DETROIT DESIGN ENTERTAINMENT ART & FASHION
FALL 2016 + ISSUE 5
DEAF’s annual art issue, which profiles art trailblazers, explores many different areas of art and commerce. This special issue celebrateste the artists that are shaking things up in metro Detroit. Within the issue’s pages, you’ll find Tiff Massey, Alan Davidson, Jolie Altman, Brad Greenhill, Christian Hurttienne and many others conveying their art in many different forms.
Walter Benjamin wrote that “ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects.” In an effort to explore the limitations of this concept, we have invited artists from many different fields to consider their art as both an individual and instituting activity, as well as the relationships, intimate or problematic, that people have with the art they live with. How does desire, the thrill of the creation, and identity play into viewing? Collecting? Consuming? What constitutes a collection? What is art? ART-the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. We believe art is everything from the jewelry that you where, to the food you consume, the building you’re standing in and what hangs on its walls. Acknowledging that viewing content impacts the context not only of what is scene but what already exists, we conceived this issue to itself be a collection. Launching with four areas such as architecture, artist profile, photography and product design followed by an entertainment feature of Flint native Sandra Bernhard. Sandra’s career as an actress started with the feature film “King of Comedy” and continues to expand with numerous comedic roles and award winning projects. This month, none other than pioneering artist and icon Tiff Massey is on the cover. The cover photo of the Kresge Foundation grant recipient and sculptor was shot by the talented Boswell Hardwick followed by a powerful studio portrait of Massey in true majestic stature. Avid art collector and designer Jolie Altman takes us into her studio and dazzles us with her globally influenced art jewelry while Alan Davidson shows that sexism works both ways with his intimate look at the male and female forms. Don Kilpatrick explores ”tradigital” relief printmaking or woodcuts with digital colorization for falls accessory feature.
As with any issue, there is always room for more, and we may not yet be done with this subject. But we thought it fitting to end 2016 by visiting this issue in its expanded form, as a marker of our activities over these months, and a suggestion of how we’re looking ahead.
CH Architects combine passion and knowledge to build some of the most exciting new projects the City of Detroit has since in years. Their approach is simple, build things that people wanna live and look at in an urban environment.
10 – Pantry Raid / DESIGN – McLenon+DuCharme
6 – Christian Hurttienne / ARCHITECTURE – Jeff Newsom
We’re hungry for snacks that are delectably dripping in design. Good design is prevalent in many places that we frequent every week. Many perfectly packaged gems are stocking the aisles of your local supermarket and we’re here to remind you that inspiration is lurking everywhere..
12 – Jolie Altman / PROFILES – Alexandra Mauro Jewelry designer, artist, and folk art collector Jolie Altman creates one of a kind jewelry designs with rare and unusual exotic beads and materials from across the globe. Living in Birmingham, she handcrafts each piece of jewelry personally and travels extensively all over the world for inspiration.
14 – Tiff Massey / ART – Kim Fay Tiff Massey is a Detroit artist who began her educational exploration in science, majoring in biology at Eastern Michigan University. As Massey’s desire to create emerged, a passion developed that started a journey in the study of metalsmithing which later lead to the fulfillment of a graduate degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art .
18 – Brad Greenhill / NIBBLES & BITS – Jeff Newsom It all started with a food truck and a beautiful partner and then became the most exciting and fresh spot in town to dine. We ask the questions and he lets us onto planet Katoi.
20 – Mixed Madness / COLLAGE – Lenka Laskoradova A long time ago Lenka created her first collage. The inspiration came to her from a simple desire to illustrate a story in a mixed media. We select fall’s most anticipated clothing and accessories and mix and match them to create something truly unique and magical..
24 – Selective Sexism / FASHION – Alan Davidson It started in a loft downtown and eneded up a lost weeknd. This seasons finest looks from Tom Ford and Givenchy are previewed with a sinister view of the human form generously displayed.
32 – Iconical Cut / ACCESSORIES – Don Kilpatrick III We take a look at some iconic items in the fashion world and put a classic yet futuristic spin on them with a handcut & digitally manipulative process featuring falls softest color palette.
36 – Sandra Bernhard / ENTERTAINMENT – Angela Gabriel She’s an American comedian, singer, actress and author who first gained attention in the late 1970s with her stand-up comedy, then in film. We sat down with her for an exclusive interview and came out excited to hear all the new new things she’s got cooking and how Flint made a stamp on her.
Angela Gabriel co-owns Detroit Vintage Collective in Ferndale, Michigan with her best friend Jennifer Thompson. She has worked as a visual merchandiser in London and has collaborated with celebrity stylists in Detroit and abroad. She studied art history at Wayne state University in Detroit. She has worked on special projects for the Detroit institute of Arts. In her spare time she runs half marathons and fights for social justice. P.36
Alexandra is passionate about keeping high fashion in Detroit. With a Bachelors degree in Apparel Merchandising and Journalism, she combines her love of fashion and writing into “The Nines”, a blog centered around putting a humorous spin on serious fashion. The art of dressing has been her obsession since childhood (which she blames on a pink taffeta dress her mom got her in ‘96), and now in her midtwenties, her life and career revolve around it. P.12
Kristina Marra is a co-founder and co-owner of Figo Salon, Kristina brings an uncompromising eye for innovative design to her work as a master hair stylist. With an artistic soul and a lifelong passion for hair design, Kristina’s work is cuttingedge yet elegant, sophisticated and glamorous. P.24
CREDITS: Cover: Photo/ Boswell Contents: 12/18 Photo Matt LaVere 14/ Photo Boswell 24/ Photo Alan Davidson Architecture: 6/ Photos courtesy of Christian Hurttienne Profile:12/ Photo Matt LaVere 13/ Photos courtesy of artist Art: 15/ Photo Boswell / Art photos courtsey of the artist Nibbles&Bits: 18/ Photos Matt LaVere Collage: 20/ Alexander McQueen bag-Gaultier Paris gloves 21/ Ronald VanDerKemp-Alexander McQueen bracelets 22/ Nina Ricci -Marc Jacobs Frangrance 23/ Kenzo Fashion: 24/ Photos Alan Davidson Hair/ Kristina Marra @ Figo MUA/ Melissa Keryn 24/ Tom Ford Pant $990 25/ Givenchy dress $2270 26/ Tom Ford Dress $3990 27/ Tom Ford coat $3290 jean $570 28/ Givenchy Jacket $956 All clothing courtesy of Neiman Marcus Troy Somerset Collection Models courtesy of Real Style Casting THANK YOU:
Without you im Nothing
ARCHITECTURE Trumbull Building 6
The Coe What is your design philosophy? Our philosophy is to always strive to create great architecture by combining our passion and knowledge of architecture with our experience in design and application in construction. Our goal is to create physical solutions for design problems that positively benefit all; the client, community and greater cultural environment, including what is best for our city. We continually push ourselves to learn from our experiences and advance our craft in an ever-evolving role toward enhancing our built environment. Can you tell us about some new projects? We have three new projects we are very excited about: Our own development of a 10 unit condominium project on Bagley in Corktown referred to as the Bagley 10, two mixed-use buildings surrounding the Bagley/Trumbull historic buildings in Corktown, and a mixed-use/row-house project in West Village. The projects are low-rise market rate buildings within historic districts, and will be substantial additions to the existing fabric of historic architecture. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your creative process? Our approach begins with a program as defined by the constituency we are working with and ultimately for. This group quite obviously includes the client/end user, but we often also consider the broader context of extended stakeholders that are affected by the realization of any built solution. In the early stages of any project process starts with quantifying the design problem (building program) with the unique characteristics any individual site offers and requires. We objectively understand the context within which we are tasked to design and look for inspiration and critical thinking, then seek and analyze precedent examples of similar projects in approach, design, functionality, practicality and context. Our passion for Detroit and our experience kick in to produce designs that are well thought out, considered and exciting to us. We critique ourselves with all of the office participating. We refine several times with our clients, and produce what we feel is a good design. What has been going on recently in your practice? We are in a growth phase for the office. We are adding people and moving our office to the Block, on Cass Park. Formerly the Kresge Company Headquarters Building, we will be on the first floor southeast corner, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re excited about the activity happening in the immediate neighborhood. We are also looking for good people to compliment our office. We have a lot of varied work ahead, and our opportunity is in front of us! What residential projects have you been working on? We have been working toward designing and building new modern houses for families in North Corktown of Detroit. We have proposed to couples/families, that we work with them to design their house and purchase vacant land from the Detroit Land Bank Authority. We also work with the future homeowners in construction costing, and provide the necessary documents for them to achieve traditional bank financing for a new home. Each house will be different, and striking, based on our client and our design philosophy. 8
Bagley Ten Apartments
North Corktown Houses
What is your dream project? Our dream project is to design and build a multiple building site, which envelopes our philosophy and creative process and responds to the city and community with best practices of architecture today. You work on bringing in contemporary ideas into a lot of your work. What is that like? We strive for the best for Detroit with design for today. We want to push new building design to be more impactful to our culture, for our city. Of all of your projects, what would you want to live in? We always want to live in all of them. It’s kind of weird, in the sense that we design based on our own experiences of living in different spaces. What’s new is always in the forefront, so we would probably live in the Bagley 10 project in Corktown, first. Who are your favorite artists? architects? Our favorite classic artists are Piet Mondrian and Jan Vermeer. Each have a ridged format for scale and proportion, color and texture, they are very different in style, and yet they achieve the same balance and harmony with their work. Architects? Well, we don’t really subscribe to star-architects, because it’s more about the work, like the artists. Current modern work in other cities is probably our favorite type of architecture. They are by a host of other architects, and well worthy of attention, especially work which involves the city and the community. What are the most inspirational spots for you in the metro Detroit? Definitely the Detroit Institute of Arts, the main branch of the Detroit Public Library, and just being in downtown Detroit to be around the buildings, which create our environment. Tell us about your firm’s infrastructure? We are a Revit office working on Mac’s. So much of what we do is about presentation and therefore communication. We find our world getting smaller with the aid of our technology infrastructure. What are your goals and inspirations? Our goals and inspirations are varied and personal. An over-arching goal is to do good work, always. But to do more than good, and create impactful spaces, whether inside a building or around the building with a designed site, will always bring satisfaction. The desire to be better than expected, and achieve good will throughout all of what we do, is our inspiration. What are your views on the Detroit architecture marketplace? Now is a good time to be an architect in the City of Detroit – finally! We hope we are a participant and contributor to the life of architecture in this city and region. We need to boldly build upon what we have and let Detroit stand as the city it is, and compliment our neighbor, with ever better design. The marketplace will get better with every good design brought by the good architects here. 9
DESIGN CHIC & DELICIOUS STOCKLISTS
Pantry Raid McLenon+DuCharme
his issue we’re hungry for snacks that are delectably dripping in design. Good design is prevalent in many places that we frequent every week. Many perfectly packaged gems are stocking the aisles of your local supermarket and we’re here to remind you that inspiration is lurking everywhere. Whether you’re on the hunt for a tasteful host gift or simply want to stock your cupboards with something as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious, we’ve got you covered.
FEATURES: HOT FOR CHOCOLATE As stationary aficionados these lux packages have us at half mast and our mouths watering. Mast Brothers takes a simple approach to modernizing classic ingredients without pushing the envelope too far. Flavors such as maple, olive, goats milk, and smoke are as delightfully rich as they are individual works of art. Mast Brothers Chocolate - Plum Market, 6565 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield THE SCOOP With a selection ranging from biscuits and jam to sweet corn and black raspberries, it’s a no brainier you have to try Jeni’s ice cream. A simplistic white carton and signature pop of electric orange typographic genius later and the deal is sealed. Not to be biased but the ylang ylang and fennel is the best. Try it. Jeni’s Ice Cream Whole Foods Market, 115 Mack Avenue, Detroit A TASTE OF HONEY While Lunardi takes a simply classic approach to design, this Tuscan honey is certainly not lacking in dynamic flavor. A base of acacia honey is topped with shavings of black truffles enlightening the palette with a unique juxtaposition of flavors that is both sweet and earthy. Serve alongside slices of parmesan or simply spread on a piece of white crusty bread. Lunardi Black Truffle Honey Formaggio Kitchen, Formaggiokitchen.com
HIGHER GROUND There’s something so typographically retro that drew us to our first can of Café du Monde but the earthy, bitter, and spicy taste of chicory left us thirsty for another cup. With its roots in New Orleans, chicory coffee has become relatively common at many household grocers throughout metro Detroit, however. Café du Monde Meijer, Multiple Meijer Locations
CHERRY-O-BABY Luxardo Cherries, the original maraschino, have been inhabiting market shelves since the early 1900s. Candied with Maraca syrup, the Luxardo cherry is a denser maraschino than you’d expect. Bring Luxardo into the mix and confidently stir up some next-level Manhattans for your friends. Luxardo Cherries - Market Square, 1964 Southfield Rd, Birmingham
FOR THE ROSES We’ve never met a bottle of rose water that we didn’t like. Made in Lebanon, Carlo rose water is often referred to as the sweetest of the rose waters. Concocted from one hundred percent distiled rose petals, Carlo is as great an addition to any baked good as is to your fragrance collection. Carlo Rose Water - Markethall Foods, Markethallfoods.com
OLIVE IT When you’re on the charcuterie diet, olive oil is king. So many olive oils are immaculately packaged but Wonder Valley hits the nail on the head of aesthetics with a gracefully simplistic figure, bold font, and graphic inclusion of sunflower yellow. We’ve been watching Wonder Valley since its conception and their quality oils remain perfectly paired with a strong visual identity. Wonder Valley Olive Oil Wonder Valley, welcometowondervalley.com
A FAIRY GOOD DRINK We’re no strangers to the aromatic, sweet, and distinctive taste of anise. While we have yet to find the Absinthium Liquore All’assenzio from Pastile Leone available for purchase in the United States, we were overjoyed to find the pastiles available in town. Hands down it’s one of the most beautiful little boxes we’ve ever seen. A satisfying amalgamation of Art Nouveau design with a contemporary approach is delightfully refreshing and leaves us hungry for more. Pastiglie Leone Absinthe Pastil es - Mil s Apothecary, 1744 W. Maple Road, Birmingham
THE CABBAGE MATCH Fermentation is in again. We’ve been snacking on kraut ever since grabbing our first jar of The Brinery’s at DIB. Pickled in Ann Arbor and grown throughout Michigan, every product that The Brinery brings to the table is worthy of your shopping card (kimchi anyone). Looks good on your countertop, supports hardworking neighborhood farms, and settles well in your Belly…let’s get pickled. The Brinery Sauerkraut - Detroit Institute of Bagels, 1236 Michigan Ave., Detroit
JOLIEALTMAN riving to Jolie Altman’s house for breakfast, I pull up on a perfectly suburban street. However, walking up to Jolie’s home, I am quickly transported into another world. The walkway lined with billowing trees, over-sized lawn chairs parked on the front grass, a glass addition off-the house that gives a sneak-peek inside the home-I soon realize I am in another world-Jolie’s world. Like its owner, the incredible art on the inside is unique, unpretentious, and possesses the particular joy of a childlike heart. She proudly shows me her father’s hip bone, encased in lucite, duct-tape shoes made by an 8th grader, her own son’s painting, blown up and professionally framed. Her heart is on display throughout her whole home, but it isn’t until we walk into her workspace, with bookshelves and tables filled with her jewelry, that I can see what her soul is made of, and it’s the stuff of dreams. How did you get your start in jewelry design? I’ve always been creative. When I was little, I would be so bored on Sundays, I just started to create. Painting, making little mice out of glass, anything I could do with my hands. My mother was also creative, she is a jewelry designer too, and was one of the first to use African beads, long before it was in Vogue. I suppose it’s just in my blood. How did African beads become a main-medium for your jewelry? I am very attracted to African Art- the textiles, the colors, it has such an organic feeling. Color and texture are huge for me, and when I see the beads, it’s like a painting, a canvas. I can see it forming in my head, and I can feel when it’s right. I’ve also done volunteer work in Africa, so I feel very connected to the culture. How often do you create a piece? I feel the happiest when I’m being creative. Whether it’s my garden, my art, or my jewelry, I work on it every day to some capacity. When I think of a bracelet in my head I go put all the beads in a baggie, then go back and make it later. You have to show up, it’s everyday, and you have to put in the effort. How should one wear your pieces? It’s all about layering. Everything is made from different materials. I might have three of the same bead, but I don’t ever duplicate. The beads come from all over-Ohio, China, Afghanistan, Italy. Most are trade beads, and have moved all around the world. It is my hope that people will look at it and feel something, knowing the story behind it. I think it makes it more interesting and personal for the wearer. How do you sell your jewelry? You know, it took me a long time to consider it a business. I started out making the jewelry for myself, until my friend Melanie encouraged me to sell it. I hate the selling part, I just want to create! I get so excited about making the pieces, sometimes I have to be reminded it’s a business. My philosophy is you either get it or you don’t- I never push a sale. Where do you get your inspiration? I am most inspired by my children (3 boys, ages 18, 21 and 23), they are my driving force. I do this for my kids, and the best part is that I think they actually like me (cue Sally Field moment). My family is my religion, and it’s always been important to instill self-confidence and the value of family in my boys. I think they know that they can do anything, and they have to give respect to get it. They’re good people doing good things, and I think that’s a result of traveling, meeting people and being open to new experiences. Is travel also a main source of inspiration for your work? Absolutely. I’ve been a lot of places around the world, but I still get really inspired by small towns and my own community. It excites me to think that the world is happening, all while I’m sitting in my kitchen. I love to do things on my own, be open-minded, and meet creative people. There’s a real wonderment in driving around, in a small town, getting inspiration from everything. I see things everywhere that I am. When I travel to Ohio to get beads, I spill them all out on the front seat so I can see them. Sometimes, I get so excited I have to pull over and look at it all. Your home is filled with some incredible art (a rug made from a conveyor belt of a bakery, a 6ft tall Lollipop Girl, just to name a few)- how was it all accumulated? I am really moved by art, I can feel it in my gut when it’s right for me. I want everything in my home to be a reflection of my family and I. I can’t image someone telling me to match my couch with the walls. Some of the art, I’ve made, much of it is from untrained artists, I love the naivety. I am very drawn to faces, childlike art, things that make me laugh and smile. Nothing is too heavy or serious. My most valuable pieces are the ones my kids made. I love Americana, carnie artthere’s a story behind everything, it all has meaning. Who is your demographic for your jewelry? The best part about my jewelry is that there is no one demographic. My jewelry speaks to every age-girls in high school who stack the bracelets, to older women that mix it with their fine jewelry. I love that my work is enjoyed by women from all walks of life, all generations.
While initially, I came to interview ‘Jewelry Designer’, Jolie Altman, I walked away knowing Jolie Altman, creative badass. Whether it’s her home, her jewelry, her garden or her art- Jolie’s soul seems to live in everything she does. In her jewelry, she creates a wearable story-something that exceeds the value of a price tag. The energy in Jolie’s home is a direct reflection of her own personality- excited, yet warm. Uniquely different, but welcoming. Every room is like porn for the mind and eye, each corner filled with wonderment and intrigue. Jolie boasts that the house is a hub of activity, constantly filled with friends and family. Her philosophy? “If my car is in the driveway, come on in”. I may just have to take her up on that offer. - Alexandra Mauro
TIFFMASSEY hen I’m in New York I like to walk E10th scanning for residual vibes from my long-gone abstract expressionist heroes. From the ‘50’s through the ‘80’s, Washington Square and the East Village were immersed in a creative and turbulent revolution. Affordable studio space hosted both art dealers and drug dealers. Peggy Guggenheim, Annina Nosei and Mary Boone ushered uptown patrons to engage this unbridled talent. But from Jackson Pollock’s black-out drunk antics to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s gallery appearances in pajamas with a bird’s nest on his head, the performance of the counterculture was getting tired. The unruly artist is a distant memory. The art world is all business now. Art is a commodity with millions of dollars on the line. Collectors make a grab for an up-and-comer hoping to cash in on her ascent. The lurid draw of the Lower East Side resulted in eventual gentrification – it’s a similar cycle unfolding in Detroit. Can we retain our cred, support our artists and hold onto some of what made Detroit the city that it is; tough and gritty even when gainfully employed? Old money displays Old Masters as an indication of their wealth, while modern art fairs like Basel Miami and Frieze New York are packed with buyers looking to acquire work from the hottest artists. Detroiters don’t have to leave their own city to score some talent. As this city climbs out of the economic ditch, don’t forget to adorn your space with creative visual markers of our renewed vitality. Detroit made art bling. How did you get from biology at Eastern to metalsmithing at Cranbrook? My journey to art was not very fluid. When I was studying biology and chemistry at Eastern, I would take metals classes just to clear my head for a minute. Then I thought, “this fire and metal thing, there’s something here.” All of my instructors happened to have graduated from Cranbrook, so I applied, interviewed and that was all she wrote. I’ve always been influenced by jewelry. My father used to get custom jewelry made so I spent a lot of time in jewelry stores. I thought jewelry would be more commercial because it definitely is. A really great aspect or component of metals is fabricating. Making collectible one-of-a-kind pieces. No one is really doing that. You have a passion for Detroit and talk a lot about class and race. Can you extrapolate? This is where I’m from. It’s hard not to have a conversation about Detroit when everyone is having a conversation about Detroit. People ask for my opinion and I think they’re looking for me to join in these “new” conversations surrounding the city as if developers occupying the land building shitty ass architecture is supposed to be good for the city. I love Detroit but it’s hard for me to understand what’s happening here. A lot of the newness is not tackling issues that can actually save and build a city. If you keep building new shit and don’t have people to fill it or jobs for these people to occupy these spaces then what’s the point? We’re going to have buildings now that aren’t made with the same integrity as the architecture people are flocking here to see. This is about a land grab. It’s not about newness or talent. We’ve had tons of talent here. We haven’t had the resources to cultivate a lot of the talent to stay. Regarding race, Detroit has a huge race problem. Always has. It’s hard to have a conversation about Detroit, being an 80% black city, when you’re just showing all white faces and not examples of people of color. The native people of Detroit aren’t having the opportunity to sit at these tables and be heard. No one is even asking for their opinion. So, being that I have that platform, I choose to tell the truth. What has been the effect of going through a Red Bull cycle and being awarded a Kresge Fellowship? When I was at Red Bull, I was prepping for a solo exhibition at Simone deSousa Gallery as well as Red Bull. They were two totally different bodies of work that happened within three months. I was happy for the opportunity but it would have been nice to focus on one particular idea and execute to the fullest. It was a great experience and I have some friends that I’m definitely keeping forever. Kresge was amazing. It’s one thing to get a stipend but I think the professional development is worth ten times the money they give you. To be able to think about your creative practice in another way. Right now I think of my practice as bigger than me as one individual. In the modern manufactured art landscape, how important is professionalism? Professionalism is everything. Half of it is showing up and being present. You can be talented all day but if you don’t have people skills nobody’s probably gonna holla at you. You’re going to be overlooked every time. Being an artist is more than just being a maker. You become a business and how do you want that business to function? You’re creating a standard. I’ve created a standard for myself. I want to keep working on that and make it bigger and better. How was France? I participated in the Lille 3000 biennial. Detroit was invited as a national representative to put on an exhibition. There were several of us artists invited to represent Detroit. I happened to be the black representative. It was great for me to see exhibitions curated at that level. I’ve never seen anything so big in my life that was related to art. It was like the Thanksgiving Day parade mixed with the auto show but art. I think Detroit really represented. Millions of dollars were spent on art. Just the fact that you have that kind of funding for art. You can live and be an artist there. We don’t have that kind of infrastructure here to protect us. We basically have people in politics that are hiring their homies so they can get on or do whatever their agenda is and get more money. It’s much harder to be a working artist here. It’s all about the every day hustle. Then I went to Paris to check out the fashion exhibitions since I think I’m in between both of those worlds. Outside of the political, it was great. To see the support of the arts in that way was amazing. What’s in store for the future? Getting my Lifestyle brand off the ground. Fashion, installations, large scale public art. To work within the definition of bling, of what bling is. It’s jewelry, it’s shiny, it’s a way of life. Bling is definitely recognizable. The origins have traditional African roots, like an African King from Ghana who is always adorned in gold. I’m always referencing African culture and preserving symbols important to contemporary times. Hip Hop definitely adopted this way of adornment and transformed into a contemporary way of flaunting, stunting. My definition of bling is a hierarchy of materiality, so it’s not necessarily gold and diamonds because I think you can suggest wealth in other ways. I grew up in the ‘80’s and there’s Hip Hop. You see really large pieces. I make jewelry for that reason. I’m not making dainty things that you can’t see. It’s always going to be large. It’s always going to be in your face. People spend a lot of money on pieces, why hide it? - Kim Fay
THEY WANNA SING MY SONG BUT THEY DONT WANNA LIVE IT
REPRESENT QUILT CODE ONE
NIBBLES & BITS
The LADYBOY legend
ALL (his) FAVORITES Jeff Newsom atoi was born out of a cosmic joke a little over 2 years ago. Chef Brad wanted to open a restaurant and his business partner Courtney wanted a food truck to throw secret dinner parties with.They begged, stole, and borrowed to buy the cheapest truck they could findâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a broken down SWAT van formerly known as the Green Zebra, and got busy.
Chef Brad made Italian food. He cooked in Ann Arbor and Boston but over time he found himself drawn to the philosophy of balance found in south east asian cooking. Lime was replacing lemon, fish sauce was replacing salt, coconut milk was vying with dairy. Brad studied and executed traditional Thai dishes, Mediterranean dishes through a Thai lens, dishes that came to him in dreams.
A Tribe Called Quest
Dr Bronners peppermint
MacBook Pro 18
1984 Jeep Wrangler
David Thompson Thai Food Baseball Henri Matisse CVAP
In short, he made whatever the fuck he wanted. And people responded. Favorites became staples. Failures were forgotten. And the stories from Thailand started coming in from all directions.In two years Katoi has gone from running a guerrilla operation to having a permanent location and a team of 30+ strong. Each person on planet Katoi contributes to the culture, collective vision, and the future of the mothership. The mantra â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to learn something, just start doing itâ&#x20AC;? rings true in the magical spot on Michigan Ave called Katoi. Herewith, his other favorite things from the world of Brad Greenhill
Levis bootcut lowrise
Gaultier Paris gloves
Alexander McQueen bag
Ronald van der Kemp coat
Alexander McQueen bracelet
photography alan davidson
DON KILPATRICK III 32
AVA I L A B L E A T
BIRMINGHAM ROCHESTER STERLING HEIGHTS LUCIDOJEWELRY.COM
SANDRABERNHARD n uninhibited voice reason, Sandra Bernhard continues to make moves. Having started her career in the 1970s on the Richard Pryor Show she continues to enthrall audiences with wit, charm, and bluntness on her Siris Radio show, Sandyland. Sitting down for a phone chat with Sandy (she told me I could call her that) was as exhilarating as one can imagine. She holds Flint, Michigan to her heart and she is always reinventing herself. Angela Gabriel: Is it ok that we call you hometown girl, even though you’re originally from Flint? Sandra Bernhard--Well, you know, I spent so much time visiting relatives in Detroit when I was little. Flint is just sort of a satellite for Detroit. I wish it was a more plugged in satellite. Back in the day you’d always go to Detroit for everything! AG: Do you still have any family there? SB--No, there really isn’t anyone left in Flint proper. They all moved out years ago. I’ve been back a couple of times when I’ve gone into Michigan to perform. Some friends that I have in Detroit and I have gone into Flint and driven around. I actually have one friend, who I made recently on Twitter, and he recently lived there. So, I sort of have boots on the ground and knew somebody who was living there and struggling. You know, it’s a rough town. AG: What was it like growing up in the Midwest? SB--The time I was growing up, the Midwest was experiencing the automotive boom and industrial boom. Everything was just full steam ahead. It was the innocence of America. The America that people pine for and waxed nostalgically about. Every situation has its dark corners, that’s what makes life interesting, but I loved Michigan when I was little. You know, you’d walk to school, you’d come home for lunch, you’d play outside, you play outside in the summer until the sun went down. It was just a different time. It was sort of the last of the innocent times of the county. You know, the times that we would come into Detroit my parents would take me to the Fischer Theater – where I went to see Hello Dolly with Carol Channing- and it was great! Visiting relatives, going to bar mitzvahs, everyone was in one place. It was just a different time. AG: This all sounds like a happy time SB--Yes! It was. AG: I read your book, Confessions of a Pretty Lady, it’s actually one of my favorite books when I was a teenager. I love how you reflect your childhood to adulthood. In Confessions, you expressed wanting to entertain. Do you remember when you knew you wanted to be a comedian? SB--I knew I wanted to engage people. I think I was about five years old, my father was a doctor and his partner’s wife, Marlene Rosenbaum, she was one of those Flint country club ladies. She was boiling water to make pasta, she asked me, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and I said, “a comedienne.” She laughed and I said, “no, no, I’m going to be, I’m going to be!” and she just thought it was the cutest thing. But, of course as the years went by I wanted to be an entertainer, I wanted to be a singer, you know, I kind of wanted to do it all. At the heart of it, I knew how to make people laugh and get their attention. It was something I knew early on -I loved performing. AG: Did you find it to be difficult to break into performing as a comedian when you got older? SB--Oh yeah, it was very hard. When I graduated high school I traveled for a while. When I was 18 I moved to Los Angeles and started performing when I was 19. I was very young and unabashed, unafraid, probably believed in myself, and as the months and years went by I started to see the realities of the business. It didn’t take me that long to become successful. Fortunately, I did not become jaded and I never threw in the towel. I had my support system; friends, family, and people who believed in me. It was challenging because I was growing up as a person- these are the times when most people are in college and I was already on my own, supporting myself. I was working as a manicurist in Beverly Hills and totally self sufficient by the time I was 19 years old. You couldn’t even do that today! In L.A. or New York, you couldn’t live like that on your own. AG: I’m 30 years old and finally living on my own. I can’t even imagine doing this at 19… SB--Again! Completely different times. It was the mid-1970’s. A dollar stretched really far. I was always able to save money and live on my own and do whatever I needed to do to keep my career going. I always lived below my means, I’ve never been an extravagant person. AG: It sounds like you had a really great support system to help and guide you when and if times got tough. SB--Yes. Two really good friends, Paul Mooney, who was a writer and comedian who wrote for Richard Pryor and a lot of the big comics from back in the day. He was like my black soul brother angel who took me under his wing. The other was a friend of mine named Lotus Weinstock who was Lenny Bruce’s last girlfriend before he died. The two of them adored me and (separately) were like my surrogate Hollywood parents. I always had a place to land on my feet when things go discouraging. AG: So, I have to ask you about a character of yours that haunted me as a kid, Rhonda the Phone Operator from Pee Wee’s Playhouse. That character reminded me of this lady who worked the local bowling alley. She used to flirt with all the dads. SB--Oh, that’s hysterical! It was definitely fun. I wish I could have done it more than once. AG: I don’t know if it’s because I was raised in the Midwest, but there seems to be these distinct Midwestern traits about some of your characters and within your writing… SB--Growing up in Flint, it was just jam packed with characters. So many of my relatives were bigger than life broads- like this woman named Naomi Kauffman who was the wife of a doctor friend of my dad’s who claimed she found her diamond pinky initial ring in a crackerjack box. I mean, she was this body, just fabulous. People were just different. They were so unique and individual back then. I don’t know, when people had issues and problems they dealt with them differently than they do now. Even if somebody was neurotic, they managed to barrel through it. Maybe that’s not a good thing? I don’t know. People were just able to cope with life when I was growing up. AG: That’s the thing with your characters, let’s say Nancy from Roseanne, she was so funny, so off the wall yet incredibly engaging. Could you agree that that these traits are taken from your experiences from adolescence? SB--Yeah! And I think when you grow up around these kinds of people it becomes of your own identity by osmosis. If you spend enough time in a certain setting, good-bad or crazy- calm, it just affects you. I think for me it was great because I was exposed to all kinds of people growing up. Whether they were part of the Jewish community or patients of my dads, or my house keeper, Marie, who’s son drowned in the Flint river. I was exposed to all kinds of experiences and I was able to filter them to be able to access them now. They are part of my sense memory. AG: I don’t think many people are able to do that now. You really seem to have the ability to synthesize experiences of your life and not just build a character just on stereotypes. SB--It’s confessional. I think I have a great empathy for people. Even though my work is ironic. Sometimes, if I don’t like something and I find people hypocritical I will take them apart. It’s not:because of something cheap. I understand why some people are off the rails now in the world we’re living in and they can’t find identity so they glom onto politicians or people who make them feel that they have something to aspire to. Then you have to fold in social media and all the other elements of the technological era which adds another barrier between people and the human experience. I grew up in a time where you had to sit for sometimes hours as a kid and wait for your parents to do things. So, it’s like what did you do? You read, you look at people, you draw a picture, but you’re there. You’re present. We were distracted by a video game. You’re looking out the window and you see things that keep you engaged. AG: How do you stay engaged to now? SB--I find people fascinating. I like people. I like to be around people. I don’t want to be around things or images on a scene. I am very comfortable with people. I know how to talk to people in every setting and I am not intimidated and I also can suss out a situation very quickly and adjust my temperature to the temperature of the room, so to speak. AG: Growing up, I wouldn’t have called myself an outsider, but I certainly was not a follower. Reading your books definitely resonated with the longing for a strong female voice who does not care about what others think. In the past, you’ve been described as “in your face,” “foul mouth” but I love that you are not afraid to speak your mind. I don’t think people do it enough.. SB--Thank you!! I agree. I’ve tempered it over the years. I don’t feel the need to be in people’s faces maybe as much as I did, let’s say 15-20 years ago because everyone is in everyone’s face now once removed via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or however people troll each other and torture each other. My goal was never to hurt anybody but to hold up a mirror and say, “Hey! This is who you are and you should take a look at it!” I still do it, I guess, in a gentler way because I think people are exhausted and they’ve been pummeled. I don’t want to be one of those people who contributes to somebody’s fragility. I think there’s a way of exposing foilbles and people’s emotions without beating them up. AG: When did it start to change for you? Did it happen when you became a mother? SB--Part of it. I think it’s really more about the time. It’s like a wave washes over you and takes away a layer of sand and artifice and I think that’s just how life is. You grow and keep getting closer to who you really. You also have to be somebody who is strong enough and clear enough who is living in these very complex- yet not very intelligent times- and find a way into it and say things that matter, you know, affect people in ways that hopefully are upliftingwithout being abusive. I think you have to be very tempered balance person to be a performer. AG: Because you are naturally comfortable to be around anybody and are aware of to how the the world is changing, it sounds like you are saying that your creative flow adapts… SB--Yeah, it just has to. You just can’t stay the same. It would be boring for you, the performer and not very inspiring for the audience. So, you got to find a way of catching the waves and with each wave, ride it in the way you have to to get back into shore. AG: I could not agree more. That’s a great way to interpret all challenges. With all that being said, what can audiences expect to to see you in? SB--Well, what I do daily is my radio show on Siris called Sandyland 12-1 daily on Radio Andy (Andy Cohen’s channel). I curate music, conversation, and ideas for an hour a day. I have guests and I go off on these free form funny flights of fancy, cultural observations, disseminations, sort of what I do on stage but in a little one hour cultivated show. I’m writing a couple of different projects for television. I’m starting to put together another book- I hope that pans out but so many different people are writing books these days and they’re all confessionals- as you know since you read my book a long time ago, you know I’ve been doing that for a long time. I need to find the right home for my book. As for my acting, I’m in the new season of Difficult People. It’s a cute show. I’m constantly looking for my next acting gig and going out on the road and performing. I have a lot going on. All the time. AG: Preparing for the interview, I did a quick Google search to be sure I was caught up on all of your latest projects, and all I could think was “my god, she’s always busy!” SB--It’s necessity and it’s want. I love being busy. I love working. I have a lot to say- everyday. That’s why I love this radio show. It’s, like, I walk in and boom! and whatever just happened I can talk about it. It’s really fun because no one edits me or tells me what to do. Now more than ever that’s a real luxury- and some one pays me to do it! I t’s a win-win. Of course my daughter’s 18 and she’s going off to college so I have to pay for that. Necessity on that front but always more desire to do what I do and enjoy it. And, having so much fun getting to do it. AG: I can’t wait to check out your upcoming projects. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat and inspire me. We can’t wait to see what you get into next! SB--Oh no, thank you! It was a delight. We are working on getting back to Michigan to do some performances soon! -Angela Gabriel