to flowers. Gratitude welled in me for the pure generosity of the flowers… I was conscious of my grandmother and her selfless love…then felt my own pettiness fall away for a moment.”
“I feel like I can convey what people and moments are
like,” Hell explained. “I am strongly affected by the beings of other people.”
Through reading Tramp, you discover how luminary
artists—from former band mate and best friend Tom Verlaine to Patty Smyth, the love of his life—profoundly affected his growth. And if there’s one thing Hell understands, it's that you must trust yourself, even if you’re up against something unfamiliar. “It takes everything you have to try to write well. So if you set a challenge for yourself in writing that you’ve never wrestled with, it’s like being in a new world,” he said, smiling broadly. “It’s the only way you get anywhere in this life, to be a stranger to your surroundings. You’ve gotta stay disoriented.” Thanks, Richard.
“IT TAKES EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO TRY TO WRITE WELL. SO IF YOU SET A CHALLENGE FOR YOURSELF IN WRITING THAT YOU’VE NEVER WRESTLED WITH, IT’S LIKE BEING IN A NEW WORLD.”
Black dress with fishnet sleeves, double-ruched cuffs and collar, black Victorian lace wrap, Laura Cardilloâ€™s Vintage Archive.
The Sabbath PHOTOGRAPHER JOEY FALSETTA
HAIR STYLIST KIRSTEN BODE MAKEUP STYLING LAURA CARDILLO MODELS ABBI AT FENTON MOON, GINTARE AT MC2,
VANIA AT FORD MODELS & AMBERLYN AT VISION MODELS
Opposite page: beaded Victorian cape, circa 1880's with a '98 Rifat Ozbek skirt. This page: door knocker necklace, gold choker, two-leaves rhinestone earrings, vermeil, cold crosses cuffs, pyramid ring, 14kt chain fringe anklet, Laura Cardillo Vintage Archive.
Opposite page: choker with gold crosses, filigree flower diamond rose cuff, 14kt gold and rhodium, filigree flower diamond rose ring, 14kt gold and rhodium, rectangle chain fringe choker, 14kt gold, black rhinestone oval choker, black tassel earrings. This page: velvet paisley chiffon dress, 14kt gold fringe bracelet, black beaded chocker, black beaded rosary with filigree cross, Laura Cardillo Vintage Archive.
I N T E R V I E W W I T H C a rter b . s m ith • W O R D S B Y DA P H N E MA L F I T A N O
T H E G R E AT W R I T E R O S C A R W I L D E O N C E S A I D : “ A R T I S T H E M O S T I N T E N S E MODE OF INDIVIDUALISM THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN.” NEW YORK PHOTOGRAPHER AND FILMMAKER CARTER B. SMITH EMBODIES THIS I D E A I N H I S W O R K B Y T R A N S P O R T I N G U S I N T O A FA N TA S T I C A L W O R L D .
Imagine having a cellphone history of texts from rock stars; of photos depicting one
glamorous exchange after another. Phonebook, Smith’s latest authored work, details his charmed life. Still, he is positively committed to documenting stories of universal trials and truths. Case in point: Smith’s documentary Love Rome chronicles four couples struggling to cope after September 11, with his own footage of the attacks juxtaposed throughout. In his illustrious career, Smith has covered everything from fashion week’s dark runways to the despair and hope of Hurricane Katrina victims. These real-life stories are disparate, to be sure, but the care with which they’re told illuminates one undeniable constant: Smith’s unapologetically wide-open perspective as an artist.
Which came first for you: still or moving photography?
You’ve worked with so many talented artists. Which of their
Carter B. Smith Both. I’d get a photo job and convince
processes really inspired you?
them to let me do the video. Or I would take video while
shooting. Back then, I would print the photos quickly,
Philip Seymour Hoffman. I just did all the photos for the new
because it wasn’t digital. I'd show them as we were shoot-
play he directed, so I was in during all the tech rehearsals
ing and get them all psyched and say, 'you know I could
for days, and it was unbelievable. Master class of acting
do the video, too.'
and directing. Being in a little black box theater with eight
Lately, I’ve been working and hanging a lot with
people and him. His craft of acting and directing is so What initially made you want to create Phonebook?
intense. I love how he can talk about the character
CBS I'd always saved all my text messages and photos
and the feelings. He’s amazing, and super inspiring. With
early. So I kept all the ones used for the book, until a
musicians, you get those goosebumps in the studio, or on
good friend of mine approached me about it. He owns a
stage. Like when I documented Jane’s Addiction on their 1997
media design, branding, and ad company. He knew I had
"Relapse" tour [his film Three Days], they were like the last
the texts, and encouraged me to make a book. If I like
breed of sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll. Extreme. You can walk on
something, it’s immediate.
stage with certain bands and feel like the fifth Beatle, and that is truly a drug. It’s a visceral feeling of energy; one of
Was Phonebook nerve-wracking at first? It’s very personal.
the favorite things I’ve gotten to do is walk on stage in front
CBS It was in a sense, because I never thought I would
of 50-100,000 people. You don’t forget moments like that.
get a girlfriend after that. Or a real girlfriend. Or if I did, they would know everything, so…there’d be no illusions.
How about Love Rome? Is Belinda, the woman obsessed with filming the aftermath of September 11, at all reminis-
What do you get from working in different mediums? What
cent of you?
is gratifying about one compared to another?
CBS I think there’s a little me in all of them. But emotionally,
CBS Bands I like to work with, because of history. I like to
sexually, all of that—no. I was distressed. I think I had PTSD.
think of it as a historical document that they’ll use in the
I remember thinking: I’m going to get in a lot of trouble
future, and then if I like the band, and I think they will be
for this movie, with all the affairs and all that. It was very
historical, that’s when I’m really into it. That’s what I liked
personal. I would say it was as personal as Phonebook, in
originally, other than the energy and the spirit of shooting.
With film or videos, I love the spirit of the group, which you need in filmmaking. Everyone’s in sync, and you’re work-
Much of your art is autobiographical, but you seem to be
ing with cool people and their good ideas—it’s a sort of
getting more direct about it. Is this a conscious choice?
tingly, amazing feeling. And with photography, it’s like
CBS With today’s technology, it’s very easy to do that.
you pray that the photo gods will grant you a shot. But
I’ve been working on this iPhone movie that’ll probably be
even to this day, when I get a good picture I’m like, “Oh
the next thing I do. It’s about a photographer who goes
my God, it’s a banger!” Still.
out with a model to shoot something and they end up on an adventure. We’re working on the script now, so I can’t
How would describe your creative process?
totally go into it, but it’ll be a feature, all shot on the iPhone.
CBS I always stress that I’m not doing enough. My lack
I once heard someone say: 'write what you know.' I’m not
of process is probably part of the process. I think it’s more
a writer, but it works for taking pictures. I wanted to live the
spiritual than physical, because I don’t really plan so much,
life of a classic novelist, but for movies, and it became all
or as much as I should. So I have this spiritual thought that I
about photos and films. Sometimes I get depressed and think
know wherever I am, wherever I go, I’m going to get it. I like
my career sucks, and my girl says, 'Your life is your career, and
the challenge of coming into any situation and knowing I’ll
you just need to keep living and doing.'
find the angle or the shot or the setup. I know I’ll get it. I call what I do documentary portraiture, in a sense. I know what I want, I know I’ll get cool people cool places and get it.
Sweetest A b straction K e v i n F ra n c i s G ra y
KEVIN F RA NCI S G RAY ’S WOR K I S AT ONCE E LE GA NT AN D H ARROWING . The London-based sculptor spent his formative years
projecting inward, so you almost don’t notice the
in Northern Ireland surrounded by violence between
things that aren’t in your immediate environment. As
Catholic separatists and Protestant loyalists which
you get older, you look back and reflect. It definitely
claimed over 3,000 lives before ending in 1998.
does affect my work though.
Gray, a recent addition to Pace Gallery, combines
How does this affect your aesthetic?
Neoclassical sculpture and disaffected youth under
KFG It really has, but it’s impacted it subconsciously.
a thin veil of darkness—apparently instilled in him
There is a certain darkness underneath, particularly
while growing up in South Armagh. There, in lieu of
with the Twelve Chambers piece. I think it’s taken
playtime, neighborhood children hurled homemade
me years to understand that I have a visual core
petrol bombs at police officers.
aesthetic. And what I’ve come to is that what’s on the
According to Pace, Gray “has generated bodies of work which address the complex relationship between abstraction and figuration.” And in doing so, this artist—who’s going to exhibit at Pace's Frieze
surface isn’t the point. It’s what lies beneath. That’s what really fascinates me about my interactions with pieces. For the maquette I’m working on right now, I’m really lifting the veil. There’s something almost alone about it.
Art Fair booth in London this October—leaves a body
Like a dichotomy?
of work defying ideal classification, encouraging
KFG You got it! That’s exactly it. What you’ll be able
patrons to view it on their own terms.
to do is to walk into the sculpture. This piece for me is
Gray was kind enough to speak with us about his
work—which has been included in exhibitions at the
What made you decide to “uncover” your subjects?
Royal Academy in London, Museum of Contempo-
KFG I wanted to go a little deeper with my sub-
rary Art of the Val-de-Marne in Paris, and Art Space in
jects and stop hiding their faces. Before, I lacked
New York City.
the confidence to really focus on the face. My
How did you become interested in sculpture? Kevin Francis Gray At school, I bounced around from painting to video to sculpture. Sculpture has always been in my mind; I love envisioning a three-dimensional subject when I look at work. Painting to me felt a little more limited. Your sculpture is haunting. But, when you’re actually making it, is your technique reductive? Additive? How do you actually come to the finished forms? KFG
That really depends on the material. For the
pieces I make in marble, I take away the stone to discover the piece underneath. Bronze is opposite because it is additive. You grew up in Northern Ireland during a war Did you realize at the time that this was a bit remarkable? KFG It was definitely very rich and textural, and yet also very, very complicated. You must understand: when you’re living in a country where there’s a war happening, you never project outward. You’re only
subjects for Twelve Chambers were all everyday people. I was interested in distilling their personalities into the work. It was one of the first times I worked with a subject that I didn’t like. A lot of times, I develop relationships with my subjects and I use them again in different pieces. One of your pieces, Face-Off, became the inspiration for a character design in 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman. How was your experience working on a movie? KFG It was great. I had an interest in the project because of my natural curiosity as an artist, and the long tradition of artists working with movies. It was a chance to get out of my comfort zone. The director [Rupert Sanders] went to art school himself, so I trusted his vision and that he would preserve the integrity of my work. In some ways, the project was easier than my studio practice because we were only concerned with a two-dimensional image.
Black Metal Martyr, 2009
Have you come up against any obstacles in your artistic career? KFG One of the real struggles for me has been to change my artistic voice. When I started creating works around youth culture, I had a lot of success. Many people responded to that earlier work. It was hard to move away from that. What about resistance to your growth as an artist? KFG No, I’ve been lucky throughout my career. All the galleries I’ve worked with have been very supportive of my work. What’s your definition of success? KFG Success for me is being able to wake up every morning, go into my studio, and create work. It’s always been a goal of mine to be slightly underrated. I’ve never been interested in being the current thing or being 'hot.' Success like that can be short. I want to be here for the long haul. Is your recent addition to Pace’s program really the way to stay underrated? KFG [Laughs] Maybe not. What are you currently working on? KFG I’m working on a second piece also called Twelve Chambers, to be shown during Frieze. Thank you so much for speaking with us. We love your work, and we wish you the best at Frieze and at Pace this fall. KFG
No problem. It’s been a pleasure. I see what you’re trying to create with your magazine, and I admire
it. You guys have your own viewpoint, and you’re trying to create something new. I’m flattered to be a part of it.
Hanging Tree, 2008
Ghost Girl, 2007
Katie Gallagher in her own Fall 2013 collection, headpiece by Heidi Jieun Jouet.
by CHAD SAVILLE PHOTOGRAPHER JODI JONES CREATIVE DIRECTOR STEFFANIE GILLSTRAP STYLIST ROWSHANA JACKSON MODELS KATIE GALLAGHER, ALENA C. AT RE:QUEST MODELS MAKEUP ARTIST LORI ESPOSITO HAIR ARTIST CASSONDRA RAE MANICURE GERRY HOLFORD FOR ZOYA AT RONA REPRESENTS PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT CHUNYAN LIANG HAIR ASSISTANT JESSICA CLEAVER MAKEUP ASSISTANT MAYUKI ISHIDA
Since arriving to New York City in 2009, Gallagher has
BROOKLYN WAREHOUSE, which was outfitted by the
stunned buyers and photographers alike with her rare
Cohen Brothers to look like a 1920’s Shanghai speakeasy.
mixture of physical beauty and raw talent. The fashion
It was the location of our initial attempt at the covershoot.
industry has had the pleasure of watching this young, self-determined prodigy approach creative adulthood
Gallagher arrived in a black town car with an armload of
on its insular public stage. Her strong tailoring and
garment bags, pieces from her fall 2013 line. She stepped
consistent design aesthetic—which practically mandates
out in a narrow black dress and her signature platinum
an affinity for dark hues like gunmetal and raven—have
hair. I greeted her.
informed her fashion stardom, but her new collection
“Hey, I’m Katie,” she said, flashing a friendly smile.
will ensure it. When Gallagher and I met for our second covershoot attempt—which she nailed—she was kind
To meet Gallagher for the first time, she's very shy
enough to tell us about her life, her methods, and her
and polite. Her overall affect is like a shy artist with
challenges as a forward-thinking designer driven.
big eyes. She seems almost like a fawn, but not so. You even think to yourself: This can’t be the same girl who burst from The Rhode Island School of Design and launched an eponymous fashion house at just 22. Not possible that luminaries like Nicola Formichetti and Daphne Guinness covet her clothes.
Your first collection was Fall 2009. How have your designs changed since then? Katie Gallagher A lot. Just naturally, as it would happen. I moved to New York when I was 22. I think I’ve grown up in terms of designing, but structurally I’ve maintained the same theory. I don’t use side-seams and everything
But then, Gallagher speaks. She does not mince words,
must fit the body perfectly. Lately though, I’ve kept that
and she doesn't miss a thing.
structure and moved it away from the body a little. I’ve done some really big silhouettes and large bell sleeves.
This page: Katie in her Fall 2013 collection, necklace by Ayaka Nishi, Fall 2013 Katie Gallagher Collection. Opposite page: safety-pin earrings by Laruicci, necklace by Ayaka Nishi, arm bracelet by Ayaka Nishi, Rings by Jade Chiu.
I FIRST MET KATIE GALLAGHER AT AN ABANDONED
Katie Gallagher Fall 2013 collection, head-piece by Heidi Jieun Jouet, neckpiece by Ayaka Nishi, cuff and bracelets by Ayaka Nishi, rings by Jade Chiu.
You’re known for having a pretty dark palette and strong tailoring. Where are you looking for inspiration? KG I always draw and paint before every season. My inspirations come from whatever I’m into at the time. I’ll do a painting and develop a color palette and go from there. Is that one of the rituals you have when creating your work? KG
Yes, I crave routine. I must paint beforedesigning. It’s the only
way for me to understand, and it’s also a part of my downtime. Sometimes I miss drawing and painting things that aren’t models in dresses. Yeah? KG Yeah. I actually intended to study painting, but switched to apparel design. Painting is part of my downtime and it’s when I can sit and process everything because my collection is over. I don’t have to start my next line just yet. In the very early stages, paintings help me define my color palette and my atmosphere. I’ve heard people call you goth. The “young goth RISD designer.” How do you feel about that? KG I don’t like it. I don’t know about the word goth. It’s just something people pigeonholed me as because they didn’t have another way to describe black clothes. I mean, I do like some goth music, but some writer who doesn’t know me wouldn’t know that. It just comes from lazy writing. So then how would you describe your aesthetic? KG It changes. Each season I have a theme. Spring/summer was really light and ethereal. You couldn’t call that goth. My intention was to make the models look pure and light. That’s a stark contrast to what I did in the fall 2013. That was heavy. I was really inspired by the film Dr. Zhivago. The foundation of it was very northern, cold, and the materials were heavy and warm. There was a lot of fur. Then in the spring, I’m going lighter than ever. I’m using pink. A powder baby pink. That’s new for you. What brought that on? KG Baby pink carnations are one of my favorite flowers. And there’s this Einstürzende Neubauten song called 'Blume,' and how I interpret it is that there’s a girl in the song saying: 'For you, I am a carnation; for you, I am a daffodil; for you, I am a rose.' I interpret it as her wanting to look a certain way so someone will love her. So, it’s a little dark. The other thing is, carnations. I always call them funeral flowers. Funeral flowers? KG They remind me of funerals. At least most of the ones I’ve been to. And my mother would always give them to me at my ballet recitals, maybe because they were cheap and pretty. So I started buying a lot of them just to have. I guess it’s just the color. The pink color. And it’s this whole thing about how flowers are actually quite dark, and it’s about being ugly on the inside. So, I guess there’s a contrast of visual and inner beauty. So there’s a polarity at work? KG Yes. And structurally, we’re doing a series of blazer cuts and the motif is the carnation—which the guy I’m working with developed—and they’re sort of bursting out of suits. So, it’s almost like the design is about secrets and revealing the insides of people as ugly and dark.
Is that for this season?
school myself, with a scholarship, but I started thinking:
KG Yeah. But then the outside is powder pink, baby pink. The
I can’t expect to make money as a painter. It’s going to be
models are wearing these beautiful light colors. But the con-
difficult. I don’t come from a rich family, and I’m going to have
cept is about holding secrets. Being dark and holding secrets.
huge amounts of loans. Apparel is creative, but offered an opportunity to be corporate if I wanted to be. So, sadly
When you’re creating a line like this, or creating one inspired
enough, that’s why I chose this path.
by Dr. Zhivago, is it just clothes? What exactly are you making? KG I like to think I’m creating a world and placing people in
You began this path because you were concerned about
it, and creating the entire scene that goes along with it. That’s
paying rent and loans, but then you chose to make items
why I always have such elaborate sets at my shows.
that are really edgy.
Moving backwards: When you decided on apparel design
KG But then I went back to who I am anyways and did whatever I wanted.
over painting, what’s the first thing you ever made? KG When I was in school, my very first project was to make
So in a way it’s almost a gift?
a wearable piece out of an unconventional material. You
KG I always think about what I would have done if I had
couldn’t sew. You couldn’t use anything you might normally
chosen painting. It would be different, I know. God knows
use. So I made these springs with and a plexiglass dowell rod
what I would be doing, but because of the way I am, I prob-
and made an entire dress out of springs.
ably would have been doing the same thing. Not working for anyone, trying to build something. It’s
And how did you even approach that? KG So I made the springs and then made the dress out of the springs. Everyone thought I was nuts. My professor was like 'this is like making jewelry. You’re never going to finish this thing.' And I said 'no, I am going to finish this.' Wait, they didn’t believe in you? KG No. They had no reason to. We were all new students in our first year in the program. And yeah… she said:
“I CRAVE ROUTINE, I MUST PAINT BEFORE DESIGNING, IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO UNDERSTAND.”
'This is not going to work. It’s crazy.' You think early successes like that gave you the courage to come to New York and start your own line? KG
just the way I am. Do you have any advice to give someone trying to build their own thing? Did it come easily? KG No, this has been the hardest thing ever. It’s still hard. I started it with my ex-boyfriend and he ended up being a pretty close business partner. Now I’m solo in it, and it’s challenging to live in New York City; to run your own business; to be this young and try to have a line and make money on top of that. Do the challenges make you feel pressure to perform?
KG Yeah, and you don’t know what people really want. When I first started I didn’t even know what buyers were. I wasn’t
Yeah, maybe. Fashion is pretty competitive, and I’ve
taught the business side of fashion. RISD isn’t like at Parsons
always been kind of a competitive person. In school, I was just
where you’re taught the business—you just think you’re in the
like, 'Nope, I’m going to make a dress out of these springs.
artist bubble for the rest of your life. When you leave, you’re
No one else is going to make something this cool. And I’m
just kind of like 'oh, no!'
actually going to pull it off.' Then there was an element of risk, because the students were made to compete a little. How so? KG Not every student gets into the show. Every year I got all
So you just had to learn on the fly? KG Yeah, I’ve learned more about business now than I ever wanted to. I’ve basically gone through another education just by working in the industry.
my pieces in. I was definitely competing with myself, thinking, Last year, I got so many pieces in. This year, I need to top that. That’s intense. Where’s that spirit come from?
Wow, good for you. Congrats. KG Thank you. Yeah, It’s a process. As a designer, it’s a lot of things you might not have known or wanted to know.
I used to be a competitive runner. I think some of it comes from that. I sort of just moved that into my work. I ran cross-
Thanks so much for being in the issue, Katie.
It means a lot to us.
Why is fashion your creative medium? KG It’s just one of my mediums now. When I was at school, I basically chose apparel design because I was paying for
KG No problem. Thank you.
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