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
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
Pictured: Lush necklaces, bracelets, earrings and the spring floral ring / Blossom Collection. Made with CRYSTALLIZED â€“ Swarovski Elements TM
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, email@example.com
Visit www.spreadartculture.com. 12
! " "
" # ! $ "
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.
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
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!”
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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-
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
STORY KEN MILLER / PHOTOGRAPHY EMILY NATHAN
California creative Mike Shine has turned his home away from home into a personalized work of art.
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…”
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.
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
“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.
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
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.”
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.
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
Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 PHOTOGRAPHY STEPHEN WILKES
PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL SCHNABEL
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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)
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
FOCALPOINT: ROBERT LONGO
FOCALPOINT: STEVE LAZARIDES
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.
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
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)
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?
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
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.
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
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)
“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.”
â€œShe is very human and very committed to people, as opposed to just the work itself. â€”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
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.”
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
Rapture: Fans at Coachella PHOTOGRAPHY POPPY DE VILLENEUVE 116
Teddy Boys PHOTOGRAPHY JIM WRIGHT
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
Vintage PHOTOGRAPHY GIULIANO BEKOR
VINTAGE AZZARO BEADED PAILLET CHROCHET TOP CHLOÉ SATIN PANTS
Lloyd Klein sequin paillet gown
Halston sequin paillet gown
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
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
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
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.
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
PHOTOGRAPHY EMIR HAVERIC 160
Unexpected Egypt PHOTOGRAPHY STUART HALL 164
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
Beneath the Surface PHOTOGRAPHY RUUD BAAN 178
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.”
Nippon Love PHOTOGRAPHY EMILY NATHAN 192
Architects of Influence STORY PETER MACAPIA / PHOTOGRAPHY GREGORY HEISLER
Two architects discuss the links between performace, art and architecture.
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
L-R MoMI Director Rochelle Slovin, Thomas Leeser and Peter Macapia
“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.
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-
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.
REARVIEW: MR. & MRS. SMITH
In the Mood for Room Service ILLUSTRATION BEN WACHENJE
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is the ultimate concierge service for luuuurve.
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
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 Magazine, Issue Four