GUY BOURDIN //
ALICIA McCARTHY //
APRIL 2015, n171
Evolve Towards Your Creative Edge
Earn A Degree Or Take Classes â€” In San Francisco Or Online: School of Illustration
Visit www.academyart.edu to learn more about total costs, median student loan debt, potential occupations and other information. Accredited member WSCUC, NASAD, CIDA (BFA-IAD, MFA-IAD).
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FEB 11–JUN 29, 2015
Revel in the golden age of Hollywood through an exhibition of photography from George Hurrell—one of America’s ﬁnest photographers, credited with creating the opulent glamour portrait of the 1930s and 40s. See rare and vintage prints of Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, and more, including Hurrell’s uncle-in-law, Walt Disney.
IN THE PRESIDIO 104 MONTGOMERY S AN FRA NC ISC O WALTDISNEY.ORG
Images, left to right: Carole Lombard in The Princess Came Across, 1936; Norma Shearer, 1929; George Hurrell self-portrait. All photographs courtesy Pancho Barnes Trust Estate Archive, © Estate of George Hurrell. Lights! Camera! Glamour! The Photography of George Hurrell is produced by The Walt Disney Family Museum. The Walt Disney Family Museum® Disney Enterprises, Inc. | © 2015 The Walt Disney Family Museum The Walt Disney Family Museum is not affiliated with Disney Enterprises, Inc.
ISSUE 171 / APRIL 2015
MARTIN MACHADO AT SEA
BJÖRK @ MoMA
SIEBEN ON LIFE
SARAH ANNE JOHNSON @ CAM RALEIGH BOOGIE
T. ADLER BOOKS GUY BOURDIN MIKE AHO ON THE LONELY LIFE
OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
CHRIS BRUNKHART HUF
6 PACK WITH JEREMY FISH
Art by Broken Fingaz Berlin, 2013
S TA FF
PRESIDENT + PUBLISHER
ADVERTISING + SALES DIRECTOR
GREG ESCALANTE KRISTIN FARR MEL KADEL CONOR KELLY MARTIN MACHADO EZEKIEL MARTIN AUSTIN McMANUS DAVID MOLESKY EVAN PRICCO LALÉ SHAFAGHI MICHAEL SIEBEN GWYNNED VITELLO
EBEN STERLING MARKETING DIRECTOR
DAVE SYPNIEWSKI firstname.lastname@example.org
AD OPERATIONS MANAGER
SUZANNE WILLIAMS CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER
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KRISTIN FARR JOEY GARFIELD AUSTIN McMANUS GABE SCOTT MICHAEL SIEBEN
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YAELI GABRIEL SAM GRAHAM MIKKEL GRØNNEBÆK TODD MAZER GEOFF MOORE ESTEVAN ORIOL RACHAEL ROTHSTEIN JOE RUSSO JOSH WOOL DAVID WRIGHT
THE FINAL READER
SANTOS ELY AGUSTIN
JOHN DUJMOVIC SHIPPING
DILLON AGUILAR BRANDON AYALA DERIK STEVENSON IAN SEAGER
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JUXTAPOZ ISSN #1077-8411 APRIL 2015 VOLUME 22, NUMBER 4 Published monthly by High Speed Productions, Inc., 1303 Underwood Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124–3308. © 2015 High Speed Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Juxtapoz is a registered trademark of High Speed Productions, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the author. All rights reserved on entire contents. Advertising inquiries should be directed to: email@example.com. Subscriptions: US, $29.99 (one year, 12 issues) or $75.00 (12 issues, ﬁrst class, US only); Canada, $75.00; Foreign, $80.00 per year. Single copy: US, $6.99; Canada, $6.99. Subscription rates given represent standard rate and should not be confused with special subscription offers advertised in the magazine. Periodicals Postage Paid at San Francisco, CA, and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 0960055. Change of address: Allow six weeks advance notice and send old address label along with your new address. Postmaster: Send change of address to: Juxtapoz, PO Box 884570, San Francisco, CA 94188–4570. The publishers would like to thank everyone who has furnished information and materials for this issue. Unless otherwise noted, artists featured in Juxtapoz retain copyright to their work. Every effort has been made to reach copyright owners or their representatives. The publisher will be pleased to correct any mistakes or omissions in our next issue. Juxtapoz welcomes editorial submissions; however, return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts, art, drawings, and photographic materials if they are to be returned. No responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. All letters will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and subject to Juxtapoz’ right to edit and comment editorially.
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juxtapoz.com Cover art from Bjork’s Post album cover, 1995 Photography by Stéphane Sednaoui Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian
E D I TO R ’ S L E T T E R
ISSUE NO 171 “I have to say—I got a feeling I am going to win in the long run, but I want to be part of the zeitgeist, too.” —Björk, to Pitchfork, 2015 Björk became my commute soundtrack when I was 16. My job required a 5:00am wake-up call on the weekends, and I needed music that sort of framed a mood when I drove through the wooded terrain to work. Somehow Björk’s album Debut, already a few years old, was a bit of a standard for 1990’s alternative music. To this day, I remember the groove of “Human Behaviour” as it blasted out of my stereo, how the motion of the vocals and bass just guided me around each turn. It is such visual music, with a voice so unique, it sounded like it almost could not be coming from a human. It was the sound of the future coming to you in the present. And here we are, 22 years after Debut, and Björk is as relevant and iconic as ever. On March 6, 2015, the Museum of Modern Art will open a Björk retrospective, and I’m sure it will be an immensely popular exhibition for one of America’s most prestigious institutions. Many people will be ﬂooded with memories of listening to Björk’s amazing output from the ’90s, Debut, Post and Homogenic, her breakthrough performance in Lars Von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark, the forward-thinking app experience that accompanied her 2011 album Biophilia, or perhaps most importantly, the amazing videos with such directors as Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham and recently 10 |
Andrew Thomas Huang. Even more breathtaking is that she was this ambassador from Iceland, an island nation equated with beauty and fascination. All of these interludes and experiences with Björk were and are transformative; they take you somewhere. And what’s funny, as I write about her past achievements, I keep thinking about just how artistically deﬁning these moments are, not only for her, but for other artists as well. Rarely does music create an atmosphere that so inspires other creatives to explore their potential. Spike and Cunningham’s most stunning videos came from Björk’s music, Von Trier’s ﬁlmmaking was taken to new heights, and even Japanese artist Maiko Takeda’s headpieces are like a coronation when Björk is on stage. When the retrospective at the MoMA opens this month, Björk’s deeply personal new LP Vulnicura will be fresh in our minds, and one of the most deﬁning artists of her generation will get a much deserved, in-depth examination. This is the ongoing story of an evolving, adventurous artist who brings both avant-garde and pop-culture audiences together like no other musician has done over the past two decades. It’s time we try and catch up. Enjoy #171
Still from “Wanderlust” Directed by Encyclopedia Pictura, 2008 Courtesy Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian
JUXTAPOZ AND SQUARESPACE TAKE YOU BEYOND THE COVER EACH MONTH WITH A SPECIAL INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE FEATURING THE PRINT EDITION COVER ARTIST. Visit beyondthecover.juxtapoz.com for exclusive audio, video, imagery, portraits, and interview content on April 2015 cover artist Bjรถrk.
B E YO N DT H E C O V E R. J U X TA P OZ .C O M
HAVE STUDIO, WILL TRAVEL Martin Machado brings his studio with him MY STUDIO IS SPLIT BETWEEN A SPARE ROOM IN THE back of my apartment and a basement space I’ve converted into a workspace and woodshop. I’ve got good light in the back room, and that’s where I get most of my work done. You could also say that my studio travels with me when I catch a shipping job or am up in Alaska for the ﬁshing season. On the container ships, I carry a roll of paper onboard with me, and some super strong magnets to hold the thick paper up on the bulkheads. But I always appreciate coming back to San Francisco and being able to work from home all day. I live close to the piers in a touristy area of the city, so sometimes my neighborhood becomes a nightmare. But there are some hidden gems in all that chaos, like a spot where you can get Irish coffees to-go, and you can also take refuge in the old swimming and rowing clubs.
tennis balls and huck them into the bay until she’s worn out from swimming in the strong currents.
Most days, I work until my pup starts to bark at me. Then I run her to a secret beach spot where I have a stash of
JUXTAPOZ.COM / MARTIN - MACHADO
Over the years, I’ve worked with some old school tools such as oblique pens and an old Italian glass dip pen, as well as modern microns. But for a while now, I’ve really been trying to do everything with brushes. Really, all I need is one brush and a little jar of my ink and gouache mix. I appreciate the imperfections and handmade quality is gives; with this technique you can’t just erase a stroke after you lay it down. —Martin Machado
Read our interview with Martin Machado on page 78.
Portrait by the artist
R I C H A R D
‘ F R E N C H ’
S A Y E R
K R 3 W D E N I M . C O M
R EP O R T
BJÖRK AT MoMA
Curator Klaus Biesenbach looks to the past for the future VERY FEW ARTISTS GARNER IMMEDIATE IDENTIFICATION by the simple utterance of their name, ushering a riveting paradox as well. Björk is both a major pop star and art pioneer, a balancing act deﬁning the future as she ushers millions of fans along with her. It comes as no surprise that on March 6, 2015, MoMA will open a retrospective of the Icelandic artist, focusing not only on her identity as a visual artist, but on the power of her music. With the recent advanced release of her newest LP, Vulnicura, after the inevitable Internet leak, we speak with MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach about the exhibit’s origins, the speciﬁcally commissioned video for “Black Lake” with director Andrew Thomas Huang, and the method of making sound penetrate image. Evan Pricco: What’s really interesting about this show, especially since I’ve been talking to people in the art world about it so much, is that most, if not all of us, agree unequivocally that Björk deserves a MoMA exhibition. But to the casual visitor to MoMA, or for someone with more 18 |
of an overarching pop culture sensibility, the curation of a Björk retrospective may come across as curious. As a curator, how did you come to the consensus that Björk should get an exhibition—in your mind, how is she worthy of an art exhibition that goes beyond her music and considers her as a pop ﬁgure? Klaus Biesenbach: She’s one of the most inspiring, innovative, creative minds of my generation. She has inﬂuenced and inspired generations, several now, and has provided images and a persona that is inﬂuential, not necessarily images that ﬁt into a frame or onto a pedestal. She is one of the most inﬂuential, creative exhibitioners alive right now. I totally agree, so please share your memory of ﬁrst being introduced to her work, whether it be musically, visually or through music videos. One strong memory is just watching music TV and being absolutely fascinated. But that’s how everybody had their ﬁrst impressions of her music. There was just this fascination.
above Debut, 1993 Photography by Jean Baptiste Mondino Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian opposite Still from “Black Lake,” commissioned by MoMA Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang, 2015 Courtesy of Wellhart and One Little Indian
R EP O R T
I founded an art institution in Berlin where we built and ran a sculpture café that had a very good sound system, and I remember a particular opening where there was music in the background. I never liked music in the background of exhibitions, but all of a sudden, I realized it was Björk’s music, and how in that big crowd, there was a feeling of an immediate and intimate encounter with another person who also was in the room. I think that is what most people have— it’s as if she’s too close to the microphone and somehow she gets through the ether, through the Internet, into your very, very close surroundings. It’s a little bit as if you were touched by her. So I remember just the regular TV thing, but I also remember that one moment—this thought of, “Who is that, who is that voice?” The evolution that she’s gone through is so vivid to anyone who has followed her, even beyond the music. What I think is interesting is the music itself has always been dramatic and visual in its composition, but she’s also brought her own visuals to accompany the music. I’m curious about what the experience will be at the museum. It will be the experience of music. When you walk into the exhibition, I think that it is important you are greeted by an immersive sound environment. We want your body to reverberate with the sound. We have these incredible speakers behind the projection surface so the sound is 20 |
behind the images, almost like going through the image, physically resonating in your body as a vibration. Then we have a large-scale movie theater that shows a retrospective of all her collaborations, such as the ones with Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry or Chris Cunningham. The exhibition will also have a very intimate experience with the music, listening to her, hearing her, and walking through her life. Of course, there will also be stage attire, notably, the Alexander McQueen bell dress and the Maiko Takeda head pieces that you can see on an intimate level. In building this show, working closely with Björk, has anything surprised you? Well, what I normally do is go to an artist, see the work, and know I’m going to edit it and put it together around a period of time or theme, and that will be my emphasis, and that is going to be the show. With Björk, the ﬁrst time I asked if she wanted to do a show with me was in 2000, ﬁfteen years ago. As we are friends, I always go to everything she does, and I remember I went to a launch for the 2011 album Biophilia, which was accompanied by a small exhibition. I said to her, “Hey, I’ve been asking you for twelve years to do an exhibition with me, and here you’re doing one by yourself! Now there’s no escape anymore!”
left to right “Mutual Core” video still, 2012 Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian Headpiece by Maiko Takeda Photograph by Danny Clinch Medulla, 2004 Photography by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian
She thought about it some more and got back to me later in 2012 and said, “If you make an exhibition that is about the experience of my sound and music, then I’ll do it.” Normally I know very well what I’m going to do, but with her, it was different because she has such a clear vision of what is ahead. And I mean that as in the future of sound, visuals or performance. It’s very interesting because my premise of the exhibition was a little bit grammatical: “I’m making a retrospective of where you will have arrived in 2015.” So she was just in midst of Biophilia, and in three years I could give her the dates and we could plan that very diligently. And I said, “Björk, it’s going to be a retrospective looking back from March 2015, looking back from where you will have arrived.” I think with the new album, Vulnicura, that really triggered this idea of a future retrospective, an exhibition looking forwards and not backwards. She has always had this really clear vision with her work, and then she has this amazing ability to have other people realize her vision. She is a visionary with convincing clarity who takes art in a direction that nobody yet knows. She was very involved in this exhibition, right? Oh yeah, she was absolutely involved. I wouldn’t say it’s rare, because the artists I work with are always very involved in the exhibition. But what is rare is that you are
working on something that doesn’t exist yet. When you do a sculpture exhibition, you take ﬁfteen sculptures and you place them, and you work on the catalogue, and then you work on the exhibition design. But here, we were developing something where the last chapter wasn’t written and the whole exhibition was developed through this process that, as I said, is very rare. When we commissioned the video for “Black Lake,” which is on the new album and will be a special premier at the exhibition, it was unique because we were building around a centerpiece that hadn’t happened yet. I’ve been listening to Vulnicura the last couple weeks, especially leading up to this feature in the magazine. How aware were you of the making of the album as this exhibition plan was evolving? She is such a strong artist, you’re just trying to not lose track with her. I was hoping it would all align, but she’s like a storm, you don’t presume you can change her course.
Björk will be on display at the MoMA in NYC from March 6–June 7, 2015. For more information, visit moma.org and bjork.com
JUXTAPOZ.COM / BJÖRK REPORT JUXTAPOZ
E V EN T
SARAH ANNE JOHNSON IN WONDERLAND CAM Raleigh fashions a fantasy WONDERLAND PRESENTS THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO trace the continuity and inspiring evolution of Winnipegbased Sarah Anne Johnson’s practice. The exhibition invites us to delve deeper into her quixotic photographs supplemented with humble dioramas, Sculpey ﬁgurines, painterly interludes, handcrafted dollhouses and a dizzying array of modiﬁcations performed upon the photograph itself.
creative process. She begins by staging dramas steeped in mythological pathos. These scenes contain elements of human ﬁgures and landscapes, whether from reality or invented in the form of dioramas and clay ﬁgurines. As she shoots, she intentionally crafts voids into her compositions, which she later ﬁlls with digitally altered or painted elements. Once printed, photographs become a canvas for painted marks and embellishments in the form of gold leaf, glitter or painted confetti. —David Molesky
The Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, North Carolina is currently hosting a mid-career retrospective for the renowned artist. Filling the entire museum, Steven Matijcio has curated Johnson’s ﬁve major bodies of work produced over the last twelve years.
Sarah Anne Johnson: WONDERLAND will be on display at CAM Raleigh through May 3, 2015.
Photography is only part of Johnson’s multilayered
JUXTAPOZ.COM / SARAH - ANNE - JOHNSON
clockwise from left Puzzle Pieces 2013 Pigment print 14" x 9.25" Edition of 30 Black Box 2010 28" x 42" Chromogenic print, photospotting and acrylic inks, gouache and india ink Ripple 2011 20" x 30" Chromogenic print, marker and photospotting ink
©Sarah Anne Johnson, Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York
DESIGN + DIGITAL MEDIA VANS HONORS LAB CRITIQUE
BFA DEGREES Animation Design + Digital Media Drawing + Painting Game Art Illustration
MINORS Creative Writing Sculpture
MFA + POST-BACC Drawing Painting
LAGUNA COLLEGE OF ART + DESIGN
PIC TURE BOOK
The neverending untold story I FIRST MET BOOGIE NINE YEARS AGO WHEN WE WERE in a small group show together in San Francisco. It was the ﬁrst time I had ever shown any of my photographs and I vividly recall his complimentary words of encouragement when looking over what I had hung. I admit to having been caught off guard, suspicious of Boogie’s sincerity, probably a direct result of my own insecurity as a photographer, mindful of his vast accomplishments and overwhelming body of work. I would hold on to those words for many years as a potent source of motivation, as Boogie’s name was inescapable at that time. He had amassed an enormous amount of buzz for his raw, high contrast, black-and-white photographs that startlingly recorded the grim lives of New York gang members, Serbian skinheads, junkies, and basically all representations of the harsh street life environment. His access was perplexing, and Boogie solidiﬁed his ability to capture the most bizarre and overlooked moments in everyday culture. Now, after publishing ﬁve books, holding several international exhibitions, shooting a number of campaigns and starring in Cheryl Dunn’s Everybody Street movie, Boogie is still married to the craft, grinding the streets harder than ever and capturing new, untold stories. His most recent project has brought him to Kingston, Jamaica, where he tells me he has been three times now, hanging out with gangs, cops and getting into a lot of shit! —Austin McManus
For more information about Boogie, visit artcoup.com
JUXTAPOZ.COM / PHOTOGRAPHY
Belgrade, Serbia 2010
PICTURE BOOK JUXTAPOZ
Bangkok, Thailand 2011 “This was on Chinese New Year’s day, and I was just walking around Bangkok shooting. I noticed these women and the kid, and the moment I raised my camera to shoot, the woman picked up her dog to cover her face.”
Bangkok, Thailand 2013
Kingston, Jamaica 2011
PICTURE BOOK JUXTAPOZ
Kingston, Jamaica, 2011 “I don’t think these guys were acting in a fake way, more like showing off, being macho. Although when people don’t know you well enough, they sometimes tend to put on a show, trying to give you what they think you want. That’s why it’s important to become a ﬂy on the wall so they get comfortable and do their thing. It never happens the ﬁrst time around; it takes time to get to know each other.”
Belgrade, Serbia, 2012
PICTURE BOOK JUXTAPOZ
Tom Adler on a career of design and book publishing THE IMPRINT IS SIMPLE, THE LAYOUTS ARE CLEAN, AND the subject matter evokes the serene. In short, there is no doubt when you have found a book published and designed by T. Adler Books. Hailing from Santa Barbara, Tom Adler is an art director, graphic designer and book publisher who has created a cult following for his extraordinarily beautiful limited edition books while building an aesthetic that turns the history of surf and outdoor cultures into ﬁne art treasure of years past. It’s not just books; Adler’s design and publishing projects, as well as his extensive rediscovered photo archives, have been exhibited on the prestigious walls of Danziger Gallery in NYC. His newest book collects his curation of pairs, showing his keen ability to contrast images that create historical narratives by their unique positioning. From fashion giants like RRL or Southern California staples like Patagonia, Adler will make you look good. 32 |
Evan Pricco: At what point in your career as art director did the roles of book publisher and designer come into play? I’m wondering if books were always on your mind. Was it a natural ﬁt for you? Tom Adler: Twenty years ago, I decided to focus on publishing photography and history-related books on topics that interested me. Prior to that, I had designed books and art projects involving photography, and often letterpress printing. What was the ﬁrst book you published? When you did it, was T. Adler books already a reality, or did that project spark something in you? In 1995, Craig Stecyk and I worked with Don James on the book 1936 to 1942 San Onofre to Point Dume. This was the ﬁrst book under the imprint T. Adler Books, Santa Barbara. We enjoyed the entire process of putting the book together, so I decided to do others.
left to right Photos (left to right) by Don James and Ron Church Courtesy Danziger Gallery Yosemite: Glen Denny Co-published with Patagonia 2007 California Surﬁng and Climbing in the Fifties 2013
You know how much I love your aesthetic, the pairs being just some of the most clever and clean use of imagery I can think of. Do you remember the ﬁrst time you did the pairs? Or the ﬁrst time you laid out your font over an image the way you do? It's nice of you to say that. Because most of the books and projects we do generally center around photography, the selection, arrangement and sequence of the images is obviously very important. When editing photos for a book or project, ﬁnding similarities (or differences) in composition, scale, tone and intention is crucial. And then, ﬁnding vague, subtle or nuanced connections between them is usually the most interesting part of the process. Ending up with contrived, deliberate arrangements or visual puns is something we try to avoid. The individual qualities of a photograph always remain more important than the way we arrange them.
I actually try to avoid placing type over photographers’ pictures, unless a photograph was taken with that in mind. Was and is there an inﬂuence, a publisher or artist who sort of got you on your way? While I was going to UCSB, the painter and graphic designer Robert Overby became a friend and mentor who encouraged my interest in design and typography, as well as the connections between art and design. Around the same time, I studied with the writer and scholar Kenneth Rexroth. His library was ﬁlled with rare and important books. I found that I was as drawn to the design and construction of books as I was to their content. Later, I worked on projects with Sandra Reese. She made beautiful, handmade letterpress books. From her I learned the importance of the mechanics, precision and details involved in bookmaking (paper, binding, typesetting, etc.) Today, I'm most inﬂuenced by the time I spend browsing in bookstores. Three of my DESIGN JUXTAPOZ
favorites are Dashwood in New York, Arcana in Los Angeles and Lost Horizons here in Santa Barbara. What is the perfect book project? One with a topic that has a vast archive? Something for Patagonia that is both brand-oriented and historical? A unique and intriguing topic is the main thing. The quality and range of photographs to select from is essential as well. Allowing plenty of time to edit, research, review, and then revise and adjust material would be key to a perfect book project. What was the book you just ﬁnished? And do you have any art projects or shows coming up? Our new book An Uncommon Archive is simply an unusual selection of photographs and artwork from our books, 34 |
projects and saved references found on our hard drives—one hundred and sixty images we like for one reason or another. As far as other projects go, over the last nine months, Evan Backes and I have been developing a website (archiv-e.com), which will offer framed ﬁne art prints. The site will feature iconic historical and current images from noted photographers and artists.
For more information about T. Adler Books, visit tadlerbooks.com and danzigergallery.com. To purchase any titles from T. Adler Books, visit artbook.com
JUXTAPOZ.COM / DESIGN
clockwise from top Spread from Dora Lives Photo by Grant Rohloff 2005 Surf Life 32 To 02 2003 Ron Church: California to Hawaii 1960 to 1965 2007
JANUARY 17â€”JULY 19, 2015 -DQHW'HODQH\6RXWKRI0DUNHWUHODWHVWKHFRPSOH[KLVWRU\RIDFKDQJLQJ 6DQ)UDQFLVFRQHLJKERUKRRGWKURXJKDQH[KLELWLRQRIPRUHWKDQSKRWRJUDSKV IURPWKHVDQGV 7KLVH[KLELWLRQLVRUJDQL]HGE\WKH)LQH$UWV0XVHXPVRI6DQ)UDQFLVFR LQFROODERUDWLRQZLWKWKH6DQ)UDQFLVFR0XVHXPRI0RGHUQ$UW ,PDJH-DQHW'HODQH\6HFRQGDW0DUNHW6WUHHW$UFKLYDOSLJPHQWSULQW ,PDJHFRXUWHV\RIWKHDUWLVWÂ‹-DQHW'HODQH\
FA S H I O N
A seminal photographer’s son sets the record straight GUY BOURDIN WAS A PAINTER AND LEGENDARY fashion photographer whose style has been pervasively appropriated in pop culture. Mentored by Man Ray, he avoided the limelight, focusing strictly on the creation of arresting pictures. Despite staging surreal mise en scènes for high-end brands like Vogue, fashion was the last thing on his mind. On the occasion of a current retrospective of Bourdin’s work in London, his son, Samuel, revealed the truth about his father, an artist who is legitimately known as one of the twentieth century’s best fashion photographers. Kristin Farr: What do you think was unique about the way your father viewed his subjects? Samuel Bourdin: Being a painter who was not interested in being successful, wealthy, or having access to females gave my father an entirely different approach to his work. He was an imagemaker, ﬁrst and foremost. He knew all the museums of Europe. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of poetry. Being self taught, he never ceased to learn and explore. The ﬁnality of his work was to express himself, explore, and to push his creative boundaries, with no marketing media plans involved. 36 |
What kind of personality did he have? Shy, generous, perfectionist, hard working. Why did he shy away from celebrity? I have heard that he wanted all of his work to be destroyed in the end. Is that true? He did shy away from notoriety, more out of being humble than anything else. I don’t think success was ever a priority. Money certainly was not, since most of his income from the Charles Jourdan campaigns, for example, went into subsidizing editorial work for Condé Nast. And he never intended to destroy his work at the end of his life. Quite the contrary. As a matter of fact, he kept every piece of his negatives. I have boxes and boxes of rejects. My father kept everything and never underestimated his work. It was the meaning of his life, even if a lack of organization might have been misconstrued at times. So he wasn’t critical of his own work? Not really. It was a never-ending process. I never heard him express regrets about a shoot. He complained about
opposite and above left Charles Jourdan campaign, Autumn 1979 above right French Vogue, May 1970
following page Charles Jourdan campaign, September 1979 Pentax Calendar, 1980 French Vogue, March 1972 All images copyright The Guy Bourdin Estate 2014. Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery
the quality of the reproduction of his images in Vogue, but never about his work. Because his images were popular and highly anticipated, did Vogue and other clients give him carte blanche? Francine Crescent, the editor-in-chief at Vogue, always protected him and gave him the ﬂexibility he needed, and Roland Jourdan, the CEO of Charles Jourdan, also gave him total creative freedom. Institutions are not very creative or bent on being on the cutting edge of the times. I would say my father respected certain individuals who gave him the freedom to explore. In return, they got the best he could give. Guy Bourdin was a perfectionist. Did he have a favorite kind of model or subject to work with? He liked American models because they were much more committed to the work. Many models were grateful to him for discovering them because, at the time, they did not ﬁt the standard notions of beauty. What was his camera of choice? Nikon and Hasselblad. What kind of photographs did he take for personal enjoyment? Working was personal enjoyment for him. When he was not
taking pictures on assignment, he would paint, draw and study to perfect his art. He might observe people and take Polaroids or visit art museums. He never stopped working. What do you think he learned or enjoyed most about working as Man Ray’s protégé? I think he learned about making images that have value and engage the viewer, whether because of content and meaning, or in an aesthetic way. There is very little randomness in his work. He composed images. Being a painter all his life changed his approach to the photographic medium. Was he most comfortable working for a client, or did he wish to be an independent artist? I think being commissioned to work gave him motivation and a certain creative structure. But he painted all his life. Making photographs was just one of the elements of his artistic practice. Did his feelings about the commercial fashion industry have anything to do with the sometimes dark nature of his photographs? I would be interested to see the ratio between the so-called “dark nature” and all the beauty in his pictures. Thank you for asking that question. There is very little darkness in my father’s work. Just take a look at A Message For You and FASHION JUXTAPOZ
FA S H I O N show me the light… and the dark. Google can be great, but one should not forget to look at all the material before being blindly inﬂuenced by biased sensationalism and journalists. My father took pictures. Fashion was just a medium. Fashion did not exist in his world. Your father’s life and career is somewhat of a mystery to many people. What else is misunderstood about him? He was a generous person. I think the biggest tragedy is the misrepresentations the media seems so keen on propagating about his work. There is so much humor, care and subtlety. Some superﬁcial, lazy journalists have come up with ignorant concepts at some point, and those stupid concepts have been used and abused ever since. It is as if people were blind. It is heartbreaking. Guy Bourdin is not Terry Richardson or Mapplethorpe. All the poetry, the beauty and humour of his work have been totally misrepresented by superﬁcial writers or editors. Who are the people that have kept the Bourdin legacy alive? Myself, his late lawyer Maître Zameczkowski-Jardin—a very close and committed friend who saved the estate from the hands of a mega publishing corporation after my father’s death, and Shelly Verthime, chief curator of the Guy Bourdin Estate. What were his major aesthetic inﬂuences? Cinema, pop culture, art. Was he interested in crime stories? Not so much crime, but deﬁnitely in mythology. I heard that you and your father went on a road trip in a Cadillac and took many photos. Can you tell me more about that trip? You can see the pictures at Somerset House. It was just our immediate family and my father’s assistant at the time, Icaro Kosak. Total freedom for all parties involved. Where have you noticed his inﬂuence most notably in contemporary art and media? Mostly in fashion campaigns. Sampling and a lack of ideas seem to be the new norm.
Guy Bourdin: Image Maker is on view at Somerset House in London through March 15, 2015 and features over 100 exhibition prints of his most signiﬁcant work, as well as previously unseen material from his estate made between 1955 and 1987, Super-8 fashion ﬁlms, paintings and sketchbooks. For more information about Guy Bourdin, visit guybourdin.com The Guy Bourdin Estate is represented by Louise Alexander Gallery, louise-alexander.com
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NO, YOU’RE WEIRD!
J O H NF LU EVO GS H O E S VANCOUVERSEATTLEBOSTONTORONTONEWYORKSANFRANCISCOCHICAGOLOSANGELES MONTRÉALPORTLANDQUÉBECCALGARYWASHINGTONDCMINNEAPOLISDENVEROTTAWA
FLU EVO G CO M
I N FLU EN CE S
MIKE AHO SEES A DARKNESS The makings of The Lonely Life CONTROL IS LOST AND TIME BECOMES AN ABSTRACTION when Mike Aho draws us into the short ﬁlm The Lonely Life, which he wrote, directed and scored. He can be credited with almost every aspect of the ﬁlm. (That, on top of being the new creative director at Volcom, and leading the band ((sounder)).) It stars musician and actor Will Oldham, whose character had been cryogenically frozen and is searching to understand his former life. Bathed in the intense haze of medication, lies and hallucinations, the ﬁlm follows this search for truth amidst a cloak of certain evil. Mel Kadel: Will Oldham and Lena Bookall’s performances are incredible. As a director, can you talk a little bit about your approach? Did you just turn them loose or help walk them through it? Mike Aho: They were both really prepared for the production, and we shot everything in two days in the blazing heat of an Austin summer. I was really blown away watching it come to life through them, so I didn't have much to say, character-wise, once we got going. There was a lot to sort out when it came to scene blocking and creating the motions for animations to be added later. 42 |
You and Will Oldham have collaborated in the past, but this project, in particular, seems custom made. Did you write this character with him in mind? I did. The story just came to me, and he's the only person I could think of to play the role of David. I especially love what Oldham did in between the spoken lines. There was so much in his expressions, even within a blank stare. Would you shoot scenes over and over to pick up those nuances? We shot quite a lot of extra time during those moments, so it was a matter of ﬁnding the perfect little section when editing. But Will brought so many strange characteristics to the role that it has some amazing subtle moments. I really think it adds to the sense of confusion and the realness of the ﬁlm. Michael Sieben, Travis Millard and Jeremy Fish contributed the art in the ﬁlm. What was your intent when bringing in animated elements? I wanted to bring friends into the project as visual artists and not give them much context around the world they
opposite Still from The Lonely Life above (clockwise from right) Animation art by Travis Millard Stills from The Lonely Life
were creating. The idea, within the ﬁlm, is that David is hallucinating these visions, so the randomness of imagery and disconnect between the artist and the scene helped create a surreal world, hopefully. The intensity of the ﬁlm revolves around a lot of heavy issues. How was the mood on set? I assembled a rag tag team of friends all donating their time and helping out with whatever they could, so it was pretty fun, actually. It wasn't until we shot the scene that reveals the scar around David’s neck that I felt the weight of what we were doing, or trying to do.
absurd greed can make people. In some ways, what is revealed at the end of the ﬁlm seems absurd, but in reality, the mega-wealthy in this world are doing far worse things, with little-to-no oversight or logic. I wanted to show this scene in a semi-futuristic way, showing someone who seemed more “new money” in one of the positions. I also wanted it to feel cold and empty, so the setting is supposed to feel like the day after a party, which can feel that way to me.
There is a constant blurring of reality throughout the ﬁlm. I’m curious if this was all in the script, or if you and Will improvised at all during the shoot? Will improvised some really clever things that added so much, like pedaling the bike backwards and things like that, but most of it was scripted. There were actually a couple more scenes that I cut because I felt like it wasn't keeping the viewer grounded in reality.
Cryogenics is such a sci-ﬁ concept, but the technique is very real. I read a prediction that the ﬁrst cryonic revival might occur as early as 2045. Did this weird science inspire you to start writing the script? Yeah, kind of. I had read an article about the fact that the science that existed in the 1950s to freeze people won't actually work when they are brought back, because the molecules in their brain would be deformed due to, essentially, freezer burn. I loved the idea of somebody coming back to life, but as this distorted version of what they were, and that's where it all started.
Mysterious evil lurks throughout the ﬁlm, and then we enter that great party scene and meet some of the evil face to face. What inspired you to portray this with such absurdity and humor? For the evil undercurrent of the ﬁlm, I want to show how
Not only did you write and direct The Lonely Life, you also wrote and recorded the music. It’s beautiful and works incredibly well with the story. At what point during the process did you start writing the songs? All of the songs were written prior to making the ﬁlm, INFLUENCES JUXTAPOZ
but through the process, I dismantled a lot of them and recorded different elements to create a score. Just like the ﬁlm, I try and write music that feels approachable and pretty, but has a dark underbelly and takes you somewhere unexpected, or makes you feel something you weren't expecting. From holding the camera to the special effects and editing, you did it all. Was it due to the small budget, or do you prefer that level of artistic control? That's just how I've always worked, so I've never known any different. And, yeah, I think because of that, there is a control issue. For my next project like this, I want to involve more people throughout the process and open it up a bit with some collaborative energy. You raised some of the money through a Kickstarter campaign, which presents its own challenge. Without that, do you think the ﬁlm would have still been made? Absolutely not. Even though we were on a shoestring, it takes some budget to bring something like this to life. I'm 44 |
so grateful to those that contributed, for nothing more than their desire to add something to the world. The whole crowd-funding movement is amazing, watching it grow and change over the last couple of years.
clockwise from top left Still from The Lonely Life (Animation by Michael Sieben) Still from The Lonely Life Photography by Bryan De La Garza
I really love the ﬁlm. It’s incredible to see what a strong story can become with a camera, two days of shooting, and basically one room. I hope people will ﬁnd the twenty minutes to watch it. Where or how can we see it? Thanks! Glad you liked it. I remember standing in your kitchen telling you the initial idea for the ﬁlm, so it's awesome to be talking about a completed project like this. People can buy the new ((sounder)) album, The Howlingest Call, which features most of the soundtrack and includes a free digital download of the ﬁlm, through Monofonus Press.
For more information about Mike Aho, visit mikeahoart.com
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THE SHAMANIC JOURNEY OF
MARTIN WITTFOOTH INTERVIEW BY DAVID MOLESKY // PORTRAIT BY JOSH WOOL
STANDING NEXT TO THE GATED SIDE ALLEY, MARTIN WITTFOOTH was the ﬁrst to welcome me to my new studio building. Offering an engulﬁng hug from his large frame, he then demonstrated how to avoid losing a limb while operating the ancient freight elevator. Having had a studio in the building for a few years, and in the Bushwick neighborhood in general for a decade, he is a veteran of this landscape strewn with the remnants of an industrial past. MARTIN HAS SET UP HIS ENVIRONMENT TO CONTINUOUSLY stimulate his image making. Looking out the window over the roof tops of graffiti-covered warehouses, a blizzard of pigeons encircles the corner turret of a factory building in the distance, settings I recognize from his paintings. Inside the pirate ship cavern of his dark-wooded studio, we chat while Martin paints. I become a stowaway in a vessel set to motion by the gale force that ﬁlls the sails of his smoothly sanded gessoed canvases. Martin activates the surface with generous paint applications that magically mimic the textures of fur, bark and pachyderm skin. He translates profound thought into compositions, splicing together reference materials from the internet, books and his own photography. Deﬁnitely one of the most skilled and proliﬁc painters of our time, Martin has created a unique world of visual metaphors that often draw inspiration from great philosophical thinkers and historical oil painting technique. Last year, Martin snatched up a sweet piece of land in the foothills of the Catskills near Woodstock, NY. With the help of a few artist pals, he has been converting its buildings into living and studio spaces with the intention of having an art
center retreat for his inner circle and eventually beyond. The land has also become a sanctuary for his mounting explorations into amateur shamanism. In this new role, an outgrowth from his work with painting, he continues to act as a guide to discovery in this community. Engaging us in landscapes rich in metaphorical symbolism, Martin gently leads us into states contemplative of our relation to the multiplicity of living things and the planet we share. David Molesky: What motivated you to explore visionary practices with plant psychedelics? Martin Wittfooth: I sort of just stumbled into them, to be honest. I had a few unexpected, game-changing experiences about a decade or so ago that really opened my mind to the profound implications of these experiences when done “right.” In my view, there is such a thing as doing them wrong, by not knowing and respecting what you’re getting into, doing them in a compromised setting, around people that you don’t know if you can trust, and so on. In my own experiences, I’ve often been confronted with profound realizations, largely in keeping with old Buddhist and Hindu teachings, that behind the ego-constructed self there actually is another self, one that’s inherently connected to, and part of, all other things.
“ I AM ESSENTIALLY A KIND OF CARETAKER DURING THE EXPERIENCE, PROVIDING THE SPACE AND ATMOSPHERE, A STILL POINT OR AN ANCHOR.” The visions I’ve had on them have also given me a whole new perspective, mainly that the one that we’re afforded in our everyday reality is but a certain tiny sliver of the whole picture. I don’t actually think we’ll ever have any real sense of the whole picture, probably because it’s simply so vast as to have no borders at all. I ﬁnd it immensely interesting that we have the ability to access these states of mind, and the implications that these experiences can have in altering our generally rather narrow worldview. For a lot of people, myself included, these experiences can offer the ﬁrst moment of a kind of awakening and the consequent shedding of stagnant and closed-minded perspectives. So I hear you are starting to offer close friends a kind of vision quest retreat at your place in Woodstock. How does that work? The idea is that it’s a personal journey for the sitter, and one that can open a lot of doors to introspection and offer some pretty profound insights. A lot of my friends already voyage out of their subjective realities on a regular basis, in the form of trying to trap some imaginary concept into an illusion on a two-dimensional surface. The process by which one creates art is already shamanic, in my view, though I think the well from which one draws ideas can get a whole lot deeper if certain channels are opened. I think that these experiences can provide these openings. I am essentially a kind of caretaker during the experience, providing the space and atmosphere, a still point or an anchor. I am there to provide if they need something, but mostly I just get out of the way, and don’t speak unless spoken to.
Atman (Mirage) Oil and gold leaf on linen 25" x 24" 2014
The setting in which one has the experience has a great deal of inﬂuence on how it unfolds, so to have a “steward” present to provide a comfortable space can be really helpful in getting calm and focused enough to let go; surrender is key to getting a real peek behind the curtain.
First-timers often wonder what they ought to “do” during their subjective journeys, or feel compelled to try and explain what they’re experiencing while it’s happening, but inevitably have a hard time doing it any kind of justice in that moment. So, as I’m sitting for them, I tend to suggest that if they feel like talking it out, feel free to do so, but you might just want to sit with it for a while, process it on your own and then open up a dialogue or write it down later, when you’re on your way back down. You recently launched your new book, Babel, through a very successful kickstarter campaign. What is the signiﬁcance of the title? The ancient story of Babel—the Tower of Babel to be exact—is one of confusion, and one which points at interesting parallels in our current condition. In the beginning of the story, mankind is united as one people who speak one language, and they build the city of Babel, in the middle of which is a tower that is built so high as to reach into the heavens. God is displeased by this display of arrogance and curses the people with a confusion of languages. They can no longer understand one another, and the tower that they were building falls to ruin, and the people scatter across the face of the world. I think that there is an interesting comparison here, which gets at the heart of the myriad issues that we face as a species: the inability to understand one another and the natural world that we have long departed from. Terence McKenna has a quote I really connect with, which resonates with this theme as well: “Nature is not mute. It is mankind that is deaf.” Much of my work, including the technique with which I create it, looks into history and attempts to distill various aspects from it into the present moment, all the while attempting to point out shared and synchronistic characteristics between the past and current state of affairs. >> MARTIN WITTFOOTH JUXTAPOZ
Who are some of the biggest Inﬂuences on your paintings? I have a lot of them, but speciﬁc painters whose work I often look at for a variety of reasons are the French Naturalists, namely Jules Bastien-LePage, some of the Symbolists like Caspar David Friedrich and Arnold Böcklin, nineteenth century portrait painters Henry Raeburn and Thomas Lawrence, American landscape painters like Frederic Church, the Flemish still-life painters, and many of the real classics, like Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Hieronymus Bosch. I’m a sponge for a lot of inﬂuences, and it’s not limited to classical painting, though I only mentioned those in that list. I’m a big fan of what a lot of contemporary artists are creating as well, and some recent favorites have been painters Robin F Williams, Christian Rex Van Minnen, Aron Wiesenfeld, Jenny Morgan, Vincent Desiderio and Julie Heffernan. I get a lot of inﬂuence from my close friends as well, in both their handling of their own work but also in going deep into the ideas behind our work over many long 52 |
discussions. I think that’s the most important wellspring of inﬂuence for me, actually: the open and honest dialogue that I can have with other artists and thinkers. Many of the ideas for my own work have been born out of these interactions. How did you land upon this current trajectory of work that you have been exploring for the last decade? What earlier work has led you to what you do now? At some point during my MFA program at the School of Visual Arts here in New York, I started to play around with these painted scenes where human ﬁgures were absent, but the settings themselves were either manmade or somehow inﬂuenced by our presence. I wanted to ﬁgure out a way to give narrative to these pieces without having some human subject play out the scenes for us. The early work in this vein primarily featured inanimate objects that had some symbolic connotation, and animal hybrid portraits. I was
left to right Nocturne II Oil on canvas 57" x 46" 2013 Harvest Oil on canvas 54" x 68" 2012 The Devil’s Playground Oil on panel 36" x 48" 2010
really just beginning to ﬁgure it out, but did feel that I had landed on something worthy of exploring deeper.
felt that art could be this outlet for me. I’ve approached all series since that time with the same principle.
My graduate thesis ended up being a series destined for my ﬁrst solo exhibition at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica in 2008. Things just sort of took off from there, and after that I participated in a crazy amount of group shows and picked up more solo shows along the way, too. I felt that I really hit a stride of sorts in 2010 when I prepared my show, Gardens, for Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle. There was a solid premise for that show, and it was my ﬁrst venture into themes that I am still pursuing, albeit from slightly different angles: the yearning or return of the Pan into an overly civilized world, life and death, rebirth, samsāra. I had just lost my father that same year, so processing the theme of death and mourning, as well as the liberating notion of acceptance and the celebration of the cyclical nature of all things was very important to me—the ﬁrst time in my career that I’d really
How do you approach your themes and how did some of the speciﬁc show concepts come together? I tend to approach my thematic concepts as series, primarily for solo exhibitions. Each theme will take on some broad topic, and each painting in the series will be an individual facet or rumination on that topic. The themes I explore tend to be ones that have societal and cultural implications for the times that we’re living in, but simultaneously some parallel with our shared history on the planet. For instance, my 2011 show in New York City, called The Passions, explored the notion of martyrdom and the persistence of this troubling meme through a long period of time into the 21st century, while the world outside of the human drama is at the risk of collapse. I was reading a lot of Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens at the time, along with Douglas MARTIN WITTFOOTH JUXTAPOZ
Untitled Oil on canvas 96" x 68" 2014
Rushkoff and Jared Diamond. The paintings in that series borrowed titles and compositions from classical artwork that featured saints and martyrs, and re-envisioned them as animals: martyred and beatiﬁed in man-made landscapes. I changed halos to ﬁre, suggesting the destructive nature of blind faith. So that’s one example of how I would approach a series. Another one I did a couple of years ago took a look at what the term “empire” means in the world today. It used to carry an arguably more optimistic resonance. In the day and age of the Art Deco movement, for instance, masculine power, conquest, national pride, and so on were seen as virtues. The race for the tallest phallic symbols in metropolitan centers was on, as a testament to this virtue. However, in the wake of corrupt administrations, false motives for warfare and consequent sacriﬁce of thousands of lives caught in the crosshairs of the viliﬁcation of whistleblowers and journalists, and a host of other issues, perhaps that polished image of what an empire is, or ought
to be, has shifted in most people’s minds. A movement like Occupy Wall Street would suggest that to be the case, and it occurred in the year during which I was working on that series, so it had a part to play in the paintings that came out of it. I like to plan my series this way. The individual paintings that make up each series end up having a dialogue with one another and contribute to a larger statement, as they all share an underlying concept. You have a big museum show coming up at the Long Beach Museum of Art titled The Archaic Revival, after a title by psychedelic author and lecturer Terence McKenna. Could you tell us a little bit more about what you are planning, and what do you envision doing differently with the opportunity in this huge space? I am going to be exploring the theme of shamanism in the series that I’m preparing for that show, its resurgence or renaissance in the contemporary world. What McKenna suggests by this title, and what I likewise want to explore in
above Loot Bag Oil on canvas 24" x 18" 2013 opposite Harvester Oil on canvas 48" x 60" 2013
my own works, is the return of ancient practices and ways of interacting with the natural world which have long been suppressed, ignored, and forgotten by the industrialized, mostly monotheistic and hierarchical establishment. In his lectures and books, McKenna championed the notion of a rediscovery of shamanic tools and rituals for the expansion of consciousness, and through this expansion, a renewed dialogue with nature: something that the modernized and religiously deluded world has long stopped regarding as the sentient ally and source that it is. I’ve recently noticed a great amount of new attention, and renewed interest in the serious research of these substances and the practices surrounding them. I’m hoping to contribute to this ongoing dialogue in my own work. The museum exhibition gives me a terriﬁc opportunity to make some really ambitious large paintings, and I’m also going to be creating a large sitespeciﬁc and interactive installation piece that I’ve begun to plan out.
What else do you have coming up in the future? Currently I’m working on a new series, which is the ﬁrst chapter in the same body of work that I’m preparing for the Long Beach Museum of Art and an opening at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York in October, 2015. Between this exhibition and the museum show, I plan on traveling to a few places that I’ve been putting off for a while, to recharge my batteries, to gather fresh reference, and to start the engines back up for the ambitious new projects I plan on making over the course of the next couple of years.
For more information about Martin Wittfooth, visit martinwittfooth.com
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above Capitoline Oil on linen 74" x 50" 2012 opposite Shaman II Oil on canvas 35" x 31" 2014
Sex, death and irreverence INTERVIEW BY AUSTIN McMANUS PORTRAIT BY YAELI GABRIEL I UNCOVERED A HUGE INACCURACY SEARCHING GOOGLE for “skeleton having sex with women,” and my anticipation of what I would discover led to a major letdown. Irrelevant images and inaccurate depictions occupied the space where a treasure trove of offensive Broken Fingaz’s work could be. Nobody does skeleton sex like the Haifa collective or, for that matter, skeleton orgies, panda sex and even frog molestation. As one member simply states, “Sex is just fun.” Don’t be deceived, though. There’s more to their work than sin and playtime. The four members that comprise Broken Fingaz have a plethora of skillful tricks up their sleeves, and they employ a variety of mediums and imagery. From vibrant large-scale murals to monochromatic underground ﬂyers for clubs, the tight-knit troop of creative individuals has established itself as a ﬁxture in the Israeli art scene. Fortunately for us, they bring their imaginative exploits to the U.S. this summer. >>
Austin McManus: Can you explain the origin of the name Broken Fingaz because I can’t seem to ﬁnd an explanation? Broken Fingaz: A pigeon ate Deso's ﬁnger.
It felt like it was one of the primary goals of the city to erase everything, from one-centimeter tags to entire murals. We recently did a tribute to the buff unit in a zine we made with the local writers.
You guys started writing in 2001, and Israel’s graffiti scene is relatively new compared to other cities across the world, correct? I hear the buff is pretty consistent. Tant: It was Unga and Kip that started painting in 2001 as part of the ﬁrst crew in Haifa, then they started Broken Fingaz, and me and Des joined.
If I were to visit Haifa, what would be some of things you would suggest for me to do? Deso: Besides there being nothing in Haifa, it's also not a good vacation place.
Kip: The scene was only just starting to be built, and it affected us because we didn't have too much to look up to. We had a lot of freedom but, at the same time, no one told us what was good or not, so it took us a long time to shape our style.
Tant: To go to the Ba'hai Gardens at night with a spliff and a bottle of wine. There are also a lot of cool nature spots, the springs and stuff like that.
Deso: After the war in 2006, the second Lebanon War, when our city was bombed, the Haifa municipality got lots of budget for rebuilding the city, and they created a special buff unit that, ever since, buffs everything within two days. 62 |
Unga: Go to the plastic bag beach; it's a Russian utopia.
If there are minimal things to do in Haifa, what prevents you from moving to Tel Aviv or somewhere with a more active culture, or does this keep you from distractions and allow more time to focus on work? Unga: We're not such big fans of Tel Aviv. We do like the small beach city mentality in Haifa. The good thing here is
clockwise from left Phantom screen print London, 2013 London, 2014 opposite Haifa, Israel, 2014
the people. We have such a big movement of friends who are doing stuff, people who are really talented and don't have the posse that people in big cities have.
Unga: When we travel, it's intense. There will be a few months when we eat, sleep and shit together. Right now we're all living in Haifa and the relationship is healthier.
Kip: We're also still part of things that are happening in the Haifa scene. There's the Kartel where exhibitions and parties with local and international artists and DJs take place, and the Haifa vibe is incomparable.
Tant: We still have our studio, but each one of us also has their own place. I think it's important for us to have a balance between working together as a group. It gives you a lot of power. We're learning a lot from each other and, at the same time, we need our own space for each one of us to develop as an individual and then to come back to the group with fresh ideas to share.
Unga: Also, in the last four years, for at least six months we've been on the road, so it makes it much easier to not hate your city when you're not there all the time. Deso: In terms of big city issues, Tel Aviv has them all. Nonstop party life, short-term ďŹ‚ooding trends, snobby social approach and expensive everything. If you're looking for calm and focus, city life can be really exhausting. Haifa gives us an inďŹ nite amount of time to concentrate on our shit. How often do the four of you meet up to create things together? Do you all share a studio?
Do you guys still live in a squat? Deso: No, after we went to Cambodia, a gang member from New York squatted the squat, and now we're just moving around. Two recurring themes in your work are sex and death. Can you explain your fascination with these subjects? Tant: For me, the skeletons don't necessarily represent death. I see them as living inside each one of us. It's kind of a need to understand our bodies and what we have inside BROKEN FINGAZ JUXTAPOZ
ourselves, introspections that we deal with all our lives.
Unga: Sex is just fun.
Unga: For me, it is about death. It's about confronting people with death. There's nothing dark about it, it's just what's going to happen to us all. People separate death from life and will do anything not to see it, but actually, it's the same thing. You live and then you die. People try to hide it even though it's the only thing you know for sure. For us it feels like a good thing to deal with, especially when you live in a place where death is everywhere.
Can you tell me about the SuperSex series you guys were painting in the streets in 2013? I recall a panda fornicating with women. Unga: It was mainly silly, but the funny thing was that Facebook deleted the panda fucking the girl, but they left the one of a frog raping a fat man with a knife.
Deso: It's also about using strong images, taking graphics to an extreme: ďŹ ngers falling apart, sliced head of a man and skeletons. For us, it's the bananas! All the art we like deals with these things. All the old illustrations from the past centuries, as well as skate graphics and comic art, use nudity and skeletons to maximize the impact of the vision, and for us they were the best visual inspiration.
Tant: Unga threw this name SuperSex out and we just thought about what it meant. Unga: All the street art in Shoreditch was so cute and familyfriendly that it was just fun for us to do something like this. The Sex Picnic zine you guys put out last year was so tastefully constructed. Have you guys made zines in the past? Unga: Yes, we did a bunch. We had the Suck on the Titties
left Brazil, 2014
series, but this one was more like a book.
fans of, and suddenly we get to do a collab with.
right London, 2012
Tant: Sex Picnic Number 2 is on the way.
following spread Screen prints
Deso: 50 Shades of Buff: The Erotic Struggle of the Haifa Writers.
Yeah, I was impressed that you guys collaborated with Toshio Saeki, whose work I admire and who I also interviewed last year for Juxtapoz. I can see some inﬂuences from his work in some of yours. Are there particular Israeli artists who have inﬂuenced your work? Unga: As for Saeki, yeah, he's deﬁnitely a big inﬂuence. The fact that we were able to organize the shows for him in Tel Aviv and London and release two shirts with his work on them was such an honor. As far as Israeli artists go, I'd say the work of Tomer Hanuka is amazing. The way he draws women, there are not a lot of people who can do that.
What is Ghostown and your relationship to it? It appears to be a one-stop shop for all things related to Broken Fingaz and other exceptionally talented artists like Horfe, Finsta and Know Hope. Kip: Ghostown is our bigger crew in Haifa. We started it with a bunch of friends a few years back as an apparel label, and now it has grown to become a kind of art and music label, and we run exhibitions and events in Israel and abroad, collaborations with other artists, like the ones you mentioned. It's really cool for us that we had the chance to work with artists we like, local artists we want to help to get their shit out, or someone like Toshio Saeki, who we're huge
Tant: Ephraim Lilien. He wasn't exactly Israeli, he was born in Europe but he came to Jerusalem to help with the establishment of Bezalel Art School. I was surprised to learn that you guys have already done
BROKEN FINGAZ JUXTAPOZ
BROKEN FINGAZ JUXTAPOZ
exhibitions at Tel Aviv's Museum and the Haifa Museum of Art. Having already shown there, at a museum level, does that make you feel that you have already marked your place in Israel’s contemporary view, with the bigger picture getting attention internationally? Unga: Not really. We're not really in the mix of all this "art world." It was never really our goal. If it happens and we get collectors, then it's good, but it's not really what motivates us. There needs to be a balance. If we can sell art and keep creating, then it's great for us, but at the same time, this art world is so full of shit and people who just follow hype, so it's important not to get sucked in and start to believe that the paintings you do are actually worth that much money. I think of all the mediums in which you guys work, my favorite is the simple black-and-white illustrations you do for poster and ﬂyer designs. This is initially how your work 68 |
gained wider exposure, right? Unga: Yeah, it was kind of our school because none of us really studied, so doing posters was how we learned the basics of putting together an image. The nice thing about working with bands and music events is that it allows you freedom that you don't get when you work with brands or bigger clients. You don't earn very much from it, but it spreads your art all over the city. We still do posters and ﬂyers, and music is still such a big part of what we do. Doing art for someone we really like is one of the best projects we can get. Your passports have seen a lot of use over the years. Where have been some of the most memorable places you have visited and painted? Deso: China was crazy. It was our ﬁrst tour as a crew, so along with amazing nature, great architecture, wacky
left to right Amsterdam, 2013 London, 2013
food, smelly weed and beautiful girls, we also learned how to work together on a bigger scale, farting spices along the way.
show. We're going to India ﬁrst for two months. The plan is to stay in a small village with monkeys and just create work. There will be lots of patterns and trippy colors.
Unga: Russia is also a crazy place. All the stereotypes are so true: eating ﬁsh soup made with vodka with a soft drink of vodka and an alcohol drink of 96 percent alcohol spirit on an island with a man that has a Lenin tattoo. It was hardcore, but we want to go back next time with Des, who couldn't come because he's Russian and they'd draft him into the army.
Deso: We did some animation tests lately and we're planning to add a motion feature into a big installation that we’ll build for the exhibition.
This summer you guys will be having your ﬁrst US exhibit in Los Angeles. Can you tell me about some of the ideas you are working with and what you are most excited for besides eating Mexican food, obviously? Unga: We still don't know exactly what's gonna be in the LA
Kip: We're excited about the music scene in LA, comics stores and record stores.
For more information about Broken Fingaz, visit brokenﬁngaz.com
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BROKEN FINGAZ JUXTAPOZ
INTERVIEW BY KRISTIN FARR // PORTRAIT BY MIKKEL GRØNNEBÆK
WHEN I SENT ALICIA McCARTHY SOME QUESTIONS OVER email, she copied them down in pencil, then scribbled her answers. After typing them up with two ﬁngers, she methodically crossed them out with looped lines, then threw the pages on the ﬂoor or into the garbage. She sent me a photo of one page, and seeing this image of her thought process was fascinating, a mind’s gears visualized, and I thought, who needs these cold computer words when you could see this instead? The real feelings, the handwriting of the artist. ALICIA’S WORK IS ABOUT THE PROCESS, AND HER ﬁrst language is visual. She reminded me that words are limiting, but visual communication is unrestricted. She lets her foraged materials dictate the imagery, and her investigations are deceptively simple. Mere words could never do her paintings justice. Art is a conversation without words, and here we are, trying to have a conversation about it. I’m obviously going to share the typed missives between Alicia and me, but just know that the real answers are in the paintings. I have admired Alicia’s art forever, and after interviewing most of the artists who are saddled with the nebulous Mission School label, I’ve learned that the ﬁrst rule is like Fight Club. You don’t talk about it. Secondly, you must recognize that the idea of the Mission School includes more than a handful of brilliant painters. And though many new contemporary artists revere and cite heavy inﬂuence by this group of artists, we cannot compare. We can only bask in the afterglow. There was some untouchable golden magic during the ’90s in San Francisco, and Alicia McCarthy was there, at the heart of it. What an honor to have this chance to learn her language. Kristin Farr: It seems like rainbows are a character in your paintings.
Alicia McCarthy: Honestly, they are not really rainbows to me. It's more about intersecting colors in a certain space. Is color the subject? How do you connect with it? Sometimes I feel like color has a spell on me, if that makes any sense, and I mean this in the best way. It's deﬁnitely a relationship, a symbiotic one at that. Color just has a grip on some people. I deﬁnitely feel that. Do you have a method for choosing colors for a painting? I don't know if I have a method, so maybe my answer is no. Choosing the colors is not a pre-written speech, it is a conversation without words. I think my process of making colors is always in response to what other colors are around it, so each color informs the next one, and so on. I mix all my colors when possible, and by that I mean with the crayons and colored pencils; you deal with a ﬁxed system. Those materials are necessary for a certain texture of the mark that cannot be made with paint. So yes, I mix all my painted colors, the rest I just choose from the chaotic piles I have built over the years, the crayons and pencils. Do you give yourself challenges, or is your painting process spontaneous? There are certain images or shapes I've been working with for years. I mean, it's kind of embarrassing, like this ALICIA McCARTHY JUXTAPOZ
compulsion, so things progress slowly for me. It's a dilemma, but I also don't feel like I'm painting the same thing over and over again. Each piece has its own personality to me. I’ve felt a compulsion to paint many versions of similar things, like experiments with subtle variations. If I like something, I want to make more. Is that how it is for you? As far as painting the same images, or working with similar images over and over, I never get the feeling that I want to do this over and over. For me, it comes down to ﬁguring out what works for each surface, and that part can be fast or sometimes it can take much longer. There are some surfaces that tell me pretty quickly what they want, and others can take years. I'm so invested in the process and not so much the outcome. I see the mistakes and either accept them, or paint over it and start over. There are some pieces that I work on slowly, on and off for months, or years, or a day. For me it's not something that can be forced, it's more like a force that I reckon with. Yes! Precisely. So, tell me about your visit with the nice people of Copenhagen and your new Snobody show. 72 |
Copenhagen was absolutely amazing, and all of them there at V1 Gallery—Jesper, Mikkel, Josephine, Leah and Nanna—are some of the sweetest and smartest folks I've met. And that city—you know, I haven't done much traveling outside of the States, and I don't think I even made it out of the neighborhood, gallery and apartment we were in, but they really have it going on over there. Everyone, and I mean everyone, all ages, is on bikes. Bikes leaning on the outside of every building, not locked to some thick steel bar cemented to the ground with two krypton locks like here. That, and everyone isn't on their phone or whatever device constantly. That was actually noticeable, even on the plane ride. Most folks were reading or talking to each other. And that's the other thing, conversationally, I don't think I ever once witnessed anyone interrupt the person talking. It was pretty remarkable. I only wish I could have stayed longer but I had to get back for work(s). Do you get meditative or super engrossed in the action when you’re weaving lines in your grid paintings? Yes, I get very engrossed, same spell I mentioned earlier. And I guess the other part is the quality of the line, shape or color.
above Untitled Spray paint and house paint on panels 144" x 88" 2015 Installation view of Snobody V1 Gallery, Copenhagen January 16–February 14, 2015
What makes a lineâ€™s quality perfect in your mind? I'm not seeking perfection. I have certain things with application that I strive for with a painted line and with a brush. I like the edges to be solid, not frayed, and the paint to be opaque, as opposed to translucent. It's much harder to control a sprayed line, and I really like that. Each medium has its own quality or integrity, and with spray paint, there is so much about acceptance for me. I always feel like I am collaborating with the materials, not trying to control them. Just like I am all things living and dead, there is what you want, and what you get, and life is what is in between. I don't mind the mess, in fact that is what I love: dealing with it, accepting and learning from it, and then ultimately moving on, with all of that inside. Is it true that you took a break from art? It is not true that I took a break from art. If I took a break from anything, it would be going out socially, like to openings, or events or things like that. But that was a few years ago. I needed to reboot from some dark times. But the last two years have been unbelievable. I got this great studio in downtown Oakland, and prior to that, I had a tiny studio in my house. But I kid you not, the second I got into my new studio, I was noticeably more focused and
immediately things shifted for the better. How so? I think it's pretty simple. One, I was able to afford it, and two, it eliminated the distraction that, for me, can occur when I have my studio at home. I've always gotten a studio when I can afford it and when one becomes available through friends. And I've had great studios at my homes, some in my room, some in an extra closet or room, and I still work at home sometimes, just so I can work and be around my ace in the hole, Sahar, and the cats and such, but for now, and as long as I can make it work, I love my studio. It's a real special place that allows me to just focus on the task at hand, and to be alone, minus whichever talk radio or podcast I'm listening to. And that, too, helps me get out of my head and stay in this weird in-between state that I love mentally. I always think about that drawing you made of a close-up view of cat fur and paws. That wasn't a drawing. It was a photo I took of Violit the dog and Ethel the cat. Violit raised Ethel, who in turn, thought she was a dog. She actually preferred dogs over cats. I really miss them both a lot still. ALICIA McCARTHY JUXTAPOZ
ALICIA McCARTHY JUXTAPOZ
They sound sweet. Sorry I mistook the photo for a drawing. I wanted to ask why you like using colored pencils and crayons. I like the quality of the line with colored pencils. There are certain images that can only be in colored pencil, ones that must be crayon, and ones that must be paint. Tell me about your years at the San Francisco Art Institute and some long-term inﬂuences from those days. The ﬁrst time I went to SFAI, I was in high school. A good friend of mine, Jennifer Wade, had an older brother, John, who was a student there. He is such an amazing painter. I was already in awe of him as an artist. He used to paint and draw these Surrealist melted faces. We’d go visit him and his crazy ﬁlmmaker roommate, James. They had this great apartment on Polk street, and then we went to the school, and it just blew my mind. I'd never seen anything like it before, so that was the ﬁrst seed. The second seed was a couple years later when I was going to Humboldt State in Arcata where the forest meets the ocean. There, I met a group of friends and instructors that had a life-changing effect on me. Most notably would be Virgil Shaw. That guy, I could go on and on about. He is a very, very special person. So Virgil and I moved to San Francisco in 1991 and slept on his folks’ porch for the next several months until I got a room in an apartment across from the Women's Building on 18th Street. Did you play music with Virgil and did you guys collaborate in other ways? Virgil showed me how to play banjo, and then I spent many months in my closet practicing—months and months, years and years. I'm still learning. He showed me so much—Virgil 76 |
and the entire Shaw clan: Richard, Martha, Whitney, Alice, Dexter and Catie. You know, I came from amazing, practical, working class parents—a mechanic and a nurse. I absolutely love my parents and what I've learned from them, which is a great lot. In fact, that is revealed to me more and more as time goes on. But back then, when I went to school in Arcata and met Virgil and other friends, Cleavland and Harrell, it was just like, ahh, here are my people—folks that were just doing things to do them, very creative and nutty people. And at that time I really needed to get on with people where there was no explanation, no phones, no arrangements, just “doing,” with no division between life and making. It was all just happening at once, with no pretense. So yes, Virgil and I have played music together, made beer together, made art together, and he was and is my ﬁrst love and ﬁrst and last boyfriend. I love ﬁnding out that two artists I like know each other. It’s good to be reminded that the world is small. So what kind of visual things attract you most these days? What casts the spell? All things imperfect are interesting to me. I don't think I'd use the word attracted, but that's just a word, and words can be sort of limiting to me, although I have the most immense respect for folks who use language in an expansive way. I just don't consider myself one of them. My mind’s eye has always had a very visual language. And new things are very uncomfortable for me. They smell and feel weird, and I don't really even like shopping. It seems so sad to me. I can't stop thinking about all the pain and suffering that goes into manufacturing, and that's all I can think of when I go into a store—how was this made, where, why, how? And who is proﬁting from it? It’s such a tipped scale, it just bums me out.
previous spread Untitled Colored pencil and house paint on found wood 58" x 48" 2014 Untitled Colored pencil and house paint on found wood 58" x 48" 2014 above Untitled Pen and house paint on found wood 54.5" x 19.5" 2015 opposite Untitled Spray paint and house paint on found wood 28" x 19" 2014
Gutters tell the real story; dark alleys, piles of discarded, disposable everything. Humanity really bums me out, such selﬁsh creatures we are, so willing to try and conquer, and it makes no sense to me. But I don't want to spiral down, so I'll just leave it at that. I guess we should, since I cry easily. I was about to ask why you like to paint on found wood but you just answered that. I would much rather pick up a piece of wood or whatever off the street or wherever, as opposed to going to a store and buying it. It's pretty much as simple as that. You must have struggles or weirdness with the commercial side of art. I think my biggest struggle is with extreme capitalism. I have the hardest time understanding how it is ok to buy
something at one price, or have it made the cheapest and most damaging way, and then turn it around and sell it at a proﬁt. I just can't wrap my mind around that idea. It just causes so much pain in the world. Well, you are deﬁnitely doing your part to give the refuse of capitalist practices a new, good-looking life. I don’t want to end this conversation but we have to, so lastly, do you know the color of your aura? I have no idea. Part of me wants to know, and part of me doesn't.
For more information about Alicia McCarthy, visit V1Gallery.com
JUXTAPOZ.COM / ALICIA - MCCARTHY ALICIA McCARTHY JUXTAPOZ
MARTIN MACHADO PAINTING THE OPEN SEAS
INTERVIEW BY CONOR KELLY // PORTRAIT BY RACHAEL ROTHSTEIN
SPENDING SIX WEEKS TOGETHER IN ALASKA EVERY summer, out at sea 18 hours a day, hauling in salmon from a two-person, 40-horsepower, 20-foot open skiff, snatching sleep on the shores of Graveyard Point, you get to know someone. Conor Kelly has been friends with artist Martin Machado since childhood, so a few stories have been shared around the campﬁre. Conor Kelly: Hey buddy, let's get the basics out of the way—age and where you’re from. Martin Machado: Hey pal, well, I am 34 and originally from San Jose, California, but I've been in San Francisco for about 10 years now. A bunch of your work through the years has been nautically themed and inspired. What are some of your earliest memories of the sea? My ﬁrst memories of the sea are from Santa Cruz, where my Grandfather lived, as well as other extended family. We would stay at my great-grandmother’s place for at least three months in the summer. I can remember playing at the beach all day, building crazy rafts with my cousins and brothers, getting pummeled in the surf, having fun and yelling "cowabunga" a lot.
I remember your Grandpa Bob, who was inﬂuential and well known in the Santa Cruz community. He was an artist as well, right? You guys ever mess around with paint or anything during those early summers? Yeah, we knew him as Bob, but his name was Robert Podesta, and he had a cartoon called Tropical Fish that occasionally ran in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and a newspaper in Honolulu. He did show me how to draw and paint, but he was more of a cartoonist and had a bunch of characters with his own style. Actually, you can still see some of his cartoons on the Santa Cruz Wharf, next to an old Monterey ﬁshing boat that he restored and named after my grandma, Marcella. The images illustrate how ﬁshermen readied their boats and set their gear. That’s probably one of my oldest memories of the ocean, being on that tiny boat in the Monterey Bay as it almost sank, and him coming out of the engine-room, smoke billowing out, with a huge smile on his face, pretending everything was ﬁne. That's amazing. I didn't realize he was a successful cartoonist. How old were you for that insane boat experience? I was little, maybe four or ﬁve, and it was one of those vague early memories, and not until later did I ﬁnd out we
came close to sinking. He just kept coming up on deck and saying, "Hey, you guys having fun?" And my little brother and I being like, "Yeah, Bob, besides all the smoke, this is pretty rad!" Since you mentioned your little brother, talk about your family a bit. Any other artists in the group or other early inspiration? I come from a pretty tight family, and with three brothers, life was kinda crazy. We are all still close but do totally different things. I guess I'm the only one who has stuck to the art. But we all had it growing up. My mom really pushed art on us as kids, taking us to museums, workshops and just always encouraging us to make art. Probably more as a way to keep us busy. So, with all your brothers sticking to the more traditional American route of sports and then eventually business and such, when do you feel you started to really look towards art as maybe a more serious life path or even an occupation? Was it a focus throughout your education? I don't know, I always drew as a kid and kept notebooks, but I never took it too seriously. I was never very good at normal sports, which led me to surﬁng and skating, and those communities seemed to naturally encourage art making and 80 |
seeing the world from a different angle. I went to college in Miami for Oceanography, but after a year, I wanted to transfer back to California. Around that time, I decided to switch to art as a major, and I guess that's when I really started thinking about art as a lifelong goal. I'm not sure if I wrapped my head around art as a job, maybe I still haven't, but because my art has been tied to labor for a while, work outside of art has been necessary. Glad you brought that up because your art is clearly related to what you do for a living. Can you explain that to us? I mean we work together on one of your jobs, but I know you have a few. I've worked in a whole bunch of random venues of the maritime industry for about ﬁfteen years now, from a tall ship and modern sailing charters to big commercial container ships. These days my main two gigs are commercial ﬁshing for salmon in Alaska each summer and occasional merchant marine work throughout the rest of the year. Of course, you know the ﬁshing side, as, for about a decade, we have both basked in the long days of Alaska in God's country, aka Graveyard Point in Bristol Bay, each summer for the salmon run. The rest of the year I try to ﬁt in some work for The Sailors Union of the Paciﬁc, the shipping union that gets me jobs as crew on big ships. I’ve worked on
Things Fall Apart Ink on paper 62” x 17” 2013
“ THERE’S A WEIRD TENSION I ENJOY, LIKE THE PAST TELLING THE FUTURE TO SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.” a handful of container ships through them over the years, taking me around the globe and into some pretty amazing ports. A big reason I do this sort of work is because I can take as much time off as I need to focus on art, which is now entwined with the work-work. You are a busy man. What are some of the places you have been to that you have enjoyed the most? Has any spot inﬂuenced your style as an artist? Some of my favorite ports have been in Singapore, Thailand, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Pusan, Korea and Sardinia, Italy. I take a lot of photos at sea and in ports, and little bits of places make it into my art, but I can't say that one place has had
a particular inﬂuence. I think the biggest inﬂuence is just the realization that any traveler has, that there are so many different ways of living but that we are all essentially the same. Unlike someone who ﬂies somewhere, though, I have this slow anticipation between each port, where I see the water change colors, the temperature and climates change, and I like to think I appreciate the places more because of it. I hear that. Not too mention, you have a lot of solo hours in the wheelhouse, right? Staring into the abyss. Do you get a lot of things done when you’re not on watch or doing odd jobs around ship? Are you taking a bunch of photos these days too?
MARTIN MACHADO JUXTAPOZ
Yes, lots of hours staring at the sea. Sometimes I think back to grade-school teachers saying, "You'll never get a job staring out the window!" Well, while we are at sea, that is basically my job, just to look out and make sure we don't hit anything. I usually do that for two four-hour watches throughout the day and night, squeezing in another four hours of overtime work on deck. I try to force myself to paint in my cabin for at least an hour a day too. I have been trying to take my photography a lot more seriously and usually have a camera hiding under my coveralls. I think it will be an interesting body of work as I grow older and the industry changes and evolves. Plus the characters that I work with on a daily basis are amazing; there are some true nomads in the industry. Photography has always been a part of a process that usually inﬂuences my painting, but I'm ﬁnally realizing that if an image works as a photograph, I should leave it as that. I just took a blackand-white darkroom course too, so I'm ﬁnding there are a lot of steps beyond snapping the photo that are just as exciting as translating it into a painting. I don’t think most people understand how a photo actually becomes something you can physically hold, especially in this day and age. Is this your ﬁrst time printing your own photos? 82 |
When I was in art school, I was right on the edge of the conversion to digital, so the few photography classes that I took pushed the new technology. So yes, this is my ﬁrst time doing darkroom printing. The class was at the Harvey Milk Photo Center, a great spot in SF. It’s interesting to photograph a subject, in this case containerization, with a medium that essentially predates it. There’s a weird tension I enjoy, like the past telling the future to slow the fuck down. I could not agree more. It’s like getting a postcard instead of being tagged in a damn post. Sometimes easier isn't necessarily better. On a possibly related note, can you ﬁll us in on that Clipperton trip you went on, which led to an international art show? Sure, the Clipperton Project was something I got involved in a few years ago. It was started by this eccentric playwright from Gibraltar named Jon Bonﬁglio who got really interested in a very small atoll in the middle of the Paciﬁc called Clipperton. He decided to take a journey with a group of international artists and scientists out there on small sailboats to do scientiﬁc research, make art and raise awareness about ecological issues. It was a great adventure, sailing over 2,000 miles from La Paz, Mexico to Clipperton and back, with a big eclectic crew from around the globe. It was amazing that no one got hurt, really, with all sorts of close calls and it being put together on
above Ship Passing 35mm 2014 opposite Hog Heaven Ink and gouache on paper 28" x 20" 2015
a tight budget. I've been lucky enough to be included in some of their art exhibitions in Mexico City, Glasgow and wherever they move onto next. The project has expanded, with several more huge voyages and a growing worldwide community of supporters.
Stoked you got to be a part. Switching to a more personal note, and because I think we would both be in trouble if not mentioned, you recently got hitched. Shout out to your lovely bride. Yep, last year, to a great girl, and I am looking forward to our future endeavors and adventures.
about it each summer when we’re stuck on a boat together. Your new work really reminds me of old Polynesian-inspired etchings, but with your ode to shipping and ﬁshing. Where did you get this inﬂuence, if that is the case? So you were listening! Well, this whole series stemmed out of me stumbling across some etchings from the Captain Cook Voyages of Discovery books from the 1700s in the special collections of the library. I really fell in love with the imagery, which led me to learn more about Cook, his crew and the people and places they visited. I’m particularly fascinated with the South Paciﬁc because it seems to be the last area that Western Europeans “discovered.” These were some of the ﬁrst ships to carry artists on board as part of the crew, whose job it was to record the ﬂora and fauna and indigenous people they encountered. In a way, I wanted to connect myself with this amazing body of work, and I realized that, as a mariner, there were a lot of links. Much of the ﬁsh that we catch up in Alaska makes its way to Dutch Harbor, an area Cook visited and charted on his third voyage. If I catch a container ship at my union hall, odds are it will either go up to Dutch Harbor before crossing the Paciﬁc to Asia, or straight to Hawaii where Cook was actually killed.
I’ve followed your art path, mostly because you ramble
So, gradually, I started painting in the style of these
Sounds like a pretty good time. I sort of like when shit gets a little hairy out in the ocean. Did they put everyone to work sailing, regardless of experience or skill? Actually, there were only a handful of us that had any sailing experience, and some had never been on boats at all. But a few of the sailors had circumnavigated on small sailboats and were very seasoned. It was a lot of fun picking their brains and hearing all the sea stories. The conversations rolled in and out of Spanish, French and English with the international crew, and everybody chipped in the best they could. Honestly, it was a pretty amazing experience.
MARTIN MACHADO JUXTAPOZ
MARTIN MACHADO JUXTAPOZ
etchings, mimicking the line-work and effects they used for water, occasionally appropriating a ﬁgure and juxtaposing it with a contemporary one I might have encountered in my own voyaging. I like to think of it as a sort of call and answer through time, where I'm continuing a visual conversation about these places and people. In this series, I use the recurring image of the ﬂoating shipping container as a simple reminder of modern globalism. Sometimes the container becomes a sort of vessel or stage where I can present ideas; in other images it becomes an actual vessel where ﬁgures might be rowing it like a canoe, or have set up a makeshift sail. You have a lot of themes going on there, all closely related to each other and to what you do in your life. Do you plan to continue this style? Do you have a speciﬁc process, and do you often go back for inspiration or a collaborating idea from the archives? I think I'll stick with this style for a while. I've bounced around many painting techniques since art school but this ﬁnally feels right. I think there is a lot of room for growth, and my process is just getting my ideas out into the physical world. I have a huge queue of pieces in my head, and at the same time, I love doing research into the canon of this genre to get inspiration. 86 |
Good to hear that you have found your style, my man. Look forward to seeing what’s next. On an absolutely nothing-to-do-with-that note, I remember a desk job I had in San Francisco where all the new hires had to stand in front of the company and say some shit about themselves, one being a fun fact. What would you say, unrelated to art or work? Hmmm, fun fact... I’ve never had Eggs Benedict. Hollandaise? What’s that? I have no idea. Mine was that my house caught on ﬁre the night before, then I realized it wasn’t fun at all, dropped the mic and had a beer. Well, it’s been good catching up with you, friend. Looking forward to the summer and proud of how far you have come in the decades I have known you. I remember that ﬁre, it was not fun. Good catching up with you too, and thanks for the kind words. See you in Alaska, supposed to be lots of ﬁsh this year!
For more information about Martin Machado, visit martinmachado.com
JUXTAPOZ.COM / MARTIN - MACHADO
previous spread Exporting the Gnar Ink on paper 26" x 20" 2013 above Rice Bag Sailors Ink and gouache on paper 14" x 10" 2015 opposite The Albatross and the Shipping Container Ink on paper 45" x 45" 2013
MARTIN MACHADO JUXTAPOZ
INTERVIEW BY KRISTIN FARR // PORTRAIT BY GEOFF MOORE
MICHELANGELO FELT HE WAS FREEING A FIGURE TRAPPED inside a block of marble, and similarly, Vanessa Prager was always an artist, but she had to chisel her way out through her own self-directed art school. Concentrating on portraiture, she has experimented and forged new territory since day one. An uncomfortable space is where she is most comfortable. Lately, she’s made a monumental transformation, exceeding the boundaries of paint with sculptural, highly-textured surfaces that reference expressionism and impressionism with a raw, new contemporary feel. She makes chaos look good. Kristin Farr: What does your art help you communicate that you can’t convey through interaction? Vanessa Prager: I see it more as a gateway for talking and interacting with people that, in other circumstances, I wouldn't necessarily have. All different types of people can see art and respond to it. Art isn't reserved for only one or a few groups, and that's what's great about it. I imagine I'm telling stories of people, often women, caught up in things, usually of their own creation and then standing gloriously amid the chaos of it all. But people get and take away all different kinds of meanings and instill their own personal stories into work that I wouldn't have thought of myself. So it opens up whole swatches of the world that I wouldn't have been able to reach before. Who are the women you paint? I wouldn't go so far as to say they're me, because physically there isn't meant to be a connection. But there are parts of me and parts of everyone I've ever met in them. They 88 |
are women of the world who are curious, interested, who like to do things solely for the experience and aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. They're always on the lookout for the next thing they can get involved in, for better or worse. I deﬁnitely see them as having a whole life, it doesn't just start and stop with this one frame you're seeing. Do you think about the story of your characters on a very detailed level, or is it abstract ideas about their life outside the frame? It is more abstract to begin in terms of feelings and moods, and when I start working on it, all of the details immediately start to form on their own. The story and structure are forming together hand in hand. By the end, I feel I've made them up, but they stand independent of me. I say goodbye to my pals at times when I leave the studio for the night—I'm laughing but it's true! I have to imagine, when you’re painting ﬁguratively, the pieces have life in them. Do you think your personality
matches your work, especially in the way you described the women you're painting? Do you always paint women? I feel my work must match my personality to an extent, I am using everything I have to make them. But I think making it helps take the place of me needing to act out or express myself in other ways. I get some stuff out by instilling things into the characters I paint. Because of that, these works are also very cathartic for me. I pour my emotions into them and somehow it helps take the burden off me. I'm not entirely sure how to pour personality or emotion into an inanimate object, except that I go through things while making the work. I open it all up. And just like you can feel when someone has just been ﬁghting when you walk into a silent room, sometimes too you can transfer bits of people into spaces and objects. I don't always paint women. I really enjoy painting men as well, they just don't have such big red lips and long dark lashes! Has your work gotten larger over time, and why do you like working large-scale? Yes, it deﬁnitely has. I wanted to work large-scale this time to see what it felt like. Small is great, and medium sized is too, but there is no replacement for big. I am trying to fully envelop a person in this work. I want to have a person stand at a normal distance and be lost in it, at ﬁrst seeing only an abstract mess, but then standing back to see another 90 |
aspect, a ﬁgure or a face. With any story, you need to zoom in close to get the detailed look and zoom out to get the overall theme. The bigger it got. the more easily I thought this effect would be felt. I like your observation that “art is the gentlest way of enlightening people.” Do you think the world needs a certain kind of illumination? It’s not really for me to say what kind of enlightenment people need, it’s so personal to the individual. But I ﬁrmly believe that most people are good and kind and mean well at their core; they just get wrapped up in things and start to see, and then become, darkness. But when they aren't entangled in their problems, when they can stand back from it and look at it all from a distance, they can start to get on board with solving problems instead of making them, with creating things instead of just tearing down things other people have going on. Enlightenment brings people clarity, and art, if it speaks to someone, has the power to give them a little lift, a little boost toward their own personal enlightened direction. Tell me about your recent Dreamers show. What were you most excited about with that particular exhibition? Dreamers was very personal to me. I started the series during the dissolution of a relationship I was in, during which time I became hyper-aware of people who try to keep everything perfect, who don't want to ruffle any feathers
left to right Sundae Oil and plaster on wood 12" x 12" 2014 Dark Night Oil and plaster on wood 12" x 12" 2014 Dusk Oil on wood 24" x 18"
and love a good quick ﬁx. “It doesn't exist, everything's ﬁne.” Very frustrating.
it’s easy to make it muddy and have everything just blend together, which I try to avoid.
Meanwhile, I was spending a long year working on trying to create this series without getting anywhere. I had a bunch of work I had painted meticulously that just didn't feel right in relation to what I was feeling emotionally. I started painting over them, and some just became a complete mess. I ﬁnally started seeing something in that mess and had the idea to turn that into a portrait, just painting over an old image without trying to hide completely the one underneath, but molding it into a new one with all its ﬂaws included. I really responded to the juxtaposition between striving for perfection while slowly falling backwards into the rabbit hole.
I am deﬁnitely heading toward a more 3D realm. I would love to indulge in even more sculptural paintings after this, who knows where it could lead.
What are the challenges of pushing paint to a sculptural level? Are you heading towards a more 3D realm with your work? Mainly how much paint I can get on any one spot. I think the biggest challenge has been working with the materials I use, not against them. I also focused on building my own supports that made sense for the works I was making, especially as they get into the larger realm, and integrating the loads of paint I use with other materials while still letting the paint keep the buttery feeling that I love. Keeping the colors fresh is also important. When you use so much paint,
In my teens I read about Michelangelo and how he went about sculpting, how he saw the angel in the marble and carving until he set him free. That always resonated with me and I feel a bit of that with these ﬁgures of mine.
Do you render the face more smoothly, and then start abstracting it with the thick paint? Not exactly. I start with laying down a rough ﬁgure and color blocking, then add layer upon layer, as the features are sometimes getting obliterated along the way; I keep adding to balance it all out. It’s easier if I mess up a canvas to start, getting rid of the initial white, and shape the picture from there.
I remember that quote too, and makes a lot of sense. What kind of tools and paint-mixing techniques do you use to make such rich texture? It’s mostly straight paint and a lot of it, mostly oil, some acrylic. I tend to use highly saturated colors along with greys and neutrals, so when they mix together, they can still
left Banana Split Oil and acrylic on wood 48" x 48"2014 right Fig Oil on wood 8" x 8" 2014 opposite Photo by Geoff Moore
hold their own. Also, before I begin painting, I often build up the surface with plaster and/or a heavy gesso mixture. I use palette knives and anything I can get my hands on at times, but mostly brushes. What do you use for source material? I am always storing images, if only in my mind. I scour the Internet and the world for patterns, colors, ﬂows, faces—I store it all. But when I am in the studio, I don’t have much of that around. It mostly feeds into my work. I am drawn to old ’40s hairstyles, classic makeup and poses from old Hollywood movies, but I like things to feel much more modern than just replicating styles of cool times past. So I keep things like that as inspiration and, without directly referencing, try to make my works in the here and now. Tell me about your other creative endeavors outside of painting and drawing. I think I might move more into sculpture, but haven’t yet gone much farther than what you see in this series. But I deﬁnitely have ideas I'm interested in exploring. Other than that, I also love to write. I haven't done any of that seriously, but it is a medium I could imagine tackling. As another form of art, I love to cook. I feel most relaxed while cooking, and there is an instant gratiﬁcation that art doesn't provide. The kitchen can get pretty real at my house. Was there something special about your upbringing that led you to be an artist? My parents were always so supportive, I genuinely thought I could do anything. My mother always sketched when I was young, and I just thought she was so good. But I wasn't a young artist as many people were. I didn't even pick up a paintbrush until I was nineteen. I remember a particularly annoying day at the beach when I was about twelve, and my mother was drawing, and I had my little pad out next to her. She was trying to show me how to capture a nose as she had done just perfectly, and I just couldn't understand. I could see the thing, and I saw how she did it, but the line work just didn't ﬂow from my hand. Everything about my work was awkward and forced. I felt artistically stunted. So maybe a little frustrated persistence led me to where I am now. Can you describe your visual culture and lifestyle, and how they inﬂuence your art? I’m from Los Angeles and have been living downtown for the past year. I just love the visual smorgasbord, and the types of people all rubbing shoulders together just doesn't happen in any other part of LA. I like the mix of modern buildings and old warehouses, the trash and urine on the streets next to the newest high end restaurants. There's street art mixed on large looming government buildings. The place visually excites me. How did you start building a collector base? My very ﬁrst collectors were my friends and acquaintances. I didn’t start by showing in traditional galleries. I had my own shows in places throughout the city and just started inviting
everyone I knew. I showed as often as I could, and pretty consistently. I would have one-night only shows and make them as big as I could, getting anyone and everyone to join me to see my latest body of work, and soon strangers and people who just liked art attended, and it grew from there. Since you are a self-taught artist, what do you consider to be your informal art education experiences? Almost as soon as I started making art, I started showing simultaneously, and I learned so much through that. You could say I got my heart broken time and time again, because early on, if someone just walked right by the work at one of my shows, I just died a little. But I got stronger, of course, and learned not to take things personally, and VANESSA PRAGER JUXTAPOZ
through all that, I learned what I liked and what I didn’t, what I wanted to see on a wall, and also how others saw it. Those experiences were most valuable. Of course I went on the World Wide Web and read every blog I could get my eyes on. Also tons of books, both educational and just studies on old and new masters. But in all the things people said about technique, I started noticing contradictions, and then I started realizing this is a big ﬁeld of opinions. Ultimately, I realized you can make whatever you want, and there are a lot of ways to make it. I remember feeling immediately annoyed when I realized that, because you can’t replace years of tedious adherence to rules. But then I got excited because that also came with the realization that you can make whatever you want! Most importantly, I think it’s about being genuine and honestly having something to say, and persevering to ﬁnd a way to say it so that other people can understand. Name some things that you ﬁnd to be simply amazing. Travel, my dog Jake, good food, my studio rubber tree, Iceland, the Northern Lights, and hiking in Griffith park the day after it rains. What is something very important to you that seems insigniﬁcant to other people? It's important to me to put myself in uncomfortable or trying situations. I ﬁnd it exciting. It's through rough or odd situations that I perform best and usually where I think up new ideas. For better or worse, I always get something from it. I get nervous doing certain things for sure, but not putting myself in trying situations brings me anxiety or even a dull, ever-present depression before I fully wake in the morning, which I ﬁnd to be much worse. So I always try to keep moving. What was the last book you read, movie you saw, and album you listened to, and would you recommend them? The last book I read was one I actually listened to: The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly. I am listening to his whole series of LA-based detective novels interspersed with books of other genres: Brideshead Revisited, Fall of Giants, Not That Kind of Girl, Ready Player One. I like to mix it up. I equate the Connelly books to my fun Hollywood blockbusters. My favorite part is that they are set in LA in the ’90s, so all the familiar stomping grounds are covered. I recommend it if you like that kind of thing. The last physical book I read was Girlboss. Deﬁnitely recommend. Last movie I saw was Big Eyes. It was interesting to see a movie on a female painter for one thing, and also the story was quite intriguing. I found myself getting so mad though—stand up for yourself! Last album is Björk’s new album, Vulnicura. So, so good. She can create a mood that just cannot be matched. So Björk is on the cover of this issue! Has she ever inﬂuenced you artistically?
I love Björk, and yes she deﬁnitely inﬂuences me and has for years. She is unique as a person and her work is different than anything else, yet it's still so relatable—that's hard to do! She expresses emotion without it coming across as whiny, needy or weak but instead as something powerful, which is a quality I long for and love in a female singer.
For more information about Vanessa Prager, visit vprager.com.
JUXTAPOZ.COM / VANESSA - PRAGER
above Sunrise Oil and plaster on wood 36" x 36" 2014 opposite Musk Oil on wood 24" x 18"
HUDSON MARQUEZ INTERVIEW BY GREG ESCALANTE // PORTRAIT BY ESTEVAN ORIOL
UDSON MARQUEZ IS THE MAD GENIUS behind Cadillac Ranch, maybe the most recognizable land sculpture ever created in the United States. After hearing his name for years, I ﬁnally got it together and searched him out. Here is the story of how Cadillac Ranch and other wild projects came about. Juxtapoz salutes this unsung hero of American art. Greg Escalante: Hudson, what’s your story about the creation? Hudson Marquez: I was in love with Cadillacs when I was a kid. I lived in New Orleans, and no WASPs drove Cadillacs. Only black folks drove them, and I was fascinated by black culture since I was ﬁve. Pimps had the big shiny Cadillacs, and guys that had real old Cadillacs were living in them. New Orleans was very integrated and these cars were around me all the time. In 1958, the ’57 Cadillac I saw was
driven by the Commodore, a black man who wore a sailor hat. I just loved looking at the back of that car—the way the ﬁns are made, it looks like a Martian. It’s got an exhaust grille for the mouth and two tail lights for eyes and kind of a Mohawk. I took a picture and put it on the wall in my bedroom. Then it was all Cadillacs, all the time! I went to dealerships and drew them. Later on, I had this group called Ant Farm with Chip Warden and Doug Michaels. We met Stanley Marsh 3 and he gave us some money in the early ’70s to make an art piece with Cadillacs. I sent Stanley some drawings of Cadillacs coming out of the ground and proposed that we put these up as seed packs, so that people could grow their own Fords and Cadillacs, and we could put the seed packs in stores in the Texas panhandle. Ha, that never happened. But he said “I want to do something bigger scale this year!” I said, “How about the rise and fall of the tail ﬁn?” He loved that, and we
opposite Ol' Scratch & Ike Turner Go Camping on Route 666 Acrylic and oil on canvas 48" x 36" 2014 above Incident at the Dew Drop Inn Acrylic and oil on canvas 48" x 36" 2014 © 2015 Hudson Marquez All rights reserved. Photos courtesy of La Luz de Jesus Gallery
ﬁgured it out on paper. Chip, Ward and I talked, and Doug drew it up overnight. When we sent it to Stanley, he said, “Come on down!” Stanley was an enormously wealthy guy who inherited money and then made more. He actually died a few months ago. But he was a great prankster and loved this idea. Where is this Cadillac Ranch located? Cadillac Ranch is ten cars buried nose down depicting the rise and fall of the tail ﬁn from 1949 to ‘63 (the last tail ﬁn). It’s located just outside of Amarillo, Texas on the frontage road, which was the original Route 66. It was the appearance of I -40 that decimated Route 66. The Ranch is ten miles west of town. So, for this Cadillac Ranch, we put ads in the paper saying we wanted used Cadillacs. We bought a bunch, and they
were all driveable. We drove them all around the panhandle, drove around to see people. Chip and Doug knew how to dig holes, they’re both architects. We dug a hole and drove one of them in! Then we did it again and drove that fucker right in! Duchamp had this series of art—Art Coefficient. When you get an idea for something like this, you start out at zero but in your mind it’s 100. It never goes that way, but in theory, you are going to 100. When the sun came up on Cadillac Ranch that ﬁrst day I said, “Uh oh, this is pretty scary, this is pretty much 100!” It’s like when you make a ﬁlm, you never get the ﬁlm you want, you get the ﬁlm that you get. Well, we got the ﬁlm we wanted on this one. After that day, Doug, Chip and I made an agreement about credits. We called it “Ant Farm (Ward, Marquez and Michael).” We didn’t publicize it or make a big deal, but HUDSON MARQUEZ JUXTAPOZ
somehow it just took off. People saw it when they were driving, and now more than a million people have come to visit Cadillac Ranch since 1974. It’s a great thing, though nobody ever associates it with my name, so I got a tattoo of a Cadillac buried in the ground [laughs]. One smart thing we did do was to copyright the image. We’ve kind of made an annuity on people using the image without permission. It happens every year. Now, Stanley always said he created the Cadillac Ranch. He paid us each 500 bucks and he went on a publicity tour about his creation! We kept getting licensing fees here and there and we’ve made a bit of coin at this point, but overall it’s come in slowly. We don’t have any money, but the exposure is fantastic! I still get strange mail from people about the Cadillac Ranch. It’s turned into a place to go for all the kids in the panhandle who didn’t have a lot to do. The big thing was to go to Cadillac Ranch and get a blowjob, especially because 100 |
nobody can see you from the road. I mean, we chose the spot by walking away from the road and deciding we’d walked far enough. This is far enough, let’s do it here! On that subject, I’ve seen some nude girls posing with the cars. Is that some phenomenon? One of those gals is a beautiful woman who’s the wife of Coop, and she has posed there, front and back. That’s a wonderful picture. Cooper is a wonderful photographer. I also get pictures of girls who are exhibitionists ﬂashing their titties... With the new additions to the Cadillac Ranch these days, what about the graffiti that started showing up? [Groans] Oh dear, this is something that nobody did for at least three years. But once something is tagged, it won’t stop! Somebody tagged it and Stanley took a picture, and then people thought they didn’t want to walk out there anymore. Now I think people are tearing the cars up for souvenirs. There was a Cadillac door that went into a dorm room, then a garage. They’re getting decimated; the graffiti
clockwise from left Halo Heel High Hair and Higher Heels Acrylic and oil on canvas 48" x 36" 2014 Conking and Stepping Acrylic and oil on canvas 48" x 36" 2014 opposite Cadillac Ranch Opening Event June 21, 1974 Amarillo, Texas Photo courtesy of Ant Farm Archives/ Berkeley Art Museum
is awfully horrid. I hate tagging. But my partners were more auspicious hippies; they said it’s a part of the process. I have a picture on my wall that shows several layers of spray paint. I got a piece of that stuff, actually. I hang that on my wall, but I should frame it and sell it. Tell us about the other great Ant Farm performances, like when you guys drove a Cadillac through a stack of TV sets and other crazy things. Media Burn! That was 1975, a year after the Cadillac Ranch was set up. We always had this idea, which is still a good one, that we got when we were into Evel Knievel and Bonneville salt ﬂat racing, an idea where artists would be doing dangerous things and jumping over things in cars. The ﬁrst time this came up, we were in the Walker Arts Center overlooking the huge ﬁeld that the Pillsbury family owned, and they said, “If you could come up with a concept, we could get something done.” So I said, “You know what would be great? A ﬁgure -eight demolition derby with artists!” And that’s what we did. We smoked
too much weed and drove armor-plated Fords and did something dangerous. Doug and Chip had done a piece down in Texas where they gathered up a bunch of cathode TV tubes and Doug put 100 of them out in a swampy area. That led to stacking them up into a pyramid, and we had always went out to shoot TV sets (we had guns), and that led to the demolition derby, a bunch of dangerous artists running through ﬂaming TV sets. It’s kind of funny that the actual guy that drove it through there built the Curtiss ﬂying car! He almost got killed doing it. We took the top off that car, and the image looked great. That’s all we were after, a good image for a magazine. There’s actually a documentary about Ant Farm that is really well done, Air Time And Space: Underground Adventures with Ant Farm, that has a lot of the Cadillac Ranch stuff. I may have helped the gestation of Ant Farm but I wasn’t there. I had left to start a video documentary thing called TVTV. Stanley paid for everybody to dress up as Jackie and JFK in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, and we reenacted the HUDSON MARQUEZ JUXTAPOZ
assassination. Nobody said anything. This Lincoln drove by and JFK was waving and the other guy was dressed as Jackie with the hat and outﬁt and all. Then there was the sound of the gunshots and the blood would go everywhere! Then we’d go back, clean up and do it again. We did it every twenty minutes! Are you still making work? Do you have new art shows or anything cooking in the future? My show called Rhythm and Hues opened in January 2015 at La Luz de Jesus Gallery. It’s about my obsession with New Orleans black culture and the imprint that black strippers had on me as a child. There are a lot of shoe paintings and paintings about events that are true from the archives, tales of rhythm and blues in New Orleans. It’s very colorful and just the right size to go over your sofa, and they are priced to go! I really like art that is funny. I believe you went to art school at some point. Where did you go? 102 |
I went to art school at Newcomb College, part of Tulane ﬁnishing school, a girl’s ﬁnishing school, but that’s where the art department was. Al Carney asked me why I was there and I said, you know, it’s me and this other guy and all this rich pussy! He said, “I understand that, but you should switch schools and learn more than you’d ever learn here.” And that’s what I did. I got the fuck out and started traveling! How long have you been in Los Angeles? I moved permanently to Los Angeles in 1975. But I lived here in the ’60s and traveled back and forth and worked for rock ’n’ roll bands while I kept an apartment in New Orleans. Who are ten great artists that you admire? They would be Thomas Eakins, Hans Bellmer, Eric Stanton, Ray Johnson, Egon Schiele, Andy Warhol, Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, Larry Poons and Raymond Pettibon. And your top ten favorite books of all time? Now We Were Six by Milne, Horton Hears A Who by Dr.
above Jayne Mansﬁeld Acrylic and oil on canvas 48" x 36" 2014 opposite Huey Piano Smith Takes Frankie Ford to Get His Hairs Done Acrylic and oil on canvas 48" x 36"
Seuss, The Last Angry Man by Green, Tropic Of Cancer by Miller, The Poetry of the Blues by Charters, A Confederacy of Dunces by Toole, Hellﬁre by Tosches, Dead Stars by Wagner and The Zone of Interest by Amis.
the people on the Internet who are Cadillac fanatics will drive all over the Midwest taking pictures of old Cadillacs. They’re in ﬁelds, rusted out. Take those and throw them all together and tell the marble guys to make that shit!
What big ideas do you have? With an unlimited budget, what would you do? The idea is not fully formed, but I made a maquette that I’d love to do. It’s a series of ’59 Cadillac tail lights that are 4050 feet high that would glow at night.
Seeing as how you’ve been around the block a couple times with your art experiences, what is some advice or wisdom you might relay to the young artists? Make what you like, not what you think others will like. Trust your gut. Don’t get old! Drugs can help.
If I had ten million bucks, what I would propose would be a 1963 car junk yard made out of good marble. Carrera marble, not that chicken shit stuff. I want to go to Italy and pick that shit out. If it’s good enough for that son of a bitch Michelangelo, then it’s good enough for me. The problem is that he went and drove the price up. It’s hard for an artist to get that shit! A marble junkyard would be real. The ozone isn’t going to come back. We’re doomed! [Laughing] We need a junkyard of cars made out of marble! It’s funny that
For more information about Hudson Marquez, visit hudsonmarquez.com
JUXTAPOZ.COM / HUDSON - MARQUEZ
HUDSON MARQUEZ JUXTAPOZ
T R AV EL I N S I D ER
NEW ORLEANS Keene Kopper of May Gallery & Residency takes you for a long stroll in the Big Easy NEW ORLEANS IS JUST NOT COMFORTABLE HAVING A lot of rules. For example, if the bars don’t mind staying open, they don’t ever have to close. I ﬁnd the people to be the same way, expansive and open-minded. Perceiving it as a great place to take chances, I moved here from Brooklyn, leaving a career in architecture to focus further on ﬁne arts. But just like New Orleans gumbo, everything has a way of blending together. It wasn’t long before I found myself building again, this time a non-proﬁt gallery and an international artist residency, because New Orleans is just too good not to share with the rest of the world.
the night with after-parties throughout the neighborhood. Antenna Gallery, Good Children Gallery and The Front are three excellent artist-run spaces to visit. The Contemporary Art Center was also founded in the true collective spirit in 1976 and currently presents visual and performance pieces by artists from New Orleans and beyond. Prospect New Orleans, the international art biennial, just celebrated its third edition. It will be leaving behind many public installations, and the participating exhibitors are a great reference point for the best galleries to visit in the city.
MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND PUBLIC ART The St. Claude Avenue arts district is full of artist-run galleries and collectives, many of which germinated after Katrina. New Orleans is home to the highest number of artist-run spaces per capita in the United States. The second Saturday art walk on St. Claude Avenue opens the doors to the contemporary art scene here in New Orleans, and often goes late into 104 |
LIVE MUSIC Yuki Izakaya is such a hidden gem, with its laid-back vibe, funky music, old Japanese ﬁlms and a great late-night menu. The ramen, yellowtail neck and curry fries are some of my favorites.
All photography by Todd Mazer opposite Busking on Bourbon Street
The venues on Frenchman Street are fairly large with elevated stages, but Spotted Cat is so intimate that you really feel like you’re partying with the band.
clockwise from left Karma Sculpture by Do Ho Suh at The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art
Preservation Hall has been an amazing jazz institution since 1961. No bathroom, no bar and no talking... nothing but the music.
Mixing it up at Booty’s
Natchez Riverboat on The Mississippi
legendary Country Club, but be forewarned: the pool and hot tub are no longer clothing optional (double sad face). Here goes my elevator pitch for St. Roch Tavern: cheap drinks, hair salon and tacos. Be sure to drop in Saturday nights if you need to get your bounce on. FOOD JOINTS
I always feel like I’m ambling into the Wild West at Saturn Bar. 1950s-style neon lights charge the bar with color, and the ceilings are caked with random remnants from the ’50s and ’60s. I highly recommend checking out their long-running monthly mod night.
Suis Generis—talk about a quirky spot: salt and pepper shakers glued onto Matchbox cars and trucks, fake ﬁreplaces tucked above the dining booths, and an excellent brunch menu. Check out the Shakshuka or the Mezze plate. They also have a great Bloody Mary for that quintessential boozy southern breakfast.
Oxalis has really great bartenders and a great craft drink and food menu to match—check out their burger! I usually end up on the back bar patio or their not-so-secret second patio. It's also a great place to meet up before heading to the
District Donuts’ options include maple bacon, vietnamese iced coffee and brown butter pistachio, but this isn't just a donut shop; you can also get sliders and combine the best of both worlds with their donut sandwiches. TRAVEL INSIDER JUXTAPOZ
One of the owners of Booty’s is also a travel correspondent who aims to unite all of his favorite street foods of the world under one artisan roof. You can wash down your pupusas, octopus skewers and papanasis with some great cocktails like The Bywater Bomber, The Holy Mountain and The Hashtag Blessed. Local artists install new immersive art experiences in the bathrooms on a monthly basis. NONE OF THE ABOVE The Piazza D'Italia is an oddball landmark that looks like some lost ’80s monument from a world’s fair. This is a great place to sneak in a fashion shoot or fake a big hair #TBT pic. If you like to get your hands dirty, Bargain Center offers piles of unsorted clothing and antiques. Don't let the cranky lady at the register break your spirit. Keep digging. 106 |
Backyard Crawﬁsh Boil is truly the best way to experience crawﬁsh, which are at their best when cooked in one giant barrel, then thrown onto newspaper and eaten immediately. The tradition, process and experience just can't be matched in a restaurant.
top left and right ExhibitBE Curated by Brandan “bmike” Odums for Prospect New Orleans bottom left to right Larry Williams on the drums Antiquing on Magazine Street
SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY It's only right that I invite you to come visit me. At May Gallery we produce large scale, immersive art installations in a 2000 square foot gallery. We also like to ﬁll up our calendar with potluck dinners, dance parties and screenings.
For more information on May Gallery and Residency, visit may-neworleans.org
Oysters Rockefeller, a New Orleans original since 1899
UNSETTLED, UNRAVELED, UNREAL Otis College of Art and Design brings a remarkable collection westward THE DAWN OF SPRING NOTWITHSTANDING, IT OFTEN feels that we live in dark times and that our contemporary version of isolation and despondence has evolved over the last 100 years (or 1,000 years, or 10,000—take your pick). Artists are able to visualize repression, shape and capture crises, and create metaphors for despair. Great art emerges: think Picasso’s Guernica, Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake. Artists tend to revel in a little darkness. Otis College of Art and Design’s Ben Maltz Gallery in Los Angeles has long been one of the great exhibition spaces among art school campuses, with foreword-thinking shows to accompany accomplished alumni. On April 11, 2015, the gallery will host Dusk to Dusk, an exhibition of 32 works that examine “individual isolation, political repression, and collective ennui in the decline of the industrial age.” Originally shown at Bucknell University’s Samek Art Gallery in 2012 with curator Richard Rinehart, Dusk to Dusk looks at one single European collection that features the likes of 108 |
Gilbert & George, Erwin Wurm, Erwin Olaf, Salvador Dali and Marcel Dzama, to name a few. “Unsettling visions of personal isolation, political repression, and collective mania are presented through painting, photography, sculpture and video, and the anxious beauty of the works offers strange comfort in the face of the dark,” Rinehart wrote in his initial essay on Dusk to Dusk. “Each work in this international selection of renowned contemporary artists rewards the viewer with a compelling encounter that will haunt them in the best way imaginable.”
Dusk to Dusk will be on display at the Ben Maltz Gallery on the campus of Otis College of Art and Design from April 11–July 26, 2015. For more information, visit otis.edu
JUXTAPOZ.COM / IN - SESSION
clockwise from top left James Aldridge, Salvador Dali, Levi van Veluw, Laura Ford, Edward Burtynsky, Louise Bourgeois Images courtesy of Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions (CATE)
Victor Moscoso Psychedelic Drawings 1967–1982
Eyes & Ears Billboard Comics (study),1977 Graphite, colored pencil on paper, 27 ×14 inches
March 6 – April 25, 2015
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The titles Juxtapoz is currently reading
INNER CITY ROMANCE BY GUY COLWELL Page after page, the drama unfolds. Guy Colwell’s new full collection of his Inner City Romance comic is a roller coaster ride through stories that will frighten, provoke and amuse. One memorable moment involves a boy accidentally skating off the roof of a building and falling to his death when he T-bones a rat with his board. This is not light reading. There is some deep social and political commentary. You’ve probably seen Colwell’s densely populated, colorful paintings in the pages of this magazine, and the black-andwhite panels that comprise his Inner City Romance series offer a more immediate (and obviously more narrative) experience. Get into the deep, dark trenches of Colwell’s mind as you read through this collection. It’s heady stuff. —Kristin Farr Fantagraphics, fantagraphics.com
YOU WHO READ ME WITH PASSION NOW MUST FOREVER BE MY FRIENDS BY DOROTHY IANNONE Dorothy Iannone, an autodidact with a vivacious vocabulary, has been titillating and instigating audiences for over ﬁfty years with her colorful, sexual adventures. Sharing the childlike qualities of the Fluxus artists of the ’60s, her vibrant images and text ﬂuffed with puffy vaginas and bright penises, as well as her love poems and recipes, can live as much in the genre of memoir as they can in art. American-born Iannone began her journey in 1967 when she fell in love with an artist and turned him into her muse, obsessively painting their sex and their love for the next few decades. Although intensely proliﬁc since making Berlin her home in the ’70s, Iannone just had her ﬁrst solo show at the New Museum in 2009. You Who Read Me With Passion Now Must Forever Be My Friends, a wild collection of Iannone’s rarely seen drawings and writings, reproduced in explosive colors, is an arousing addition to any library. —Lalé Shafaghi Siglio, sigliopress.com
WAYWARD COGNITIONS BY ED TEMPLETON We catch glimpses of people’s stories as we roll past them throughout our lives, but to imprint that ﬂeeting ﬁrst impression? Always have your camera. Ed Templeton learned this early on in his professional skateboarding career. It was 1990 when he began being constantly photographed while skating, and not long after that, he got his own camera rigged with a 50mm lens and black-and-white ﬁlm. A keen observer of the scene rather than center of the tornado, Templeton photographed tour life, skateboarders, beautiful girls, and simply people with their effects for over twenty years. Templeton’s talent for holding the gaze, for risking the punch, and landing the jump holds true in his newest monograph, Wayward Cognitions. —LS Um Yeah Arts, umyeaharts.com
NEW YORK 2015 SCOPE-ART.COM
NEW LOCATION | MARCH 6 - 8 | 639 W. 46TH ST | ACROSS FROM ARMORY PIERS
PR O FI L E
The photo as infinity
CHRIS’S TIME IN NEW YORK CITY WAS SPENT IN borderless space. I’m not speaking here in terms of NYC being a hub for global culture and commerce, although it is surely borderless in this respect, too. Rather, his stint in New York City was time spent organizing form, light, meanings, objects, enduring histories and ﬂeeting moments. All of which, more often than not, seemed to present themselves as if melded together without any division between these concepts, without clear distinction between “this” and “that.” If New York presented itself to him as a space without distinctive borders, it also presented itself as a stage ﬁlled with actors, each intersecting and interacting, each actively transforming objective space into subjective place. Knowing Chris as intimately as I do, it’s clear he is an artist unsure of, perhaps embarrassed by, his ability and justiﬁcation to speak with agency. Yet he recognized that he too was an actor on that NYC stage, if only one attempting to hide behind the camera. So he waited in observation, in feeling, listening and calculation. He waited, organizing his voice until ﬁnally able to assert, “Look here and hear this!”
One year into New York, Chris was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and essentially thrown to the ﬂoor with a ﬁve percent statistical ﬁve year survivability. This situation transformed his perspective on just about everything. One of these changes was a clariﬁcation of why he’s been making photographs for over two decades and what it is that he’s been attempting to convey. Outside, in the borderless space between himself and everything, he sees more beauty and love and mystery than he can possibly convey with words. Yet, he is driven to share this, and at the same time, existentially terriﬁed that this vision ends with his mortality. Both his vision and fear arise in large part from his refusal, or perhaps a simple inability, to draw distinctions between that which is temporal and that which is enduring. —Ezekiel Martin
For more information about Chris Brunkhart, visit chrisbrunkhart.com
JUXTAPOZ.COM / CHRIS - BRUNKHART
above The Cloisters, 4:50pm
opposite (clockwise from top left) Bed-Stuy Block Party, 6:37pm Gowanus Channel, 3:18pm Central Park Big Bird, 6:10pm Greenpoint Cold Brew, 9:07am Coney Island Palm, 12:15pm Midtown, 6:36pm
Williamsburg Cranes, 11:25am
Flatbush-Ditmas Park, 3:11pm
Long Island City Winterscape, 11:17am
THINGS JUXTAPOZ IS AFTER Comfy housewares, high-end wristwear, and HUF deck
OH MERDE PILLOW by 123Klan Doubtful we need a translator to tell us what “Oh Merde” means, but we are still going to be lazily languishing on our couch, pillow beneath our arms, reminiscing about a winter in Quebec. And we will say “Oh Merde” when we see the weather report. French artist duo 123Klan, straight out of Montreal, designed this 16" x 16" linen cushion. station16gallery.com
TODD FRANCIS for HUF Our good friends at HUF have brought Todd Francis (featured in our July 2014 issue) into the mix for a full capsule collection for the Spring 2015 line. Featuring T-shirt designs and this full-on classic Francis graphic for a skate deck, you have options for art or recreation. hufworldwide.com
FILSON WATCHES Filson is known for the highest quality bags, and we expect the best again as the Seattle-based brand introduces its ﬁrst ever watch collection. Assembled in Shinola’s state-of-the-art Detroit watch factory, the Filson watch collection includes 25 styles. Our eye is on the Mackinaw Field 43mm green watch with a nylon strap. Filson.com
S I EB EN O N L I FE
SIX PACK WITH JEREMY FISH A grown man rap fan Michael Sieben: When you were a younger artist, did you ever get accused of making up your last name? Jeremy Fish: Yes, frequently. During the era of art dudes with made-up art names, people always just assumed I made mine up. If I were going to make up an art name I would have used Dick Tickles or Jimmy Chonga. You recently announced, via social media, that you had to undergo brain surgery because of an aneurism. How has your recovery been? Are you back to 100 percent? Never go to a bar or use social media directly after receiving really bad news from a doctor. It has been a heavy, lifechanging couple of months, but it could have been a hell of a lot worse. The doctors say I am very lucky to have found the aneurism when I did. I have a follow up brain surgery in April, and if all goes well, I should be at 100 percent by May. You've had an ongoing, creative relationship with Aesop Rock. Do you hang out with any other famous rappers? Aesop has been a great collaborator and an amazing friend, and he introduced me to a ton of his friends that I admired. Slug, Murs, El-p, Despot, Rob Sonic, Cage, Killer Mike and POS are all famous rappers I have hung out with, and I really respect their work. I did a T-shirt for Snoop Dogg a few years ago, and I made him tell me a story. I also randomly met Ghostface and Action Bronson. I am a grown-man rap fan. What's it like, as an artist, living in one of the most expensive cities in the US (San Francisco)? Do you ever 120 |
think about moving somewhere cheaper? It is really crazy transitional times here in SF these days. This city changed my life entirely over the 20 years I have lived here, and I love it too much to explain with words. I feel like I owe this place an enormous debt of gratitude. I have had a few opportunities over the years to leave for other cities, but I just can't imagine living anywhere else. I am the unofficial mayor of North Beach, the greatest neighborhood in the greatest city in the world. Why would I leave? You've always worked as a commercial artist as well as a ﬁne artist. Do you ever get any shit for doing commercial work? Sure. People love to make rules and deﬁne categories for art. I make artwork to communicate with other people. My commercial projects communicate with a far larger audience than galleries or museums could ever accomplish. I don't consider one more important than the other. I don't really like rules or people who preach or subscribe to them. What's your three-sentence advice to the kid who wants your job when you retire? Be original and don't imitate your heroes. Work really hard, and after that, work some more. Make your own rules, and ignore anyone who doesn't agree with them.
JUXTAPOZ.COM / MICHAEL - SIEBEN
Forgetful Futures Following A Fractured Frontal Lobe Acrylic on cut wood 36" x 36" 2015 Created for 20 Years Under the Inﬂuence of Juxtapoz anniversary show in LA, 2015
P O P L I FE
LOS ANGELES Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills, Subliminal Projects, Thinkspace Gallery
1 | The stars do come out. Art dealer Vito Schnabel and Heidi Klum chat with artist Richard Prince and friend at Harmony Korine’s Raiders opening
4 | “True Blood” actor Sam Trammell ran into Shepard Fairey at the opening of Agents Provocateurs: A Selection of Subversive Skateboard Graphics & Artworks
2 | And there’s the back of Prince’s head again, this time in conversation with some actor named Leonardo DiCaprio
5 | Recent Juxtapoz cover artist Cleon Peterson with Provocateurs curator, Seb Carayol
6 | Shane Jessup, Esao Andrews, Amanda Bessette, Myla, and Dabs at Thinkspace Gallery’s 10th Anniversary show, La Familia. Myla found something really great off camera
3 | The man of the hour, former Juxtapoz cover artist Harmony Korine, saying hello
Photography by David Wright (1-3) Sam Graham (4-6)
P O P L I FE
NEW YORK CITY Max Fish, Allouche Gallery, Wall Works
MAX FISH 1 | San Franciscan, Tommy Guerrero, does a tour stop at Max Fish
2 | Juxtapoz contributor Carlo McCormick and all around creative man Erik Foss at the Faile’s Works on Wood opening and book launch at Allouche Gallery
4 | How and Nosm made it to the opening of IKONOCLASTS at Crash’s new space, Wall Works NY
3 | Patrick and Patrick of Faile
5 | There’s Crash with legendary writer, Dondi White’s brother, Michael 6 | Just some guys: artists Logan Hicks, Beau Stanton and Chris Stain
All photography by Joe Russo
PER S PEC T I V E
FOLLOWING BJÖRK FOR A LIFETIME IN 2003, SOME FRIENDS AND I SAW BJÖRK PERFORM on a pier in San Francisco. It was a magical, sovereign experience. She’d already been in heavy rotation on the soundtrack of our lives since before we knew what avant garde meant, and before we knew how to ﬁnd Iceland on a map. Reading her Sassy magazine interview in the ’90s, I remember feeling surprised that she had a son. Full of youthful energy, she seemed far too cool to be somebody’s mom. Looking back, it was also remarkable to have had a favorite female artist who didn’t show skin to sell records. And it wasn’t just her music that was inﬂuential. She showed us what it meant to be an individual at a time when our identities were shapeless lumps of clay, and she encouraged us to explore our unorthodox interests. I still listen to “Hyperballad” and instantly feel a connection to my teenage self, vividly imagining the satisfaction of throwing “car parts, bottles and cutlery” off a cliff. Later, it was “Declare Independence” that stuck with me; those profound shrieks against colonization, “Don’t let them do that to you!” And her fashions? Don’t get me started. The swan dress is still my favorite red carpet look. That night on the pier, Björk’s otherworldly presence ﬂoated around the stage. She collaborated with guests, Matmos, who stomped in buckets of rock salt to create a beat. I’d never seen such performative innovation. Then, there were the pyrotechnics, big rockets of ﬁre that rhythmically blasted 126 |
behind this powerful beacon of light, who was singing the anthems of my young life. And there were ﬁreworks. I’ll never know if they were part of Björk’s show or the baseball game down the street, but seeing tiny pink ﬁreballs explode in the sky was serendipitous nonetheless. That night, we were changed, and we needed more, so we spontaneously drove to Denver for her next tour stop at the epic Red Rocks venue. A new artist, Bonnie Prince Billy (aka Will Oldham, seen on page 42), was the opening act, and though we didn’t know him at the time, we now realize Björk’s foresight as a tastemaker. Her inﬂuence spans across several decades and between two centuries. It’s been a long time since I bought my ﬁrst Sugarcubes album. To my friends who were there, thank you for being the Björk version of Dead Heads (Bdörks?) with me that spring in ’03. That trip was a signiﬁcant stop on my road to a creative life. —Kristin Farr
Björk will be on display at the MoMA in NYC from March 6–June 7, 2015. For more information, visit moma.org and bjork.com
JUXTAPOZ.COM / BJÖRK
Björk, Vespertine, 2001 Photography by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian
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juxtapoz april 2015