Reflections On Art and Purpose
Ebon Heath Toyo Tsuchiya Emily Soto Iceland
Ori Carino Ladd Brothers Ian Ruhter Raad Studio
Frank Gehry Willis Roberts Erik Almas Dan Berger
Jamel Shabazz Cass Calder Smith Katie Gallagher Yves Kortum
Henrik Adamsen Fermento + Fermento Charlie Nguyen Kim Sundaram Tagore
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Writers Vita Duva, Portia McGroarty, Richard Koegl, Mary Filipiak, Jack Raplee, Olivia Durst, Michelle Cacciatore, Sean Kehoe, Falguni Desai, Simon Constable, Jonathan Judd, Gabriela Griffith, Abigail Nelson, Ted Riederer
Photographers Willis Roberts, Emily Soto, BJ Fermento, Henrik Adamsen, Ian Ruhter, Yves Kortem, Erik Almas
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Art The Future of Art According to Sundaram Tagore 16 How Ebon Heath Listens with His Eyes 24 The View from Outside: Toyo Tsuchiya 38 Crafting the Values of the Ladd Brothers 44 Hope Amidst the Rubble
Design Frank Gehry 56 Modern Aesthetics and the Comfort of Home 36 Where the Sidewalk Doesnâ€™t End
Film Looking Through the Oscilloscope with Dan Berger 74 Jamel Shabazz
Fashion Hysteria Time Warp Blond Chic Meanwhile In Midtown Yves Kortum Henrik Adamsen 152 Black is the New Black: Katie Gallagher
Persuit The Butterfly Effect of Charlie Nguyen Kim 166 New Journey Old Path: Ian Ruhter
Moby: Reflections On Art and Purpose
Crosby Street Hotel 196 Saffire Frycinet 200 Iceland
KANSAS CITY’S LITERARY GIANT Rarely does a parking garage anywhere garner widespread attention in the design world. After all, one could argue that few structures favor function over aesthetics more than those constructed for the sole purpose of providing temporary housing for unmanned motor vehicles. All that changed in 2004, when the parking garage for the Kansas City Central Library became the “Community Bookshelf.” Designed by a team from Dimensional Innovations of Shawnee Mission, KS, and constructed by J.E. Dunn Construction in cooperation with the Kansas City Public Library, the structure became a monument to literary pursuits, and quite possibly the most attractive parking garage in the U.S. if not the world.
THE FUTURE OF ART ACCORDING TO SUNDARAM TAGORE By Falguni Desai
As I sit in the office at the gallery, I am surrounded by white. The table, the walls and even the framed pieces behind and in front of me are all white with hints of silver and grey. One bold artwork defies the rules. Its bright, cobalt painted tin metal squares are connected by brass rivets on a canvas that hangs majestically to my right. It’s the only color in this arctic setting and my eyes linger on it. Sundaram Tagore is dressed in a black mandarin collar jacket. His piercing eyes and friendly stance immediately make an impression. If manners make the man, he has already won. But Tagore is no ordinary man, and for that matter, no ordinary art gallerist. His family’s legacy and contributions to India’s cultural heritage go back more than 300 years. The Tagore name is synonymous with the arts and humanities in India. The family’s patronage of the arts, both Indian and European, date to the 18th Century. Their contributions to the Bengal Renaissance from the 1790s to the 1940s were numerous and highlighted by poetry, music, writing and education reform. Most notably, Sundaram’s great granduncle, Rabindranath Tagore, was an Indian poet, playwright and musician and the first nonEuropean to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. He composed India’s and Bangladesh’s national anthem and was the founder of Viswa Bharati University, in West Bengal, on the family’s Santiniketan estate.
Despite having what could be considered a royal family heritage, Tagore is not looking back. He’s passionate about creating cross-cultural dialogue between East and West through art. The Sundaram Tagore galleries, located in Manhattan’s Chelsea and Upper East Side, as well as in Hong Kong and Singapore, showcase artists who cross boundaries and synthesize different ideas and cultures in their artwork. I asked about his selection process and how he decides whether a piece will be part of his gallery. I wondered whether globalization and the accessibility of art is leading to less culturally distinct artwork? Is more exposure to art making artists less individual in their style? Tagore’s take on this is that all artists look at other art and they always have. He cites that throughout history, artists have borrowed styles and visual elements from other cultures. He looks for artists who capture the essence of a culture or place. For Tagore it’s this quality that matters the most. Sometimes it’s the foreigner who captures the beauty of a culture that is not his or her own. It may be the stranger in a strange land who is able to see the things that its inhabitants don’t notice anymore He talked about the future of art. Having studied art history and gained exposure to the arts and humanities throughout his childhood, he brings a unique sensibility to what he calls “the flattening of the art world.” Only 20 years ago, before the Internet, people could only see art in museums or books. Before commercial air travel, very few had a chance to visit museums outside of their own country. Exposure and understanding of art was limited to books and local exhibitions, if you were lucky. Now, anybody with an Internet connection can view gallery photos, exhibitions and museum collections instantly. This dynamic has changed the business for art dealers. Buyers study the art, read about the artist’s background, view many collections – all online – and make a purchase over the phone. Like most other media, such as publishing and music, the physical is being replaced by the virtual and the digital. He believes that this allows more people to view art than ever before. Digital formats make art accessible to the masses and this is a good thing. But when asked about the interpretation of art, the buying process, and how the digitization has affected art appreciation, he has a different answer. He notes, “Ideally, one would want to
see a work of art in person – to smell the paint, spot the dust specks and be surrounded by the presence of the work. However, if one does not have access to the work, then the digital world is giving people a new opportunity to encounter artworks that they normally would not be able to access.” The conversation and questioning that takes place is being shortened. The physical interaction with the art, the dialogue that precedes the purchase, is abbreviated. It’s difficult to know whether people understand the story behind the artwork they are purchasing. For Tagore, galleries continue to play a critical role in the entire spectrum of artistic dialogue. He says that “the eye is a muscle.” Similar to any connoisseurship, whether it is wine, music or food, when you have seen and sampled many pieces, you begin to understand what is temporal, fashionable and what should become a classic that will endure for generations and maybe even centuries. Art historians, curators and gallerists have a trained ability to detect the classic because they have a rich visual reference base encompassing exposure to thousands of images and years of study. When buyers and audiences don’t tap into this, they miss a piece of that richness. His more recent foray into filmmaking is perhaps a way to engage the audience in a deeper and longer dialogue. Tagore has always been attracted to this medium and had even considered enrolling at the Film and Television Institute of India, based in Pune. But plans changed and instead he found himself studying art history all around the world, spending time in Italy, England, Canada, Ohio and ultimately settling in New York. He first came to New York City in 1980. Recalling the energy he felt in the city then, he described how people would line up on the streets outside galleries to attend exhibitions. The art scene was alive and full of energy. Ever since WWII and the rise of fascism in Europe, the art world shifted away from Paris. New York became the artistic center, not only for the U.S., but for the entire world. He connected with that energy and moved to that center. He eventually enrolled at the New York Film Academy in 2003, where he learned the technical aspects of the film medium and subsequently produced eight short films.
“Ideally, one would want to see a work of art in person – to smell the paint, spot the dust specks and be surrounded by the presence of the work.”
He now uses the medium to depict the stories of famous artists. His recent film about Natvar Bhansar, a Gujarati Indian artist who left India in the 1960s and came to New York to practice his craft, won several awards. Tagore is currently working on a documentary about Louis Kahn, the famous architect who designed the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He showed me a five minute clip from the movie, which is still a work in progress. The story begins in New York and quickly transitions to Bangladesh, with visuals and music to draw in the viewer.
Perhaps this is the future of art, a way to captivate an audience whose attention span is fragmented by kilobytes on a digital device. Our discussion came to an end and Sundaram Tagore left me with a final thought, â€œArt has existed for 60,000 years. Markets and economies come and go, but art endures because it is what makes us distinctly human.â€? I walked out of the gallery, into a warm rain, uncharacteristic for New York in December. His words reassured me. n
By Michelle Cacciatore
I recently sat down with Ebon Heath, a New York native artist who works on an international scale. Currently living in Berlin, Heath has captivates audiences from the furthest corners of Bali to the familiar streets of Brooklyn. Describing his artwork as a â€œpassportâ€? I came to understand how he sees the world, and why so many people have taken notice.
Heath has a peaceful and comfortable demeanor. He emphasizes observation of what’s around us, which subsequently explains how he is so inspired by things most people might overlook. When we first started talking, I mentioned an old quote of his describing his work as a graphic designer: “It’s a combination of both I think; a mix of graphic design and fine art. I like to think of my work as visually solving problems.” I asked if he would still say this about himself and he took the liberty of expanding on what he said. Many have become entranced by his unique style of bringing words to life, and a great example of this would be his chandeliers. Heath has created a collection of typographic chandeliers, the designs of some of which were inspired by the poetry of musical lyrics. With a warm glow under impactful words, it moves you with its honesty. It’s impressive how simple the concept can seem, but also how integral the work itself is. However chandeliers aren’t his only focus – he also creates jewelry, installations, sculptures, and more. We spoke a lot about creativity and individuality, which seemed to work perfectly as he is a visiting Professor at Lehman College in the Bronx. “I enjoy talking to the young and inspired,” he said. He went on to explain how he likes teaching and coming back to New York whenever he can. It made me curious about his experience in art education. You graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, which is pretty prestigious. What was your experience like there? EH: It was a great. At RISD it was more about the students and community, which I liked. Looking back I learned the most from professors I didn’t agree with. It’s not an ego driven place. What were your peers like there? EH (Smiling): Well, we were making art, so it was like a great collection of weirdos. It’s difficult to imagine Heath as an art student in Rhode Island now, since he has traveled not only all through Europe, but also to Bali and even Dubai.
“I like to think of my work as visually solving problems.”
How many stamps are on your passport these days?
EH: It’s important to hear the small details of life with our eyes. Look at things you don’t normally pay attention to.
EH (Laughing): A lot. You have traveled all over the place. What’s the difference between working in New York and Bali? EH: They’re all different. In Bali, carving is really big there, so is jewelry. I loved working with local craft. Also I really like that nature is the biggest structural influence.
Towards the end of our shat he joked about how he never sleeps, perhaps too enthralled by the pleasant “madness” of Berlin. He spoke briefly about his love of music and how he finds a lot of inspiration in it. But before I left, I wondered who would Ebon Heath be if wasn’t an artist. If you weren’t doing art, what would you be doing?
What’s it like living in Berlin? EH: Berlin has this really creative and independentthinker vibe going on. It’s a very supportive community, and the creativity is going on 24 hours a day. It’s like madness.
EH: Hmm… What I be doing? Do I get to keep my hands?!” Yes! You can keep your hands. You’d probably make a great architect.
What’s one difference between the New York and Berlin art world?
EH (Grinning): Maybe. Probably something that involves math or engineering.
EH: People in New York tend to keep things a little closer to their chest, but in Berlin people will share with you. It’s cool.
I left our meeting with a new perspective. I tried to see the little things differently than I used to. But it takes a special mind to turn the “every day” into something so beautiful the way he does. I imagine him constantly creating in his Berlin apartment, getting ready to “wow” the masses once again. Until then, continue to keep your eyes open for his “floating words” throughout the world.
Despite having every reason to brag, he didn’t. He didn’t talk much about his artwork which is essentially hidden all over the world, whether it be in hotels in New York, or his ceiling art in a restaurant in Dubai. Instead he modestly offered a reminder for people “listen with their eyes.”
To learn more about Ebon Heath, check out his website: www.listeningwithmyeyes.com
What do you mean when you say, “listening with my eyes’”?
THE VIEW FROM OUTSIDE EXPLORING TOYO TSUCHIYAâ€™S LOWER EAST SIDE By Ted Riederer
Toyo Tsuchiya is an artist and photographer who was born in Japan, but has lived and worked in New York City since 1980. Disenchanted with the academic art world and the dearth of underground artist communities in Tokyo during the late 1970s, Toyo took various construction jobs that brought him to the Japanese countryside for months at a time. During one of these sojourns, Toyo purchased an inexpensive camera and began his lifelong practice of documenting street life. He was compelled to document culture outside of the mainstream, as he himself always felt like an outsider
Drawn to the New York art scene by enticing reports in the Japanese art magazine Bijutsu Techo, Toyo traveled to New York City on an extended vacation with a friend in 1980. When his friend returned to Japan due to visa requirements, Toyo stayed and fell in love with the Lower East Side, which was experiencing a renaissance of street art, artist collectives, and artist-run galleries. As Toyo describes, “There was something in the air.” The 32 year old painter/photographer was welcomed to New York by a community of Japanese artists on the Lower East Side, among them the Butoh dancer Poppo, and choreographer and dancer Yoshiko Chuma, who started her company, The School of Hard Knocks, in 1980. He was also embraced by Kazuko Miyamoto, the owner of Gallery Onetwentyeight, which was a locus of the artistic community. His new friends introduced him to other downtown artists like Justin Ladda, who took him to the seminal “Times Square Art Show,” as well as contributor to the East Village Eye, Christopher Kolhofer, and Chinese avant garde artist Kwok Man Ho. Toyo had found the community of underground artists he sought. Inspired by the fecund scene of the Lower East Side, he began to compulsively photograph street scenes, nightclubs like the Limbo Lounge, the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge, and performance art at St. Mark’s Church.
In 1983, he was asked to participate in a show called “99 Nights At No Se No,” a former Puerto Rican social club located at 42 Rivington Street. Toyo photographed every performance during the Summer of 1983, 8pm –Midnight, 7 days a week. When No Se No closed, he would rush home, develop the pictures in his bathroom darkroom, and hang the prints the next day in the gallery space. It was around these photographs that the Rivington School coalesced. As Toyo said, in an interview at Howl Happening: an Arturo Vega Project, “I wanted people to have my view of the performances, to see them though my eyes.” This essential body of work is not simply documentation of the Lower East Side scene, rather it is the vision of an outsider who found a home amidst the outsiders of New York’s underground. Through his eyes, the Rivington School could be seen, as the vital and prolific movement it would become. Toyo continues to paint, often using his vast photo archive for source material. He is scheduled to have a feature exhibition in Fall 2016 at Howl! Happening: an Arturo Vega Project. n
A FUTURE THAT NEVER CAME ARTIST DAVID KRAMER LAMENTS THE OPTIMISM OF A BYGONE ERA By Simon Constable
New York-based artist David Kramer says he’s always felt like an outsider. “That’s partly to do with being dyslexic, and not doing well at school,” he says. It didn’t stop him though. He’s exhibited at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and you’ll find his work in private collections around the world. While Andy Warhol’s Elvis and Marilyn held a mirror up to America’s obsession with celebrity, Kramer’s looks at the disconnect between the advertising industry’s promises of the fabulous-life versus the reality. “As a kid I grew up looking at those ads in Life Magazine and Esquire,” he says. “They were seared into my consciousness.” To him, the printed images of urban sophisticates portrayed what life was supposed to be like when he would eventually escape from the suburbs. But even before he moved, things changed. In the 1970s, if you could afford a shiny new sports car, you’d be lucky to get gasoline after rationing was introduced. When Kramer did escape, in the Reagan-era, New York City was blighted by crime, drugs, and AIDS. “All those things that were supposed to be available were suddenly unavailable – I don’t know if they truly existed, but they seemed to because I saw them in a magazine,” he says. Just like the rest of America, he’d been sold a dream which promptly vanished by the time he arrived. Part of the unbridled optimism spawned by the ad industry is simply the business of aiding the sales process. You manufacture cosmetics; you sell hope. But it’s not the whole story. The other part of it was that the
U.S. economy ruled in the 1950s and 1960s as Europe rebuilt after WWII’s devastation. Anything was possible, including roundtrip journeys to the moon. Projections were made for manned moon bases and excursions to Mars by the year 2000, goals we’re still waiting on. As the heyday of the ad men ended, so the dream died. The old magazine ads look hopelessly dated. “I saw the dream, and the illusion, being created,” says Greg Stone, a Brooklyn-based artist whose mother and father worked for ad legends Jerry Della Femina and Doyle, Bane, Bernbach (DDB,) respectively. “One of the ironies is that the ad men, who were never called Mad Men, had the same optimism and believed their own hubris, making it even more potent.” Lately, the gap between the ad industry’s pitch and the reality has become a chasm, and the population has taken notice. Voter rage is being channeled by outsider presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. That makes Kramer’s work germane right now, with its deliciously enticing scenes of the “beautiful people” we wanted to become, augmented with captions deeply at odds with the images. Funny, yes, but also unsettling. “When I first walked into David’s studio it all came back to me, in a brilliant and horrific flash,” says Stone. “It was like a slap in the face, to wake up or continue dreaming.” n
LA Palms 2015 61” x 60” Oil/Enamel/Canvas
Generally Enthused 2016 32” x 22” Ink/Gouache/Gesso/Paper
Scotch 2015 24.5” x 19.5” Ink/Gouache/Paper
The Light 2016 16” x 24.5” Ink/Gouache/Paper
CRAFTING THE VALUES OF THE LADD BROTHERS By Jack Raplee
Individualism is often considered an art form in its own right. Writers seek to establish a unique voice to define their personal style. Musicians tend to capitalize on their own particular vocal or instrumental talents to produce a sound that is readily identifiable. Visual artists seek to depict an interpretation of their own experience or perspective that communicates something independent from the mainstream, or at least a set of prevailing cultural mores. Our culture praises individual expression in art and in industry as the time-honored path to greater enlightenment and the advancement of humankind. Complimenting the emphasis on individual expression is the idea of discipline. After all, the clear communication of oneâ€™s expression is dependant on the focused efforts of the individual him/herself. A lack of discipline can communicate confusion or ambiguity, ultimately compromising the vision or the message. Individualism without discipline can result in what may be perceived as mindless ramblings and pointless musings.
Collaboration is often the most effective way to tie together individual expression and disciplined practice. Working together with a like-minded individual or individuals can expand the impact of the expression and give it greater influence and a louder voice than one single person can communicate alone. Brothers Steven and William Ladd embrace the notion of bringing all three of these things together in their work. In fact, itâ€™s reflected in the values that drive what they do; values they try not only to build upon for themselves, but also seek to instill in others. Those values are: Do what you love; focus and discipline; and collaboration. In the fifteen years that the St. Louis native brothers have worked together, they have developed a unique, threedimensional style of visual art that reflects both personal experience and cultural relevance. Their work is a unique combination of design, fashion, fine art and craft. Their primary exhibitions have centered on hand crafted boxes with colorful bead work, often incorporating sculpture, drawing and prints, all centered on a particular theme commonly reflecting their shared fraternal experience and strong sense of family. Emblematic of their work is their exhibition, Mary Queen of the Universe, which opened at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY in 2014. Here, the brothers drew inspiration from their Catholic school upbringing in St. Louis, with a show bearing the name of the church and school where they attended. In 2015, the exhibition moved from Long Island to The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Florida.
photography by Nick Lee
Installation shots of Mary Queen of the Universe at the Parrish Art Museum, courtesy of Daniel Gonzalez
Of local New York City interest is their exhibition at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn. The exhibition features a confessional, prayer cards, a glass wall and several eight to nine foot paper trees, carefully constructed to communicate a sense of calm and peace. Harkening imagery from the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, the exhibition draws heavily on the Ladd’s church upbringing. The Confessional itself is a freestanding structure which visitors are encouraged to enter as a means of reflection. The doors of the structure feature intricate beadwork in the place of what would traditionally be stained glass. The interior features textile panels with stretched trimmings, a chandelier and a chair. The experience is intended to be quite sensory. “We’ve had an explosive year,” says Steven, referring to their busy exhibition schedule of late as well as their active community work. “We’ve worked with more than 200 students from third to seventh grades at local public schools and organizations in Brooklyn where we not only interact with the kids, we have a chance to share with them our three core values.”
“We’ve worked with more than 200 students from third to seventh grades at local public schools and organizations in Brooklyn where we not only interact with the kids, we have a chance to share with them our three core values.”
William explained the unique experience of working with the Helen Keller Center for the Blind. “It was all about modality and helping them to communicate through the sense of touch,” he says. “It was a real learning experience not only for the children, but for us as well.” Another recent exhibition of note for the brothers was Scouts or Sports, which ran from October 24, 2015 through February 14, 2016 at the St. Louis Art Museum, a rare foray into the Ladd’s hometown. Having an exhibit in St. Louis is significant for the brothers not only because of the continuing strong family ties they have there, but because it presents an opportunity to share their values with the city and surrounding communities, especially given the recent unrest in the St. Louis area. In all, the brothers are doing what they love, they’re focused and disciplined, and they collaborate well, living out the values themselves while emphasizing their importance to others in the process. n
For more information on the Ladd Brothers, visit: www.stevenandwilliam.com
Radio Drive Archival board, fiber, beads, and metal LWH 61 1/8 x 41 x 3 inches
Do This in Remembrance of Me Archival board, fiber, beads, and metal LWH 61 1/8 x 41 x 3 inches
Not Half Bad for a Girl Child Archival board, fiber, beads, and metal LWH 11 x 11 x 3 1/2 inches
Little Luncheonette of Terror Archival board, fiber, beads, and metal LWH 11 x 11 x 3 1/2 inches
HOPE AMIDST THE RUBBLE THE TRANSFORMATIVE VISION OF ORI CARINO By Abigail Nelson
East Village, New York City, 1982: everything is art, jazz, and noise. The punk scene is thriving and artists everywhere are adding to the universe in any way they know how. This was the New York that Ori Carino was quite literally born into. In a loft on Houston, Carino was raised an artist by artists, his fifth birthday party spent covering white paper walls with graffiti. Everyone could be an artist. You could be poor, you could be broke, you could be homeless, you could be a child, but you could also create. Now 33, Carino is far from slowing down. Raised with a great respect for a pantheon of globally significant artists, Carino’s work references art from the Italian Renaissance to Impressionist and Post-Modernist movements. His paintings speak to the work he’s done on the streets, impressively producing a collage of iconography by freehand airbrushing. His subjects embody both his East Village roots and Tibetan Buddhist philosophies, often drawing from various sources to produce a collage of work that speaks to his deeply rooted artistic influences. Carino has also collaborated with artist and architect Benjamin Armas on a series of sculptures created with bricks from buildings scheduled for demolition. One such piece, titled How to Survive Death, embodies their aim to transform the harsh realities of life – be it war,
How To Survive Death - Brick, Mortar, Wood, Steel, Paint, 51”x32”x78” - Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas
New World - Acrylic, Mineral, Gold, on Canvas - Ori Carino
Triumph Anew - Brick, Mortar, Wood, Paint, Burned antique frame - 56”x48” - Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas -
aging, death, or gentrification – by seeing something repurposed. As we sat in his studio, Carino gestured to the room in which we sat, the top floor of a crumbling building in Chinatown. “Even though we’re in this falling apart place, we can still engender the great ideals of humanity and contribute to people’s lives in a positive way,” he explained. The two artists take the spirit of a crumbling building and give it new life; they see opportunity in destruction. Carino’s artistic ideal is that which aims to stir emotion; works that provide a transformative experience by fitting
a new lens on the issues people are facing. He describes the process of creating as a moment of understanding where snap, a seed of an idea has come to fruition and the need to possess it is fulfilled only in its creation. As we talked, Carino mentioned continuously the idea of an artistic payoff, noting that he, “is not in the business of making money, [he is] in the business of contributing to culture.” Just like his five-year-old self, he cares simply for creating something meaningful, and this sincerity is clear in all the work he produces. Whether it’s on the street or in a gallery, Carino’s work speaks to the individual and asks you to leave your preconceptions at the door. n
The Engineer - Brick, Mortar, Wood, Paint - 30”x36” - Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas
FRANK GEHRY THE DECONSTRUCTION OF A DECONSTRUCTIVIST By Sean Kehoe
Simply stated, Frank Gehry does not like to color within the lines. Deconstructivist Movement: an architectural movement or style influenced by deconstruction that encourages radical freedom of form and the open manifestation of complexity in a building rather than strict attention to functional concerns and conventional design elements (as right angles or grids). – MerriamWebster.com Gehry and his creativity were born as Frank Goldberg into a Canadian Polish and Jewish family in 1929. His first exposure to architecture came from sitting on the floor with building blocks as a eventually designing homes and cities from materials in his grandfather’s hardware store. His talent and gift was becoming undeniable. At age 13, upon viewing one of his drawings, their Rabbi pulled his mother aside at temple and told her that her son had “Golden Hands.” She then took him to a handwriting analyst who told him that someday he would be a famous architect. Unbeknownst to him, his destiny was being drawn out for him and his career was about to take shape. Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris
Exposition Frank Gehry
At age 20, he enrolled in the USC School of Architecture where he failed one of his first design classes. He was nonetheless determined to not give up so he re-took it and received an “A.” Feeling he was on an upward trajectory, his advisor called him into his office and told him that architecture was not for him. Determined to prove the world wrong and sensing there was an anti-Semitic bias against Frank Goldberg, he changed his name to Frank Gehry. He attended, and later dropped out of the Harvard Graduate School of Design but his focus and intensity with his work were undeniable. This created a rift in his first marriage, which produced two children. Gehry’s therapist told him he should either spend less time working and become involved in what his family was doing or he should just leave. That day, he packed up his things and left. He would not allow his passion to be bulldozed or torn down. He wanted to be the “aww shucks” nice guy but he knew he was an “in your face” competitor. It was that competitiveness that gave the word “bankruptcy” (not unfamiliar in the world of architecture and design) a whole new meaning. He had been slowly depleting his relationships and was struggling to get clients to accept what he was doing. Twenty years later he ultimately remarried a woman who recognized his passion, built him back up and gave him the support he needed to stand tall and be successful.
One of Gehry’s beliefs is finding a small sliver of space where one can make a difference. This lead to one of his most iconic works – his own home in Santa Monica in 1978. He took an established home, threw out all reason of remodeling and constructed a new home around it. It took on a life of its own with the intricate patterns and flow of lighting and space through the use of corrugated steel, wood, glass, aluminum and chain link fencing. Neighbors cringed at its look and feel but the architectural community took notice. This caught the attention of Dennis Hopper of Easy Rider fame, who became one of Gehry’s first famous clients. Like Gehry’s own works, Hopper’s characters were out of the ordinary, quiet but loud and always made you talk and think. This was the quintessential pairing of two souls who bucked trends yet rose to great heights in their respective fields despite their lack of conformity. This relationship quickly made him one of the top home designers in California in the 1980’s. Sophistication and complexity became commonplace in Gehry’s designs. His need to transform his uniquely imperfect renderings and sketches into something more tangible in 3-D without losing the flow of his original idea was a perfect fit with one of his early passions: flying. One of his first jobs as a teen was washing airplanes in a hanger. He could have easily gone in that direction because of his love of flying. Years later, his circuitous path would eventually lead him to intersect with the aerospace industry by working with the software used by Boeing and Chrysler to design Mirage Fighter Jets. He is known to have said, “What bugs me are these goddamn rules that my profession has as to what fits and what doesn’t,” so by combining his ideas with their programs, he was able to fit the square peg into a round hole without hesitation. Ironically enough, it is the literal tearing down (deconstruction) of Frank Gehry’s dreams and structures by his critics that only make him and his work stronger. He says he “tries on” others criticisms to see if they have merit, but for the most part, he does not pay attention.
Vitra Design Museum
Admittedly, as his own worst critic, by the time he gets to the finished product, he doesn’t like it. He sees all the things that he could have done differently. However, his critics did not prevent him from creating what some say is his most impressive work, the Guggenheim Museum building in Bilbao, Spain. The structure took a seaport city and turned it into a proud and even more unified place that was home to a building admired the world over. It even prompted the term the “Bilbao Effect” due to its economic transformation that ensued from the millions of visitors each year since it’s opening in 1997.
From idea to inception, Gehry’s process of creation takes on many forms. He works with different size scales at all times in order to keep focused. To him, even after 58 years in design, the process is still exciting and profoundly creative. He goes back to the basics from childhood to construct early designs with paper, scissors, tape and glue that evolve into larger, more detailed versions. His inspiration can come from the billowing of sails resembling a swaying ship found in the Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum in Paris, the textures, curves and crinkles found in a wastebasket that became the Vitra Design Museum in Germany or the look and feel of a ship’s hull from the Disney commissioned Walt Disney Concert Hall, an internationally recognized landmark as well as the most acoustically sophisticated in the world that is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
His late psychoanalyst, Milton Wexler said that when artists come to him, they want to know how to change the world. Frank Gehry’s has career resume has done just that. His own use of radical freedom of form has resulted in 19 awards and honors including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award Lifetime Achievement, 17 Honorary Doctorates received and 73 completed works in 11 different countries. Architecturally, it’s not a small world after all. It’s safe to say that it’s Gehry’s deconstructivist world “that is so stupid looking, it’s great” and his critics are merely living in it. n
MODERN AESTHETICS AND THE COMFORT OF HOME CASS CALDER SMITH’S RESIDENTIAL DESIGNS FOR THE SOUL By Jack Raplee
There’s really no way to describe Cass Calder Smith’s, “Modern Barn,” residential projects without appearing to make a pun. By his own admission, these architectural undertakings did, in fact, “grow” from Smith’s own understanding and exposure to agriculture.
Modernist architecture, in contrast with earlier residential approaches, makes considerable contact directly to the ground… the actual earth on which it is built. “If you look at a lot of old farm houses, they tend to be raised above the land beneath,” he explains. “My work goes right to the ground.” Smith’s incorporation of design and landscape is very much in play in his “Modern Barn” work. There are natural geometric shapes relating to landscape that are ultimately rooted in agriculture.
The Water Mill Residence is a summer home Smith designed for, and in collaboration with, Sharon Bonnemazou, a New York City interior decorator. Smith says her influence is apparent in his design, as the home is a kind of Asian/European fusion. “She’s Korean American and her husband is on European descent,” Smith explains. “The house has both an Asian Zen aura, yet with European functionality.” On the west coast, Smith designed the Diane Middlebrook Studios for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California, a town where he himself spent much of his youth. The studios are designed in such a way as to re-direct the focus of resident writers (the program for which it was built specifically markets it to writers) away from their personal or professional distractions, toward a view intended to inspire creativity. Smith designed the studios both to maximize available natural light, and to facilitate the solar panels on the roof from which electrical power for them is drawn.
One common element of design at both Water Mill and Middlebrook (and other “Modern Barn” work) is Smith’s use of wood. “When I design a residence, I’m not simply driven by how it will ultimately look,” he says. “It’s just as important that I take into consideration how it will feel.” Wood, according to Smith, brings with it a warmth factor that ultimately makes it feel more inviting. While wood is essential to the design, Smith is careful to ensure that it’s neither overwhelming like a log cabin, nor merely gratuitous like simple paneling. It’s a strategic interweaving of wood that makes it most effective.
Thematically, what these two installations have in common is that each functions as a kind of retreat. Middlebrook is intended to be a place where writers come for inspiration and remove distraction and lack of focus, while Water Mill is a summer/weekend home in the Hamptons of Long Island, a place its owners go to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. As getaway locations, Smith was well aware of the purpose of each of these residential projects, and that was key to his design. “Ultimately, people need to feel comfortable and welcome in these places,” Smith says. Effective deployment of wood into the design, geometric landscape compatibility and sufficient use of natural light brings that feeling of “home” into these and other Cass Calder Smith residential designs. n
Despite admittedly facing difficulties and being broke at times, Ramsey managed to develop what now is a firm of twenty staff, incorporating a unique concept for achieving modern spaces through an emphasis on the process of their construction.
WHERE THE SIDEWALK DOESN’T END NEW YORK CITY’S LOWLINE By Mary Filipiak
Raad Studios, a Tribeca based, architectural and design company known for the distinct aesthetic of its clean and conceptual spaces, is expanding beyond the breathtaking renovations of New York sites by creating the first underground park, and more. James Ramsey founded Raad in 2004, through what he calls “a combination of coincidences and foolishness,” when Moby (the musician), various family members, and several others approached him with requests to design their homes. At the time, he recalls, the market was at the bottom – which caused a challenging work environment that triggered his willingness to lean on a project of his own. In retrospect, as he says: “I must have been around 25 at the time, which I think is too young to start a business… especially in this field.”
When asked about the origin of the concept, he recalls his work for NASA: “I started from a completely different direction – building machines, and that sort of intricacy about how things are put together is still very much something that informs how we build stuff. You cannot simply invent a shape. We actually do invent the shape, but it’s about how it was put together, also.” He also goes on to explain how it transcends even further - beyond thinking about how things are put together and into the reason behind every decision about how something is designed. “You have to be able to justify it. You are not going see something random in what we design.” Initially the primary concentration was on applying the idea to renovating residential spaces in NYC, but now Raad has expanded into larger projects both throughout the country and overseas. Amongst others, I was shown a rendering of a commercial site in London, built on top of Roman ruins, with a diagonal plain crossing through and over the entire building, gracefully incorporated into the space. “It begins at the bottom – where the ruins are – continues through the ground, then to the central courtyard, through the upper levels and even over the roof, into the sky”, Ramsey explains. “It serves as a uniting element, connecting the building both literally and metaphorically, through all its floors and through the different periods… through time, so to say.” When looking through the photographs and renderings of Raad’s past and future projects, it’s easy to notice free-flowing, untamed vegetation incorporated into the spaces. “Our interaction with the world is changing as our cities and environments get denser; more man made. It’s nice, aesthetically and spiritually speaking, to have some sort of connection to the natural world.” On a different level, it has to do with the somewhat scifi concept of what happens when humans eventually disappear, and all that we have created is re-claimed by nature.
“Our interaction with the world is changing as our cities and environments get denser; more man made. It’s nice, aesthetically and spiritually speaking, to have some sort of connection to the natural world.”
Such approach is typical of the studio’s designs, promoting the idea of embedding many levels of meaning into a design, and allowing it to evoke an emotional response. “Making them intellectually curious to want to explore a place is absolutely the ultimate goal of what we want to do. If we are able to achieve that, that is the measure of our success, really.” Ramsey points out. Curious about the inspiration of Raad’s designs, I am met with a laugh, only to find out that he is often inspired by walking through the worlds of his dreams, hoping to remember them when he wakes up so he can draw them. He also references naturally occurring spaces. “When you go to a Cenote in Mexico, for example, its like a shaft in the ground with the light coming in through the top, a pool of water at the bottom and vine coming down everywhere. It’s beautiful and you have this weird sensation. That’s what we hope to capture and translate into architecture.” Being familiar with the project, it is not difficult to compare that imagery to the renderings of the Lowline, which is set to be the first underground park in the world. The park will make use of the abandoned Delancey Street trolley station, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
It will use advanced technology to compress sunlight, channel it underground and release it again, allowing for live vegetation. Ramsey came up with the idea when he was working at NASA developing optical systems for satellites. It occurred to him that the same principles could be applied architecturally to create new lighting solutions. He began exploring New York’s history and its abandoned spaces to find a spot that would be suitable for the application of this technological principle when he heard about Delancey Street. “Upon realizing how big and amazing it was, we went to MTA archives to pick up original drawings for reference. We dug them up and were blown away.”
The project has been around for a while now, and has obviously not been easy to launch due to its complexity. It is, however, now gaining momentum. Local politicians have come on record expressing support for the idea, and in early June, a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfound the Lowline Lab, a real-life mock-up installation showcasing the concept, began. Ramsey observes, however, that the lengthy legal process has not necessarily been bad, allowing him the necessary time to improve the technology. When asked about the name, he chuckled a bit. “The Lowline” was at first a catchy nickname, given to the project when it was featured in New York magazine, clearly alluding to the High Line, a linear park created on
top of a disused, elevated railroad tressle on the West Side of Manhattan. “The parallels are obvious: it is an abandoned transit facility and we are turning it into something green. I think the parallels kind of stop there.” Ramsey states. “It is a completely different space and it is achieved by completely different means. The Lowline is actually about science and technology, while the High Line is about the reclamation of urban space. But go figure, it was catchy, so it stuck.” What is the future of Raad? Most certainly it will be a continuation of residential projects, which Ramsey calls “our bread and butter,” and obviously, the Lowline, which “will always be kind of a life’s work for us. I mean, God knows I’m going to be an old man before it’s finished,” he adds with a laugh. Primarily, however, it will be in further exploring and pushing the conceptual. “One of the basic ideas is that we would like to disassociate the visitor from the real world outside and create a transportive experience – almost like a brief moment of psychedelic sensation – that interferes with people’s sense of time and space, creating something like an alternate universe. There are so many different ways that can be achieved with light and sound and smell and temperature and space. This is something we’ve explored in a number of projects and it is definitely what we will continue to push through whatever avenues possible.” n
H G U O R H T G N I K O LO H T I W E P O C S O L L I THE OSC
R E G R E B N A D uva
By Vita D
Why a high schooler and his college brother would go to a library and take out a VHS tape of Billy Wilder’s romantic comedy, The Apartment is still somewhat of a mystery to Dan Berger. “But we did. That was the film that did it for me,” Berger recalls of his teenage years, pinning his ‘filmspiration’ to one specific moment in time. “I was so enamored by [The Apartment] – I still maintain this – I think it is a perfect film. It does everything right.”
In 2008, Yauch went on to direct, Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot, a documentary film that followed eight top high school basketball players to the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic at Rucker Park in Harlem. No newcomer to the apparatus of film distribution, Yauch sought to release the documentary directly, avoiding the use of a thirdparty distribution company – a difficult road that Yauch had been down all too often before. This time, he turned to THINKFilm associates, David Fenkel and Berger for a helping hand. Building a company modeled after indie record labels of Yauch’s youth, Oscilloscope focuses on auteur-driven movies, blending the dichotomy of the business with the artistic – a rare crossover not often detected in today’s film industry.
And like Berger’s opinion of the 1960 film, the tough critic, whose friends joke that he, “never likes anything,” he too has seen his run of, “rights.”
“Adam was a huge film lover, and always someone who – coming from the artist side of things – wanted to be a champion of creators and get creative work out there in a respectful way,” Berger notes on behalf of Yauch.
Holding a BFA degree in film and television production from New York University, Berger would later fortuitously fall into the distribution side of the film industry.
With that notion, Oscilloscope began to acquire other independent films that fit the right mold – that excited them and they wanted to bring out into the world.
“In the going to film school and production-sense of grabbing a camera and getting out there and being on set, I never really did any of that,” Berger explains.
After loosing Yauch at the age of 47 in 2012 to salivary gland cancer, and Fenkel leaving the company shortly thereafter, Berger was left, in turn, to champion Yauch’s Oscilloscope vision.
In Berger’s last year of film school, he worked as an intern at THINKFilm, a film distribution company headquartered in New York City, an opportunity that later developed into a full-time job – something very few Millennials can proclaim.
This February marked the TriBeCa-based company’s eighth anniversary, and it is safe to say that while Oscilloscope aims to remain forward thinking in the wake of emerging technology, Berger continues to lead Oscilloscope feet-first in its old-school roots.
Berger’s stint with THINKFilm would ultimately lead him to Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film distribution company and the brainchild of Adam Yauch – better known by ‘80s babies as MCA of the Beastie Boys. Yauch, who directed a number of the influential rap/rock group’s music videos under pseudonym, Nathanial Hörnblowér, later directed the 2006 THINKFilm release and Beastie Boys concert film, Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!
“We still see value in the tangible product that [customers] can hold and feel like they have something that’s not just the idea of ‘I own this movie in an iCloud somewhere,’” Berger says of the company which still produces DVD’s – one example of Oscilloscope’s classic habits. “[DVD’s] don’t have the footprint they once did and don’t exist with the prevalence that they used to, but at the same time, we find that to be a really important part of what we do and what we always want to be doing.”
In the past eight years, Oscilloscope has released upwards of 100 films and earned six Academy Award nominations - landing their seventh this year with foreign language film nominee, Ciro Guerra’s 2015 Colombian feature, Embrace of the Serpent. “By not having any hard-lined M.O. or quota, we’re fortunate to attack films that are exceptionally diverse in the landscape and make them a part of the thoughtful catalogue we’ve curated these last eight years,” says Berger. “We want to be far-reaching, diverse and sometimes, release films that are divisive or polarizing – or that create a conversation. We are striving to be a curator of films that are worth [film viewers’] time.” Facing countless competitors in today’s marketplace, Berger notes that the company often screens movies throughout the course of a year that they love, but don’t end up working on for various reasons.
“We never want to be the company that’s hindering a film’s potential either – so sometimes we just have to let them go,” Berger says. “We’re not the best at everything… we can’t be and no one is.” As for moving ahead, Oscilloscope recently announced its collaboration with the Lower East Side’s new independent movie theater, the Metrograph, and look forward to expanding the partnership significantly. “It’s back to basics – putting effort into and putting an emphasis on showcasing films in some of these old-school ways. We like going to movies in theatres as filmgoers, and that’s how we want to present these films,” Berger says of the alliance. “We want to be engaging with our audience more and on a more personal level. Often times it’s not these broad stokes, but the nuance of finding small ways to create that relationship.” For a closer look at the films that Oscilloscope offers and their latest initiative – curated writings on film, visit www.oscilloscope.net. n
“We want to be far-reaching, diverse and sometimes, release films that are divisive or polarizing – or that create a conversation. We are striving to be a curator of films that are worth [film viewers’] time.”
DOCUMENTING THE COMPLEXITY AND VIBRANCY OF THE NYC STREETS By Jonathan Judd
Figures positioned within the urban setting they call home, having either recently arrived or fully living, breathing and radiating the street life, city life, dwelling in a borough in which they are inextricably bound for better or worse. Posing on side streets, young men gesture while the graffiti scrawled wall behind beckons with a corresponding attitude and bravado. Photography is the medium used, but veteran artist and seasoned Brooklynite, Jamel Shabazz does more than capture an instant, he does more than transfer a three dimensional reality to a two dimensional document. Shabazz’s work places the city’s human terrain in view. Contributing to the historical archive he captures those most vital moments, when unique personalities and vivid realities open to the viewer. Shabazz, in his artistic oeuvre, playfully combs the city from urban grit to Manhattan decadence, producing a composite portrait of the true vitality and complexity of New York street culture. His photographic work, which spans decades, now proliferates the international gallery and museum circuit. Specifically, his work produced during the 1980s, faithfully documenting the emergent hip-hop and B-boy culture and identity in NYC, turned
him into a creative icon for contemporary cultural producers, historians and documentarians alike. It’s no wonder then that his most recent solo-exhibition took place in as far flung and seemingly antithetical a location as Cologne, Germany, because his work goes beyond the specificity of time and place. As the artist states, in promoting his exhibition, “it´s a universal body of work about compassion, empathy, bringing out the beauty within people and the love that bridges the gaps between us.” The 1980s was a decade rife with contradiction and uncertainty. As the art world elites soared to ever-greater financial pay-offs, the AIDS epidemic ravaged the city and new volatile and addictive substances like crackcocaine entered and plagued minority communities. And yet out of the chaos and tension emerged a manifold creative network, artists spurred on by the distinctive street culture: graffiti took on a whole new light as a democratic art apart from gallery and museum hierarchy; hip-hop began to gather and cultivate the rhythms, beats and lyricism of black consciousness in the city; and new expressive forms like break dance and hip-hop style and fashion took shape. In the middle of it all, Shabazz stood
by with a critical eye, ever watchful for those moments when the human spirit rises from tragedy and inequity to carry on, unbroken and perseverant. At his best, Shabazz does something truly monumental, which brings focus to his skill as an artist but also as an activist, in his own way. With dignity and grace he brings African-American lives to the fore, pointing to them as substantive and valuable fodder for artistic creation. Colorful prints show an eye for dynamic composition and diverse content. From the beginning, his inspiration was drawn from the documentary work of photographers like Leonard Freed, James Van Der Zee and Gordon Parks, who worked to capture the rich texture of the African American community in NYC. And Shabazz honors those who inspired him, as he in turn dares to continue this work, making visible the African American faces, identities and personalities in all their diverse and quotidian activities within the city. His Father also played a significant role in developing his technical prowess, virtuosity and unique vision, for he himself was a professional photographer. Overall, it becomes clear that the city (Brooklyn in particular) itself inspired and influenced Shabazz in ways that continue to mesmerize and entice artists in every generation. Images portraying young men posing in a spontaneous choreography of the moment, reflect a self-consciousness and dignity, as they choose the way in which their image is spread to the wider public. As the artist stated in a recent interview for Dazed magazine, â€œNew York City has still maintained its vibrancy and constant flow of energy and magnetism that make it one of the greatest cities in the world...I honestly feel that if I had lived in any other borough outside of Brooklyn, I would not have been able to document such cultural diversity,â€? so much of his work echoes these words as each image captures the now while promotes a future full of possibilities. n
HYST AUTEUR FORMENTO & FORMENTO Hair & Make Up Artists: Tiana Lachnit, Haley Giesbrecht ,Taylor Duggan, Ashly Beggs Special Effects MUA and Zombie Leyla Monast Assistants: Katie Gallant, Ben Samson, Rebecca Ou, Marina Luro, Jorge Posada & Marc De Vinci Models: Lauren Kemp, Joselyn John, Ryan Turner, Tiffany Kawaja, Rebecca Todd, Alexia Flux, Brittany Zuccato, Ben Klein, Kelsey Sabrina Barnwell, Danielle Taylor, Enry Smith, Roxanne Fernandez, Jade Charles, Nadeen Lightbody, Mihola Terzik, Mya Stewart, Klara Johanna, Hannah Roberts
TIME WARP PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY SOTO Stylist: Aimee Bradley and Jenna Brucks, Bruxley style Location Dollhouse Studio, San Diego Makeup/Hair Ty Marie Combe Model Lila Flowers at No Ties Management
Dress: Michelle Hebert, Turban: Stylistâ€™s own Earrings: Eldor Tina Jewelry, Ring: Yuwei Designs
Dress: Kenneth Barlis, Earrings: Eldor Tina, Jewelry Ring: Yuwei Designs
Robe: Michelle Hebert Halter: Michelle Hebert Ring: Yuwei Designs Earrings: Eldor Tina Jewelry Bracelet: Stylistâ€™s own
Dress: stylistâ€™s own, Earrings: Eldor Tina Jewelry
Dress: Michelle Hebert, Turban: Stylistâ€™s own, Earrings: Eldor Tina, Jewelry Ring: Yuwei Designs
Dress: Kenneth Barlis, Earrings: Yuwei Designs, Bracelet: Yuwei Designs Clutch: Stylist’s own, Headpiece: Stylist’s own
Dress: Michelle Hebert Turban: Stylistâ€™s own Earrings: Eldor Tina Jewelry Ring: Yuwei Designs
Dress: Kenneth Barlis, Earrings: Eldor Tina, Jewelry Ring: Yuwei Designs
THE PASSENGER PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIK ALMAS Producer: Filiz Rezvan Assistant 1: Mike Byrne Assistant 2: Adrian Hallauer Assistant 3: Sarah Brickey Stylist: Christine Featherstone Stylist Assistant: Jillian Carrozza Hair & Makeup: Sherrie Long Model: Kim - Scout Model Agency Male Talent: Gary Agid Location: Western Railway Museum
MEANWHILE IN MIDTOWN PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILLIS ROBERTS Styling by Mimi Kim
Jacket and pants by Behno, makecup and hair by Christie Lee.
This page and opposite page: Behno jacket and stylistâ€™s scarf.
Behno knitwear and Tania Spinelli shoes.
Behno dress and Tania Spinelli shoes.
Jacket and pants by Andrew Marc. Michael Kors shirt.
Micahel Kors shirt, Andrew Marc pants, stylistâ€™s scarf and Tania Spinelli shoes.
JUST BEFORE DARK PHOTOGRAPHY BY YVES KORTUM Make-up/hair: Laurence Thoman, Cristina Via Models: Sun Zibar Upmodels Paris Fayrouz Trivinia Vargas Assistant: Alain Bianco
Blouse Balmain Paris, Brief Mise en Cage Paris, Shoes Christian Louboutin Paris
Overlap necklace by Una Burke London
Latex brief Joy Williams for Mise en Cage Top by Jean Claude Jitrois Paris, Hat Maison Michel Paris, Shoes Alexander Wang Paris
Body Nichole de Carle London
Leather skirt Jean Claude Jitrois Paris Body Wollford, Shoes Yves Saint Laurent Paris
Bra Nichole de Carle London Latex skirt Feline latex design Shoes Saint Laurent Paris
Leather skirt and leather gloves Jean Claude Jitrois Paris Shoes Christian Louboutin Paris
Latex pencil skirt, latex harness by Tres Bonjour Berlin for Mise en Cage, Shoes Christian Louboutin Paris
BLONDE CHIC PHOTOGRAPHY BY HENRIK ADAMSEN Styling: Christina Van Zon / christinavanzon.com Make-up/Hair: Anne Krarup / annekrarup.com Model: LĂŚrke Simone / LeManagement.dk Retouch: Vicky Drachmann henrikadamsen.com
Vest: Esther Perbandt Shirt: Bettina Bakdal Pants: Esther Perbandt
Full look: Nobi Talai Shoes: Palladium
Dress: Vladimir Karaleev Pants: William Fan Shoes: Bettina Bakdal
Full look: Vibe Johansson
Full look: Esther Perbandt
Full look: Esther Perbandt
Full look: Vladimir Karaleev
Dress: Bettina Bakdal
Dress: Vibe Johansson
Dress: Vibe Johansson
BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK THE MONOCHROMATIC SIMPLICITY OF KATIE GALLAGHER By Gabriela Griffith
Known for monochromatic and clean-cut clothing, designer Katie Gallagher didnâ€™t originally intend to start her own fashion label. In fact, her interest in ready-to-wear started with a curiosity in the fine arts. As a teenager, she created her own clothes and when it came time to decide where to attend school, Gallagher chose the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). There, she learned the basics of both studio art and fashion, leading her to major in apparel design. In her sophomore year at RISD, Gallagher began interning for a few fashion labels. The more she learned, the greater her interest in fashion became. At 22 years old, she had already established her own label and more impressively, her first show and gained acclaim from major fashion magazines such as Vogue and Interview. This encouraging press has since captured the attention of Lady Gagaâ€™s stylist, and many others.
Gallagher’s inspiration emerges not only from her experience, but it also originates from classical art. What better way to make art than through art? With influences ranging from Gothic architecture to stained glass and Japanese illustrations, her creativity and vision are unique. Before every season, Gallagher prepares her designs by creating mood boards, installations, and paintings to clearly visualize what inspires her. At a first glance her work may seem uncomplicated, but upon further investigation, her designs are collected, boldly monochrome, and elegant, consisting of subtle details and enthralling textures. She’s known for her minimal use of color within her designs, but that’s not an issue as her manipulation of dark colors surpasses most. Black, the darkest color yet the color with no color at all, represents both full absorption and complete absence of light, evil and elegance, and such a dichotomy of tastes that persists in Gallagher’s designs.
Moreover, her designs have no embellishments — nothing is unnecessary. In an industry where things are constantly enhanced and quite often redundant, Katie Gallagher produces direct and sophisticated designs with a touch of gothic style, which is refreshing and reminds one of the beauty of simplicity. Gallagher has yet many things to experience within the industry. Though already an established designer, Katie Gallagher is still young and eventually hopes to work for other renowned names to continue growing in the industry. A woman capable of consistently re-defining monochrome every season, and who brings back “black is the new black”, it’s no wonder she is one a designer to watch. n
Veiled Over Jacket-100% Silk Twill, lined Veiled Layer Top-100% Mesh Spandex Veiled Trousers-100% Wool, lined
Veiled Pony Jacket 100% Pony-Hair Leather, lined Veiled Trousers- 100% Wool, lined
Veiled Dress-100% Wool, lined
Veiled Buckskin Jacket-100% Buckskin, lined Veiled Romper-100% Silk Veiled Leggings-25% Mesh Spandex, 25% Cotton Jersey, 25% Lambskin, 25% Paper Spandex
Veiled Jacket-95% Lace, 5% Velvet Veiled Bra Top-75% Ponte, 20% Lace, 5% Velvet Veiled Skirt-100% Lace
f o t c e f f E y l f r The Butte m i K n e y u g N e i l Char By Sean Kehoe
The chaos theory states that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world. If that is the case, watch out, because Charlie Nguyen Kim has spread his wings and landed in New York City. Charlie Nguyen Kim is one of the most talented and creative musicians you may have never heard of. This award-winning, soft-spoken artist confidently drops beats for his projects but let’s drop a few names in your lap. Dior, Louis Vuitton, Nissan and Porsche are just a few of the major brands that have tagged Nguyen Kim with scoring their ads. He also works with Luc Besson, the renowned French film director, screenwriter and producer of such popular American films like The Transporter, Taken and Lucy, in designing soundtracks for his company, Europacorp.
Born and raised in France, Charlie Nguyen Kim was given his first set of drums at age three. At age seven, he was given a guitar and was soon accepted into the highly prestigious National Conservatory of Music in France. Labeled a prodigy at age eight, his destiny had already begun to take flight. Growing up in Clermont Ferrand, Nguyen Kim had playtime but it was not like most children his age. His came in the form of hours of music played at school and then later at home with his parents. While his father had no formal training, he began to create the soundtrack that would shape his future: classical, folk, rock, punk rock and rap. Interestingly, what sticks with him and influences him the most is punk rock. He formed the band Butterfly, his first real foray into the punk rock scene, with his brother Andy. Andy played the drums while Charlie sang and played guitar. Bands like NOEFX, The Beastie Boys and Blink caught his ear and helped to evolve his songwriting skills, “I like punk rock because it’s extreme and pure with feeling.”
“I like punk rock because it’s extreme and pure with feeling.”
At age 24, he moved to Paris because he needed to make his own way and continue to grow. In honing his craft, he was able to land opportunities with the main television channels in France creating music for shows and commercials. His notoriety exploded and Louis Vuitton hired him to become their sole composer for all their campaigns. Soon Tag Heuer followed suit and by then he was flying on everyone’s radar including France’s most successful man in film, Luc Besson of Europacorp. Europacorp is the major film production company in the country so it only made sense that in wanting to continue to be the best, they had to work with the best. Besson gave Nguyen Kim his first opening in film and the two have collaborated on such French films as, Coursier, Banlieue 13: Ultimatum, Commis D’office and Intersections. Incredibly talented and driven, Nguyen Kim’s true passion is creating scores for the cinema. He appreciates the complexities of precision combined with action, emotion or love. It allows him to be graceful like a butterfly or draw out the raw emotion as he did during his punk rock days. However, whether he is involved with a 30-second commercial for Nissan or a 50-minute sequence within a movie, the creative process is generally the same. “When I make movies for a brand or TV, my inspiration is movies. We will create a musical identity,” says Nguyen Kim. “Imaging is important to make the connection. It is inspiration to the work of the cinema strategy. We try to create some framework music. The end result is that each person will listen and will clearly know what is different.” For a short commercial, it can be three to four days of work while the movies generally take a month depending on the deadline.
When asked if he could pinpoint a favorite movie he had worked on, without hesitation he responded, “My own.” He wrote the music for it two years ago and it is now being filmed. The movie, Les Notes de L’Esperance, which loosely translates into ‘The Notes of the Hope’, centers on a man who cannot communicate and does not know how to play music yet ultimately uses music to convey his emotions. It’s a project that he said requires him to put himself into character in order to compose the music. “I really know how to make a movie better with music. For me, the music will bring out the emotion in anyone.” If his description does it any justice, listening to his work moves and inspires one to want to see more of his films. Having done all that he could to create a name for himself, the unmistakable work ethic that drove him to excel in France for ten years brought him back to the cocoon development process all over again to reemerge somewhere else. That somewhere else is where the most colorful collaboration of people is: New York City. “In Paris, I had a comfortable life, but it became too easy for me. I came to New York to have a new challenge.” As he puts it, he wanted to “begin from zero.” “My aim is to develop my network and meet new clients. I really want to go to the (major) movie networks of America,” he explains. “I will try to do the same thing here, step by step.” Adding to those steps, he is managing seven to eight projects currently for three separate companies consisting of movies, television and brand work, learning English in the morning and working until 3:00 or 4:00 am daily while waiting for his Visa application to be approved. Nguyen Kim wants to stay rooted in New York for at least two or three years and has already made several contacts both here and in Los Angeles as well. “I realized that I can work anywhere in the world I want, so I wanted to develop my network in America.” Home is where the heart is which is why he ultimately chose the West Village. “I really like the West Village because it’s like my quarter in Paris. I get a lot of inspiration here.”
In his down time, Charlie Nguyen Kim enjoys life. “Maybe I think about music too much,” he says. So to have fun he has a side project that consists of (you guessed it) music. Charlie and his brother Andy, a cameraman in France, have joined forces to create The Kim, an electro music band. That eventually evolved into what is now Kimotion, strongly influenced by California punk rock where there is power, a buildup and the melody is simple. To get noticed, they sought out Yann Pissenem, artistic director and owner of the club, Ushuia Ibiza in France and handed him their demo. He was sold and as they say in France, ‘le repos est histoire.’ Kimotion has grown in popularity playing with the likes of David Guetta, Avicii, Afrojack, Robin Schulz, The Prodigy and a longer list of A-List electronic musical geniuses this past summer. Next April, they will be performing at the largest venue in Paris, Bercy, with a lineup that has not yet been set, but, rest assured, it will rise to the top. In the future, Nguyen Kim believes his work will speak for itself and he can eventually be more selective with his projects. For now, he will get back to the grass roots of reaching out to others in the various industries as he is hungry again. “When you are an artist, you are never satisfied because when you create something, you will like it but then you will want to create something else.” Spoken like a man who will never rest on his laurels and will only be happy when he is flying high amongst his peers. Charlie Nguyen Kim has truly created his own butterfly effect. He is an unexplained phenomena often whispered about but never understood. From France to the United States, he is about to orchestrate a typhoon of symphonic chaos leading us to believe the myth is real and he is ready for another masterpiece metamorphosis. n
“When you are an artist, you are never satisfied because when you create something, you will like it but then you will want to create something else.”
NEW JOURNEY OLD PATH IAN RUHTER PROJECTS A VISION WITH A NOD TO THE PAST By Jack Raplee
In a digital culture, it’s easy to lose sight of things that have become commonplace yet once required painstaking attention to detail, discipline and patience. Photography is perhaps the most readily apparent example of this. This is, after all, the generation of the “selfie,” where people give little thought to wipping out their smartphones to snap a shot of anything from a live rock concert to a ride on the subway. These pictures can hardly be considered “art,” though perhaps they do reflect a level of expression indicative of the selfimportant, social media driven culture in which we live. Even before the “selfie,” photography in general has seamlessly matriculated into the digital realm with post-production tools not available in the past. To their credit, these tools, when used skillfully by creative individuals, have facilitated wonderfully crafted artistic photography. Nonetheless, there is something to be said for rediscovering the process roots of photography as Los Angeles-based photographer, Ian Ruhter has done.
Ian Ruhter spent several years in commercial photography, though something about it left him feeling empty. He sought to find a way to more authentically communicate through photography, a quest which he admits was more for himself than for a particular career objective. This lead him to a project he titled “Silver and Light,” in 2012. For this undertaking, he converted a large delivery van into what can be best described as a huge camera on wheels and he hit the American highway seeking to capture honest, authentic images of people and places along the way. With regard to the photography itself, Ruhter harkened to the historical roots of his craft, embracing a process called wet plate collodion, an early technique dating to the 1850s, a time when photography was in its infancy. Without going into specifics about how it works, essentially wet plate collodion is a process by which Ruhter converts large sheets of metal into a photographic image, resulting in what he calls a “more honest” rendering. In addition, he emphasizes that what he does is a combination of the past and present, which itself lends to the impact of his work. Drawing his influence more from Leonardo da Vinci than from other photographers, Ruhter is inspired by more than his art. Leonardo was a painter, a scientist, an engineer, etc., disciplines that are all reflected in his work, though he was clearly more than just a painter. Likewise, considering the process, and thorough detail in effort, Ian Ruhter is most certainly more than just a photographer. His vision takes him on a bold new journey using a very old path. His “Silver and Light,” project has reached New York City, with an exhibit that opened at the Danziger Gallery in November 2015. n
For more information on the Ian Ruhter, visit: www.ianruhter.com
By Portia McGroarty
Reflections On Art and Purpose
No.3: So when most people hear the name Moby they automatically think of music, but you’re actually involved in a lot of other creative endeavors. Can you tell us about some of your other projects? M: Sure. Well, I’ve been playing music since I was ten years old. Around the time that I started playing music, my uncle, who had been a photographer at the New York Times, gave me one of his old hand-me-down cameras. It was a Nikon F and it was too sophisticated for a ten year old, but I somehow learned to use it. I built a tiny little dark room and I started shooting, processing and developing my own film at a really early age. I always did film projects sort of for myself and music was something that I did more publicly. Then, when I was in college, I studied philosophy, but had a minor in film and photography, so some college friends and I would make these really odd, obscure, experimental Super 8 and 16mm films… So I guess in terms of other creative projects it depends on how broadly you are willing to define “creative”… No.3: As broad as you’re willing to go… M: Okay – so, I’ll never say that I do anything well, but I like to do a lot of different things… One is music – videos, and films, and photography. I do quite a lot of architectural design as well, or I have over the years – like I renovated and designed a restaurant in Silver Lake right now… I guess it’s just part of my ethos – just waking up everyday and trying to make something that, at least to me, is interesting. No.3: Cool… So, about the restaurant, can you tell me a little bit about the renovation, and how you are designing it? M: It’s an organic vegan restaurant called Little Pine, and it was in this odd, little, art deco building in Silver Lake that kind of looked like an art deco battleship that was in need of quite a lot of renovation. So we tried to make it look like an unpretentious, sort of, alpine mid-century, with a lot of natural wood.
I was talking to a friend a while ago and I was sort of glibly saying that to me, there are three Los Angeles’s – there’s the LA of palm trees, the LA of oak trees and the LA of pine trees… And I sort of just naturally gravitate more towards the LA of pine trees; and so the restaurant has that kind of aesthetic.
No.3: Um, so you talked about photography, which you started doing at about age ten, what was inspiring you as a photographer at that time? M: When I was a ten year old photographer — and then, let’s say as a 15 year old photographer — the two things that inspired me were, first and foremost, simply the magic of photography, to me it felt like alchemy, meaning you’d take these kind of random elements — film, chemicals, paper; you know, things that on their own didn’t have much in the way of magic, but when you combined them it was almost like alchemy. You could take these elements and end up with fully realized images and it just felt like magic to me. Anything to do with photography seemed like cheating, like it shouldn’t be possible to point a piece of metal and glass and plastic at the world, document it and reproduce it in a beautiful way… It always felt like magical cheating, and that was one of the things that excited me about it. And then also, growing up in and around New York, I mean photography in the ‘70s, or really for most of the 20th century, really was this kind of like remarkable, multifaceted magical art form, meaning everything from Edward Steichen, to Irving Penn, to — getting on to a little later — like with Wolfgang Tillmans. It was reportage; it was art; it was fashion; it was experimental; it was narrative, and that just seemed so compelling to me. No.3: You’ve kind of done a similar thing with your music—I mean you’ve gone into a lot of different areas and genres… M: Yeah, I mean my musical background is very odd, because when I was really young I played classical music, and then I started playing in punk rock bands when I was about 13, and then I got interested in electronic music, and jazz, and folk music, and hip hop, and at some point realized that when it came to genres, there really isn’t a genre of music that I don’t have some interest in… and it seemed arbitrary in a way to just pick one genre of music. I mean musicians who are capable of doing that, in some ways it makes the way they are presented publicly a lot easier, because if you decide that you are just a jazz guitar player, people immediately know who you are and what you do, but if you pursue a more eclectic approach to music it confuses people, but I think it makes, at least for me, it makes my music a little more interesting.
Interview No.3: Currently in your photography, what are some of the themes that you are trying to incorporate, if you had to pinpoint some? M: I guess — very broadly speaking — it’s the idea of trying to — and forgive me if this sounds really “grad studentie” and pretentious — but all photography is semiotics, you know. Because you are basically just putting ink on paper, or pixels on a screen, but yet, you’re crafting an image that people will have a reaction to and the reaction that they’re having is a trillion times more than the basic compositional elements. You know, it’s like when someone looks at a picture they’re not having an emotional reaction to the ink or to the paper, they’re having an emotional reaction to the way the ink sits on the paper in a recognizable way. So finding the sort of magical in the mundane and the mundane in the magical interests me. One thing I find kind of emancipating or liberating about being a photographer is that it’s not my day job. You know, a lot of my friends who are professional artists, they, as time passes — and I hate to say this — start making very conservative decisions because they start having kids, they start having houses, they start having careers that they want to maintain. And so, for a lot of artists I think as they get older their criteria for evaluating choices often becomes: How do they keep their career going? How do they make the down payment on their vacation house? How do they put their kids through private school?… And I’m really happy that I don’t have to think that way. When it comes to visual art, I don’t want to have a career, I just want to be able to make stuff that at least to me, seems interesting. No.3: To touch on [the topic of] people making logistical choices based on the reality that they are experiencing and the needs that they have to fulfill, I’ve heard you say in past interviews that the desire to achieve success has never been an influence, or proponent, that compels you to create. Can you tell us a little bit about how creating art with the aim of success is a limiting factor for an artist? M: Yeah, well I mean there have been times in my life when I have really wanted conventional success, and when I’ve had conventional success there have been times when I wanted to hold on to it. But, for me at least, I guess it’s almost like the empirical self-assessment of: When I’ve pursued success or tried to hold on to success, has it made me happy? Has it made the quality
of the work better? Has it benefited other people?... And rarely is that the case. Usually, pursuing conventional success or holding on to conventional success comes from a place of fear and control, and I’m not very good at controlling things, so, I’m happy when conventional success arises, but I just don’t think that I am one of the people who is very good at pursuing it. No.3: Well, I don’t know if any of us are really are… M: Well, when I think of someone like Kim Kardashian, or J. Lo — these people are really good at pursuing conventional success. That is what they are interested in and they are very good at it. I’m not. But then, I guess in a weird way it comes down to a question of context, meaning, like the fruits of conventional success, usually are kind of ‘the now,’ and they can be okay, but I remember reading an interview with Dave Chappelle and he said something so interesting, it was like when he quit basically making TV shows, he said that he made $10 million, and he could have kept working to make $20, $30, $40 million, but he realized that there is nothing more that he wanted to buy. And so he thought to himself, why keep compromising to pursue stuff that I’m not interested in, and I guess ultimately—and this might be either really self-evident or a naïve thing to say—but [in] the world, when people just pursue the provincial, the ‘now’ fruits of success, it’s just not that interesting. It’s like when someone gets a $10,000 watch instead of a $90 watch, who cares? If someone has a $200,000 car instead of a $30,000 car, ultimately, what benefit is created? And also, one thing I find really odd is that when a lot of people make a lot of money, they do really dull things. They sort of do the same things and none of them seem terribly happy, so you wonder — and especially as artists — I can understand a stock broker or a hedge fund guy. They just want to make money. They want to have a family. They want to make money. But an artist has the potential to create beauty and create things that are really interesting and challenging, and I feel like that is a way more interesting goal than trying to buy an expensive watch. No.3: So, I’ve heard that you are passionate about changing certain public policies, can you tell me about some of those policies?
M: From a public policy perspective, there are so many that are deserving of change — there are policies that have outgrown their usefulness, or policies that only benefit a tiny a percentage of the population. But for me the biggest one would be animal production — using animals for food. Separate from the animal welfare issues, is simply the cost of involved. I read a book a few years ago that looks at the consequences of factory farming and animal agriculture, and I did book tour and there was this recurring question of people saying the main reason that they eat meat or fast food is because it’s cheap, and the only reason that it’s cheap is because of subsidies. If all subsidies were removed from meat, dairy what have you, a pound of beef would cost around $60 and going to McDonald’s for a family of four would cost around $90, so that is one policy that I think absolutely needs to change.
M: And that’s always been an argument, they say first the hearts and minds have to change and then the legislation will follow, but if that had been the case with civil rights we’d still be waiting for civil rights legislation or equal rights legislation. So the role in art in that is up to the artist to be open to it, to be open to representing it in whatever way he or she feels is best, which sometimes means sort of “striver” and didactic. Sometimes it means subtle; sometimes it means funny depending on the issue and the context.
Even more broadly speaking, our government subsidizes industries that make people sick. You know we subsidize tobacco production; we subsidize beef production; we subsidize junk food production; and it’s so nonsensical to subsidize the production of things that hurt the taxpayer. It’s like using the taxpayers’ money to fund things that kill the taxpayers, and the sick irony of that. I think that should be the first criteria, someone should step into government and figure out the subsidies that are harming the populous, and just simply get rid of them.
M: Hmm. That’s an interesting question. I think art has to come from a place of — at least to an extent — from a place of confusion, because if an individual felt perfectly at home in their body and their environment, they wouldn’t really feel the need to make anything. But I think, there’s enough dislocation and discomfort inherently in the human condition that you don’t necessarily egregiously suffer, you just need to be open to the uncertainties of the human condition. So feeling completely solid in yourself, and your community, and your country is denying the fact that we live in a 15 billion year old vast universe. Certainty is always ill-informed and provincial. All you have to do is take a look and give it a little bit of scrutiny to realize that conventional certainty is fun, but sort of nonsensical; and I think, good artists, good writers, good musicians, are just people who are both open in the odd way of being confused and baffled by the uncertainty, but also, at times, celebrating it. You know, when I think of the greatest music — think of ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ or ‘Moonlight Sonata,’ — where it’s both lamenting the human condition and sort of celebrating it at the same time. Because if art is just purely lamenting it’s really hard to pay attention to and if it’s purely saying, “everything is okay,” then it’s also really hard to pay attention to. But if you can create a tension between those two things, I think that – at least for me – that’s when things are interesting. n
No.3: Do you think [it’s possible to] use photography to try and change some of these policies? M: The role of art and music to effect social change — it’s tricky — it’s a balance between; to what extent do you want be didactic, and to what extent do you just want to pull at people’s heartstrings? So a lot of art that tries to affect social change I find to be overly simplistic, and sometimes it can be a representation of images that we’ve all seen many times before. It also sort of begs the question of; is the goal changing the culture — is it changing the policy — or is it changing the individual? And ultimately it sort of has to be all three, like civil rights is a perfect example: first legislation had to be passed that enacted civil rights, that created a legal framework of equality, and then hearts and minds could be changed, you know, if that makes any sense. No.3: Yeah, totally…
No.3: So a lot of people in the general public would say that great art comes from a place of pain and suffering. Would you say that you agree with that, or would you say that sobriety and transcendental meditation have maybe offered you a more open stream of creativity that is not from that one place?
Anything to do with photography seemed like cheating, like it shouldnâ€™t be possible to point a piece of metal and glass and plastic at the world and document it and reproduce it in a beautiful wayâ€Ś
COBBLESTONE COUTURE THE CROSBY STREET HOTEL By Michelle Cacciatore
When walking through the cobblestone streets of SoHo, it’s easy to be captivated. You gaze through windows, looking at the most sought-after designer clothes, and eyeing the spectacular art. But more than anything, you notice the people. You see impeccably dressed men and women from all over the world. Somehow they’ve ended up in this neighborhood, shopping, having a bite to eat, and demonstrating that SoHo is more than just a place that looks fabulous in films; it’s real. Fittingly, when fashionable people of the world visit, they stay at The Crosby Street Hotel. Nestled in the heart of SoHo, this perennial favorite maintains a quiet and homey presence. It’s no surprise that celebrities are rumored to frequent the place; not that the other guests would necessarily approach them — the hotel is a haven for those who want the experience of New York without the tourist agenda.
When you turn onto Crosby Street, there’s no grand red carpet or line of taxis in front. But as you get closer, you see a clean-lined building with gorgeous grand windows promising exquisite skyline views. When you walk into the lobby — replete with modern art and bright colors — you are quite anxious to see what the rooms look like, but you will first be drawn to the buzzing crowd of people having lunch and drinking afternoon tea at The Crosby Bar on your left. A London influence is evident all over this hotel, including the restaurant — not only in the perfect little tea and cakes on display, but in the whole design. The restaurant boasts bold colors, high ceilings and plentiful natural light. The furniture and artwork blend together with unexpected brilliance and creativity.
The owners, Tim and Kit Kemp, also own seven boutique hotels in London. Kit Kemp, in particular, a signature stylist in her own rite, designs all of their hotels. The Kemps refurbish their properties every three years to keep the design fresh. Irrespective of the general appearance of the hotel, it’s nonetheless apparent that the owners are dog lovers. Dogs up to 40 lbs. are accommodated here for no additional charge, and there are dog beds in every room. Each room in The Crosby Street Hotel has its own unique character, with varying colors, designs, art, pillows and furniture. One unique constant is a mannequin, noticeably present all 86 bedrooms and suites — perfect branding for a place where the fashionistas stay.
The perks of being a guest at this hotel are impressive and include a 24-hour fitness center and an al fresco dining terrace to complement the restaurant’s seasonal menus. The outdoor Sculpture Garden features grassy nooks offering space for quiet contemplation and a slice of tranquility. The Crosby Street Hotel has strong appeal for locals as well. It’s a popular choice for after-work drinks or a late night gathering of friends. Every Sunday the hotel hosts a film club, open to the public, in its state-of-the-art screening room. A single charge includes a three-course meal and viewing of the movie of the week, which might be a current blockbuster, an independent film, or a themed offering tied to a holiday. For guests not looking for a heavy meal, cocktails and snacks are also available before the screening for a slightly lower admission charge.
One of the more unique and charming aspects of this hotel is the large Drawing Room off the lobby. There, quiet-loving guests can relax with a book or work on their computers. The level of intimacy is as if it were part of someone’s home. In the back of the room is an “honesty bar” set up for guests who want a quick drink; guests take what they like, and sign a sheet with their room number so they can be charged later. This is just another indicator of The Crosby Street Hotel’s unparalleled hospitality, and as the Kemps prepare to open their second New York hotel next spring in Midtown, it would appear their popularity continues to grow. n
MAGIC RAW BEAUTY TASMANIA’S SAFFIRE FREYCINET By Olivia Durst
In a pocket of pristine wilderness, at the southern tip of Australia, Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park is home to some of the cleanest air and waters in the world, with internationally acclaimed coastline, unparalleled landscapes and produce that is envied the world over. Most recently it became home to arguably the best boutique hotel in the world, referencing its bountiful surroundings with a class and sophistication second to no other. Once a hidden gem on the map, Australia’s island state is now setting a new standard in luxury accommodation. Saffire Freycinet is an intimate, 20-suite luxury lodge
completed in 2010 by multi award-winning Tasmanian architect Robert Morris-Nunn and his partner Peter Walker. The driving concept of the $32 million development was to seamlessly connect the lodge with its surrounding environment, and to protect the site by sympathetically interpreting its unique qualities. Saffire takes its inspiration from the colours and textures of the surrounding peninsula and incorporates local products, designers and natural materials such as timber, stone and leather into much of its exterior and interior design. The buildings themselves are conceptually organic: the suites present like the gentle waves of Great Oyster Bay, whilst the main building’s roofline frames the peaks of the majestic Hazards Mountain range – an uninterrupted view from every window. The granite mountains shift from pink to violet to bluegrey, depending on the light, offering an ever-changing backdrop and a comforting sense of solitude and privacy for guests.
Saffireâ€™s deference to the environment gives it an integrity that would appeal to the most discerning traveller. Efficient water and lighting and natural cycle air-flow systems combine with the lavishness of floorto-ceiling, double-glazed windows in every suite and pavilion (the latter with plunge pools), private decks with spectacular views, marble bathrooms and mini-bars stocked with the finest Tasmanian produce, wine and whisky, all complementary. Perhaps what really sets Saffire apart is the superb food and wine produced on its doorstep, delivered by superstar Australian chef Hugh Whitehouse. The east coast of Tasmania has long had an enviable reputation for premium aquaculture and agriculture, and its Mediterranean-like climate also produces crisp, cool-climate wines of international acclaim. Gaining international attention for their innovative yet simple approach to food, Palate at Saffire Freycinet delivers the best of premium local produce. Seafood plucked straight from the waters of Great Oyster Bay,
succulent grass-fed meats, seasonal fruit and vegetables – all are chosen daily by Whitehouse’s team. Guests are welcome to create their own dining options, and even to summon their own private chef to their suite! But perhaps you’d prefer to don a pair of waders and shuck oysters straight from the bay yourself, accompanied by a glass of Tasmanian sparkling wine? You could visit Saffire’s open-range Tasmanian Devil enclosure and learn about the now endangered species and the fight to save them. Maybe a guided walk to Wineglass Bay (regularly heralded as one of the world’s best beaches), wine tasting, canoeing, archery or mountain biking is your preferred past time; the list of Saffire’s complimentary “experiences” goes on, and all are quintessential to the area. This is a truly special destination, a class above the rest. n
ICELA By Richard Koegl
The discovery of a land so far removed from its name was a revelation. It was not a frozen block of ice, void of life and movement that greeted me on arrival, but rather verdant green and mossy landscapes, smoking cones of geothermal activity, oceans of scraggy lava fields, and the most amazing of all – powerful and majestic waterfall after waterfall, the next more impressive than the last. The Iceland Tourist board promotes the country not as a destination, but as an adventure. It immediately becomes a personal one within minutes of arrival. With only 325,000 inhabitants, two-thirds of whom live in the
capital of Reykjavik, it’s not long before you find yourself quite alone, on a solitary road, awestruck by the cinematic landscapes for as far as the eye can see. Easily one of the most romantic settings on earth, it is a place where the past meets the future in a raging flurry of wind, fire, stone and ice. It’s hard not to be deeply moved by the island’s raw beauty, and few leave without a vow to return. Perhaps it’s the country’s austere bleakness, or maybe it has something to do with the absolute ability to be contemplative in a spiritual setting, seemingly untouched from the outside world.
AND Iceland is literally a country recreating itself over and over. Volcanoes are constantly rumbling and spewing forth from within, geysers jet water and steam heavenwards, Arctic gales blow wildly along silent fjords, and glaciers grind their way through cracked lava fields along the merciless, treeless tundra. The climate of the island is much more temperate than one would expect for its latitude just south of the Arctic Circle thanks to the North Atlantic Current and the fact that the entire island is heated from the thermal, tectonic movement below.
A soul-stirring visit here is as much about the people you meet as it is about the ethereal landscape. The warmth of the Icelanders starkly contrasts with the brutish climate, and any contact you have with locals is both unforgettable and a profound exchange of culture. Personal stories and the literary legacy of the Sagas always come up in conversation, as does Huldufólk, or the hidden people, elves in Icelandic folklore. This is something inseparable from the very core of their identity. But what’s really amazing is their rich and prolific cultural life which celebrates music, art, craft, and locavore cuisine at every turn. In a coastal village of Höfn one misty afternoon, I sat down to a sumptuous lunch comprising ingredients from the neighboring farms, which also included the daily catch of the freshest humar or langoustines I have ever tasted. All enjoyed within an elegant and cozy 1890’s built house overlooking the glistening North Atlantic Ocean.
Icelanders have a unique ability to remodel themselves, to assess and redefine the bigger picture. After the financial crisis of 2008 the country was virtually ruined, but today sees revenues and growth equal to or greater than the pre-2008 fallout. Last year tourism accounted for more foreign exchange income than the fisheries industry and aluminum production, and the country is fast on track to being the go-to destination for just about every demographic. Influenced by its Scandinavian origins, Iceland’s current contemporary style embodies the airiness and simplicity of a summer Arctic evening. The relative ease of life allows for an aesthetic that draws on the desolation of the surrounding land, and mixes it with the whimsy of the collective imagination.
On a memorable walk one morning in Seyðisfjörður, a picture-perfect village of 700 artists, musicians and craftspeople in the East fjords, the day started out fogged in, cool, but with pure fresh air. The fog soon lifted to reveal a canvas of undulating fields of spectacular wild daisies, a majestic fjord with royal blue, calm waters, and the awe-inspiring Skalanesbjarg bird cliffs. Teaming with bird life including nesting eiders, I looked out over the remote Norwegian Sea as Puffins darted in and out of their burrows, and thought this must be Shangri-La, or at least today it is my distant, peaceful, and secluded hideaway. Iceland is all pristine isolation, snowcapped volcanoes, cascading waterfalls – jaw-dropping natural beauty that inspires and reveals in every direction. It is a phenomena in splendor, transforming the most simple into the extraordinary. n
POP MUSIC AND ART CREATING A NEW VISUAL RELATIONSHIP? By Sybil-Ilia
As a rst impression many may think this is actually an old debate... as old as David Bowie impersonating a Sinatralike elegant persona or Peter Gabriel working his theatre performance skills a member of Genesis. The di erence is that the actual interaction observed between pop music and art is that is only on the surface, without a pretext and highly visual. A recent trend of renowned pop musicians approaching high pro le artists is happening now, making most people wonder why, since both seemed to be successfully doing their work separately. While analyzing the phenomenon, bear in mind that the crucial words are ‘’visual’’ and ‘’renowned artists.’’ We are dealing with the sense of visual as transformed via the modern pop music industry. While at the very beginning visual arts seemed to be separated from pop music, applying only in theatre, exhibitions, yers and sometimes, vinyl covers – the closest art ever got to popular music, and dated back at the 60’s. Visual arts used to have a code its their own and maintained its integrity along with an aesthetic value that had little to do with the expansion of popular music, especially during the 00’s and beyond. However, recently the situation has been shifting, and more pop artists actually engage visual arts along with artists who are willing to associate with this part of the industry. Theoretically, this is not bad at all, and has happened in the past with interesting results, as referred to above. The main concern is that there is never the word aesthetics or the notion of artistic boundaries when it comes to certain ‘’celebrity artists’’ or pop stars, almost a situation that visual artists have been long experiencing and bene ted from in the eld of fashion. So Rihanna’s ‘’Rude Boy’’ clips pay an obvious, yet not-soelegant tribute to some of the most recognizable Warhol works such as his Marilyn Monroe Lips as well as a reminiscing of Keith Haring and his distinctive work, appearing in body paint that echoed his aesthetics and his methods of drawing. The unfortunate factor is that all artistic references made at the video bear no relation to the music and to the overall direction itself, and instead serve simply as visual language for people to think “this is art, therefore it must be ‘artish’ (the video).” On another album cover, most things are already advertised and known to the public, many people who probably haven’t heard of Cotton’s work before, were given exposure to it this way. Still, Will Cotton gained exposure through, “Cotton Candy Katy, (Katy Perry 2010). So far, visual culture has managed
to make references to known artists and works of art by formulating a visual language where the presence of the “work of art reference” works as a way of “namedropping.” The other part regarding art and pop culture collaboration today, is the choice of renowned artists aka “pop” artists with which to collaborate for artistic credibility without confusing the audience with useless information. The “now” project is what matters. Lady Gaga isn’t necessarily a pioneer in that practice, but she has used it in the ultimate form, ranging from the socalled “Marina Abramovic” use of full nudity, to controversial artist Je Koons, the master of kitsch style, who actually made a sculpture of her for her ArtPop cover... kitsch at its best. Gaga’s managers know it. Still, they also take into account the controversial artistic route of Je Koons trying to create a connection between him and her “controversial” career. If Koons nds that comparison attering, most don’t... unless a post-modern perception of kitsch with which we’re not yet familiar is self-mockery. Rihanna was photographed naked with only snakes covering her body as part of a (dubious in terms of innovation and aesthetics) project for the 25th anniversary cover of British GQ initiated by artist Damian Hirst. The choice of Hirst was carefully made. He is one of the few artists who can be de ned as a household name while still having his name associated with provocation (good or bad doesn’t seem to matter).The idea of the Rihanna shoot wasn’t “to make a great Rihanna image,” but to have Rihanna shooting with snakes with Damien Hirst involved. It is exactly the technique that makes thousands of people admire Gocconda in Louvre simply because they’re told its good, not because they actually see that it’s excellent. This kind of reaction was named, “a kitsch reaction” by Professor Umberto Eco in his book, The Semiotics of Everyday Life. Pop means popular. But popular doesn’t have to be kitsch or rushed. The pop music-art collaboration is something that proved more fruitful that expected during the 60’s and 70’s, but the trap that most artists fall into these days is going for the visual only. Art has a past and hopefully, a future, and carries a meaning far more important that just provocation or dubious aesthetics that push boundaries. If you really want to push boundaries with your work in pop and art, it’s better to understand what you want to express and how this will have an actual impact on societal issues and genre. Or you could just watch a David Bowie documentary.
Ad. Graph.x Ph. Tommaso Sartori
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