Fall 2007 EDITORS IN CHIEF Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel
PUBLISHERS Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel
CREATIVE DIRECTORS Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel
DISTRIBUTION Brian Byrne firstname.lastname@example.org
ART DIRECTOR Sharon Gamss, Dylan Kahler, Tantika Tivorat MANAGING EDITOR Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel EXECUTIVE EDITOR Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel DESIGN Sharon Gamss, Dylan Kahler, Tantika Tivorat CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Justin Beck, Jeremy Bot, Karen Evans, Naoya Fugishiro, Sebastian Gray, Till Krautkraemer, Lila Lee, Thomas Lee, Carissa Pelleteri, Roland Pugh, Danielle Ricciardi, Philip Sharp, Mark Skorj, Christopher Starbody, JJ Sulin , Kumiko Suzuki, Keith Telfeyan, Bogdan Tiflinsky, Alejandro Wilkins, Roey Yohai, Jeremy Zini CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Shanna Allyn , Adrian Archer, Ana Callahan, Missye Clarke, Brian Dwyer, Matt Ellis, Joe Fassler, Charlie Fish, Helen Freund, Alec Kerr, Jonathan Melamed, Justin Muschong, Muriel Quandcard-Johnson, Dave Petersen, Roy Schwartz, Sachi Yoshii CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS Wendy Frost, Jon Harsem, Miguel Jiron, Dylan Kahler, Dave Petersen , Sergio Pizzo Barrale, Joanna Yagerman INTERNS Rafael Baglietto, Sara Ciaverelli, Lauren Foley, Hiroki Kobayashi, Geeta Malieckal, Robert Norton, Julia Vanderham, Adam Williams, Ross Woessner
ADVERTISING Alexandra Niki email@example.com Aurelie Jezequel firstname.lastname@example.org Resource Magazine is a quarterly publication from REMAG Inc. 139 Norfolk St. #A New York, NY 10002 Fax 718-679-9274 email@example.com Subscriptions are $20 in the US, US$41 in Canada, and US$56 globally. All contents © 2007. All rights reserved. Special Thanks to: Adam Davids, Alex Cao, Le Gamin, Bloom Models, APM Models, and Brian Byrne. We welcome letters and comments. Please send any correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org The entire contents of this magazine are © 2007, REMAG Inc. and may not be reproduced, downloaded, republished, or transferred in any form or by any means, without written permission from the publisher. For subscription inquiries, please email info@ resourcemagonline.com For more info, please visit our website, www. resourcemagonline.com
6 Letter from the Editors
ell, don’t ask us how we did it… you don’t want to know, but we would like to welcome you to the first issue of Resource Magazine. What you are holding in your hands is the realization that we are all one of a kind, compadres, and family: we are the photo production industry. Together, we share late nights, freelance days, brief but intimate relationships, creative restrictions and the fear of bad catered food. We embrace ingenuity, risk and the pursuit of a damn good photo shoot! So, next time you’re on your way to a job, remember, Resource Magazine will be there waiting to shower you with all the wondrous things that you’ve always wanted to read about. Just in case you were wondering who’s behind this endeavor of madness, let us introduce ourselves. We are your fellow photo productionists, Alex and Aurélie. We entered the scene years ago as a stylist and producer and since then have experienced all angles of the industry. Some were good, some bad, but at the end of the day, one thing we’ve realized is that we’re all in this together. Photo production is more than just a job or an artist’s deception-- it is a lifestyle, a culture, and a world of people like you and me. Enjoy! -Alex and Aurélie
Tricks of the Trade 7
TRICKS OF THE TRADE:
Food Stylist Story: Justin Muschong | Photo: Bogdan Tiflinsky
The first lesson most kids learn about the difference between art and reality comes from food. You see a delicious looking meal on the box, but what comes out of the microwave is a far cry from what lured you into purchasing it in the first place. The person behind this lesson is a food stylist. We recently spoke with one of the premiere stylists working in the industry today to find out his secrets on getting the most out of your photographs. 1.Before tricks, before everything else, make love
expert puts a Crisco base into the bowl and then
to the food. With his background as a chef, our
places the bits of cereal into it until they are
food stylist has a true passion for food. When
perfectly positioned. Once they are in place, he
putting together his creations, he will follow the
pours in the milk, or rather, Wildroot, an
recipes to the exact letter. If it calls for salt and
old-fashioned hair product that looks like milk but
pepper, he will put them in, even if they will not
won’t be absorbed by the cereal.
be seen in the photograph. “What tastes good,” he says, “looks good.”
You’ll also have to find solutions to keep your food from perishing. No matter what you put on the
2. Stay true to the product and approach perfection
set, our expert says, it will die, but there are ways
with realistic means. The average person on the
to enhance and prolong the life of the food. Pizzas
street, if he knows anything about food styling at
are kept looking fresh by keeping large steamers
all, will usually mention something about the
on hand. To prevent whipped cream from
supposed tricks of the trade: the ice cream is
congealing into cappuccino, put a little gelatin
really Crisco, the milk is glue, everything is made
into the coffee to solidify it. To create steam rising
out of plastic. Our expert says there’s not much
off a delicious meal, our expert recommends
truth to that. Food stylists have a legal obligation
blowing cigar smoke into a turkey baster and
to use the exact amount of food the product
spraying it around the food.
contains. They sometimes even have to sign affidavits testifying that they’ve done so. When our
4. Waste not, want not. The number of products
stylist shoots an advertisement for ice cream, it is
used for a typical photo shoot differs, but
one hundred percent real. To pull this off, one
whatever is left over, donate it to a local
needs to work fast. While he’s staying mum about
homeless shelter. Our expert recommends City
his tricks, he’ll say that it’s more luck than brain
Harvest, a non-profit organization that collects
to get that perfect shot.
excess food to give to those in need. Their website can be found at www.cityharvest.org
While you must stay true to the product, there are ways to enhance what is seen. Which brings
us to our next tip: 5. Take some pride in your work.. Our contact 3. Find technical solutions to the problems you
describes himself as not just a food stylist, but a
face. If the advertisement is for chocolate syrup,
food artist. He had separate careers as an artist
the syrup must be real, but the ice cream it covers
and chef and eventually combined the two.
can be fake. And that glue for milk trick? There’s
Anyone, he says, can be a food stylist. All it takes
a tiny bit of truth to it. When shooting cereal, our
are three things: curiosity, passion, and focus.
10 Resource Guide to:
RESOURCE GUIDE TO:
Paint Story: Justin Muschung | Photo: Naoya Fugishiro
You’ve got a big shoot tomorrow and you forgot to have the set painted. What were you thinking?! Alright, don’t panic. We’ve got the perfect Resource Guide to get you through your time of troubles. If the answer to your question can’t be found in here, well then, it’s your fault for waiting ‘til the last minute, isn’t it? Primer Impacto Before you start slapping paint all over the damn
just more time you don’t have and aggravations
place, think about using a primer or sealer. These
you don’t need. The only time you should use
are especially essential if you’re using a light col-
oil-based paint is if you’re working with a chalky
ored paint on a dark surface. They’ll prevent the
darker colors from showing through the brighter ones, leaving them as faded as your hopes and
Finish: Just the Beginning
dreams. A good primer will pave the way for the
Time to choose a finish. This is what determines
topcoat of paint and will help cover up any stains
how much light your paint will reflect, which
on the original surface. They also give the paint
makes it the most important decision of the pro-
job a more uniform appearance. Which is to say,
cess. You’ve got several options here:
they’ll help cover up all those mistakes you and
High-Gloss - This one’s so shiny you can almost
your assistants will make in your haste. Latex vs. Oil Now, the actual paint. First of all, don’t be cheap. Get a good quality pint of latex paint. It’s easier to apply, dries thicker and looks better. A cheaper paint will have more liquid in it and less binders (what holds your paint together) and pigments
see yourself in it. It also highlights all of those surface imperfections in your shoddy sets. Only use this if you’re incredibly avant-garde and experimental, and probably not even then. Semi-Gloss - Like high-gloss, but it won’t hurt your eyes. It’s still best to avoid it, unless you enjoy lens glare in your photographs.
(what gives it color and makes it look so purty.
Eggshell - With eggshell, your light reflection, or
Frankly, the higher quality paint just has more
sheen, will be reduced to a minimum. It’ll still be
paint in it. Brand-wise, you can’t go wrong with
too much for most situations, but you can use it
Benjamin Moore. They maintain high environ-
for textured effect. You might want to consider us-
mental standards while providing you with a
ing it for fashion shoots to create a little glitz for
the product. There’s a similar finish called satin, but stick with eggshell.
And if you’re thinking “But what about oil-based paint?” forget about it. For the short-term needs of a photo shoot, latex is the way to go. It creates less fumes and is easier to clean; all you need is water. You would need paint thinner or solvent to clean up the mess from an oil-based paint:
Resource Guide to: 11
Flat Enamel/Matte Finish: Finally, a choice for
Tools for a Tool
the sane set designer. Both of these are going to
After you’ve purchased your cans, now comes
Got everything covered in paint, including
reduce the amount of sheen to zero, with matte
the fun part: applying the paint. Good thing you
yourself? Then do an idiot check. Make sure you
being a little more heavy-duty. Unlike high-gloss,
have all those assistants to do the hard part. But
didn’t miss any spots. When you’re satisfied that
they’ll also cover up all the cracks and holes in
before you throw them into the fray, make sure
those peon assistants did a proper job, don’t
your surfaces. The only downside is that they’re
you’ve got all the tools you might conceivably
let them sit on their duffs. Have them clean it
less resistant to wear and tear than the rest, but
up. Throw out the sponges and wash the rollers and brushes using soap and water. Unless you
since you probably won’t be keeping your sets around for long anyway, who cares? Stick with these two and you can’t go wrong. Color? What are you looking at me for? It’s your vision. This one’s entirely up to you. Math Hurts the Brain So you’ve decided on a paint. Great. How much of it do you need? Probably not a lot. Take your calculators out because I’m about to teach you an equation. Figure out the height and circumference of the room. Multiply the two numbers and then divide that by the number of the suggested square feet per gallon on the paint can label. In egghead math terms, it looks like this:
The result will tell you how many cans you need.
Paint Paint can opener Drop cloths Rags Plastic bags Brushes
Rollers Sponges Pole attachment Ladders Pint of whiskey
neglected my previous advice and used oil-based paints. Then you’ll have to use solvents, which will be a lot more trouble than you need. What about the leftover paint? Leave the can open until it becomes completely solidified. You can then safely throw it in the garbage. That is, if
Gettin’ to It
it’s latex. If it’s oil-based, you can use it until it’s
Cover the floor with the tarp and any furniture you
entirely gone, give it to someone else, or bring it
might have on set with the drop cloths and get to
to your community household hazardous waste
painting. Start with the trim, using the rollers for
collection site. I told you to use latex...
the broad work and brushes for the touchy areas. When using the rollers, apply the paint in an “M”
Finished? Good. Time to let that paint dry. Apply
pattern, then fill in the gaps by rolling horizon-
the pint of whiskey.
tally. For brushes, lay down one short stroke, then go back over it for a smooth finish.
A couple of days later, your shoot is finally over. All of your models have left, dizzy from the fumes
If you’ve got time and it tickles your fancy, apply
that continue to linger in the air. What do you do
a glaze of a different color using the sponges.
with your set now? Unless you’re planning on
Mix the paint with faux glaze and get to work.
using it again, pitch it. Turn it into firewood. Do
Dampen a sponge, dip it in the paint, and then
what you like with it. Then take a deep breath and
lightly press it on the wall in a random pattern.
rest in comfort of knowing that you’ve just barely
This will give the wall a look with more texture
managed to squeak by. Again…
and depth. Whoops. Don’t forget the ceiling, if your set has one. You’re going to want to use the pole attachment for that one. The ladders might come in handy too.
Kevin Bacon...(yes, that Kevin Bacon!) Story: Jon Melamed | Photos: Kumiko Suzuki
Resource recently sat down with the Kevin Bacon, manager of Shoot Digital photo studios. Sunk deep into a black leather couch and shrouded in the bright morning light pouring in from the southernexposed windows, we took candid photographs and asked him a bunch of questions ranging from the photo industry specific to the completely inane. Between bursts of laughter and moments of lucid sincerity, he allowed us into the personal and professional world of one of New Yorkâ€™s premiere photo studios. What we learned is that some studios are run more like families, and that in an industry full of egos and attitudes, there exists hardworking, optimistic people who will do anything to help you get your shot.
Describe yourself in three words: Logical. Dedicated. If I do something, I do it all the way, even bad things. Flexible. I roll with the punches. You have to be able to laugh at yourself, especially in this industry. There are changes every second. What’s in your pocket right now? Nothing…except a Shoot Digital chapstick. Have you ever been completely star struck by a client or celebrity subject? Billy Bob Thorton, that was cool shooting with him. Actually, I was just laughing because he was drunk all day. Working with him was fun because he had a beer by his side all day. He was one of the only celebrities that would come up to you and talk. Harrison Ford. I don’t know if I was starstruck as much as I was intimidated because he doesn’t talk, and if he does, it’s something heavy. And Madonna. Once she did some yoga stretches while I was standing right next to her. She was tiny. Who has the biggest ego on set? I’m not going to go there, man! In this industry, you’ve got to deal with it. We stay away from
celebrity shoots. We kind of go for meat and potato stuff that’s consistent, that shoots every single month, multiple days, multiple studios, and with that it’s all down to earth, down to earth photographers. We have a real nice group of clients that we work with. Once in a while there’s one or two [big egos], but that’s the industry. It comes with the territory and some of them have to have it. If you’re on set with Nicholas Cage, shooting him, you have to have confidence in yourself. I worked for Timothy White for four years, and seeing him onset and how he worked was amazing. Have you had any odd requests from a client or talent? People always want to do crazy things. Recently a client wanted to suspend somebody on a bicycle with crossbars. In this industry it has to be like that; no matter what, you have to get the job done. They have to get the shot, so people sometimes forgo safety. Being in my position, where I’m responsible for the studio, I’ve got to be the person to put the brakes on stuff, but in their minds they’re just trying to get the shot done.
Has anybody ever skipped out on a bill? Well, there are people who don’t skip out as much as they go under. There have been a few people who have avoided us for a year, a year and a half. It’s stupid because they burn their own bridge. You want us on your side. You are going to need a favor some day, all of you do, and every day I get five calls from everybody needing a favor, needing a studio for free or something. If you are a good client, you get it. What does it take to get banned from the studio, staff and clients alike? We want people who want a career here. If you’re here for a 9 to 5 job, you stick out like a sore thumb. They need to know how to handle a fire with a client when something goes bad (because in this industry shit goes bad all the time). People try to do so many things at once, and there are so many people involved. If somebody can’t be called to handle that fire and make them happy no matter what, then that’s an issue. We did have somebody who was short tempered. If a client got mad and yelled at him he would yell back. We are punching bags, you have to suck it up and just take it.
What is the one thing you ask people not to do in the studio, but they do it anyway? Put tape on the cyc! Tape on the cyc…and not cleaning up. When they don’t clean up the big sets. Everybody has gotten over the whole smoking thing. That was a big hurdle, getting people not to smoke…but we allow it in the studios. If you rent the studio, it’s your space, you can smoke in there. Smoking in public areas is what we killed, and that was a tough one. Tape on the cyc is the most aggravating. What’s the longest stretch of time you’ve ever spent in the studio? 57 hours, and in the middle of that I think I had two, two-hour naps. That was actually for an event, but it was in the photo studio. It was for a multimillion-dollar launch for a Maybelline product. The production company had no clue what they were doing, so we had to jump in on the last three days and help them pull it all together. It goes back to that thing where I won’t let something go bad on my property, and if that means 57 hours straight, then its 57 hours straight.
Image and appearance are important things in this industry. How much do they come into play when hiring staff? We try not to be a part of the industry as much as the industry is. We are not the prettiest studio. We really close our eyes to that, because it’s about the people. That’s why we have a great family; nobody leaves here. Everybody who works here has been here since we started pretty much. We started out with 17 people 4 years ago and now we have 41. There have been people that we’ve let go, but nobody has quit. We have a tight group of people who are all committed to their careers. Nobody here has a job, everybody has a career. We give back a lot. Next weekend we are closing, and we’re all going out to a huge house in the Hamptons for three days straight. Everything is food and drinks and it’s just the 41 of us hanging out all weekend and having a blast. We do that once a year. Its little things like that that help keep us a family and help keep us working well together. Everybody here loves their job, and there are not many places where you can say that, so we are all very lucky.
What is your expected retirement date? Hopefully a lot sooner than 65, but I don’t know what I’d do if I retired.
Photo Deco 17
The Mermaid Parade Photo: Jeremy Zini
At the start of each summer, Coney Islanders pay homage to the Sea Gods with the Mermaid Parade. Over the past few years, each parade has been dubbed “The Last Mermaid Parade,” as the finality of its 25 year run has become a threat. This summer’s parade may actually have been the last time a celebrity King Neptune and Queen Mermaid reign over the marching array of sea creatures, Mermaids, Neptunes and Coney Island memorabilia. If the 2007 parade goes down in the books as the actual final one, the annual celebration of everything that is summer on Coney Island will be missed.
18 How To
Use A Steamer Story + Illustration: Dave Petersen
1. Read all instructions. While filling with water, emptying, steaming, plugging or disconnecting—read all instructions during, prior and after usage. Keep all instructional material on your person at all times. 2. To reduce risk of contact with hot water emitting from steam vents, have your assistant hold their hand in front of the steam vents to check the appliance for any hot spattering water. Remember to do this before each use by holding it away from your body and towards theirs. 3. Use appliance for its intended use only. Other uses may be frowned upon by society. However, some may enjoy steamed vegetables, fish or dumplings. Cook with caution. 4. A steamer is like a man, only use in an up and down vertical motion. Never use steamer in a horizontal position or tilt into a backward position, this may result in water discharge. 5. To avoid risk of shock, do not immerse the appliance in water or other liquids, unless you were born yesterday. 6. Never tug cord to disconnect from outlet; instead grasp the plug, pull to disconnect, push to connect, pull to disconnect, push to connect, pull to disconnect. 7. Do not allow cord to touch hot surfaces, like a stove. Allow 10 minutes for appliance to cool completely before serving. 8. Always disconnect from electrical outlet when transporting appliance, unless you have a very long extension cord. 9. Do not operate appliance with a damaged cord, or if the appliance has been dropped, warn people below. 10. To reduce risk of electrical shock, do not disassemble to attempt to repair the appliance; this steamer is far more intricate than your delicate mind. Instead, take it to a qualified service person or send it back to the steamer factory and say, “What is this crap?!”. Incorrect reassembly or repair could cause an explosion of considerable size, electric shock or injury to the next person who uses it. 11. Close supervision is necessary for any appliance being used by children, near children or in any child labor facility. Such facilities should follow proper precautions as stated in the child labor management handbooks. 12. Burns could occur from touching hot parts, hot water, hot steam, hot hot dogs, hot doorknobs, hot models, and other hot things. Remember what your mama taught you. 13. Indoor use only. Were you planning on plugging it into a tree? Okay then… 14. Never attempt to steam clothing while on body.
THE INEVITABLE: Mineral deposits will eventually form inside the steamer. Go to the doctor right away! You will notice reduced performance and the thermostat light will go on and off. This is a very bad sign! If your steamer does not have a light you may be able to hear a clicking sound going on and off. Don’t worry…but you must seek immediate medical attention! Liquid cleaning solutions for removing mineral deposits are available for purchase online. Try it, it’ll help… MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR: Most maintenance and repair for your steamer may be done at home, by you or your spouse. Check your user’s manual, search the web, or call the manufacturer for ordering parts that need replacing. Repair instructions can be found online, but steamers are fairly simple machines and replacing parts can be a rather obvious process. If it’s not obvious to you, we suggest getting professional help. If you are replacing several parts at the same time, take a picture of the entire assembly before you take it apart as a reminder of how all the parts should be configured. Send this photo to Encyclopedia of Modern Day Medical Marvels. Pay special attention to the color-coding on the wiring so as not to confuse positive, negative and ground wires.
HOW TO STEAM STEP 1: Use the bottle made for your steamer.
STEP 5: We do not recommend steaming on a
Fill it up, cap it, and invert it into the steamer’s
table, but if you must, clear away all sharp objects
reservoir. You can use either distilled or tap water.
and use the steamer for only a few seconds at a
I use San Pellegrino.
time, intermittently turning the head upright and stretching the hose. Please STRETCH THE HOSE.
STEP 2: Turn the power switch to the ON position.
I cannot stress to you enough how important
It will take one or two minutes to see steam com-
it is to stretch the hose. Just a little tug…little
ing from the steamer head.
STEP 3: If the article of clothing you are working
STEP 6: As you work be sure to keep the water
on is big enough for a hanger, then you’re work-
tank from running dry. A steamer run dry not
ing on the wrong set. Hold on to the lower end of
only risks overheating, but can make for a very
the garment with your free hand while pressing
awkward situation. Additionally, overheating
the steamer head lightly against the fabric. Hold
increases mineral deposit buildup inside the
the head in an upright position and move it up
heating chamber and copper tube and I hear that
and down while maintaining a light pressure on
could be more painful than labor.
the surface of the fabric. That’s right…press down right there. You got it…right…there.
STEP 7: Be sure to hang steamer from its hook when not in use. Don’t even ask about the hook…
STEP 4: Some fabrics, and some women, require more pressure than others. Apply pressure ac-
STEP 8: Keep the steamer turned off when not in
use. Is it technically ever NOT in use?
1. 2. 3. 4.
Steamer Head Hose Hook Rod Attachment Middle Section Rod Attach- ment 5. Rod Set Nut 6. Water Bottle 7. Bottle Check Valve Cap 8. Heating Unit 9. Thermostat 10. Plastic Reservoir 11. Electrical switch 12. Copper Tube 13. Elbow Joint 14. Bottom Plate 15. Casters
When we say “location”, we think of beautiful places: awe-inspiring mansions, postcard-perfect beaches, before-the-fall gardens. The truth is: beauty is everywhere. Resource is going beyond the typical concept of location, looking for the extraordinary in our everyday reality. This issue has studio views, but who knows, maybe next time we’ll be in your backyard!
a. pier 59 pier 59 photo: courtesy of pier 59 b. pure space c. shoot digital d. daylight e. the space all other photos: keith telfeyan, thomas lee
C B Location 21
24 Round Table
ROUND TABLE OF TRUTH:
Make-up Artists Story: Ana Callahan | Photos: Danielle Ricciardi
Turn-ons in the make-up chair, ping pong ball cover-ups, and ill-tempered sweaty alcoholic actors are just some of the “cute” idiosyncrasies that befall make-up artists. Let’s not forget the model demanding a run down on your “blush techniques” right at the bright ass of dawn, way before the photographer and all his stylist gods come with barking orders. These keen keepers of eyebrow shaping and sweat-wiping buzz and chirp in their own language. Hell, they might even use secret code words they keep from each other. Now we approach the moment of truth. Just what happens when make-up artists and hair stylists attempt early morning tangos around
perfectly puffy A-listers, testosteronefueled rap stars, or somewhat pre-menstrual models? Enter three of New York’s bravest who will dish it all, and maybe serve it up hot at the classic East Village café, Le Gamin. Jill, Pascale and Loretta have seen it all, heard it all, and tried it all…and we mean products! We poke and prod them at the beauty round table of truth. We want to know if that pesky mascara wand ever gets in the way of the thousandth brush through the bangs, just who leaves first, who screams first, and who gets the most toys. In the land of make-up artists, the one with the most referrals wins.
Round Table 25
Is there a hierarchy within the league of
ego or attitude thing I would give him my brushes
Do you do special effects?
and tell him, “Go ahead! Do whatever you think
J: Do you watch Rescue Me, the fire show? I did
J: No, today’s magazine is tomorrow’s trash.
the effects on the first season of that. My friend
Who’s Kevyn Aucoin?
Do you think hair or make-up people have
burns up and down these eight year olds. On one
J: Oh! He was a genius! I’ve met him a few
girl, her ear was gone, the other kid had half a
times. What a lovely man! I was so nervous about
P: It’s not about hair or make-up, it’s about
face. I love the special effects stuff: that’s the fun
meeting him, but he put me at ease. He found
people with egos: they would have the same egos
stuff. I’ve had actors who can’t wear prosthetics
out I worked on RENT, and he was like, “Oh my
even if they were working in a grocery store. They
because they sweat so much alcohol out of their
God, that’s my favorite show! Can you get me an
start making a lot of money and seeing celebrities
pores that the adhesive doesn’t stick.On a movie
autograph?” And I was like—Kevyn Aucoin is ask-
and big models and all the big “blah blah blah”
years ago, I had one actor wear fake tattoos.
ing me if I can get him an autograph? I met him
These are alcohol-based pigments, which make
again about nine months later, and he actually
J: Anyone can be an asshole.
it stick to the skin. He was such an alcoholic that
and I did the ghost characters, the kids. We did
it wouldn’t stick: he had so much alcohol coming
remembered who I was! To me that was just…
Who steals the most products?
out of his pores! I put Pros-aid on top of that, it’s
L: That’s great. I worked with Jay Manuel once,
J: Hair. We bring our own.
a prosthetic adhesive. It’s a bitch to take off. Also,
before he became, you know, the top guy on
L: Hair. We get a lot of free stuff so we don’t have
people who drink sweat a lot. I was working with
America’s Next Top Model. Now he’s everywhere.
an actor, a former alcoholic; he was exercising in a scene, and was sweating a lot. He said, “Well,
He’s a sweetheart. At that time I didn’t know he was so huge.
How much does Photoshop affect your work?
you should have seen me when I used to drink: I
P: One time I worked on a cover and the make up
was a water fountain compared to this!”
You’ve done Eminem’s make up?
at the end wasn’t the make up I had done at all!
L: Yea, he’s so hot.
I would never have done such a work, so I called
How do you make somebody looked drugged up?
the photographer to complain. This is my work
J: Pink eyeliner pencil under the eyes, blotchy skin.
Have you ever had someone getting turned
with my name on it, and I don’t want to be associ-
L: [Pink eyeliner] makes it look sunken in.
on while on the make-up chair?
ated with something that was so bad…
J: I also use a menthol blower: it’s a little plastic
L: Not really turned on, but on hip-hop videos a
J: Photoshop allows a lot of bad make-up artists
tube in which you put mentholated crystals. You
lot of people I work with like to joke. There are
to have careers because they say: “Oh, we can
blow through it, menthol comes out and irritates
hormones just jumping at you on these shoots.
just fix it.” It does allow people who don’t have
the actor’s eyes so they turn red. It’s better than
One of the guys, I always have to tuck his hair
a lot of talent to work. People can just get by on
what directors used to do: they used to take a
in and he’s like, “Oh, Loretta, you’re hitting that
attitude or flare.
drag off of a menthol cigarette and blow it in their
P: On the set they’ll say: “Oh well you can just
face, back in the day. It irritates the eyes. That’s
fix it with Photoshop, right?” Well no, before
how their eyes would get all red and teary.
Have you ever been in a situation when you
trying to fix it, we should try to make it right. It
thought that the hair person wasn’t doing a
should perfect. It’s happening not only for the
What’s a really crap day for you?
make-up and hair but also for photographers.
J: Pink eyeliner J: Not enough time. Everyone
P: If someone has to say something, it has to
Some shouldn’t be photographers but thanks to
banging on the door. The AV department [rushing
come from either the fashion editor, the beauty
Photoshop, they are.
us]. Someone starts banging on the door saying, “Are you ready?” “How much longer?” “How much
editor, or the photographer. I’m not going to tell the hairdresser: “Your hair sucks and it makes
Do actors or models ever fuss with your job?
longer?” And I say, “Subtract two minutes from
my make-up look bad.” I cannot do that, even if I
J: All the time! If they have bad skin, and I mean
the last time you asked me!”
a huge zit that’s 3-D, I can put on an inch of make up but you will still see it. It’s up to the lighting
When the job is done, who gets to put their feet
If the hair stylist started to tell you that your
director to fix that; but they think it’s a make up
make-up wasn’t that great, what would you do?
thing. They say, “Can’t you cover that?” and I
P: The models.
J: I can’t imagine that person working.
say,“If I put a ping pong ball on your face, would
J: The stylists.
P: That’s never happened, but if it did happen
you be able to cover it?”
I would ask him what he thinks I should do to improve what I’ve done. If I see that it’s just an
26 As Seen in Resource Magazine
AS SEEN IN RESOURCE MAGAZINE:
Eddie’s Furniture Story: Brian Dwyer | Photos: JJ Sulin
“Welcome to Hell,” Ed says, lifting the cranking
The decision to open the shop was easy for
gates that protect his store. Ed Hibbert, a
Hibbert. He had been a firefighter his whole life
224 Greene Ave.
demolition contractor and retired firefighter, has
and decided to begin taking demolition jobs thirty
between Grand and Classon Ave.
made Eddie’s Furniture in Clinton Hill much more
years ago to pay the bills. “Firemen are notorious
Brooklyn, NY 11238
than a hardware store. In a two-unit garage on
for tearing people’s houses up,” Hibbert says. “So
the corner of Greene and Grand Avenues, Hibbert
this is really like second nature.”
keeps some of his favorite raggedy pieces of “lost” art from his demolition work: doors,
He opened up Eddie’s Furniture eight years ago
shelves, tables, lamps, and chandeliers sit,
because he noticed there was a market for
waiting quietly, covered in dust and soot.
Brownstone furniture that didn’t need to be expensive or brand new. His demolition custom-
But these pieces don’t come here simply to
ers, most of whom were remodeling apartments
die—Hibbert restores them as well. He and a
they had just bought, always complained they
couple of his buddies open up in the morning at
couldn’t find Brownstone doors, which are taller
10am, and within an hour, they slowly saunter a
than most normal home doors. Hibbert calls
couple chipped doors onto some sawhorses out
himself the Anti-Home Depot.
in front of the shop. Here, there’s music and casual banter--just some friends spending the
In addition, all of Hibbert’s “junk” is from his
days sanding and lacquering in good company.
neighborhood in Brooklyn. Hibbert says the area has gone through hard times with drug traffic and
From the first step into the shop, an urban barn
violence but has recently become less dangerous.
with two overcrowded walking lanes, every
His shop holds the record of local history, trends
customer is greeted by the African Queen, a
statue of an African woman with both arms
There is a Hassidic flavor to some of the
missing past the elbows. Given to him by his
furniture. There are vibes from decades ago, ‘70s
friend Moses from Nigeria, it’s the only item in
pastels and ‘80s glitz from lifelong New Yorkers.
the shop he won’t sell.
In a way, it’s a time capsule for the neighborhood.
In Ed’s shop, the mirrors are glazed with a yellow
“We’re the poor man’s ABC [Carpet and Home],”
tint, mannequins hang from ceilings with no
Hibbert says. “We call it XYZ.”
torsos, and movie collections include Meatballs 4.
Gaffer’s tape Photo: Karen Evans | Make-up + Hair: Pascale Poma | Models: Idele from Bloom + Carla S. from APM
When you find yourself on a shoot, in close contact with beautiful creatures’ bodies barely covered by designer lingerie, you want to be cool-- or at the very least look like you are. For this situation, gaffer’s tape is the way to go. As you strut across the studio, those big brown eyes aren’t going to be focused on your scruffy beard and untucked shirt; they are going to wander down, all the way down to your pants…down to the gaffer’s tape stretched across your camos. The working man is sexy! Show‘em what you’ve got!
in or s t n a p your n o e p a t Gaffer’s
Fashion title 29
30 Industry Tales
On Location Story: Roy Schwartz | Illustration: Sergio Barrale
People know me as a fashion stylist-slash-set decorator. I mostly work on ads, fashion magazines, catalogues and such. Most of the people who do this started out as something else and fell into it ass-backwards, but life on set is all I’ve ever known since I stopped wearing my hair in ponytails— and I make it a point to know how to do my job very well. After more than twelve years in the business—and I’m sticking to that number— I get to play mother hen to all the teenage models and dilettante interns who run around my sets. More often than not this only involves the basics. It used to be that I’d have to make sure my assistant had actually eaten something with her coffee and cigarettes. Although recently, I’d swear I’m expected to sort out the entire production logistics of a shoot. And, of course, it’s exactly what I end up doing. Sometimes I just have to play ringmaster to this circus. The fashion industry in the U.S. is really endemic to New York, so I stay indigenous to the City. However, contrary to my usual schlepping of backdrops and accessories around air-conditioned sets, I once found myself in JFK at 5am boarding a flight to the Turneffe Islands. Standing beside me was Gary the photographer—an old colleague and good friend of mine. Against my better judgment, I was off to Belize.
I usually follow my own advice, and I always end up regretting the times that I don’t.
I usually follow my own advice, and always end up regretting the times when I don’t. This time was no different: the heat was sweltering, the morning air was heavy with thick humidity that burned inside my chest, and the crew, from the photographer to the models to the hairdressers, slowed down to a crawl the moment we arrived on location. Me being me, I would have none of it, of course, and I once again took control of the situation. At least the work got done in the end, and by dusk we had finished the day’s shooting on schedule. Nightfall brought with it a cool ocean breeze, and while a few of us were beat and headed back to the hotel, most of us went out for dinner and drinks. By the end of dinner, I was exhausted. Maybe it was the hot air and frozen drinks or just the stress of the day, but as soon as we all got on the bus, I was out! I awoke to the sound of our driver singing along with the radio, but I didn’t bother to get up for another few minutes. Since I couldn’t hear anybody else’s voice, I assumed they were all asleep. I soon found out, to my growing horror, I was the only one on the bus. I screamed. He screamed. The bus screeched to a halt. He looked even more startled than me. “Ah…ah drop all youh friends at da hotel…” He looked at me with absolutely no idea of what to do with me. “We oder side of da island now…” They abandoned me! I couldn’t believe they actually just left me there on the bus, all alone in the islands with just the bus driver—all ALONE! I demanded to be taken back, but apparently we didn’t have enough gas, and there was no open gas station between the resort and us. He looked
at me with his big brown eyes. “Der is fuel station by my house, half-hour awea. Maybe is open?” Ten different alarm bells were going off in my head all at once, but I was too damned tired to pay attention. The gas station was closed, so I had no choice but to accept his hospitality for the night. We slowly approached his house, a small wooden shack at the end of a long dirt trail that forked off from the main road. By the time he offered me something to drink I was a little less exhausted, so we sat out on his patio, drinking cold beer and (for the first time in a very long while for me) smoking pot. His name was Armand, and his mileage seemed to exceed his years. I told him about New York and my job, even though he didn’t ask, and the charm of the hustle and bustle was lost on him. He was perfectly content sitting here, shirtless and sweaty, drinking cold beers and looking at the night sky. Never in my life have I seen so many twinkling stars. I spent the rest of the night on the patio, and at dawn he drove me back to the hotel. I met everyone at breakfast but told no one of my misadventure. Even though I didn’t get a wink of sleep, I felt more than up to the coming day. It had been a night of amazing conversation and relaxation—I was completely free, in those magical hours on Armand’s patio, with a smile nestled in my eyes. This is what happens when I don’t listen to my own advice.
Masons Yard, London February 1967; Gered Mankowitz | Story by: Charlie Fish
It’s February 1967 and Jimi Hendrix is still virtually unknown in the United States. He has been touring the UK and Europe for close to a year and the buzz surrounding his virtuosity and showmanship is growing. One night in a smoky London pub, he’s introduced to renowned British photographer Gered Mankowitz. Mankowitz has already befriended and photographed the Rolling Stones and is receiving acclaim for his candid portraits of rock stars. In just four months, Jimi Hendrix will play in front of an American audience of over 200,000 at the Monterey Pop Music Festival. His career will take off exponentially over the next three years until his untimely death. Mankowitz will go on to photograph such acts as Marianne Faithful, The Yardbirds, Elton John, Kate Bush, Duran Duran and Eurythmics. His images will become an intrinsic part of pop culture. But at the moment, Mankowitz is working with Jimi Hendrix, taking such iconic shots of him as “Smoking,” which Rolling Stone Magazine later names as one of the 50 Greatest Rock Portraits. Another image from the session, “Blue Smoke,” will later become the cover for the 1993 compilation album, The Ultimate Experience. Affable and humorous, Mankowitz talked with Resource magazine to tell the history behind the photo shoot, and gave us the dirt on one of the greatest guitarists and rock legends. This is Mankowitz’ Ultimate Jimi Hendrix Experience.
On meeting Jimi in London: “Chas Chandler,
On Jimi’s look: “He looked fabulous; he was a
ourselves together and be stern and sexy. The
former bassist of The Animals, was Jimi’s
gift to any photographer. He looked very unique
whole shoot, the atmosphere was quite light in
manager. He wanted me to work with Jimi so he
for the time, with an extraordinarily wild, untamed
its mood. It was a giggly moment. There were
invited me to a little club in Soho called the Bag
Afro hairstyle. I’d worked with quite a lot of black
several photos in that session where he was
of Nails, where they were having a showcase,
artists before, and the women always wore wigs,
smiley. I remember Jimi being a smiley person.”
basically, for the press. The cream of the British
and the guys had their hair straightened. This
rock establishment was there: Pete Townsend,
wild looking black man was exciting and visually
On smoking: “Everybody thinks he’s smoking a
Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page. Jimi blew them
stimulating. He took to the fashion of the day so
joint there, but he isn’t. Benson & Hedges Gold
all away. I met him there very briefly, and told
perfectly. The uniform jacket, the silk, the velvet
was quite a popular, stylish brand of the day, so
Chas that I’d be delighted to work with him. Noth-
and lace. That whole London look was made for
it might have been a Benson he was smoking.
ing happened for a bit because they got some
him. Jimi bought the jacket he’s wearing in the
This was a time when everybody smoked. We
opportunities to tour Europe through the end of
picture from I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet, which
were only a little way distant from adverts saying
1966. So we had our first session after the tour,
was a very well known shop on Portobello Road
that smoking was good for your health, from
in February of 1967.”
that sold old military uniforms. These jackets
doctors endorsing certain brands of cigarettes.
are antiques now, anywhere between 70 and 80
Smoking during the shoot was a completely
On Jimi’s personality: “He was still incredibly
years old. At the time they were bought in bulk
normal thing. I don’t think he was trying to be
excited and enthusiastic about being in the
from the Ministry of Defense, and suddenly they
rebellious. I was trying to get away from the
spotlight as a solo artist. He’d been on what was
were fashionable. Jimi bought several jackets
glossy sparkly formality of music portraiture that
called the ‘Chitlin Circuit’—safe and acceptable
there. The brooch came from the Kensington
was dominant. I was going for grittier, grainier,
venues throughout the eastern and southern U.S.
harder, tougher. I certainly wouldn’t have stopped someone from smoking during a shoot. It was a
for African-American performers during the age of racial segregation. He did that for several
On the set: “There were no stylists, no makeup
years, backing up acts like The Isley Brothers,
artist, no crew. I didn’t have an assistant yet.
Little Richard and B.B. King, and it was a pretty
It was just Jimi and his band members, Mitch
On having worked with Jimi Hendrix: “The thing
soul-destroying job for an ambitious, creative
Mitchell and Noel Redding, and then me. There
I want the world to know is that I don’t think I’ve
musician who craved the limelight himself. So
was no manager, no roadie, no team. Jimi was
photographed anybody quite as charismatic as
coming to London and getting his own band was
a very funny guy and he liked to laugh. So many
Jimi was. The only other person I can think of
terribly exciting, and he was thrilled. His
musicians of the day wanted to be confronta-
who had similar charisma in the studio is Annie
openness and friendliness were very much
tional, sexy and aggressive. They didn’t want
Lennox. Jimi was a one-off, a pretty unique per-
present in his personality. This was before the
to be seen as smiley, goofy, natural people. All
son. I was in the presence of a gifted, charming
drugs, before the frustration, and before the
men wanted to be solemn, stern and moody; but
individual and a genuinely nice man. He changed
exhaustion had kicked in. He still had a naiveté, a
Jimi laughed a lot. We got a little stoned before
a lot in the short period of his life that was to
freshness. He was very comfortable in the studio,
we started shooting. Drugs back then were very
follow. The more I think about it, the more I real-
a dream subject.”
lightweight, so it was a light, giggly high, not
ize how fortunate I was to work with him in that
heavy. So we would laugh a lot and then try to pull
naturalistic approach to image making.”
LA, London, Miami, Tokyo
Los Angeles: Alejandro Wilkins
The rest of the world… beyond New York City… a parallel universe where people talk funny and think beige is a color. Does it really even exist? You know it does. As an ever-growing industry, photo production is no longer confined within the four corners of a map. Resource has brought together photographers from around the world to unite our internationally intertwined industry while representing their own little piece of the Earth. Here are some snapshots from our contributors from around the world to show us what their reality under the sun looks like…
London: Philip Sharp www.philsharp-photo.com
Miami: Sebastian Gray www.sebastiangray.com
Tokyo: Skorj www.filmwasters.com
In the quest for the perfect image, Bryan Zmijewski wants you to get Lucky
By Joe Fassler. Photographed by Keith Telfeyan. Artwork provided by LuckyOliver
User Must sign up for the service before a user can participate.
Editor A community member or someone from MegaGlobal.
MegaGlobal Customer Service A MegaGlobal employee, or customer service consultant. This person has the access to reply to customers and also perform editing tasks.
Initial User Flow picassa API
Upload sequence v 2 January 8, 2006 Created by: Bryan
A user will upload a photo most likely from the website, but we will have an API that we can eventually plug into other software and web services.
Take photo control panel
If reply, goes to customer service
Email sent to user
Image gets saved to the database in numerous sizes along with the meta data
Active Declined Bargain Bin
Emails from cummunity members will be handled by MegaGlobal customer service
Three conditions 1. New User 2. Single upload 3. Multiple uploads
tags specific image (puts a note)
Editor and Company control panel
Que Active Declined Bargain Bin
User View image silo (database)
User File Uploads
All File Uploads
Tags specific image (puts a note) If a user replys to a questionable image (possible copyright infringement), customer service will tag the photo and put it back into the que with a response.
User Must sign up for the service before a user can participate.
First time uploader
Editor A community member or someone from MegaGlobal.
Three conditions 1. Accept 2. Decline 3. Bargain Bin
MegaGlobal Customer Service
A MegaGlobal employee, or customer service consultant. This person has the access to reply to customers and also perform editing tasks.
Expert uploader Three conditions 1. Accept 2. Decline 3. Bargain Bin
Accept- The quality and subject is acceptable, user is credited with a credit.
Questionionable If editor is unsure of a copyright issue an email is sent directly to the user. Possible question is old photo.
Decline- Copyright issues, duplicate, no model release, offensive. No credit is given. Bargain Bin- Didn’t pass quality test, but has the opportunity to move into the ‘accept’ category based on teh community. No credit is given.
You guys got me all fired up riffing on names. Kevin got me thinking espanol. Atul got me thinking rhythm and repetition. Bryan, Amy and Rob have wonderfully weird ones. There’s some names and word fragments that’re fun to play with here too. I think these are all get-able domains.
rhythm & punch wideyed.com seesaw.com pepperhot.com thinkfast.com headsup.com superbird.com highlight.com slapstick.com thinkquick.com Word fragments that felt good to play around with.
gigantic.com dynamo.com poppi.com moose.com miravo.com savory.com seismic.com punchdrunk.com handprint.com
speeka.com reflex.com mixer.com blink.com limon.com ooh.com oh.com hmm.com
accentuate the positive unrefined.com tooloud.com redeye.com ojorojo.com ( Spanish for “red eye” )
speck.com spot.com nosey.com noisy.com noise.com
oliverorange.com luckyoliver.com oholiver.com Maybe a name that sounds like one of these pseudonyms (all are actually in use by someone).
roddy frame freddy mellow willi williams jean breeze chloe poems kit clayton screwball albee
Coupla random ones.
openmic.com mixdisk.com - jeremy
in the square with
China in Chelsea
by Justin Muschong Images by Lila Lee
he West remains largely ignorant of contemporary Chinese art. Sure we know about Ming vases, silk paintings and calligraphy, but these are old, if not ancient, artworks that get used time and again in the media to represent China, usually accompanied by the strains of Beijing opera and images of the Terracotta Army. They tell us a lot about the history of the country, but nothing of the modern movements that are at work in the culture. This is something Alex Cao would like to change. With an eye towards spreading Western awareness of modern Chinese art, Cao founded the art gallery, ChinaSquare, with the collaboration of KoKo-Shen Li, now the gallery director. Located on the eighth floor of the Chelsea Arts Tower in Manhattan, ChinaSquare opened last May with a photographic exhibition, entitled “Dragon’s Evolution,” curated by Zhu Qi. The month-long exhibition served as a primer for contemporary Chinese photography, providing a wide range of images from more than 50 artists who explored such topics and themes as consumerism, globalization, feminism, and the changes occurring in “China’s cultural consciousness.” It was the first time New York City had seen a Chinese photographic art exhibition on that scale. The turnout was phenomenal, and the line to get in went out the front doors eight stories below. A traveling exhibit of the show is currently in the works. It was such a success that the work of one artist, Chen Jiagang, made the cover of the June issue of PDN Magazine and was the subject of a solo exhibition at ChinaSquare this past summer. In addition, the gallery has also featured the paintings of Li Tianyuan, and there are plans for a sculpture exhibition displaying the works of Qu Guangci and Xiang Jing to premiere in September. Installation and video art will also be featured at ChinaSquare. “I think there really is no limit,” Cao said, “as long as it is good and interesting art.” Cao, a photographer himself, makes frequent trips to China and hosts many artists who come to visit him in New York. He’s been an art collector, particularly of photography, since his days as a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He noticed that in recent years there has been a lot of activity on the Chinese art scene with many great artists eager to work internationally, but the West has only seen the tip of the iceberg. Cao felt there was a growing demand in America for Chinese art and
wanted to establish a gallery to bring more attention and exposure to these artists. “I have studied both Chinese and Western art for a long time,” he said. “I felt there was enough demand in America, not just from the market, but intellectually, culturally, academically, to establish a gallery that just concentrated on contemporary China. It’s perfect timing.” But he wanted it to be more than just a gallery. In their own words, “ChinaSquare was born from the need of established Chinese contemporary artists abroad to obtain credible representation in New York City. Through exhibitions and publications, ChinaSquare strives to improve the
ists, visitors, and collectors can make contact and discuss the work on display, emerging artists, future trends—everything and anything art related. The space was designed by architect Xu Tiantian, who also designed the Song-Zhuang Museum of Contemporary Art in Beijing. She envisioned a space that elaborates on the square theme, focusing attention on the displays. Entering the gallery, you exit from the elevators to find yourself in a largely empty square room, one lone column stretching from floor to ceiling. The floor is an industrial gray and the walls a stark white. The eye is naturally drawn to the only splashes
for the art, but they can change the layout of the gallery, transforming the tone and feel of the space. Square windows look out on the industrial skyline of Manhattan’s West Side, a water tower perched on the rooftop just across the way. My own visit to the gallery allowed me to view the work of two completely different artists, Li Tianyuan and Chen Jiagang, their styles illustrative of the divergent paths, which ChinaSquare intends to explore in the future. Tianyuan’s paintings express the divide between man and nature, fantasy and reality. Many of his subjects occupy lush, verdant landscapes that
“I think there really is no limit,” Cao said, “as long as it is good and interesting art.” accessibility of Chinese contemporary art to art historians, connoisseurs, museums and cultural institutions, critics, foundations, collectors and art enthusiasts.” Cao continued, “The goal of my gallery, besides the sale of some of the best art works to collectors, is to work with museums and public places so more Americans can see Chinese art. This way, Westerners can understand more about Chinese culture.” It is just this kind of cross-cultural discussion that the gallery is designed to foster. The full translation of the Chinese title of the gallery is “China Square Art Space,” and that’s exactly what the gallery is. Not just a room where paintings hang on the walls, but a space where art-
of color, the paintings and photographs adorning the walls, which are seemingly brightened by the drab, static environment. Each artwork has an isolated spot where it can be appreciated close up without distraction. With a step back, viewers can contextualize the piece and compare it to the rest of the exhibit. Two smaller square rooms containing more pieces connect to the main square on opposite sides. Behind the main square sits a quiet, rectangular hallway that leads to the gallery’s offices but also serves as a nook where viewers can reflect on the art in a more private, intimate space. Two hinged, moveable walls roam from position to position. They not only provide further room
swirl with mystical forces, both seen and unseen. Yet his subjects often regard these wondrous locations with boredom. In one painting, four teenagers sit in a boat flying between trees, but they remain cool and aloof. One doesn’t even stop smoking to appreciate the situation’s magical nature. In another, a man stands on thin air, hovering over a river, yet by his expression you might think he’s getting impatient while waiting in a coffee shop line. Other subjects find comfort by taking the time to appreciate their world. A man resting beneath a stand of trees is surrounded by ghosts and memories dwelling in the leaves and bark. In other works, faces and statues appear in bushes, trees, and fields of wheat, peering out at the viewer. One ghostly
I believe you need a great deal of passion in order to do a good job, with anything you do.
man’s head peers above a small tree at the riverbank with a detached arm reaching out as if he’s inviting you to plunge into the crystal blue river behind him. The photographs of Jiagang also seem to explore memory and the past, but he’s more interested in their effects on today’s world. The colors are often muted browns, greens and yellows. Many of his subjects are trying to get by in hard-scrabble cityscapes, thick with smog and discarded trash. Creating a viable place for their citizens to live seems to have been the last thing on the minds of the city planners, their past mistakes continuing to be felt in the present. Hope and peace can be spotted in small bursts of brighter colors like blues, pinks, and whites, in the curling smoke rising from a pool of water, or in the proud smiles of a family gathered together on a cliff overlooking the city. While Cao himself is a fine art photographer, he also works in the commercial world, implanting his stylistic touches on make-up and fashion ads. The main difference between working a commercial gig and working out of passion, he said, is that, “When I work on a commercial job…I work with art directors, stylists and designers very closely. It involves a lot of different steps. Most of the time, it’s a creative service. When it is
fine art, it is very personal.” But his commercial work, viewable at his website www.alexcao.com, clearly shows an artistic sensibility. “I believe you need a great deal of passion in order to do a good job, with anything you do.” His fashion photography certainly exudes this passion, and his models seem to share it. They are never idle, never lifeless, and actually appear to possess emotions outside of remote detachment. Some of them twist, turn and contort their bodies into awkward looking positions, but their faces never betray any discomfort. Spring and summer colors dominate Cao’s palette, adding an extra dash to already colorful clothes. “Fashion photography is a new trend in the photography art market. I think a lot of commercial photographers, especially the older generation, are going to do more fine art.” He also has an extensive collection of portraits produced outside of his fashion work. Rather than models, his subjects are people with everyday beauty, but the off-handed intimacy with which he photographs them allows us to see them in unguarded moments. In every picture, the subject’s eyes burn brightly and catch your own. Combined with the close-up framing, the effect often feels like you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone who happens to be
in a studio. Cao’s work shows an influence from diverse sources. He cites not just photographers such as Irving Penn, David Bailey, and Richard Avedon as his influences but also traditional Chinese calligraphy and painters like Egon Schiele. These influences can be seen not just in his portraiture work but also in his commercial pieces. One photograph for Christian Dior shows the tip of a brush lying beside a circular batch of purple blush makeup on a white background. The effect reminds one of a colorful, non-traditional exclamation point. Outside of his own work, Cao shows a generosity toward his fellow artists through ChinaSquare’s continuing mission to spotlight artists who have been neglected on this side of the world. Once again in their own words, “Like Chinese contemporary art, ChinaSquare is young, ambitious and full of potential.” Keep up with them, and you’ll find a new artist to love with each new exhibition. There’s a wide world of talent out there just waiting to be discovered.
For more information on ChinaSquare, go to www.ChinaSquareNY.com or call (212) 255-8886. The address is 545 West 25th Street, 8th Floor, Chelsea Arts Tower, New York, NY 10001.
Talk to any stylist
, freelance or otherwise, and they’ll all say the same thing: returning products is simply part of the job. It’s the part of the job that may strike fear in some, anger in others, or even pose an intriguing challenge to the select few who don’t like taking “No” for an answer. But across the board, it’s the one job description that all stylists share; it’s their universal language. Even seasoned stylists with a legion of assistants at one point or another did returns. He or she dragged garbage bags full of items across Manhattan (and then into the outer boroughs, quite often on the same day), donned wigs and sunglasses so as not to be
Top 5 easiest places to do returns 1. Bed Bath & Beyond (Not only do they deliver, but they’re known to stylists as “Bed Bath & Return”) 2. Crate & Barrel 3. Target 4. Gracious Home 5. Urban Outfitters
recognized by the cashiers, and used some “creative excuses,” to say the very least. Yet eventually, cashiers and store managers caught on. With monthly returns averaging in the five digits dollar-wise, policies got stricter, faces became too familiar, and names got blacklisted.
as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is “a list of persons or organizations that have incurred disapproval or suspicion or are to be boycotted or otherwise penalized”. In the world of stylists, it means that the unlucky individual X’d out with black marker can purchase at will but can never return anything. All stylists would agree: what good is it to be stuck with hundreds of dollars worth of vases, children’s clothing, lawn chairs, or glass plates? Returning products, then, becomes a delicate dance between the stylist and the cashier, with intricate rules and guidelines that all stylists know, whether intrinsically or as hand-me-down knowledge from having previously worked as assistants. Claire Day, a former freelance photo stylist, worked on shoots in San Francisco and New York City for 15 years. Her biggest advice is simply, “Always deny you’re a stylist.” In fact, many times she would claim to be a personal shopper, emphasizing that her clients weren’t impressed with what she’d bought. “Stores can deny stylists, but they can’t deny a personal shopper. That excuse got me through some inkier times,” she added. By “inkier times,” Day refers to the many occasions when she—assisting renowned stylist Caroline G. —would have to haul black garbage bags into Macy’s and pull out articles of clothing one by one and place them on the counter of some unsuspecting, “fairly new employee,” look him square in the eye and say, “I’d like to return these, please.” Day admits it was “a pretty ballsy” move, one that she didn’t have to repeat once she moved up the ladder and stopped assisting. She managed to return forty items of clothing and then drove to another Macy’s to complete
the other return. She’s the first to admit that it wasn’t always that easy. “Bloomingdale’s was really tough,” she recalls. “With their dressier, more expensive clothes, they would put the hang tags in the front of the gown so that you couldn’t tuck it under the armpits. I needed a wide array of highend clothes for a shoot and ultimately had to return everything. With one of the pieces, the model sweated out the armpits, so I had no choice but to wash the garment, and I hung it in its bag and let it sit overnight. The next morning, I didn’t check the fabric and just took it back to the store. Sure enough, they ran some sort of black light over the gown and told me I couldn’t return it because it had been worn. The armpits hadn’t even dried,” she explains. It wasn’t in her budget to keep the garment, so she had to wait a few days to make sure the dress had fully dried before her next attempt; she disguised herself in a wig for good measure. Getting away with such outlandish returns is the easy, even secretly enjoyable, part of the gig. But imagine going up to the counter with items in hand only to be told that they know you’re a stylist, that you’re not allowed to buy in such large volume, and they have put a flag on your name: that is being blacklisted. “The Gap blacklisted me,” Day adds. “The manager came up to me and basically told me I had to go through their ‘Memo Service’ if I ever wanted to buy and return anything from the Gap ever again.”
“Always deny you’re a stylist.” Most stores in major cities are aware of stylists and their habit of buying and returning in bulk. To stylists it’s just an unfortunate and uncomfortable aspect of the job, but to companies it means more than that. It means lost time on restocking, a disruption of commission, and even a cut in payroll if a store’s numbers are affected by the constant returns, especially if the items are returned too late and the stores no longer carry them. Industry Week just released a report stating product returns cost U.S. manufacturers and retailers $100 billion every year in lost sales, transportation,
Worst 5 places to do returns 1. Paragon Sports 2. Sports Authority 3. Macy’s 4. Barneys New York 5. Bloomingdale’s
handling, processing and disposal. Not to mention, it is presumably quite an annoyance. To combat the multitude of stylists, stores often have set up media programs. The Gap’s Memo Service, for example, requires the stylist to make an appointment with one of the stores, often restricting times of purchase to early morning or after closing hours. Appointments cannot be made for Mondays or Fridays, and it has to be set up through the San Francisco office. Once all the logistics are taken care of, the stylist could pull whatever she wants and keep whatever was worn, provided it was paid for. If all the items are returned, then she would be charged between twenty and thirty percent of the entire take. Such media programs, with their specific instructions and restrictions, are commonplace throughout many stores. “It’s worthwhile for them,” Day mentions, “and we don’t have to deal with hassles, or returns through six different Gaps throughout the tri-state area.”
“Marcia’s tricks involve a combination of wild excuses and upfront honesty.”
Other stylists are not as enthusiastic about media programs. Brian, a freelance stylist who most often works with furniture pieces and beverage ads, doesn’t feel the need to use any media programs. “It’s expensive any way you look at it. They end up charging you thirty percent when I could just return it all anyway and not have to pay anything,” he explains. Perhaps Brian’s confidence comes from the fact that he hasn’t encountered much difficulty in returning merchandise. $6,000 worth of furniture at West Elm? He’s done it. Thousands of dollars in suits at Macy’s? No problem. Returning scratched furniture? Nothing a little brown Sharpie can’t cure. Then there are the countless times he’s bought one of each glass in Crate and Barrel and then returned them all in hour intervals at different locations throughout the boroughs. For someone who does several returns weekly, Brian has it down to a science, even using psychology in his ingenious excuse for returning merchandise. “I say my wife’s crazy, that she overbought. I act disgruntled, and the cashiers don’t want to get involved. Sometimes I’ll even bring my kids in as props.” For all his boldness and accounts of spousal discord, there’s one store that simply won’t hear any of it. Paragon Sports, located just north of Union Square, is known throughout the styling world for being damn near impossible to make returns. “They mark the receipts somehow,” Brian says of the store. “They somehow assumed I was a stylist when I was buying, and when I went to return some merchandise, they flat out told me, ‘This is non-returnable; this was used in a photo shoot.’ They must have marked the receipt with some kind of code,” he muses.
Feeling she would face less hassle and questions outside of the City, she once drove out to a New Jersey Lord and Taylor to return various items, including children’s clothing. She was surprised to find that with the store being virtually devoid of shoppers, the security team decided to follow her very closely. “I was rattled. I returned a pair of high-end sunglasses first, but then the security team followed me into the garage. By the time I went back to return the kids’ clothing I was so shaken. They asked ‘What’s wrong with these?’ And I said we didn’t have any children. Then they stared at me and the bunch of children’s clothes I was trying to return and I added, ‘My boyfriend is a terminal shopper and he likes to think we have imaginary children.’” Marcia notices that more and more stores have ways of keeping a shopper’s purchase history on file. Using her boss’s credit card to return merchandise at Gracious Home, Marcia was stunned when the cashier looked up at her and said, “You know, in the last three years this guy has returned 200 alarm clocks.”
Stylists give advice on making returns -Have your credit card in your own name. “We decided to put our company name on our credit card, except our company name is PROPS ‘R’ US. How smart is that?” -Know the return policies. “Lots of stores make their return policies seven days, like Barnes and Noble for instance. I guess they think you can’t read and return a book in seven days!” -Dress the part. “At Bergdorf and Barney’s I make sure I’m totally decked out. I need to look like someone who can shop a lot and change her mind at will.”
If it were up to Marcia, she wouldn’t have to do returns at all. “In an ideal world the client would give us a large enough budget so we wouldn’t have to return all the items. There are countless organizations that will come to the set, pick up all the props and reuse them, archive them, or donate them to charities like Materials for the Arts, The HOPE Program, or Housing Works. This is the direction we need to be leading our clients in,” she says.
-Act the part. “I try not to come up with these extravagant excuses ‘cause I think those are more obvious. I just try to look empowered and intimidating.”
Materials for the Arts takes everything except clothing and donates it to arts organizations, public schools and community arts programs. The HOPE Program strives to assist those whose lives have been shattered by poverty by providing clothing and other items that may be of help. Housing Works, dedicated to AIDS and homelessness issues, accepts clothing, accessories, housewares and furniture. All of these organizations offer tax deductions.
-Try not to anger the store’s employees. “I had a young lady who was not very nice to me; I noticed her last name was Patience. I tried to make a joke about her last name and her lack of any, but it didn’t go over very well. She didn’t let me return something because she said it was damaged. And it wasn’t!”
It’s a novel and admirable suggestion. But is it feasible? It would rely on ad agencies increasing budgets to exorbitant proportions, large enough to be able to pay the stylists and buy thousands of dollars worth of merchandise for a single shoot. It’s a thought that many stylists laugh at and say is entirely unrealistic. Most companies don’t have the means to throw away thousands of dollars. But considering that donations to such organizations as Housing Works are tax-deductible, and that donating anything, anywhere, at anytime gives companies incredible PR, this is a thought some clients might want to look into. In the meantime, stylists will persist through studios, streets, and stores with receipts in hand, credit cards in wallet, and minds equipped to beat the budget.
-Know your lines. “Chain stores are easier to deal with. I even do smaller, mom and pop stores. But with these you have to really play it off, act like to you really need to return it ‘cause otherwise you won’t be able to afford your rent.” -Be courteous, when possible. “When I try to return one of every single glass, I just kind of put my head down and give them help wherever I can.”
Sympathy for the Devil: An interview with a cashier Nathan is an assistant manager at a kitchenware store in Manhattan. Resource sat him down to get to know “the other side” a little better.
Has your store ever blacklisted anyone from returning products? We’re a corporate environment, so we can’t do that. We have made it more difficult for some people by taking down their information, like an address and such. New Yorkers do not like giving away their information, let me tell you, but if my store were my own individual store and not subject to corporate guidelines, I’d have blacklisted all stylists and personal shoppers.
Have you ever taken back damaged/scratched items? I’m sure that we have, but none that I’ve been involved with.
Ouch. Why? It’s just the inconsideration that they have. They don’t care. They have no concern for the work the store goes through or the individuals they affect.
But if faced with going through a lengthy process of contacting headquarters and borrowing during certain times and then having items subject to investigation, don’t you think the stylists are kind of forced to lie a little bit? In other words, most media programs require an arm and a leg and are full of stipulations. You kind of leave the stylist with little choice. No. The stylists only have to give us few days’ notice to make sure we get their items. I am fully aware that most freelance stylists are hired days before and I understand they have no time, but our media program strives to send out those items the same day. I fully understand their situation, but I feel like they take advantage of us.
How often do you have what you suspect to be media returns? Depends on the season. Late spring and early summer you get a lot of them, one or two a day. They range in price from forty to several hundred dollars. Do the math, and that’s a lot of returns monthly. What kinds of stylists/media people do you most often see in your store? Usually prop stylists involved with tabletop shoots or food shoots, mostly for print. Our company rules state that if we’re loaning products we have to get on-page credit. You’re selective, too, right? With the media you work with? We’re selective, yes. Larger publication companies, i.e. Condè Nast, Oprah, Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray are the most common. That doesn’t mean we exclude popular local publications such as Time Out New York and the like. So...what’s the big deal? Why don’t you guys like taking returns? Mainly due to the time that it takes, especially if it’s a large return from a media project. It just takes a long time to put everything away and it hurts our sales. It’s also the timeliness too. Vogue borrowed a few items once and it took them months to return it all. Do you guys have a media program? They’re supposed to call our corporate office in Seattle and get approval from a media relations department on the loan. If our distribution center has it, the media relations contact will send the products from the warehouse. If not, they will loan the products from our store directly, and they only pay for items that are broken or used. How do you tell if they’re used? We examine them very carefully. If it’s a stylist I haven’t worked with, I take their credit card info. If I feel an item has been used, I charge them for it.
Snap. Do you ever take it personally when you get big returns? My whole thing is I don’t like being lied to. We have a media program and I’d prefer they use that versus returning stuff and lying about it. I just don’t get why they have to be so dishonest.
What’s the largest amount, dollar-wise, that you’ve taken back at your store? Nine hundred dollars. I suspected it was a stylist because they were returning one of each thing they had bought. You know, a whole storyline of colors and such. I confronted them and told them about the media loan program. Whenever I see a purchase or a return like that, I usually ask if it’s media related. The stylists usually freeze up and lie at this point. I tell them we have a media loan program that’s pretty easy to use. The goal is to get stylists to be more inclined, at least in the future, to use the program. What’s the wildest excuse you’ve heard for a return? “They were wedding gifts, but the groom turned out to be gay and therefore I have to return them all.” I laughed out loud and told her that’s ridiculous. You don’t buy a bride and groom one place setting with all these colored themes and knick-knacks, come on! But I still took the return. Let’s say someone is honest with you about their being a stylist, you offer the media loan program, but they turn it down anyway? You can’t do anything about that. I appreciate their honesty over some BS excuse. I give them my card and say, “If you ever do wanna go the media loan way, just give me a call.” But if it were my own store I’d tell them to get the hell out.
Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”
But all those goodies come with a hefty price tag: $499 for the 4GB model, $599 for the 8GB. Both require a two-year contract with AT&T (formerly Cingular Wireless.) Naturally, in a Mac-crazed industry like photo production, the iPhone’s introduction has set hearts a flutter. Gone are the days when you actually had to do research in front of a computer and had to use some barbaric device with a cord to communicate and make contacts. To get a better idea of how it has changed things, we spoke to some industry insiders on the down low to hear how the iPhone has changed their lives. Others pointed out that with all of the features, you can still stay in contact with the world at large and not have to sit in your stuffy office. Since photographers work alone, it’s good not to have to be in the studio. There’s a bright blue world out there for you to conquer, and the iPhone is just the product to let you do it without completely neglecting your work. It uses its Wi-Fi and EDGE capabilities to automatically connect to the Internet, including HTML-capable e-mail that works with any IMAP or POP3 e-mail service. In a side deal, Yahoo! offers free push e-mail—similar to the email system on a Blackberry—to all iPhone customers. Just what everyone was asking for: no escape from the office! A lot of people identified the wireless access as one of the main attractions of the iPhone. A producer told us that now, if you’re trying to find the location of a studio and get lost in the back alleys of today’s megalopolises, just whip out your iPhone and check for where the hell you are with the inte-
- Steve Jobs
grated Google Maps function. This lets users look up locations, search for local businesses, and view satellite imagery. If you need to set up catering for a shoot, the iPhone makes short work of it. Zagat will no longer take up precious space in your backpack. Now you can sit on a bench and perform your work on the fly, finding a great restaurant in which to wine and dine a client while ignoring whatever political protest is making too much noise on the other side of the park. You can be anywhere and do anything. What makes the iPhone work, and by extension Apple, is the way they integrate various forms of media, stated one agent. “The brilliant part is that everything functions together, seamlessly.” A Visual Voicemail feature allows you to skip directly to the voice mails you want to hear. An easy-to-use conference call feature lets users connect two calls with one touch of the screen. Text messaging on the iPhone is similar to iChat, with user dialogue encased in bubbles, familiar iChat sounds and a touch keyboard for entering text. The iPhone’s photo management features are equally attractive. Its software enables users to use a “pinching” motion to zoom in and out of pictures, and to orient pictures in standard or landscape mode. Many people we spoke to are still holding back to see what the future holds for the iPhone. Since it’s a first generation machine, it may have unforeseen bugs that will need to be worked out. For starters, the iPhone is NOT a 3G device. An explanation for all you Luddites: 3G is third generation
pher complained about the company’s problems with reception, while our agent was just too married with his love/hate relationship with Verizon. But Apple and AT&T have signed a five-year contract, so if you live in the United States and don’t want to switch, it’s going to be 2012 before you even have a chance at the iPhone. There’s a lot of room for the technology to fail, maybe too much room for the amount of cash one needs to put down to own it. As our agent pointed out, when the Blackberries and the Treos first came out, they “sucked” for making phone calls, and the iPhone might very well be following suit. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the iPhone’s competition. In March of this year, Palm, Inc., makers of the Treo line of phones, hired Apple’s former software engineer, Paul Mercer, and two of his colleagues. Mercer, who left Apple in 1996, is responsible for the system used for the iPod interface. This suggests the company may be launching a massive assault on Apple and other rival smart phone manufacturers by developing a next generation operating system for Palm Inc. to control exclusively. According to the New York Times, the move is a direct reaction to the iPhone. Telecom’s Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile are also ramping up their product offerings in order to blunt the effect of the AT&T-Apple marriage. Verizon’s counter is the LG Prada, or KE850, according to TheStreet.com. Prada is a sleek handset similar in look to the iPhone. It includes a camera and has the ability to play music and videos or view documents. The $600 price tag makes it just as costly as the iPhone, so Prada better bring something special to the table besides its designer name! In May, T-Mobile unveiled the Wing, a Wi-Fi-equipped mobile phone developed by Taiwan’s High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC). It is the first U.S. phone to run Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6 OS. Like the iPhone, the Wing operates on relatively slow GSM-based wireless infrastructures. Wi-Fi technology gives the phones access to high-speed data networks. It comes with a 2.8-inch diagonal color display and features music and video playback capabilities. Other features: a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, extended battery life, a 2-megapixel camera, and Bluetooth connectivity. This offering was developed exclusively for T-Mobile and is available for $299 with a two-year contract, making it considerably more affordable than the iPhone. With all of these heavyweights slugging it out in the electronics and telecommunications arenas, the surefire winner will be you, the consumer. Unless, of course, you get saddled with a crappy product and a long lease with a bunk phone company. Choose wisely.
iphone glossary: EDGE: Stands for Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution; digital mobile phone technology that allows increased data transmission rates and reliability. A 3G network technology. IMAP: Internet Message Access Protocol allows you to access your e-mail from a remote server. IMAP4 (the current version of IMAP) and POP3 are the two most prevalent Internet standard protocols for e-mail retrieval. IMAP4 provides faster response times and multiple user access to e-mail accounts compared to POP3. POP3: Post Office Protocol version 3; nearly all subscribers to individual internet service provider email accounts access their email with client software that uses POP3. PUSH E-MAIL: E-mail systems featured on smartphones that provide instant transfer of e-mail as it arrives. New e-mails appear on the device as soon as they arrive without the need for user intervention (like logging on or refreshing). GSM: Global System for Mobile communications; the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. Known for higher digital voice quality and low cost of SMS (Short Message Service) messages, also known as text messages. BLUETOOTH: Technology that provides ways to connect and exchange information between devices like cell phones, computers, digital cameras and video game consoles over a secure short-range radio frequency. WI-FI: Short for wireless fidelity (which is itself a play on Hi-Fi, or high fidelity), Wi-Fi describes the technology of wireless local area networks based on the IEEE 802.11 standard. A person with a Wi-Fi device can connect to the internet if they are close to an access point. QWERTY: The most common keyboard layout for an Englishlanguage typewriter or computer keyboards. A cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard has a full keyboard with no sharing of letters on buttons. HTML-CAPABLE E-MAIL: Allows e-mail senders to use headers, bulleted lists and other effects in emails to improve readability. 3G/2G/1G DEVICE: 3G, third-generation wireless telephone technology; digital networks with higher data transfer speeds than 2G. 2G, second-generation wireless telephone technology; uses digital networks.1G, first-generation wireless telephone technology; uses analog radio signals. INTERFACE: (more specifically, user interface): The means by which someone interacts with a device. For example, where many cell phones have interfaces with buttons, the iPhone uses a multi-touch screen interface.
CastingtheGirl By Ana Callahan Images by Christopher Starbody
What took place in the early ‘90s was so unique. It was a brat pack of supermodels. I just think it’s too varied nowadays.””
has an “eye” and can easily decipher the confused mutterings of, ahem, creative people.
Renée, Jennifer, Ro, and Sara (not to be mistaken for Christy, Cindy, Helena, and Linda) are four powerhouse women who do just that. These women have over ten years of experience in the fashion and advertising world, making them veritable veterans of faces and fads. Renée Torièrre, from Shadow Castings, is unabashedly fiery on an early weekday morning when it comes to what people read while getting a pedicure. “Our teens and twenty-something’s are anesthetized because we care more about what’s happening to Paris Hilton [than to the world].” Although not exactly into fashion, Renée has seen her fair share of craziness in the industry. The Shadow Casting website is a testament to all those Renée has managed to lasso in. It’s everyone from Campari to Clinique, on to Virginia Slims. She takes no issues with cigarette clients because, as she says, “you can’t go outside an office building without seeing a gaggle of people with cigarettes in their mouths.” Like most casting directors, Renée
“Creative people have difficulty describing what it is they want. It shouldn’t be difficult to do this,” explains Renée. “I mean this person wants to use Terry Hatcher but then changes his mind and wants to use Nicolette Sheridan. It makes no sense at all. It just doesn’t connect.” Yet, she has to make sense of it all. Shed the Desperate Housewives comparison, and you have desperate models trying to make it and casting directors who want the “it” factor and the health factor along with the whole sample size factor. Do they have an Olympic Game for models yet? If not, then magazine covers should be considered medals. At Chelsea’s House Production Casting, a gargantuan wall is tacked with Polaroids of diaphanous models. Some of these teeny models might become gargantuan in the fashion world. This wall also contains the inevitable smatter of Eastern European names new enough to befit underage models. “I always love to talk to the girls. Agents always laugh at me because I’m like the old mama who’s gonna chat with every model.” Jennifer Schram Maxwell, casting director for House Production, has seen it all since the ‘90s. As an intern at Michael Kors in 1990 she witnessed –gasp!– older male models with actual muscle tone going down the runway. Jennifer also worked as a talent scout at Calvin Klein in 1998; but I refrained from all the Carolyn Bissette questions I was dying to ask. She sits comfortably as the buzz and hum of a Thursday afternoon skitters around her. After her P.R. person leaves we continue to spar on everything, from everybody
ne week, five casting directors, and the obvious pink elephant standing in the room still mystifies: just how do they cast that girl? Getting the cover and getting it right is like looking for the Holy Grail. Back in Cecil Beaton’s days it was personal style versus people’s conformity, hips versus hip bones, but hey, this is not a story about how little Chanel Iman ate today or whether one American designer is solely responsible for the incredible shrinking size in skinny jeans. Or is it? Not really, and yes, really. Point being: somebody will dictate what you will wear on Tuesday, and somebody will always dictate which face stares at you from the front cover of Vogue, Brogue, or Frogue…and admit it baby, you want more!
he high pitched squeal of a band saw biting through metal rings out from inside 195 Morgan Avenue, a dilapidated loft building in East Williamsburg’s Industrial Park. I am told that inside of this four story relic from Brooklyn’s manufacturing days is 3rd Ward, an artists’ workspace; but aside from the intermittent scream of power tools coming from somewhere inside, I have little to go on. All but for a Hasidic Jew and a group of paint splattered Latino laborers, the block is desolate. I begin to wonder if I have the right address, but wait, who is this fair skinned brunette in huge “like grandma used to wear” sunglasses, her cowboy boots crunching on broken glass as she rounds the corner? She casually enters building number 195, a beauty swallowed by the industrial beast of a building. Others soon follow: lanky young men in plaid shirts, sporting facial scruff of varying shapes and density. Location confirmed, and upon closer inspection, it seems that the front of the first floor has a fresh coat of paint, creating a stark contrast to the bricks of the other floors, which are covered with a thick layer of grime, giving them the color of nicotine-stained teeth. There are new windows, not yet rendered opaque by the constant flow of diesel trucks kicking up dust and exhaust on this industrial thoroughfare. When I first met Jason Goodman, founder of 3rd Ward, he was crouched down, tinkering with a rather aerodynamic-looking
bicycle. We exchanged a casual salutation and he apprehensively offered his grease-smudged hand. I assured him a little bike lube never killed anyone and we shared a hardy handshake. He then asked my opinion about the function of a certain bike part, to which I could only offer a layman’s answer, deflecting my true ignorance. He later told me, “I’ve always been drawn to people who make stuff,” and after a quick trip to the bathroom, where he washed the grease from his hands, exposing his skinned knuckles, I could see that he, himself, had the hands of a workingman. Although his thick rimmed glasses, asymmetrical haircut and general attire suggested an artist, Jason is also a craftsman who owns and operates his own construction and interior design company. Along with his buddy and business partner, Jeremy Lovett, he designed and built 3rd Ward, this artists’ utopia in the derelict section of Williamsburg. The groundwork for 3rd Ward was laid out in what Jason refers to as a “smaller version, which happened kind of organically.” About three and a half years ago, he and Jeremy moved to New York and inhabited loft space somewhere way out in Brooklyn; let’s say it was the “Purgatory” stop on the L train. Dumpster diving for almost all of their materials, they built the place to suit their needs as artists of many mediums. According to Jason it was a communal space where, “everybody
shared resources and everybody pitched in on the rent.” But artists are forever flaky and the space became, “an administrative nightmare, just trying to make sure everybody paid rent on time.” Most people would give up, move to an overpriced studio on North 7th and Bedford, but Jason and Jeremy were set on going bigger. Using the skills he learned working with his stepdad, who, as he recalls, treated him as “slave labor” back in his hometown in Georgia, Jason started a construction and interior design company. Turning shit lofts into stylized, industrial spaces for hipsters and yuppies alike, Jason and Jeremy built the capital and made the right connections. They were soon offered the lease of the bottom floor of 195 Morgan. It was the rawest of spaces and he remembers with a smile, “this place was fucked up.” They renovated the 20,000 square foot space with some monetary aid on anything that was a permanent installation from the landlord. They acquired tools for the shops from auctions and financed all their computer equipment. What they ended up with was a huge workspace, offering nearly every tool for the modern artist and fabricator. With their modest pricing, according to Jason, the space is more of a community than a business. “The membership fees cover the financing, so basically we are a co-op.” The gallery is the first thing you see when you enter 3rd Ward. It is a 1,200 square foot space where sunlight floods in from large windows and reflects up off the high gloss cement floors. The area is partitioned, but not cramped, with freestanding walls where the works from the most recent show titled “Come One, Come All,” hang. This interactive show allows visitors to win art through a series of county fair type games and exhibitions. A notable piece is a large photo booth, built and painted in the same fun and youthful spirit with which a child may transform a discarded refrigerator box into a time machine. During the opening, after inserting five dollars into the slot, the visitor would sit in the booth in front of a two-way mirror. On the other side was an artist who cranked out their portraits. There is also a play off the old kissing booth; but instead of a smooch, a daring visitor would pick at random from a board and receive anything from a sex text to a drink thrown in his face. As you continue through the gallery there are separate rooms where other unrelated works are displayed. Intentionally piled trash serves as an installation piece, and a television mounted on a wall shows looping video of a performance artist being pelted by what I think are tomatoes. Then it is on to the photo/video studio. A photo shoot was in progress, but I was allowed a quick peek at the 840 square foot space with its imposing twenty-foot cyc and great natural light coming in from the southern exposed windows. Although offering all the basic studio amenities, such as wardrobe racks, steamers, clamps and private wardrobe/make-up area, they do not rent camera equipment. Even Jason admits that their lighting equipment is pretty beat up, so you should come with your
“IT’S A PLAYGROUND WITH VERY TALENTED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.”
“IT COVERS EVERY SINGLE ART GENRE. EITHER THIS PLACE SHOULD BE BIGGER OR THERE SHOULD BE MORE LIKE IT.”
“WHEN A GUY WITH AN OXYACETYLENE TORCH GLOWING BLUE IN HIS HAND SAYS NO, YOU SMILE AND WALK AWAY; JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY BE DAMNED.”
own, but at least you will be paying a quarter of the price as compared to most Manhattan studios for the rental space.
dance area, painted sky blue, with a geometric, zodiac-inspired sculpture in the middle.
Not surprisingly, the audio/music recording and rehearsal space was also in use, and I was not allowed access but was given a general rundown. It has a live room and engineering booth, both completely soundproof and equipped with a PowerMac G5, a 23” Apple Cinema Display, Dynaudio BM15A Monitors, and the scandalously named Mackie “Big Knob.” It is basically everything you need for mixing, mastering, recording, rehearsal and sound design.
Aside from Harland, a few guys working on commercial pieces occupied the shop. They were not into being interviewed, their faces barely visible through their welding masks. When a guy with an oxyacetylene torch glowing blue in his hand says no, you smile and walk away; journalistic integrity be damned.
A quick turn through double doors, and I was in the wood shop where I met Jade, an installation artist whose large scale works are inspired by his fascination with false reality created by movie sets. He spoke like a career smoker: every drag Jade took off of his Newport was followed by a throaty cough as if gravel was being upturned in his lungs. Over the persistent din of table saws and sanders he spoke of 3rd Ward as an intimate environment of skilled people. To him it is a coveted space where out of around 200 paying members, maybe 20 show up regularly. He describes it as a tight clique of people who are always willing to help and are generally fun and interesting people to share a shop space with. “It’s a playground with very talented people everywhere.” he remarked. Directly attached to the wood shop is the metal shop, where sparks were flying and torches were burning. It was here that I talked to Harland, who rents a private bench space in the shop to work on sculptures for the Burning Man festival. He is a dedicated artist who rides his bike from Manhattan every day, and when he is not making small-scale models or looking for funding for his massive Burning Man pieces, he uses the shop for the odd cash job. His latest piece is a giant, half-sphere
Down the hall the sound of the power tools is absorbed by the fabric-wrapped cubicle walls and replaced by the ambient buzz of Macintosh computers in the 3rd Ward’s office spaces. Along with private desk space, 3rd Ward members have access to a waiting room for clients, a receptionist to take calls and handle deliveries, and a conference room with an imposing boardroom like table, as well as WiFi and T1. Photographers, writers, producers, architects, etc, are likely to be found in these offices. Being a weekend, the offices were mostly empty, but I did have a chance to bother a graphic designer named Andrio. A recent transplant from the West Coast, Andrio talked about his relocation and how 3rd Ward benefited his business. “What drew me here is the affordable space, and the dance space is kinda cool. I do a little bit of break dancing; it’s kind of a hobby and having the studio right next to your office is a pretty nice situation. I planned my move around working through 3rd Ward. When I moved out here I made sure I wasn’t living and working in the same space.” To him it is an ideal work environment where he can find “a good level of focus and no distraction.” The other occupants of the office were two young ladies who worked in events production. In an extreme contrast to Andrio’s relaxed attitude, they hardly looked up from the fluorescent glow of their MacBooks, too busy or shy to speak with me. Aside from finding Andrio occasionally popping and locking on
the wood sprung floors, the dance space is home to yoga and Pilates classes. It has the standard mirrored walls and has more than enough open space to get the full range of movements out of your limbs. Last stop was the digital media lab, where Irene, a bubbly motion graphic designer with a hoop through her septum, sat at one of the Power Mac G5 computers. This room is open freely to all members and has a total of six computers, packed with all the useful software, as well as a large format printer and a state of the art scanner. Although Irene spends most of her time in the lab, she talked about the sheer magnitude of 3rd Ward and what it has to offer. “It covers every single art genre. Either this place should be bigger or there should be more like it.” In addition to using the computers, Irene has created a networking pool, which she trawls for connections and freelance jobs. She lives around the corner, and although she appreciates the cheap space, she does admit that the neighborhood is a bit dodgy: “It is scary out here sometimes.” She also says it is often tough to get clients way the hell out and gone on the L train. It is the price to pay for space, and her friend Dave, a painter who joined us briefly, actually finds the rundown surroundings stimulating. “I’m super inspired by the area, the dilapidation: it’s super industrial and fucked up.” This is not a rare occurrence in New York City: artists moving to obscure neighborhoods, which then become hip, the pioneering bohemian element eventually getting priced out, left to find cheaper locations for their live/work spaces. The wave of gentrification in Brooklyn is astounding, and the boundaries of what is called “Williamsburg” have been stretched north to Greenpoint, east through Bushwick and south to Bed Stuy. But there is something special about 3rd Ward’s location. Sometimes called “East Williamsburg Valley,” it is a sliver of land
flanked by all modes of transport, the English Kills Harbor, the BQE and railroad. Because of its proximity to all these shipping and receiving methods, it was once an industrial Mecca. But during the Reagan years, when the service sector became the focus of the economy, this neighborhood and ones like it all over the country were robbed of their manufacturing purposes, their services outsourced to the Far East. According to Jason the neighborhood has been going through a renaissance, with 3rd Ward seemingly at the forefront. “The thing about 3rd Ward is we have one foot in the fine art ocean and one foot majorly in the commercial ocean. We are about people who make shit. This is one of the last places in New York where people actually make shit, where they actually produce. Somehow all these people are moving back into these spaces and that in itself is meaningful. It’s like a creative class, a creative economy. Major manufacturers are out, but now there’s a whole new class of people doing custom work, more high-end work, and they are all filling these places. And that is an interesting cultural and economical phenomenon that shouldn’t be ignored. There’s a real economic trend happening right now, otherwise it’d be a ghost town.” 3rd Ward is also known for its raging parties, and although there are no residential buildings on the block, they still manage to get the law sicked on them once and a while. “We were doing it every weekend for awhile, but we got in a lot of trouble with the cops. They came in with a vice squad this one time and arrested all these people.” Jason told me. Although he is wary that the “Bureaucratic Death Squad”, as he calls them, is out to get him, the party must go on, and he has already begun building a new bar space on the bottom floor. Other future plans include an online registry where artists may show their work because, according to Jason, “Myspace is such a clusterfuck!”
: s t s i l y t s . s e v l e s r u o y g n i l l i k stop e b o r d r a w t n e r f o d a e t s n i s l a t n e r r r @ g n i n r u t e r d n a g n i y u b
ses, s a l g n u s , lats f t e l l a b , y, g h n p i a s r i t g r o e t v o d a , ph s n o t t o c , cashmere, , silk s oor g l a f b h d t n 1 a 1 h t , e stre h t 9 bracelets 2 ) t y s l e p p w u 5 S 4 e 2 drob r a W n rrrentals a t t ha , n s a e h M c t s u a l c g , din inty o p 1 0 0 0 same buil 1 ny , tv, k r o m y o c . w y e n n s l , a ent r r r . w high heels w s, e w s s 0 e 2 r 1 d 6 g 2 24 nin – e v 2 e 1 2 m , o s c t . l y be lsn a t n e r r 6 r – @ 9 o r f f n i – , o s d, m e r r e necklace f e r p nts es, e i v m t o n m i o , s p t p i , su s l r film, a a e p , s los, p o p m , u s p t r , i s ’ k j s p ts, r i h s t , earrings, s t boo , r e v l i s , s t trenchcoa
Story by Helen Freund Photos by Carissa Pelleteri
The Fashion Forecasters Moving In: Two women show the fashion world and its collaborators just how much they heart New York.
n a sunny Sunday morning something very ordinary occurred: five women got together to talk about, well, fashion. And clothes. And what the hottest items on the shelves are right now. Oh, and also about where to get the best Soul Food in the city, the evils and allure of foie gras, and last, but not least, the importance of taking a ride on the Staten Island Ferry (at least once!)—however, let’s save all of that for another conversation and focus on what got us out of bed on a weekend morning. The reason for this tête-à-tête-a-tete was to meet and speak with the two leading ladies of the up-andcoming trend forecasting company, Drella New York. The brainchild of Tessa Williams and Angelique Max, the company was established in January of 2007. Slim, demure and slightly soft-spoken, the girls work their magic from Angie’s SoHo loft where we met them. Upon getting there, one is taken aback by the intensity of colors and variety of artwork filling the space. Gilded chandeliers hang from the ceiling, mannequins come adorned with cutouts from fashion magazines, and blue and white drapes frame the tall windows. On a widescreen TV Lionel Richie is belting out “Truly”—an odd addition to the already mishmash of kitsch and glamour that make up the atmosphere. Both women have a long-standing relationship with the fashion industry. Tessa received her BFA in fashion design at New York’s Pratt Institute and has worked for national clothing brands including Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, The Limited and Tommy Hilfiger. Spending the past five years as an urban fashion designer, Tessa has collaborated with such companies as Pepe Jeans, Akademiks and Triple Five Soul. Angie did her schooling at New York’s F.I.T. and Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She has worked extensively as a stylist in the US, UK and Australia. Her work has been featured in leading fashion magazines such as BlackBook, Flaunt, and Glamour.
Angie and Tessa met in New York eight years ago through a mutual acquaintance, photographer Mark Feldman. Angie describes their friendship as being one “where we sometimes don’t see each other for a couple of months but it’s always there—there’s no pressure.” Indeed, the pair even has that certain BFF look about them. Both dress remarkably similar—that day, a mix of black, white and red. They both laughed: “what can we say? We’re just both simply obsessed with these colors at the moment!” They have an anthropological approach to the fashion world: observing, and ultimately deciphering the future. “[Our] job is to take the pulse of the public’s psychology and spot upcoming trends/products that will be hot next season. […] It’s critical for us to keep up with the industry and consumer behavior. Pop culture is also important. [We are] fascinated with human behavior. We watch what motivates people. We have to have our radar up at all times and be outwardly focused.” Drella New York provides its clients with a variety of creative solutions and design consulting based on the research and hotspot-hunting from their trendseeking team. Its work includes everything and everyone: from a dress spotted on a street, the music being played at the biggest clubs to the current political mood. What differentiates Drella New York from other trend forecasting companies around the globe is its emphasis on its home base. The girls do most of their trend-hunting right here in New York, where the entire world comes to collide. “Obviously a few of the bigger players are in London and Paris, but we’re really very passionate about New York and feel it has a lot to offer as well. We want to present a new, different kind of trend forecasting,” explained Angie. “I have a lot of clients who will fly out here from Australia or the UK, although there’s really no need to come all the way here since a lot of them don’t know
where to go, and it’s a lot cheaper for us to do it. I just think we have a bit more of an edge; we’re more urban, and much more focused on what’s going on here on the street.” “We want to provide our clients with something more. We want to give them a realistic reference to what’s going on here and back it up with something to really help develop their collection,” added Tessa. “We have a bunch of contributors here and in
Australia—people who go out and take photos of what’s happening in the club scene, in textiles, in retail—and also what’s happening on the street, like street art, or what’s happening on the runway shows: really anything and everything that may be going on. It could be something as simple as a type of fabric or a color,” explained Angie. At this point I stopped and pondered. “Well, what color is the hot item right now?” I asked. Angie, giggling, replied: “Well, it’s definitely
blue. Any shade of blue. In fact, I really love this one right here”, pointing to a slice of aqua on a piece of art nearby. Tessa further expanded on New York’s allure: “I think a lot of designers really like to take from the street, even if it’s just graphics, or a general feeling. When I’m on the train I’ll find myself wondering why a person is wearing a certain pair of shoes, or a certain color, or, thinking for instance, ‘why is that girl wearing that particular Reebok sneaker?’, and ‘why do all of her friends have the same one?’. I just think there is a lot more going on here and a lot more neighborhoods aren’t getting the attention they deserve.” Tessa, who herself lives in Bushwick, had a lot of positive things to say about her ‘hood and expressed her desire to check out the surrounding boroughs that have been traditionally neglected by the fashion community. “I actually really want to venture out to places where people don’t really want to venture out to, you know, like Staten Island and the Bronx—you never know what you might find out there. There could be some really great references to see and pick up on… Manhattan is probably the best place to be because it’s the center of everything, and it’s where everybody is, so we want to keep our base in Manhattan for now while taking little fieldtrips out when we get the chance.”
In the spirit of their New York fanaticism, the girls will be featuring their own “I Heart” series on their website—you know, like “I heart NY”? It will consist of mini vignettes: a news flash of a trend that they spotted. The company’s name comes from a nickname for Andy Warhol, a mix of “Dracula” and “Cinderella”, which was coined by Warhol’s crowd. Warhol’s reputation as a trendsetter, as well as his tendencies to be hyper-aware of the city around him, reflects Drella New York’s mission statement. Taking a look around their workspace, it was clear that art was highly influential. Books on Warhol, Klimt, and even Masai folk art are scattered among coffee tables and stacked in neat piles on the shelves. When asked who inspired them, the Drella New York ladies unanimously chose Françoise Hardy. “We just kind of discovered her watching YouTube—she has such great style. There’s this one video of her, I didn’t even realize at first that it was from like, 1967. It looks like it’s from just right now: it’s so timeless,” exulted Angie. While other icons mentioned included Bridget Bardot and Jane Birkin, the majority of the duo’s inspiration seemed to come straight from the street. Very influential in their designs and ideas is the London-based mystery man Banksy. Known for his evasive street graffiti stencils and subverted use of political satire, his images and art are clearly a form of social commentary. “He’s just so very political and so
very clever,” said Angie. Tessa piped in: “Oh yes, definitely. Street art and graffiti are really such a powerful art form.” While their research habits are very grounded on the street, a great source of inspiration for fashion is, of course, other fashions; the Drella New York team also spends a lot of time visiting the runways, taking notes and making observations about what today’s hottest designers are thinking up. Favorite designers included Vivienne Westwood, Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquière, and Karl Lagerfeld. In fact, when asked what they would wear to their last supper, the answer came swiftly, without any hesitation: Angie would in fact want to be clad head-to-toe in Chanel. “What can I say? I want to go out in style!” she laughed. Inquiring as to whether their predictions are ever wrong, Tessa answered: “I think that’s pretty hard to say because everyone has their own interpretation of what things will be in style and what won’t. Moreover, things happen in the world that we don’t expect, that change the way people feel and do things. It could be anything, say, Hurricane Katrina or what happened here in New York: different things like that have a big effect on the way people act.” “Even what’s going on in the world politically speaking is very important and influential. It’s fashion, but it’s also a lot more,” added Angie. I pried just a teeny, tiny bit further. “So, what
would you say we should all fill our wardrobes with for fall of 2007?” Angie laughed. “Well, I can’t really tell you that, right? That could put us straight out of business!” Well… It was worth a try. Still, right before leaving, I was rewarded with a few tidbits of things to come: the Drella New York girls predict an end of the skinny jeans, and instead see a more wide-legged silhouette coming up, along with anything inspired by the likes of Françoise Hardy. “Oh,” Angie added, “and of course—don’t forget about blue!”
story by: matt ellis photos by: roland pugh artwork provided by the artist
a boy and his camera obscura
on’t be ashamed if you don’t know what a camera obscura is. It is somewhat of an artifact from the past. The contraption itself has been around for over a millennium and the mechanics behind it, for a millennium before that. But after the invention of its namesake, the modern camera, the camera obscura fell to the wayside, a footnote in history books. A camera obscura is the basic, original version of a pinhole camera, which is a lens less camera in which light passes through a tiny, pin-sized hole and is projected onto a strip of light-sensitive film, or, as is the case with this camera obscura, onto a piece of white paper hung on the wall. Since the hole is so small, the light rays must alter themselves to fit through it. As the light rays bend to pass through the hole, the projected image is distorted, becoming upside-down and left-to-right. The typical camera obscura of the Medieval Ages was an entire room, isolated in darkness, with a
pinhole drilled into one of the walls. Its name in Latin, camera obscura, means “dark chamber.” The light traveled through the hole and was projected onto the opposite wall. Later models evolved to incorporate mirrors and glass and eventually were made into smaller, portable versions. Last fall, architecture student David Peterson pushed a 300-pound room on wheels, his camera obscura, from deep within the heart of Brooklyn to Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Along the way he confronted police officers and paranoid residents. He developed hip problems and a semi truck crashed into his camera obscura, with him inside. To David, determined to realize his vision, these were only mere trifles. The first thing I wanted to know was, “Why?” Why would anyone willingly undertake the construction of an outdated optical device, give it wheels, and then single-handedly push it through the streets of one of the busiest cities in the world? “It kind of came about when I was having an argument,” he explained. He was having a discussion with a former professor of his, architecture theorist Diane Agrest, a noted Argentine-American architect and author. “A common idea is that the inside of a room could be located anywhere in the world, and it would still be essentially the same. Basically, the inside of a building is not site-specific. It’s something I really disagree with. What I was interested in doing was then constructing an interior that was entirely site-specific. The whole condition of being inside this space had everything to do with where it was located. The camera obscura seemed like an interesting thing to build because your entire awareness of the interior has to do with the exterior, which is projected inside this space.” He later likened the projections to a moveable, constantly changing wallpaper. Once implanted in David’s mind, the idea would not be ignored. He wanted to express his personalized interpretation of “site-specific” to the world, maybe even debunk the prevalent architectural theory. But even with the camera obscura, how would he show others what he saw?
how it works
His plan was simple. He was to push the camera block-byblock, from his apartment in Brooklyn to his school in Manhattan. Every few blocks or so, he would stop and check the projection in the camera. If he liked what he saw, he would trace the projection on the white paper hanging on the wall. David spent two weeks building the camera obscura. He was able to design a functional unit with his engineering knowledge and then construct it himself using his experience building architectural models. He fashioned each piece separately, then assembled them outside on the sidewalk. The ‘lens’ was a piece of aluminum foil covered in duct-tape with a hole stuck in it. Once completed, the camera ran seven feet tall, five feet wide, and six feet long. Think of it like a portable room, outdoors, on wheels. It was the physical representation of the concept he
was trying to prove: an interior that was based completely on the exterior. With the camera obscura now finished and functioning, the only thing left to do was start it on its journey with one single hefty push. Early in our conversation, just as we were about to discuss the specifics of his camera design, David asked if he could borrow a pen. Once in his hand, the pen took on new life, skating across the paper tablecloth in close-to-perfect straight lines. He felt more comfortable expressing his ideas through sketching, drawing maps to compliment his stories and diagrams to explain the more complex concepts. Only later when I saw the finished sketches did I understand the artistic core of his proj-
ect. He wanted to capture the essence of his journey, for others to see what he saw, regardless of their opinions on site-specific interiors. He wanted to share with them his interpretations. To do that, the sketches—the wallpaper—needed to remain as he saw them: upside-down and left-to-right. “If you took a picture of a person and turned it upside-down, you would want to turn it over again: it looks wrong upside-down. So the tricky part of the project was making it hold itself upside-down.... I’d get maybe forty-five minutes into a drawing, and then I’d have to take it back to the studio—and at that point it’s just a mess of charcoal lines on paper. I’d then keep working into it until it seemed right that way.”
It’s amazing he survived the journey at all. Only a couple of days after he started, four blocks from his apartment, he had set up the camera on the street between a police barrier and some parked cars, where he thought it would be safe. “Then, a truck comes around the corner and literally plows me over in this thing. I’m in this black box, I have no idea what’s going on, the only light that’s coming in is through this tiny hole, and whatever I’m seeing on the opposite wall does not have a semi in it! All I know is [the camera] is being completely crushed around me. Finally, I manage to kick the door open—the lock mechanism is completely screwed up from being crushed so I can’t unlock it. I get out, but by this point [the truck’s] already down the street.” Every evening, after he had finished for the day, he chained his camera up on the sidewalk using a common bike lock. The difficulty came from nearby residents, who feared that a bomb was parked outside their homes. They tore apart the aluminum foil lens to look inside, sometimes even trying to unscrew the lock (none succeeded). Whenever David returned the next day, they greeted him, as David recalled, shouting “‘What is that thing!? What are you doing!?’” To avoid unwanted attention, David parked his camera outside of government buildings whenever possible. Post offices worked well, as did the stretch along the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Apparently no one complained about what happened outside state-owned buildings. David admitted that the people of Brooklyn were his favorite part of the adventure. He was more than happy to answer questions from curious onlookers. He invited them inside, eager for them to see his creation first-hand. This changed
once he traveled into Manhattan. After crossing the Manhattan Bridge (a feat in itself: with the bike lane closed, David had to utilize the help of five friends to lift the camera and carry it up the pedestrian stairway), the only people who stopped to chat with him were police officers. “All they really wanted to know was if I had a permit and whether I was leaving soon. I’d ask what kind of permit I needed, and they’d say, ‘I don’t know,’ and I’d say, ‘Well, I don’t know, either,’ and so they’d say, ‘okay, just get it out of here.’ ” Manhattan eventually affected his morale. After nearly three months of pushing the camera every day, David began to feel the weariness of the time and effort put into this project. The streets got busier, the weather colder, and the people less friendly. One night, he chained the camera up at the East River Park and left it there for four days while he took a break. When he returned, it was gone, with no clue as to its whereabouts. It simply disappeared. He assumes it was confiscated but will never know for sure. David hesitated when I asked him if he felt that he had accomplished his goal. When he finally answered—his tone heavy—he explained that while the drawings have artistic value, they do not accurately or fully depict his journey and what it was about. “I don’t think the drawings are as strong as the experience itself,” he concluded. The success, he continued, came from those people on the streets, the ones he invited to step into the camera obscura. Only they could see what he saw: the changing wallpaper, the reflected beauty of a city distorted. They understood, having experienced it, just as he had.
Canal and Bowery2. pastel on paper 5.8
BOWERY AND CANAL #2
pastel on paper
Canal and Bowery. pastel on paper 5.6
BOWERY AND CANAL #2 pastel on paper
Brooklyn Navy Yard. pastel on paper 5.5 paper
BROOKLYN NAVY YARD pastel on
Park and washington. pastel on paper 5.7
PARK AND WASHINGTON pastel on paper
Green and St. James. pastel on paper 5.4
GREEN AND ST. JAMES pastel on paper
Gates and Grand. pastel on paper 5.9
GATES AND GRAND PASTEL ON PAPER
Information about author: Muriel Quancard founded Quancard contemporary art, a production company specialized in the fabrication and implementation of artworks and art projects. For further information please consult: www.quancardcontemporaryart.com
Art + Production Processes Title of Artwork: SYS*011. Mie>AbE/SoS\ SYS*010 (a.k.a the Spiral), Mathieu Briand at the Tate Modern, London Story: Muriel Quancard | Photos: Séverine Quantin | Courtesy: Mathieu Briand + Galerie Maisonneuve, Paris
Last May the London Tate Modern organized “UBS Openings: The Long
producers, contractors and fabricators. The Spiral was initially commis-
Weekend 2007,” a four-day multimedia event presenting a series of art
sioned and produced by the Paris Pompidou Center in 2002. The first
installations and performances in its colossal Turbine Hall. Artworks were
version consisted of benches and a prototype of a vinyl record-etching
chosen for their interactive capacities and were exhibited in conjunction
machine. A team of architects at the Pompidou drafted the plans of the
with film screenings and live performances.
structure according to the artist’s drawings, and specialized companies fabricated the various components. Two years later the MAC, the contem-
French Artist Mathieu Briand was invited to present a sound sculpture
porary art museum of Lyon, France, financed the production of a full sound
entitled SYS*011. Mie>AbE/SoS\ SYS*010 (a.k.a the Spiral). This piece is
system and provided a new portable etching device. A nomadic artwork, the
made of several curved segments displayed in a whirl. Surrounded by
Spiral, is a sophisticated adaptation of a DJ flycase.
curved outer sections that serve as benches, the central part of the structure contains a deck with four turntables, a mixer and a vinyl
The work synthesizes techniques and aesthetics of visual arts, music and
record-etching machine. Its conception and design are derived from the
technology. Briand sees its conceptual roots in the seminal work of the
idea of a sound loop. On the turntables are vinyl records of looped machine
musician John Cage, who in the ‘50s not only shattered compositional
sounds and samples that are played simultaneously and continuously.
methods but also took part in some of the first of the multi-disciplinary
Visitors are encouraged to DJ with the turntables and to use the vinyl
performances that would come to be called “happenings”. As disciplines
record-etching machine to record a test pressing of the results. They can
converged, musicians and engineers collaborated in art projects. The
thus leave with a recording of their own sound experiment.
development of “sound systems” born in the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica, in the ‘50s stands as a paradigm: these confluences of music, technology
SYS*011. Mie>AbE/SoS\ SYS*010 is also an arena for artists and
and social life led to the experiments of free party sound systems—such as
musicians to perform. On Friday May 25, students from local schools
Spiral Tribe in the ‘90s in England—which in turn had a critical influence on
gathered at the Spiral to take part in workshops exploring the art of sound.
the “free tekno” culture, also cited by Briand as a key influence.
The next day featured seven music performances, which included musicians and DJs such as si-cut.db, The Bug and Spaceape.
While SYS*011. Mie>AbE/SoS\ SYS*010 is a convivial artwork, inviting the public to sit, act and inter-act, it also questions the notion of social space
The piece was displayed in the museum for about forty-eight hours and
in a manner reminiscent of the Pavilions designed for museums and public
was installed and dismantled overnight. All functional elements are
spaces by conceptual artist Dan Graham since the late ‘70s. The social
integrated, thus the piece only needs a power supply to be activated. Before
intent of Briand’s piece is taking a radical political sway as he finally
being shipped to London for “The Long Weekend,” it traveled into several
alludes to the concept of ‘Temporary Autonomous Zone’ a.k.a. TAZ, the
international exhibition venues in France, Spain, Japan, Mexico and the US
outlaw communities evading structures of control, that were theorized by
at Red Cat in Los Angeles. The making and setting up of such a work is
anarchist poet Hakim Bey. The Spiral offers a space of autonomy for any
complex and requires close collaboration between the artist, museum,
participant to operate and co-operate.
106 Movie Review
Blow Up By Alec Kerr Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up is perhaps the quintessential photography film. Acting as a portal to the world of photography and fashion in the ‘60s. The film’s lead character, a fashion photographer named Thomas (David Hemmings), lives in a modish London loft: a fab set for his photo shoots, featuring everything from mirrors to feathers. The clothes look like they are from outer space and yet you can’t help but be a bit jealous you didn’t get a chance to wear them yourself. Thomas uses women as nothing more than objects and props. By today’s standards the industry comes across as sexist, degrading and hedonistic, but then again it was the decade of free love, so it should all be taken with a grain of salt. The film’s first photo shoot is a thinly disguised allegory for sex, with Thomas sitting on top of the model shouting his approval at orgasmic volumes. When he is done he coldly walks off leaving the object of his composition, or rather affections, writhing on the floor. Thirty years later Mike Myers came up with the punch line to this scene in Austin Powers, “And…I’m spent.” It is no wonder that many a male have been inspired to pick up a camera after seeing BlowUp. Suddenly photography was sexy. Photography could make you a rock star; in fact, Thomas is chased around by a pair of girls as if he were a Beatle. The film does capture the feel of swinging ‘60s London with a goofy three-way sex scene, drug fueled parties and a guitar smashing performance of “Stroll On” by The Yardbirds, but a plot involving Thomas’ obsession with a series of photos he takes in a park raises the film above mere dated time capsule.
some perverse desire to photograph the body. Although it seems certain the murder happened, the film’s conclusion throws some ambiguity into the mix, blurring the lines of reality and fantasy. We see what we want to see. As BlowUp’s trailer suggests, “Sometimes reality is the strangest fantasy of all.” Released: December 18th, 1966 Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Walking through a park he photographs a couple for inclusion in his book of cryptic black and white photography. He is spotted by the woman (Vanessa Redgrave), who desperately and suspiciously wants the photos. As Thomas begins developing the photos he becomes convinced he has inadvertently photographed a murder. He continues to blow-up the images larger and larger until he is certain he sees a grainy image of a gun and a body. Antonioni skillfully captures the idea that a photograph isn’t reality; it is merely a reflection of it. Blow-Up never becomes a thriller despite the potential murder at its center. The film is meandering and plotless until the obsession of the park photos takes hold of Thomas. Thomas isn’t so much horrified to have captured a murder on film but oddly elated. As an artist he has
Writers: Julio Cortàzar (short story Las Babas del Diablo) and Michelangelo Antonioni Main Actors: Vanessa Redgrave as Jane Sarah Miles as Patricia David Hemmings as Thomas Jane Birkin as The Blonde Veruschka von Lehndorff Verushka as Verushka Producers: Carlo Ponti and Pierre Rouve Music: Herbie Hancock Distributor/Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Movie Review 107
The Devil Wears Prada By Alec Kerr “Corn chowder. That’s an interesting choice. You do know that cellulite is one of the main ingredients in corn chowder.”- Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly On the surface, The Devil Wears Prada, a comedic take on the cutthroat fashion world, is a pleasant bit of fluff. Meryl Streep’s fast-talking, demanding fashion magazine editor is played to near perfection. It is a sharp characterization that adds substance to what could have been broad caricature. Streep even manages to elicit sympathy for her supposed she-devil.
It would also have been refreshing to see Andy not go back to her estranged boyfriend. If Prada had taken this approach it not only would have broken from the conventional ending, but it would have shown that it is possible to be alone and happy and would represent a message of a strong independent woman. The way Prada presents weight is just as off-putting, and even hazardous given the film’s teen girl demographic. Throughout the film, the healthy looking Andy is referred to as “fat”. The film even states what the “bad” size is.
Emily Blunt as Streep’s acid tongued assistant also scores laughs, as does Stanley Tucci as a gay fashion expert who works at the magazine. That he doesn’t fall entirely into stereotypes is commendable. Anne Hathaway is likable enough, but an unremarkable lead. While the work of Streep, Blunt and Tucci is enjoyable, the film is irksome in its presentation of femininity and the fashion world.
Is Prada an accurate reflection of the fashion world? Those of you out there who play a role in the real fashion world may have the answer to this question. When you’re sipping your skim milk lattes, eating olives for dinner with a client, or feeling the industry’s dark side boil up from deep within, well, you tell us…do strap on your sleek red Pradas or just walk away?
Hathaway’s Andy doesn’t want to work in fashion. She wants to be a serious journalist, and turns down her fashion magazine job despite the fact that she excels at it. Andy’s return to her true self and original dream is an admirable message, but, as presented in the film, it is done for the wrong reasons.
Released: June 30, 2006
Only after Andy is told she will become like Streep’s Miranda Priestly, powerful, but without love, friends or any true family, does she runs back to her boyfriend and to a career in serious journalism (if you can call a job at the New York Post serious journalism).
Main Actors: Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly Anne Hathaway as Andy Sachs Emily Blunt as Emily Stanley Tucci as Nigel Simon Baker as Christian Thompson
Are there women like Miranda in the fashion and publishing industries? I don’t doubt it. Still, there must also be examples of women who are both professionally and personally successful. The film’s only other successful woman is as cold as Miranda. Perhaps if Prada had offered a successful woman with a rich personal life as a counterbalance the ending wouldn’t feel so condescending.
Director: David Frankel Writers: Based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger (2003) Screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna
Producers: John Bernard, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., Wendy Finerman, and Karen Rosenfelt. Music: Theodore Shapiro Distributor/Studio: Fox 2000 Pictures
108 Go See
Fall Picks Writer: Alec Kerr | Photo: Till Krautkraemer
New York is the best city on Earth to find lots of stuff. These are just some of the things you should GO SEE…
Wallet: As Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction would attest, a wallet can say a lot about a person. This particular wallet is handmade in America. That’s rare enough in itself, but this fine American product found at the Refinery was made with love by inmates in a Texas prison. Now that’s paying your debt to society. Refinery 254 Smith Street, Brooklyn (718) 643-7861
Robots: This American Gothic-esque couple for the robotic age is a throwback to a simpler time when the coolest toy wasn’t the latest video game system, but the newest tin wind-up. If you are itching for a bit of ‘50s nostalgia in the form of these shiny play things, stop off at Daily Two Three Five. Daily 2.3.5 235 Elizabeth Street (212) 334-9728
Go See 109
Elephants: These tiny dolls – both small enough to fit in the palm of your hand – are easy to miss amid the aisles of everything you could ever want Chinese and Japanese at Pearl River, but hidden on the basement floor amongst the woks and pots these delicate kissing elephants can be found. Pearl River Market 477 Broadway (212) 431-4770
In this age of cell phones that play music, make movies and take pictures all in a package that combines compact design with sleek style, no run-of-the-mill thermos will do the job. There are no flashy gismos on this beverage conveyor, but its modern look makes it a perfect fit for the iPod world. More of the same can be found at Character. Character 19 Prince Street (212) 274-1966
Olive picks: Even if you are eating off of paper plates and drinking out of plastic cups these stylish olive picks will class up any dinner party. An essential item for any food stylist, it will make your drab club sandwich become elegant and your dry martini look urban and sophisticated. This item can be found in an unlikely location: Crate and Barrel. Who knew? www.crateandbarrel.com
Umbrella: Whether you feel like doing your own rendition of “Singing in the Rain,” teaming up with the Penguin to do battle with Batman, or simply looking chic during the next downpour, Rain or Shine is the place to go for umbrellas that say exactly what you want. Rain or Shine 45 East 45th Street (212) 741-9650
ACCESSORIES CRUMPLER BAGS 45 Spring St. New York, NY 10012 212.334.9391 And 49 Eighth Ave. New York, NY 10014 212.242.2535 email@example.com www.crumplerbags.com
fax 212.564.3007 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bloommodels.com MODEL 単MAKER SWELL 300 7th St. Brooklyn, NY 11215 646.373.6188 email@example.com www.swellnewyork.com
BACKDROPS PHOTO EQUIPMENT BRODERSON 873 Broadway, #603 New York, NY 10003 212.925.9392 firstname.lastname@example.org www.brodersonbackdrops.com CATERING GREEN CATERING 61 Hester Street New York, NY 10002 212.254.9825 fax 212.529.3690 www.greenbrownorange.com/green
ADORAMA 42 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011 212.741.0052 1.800.223.2500 email@example.com www.adorama.com RGH LIGHTING 424 West 54th Street New York, NY 10019 212.647.1114 fax 212.647.1451 Cisco@rghlighting.com www.rghlighting.com
www.atelier34studio.com BATHHOUSE STUDIOS 540 E. 11th St. New York, NY.10009 212.388.1111 fax 212.388.1713 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bathhousestudios.com THE BRIDGE STUDIO 315 Berry St. #202 Brooklyn, NY 11211 917.676.0425 email@example.com bridgestudionyc.com BROOKLYN STUDIOS 211 Meserole Ave. Brooklyn NY 11222 718.392.1007 firstname.lastname@example.org www.Brooklynstudios.net CAMART STUDIO RENTAL 6 W. 20th St. 4th Floor New York, NY.10011 212.691.8840 email@example.com www.camart.com
COMPUTER EQUIPMENT PHOTO-SHARING WEBSITE TEKSERVE 119 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10011 212.929.3645 fax 212.463.9280 firstname.lastname@example.org
FOTKI 646.257.5646 x122 1.866.253.4142 email@example.com www.fotki.com
ICE SCULPTURES & WATER EFFECTS
SET IN ICE 718.783.7183 917.974.3259 firstname.lastname@example.org www.setinice.com
ABOVE STUDIO 23 E. 31st St. Penthouse South NY, NY 10016 212.545.0550 email@example.com www.abovestudiorental.com
MODEL AGENCY BLOOM MODELS 37 West 26th Street #401 New York, NY 10010 212.239.1665
ATELIER 34 STUDIO 34 W. 28th St. 6th Floor New York, NY.10001 212.532.7727 firstname.lastname@example.org
CAPSULE STUDIO 873 Broadway #204 New York, NY.10003 212.777.8027 email@example.com www.capsulestudio.com CECO INTERNATIONAL corp. 440 W. 15th St. New York, NY.10011 212.206.8280 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ceccostudios.com DAKOTA STUDIOS inc. 78 Fifth Ave. 8th Floor New York, NY.10011 212.691.2197 / Matthew and Laura Sess email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.dakotastudio.com
212 254 9825
SILVERCUP STUDIOS 42-22 22nd St. Long Island City, NY.11101 718.906.2000 email@example.com www.silvercupstudios.com
STUDIO 7 NEW YORK 120 Walker St. Penthouse 7 New York, NY.10013 212.274.0486 / Paul firstname.lastname@example.org www.studio7ny.com
3RD WARD 195 Morgan Ave. Brooklyn, NY.11237 718.715.4961 email@example.com www.3rdwardbrooklyn.org
SILVERCUP STUDIOS EAST 34-02 Starr Ave. Long Island City, NY.11101 718.906.3000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.silvercupstudios.com
STUDIO 147 147 W. 15th St. New York, NY 10011 212.620.7883 email@example.com www.studio147.net
TAZ STUDIOS 873 Broadway #605 New York, NY 10003 212.533.4299 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tazstudio.com
SOHO LOFT 620 620 Broadway New York, NY 212.260.4300 / Nancy Ney email@example.com www.soholoft620.com
STUDIO 225 CHELSEA 225 W. 28th St. #2 New York, NY.10001 917.882.3724 / James Weber firstname.lastname@example.org www.studio225chelsea.com
THE SPACE 425 W. 15th St. 6th Floor New York, NY.10011 212.929.2442 fax 212.929.1101 email@example.com www.thespaceinc.com
SOHOSOLEIL STUDIO LOFT 136 Grand St. #5-WF New York, NY.10013 212.431.8824 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sohosoleil.com
STUDIO 270 270 Bowery 5th Fl. New York, NY 10012 212.431.3436 email@example.com www.nomd.net
SOUTHLIGHT STUDIO 214 W. 29th St. #1404 New York, NY.10001-5203 212.465.9466 firstname.lastname@example.org www.southlightstudio.com
SUITE 201 526 W. 26th St. #201 New York, NY 10001 212.741.0155 email@example.com www.suite201.com
SPLASHLIGHT STUDIOS 529-535 W. 35th St. New York, NY.10001 212.268.7247 firstname.lastname@example.org www.splashlightstudios.com
SUN STUDIOS 628 Broadway New York, NY.10012 212.387.7777 email@example.com www.sunnyc.com
STUDIO DAYLIGHT NYC 450 W. 31st St. 8th Fl. New York, NY.10001 212.967.2000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.daylightstudio.com
SUN WEST 450 W. 31st St. New York, NY 10001 212.330.9900 email@example.com www.sunnyc.com
ZOOM STUDIOS 20 Vandam St. 4th Fl. New York, NY 10013 212.243.9663 firstname.lastname@example.org zoomstudios.net SET BUILDING READY SET 663 Morgan Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11222 718.609.0605 email@example.com www.readysetinc.com WARDROBE RENTALS RRRENTALS 245 West 29th Street #11 New York, NY 10001 212.242.6120 fax 212.242.6127 firstname.lastname@example.org www.rrrentalsny.com
Libra September 23 – October 22
Capricorn December 22 – January 19
In a city that paradoxically makes sense, it’s no
Caps climb towards the sweet rewards summit to
wonder that you, Libra, can keep an impartial
the point of megalomania. There’s a reason New
look at things. The upcoming year-end festivities
York City gets as cold as it does, Capricorn:
are no different. Someone jumps in the cab you
CHILL! Them feathers you ruffed in the tailwinds
spent twenty minutes flagging down—it’s all
of your sprints want you to stick around and
about balance, you say. Another gal takes the last
cuddle a bit, arguing with them or watching some
bottle of perfume you’ve trolled for online—seeth-
Yule Log on the tube. You’ve got next year to
ing, but diplomacy rules. There’s always another
discover love and learn the secret of life. You may
store, after all. However, when the fifth lady in a
as well enjoy some flying rat for the holidays,
hat more ghastly than the last passes you, it’s
vintage Chrysler or Flatiron Building, circa this
time to turn off the inner conflict aversion and
jump right into the Manhattan clam chowder. Next year welcomes you with open arms, either way. Scorpio October 23 – November 21
Aquarius January 20 – February 18 Lights, camera, and action, action, action is Aquarius…and you take others along for this ride.
As an intense, passionate person who is
Always the visionary to see what works and what
determined to end the year on a high note, you
doesn’t, even down to the positioning of
are possibly in your element. This time of year is
Halloween decorations and Christmas lights,
one people love to hate to love and can’t pretend
you’re in the mix as much as the apples, walnuts
either way—especially giving the last Trick-or-
and peas in the stuffing are. Even though what
Treater your Milk Duds stash or spotting the lone
you do and how you act makes a helluva
ornament on the 30 Rock Christmas Tree. Be it
difference, the ending of this year and contrac-
out of town visitors, your steady date, or your
tions of the next won’t daunt you from appreciat-
relatives that you love to hate to love, enjoy your
ing who you are. Getting gifts wrapped by Sandy
coming year’s surprises like you enjoyed the
Claws or a Dots candy chew stuck in your teeth
nearly forgotten Jujubes stash found in the
confirms this fact.
cluttered closet. Pisces February 19 – March 20 Sagittarius November 22 – December 21
You, Pisces, would never tire of the song
Convoluted, Rube Goldberg-esque, and aerial
“Feelings” since this defines the easygoing,
sighted Sags make for sometimes complicated
go-with-the-flow you. While this is all well and
company—but you love explaining the complex
good, you don’t get polished without a few people
into blueprint terms as you wrap decorative gifts
rubbin’ you the wrong way. As this year fades into
or are the first on the Brooklyn block to attempt a
the good night, amid the fussing over who splits
“turducken” (a chicken inside a duck inside a
the turkey wishbone and who gets the final slice
turkey). Even if you don’t always have an endgame
of pumpkin pie (you do, damn it!), in a city that
in mind—like British soap operas that get mired
can rub you the wrong way, it’ll be on a foul-
in details—you do from your big picture view. Just
smelling Tuesday of next year when you can take
take others along for the carriage ride and tip the
a breather and smell the roses.
horse an apple pear or two.
Coming soon... A simpler way to shoot still life in a rental studio.