Fall 2022

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CONTENTS Sept/Oct/Nov 2022

58 TEN YEARS OF CULTURED In celebration of the anniversary, Cultured revisits significant moments from the past decade that have made the magazine what it is today.

60 SEEING THE UNSEEN David Zwirner’s restaging of Diane Arbus’s most iconic exhibition reminds us of the importance of keeping our eyes open. 64 SOAK TEST There is no such thing as a formula for success, but as these 15 legends from Hollywood to academia to contemporary art reveal, there certainly are prerequisites. 96

PROJECTS FOR PEOPLE Moshe Safdie envisions progressive, socially impactful spaces that determine not only where we live but how we do so, too. . OUR EXISTENCE IS SACRED History-changing fashion designer Josephine Jones is experimenting with other artistic forms of expression, looking to the past to carve out her future.



RISK TAKERS Legends in the making, these multi-hyphenate creatives have taken a leap from their formal origins.

116 THE ART OF ASSEMBLY For the first time ever, cross-categorical designer Faye Toogood is finally intersecting her disciplines in three new projects that reflect her personal evolution.


CRAFTING DESIRE At Hermès, the evolution of craftsmanship is as much of a balancing act of preservation and discovery as it is an on-going tradition.

John Waters wears a Paul Stuart shirt with his own pants and socks, Manolo Blahnik shoes, and Vehla sunglasses. Photography by Sophie Elgort. Styling by Cat Pope.

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CONTENTS Sept/Oct/Nov 2022

122 128 BLUE VELVET CRUSH Issy Wood is defining her place in the contemporary pantheon as an in-demand painter, an underground pop musician,

NO APOLOGIES Femininity is a complex subject for fashion designer Simone Rocha—and one that she interrogates with audacity.

and an accomplished memoirist.

130 MUNDO MAKERS For Hispanic Heritage Month, Cultured visits six contemporary artists around America who are reimagining Latinx identity. 136 PEAK PERFORMANCE The four recipients of the Juilliard School’s second annual Fendi Vanguard Awards are ready to take the world of performing arts by storm.

148 SOMETHING MUST BEencounter DONE Iconoclasts Jenny Holzer and Jane Fonda one another for a legendary dialogue about protest, privilege, and perseverance.


SENSITIVITY TRAINING In his first official descent into written fiction, John Waters continues to do just what he does best: The unexpected.


QUALIFYING THE ARBITRARY Legendary artist Charles Gaines looks beyond aesthetics to find beauty in meditation.


SUPERSTITION An exploration of cultural superstitions from around the world alongside Louis Vuitton Fall Winter 2022.

Artist Charles Gaines, photographed by Clifford Prince King.

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CONTENTS Sept/Oct/Nov 2022

Designer Jaclyn Shahan wears Chanel. Photography by Kobe Wagstaff.


PEEKING THROUGH THE LENS Dawoud Bey and Tyler Mitchell, Collier Schorr and John Edmonds, and Wolfgang Tillmans and Adriant Khadafhi Bereal—three legendary meetings of dialogue and documentation.

202 EMBRACING A LEGACY OF GENIUS As the artistic director of Schiaparelli, Daniel Roseberry toes the line between wit and camp.

206 THE ULTIMATE DIVINE Six varied artists share how creativity

informs personal expression within their own unique disciplines.

214 GOING THE DISTANCE Two hundred one-of-a kind travel trunks have exhibited the globe to honor Monsieur Louis Vuitton’s 200-year birth date. Now, the commemorative works embark on a different kind of journey.

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Christian Lorentzen is a critic and writer whose work appears regularly in the London Review of Books, Harper’s Magazine, and Bookforum. This year, he performed in a pair of New York plays written and directed by Matthew Gasda—Dimes Square and Berlin Story. For this issue, Lorentzen spoke with filmmaker, artist, and actor John Waters about his latest novel, “Liarmouth,” saying: “I couldn’t stop thinking about whether ‘Liarmouth’ could be filmed or staged, and came to the perhaps incorrect conclusion that it can’t and realized that is part of his genius. Waters is the opposite of intimidating when you talk to him; he is the epitome of geniality.”

Hailing from London, Flo Wales Bonner is a design and culture journalist and consultant for luxury and lifestyle brands. Her work has featured in publications including The New York Times, T Magazine, and i-D, and includes interviews with icons like Tom Ford, Virgil Abloh, and Manolo Blahnik. For Cultured, the writer, who has also published poetry and fiction, profiled designer Simone Rocha. “I’m a huge fan,” she says. “As a bit of a history geek, I love her playful, hauntingly beautiful subversions of fashions from times past. It was wonderful delving further into what makes her tick.”


For more than 40 years, artist Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether a T-shirt, plaque, or LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral. Starting in the 1970s with her New York City street posters and continuing through her recent light projections, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and courage. For Cultured’s 10-year anniversary, Holzer collaborated with another legend, Jane Fonda, for a unique dialogue that breaks down the state of protest, politics, and justice today.

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Photographer William Waterworth was born in Macclesfield, England, and studied photography in Paris, later assisting legendary Swiss photographer Michel Comte. For this issue, the photographer, whose work has been published in other titles including Vogue, AnOther Magazine, and Dazed, turned his lens to Irish designer Simone Rocha. “To finally meet her in person and to work with her clothes was magical. Hearing the narrative of what drove the collection helped a lot with making the pictures,” Waterworth says of the experience. “We were cast under her spell, and that fed into the feeling of the day.”







Diana Tsui is a writer and stylist based in New York. Formerly at New York Magazine’s The Cut, she has spent a decade writing, editing, and styling celebrity shoots, and her current work can be found in publications including The New York Times, W, and Harper’s Bazaar. For this issue, Tsui interviewed seven creatives who made unexpected leaps in their careers. “It’s incredibly inspiring to see how the likes of Gigi Hadid, Nicola Formichetti, and more are unafraid to pivot from the fields they’re known for, to make their mark in new ventures,” she says of the experience.

Eugene Rabkin is a fashion and culture writer based in New York. He has contributed articles to outlets including The New York Times and Business of Fashion. For this issue, he interviewed Schiaparelli creative director Daniel Roseberry at his atelier in Paris. “It was a rare chance to see the stunning Schiaparelli showroom and atelier on Place Vendôme in Paris and to get to know Daniel, who was incredibly humble and welcoming,” Rabkin says. “He was also refreshingly open, which was a refreshing change when so many prominent designers always seem to be on guard with journalists.”

César García-Alvarez is a writer, curator, and the executive and artistic director of The Mistake Room, a nonprofit art space in Los Angeles he founded in 2014. He is currently working on a major, multi-venue exhibition surveying Latinx art in America scheduled for 2024. García-Alvarez interviewed Latinx artists across the U.S. about their work and heritage for this issue of Cultured. “Latinx isn’t an identity. No single category can define us. Latinx is more about what it means to exist at the crossroads of many histories, geographies, and cultures,” he says of the project. “Each of these artists is a testament to that. They each weave their own story—complex and full of contradictions—that’s what makes them powerful.”


CAT POPE Stylist

Cat Pope is a New York–based, Australia-born stylist who works across celebrity, editorial, and commercial projects. Her work can be found in publications like Elle, Marie Claire, and Town & Country, as well on the red carpet—worn by stars from hit shows like Succession, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Veep. For this issue, Pope styled artist, actor, and filmmaker John Waters. “Taking on this shoot was an immediate yes!” Pope says. “Who else sits at the center of so many worlds so much as John Waters? Fashion, entertainment, pop culture—he’s iconic!”











Born in Colombia, partially raised in the United Kingdom, and based in Paris today, Alejandra Perez is a leading casting director. For this issue of Cultured, Perez collaborated with fashion director Alexandra Cronan on two special stories: a profile Simone Rocha, which features a variety of models of different ages and aesthetics, and a Louis Vuitton special fronted by Brazilian beauty Kerolyn Soares. “It is very exciting working at an editorial level for a brand that is already so diverse in terms of casting,” Alejandra said of working with Rocha. “It gives you the space to play with different characters and ideas.”

Drew Sawyer is the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography at the Brooklyn Museum. He has previously held curatorial positions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Columbus Museum of Art, and his writings have appeared in catalogs and journals, including Artforum and Aperture. For this issue, Sawyer moderated a conversation between photographers Dawoud Bey and Tyler Mitchell, saying: “Dawoud and Tyler have such generous spirits, which manifest in their work in different ways. Chatting with them about mentorship and community felt so appropriate and special.”

American photographer Kobe Wagstaff uses their work to explore the social constructs of gender. With carefully composed images, Wagstaff’s lens captures a stylized vision of subjects’ self-reflections and self-expression. Wagstaff has built their portfolio on the foundation of fluidity. “My chosen family, adorned in Chanel, transcending what the definition of ‘luxury’ means,” explains the photographer about their story in this issue. “Chayse, Zora, Lilliya, Jaclyn, and Lotte, I love you. It’s an honor and privilege to lens your worlds.”

Casting Director

DAVID HURN Photographer

Welsh photographer David Hurn has built a longstanding international reputation as one of the world’s leading reportage photographers. Hurn lept to fame at 22 for his documentation of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, and has since published 10 books with three more in the works. In this issue of Cultured, Hurn shares unpublished archival photography he has shot of his friend, the actor, and activist Jane Fonda, which became the subject matter for a unique project with artist Jenny Holzer. “Photographing a friend can be easier or more difficult than the unknown,” Hurn says. “With Jane, photographing was always simple. She has an amazing fluid body, but above all her eyes always radiated past experiences we have had together.”







Founder | Editor-in-Chief SARAH G. HARRELSON

Executive Editor JOSHUA GLASS Senior Architecture and Design Editor ELIZABETH FAZZARE Creative Producer REBECCA AARON Fashion Directors ALEXANDRA CRONAN, KATE FOLEY Contributing Arts Editor KAT HERRIMAN Contributing Editor, NY JACOBA URIST Contributing Columnist RACHEL CARGLE Podcast Editor SIENNA FEKETE Casting Director RICKY MICHIELS Landscape Editor LILY KWONG Copy Editor REGAN SOLMO Research Editor MARINA BUDARINA-SANCHEZ Contributing Art Director SARA PENA Assistant, Art and Digital BECCA LINCK

Publisher LORI WARRINER Italian Representative—Design CARLO FIORUCCI



Miami Office 1041 NW 21st Street Miami, Florida Los Angeles Office 2341 Michigan Ave Santa Monica, California Partner MIKE BATT

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Letter from the Editor

Time is a funny thing. It seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago that Cultured was a figment of my imagination. A recurring dream that would not relent until I gave birth to it. It is hard to put into a short note the cascade of reasons why I started an independent publication, but what I can say here is that I wanted to shake the tree and break stale traditions. I wanted to honor the many streams of brilliance and talent around me and tell the stories that weren’t being told, with the hope of sparking creative energy on every single page. That was and will always be Cultured’s goal. A decade later, this issue—the 10-year anniversary of Cultured and the fourth of our annual Living Legends— is a perfect celebration of that vision. Our incredible list of contributors includes activists, artists, writers, editors, poets, directors, designers, and climate change campaigners, all of whom have set out to radically reshape society. It is one of our biggest issues since the pandemic, with stories and images that aim to harness these subjects’ intoxicating, audacious powers. Among the many legends we are honored to present are three intergenerational meetings between six photographic pioneers; an essay by Hannah Black about the profound and lasting impact of artist Charles Gaines; a day in Provincetown, Massachusetts with John Waters and Sophie Elgort; and so much more. In one of my favorite stories, “Soak Test,” we surveyed icons of various creative industries—from Peter Marino to Christine Baranski to Graydon Carter—about how they have persevered through tough times. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep and profound respect for Jane Fonda. For our anniversary issue’s cover story, we paired this legend by all accounts of the word with another: visionary contemporary artist Jenny Holzer, who contributed a one-of-a-kind artwork for our cover while readying for an ambitious project this fall. In preparation for the historic conversation between Fonda and Holzer, I immersed myself in their respective work, finding myself deeply energized by the sheer magnitude of their capacity, tenacity, and clarity of mission. This issue also marks some big changes to our masthead. I am so pleased to welcome Joshua Glass to our team as our new Executive Editor, and Kate Foley and Alexandra Cronan, who are jointly leading our

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Sarah Harrelson visits Charles Gaines at his Downtown Los Angeles studio.

fashion coverage. Cultured is now officially a global team, with editors in LA, NYC, London, and Miami! Approaching this milestone, I had the pleasure of reflecting on the past editions of the magazine. As I returned to Cultured’s archives (see page 56 for more), I realized that I’m just as proud of our debut issue with Jeanne Greenberg as I am of this issue, ten years later. I also spent time pausing on my own personal journey, too. Longevity comes as a result of doing several things at once—and consistently. I often liken it to pushing a rock uphill every day. On certain days, it feels like an insurmountable task, and other days it is an exhilarating adventure. Besides my family, it is without a doubt what fills my soul and makes me the most proud. To our readers, subscribers, and advertisers, please know how much your support means—without you we are nothing.

Sarah G. Harrelson Founder and Editor-in-Chief @sarahgharrelson Follow us | @cultured_mag




On the cover: JANE FONDA. Artwork by Jenny Holzer. Archive photography by David Hurn/Magnum Photos. Barbarella courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Cau g h t Up (d et ai l), 2 0 2 1 © Ch r i s t i n a Q uar l es Co u r te sy t h e ar t i st , H a us er & W i rt h , a nd P i l ar Co rr i a s, L o nd o n, Ph oto : Fre dr i k N i l so n


Years of Cultured

Cultured revisits significant moments from the past decade that have made the magazine what it is today.

Jun/July/August 2012

Sept/Oct/Nov 2012

Nov/Dec/Jan 2012

Sept/Oct/Nov 2013

Jun/July/August 2014

Nov/Dec/Jan 2015

Feb/March 2015

April/May 2015

Jun/July/August 2015

Nov/Dec/Jan 2016

Nov/Dec/Jan 2016

Feb/March 2016

April/May 2016

April/May 2016

Jun/July/August 2016

Sept/Oct/Nov 2016

Dec/Jan/Feb 2017

Dec/Jan/Feb 2017

Dec/Jan/Feb 2017

Feb/March 2017

Jun/July/August 2017

Sept/Oct/Nov 2017

Feb/March 2018

June/July/August 2018

Jun/July/August 2018

June/July/August 2018

Sept/Oct/Nov 2018

Feb/March 2019

April/May 2019

Dec/Jan/Feb 2019

Dec/Jan/Feb 2019

Dec/Jan/Feb 2019

April/May 2020

June/July/August 2020

Sept/Oct/Nov 2020

Sept/Oct/Nov 2020

Sept/Oct/Nov 2020

Sept/Oct/Nov 2020

Sept/Oct/Nov 2020

Dec/Jan/Feb 2021

April/May 2021

April/May 2021

Jun/July/August 2021

Dec/Jan/Feb 2022

April/May 2022

April/May 2022

Jun/July/August 2022

Sept/Oct/Nov 2022

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Humanizing the ignored, Diane Arbus challenged and changed the art of photography. Fifty years after the artist’s posthumous retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, David Zwirner’s New York restaging reminds us of the importance of keeping our eyes open.

DIANE ARBUS WAS AS CONTROVERSIAL as she was unknown, at least in her lifetime. Transfixed by the others of the world—the freaks, the fringe, and the forgotten that society refused to see—her arresting portraiture challenged not only the psychology of photography but also the practice itself, often crossing boundaries of literal and metaphorical importance. A year after her passing, the Museum of Modern Art’s 1972 retrospective exposed Arbus’ portfolio to the greater public, and changed the dialogue of the art form forever, as well as the photographer’s legacy in it. “There were lines down the block and around the corner. Debates ensued, sometimes raged,” notes David Leiber, a partner at David Zwirner gallery, which is restaging the epochal museum exhibition on September 14 at its West 20th Street location in New York. Commemorating the pioneering show’s 50-year anniversary, “Cataclysm: The 1972 Diane Arbus Retrospective Revisited” recontextualizes Arbus’ original 113 photographs for a generation no longer jarred by seeing the unseen. In conjunction with the show’s opening, the gallery’s book publisher is also releasing “Diane Arbus Documents” (out September 27), which features articles, criticism, and essays on the artist, from 1967 to the present day. Says Leiber, “A vast, absorbing bibliography of the critical writings published over the last five decades, “Documents” is a testament to Arbus’ enduring legacy, an artist who has continuously been a part of the conversation about looking and feeling.”

D i an e Arb u s , A You n g Wa it ress at a Nud ist Ca mp, N J, 19 63 . 60 culturedmag.com








By Elizabeth Fazzare

New York–based architect Peter Marino is known for his uniform of leather: trousers, biker cap, vest, and variety of accessories. Yet his architectural style, while consistently sleek, is chameleonic, subtly adapting a facade to its customer—consider the minimalism of Giorgio Armani’s Madison Avenue flagship, or Dior’s 30 Montaigne parlay between classic and contemporary. Since founding his firm in 1978, Marino has designed hundreds of these award-winning luxury projects, often commissioning site-specific artworks to complete them. One of his most recent projects is a personal one: the Peter Marino

Art Foundation, which houses the architect’s art collection, from Ferdinando Tacca to Cy Twombly, in Southampton, New York. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER INTEGRAL TO CAREER LONGEVITY? Talent and hard work. DO YOU PRACTICE ANY ACTS OF SELF-CARE? Delving into new aspects of the art scene. And I do one hour of calisthenics every morning. Very old school. DO YOU LEARN ANYTHING NEW WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON YOUR HISTORY OF WORK? I’m always surprised at the vast quantity of built projects from my studio. Not so much on revisitations, I’m usually looking forward. WHAT, IF ANYTHING, GETS EASIER WITH TIME? WHAT GETS HARDER? With 40 years of experience, I am much more efficient at reaching good design solutions. Harder? Management.


ANDRÉ SARAIVA DOES MAKING WORK FEEL SEMINAL IN PROCESS OR ONLY AFTER UPON REVISITING? When I paint and when I create, it is always very exciting. It does not feel like work for me; it feels like exploring my imaginary world and dreams. HOW DOES PATIENCE FACTOR INTO YOUR PRACTICE? The nature of what I do is mostly being impatient. It’s based on instinct and, as a graffiti artist, always being on the run. But I learned to be patient in my studio practice. It gives me time to explore my different techniques with time and imaginary worlds.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM REFUSING TO QUIT? My parents, my neighbors, and the police used to tell me to quit, and tried to physically stop me from doing graffiti. I think that’s what gave me the freedom to always do the things I wanted without waiting for permission of others or probation of society. Being an artist is about taking the risk to not please others but to be guided by your need to create and tell stories in your own way. This attitude comes from graffiti, and I’ve applied it to everything I do: nightclubs, hotels, and all types of projects in my life. I never wait for the permission of others, and I am never scared of failure.


The Swedish-French graffiti artist and hotelier André Saraiva found his stride looking to the future while running away from convention (and the police). Now, the mind behind the street art moniker Mr. A—which he has painted, per his estimate, 20 times a night for the last 30 years—is taking a stab at nostalgia in a new retrospective book with Rizzoli, André Saraiva: Graffiti Life, an ode to his greatest exhibitions, collaborations, and risks taken.


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Shyama Golden, The Passage, 2022

Joeun Kim Aatchim Amanda Ba Bhasha Chakrabarti Susan Chen Daieny Chin HyeGyeong Choi Milano Chow Dominique Fung

Chitra Ganesh Bambou Gili Shyama Golden Sasha Gordon Sally J. Han stephanie mei huang Jeanne Jalandoni Melissa Joseph

Cindy Ji Hye Kim Hannah Lee Tidawhitney Lek Zoé Blue M. Gisela McDaniel Nina Molloy Tammy Nguyen Catalina Ouyang

Maia Cruz Palileo Anna Park GaHee Park Rajni Perera Jiab Prachakul Sahana Ramakrishnan Anjuli Rathod Hiba Schahbaz

Kyungmi Shin Su Su Mai Ta Nadia Waheed Chelsea Ryoko Wong Lily Wong Zadie Xa Livien Yin


This summer, Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum transformed Andrea Bowers from documenter to documentee, collecting almost 60 works from the artist for her first museum retrospective. The creative has captured the spirit

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of the frontlines of protest and recorded the work of activists for over 30 years, exercising simultaneous “radical patience” and urgency in her practice. As for any advocate, there is always more work to be done.

HOW IS IT TO LOOK BACK ON YOUR WORK? It’s a bit uncomfortable to look back because I tend to look forward. I’m always wanting to make the next project, develop new ideas, and record more activists. But I’m proud of the consistency of the work over the years, and I find hope in the commitment of activists. I’m sad that more progress hasn’t occurred, and that we are in a time where our freedoms as citizens are being taken from us. HOW HAS YOUR PRACTICE BEEN SHAPED BY ENDURANCE? I make very labor-intensive work. I believe it is important to highlight the connection between craft and activism and to honor the people I document in my work using my own labor. I often work two shifts in the studio; my most productive time for drawing and painting is late at night because it is quiet, with no phone calls or emails. I have trained myself to be very self-motivated and function on just a few hours of sleep. HOW DO YOU SUMMON THE PATIENCE THAT IS NECESSARY TO YOUR PRACTICE? Sometimes I have to think about the idea of radical patience in order to remain hopeful. I must trust that the change I wish for in the world might not occur in my lifetime, but that I am part of a larger movement—that the next generation will take the reins. Over the years I’ve been inspired by the words of activist Chris Carlsson: “It’s not easy to proceed politically when we take seriously how difficult, deep, and personal are the changes we seek. But pleasure, passion, and patience can bring real progress. Remember, the Americans you scorn today must be your allies tomorrow if you are serious about changing life!” When it comes to human rights and freedoms, patience isn’t a good quality. We should not wait, and we need to demand change now.





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BETHANN HARDISON Over the last 50 years of her career, Bethann Hardison has blazed trails with her head held high. She holds a laundry list of titles—model, advocate, muse, mother figure— but no matter what hat she is wearing, she remains a catalyst,

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taking on structural inequities and racism in the fashion industry and beyond. Currently Gucci’s Executive Advisor for Global Equity and Culture Engagement and sitting on the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s

SOAK TEST advisory board, Hardison’s work is far from over but, she is also taking a moment to reflect on her tenure as a force for good: A feature-length documentary and memoir are in the works for 2023. WHAT DOES ENDURANCE MEAN IN YOUR CAREER? I never conclude nor think I have a career—I prefer to say my life. Mine is jack of all trades, master of none. I tend to be this; I tend to be that. I tend to do this; I tend to do that. The endurance that I have is my ability to sustain. It’s with good health, good mind, and a great deal of compassion that it seems to have worked out. WAS THERE EVER A TIME THAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT QUITTING? Oh, absolutely, and I did. I never wanted to have a model agency; I got talked into doing it. I thought I could convince them to let me do it for three years. They said no, Bethann, invest in it a little bit. I quit that [after] 13 years. HOW DID THAT FEEL? Liberating. I did it because I meant to do it for the journey, but it’s not all I was meant to do. WORKING ON THE DOCUMENTARY AND MEMOIR, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO LOOK BACK ON YOUR WORK? I paid such light attention to things as I did them. Everything is such a journey. I look back now and realize that I have accomplished a great deal. My objective has been to change people’s minds and to educate them. When you see what you’re doing affecting other industries too, it gives you great pride.

Photography by Les Guzman

The actor has been charming Hollywood since the 1970s, when she received critical acclaim for her role as Gitl in 1975’s Hester Street. With a mountain of credits

and accolades under her belt, Carol Kane has preserved the kindness and humility of her early performances in Annie Hall and The Princess Bride to her more recent appearances in Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and alongside Al Pacino in Amazon’s Hunters. WHAT DOES ENDURANCE MEAN IN YOUR CAREER? It involves a lot of courage. Specifically, the type that involves your self, your product, as it were. Frequently you are not chosen, and that is difficult. But if you can keep going—if you can stick around until the next thing presents itself—perhaps then you will be. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TOLD TO QUIT? Oh, my god, yes! When I was 13 and going to the Professional Children’s School in New York, I was sent to an ear, nose, and throat doctor because I was having trouble with my voice. The doctor told my mother that under no circumstances should I ever be allowed to go on the professional stage because I would never be able to be heard. At that age I felt like I couldn’t possibly quit. It wasn’t a decision. It was a drive and a love and a dream. It was a need. That’s what you need to be an actor because it’s brutal. You shouldn’t do it unless you need to do it. WHAT GETS EASIER OVER TIME? The ability to let go. I was a rabid perfectionist when I was younger. It had a hold on me that just wasn’t tenable. The older I get, the more l [realize] that I don’t have to be so particular. “God is in the details.” Is that what they say? If a detail is not exactly how I wish, I’m able to let it go. It makes a huge difference in the day-to-day process. Maybe a genius is a solo player who would never settle for anything but perfect, but if you are in a collaborative field, it’s too punishing.

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WHEN YOU ARE MAKING WORK, DOES IT FEEL SEMINAL IN PROCESS? I never think of my work being seminal. I like taking my inspiration from nature. I find the knowledge and understanding of sacred proportions very important and valuable. I don’t like to think of my work as “decorating,” because this feels so unnatural and theatrical. I like people to feel at home in their house. Designing a home for art collectors is inspiring. It means giving their collection a better place and creating juxtapositions and dialogues between the artworks that can even add value that the owners hadn’t yet discovered. CAN YOU REMEMBER A TIME YOU THOUGHT ABOUT STOPPING? No, not at all. I love my job. I don’t even like holidays because I like to work on my projects.

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Architect, dealer, and designer Axel Vervoordt began his career in 1969, renovating a row of 16th-century houses in Antwerp as his art and antiques gallery. He’s kept this close relationship with art history throughout his career, creative practice, and personal life. As a designer, his minimalist interiors serve as serene and comfortable spaces for living, and contextual backdrops for client collections. As a gallerist, his exhibitions explore the physical act of art-making and its relationship to space. What’s evident in all is Vervoordt’s lifelong commitment to the places where these worlds overlap.

The most satisfying moment is when a client tells you he spends more time at home because that’s where he comes to rest and feels really comfortable. WHAT DOES ENDURANCE MEAN TO YOU? There is always a solution for every problem. The hard way to get there is usually necessary

but fruitful. You have to encounter obstacles in your way and not turn away from them. It gets you stronger and more powerful. In Japanese there is an expression, “ichi-go-ichi-e,” meaning “accepting things as they are.”


Nash Glynn Interiors September 17 – November 5, 2022

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HOW HAS IT FELT TO JUMP BETWEEN FILMING TWO SHOWS THAT ARE SO VASTLY DIFFERENT? Re-entering the worlds of a show after you’ve been off for many months can take a few days or a week to get back into the rhythm. But no, to my delight I have found it refreshing to go from one to another. You just get into the groove and everything becomes easier. It’s true of anything— playing the piano, playing tennis, swimming, whatever you do. IF GETTING INTO THE GROOVE GETS EASIER, WHAT GETS HARDER WITH TIME? Stamina is key. We’re a very fast-moving culture, and a lot tries to be achieved in a short amount of time. Performers are often robbed of the requisite rehearsal or preparation time. Negotiating time becomes more of a challenge, and I don’t think it’s a function of age but of the time we’re living in. Learning how to slow down so that you’re living moment to moment and keeping your center is the biggest challenge.

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HOW IMPORTANT IS BEING OPEN TO CHANGE? I’ve absolutely loved having the opportunity to work in front of a camera for 13 years, learning all the subtleties that you can bring into a performance because the camera is so closely seeing you. I do hope to return to the stage at some point. I was trained to be a theater actress—to use my voice, body, and language for a live audience. Frankly, I love that I have been able to do both. A lot of film actors are either are afraid of or do such limited amount of work on stage. I highly recommend being versatile, because each thing enhances the other.


Christine Baranski exudes elegance and grace, a natural charisma more reminiscent of Old Hollywood than the Internet age—and it makes sense, given her the Juilliard School training and storied career on the stages of Broadway, which began in the 1980s. Her career has been nothing short of a hit, and she’s not done yet. As dignified and formidable as ever, Baranski currently stars in Julian Fellowes’s The Gilded Age and has just wrapped the final season of The Good Fight.


September 16 - November 5, 2022

Sheree Hovsepian Leaning In Upstairs Gallery: Avery Z. Nelson Ashes to Ashes

October 12 - 16, 2022

Frieze London: Sheree Hovsepian November 29 - December 3, 2022

November 11, 2022 - January 7, 2023

Encounter curated by Augusto Arbizo Upstairs Gallery: Sacha Ingber The Difference between Right and Wrong

Art Basel Miami Beach: Bernadette Despujols, Sheree Hovsepian, Curtist Talwst Santiago


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BETYE SAAR At 96, Betye Saar practices selfcare through creativity, “whether it’s making a nice breakfast or making art,” she says. The Los Angeles–born artist is lauded for her assemblage technique, which borrows from her fascination with the metaphysical and the magical and reflects on African American identity and global cultures. Her work, including perhaps her most iconic piece, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972), can be found in over 60 museums worldwide, as well as

in The Betye Saar Papers, a Getty Research Institute archive that surveys her career in its spectacular entirety. This month, Betye Saar: Black Doll Blues documents the artist’s lifelong interest in Black dolls in book form and features artworks, sketchbooks, and images of toys from her personal collection. WHAT DOES ENDURANCE MEAN IN YOUR PRACTICE? When I create an artwork, I want it to have the quality to endure, to have the same meaning or impact years later.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, GETS EASIER WITH TIME? WHAT GETS HARDER? What is easy is getting up in the morning, getting dressed, and making art. What is hard is not wanting to wake up. I’m 96 after all. DO YOU EVER LOOK BACK ON YOUR WORK? I usually don’t make judgments on my past work. Then was then and now is now. WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO ART HISTORY? WHAT DO YOU HOPE IT WILL ULTIMATELY BE? I don’t really think about how people regard me or my art. Some people consider me a feminist. Some people consider me a Black artist. Some a printmaker. Some an assemblage artist. These judgments are made by others, usually art historians or journalists. I make art for myself, to satisfy my own personal creative needs.


BOB COLACELLO director of the Peter Marino Art Foundation in Southampton, New York. As such, he considers himself “lucky enough to be in the middle of” art history. But there is certainly more than luck to blame for Colacello’s immense success, which began with his 13-year stint in Andy Warhol’s Factory.

WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS TO A GREAT CAREER? Andy always said, “Keep it fast, cheap, easy, and modern,” which is another way of saying, do what comes naturally to you. If you are trying too hard, you’ve probably taken a wrong turn. WAS THERE A TIME THAT YOU WANTED TO QUIT? After working with Warhol for 13 years, I resigned as executive editor of Interview magazine in 1983. It was hard, because the Factory was like a family. But you can only stay close to a genius for so long before you start to lose any identity of your own. I’ve always heard that when you close one door, another one opens. Within a couple of months, Condé Nast relaunched Vanity Fair and I landed an exclusive writer’s contract that ran for 35 years. HOW IMPORTANT IS REINVENTION TO YOU? HOW IMPORTANT IS PROGRESS? Reinvention only works if it’s authentic. Progress is a function of continuing curiosity. PHOTO BY PHILIP HOWARD

Throughout his career, Bob Colacello has found himself in “unexpected” places— unexpectedly as a documentary photographer (with his “OUT” column in Interview magazine), as an exclusive writer for Vanity Fair, and now, as a curator for Vito Schnabel Gallery in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and associate


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FORT GANSEVOORT 5 NINTH AVENUE NEW YORK, NY, 10014 Dawn Williams Boyd, Leaving Alabama, 2022, Assorted fabrics, cotton embroidery floss and mixed media, 60 x 60 inches


WHAT DOES ENDURANCE MEAN IN YOUR PRACTICE? Perseverance has never worried me, but commitment is something different. What exists in my work is to add a new function to an industrial object that is not only practicality or functionality but also meaning. This addition puts the object in the art world, perhaps as [Marcel] Duchamp did, avoiding the decorativism and the superficiality of some of today’s art. I’m not interested in decoration; I don’t want to hide my time; I’m not subject to forms. HOW DO YOU STAY INSPIRED? I regularly try not to let my brain atrophy by following repetitions. There is a Catholic proverb: “To make errors is human, but to repeat is diabolical.” I believe that to repeat is only stupid (like Putin who repeats war), and the Devil is intelligent in his way—in the end, we can make a dialogue with him or her. Many times, error introduces new values and points of view, so I’m not afraid of acknowledging that I’m wrong. Mistakes often refresh our minds. HOW IMPORTANT IS REINVENTION TO YOU? WHAT ABOUT PROGRESS? A society that does not consider progress 82 culturedmag.com


Gaetano Pesce seems to speak in proverbs on perseverance, time, and progress as duty. The Italian architect and designer is as wise as he is influential, taking on the role of both creator and teacher throughout his four decade-long career, creating poetic objects and structures that put form to contemporary issues. Tragedy, religion, human rights—the narrative changes constantly and as he deems necessary. Pesce’s portfolio is a modernist exercise in color and shape, and in exploring questions that he has “never thought to answer.”


important, is a dead society. Progress justifies life. Reinvention is not important, invention is. The idea of progress is immense. It is what allowed us to evolve from [wearing] a dress made with animal skin and holding a club to today, where we can travel with supersonic planes. Everything is possible with progress; the duty of our work is to transform it in the present constantly.



WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO ART HISTORY? WHAT DO YOU HOPE IT WILL ULTIMATELY BE? I grew up around art. My mother was a very talented abstract painter, sculptor, and true original. [Fine art] is a different expression than performing, more solitary and objective. It’s also in the connective tissue of our history from the beginning of time and onward. Without visual beauty, the world would be sterile—it elevates humanity. As an artist, you have stay open to change and to shedding your skin. It should be a natural evolution, not something forced nor labored over. Remaining inspired and open is the gift that comes with being curious and engaged with life; there is no other recipe to being someone who continues to give to their work and the world. CAN YOU REMEMBER A TIME YOU WANTED TO QUIT? WHAT STOPPED YOU? There were nights that I felt defeated, frustrated, and alone when I first started performing, but I had my mentor Paul Mooney who would show up and talk me out of it. I was very young. Of course, you can’t know for sure if you will find success, but it happened pretty quickly for me. I didn’t get jaded, and that’s a blessing. WHEN YOU ARE MAKING WORK, DOES IT FEEL SEMINAL IN PROCESS? When you are creating a piece or have an idea, you can sense the authenticity and if you might be onto something new and fresh.

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Sandra Bernhard is continuously evolving. The comedian, actress, singer, and author has graced the stages of Broadway, the silver and small screens, and the airwaves, cementing her status as an entertainment staple. Bernhard’s presence is constant and consistent, and she maintains the utility of “the ongoing evolution of being a complete person” is the secret to a long, fulfilling career.







An editorial legend, Graydon Carter says he is “comfortable” with what he produces these days, but is “fully aware” that he hasn’t “reinvented the wheel.” We may politely disagree. Bringing the wit and taste he honed as fomer editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and co-founder of Spy, Carter, who also owns the Waverly Inn restaurant in New York, has built something cosmopolitan and chic, yet still delightfully unpretentious, with his latest media venture, Air Mail. WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS TO A GREAT CAREER? Well tenacity, certainly. Talent, which may not be immediately evident but can develop over time, helps. Having a reservoir of goodwill is essential. This comes from treating colleagues, friends, and even competitors with kindness and respect over the years. It’s important to stay true to your vision. In all successful careers, there’s a certain amount of luck involved. That doesn’t hurt. WHAT DOES ENDURANCE MEAN TO YOU? Well, endurance is everything. Steven Spielberg released Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the same year, 1993. Similarly, Ridley Scott made Gladiator and Black Hawk Down back-to-back when he was in his early 60s. These are remarkable achievements both in terms of the results and the

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tolls they must have taken on the two men. Long and fruitful careers are, in large part, about just keeping at it. There will be good days and bad ones, good months and bad ones. Don’t dwell on the failures or the successes. You learn much more from the failures, by the way. Successes rarely teach you a damn thing. WHAT GETS EASIER FURTHER IN YOUR CAREER? WHAT GETS MORE CHALLENGING?

The actual work gets easier. Painters mature, and their line becomes freer and richer. Writers become better at getting what they are really thinking onto the page. Musicians build on every song they’ve ever composed or performed before. What gets more difficult is the energy required to keep at it. The tough part is to get up in the morning and rally the same enthusiasm you had at the beginning of it all.




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The 1974 establishment of Just Above Midtown (JAM) altered the chemistry of contemporary artistry thanks to Linda Goode Bryant. Pinned to its purpose of existing “in, but not of, the art world,” the artist, activist, and filmmaker used the New York gallery to carve out space for Black art and performance for 12 years. Now, almost 50 years after its birth, Goode Bryant, who also founded the urban farm initiative Project EATS in 2009, is reflecting on JAM’s impact with institutional support: on October 88 culturedmag.com

9, the Museum of Modern Art will open an exhibition dedicated to the project’s legacy of experimentation and inclusivity. HAS ANYONE EVER TOLD YOU TO QUIT? Many times. AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM NOT LISTENING? I learned to believe in the words my paternal grandmother told me, “You can do whatever you set your mind to.” WHAT, IF ANYTHING, GETS EASIER WITH TIME? WHAT GETS HARDER? To accept my flaws over time, which makes it

easier for me to accept that in others. What’s getting harder is not to succumb to the trap of nostalgia. HOW DO YOU SUMMON PATIENCE INTO YOUR PRACTICE? Different ways. Sometimes, I’ll engage the work of artists and connect to the patience their work requires. Sometimes I go so deep into the process of making that I’m not concerned about the outcome, which can make me impatient. Instead, I just soak in what I’m learning from making something and feel good. WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS TO A GREAT CAREER? Vision, belief, resourcefulness, and determination.

Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948 – 1960

Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948 – 1960 is co-organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine.


Support for this exhibition and its national tour is provided by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional catalogue support is provided by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

At the Nasher Museum, this exhibition is made possible by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Fund for Exhibitions; the J. Horst and Ruth Mary Meyer Fund for the Nasher Museum; the Neely Family Fund; the Lenore and Victor Behar Endowment Fund; Christine and Jeff Weller; Katherine Thorpe Kerr and Terrance Kerr; Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan; Karen M. Rabenau and David H. Harpole; and Parker & Otis.

Opening Aug 25, 2022

Roy Lichtenstein, Variations No. 7, 1959 (detail). Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches (121.9 x 152.4 cm). Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The Roy Lichtenstein Study Collection; gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, 2019.277. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

Free admission for all. Courtesy of Jennifer McCracken New and Jason New.


DOES YOUR WORK FEEL SEMINAL WHEN YOU ARE MAKING IT OR ONLY AFTER, THROUGH OTHERS’ INTERACTIONS? Nothing is as absorbing as writing… finding a path, figuring things out as you go. I think a book happens first in your head, completely and perfectly, but it can take forever to find it again in a tangible form and realize it for other people. The interactions that happen afterwards are nice but that’s a completely different experience. DOES PATIENCE FACTOR INTO YOUR PROCESS? Once I commit to writing a project or book, it takes a long time sometimes to find the right pitch. I really need to empty out my life for a while and have plenty of unstructured time. Eileen Myles says a writer needs to roll around in time like a dog rolls around in a smell. Paradoxically, it takes patience to waste time, but it’s the only way to let something arrive.

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WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS TO A GREAT CAREER? A great career is just the ability to go on working. Doing this requires a certain amount of confidence and momentum, not to mention arranging your life financially and logistically. Everyone does this differently. When I was 25, I was obsessed with the question, Will I still be an artist when I’m 40? And the answer would have been no if I hadn’t married someone who was able to support me for a long time until I could figure out ways to make enough money myself. The ideas people have about “great careers” usually turn out to be mythic. There are a lot of ups and downs, no matter the circumstances.


Ever transgressive, author and filmmaker Chris Kraus has solidified herself as a prodigy of storytelling on the obsessive and the absorbed. In 1997, she captivated readers with her autofictional tome I Love Dick, a love letter—or hate mail—to infatuation and sexual fixation. Summer of Hate, two books of art and cultural criticism, and most recently, a biography of writer Kathy Acker followed. Kraus’s work creates public interest in the intimate and allows the antihero to shine in her own right.




WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT RIGHT NOW? You are catching me at a time in which I know what I’m fighting for—to try to make a positive contribution in response to climate change. I like to build things; I like to think about everything we do and to be aware of that. Now we have to not be talking, but doing. WHERE DO YOU FIND THE MOTIVATION TO CONTINUE YOUR PRACTICE? I don’t know exactly. When I really believe in something, I’m loud. I’m still quick to say my optimism is exhausting. But I’m not exhausted.

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An instantly recognizable pillar in fashion and design, Michèle Lamy has a resume that is nothing short of remarkable: The entrepreneur, producer, and performer is the Managing Director of Art and Furniture for Owenscorp (alongside partner Rick Owens), heads creative endeavors under Lamyland, and collaborates with FKA twigs. Today, she is on a passionate mission for climate change, raising awareness about the state of the Earth. Above all, Lamy, whose work will be shown in an upcoming exhibition at Carpenters Workshop Gallery Los Angeles this fall, approaches everything she does with a relentless optimism.

WHAT GETS EASIER WITH TIME? The more you age, the more you recognize right away what could be bullshit. It’s easier to not have the insecurities you had when you were 20, trying to figure out how you see the world. As much as you believe in something, you can make it happen.

HOW IMPORTANT IS REINVENTION? I don’t think of reinvention as something you do, but as an idea to always be looking for something new. At the same time, you don’t reinvent yourself, every fiber links.

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10975 SW 17th St., Miami, FL 33199 | 305.348.2890 | frost.fiu.edu Rafael Soldi, #136, from Imagined Futures series, 2019, Gelatin silver print from photobooth, 2 x 1.5 inches, Unique, Courtesy of the artist This exhibition was made possible with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Art Dealers Association of America Foundation, PNC Bank, the Office of Commissioner Ken Russell, the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District, and the members of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. Additional support has been generously provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and members of the Frost Art Museum.

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Projects for People For over half a century, noted architect Moshe Safdie has envisioned progressive, socially impactful spaces that determine not only where we live but how we do so, too. By Elizabeth Fazzare

“WRITING A MEMOIR IS RELIVING A LOT— reliving, reassessing, and re-evaluating different moments in my development,” says Moshe Safdie. Reflection is top of mind for the 84-year-old Israeli-Canadian-American architect, who spent his COVID-19 lockdown penning his forthcoming book, “If Walls Could Speak: My Life in Architecture,” which reads like a memoir-cum-travel diary-cum-manifesto for responsible, thoughtful design. The architect has been designing innovative, sustainability-focused, socially-forward projects for five decades and counting, starting with his McGill University Faculty of Engineering thesis, Habitat ’67, an exploration of the future of factory-built housing that—still to its architect’s quiet disbelief—was constructed in Montreal as the Canadian Pavilion for the Expo 67. Since then, the former apprentice of Louis Kahn, former director of the Urban Design Program at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and lifelong professor has gone on to design buildings such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Israel, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, and Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore. What connects them all, however, is not a specific style, a use of glass or geometries, or a material lust: each Safdie Architects project was designed to the benefit of its users and their environment. Safdie is a starchitect in all definitions of the word, and yet in all its connotations, he is not. He eschews the draw of contemporary practitioners’ penchant for “sculptural self-expression” afforded by new digital design technologies—ones that, like nearly all global design studios, he employs in his office, as well—and maintains that “the environment that produces this kind of icon, never-before-seen, everything-is-a-new-invention design is very counter-Darwinian.” Instead of focusing on statement-making, he feels that architecture should “be evolving and incrementally improving” upon itself with each project. With newly invigorated, mainstream industry conversations around environmental design, Safdie is hopeful “we’re cycling

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out” of the desire to declare oneself in structure. It’s humility that sets Safdie apart in his demeanor and his approach to architecture. He credits this to lessons learned in Jerusalem, where the architect has worked for many years of his life, along with Canada, Singapore, and Boston, where he currently lives, headquarters his studio, and teaches at the GSD. “It taught me that one has to be extremely attentive to culture—to a tradition of a place. It’s actually a kind of particular humility. You accept it as worthy,” he explains of Israel’s capital, a holy city for followers of the three Abrahamic faiths and a place with a truly ancient history. “I think some of my peers came into the historic city and just did their own thing. Total contradiction is a kind of arrogance. Jerusalem healed me from that.” Safdie was born in Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine, and lived on a kibbutz before moving to Montreal in 1953 at age 15. To “soften the blow” of leaving the only home he ever knew, his mother whisked him and his siblings away to Rome, London, and Paris before planting them firmly in Canada where his father had already begun rebuilding their lives. These travels were a sort of Grand Tour for the young boy, and an introduction to the world of design and culture where diversity is a large part of the appeal. His curiosity for geography has guided his work since. “You can make contemporary buildings that still feel they belong and rooted in place, which is always more satisfying,” the architect explains of how he designs in any context. Having come up in architecture at the same time as the Postmodernist greats like Philip Johnson and Frank Gehry, he considers his work a “counterpoint” to these -ism designers, though maintains that, despite it, Gehry is a close friend. (Johnson, as revealed in the new book, stopped sending invitations after Safdie wrote a scathing critique of his 1984 AT&T Building in New York.) In person, Safdie is warm and intentional in conversation. He is excited by discussions that question the design world’s status quo. After all, it’s a core tenet of his profession, he believes, to strive

to constantly innovate the processes and systems in which one works. “Louis Kahn used to ask, ‘What does a building want to be?’ and my reading into that is a building wants to be what it’s constructed for,” he says. Habitat ‘67 was an idealist exercise in what form a middle-class housing complex, constructed with prefabricated modules and allowing “a garden for everyone,” could take. Ultimately, the construction technology did not match up with his design—and still does not—for a modular system that could be contextually replicable on the kind of mass scale Safdie had hoped. It’s a lesson every architect has learned at one point in their career. Its principles of efficiency and livability, however, are foundational to the current “green” movement in design, where new technologies are helping build systems that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Safdie too is invested in this future, particularly with the idea that adding program-motivated gardens to projects creates environments that people just want to be in, as inspired by his work in Singapore. Mixed-use projects are at the forefront of his thoughts, as well, for the utility they can bring in scaling down a mega-city. Currently, Epic Games is digitizing Habitat ’67, so that gamers can interact with it virtually around the world. Safdie is hopeful that one day he’ll have the opportunity to build a mixed-use version of the project in real life. As long as his health allows, the architect maintains that he has no plans to slow down, although he is grateful for the time he was given to look back on his work and to write the stories he’d been wanting to tell. “The best way to evaluate a work of architecture is to visit it 25 years later,” he says. In Safdie’s philosophy, a project is technically successful when it achieves its programmatic needs; architecture happens when it this is accompanied by a design that is both attractive, constructed for longevity, and creates a sense of well-being for its occupants, current and future. Designing for the latter, however, is often something that still baffles him. “It’s a mystery,” he laughs. “I mean, I know when that happens, but I certainly couldn’t write a prescription.”

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Josephine Jones made history as the first transgender designer on the London Fashion Week schedule. Now, the multi-hyphenate is experimenting with other forms of expression, looking to the past to carve out her future—in full Chanel.

“WOMEN’S LIBERATION HAS SHOWN ME just who I am and what I can be!” says Josephine Jones as she quotes one of Candy Darling’s lines from Women in Revolt, nailing the late actress’ distinctive bridge-and-tunnel Mid-Atlanticism. “I know everything she’s ever said by heart,” the British multi-hyphenate adds, slipping back into her own voice. But who is Jones? And what can she be? She is currently in the process of figuring that out—or re-figuring that out, rather. “The banal mid-20s self-actualization of it all,” she quips. Three years after making headlines as the first trans designer to present a collection at London Fashion Week—an ethereal mix of silk and chiffon, modeled by an all-trans cast—Jones has been exploring other creative impulses. “I’m taking time to connect to music and art and taking a few acting classes— things I would do when I was younger in a non-pressurized way without any kind of goal in mind,” she says, like playing the saxophone, which she began at the age of 8. “After my mum passed, my dad encouraged me to play,” Jones recalls, though she stopped playing after his death a few years after. A decade or so passed before she picked it back up, during which time she built a career in fashion as both a model and designer. Her artistic interests, however, have always leaned more syncretic than singularly focused. “I didn’t come from a

design background,” says Jones, who graduated from Goldsmiths’ College in London with a degree in fine art. “I realized at the time that my paintings would look so much better as prints and psychedelic chiffons and gowns,” she recalls. “Fashion felt like such a boys club, everyone searching for the next [Alexander] McQueen or [John] Galliano. I was like, hold on a minute! I’m just as talented as any of the emerging male designers of my generation and have my own vision, so I spent all my student loans on hormones and chiffon, and that became my graduate collection.” Jones, now 26, hopes that her future contains an endless making and remaking of the self—a staking of claims that, as a trans woman, she finds particularly resonant. “To insist on our own existence is sacred. What is that phrase, ‘Well-behaved women rarely make history’? I think a foster mom got me that on a T-shirt or a mug once,” she remembers. Wearing Chanel Resort 2023 in these photographs by Heather Glazzard—shot in and around Jones’ apartment—also holds meaning. “We’ve both defied gendered expectations through our bodies of work a hundred years apart,” she says. “Chanel pioneered an androgynous sailor-trouser look that became synonymous with the modern woman. I am the new modern woman. I hope these photos capture that joie de vivre.”

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Josephine Jones wears all clothing and accessories Chanel Cruise 2022/23 Collection, which debuted in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, this past May, and will be shown in a special presentation in Miami, Florida this fall.

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PREMIER EXHIBITION SERIES SUPPORTERS ACT Foundation, Inc. Sarah and Jim Kennedy Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot


This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Stephen Burks (American, born 1969), designer; DEDON, Germany, established 1990, manufacturer; The Others (Lanterns S, M, and Statue Lika), 2017, fiber (high-density polyethylene), aluminum, marble, acrylic, and LED solar panels, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, gift of DEDON. Photo by Joe Coscia.




LIZZIE GROVER RAD Unafraid of controversy, Lizzie Grover Rad believes art, fashion, and social issues are intertwined. For her fashion debut, the tech-entrepreneur looked to women’s history and comic art to create beautiful pieces that turn our attention to reproductive rights.

Photography by BRAD TORCHIA

IN 2022 IS A WOMAN’S BODY LIBERATED? Based on the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the answer is a resounding no. But even before the Supreme Court’s devastating reversal, Lizzie Grover Rad was pondering the question and its implications as the basis for the inaugural collection of her fashion brand Grover Rad, which launched this spring. Titled Collection 001, the debut line is unafraid to tackle risky subjects like reproductive freedom, bodily autonomy, and what it means to be an outspoken woman in today’s world. “It wasn’t a safe choice for me to do, but it was an important part of my creative process,” she tells Cultured. “I researched historical texts and imagery about the way women have been treated in the past and juxtaposed what I found with our current reality. History is repeating itself.” Fashion and art were always of interest to the Los Angeles–based designer, but her career path has been far from linear. “Halfway through my freshman year at the University of Colorado Boulder, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I liked architecture and design, but I was not good at school, and I wanted to be done with it,” she says. Grover Rad transferred to George Washington University, which, unlike other programs, did not require extended education. There she co-founded Zoom Interiors with several classmates, a virtual interior design service that, after being renamed Hutch, grew to become a wildly-successful startup with Grover Rad overseeing over 100 designers

around the world. However, Hutch proved to be unfulfilling, and during the pandemic she parted ways with the service. Self-taught, Grover Rad decided to take her aesthetic passions in a different direction, shifting gears once again to found her eponymous fashion brand. Grover Rad’s tightly-edited first collection melds its maker’s interests in a smart and subversive manner and features a mix of tailoring, denim, and silk separates. Trompe l’oeil tops and leggings in blue and dark red depict a topless woman’s body, while a denim shirt and trouser set features an amalgamation of recipes that were once mistaken for witchcraft, collected from women who were burned at the stake during the 16th century. One of the more dramatically eyecatching pieces is a voluminous red chiffon dress that hosts an etching of Hester Prynne from “The Scarlet Letter,” by Mary Hallock Foote from the book’s second edition. “For a female artist to be published at that time was pretty revolutionary,” Grover Rad explains. But perhaps the pieces that have garnered the most attention were made in conjunction with mother-and-daughter comic artists Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Sophie Crumb. “They’re autobiographical artists who created a four-page comic based on memories of their abortion stories throughout the course of 40 or 50 years,” Grover Rad says. “It’s the first time that two female comic artists have collaborated.” You’ll find these tales printed on a reversible opera coat as well as on a plaid denim coat, a silk dress, scarf, and tee. There’s a raw honesty to them, which, when coupled with the topic, proved to spark its fair share of anger on social media. But the designer was prepared: “It didn’t faze me at all.” This confidence in the face of risks has always driven Grover Rad to pursue new ventures, but it doesn’t mean she’s not measured in how her line will evolve in the future. Currently she’s releasing two collections per year, with the second one slated to drop this fall. “I want to try to find a middle ground between tradition and doing things that feel right to me,” she says, not planning on entering the fashion week fray quite yet, if ever. “I’m pretty antisocial and prefer intimate settings.” Spoken like a true fashion designer.

GIGI HADID When you’ve already worn the world’s most-desired clothes, what’s next? For supermodel Gigi Hadid, it’s creating your own. Guest in Residence, her new cashmere line, celebrates personal connections and sustainability. Photography by RYAN PLETT

IN EARLY 2020, GIGI HADID was living two lives. By day she was walking the runways for the likes of Versace, Chanel, and more, but in her spare time the model was diving into the world of cashmere, meeting with manufacturers and learning the nuances of the fabric. The goal? Finding the perfect partners to start her own line of luxurious yet approachable knits. Of course, when the pandemic hit, plans were put on temporary hold as life took a few twists and turns—namely motherhood—but this fall Hadid is ready to make her fashion design debut. Titled Guest in Residence, the direct-toconsumer line features affordable knitwear in a slew of colors and styles, all with the purpose of creating sustainable, luxurious pieces meant to be passed down through the generations. “I went through a few different names but Guest in Residence was the one that intrigued me the most,” Hadid says from her downtown New York design studio. “We are all guests in residence of the clothes we own. They have a life before us, and, hopefully if we take care of them, they will have a life after us.” After a career working with other labels like

Frankies Bikinis and Tommy Hilfiger on capsule collections, Hadid’s decision to start designing felt like a natural jump. Unlike those collaborations, however, Guest in Residence is the first project that is truly her own. “I’ve had so many people approach me to start a line, but I didn’t want to do it unless I came up with something genuine, so I thought about what my niche could be.” she explains, remembering two cashmere items in particular that deeply affected her when she first moved to New York City. “My mom gave me a gray Ralph Lauren sweater while my dad gave me a scarf and cardigan. They were the highestquality items in my closet at that point, and I wore them with everything. I loved them and [knew] the importance of taking care of them.” It’s no surprise, then, that one of Hadid’s favorite pieces in her debut line is a one-button closure cardigan that she nicknames The Incognito. Made for in-between weather, the sweater is thin enough to be worn under a leather jacket for extra warmth but also doesn’t detract from your outfit. “It’s a cozy layer that you don’t necessarily want anyone to see, but one you can also wear it on its own as a top, clasped close,” she says. “That’s how I’ve worn it on summer nights.” While this styling might nod to her Gen-Z fans, Guest in Residence is meant for all ages. There are classic scarves, long sleeve sweaters, and robes in an array of hues like turmeric yellow, cherry red, and bubblegum pink. They make up what Hadid calls the Core Collection, a group of styles that’ll never change, save for making them lighter or heavier depending on the season. “If you love our crewneck and you already have it in camel and navy, then later it’ll be made in canary yellow or hot pink. It’s a fun way for people to know that they can always come back to us,” explains Hadid. To round out the line, there will be trenddriven drops, starting first with workwear-inspired pieces such as trucker jackets, jumpsuits, and cargo pants. “They are important to me to show my creativity,” says the model-turned-designer, who also plans on collaborating with artists and other brands in the future. “I want people to have fun with these special, funky collections.” Speaking with her, it’s evident that Hadid has thought at length about creating a brand with intention and longevity. And even though she acknowledges it’s a risk to put herself out there in this way, she feels strongly that her message will resonate: “We’re coming out of a time in which people have pressure on them to have an extensive throwaway wardrobe because of social media, so I want to give simple pieces that can be styled in many ways. I hope this line inspires everyone to invest in a sustainable wardrobe in the sense that you are paying attention to what you’re buying and you genuinely love it because it means something to you.” culturedmag.com 107

Chef-turned-urban farmer Tara Thomas believes healthy food is the way to forge connections and create community. Through her plant-based meals and grassroots nonprofit, Breaking Bread NYC, she is hoping to change how marginalized populations can gain access to quality nutrition and new methods of self-care.

Photography by RYAN PLETT

INSPIRING OTHERS TO EAT more plant-based meals, building communities, and offering mutual care are the guiding principles behind everything Tara Thomas does. The chef, who curates private dining experiences for fashion, home, and beauty brands, discovered the joy of urban farming during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Growing her own fruits and vegetables is a natural extension of Thomas’ work, which she describes as being an alchemist from seed to plate. It also aligns with her cofounding and running Breaking Bread NYC, which works with urban farms across Brooklyn to address food insecurity via food boxes and meals. With modeling on top of all this, Thomas is a true Gen-Z multi-hyphenate determined to change the world, one rustic vegan brioche loaf at a time. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Thomas found joy in food and hospitality. “Rain or shine, I would go out to our garden and pretend to make food with flowers, leaves, and rocks,” she recalls, connecting those early moments to her approach to food today. “Everything is plantforward and seasonally aligned. My cuisine is an exploration of myself and my community. My father is Black, from Northern Louisiana, and my mom is from the Netherlands, but they actually met in Asia.” Add to that the benefits of being

raised in a culturally diverse neighborhood into the mix, and you can see how Thomas explores the ways different cultures around the world adapt plant-based cuisines to their needs and tastes. For example, at a recent event that she curated for the Brooklyn-based nonprofit arts organization Pioneer Works, Thomas featured biscuits that nodded to her Southern roots while braised kale, trumpet mushrooms, and a kombu sauce spoke to her parents’ Asian history. Thomas’ home life was formative to her career, but she found Portland as a city to be limiting. “I attended culinary school but dropped out. Then I began doing private chef work, but it wasn’t successful, since the community there wasn’t receptive,” she says. Five years ago, Thomas moved to New York, and by early 2020 she was set to become the executive chef of an all-day, plant-based cafe in Brooklyn. Once the pandemic struck, like so many others in the hospitality industry, she found herself out of work, and her plans shifted dramatically. Thomas leaned into building a community online, creating content around her cooking. She also began volunteering at Phoenix Community Garden, an urban farm in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn, spending four to five days a week working on education and creating access to healthy food for the local community. But perhaps the most important product of the pandemic for Thomas was the creation of Breaking Bread NYC. “After the George Floyd protests I started the nonprofit with four co-founders. We fundraised $10,000, and 100 percent of that went to feeding protestors and healthcare workers. We wanted to create a circular economy,” she explains. Since then, Breaking Bread NYC has gone on to work with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a worker-led organization of Black and Brown housekeepers and care providers. “Not only are we giving them access to healthy food, we’re also offering them rest and relaxation experiences.” Working with like-minded brands such as Brightland olive oil, Design Within Reach, and Rosa Luna mezcal may help Thomas financially, but her aspirations speak to her desire to change the world around her. Building support systems for those who may not have them has come easy to her. “I don’t really question what I’m doing because it feels good to make people in my community feel good.”


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After over two decades in fashion, award-winning designer Rogan Gregory returned to his beginnings as an artist. His organic sculptures draw from a desire to explore simpler, more primal forms of existence.

FASHION - DE SIGNER-TURNED - ARTIST Rogan Gregory reflects upon his shift of creative medium: “The problem is that it’s almost like I’m not taking any risks, because I don’t know what rules I’m breaking.” He first began his career at the helm of several eco-friendly fashion brands with a focus on social responsibility, like Edun, the luxury Bono-backed label, as well as his eponymous line, Rogan. After finding success with the 2007 CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund Award, Gregory realized his role was more business-oriented than creator, which offered him little joy. “I tried to apply my skills to managing a company, but my creativity was better realized as an artist, rather than in finance or production,” he tells Cultured, recalling making the leap to becoming a full-time artist. “I really enjoy making one-of-one pieces as opposed to one of 10,000, but the only way you earn a living in fashion is to duplicate things. Managing a company in the fashion industry led to burnout, and I had no choice but to do what I should have been doing in the first place.” The pivot from fabric to utilizing clay, wood, and bronze wasn’t completely foreign to Gregory. As a child he would build totem poles and geodesic domes, or tan hides with his professor father. “My dad was industrious but he was also a maker. I got a lot of my arts and crafts education from him,” he explains. Moving from the Midwest to Canada to North Africa as a child, Gregory was able to absorb the influences of the various natural environments around him, and it’s evident in his work, which draws upon the ways humans interact with ecological systems. “I like the idea of the life cycle. I juxtapose how far we’ve come as animals with the sterile existence we live in now.” This deep-rooted fascination with our primordial existence can be best seen in two of Gregory’s series of works, “Fertility Form” and “Sentient

Space.” The former explores sexual intercourse, fertilization of cells, and cell division, while the latter came from imagining distant planets not yet discovered and relating those lifeforms to what may exist in the depths of our oceans. The results are chairs, pendant lamps, rugs, or freeform sculptures that feature distinctively amorphous shapes. The choice to eschew harsh lines is deliberate. “I don’t do symmetry or 90-degree angles, which are the foundations of modern society. It feels processed since you don’t find two-by-fours in nature,” he says. For Gregory’s New York show, “Rogan Gregory: Imperfect Truth,” at R & Company this fall, he is drawing from his life in Los Angeles. “I’ve been using a lot of materials like bronze, palm wood, and gypsum since I’ve been in California.” While he may not be loyal to any singular medium, the same amorphous shapes remain his signature. “Drawing on familiar forms that are derived from the natural world is what I do. Even if you don’t recognize exactly what my intent is, the familiarity gives a sense of sentience,” he says. There’s an assuredness to Gregory’s work, even if his friends and family weren’t completely sold on his pivot at first. “I was at a point in my life where it was a risk to change careers completely, and I have to say there was not one person— including my wife—that thought it was a good idea,” he laughs. Naturally, it all worked out but Gregory had no doubts, viewing his shift more philosophically, “People refer to me sometimes as an artist, sometimes as a designer—I live in the luxury of a nebulous purgatory. Sometimes I make things that are purely sculptural, but sometimes I make things you can sit on or things that can be lit. My father never sought conventions, and neither do I.”


Photography by BRAD TORCHIA

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After shaping the images of some of the biggest names in fashion like Lady Gaga and Mugler, Nicola Formichetti has set his sights on the virtual realm. By melding art, style, and futurism, the creative director sees himself ushering fashion into Web3.


Photography by BRAD TORCHIA

A YEAR AGO, MOST PEOPLE would have assumed a non-fungible token was some Silicon Valley mushroom-based food alternative, but now NFTs have gone from Reddit and Discord discussions to mainstream pop culture. For Nicola Formichetti—the creative mind who collaborates with world’s biggest pop stars like Lady Gaga, Rina Sawayama, and Kim Petras, and the most niche fashion brands—it was a world he eagerly embraced, even before the term hit critical mass. “I’ve always been into the ideas of cyberspace, futurism, and computer games. Those became my aesthetic as I would incorporate elements into my physical work,” says Formichetti. Now he’s ready to bring the notoriously tech-adverse fashion world into Web3, whether or not the industry is ready. Melding fashion and technology has always come naturally to Formichetti, even if his peers didn’t understand his intentions. “When I was [the artistic director] of Mugler I started using Twitter to promote my show and Instagramming things. People thought that I was crazy, but now it’s the norm,” he recalls. Whether it was at the helm of Parisian fashion houses or his own label, Nicopanda, Formichetti has always been a proponent of democratizing his work and letting his followers into his world. As he began diving into digital art in early 2020, Formichetti recognized the same parallels. He had just moved to Los Angeles, burnt out from dividing his time between New York, Italy, and Japan and juggling jobs at three different companies. Then the pandemic

hit, and he was stuck at home, still working on projects, but suddenly with more time than ever on his hands. “I went on Google and typed in ‘digital fashion’ and ‘what is blockchain?’ I was familiar with cryptocurrency, but it didn’t attract me,” he explains. “I started finding artists that I could collaborate with. I really felt inspired and thought it could be a game changer.” Going from researching the concept to creating his own seemed like the logical next step, so Formichetti began working with Brazilian drag performer Pabllo Vittar and 3D artist Alejandro Delgado on a series of four NFTs for his first project. Launched in conjunction with Vittar’s latest album, the images feature the artist in fantastical, headto-toe outfits in the middle of surreal landscapes as undulating waves of water and sand surround her. They’re instantly recognizable as examples of Formichetti’s futuristic and avant-garde aesthetic. However, digital avatars—including one of himself that he made with Georgian artist Gigi Gvalia— might be the most ambitious of Formichetti’s digital work. The 3D models required a small army of cameras that captured every inch of Formichetti’s body, with the images then manipulated into NFTs. The first, titled ”ED3N_001,” features flowers exploding out of his torso while the second, “SELFLOVE,” has Formichetti embracing himself, as an act of unconditional acceptance. Both were released in May with an emphasis on inclusivity and diversity. Working with queer artists has always been a part of the plan and an extension of Formichetti’s ethos, shaped since his early days in fashion. “I always wanted to champion the underdogs. I supported young designers that people didn’t know about from the beginning of my career, and it’s the same now,” Formichetti says. “The great thing about Web3 is that it’s all co-creating. Everyone gets their voices heard, because we’re doing things together.” The next step is bridging the gap and bringing these artists into his fashion world and vice versa. But is the fashion industry ready to enter this new, nebulous realm? Formichetti is optimistic. “I talk about futurism a lot, but I’m a very nostalgic person. There’s a beautiful saying about how you have to look back to move forward. And that’s the key: You have to bring something human to the digital world. That mix will make it incredible, you know?”

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OLIVER CORRAL The stylish husband-and-wife team behind Arjé, Oliver Corral and Bessie Afnaim Corral embarked on the ultimate pandemic DIY project by renovating their NYC apartment. What came next? Turning their Greenwich Village home into a furniture and design showroom.


LIKE MANY OF US trapped at home during the quarantine, Oliver and Bessie Afnaim Corral, the co-founders behind the fashion brand Arjé, decided to use their extra time to take on a few DIY projects. In their case, it was an ambitious endeavor renovating their 2,000-foot New York City duplex apartment without the help of contractors, save for an electrician for the light fixtures. “We were watching YouTube videos and learning as we worked,” explains Corral. “I knew how to build a plaster wall, but we wanted to approach our home like an artistic project.” The result is a dramatic light-filled space awash in soothing neutrals that now serves as the showroom for the brand’s expansion into home decor and furniture. Creating living spaces isn’t completely foreign to the duo. Arjé, which is best known for its sustainable shearling jackets, had pop-up stores in New York and LA that were built to be homelike, with coffee and wine served while customers shopped and an open invitation to recline on furniture. It was a natural extension, then, for the couple to dive fully into interior design. “We had three successful years selling clothes, but we felt this longing to be a full lifestyle,” explains Afnaim Corral. The leap from clothing to interiors might have always been a part of a bigger plan for the couple, but it doesn’t mean they were completely anxiety-free over the new direction. 114 culturedmag.com


“When you get butterflies, you know you’re getting closer to your dream,” continues Afnaim Corral. “During the peak of the pandemic, we looked at each other and said, we’ve just got to do this. Our hearts knew something was missing.” And so they took the plunge. First up was the wall that divided their kitchen and dining room, which was knocked down and transformed into an arched opening, ideal for creating a flow for guests when they entertained. Another impressive project spearheaded by Corral is the custom wall behind their dining table that required multiple trips to The Home Depot for wooden dowels that were cut to size and attached piece by piece. “Oli was able to make things, and I was the annoying client,” Afnaim Corral laughs. Besides transforming the layout of their living space, the couple also designed five pieces of custom furniture—what they like to call the elemental grounding products of any home—a coffee table, dining table, sofa, armchair, and ottoman that are made-to-order and built in Rochester, New York. The latter two items are their biggest hits. “The chair and ottoman are our magnet products as interior designers and customers ask and request them in custom fabrics,” explains Afnaim Corral. There are plans to expand the line, with pieces that complement the existing design. To complete their lifestyle concept, the two ensured that everything from the artwork to the rugs to the plates and even the magazines and books in their home-slash-showroom were available for purchase. “Oli curates most of what you see, so we genuinely love and believe in everything. We work with artisans that we know personally,” she explains. “Everything is a closed loop of production made in small batches.” You’ll find textiles co-designed with Nordic Knots, dinnerware from Japanese label Kinto, handmade pitchers from Barcelona-based ceramicist Marta Bonilla, and surreal glassware by New Yorker Grace Whiteside. For customers interested in seeing all these pieces in person, private shopping appointments are available to visit their home, sit on the furniture, touch the decor items, and most of all, interact with the couple. This level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail informs their plans going forward. The duo don’t want to fall victim to the non-stop, exhausting schedule that forces fashion designers to burn out. “We’re not rushing. We want to do less with the intention of lasting longer,” says Afnaim Corral. “Like the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.”


The Art of Assembly Interior, object, and clothing designer Faye Toogood has always blended her cross-categorical interests into different disciplines. Now, for the first time ever, the mediums are intersecting in three new projects that reflect the artist’s own personal evolution. By Natalia Torjia WITH A DEEP-ROOTED INTEREST in objects, space, and landscape; upbringing in the English countryside collecting sticks, stones, and glass; education as an art historian at the University of Bristol, and tenure as Interiors Editor for The World of Interiors, Faye Toogood is not like other designers. And she knows that. “As someone that feels like an outsider most of the time to the design, art, and fashion worlds, it was really unheard of to combine those,” says the mother of three. With her third solo show opening this fall in Los Angeles, a capsule clothing collection, and a monograph documenting her studio’s unconventional process, Toogood establishes that while her work might look and feel soft, there is mighty force within. “My work is always heavy, I don’t know why,” Toogood says, “Perhaps I associate that with strength.” It’s something that is very apparent in “Assemblage 7: Lost and Found,” her new exhibition at Friedman Benda, where objects are carved out from solid oak and Purbeck marble, a green fossiliferous stone usually found in cathedrals throughout the United Kingdom as load-bearing masonry. “It’s not a stone that’s been taken up in our everyday domestic objects and environments; it’s very much associated with ecclesiastical buildings,” she explains. The artist grew up in Rutland in the East Midlands, and now lives close to the South Downs, where she has access to prehistoric stone sites, the inspiration for the new series. “This was more about revealing the pieces. I likened it to an archeological dig: there’s this shape waiting to come out, and it was my job to reveal the shape from the block,” she says. The new pieces are an exercise in basic, 116 culturedmag.com

inherent shapes found in nature—a primitive approach, yet one that is meticulously hand carved and hammered. A low table in oak titled Plot II appears to have its top draped over its stumpy legs; the Pile stool, as its name suggests, is made of two interlocking wood pieces; and Cairn is a sturdy armchair named after a pile of stones used as a marker. The objects Toogood produces show the trace of their process, something she’s become even more attuned to after baring it all with “Assemblage 6: Unlearning,” in which she presented life-size maquettes in cast bronze and aluminum made to look like cardboard and wire. Likewise, her new book is a crafted object in itself. Titled “Drawing, Sculpture, Landscape, Materials,” it traces the designer’s series of six assemblages—from “Supernatural” in 2010 to “Unlearning” a decade later—her retail and interior design projects, and her clothing collections designed with her patternmaker sister, Erica. Faye was against the standard coffee-table “glossy catalog” so, rather than printing her unmistakable fan-favorite Roly-Poly chair on its cover, (“I almost feel like she walks into the room before I do,” she says. “It’s quite hard to divorce myself from that chair!”), the spine-less book features a painting by its creator that was screen-printed on gray board. The title refers to the pillars that hold Toogood Studio together. “It’s been really freeing for me, and it allowed us to open up the archive. I keep everything, and have kept a lot over the years,” she says. Essays by design curators Glenn Adamson, Sarah Schleuning, and the book’s editor, Alistair O’Neill, accompany the publication, and gather comprehensively from all the elements of Toogood’s life and career thus far.

As she moves through life and work’s chapters, Toogood’s appearance mutates. “When I had my first child and I first did Roly-Poly, I needed a uniform—I was only wearing white: I needed easy hair, everything was cut off and dyed white, which meant I could get up, get to work, and not think about it.” These days, she is embracing color, but only with hindsight will she understand why. “Perhaps it’s the result of coming out of lockdown.” As for fashion, Toogood has always followed gender neutrality as a principle, and is conscious of this throughout all aspects of her practice. “I have actually spent quite a lot of my life ignoring my gender or trying to put it to one side,” she says. When starting out in the male-dominated art and design fields, Toogood felt the need to assert her presence, and did so by choosing materials she thought would mirror her strength. “I used a lot of steel, a lot of welding,” she says. “I wasn’t working in any decorative arts at all—no ceramics, no textiles, nothing with surface patterns.” By “Assemblage 4” in 2014, she was going through her first pregnancy, and her work started to shift, ridding itself of sharp edges and introducing her iconic Roly-Poly in its creamy off-white fiberglass iteration. In “Assemblage 7,” Toogood is coming to terms with aging. She is also moving straight to model-making and skipping the drawing process altogether. Crossing her mediums for the first time, she has chosen to exhibit a selection of handprinted and painted unisex clothing. “The world feels more ready for it in a way,” she says, and adds that doing it outside of Europe is much more freeing. “One of the things I love about America is that anything goes.”


Designer Faye Toogood in her London studio.

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MyungJin Kim Hortus Talisman

September 22 - October 27, 2022 Hostler Burrows Los Angeles, 6819 Melrose Ave


Crafting Desire At Hermès, the evolution of craftsmanship is as much of a balancing act of preservation and discovery as it is an on-going tradition. It’s why the multi-generation family-owned luxury label has been able to defy transient fashion trends and hold our fascination. By Rachel Marlowe

EVER SINCE HARNESS MAKER THIERRY HERMÈS founded Hermès in 1837, the value placed on craftsmanship has remained immovably at the heart of the storied French house. Now, in the era of fast fashion and its throwaway culture, the importance of highlighting this virtue—not just in relation to quality but also to art, culture, society, and sustainability—in order to preserve it has become a polestar at Hermès. “Craftsmanship is delicate and intentional, it is about learning and evolving,” says Guillaume de Seynes, Hermès’ Executive Vice-President Manufacturing Division and Equity Investments. “The constant search for beautiful materials, the transmission of savoir-faire, and the aesthetics of function, all are key components that make Hermès what it is.” While Hermès has always shunned mass production, manufacturing lines, and outsourcing in favor of a culture of artisanship and creating objects that withstand the test of time, de Seynes explains that tradition does not have to preclude new ideas. “We like to say that we walk on two legs: tradition and innovation. Hermès artisans are challenged with crafting new objects and developing techniques all while keeping the tradition of its roots. It’s all about remaining true to our values while being in tune with our times.” Master leather craftsman Edouard Ambelouis agrees: “We have talked about reparability and sustainability in the design process for many years. Today it is essential to be focused on new materials and product

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to keep [our] evolution and the longevity alive.” But that doesn’t mean speeding things up or producing more. “Product development and creation cannot be rushed, especially when objects are handcrafted,” de Seynes continues. “They must be created in the most functional way possible while embodying style and sophistication. It’s quality over quantity that remains at the forefront for us.” To show this philosophy in action, initiatives like Footsteps Across the World spotlight how tradition and innovation intersect at Hermès. Seen by documentarian Frédéric Laffont, the film series documents the art of retranslating ancient processes—from reviving a Japanese silk marbling technique in Kyoto to training the next generation of craftsmen in the centuries-old art of making riding crops out of hackberry wood—in beautiful vignettes. More recently, “Hermès in the Making” popped up in locations around the world, including Copenhagen, Turin, Italy, and Troy, Michigan. The traveling experience offered immersive insight into the house’s artisanal universe by bringing expert makers together to demonstrate how an iconic Kelly bag, silk scarf, or saddle is painstakingly created. “It came from the desire to invite the public to meet our artisans and discover the unique craftsmanship at the heart of the house’s creative and innovative spirit,” says de Seynes. “It’s a unique opportunity as the exhibition is not only an exchange of knowledge but also emotions.”


Hermès artisans photographed at “Hermès in the Making” at the Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan, in June.

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Simone Rocha. Hair by Simon Khan. Makeup by Lucy Burt.

Femininity is a complex subject for designer Simone Rocha— whose aesthetic flights of fancy both delight and disturb in equal measure— and one that she interrogates with audacity.

NO APOLOGIES By Flo Wales Bonner Photography by William Waterworth Styling by Studio&

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the gloom of St Bartholomew the Great church in London, Simone Rocha’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection glimmered. Inspired by the Dublin-born designer’s experience of having her second child, there were frothy white gowns— their voluminous forms recalling those worn for communion—trimmed with ivory satin ribbons, which trailed lightly on the ancient stone flooring. There were creamy tulle babydoll dresses iced with delicate configurations of pearls, and downy pointelle knit cardigans with bows. And a recurring, and arresting, motif? Nursing bras, edged with gems and jewels, their utilitarian purpose made precious and kinky at the same time. Something about the collection was quintessentially Rocha. Its outlandish beauty, yes, its slight weirdness, its dark humor, but also the sense of something darker still, just under the surface—something uniquely tied up with the female experience. It was created at a time when the designer was incredibly “tired and distressed,” she tells me from her studio. Femininity, for her, is a layered concept. There’s the superficial and the stereotypical—“the connotations of what people think are feminine and girly,” she explains—and then there’s what’s beneath, what women have been historically conditioned to keep hidden. “The blood, the trauma, the guts, the practicality.” Excavating that is the designer’s speciality—and she’s not afraid to dig deep. Presenting as unapologetically feminine in today’s world is a rebellious act in itself. Some of her clients, says Rocha, who founded her brand in 2010, tell her that stepping into her pieces feels like putting on armor, making them feel strong. (Incidentally, the designer’s interest in Victorian fashion comes in part from a fascination with how, though restrictive, it celebrated the female form when women were largely voiceless.) “They’re not clothes that want to apologize,” she says. And indeed, Simone Rocha signatures—including gauzy gowns with exaggerated volumes, roomy smocks and jackets with exaggerated puff sleeves, and pearl-adorned accessories—become

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Models (from left): Rea, Graham, Hugo Hamlet, Katie Mullaney, and Athieng. Hair by Claire Grech. Makeup by Machiko Yano. Casting by Alejandra Perez. Produced by Luke Marchant.

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almost a uniform, a powerful statement of femme presence. The designer’s confidence and consistency in her aesthetic undoubtedly owes something to the fact that she grew up around fashion; as the daughter of Hong Kong– born, Dublin-based designer John Rocha, she attended her first catwalk show at just three months old. Rocha likens her design process to writing “chapters in the same story.” In fact, an enthralling aspect of her work is how it weaves threads from all sorts of unexpected places into compelling narratives, with influences as diverse as Anne Boleyn and Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. One of the designer’s most consistent influences, however, is her Irish heritage. It comes across in the nods to Catholicism that pervade so many of her collections, and her reverence for handiwork; Rocha’s trademark embellishments are worked on from the very beginning of the design process, “almost like mini sculptures.” Often, it’s pointed out more overtly: her Fall/Winter 2022 collection took the Irish legend Children of Lir as a starting point, with stately stand collared overcoats and roomy biker jackets splaying out into ruffled, winglike shapes. The designer’s latest project—other than, of course, raising two young daughters and preparing her next collection—is “girls girls girls,” a major group show that she has curated at Lismore Castle Arts in Ireland. Running until October 30, the exhibition interrogates the female gaze through the work of multigenerational artists and, unsurprisingly, has a suitably Rocha-esque oddness to it, featuring pieces including a painting of conjoined twins by artist Cassi Namoda, and Louise Bourgeois’s phallic bronze Janus In Leather Jacket. The project seems a good fit for Rocha given that if she hadn’t become a designer, she may have become an artist—and that Bourgeois was one of her idols. (Rocha wrote her college thesis on her, and has since collaborated with Bourgeois’s Easton Foundation.) As for what the designer most admires about her? “She was an incredibly strong artist, but her strength came from the fragility and distress within womanhood, and then her exposing it.” The talented Rocha could just as easily be describing herself.

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Above right: Model Lavinia.

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Blue Velvet Crush Issy Wood won hearts and minds in her 20s with her oil on velvet paintings and unedited diary pages. On the eve of her next decade, the reclusive artist is defining her place in the contemporary pantheon as an in-demand painter, an underground pop musician, and an accomplished memoirist. By Kat Herriman

ISSY WOOD STARTED PAINTING because she couldn’t avoid it anymore. She was 22, attending the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and larping unconvincingly as a videographer and sculptor until an honest observer intervened. “One tutor was like, ‘What on earth are you doing? You have to carry on painting. I know it’s embarrassing, but you have to suck it up because it’s the only thing you’re good at right now,’” she recounts with a smile. This advice drives the London-based artist’s work every day as if she was making up for lost time through painting, as if the years that she hadn’t painted had been simply frittered away. This means that “a great day, an ideal day, a dream day” dawdles mostly on the taut velvet stretches upon which she lavishes in oil her shadowy and tense images of everything luxurious throughout time. If all goes well, this self-imposed 10-to-5 in the studio then turns into a walk home and pre-dinner writing session on her blogspot. Songwriting arrives as dessert. Cigarettes are peppered liberally throughout. On this diet, Wood has put out six EPs and one album in two years, in addition to multiple exhibitions, art fair booths, and four books. Her daily output puts busy (and me) to shame. Even the pauses—like the artist’s bi-annual-ish pilgrimages to New York; anticipated dinners with fellow foodie, gallerist, and confidante Gordon VeneKlasen; or her recent field trip to the Fondazione Prada with her forever dealer Vanessa Carlos—have a nagging urgency to them that shines through the veil of self care. Creation is coping, not impulse. “It takes a lot for me to not feel depressed,” Wood explains. “Painting and music [and writing] don’t do it. Maybe the trifecta doesn’t even fully cover it, but what kind of medium can I stretch myself to next without having a stroke?” Just shy of 30, Wood has a shoved in a career that most painters would kill for: Institutional shows around the world; a deep connection with her OG gallerist; and a spot on the storied Michael Werner Gallery’s roster as one of only two women. She is the wunderkind who has taken the misfortune of early fame and refashioned its notoriety into a sustainable career. In other words, a career finally worthy of Wood’s own ferocious commitment. This

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fall, she will have her first solo show at Michael Werner—and in New York in general. When we speak in June, she doesn’t know which works will be included in the final show. Wood is someone who makes 100 paintings to only show a fistful. She bins or paints over the mistakes, and keeps the best for herself—in part to protect them from the auction fits and lascivious men who think buying them will get them closer to her, but also as a rainy day fund for her and friends. Wood is as edited and practical as she is prolific and generous. “I try to be extremely picky all the time, because saying no is often my greatest power,” she says. Wood says no to portraits, to staged appearances, to exhibitions, even when she has two shows waiting in her studio for the right suitor. It is this string of refusals that affords her a fig leaf of privacy, a trembling luxury that many in the era of autofiction and self-branding don’t possess. The result has been that rather than being chased or celebrated for her biography like her figurative peers, Wood has been able to maintain a critical distance from gender and age, releasing her language from the shallows of identity into the infinitely dark pool of somebody. “I like the idea that some people might think they were made by a man or in a different period of history,” Wood says. “It’s why I love being an artist versus being a full-time musician. You actually don’t even need to go to your own openings if you don’t want to.” This is not a figure of speech for Wood. Because Issy Wood doesn’t only sound like a rockstar, she moonlights as one. In 2019, she turned a bad breakup and a “remedial grasp of guitar” into a label deal with music producer Mark Ronson. The same ambiguity that has proved to be an asset in her career in contemporary art has hindered her entrance into mainstream music, where persona and image remain a prerequisite. She let the social pressure of pop professionalism draw her back onto Instagram, but the mounting compromises led her to eventually leave Ronson and return to self-publishing. Her latest album, My Body Your Choice, didn’t suffer for it; it arrived with all the bells and whistles of pop intact, including a

music video directed by Lena Dunham that stars Hari Nef decked out in the musician’s paintings of clocks. Wood doesn’t abide by half measures. She is all the way in; swimming out beyond the buoys, fearlessly plumbing the same sparkling depths that you hope don’t drown her. Wood’s diary, which she publishes into thin, raw volumes with her gallery Carlos/Ishikawa, reads like Jean Rhys’s novel and Eve Babitz’s memoir put in a blender and topped off with some Cookie Mueller bits. It is in these pages that one finds the most forthcoming version of Wood— the one that isn’t available in the dark plush of her paintings or the sentimentality of her songs. Across mediums, her humor remains intact but in her writing, it has other tributaries to go down including insecurities, self deprecation, jealousy, and en plein air observations of strangers. The fourth volume of these diaries, “Queen Baby,” arrived this past August on the heels of the Michael Werner show, and is as unfiltered and skin contact–heavy as previous editions. It covers all the way up to this past March and stretches back into high COVID-19’s doldrums. It is here that we finally get to see under Wood’s hood—the engine of anxiety and excitement, dread and admiration, that propels her world of constant creation. The beat is brisk and skipping, collapsing time like her paintings, holding our throats like her songs. During our virtual studio visit, the conversation migrates organically to the late Lee Lozano, a hero of Wood, whom she places atop the tree with Goya. When we finish speaking I am compelled to return to a confession from Lozano’s masterwork (“Dropout Piece,” begun circa 1970) that has been reverberating in my head since I put down my “Queen Baby” galley: “I want to start trusting myself & others more. / I want to really believe that I have power & complete my own fate.” Wood is one of the few people I know really working in earnest on her fate. The only way I know she’s making progress is that her early images used to feel like their author believed in interchangeable parts. Now no one would make that mistake.

Self-portrait of the artist, Issy Wood (2022).

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Mundo Makers


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For Hispanic Heritage Month, Cultured visits six contemporary artists around North America that are reimagining Latinx identity.

BORN AND RAISED IN ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, Joanna Keane Lopez has ties to the land of enchantment that go back hundreds of years. In the early 1800s, her family received a Spanish land grant in Socorro, New Mexico as part of the efforts to broaden settlement in what was then northern Mexico. Lópezville, as it was named, became the home of generations of her family. Over time, as family members moved, much of the land was foreclosed, and the area became mostly abandoned. Lopez’s father gifted her a small casita (“house”) he owned there, prompting a return that led her to reconnect with the deep history of the place. Life in this region demands an intimate relationship with the land, one rooted in care. Most of the architecture was built with adobe and other earthen materials; forms that Lopez says require a reciprocal relationship. Learning from master enjarradoras (“women mud plasterers”), she understood that working with the material is best not done alone; it needed the support of many. Since then, the artist has expanded her practice as a form of pedagogy to create large-scale sculptural installations that reference vernacular craft architecture of land. When experienced in the confines of gallery spaces, the works are strong meditations on the fleeting nature of home and built environments, but their true power comes from the process of their making; seeking healing and questioning land use and memory and the moments they instigate as a form of medicine, a blessing, and a spell. Every time she realizes one of these works, Lopez teaches others how to use adobe, creating a community bounded by shared histories. Sometimes they are activated with different kinds of performance and gatherings. These moments—along with the relationships that thrive well beyond the works’ presentation— are intrinsic elements of her practice. As Lopez continues to teach use of the material, home is re-imagined, and its relationship to the land is strengthened and enriched.

by César García-Alvarez

The term “Latinx” has been at the center of charged debates that attempt to make sense of one of the largest growing demographics in the U.S. Still unresolved, the term does acknowledge that no broad identity category can ever define peoples that have varying kinds of relationships to their Latin American heritage. Here, Latinx is conceived more like a shifting kaleidoscopic image assembled from many adjoined pictures. Ranging in geography and practice, each of these artists represent one of those pictures—worlds of their own making that collectively challenge any fixed notion of who we are, where we come from, and the legacies we hope to leave.


Miami, Florida Photography by GESI SCHILLING CLAY FOR JOEL GAITAN is not just a material but a lifestyle. “It is everywhere,” he says. “Plates, pots, decorations around the house, clay has always been a part of my life.” Born in Hialeah, Florida, the artist draws inspiration for his work from his personal experiences. Pottery has always been an important part of Gaitan’s Nicaraguan culture, and making it allows him to learn about and connect with his family’s heritage. Using traditional hand-building techniques, Gaitan sculpts intricately detailed vessels that reference early Mesoamerican objects. Voluptuous forms are detailed with eyes, mouths, ears, braids, limbs, and both male and female genitals—reclaiming in many ways an unabashed relationship to the human body that was transformed during colonization. Some works are forged from multiple figures engaging in acts of pleasure, challenging the taboo nature of sexuality in our communities. Collectively, Gaitan’s works propose a liberated form of history. When Christianity arrived in the Americas, a culture of shame shaped the ways people thought about the body, sexuality, and spirituality. In Gaitan’s sculptures today, the body is centered, sexuality is embraced, and the mystic dimensions of spirituality echo. Specificity is very important in the artist’s practice, too. As a broad construct, Latinidad often silences the voices of non-European peoples that thrived in the Americas long before the arrival of colonizers. This is why references to particular aspects of Nica culture and aesthetics abound his work. Aiming to represent those often unseen, Gaitan forges stories through his work that keep culture and traditions alive while perhaps also charting new futures.

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San Francisco, California Photography by JASON SUTHERLAND HSU

MARCEL PARDO ARIZA is a trans artist and curator who creates images that invite us to abandon the domesticated visions of bodies, kinship, and intimacy we know well. Their practice centers on queer, trans, and nonconforming people, and embraces depictions of joy, care, and pleasure that are less broadly seen. Referring to their works as “constructed photographs,” Ariza draws our attention to the intentionality of their pictures. Each image portraying trans love, an act of pleasure, or an embrace between friends is thoughtfully composed and given presence through objecthood so that it may endure. Images like the ones Ariza makes are largely absent from the archives of traditional photography, and their work is both an acknowledgement of this and an attempt to assemble new visual histories for our future. Weary of symbolic representation, the artist ensures that their work also does more than just broaden visibility. In installations, they deny people the ability to simply consume their works visually as images. Breaking up white walls with painted sections of color, installing groupings

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of photos of various scales at multiple levels, and transforming spaces by adhering images directly onto the architecture, Ariza generates experiences of embodied spectatorship that radically shift how their photographs function. No longer representations just meant to be seen, they become a part of the sites they inhabit—reminding those immersed in them that these expressions of care, love, and intimacy are real moments that unfold everywhere in our everyday. Ariza’s practice is deeply rooted

in collaboration and every exhibition or project becomes an opportunity to slightly re-shape the structures that impede the possibility of lives centered on joy, rest, care, and pleasure. Over time, these changes may transform their photographs into a shared reality for all of us, and we’ll be better for it.


Los Angeles, California Photography by ABDI IBRAHIM

MARIA MAEA SAYS she sometimes struggles to articulate her practice. The truth is she’s been powerfully voicing stories across histories and cultures for years. A first-generation artist who came of age in the Punk and DIY scenes, Maea got her start in sound art while also working in commercial production. Using this technical background, she worked closely with friends for years to realize their works while experimenting

with her own, forging a support system rooted in dialogue. “I think about objects sonically,” she says. “When I started to make casts of faces, they were like props. They would end up being activated somehow, they were meant to say something.” Her many relationships fostered the organic development of a practice that gravitates toward time-based mediums. In early 2020, when the pandemic led to stay-at-home orders, gathering with others and partaking in exchanges became challenging, it prompted generative shifts in the artist’s practice. “I found myself at a grocery store with everyone panicking, and I wondered if we were going to be okay,” she says. “I took some seeds home with me.” Maea began to think about resources and sustainability. During long drives through her empty city, she noticed its palm trees; not just as mere objects but as makers of a gust soundscape that traverses space and time. She gathered leaves, and through a YouTube tutorial taught herself to weave; the material quickly became connective tissue between her sonic and sculptural interests. Her portrait-like sculptures assembled from palm leaves, soil, maize, casts, found objects, and wire speak to the resilience of the land and the way different peoples have lived from it. These materials function as symbols that connect histories across places as far as Mexico and Samoa. Fragile and accepting of their own finitude, Maea’s works remind us that memory transcends physicality and most often speaks to us through the gifts of the land. Our task, if we are to survive in a changing planet, is to listen.

Hair by Ramòn T. Garcia.

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Brooklyn, New York Photography by CLIFFORD PRINCE KING GROWING UP IN A PREDOMINANTLY Caribbean and African American part of South Florida, Kathia St. Hilaire observed the nuanced differences between communities of African descent, becoming deeply aware at an early age that there is no singular experience of Blackness. “Race is understood on a surface level in this country. It’s very black and white,” the daughter of Haitian immigrants says.

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“Our skin is what people see first. It covers us entirely and becomes this flat image.” Trained as a printmaker, St. Hilaire developed a practice that pushes back on the notion that identity can be constructed through well-defined categories. Her work is concerned with mobility and the ways it complicates racial, historical, and cultural relationships. Using a reduction relief printing technique, the artist transfers drawings onto sheets of linoleum that she then meticulously carves in sections. This is followed by print runs on unconventional materials—like rubber tires, industrial metals, beauty product packaging, and fabrics—giving way to layered and richly textured planes whose surfaces mirror the complexity of Black diasporic experiences. While the imagery in the works has been a focus of consideration in St. Hilaire’s practice, it’s perhaps her material and formal investigations that most poignantly challenge what we know about identity. Collaged, woven, and assembled, the works reference Haitian Vodou flags but also quilt-making practices of the American South and indigenous weaving traditions. The intentional materials bear witness to the consequences of colonial projects and the ways exchange shapes disparate locales in similar ways. What emerges from St. Hilaire’s works is a collapse of geographies that sheds light on the interconnectedness of peoples, places, and histories—making clear that our sense of self is constantly evolving and never bound to fixed terrains.


Brooklyn, New York Photography by CLIFFORD PRINCE KING

WANDERING THE ARSENALE at this year’s Venice Biennale may lead you to encounter a group of estranged figures nestled amongst works by prominent Surrealists. At first glance, these beings—rendered half-man, half-tree, faceless and covered in vines—may seem to be at home in this otherworldliness, but the truth they

belong elsewhere. Unlike the affluent European and Anglo-Mexican Surrealists that could afford to ponder and visualize the fantastical, Felipe Baeza makes work deeply rooted in the real. Trained as a printmaker, the Guanajuato, Mexico-born artist mobilizes collage, carving, embroidery, and other techniques to create works on paper and wood panels that shed light on the ways structures of power and violence shape subjects. The figures that appear in Baeza’s works—like the ones in the Arsenale—are in a state of constant becoming and are most often rendered only partially visible. Seemingly unreal, these “fugitive bodies,” as Baeza calls them, actually mirror the experiences of many whose lives are shaped by constant movement and the ability to determine when and how to be seen. In this way, the artist’s work shares more affinities with Magical Realism, where the everyday is seen through magic. The subjects that are often referenced when discussing Baeza’s “fugitive bodies” are racialized, queer, non-conforming, and differently-abled—in short, marginalized people who exist in the in-between. For Baeza, the liminality of their existence is not a confine but rather a site of boundless possibility. It is here that new ways of being are attainable, that identities evolve on their own terms, and that freedom from the circumstances prescribed to us is possible. Beauty is an important dimension of this practice, too. For in picturing these “fugitive bodies” so meticulously; floating against richly textured surfaces of exquisite colors, Baeza makes the imagination material, and assures us that there are full lives to be lived if we dream them.

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Fendi Vanguard Award winners (from left) Raven Joseph, Stella Everett, Mary Beth Nelson, and Peter Lim in full Fendi looks.

Peak Performance For the second edition of the Fendi Vanguard Awards, the Juilliard School has selected Stella Everett, Raven Joseph, Peter Lim, and Mary Beth Nelson as the next generation of young talents ready to take the world of performing arts by storm. By Zoë Hopkins A ROMAN FASHION HOUSE and a New York-based performing arts school may seem like an unlikely partnership, but for over two years Fendi and the Juilliard School have been co-conspirators. What’s more, they are ushering in a new generation of young talent through the Fendi Vanguard Awards, which has brought a group of new trailblazers into the fold of the world of creative arts. Now in its second year, the Vanguard Awards recognizes a cohort of Juilliard students beginning their final term in their bachelor’s, master’s, or advanced diploma program after being nominated by divisional leadership and faculty. Though Fendi is best known for its iconic handbags, womenswear, and menswear, the annual honors are less focused on the sartorial: they are presented to four students who display the potential to be future innovators in their chosen practices. This

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“Artists in every discipline are all called to be vanguards. We are called to take on the charge of paving a way for the future generations of creativity—to take risks, share stories, and tell truths.” —Mary Beth Nelson

year’s winners include Stella Everett for drama, Raven Joseph for dance, Peter Lim for music, and Mary Beth Nelson for voice; each of these are already poised to take the world of performing arts by storm. The collaboration between the two institutions began in December 2020, when they worked on an installment of Fendi Renaissance—Anima Mundi, a fiveepisode series spotlighting musicians from around the world. The episode with Juilliard featured a performance by students at The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center and was also shot at the Juilliard campus. Subsequently, Fendi initiated a donation program to fund scholarships at the school, and in July of last year, the two worked together again to host an Entrepreneurship Symposium, where Juilliard alumni and Fendi professionals shared their expertise with current students. The Vanguard Awards continue this commitment to mentorship, which is at the foundation of the organizations’ collaboration: in addition to a monetary prize, the winners receive mentorship and unique opportunities to be styled by the brand. The generational fashion house has a history of philanthropic activity across

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the arts. In 2018, Fendi partnered with Galleria Borghese to support the museum’s exhibition and research activities. It also began a partnership with Istituto Marangoni Firenze this past May—under the creative direction of artist Sarah Coleman—to offer students the opportunity to recover materials previously used in the brand’s window installations. In just a short time, the Fendi Vanguard Awards has already begun building a legacy of prestige. Last year’s winners have gone on to jobs at the Nashville Symphony, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Authentic Talent and Literary Management, and two of the winners have already returned to the school to pursue advanced degrees. This year’s vanguards are just as promising, already reshaping their disciplines, and ready to share their talents with the world.

Peter Lim “If someone asked me to describe myself, I would tell them I am intensely curious,” says Peter Lim. Indeed, Lim’s artistic practice is highly motivated by a unique interest in the past: he focuses on the historical performance of instruments, including the harpsichord, oboe, and flute. Before coming to pursue his master’s at Juilliard, the deeply thoughtful and inquisitive Atlantaborn musician studied at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Brussels, as well as at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Though he has already received accolades—including a grand prize at the Korean International Early Music Competition—Lim affirms that he loves being a musician enough to sustain his level of joy no matter the outcome of his career: “I am purely happy doing this—mindlessly happy!”

Mary Beth Nelson

Stella Everett

For mezzo-soprano Mary Beth Nelson, to be an opera singer is to hold “a passion for communication and sharing beauty.” Born in Orange County, California, Nelson received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oklahoma City University before enrolling at Juilliard for her master’s. She has assumed a breathtaking range of roles, from the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Derrick Wang’s comedic opera Scalia/Ginsburg, to Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. As she continues to amaze in her field, Nelson renews her commitment to being a vanguardist every day: “Artists in every discipline are called to be vanguards,” she says. “We are called to take on the charge of paving a way for the future generations of creativity—to take risks, share stories, and tell truths.”

Born in Sydney, Australia, actress Stella Everett lives off of her creative instincts. “Like breathing, to create has never been a choice, but simply my way of existing,” says Everett, who will graduate with her BFA this year. Despite her extensive training in acting—before arriving at Juilliard, she studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts—Everett is not content to define her creative instincts to just drama. “I would have enjoyed joining a rigorous training program for all my artistic pursuits, but there’s only so much time in a day,” she explains. “I think that’s why I struggle with the label of ‘actor.’ It feels so closed.” In fact, Everett traces her creative roots to playing dress up in her grandmother’s closet.

Raven Joseph A Queens, New York native, Raven Joseph has loved to dance since she was three years old. “My mother had no choice but to sign me up for lessons before I destroyed all the furniture in the house,” she recalls. Since then, Joseph has studied at the Fiorello H. La Guardia School and trained with the Move NYC Young Professionals Program under Juilliard alumni Nigel Campbell and Chanel DaSilva, both of whom the dancer names as formative mentors. For Joseph, her art is intimately tied to her heritage and identity. “As an African American woman, there are so many emotions and feelings in my movement,” she explains. “I am inspired by those who have come before me. I embrace who I am, where I have come from, and what will happen for me in the future.”

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November 10–14 P A R K AV E N U E A R M O R Y N E W YO R K C I T Y


P R O D U C E D B Y S A N F O R D L . S M I T H + A S S O C I AT E S


Hervé Télémaque, Inventaire, un homme d’intérieur (Inventory, an Interior Man), 1966. Acrylic on canvas. Private Collection. Courtesy Paul Coulon.


Aspen Art Museum

637 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen, CO 81611 aspenartmuseum.org | 970.925.8050 Hours: 10 AM–6 PM, Closed Mondays Admission to the AAM is free courtesy of Amy and John Phelan

AAM exhibitions are made possible by the Marx Exhibition Fund. General exhibition support is provided by the Toby Devan Lewis Visiting Artist Fund. Additional support is provided by the AAM National Council. Presented by Serpentine Galleries, London, and Aspen Art Museum.


Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

Reserve Your Free Ticket Online icamiami.org

61 NE 41ST St Design District 305 901 5272


Bespoke Beauty Hidden around every corner, you're sure to find some of the beautiful, bespoke pieces, handcrafted by our local master artisans. From intricate hand-woven sandals to vibrant tie-dyed shirts, craft is a part of an important piece of our culture. Whether it's traditional pottery, handmade from the vibrant red clay of the Scotland district, or hand-poured candles that smell like the Caribbean Sea, you're sure to find something special, that will always remind you of the beautiful memories you made in Barbados.

Scan a to win os d a b r a B escape


The new Orange County Museum of Art opens on the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Campus in Costa Mesa, CA on October 8, 2022.


9. 19.2022 Something Must Be Done Sensitivity Training Qualifying the Arbitrary Superstition Peeking Through the Lens Embracing a Legacy of Genius The Ultimate Divine Going the Distance culturedmag.com 147





Script excerpt from Barbarella, 1968.

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SARAH HARRELSON: IT IS SUCH AN HONOR TO BE SPEAKING WITH YOU BOTH TODAY. THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE TIME TO BE A PART OF CULTURED’S TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY ISSUE. THERE IS SO MUCH TO GET THROUGH IN A SHORT TIME, BUT TO START I AM CURIOUS TO HEAR FROM YOU, JENNY, ABOUT WHEN YOU FIRST BECAME AWARE OF JANE AS AN ACTIVIST. JENNY HOLZER: I was lucky to become aware of Jane when I was becoming aware in the late ’60s. The Vietnam War was in front of us. I thought the war was tragic, and I was curious what able people were doing about it. JANE FONDA: How old were you then, Jenny? JH: Nineteen-ish. I marched in Washington, but that wasn’t enough. JF: You were a good deal younger than me. SH: I THINK YOU GUYS ARE 13 YEARS APART. JENNY, YOU WERE BORN IN 1950, RIGHT? AND JANE, IN 1937? JF: Yes, I was. SH: HOW IMPACTFUL DO YOU THINK THIS EARLY ACT—MARCHING—WAS ON YOUR OWN IDEAS OF POLITICAL EXPRESSION? JF: Marching was important and remains important. We have so many tools in our toolbox, and we must learn to use them all. Marching is certainly one of them. Civil disobedience is the next step after that, right? JH: Civil disobedience is time-tested and works. I haven’t been as direct, as literally present, as Jane. I wrote a series that included Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise that went up on

street posters. Then I would skulk and see if anybody paid attention. The series was written from many points of view, and posed questions: What do you do with conflicting beliefs? How do you govern? How do you get along? When do you need to act, and how should you act to make things better? JF: Particularly relevant today. JH: Sadly. I kept on with anonymous street art, and with what might be applied art about AIDS, guns, climate, the vote. The polemical-yetaesthetic-yet-feeling is the goal, so people might look hard, recognize, attach emotion, and move. SH: THE WORLD IS GRAPPLING WITH SO MANY OF THESE ISSUES, AND EVEN MORE TODAY. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THE DELUGE OF OBSTACLES WE ARE FACING? JF: I have a moral imperative to be hopeful. If someone like me is not hopeful, what does it mean for the majority of the world that is not white and not privileged and not famous? We must be hopeful because we must continue. We have the great responsibility—and the beautiful privilege—of being alive at the moment of human civilization in which our future depends on us. That’s a fact that the scientists have been very, very clear about. We have eight years to cut our fossil fuel emissions in half. If we fail to do that, we risk going beyond the tipping points—the collapse of ecosystems of forests and oceans and air. This is a time when, no matter what else we do—whether we’re artists, painters, actors, plumbers, therapists, work at Amazon warehouses, whatever—we have to use whatever

time and energy we have to do something about this. I consider the climate crisis our overarching crisis. Economically, it will cost billions of dollars to recover. Emotionally, we may not recover. Everything is challenged. Everything is thrown up in the air into utter chaos. JH: I applaud your comprehensive statement about climate, likely the deepest human crisis. There is great lethal suffering, and there’ll be more. We’re going down if we don’t act immediately, intelligently, assiduously, and, ultimately, joyously. JF: Everything depends on curtailing the climate crisis. There would, however, be no climate crisis if there was no racism nor misogyny. It comes out of the mentality that—how do I say this— sees humanity in a hierarchy with white men at the top and with women—especially women of color—down at the bottom. SH: I WAS WATCHING JOHANNA DEMETRAKAS’ DOCUMENTARY FEMINISTS: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? RECENTLY, IN WHICH [THE ARTIST] JUDY CHICAGO RECALLS NOT WANTING TO BE CALLED A “SUFFRAGETTE” IN THE WAY THAT MANY WOMEN TODAY DO NOT WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED AS “FEMINIST.” [DIRECTOR] WENDY J.N. LEE SAID IT’S SOMETHING THAT ONLY MEN DO. JH: It’s awful that “feminist” can be a pejorative. It’s stupid, counterproductive, and wrongheaded not to be a feminist. Women must have the same rights and privileges that men enjoy, for the benefit of all. Women were not born to suffer, serve, mop, be assaulted, nor killed.



Jenny Holzer, Survival (1983–85), 1985.

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We tend to solve problems peacefully, and we work longer hours. What’s not to like? JF: Feminism is not matriarchy. No, it is purely and simply about democracy. It means that all genders have equal rights, equal opportunities, and equal value to be heard. Women are very powerful, and I think that has been very frightening for people of other genders. One of the ways that men control women is by taking away their rights, including their reproductive freedoms. Keep women pregnant and that’ll curtail what they can do in their lives. The way women govern, the way women conduct friendships, the way women solve problems—all of these things are what are going to save us if anything is going to save us. The important thing to keep in mind is that feminism equals democracy. Unless you like plutocracy or autocracy, you’re a feminist. If you’re a woman or a girl and feel that you deserve equal opportunity, you’re a feminist. SH: WITH ALL THESE SOCIAL CONSTRAINTS, MANY WOMEN ARE FORCED TO PAVE PATHS ON THEIR OWN, AND IT’S AN UPHILL BATTLE. JENNY, YOU WERE THE FIRST WOMAN TO REPRESENT THE U.S. IN THE VENICE BIENNALE. JH: Yes, I was the first American woman with a solo show. It was in 1990, and [it was] absurd that it took that long. Recently, the first woman of color represented the U.S., and that timing is absurd too. What’s significant is how much is eroding for females. “Eroding” is too passive of a word. Women are under attack. Women are denied, harmed, controlled by old-guy—mostly white-guy—policies. How reprehensible, how retro, how dopey. JF: We’re being attacked for the way we are, because we’ve been successful in coming out from under all our oppressions. Patriarchy is like a wounded beast, and God knows wounded beasts are the most dangerous of all. We’ve

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been fighting back with everything we’ve had from the very beginning of time. SH: WHAT DO YOU THINK WE NEED FROM THIS NEXT GENERATION OF WOMEN? JF: I have nothing to say to young people. They’re the ones that are saying to me, “Come on, old people, fight with us, stand beside us. We didn’t create these problems. You’ve got to help us fight for our future.” I want to encourage women like me to stand up and join the movement. Level the playing field. Women are leaders. JH: You’ve said it and lead it. Generalizing here, but women are certain about much that matters, are capable against the odds, are savvy from savage experience, are inclined to care, shield, and cure despite routine interference and provocation. Young women recognize the future, and I sense that most will not quit, that many are equal to the task—and must be. Importantly, young women feel equal. JF: I have been gifted with privilege from the very moment I was born. Because of my family and the opportunities that I’ve had, I’ve always felt that it was incumbent upon me to use my privilege and my platform. SH: YOU’RE QUITE HUMBLE TO SAY THAT, JANE. THERE ARE MANY THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN VARIOUS PRIVILEGES AND HAVEN’T DONE THE SAME. JENNY, WAS THERE A CERTAIN CATALYST IN YOUR LIFE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO DEDICATE IT TO MAKING PEOPLE THINK? JH: I come from a family full of trouble. Tragedy and malfeasance were not foreign, and it hit me early that something must, would, could, and should be done. I was never—and still am not— confident of my ability to effect change, but to live in good faith, you try. JF: I’m so sorry that you had to endure that kind of early life, but you know what they say: God doesn’t come to us through our awards and

our successes. God comes to us through our wounds and our stars. I have a feeling that’s filled with holiness. JH: At least I had a thorough early education. Very little surprises me, but many things still delight me. JF: Oh, that’s beautiful. Whatever else goes on, we must maintain our ability to be delighted, to be joyful, to be in awe. JH: This goes to being hopeful enough to act. SH: YOU HAVE BOTH BEEN ARRESTED A FEW TIMES. WAS THERE EVER A MOMENT THAT EITHER OF YOU CONSIDERED GIVING UP OR TURNING THE VOLUME, SO TO SPEAK, DOWN? JH: Jane, you’ve been arrested more than I have. I’ve been pulled into the back of police cars, but then let go. [Laughs.] JF: In the spring of 2019, I was really depressed because I knew that the climate situation was getting worse. I turned to Greenpeace, and we started Fire Drill Fridays. For four months, we held rallies in front of the Capitol, and I got arrested with hundreds of other people. It caught a lot of attention, and we have recruited many new activists from all over the country. When COVID-19 hit, we started doing it virtually, and in 2020 we had 9 million viewers across all platforms. One reason that I keep doing it is because I’ve always been very aware of being Henry Fonda’s daughter or some old movie star. That when I show up, people would go, “Oh God, she’s not going to last.” But I tend to dig my heels in when you come down on me. I won’t give up. Sometimes I stop a little bit, because I have to make money. [Laughs.] But no, I don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to say, “See, she was only in it for the short haul.” SH: JENNY, WERE YOU EVER DISCOURAGED? JH: It’s impossible to be a good enough artist. So that’s discouraging on a daily basis, but no, I’ve never wanted to quit.

Jenny Holzer, T-shirt worn by Lady Pink, 1983.

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After six decades of perversion and provocation, John Waters has challenged American culture and imploded the spectrum of modern taste. In his first official descent into written fiction, Waters continues to do just what he does best: the unexpected. By Christian Lorentzen

Sensitivity Training Photography by Sophie Elgort Styling by Cat Pope

Photographed in his summer stay, Provincetown, Massachusetts, John Waters wears a Brioni shirt, Elie Balleh blazer, his own pants, Manolo Blahnik shoes, and Vehla sunglasses. Grooming by Ali Scharf.

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Waters wears a Gucci coat, Brooks Brothers turtleneck, his own pants, Manolo Blahnik shoes, and Vehla sunglasses.

When I ask John Waters why it has taken him until this late in history for him to write and publish his first novel, he replies: “Well, there were 16 feature films in there.” There have also been several nonfiction books. (Though he admits “nonfiction” might not be an entirely accurate way to describe his 2014 memoir “Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America”) So indeed the first surprise about “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance” is that it is a “debut novel,” as publishing marketing speak would have it, itself. But the real eye-openers in “Liarmouth,” an uproarious and unrelenting exercise in enchanted invention and shameless perversion, lie on every page. One wishes there were already a portmanteau handy to describe it—“pervention” doesn’t quite work. At the age of 76, Waters resides beyond the forces of the market and our current ideas about what counts as classy or important. He is an institution, his films are canonical, and it’s an understatement to say that his work has changed American culture and expanded the spectrum of modern taste. He says that he now attends screenings of Pink Flamingos with audiences filled with young people who were first shown the film by their parents. With Divine’s climactic consumption of dog feces to the tune of “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” to Cookie Mueller fucking a chicken, the 1972 film was once banned in several countries and rated NC-17 upon its rerelease in 1997. Now it’s been enshrined by the Library of Congress and the Criterion Collection.

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It’s hard to be offensive with a touch so light.

The resistance his work used to encounter (all that banning and moaning) and his underground beginnings—putting on screenings of his films in Baltimore bingo halls and recruiting amateur actors from his local fan base—might be why, when asked about the difference between writing a novel and making a film, Waters refers not so much to the manner or form of creation (do novels allow you to imagine the unfilmable?) but to matters of reception, specifically the risk of censorship. Today there is the specter of the sensitivity reader, the bugaboo of writers everywhere that has emerged within the publishing industry over the past decade to say tsk, tsk to unpublished works and prevent them from offending the masses. But to Waters’ surprise, when his publisher sent “Liarmouth” to a sensitivity reader, they simply never heard back. The same might not be said for insensitive or nonsensitive readers of “Liarmouth.” Though many of its characters are mean—even vicious, murderous—its presiding spirit is the opposite of mean-spirited. Marsha Sprinkle, its titular heroine, is a kleptomaniac and a pathological liar. She’s a petty thief, and is easily the most cinematic of the novel’s characters; beautiful, glamorous, malignant to a point, and given to adopting quick new disguises. After one of her heists is caught on a surveillance camera at the Baltimore airport, a nationwide womanhunt ensues. Marsha flees up the Eastern Seaboard, bound for Provincetown, where she hopes to murder her estranged husband and the father of her child. That child is named Poppy, and she is the leader of a militant group of trampoline enthusiasts. These characters (two of them are called Vaulta

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and Leepa) are addicted to bouncing up and down, which happens a lot within the confines of buses and trains to either the annoyance or sudden liberation of fellow passengers. Along the way, there is Marsha’s sometime accomplice, Daryl, a rabid heterosexual cursed with a dick named Richard that has a gay mind of its own. Richard is constantly poking out of Daryl’s pants looking for action that the man upstairs would rather avoid. Talk about gay panic. The product of Waters’ supreme visual imagination, “Liarmouth” is a work for the page that tests the limits of the novel form. The narration is omniscient and relentlessly roaming. This is not much done lately in the precincts of upmarket fiction, where points of view and their contours are doggedly patrolled by editors and critics. When I ask Waters, who has a book collection in the five figures, the dull but obligatory question of his literary influences, he cites Jane Bowles’ “Two Serious Ladies” as his favorite American novel. He also admits nonsurprise to the comparisons “Liarmouth” has received to Terry Southern’s practical joker picaresque “The Magic Christian,” though he said he hadn’t read it since the 1960s. At least somebody writes them like they used to. Before our conversation, Waters had recently interviewed the novelist Ottessa Moshfegh, whose newest novel, Lapvona,” tests the limits of taste in a manner similar to Waters’ work. Pissing, shitting, vomiting, and raping are not off limits, but are central to the anarchic action. Waters tells me that he’s always considered a rating of X or NC-17 for “a film without sex or violence” to be a filmmaker’s great challenges. Sex and violence are far from

absent in “Liarmouth.” Indeed, the autonomous gay dick called Richard gets some, a bus burns, riots ensue, and pet owners are mauled by their pooches. I had always thought the scat and piss orgy in the finale of Don DeLillo’s Americana was the limit of perversion in American fiction, but the climax of mostly joyous rimming in “Liarmouth” is browner and noisier. A similar joy animates its characters with trans identities like Surprize, who transitions from canine to feline; and Lester, a dogcatcher who was raised as a dog that still loves the taste of Purina. Lately, Waters has been an outspoken if not particularly outraged critic of political correctness. He tells me that Poppy and her militant bouncers are his way of gently satirizing contemporary activist culture. The strategy speaks to the power of the absurd and the surreal: You can sympathize with the desired rights of an imaginary oppressed group while recognizing that their quest for recognition might come into conflict with the desires of customers who bought tickets for the quiet car on an Amtrak train. It’s hard to be offensive with a touch so light. It’s a sentiment he echoes in interviews and in his one-man-show, which passed through London earlier this summer before he presided over the popular themed adult sleepaway camp, Camp John Waters, in Connecticut. It occurs to me that a brilliant work of fiction could be written about the camp, where campers spend their days as characters from his films; a synthesis of Waters’ films, his prose, and his life—potentially a postmodern masterpiece. Our conversation ends before I could voice the thought. And who cares? John Waters is not short on ideas.

Waters wears a Paul Stuart blazer and shirt, his own pants and socks, Manolo Blahnik shoes, and Vehla sunglasses.

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Aesthetics are not the practice of Conceptual Art philosophy and politics the artist’s meditation.

Charles Gaines,

central intention for whose nearly six-decade interviews themes of only to find beauty in

Qualifying the Arbitrary By

Hannah Black

Photography by Clifford Prince King

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Charles Gaines’s

work aims to stretch, palpate, disintegrate, and—in all other ways—put pressure on the concept of meaning until it gives up the secret of its arbitrariness. Over the course of his nearly 60-year career, he has explored this concern with the arbitrariness of meaning through oftenbeautiful artworks, though he treats beauty as incidental. Gaines has absorbed the big lesson of the conceptualist movement of the 1960s and early ‘70s: the aesthetic dimension of art can’t be abolished—even a readymade or deconstructed object still has an appreciable form—but aesthetics is not the content of art, it’s just a necessary condition. Thus his work deconstructs the legibility of images without itself ever becoming illegible. Some of the artist’s early work, such as his famous “Numbers and Trees” series, made up of carefully hand-drawn and painted grids, even seem to anticipate the era of digital imaging. (This is yet another example of the arbitrariness of meaning: Gaines is uninterested in the digital as such.) Gaines’s critical fidelity to the legacy of conceptualism can, however, make his work hard to read through contemporary political mores. For example, he wants to undermine the category of subjectivity, which he sees as falsely universalizing and insufficiently welcoming of legitimate criticism. “There’s a general problem with subjectivity,” he tells me, “because [the concept] of subjectivity [maintains] that certain ideas are not critique-able. If it can be established that something is transcendentally determined or is a universality, there is no cultural or social critique that can attack it, undermine it, or even suggest that it’s wrong.” This seems to me to be quite different from our current predominant mode of critique, which involves reading antagonism between subjects back into apparently objective phenomena such as laws, algorithms, and labor. Though both modes of critique have the same aim—critiquing false universalities such as capitalism—

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Detail of Charles Gaines, Numbers and Trees: London Series 2, Tree #3, Minerva Walk, 2022.

many younger artists working today aim to use the existence of contesting subjectivities to undermine universality, whereas Gaines’s approach invests its hope in overcoming both subjectivity and universality. Thinking about what artists today could learn from Gaines’s second-generation conceptualism, I remembered a 2017 conversation I had with the artist and writer Manuel Arturo Abreu. I described a Scooby-Doo meme in which Shaggy removes the villain’s disguise (marked “objectivity”) to reveal their real face (marked “subjectivity.”) Pushing back on the graphic’s too-easy opposition between subject and object, Manuel said, “I don’t feel like objectivity is subjectivity. It could be intersubjectivity. [Ludwig] Wittgenstein defines reality as something where there can be a shared agreement of what the terms of its discussion are. And we don’t have that because there are such profound disagreements even on the level of, should this person be alive or dead? So in a way, we live in a kind of fake news, non-real, virtual reality exactly because of anti-Blackness and misogyny…they somehow cut off the possibility of accessing the real.” I don’t know if Gaines would agree, though his recent body of work seems aimed at exactly this disjunction. A recent suite of public art works by Gaines titled “The American Manifest” reactivates the complex central questions of his work. Describing the Governors Island installation Moving Chains, Gaines tells me, “It’s just a structure with chains on top. The relationship that you draw from that is something that is already given to you from your cultural learning. The chains and the structure are two entirely separate, unrelated things. But we can bring them together using metaphor to create a political narrative about different subjects— the history of slavery is one, the history of commerce is another.” As I admit to him in our conversation via Zoom, I am confused by this:

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Gaines’s art

a suspension of everyday belief in the necessary connections between object,

even if the relation between a boat-like structure and a moving set of chains is technically arbitrary, what is arbitrary about the relationship between slavery and commerce? Their histories are so imbricated over the past few hundred years that they have been, at times, one and the same. And doesn’t the non-arbitrary nature of the relationship between slavery and commerce mean that Gaines’s choice to combine a barge and chains is just as conditioned by “cultural learning” as my response to the work? By what kind of Cartesian thought experiment could I arrive at a world in which an artwork made up of chains and a boat-like structure by the Ohio River is a random combination? But Gaines’s art seems to require a suspension of belief; the ordinary, everyday belief in the necessary or even historical connections between objects, ideas, and experiences. “The separateness of those two things remain,” says Gaines of the barge and chains. “They never become one thing. My task is to suggest where the link is forming. It’s not forming in the body of the [artwork] because what happens there is always the same.” The link forms in the world around the artwork and in the mind of the viewer. Over in Times Square, another Gaines work, Manifestos 4: The Dred and Harriet Scott Decision, more or less randomly sets the text of the 1857 Dred Scott decision to music. The work seems to both negate and affirm that there is a real history at play here, non-arbitrary if only in that it has already happened and can’t, therefore,

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be undone. Manifestos 4 was given additional, arbitrary resonance by the recent Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision removing crucial legal protections around abortion access. Just as the Supreme Court of 1857 denied Black people’s citizenship and right to freedom, the Supreme Court of 2022 was empowered to deny individuals’ control over their reproduction, revealing that the bourgeoisindividualist concept of property-in-the-person— that we own our bodies and decide what to do with them—is an ideology decided by custom, not a natural right. Like how Gaines describes the chains and the boat-like structure of Moving Chains as two irreconcilably different objects that can only be brought together through a language-structure, as metaphor, the text of the law and the reality of the body are two entities with no given alliance. Does this produce the kind of politically galvanizing alienation-effect imagined by the playwright Bertolt Brecht, or something more like the self-referential, hermetic investigations of an artist like Joseph Kosuth? The critique of meaning and subjectivity can sometimes lead artists to ignore the materiality of everyday life and politics. When Gaines criticized militant anti-gentrification organizers in his hometown of Los Angeles on the grounds that “gentrification is a complex sociological phenomenon that hardly anyone understands,” the organizers responded, “People whose rent increased 300 percent understand gentrification.”

seems to require belief; the ordinary, or even historical ideas, and experiences.

In the 1970s, Gaines’s interest in structuralism set him apart from other Black artists, and even led some to deride his work as “too white.” Still, today, though he takes his institutional place among other previously under-recognized Black artists such as Faith Ringgold, his practice is at odds with a prevailing concern with identity and representation. This representative art is undergirded by a sense of both possibility and impossibility: Black art is finally carving out a secure space within the mainstream, even as threats to Black life outside the art institution mount. It is roughly analogous, in time and in content, to a political turn towards electoral representation among both right-wing and left-wing radicals. Politically aware young people who might, a generation or even a decade ago, have nurtured spaces and critiques that were oppositional to the state, are now eager to use the state to manage distribution and production to their own ends. Just as, within this transformation fueled by emergency and crisis, there should still be room to consider the limitations and impasses of official politics, there should be room in art to consider, as Gaines does, the fundamental questions of how culture produces meaning. Where representation is basically affirmative, positive, and recuperative, Gaines’s rejection of the very structure of representation—that an image can index something other than itself— creates a productive negativity that opens out new horizons beyond the search for recognition. As his oeuvre suggests, the work of undoing is never done.

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The following is a collection of images based on cultural superstitions from around the world. “I wanted some images to serve solely as fashion pictures while others I wanted to touch on the world of the tableau.” fingers crossed...

photography by Darren Gwynn styling by Studio& makeup by Rebecca Davenport hair by Pål Berdahl model: Kerolyn Soares All clothing and accessories by Louis Vuitton

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Casting by Alejandra Perez. Set design by Josh Thompson. Produced by Town Productions.

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Peeking Through the Lens. Like most

if not all other disciplines of art, photography has matured throughout its history. But perhaps no other is as technically compelled to its period of existence. More than using material to create, photographers depend upon the technology of their times to reflect it, and with these generational breakthroughs come the culture and beliefs that surround them. As Cultured passes its decade mark, six cross-generational image-makers confront each other both in practice and conversation about the differences and commonalities in their gazes. From darkrooms to the third dimension of the Internet, much as changed, but as it turns out, many things never will.

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DAWOUD BEY Portrait by Tyler Mitchell, shot July 14, 2022

TYLER MITCHELL Portrait by Dawoud Bey, shot July 14, 2022

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Dawoud Bey’s pensive landscape photography echoes his visionary catalogue of Black portraiture, which has documented communities from his native Harlem, New York, to all across the continental U.S. over the last 45 years. Crossing boundaries of interest and time, he speaks with fellow photographer Tyler Mitchell, who at just 27 has enchanted industries of both art and fashion, about the histories of their practices and new ways of expression.

By Drew Sawyer

DREW SAWYER: MENTORSHIP IS OFTEN INTERGENERATIONAL, YET THE PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART WORLDS HAVE CHANGED SO DRAMATICALLY OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS, ESPECIALLY WITH REGARD TO ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND WAYS OF DISTRIBUTING WORK. HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING OF PHOTOGRAPHY WAS SHAPED BY WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED TO THINK ABOUT OR ENGAGE WITH THE MEDIUM? DAWOUD BEY: I came into the field in the mid1970s. At that point the battle over whether photography was or was not indeed a fine art had been fought and won, but we all still had the consciousness of it. We were still standing in a highly contested space in terms of our legitimacy. There weren’t a lot of places to see photographs in New York, but there were a few. The first place I saw photographs of Black people hanging on the walls was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That helped shape my thinking and aspiration. DS: Tyler, you’ve talked about Tumblr being formative for so many people who grew up in the 2000s. TYLER MITCHELL: Growing up in Atlanta,

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my parallel to your formative moment at the Met was really the Internet—websites where encyclopedic swaths of images were being thrown at teenagers, who could curate their own individualistic styles, aesthetics, and interests. Whether it was interior design or photography or art, all of these decontextualized made me fall in love with images in a wider sense. Now we are just understanding how that’s percolated into today’s culture of images that exist online, in gallery and museum spaces, and printed and published. I’m right at the beginning of grappling with where and how I want my images to live. DB: It’s interesting to contemplate the initial experience of the work via the Internet, because there’s such a glut of information there, which, obviously, provides a rich field of inquiry in terms of where you might exist or what you might respond to. It also conspicuously leads to this idea of the “photograph” as the image. Coming to the work as I did in museums and galleries, I had an immediate engagement with the photographic object, which is something that I still make a very real distinction about. When you look at my prints, you’re not looking at a picture, you’re

looking at a photograph. That relationship to the physical photographic object is something that is very foundational in my practice. It’s the physical realization of a set of ideas and something that has been deeply invested in from the outset. DS: BUT A LOT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS HAVE ALSO MADE THEIR WORK FOR THE PAGE, WHETHER THAT’S A PHOTO BOOK OR A MAGAZINE. TM: That makes me think of the question of “commissioned” v. “personal work.” I’ll put quotes around both. DB: That’s the way it’s always been talked about—your “personal work.” TM: Now we have a generational moment—an opening up of the floodgates so to speak—of more artists being commissioned to make work for brands, companies, projects, things like that. What does that mean? Is it art or is it not? I’ve been insisting on leveling the boundaries of these two things that we have been programmed to think as totally separate or that one is far more superior. I’m really excited about the possibility that commissioned works—at least in the ways in which I’ve been doing them—are deeply personal. Sometimes in the boundaries and the constraints and the cultural contexts, they can spark so many conversations that personal work can, too. DB: Throughout the history of the medium that question has filtered through it. Certainly the interesting thing about photography is that if you do it well, you can do it for anyone who’s willing to pay. I’ve done it myself—it hasn’t been as conspicuous as Beyoncé on the cover of a global magazine—I just don’t talk about it. I’m not invested in it. Most of the photographers that I came up with tended to keep a very strict firewall between the two. You did not want to be known for that other work because somehow there could be a curator out there that might potentially have issues. “Just who are you anyway?” I wanted it to be quite clear about who I was—someone who wanted to be engaged in a very deep conversation with photography as a fine art. DS: I’M CURIOUS IF YOU THINK THAT PART OF THIS SHIFT THAT YOU BRING UP IS ALSO BECAUSE ART INSTITUTIONS HAVE LOST SOME OF THEIR SHINE. OF COURSE, THERE

HAVE LONG BEEN CRITICISMS ABOUT GATEKEEPING, ELITISM, CLASSISM, RACISM, SEXISM, ET CETERA, BUT THERE HAS ALSO BEEN AN EXPANSION OF OTHER PLATFORMS, OTHER WAYS THAT ONE CAN SUPPORT THEMSELVES OR DISTRIBUTE THEIR WORK. IT SEEMS MOST PEOPLE NO LONGER HAVE STRONG IDEOLOGICAL POSITIONS ON THE TYPES OF CULTURE THEY CONSUME OR A BELIEF THAT “ART” IS SOMEHOW BEYOND IT. DB: Yes, all of that is changing. TM: There’s always going to be a symbiosis and relationship between artists and institutions, between artists and magazines or publishing platforms. But I think you’re right, we’re seeing these online communities of factions of friends come together and create their own projects. There is a changing landscape. Several years ago I worked as an intern at the photo agency that now represents me. My job was to create physical portfolios of all the fashion photographers’ work. I had to go through every magazine—every periodical that was published around the world— and make tabs of which artists had worked on what stories. Then I would make tear sheets and create portfolios. I could count on two hands who was creating 90 percent of the images that our culture was experiencing on a day-to-day basis. The conversation since then has gone from two hands to hundreds of photographers making projects and exciting things around the world. There’s been a lot of work done, but my question remains: Is it possible for a photographer to level this boundary? DB: Remember, there is a very long history that supports exactly your kind of practice. Edward Steichen, who was one of the greatest proselytizers of photography as a fine art [in the early 20th century], also did fashion photographs. They were beautiful, they were quite elegant. Genre within photography can be a very fluid conversation. There will always be those naysayers. I don’t know if that’s a generational thing or if that’s a question of academic bias that you inherit, but it’s definitely changing. All of us need to form a community of support around our practice. There are people that I work with now that I’ve known for 40-plus years. When you’re a part of a community for that long, inevitably people start to move around and

that creates opportunities for the others that are a part of it. That’s why the notion of community and continuing to not just maintain but to keep leaning into your own work and trying to raise the bar in the way that only you can do for yourself is so important. There are people who ask me if I think I’ll go back to making portraits again. I say, “Maybe, I don’t know.” I do the work that I feel that I need to do at that particular moment. I have to say, the portrait that I did of you, Tyler, was the first portrait—actual portrait, working with someone in front of the camera—that I’ve done since the [The Birmingham Project] ten years ago. TM: Drew, I need you to imagine that you’re sitting in front of Dawoud Bey’s camera, and he drops that fact as he’s about to take his first picture of you. DS: YOU’RE SAYING YOUR JAW DROPPED? DB: I’m very much aware that [portraiture] is something that I can do and that I do do very well. But that’s not what I choose to do. It’s not the work I want to make at this particular moment. TM: There’s so many ways to explore photography stylistically. In the same way that a musician or painter or sculptor might delve into multiple conversations that they’re having with their practice, so should photographers. DS: DAWOUD, EVEN STRICTLY WITHIN THE REALM OF PORTRAITURE, YOUR WORK WRESTLES WITH LANDSCAPE, SOCIAL SPACE, AND HISTORY. I THINK OF YOU AS MORE OF A SOCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER WHO IS INTERESTED IN PLACE AS MUCH AS PEOPLE. DB: It is certainly been present in my work from the outset. Going back to Harlem in the ‘70s, I was there because of my family’s history. My mother and father met there and then left Harlem when I was born. I wanted to go back and explore a place that I’m a part of but that I hadn’t physically been a part of. Even in my street portraits there’s always been an attention to the narrative of space. There was nothing spontaneous; the space itself was always a part of the construct of the narrative of the work. [Looking back now] I don’t see this as a radical shift so much as it was a new language that I had to learn. How to make a different photograph that did not depend on the human presence but

on the presence of space success. I realized that the picture starts and stops where the narrative starts and stops. It took me some very frustrating moments to figure out the language for the work that I’m making now. It wasn’t easy at all, but that didn’t stop me. The work has to be driven by your own sense of integrity, by what the thing is that you need to talk about, not by some external forces or the mark of anything else. TM: I’m starting to think about forming bodies of work almost like—and not to be so literal but—a film. There’s a thesis or a preoccupation. Space and narrative history, those are at the root of all of your pictures. That should always be the case with any photographer. Maybe those preoccupations grow, maybe they graduate, maybe they change over time, but they’re not fixed. Black space, Black landscape in the south, familyhood, those are my interests. I then start to think about what the wide shot of that looks like, so to speak; the extreme close-up; the little narrative moments. You could break that down into categories of facticity, but I’m saying they are fragments of a larger thing. Any artist can have two sentences about what their work is, but within that would be 25 different languages of how to say it. The beauty of photography is you’re able to do that in multiple contexts. DB: It’s about taking an idea and extending that into as many photographs as possible where you feel like you have really exhausted the possibility of how many ways you can re-enter the conversation. TM: A movie director is trying to make the same thing over and over again in different ways. Look at any of the greats like Spike Lee—down in Atlanta at Morehouse for School Daze or a block in Bed-Stuy like in Crooklyn or Do The Right Thing. The same logic applies to photographers. We’re trying to make variations of the same picture or say the same ideas in different languages. DB: I’ve had the opportunity to have a retrospective exhibition, which included work from 1975 up to 2020. There’s a sensibility that actually runs through the work even though there are different kinds of photographs. That’s when you realize that there’s just one thing that you’re interested in, and you’re trying to find different ways to make it resonate.

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COLLIER SCHORR Portrait by John Edmonds, shot July 29, 2022

JOHN EDMONDS Portrait by Collier Schorr, shot July 29, 2022

Ten years ago, Collier Schorr was John Edmonds’s graduate photography professor at the Yale School of Art. Despite generational and circumstantial differences, the two artists are bonded in their urgency to question not only the complications of the world around them but their own selves as well.

JOHN EDMONDS: We’re starting with sensitive topics, so a sensitive topic for you is women? COLLIER SCHORR: Yes. JE: And a sensitive topic for me is? CS: Men. JE: Yeah. CS: Having the gender that we’re attracted to be the sensitive topic—the topic of care and curiosity—is so inextricably bound to our sexuality. It’s clearly always been there in gay men, gay creativity, but it’s been predominantly gay male and it’s been predominantly gay white male. I think, in some ways, trying to tear down that is where we meet. What’s the word? The paradigm, the monument. JE: I like that you said the word, “monument,” because when I think of a monument, I think about something that is hard to forget. It’s in the way. It’s hard to see past because it’s such a strong visual that can also block one’s view. CS: It’s interesting to know our backstory—that you were my student at Yale for two years in the graduate program. It’s a very specific dynamic; more so than just teacher-student, grad school has its own dynamic. You came in an artist, and

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you practiced it in front of us, your teachers, your fellow artists. I was drawn to you and curious because I felt like we were both dealing with the same monument—a thing that was both alluring and troubling. JE: That’s a great way to put it: alluring and troubling. When I first met you, I was in a place where I really didn’t know that much about my past. I was so drawn to you and your work because you were interested in questions. It’s easy when you can ask someone else and they can give you the answer, but when you have to ask yourself, it really shifts the possibility of what can be. CS: One of the questions that I asked myself was, Can I live with what I want to make? My training in the ‘80s was so rigorous in terms of representation. We took the problem of the gaze into consideration, but the gaze that we were warned about was always the male gaze. And so, as women, what were we to do with our own? We knew we had it. JE: Outside of this gaze, I think that we are both artists that work from a place of affinity. People that you have affinity with and people that you

see yourself in. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a reflection of you but that they—in some way, shape, or form—live a life that you could see yourself living. I remember you talking about, “This is the life that I would’ve had if I was a man.” That is both interesting and complicated. CS: The complication is that I don’t think I would have such a different life because I would still be the same person. I think that’s maybe why I’m not trans. I never thought that if I transitioned I would be very much different than I was already. Speaking in a wrestling room, I said that about looking at what I could have been like if I was a boy—the water boy. What I meant by that was, if I were a boy, I would’ve had proximity to that life. I’ve had so much access because I am gay woman—I was the least threatening and the least distracting—but I couldn’t go in the locker room. I imagined what I didn’t have—the locker room—which was a forbidden space. I do love this idea of affinity now, because coming from a time that I came from, it was hard to find that. There were so many hidden cultures. Now, when I look at the landscape, I’m part of that it. There are artists who look at me—lesbians that look at me—and feel affinity. That’s a really beautiful reality and a good reminder that I’m not always in resistance too, but that I’m in pursuit of a connectivity that’s freely there. JE: What I find so interesting about artists who challenge the gaze—which is essentially what you’re talking about—is that they end up in some kind of hot seat. Sometimes we do things that are self-effacing from time to time, but I don’t think that means that we are fools or silly people. It means that we are deeply invested in the questions that we are asking. I see the questions in your work whether or not you are trying to be humorous or naughty. CS: It’s proximity to desire and wanting to eviscerate mistranslations, wanting to just raise the ground in a way out of anger and frustration, and wanting to literally sprout up through the earth to just be yourself. I’ve been reading Audre Lorde’s cancer journals, and she talks about the idea that we’re living and dying at the same time. Sprouting and decaying and withering. It really struck me, because I thought the miseries and the sadness are actually movement, and there are things that we actually are carrying that are

decaying. We want to release them, but there is a sense of loss because there’s a death in that. JE: I’ve always seen you as a very defensive person, but I think that defending comes from a place of love and the desire to protect—to be a gatekeeper, someone who is a resource, and perhaps a source of inspiration. This is something that I think a lot about when it comes to the African sculptures and the idea of Black figure. There is a relationship there. Whether or not it has been parsed out, there is an inherent relationship to both our bodies of work and histories and how we both navigate understanding them. You once said to me that you are shy, but you’re interested in being seen. I would say that this is a very interesting kind of conundrum many photographers navigate. I see your work largely in relationship to a child’s imagination. That’s why I brought up naughty. We talk about photography and the camera as permission to be naughty. CS: Well, provocative. JE: Provocative to be naughty. To instigate. That is really the core. It’s how you are able to both agitate and build affinity. It’s fascinating how you talk about access, whether it’s access to a culture, a group of boys, a group of women, a place. How do you do that? CS: It’s because I had no friends in high school, and I’ve been recovering ever since. It’s not that I want to be friends with everyone, but that I want to be friends with people that are different than me because I feel different than me in some way. You need to be a complete opposite of the Indigenous American mythology that photography is soul stealing. I often enter the body of the person I’m shooting. If they engage with me back, I get my soul back when I go home. If they don’t, then they’ve taken it. It takes me a day or two to recover. JE: You and I are both interested in photography’s ability to assign life and that can be taken very seriously. CS: I can live off of it. Photography is a form of promiscuity for me, especially as someone who’s not been particularly promiscuous in my life. There are times in which I get very engaged. What happens is I feel my own availability in terms of love. That is the high probability for me—being opened up and feeling the joy of service in a way.

JE: I’m seeing where we are alike, and I’m also seeing where we’re different. People would tell me that I was too serious about certain things. When I was in my early 20s, I felt I was emotionally promiscuous; I shared my feelings with a lot of people that didn’t need them. CS: We’re twins with that. People always think the camera’s cruel, but the cruelty of photography is that the photographer is not always there. I was thinking a lot about your work, about rejecting the patriarchy, rejecting toxic masculinity, and the way the patriarchy is framed by sympathetic people like ourselves has to feel very different for Black men, because a Black male patriarchy is a completely different thing. Black male power and patriarchy were interrupted by slavery in this country, so a white man or a white woman’s idea of “the patriarchy” is white corporate America or middle of the country farmers and white trash. I wonder if it’s a little bit more complicated when you haven’t grown up with Black authority? JE: Absolutely. This is something that I actually wrote about in my essay to apply to Yale. As someone that did not grow up with a certain male figure or authority, I go back to it very often. I have a younger brother who is 17 years old now. I think a lot about what it’s like for him to grow up with both his mother and father, and what it means to have that guidance as an example. When I found out the news about my biological father, I was really interested in knowing how I would age; in knowing the health concerns that I should have as I get older. Because if you don’t have that, then the future seems like a void. Much of my work has been about kind of creating the foundation based on this lack of presence, this kind of absence of a body, this absence of mentorship. The violence of absence, the violence of...It’s like the monument that you know that should be there but isn’t there. What happens when we know something should be there and it isn’t there? What does that create inside of us in our core? CS: On some level it creates this liminal state in which you can’t topple over a monument if you can’t see it. That’s sort of what we’re still learning about language—that when we only hear our language, or we only read others through our own language, we’re missing all the story. There’s no way that a Black man can have

the same relationship to patriarchy as a white person because it’s a certain kind of monument that’s just not been erected. It’s not been allowed to be erected up until recently. Now, of course, there are monuments. There’s love or not love, Kanye or LeBron or Dave Chappelle. JE: Love LeBron. CS: Love LeBron. What’s crazy is Shaun King finally came out against Dave Chappelle’s trans jokes, which is remarkable because I don’t think Shaun King has mentioned the word “trans” since he’s been on air. In terms of freedom of speech, I really do lean on the side of comedy doesn’t trump humanity. I’d like to get my trans jokes from trans people at this point and my Black jokes from Black people. But I love the idea that when I look at [your] new pictures it’s like you’ve spread seeds on the ground and grown a community that is monumental. That the most we can do as people that have been sort of seen as outside of the erectors of structure. JE: I’m interested in the full scope of our humanity. And I think that violence is a part of that. I think that defensiveness is a part of that. I think that protection is a part of that. Ultimately, we are only as human as we allow ourselves to be, and I think it’s a necessity to put it all out there.

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WOLFGANG TILLMANS Portrait by Adraint Khadafhi Bereal, shot June 9, 2022


Ahead of his first U.S. retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, which covers more than three decades of work, Wolfgang Tillmans meets up with fellow photographer— and his pen pal of the past two years—Adraint Khadafhi Bereal. The two artists, with similar sensitivities for the human condition and the in-between-ness of identity, talk about the ingredients that went into Tillmans’s massive show, their upbringings, the state of photography, and queerness’s infinite potential to bring us closer to one another and to ourselves.

ADRAINT KHADAFHI BEREAL: It’s nice to finally meet in person. WOLFGANG TILLMANS: Reality is strange, but strangely real…in the way that a pen-friend is. AKB: Do you think social media has brought us too close to one another that now we have instant contact with everybody in the world? WT: It theoretically or practically has, but it’s not consistent. I’m shocked by how much people rely on electronic connectivity and how little people are scared of what happens if a device becomes blocked. We have to be aware that no human has more attention than 12, 16, 18 hours a day. If we are constantly in that sphere, we are taking away attention from old-fashioned, researched, professional media. People on Twitter for an hour is an hour that they’re not having to read a well-written book. I want to stop contributing to that economy of time. We must insist that subscribing to a newspaper—or to a well-researched publication—and spending half an hour a day reading should be the norm. AKB: My grandparents had all of these cassette tapes, DVDs. They were not hoarders, but they liked to keep traditional media. I find myself

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buying all these magazines, books, and things that are physical that I can actually come back to and engage with. How important is the physical to your process? WT: The photocopy has been the absolute bedrock of how I work. In the summer of ‘93— when I was 25—I started my first book. I made letter-sized color photocopies of every picture that I considered, then I laid them in sequence, front to front and back to back, so that you always picked up two leaves. That way you could always see a spread of pictures. It’s an important, haptic detail, because if you don’t grab the two sheets together, you see a white flash in between. You then hold yourself to a maximum volume, which creates a competition for inclusion, and then you can either throw out three pictures to kill three pages, you can reduce three, or you can reduce four and give a quarter page to each one so that all four of them land on one page. Those are the editing questions. AKB: The more technical details of how to cut down or maybe refine the post-process. WT: It’s really just editing, Any editor has to cut words. To us an article is complete, but it was

always 60 or 420 words longer before we read it. When you’re an artist sequencing your own work, you think nothing is dispensable. But everything is indispensable, and to kill your own darlings is an art that you need to train yourself in—to learn, to let go, and to reduce. AKB: Editing has been something I’ve been struggling with lately. We’re in that process with my new book, and finding the right things to fight for has been hard. Everything feels precious. It’s hard to divorce that emotional connection. WT: It really is a philosophical question, not a technical one, and has been the nature of storytelling since day one. This need to edit and then to somehow find completeness is actually almost the art. Every era has its own technical restraints: how many words can you chisel into the stone, how many could you print without a computer, how many color separations you could get away. AKB: How did your upbringing inform your practice? WT: I’m grateful that my parents never held on to us too much. They always encouraged us to go away on vacations, learn languages, and be independent. Rhineland is a 20-million-person [area] without one metropolitan center, but it has a great history in photography. August Sander, do you know him? He wanted to portray society as it really was. Those cultural traditions that came before me are always part of my understanding without having necessarily studied them. It’s partially what has been actively fed to you, about what you actively sought out, and then there’s what comes with the milk. AKB: With all the different leaps in technology and platforms since you start, I’m curious what’s in the milk of photography today? WT: Photography is a really difficult medium compared to other art forms. I may be challenged for this, but I believe it is easier to make a sort of half-decent painting than to make a half-decent photograph that lasts. Maybe that is because it’s so easy to make a photograph that looks okay, or that even looks good. But to find an area where the technically presentable comes together with something that is intangible—that cannot be put into words; that makes it an extract of time or a slice of reality or fiction projected— is very difficult. I talk about it as if there is a

threshold and as if there are criteria that you can fulfill until that result is then clearly visible. That is not how it works. There is no moment when it’s confirmed, these things mature over time after they’ve been released into the world. Photographs become complete through being looked at and being consumed and digested. That has strangely not changed even though we now have more pictures in the world than in 1995. Yes, everything has changed, but the rules are strangely still the same: really good photographs are extremely rare. They do still stand out, and I don’t mean a picture that goes viral. Today there is an enormous hunger for something new and anything good. AKB: Instagram, for instance, changed so much when it started. What has been your relationship with it? WT: I started in 2015, oblivious and not seeing any point in it. I initially only put typed letters and then, occasionally, photographs. I never assumed that anybody would think what I posted was my actual work. It hasn’t hurt me, but I realize that people take it much more seriously than I do. I must say, it’s overrated as a representation of the person. AKB: You can’t know someone based on two posts. From a comparative standpoint, I try to stay off it. I see other 24-year-olds on Instagram that are on yachts, and buying cars, houses, and all these luxurious goods. It can put you in a state of delusion of what your life is supposed to look like. WT: So let’s start an alternative. Does everybody have a dissatisfied, disillusioned relation to this, and we are still all captive of it? AKB: We are. WT: Then we have to change it. AKB: I wanted to ask you about your retrospective. It’s the entire fifth floor of MoMA, right? WT: The sixth floor. I don’t normally show in chronological order; I usually have an old and a new picture sit side by side to have a dialogue across decades. But I, along with the curators Roxana Marcoci and Phil Taylor, felt it it made sense to lay out 35 years of my life in the 18,000 square feet area right there. It was a very fruitful experience revisiting the works. My career started at the beginning of a 33year period that one day might be described as

the era between two Cold Wars. Now, there is a craziness in the world that was unimaginable 25 years ago. By their own vote and liking, there are countries that are following autocratic, heterosexist, heteronormative, and theocratic regimes. In Hungary, they happily re-elected their president [Viktor] Orbán, two months after Russia started invading their own neighbor. I’m not always talking about it in such clear political language, but the exhibtion does show how my interests have not really changed. At the same time, I hope, there’s constant invention and new developments. AKB: Will there be new works as well? WT: It goes right up to 2022. I wanted to give roughly equal space to each of the last 30 years. AKB: The first time I came across your work was in 2018 in an advanced photography course. I went to the library and pulled one of your books—I think it was green and self-titled. I was looking through, and it just opened up a whole new world. That was the first time it clicked for me, this is what photography can do. What I was learning before that was transactional; it made me feel like I was working in vain. It switched the gears. WT: When somebody’s work really touches you, it’s important to seek them out, and a welledited book is as much a mentor as a personal meeting or contact. I was touched by the work of Caravaggio in my own education. I couldn’t interview him, but in the late ‘90s I made an effort to see as many of his paintings around Europe as I could. Photography is a man-made language, which we are only fluent in because of the generations before us that formulated it. I find it terrible when I speak to students and I realize that they actually haven’t looked at other generations’ work. AKB: Yes, because everything’s so digital now. We’re not in the darkroom with one another anymore, so it’s difficult trying to find appropriate spaces for those types of conversations. You started out at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The photography industry was booming at the time, but the media was very vicious about how it portayed HIV. How did that shape your relationship with media today? WT: I’m always super cautious when using the term “media,” because it is only valid to me as a

single term when describing physical mediums. There were not only hostile media publications, of course; there were also intelligent and understanding outlets. But you were trying to go in another direction about queerness. AKB: Yes, it’s something I have a connection with personally. When I started to redo my book, I felt like it unlocked a key for me in terms of understanding my own queerness and how I could express it—how it could exist out in the world. Soemtimes there’s such a strong pull to identify or subscribe to something. I think I sometimes don’t want to have an answer available when talking about queerness because it’s gotten coopted like everything else. I’m curious about how you observe queerness as a whole and what that means today. WT: I’ve been traveling the African continent a lot in the last four years. There, queerness is still a matter of literal life in the closet or life in jail, and, to that end, LGBTQ rights still face a huge human rights issue on a global scale. But if we are speaking about, say, New York, Berlin, London, I personally find the term “queer” more interesting as an inclusive term and more meaningful than the minutiae of gender, selfaffiliation, self-identification, pronouns, et cetera. Of course, everyone has the right to speak on those terms, but I find the term relevant when applied to all sexualities. For instance, are you somehow open-minded and playful with your body and your outlook on life? Or are you holding on to fear and the status quo? There are gay people that I wouldn’t call queer because they are very much formed and not interested in questioning their own ideas. And then there are heterosexual friends that I find totally queer, radically hilarious, and funny. I’ve always celebrated this tragicness and ridiculousness of a life confined to bodies and the power of fun in dealing with it all.

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SCHIAPARELLI, THE VENERABLE FRENCH couture house, does not come to you—you go to it. If you want to buy one of its meticulously crafted creations, you have to go to Paris and make your way to number 21 in Place Vendôme. With the exception of a shop-in-shop at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Schiaparelli’s original atelier is the only place one can buy its whimsical ready-to-wear and accessories, or order its haute couture. One sunny day in June, I made the pilgrimage, not to order a viscose silk crêpe coat with gilded brass buttons in the form of an eye and an ear, or a brown leather tote with abs molded onto it, but to interview Daniel Roseberry. In several short years, the designer has transformed Schiaparelli into one of today’s most talked-about brands. A celebrity onslaught, magnified by the fashion and social media, has helped—it’s hard to think of a female celebrity who hasn’t worn Schiaparelli recently. And the more the rich desire to emulate the stars, the more they are willing to jump through hoops to get something others cannot. According to Roseberry, the Schiaparelli atelier boasts a 97 percent conversion rate, despite the frightening prices. I got to Place Vendôme on a rental e-bike, an admittedly unglamorous method of commuting considering my destination. The bike’s blue frame clashed with a slew of black Mercedes-

Benz sedans that ringed the square, the bored chauffeurs scrolling their phones, waiting for the wealthy that descend on Place Vendôme to shop for diamond jewelry and Swiss watches. The square is a microcosm of luxury, one where everyone who is not a multimillionaire can easily be made to feel small. A coffee at the Ritz Paris hotel next door costs 21 euros, and you can sit only at the bar, because, darling, you are not staying at the Ritz Paris. The Schiaparelli atelier is what you’d expect it to be—a gorgeous, old-world salon with high ceilings, parquet floors, sleek furniture, ornate moulding, and stark white walls. Amongst the art on the walls are two sketches by Salvador Dalí, a nod to a long, collaborative friendship between Elsa Schiaparelli and the Surrealist painter. Only the rail lighting and decidedly contemporary chandeliers remind you that you are in the 21st century. That and the clothes, of course. Schiaparelli, the house’s founder, built her reputation on Surrealism and whimsy, and there is a touch of that in the interior, especially where the walls are covered in white paper that’s molded in parts to give it a subtle, creased volume. You don’t notice it at first, until you do, and one can’t help but appreciate the understated wit that went into this offsetting of the atelier’s unapologetic poshness. Even within such a decadent atmosphere,


Roseberry remains refreshingly open and unpretentious. The hallowed halls of couture have rubbed off on neither his demeanor nor his appearance. When we met, he wears a navy t-shirt, black pants, and a pair of Asics sneakers. It could have been a Park Slope Dad uniform of those who, in Karl Lagerfeld’s immortal words, “gave up on life.” Instead, it was a well-fitted and stylish ensemble, put together by someone who clearly knows how clothes work. Roseberry’s unfussy appearance said, unapologetically, I am here to work. His handsome face, framed by a salt-and-pepper beard, wore an expression of calm confidence that one might not expect from a designer who would be presenting a brand-new collection in just 10 days. The clothes that Roseberry designs are at once whimsical and serious. Their whimsy is on the surface, especially in the way they are embellished with anatomically shaped brass hardware, but also in sly details like inflatable compartments on a leather coat. It can be slightly unsettling, as in a pair of shoes that have golden talons sticking out of them, or just plain funny, in a sweater with a pair of golden breasts jutting out. There are references to Schiaparelli’s work, but they are subtle, and you’d need to know the history of the house to get them. One is hardware in the shape of lips, which originally appeared on a belt buckle designed by Schiaparelli and Dalí.


Schiaparelli artistic director Daniel Roseberry at a Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2022 fitting.

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EUGENE RABKIN: TELL ME ABOUT HOW YOU GOT INTO FASHION, AND WHAT LED YOU TO SCHIAPARELLI. DANIEL ROSEBERRY: I was born into the church, and that’s a key part of my upbringing. My dad is

A Fall/Winter 2022 look.

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a preacher and founded a new church outside of Dallas. I think I was the first baby baptized in it. At the same time, my mom came from a family of artists. Her mother was an incredible painter. Two of my uncles are artists. My grandmother on my dad’s side was a sculptor. Our house was filled with art, and it was great because it wasn’t other people’s art. I was raised with those two worlds informing me as a kid, and at the same time I was gay and growing up in Dallas, so there was also that subtext. When I moved to New York it was a huge departure for me and also a huge release because I went to fashion school. I was so terrified to go to New York that when I graduated from high school, I first became a Christian missionary for a year and traveled in the Middle East, which was fascinating, like a whole other life. And then, long story short, I dropped out of FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology] and ended up at Thom Browne. I felt like I was like becoming an adult all over again. Then, after 10 years, I knew I needed to make a change, to step out on my own, but I didn’t know what that would look like. So, I left without anything planned, and then within six months I was here. ER: WERE YOU DESIGNING WOMEN’S AT THOM BROWNE? DR: First men’s, then women’s, then both. Thom and I had a very close working relationship. We shared an office for years. We were really inseparable in that way; Thom always used the reference of how Alber [Elbaz] had worked for Geoffrey Beene. It was really second nature for both of us, so leaving was really hard. I have nothing but gratitude for everything that Thom taught me. ER: HOW DID IT FEEL COMING HERE? DID YOU KNOW MUCH ABOUT SCHIAPARELLI? DR: I knew it was a left-of-center house. I didn’t know that much about her except the key things that I learned at FIT, the iconic pieces, the shoe on the head, the lobster on the dress, and that was basically it. But I knew she was the first one to do collaborations. When I started, they did this big project, like a thesis on Schiaparelli, and it just became a catchall that let me apply myself in the way I wanted; it became a place where Surrealism really started to reveal itself and to speak to me. I had been such an active daydreamer at Thom Browne, but the structure of the house was very specific and rigid, which is the beauty of that brand. Learning about Schiaparelli was like the doors were being flung open. The first show I did felt like a second coming out, like a real introduction to a much more intimate part of myself. Here I just love having something to play with, I love the heritage of the house.

ER: YOUR WORK IS INFUSED WITH WIT BUT YOU INSIST THAT IT’S NOT CAMP. HOW DO YOU DRAW THE DISTINCTION? DR: I think that Schiaparelli is never really making a parody of itself, and the beauty of camp is in parody and inverting things that are serious. When I look at Elsa’s work, there’s always this sense of humor in the way that she doesn’t seem to be taking things too seriously; even in the construction of the clothes, there’s a spontaneity and intensity to it; it’s very bricolage in the best way possible, and as an American I really respond to that. Sometimes I look at other creations from that time from other houses and they leave me a little cold, because they don’t have that visual punch that Elsa’s work always had. Her work really set us up to make things today that would work digitally. I never felt like she was taking herself too seriously, and I think that she had a really biting sense of humor, and yet at the same time it was always deeply chic, and that’s what we always come back to here when we’re in fittings. Are we going into camp, is it becoming a joke? And how do we walk that line of maintaining a sense of humor but make it that specific “hard chic,” as she called it. ER: THERE IS ALSO A SERIOUS FLIP SIDE TO THE CLOTHES, WHICH ONE FEELS IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS. DR: I do feel that in some other parts of fashion the more conceptual or creative the clothes become, sometimes the level of luxury can take a dip. It’s really fascinating for me to join hypercreativity with making clothes that are not led by corporate machinery and marketing plans, but that maintain the highest level of luxury that is at the level of the great houses of the world. To not have price limits on construction, fabric, and trim is a real luxury. ER: WHICH PUTS YOU IN A UNIQUE POSITION. MOST HOUSES GO TO THEIR CUSTOMERS, HERE THEY HAVE TO COME TO YOU. DR: There are of course agonies and ecstasies on both sides of that coin. It is a rare privilege, really a dream, to be in this situation, but because the heritage of the house is so iconic and its legacy is largely kept very pure, it does have the weight of a brand in my mind. Like it or not, Elsa wasn’t a dressmaker, she was a brand maker. She was a brand genius. So I think that the future is very bright in terms of being able to expand in the right way, but as you said, still keeping this hyper- exclusive world. When people come here, they feel the weight of history while at the same time they are falling in love with the clothes. And we fit the couture in the last salon amongst the ready-towear pieces. So I’m constantly walking through,


A golden keyhole is another nod to Dalí, who used the objects in his paintings to symbolize a portal into the subconscious. The serious part of Roseberry’s work lies in materials and construction. The quality of Schiaparelli’s offerings is uncompromising, as befits a couture house. As I toured the atelier, I could not help but pet the fabrics of the garments and turn them inside out to look at the seamwork. All of this luxury is not only appropriate, but also strategic. The brand’s owner, Italian billionaire Diego Della Valle, who is also the owner of Tod’s, does not seem to be concerned with immediate return on investment. During our interview, Della Valle came into the salon, and Roseberry asked me to pause the interview so that he could show Della Valle some of his new work. Stately and impeccably mannered, Della Valle apologized for interrupting us and was gone as swiftly as he appeared. Roseberry, who is 36 (one year younger than Schiaparelli was when she delivered her first collection), freely acknowledges that it’s not only his surroundings that are luxurious, but also his position. Freed from commercial constraints, he is able to indulge in his own vision of what a modern couture house should look like.

encountering clients and seeing their faces light up as they fall in love with things that they know are uniquely theirs. It’s special. ER: IT’S VERY RARE TO ENCOUNTER A PLACE LIKE THIS, BECAUSE FASHION TODAY IS SO DRIVEN BY COMMERCIAL CONCERNS. OFTEN WHEN I WALK INTO A STORE, THE PRESSURE TO SELL IS IN THE AIR AND IT’S A TURNOFF. DR: I think it’s a turnoff for so many of us who fell in love with fashion in a different era, and who devoted our lives to fashion because of that earlier time. Of course there’s a customer who’s not thinking like that at all, but I really feel devoted to this idea of making fashion that speaks to why I fell in love with it. And I think that’s why people have responded to our couture in the way that they have. It’s like a great song that you haven’t heard in a long time, but you know all the words. ER: HOW DO YOU DELINEATE BETWEEN COUTURE AND READY-TO-WEAR IN YOUR WORK? DR: The ready-to-wear is booming, relatively speaking. We have had such an incredible response to it; as soon as product arrives, it’s gone. But creatively, the couture is like a hyperpersonal secret that you keep with your team for three months. I always ask the team, “Do you think people realize how much heart goes into making clothes sometimes?” In couture, especially in a house like Schiaparelli, there’s a level of emotional devotion to the process that I don’t think you can find in a billion-dollar brand. I strongly believe in the power of nonverbal communication when it comes to clothes, and I think people can feel it.

ER: THE HARDWARE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF WHAT YOU DO. UNLIKE WITH MOST BRANDS, WHERE THERE IS A CLEAR DELINEATION BETWEEN CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES, WITH SCHIAPARELLI IT’S A HOLISTIC PROPOSITION. DR: From the beginning, the hardware and the jewelry were the best place and the most natural way to express the heritage of the house and specifically the Surrealism. Eventually it started to bleed into the rest of the collection. Most garments are designed with hardware to accentuate or develop the collection. Sometimes, we really build the garments around that idea. I want clothes that can announce themselves the minute you see them—and the hardware is a key part of that. ER: TELL ME A BIT ABOUT HOW YOU APPROACH A NEW COLLECTION? DR: There are two ways to talk about it. One is the practical side. Here, I always look at the collection that we just did. I print out the last couture collection about two to four weeks after we show it, and then I look at it and say, “Okay, what worked? What didn’t work?” I’m a Virgo three times over. So I’m very practical in that way. And I love being strategic. How do we make this even more engaging and even more exciting the next time? So it’s about taking what we’ve learned from this collection and adding another layer to it. And then we add about 30 percent of a total unknown. And then we go into the abyss. It always starts with a mountain of research in a war room full of [mood] boards to see what presents itself. There’s one museum visit normally to see some vintage Schiaparelli. And often it can be just one garment that unlocks this whole other dimension of the collection. And then it’s sketching, lots and lots of sketching on the weekends, and the moment that we start fitting, the inspiration boards go. The moment that we get into 3D, it’s a totally different feeling. I always have the images in my mind that are informing the season, or a character that I feel like we want to capture. But then it becomes more of a collaborative process with the atelier. There are like 20 to 25 fittings for a couture collection that last all day. It’s a very joyful, labor-intensive process for everyone. Some garments take weeks to get right, and some are draped in 10 minutes and you just know that it’s exactly right. I once heard from someone who was working with Rei [Kawakubo, designer of Comme des Garçons] that at this point in her career, she approaches every collection as if it could be her last. And I feel completely the opposite. Every collection is approached like it’s my first. There’s this idea of creative

innocence that is so important to me. And I feel like every season is like clawing your way back to a place of creative innocence. So you can truly create the most naive, hopeful, grandiose kind of mentality, because the moment you show the collection, you tell the secret, you give it all away to the world, and then it’s everybody else’s thing. But I really love that you have to unlearn and train yourself every season and start all over again. ER: IN A WAY THAT’S HOW I FEEL ABOUT WRITING. I PUT SO MUCH INTO A PIECE THAT ONCE IT’S OUT I FEEL LIKE I KNOW IT SO INTIMATELY AND I DON’T WANT TO LOOK AT IT ANYMORE. DR: My best friend’s a writer and we talk about this all the time. You give a piece of yourself away when you put work out there, especially to be reviewed and judged, and you have to do it over and over again. You have to train yourself to be able to get back to that place. Otherwise you become a cynic. ER: IT’S A VULNERABLE POSITION TO BE IN. DR: Completely! Which I love, but it comes at a cost. ER: SO, HOW DO YOU UNWIND? WHAT ARE YOUR CULTURAL INTERESTS? DR: When I go home after work, I’m in full selfsoothing mode. I just watch whatever I want to watch. Right now, I’m actively obsessed with the young Harrison Ford. There’s a beautiful poster of Raiders of the Lost Ark in a gallery by my apartment, which I have my eye on because I want to buy it for my bedroom. I know this is probably not the most exciting answer, but I think it’s cool. I mean, isn’t that where inspiration comes from?


THE ULTIMATE DIVINE Ask any artist and the meaning of their North Star will be different. Changing and challenging their own disciplines, these six talents explain how creativity informs their personal expressions. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KOBE WAGSTAFF ALL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES CHANEL RESORT 2023

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CHAYSE MONTOYA Actor and Writer

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“I follow what puts me into a creative flow state. It’s about being reflective of truth and holding onto that in your performance or in your writing.”


“Creativity is where the most authentic piece of myself resides. It’s a dreamscape I drift off to, making my highest inner ruminations known, making the unfeasible wholly realized.”

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“For me, the practice of creativity is about discovery, desire, solitude, longing, fear, uncertainty, collaboration, and persistence.” 210 culturedmag.com


“Creativity, like washing my hands, is an itch I have to scratch.” culturedmag.com 211


“At its best, creativity is resourcefulness disguised as curiosity.” 212 culturedmag.com

KOBE WAGSTAFF Photographer

“Creativity is to know no bounds—to transcend the restrictive space thrown upon one’s self, to recognize the divinity that surrounds you. Creativity, the ultimate divine.” culturedmag.com 213







A trunk by Lego displayed in the Los Angeles leg of Louis Vuitton’s “200 Trunks 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition.”

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GLORIA STEINEM SAYS THAT “BAGGAGE IS BIOGRAPHY.” The noted activist—along with other visionaries such as Frank Gehry, Marc Jacobs and Stephen Sprouse, and even characters from The Simpsons—joins Louis Vuitton for a special project in celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of its founding craftsman’s birth. Of course, in this case, Steinem’s words do not refer to the emotional kind but rather the receptacles we use to carry our belongings when we travel. And no one is more associated with that kind of baggage than Monsieur Louis Vuitton himself. As all good legends do, the French house’s founder’s story begins with a journey. Dirtpoor, Vuitton had ambitions beyond his father’s profession as a miller, and snuck out of his rural family home in Eastern France at age 14. Vuitton spent two years walking to the capital—some 225 miles—and taking whatever jobs he could along the way. In 1837, he finally reached Paris. Vuitton’s arrival ironically coincided with the opening of the railroads in France, a huge growth in industry, and the emergence of new pastime for the leisure classes: travel by steam train. It was also a time of great creative growth in the arts, culture, and fashion. The Revolution was a fading memory, and the aristocratic classes were enjoying something of a re-emergence. Traveling required luggage, and the bourgeoisie of the time opted to store their clothing in large trunks. Made by hand, these majestic containers were constructed from leather stretched around a wooden frame with dimensions in accordance to the shelving measurements on trains. A profusion of luggage-makers sprung up, and in 1854, Vuitton launched his namesake company with a new invention: flat-topped trunks that could stack for easier storage during train rides. As well as his genius for the craft and acumen for business, Vuitton possessed an innate understanding of the underlying romance of travel, and how the luggage we bring on our journeys can often become a part of their collective stories. Steam trunks, as

they eventually became known, were capacious enough to carry unnecessary but sentimental items, and durable enough to last a lifetime. They were beautiful despite their scuffs and patina, and were as reassuring and reliable as a lifelong friend who gets better with age. (An original Louis Vuitton steamer trunk from 1890 was valued at $10,000 when it found its way on to The Antiques Roadshow in 2017.) So integral to the heritage of maison today, these trunks are celebrated alongside Louis Vuitton’s personal story in the traveling exhibition “200 Trunks 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition,” which features 200 original creations commissioned from visionaries representing different creative fields around the world. These far-flung contributors were invited to design a concept trunk in a manner of his or her choice, with each measuring 50 by 50 by 100 centimeters, representing approximately the same dimensions of Vuitton’s 1850s originals. The project began with 200 hours of Zoom calls, and took nearly a year to conceive and install. “We wanted to work with people who continue to amaze us: a vast, global, democratic variety of visionaries from all fields,” says Faye McLeod, the director of Louis Vuitton’s visual image studio, who concepted the exhibition and its accompanying window displays. “We gave them all the same brief: to think of their trunk as a vessel for an object, a dream, a future, a reflection, a desire. It was fascinating to see how this was interpreted through the creations.” The results were as varied as the creators themselves: Steinem decorated hers with excerpts from her writing in her signature scrawl; DJ Benji B made an audio version, housing classic 7” singles of his choosing; legendary creative Nigo was inspired by Japanese wrapping. “There were no rules for the project, and it was open to my own interpretation,” explains Brooklyn Balloon Company’s Robert Moy. “Given such freedom was daunting, and at first I wasn’t sure if I should make an ephemeral piece to be translated into

video or a physical trunk.” Eventually, he chose the latter, decorating his trunk with colorful inflated party balloons, which he dripped in epoxy, sanded, and polished to a high gloss before brush painting a mixture of Louis Vuitton logos and smiley faces onto each. “The idea challenges [the balloon’s] typical manifestation as an ephemeral and lightweight object,” he explains. By contrast, the Los Angeles-based conceptual artist Jwan Yosef worked with the idea of undressing, first painting a canvas that he then “unstretched” over the trunk, “revealing the rawness of this object that is not meant to be seen,” to create a feeling of “monumental intimacy.” Explains the artist: “New experiences can be a force as strong as gravity, taking you out of your comfort zones and into the unknown.” While the 200 creatives presented as many individually unique ideas, there was an underlying, unifying motive for McLeod behind the project: “What was so important to me from the very start was to show that creativity is at the heart of everything our business does today, to make Mr. Louis Vuitton proud, and to tell creators and future creators that Louis Vuitton is an amazing canvas to collaborate with. I think the project does that. The windows engage with clients and passers-by, and the exhibition really welcomes them in, allowing them to explore and be a part of our creativity.” In 1892 Louis Vuitton passed away in Asnières-Sur-Seine, France. The city was the first site of the exhibition, which began last year and stopped off in Singapore before moving to LA, where it debuted exclusive spaces dedicated to Moy, Yosef, Gehry, and Benji B. In 2023, its adventure will culminate at Sotheby’s, where the trunks will be sold at auction, with the proceeds going towards a program that aims to address inequality and professional access gaps in various creative fields. Dispersed into different homes, each individual object will then set off on its own new adventure once again.

A trunk by DJ Benji B.

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Installation view of Louis Vuitton’s “200 Trunks 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition” show in Los Angeles.

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A trunk by Nigo.

Installation view of Louis Vuitton’s “200 Trunks 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition” in Los Angeles. Below: A trunk by Gloria Steinem.

A trunk by DJ Benji B.

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A trunk by Jean-Michel Othoniel. Right: A trunk and installation by Brooklyn Balloon Company.

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