The Metropolitan Hair Academy is not just another academy, but a new concept of education based upon the ideals of making the true hairstyling professional. The Metropolitan Hair Academy foundation is established on a â€œEuropean Education System,â€? which is being offered for the first time in the U.S. Come join us as we learn how to explore and unlock your own creativity! www.metrohairacademy.com The Metropolitan Hair Academy - Formerly Kemon Hair Academy 209 S. Kings Dr. Charlotte, NC 704.334.5511
Formerly Kemon Hair Academy
something different . . . something dharma
www.dharmacharlotte.com www.facebook.com/dharmalounge 1440 South Tryon, Studio 105 (turn at Summit Ave. light between Amosâ€™s & Phat Burrito)
founder/publisher/photographer nico amortegui firstname.lastname@example.org founder/creative director camila amortegui email@example.com contributing editor matthew brown contributing fashion editor mckinna hahn
art 10 danny sangra 14 alex young 28 corine brancowitz 34 jonathan brilliant
copy editor ashley shoemaker editorial assistant lizzy cummings contributing writers shannon barringer mary rust gael-marie furbush jason alejandro lauren remesi contributing photographers rachel schwarz alex o'neill oh span kid! justin smith intern mary rust
fashion 18 jeff staple 22 cruel summer 32 diy 36 matt senna of jamie marxx 38 arid rouge culture 44 release party - charleston 45 mexican blü party - charlotte 46 heavy party - atlanta
sales & marketing new york - marketing carleen shankle firstname.lastname@example.org sales nico amortegui email@example.com andy ramirez firstname.lastname@example.org ivan caicedo email@example.com Blü Magazine is published quarterly. There are only limited quantities printed. We are an independently run magazine, so please show your support by giving us feedback and advertise so we can stay alive. If you would like to be part of our team or submit work, please visit blu-magazine.com for more information. Blü Magazine’s content may not be reproduced without written permission. Issue no.11 July - October 2010
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Curators of Lowbrow Culture Pronunciation: \â€™kich-werth\
A collective of individuals that specialize in art/music related projects & events in an attempt to bring lowbrow culture to the masses. For more information & regular updates visit us online.
Graphic Design / Web Design / Illustration / Art Direction
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.01 Jason Alejandro hometown: princeton, nj occupation: designer/professor contribution to blü: interview with the one, the only, mr. matthew senna what do you think your spirit animal is? what the...!? i would say wolverine, but according to an online survey it's bear. what fictional character do you most relate with? howard roark from the fountainhead do you believe in karma? if i answer this wrong will it come around to bite me in the butt? favorite youtube video: destino by salvador dali & walt disney most played song on itunes: jingle bells by ella fitzgerald (my daughter loves it) what is your life’s mantra? the future is bright! staple article of clothing for the summer: linen shirt .02 Rachel Schwarz hometown: delhi, ohio occupation: photographer contribution to blü: a fashion spread what do you think your spirit animal is? a cross between keith moon & jaqcues cousteau what fictional character do you most relate with? larry underwood from "the stand" do you believe in karma? yes favorite youtube video: water buffalo vs. lions most played song on itunes: apparently "my old school" by steely dan? what is your life’s mantra? i, me, mine staple article of clothing for the summer: my 8 blü-magazine.com
vintage pair of "the broadway" boots my good friend behida gave me .03 Gael Furbish hometown: boxford, athens, ga occupation: photographer contribution to blü: blogger/artist interviews what do you think your spirit animal is? wolf what fictional character do you most relate with?: idgie threadgood, fried green tomatoes do you believe in karma? yes favorite youtube video: http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=--fyndrytfo most played song on itunes: in the morning, junior boys what is your life’s mantra? towanda! staple article of clothing for the summer: thrift store t-shirts .04 Shannon Barringer hometown: newnan, g.a. occupation: nanny/writer contribution to blü: interview with the artist alex young what do you think your spirit animal is? tiger do you believe in karma? yes favorite youtube video: nina simone singing "tomorrow is my turn" at a concert during the 70's most played song on itunes: old college try what is your life’s mantra? i want to be at least as alive as the vulgar staple article of clothing for the summer: no pants-dresses only.
.05 Alex O'Neill hometown: brooklyn, ny occupation: photographer/model/student contribution to blu: photo of jeff ng what do you think your spirit animal is? giraffe what fictional character do you most relate with? dorian grey do you believe in karma? energy is everything. favorite youtube video: lava flowing into the ocean what is your life’s mantra? to be rather than to seem. staple article of clothing for the summer: tank tops! .06 Mary Rust hometown: a small beach town in north carolina contribution to blü: carine brancowitz interview what do you think your spirit animal is? a doe what fictional character do you most relate with? quinn morgendorffer from daria do you believe in karma? yes! favorite youtube video: babe 25 what is your life’s mantra? treat your girl right 'cause another man will staple article of clothing for the summer: a suntan and a good pair of wedges
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DANNY SANGRA CENTRAL ST. MARTINS GRADUATE DANNY SANGRA HAS A PRETTY LENGTHLY RESUME. THIS LONDON BASED ARTIST INCORPORATES FILM, MIXED MEDIA, DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION WITH A RADICAL CHARISMA. HIS NONCONFORMIST DESIGNS CAUGHT THE EYE OF FASHION HOUSES SUCH AS LOUIS VUITTON, MARC BY MARC JACOBS, LEVIS AND UNIQLO. HOWEVER, ITS DANNY'S PERSONAL PROJECTS AND COLLABORATIONS WITH FRIENDS THAT KEEP HIM TICKING. By Lizzy Cummings
Danny sangra First of all, who are you, where are you, and what do you do? Danny Sangra. London. Artist (that’s the easiest description). You have quite a lot on your plate. How do you balance all of your projects? I work on what excites me the most followed by what will keep a roof over my head. How do you approach commercial vs. personal work? I’ve always done personal work more than commercial. Often by the time it’s used for commercial work my personal work has evolved far further. What artists do you admire? William Klien , Raymond Petibon, Hundert Wasser, Stanley Kubrick, Goddard, the Maysles brothers How has the Internet influenced your work? I suppose it makes research easier. I can look up older films easier. I can also find out weird facts I never thought I even cared about. Favorite medium to work with? 1. Film/video/cameras 2. Brush and black ink on old magazines Tell us about your knitwear line, AMS. It’s a label I started with Lynnda Needles. AMS started years ago, but we have waited until we both had more experience. We ended up producing some of the best quality knitwear in the world for our first collection as we worked with Corgi K Hoisery. They make stuff for the Queen. The first collection will be sold in the Dover St Market this fall. What can we find you doing when you’re not making the world more colorful? Sleeping or watching films. Tell us about your films. Films are an area I put off from working in. I didn’t
feel I was ready but I’m now making as many random film pieces as possible. They are very non-linear most of the time. I made the first few graphic heavy, then slowly they became pure film and more documentary pieces. Favorite passed decade for inspiration? (If any) I think it’s obvious with me. The Sixties. What upcoming work can we look forward to? At the moment Lynnda and I are designing the next collection for AMS. Ollie Evans and I are working on the next episode of The Knocking Shop online music show, which will be out at the end of June. I am designing skis for Atomic, a special screen print with The Prodigy, finishing a documentary video for a band called Chapter Sweetheart who I have been following around, about to start filming a video of the next collection for Fanny and Jessy, then I'm filming my first short film called “Do Not Adjust”, which I wrote last year. Your use of patterns and clashing prints are very “now.” How do you avoid trends or cliches? Funny thing is all the patterns you are seeing now, I developed long ago, but nobody cares about work if you’re an unknown. I generally don’t know what the image trends are as I always research photographers or filmmakers. The main thing is I just make what I want to make, sometimes it’s trendy but often it’s uncomfortable for a lot of people and my work takes awhile to get used to.
since college and she is one of the few people I completely trust. Then there is Ollie Evans, a music director friend at Partizan who I went to college with. But my ‘co-captain’ in film work is Patrick Tichy. He works with me on almost all my video work. Any plans to come to The States soon? I go to the States more than almost anywhere, but I’m always just going to hang out with my friends in NYC. However, I am planning my 30th birthday in Big Sur this October. What’s your favorite thing about London? I don’t know, really, it just feels more like home than anywhere. It’s funny because in every interview recently I am asked this. Everyone knows how much I love London. Perhaps the week of sunshine we get once a year? No, I’d say it’s the rich history of creative talent that comes from London Town. It keeps you on your toes. What’s your opinion on interviews? Everyone likes talking about themselves right? It’s just good to hear that someone is interested enough to ask you questions. What’s your biggest pet peeve? Hearing people eat loudly in a quiet room. If you were a color what would you be? Gold How would your friends describe you? Tall
It seems like you collaborate quite a bit with your friends. For instance, the “I hope you die soon” t-shirts for Fanny and Jessy. Awesome. Tell us about some projects you’ve worked on with your buddies. I’m lucky because they all are talented and trust the way I will take them. You know Fanny and Jessy, we lived together and that was just waiting to happen. I have known Lynnda Needles
Danny Sangra is represented by Breed London For more information on Danny visit www.dannysangra.com or www.breedlondon.com
alex young OPERATING UNDER SEPARATE PERSONAS FOR HIS CAREERS IN GRAFFITI AND FINE ARTS, BRITISH ILLUSTRATOR AND ARTIST ALEX YOUNG KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT ALTER EGOS. HIS LATEST EXHIBITION, A.K.A.: PORTRAITS OF ALTER EGOS, IS NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE LONDON MILES GALLERY. By Shannon Barringer
Okay, so tell me how you got started as an artist. Is this a career you always envisioned for yourself? I don't remember getting started. I started drawing when I was a kid and didn't stop. I've always been into it. I didn't really think of it as a career, just something I would always be doing with most of my time. It's when I got older and had to pay the bills that it became a career option. I was doubly motivated to make it work by other jobs I've done. What's your personal perspective of the Outsider movement and how do you feel about that label? I don't know, really. Give it a name. I don't think it's anything new. Just seems to be people making the art they want to make. I work on my own so I don't feel part of any movement on a day-to-day basis. I'm just a painter. There are some really good artists out there who I get to show my work alongside so I guess it's when I'm involved in a group show that I feel part of something. I heard it referred to as "low brow" as well and I thought outsider art was more folk art derived. Like I say, give it a name. It doesn't really matter.
What were some of your earliest inspirations? William Heath Robinson illustrations, The Muppets, skateboarding, graffiti, big art galleries, comics (especially 2000AD), dinosaurs, mythology, 80's horror film posters, Bill Seinkiewicz, Lucien Freud, Georges Seurat, Wassily Kandinsky ya de ya da ya da... What's inspiring you at present? All of the above plus tattooing, heavy metal, pulp fiction book covers, Peter Paul Rubens, Alphonse Mucha, vandalism, skulls, childrenâ€™s books (especially Simon Bartram), Dave McKean, any comic written by Garth Ennis, Polish posters. Where did you attend school and what was the atmosphere like there? I attended the Kent Institute of Art and Design and studied illustration. I had a pretty good time there. It was a good college in a shit hole of a town. I met some good and diverse artists there. blĂź-magazine.com 15
CARAMEL Tell me about the paintings in your current collection, how did you decide to feature these characters? I know most of them personally and the rest were friends of friends. Some of them I've painted before. I tried to get a variety of people who all operate under two different names. I got a trapeze artist, a dubstep dj, a latex clothes designer, a tattoo artist, a heavy metal front man, an alternative glamour model and a jewelry designer/ tattoo model. CIRCA 1940 What was it like for you as a University student working on projects that your professors may not have been able to openly encourage? I was lucky in the sense that my tutors didn't give a shit about it and openly encouraged me to do what I wanted to if the idea was sound. They couldn't encourage everything but they hinted strongly if they thought it was a good idea. How would you describe your painting style? What other mediums are you drawn to? Drippy is probably the most apt. It's been called pointillism, but it isn't. It's throwing colours about until it looks right. I've started working with wood and glass recently to compliment the painting.
What led you to focus on the idea of alter egos? Does that concept spill over into your life as an artist? It comes initially from my experiences operating under a different name as a graffiti artist. Do you have a favorite character from this collection? Kitty, the trapeze artist. She trains a lot to do this high-energy circus performance, often with a macabre element. But, behind closed doors she's very reserved and down to earth. She's a mother, loves baking cakes and works as a pharmacist & physics teacher. The two sides are all her although they seem very opposing. I like the "don't judge a book by it's cover" thing and backing it up. Favorite comic? 2000AD featuring Judge Dredd, now in its 5th decade and in my opinion the most important comic to come out of Britain. Over the years it has been a showcase for the finest comic illustrators and writers Britain has to offer. Simon Bisley, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Kevin O'Neill, Bryan Talbot, Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons, Carlos Ezquerra, Chris Cunningham to name but a few. What's not to like?
For more information on Alex visit www.brainofalexyoung.com or visit www.londonmiles.com
Photography by Alex O'Neill
JEFF STAPLE By Matthew Brown
Hey, Jeff - could you tell everyone who you are, where you're at, and what you do? My name is Jeff. Some people know me as Jeff Staple. But it says Jeff Ng on my passport. I’m the Founder and Creative Director of Staple Design and Reed Space. The two companies do a variety of things…many of which are quite fun. I’m currently in Paris showing our men’s clothing collection, Staple Spring/Summer 2011. Just part of the grind. What got you started in the industry? That all depends on which industry you’re talking about. I guess studying at Parsons School of Design in NYC was critical to most of what I do. They provided me with the basic tools and knowledge that allowed me to do what I do now. When you were a young child, was there a certain profession that you envisioned yourself persuing later in life? Well, first I wanted to be an astronaut. I love space. Then, I actually looked into what it takes to become an astronaut and I changed my mind to become an astronomer. I am fascinated by space. I think it’s a good way of reminding oneself that everything you do is so insignificant as compared to the universe, so don’t overstress it. Just enjoy each minute like it is your last.
Can you give a brief history of staple design/reed space for those who might not be aware of what you guys are doing? Staple started in 1997. It started as a t-shirt company that I created right out of Parsons. That snowballed into a full menswear collection that has sold all over the world. Staple then blossomed into a design and creative agency. Today, we work with some amazing world wide companies. Reed Space is the retail concept I started in 2002. It features a lifestyle collection of different brands, designers and artists. It has an art gallery, a pop-up sister store and a print publication called Reed Pages (www.reedpagesmag.com). What are some of the main brands/products you guys carry? I like to say that if a martian landed on Earth and wanted to learn about our culture, he should come to Reed Space and get everything in one place. We have clothes, accessories, design magazines, art publications, independent zines, foreign music, jewelry, art, footwear…just a whole collection of cool things. Check out our website for the latest and greatest, www.thereedspace.com. How long has the reed annex been open? We opened in 2009. This is our sister store that offers discounted items for these tough economic times. But it also houses some amazing pop-up shops from other
brands and companies. It has hosted some really cool things and some exciting projects for the near future. Do you have any one thing that keeps you constantly motivated or inspired? Travel. I love traveling and meeting new people all over the world. I guess it’s the closest thing that can come to being an astronomer. Haha… In the next 6 weeks, I’ll be in Paris, London, Berlin, NYC, LA, Honolulu, NYC again and Las Vegas…somehow. NYC has changed in many ways from what it used to be, do you think the city is losing some of its charm that used to appeal to people? No! In fact, I think it’s getting it back. The tough economy has forced people to think more creatively and that’s when NYC is at it’s best. I felt kind of bored with NYC maybe 2-3 years ago. But now it feels really good. The energy is great. A lot of people are probably curious, so I will just go ahead and ask, where are some good places in the city to cop some fake Gucci? I guess Canal Street in Chinatown. It comes in waves though. You can get some really good quality bootlegs and then the cops crack down and you see some wack bootlegs…where like it’s a “C” pattern instead of a “G” pattern. Haha… Would you say your store appeals to a particular demographic of people, or do you have a pretty broad range of people that come in? Very broad. It’s by design. I never wanted to create a space that alienates anyone. And I see it live. We get all sorts of people in…and I think the mix of people is one of the things that makes Reed Space a great place. The release of the pigeon dunks was a huge success at the store, would you say that it helped put you guys on the map? Yes, definitely. It not only put us on the map…it put sneaker culture as a whole on the map. How does Staple/reed space typically handle collaborations with other artists/labels? It’s really unique to each case; as I think a collaboration should be. I don’t like that nowadays, collaborations can be decided on with a conference call and a Powerpoint deck. I prefer working on collabs in person, face-toface. If you’re not doing it that way, there’s very little point to doing one.
Fashion trends obviously switch up from time-to-time, how do you see the "streetwear" scene evolving in the near-future? It’s at a crossroads right now. And it has to play itself out. There’s a group of people that is growing up now. They want to wear more sophisticated clothes with more attention to detail. There’s another group of people that like to standout in the crowd visually. They like bright colors, fancy shoes and a lot of bling. This was the heart of “streetwear” a few years ago. A lot of people made a lot of money from this. Why? Because it was relatively easy. It’s a lot harder to make money from a triple needle Japanese yarn-dyed buttondown shirt than it is from an all over print t-shirt. I think companies today will be defined by how they can ride that line between the energy of street culture and the craftsmanship of fashion design. Is there one person that handles all of the buying/ordering for the store, or does everyone give input? One person will actually “process” the order, but the choosing process is very often a team effort. Is there any food spot in the city that you could eat every day without getting sick of it? Yes, but I’m not telling you. One of my pet peeves now is finding a nice restaurant, telling some friends about it, tweeting about it, blogging about it, and then all of a sudden I can’t get a table there. I’m not talking about my favorite restaurants anymore. Sorry! Haha. Given the current economic situation we're in right now, would you say the reed annex gets more business than it used to? It’s been consistent since we first opened because we opened Reed Annex in direct response to the economic situation. The price-range of items in your store seem to be consistently "affordable" in relation to some other boutiques, do you think this has helped the store stay in business? Not really. I think if you’re trying to just save money…there are better options for you, such as Walmart, Payless, Uniqlo or H+M. I think the reason for our success is the selection and curation of our products. Also, the service and team at Reed Space makes the shopping experience pleasurable. We don’t make you feel intimidated walking into a “cool” shop. We’re happy to answer any question.
It is great to see you guys carrying Street Local, are there any other labels you guys would want to carry in the store? Thanks! We are always on the hunt for some new creative genius to feature in Reed Space! What can people expect from Staple/ Reed Space for 2010? We’re just working on providing you guys with a good value. And when I say “good value”, I don’t mean “cheap stuff”. It means working on our quality—quality in our clothing line and quality of experience in Reed Space. I think in this economy and for the future, people are looking for real personal values. Any last shout-outs, announcements, warnings, or words of wisdom you would like to share? Just stay positive and follow your heart.
For more information on Jeff visit www.stapledesign.com and www.thereedspace.com
Alexander Wang dress and Opening Ceremony shoes thru Hampden Clothing, Charles Albert mask necklace and skull ring thru Boris & Natasha, Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses thru Biton
Photography by Nico Stylist - Mckinna Hahn Hair and Make up - Sparkles Hill Stylist Assistant - Mary Rust Models - Val and Amy On location at Sullivan's Island
Calista lace top - calista-label.com J. Crew swimsuit top
J. Crew swimsuit top Elizabeth & James vest thru Hampden Clothing American Apparel swimsuit bottoms Jeffrey Campbell platforms thru Boris & Natasha
Halston dress thru Hampden Clothing, Lotus veil, Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses thru Biton
Below on Amy (left): Jenni Kayne dress thru Hampden Clothing Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses thru Biton On Val (right): Lotus top Ray-Ban sunglasses
Picture Above on Val: Maison Martin Margiela jumpsuit thru Poole Shop, Opening Ceremony shoes thru Hampden Clothing, McKila necklace, Alex Speer earrings, Charles Albert necklace and ring thru Boris & Natasha
J. Crew top and belt, American Apparel swimsuit bottoms, Charles Albert ring and Jeffrey Campbell shoes thru Boris & Natasha
Sauvage swimsuit top thru Biton Kimberly Ovitz blouse thru Poole Shop J. Crew cardigan and necklace Studs thru Boris & Natasha
American Apparel bodysuit Lotus skirt, Jeffrey Campbell shoes Calista fur necklace - calista-label.com
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CARINE BRANCOWITZ By Mary Rust
CARINE BRANCOWITZ JUST MIGHT BE THE QUEEN OF THE BIC PEN. HER ILLUSTRATIONS ARE FAR FROM YOUR RUN OF THE MILL NOTEBOOK DOODLES. SHE HAS THE ABILITY TO CREATE LIFE LIKE COMPOSITIONS WITH MINIMAL COLORS AND SIMPLE, CLEAN LINES. HERE'S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY ON WHY SHE DIDN'T LIKE SCHOOL BUT WHY SHE DID LIKE BOYS WITH GOOD HAIR.
For more information on Carine visit carinebrancowitz.com
Where are you originally from? I was raised in the countryside, in the heart of France. Where do you currently call home? Paris is home. What is your artistic background? I started drawing and oil-painting when I was 13. I spent all of my free time copying the great masters of still life like Chardin and Jacob van Es. I became obsessed with colours, chiaroscuro and compositions. At 16, I moved to Paris and studied illustration, sceen printing & lithography at the Ecole Estienne (School of Arts & Graphics industries). What's a valuable lesson they did not teach you in school? School taught me nothing at all. It deconstructed me, destroyed me. A total waste of time. I was lost when I left. It took me years to find myself again. How does your environment affect your work? I have chosen to be surrounded by clean and minimalist spaces, a very stripped down environment. I like the feeling of not needing a lot of things to survive. I don't want to feel the weight of possessions. I guess this whole simplicity of my life affects my drawings. If you weren't doing illustration, what do you think you'd be doing? Creating something with another medium. What are some of the best things about living in Paris? You have nice moldings and old style parquet in your apartment. bl端-magazine.com 29
Is your style different when the work is commissioned versus for "arts sake?" Yes, it feels different. Like swapping and wearing someone else's clothes for a while. Some days it fits better than others. It depends on the project. Who or what are some of the main things that have influenced your style? Working with pens has strong limitations. Not really being able to do corrections on the original creates a tension; you find yourself on the verge of failure during the whole process. The Bic four-color ball point pen is perfection for me: right colours, right contrasts, right textures. Sometimes I add felt tip pens or pencils. A lot of things inspire me - mostly music & literature, but also old music videos from YouTube and paparrazzi photos. How have you liked working with fashion? I like working for the fashion industry. I'm really fond of drawing fabrics, patterns, textures and creatures. Your work is very feminine and bold. Is this a direct representation of you? I don't think so. But I do like graceful girls and boys. My work is very instinctive. I have the feeling I don't really make any conscious decisions. 30 bl端-magazine.com
I do things the way I feel they're supposed to be done. The detailed hair seems to be a common feature, where did this start? For some reason I'm obsessed with hair. Maybe because my mum used to dye all her friend's hair at home when I was a kid. I grew up in the hair products' chemical fragrances... I fell in love with boys because of their haircuts. What has been your biggest achievement so far? I haven't achieved anything big yet. I'm at the first stage of my development. I still have that innocence and carelessness you only experience when things are new. What are you looking forward to most in the near future? My first solo show in Paris in September.
THE FRINGE NECKLACE BY LAUREN REMESI FROM SHOP ELLEMM
Big bold statement necklaces have been a must have for the past few years. This season, we fell in love with fringe necklaces. They are the perfect accessory for summer. Using items from your local fabric store’s drapery section, we show you how to create your own at home. Why buy when you can DIY?
SHOPPING LIST • 1 yard of fringed drapery trim • 60” OF large link metal chain(s) • Pack of 6mm jump rings • Medium-to-large lobster clasp(S) • Needle and thread • metal charms (OPTIONAL) • sewing machine (OPTIONAL)
To get started 1. Cut the drapery fringe into (5) 1-1 ¼“ squares and finish the raw edges by hand stitching or using a sewing machine to prevent unraveling. 2. Cut desired length of chain and attach the (5) drapery squares to the middle of the chain using a slipstitch with needle and thread. 3. Once you have attached all (5) squares, stitch the squares together on the sides forming one piece. 4. Finally, attach the lobster clasp with jump rings. 5. add charms to the chain with the remaining jump rings. (optional)
TO VIEW STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS, VISIT BLU-MAGAZINE.COM. TO SEE MORE DIY IDEAS FROM LAUREN OR TO ENTER TO WIN THIS ITEM, VISIT SHOPELLEMM.COM
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Jonathan brilliant JONATHAN BRILLIANT CREATES QUITE A STIR WITH HIS INTALLATION “HAVE STICKS WILL TRAVEL WORLD TOUR”. JONATHAN, AN ARTIST FROM CHARLESTON, SC WILL BE TOURING HIS INSTALLATION FOR EIGHTEEN MONTHS AND ENDING IN SEPTEMBER WHERE HE WILL BE A THREE MONTH RESIDENT AT THE MCCOLL CENTER IN UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC. By Gael Furbush
Where are you from, what is your background? I was born in Charleston SC, in 1976. I received a BA in Studio Art from the College of Charleston in 2002 and an MFA from California State University, San Jose in 2007.
series of artist residencies to bring the materials back into the gallery to create work with. In order to break down the disconnect between the place where the work is created and where it is displayed I weave and assemble all the work in place the week before the opening of a show.
How did you get started on this idea of weaving coffee stirrers? It began with work where I was weaving natural and found materials into sculptures. The finished work using materials found in nature felt unnatural to me, so I concluded that I was getting my materials from the wrong natural environment. I decided that the coffee shop must be my natural environment and that I should find my materials within that environment. I just applied the logic of any earth artist who goes off into the woods with their tripod and high def camera to make sculpture with nature. I just felt more connected to the materials in the coffee shop. The table in coffee shops with the sticks, straws, sleeves, lids, napkins, sugar packets and what not was like an unlimited supply of free materials to my eye. I then used a
How do you choose your materials? At first I was basing my choices on whatever I could find. In time I have sought out these materials. I guess initially materials find me in my regular life or routine. When creating the coffee stirrer sculptures, do you have a final end in mind or do you just see where it takes you? I like to describe the pieces more as drawings in space, which I know is a cumbersome way of saying sculpture. But in my mind I am simply making a large drawing where the gallery space serves as the piece of paper and the sticks function as the mark I am making. At this point the process of weaving has become as fluid and liberating as drawing with an ink pen
For more information on Jonathan visit www.jonathanbrilliant.com 34 blü-magazine.com
or brush dipped in sumi ink. So the short answer is yes, I know the gestalt, the overall feeling or gesture, I want from the finished piece, but the particulars are always a response to the space and time I am given to work with. How do you start a sculpture? What's your process? For me it starts with the confirmation of the dates of an installation. Next I usually get an image of the space from the gallery or venue where I am working. I then will post images of the space I am going to work in on the wall of the studio and draw on these images. As my schedule has filled out I now have several of these gallery maps on the wall of the studio and am starting to see a dialogue between the work I have made and the work I will be making. Around three weeks before the building is to begin on site, I will order the materials and ship them ahead to the site. This way by the time I arrive on site to begin the labor, the piece is essentially finished in my mind. For the discreet objects I make, I generally have some materials lying around the studio or I will cut up an old piece to make a new one. I guess even though I am heavily invested in the process as a way to make work, I always like to know the destination for the work. I think that goes back to the drawing analogy where there is always a feeling or a gesture I like that I am after and I try to make the work match that feeling or gesture. If given the opportunity I always try and make something specifically for a venue or show. Who are your inspirations? Mostly British Sculptors from the 70's and 80's like Tony Cragg, David Mach, Richard Wentworth, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Bill Woodrow, Andy Goldsworthy, and some Americans from the 60's like Donald Judd, Martin Puryear, Sol Lewitt, Brice Marden, and Richard Serra. How do you take your coffee? Funny, I don't actually like coffee that much. I prefer bottled water. If I do get a caffeinated drink, I like a double shot of espresso with one sugar.
OF JAMIE MARX By Jason Alejandro
Let's begin by letting everyone know who you are and what you do. I am founder of The Jamie Marx Co., Msenna & Co. and Co-founder of thebreaksover.com, a design inspiration blog. What's the story with Jamie Marx? I started Jamie Marx in 2004 as a catalyst for spreading awareness of social and political issues. I saw an avenue to use fashion as a canvas for this and ran with it. So how does Msenna & Co. operate differently? Msenna & Co. is what I do all of my other projects under that don’t pertain to Jamie Marx or are for clients. It’s the agency side of my creative work that allows me to work freely on projects from branding and interior design to web and video production. 36 blü-magazine.com
Nice. so it sounds like you're really working across all media/platforms. How'd you get started? Its all been more of an evolution of growth and learning from growing up seeing my father always building and creating things as a steamfitter, building ramps and rails for skating. Then I started making t-shirts when I was 12 with a friend and my art teacher in high school introduced me to graphic design and photography by sending me to classes at F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York and I decided to major in that in college. How did your background have an impact on you creatively? I think the freedom that my parents gave me growing up and their support for all my crazy ideas, gave me the mindset to believe I could do anything I wanted to. When I was 12 and told them I wanted to start a clothing line for skaters and wanted to
take the train to New York City to take classes after baseball practice, they probably thought I was nuts. But they gave me a ride anytime I needed and believed in me. That freedom to do what I wanted and see no boundaries really helps me in the way I attack my projects. That's awesome. You're also known for dabbling in some art, too, right? Where did that desire stem from? Yeah, a bit. It has been a while. I’m trying to find time to finish a collection I’m working on now, but that all stems from growing up drawing. My mom got me to take some classes at a local school and once again my art teacher in high school really taught me about art, introduced me to Warhol and mixed media and I’ve been in love ever since. Who/what are your biggest influences? My family and the people I work with who believe
Photos by Shootstudio's
in me, like you, Tom Medvedich, Michael Habachy and Alex Goose. When it comes to art, people like Warhol, and Jose Parla, but my biggest influences are Banksy and Stefan Sagmeister. You can tell their work simply by how they approach it and their thought process. That actually brings me to two things I wanted to discuss with you, the first being graphic design and the second your creative process. Let's start first with design. You went to school for graphic design, do you think that was helpful? I think school was helpful because of the mentors and relationships I developed there. I would have never interned for Luba Lukova if it weren’t for my professors and I think it helps to learn from a few different people so you get a range of opinions and expertise. It helps you find your lane. OK, now on to process. Give us a good description of how you work. What's your creative process (normally) like? I don’t really know. I don’t have a standard process. It really depends on the project. I think design and art in general are about telling a story or creating a feeling. When approaching any project I try to accomplish it the smartest way I can. Sometimes the answer comes while I’m in the shower, sometimes while I’m driving, sometimes after sketching for three days. But usually while driving,
then I need to try to remember it or write it down while driving. That’s not fun, or safe.
different from other brands. We're not going to compromise our mission to be "cool".
What made you decide to leave the NYC area for Atlanta? Are you glad you made the move? I think I needed to get away for a bit—try something new—go to a few Falcons games. When I go back north I appreciate it more, and I may end up back there, but I like Atlanta. It’s a different pace. There was a design event recently that I worked on for Michael Habachy. It’s called Modern Atlanta and celebrates design in and outside of the city— the turnout was great and seeing a whole other side of Atlanta really was inspiring.
So what's next for you and all your endeavors? As of right now for Jamie Marx we’re going to be working closely with a few stores around the country launching the Standard Issue line, which is a limited bamboo line that includes other projects like furniture and art. We’ll also be continuing with the Militia line, online sales and working on a store concept for the fall, called The Co.
How has moving to Atlanta impacted the growth of The Jamie Marx Co. for you? If nothing else I think it’s allowed the brand to fill another void. I think places like LA and NYC are so over-saturated with lines that people find it refreshing to know that we are based in Atlanta. What do you think attracts people to the Jamie Marx label? What sets it apart from all the other brands out there right now? We have had such a unique range of people that like the line-from college kids to old men, hood guys to preps. It’s strange. People respond to the messages. I think, whether they understand them or not and for the same reason that’s why we're
What are things looking like in Atlanta in terms of fashion, art, design and music? There are some good things going on here. In fashion you have some good street lines like The Process and Street Local, then you have more fashion forward stuff like Sid Mashburn and Bill Hallman. I think art is growing here. There are also some good branding and design firms because the schools are great here. And with music, well, there are all sorts of things coming out of Atlanta, not just rap either. If you had to describe yourself and your work in one word what would that be? Eclectic. I don’t really like to think about that kind of stuff, though. I prefer that people interpret it the way they want.
For more information on Matt or Jamie Marx, visit jamiemarx.com and msenna.com
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Bao Tranchi dress Vintage African Tribal Jewelry
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