Page 1

Pharrell Williams the reinvention of a pop star

+

BAT FOR LASHES WILL OLDHAM OPENING CEREMONY O.H.W.O.W PHILLIPS DE PURY MIKE FIGGIS MIKE SHINE D*FACE STEVE LAZARIDES MARILYN MINTER KATHY GRAYSON SHEPARD FAIREY WK INTERACT ROBERT LONGO


                       


5TH AVENUE NYC - OPENING SPRING 2009 2

DIESEL.COM


EXPRESS YOURSELF with the new customizable jewelry line from Swarovski 499 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, Tel.: 1-800-873-7578 WWW.SWAROVSKI-CRYSTALLIZED.COM

4


Pictured: Lush necklaces, bracelets, earrings and the spring floral ring / Blossom Collection. Made with CRYSTALLIZED – Swarovski Elements TM


6 \ehceh[ijob[]ejekcXhe$Yec%[d]bWdZ


Y^_d[i[fkdai$X[_`_d]"(&&/


Photo by Michael Dwornik


SPREAD ARTCULTURE ISSUE FOUR SPREADLOVES: 20 Rye Rye 22 Akron Family 24 Bat For Lashes 26 Will Oldham 28 Little Boots 30 Rosey Chan 32 Opening Ceremony 34 O.H.W.O.W. 36 Phillips de Pury 38 Mizuo Peck 40 Mike Figgis 42 The Webster Hotel 44 Mike Shine 46 *D-Face 48 The High Line PHOTO ESSAYS: 50 Monuments by Joel Micah Miller 58 The Bravery Of Saint Pรถlten by Nick & Chloe 62 Beijing international airport by Stephen Wilkes 70 Autobahn by Michael Schnabel 78 Marfa by Stewart Cohen 116 Rapture by Poppy De Villeneuve 152 Trans-Siberia Express by Roy Zipstein 160 Birds by Emir Haveric 164 Unexpected Egypt by Stuart Hall 172 Born In The USA by David Eustace 178 Beneath The Surface by Ruud Baan 184 City Pools by Michael Warren 192 Nippon Love by Emily Nathan FEATURES 86 Pharrell Williams 90 Marilyn Minter 94 Robert Longo 100 Kathy Grayson 106 Steve Lazarides 110 Fashion Illustration FASHION 120 Teddy Boys by Jim Wright 130 Accessorized: Shoes by Jamie Chung 132 Vintage by Giuliano Bekor 140 Liberation by Erwin Olaf 150 Accessorized: Bags by Jeff Harris 10


A AA AGENERATION GENERATION GENERATION GENERATIONSPEAKS SPEAKS SPEAKS SPEAKS SOME SOME SOME SOMETRANSLATION TRANSLATION TRANSLATION TRANSLATION REQUIRED REQUIRED REQUIRED REQUIRED THE THE THE THE GENERATIONAL: GENERATIONAL: GENERATIONAL: GENERATIONAL: YOUNGER YOUNGER YOUNGER YOUNGER THAN THAN THAN THAN JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS 5050 ARTISTS 50 ARTISTS 50 50 ARTISTS ARTISTS ARTISTS FROM FROM FROM 25 FROM FROM 25 COUNTRIES 25 COUNTRIES 25 25 COUNTRIES COUNTRIES COUNTRIES ALL ALL UNDER ALL UNDER ALL ALL UNDER UNDER UNDER 3333 3333 33

APRIL APRIL APRIL APRIL 8–JUNE 8–JUNE 8–JUNE 8–JUNE 14, 14, 14, 2009 14, 2009 2009 2009

Mariechen Mariechen Mariechen Danz, Mariechen Mariechen Danz, YEDanz, (Pilzschiel), YE (Pilzschiel), Danz, Danz, YE (Pilzschiel), YE YE 2006. (Pilzschiel), (Pilzschiel), 2006.2006. 2006. 2006. Photograph Photograph Photograph mounted Photograph Photograph mounted mounted on alumunium. on mounted mounted alumunium. on alumunium. on on alumunium. alumunium. Photo: Photo: Andrea Photo: Andrea Photo: Photo: Huyoff. Andrea Huyoff. Andrea Andrea Courtesy Huyoff. Courtesy Huyoff. Huyoff. Courtesy the the Courtesy artist Courtesy artist the artist the the artist artist


SPREAD ARTCULTURE ISSUE FOUR EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/PUBLISHER: Howard Bernstein CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Eddie Brannan CONSULTING EDITOR: Ken Miller MANAGING EDITOR: Louisa St. Pierre PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR: Ehrin Feeley PHOTO EDITOR: Jeremy Seigal PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Lee Jennings PRODUCTION EDITOR: Alexander Wolf DESIGN & PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Matthew Fetter CIRCULATION & DISTRIBUTION CONSULTANT: Richard Rhodes Thanks to Gregg Lhotsky, Carol Alda, Rachel Picard, Holly Corbett, Edward Buerger, Jillian O’Banion, Matthew LeBaron, Pamela Esposito & Francine Rosenfeld. Spread ArtCulture is published by Bernstein + Andriulli, 58 West 40th Street, NY, NY 10018. COPYRIGHT BERNSTEIN + ANDRIULLI 2009 REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF SPREAD ARTCULTURE MAGAZINE AND BERNSTEIN + ANDRIULLI IS PROHIBITED. All advertising inquiries regarding Spread ArtCulture Magazine should be directed to Howard Bernstein, howard@spreadartculture.com

Visit www.spreadartculture.com. 12


   

        


 

    

 "$ "                       

% "         

    !    "    "  

 "   


                 " #      ! $     "


16


  


SPREADLOVES: RYE RYE

Crowd~Pleaser STORY KEN MILLER / ILLUSTRATION TIM MARRS

Fresh from the Baltimore club scene, Rye Rye is a bundle of energy ready to burst into stardom.

W

hen an underground icon taps an underground star as “the

That same high-energy attitude means defying easy categorization, both

next big thing,” what happens? Does the universe explode?

musically and as a female MC. “I don’t really relate to any other female perform-

And if so, what does it sound like? A little bit like Rye Rye,

ers out there,” she admits. “I just feel like I’m being myself.” As anyone who has

most likely.

seen her command the stage will tell you, Rye Rye’s boundless energy means

Already a hero in the infamously frenetic Baltimore (Bmore) Club music

that just being herself will make her skyrocket to the top.

scene, Ryeisha “Rye Rye” Berrain began playing local house parties while in her mid-teens, and had been performing locally for close to a decade before she and her producing partner Blaqstarr ran into M.I.A. at a recording studio. “She was like, ‘Oh, I’ve been looking for you for the longest time’,” Berrain recalls. “And I was like, ‘Who is this lady?’” Which is probably not the standard response for greeting a Grammy Awardwinning international pop star, but as Berrain tells it: “Then we hung out and she was cool.” That quick chat was all it took for Rye Rye to turn up on a remix of M.I.A.’s ubiquitous song “Paper Planes” and become the first singer on M.I.A.’s nascent N.E.E.T. label. Fast-forward one year, and Rye Rye is performing at Coachella, with her songs already on the soundtracks for hit Hollywood films. A fearless stage performer accustomed to her hometown’s tough-to-please crowds, Berrain has taken it all in stride. “As far as performing, I’ve been doing it since I was young, so I just consider myself a performer,” she says. “I don’t know why people are paying attention now—I guess because Baltimore has the best party music!” 20

“As far as performing, I’ve been doing it since I was young, so I just consider myself a performer. I don’t know why people are paying attention now—I guess because Baltimore has the best party music!”


SPREADLOVES: AKRON/FAMILY

The Sound of Serendipity STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY JONATHAN BOOKALLIL

Wandering the nether regions of folks music, psych rock, jam band and psychedelia, loosely knit clan Akron Family is happiest on the fringes.

W

hen legendary New York rock club the Knitting Factory shut

Wild Set ’Em Free on the Dead Oceans label, the band set off on an unusual tour,

its doors on New Year’s night last year, they reached out to

forgoing large arenas and festivals in favor of several-day long residencies at

Akron/Family to do the honors of serenading the last call.

various clubs around the U.S. The resulting intimate environment allowed audi-

The “non-denominational hymn” the band played that eve-

ence members to experience the songs much as the band has, casually and over

ning (or rather, early morning) was a perfect summation of the trio’s eclectic,

time. In the end, it all makes sense.

ecstatic sound, a jumble of incongruous elements that somehow achieves a transcendent harmony—an oddly lovely warbling that manages to be both earthy and sublime, like letting a drunk sing at Sunday mass. Akron/Family’s stylistic fluidity is born from songwriting necessity—the band members are split between New York City and rural Pennsylvania, coming together to record and tour. As a result, the band’s songs take shape organically, and the result can even surprise the band. “I got into this idea of ‘dream music’,” guitarist Seth Olinsky says. “You don’t exactly know how you got from one place to another in a dream, but you don’t really question it, until perhaps you are retelling the dream to someone.” This fluid blending of potentially cacophonous elements can take a song that’s based on traditional folk music through layers of African funk and end it with a frenzied hippie jam session. In preparation for their current release, Set ’Em 22

“I got into this idea of ‘dream music.’ You don’t exactly know how you got from one place to another in a dream, but you don’t really question it, until perhaps you are retelling the dream to someone.”


SPREADLOVES: BAT FOR LASHES

Everything is Illuminated STORY MAXWELL WILLIAMS / ILLUSTRATION ANDREW BANNECKER

Beware of another British musical invasion, as Natasha Kahn brings back the sounds of the swinging ‘60s

A

few years ago, a young Pakistani-born, Brighton-raised Natasha

two suns spinning/ at two different speeds/ was born a white diamond/ burn-

Kahn got on a plane to San Francisco. She was as a normal, in-

ing through the rainbow,” Kahn sings on the album’s opening track. It’s a con-

quisitive British student, aware of the 1967 Summer of Love, but

cept record of sorts, as Kahn gives way to a sort of alter-alter-ego. “My name is

unaware of how much the area’s lingering aura of mystical en-

Pearl/ and I love you the best way I know how,” she sings, and through the re-

lightenment would affect her. It was everything she had hoped it would be, and

cord, Pearl muses on the difficulties of being a queen, fires set by black magic

more: Golden California with the magic and the sleaze and the earthy spirit. As

and the wonder of nomadic living.

she flew back to Britain, Kahn realized she would never be the same.

All this spectral musing happens over tambourine-led rhythms, ghostly

Today we see Kahn transformed into the headband-wearing, glittery face-

doo-wop backing vocals, jittery clicks, and goth-y synth moods, matching the

painted being of illumination who goes by the nom de plume Bat For Lashes. She

lushness of Kahn’s voice, which reaches for—and attains—soaring status. It’s

wrote, recorded, and finally released her debut album Fur and Gold in 2006,

like that first flight from San Francisco all over again.

earning herself a Mercury Prize nomination in the process. But it was more of a flicker in terms of her popularity in the States. With her new album Two Suns now out here, she has begun to take over this side of the planet. Inevitably, when Two Suns is written about, a few obvious touchstones emerge. But if you look past the de rigeur Björk and Kate Bush comparisons, it becomes clearer that Kahn’s strong femininity also evokes ’60s British folk-revivalists like Anne Briggs and Vashti Bunyan, while her more morbid tendencies (and the album’s guest appearance by Scott Walker) confirm her kinship to the darker late ’80s 4AD bands Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil. “And with 24

If you look past the de rigeur Björk and Kate Bush comparisons, Kahn’s strong femininity also evokes ’60s British folk-revivalists like Anne Briggs and Vashti Bunyan, while her more morbid tendencies confirm her kinship to Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil.


SPREADLOVES: WILL OLDHAM

Troubadour in Paradise STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY RUSS QUACKENBUSH

Iconic American singer Will Oldham warns us to ‘Beware.

T

hey say there’s a yogi sitting on a mountaintop somewhere in

song’s existence. You need whatever upholstery there might be [in the song to]

Kashmir, dispensing wisdom and enlightenment to those fortunate

feel tangible to your brain fingers.

enough to make the journey. Well, Will Oldham looks like he’s wandered off a mountain in Kentucky, and lucky for us, he’s willing

I don’t know how to ask you about appearing in the R. Kelly “Trapped in the

to dispense his wisdom while sitting cross-legged in a hotel room. Visiting New

Closet” video without making it sound like a joke… So I guess I’ll mention that I

York to promote his recently released Drag City album Beware, he contemplated

saw him perform in Savannah, Ga., last year, and it was pretty phenomenal.

the meaning of Americana in the digital age and how the country’s premier folk

Did he start with “The Champ Is Here” and the boxing stuff? And then there was

singer-songwriter can end up guest appearing in rap videos.

a long jungle sequence and he sang The Love Boat theme at the end? I saw him play in Louisville in the same venue where I’d seen Bob Dylan play a few months

Do you write while you’re on tour?

before. The experiences were so radically different. R. Kelly was dressed up, joy-

I can’t remember the last couple of records... where, when, and how they were

ful, long, packed, interesting. And then Bob Dylan was dour, sparsely attended,

written. Every once in a while I can see a line on a page and remember, “Oh, that

drab, boring…. I feel like maybe he’s trying to disappear into the role of the trav-

was two o’clock in the morning.” But for the most, part I don’t know when the

eling musician and do his art by denying his art.

fuck the songs were written. What lead you to become Bonnie “Prince” Billy (his acting persona) instead of Does that matter?

Will Oldham?

It doesn’t matter unless you want to ever create a system [for your writing]! Most

I wanted to act for so long, and then I realized this could be my recurring role. It’s

often it unfolds naturally, on its own. But then there’s lots of times where it feels

an incredible opportunity to live vicariously through myself.

like the natural path is the wrong path. So then I need to refigure it, but not get so far away that I can’t see the window. The window to what you are writing about? The window! Or, like, the upholstery…. Do you mean keeping it grounded in reality? Well, I feel like there are rules that apply. They are these rules. [Points at the floor and walls.] So it’s trying to stay away from these rules and trying to stay in the 26

“I can’t remember the last couple of records... where, when, and how they were written. Every once in a while I can see a line on a page and remember, ‘Oh, that was two o’clock in the morning.’ But for the most part, I don’t know when the fuck the songs were written.”


SPREADLOVES: LITTLE BOOTS

These Boots are Made for Walking STORY MAXWELL WILLIAMS / ILLUSTRATION I LOVE DUST / PHOTOGRAPHY TOM OXLEY

From making videos in her bedroom to appearing on MTV, Little Boots has made giant leaps.

O

n just her second trip to New York, Little Boots, née

the way it’s going to have to be. I have a high bar, and I don’t give a

Victoria Hesketh, is lunching in Union Square, sequestered

shit about doing something for being cool.

in a cordoned off section of the restaurant. She crunches away on salad in the circular booth, along with her boy-

You grew up in Blackpool. What was your experience growing up there?

friend, her manager, and a label exec. “Sorry I’m chewing all over your

It’s a strange place, definitely. It’s a beach town, but it’s dirty. There’s

interview,” she says in a matter-of-fact spitfire way that’s totally in-

not really a lot of opportunity, since it’s basically this holiday town.

congruent with the crisp, school-of-Kylie pop songs she’s been writ-

They call it the British Las Vegas, but it’s cold and broke down.

ing. She’s busy, though, and just got in from Los Angeles where she’s been holed up with Greg Kurstin, an acclaimed songwriter-producer

Songwriter Bryan Ferry said people always pin songs on certain things

known for his work with pop divas Lily Allen, Nelly Furtado, and, of

in his life, and they’re generally wrong. Do you find people misinter-

course, Kylie.

pret your music?

Hesketh makes no bones about wanting pop stardom. She is well

No, you can’t really do that. I think songs are all about interpretation.

known already in the U.K. as BBC’s “Sound of 2009” and on the blogger circuit, while currying the favor of a cult fanbase worldwide

I think people mistake that when artists who make pop music go on

through a series of intimate, self-filmed YouTube concerts, where she

YouTube or they write on Twitter, that it’s somehow calculated.

composed songs on her Japanese Tenori-on electronic instrument.

I hate it when people do that. I hear people talking about how it’s a

Now, prepping her first full-blown European tour, Little Boots is defi-

marketing idea. That’s bullshit. It’s really just about showing the pro-

nitely fast tracking her career.

cess. I know there’s mistakes, but it’s there for all to see.

All of a sudden you’re on the cover of magazines and you’re having to

“I have a high bar, and I don’t give a shit about doing something for being cool.”

answer questions that more seasoned professionals have had to answer. Yeah, I feel a bit of pressure, because every time we get a new bit of press, it raises the bar. I always want to deal with that, because that’s 28


SPREADLOVES: ROSEY CHAN

The Future Looks Rosey STORY EDDIE BRANNAN / PHOTOGRAPHY ULI WEBER

For pianist Rosey Chan and couturier Boudicca, the repertoire is anything but classical.

I

must always feel and remember what is my passion when I have

jazz, very intense and tightly constructed, which is what Zowie achieved

camera pointing in my face,” says Rosey Chan, recalling the on-set

with this outfit.”

advice given her by friend, dresser and collaborator Zowie Broach, of the

Collaborations seem to be key to Chan’s approach to her medium. She per-

London-based couture house Boudicca. “She also said that I am at my

formed in New York recently with her significant other, Mike Figgis (p38), an

most beautiful when I play, nude but for sound.” And maybe some Boudicca too!

intimate, improvised set at Q Department’s Director Series of concerts, held in

Collaborations between the realms of classical music and fashion are supris-

an arched basement recording studio on Howard Street. There the two artists

ingly rare, given that both dwell in the realms of evocation and lush fantasy, so

entered into an elegant, delicate interplay, Figgis with his back turned, Miles

that between Chan and the forementioned line is at once suprising and totally

Davis-style, as he played muted pocket trumpet, and Chan facing the audience

fitting. Boudicca takes a rigorously constructivist, austere approach to normal-

across the prow of the Steinway grand that had been shoehorned into the tiny

ly-florid haute couture. Chan tackles of a broad swath of art music with a prodi-

space for the occasion. A video camera had been mounted above her keyboard,

gious yet completely interpretive style very unsual in classic performers; both

so that behind her, a screen showed her hands as sheplayed. But more revealing

defy more conventions than they adhere to. Natural, then, that Chan should

were the expressions that moved across her face as the music took, then changed

count Broach as both friend and counsel, especially when working together on

shape. An inner conversation was made outer, and the notes she played became

shoots such as this, where the designer did far more than simply dress her nor-

emotions, thoughts, ideas, that flitted across her face as in an animated verbal

mally camera-shy protegé. “I would have been so nervous, heart-pounding, but

conversation. Broach was right, of course—Rosey Chan’s passion was written all

Zowie really directed me, and reminded me of how she used to be a video direc-

over her face as she played, and it was a beautiful thing to observe. And of course,

tor. She was literally directing her whole team and us—a true spectacle I would

she wore Boudicca.

have loved to have filmed!” For the Spread ArtCulture photoshoot, Chan and Broach interpreted various pieces from Chan’s forthcoming album, Crossing Over, which was recorded last year at Sting’s Tuscany studio. The image to the right was their visualisation of the modern American composer Victoria Bond’s “Rage.” “It’s a combination of ultra modern, very aggressive, with subtle beauties & undertones,” Chan explains. “All that barbed wire effect intertwining, like how Victoria does with her music, which then goes in to slow tempo, exquisite harmonies of free 30

“Zowie Broach said that I am at my most beautiful when I play, nude but for sound.”


JEWELRY: STEPHEN WEBSTER. HAIR & MAKE UP: ASHLIE KUEK. SET DESIGN, STYLING: ZOWIE BROACH OF BOUDICCA.WARDROBE: BOUDICCA.


SPREADLOVES: OPENING CEREMONY

Open Minded STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY POPPY DE VILLENEUVE

Globetrotting trendsetters Opening Ceremony have become the champions of contemporary fashion.

O

ver the past five years, no boutique—and arguably very few

do recognize our contribution to the masses.” Which is why it was no surprise

fashion labels—have had as much influence on contemporary

that, this spring, Leon and Lim were tapped to design a collection for Japanese

New York fashion as Opening Ceremony. Founded by Humberto

mass-pop retailer Uniqlo.

Leon and Carol Lim in 2002, the store began with a simple format

Now the store has taken this global style to an audience that truly deserves it:

for introducing new designers to the American market, picking a new nation

the entire world. Opening Ceremony’s westward expansion began a couple of

each season to engage in an Olympics-style friendly competition with local tal-

years ago when they opened a Los Angeles annex. This fall they will be expand-

ent. But that concept would have been meaningless without the founders’ keen

ing abroad, with a massive five-story space set to open in Tokyo. And for those

eyes for style, which has allowed them to foster the careers of designers such as

even farther a field, Opening Ceremony has even opened an online boutique.

Rachel Comey, Bless, Alexander Wang, and Alexandre Herchcovitch.

Department stores may be so last century, but a one-stop destination for every-

Beyond Lim and Leon’s knack for showcasing the next trend, Opening

thing hip will always be in fashion.

Ceremony has stood out from its competitors (who have increasingly become imitators) by presenting apparel that is both distinctively stylish and comfortably wearable, while channeling an urbane aesthetic, as in their current collaboration with actress Chlöe Sevigny. “Collaboration for us means working with an expert, and Chlöe is undoubtedly a style inspiration,” Leon says. “She has an incredible way of wearing clothing, mixing patterns, and looking at things in a great way.” This same ability to mix-and-match has allowed Opening Ceremony to revive some beloved older brands, such as their remixing of the Betsey Johnson archive or their foray into rustic chic with the Pendleton meets Opening Ceremony collection. Perhaps most remarkable has been the store’s ability to catch rising international brands before they become household names; the Chinatown shop was an early destination for the now-ubiquitous Cheap Monday and Acne Jeans from Sweden, and, until this spring, Opening Ceremony was the only stateside retailer to carry British mega-brand Topshop. “It’s pretty great to see a project go from an idea in our store to a huge global business endeavor,” Leon admits. “We 32

“It’s pretty great to see a project go from an idea in our store to a huge global business endeavor. We do recognize our contribution to the masses.”


SPREADLOVES: O.H.W.O.W.

The W.O.W. Factor STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY DIANA SCHEUNEMANN

The creative energy of Miami’s young O.H.W.O.W. gallery and publishing house has put them on everyone’s radar.

T

he hottest gallery in New York these days isn’t even in New York: it’s

and space for everyone within their creative community threatens to be a bigger

in Miami. Maybe it had something to do with real estate prices, but

hassle than drumming up support. “The creative community is the heart of

O.H.W.O.W founders Al Moran and Aaron “A-Ron” Bondaroff have

O.H.W.O.W. It functions as one big, dysfunctional family,” he says.

shown a creative verve long absent from the stifled New York gallery

The gallery itself acts as Moran and Bondaroff’s personal romper room.

scene. “It seemed like the authentic element of creativity was getting pushed to

Designed by Rafael de Cárdenas from Architecture At Large, it features a strik-

the side and commerce was becoming the priority,” Moran notes. “We founded

ing design filled with zig-zagging black and white lines. As Moran tells it, the

O.H.W.O.W. with the purpose of giving our creative community a platform where

camouflaged look was inspired by the designs painted on the bottom of British

expression came first and commerce was not a factor.”

“dazzle ships” during World War II. “The black and white patterns made it

To that end, O.H.W.O.W. opened this past winter to little fanfare and a ton of

impossible for someone underwater to determine their size or scale,” he says.

buzz, highlighted by exhibitions of work from New York scenesters Tim Barber,

“For O.H.W.O.W., we thought it would be interesting to create a building that

Scott Campbell, and Rostarr. Cheekily, they staged a massive group show in the

seemed, in the same way, somehow immaterial... can you reduce a huge struc-

hottest new spot to pop up in New York’s gallery-packed Chelsea neighborhood:

ture to a buzzing black and white field?” With the kind of buzz O.H.W.O.W. has

a temporarily converted garage sitting on prime Tenth Ave. real estate. It was a

generated, there’s very little chance that the gallery will be disappearing from

spectacular follow up to their splash at Art Basel.

view anytime soon.

“I think it showed the art world what could be done without huge money involved,” Moran says. “It marked a return to authenticity and rawness. The [Art Basel] show was an incredible success due to the grassroots effort put into it by the community. It was DIY all the way and the feeling was evident throughout.” Continuing in that same spirit, Moran says, “We’ve got plans for a show in L.A. as well as another New York show in the second half of 2009. O.H.W.O.W. is headquartered in Miami, but our ambitions are global. With our book publishing division in full swing, we also stay in touch with our audience via eight to ten publications a year. This keeps us relevant even if there’s not an exhibition near you.” With a rapidly growing network of artists and confidants, finding time

“It seemed like the authentic element of creativity was getting pushed to the side and commerce was becoming the priority. We founded O.H.W.O.W. with the purpose of giving our creative community a platform where expression came first and commerce was not a factor.”

L: SCOTT CAMPBELL, “PRAYING BILLS;” LASERCUT U.S. CURRENCY. R: AARON BONDAROFF

34


SPREADLOVES: PHILLIPS DE PURY

Welcome to the House of Fun STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY MATTHEW HRANEK

The most cutting-edge collection of contemporary art can’t be found at a gallery—it’s on the walls at auctioneers Phillips de Pury.

W

hen is an auction not just an auction? Or put another way,

Thus, the vibe is less clearing house than luxury boutique, with a downtown

what separates an auction from a flea market—a random

edge that is lacking from the competing auction houses. “We’ve had the oppor-

jumble of secondhand stuff sold to be haggled over and sold

tunity to connect with a good amount of the local artists that have shown at

to the highest bidder? The answer, according to Phillips de

auction here,” notes Saturday@Phillips organizer Alex Smith. “We want to con-

Pury, is when an auction becomes a demonstration of well-defined taste – a

tinue to find new ways for our clientele to be given access to artists, so they can

well-curated selection, such as might be found in a top-tier retailer such as

experience how the artwork is made and be shown greater context for its cre-

Barneys. You might not like every item available for purchase, but there is a co-

ative origins.” As art specialist Sarah Mudge puts it, “I would say that Phillips’

herence to the assemblage of items for sale, a sense that there is an inherent

key strength is in defining the genre of cutting-edge artwork.” The result is a

logic behind their collection.

carefully selected collection of work that manages to be both refined in its qual-

“To ‘curate’ an auction sounds a bit pompous,” says Phillips’ resident design

ity and aggressively contemporary in its immediate impact.

expert Alex Heminway. “But we aspire to that verb nonetheless. We try to select and display works that best relate, or that surprise through lack of relation….” While most auctions are driven by the sellers as much as the buyers—with the auction house essentially acting as a middle man trying to resell any and all artwork that is available, without judging relative quality—Phillips’ in-house contemporary art expert Tim Malyk believes that “Phillips has distinguished itself as a house that is offering the most major works by cutting edge artists and designers of the day.” Since the value of these artists is not always clear to casual collectors, Phillips de Pury takes on the unusual burden of leading the marketplace, showcasing genres and artists that have been under-recognized by the gallery system, while educating casual collectors through panel discussions by art experts, studio visits with prominent young artists, and a magazine-style collectible catalogue. “Market whims have ultimate bearing, of course,” Heminway notes. “But we mostly try to pick things we love.” 36

“To ‘curate’ an auction sounds a bit pompous, but we aspire to that verb nonetheless. We try to select and display works that best relate, or that surprise through lack of relation.”


SPREADLOVES: MIZUO PECK

The World’s Greatest Stage STORY EDDIE BRANNAN / PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL DWORNIK

Actress Mizuo Peck has found her role of a lifetime by playing a New Yorker.

S

ometimes art imitates life and sometimes life and art become

You must have been encouraged to pursue artistic endeavors. Did you settle

inextricably intertwined. Such is the case for actress Mizuo Peck,

immediately upon acting?

recently seen as Sacagawea in the Night in the Museum series. She

Yeah, I started pretty young. I was 11 when I joined TADA (the Theater Arts and

spoke with us about her unusual youth in TriBeCa and the occasions

Dance Alliance)! The funniest part of that story is that I ended up singing Frank

when it’s acceptable for children to hang out in bars.

Sinatra songs for the audition. I sang “The Lady Is A Tramp.” I have no idea where that came from. So then I went to LaGuardia [High School of Music and Art and

So, with that name and face, I’m guessing you must be partly Japanese.

Performing Arts] and then to SUNY Purchase for a B.F.A. theater program,

I’m half Japanese, Irish, and English, and Native American.

which was difficult.

That makes you two people!

Why was it difficult?

No! I have a great-great-aunt who was Cherokee. It’s just a smidgin. My mother

I was already totally submerged in New York life, so it was really tough to just go

is from Japan. She opened up a school for children with learning disabilities—

to college. It was such an intensive program that you really weren’t allowed to

like an art therapy. She was a rebel in her time, and during the early ’70s she sold

miss any classes or anything. I mean, they weren’t fucking around—they’d cut

the school and decided to follow her dream and come to America and be an art-

people every year. The one time I lied to get out of school, I said I was going to my

ist. She came here and met my father, who was working at a pub in the South

sister’s wedding, but I actually went to the southern tip of Florida to be in a Bruce

Street Seaport. They moved into this loft in Tribeca, a totally raw space, and

Weber shoot. I was like, there’s no way I’m not going to do that! The funny thing

started a life together.

about Bruce Weber is that he had this studio [in TriBeCa]. One day at the Ear Inn, he came in and wanted to shoot me and my brother, so we are in one of the issues

How was it to grow up in an artist’s loft in TriBeCa in the ’70s?

of L’Uomo Vogue from back then!

We had a tire swing, and the rooms were these little bungalows, like tree houses. It was a great place to grow up. My mother’s favorite statement, supposedly, was “cleanliness is not creative.” Wow. Sounds like a good life. It’s funny thinking about my upbringing. I grew up on Leonard St. and at the bar. It seems so normal to me, but I guess it’s not. [My father] was a bartender at the Ear Inn on Spring St. for 30 years. I know your dad! I’ve ordered drinks from him! That’s what I’m saying! I grew up on the same block I live on now. 38

“The one time I lied to get out of school, I said I was going to my sister’s wedding, but I actually went to the southern tip of Florida to be in a Bruce Weber shoot. I was like, there’s no way I’m not going to do that!”


SPREADLOVES: MIKE FIGGIS

A Tale of TwoSohos STORY EDDIE BRANNAN / PHOTOGRAPHY POPPY DE VILLENEUVE

Notorious as a cinematic stylist, British director Mike Figgis has lately been reinventing the photographic image.

M

ike Figgis is the very definition of a polymath. Trained as a

again, because I may take it to India and then to Beijing. The Soho theme is not

musician, he is also a composer, performance artist, and per-

essential anymore, just the idea of being able to do a quick snapshot of a section

haps most famously, a filmmaker, with the Oscar-winning

of the culture as I see it.

Leaving Las Vegas under his belt, as well as the acclaimed

movies Timecode and Internal Affairs. He has also maintained a lifelong inter-

How does this project link with your film projects?

est in photography, and it is that discipline which has occupied much of his time

I think it has more to do with the work I did before filmmaking. I worked with

of late. The Photographer’s Gallery, Britain’s premier venue dedicated to the

a performance art group called “The People Show,” and we worked in a very

medium, recently approached him about organizing an event in their new space

organic way, turning up at a location and creating a show out of what was

in London’s Soho neighborhood. However, like so much with which Figgis is

available in the area, raiding rubbish dumps and skips to create physical struc-

involved, the project grew and flowered into something quite larger. Which led

tures, and using people from the area. So in that sense, the photography proj-

to a chance meeting in New York, where Figgis was presenting his continually

ects are similar.

evolving photographic work at the downtown Prada store. Do that and the photography project share any conceptual themes? Can you please tell me something of the genesis of the project? Why the linking

The only theme or idea that currently concerns me is that fine art photography

of Soho and SoHo?

has lost its way and is no longer connected to humanity. The need in the art

I’d agreed to help The Photographer’s Gallery fundraise, and I suggested a quick

world to constantly find new forms is something that undermines it.

photo event in their gallery. I went into it with just the basic tools of printer and camera and materials, set up a mini-studio in one corner of the main space, and then started printing and hanging images. From this point on, I shot and processed and printed [photographs] throughout the week of the show. So, by the end there were almost 200 images on the wall and the gallery was humming with people who’d been photographed and were coming back with friends to check it out. So it seemed a good idea and New York was an obvious next stop. I was also familiar and drawn to both “Soho”s because they both were rich in characters and history and art association. Now the idea seems to be growing 40

“The only theme or idea that currently concerns me is that fine art photography has lost its way and is no longer connected to humanity.”


SPREADLOVES: THE WEBSTER

Trop Chic Pour Toi

STORY KEN MILLER / ILLUSTRATION NOMOCO

Three refugees from the Paris fashion demi-monde have brought chic to South Beach.

M

iami’s South Beach neighborhood is already chic beyond chic.

Unifying the entire space are artworks they have collected. “The three of us

The thought of embellishing or improving the local landscape

share a love for photography,” Dechnik says, “So we started building a collection

seems almost impossible, but that is exactly what the creative

of pictures and photographs [by the likes of Joel Meyerowitz] that we own our-

trio behind nouvelle-luxe boutique The Webster has set out to

selves that will be spread throughout The Webster. This is a very strong part of

do. Taking a small hotel designed in 1939 by legendary local architect Henry

The Webster concept.” Original artwork for the space has also been created by

Hohauser, the fashionable cadre of Milan Vukmirovic, Laure Hériard-Dubreuil

the artist Christophe Brunnquell, perhaps best known for his work as art direc-

and Frederic Dechnik have brought a slick Parisian veneer to the historic neigh-

tor for the genre-defining fashion bible Purple.

borhood’s bleached-white backdrop.

As if all of this wasn’t appetizing enough, The Webster also features the first

In a subtle yet sublime readjustment, they retrofitted the four-story building

American outpost of Caviar Kaspia, a favorite of Parisian high society since 1927.

into an airier, brighter three story space. The Webster’s founders already knew

Of course, there’s no need to fret about overstuffed velveteen chairs or snooty

plenty about creating a fashionable look. Vukmirovic was co-founder of the

service—in keeping with the neighborhood’s casual ambiance, Kaspia’s offer-

trend-catching Parisian shop Colette before leaving in 1997 to work with Tom

ings of Beluga caviar and smoked fish can be packed up for a quick trip to the

Ford at Gucci Group; somehow, while working furiously on The Webster, he also

beach. “Miami’s architecture is Caribbean art deco,” Hériard-Dubreuil sighs.

finds time for his Milan-based publication L’Officiel Hommes. The business side

“And only in Miami can you find such an historical art deco architecture. The

of the store is well taken care of by Dechnik, who has met Vukmirovic while

Webster is about [our] artistic decision that we really love all the buildings that

working at Gucci and subsequently spent five years handling merchandizing for

only exist in Miami.”

Yves Saint-Laurent’s ready-to-wear line. For Hériard-Dubreuil, luxury comes naturally: she was born into it. A scion of the Rémy Cointreau family, she relocated to New York in her youth, where she became a fashion fixture. Collectively, their goal is simple: “The Webster is the most prestigious, luxurious fashion store in the world.” “We only buy what we like,” Hériard-Dubreuil says, “What we think is different and hard to find. We buy what is very refined, appealing and luxurious. We have an eye for the pieces that you want now but that are timeless.” To that end, the store has three levels, with the bottom devoted to contemporary casual street wear by young designers such as Adam Kimmel and Acne, the second floor featuring couture by Givenchy and Lanvin and the top floor showcasing jewelry by hip designers such as Maison Martin Margiela and House of Waris. 42

“We only buy what we like. What we think is different and hard to find. We buy what is very refined, appealing and luxurious. We have an eye for the pieces that you want now but that are timeless.”


SPREADLOVES: MIKE SHINE

Shack Up

STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY EMILY NATHAN

California creative Mike Shine has turned his home away from home into a personalized work of art.

V

iking runes were some of the earliest graffiti tags,” Mike Shine muses. You could argue that those same Vikings serve as an early example of successful branding, a topic that Shine understands well as a partner in advertising

firm Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners. Yet recently, it’s Shine’s weekend hobby (and that interest in Viking runes) that has been earning him public recognition. A few years back, Shine bought a cabin a little bit north of San Francisco along the California coast. It was (by Shine’s description) bland, cheap, and available. He immediately set about converting it. “We started by collecting ’70s stuff, like a turntable, 8-track player, etc., partly ’cause the stuff looks cool, and partly because it’s a break from the modern world,” he recalls. “Then we painted the outside orange, and that just seemed to pave the way for us to go off. Once the renovation stuff was done, my artwork seemed to drift off the table and unto the walls, both inside and out. It just seemed natural to do that. I paint a lot on found objects, and I guess it was easy to switch to wall surfaces.” Friends started stopping by, both to hang out and to add their own artwork to the walls. Still, the “shack,” as Shine affectionately calls it, remained a labor of love, hidden away from public attention and very far removed from his day job. It was a complete shock when San Francisco’s Museum of Craft and Folk Art came calling, asking if the building could be exhibited as an artwork. “The moment they asked, I knew it would be a cool project to pull off,” Shine says. Since the shack couldn’t be moved, the trick was to replicate the entire building within the museum’s walls. “The challenge of it seemed almost ridiculous, and that was really appealing to me.” Now that his secret hideaway has gone very public—Dogtown and Z-Boys director Stacy Peralta just shot a short doc on the cabin—we’re all able to stop by. 44

“We painted the outside orange, and that just seemed to pave the way for us to go off. Once the renovation stuff was done, my artwork seemed to drift off the table and unto the walls, both inside and out. It just seemed natural…”


SPREADLOVES: D*FACE

*Face~Off

STORY FRANCESCA GAVIN / PHOTOGRAPHY HENRY BOURNE

Rather than just taking street art to the gallery, London legend D*Face has brought the gallery out to the public.

W

hen D*Face first started putting his art on the streets of

enough.” While his American predecessors Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee and

London around 1999, “There was no ‘street art’ term,” he

Kaws presented alternative ways of showing things on the street and in galler-

says. “There was no genre. There were a handful of people, if

ies, D*Face has continued pushing this approach, creating giant car sculptures,

that.” His early work was largely monochrome stickers and

works in ice and billboard pieces alongside his canvas works. Most recently he

posters of warped Disney-style characters, which he stuck up on the way home

created a group of six-foot, one-ton concrete sculptures of spray cans that he

from his frustrating day job as a designer and illustrator. “It was just a bit of fun,”

placed illegally around major spots in London, including Trafalgar Square and

he recalls. “I didn’t know where it was going. It had no beginning and no end. It

Covent Garden, looking like they had exploded out of the ground. It took six

was a creative outlet. I never saw it as art. Nobody gave a shit. Nobody tried to

people, a flatbed lorry, and a crane to install the things… and amazingly, he

digest it too heavily.”

didn’t get caught.

Over this decade, his work has become much more complex, moving from

“It gets boring to stick to the one method,” he says. “I’ve always liked sculp-

cartoon graphics into playful punk imagery, cut and paste text pieces, and

tural works. They have more chance of surviving. I like things that are illegal but

darker images about life, death, and everything in between. You feel he’s wing-

look like they should always be there.”

ing things and experimenting for the sheer pleasure of it. Alongside his own work, D*Face was a pioneer in opening up a gallery devoted to the new wave of street artists emerging at the start of the century. “It felt like [the work] needed a home. It felt neglected for a long time.” After being seriously hands-on with the running of the gallery, D*Face has recently refocused on his own work and interrupting people’s everyday lives. “Don’t judge the person sitting next to you on the bus,” he maintains. “You don’t know what’s going on in their life. If you can make that person smile, then that’s

46

“It had no beginning and no end. It was a creative outlet. I never saw it as art. Nobody gave a shit. Nobody tried to digest it too heavily.”


SPREADLOVES: THE HIGH LINE PARK

High on Life STORY LOUISA ST PIERRE / ILLUSTRATION MCFAUL

When is a park more than a park? When it’s raised two stories off the ground.

F

ollowing the abrupt end of a decade-long real estate boom,

with Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon—they came to our first event,

New York City is suddenly filled with ghostly relics—half

and all donated funds straight away, and continue to do so. They’re

finished or vacant edifices that stand as monuments to an

also very active on our behalf, lobbying others. They all have interest-

already distant era. Robert Hammond knows that just be-

ing family histories, too. Kevin’s father was a city planner for Phila-

cause a structure isn’t in use doesn’t mean it’s useless. Together with

delphia, Edward’s father helped found The Nature Conservancy, which

High Line project co-founder Joshua David, he has successfully lobbied

is one of the mechanisms we’re using to create the High Line.

for the conversion into parkland of 1.5 miles of abandoned elevated railway track running through the city’s Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen

What are your greatest needs right now?

neighborhoods. Scheduled to open this summer, the High Line park is

Currently, the biggest struggle is that our budget is going to have to

one of the most ambitious and eagerly anticipated transformations of

double once we open the park. I think we have a great design, but

the city’s landscape in a quarter century. Chelsea resident and “Friend

what’s really going to make it successful is if it’s safe, clean and well

of the High Line” Louisa St. Pierre talked to Hammond about the highs

maintained.

and lows of such an ambitious venture. What is your vision for the High Line for the next five years? You held a competition back in 2000 to see what kind of ideas people

People often ask if I envision the High Line to be like the Riverwalk [in

would put forward for use of the High Line. What were the most

San Antonio], which is a great idea, but was really about attracting

bizarre and the most ingenious proposals?

tourists. I want the High Line to really be for the locals. Secondly, I

The swimming pool along the entire length of the High Line was pretty

hope the High Line can inspire other people to start projects, even if

good, and the life-size cow sculptures were a personal favorite.

they don’t necessarily have the expertise. I love my job. It’s all been such an incredible experience. The fact that it’s worked is an extra

Field Operations and pioneering architects Diller, Scofidio, and Renfro

bonus. I was riding my bike to work and I saw a part of the High Line

won the pitch to develop the High Line. What was the winning factor?

where they’ve removed some steel on Tenth Ave. so that there’s a

They were very open about their struggle with how to preserve the

sunken suspended area. I saw someone taking a picture and I just

wildness of the High Line, but still make it open and public. I think

teared-up with the realization that this is actually happening.

they did the best job of coming to terms with that conundrum. You are supported by an impressive list of corporations and individuals, such as Ethan Hawke, Ricky Gervais, Diane von Furstenberg, Edward Norton, and David Bowie. How hard was it to get folks on board? We’ve been really lucky; most of our supporters came to us. Ed Norton contacted us before we’d even registered our phone number. Same 48

“I hope the High Line can inspire other people to start projects, even if they don’t necessarily have the expertise. I love my job. It’s all been such an incredible experience. The fact that it’s worked is an extra bonus.”


Monuments PHOTOGRAPHY JOEL MICAH MILLER

“The idea of taking very iconic locations and making something interesting out of them was a challenge that I wanted to take up,” Joel Micah Miller says. “It’s the visitors who make the project so much fun. What I have found is that the majority of tourists visiting these places can be divided into three camps: those who are genuinely interested in seeing the structure; those who are only interested in collecting ‘I was there, got my snapshot, now lets go’ points; and those who have been dragged along by the aforementioned parties. I’m not sure where I fit in.”

50


52


54


56


The Bravery Of Saint Pölten PHOTOGRAPHY NICK & CHLOÉ

For the new season of the Festspielhaus cultural center, in the small Austrian city of St. Pölten, 24 amateurs of all ages acted together in a series of scenes directed by the Festspielhaus artistic director, Joachim Schloemer. These locals were essentially playing themselves, representing the population of St. Pölten in a series of emotional vignettes captured by photographers Nick and Chloé.

58


60


1ST ASSISTANT LONNIE SPENCE 2ND ASSISTENT LUCAS ELZEA DIRECTOR JOACHIM SCHLOEMER MARKETING DIRECTOR JOHANNES EISERT SCENERY & COSTUMES NINA LEMM & DAVID DOERRAST PROPS BUILDING REINHARD HAGEN


62


Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 PHOTOGRAPHY STEPHEN WILKES


64


66


68


Autobahn

PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL SCHNABEL

70


72


74


76


78


Marfa PHOTOGRAPHY STEWART COHEN “Marfa is one of the furthest places in the continental United States from a commercially served airport. It is situated in the middle of West Texas only 60 miles from the Mexican border. If it wasn’t for an abandoned army fort, it wouldn’t be the place it is today. The artist Donald Judd spotted the fort in the ’70s and got a foundation to buy it as an artists’ retreat. It is still a place to escape to. There are people there from all over the place, lured there for some reason that most of them can’t even verbalize. There is a pulse to the town that is not evident to the person just passing through. It is like living on a tiny island. Did the people seek it out or are they running from something?”


80


82


84


FOCALPOINT: PHARRELL WILLIAMS

Pop Star STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY STEPHAN WUERTH

Polymath superstar Pharrell Williams—rapper, producer, artist, and designer—aims to be his generation’s Andy Warhol, and with his new project, Artst.Com, he might have created the 21st century factory.

F

ew people have had as much influence on contemporary American

Americans and built his Billionaire Boys Club into a national brand so popular

style as Pharrell Williams.

that factories in Asia and Africa are cranking out knock-offs by the thousands.

Walk down the street in pretty much any city, suburb, or midsized

Not that this is a competition, mind you, but if it was, Williams would already

town, and it’s pretty hard not to notice that the kids who don’t dress

have lapped the field and retired. Which perhaps explains why he’s already

like Pete Wentz or Tony Hawk are dressed like Williams. The cartoonishly bright

working on his second (or third) career.

sneakers, jeans, and T-shirts; the hats, jackets, and accessories in DayGlo colors

Even before Williams arrived on the scene, a previous generation of hip-hop

and patterns so ridiculously incandescent they almost seem like a parody of ’80s

artists took the culture mainstream, selling the “thug life” to middle America.

pop. It’s nerd (or N.E.R.D.) chic for kids who used to pride themselves on wearing

Innovators such as Timbaland and R. Kelly mixed new musical elements into

drab, baggy tough-guy outfits. We can all thank Williams for brightening our

hip-hop, allowing Pharrell and his contemporaries to seamlessly sample from

national color palette.

high fashion, hipster culture and mainstream media. To them, there was no

He shows up for his photo shoot at a Miami art gallery wearing a blazer fit for

such thing as “urban” culture and “mainstream media.” There was just what

Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor and an incongruously matching pair of

they liked, and luckily for all of us, Williams has pretty impeccable taste. Sitting

sneakers. Despite being a dominant figure in pop music for nearly a decade now,

next to one of the amusingly suggestive chairs he designed for a gallery in Paris,

he looks surprisingly young and comes off as sincerely humble, starting sen-

Williams admits, “Most of my life, I was the guy who bought red Reeboks when

tences with: “I don’t pretend to have vast knowledge….” This sincerity gives him

everyone else bought white ones. For me, I just liked them!” Once he was in the

a buoyant, striving energy belying his success—and that same fresh-from-the-

public eye, he never had any doubt about whether his esoteric interests would

rec-room vibe carries throughout his conversation, where he’s more likely to

appeal to a mass audience. “I knew, if people got their hands on them, they

reference his favorite comic book heroes than drop the name of the artist he’ll be

would love them,” he says.

working with at Art Basel. Part of a wave of innovative, genre-crossing hip-hop stars that emerged at the start of this decade, Williams somehow hasn’t gotten the same cred as his peers Kanye West and OutKast’s André Benjamin. Maybe that’s because Williams is just as busy being a businessman and producer as he is performing for the limelight. So while Kanye is stopping by the Paris fashion shows and Benjamin Bixby cultivates its bona fides with the fashion elite, Williams has already introduced the massively successful Japanese street wear brand Bape to 86

“We want the Batmans of art, the Supermans of music. ARTST.com is more about the opportunity than anything else. It’s about us presenting an opportunity for people to have visibility and to congregate and critique each other’s work.”


FOCALPOINT: PHARELL WILLIAMS

“I was discovered because Teddy Riley built a studio a five minute walk from my high school. Virginia Beach, Va.,of all places!? My thing is, what if he hadn’t picked Virginia? There is some kid somewhere who lives in West Bumblefuck who feels like they’re not getting the attention they deserve. My goal is to help give them that venue.” Growing up in Virginia Beach, Va., Williams developed an early affinity for both

consider myself a fan and a consumer. But I [also] recognize that those people need

music and art—his mother still has a drawing of a robot he made when he was a

a place to go,” just like he did when he was doing those robot drawings for his

toddler, too young to write. As a teen, he began making music with another neigh-

mom. “As I grew older, it was the only thing that came natural to me,” he says.

borhood kid named Chad Hugo, writing songs that mixed rap with rock, and per-

“I’ve always been the artsy-fartsy kid.”

forming in school talent competitions as The Neptunes. Williams’ musical career

Thanks to an accident of fate, he was fortunate enough to have a venue that al-

easily could have ended there, if not for a very fortunate happenstance. Record

lowed his creative impulses to thrive. Most kids don’t have that same opportunity

producer Teddy Riley, fresh off the success of his New Jack Swing groups Guy and

and so their creative drive gets stifled. Everybody knows that kid who was the

Blackstreet and his work on Michael Jackson’s Dangerous album, somewhat ran-

best artist in high school, who doodled constantly in class, made his own comic

domly decided to build his new studio right by Princess Anne High School.

books or spent her weekends making collages. “The truth is that there’s a creative

“I was discovered because Teddy Riley built a studio a five minute walk from

side to everyone,” Williams notes. “But often we feel weird about that and don’t

my high school,” Williams says incredulously. “Virginia Beach, Va., of all plac-

know how to express it.” While he was able to take inspiration and motivation

es!?” That sense of his own remarkable good fortune and the fickleness of op-

from artists such as Miami pranksters Friends With You before creating his playful

portunity has always stuck with Williams. “My thing is, what if he hadn’t

chair design, not everyone has the support of a creative community.

picked Virginia?” he says, and it has motivated him even as he achieved cultural

Fortunately for them, you don’t have to wait for opportunity to knock on

ubiquity. “There is some kid somewhere who lives in West Bumblefuck who

your door (or move in down the street), like it did for Williams. Looking around

feels like they’re not getting the attention they deserve,” he maintains. “My goal

the gallery, he says, “My theory is that as the Internet continues to expand, more

is to help give them that venue.”

people can become connected and it won’t really matter what town you live in.”

When Williams talks about “some kid,” he’s not speaking in the abstract. He

Of course, that’s only true if someone like him has the determination and vision

knows they’re out there because he’s met them. “With N.E.R.D., when we get off

to provide them with a venue like ARTST.com. Despite still being in its initial

stage, we’re always getting bombarded,” he says. “Not just with CDs but by kids

design phase, the site already has several thousand drawings, photos, paintings,

with drawings and designs. Now that we’ve drummed up this mass of talent,

and animations posted.

they’re like, ‘So what are you going to do for me?’” To Williams, those kids rocking

Almost as inspiring as the work itself is seeing the self-portraits of everyone

DayGlo outfitts aren’t just his audience—they’re his community, a million little

posting to the site. In age, gender, geography and ambition, they represent every-

Mini -Me’s looking for a way to loom large.

one who’s been locked out of the gallery network for far too long. Williams is also

The answer takes the form of ARTST.com, an online community Williams has

getting something from all of the creativity generated by ARTST.com. “The work

created with the goal of doing for the visual arts what MySpace did for music and

acts a stimulant,” he says. It helps keep him motivated and inspired. “That’s when

YouTube has done for video. “We want the Batmans of art,” he says. “The Super-

you know you’re a real connoisseur,” he says. “When you can step away from a

mans of music.” Lily Allen and Ryan Trecartin serve equally well as references

piece and say how it affected you.”

—self-made Internet sensations who have crossed over to the pop charts and

At the photographer’s request, he steps out of the studio for a quick walk to the

museum galleries. “ARTST.com is more about the opportunity than anything

beach. The stark white Miami light is blinding, but sunbathers still gawk behind

else,” he continues. “It’s about us presenting an opportunity for people to have

their sunglasses, stopping to stare at the incongruously dressed celebrity walking

visibility and to congregate and critique each other’s work.”

across the sand. Two girls ask him to pose for photos. The pictures may not be

More than anything, he wants to make art democratic, to give kids like him the

worthy of posting on ARTST.com, but they hint at the potential for the site. With a

same opportunity he received from Teddy Riley. He wants to avoid the snobby

following of millions, he’s already impacted pop culture and our daily dress codes.

exclusivity of the existing art world. Despite showing his chair designs with gal-

Now he’s giving the same opportunity to those fans on the beach. He’s a household

leries in Europe and the U.S., Williams says, “I don’t consider myself an artist. I

name trying to turn his fans into household names.

88


THIS PAGE, SHIRT: BALENCIAGA. BELT: TRUSSARDI. BOWTIE: NEIL BARRETT. BLAZER AND TROUSERS: BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB. OPPOSITE, JACKET AND VEST: TOM FORD. SHIRT: BALENCIAGA. BELT: TRUSSARDI. BOWTIE: NEIL BARRETT. JEANS AND SOCKS: PHARRELL’S OWN. WARDROBE STYLIST: DEANA ANAIS.


FOCALPOINT: MARILYN MINTER

Court Painter of the Skin Trade STORY KISA LALA / PHOTOGRAPHY POPPY DE VILLENEUVE

With her strikingly erotic images glistening on billboards above New York and Los Angeles, Marilyn Minter gets down and dirty.

M

arilyn Minter is at her Soho studio, selecting from scores of

You’ve had such a long career of ups and downs. You got a lot of criticism for the

inkjet prints pinned to her walls showing voluptuous splashes of

hardcore pornography paintings in the early ’90s—the cum-shots—some of

lips and tongues, swirling with jeweled strands of spit. Over the

which were quite tongue in cheek, so to speak. I know you’ve said you’ve

course of many months, Minter layers several of these photo-

scratched and vandalized your own canvases because of the pain this caused

graphs into one, to create the images that will transform into her gigantic paint-

you, but in retrospect, was it better to be vilified than to be ignored?

ings. Three unfinished canvases hang on her wall, and as Minter interjects with

I got thrown out of the art world. When you are in the middle of it, you’d rather

instructions directing the outcome, one of her assistants touches up a painting of

be ignored. But once you survive it, people catch up to you. It wasn’t like I had

Pamela Anderson, bringing a bubble at the edge of her mouth slightly into focus.

any choice in the matter; I was listening to my muse. 1989 to 1990 was the middle

After finishing work for her solo show at N.Y.C.’s Salon 94, Minter has begun

of political correctness and there was a nascent pro-sex feminist movement—

preparation for her opening at Regen Projects in L.A. Her tongue paintings have

Catharine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin…. That wasn’t what I was doing,

evolved into a 60-second trailer titled Green Pink Caviar, playing at New York’s

though. I was just asking the question, what happens when women make hard-

Landmark Sunshine movie theater. Longer versions, presented by Creative

core imagery?

Time, have played to the unsuspecting public on Times Square billboards, and she will partner with ForYourArt for more public projects on the West Coast.

I did it because I saw Mike Kelly’s work. Here was a brilliant intellectual from California mining this totally base subject matter. Things that no women could

Despite the studio’s constant buzz of activity, Minter still manages to main-

ever get away with, totally changing the context and the meaning. There were

tain her focus, discussing her obsession with filth and fluids, and her ambivalent

stuffed animal sculptures on woven blankets, decoupage with mouths and eyes

relationship to the world of high fashion.

on them, felt banners, rainbows…. It was 13-yewar-old-girl mall culture. So I thought, what imagery had women artists never touched?

How did you arrive at this crossing between photography and painting? I started as a painter, but I went to a school that privileged expressionistic hands. I was always a “renderer,” so I got a bad grade in painting because if you didn’t paint like [Willem] de Kooning…. For someone like me, who is more analytical—a builder and constructor of images—it was devastating. Warhol was my idol. I just got an “A” in photography and majored in it. Then I had to take one more painting class before I left, so I ended up majoring in both. I still have some

“I am not interested in shock value; anything forensic, like scars, doesn’t interest me. It has to be something that could happen. Nothing surreal, just things that exist: snot, drool… licking.”

of my old paintings from when I was a senior in painting making Benday dot paintings. I’ve been making the exact same images since I was 12 years old.

When you ran the 30 second “food porn” commercials on late night TV, did it confuse the public to suddenly come across artistic commentary in the midst

You did a photo essay of your mother: shadowy cinematic portraits of her in her

of commercial programming?

bedroom wearing hairpieces, capturing her addiction to pills. Your classmates

The 30-second commercials ran on David Letterman and Arsenio Hall and cost

could not comprehend, but you did get a thumbs-up from Diane Arbus.

$1,800 because they played only in New York State. I did get a lot of press, but it

I was a minor undergraduate, and she was teaching grad students. She hated

didn’t get covered by Artforum! Nobody cared about it then. People like it a lot

everything, because it was a famously romantic school. I was walking by, and I

more today.

just showed her proof sheets, and she thought they were good. But then, I didn’t know who she was, so it didn’t mean anything to me. I was getting a lot of praise

You used a similar tactic by replacing commercial billboards in Chelsea with

for my paintings at that point, so what did I care? My classmates were horrified

images of high heels kicking up mud for “Splish Splash” and “Shit-kicker.”

though, and I couldn’t go past the shame.

The Creative Time billboards people really liked. I think about doing it now all (contd. overleaf)

90


FOCALPOINT: MARILYN MINTER

the time, like with those slides that go by [before the movie] at the movie the-

some punk kids are going to be doing it. They had to argue with the bosses but

ater. The Luhring Augustine Gallery is the only one that advertises on NPR,

they did publish it.

though museums advertise all the time. In your images you do extreme close-ups. You leave no narrative clues; no When did you get this studio?

gender, only skin.

I’ve been here since 1976. I always thought I was supposed to be an artist because

I don’t go for the narrative. I want multi-readings, many layers.

I had this space. It was motivation and it was good karma. The process is so physical: you use your fingers to paint, blur the focus. Things have changed around you in the last two decades….

It’s enamel paint on metal, but it’s actually quite warm, because it’s all so hu-

In the ’80s, I could have sworn some of my heroes were real geniuses, but they

man. People think it’s cold.

disappeared. When I was a kid, I never believed it took time. But it’s good to be around different generations. It keeps you from becoming one of those people

Are there any lines that you won’t cross, any taboos?

who says “back in those days it used to be so much better.”

I am not interested in shock value; anything forensic, like scars, doesn’t interest me. It has to be something that could happen. Nothing surreal, just things

To what do you attribute your recent success? Is your work more accessible or

that exist: snot, drool… licking.

have the times changed? I think I’m making my best work now. It’s taken me this long to make my best

Your pictures have a lot of sexuality in them and signifiers of femininity, like

work. I’m really lucky that someone was willing to give me the chance at my

lipstick and gloss.

age. I understand the impulse of pushing young artists, to find a really hot tal-

Well, in Muslim culture, no one wears lipstick. Everything I work with is

ent. Female artists are constantly slightly marginalized and so they are a little

white skin, privileged culture: the stuff of magazines. Only 10 percent of the

hungrier, so they keep making interesting art….

world probably puts makeup on. It’s the dominant culture. It’s elitist. Everything we do as artists, we are doing with a kind of elitism.

Though not many mid-career artists tap into the zeitgeist quite— You mean old lady! Art history is constantly like this: Matisse didn’t sell a

Is it different to be working with a celebrity rather than a paid model?

painting till he was 48—the people that bought him were Russians and

I don’t usually do celebrities, but I get asked all the time. If they are iconic, I

Americans, not the French. Louis Bourgeois started showing in her 60s. You

would use them in a second. I did a portrait of Stephanie Seymour, and a por-

need a little bit of insanity and doggedness. When I was in class, I never

trait of Jay-Z and Beyoncé is in the works.

studied female painters, except for Mary Cassatt. Who did I think I was? How did I think I was going to be able to do this? But it all changed in the

Do you work with men as well?

’60s. There was Marisol Escobar and Louise Nevelson... Or look at Mary

All the time, but you can’t see it. These next paintings I am doing are all boys.

Heilmann and Louise Bourgeois. They don’t have the white heat on them.

This is Tim Nye, an art dealer. He’s covered in freckles. I’ve been using him a lot.

So in a way you protect your art by constant slight marginalization. Look at

This is Tom Ford’s chin. It’s still being worked on.

Cindy Sherman who has clearly changed art history but doesn’t have the impact of a Damian Hirst or Takashi Murakami.

What was it like working with Pamela Anderson? For the Parkett cover and center-fold, it was a two day shoot. She is really

Do you ever think of merchandising your work?

funny and self-deprecating. I wanted to get a picture of the empathetic person

No, never. Each one has to be perfect.

I knew she was. I knew if I put bangs on her and took her eye makeup off, I could do it. Everyone that works for me has a miserable time. They get covered

Tell me about working in the fashion industry.

with sweat, water, suds, goo…. But she gets a painting out of it. She is the anti-

Well, they are so self-hating in the industry. The reason the zeitgeist has turned

Anna Nicole Smith. She usually charges a million to take her clothes off.

is that when you look at the covers of Vogue, you can’t even recognize them any

Marilyn Monroe was a victim, constantly manipulated. She wasn’t stupid,

more. Fifteen years ago the models were just really beautiful human beings.

but she didn’t have ownership of her own production. Pam is just a pin-up,

Genetic mutants so exquisite you couldn’t take your eyes off them. But since

but she’s made millions by being a pin-up. She is savvy. She isn’t well edu-

Photoshop has taken over, they are just robotic and contrived.

cated, but she’s worked for many artists: Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha , Richard Prince… and Borat. That’s all you need to know of her.

The industry aspires towards a kind of perfection… Which is never anything I have been interested in. I don’t Photoshop and I don’t even crop. Your eyes start to crave for details, something real. I know I see hairs on my upper lip and I know when I pull my sock down, I see lines. I just did a shoot for Allure, and [the model] was only 21 years old, but they wanted to get rid of the lines, fix those teeth…. How could this be healthy for kids? This is the first time in the magazine’s history they haven’t Photoshopped. I told them that Allure should be the one that takes a stand. Someone’s going to have to. If not, 92

I think I’m making my best work now. It’s taken me this long. I understand the impulse of pushing young artists, to find a really hot talent. Female artists are constantly slightly marginalized and so they are a little hungrier, so they keep making interesting art….


FOCALPOINT: ROBERT LONGO

Longo Story INTERVIEW / PHOTOGRAPHY THE SELBY

A studio visit with the celebrated New York visual artist 94


FOCALPOINT: ROBERT LONGO

96


FOCALPOINT: ROBERT LONGO

98


FOCALPOINT: STEVE LAZARIDES

Lazarides Risen

STORY EDDIE BRANNAN / ILLUSTRATION CHRIS KASCH

Call it “street art,” “outsider art” or just plain old art—if you want it, chances are pioneer gallerist Steve Lazarides has got it.

W

ithout Banksy, Steve Lazarides probably would not be open-

been going on for a long time—since Basquiat and Haring. Everything has its ups

ing his second gallery this summer. But without Lazarides,

and downs. It’s no longer the new thing where it once was, so more than the

most of us would probably never have heard of Banksy, ei-

bubble bursting, I think it has simply become an established art form. It’s not that

ther. Together, these two men have come to epitomize the

the street art market bubble burst, the whole fucking art market bubble burst!

explosion in popularity for street art as both a global art form and boom economy. We spoke with Lazarides at his new London gallery space and tried to get a

I’ve been reading articles projecting that at least a third of the New York galleries

bead on how the ultimate ‘outsider’ came to rule the art world.

will close by the end of this year. So it makes sense to diversify your “product line,” as it were, with the Greek St. gallery becoming more of a store.

I hear you have a new gallery. Where are you moving to?

Yes, it’s only been open for a couple of weeks, and it’s working a treat. I couldn’t

I’m going to Rathbone Place, just off Oxford St. I’ve taken on a five-floor Georgian

think of a name, so I just called it Shop. I always have a tough time coming up with

townhouse.

names for shows and everything. It’s a nightmare.

Are you keeping your current Greek St. space?

How long was that open as a gallery? It’s not that long ago that you really came into

Yes, I’m turning it into a space that’s more for multiples, books, screen prints,

the ‘legitimate’ bricks and mortar gallery scene….

posters. Shit that I like. I’ll be buying political posters and back copies of

March 2006 I opened it.

newspapers, and tying that in with vintage Banksy prints, and posters from the early ’90s.

You always had other methods of showing work, like pop-up events in unusual and unconventional locations.

A bit like New York’s Printed Matter, in a way? Like a retail space/art space?

Yeah, I’m still going to keep doing that. I have other ideas for this year, including a

Yeah, kind of… except with a lot more visual than Printed Matter. Books and

big project happening in the States in December. I can’t say what that is at the mo-

A2 prints and some original artwork, too. There’s also some sculpture in there. It’s

ment, because I don’t know whether I can pull it off or not. But I’m not going to

about making a more accessible space, and keeping the prices down. It’s not an

stop doing the pop-up shows.

intimidating space. There’s spontaneity in the way that you present the work that’s very much in line Stuff you can access on all levels of income, basically….

with the type of work you sell.

Yeah, it’s about 20 quid up to 20 grand. And at the Rathbone Place gallery…. Well,

Hopefully, it’s going to work. I still like the pop up thing, so for me [the gallery]

we’ve all got older. I’m older, my artists are older. So it’s nice to have a wood-pan-

will still be a combination of pursuing all the different strands. It felt like the

eled Georgian townhouse to show the work in.

right time for a change. You know, what the fuck are you gonna do? Shut up and shop for the next five years and cry into your beer or roll up your shirt-

Regarding the work: there has been a lot of talk about whether so-called “street”

sleeves, get stuck in, and a make a change? I think, to be honest, a lot of people

art is a bubble that’s now burst. Whatever you want to call the style of art, you have

are talking the recession up to an insane degree. I noticed this especially when

been very associated with this sector of the art market. So does this mean you’re

I was in New York recently.

hedging your bets a bit? The thing is that I’ve never really been primarily a street art gallerist. I represent

Doom and gloom! Chicken Little! The sky is going to fall in on everyone’s head!

people like Jonathan Yeo, who’s a fine art portrait painter.

Yeah, I came back to London and the art scene was a positive oasis of happiness.

Sure, but you also have artists like Faile and Mode 2. No sense that that is a limited

That’s interesting – why do you think that is?

artistic and commercial space?

I don’t know! Everyone has that war spirit, buckle down, and get on with it! It’s

Not really, because I ended up with all sorts of great artists. The graffiti thing has

nothing like the States was. You’re right, New York was like “the sky is falling (contd. overleaf)

100


FOCALPOINT: STEVE LAZARIDES

in” and it’s the end of the world. I was thinking, “Okay, you’ve just had the big-

Purely if I like it. It’s one of those things where sometimes you just know. You see

gest period of growth ever. Maybe now this is how it’s supposed to be? Maybe

something and you go, “You know what? I’ll have it. That’s the one for me.” I can’t

this is normal?”

even begin to explain it. I don’t really understand it. I just pretty much run the whole [gallery] on the fact that I can’t represent people’s work that I don’t like.

Unpopular opinion, I expect….

Life’s too short. I’m not going to do it for strictly commercial reasons. If you want

Someone’s taken all the toys away.

to do that, be a fucking lawyer or bank robber!

Your journey to being a gallerist has been an interesting one. You and I met about

How do you relate, if at all, with the rest of the “art world?” Do you still view your-

12 years ago, when you were at Sleaze Nation magazine. How did you get from

self as outside the mainstream in that regard?

there to here?

I find it really weird, because it’s sometimes seen as “their art world” and “our art

It’s not exactly the traditional path to owning a gallery, that’s for sure. I went from

world,” but the thing is, I’ve been selling to the same top clients for years. The cli-

Sleaze Nation in 1997 to coming up with the concept of [photo syndication agency]

ents I sell to, people would give their eye teeth to access in the fine art world. So I

PYMCA and starting that up in 1999. Then we had a period around 2004 that I

don’t do the art circuit—I don’t really go to the art fairs or anything like that. But I

can’t really talk about, where I didn’t have PYMCA anymore. Then we started

tend to attend the few things that people I respect and enjoy do. For example,

Pictures On Walls—selling screen prints—and while doing Pictures On Walls, I

Damien [Hirst] has always been a great supporter of the gallery and new young

started selling the originals by a lot of the artists we were representing. And then

artists in general. He has been great about taking us out and introducing us to

that became so busy, because I was also managing Banksy at the same time, that I

people and bring people along to the gallery. So I tend to take my cues from people

couldn’t really concentrate on doing Pictures On Walls. And then it went right

that I meet and like within the art world, who will either bring people along or

from there to opening a gallery. That was kind of the trajectory of it. And now I’ve

introduce me to people, rather than be at a party, standing in the back nursing

got the two spaces in London and one in Newcastle.

back a chardonnay like a fish out of water….

That period you say you can’t talk about…. Why can’t you talk about it?

It’s such a dance one does with the whole idea of being an outsider—what is an

It was just that the guy I use to work with at PYMCA, it became an unworkable

outsider and what is an insider?

relationship.

Really, I don’t necessarily view myself in either way. I’m just trying to get my head down and get on with what I’m doing. Most of the time I’m so busy that I

Talk about another relationship: the relationship with Banksy.

don’t take a view on it one way or the other. I just put some shows on and sell

That’s something I don’t want to go into a great deal…

art. That’s it.

long time, speculation that you were him. So just give me the back story of how you guys got together. We came together through a chance encounter of me taking some photos, and us getting on, and then me selling all the stuff he was doing. Just helping out on producing stuff, and we just kind of fell into it. Were you surprised by the speed with which his work caught on? The thing is… it didn’t, really. I was just recently looking back at the press we’ve done over the years, and there was press going back to the late ’90s. So, I think it was one of those situations where people think a band has come from nowhere, but really they’ve been gigging for eight years. I think that he was always popular, but on lots of different levels. When he was only in Bristol, he was hugely popular there. Then it came to London, and then it was massively popular here. And then suddenly it went global. He was spreading the message that people wanted. It was easy, it was accessible, and it didn’t make them feel stupid. Made them feel clever, in fact, because they were in on the joke. I think it was the right thing at the right time, and people really enjoyed it. What kind of criteria do you apply when you’re looking at artists to represent? 102

It’s one of those things where sometimes you just know. You see something and you go, ‘You know what? I’ll have it. That’s the one for me.’ I can’t even begin to explain it. I don’t really understand it. I just pretty much run the whole gallery on the fact that I can’t represent people’s work that I don’t like. Life’s too short. I’m not going to do it for strictly commercial reasons. If you want to do that, be a fucking lawyer or bank robber!

PHOTOGRAPHY PETER MALLET

OK OK. You were associated. You were working together. In fact, there was, for a


FOCALPOINT: KATHY GRAYSON

The Gang’s All Here STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL DWORNIK

Deitch Projects Director Kathy Grayson and the shabby-chic world of New York’s downtown art scene 104


FOCALPOINT: KATHY GRAYSON

Tim Barber

I

t’s Sunday night dinner at Kathy Grayson’s East Village apartment, and

Industrial Park. The other thing she documents, perhaps most obsessively, is food,

the usual cast of unusual characters has gathered for a cozy dinner of

so it should come as no surprise that the pizza is homemade—oddly shaped yet

margaritas and vegan pizza.

fancy(ish).

In the living room, Terence Koh sits quietly, a smaller, more incon-

As both host and curator, Grayson has everyone pegged. About Koh she says,

spicuous figure than he strikes on stage or in the media. In a couple of weeks, he

“he pretends to be more delicate than he is,” before observing that Barber “feels

will be on a private jet to Vienna, lending art star glitz to an AIDS benefit at the

like an outsider even though he is this talented, successful, popular guy.” As Bar-

same opera house that once housed Mozart. It is a queasily decadent contrast

ber curls furtively about his words and Koh sits stone-like on a settee, the descrip-

that perfectly matches his sleek, harsh artworks. In the corner of the kitchen,

tions seem quite apt. Despite occupying a position of considerable influence as

photographer and Tiny Vices curator Tim Barber chats conspiratorially with

gallery director at the trend-setting Deitch Projects gallery, Grayson maintains an

Aurel Schmidt; the detritus from the evening’s meal could serve as inspiration

easy-going, familial rapport with the artists with whom she works. By her own

for another of Schmidt’s detailed drawings of lovely, putrid faces formed from

admission, she prefers to consider these artists friends rather than clients or co-

discarded cigarette butts and banana peels. Leaning in the doorframe, video

workers, a loyalty that is reciprocated by the artists she has exhibited. As Schmidt

artists Takeshi Murata and Ben Jones slouch like malcontent teenagers. Perhaps

avows, “[Grayson] is very human and very committed to people, as opposed to

they are comparing notes on Jones’s Kool-Aid-colored paintings and videos,

just the work itself.”

which appropriate their eye-searing color palette and subject matter straight

That same familiarity forms Grayson’s public persona, utterly unique amongst

out of the pop culture id. Or perhaps they are commiserating on the rather less

the faux-fancy snobbery that masks the insecurity underlying most of the art

felicitous appropriation that recently occurred to Murakami, who saw his ab-

world. “She always says there is no separation between her and her life,” Schmidt

stracted digital treatments transformed into a music video for Kanye West.

continues, citing the string of revelations and self-examination to be found on

Bouncing from person to person is Kembra Pfahler, an icon of the East Village

Grayson’s blog as typical of her openness. (Amusingly, Grayson’s blog is found on

underground for nearly 20 years, most recognizably as the baroquely glamorous

Myspace, instead of the comparatively snobby Wordpress or Blogger hosting op-

lead singer of The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. For these young artists,

tions.) In addition to an infinity of pictures of Griffin, Grayson maintains a very

Pfahler is a direct tie back to the oft nostalgia-ed era of matinee punk shows at

public dialogue about her reactions to the art and artists she encounters, admit-

CBGBs and late night performance art in SoHo lofts. Late to arrive is the painter

ting to the vagaries of self-doubt that inevitably plague the curatorial process.

Rosson Crow, fresh from L.A. and casually glamorous. Conspicuously absent is

“Her life within art is so intertwined with all parts of her life that there is no sepa-

controversial Polaroid and collage artist Dash Snow; he was invited but never

ration,” Schmidt says. Which engenders a powerful loyalty amongst those she

really anticipated, as would be expected for a man with a toddler and without a

curates. “It’s an effortless idea of trust,” Koh says, adding that this trust is what

working phone.

first drew him to working with her. “I trusted her because she had that ability.”

The pizza is vegan in honor of Grayson’s boyfriend, Patrick Griffin, another art-

This deeply felt commitment has allowed Grayson to be a champion for the

ist who is the frequent subject of posts on her blog, which documents a shared life

younger artists who have represented a decade-long changing of the guard

that alternates between globetrotting art world glamour and the more squalid

within the New York art world. Despite commanding skyrocketing prices and

realities of everyday art manufacture. One day, Grayson snaps photos of an exhi-

leading a life that can seem a Felliniesque traveling carnival when scrolled from

bition she has organized in Athens, followed by a quick jaunt to the Greek islands.

afar, many of these young artists are still struggling to find their place within a

Then (seemingly faster than planes can travel), she is back in New York City, on a

collapsing market for young artists. They represent a baffling combination of

curatorial bike tour of the graffiti-covered warehouses of the East Williamsburg

luxe living and the DIY ethos. On a recent flight, I had the disconcerting (contd. overleaf)

106


“It’s an effortless idea of trust. I trusted her because she had that ability.” —Terence Koh


FOCALPOINT: KATHY GRAYSON

Takeshi Murata experience of turning on the seatback television, only to be confronted by an

the point of sanity to try to get to the bottom of things.” To a person, the guests

upscale travel documentary showing Koh, wearing an oversized fur coat, being

at her party express their fondness for Grayson’s willingness to do whatever it

interviewed while standing on The Great Wall of China. But he is just as likely to

takes to present their art in the best possible light, whether in her capacity as the

be found inside his scruffy self-run gallery in New York’s Lower East Side,

director of Deitch Projects or through independent shows she organizes and

cheekily named ASS (ostensibly for “Asia Song Society,” but more likely for the

hustles for in her spare time. It’s an invaluable ethos in an era when too many

more obvious association).

galleries have damaged the careers of the artists they represent, by over-inflat-

These contrasts exemplify the current condition of artists in New York. The

ing the value of the artists’ work and then dumping it when the market got soft.

boom has detonated, but the residue of easy money and glamour still lingers. The

If artists themselves are the valuable commodity, then Grayson’s focus on com-

disconnect can at times be jarring, as this cadre of artists comfortably bounces

munity-building is the only sensible curatorial approach. Anything else is pure

between worlds that remain intimate yet disconnected. Declared a “most beauti-

speculation in the worst Mad Money sense of the word. Which is precisely why

ful person” by Paper magazine, Schmidt dates celebrities, does fashion shoots for

most of the “art world” finds itself in a fix while Grayson and her friends are

European magazines, and yet maintains a tomboyish personality complete with a

happily eating pizza together.

constant stream of dirty humor better suited for a basement bar than a costume

Everyone sitting down to dinner in Grayson’s apartment this warm Sunday

ball. Though Grayson and Pfahler are readying themselves to model in some fall

night is a successful, well-recognized artist, but no one is quite sure what that

fashion shows, Grayson jokes on her blog that her physique is more “field hockey

means when there is no market for art. They do know that they can take inspira-

player” than runway model. (The show is for Proenza Schouler, which achieved a

tion from each other—from meeting each other while out late and having conver-

strange notoriety recently when the label’s co-founder Jack McCullough was head

sations that last until the morning. Perhaps more offensive than the intellectual

butted by the actor Kiefer Sutherland.)

theft Murata experienced is the discourtesy of it all. In an earlier era, a downtown

Appropriately enough, the first exhibition Grayson ever organized was an ex-

artist such as Robert Longo was able to direct music videos for New Order, so why

hibition in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, titled “Dirt Wizards.” She notes dryly that

didn’t Kanye West commission Murata himself? Don’t artists hang out with pop

the show was a success because “it got a review in the New York Times and I got

stars now? Don’t they fly on private jets to galas in Europe? And doesn’t the

promoted away from having to answer the phones at Deitch.” She has maintained

graphic on that T-shirt look an awful lot like a Ben Jones piece? Or is the other way

that attitude ever since, allowing herself the attitude of an outsider even while

around? If the art boom is done, does they mean everyone should pack up shop

spending a month in Europe for the Venice Biennale. This seemingly dichotomous

and go back to organizing DIY warehouse art shows?

sense of insider-outsider-ness has been the basis for Grayson’s commitment to

Confusingly, the answer is “yes” to all of the above. It’s a fractured land-

fomenting an artistic community through her curation. “Community is the most

scape that Grayson navigates with aplomb. “Artists are like cockroaches,” she

important thing to me,” she says. “Rarely in the history of art do you see a random

says. “No one is going to die. Just the artists who have gotten super rich and

loner genius. The history of Modernism is the history of movements, and move-

snotty and lame are going to turn back into the fun, nice people I used to know

ments are communities, at the very least of thought.”

and be friends with.” In other words, artists should do on-the-cheap ware-

She’s just getting started, adding, “I believe in stratified generational con-

house shows and they should also do commissions for pop stars. They should

sciousness. I believe in partying. I like people and talking and collaborating and

make work because they are inspired to and because they want to inspire oth-

making zines and writing about it.” Not that she thinks she’s alone in this. “The

ers. They should not be assholes. And neither should pop stars. For perhaps

art world right now has many, many communities,” Grayson says. “I think

this reason above all others, Grayson has faith in the community she is build-

mine is the best.” According to Koh, this fierce commitment to an idealized ver-

ing. “[Downtown New York] is the center of everything cool, and it’s cool to be

sion of the creative process means that Grayson “is willing to stay with you past

cool,” she laughs. “It’s the ultimate accurate tautology.”

108 108


“She is very human and very committed to people, as opposed to just the work itself. —Aurel Schmidt


FOCALPOINT: THREE ILLUSTRATORS

Singular Points of View

STORY DOMINIC LUTYENS / ILLUSTRATION RAY SMITH, BARBARA HULANICKI, DAISY DE VILLENEUVE, NATASHA LAW

Illustration from across the generations

W

hen illustration made a spectacular comeback about six years ago, spearheaded by big names such as Julie Verhoeven and Paul Davis, it was partly because it offered a fresh antidote to the glut of ’90s computer-generated imagery. While impressively slick, these digital images could also look soulless and sterile. Romantic, expressive, warm, subjective, whimsical, surreal—

these were the appealing qualities of illustration then, and the same applies today. We gathered three illustrators from across the generations who are continuing to champion the expressive qualities of hand-drawn imagery. Barbara Hulanicki made her mark in the ’60s, first as a freelance illustrator and then as a founder of recently-revived fashion line Biba. Younger illustrators Daisy de Villeneuve and Natasha Law also favor the floridly free handed over the computer-generated.

Above: Illustration by Barbara Hulanicki. Across: Homage to Biba by Ray Smith Barbara Hulanicki began her career in the 1960s, working as a fashion illustrator

boutique, Biba, in 1964. “If you’re not in the mood for it and it doesn’t flow, it’s a

for Women’s Wear Daily, British Vogue, The Observer and The Sunday Times.

nightmare,” she says. Two years ago, however, she rediscovered illustration.

At the time, illustration was dully literal, required simply to fulfill the same

Now a successful interior designer based in Miami, she says, “I hand-draw all

function as photography. Fashion illustrators aimed to show what a garment

my architectural drawings. I don’t use computers.” The greater freedom enjoyed

looked like as accurately as possible so that the magazine’s readers could evalu-

by illustrators enjoy today makes it much more enjoyable.

ate a potential purchase. “I used to illustrate all the collections, but we weren’t

“Back then, you couldn’t have half-tones. Everything had to be solid lines,”

allowed to draw during the shows, to prevent ideas being copied,” recalls Hu-

Hulanicki reflects. But her current style is painterly and expressionist, still in-

lanicki. “So I’d run out, try to remember everything and sketch furiously.”

fluenced by Mucha’s work. “I like to splash away using felt pen.” Hulanicki’s

Her own style of illustration went against the grain, she says, because “it was

work as an interior designer, creating wallpapers for Habitat and working ex-

more free and expressive than most illustration at the time. In the ’60s, you were

tensively on hotels and private homes for Island Records founder Chris Black-

expected to draw in a certain way.” Hulanicki’s work was influenced by the

well, has lead to her being discovered by younger generations. The revival of the

classic art nouveau style of Czech painter Alphonse Mucha, and this more artful

Biba name has also lead to a line of illustrated garments for Topshop.

approach got her in trouble with her boss at Women’s Wear Daily, publisher

Looking forward to the younger generation she has inspired, she expresses a

John Fairchild. Yet the romanticism of her illustrations paved the way for a new

fondness for de Villeneuve’s illustrations, saying, “I really like her naïve style. I

informality that connected to youthful readers, rendering the prissy formality

love the way illustration is making a comeback. People have become more inter-

of ’50s fashion and illustration antiquated.

ested in art, and this has made them more interested in illustration. Many de-

Even so, Hulanicki found fashion illustration emotionally draining, and she abandoned it completely after founding her iconoclastic London fashion 110

signers who only use computers can’t draw, and now people are beginning to appreciate traditional drawing skills again. Illustration has a big future.”


FOCALPOINT: THREE ILLUSTRATORS

Natasha Law by Daisy De Villeneuve It was by tapping into her personal life that Daisy de Villeneuve developed

material for a successful book titled He Said, She Said, and published by

her highly individual, childlike, yet ultimately faux-naif drawing style. Be-

Pocko Editions in 2001. Personal perhaps, but her work has also proved very

fore graduating from Parsons School of Design, she panicked about what to

commercial; hot on the heels of the book came a commission to design

present at her degree show. Luckily, a friend stopped by her studio filled with

household products for Topshop. In 2007, de Villeneuve created the packag-

the felt-tip pen sketches and typewritten notes de Villeneuve had done in

ing for Möet et Chandon’s pink Champagne, Flower Rosé, which she adorned

preparation for the show and piped up with a simple suggestion. “Why don’t

with stylized tulips. Like Hulanicki, she has also created a rug for Habitat, in

you put them together?”

addition to cosmetics bags for Boots, T-shirts and mugs for London Trans-

De Villeneuve followed her friend’s advice, creating the genesis for her

port, and window decorations for London fashion boutique Browns.

distinctive style. Still, she can now admit, “it felt scary. My typewritten

This spring, she exhibited with Natasha Law at London gallery Eleven.

notes—mainly one-liners with a dark humor—were based on my topsy-

“Natasha’s work is more feminine and whimsical [than mine],” comments

turvy love life. So I was baring my soul, making art about my life.” There was

de Villeneuve. “It’s in a much bigger format, too. But at the show, we used

a deep personal history to her use of typewritten text, since she’d “loved

similar imagery: shoes and perfume bottles,” since a big influence on de Vil-

typewriter text ever since my father [photographer Justin de Villeneuve]

leneuve has been “Andy Warhol’s 1950s illustrations of shoes.”

gave me a typewriter when I was 10.”

De Villeneuve is unlikely to rest on her laurels. A certain anxiety, even a

While she intended her degree show to focus on her paintings, it was her

fear of failure similar to the apprehension she felt over her degree show,

illustrations on lined notepaper that caught people’s attention. A series of

seems a deep-seated part of her ambitious character. Yet this drives her for-

witty portraits of trendy, sassy teenagers captioned with catty or poignant

ward, she says. “I think it’s important for me to think of doing other things

remarks (sample quote: “I spent all my frequent-flyer mileage going to Pen-

beside illustration. I love fashion and interiors, for example. You can’t put all

sacola, Fla., and he didn’t even kiss me”), these illustrations later became the

your eggs in one basket.”

112


FOCALPOINT: THREE ILLUSTRATORS

Daisy De Villeneuve by Natasha Law If de Villeneuve’s aesthetic is funky, graphic, and often angular, Natasha Law’s style is softer, more languorous…. She mainly paints and draws scant-

books for London fashion boutique Matches and she currently has a show coming up soon at Paul Smith’s gallery space in Tokyo.

ily clad, sylph-like women in their underwear or bikinis. Bodies and clothes

Despite her glitzy connections—she’s Jude Law’s sister—there’s a modesty

are filled in with flat blocks of color, typically raspberry pink, red, yellow,

to Law’s approach. “My work is somewhere between the hard-edged and

flesh pink, or beige. There is an ambiguity to the images: while some might

romantic,” she says. “It’s easy to understand and fairly classic in its use of

say they objectify women like cheesy ’70s soft porn, the opposite could also

line and simple figures.” Does her work fit into any genre? “It has slipped,

be true. Rather than looking at the viewer as the passive objects of someone

without my meaning it to, into a fashion realm, mainly because I’ve been

else’s gaze, the women are absorbed in their own daily rituals—dressing,

drawing figures for so long that it’s the first thing people think to ask me

undressing or chilling out at home. They are also the handiwork of a woman,

for,” she says. “But I’ve been drawing more architecture recently, combining

which arguably differentiates them from the more crass objectifications of

it with figures. But I have long ago given up on the idea that, say, a mobile

women by many a heterosexual male artist.

phone company will think of me for a campaign.”

Law often uses household gloss paints, so comparisons with the work of

Nevertheless, Law remains hugely enthusiastic about illustration, since

Gary Hume are inevitable. And the self-absorbtion of Law’s figures is remi-

“it pulls you into the world of the artist/ illustrator because it is just the hand

niscent, too, of Degas’ bathing or dressing female subjects. A graduate of

and imagination involved in the making [of an image].” Speaking of de Vil-

London’s Camberwell College of Arts, she has created prints for Sadie Frost

leneuve, she says, “I love the way she has always made a feature of drawing

and Jemima French’s fashion label FrostFrench, illustrations for the “The

with pens—that’s the hand-drawn effect coming up trumps again. Her color

Intellectual’s Guide To Fashion” in The Sunday Times, and images of poly-

and personal style is very strong and unique. No one could copy her, and you

sexual pairings of girls and boys on the glass doors of Soho, London’s club

can always recognize her work.” Who knows? Perhaps another co-produc-

Kabaret’s Prophecy. Last year, she dreamt up window displays and look

tion beckons....

114


Rapture: Fans at Coachella PHOTOGRAPHY POPPY DE VILLENEUVE 116


118


Teddy Boys PHOTOGRAPHY JIM WRIGHT

120


122


124


126


128


PRODUCER: LILIAS HAHN PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: MIRANDA BURCH PROP STYLIST: ERIC MUNGAI NGUKU STYLIST: DARIA MANECHE HAIR: JASON STANTON @ CLOUTIER AGENCY MAKEUP: LAUREN KAYE COHEN @ TRACEY MATTINGLY, LLC MODELS:EVA CARD @ FORD MODELS, INC. JENNIFER PATTON @ FORD MODELS, INC. ADAM DRIGGS @ NEXT MANAGEMENT, LLC ERIC CALLERO @ LEMON LIME AGENCY ZANE HOLTZ @ NOUS MODEL MANAGEMENT, INC. 1ST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/LIGHTING DIRECTOR: JIM MOY PHOTO ASSISTANTS: SEAN COSTELLO, NATE ROTHACKER PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS: JESSICA WALKER, KALI TEIXEIRA


Accessorized: Shoes PHOTOGRAPHY JAMIE CHUNG 130


132


Vintage PHOTOGRAPHY GIULIANO BEKOR


VINTAGE AZZARO BEADED PAILLET CHROCHET TOP CHLOÉ SATIN PANTS

134


136


Lloyd Klein sequin paillet gown


Halston sequin paillet gown

138


ALE EARS: SUIT IN WOOL, SHIRT IN COTTON, TIE AND POCKET HANDKERCHIEF IN SILK, SHOES IN LEATHER: TOM FORD. SANTOS DUMONT WATCH IN WHITE GOLD WITH BRACELET IN ALLIGATOR: CARTIER. ANNA WEARS: DRESS IN SILK CHIFFON: J. MENDEL. BAG IN LEATHER, NECKLACE, BRACELET IN ALLIGATOR WITH BLACK PLEXI CC INITIAL: CHANEL. TIGHTS: WOLFORD. EMBROIDERED ANKLE-BOOTS IN VARNISHED LEATHER WITH A HEEL OF CAGE: YVES SAINT LAURENT

Liberation PHOTOGRAPHY ERWIN OLAF 140


142


ANNA WEARS: DRESS IN SILK: RM BY ROLAND MOURET. SANDALS IN LEATHER: GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI DESIGN. BRACELET STAR LINKS IN YELLOW GOLD WITH 159 DIAMONDS: H.STERN. JEANNE (LITTLE GIRL) WEARS: DRESS IN COTTON: ESCADA. HAIRBAND: BIBA AU BON MARCHÉ. ALEXANDER WEARS: SUIT IN WOOL WITH FINE STRIPES: HERMÈS. SHIRT IN COTTON: BURBERRY PRORSUM. TIE IN SILK: LOUIS VUITTON. SHOES IN VARNISHED LEATHER: DOLCE&GABBANA.


ASYMMETRICAL TOP IN SILK AND OTTOMAN PANTS: LANVIN. SPRING EARRINGS IN YELLOW GOLD WITH 18 PINK TOURMALINES OF 51 CARATS: H. STERN

144


ALEXANDER WEARS: JACKET IN LEATHER: CHEVIGNON UNLIMITED. CHEQUERED SHIRT IN COTTON: TOM FORD. JEANS IN DENIM, ANKLE-BOOTS BALTHAZAR IN LEATHER AND CANVAS: CHEVIGNON. SOCKS IN COTTON AND SILK: DORÉ DORÉ. SLIPPERS IN VELVET: TOM FORD ANNA WEARS: PYJAMAS IN SILK: DOLCE&GABBANA ON THE BED, DRESS IN EMBROIDERED TULLE WITH AN APPEARANCE OF FLOWERS: J.MENDEL


146


ANNA WEARS: JACKET OF DINNER JACKET IN WOOL AND SILK: JEAN PAUL GAULTIER. DRESS IN VISCOSE, HANDBAG IN CROCO AND SILVERPLATED METAL: HERMÈS. NECKLACE (TRINITY CRASH)& BRACELET (TWO FOR TRINITY): CARTIER. RING GOLDEN STONES: H. STERN ALEXANDER WEARS:SUIT IN GRAIN OF POWDER: DOLCE&GABBANA. SHOES IN VARNISHED LEATHER: LOUIS VUITTON.


148


JEANNE WEARS: TRENCH COAT AND CARDIGAN IN COTTON: BURBERRY CHILDREN. RIDING CAP IN ALCANTARA: CHOPLIN CHEZ PADD. RAIN BOOTS FOR RIDING: EQUI THEME CHEZ PADD. ANNA WEARS: BLOUSE IN SILK: CHLOÉ. BELT ROMY IN ALLIGATOR: HERMÈS. SKIRT IN COTTON AND SILK: RM BY ROLAND MOURET. SANDALS IN VARNISHED LEATHER: PIERRE HARDY. BRACELET (TWO FOR TRINITY): CARTIER. BAG 48 O’CLOCK IN BRAIDED LEATHER: BOTTEGA VENETA. TRAVEL BAG ALMA IN CANVAS WITH LOGO: LOUIS VUITTON. BAG IN LEATHER: RALPH LAUREN. STYLING DIRECTOR: LEÏLA SMARA @ LIBÉRATION NEXT ASSISTANT STYLING: JONATHAN HUGUET HAIR ARTIST: CHRISTOPH HASENBEIN AT CALLISTE MAKEUP ARTIST: ENY WHITEHEAD AT CALLISTE POST-PRODUCTION: FISK IMAGING AMSTERDAM COURTESY: FLATLAND GALLERY (N.L., PARIS) & HASTEDHUNT (N.Y.)


Accessorized: Bags PHOTOGRAPHY JEFF HARRIS 150


Trans-Siberian Express PHOTOGRAPHY ROY ZIPSTEIN

When Roy Zipstein set out across Siberia, he didn’t know what to expect. “I did it just because it sounded interesting and I had a week off,” he recalls. Making the most of a limited amount of time, the photographer set off on an epic transcontinental journey in remarkably short time. “I took the Trans-Siberian train from Mongolia to Moscow in one shot,” he says. “A five day trip with no stops.” What flickered past his window is a haunting post-industrial landscape that feels as close to the moon as anywhere on earth. 152


154


156


158


The Birds

PHOTOGRAPHY EMIR HAVERIC 160


162


Unexpected Egypt PHOTOGRAPHY STUART HALL 164


166


168


170


Born in the USA PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID EUSTACE

Character Project is an ongoing artistic initiative committed to celebrating America’s characters—the interesting, dazzling, and distinctive people from all walks of life, who make this country extraordinary. Inspired by USA Network’s iconic “Characters Welcome” brand and with the support of the not-for-profit photography organization, Aperture Foundation, USA assembled a team of 11 world-class photographers to capture the character of America today. From high school football players in Brownwood, Tex., and organic farmers in the Northwest, to students in Chicago—and with the people connected by a single transcontinental road, the artists have created a collection of portraits as varied as the country itself. Photographs from Highway 50 by David Eustace, for USA Network’s Character Project initiative. 172


174


176


Beneath the Surface PHOTOGRAPHY RUUD BAAN 178


180


182


Styling: Isis Vaandrager Model: Maureen Powell Makeup: Ed Tijsen Post-production: Dog Postproduction


Fun Dip PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL WARREN “I grew up 20 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean,” Michael Warren recalls. “So when I wanted to go swimming, I would visit one of the nearby beaches, get wet, and lie on the sand for the afternoon. What I realize now is that young kids don’t really care where they are, as long as there’s water and they have their friends and/or family around.” With that in mind, he set out to photograph the crowds at the public pools scattered in urban areas throughout New York. “Access was very much a problem,” he says. “The city was very sensitive to the obvious issues. To eliminate potential privacy issues I only photographed swimmers who gave me a verbal ‘okay’ directly.” Warren believes that access is key to the pools’ role in the community as well. “Lasker Pool in Central Park has something like 100,000 visitors a year…. That’s a lot people getting a chance to dip their feet in something cool.”

184


186


188


190


Nippon Love PHOTOGRAPHY EMILY NATHAN 192


194


196


198


REARVIEW: MOMI

Architects of Influence STORY PETER MACAPIA / PHOTOGRAPHY GREGORY HEISLER

Two architects discuss the links between performace, art and architecture.

I

nfluence is a tricky word. I think of it in terms of influenza; I know that’s

project to have these stretchable flexible membranes that would shift, disappear,

neither the Spanish nor Italian word for influence, but perhaps most ac-

and reappear, continually altering the space, day and night. 2) Film: It’s a medium

curately expresses the idea that influence is kind of like a virus that works

in which your sense of space and time collapse into a void and you become highly

without control. That at least is the idea. So when I was talking about ar-

disembodied. I wanted an architecture that was as fugitive as film, but very ma-

chitecture with my colleague Thomas Leeser, it was perhaps inevitable that our

terial and very much like the body. For example, Jacque Tati’s Play Time is the

influences became contagious.

film of the 20th century when it comes to confronting the most problematic rela-

It turns out we are both working on projects that are highly influenced by

tions between that which is fleeting and that which is obdurate in film and archi-

media—media that is incredibly fugitive, ephemeral, and ethereal, such as per-

tecture. 3) Turbulence: At the same time, Tati’s film exploits the logic of the city as

formance art and film. These are media that work like a flu on the body of archi-

a planned and plan-able thing. It absolutely isn’t, and the events that transpire

tecture—they make it a bit delirious, sometimes disappearing altogether in the

from the beginning to the end of the film are continually set off by minutely “off”

experience of cinema, and sometimes swooning to the lightness of performance.

behaviors of the characters, until what started as a highly rationalized and struc-

And so the question is really: What has influenced us in our approach to design?

tured grid catastrophically becomes the fluid space of desire and complexity and

Lesser has designed the Museum of the Moving Image currently under con-

movement and change. In the end, Play Time is about the social and cultural

struction in Queens, N.Y. My design project is for Performa, the International

limits of architectural formalism. For when architecture acquires this sudden

Biennial of Performance Art in New York City headed by RoseLee Goldberg.

plasticity, it has a greater porosity to change and accept innovation from within

Lesser and I swapped influences and hopefully came out relatively unscathed.

the movements of culture. 4) Money: I think money is currently the most important influence in architecture. We’ve now realized that what we want to create

Thomas, I have five influences in mind when it comes to my project for Perfor-

can’t be easily and casually built, since no one wants to spend. So we have to in-

ma…. 1) Nylon stockings: I used this for the design of Performa since I wanted the

vent Monopoly money to play architecture, which is I think a good thing, because

200


L-R MoMI Director Rochelle Slovin, Thomas Leeser and Peter Macapia


REARVIEW: MOMI

“What determines or “influences” me is more of a philosophical position of questioning the status quo, rather than any one thing. I am driven by how I can explain, see, or describe the world around me, hopefully in ways that things typically are not seen or described. I believe that architecture is not about solving problems, but it is about creating them.” —Thomas Leeser

it is a bit delirious and we’re more susceptible to influences. 5) Energy: Architecture of course has numerous obligations, but optimization for energy has always been a concern. We shouldn’t simply adapt our old ways of building to oblige a checklist of factors for rating. This is where we need to apply art and most importantly, it is when we collaborate with other media. I think that’s where architecture influences society and culture the most. Why do we idealize the idea of influence—the belief that some specific thing is shaping or determining our work? What determines or “influences” me is more of a philosophical position of questioning the status quo, rather than any one thing. I am driven by how I can explain, see, or describe the world around me, hopefully in ways that things typically are not seen or described. I believe that architecture is not about solving problems, but it is about creating them. Do you see an important connection between art and architecture? Absolutely. I think art and architecture are inseparable. I think they always have been. I think of art and architecture as coexisting in a symbiotic relationship. One can think of it as architecture’s potential to enable art, to allow it to be experienced outside of itself, and art’s potential of in some way “disabling” architecture, creating a critical distance to it. One such example is [Diego] Velazques’s Las Meninas, which relies on the architectural space to the same degree as it questions or undermines it. How are you influenced by your environment? To some degree, I am always influenced by whatever is just in front of me and by trying to understand it from a position opposite or different then my own. I sometimes play off my environment or the people I am working with, as when I worked with Karlson Wilker recently to develop the design for the Museum of the Moving Image’s entrance. It was not unlike one would play a tennis match: we took each other’s ideas and suggestions and threw them back and forth until there was no more room to play and the game was over. This was a fantastic experience. What are your favorite films in relation to architecture? Play Time by Jaques Tati is definitely one of my favorite films, but so is Contempt by Godard. One of my favorite contemporary films is Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou. I am also counting the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies by Zhang Yimou on that list. If you could influence anything through architecture what would that be? Society. I am an utopist at heart. 202


REARVIEW: THE SUPPER CLUB

All Tomorrow’s Dinner Parties PHOTOGRAPHY JILLIAN O’BANION

Two British socialites make where to eat a question of who, rather than what, you know.

T

wo of the most glamorous Brits to be found in New York (and,

gravitate towards. In order to join, one must either be referred by two members

indeed, roaming the globe) are Ben Pundole of the Morgan’s Hotel

or be invited. I then meet everyone individually to figure out if they are a good fit

Group and Tamsin Lonsdale, founder of elite private member’s soci-

for the club and if they will get on with the other members. The aim of these

ety the Supper Club. Already omnipresent at all the right parties,

dinners has always been to introduce people in different professions who are

they generously agreed to open the velvet rope for a discussion of their highly

like-minded, because it is when these different worlds collide that the most in-

exclusive dinner parties. We were fortunate enough to eavesdrop….

teresting relationships and partnerships are born.

BEN PUNDOLE: Tamsin, what inspired the Supper Club?

Okay, who would be your top 10 Supper Club guests, dead or alive?

TAMSIN LONSDALE: My passion for food and wine and getting the most out of

Rupert Everett, to make us laugh; James Watson, the biologist that discov-

life, through meeting new people and constantly being inspired, challenged and

ered DNA; Nelson Mandela, a fascinating man; Henry Charrière, author of

stimulated through conversations, people, and places. It started small, as a

Papillon, a true story about a man sentenced to life imprisonment in French

hobby. I was organizing dinner parties out of my home, which quickly gathered

Guiana in the 1930s for a crime he did not commit; Marchesa Casati, the ulti-

momentum and grew to something much bigger than I ever imagined. We now

mate party girl of the 1920s; Henry XIV, whilst he was still young and dapper

host 10 events every month in London, New York, and Los Angeles for our 1,000

(I studied him at school, so to have him round my dinner table would be in-

members worldwide.

credible); Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue in the 1960s; Tony Lonsdale, the king of denim in the ’70s and also my father and my inspiration; Daisy Buch-

What is the criteria to join?

anan, the woman Jay was in love with in The Great Gatsby, because she was

We look for people who are interesting, engaging, interested, charismatic, tal-

the life and soul of the party; Neil Strauss, author of The Game, because the

ented, energetic, inspiring, intelligent and attractive, amongst many other

world’s greatest pick-up artist would make for amusing dinner party con-

qualities. I look for those with a sparkle in their eyes that other people naturally

versation; and Vesper Lynd, the original Bond Girl who stole 007’s heart.

204


REARVIEW: MR. & MRS. SMITH

In the Mood for Room Service ILLUSTRATION BEN WACHENJE

Mr. & Mrs. Smith is the ultimate concierge service for luuuurve.

M

r. & Mrs. Smith assimilates the classic dirty-weekend pseud-

innovation. The happily re-imagined JUPITER HOTEL serves as a perfect time

onym as a wink to peripatetic amorous couples everywhere,

capsule of the city’s visual trends of the past half century—retro cool and up-

providing an exclusive hotel concierge service like no other.

to-the-minute hip. Locals have developed an affinity for the hotel’s bar and

Erudite in the important area of romantic escapes with your

subterranean rock club the Doug Fir, which hosts an array of touring musical

other half, they are true arbiters of taste, and indeed human nature of the hedo-

acts, from Dinosaur Jr. to Lady Sovereign. After a show, everyone can just

nist variety. (With something added for the luxury-loving stoics, too.) Both their

wander upstairs to the lounge and restaurant, which serves upscale diner grub

sleekly designed guide books and website, which was rated in The Indepen-

in an enticingly kooky Jetsons meets Twin Peaks setting. Best of all, guests

dent’s “Top 50 Travel Websites,” offer a miscellany of information about the

can then stumble right across the parking lot to their room. The hotel was once

most stylish and individual places to stay around the globe. Mr. & Mrs. Smith

a notoriously sketchy local motor inn, and its renovation has been key to the

even offers a membership program to ensure you get the best room at the hotels

blossoming of the Rose City’s revitalized Lower Burnside district. One night in

they feature, plus a few extras thrown in—whether a massage, a bottle of Cham-

the hotel’s casually comfortable accommodations, which feel so straight out of

pagne, or some true inside scoop about the surrounding area. Intrepid photo

Mad Men that you might wake up in a fedora and necktie, and you will no

and art agents Ben Cox and Carol Alda, editor Ken Miller, and illustrator Ben

doubt feel revitalized as well.– Ken Miller

Wachenje visited the Haymarket Hotel in London, the Jupiter Hotel in Portland, Oreg., and Hotel Lumen in Paris to sample the goods.

THE HOTEL LUMEN’s location in the center of Paris could not be more perfect for both business and pleasure, only a few short blocks from the world class

THE HAYMARKET HOTEL stands as an oasis of calm amidst the general

shopping on the Rue Saint-Honoré. I don’t believe there is a better city than

madness of its amazingly central location. There’s a sense of being in on a secret

Paris to sleep off a hangover or a better hotel to do so than the Lumen. Lying in

when you find the elegant but understated entrance off one of London’s busiest

bed under an art deco headboard, with the floor to ceiling window opened to

thoroughfares, and as you walk in, you feel your heart rate start to ease. The

a dainty balcony overlooking the Rue de Pyramides, the city soothes even the

lobby sets the visual tone for what Tim and Kit Kemp have done with this grand

most roaring migraine. Equally relaxing is the hotel’s restaurant, Le Passage

old Regency edifice. The style is contemporary, but with a lavish use of vibrant

Saint Roch, which offers traditional French cuisine in a charming courtyard,

textiles and luxuriant furniture that delivers a considered nod to the area’s 1820s

tucked on an alleyway hidden behind the neighboring St. Roche church. The

heritage. A Junior Suite features a spacious lounge, two bathrooms, dressing

same intimacy extends to the few blocks surrounding the hotel in the 1st Ar-

room, and bedroom—larger than many London apartments. – Ben Cox

rondissement—sipping a coffee at a local café, you don’t feel like a traveler or foreigner but a local. I returned to my room and decided that I would reside at

Portland has gained a reputation over the past few years as a hotspot for design 206

the Hotel Lumen during my next stay. – Carol Alda


REARVIEW: WK INTERACT X SHEPARD FAIREY

W

K Interact and Shepard Fairey are both masters of brand subversion. Now that Fairey is Smithsonian-certified, he volunteered to have his iconic imagery remixed by his old friend. In return, Fairey’s Los Angeles gallery space

Subliminal Projects will be presenting WK Interact’s work in a solo exhibition debuting in Fall 2009. 208




 

      


  

SPREAD ArtCulture 2009  

SPREAD ArtCulture Magazine, Issue Four

SPREAD ArtCulture 2009  

SPREAD ArtCulture Magazine, Issue Four