THE ART OF THE MATTER T
his was our most popular issue last year, the Art Issue. And just like the old time, we couldn’t have more fun, excitement, and challenge—from the several times postponed late night phoner with The xx to the last minute photo shoot for Swag at our garage. Plus we had to brave New York Fashion Week during a blizzard! Ah yes, we live an adventurous life, but it comes with the territory, right? We really wanted to feature artists from all walks of life—leaders, legends, rebels, and dreamers. As in last year’s issue, we had the honor of getting our cover specially designed by one of our favorite artists. This time, the talented French illustrator So Me, art director of Ed Banger Records, created our cover and did his own interpretation of our cover guy Travis Barker. (Jaw-dropping!) And of course, interviewing this legendary drummer was surreal. This musician/producer/entrepreneur inspires us with his humility, hard work, and balance which he finds amidst his very fast-paced life. One of our Heavy Hitters is iconic painter and graffiti artist Barry McGee. He made his mark all over San Francisco in the 90s and is still continually initiating visual dialogues today. On the other hand, SWOON has been making her mark in New York with her remarkable cutouts of everyday people. On the music tip, we locked in Gorillaz, the virtual band that has gotten more success than most “real” bands out there. And then there’s The xx, a band that has earned critical acclaim for their literally garage-recorded album. These two groups prove that there is really no formula for success. At the (he)art of the matter, all those challenges turn out to be well worth it. You see, getting all these talents in one issue is an amazing fete on its own. Now on to the next one. Team STATUS
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status art over mind
APR - MAY 2010
BRANDS........................................19 PLACES........................................22 SUBCULTURE....................................23 BEATS.........................................24 SCREEN........................................26 INK...........................................28 IGNITION......................................30 TECH PACK.....................................32 ABOUT FACE....................................34 BRICK & MORTAR................................36 GO SEE........................................38 SWAG..........................................45 SNEAKERS......................................46 HATS..........................................48 T-SHIRTS......................................49 SHORTS........................................50 TOPS..........................................51 SANDALS.......................................52 BAGS..........................................53 ART BASEL, MIAMI ‘09 BY TERESA HERRERA........58 MEGGS.........................................60 ARMSROCK......................................60 TANYA JAISMAK.................................61 CHEN KE.......................................61 TATIANA COTLIAR...............................62
New Kids on the Block
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status art over mind
APR - MAY 2010
ERIC D-LUX....................................64 DJ Rashida....................................64 breakbot......................................65 gorillaz......................................66 YEASAYER......................................67 CHILLITEES’...................................68 THE XX........................................69 LEEROY NEW....................................70 FRIENDSWITHYOU................................71 TIM BRODHAGEN.................................72 MARKO Djurdjević..............................73 AARON ROSE....................................74 AVID LIONGOREN................................75 SO ME.........................................76 TRAVIS BARKER.................................82
BARRY MCGEE...................................86 ZEVS..........................................90 KELLY THOMPSON................................93 SWOON.........................................96 SPIN THE BOTTLE..............................103 STATUS 11 RELEASE PARTY X ANTONOV............104 SLEDGE HAMMER................................105 FLAMINGO FRIDAY..............................105 VOLCOM.......................................106 GOOD TIME EXCELLENTE.........................106 UFFIE’S BACK.................................107 THE SELBY @ COLETTE..........................107 CUSHE NIGHT..................................108 BACHELOR PARTY...............................108 JAYSON ATIENZA...............................108
Blogsphere Be on the pulse of fashion, music, design and anything that tickles our fancy through our community of bloggers worldwide. Go Sees Look to the streets for your fashion inspiration. From Manila to New York, we spot the stylish kids trotting the globe. Night Vision Your personal pass to pool parties, barbecues, festivals and events. Now let’s party! Photo Diary A photo is worth a thousand words, so we decided to find out what these talented photographers have to say. Digital Magazine Get STATUS at a click of your finger. You can browse the full digital format magazine at the comfort of your computer. 14 - statusmagonline.com
ack during Travis Barker’s blink-182 days, celebrity photographer Michael Muller took the portrait from which Ed Banger Art Director So Me based this cover sketch. Classic black on white with all the details intact, it just got as definitive as the man with tattooed arms—one hand on the drum, the other on his stillthumping heart.
International model, actress, and Project Runway Philippines host Teresa Herrera opines that art is a more interesting way to document history and society. She’s a fan of LED and multimedia art as well as Claes Oldenburg’s pop art reflecting her multifaceted personality. Check out her Photo Diary (58-59), featuring this year’s Art Basel in Miami.
This full-time writer likes to stare at the ceiling during his free time. That’s why he’s all smiles that there’s art to wake him from the monotony, just like the bloody smiley cut-out beaming at him from his workspace.He got a really good high from the abstract and postapocalyptic visions of Gorillaz (66) and Barry McGee (86-89).
Graphic designer and lomographer Patrick Jamora is currently obsessed with cosmic 80s graphics, psychedelic 60s imagery, triangles, and other geometric shapes. Art, for him, is an outlet for venting out something other people could relate to. This issue, he shot the Oxygen spread Take Me For a Ride (40-43) and General Santosborn sculptor Leeroy New (70).
Fashion fanatic Anna believes that art is made to stir emotions and provoke action by beating around the bush. Also convinced that the world is not flat, she’d like to see more sculptures and less graphic design. And yet she wrote the fascinating stories of fashion illustrator/ photographer Kelly Thompson (92-95) and Ed Banger Records Art Director So Me (7681) with gusto.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Rosario Herrera ART DIRECTOR: Nicole Bianca Po CREATIVE MEDIA DIRECTOR: Patrick L. Jamora ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Nante Santamaria MARKETING DIRECTOR: Jon Herrera ASSOCIATE MARKETING DIRECTOR: Mesh Villanueva SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Maita Baello GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Darwin Manibog EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS: Kristine Dabbay, Reena Mesias, Raydon L. Reyes INTERNS: Jake Dolosa, Lalaine Lim, Loris Peña, Boo Umaly
From the EIC’s desk.
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Sarah Meier-Albano, Raymond Ang, Marla Cabanban, Anna Canlas, Karen Capco, Karl De Mesa, Ramon De Veyra, Victoria Herrera, Don Jaucian, Ralph Mendoza, Borgy Torre CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Joe Alimagno, Guy Aroch, Sean Beolchini, Amaury Choay, The Cobrasnake, Kristine Dabbay, Tore Hallas, Teresa Herrera, Kai Huang, Patrick L. Jamora, Itaysha Jordan, Johann Van Lanzenauer, Stevyn Llewellyn, Revolution, Aaron Vicencio FINANCE: Eva Ventura PUBLISHER: Whiz Kids Publishing
STATUSMAGONLINE.COM CONTRIBUTORS: Mikko Abello, Maita Baello, Aprille Cabrera, Kristine Dabbay, Gio Dionisio, Jessica “Yoshi” Gueco, Rich Rama, Chau Tan, Boo Umaly CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: adoborat, Joe Alimagno, Arsonizta, Edric Chen, Dimple Daya, Megan Matsuoka, TJ Suarez, Loris Peña, Nuk Romualdez, Tom Huang,
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BRANDS | PLACES | SUBCULTURE | BEATS | SCREEN | INK APRIL - MAY 2010
GLOVE UP! Statement. This was what fashion designer LAUREN URSTADT was thinking when she first came up with embellished gloves. From a variety of leather, chain, knit, and cropped gloves, you’ll be sure your hands won’t get lonely when you’re trying to imbibe that rebel-without-a-cause look. From plain black, white, to basic tints and leopard print, these gloves are mostly just for show (having almost zero heat-retention for the fingerless versions), but you can rest well knowing you’re sporting good style.
VISION IS MISSION
HIERRY LASRY makes sure nobody suffers from tunnel vision when it comes to choosing the perfect eyewear. So by putting his eye on the prize, he came up with his own brand merging rock ‘n’ roll and electronic for his handmade “futuristic vintage” pieces, worn by celebrities like Nicole Richie. Some items use tortoiseshell for texture and are named “Fetishy” or “Exhiby,” showing us that groundbreaking visions always come with a dose of mischief.
MADE TO GET
ith its tagline “Hope you get laid,” VIKTOR JEANS is all about finding a good fit. This brand of customized denim by Ino Caluza parallels not only with your size but also with your personality. Their stores have denim specialists that ask you questions about your life in general, and they let you choose your own fabric and embellishments—from leather accents, to rivets. Once you get your perfect pair of jeans, it’s up to you to get laid.
omplete your summer with SEBAGO’s new midnight gray patent leather boat shoes. Its genuine moccasin construction is complemented with hand-sewn leather, with a yellow paint capped toe over rubber slip-resistant soles. With materials made to mold to your feet, Sebago unleashes the dapper in you, whether you’re in a bonfire party or a romantic dinner by the bay.
ith LES QUEUES DE SARDINES Unconventional stockings and tights, you’re always a step ahead with your pretty legs. Created by Marion Dubois and Olivier Gonnet of m+o creative studio, these unique silkscreened beauties for Spring/ Summer 2010 include Bonny, making you look as if you’re a rebellious tattooed chick with its all black gun print, and En Piste which makes your legs seem longer with their modern take on stars and stripes.
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Dangling Verses W
hile action speaks louder than words, AK VINTAGE jewelry by Anna Korte speaks as loud as the most beautiful verses. With its collections named after the greatest poets such as Walt Whitman, her latest designs are mostly dangling earrings and long necklaces embellished with pendants in gold, silver, and black. Not going with the ‘chunky’ trend, the sleekness of the long strings is a subtle way to emphasize your neck or sexy collar bones.
THE NAME OF
he Beatles said you shouldn’t “carry the world on your shoulders.” But then it feels good to do just that. With REBECCA MINKOFF’s Spring 2010 handbag collection, you can sling over your shoulder everything that means the world to you. From slouchy hobos to silver pouches with quilt and zipper detailing, you can step up the fame game as they’re meant to bring out your inner star just as it did for Sarah Jessica Parker and Bijou Phillips.
On a High W
ith RUTHIE DAVIS’ Spring/ Summer ‘10 collection, shoe-nistas all over the globe will be on a frenzy with her Palmer peep-toe pump with bolts, gemstones, and leather-covered buckles, or the Love metal-beaded ankle cuff sandal that will surely spice up your swagger. Inspired by 60s Italian cinema and comic book heroines—these handcrafted Italian shoes are made for provocateurs who raise the bar with their elevated stances and, of course, superior standard of style.
ounded by sisters Racheal Mann and Mackenzie Budrick, LITTER is anything but trashy.Yet their accessories are litter-ally going places. Instead of the usual earrings and necklaces, their Spine follows the curve of your back, and their Antique Brass Shoulder looks great with your sleeveless top. Wherever these items land, it’s good enough that we can wear something extra bold to stick to any mold.
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GIRL POWER W
hen designers Anna Franke, Janina Weber, and Meike Demski reached the breaking points of their wardrobe, they created Berlin-based indie fashion label MAJACO. Their Spring/ Summer 2010 Collection is a hodgepodge of young and timeless feminine pieces, tailored with handkerchief-style hems, bubble skirts, and flounced cap sleeves. Famous for their dainty cuts and dresses in full bloom, this brand marks the power of grace and charm, driving every girl (and even guys who like girls) spellbound.
ometimes, it’s harder to simplify than to embellish. But SIFR doesn’t seem to mind this dilemma. Their items may look plain, but a closer look shows the intricacy of their designs. From their fabric choices like the ultra lightweight gingham to gauze shirts, you’d realize how wise it really is to invest on basics. Engineered to suit a discerning way of life, their true sophistication shows in knowing how to tastefully remove the unnecessary.
GOING BRIGHT N
eon continues to make its mark since the noughties, and no one seems to mind. LA-based WARRIORS OF RADNESS brings the brightness to shirts, jackets, color denims, and shorts for their Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Designed for the unique surf-city lifestyle of any coast or at least a decent outdoor pool, these pieces dare to challenge even the brightness of the sun! Forget cool colors for this summer. Go bright.
very street-crusading, wave-riding, and adrenaline-loving junkie knows of VOLCOM and its famous stone logo. So it’s no surprise that they’re offering pants their loyal followers can play and ride in. Their Spring/ Summer 2010 collection has a range of washes designed from mid to low rise— comfortable, effortlessly cool, and surely satisfying the laidback look everyone craves for.
f you’re trying to make a fashion statement, you gotta have the right kicks. Wear your true color as ROYAL ELASTICS goes yellow with the I AM NINOY foundation. The sneak brand’s halfFilipino president, John Bondoc, specially designed Mary Janes with the iconic Ninoy Aquino glasses for the ocassion. This summer, if you’re standing for style, step up with these shoes and get everybody voting for your look.
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VIVA VINO! I
f LELA BAR is a person, she would be the elegant and casual type because of her cozy ambiance, furnished by the wraparound bar and glossy tin ceilings. With its knowledgeable sommeliers set to please with their excellent global vinos such as Austrian whites paired with an equally exemplary selection of food like Hungarian salami and Pecorina Tartuffo cheese, this wine spot makes one wish for constant occasions to justify returns.
n Russia, Intelligentsia’s a communist machination dedicated to culture. In the US, it’s a chain of coffee bars delivering espresso shots for caffeine aficionados. Instead of waiting in line to retrieve your drink at their counter, you get a personal barista who blends specialty drinks like Black Cat Espresso and Single Origin Coffee. Last year, INTELLIGENTSIA COFFEE & TEA BAR wowed beachgoers with its Venice, California shop’s ivy-covered hall, butcher block desk, and four custom-fabricated espresso machines. This summer, they’ll open at West Coast’s art, music, and design center, Pasadena.
ART BEFORE BED Y
ou wouldn’t want to sleep with the lights off when you’re staying in Copenhagen’s HOTEL FOX. You’ll want to visually absorb your room’s interior designed by one of 21 artists from around the world, like Germanborn Boris Hoppek and Italian designer Simon Legno. Find yourself inside a bedroom infused with influences from pop culture, graffiti, cartoons, video games, minimalism, hip-hop, and electric typography. Now forget about art galleries; it’s already in your room.
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BOHO FEAST Y
ou might not figure out that DERRIERE in Paris is actually a restaurant unless you see people dining inside. It looks like a boho French apartment with it’s shabby chambers and ceiling mosaic. Go beyond the bamboo-framed courtyard, and gape at the pieces that range from artworks by Chinese, French, and Middle Eastern artists to a ping pong table turned dinner table. Literally eat anywhere, even on the mattress, while enjoying your creamy foie gras terrine and slow-simmered beef cheek bourguignon.
ALL ABOUT FOCUS
A “hub,” Mr. Webster says, is the focal point of interest and action. The VISIONARY PHOTOGRAPHY HUB aims to be just that for the metro’s professional photographers and hobbyists. Located in New Manila, Quezon City, this newly opened studio plus gallery offers talent management, workshops, exhibits, and use of its equipment (complete with smoke, fire, rain effects,and harnesses) for those who are serious about moving beyond flat snapshots. You’ll enjoy their 250-square meter warehouse
with its white walls, brightly lit make-up rooms, waiting room with a 42-inch screen showing the hub’s greatest photos, and comfortable designer lounges that would tempt you to take photos all day just so you can stay at this awesome space. Not all of these come free, of course. You have to pay the membership fee and bring your own camera. But that’s the least you could do, right?
AIN'T NO BABY WHEELS In the racing world, before you take on those high-speed formula cars, you must first learn kart racing. In Tuason Racing School, “We teach you all the basics from learning how to drive quickly, handling yourself, to winning races,” says founder JP Tuason. These open-wheeled, lightweight vehicles train would-be racers as young as eight years old (who still have years to wait and parents to woo to get a real driver’s license) up to fullfledged adults who really like their wheels. But don’t underestimate these motorized
karts. With speeds up to 160 miles/hour, one other thing you have to take seriously is the sans-seatbelt driving. The only protection you have is a helmet. That’s why the idea is to “jump out of your kart before you crash,” JP points out. But don’t let that stop you from making the road your bitch. With more than ten years of teaching racing, the school got you in good hands. Like that classic Incubus song goes, you can just “Hold the wheel and drive.”
TWEET ME, DRAW ME
Exercise celebrity voyeurism to a whole new visual level in the illustrated TWEETMUSEUM.COM. Tickle your funny bone by gazing at the likes of Shaq chasing a miniature army of Lebrons or Lindsay Lohan being taught proper English by a monkey. Celebrity, art, and loads of humor by visual artist Odessa Begay.
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Photo by Popo Dela Cruz
ERIC DLUX ericdlux.net
LMFAO ft. LIL JON – “Shots” I co-wrote the record, so I have to support myself! But even if I didn’t, LMFAO & LIL JON destroyed it, and it shows in every club you play it at. Truly an anthem! Frankie J – “Crush” Another record I wrote, and this one came from the heart… something sexy for all the ladies out there!
David Guetta ft. Kid Cudi – “Memories” One of my favorites right now. It just reminds me to let go and do crazy stuff because those will always be the best memories! Usher – “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)” Usher is back! I’m a big fan of R&B music, and he really came with it on this one. Sexy and can also work in the club, maybe early or late night. LIL JON ft. LMFAO – “Outta your Mind” Makes you wanna jump in a crowd and start breaking stuff. I love the energy, and it’s LIL JON’s new “Bia Bia!”
Jamiroquai – “You Give Me Something” Love, love, love the sexy bass. anything else.
Toto – “Georgy Porgy” Very sexy and beautiful. You can put your head on my shoulder if you want.
Mylo – “Drop the Pressure” It’s my morning MRT antipsychotic medicine.
DJ Shadow – “This Time” I’ve been relating to this song very much lately. And it’s sticky groovy! Grizzly Bear – “Ready, Able” This band is both past and future. Singer reminds me of David Sylvian who I absolutely adored in the 80s.
Little Dragon – “After the Rain” Love the solid funk of this band. Never thought the tuba can be used in this context. The singer’s voice is so wonderfully earthy.
B.B. and Q band – “It’s Over” Very beautiful and sexy. Time stops every time I hear this song, I don’t need
Kavinsky – “Nightcall” So cool and sexy. You will see what I mean very soon.
Young Problemz ft. Gucci Mane and Mike Jones – “Boi I Got So Many” This song is just dope. Feadz made me listen to this. I think the groove is amazing. Donnie Sloan – “Call You Up” Australia forever. Big up to all my mates there, I can’t wait to come back and BBQ with you guys!
ON THE SPOT
MASSIVE DYNAMIC B
aptize yourself with the latest musical deity that is FRANCO. Just like Bon Jovi, we got a band whose name doesn’t just spell one musical DNA but a massive dynamic consisting of Urbandub’s Gabby Alipe and JanJan Mendoza, Parokya ni Edgar’s Buwi Meneses, Queso’s Paolo “Ocho” Toleran, and of course the band’s namesake-Franco of InYo. Their rise to the limelight all began with one crucial click. “When JanJan introduced my MySpace account with demos to Paolo since they were looking for a frontman,” Franco says. With their sound that balances rock with sensitive lyrics like “trapped and caught in a dream, darkened skies, tidal waves, but I am moving on,” in “Cast Away,” their sound is “ear-friendly but raw and direct in its messages.” With “Memory Kill” and “Legendary,” they continue their vision by “not over-thinking everything musically.” Dreaming of collaborating with Bob Marley who tirelessly pursued “freedom, truth, and nonviolence,” they too are messiahs in their own way, even sharing that if they would have a tattoo of a line from their favorite song, it would be “save the earth we call home.” Music’s saving grace has just arrived, and everybody’s calling them a super band. How about “superheroes?” KRISTINE DABBAY
ON THE GO
Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi Birgisson has always amazed us with his dreamy voice that proves time and time again how Icelandic music is making its mark especially with the likes of Björk and post-rock favorite múm. This 2010, however, instead of the rumored Sigur Rós album, we have Jónsi’s solo record Go to satisfy our sound hankerings. It will be out on April 6 and it seems like nothing can stop Jónsi in lulling us into his dreamscapes heard from one of his new singles “Boy Lilikoi,” the perfect warm-up for this 9-track set, setting indeed the right track into unexplored musical terrains. 24 - statusmagonline.com
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Beautiful Losers (2008) T oday, it has blown up into an art movement. But back in 2008, it was this documentary which premiered in SXSW. It began in 2004 as a traveling exhibit, and it was also published as a book (and incidentally, in 1966, it was a Leonard Cohen novel). Such is Beautiful Losers as a multimedia experience. But there is nothing as sensory as seeing and hearing it from the title-claimers themselves. Spike Jonze, Miranda July, Harmony Korine, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Sofia Coppola, and Mike Mills—these are just a handful of today’s major artistic forces born from the creative womb that was Alleged Gallery. The year was 1992. These dispossessed skaters, punks, and taggers become painters, filmmakers, and rockstars. Street art is born, and the face of contemporary art is forever altered. It was the rise of the DIY, a retrospection of the days when they did things nobody did, dwelled in creative spaces nobody deemed habitable. Founded by Aaron Rose, who reluctantly claims co-direction credits to the film, this space was created to
make room for their own art. For losers, they say, you must stand for them, and when they did for themselves, boy was it beautiful, beautiful.
DISPOSSESSED SKATERS, PUNKS, AND TAGGERS BECOME PAINTERS, FILMMAKERS, AND ROCKSTARS
Forrest Gump (1994)
ack in 1994, screenwriter Eric Roth and director Robert Zemeckis teamed up for the multi-awarded epic Forrest Gump. The film follows the life of an athletically gifted simpleton named Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) from the 60s, back when he was still wearing leg braces, to the 90s. With a little luck, he becomes a college football star, Medal of Honor recipient, as well as a multi-millionaire from his shrimp business, while meeting historical personalities like Elvis and JFK along the way. Hanks’ portrayal of Forrest is perfect, that’s a given. But the three most important people around him, the caring mother (Sally Field), the weird best friend (Gary Sinise), and the beautiful girlfriend (Robin Wright) pitched in big time. Cinematography is really breathtaking, 26 - statusmagonline.com
especially during the “running across America” montage where Forrest decides to start running outside his home, his town, and all the way to the ocean and back just for the heck of it. Each scene looks elaborately dressed up and appropriate to the era spanning three decades. Despite the film’s over-fantastical, allexaggerated treatment, it still gets to communicate the emotions displayed onscreen to the audience. Forrest Gump is a film that encourages me to be more optimistic, honest, loyal, and to just spread unconditional love. BORGY TORRE
A FILM THAT ENCOURAGES ME TO BE MORE OPTIMISTIC, HONEST, LOYAL AND TO JUST SPREAD UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) L
ast year, in Banksy vs. Bristol Museum, a classical landscape had this hasty pink tag: “Exit through the gift shop.” Fast forward to February 2010, days before the Sundance Film Festival, some stencilled works appear on the walls of Park City, Utah. One of them shows a man uprooting a pink flower and aiming a video camera at it. Then the festival director announces a surprise screening. Exit Through the Gift Shop has become a “pseudo-documentary.” It’s Banksy’s fresh foray into filmmaking, yes, but not into provocation. And while he has been largely invisible, he appears as a talking shadow this time, leading an art world expose against a documentary filmmaker turned hyped contemporary artist curiously named Terry Guetta. You see, Mr. Brainwash who’s been recently known for
BANKSY BRINGS A SOBERING TAKE ON THE BIGGEST COUNTER-CULTURAL MOVEMENT SINCE PUNK his Warholic renderings, is actually named Thierry Guetta. “In a world with no rules…one man,” you can almost hear Don LaFontaine, “broke them all.” Even the trailer pokes fun at the peddlers of grandiose and pop. What Banksy brings is this sobering take on the “biggest counter-cultural movement since punk.” But for all we know, producer Rhys Ifan announces, Banksy might just as well be a “beautiful 8-year-old girl very deft at climbing and very handy with the spray can.”
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By Shane Jones
THE SELBY IS IN YOUR PLACE By Todd Selby
When you want to really get to know someone, forget chatting a person up in a party or in any of those networking gigs famous people are known for (Hey, not counting talent, that’s how they got famous in the first place, right?). Instead, go to their home and see what they’re really like. That’s exactly what photographer Todd Selby did in his book The Selby Is in Your Place. Known for his stints shooting for British Vogue, Dazed & Confused, Nylon, and New York Magazine, among others, Selby presents portraits of people in various creative industries such as Barneys founder Simon Doonan, The Horrors frontman Faris Badwan, art critic and fashion
editor Olivier Zahm, and many other tastemakers. But don’t expect dirty laundry or anything that would fulfil your inner voyeur. Rather than employing a paparazzi-like style of catching celebrities in their fragile and unflattering moments, he captures them at their best while also showing off their gorgeous homes. These are the cream of the creative crop, after all, so don’t be surprised to find houses that boast of the coolest interior design—from random animal paintings, pink wall domination, to wooden lamp fetishes. All these are coupled with short Q and A’s along with Selby’s watercolour doodles. Sweet! RAYDON L. REYES
The coolest interior design from random animal paintings, pink wall domination, to wooden lamp fetishes
Light Boxes does not merely diffuse the usual conventions of the written word. While the story itself may not be comparable to the experimental hyperkineticism of David Foster Wallace or Thomas Pynchon, Shane Jones traipses the unconventional just like Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. The book is so unusual that it caught the attention of Spike Jonze who acquired the film rights and slated Ray Tintori to direct. Utilizing numerous typefaces, sizes, and text formats, Light Boxes may be treated as an unusual graphic novel. With its resplendent use of white space, Light Boxes tells the story of a small town’s battle against February (the month, in a God-like, kidnapping role). The seemingly endless cold of February cloaks the town in a deadening winter, so flight is banned. In the center of the story is a man named Thaddeus, a balloonist who tries everything to shake up the whole town and battle the
oppressive cold and rule of February. Missing children, teacups with balloons, mysterious figures seen in holes in the sky, and a girl that “smells of honey and smoke”—these are only a handful of strange creations that masquerade in the novel. While the tale may be set in a dense other-world that echoes the fairy tales and mythologies of old, Jones creates a fanciful world that tellingly engineered by an Old-World nostalgia and longing. Amidst the short bursts and the occasional flights of fancy, Light Boxes is an evocative distillation of dreams, an imaginarium of optimism shrouded in hope and courage, unfolding in mysterious explosions of wonders. –DON JAUCIAN
A fanciful world that’s tellingly engineered by an old-world nostalgia and longing
By Ian McEwan Heating up our imagination once again is Ian McEwan’s latest novel Solar. But this time, he trades the lush English countryside or desolate beaches in Atonement or On Chesil Beach for the familiar territory of climate change—a topic whose gravity is so strong that we readers can’t resist but be at the center of the plot. But Ian’s scientific spin on the story isn’t really the magnet that draws the readers in; it’s his vivid 28 - statusmagonline.com
characterization for the Nobel-laureate Michael Beard that shuffles between genius and buffoonery. He’s a selfabsorbed, middle-aged man who suffers from his “pseudocelebrity” status, sustained by his nominal positions and lucrative speaking engagements which are only stained by his snide comment on women’s inferiority in the workplace. Until one day, he finds a newfound purpose in the form of a potential energy source via artificial photosynthesis; it’s the greatest answer (or disaster) for global warming. One of the major themes is how one’s ego can affect the masses as a whole, reminiscent of Ayn Rand’s philosophical
statements. Though Beard is no Howard Roark, he remains one of McEwan’s most unique characters. He’s generally unlikeable like Atonement’s Briony but he redeems himself with his slapstick antics. Solar may not contain McEwan’s signature elegiac prose, but it succeeds in showing his ability to frame people and scenes with surprising hilarity filled with a biting wit that’s set to devour our minds. KRISTINE DABBAY
A topic whose gravity is so strong that we readers can’t resist but be at the center of the plot
ANTI-DOOMSDAY RIDE I
n case the 2012 doomsday prophecy is pushing through, drivers of the newly released Mercedes-Benz F800 Style can rest well knowing that their car isn’t contributing to Armageddon. This five-passenger hybrid sedan can go miles in the city without emitting nasty greenhouse gases, thanks to its electric motor that incorporates a fuel cell power train—bringing total power to around 409 horsepower. It also isn’t called ‘Style’ for nothing. Let your hitchhiker friends drool over the slider rear-doors, ultra-sleek exterior, flame-surfaced bodywork, and an awesome AI that guides you through curves, protects against rear-end impacts, and even records images of your hand as you work the pad while burning rubber and from the driver’s seat. Not bad for a green car!
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MSRP: It’s a Benz. It’s a hybrid. And delaying “The End” is worth a couple of holes in your pocket.
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JooJoo Internet Tablet -Multi-touch widescreen display -Sleek and slim at 12.8 X 7.8 in -Weighs 1.1 kg -Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled (lasts up to 5 hours on Wi-Fi) -Browser-based OS; Flash 10.1 and Java compliant SRP: $499
sony bravia LX900
Tokyoflash Escape C -Ideal for VoIP applications like Skype -Max. communication range of 10m -Up to 6 hours (talk / music); Standby time up to 180 hours -3.5mm Audio Jack and Mini 5 Pin USB Charging Port
-Includes 3D-active shutter glasses -Built-in 3D transmitter -Edge LED backlight -Integrated Wi-Fi -Screen sizes: 40”, 46”, 52”, 60” -USB and DLNA connectivity SRP: TBD
They say there are two sides to everything. And by a happy chance, you can now explore the other side of being tech-savvy with these gnarly alternatives to standard gadget designs and features.
D Light Bubbles Digital Harinezumi 2 -Lomo-quality images -3 MP photos -640x840 videos with high-def audio -External microSD card and replaceable CR2 battery SRP: $169
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-For your stress release -Soft, food-safe, cool to touch, and squeezable silicone -Warm-white LED that gives ambient lighting -Approx. 10 ft when totally laid out SRP: $139
CONGRATULATIONS! Sony Cyber-shot TX1’s
invited everyone to send their photos about food, fashion, technology and travel for a chance to win a Cyber-shot TX1 camera. Grand Winner Christina Tee experienced the Magic of the Night with her winning photo.
R E N N I W D GRAN TEE CHRISTINA
“This shot was taken from the side of the Merlion statue in Singapore. At night, the view of the Esplanade and the Marina bay is just spectacular. I love how the lights from these establishments reflect the calm waters of the Marina bay. Using my P&S camera in night mode and beloved tripod, I stood there for a few seconds and I got this shot!”
Now she can take brilliant shots anytime anywhere with Cyber-shot TX1. Thanks to Sony’s advanced technology, the Exmor R CMOS sensor, perfect night shots even without tripod, sweep panorama and many others are possible. Exmor R CMOS sensor is also available in the new Cyber-shot TX5, TX7 & WX1 models.
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sun kissed St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub combines the powers of apricots, minerals, and olives to strip away tired old skin, leaving you looking healthier and smoother.
Always apply moisturizer after exfoliating. It reseals, rehydrates, and protects the skin from bacterial infections.
two to tango Murad AHA/ BHA Exfoliating Cleanser improves skin tone and texture by balancing oil and dry zones, preventing dullness and dehydration.
Like a loofah for the body or a pumice stone after a pedicure, wash the dirt off and uncover your youthful glow with these facial scrubs.
sea of pretty FACES Lush Ocean Salt Cleanser has all the crystals necessary to revitalize and keep skin glowing like you’ve just spent a day at the beach.
Photo by Stevyn Llewellyn
gentle touch Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash is gentle enough to use daily with its sulfate-free ingredients and topical antioxidants that slough away dead skin.
gentle touch Kiehl’s Milk, Honey and Almond Scrub is thick but extremely gentle with its moisturizing effects. Dry skin loves this.
THE SOAP FACTORY N
othing is really what it seems. Fooling us into thinking that this store sells pastries, THE SOAP FACTORY ETC really sells soaps, facial toners, lip balms and shampoo. Formed and stylized as tarts, cakes, and doughnuts, all products look so yummy and believable, one would think they’re good enough to eat. But mind you, this Willy Wonka of bubbly and balmy things also mixes
substance with style. It uses only the purest ingredients from a vegetable oil base without the artificial chemicals, making its world-class products very safe for the skin. With its brick walls, colorful displays and an area where customers can witness how the soaps are made and decorated, people strolling at The Block or Mega Atrium stop, look, and without question, crowd in.
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black market ,singapore 19 Jalan Pisang, Singapore +65 6296 8512 theblackmarket.sg
t’s one thing to be cool, but it’s another to be revolutionary. BLACK MARKET is clearly the latter, priding itself for treasuring unique fashion pieces. We mean innovative fashion like cape dresses and distorted silhouettes as well as diverse creative forms like modernistic room essentials and furniture, each pushed by talented independent designers and artists. From fresh, local brands like Yumumu and Flesh Machine to international brands like Juliette Has A Gun, Estelle Dévé Jewellery, and Nooka Watches, Black Market is that box chock-full of nifty stuff. This includes single-use lomo cameras from Lomolitos that jive with the creative culture that this rocking store is quite used to. And they’re even acquiring more labels like Ksubi to boost their already impressive collection. This extraordinarily decorated store even brings Manila brands such as Gian Romano, Viktor Jeans, and Mike Lavarez international–a refreshing shift amid the store chains opening all over Singapore. Black Market’s philosophy about being revolutionary is also materialized in the store’s layout. Imagine finding empty bottles of Orangina designed as a fancy-looking chandelier, a video installation that works like a security camera, and a DJ system mixer. From the products to the store’s interior, simply everything about Black Market is sure to hook us in.
oak, new york 28 Bond St., New York, New York 10012 +1 212 677 1293 oaknyc.com
hen it comes to breakthrough fashion, OAK is one of the drop-off stations. The brainchild of Louise Terline and Jeff Madalena, this “indie retail renegade” in Williamsburg just landed on that oneblock stretch of Bond Street in NoHo known for having attractive architecture because of terra cotta facades and buff bricks. It was the only neighborhood that Terline wanted to be in. So as soon as there was available space, they leaped right in, bringing with them that Brooklyn vibe. Carrying brands like Acne Jeans, Band of Outsiders, Henrik Vibskov, Ksubi, and Something Else, Oak is perhaps the best place to find ultra-hip, bold, and sleek pieces. The store looks low-key with its minimalist interior and barely furnished racks, but they don’t really need frou frou in the interior as the style and range of products are enough to attract the hip set.
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Check their temperatures! These hip mavens got all the signs and symptoms of style.
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New York Los Angeles
Striped Skirt Ripped Denim
Denim Button Down
ngeles Las Vegas Singapore
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TAKE ME FOR A
Step into Summer 2010 with the hottest collection from Oxygen. Update your wardrobe essentials with these basics that will surely keep you fresh and light under the sun. With loose cropped tees, comfy tanks and acid washed jeans for the ladies and rolled up sleeved-shirts, sleek polos and dark denim for the men -- everyone will want to ride with your summer style.
Oxygen is located in major malls nationwide. Find out more at www.oxygentm.com 40 - statusmagonline.com
Wide Neck Tee P499 Low V Woven Polo P1,299 Basic Tee w/ Pocket Detail P449 Dark Gray Jeggings P899
Cap Sleeve Tee P599 Coated Skinny Jeans P1,199 Satin Jacket P1,499 Drawstring Tee P599
Graphic Tee P499 Cropped Tee w/ Pocket P599 Woven Polo P1,299
Styling: Rosario Herrera Make up: Xeng Zulueta Photographer: Patrick L. Jamora Models: Arito Lara Apollo Lara Terence Lloyd Jem Austria Anika Hatcho statusmagonline.com - 41
Cowl Neck Tee P549 Coated Skinny Jeans P1,349 Cut and Sew Tee P499 Pocket Detailed Pants P1,299
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Coated Skinny Jeans P1,349
Polo Jack P1,099 Striped Tee P499 Regular Fit Jeans P1,199
Drop-waist Romper P849 Metallic Tank w/ Pocket P599 Coated Skinny Jeans P1.199
Box Pocket Tee P549 Weekender Bag P1,099 Off-shoulder Striped Tee P549 Tulip Skirt P699 V-neck Tee w/ Uneven Hem P599 Gray Acid Wash Jeans P1,099
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SWAG a pril
s e as o n
You can climb all the way to the A-list just as the end of the spring hits with our selection of cropped tops, straw hats, printed shorts, and high top sneakers. Runway shots by Stevyn Llewellyn, Rachel Rozzi and Sandra Rosales
Royal Elastics King Hi [P5,950]
Clae Russell [P7,350]
Nike Dunk High Premium â€˜08 ND [P5,295]
Aldo Closson-18 [P4,295]
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Puma Cabana [P2,870]
Royal Elastics Adelaide [P4,450]
Puma Clyde L [P3,670]
Generic Surplus Mid Deck [P3,290]
Adidas KICK TR 2010 Brazil [P4,095]
Adidas KICK TR 2010 England [P4,095]
Vans Sea Captain [P2,998]
Generic Surplus Mohawk [P3,502]
Nike Air Classic [P,3995]
Puma 917 Lo Sacko [P3,350]
Footloose These sneaks will make your feet dance.
Nike Braata 6.0 [P3,495]
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Vans Rata Plus [P2,498]
Lakai Manchester Select “MO KNOWS” [P3,295]
Generic Surplus Military High [P3,184]
Royal Elastics Icon 7th Letter [P4,450]
Nike Dunk Low ‘08 [P3,995]
Aldo Limber-70 [P2,995] New York
Puma Clyde L [P3,670]
Puma 917 Mid Mame (Kehinde Wiley Collection) [P3,990]
Aldo Correo-22 [P3,295]
Adidas Superstar V-8 [P8,295]
Adidas Samba Lea [P3,295]
Generic Surplus Mohawk [P3,502]
Generic Surplus Wharf [P2,865]
Royal Elastics Icon Black Fleur [P4,450]
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HEADS UP! Turn heads with these summer hats.
Brixton Delta [P2,400]
Runway photo by Rachel Rozzi
Billabong Chartered Fedora [P1,500]
Folded & Hung Brown Hat [P349]
Brixton Castor [P2,400]
Folded & Hung Cream Hat [P399]
Brixton Castor [P2,400]
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Puma Face Tee (Kehinde Wiley) [P1,440]
Dim Mak Rip It Up [P1,685]
Topman Witness [P1,295]
Volcom Chima V-neck [P2.095]
Stussy One World [P1,215]
No Fear Crib [P479.75]
Dissizit Supermodel [P1,640]
Adidas Germany Tee [P1,795]
Billabong Greed [P1,950]
Insight Thieves Like Us [P1,395]
Crooks & Castles Mknit New [P1,780]
Volcom Tyler Wolf [P1,295]
Summer is the perfect time to wear your story. Go graphic. Be epic. Leviâ€™s Graphic Tee [P880]
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Have patterns going wild for the sunny days ahead. Olivia and Fifth [P950]
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Pink Manila [P790]
Envy Mina Murray [P790]
LESS IS MORE
A little skin never hurt anyone. *Wink
Erin Wasson for RCVA
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Nine West [P3,950]
Steve Madden [P3,950]
S he alv fe el at el sâ€“ io th at n f e la ro bl st m is ! st s. St il ra et p to on s th and es c e hu fla nk ts y an
The Ramp [P995]
Steve Madden [P3,450]
Steve Madden [P1,837.50]
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The Ramp [P1,295]
Topshop [P2,895] DKNY [P8,650]
Nine West [P5,250]
Diane Von Furstenberg
UNDER TONE Anna Sui
The Ramp [P1,195]
Pack your stuff this season in shade. Use subtle colors to contrast the sunâ€™s brightness.
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On Dayal:: blue hat by S-Cubed, royal blue v-neck tee by Baleno, white board shorts with blue print by Next Originals On Philip:: plaid polo by Cambio, blue sleeveless shirt by Baleno, khaki shorts by Lee On David:: brown visor hat by S-Cubed, green striped shirt by Cambio, brown board shorts by Quick Step On Jiro:: yellow print tee by Psycho, brown board shorts by Revolution Surf On Camila:: green print tee by Psycho, yellow bracelets by S-Cubed
Photographed by: Rev Naval Styled by: Rosario Herrera Make Up by: Xeng Zulueta
Bold and bright fashion at the Boys Teensâ€™ Wear Department. Styles may vary per store..
top fussing about the summer heat when you can always look at the bright side. By sporting graphic tees, denims, printed board shorts, and brightly colored tank tops, you’d be dazzling the crowd with your radiant style. Temperature may be rising, but keep your cool with these items that can be paired with straw hats, shades, and plaids. So ladies and gents, splash, dip, dive, plunge, or swim. It doesn’t matter which shindig you choose. You’d be looking so good; others would take off their shades just to take a closer look.
From left to right: Purple printed tee by Psycho Grey board shorts by Quick Step Plain white tee by Baleno Green board shorts by Quick Step Orange printed tee by Aubergine Denim shorts by Lee Pipes Camouflage shades by M Sense Purple shades by M Sense
On Philip:: blue hat by S-Cubed, blue striped board shorts by Quick Step On Jiro:: white striped print tee by FG Denim, gray board shorts by Quick Step On David:: blue board shorts by Revolution Surf
On Dayal: black straw hat by M Sense, white board shorts by Quick Step On David: blue striped collared tee by Le Froge, green board shorts by Quick Step On Camila: pink print tee by Nickelodeon On Philip: red print tee by Parental Advisory, grey board shorts by Quick Step
On Jiro: white board shorts with red print by Quick Step On Camila:: camouflage shades by M Sense, technicolor bracelets by S-Cubed
On Jiro: blue plaid polo by Urbanwhere, yellow tee by Baleno, cargo shorts by Tribal On Camila: pink, green and blue leather bracelet by SM, purple shades by M Sense, blue board shorts by Quick Step On Dayal: sleeveless red tee by Psycho, blue sun ray board shorts by Red Ape
ART BASEL, MIAMI 2009 BY TERESA HERRERA
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new kids on the block
artropolis Renaissance men had Florence just as hipsters have Williamsburg. These artists, on the other hand, are turning their cities as emerging capitals on the art map. Here’s your ticket to ride.
How did you start as an aerosol artist? By seeing graffiti along the train lines and buildings, but it wasn’t until I started working with artists like Sync and Phibs that I really developed my skills with aerosol. The story behind your superheroes: It looks at duality in human nature stemming from my interest in superheroes who carry positions of responsibility and power but also struggle with hidden identities and dark sides. What best defines your work? I’ve been defining my work as abstract pop art. A combination of social issues, emotion, and pop culture references painted in a very expressive and textural style.
What best defines your work? The one thing that could be identified as a constant in my work is that I draw. To me, drawing is very closely associated with the act of writing. There’s something about it that attracts me beyond its possibilities of expression. What’s the story behind your name? It is a flexible identity, constructing itself through what is projected into it. I love Copenhagen’s art scene because… I love its complexity. Copenhagen gives me something that I have not been able to find elsewhere and something that I feel I can work with.
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new kids on the block
tanya jaismak of gallery seescape,
Tell us about your group. Gallery See Scape is founded by Hern or Torlarp Larpjaroensook who has great interest in functional art and wants to redefine art’s value and make it become the community, not just a location. What is functional art? There’s a perception in Thailand that ideal art is always in museums. But Hern creates artworks that people can really use. From this simple idea, the gap between people and art is decreased. People should see Gallery See Scape because… …of the atmosphere and the friendship that we are building. Hern’s recycled van turned portable gallery goes to different places to serve art to many people. It has a little stair and a wooden seat so people can also climb up the roof, sit on the platform, and sip tea from Malateh.
The story behind your paintings of Chinese girls: I am someone who doesn’t like to face the public. I use the girls to express myself and communicate with the outside world. What best defines your work? I think the core is the same for all of them, and that’s paying close attention to the inner world of different kinds of people. The most important thing that you learned as an artist: Always keep the enthusiasm and idealism about art. I love Beijing’s art scene because… …it’s full of energy. Various kinds of art can grow and mix here. Everyday, you can feel the excitement as well as the dynamism.
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TATIANA COTLIAR 19-year-old Argentine runway rookie Tatiana Cotliar knocked off agencies, designers, and fans at the Marc Jacobs show last New York Fashion Week. What’s most impressive—she has something that we often find lacking in newcomers— personality on and off the runway.
“I had free tickets for a fashion week in Buenos Aires a year and a half ago. I only wanted to see some designer shows, and then Hype Management stopped me and asked me to model.”
She Kids You Not
“I think I was born in the 70s, probably from an unknown couple in Studio 54. I die for ginger candies, and I still enjoy watching Disney cartoon movies from the early 90s… I’m never in a pose or a forced character. It’s just how I am. I like to have fun and bring a good vibe especially when I work. Is that a big mistake?”
The Hardest Thing
“To manage to deal with subjective rejection and the strange schedule I have. It’s very difficult to plan anything, even going to the dentist. ‘Cause a job opportunity can always show up the day before. The most difficult thing, though, is to learn how to make people who aren’t in the modeling industry understand and be involved in my life.”
Style Without Spotlight
“I like being crazy but also [being] minimalistic or masculine. I like energies, and I like to show how I feel with the way I dress.”
In Another Life
“If I weren’t a model, I’d continue studying cinema direction. I’m a film freak. I’m always comparing a regular situation to a famous movie scene. I also love music. No music, no life, right? To listen to it really inspires me in general… I like to read, to draw. I just like to watch and be part of art in general.”
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NEW DREAM IN
L.A.’s Eric de La Torre a.k.a. ERIC D-LUX from Power 106 FM has had a bustling 2010, and it’s only the beginning of the year. By Marla Cabanban Photographed by Kai Huang
ric D-Lux is running on pure adrenaline. He has gone for 36 straight hours without any sleep and intends to clock in more hours. “It’s incredible,” he answers when asked about his current Asian tour. “Last night, it was crazy. It was packed, it was bananas,” referring to his last stop in Taiwan. “I could really put down the volume, and they would sing the songs, they would scream them out loud.” This may all have been a fantasy if you asked him if finding himself somewhere in Asia was what he signed up for. That was when he first started perusing vinyls at record shops as a teenager. “I didn’t know, man. I’ve been DJ-ing [for] 11 years, and it was just a hobby that I loved
to do. And I feel like that’s what takes people far…if you don’t have the heart, you won’t succeed,” he says while sharing that he first started out begging people to let him play at their parties. He has tirelessly worked the scene and has been taken under the wing of veterans DJ Vice and DJ Echo. With his vibrant personality, Eric D-Lux knows how to tickle his listeners’ fancy. He’ll smack on Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” then give it a few minutes, and he’ll put on an old school favorite. He knows how to rock a party, and it’s work that he lives for. “You know what, when I don’t have a busy schedule, that’s when it becomes a problem.” Thus speaks the man blessed to be high on life.
“when I don’t have a busy schedule, that’s when it becomes a problem.”
woman who has reached London, Paris, Sydney and New York with her fusion of hip-hop, reggae, pop, rock, and house music. Recently, she holds down her nights “Love is the Message” and ”Le Mirror$” at Bar Marmont in West Hollywood. She’s been playing for Nike, Jay-Z, Michael Jordan, Belvedere, and Vogue. She is Prince’s official DJ, and she’s now reaching millions with her stint as the DJ for MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.
BEAUTY & THE BEAT DJ RASHIDA is that rare breed of woman who can stop you with a smile, rip up a club with her mixes, and toast with your favorite scene-makers while staying humble and finding ways to inspire others. By Vicky Herrera Photographed by Itaysha Jordan Makeup by Crystal Clark
side from her gorgeous features and original, “mixed media” sense of style, DJ Rashida is setting herself apart from the male mixmasters
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with her skills on the decks. “I love showing these boys that anything they can do, I can do better,” she laughs. We have to give respect to a
There is more to you than meets the DJ title. Describe this path you’ve carved for yourself. I’ve made imprints from places like the underground world to corporate parties. I love to be involved with gigs that musically feed my soul and eventually inspire all around me. I do as many charity events as possible… As an artist, I’m still carving my way; as long as you have visions and ideas, the sky’s the limit. How do you keep yourself focused and secure in an industry that can get pretty crazy? I suppose it comes from an appreciation of solitude and solid roots. Discovering who
I am, knowing where I’m going, and remembering where I came from is important to me. This industry is definitely crazy, but it’s only a problem if you allow yourself to believe the illusion. Music 101. If you want to teach the kids how good music sounds, you’ll make them listen to... Everything… [But] off the top of my head, I would say Roy Ayers, Prince, Jimi, James Brown, Björk, Morrissey, Jorge Ben, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Jobim, Leon Ware, Marvin & Minnie, Nina Simone, J Dilla, Fela, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway. Man, there are too many to list... Before you became a DJ, you were a photography major. Are there points in your career where your major and your music meet? Certainly. I started DJing in college. I was accepted into art school with my drawings and paintings. Before that, I was into theatre. Each inspired me to do the other. It’s all art. They intersect at some point. You listen to music while you create; while you’re out at parties playing your music, you are giving inspiration for other arts.
S Y N T H
Expect no less than tropical scotch-smooth 70s-80s throwbacks on the rocks from BREAKBOT, arguably Ed Banger’s hugest recruit since Justice. By Ralph Mendoza Photographed by Sean Beolchini
C I T Y
he bearded hype sponge that is Breakbot hardly talks to impress at all. Known behind the curtains as Thibaut Berland, he started out as a graphic artist in Paris. “I always kinda produced while I was supposed to work on graphics. That’s why I always sucked at graphics, and that’s why I stopped eventually,” he narrates. As for the name Breakbot, it was a nickname he got from his friends. Thibaut explains, “It [also] has something to do with my real name and the fact that I was or am fascinated by the early 80s hip-hop culture.” And the beard? “Laziness, I guess,” then he continues “and The Big Lebowski. But it all fits together.” Asked as to how far he wanted to go in his swelling career, the lanky Parisian admits he’s never bothered to ask himself such a question, saying “I’m happy with what I have right now.” His music, though, is anything but coy. From the buoyant reimagining of Pacific!’s “Hold Me” and “Runaway to Elsewhere” to Sébastien Tellier’s bedroom-ready “Roche,” Breakbot has taken pop to islands it’s never seen before. And although almost anybody can deconstruct a track these days, the low-key Frenchman relies on a musical past so tasteful Don Draper would’ve been reeling with envy. 70s Funk and Italo-Disco, to narrow it down. Other essentials like that 80s breakdancing feel are also thrown in the blender, yet his
overall sound is still a challenge to nail. But that doesn’t mean his discography hasn’t hinted at a signature style: the bass lines. Good god, those funked up bass lines. Unrelenting. He almost scientifically rearranges them—sample upon sample as if Ableton Live and Reason were made for him and him only. The edit is then considerably warped anew—as in the case of his remix of Metronomy’s “A Thing For Me,” whose beat per minute came out half its initial tempo—yet surprisingly fitting and faithful to the original track. But the prodigy wasn’t always what he is now until he got signed to Pedro Winter’s (Daft Punk’s ex-manager) Ed Banger Records almost a year ago. For kids who had been following the French Electro movement since day one, Ed Banger has been the end-all faucet for anything worthy of a head bang. Justice, Uffie, and DJ Mehdi owe their glory days to this elite label. And with Breakbot cementing his place in the lineup with a Valentine’s Day EP aptly called Baby I’m Yours, the Ed Banger family just got wilder. But even with his EP rapidly making its rounds all over the blogosphere, Berland knows that the best is still yet to drop. “I think I have to work a lot more to be as good as my heroes,” says the DJ. This year, he also plans on releasing his first music video and touring the rest of the world. “Expect more music from the bottom of my heart,” he ends with a smile.
TOP PICKS FROM
The 70s-80s may have been Breakbot’s main fixation, but he is also drawn to a slew of modern electro flavors. Siriusmo
“The Uninvited Guest”
“Pon De Floor”
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the aftermath Never mind the fact that GORILLAZ started off a decade ago as Damon Albarn’s side project. After two multi-platinum albums, the cartoon foursome continues to transcend music video realms with their new release Plastic Beach. By Raydon L. Reyes
he last time we saw virtual electronica and hip-hop band Gorillaz, they had managed to survive after their world climaxed towards an apocalyptic end in Demon Days (2005). With songs that talked about kids with guns, vengeful volcanoes, extinct flora, and being the last living souls while numbing the pain with alcohol, it all reached a surprisingly bittersweet conclusion in the album’s trance-inducing title track as they sang in unison, “It’s a brand new day/ so turn yourself round/ don’t burn yourself/ turn yourself around into the sun.” So the question now arises: How do you get over the apocalypse? 2D, Noodle, Russel, and Murdoc’s answer is simple—fly to the farthest deserted floating island made of plastic, debris, and other remnants of humanity to start anew. Five years later, Plastic Beach is born. I catch
up with fictional band founder and bassist Murdoc (the guy with the banana and freakishly long tongue) to talk about this latest effort. “[This album is] a four-dimensional postcard. A postcard from the edge? Yeah, maybe. But this is a postcard that comes to life. A techni-coloured snapshot of an alternate land,” he says. Murdoc isn’t kidding. Listening through this compilation would give you multiple imageries of gargoyles, synthetic greenery, pirate jets, radioactive seas, digital foils, and other forms of man-made simulations. And yet beyond this blanket of artificiality, there thrives a sliver of humanity. In “On Melancholy Hill,” 2D sings about having someone close under a plastic tree while talking about insistent dreams of going around the world. The very hula-sounding “To Binge” has a lonely persona waiting for
someone to rely on while thunder comes rolling down. “White Flag,” on the other hand, holds on to the vision of heaven after the end: “No war, no guns/ No corpse, just life/ Just love, no hate/ Just fun, no ties.” Audiophiles would also drool over the collaborations Gorillaz included in Plastic Beach—from Snoop Dogg, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Little Dragon, Mark Smith, Bobby Womack, to Mos Def. “For many people, a Gorillaz collaboration is like a ticket to Disneyland,” Murdoc jokes. “I mean, to be honest, I treat my record collection like a catalogue now. Or a menu. I’ll have the…‘Snoopy Doggy Dogg’ with a little dollop of Lou Reed on the side.” Murdoc concludes our little chat with him by bringing up something he calls The End of Days. He hints, not too subtly, that Plastic Beach might be the
last album we ever see from Gorillaz. “Everything [is] getting faster and faster, whirling towards an inevitable conclusion, a single point on the horizon or in the middle of the ocean, say. The entire of time and history and evolution is hurtling towards a single point. Point Nemo… Plastic Beach. That’s what Plastic Beach is, I reckon. The End of Days, the point of no return. It’s right here. It’s right now. It’s upon us,” he prophesizes. But die-hard fans of the band might remember that they said the same thing about Demon Days not that long ago. So who knows, perhaps there’s something more waiting for Gorillaz even beyond this socalled end? Only time and our own universe’s conclusion will tell.
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MUSIC With their latest compilation Odd Blood, YEASAYER live up to their reputation of being true experimental rockers. By Raydon L. Reyes Photographed by Guy Aroch
hile their debut record All Hour Cymbals tickled audiophiles with long atmospheric instrumentals coupled with lyrics that tell of future urban claustrophobia and paranoia in space, Yeasayer catches us by surprise with cleaner, clearer, and more direct-tothe-point songs with their latest album Odd Blood. One of the resolutions that Yeasayer made, guitarist Anand Wilder shares, was to make sure no track exceeded three and a half minutes. The other was to sonically challenge pop singers like R&B princess Rihanna for DJ sets in clubs. “I felt that the last album was a little end-heavy; songs would go on and on longer than they needed to. But that was an aesthetic choice; we were into a lot of loopy ambient music at that time,” Anand says. “We cut out a lot of the fat…with our new album. I wanted songs that were tour ready, exciting, rhythm and bass heavy, with more direct vocals so that people could sing along.” “Stick up for yourself, son/ Never mind what anybody else done,” so goes their single “Ambling Alp.” And no other statement can quite capture how the band defies definitions when it comes to their music. Since they started out in the music scene, they have been the constant target of music critics and fanatics who have tried and yet failed to contain their sound into one particular genre. Middle-eastern, psychedelic pop, experimental rock, worldbeat, electro,
gospel, indie-exoticist, avant-pop—these are just some of the countless tags that have been thrown towards them for the last three years. Lead singer Chris Keating, Anand, and bassist Ira Wolf Tuton only continue to shake them off to this day. “I refuse to define my own music because then, I will be putting myself in a box and limiting my musical potential. I’ll leave the labelling to the music critics because it’s easy to break out of boxes that other people create for us,” asserts Anand. But even though their sound never stays in one place, what remain constant in the band are the compromises they make to stay together. They’ve definitely stuck it out since the days they were schoolmates in Baltimore and had to borrow money from their parents to start touring. Anand shares, “We would make $20 for the entire band at a show in Pittsburgh, and we had no label support and we’d be touring so much that we didn’t have time for other jobs. I’m not borrowing from anybody anymore, which is a good feeling.” For the future, they promise to deliver more crazy music videos that will make you visualize a multitude of post-apocalyptic possibilities. It’s definitely no utopia, and they make no apologies. “I don’t believe in Utopia. Everyone’s vision of Utopia is different. Societies that aspire towards Utopia are always led by totalitarian dictators,” quips Anand. To those who agree, say “Yea!”
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LISTEN, LEVITATE CHILLITEES’ mixes are chilled but spicy. With their first-of-its-kind 3D music video, they project 3rd world in a whole different level. Story and photography by Kristine Dabbay Hair and Make-up by Pia Reyes Outfit by Tribu Nation
ortunately, I didn’t need to have an avatar or wear 3D glasses to be able to interview Chillitees composed of Dex Aguila (drums), Allen Umali (bass), Uela Basco (vocals), and Dan Gil (keys). Instead, we stayed inside Manila’s latest indie hub, B-Side Bar at The Collective, discussing how to elevate Manila’s music consciousness. “Our music is not loud, but it never loses spice,” Allen says. When you hear “Skatetown” or “Andar” from their sophomore album Espasoul, you’ll definitely catch that wave of being in a pleasantly lackadaisical mode— foot tapping and sipping your favorite cocktail. You get the picture. Often feeling the pressure when performing in gigs that are predominantly lined with rock bands, their mantra is to “stand by their guns” and just play as they are. “During the launch of
‘Mr. Bones,’ we were alongside Hilera and The Late Isabel. Most of them are upbeat and loud, but it felt rewarding that the audience loved our show,” Uela shares. So just like Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way that was unabashedly ambient during the heydays of electric and psychedelic rock, Chillitees isn’t afraid to try out styles even if they’re not popular with the masses just like the way they employ 70s-80s jazz fusion in their works. In Dex’ words, “We’re sort of educating people to listen to different types of music.” While “education” is too big a concept, Dan clarifies it by saying that “If you’re going to bombard them with shit…they won’t have the chance to get smarter. Not just because they buy shit, you’ll make shit.” Touché. In a way, I am reminded of blogger Bryanboy’s tongue-incheek lingo that rings truer this time. “Long live third world…land of the brown,
l’exotique and the natives” Because really, since the band’s earliest album Extra Rice—they’ve been challenging the music scene by their hybrid of downtempo and dancy tracks. Admittedly saying that they just want a more solid image especially since they’ve just become a four-piece band with Allen’s arrival, they do it by infusing a more global approach to their sound without losing their unique Asian flavor, even arguing that there’s no such thing as an original idea. “It’s subjective…like for instance, Freddie Aguilar’s music can be compared to any country music, but if you start to exactly copy Michael Jackson or Diddy, then you have a problem,” Dan says. In owning their influences, it’s quite hilarious that despite being in full possession of their abilities and creative visions, they have day jobs like most of us. “Well it’s
not like we’re being mobbed in the streets. We can still ride jeeps,” Dan says, enjoying their anonymity. While Uela shares a moment when this balance got tipped, “We had a karaoke party once, and it was funny because I sang my own song and got 100! The waiter even told me, ‘Hi, Ma’am. That’s you, right?’” But come on, there’s really no need for music barometers to measure how much they give to their craft since, in the first place, they “never set to define them anyway.” Even if they’re mostly labeled as soul, they “play anything but play it soulfully.” Allen says that “As long as you do something out of pure intention…then it becomes respectable,” because no paycheck or royalties can really compensate for that pure drive to reach greater heights. And what a pure shot Chillitees is to the mind—just as alcohol can elevate your current dispositions, even for just a minute.
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C L O S E D
D O O R S
It was during the nighttime when THE XX recorded their debut album in a little garage. No wonder their sound feels like being alone in a room with a special other, holding hands and hearing every sigh, a point when shyness and urge coincide. By Kristine Dabbay Photographed by Tore Hallas
elieve it or not, I have a friend who blushes every time he hears the song “Islands.” But before your thoughts drift into triple x territory, let me be the one to tell you that The xx’ music is never overtly sexy. Rather, it captures the sweetness that comes from familiarity just like in “VCR” where vocalist/ guitarist Romy Croft sings in her whispery voice: “But you, you just know, you just do.” It’s in these assurances in the middle of their tracks that we smile (or blush), wondering how a song could be so intimate to the point that it feels like they were there to witness poignant seconds in our lives such as overcoming one’s boyhood or being in that pleasurable phase between lovers and friends. The same closeness emanates from the band itself consisting of longtime buddies Romy and Oliver Sim (vocals, bass) who’ve known each other since they were three years old. Later on, they met Baria Qureshi (guitar/keyboard) and Jamie Smith (beats/ producer) in Elliot Secondary School to form The xx. “We’re like family now. You can’t change the person because they know yourself. It’s nice to have
a bit of that,” Romy says. But before being among the best bands of 2009, these Londoners had their share of challenges stemming from their laidback nature. “Extroversion is something that we’re not used to,” Romy says, and that’s why “there’s been a lot of very trying times especially in the beginning. We just used to carry our equipment…doing lounge and going to gigs…and it was really hard. We’re not really [a] loud… in your face band.” It’s within this light or rather “shadow” that Baria left the group. “That was quite a sad thing…It was her decision that things had changed,” Romy continues. No matter how sadness can often shift band dynamics, they’ve moved on as a trio without being crippled in any way. If you’re curious on how they get things done—it usually starts off with Romy and Oliver working separately at night. “We share with each other what we have, then build up the lyrics…we come together, just me and him, and we play it out with basic guitar to provide the skeleton of the song.” Being self-confessed nocturnal creatures, it’s amazing
how they evidently debunk the theory that people can be more productive during daytime. Because really, there’s beauty in being in the shadows, just like Romy who is inspired by the images of the moon and stars. “A lot of the songs have been very personal for me. It’s a way of getting things out of my mind. It’s sort of dissecting my soul, really.” Influenced by Haruki Murakami’s book After Dark, The xx seems to be really drawn to darkness since they’re always spotted wearing black. “It’s more of a general style than something we relate with music. It’s kind of how we feel comfortable, I think,” says Romy. They might have an understated aesthetic, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t made a statement with their sound. One of the greatest lessons Romy’s learned is that “you definitely shouldn’t rush creating music.” And it’s exactly what people love about them—their music is like foreplay, you need to let things progress for that big musical eargasm.
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“I’d rather create than be the recipient of the Sci-Fi product. I’d rather make my own spaceship, my own creatures, my own universe…”
Mythical and Sci-Fi, sacred and profane, LEEROY NEW’s hybrid sculptural universe is a moving proof of the power of icons. By Nante Santamaria Photographed by Patrick L. Jamora Artworks courtesy of Leeroy New
couple of weeks before a new solo, we visit his studio cum apartment. Casts, clay, resins, rough and finished composites are everywhere. Leeroy stands still, black shirt on and a pierced brow, before an old piece from his Myself as Adam After the Big Bang left weathered at the middle of the front yard. A few days earlier, he just finished an installation for Mich Dulce. He put the fashion designer’s signature hats on alien heads inside acrylic bubbles born by a tree made of PVC pipes. This is the kind of thing to expect in the universe of Jan Leeroy Chua New. But while he’s only 24, New has been exhibiting since his days in Philippine High School for the Arts, which has introduced him into the scene even before he took his Fine Arts degree in University of the Philippines. Usually deemed Sci-Fi, one will find it hard to pin down his influences. Leeroy insists, “I’d rather create than be the recipient of the SciFi product. I’d rather make my own spaceship, my own creatures, my own universe…” The guy is definitely out there. In the upcoming Philippine Fashion Week, Leeroy is collaborating with fellow young designer Kermit Tesoro on a 50-piece
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collection incorporating sculpture and clothing. “I guess it speaks of the way I work—very design-oriented, and it can be applied to any medium,” he explains. This multidisciplinary approach and his attempts to bring his work into the public are perhaps what brought him international exposure. In Cubao X, one of the local hip centers, he has transformed a comics shop into a dripping white box. He installed a giant eye up a museum lobby in Fukuoka last year, and in the Singapore Biennale 2008, he stationed alien guards on a large-scale molecular growth in front of the Supreme Court building. “It’s always interesting for your work to be put against this arena of different cultures, different forms of art-making,” he says of the Biennale, which are “like barometers of artistic practice for different countries. These curators go in search for the artists who they feel are emblematic of their time…so I think it’s always an honor…” And like most contemporary art, his is a challenging one—not only because of an art market used to decorative pieces but because most people consider his work disturbing. “I don’t,” he maintains. “It’s only natural that my works are
these hybrids of different times, periods, classes, and culture.” He’s referring to an infant Christ made of teeth, an Immaculate Conception figurine with a gynecological head, a woman with multiple eyes, limbs, and breasts among other grotesqueries. But these are not made for the shock value. He explains, “I think it’s necessary to embrace all these influences to move oneself forward, not to deny one thing as bad.” These are all icons in the first place. “This religious iconography that we’re accustomed to was initially subject to human, arbitrary decision-making… Like angels—I don’t see their difference to our superheroes now. They’re both out of this world. They’re both created to supplement something in us. In a way, our superhero mythology has come to replace the old mythology.” So we go to his new solo Corpo Royale, and we remember his words: “When you walk into the room, there’s this effect that they are among you, like interacting with them.” And suddenly, his rainbow-colored sphere of statuettes become a viral body, the hair on his hardened gauze become living appendages, and his winged Eye of Providence looks straight through you.
THE HAPPY COMMUNE Miami-based art collective FRIENDSWITHYOU is mushroom clouds on canvas, and their new FWYstudios is out to bring art as experience to some of our well-loved brands. By Karen Capco Artworks courtesy of Friendswithyou
rt and commercial brand activities have always had quite the rapport, and what better way to seal that friendship than bringing art collective FriendsWithYou into the mix? After all, Miamibased founders Sam Borkson and Tury Sandoval, III only wish to spread Magic, Luck and Friendship (trademarked, folks) apart from their obvious desire to be (say it with me, guys) FriendsWithYou. Known for Malfi and his religious undertones, FWY brings to life their goal quite literally: large-scale experiential installations ensure that everyone who encounters their work feels the friendly rub of the studio. “We believe in the idea that ‘Art is explosion,’ and our goal is to immerse people in our world and give them a chance to really open their minds and perceptions to a simple spiritual place that lives inside of everyone. Our main goal is to conceive ideas that allow people to become artists inside our creations. We want to make aspirational art that makes people believe in themselves and each other.” Borkson’s quote from Taro Okamoto (an abstract artist who used to hang out with Surrealism founder André Breton) only serves to drive home FWY’s larger-than-life take on things—whether it be a blimp procession on the beach or a permanent playground installation smacked in the middle of a mall (figuratively). Art is indeed an explosion for FWY, the same way that a piece of strawberry shortcake is delicious pink napalm in your mouth. Having established their place in the art scene, the group is now looking to expand the reach of their rainbows with FWYstudios. This “dream boutique” handles licensing, branding, formulation and execution of campaign strategies, and various activities that
go into establishing the character of a particular brand. But Sam doesn’t think corporate is as drab as people make it out to be. “Each project for another brand presents a fun puzzle for us to figure out. Sometimes, the clients make it easy for us to be free and creative, and sometimes, the constraints are more stringent.” And the group is doing their best to ensure that, despite working with brands that already have established identities, FWY stays true to its design philosophy: the discovery of a modern tool for spirituality, which, they think, society lacks. “We put our magic into everything we do. We put the same care, passion, and love into every project. Whether it is for our own brands or those we take on to brighten up.” Borkson has never believed the authorities that tried to influence and push their world on him. The group has worked with Target, Match. com, Nickelodeon, and the creators of perhaps some of the biggest playgrounds in the world, Disney. “We really feel like we are just beginning to make the right steps in the right direction…” Sam enumerates humbly, “Creating bigger and better fine art experiences, helping with the branding and needs of other brands and their ability to connect with people, and most importantly, creating intellectual properties to be turned into entertainment and magical content that helps spread our ideas, and of course, the continuation of creating incredible and innovative products.” I’ll be the first to admit, I want to be FriendsWithYou, and I’m sure other people do too.
2006 Skywalkers - Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, FL
2006 Skywalkers - Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, FL
2005 Cloud City - MOCA, Miami, FL
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Skateboards & Like most college kids, Brooklynbased writer TIM BRODHAGEN had to contend with Shakespeare and his cast of merchants and shrews. But when push came to shove, he knew exactly where he needed to be. By Raymond Ang
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ike most aspiring journalists in the throes of puberty, Tim Brodhagen was waiting for his Almost Famous moment. “I always wanted to be a writer,” he says. “Growing up, it was my dream to write for Rolling Stone.” Instead, Tim took a different route and hooked up with Fridge—“the precursor to every action sports x music x art lifestyle publication out there,” he says—and he was on his way. Today, as one of the founders of action sports mecca Rad Collector, a columnist for ESPN Action and High Snobiety, and a marketing manager/senior creative, Tim Brodhagen is living the dream—writing about his passions and working with some of the scene’s most talented people. He recently helped set up Rad Collector, a daily online magazine for action sports lifestyle and products. One year in and almost every major brand in the action sports industry works with the zine on a daily basis. “That is all without any hype or publicity,” he says, and focusing on “content, content, content.” But Tim wasn’t always so fly and high-flying. Before you can say “Penny Lane,” he started on the usual writer route—majoring in English and Journalism in college, keeping his finger on the zeitgeist’s pulse, and wallowing in the inexhaustible dullness of the Shakespearean canon. Being in a class of 500 predominantly white kids didn’t help. Coming from his multi-racial, 32-flavorsand-then-some background, there was only too much vanilla he could handle. “I had grown up with friends of all races, and hip-hop was a huge part of my life. So to get somewhere where you might see one or two black people in a day was fucking crazy.” Eventually, a particularly pointless essay was the last straw. “I’d be in these classes with 500 kids, and we’d all have to do the same essay... What could I possibly say about Shakespeare that hadn’t been said before?” At a crossroads, he realized what he really wanted to do. “I started picking classes from the catalog that just sounded dope,” he says. “And most of them were in African-American studies. When I got to the classes, I realized that that was where the black people were at!” And there he found his muse. Almost a decade later and he’s still at it—living the culture, pushing boundaries, and writing about this diverse multi-racial, multi-faceted world. Tim’s day-to-day has since become a torrent of deadlines and skateboards, parties, and blog updates. “There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done what I need to get done,” he admits. “Right now, the majority of my time is spent writing and doing multimedia content production…and still working with music a bit.” They say that to find fulfillment, career-wise, you have to find a job you enjoy so you feel like you’ve never worked a day in your life. It’s safe to say Tim has found this. “I pretty much work all the time,” he says. “But since I love it all, it’s not hard to stay crazy motivated… I’m gonna be on this hustle for a while.”
MAKING THE MARK
With his digital paintings lending a hyperrealistic touch to the front flaps of Marvel Comics, MARKO DJURDJEVIC has gained his place at the top echelon of cover artists working today. By Ramon De Veyra Artworks courtesy of Marko Djurdjevic
arko Djurdjević’s meteoric rise in the comics industry is the stuff of geek dreams. Though he’d loved comics as a child, the German-born illustrator of Serbian descent was working as a character designer and concept artist for a video game company in San Francisco when he was “discovered.” An editor at Marvel Comics got in touch after his stellar work was spied on a message board for digital artists. His digital painting process, then a new thing to many readers, became a hit, with his dynamic compositions and keen eye for graphic design making his covers pop from the racks. Within a year, they offered him an exclusive contract, and he’s been churning out cover after cover at a rapid clip since, and the quality has been admirably consistent. Recently, Marvel published The Marvel Art of Marko Djurdjević, a big hardcover book collecting some of his most memorable work. It’s a distinction that not many artists in Marvel’s 60-plus-year history can claim to have, as thrilling as this interview with The Cover Boy. What keeps you excited and inspired on a day-to-day basis? I like the most unexpected things, and they inspire me the most. It can be something as stupid as good coffee, that or something as complicated as a mad personal life that brings out the best in me. What are your main concerns when making a cover? If you look at a rack full of comics today, it’s pretty much every color in the color wheel put into one place… When I design covers, I try to be as simple as possible ‘cause I know the simplicity is gonna stand out among all the glitz
and glamour. By simplicity, I mean limited color schemes, limited storytelling, focusing on one idea and really delivering the punch and not being afraid of trying new things. You used a lot of graphic design elements in your covers at the beginning of your career, but it feels like you’ve scaled this back in recent work. Is there a specific reason for this? It was simply because I didn’t want to limit myself to a certain style. Graphic design is a wonderful way of transporting storytelling, but at the same time, if you do it over and over again, it will be that one thing people will remember you for, and I definitely have more to say and show and do than just doing it that way. Do you wish to work on creations of your own? Do you wish to write someday as well as draw and paint? I’m working on personal comics already, and that is a super big thing for me. It’s actually something that I always wanted to do when I was younger, and now, finally, I think I’m coming to the age where the stuff I’m writing has enough value to become something meaningful to people. Tell us about the gallery you opened and the other projects of SIXMOREVODKA. It’s a store where we sell things that we want other people to see, read, and listen to ‘cause we really believe in the stuff we’re selling. Same goes for the gallery; we want to sell work that we really like because we love and want to support the artists behind that. On top of that, it’s a studio where I create my dayto-day work… It can be so much more, and I want to watch it grow into that!
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He founded the defunct Alleged Gallery, fathered street art, and he’s been a character in Gossip Girl. He is painter, rockstar, director, and curator AARON ROSE.. By Nante Santamaria
Photo by Johann Van Lanzenauer
hen his documentary Beautiful Losers premiered in SXSW 2008, it wasn’t the initial fruition of an idea, not at all. Aaron Rose has been at the eye of the DIY storm that swept from the streets of New York. By this fall, he’s vying to open a permanent Hollywood spot for Make Something!! (extra stress intended), an initiative meant to teach just that to schoolchildren. Aaron’s dream of having an art school is coming true, and it’s no ordinary one. His faculty so far includes the likes of Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee, Mike Mills, and Spike Jonze—a wild bunch who got their early shots in his Alleged Gallery. Its two former spaces may have become a shoe store and a flower shop since shutting down in ‘02, but Aaron insists, “I’m an artist at heart, and I needed to explore that. Closing Alleged was necessary for that growth.” That’s why he’s now co-editor of ANP Quarterly aside from managing the school and Alleged Press, curating, and being a rockstar at night. In his film, it says “You didn’t have to be smart to understand. You just have to have a heart.” And he still thinks “Heart wins over mind every time!” We see why as we ask Aaron these questions while he stacks on his latest obsessions, Sta-Prest Levi’s slacks off eBay and… choreography, which again, he just does himself. Before Alleged, you were a skater in LA, playing for Cat Furniture. What made you move to New York? Cat Furniture was a total joke band. I was 18 years old! We were taking tons of drugs and living in welfare hotels in downtown LA, playing at crappy clubs and recording “albums” on a boom box. We had some shows set up in NYC through a friend of our singer, so we got on a Greyhound bus and went there. I ended up staying there for 12 years after that. Now that you’re playing with The Sads, how has your anthem
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changed since? The Sads is a much more serious project. We are all very dedicated to what we do. Myself [guitar/synth/vocals], Aska [Matsumiya, keys/vocals], Dave [Scott, Moog], and Joe [Plummer, drums] work very hard to make music that really affects people… To some extent, all these art you’re into were produced because of some form of alienation… What’s your share of this hurt and anger? My mother was 17 when she had me and immediately gave me up. I lived in foster care for almost three months with the name Abraham. During that time, I was rarely hugged or allowed to experience any sort of human affection. My first interaction with any kind of “love” came when my adopted parents picked me up. As an infant, I never learned how to connect with people. When I found art, I found the solution to that. Would you say you’ve become more religious because of filming Become a Microscope about Sister Corita? No, I still think Christ sucks. My interest in Corita has nothing to do with religion. I love her personality and what she stood for. Going against the system at the time that she did, especially being a nun, took an amazing amount of courage… Chris Johanson said in BL, “When somebody’s being fucked over, you should stand up for them.” What do you think is being most fucked over today? I think gay marriage should be legal. The fact that it is even an issue in this country is totally baffling to me. It’s like saying that blacks can’t marry! I thought we took care of issues like this back in the 1960s… You fill your RVCA blog with lots of inspirational quotes. Who’d you quote right now saying what? “Life is a bowl of cherries.” -Proverb
“Like kung fu training, drawing gave a semblance of order to my life.”
PHANTASM, INERTIA, ACTION AVID LIONGOREN doesn’t need to take us to a different dimension to show us out-of-this world beings. With his illustrations, he convinces us that all we need is to look at our own yard. By Raydon L. Reyes Artworks courtesy of Avid Liongoren
vid Liongoren sees aliens and monsters everyday. But this Manila-based visual artist cum director has a different term for these strange creatures in his life. “They are my friends,” he says, laughing. And true enough, you can see his extraterrestrial and subterrestrial friends gracing his art. Some of his pieces have them digitally drawn on photographs of the most mundane parts of the city. You’ll find them taking part and standing out in scenes captured at sari-sari stores, makeshift hoop courts on the road, and even the space between two mongrels behind a gate. “I wanted to Manilafy everything and show the beauty and the ugliness of our streets. Even a normal sink can be pretty. It’s like, here’s an ordinary kitchen, and then there are monsters,” Avid says. The UP Fine Arts
graduate known for colorful and comedic commercials of laundry detergents and rubber slippers did not have any grand ideas when he started his Project365 in 2006, until it ended last year. As a freelance commercial and music video director (and like most freelance artists), he found himself moving in and out of a busy state. And so he resolved to fill his empty days by drawing everyday. The idea was to come up with 365 artworks for 365 days regardless of whether he was doing something else. “It wasn’t about anything else other than just doing something. It wasn’t about getting published or spreading my art. It was to keep me occupied in between work. Like kung fu training, drawing gave a semblance of order to my life,” he says. From the day his mother saw him drawing little ants on a notebook during his grandfather’s funeral, Avid
relates that art has always been what kept him sane. He refers to himself as an “internet dinosaur,” posting his works in his own website since 1997, way before kids discovered they could bug other people with by-the-minute updates about their lives. Check out what he calls his “angstless art” in LittleRocket.net, a project that honed his skills when he was still at the stage of copying the styles of his idols like comic book writers Sam Kieth and Davinternete McKean, and Philippine National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin. You can also find in the site some illustrated storybooks like Why I Wake Up Late—a tale of a superhero bum who contemplates about finding a career besides crimefighting. “Very old stuff,” he refers to Little Rocket. “I like keeping the site alive because it reminds me of how I used to think. But in
Project365, my effort was more conscious. It helped me find discipline.” He currently divides his time between doing commercials and directing his very own movie, Saving Sally, “a love story about a boy, a girl, some monsters, fishballs, roller coaster rides, and nothing and everything about being a kid.” And while he’s always on the move towards fulfilling his dream of building a house on the moon, having his own robot, bat wings, and a finished film, he now enjoys those intermittent moments of idleness without feeling guilty or useless; thanks to the creative rhythm he developed after Project365. “I never say I’m bored anymore,” he concludes. “If you say you’re bored, then you’re wasting time. And wasting time is sad, you know? At most, I’d say I like doing nothing. So you know, when you’re ‘nothing-ing,’ it’s deliberate. You don’t feel bad about it.”
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By Anna Canlas Artworks courtesy of SO ME
That shirt, those eyes, the natural honey blonde beard. That is SO ME. This man, Ed Banger Recordsâ€™ art director, has the power to draw music.
SHAPES OF SOUND
THE REAL NAME IS
Bertrand de Langeron. And he’s miles away, in Paris, where he’s lived all his 30 years of life. A master of ceremonies both aural and visual, he’s a DJ and the art director of indie label Ed Banger Records. “It says a lot,” he says of the moniker. “Like a full sentence, although it’s only four letters.” It has to. As part of the job description, So Me’s the creative genius behind Justice’s much-streamed “D.A.N.C.E.” video. You know that one: two guys (Justice’s Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé) whose shirts you want to rip off their backs, blurbs insanely swinging from tee to
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tee, a drawn-on zipper going up and down, and someone playing a keyboard shirt drawing, smashing as the real deal to the floor. It took 500 illustrations, weeks of post-prod animation, and a surprisingly low-tech shooting method to birth the dopeness. To track the movement of the fabric, video directors Jonas & François stuck four pieces of black tape onto the musical duo’s shirts. So Me’s two-dimensional drawings were then animated to follow that movement, and the tape was just erased from the final video—a clever mix of analog and digital that reflects So Me’s personal work. That would include,
“I think Picasso said ‘I tried all my life to unlearn so I can draw again like a child.’ I don’t think there’s anything much interesting between the naive approach of amateurs and masters.”
of course, his illustrations on the lyric-happy “Good Life” video with Kanye West, who incidentally stormed the stage when So Me was accepting EMA Video of the Year honors for Justice vs. Simian’s “We Are Your Friends.” But it’s his post-Groening album covers for every single Ed Banger record that really kill. Part-Simpsons (chubby, flatly colored, outlined in black), part-visceral breakdown, multicolored letters in trippy type drip all over white, creating a high-saturation, low-fi aesthetic that mirrors the label’s own mission of making noise that makes sense. Cut from the same musical minority as co-Francos
Daft Punk, Ed Banger artists like Uffie, Feadz, SebastiAn, Para One, label boss-man Busy P aka Pedro Winter, and Justice are masters at mixing genres—like rap crossed with rock crossed with funk crossed with…junk; that is, old-school elements like the sound of cracking vinyl or wowing turntables, ocean-deep bass, trembling treble, vocal synthetics, thick harmonies, and generally obese beats. Theirs is a textured sound brought on by a keen awareness to art in all its forms, as most of those on the label’s roster are also designers. The reverse is true with So Me’s foray into DJing. “I’m fine with doing 12 things at the same time. Then nothing is a job, really,” he shares. statusmagonline.com - 79
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draw again like a child.’ I don’t think there’s anything much interesting between the naive approach of amateurs and masters.” This childish attack might explain the wisecracks that are So Me’s moustachemen cartoons or the inside jokes that riddle the muchloved Justice video. While some shirts were shout-outs to friends, others were patterned after sources concrete and abstract, i.e. existing tees and crushes. It’s this emotional entanglement with the symbols on your chest that informs the uniform of hipsters everywhere. Sitting nicely on top of drop-crotch jeans (on top of sky-high hightops) are cross-cloth constructions that operate on so many levels: physical, aesthetic, epidermal, prophetic. Meaning: So Me’s t-shirts not only keep the wearer warm (level 1) or cool (level 2), but they are readymade revelations to be picked from a well-stocked pile. Though designed to delight, they accidentally reveal the deeper you (level 3). Plus, if you find a person who gets the reference, then congrats! You’ve found The One (level 4). But So Me wanted some more. After the record company’s cheap promo tees were faked or put up for bid on eBay, So Me and boss Pedro cashed in and launched Cool Cats, a line of clothing, accessories, books, and random artifacts of the current generation. There are the cheeky “Ed Phones” in the artist’s doodled-geometric print, reproduced flyers for gigs at Webster Hall, and the original Cool Cats safety tape with the triangular Cheshire logo all across it. What for? Buyers are urged to find their unique ways of using the stickum, but as of press time, the company literature (aka coolcats. fr) includes a compromising picture of a woman employing it as some sort of nipple tape. We get the message: art can be anywhere, and it shouldn’t make your head hurt. And if you’re trying too hard, try less. The best ideas should come without a concussion. Be a little careless, be a little reckless, be a little lazy. But only a little. He concludes, “Nothing’s ever 100% confirmed until you can see it or hold it in your hands.”
Photo by Amaury Choay
Fed by a desire to work yet still be able to travel, constant memberships in bands, the most fulfilling OJT ever (“Express observatory lessons!” from his clubland royalty pals), and all of the above, So Me plus music equal multiple joys. Whereas his Ed Banger brothers lean toward rap or rock-inflected tracks, however, the multitalented man’s remixes feel more like house. His Decalcomania starts off with pulses and is shot all over with a hollow, played-ina-warehouse sound. And when he’s not playing god, So Me’s a follower: a fan of old school favorites first, and an antennae for fresher pickings like Carte Blanche (a musical project of DJ Mehdi and Riton), Breakbot, and Surkin, et al, second. “You should see my iTunes, it’s all about love and tears and harmonies,” he says. In the retro-futurist Ed Banger world, upside down is also right side up. There are no rules. No standard operating procedures. Just results. “It’s never what I expect that gets attention. Must be good if there is no formula,” So Me stresses. Inspired by everything from “a movie, the shape of a weird building, a good laugh,” or a “hungover plane trip,” So Me thrives on difference, sketching things here and there and never really trying too hard. In fact, his start in the illustration biz grew organically from a childhood affinity to drawing. Among his artistic influences are 60s and 70s artists as well as small-time graphic designers, not unlike those who draw up commercial signage. He enumerates, “The pizza guy who will draw a logo for his shop or the 65-year-old man who will paint ‘Post No Bills’ on his garage door. I’m interested in his approach. How will he decide to place letters, and how big? People who have too many skills tend to all do the same boring stuff.” The secret is not to grow up: “It’s like kids, when they draw; there is this intact quality about their approach that they lose once they all go to school together, starting to all conform and draw the same. They learn, and they lose their magic. Eventually, some of them will grow to become good drawers, of course, but the virginity is lost. I think Picasso said ‘I tried all my life to unlearn so I can
“I’m fine with doing 12 things at the same time. Then nothing is a job, really.”
FAVOROITE So Me’s favorites are just so left of center—they’re right.
1. Musician: Todd Rundgren 2. Artist: Wesley Willis 3. Artwork: C.F.’s comic Powr Mastrs 4. Movie: Todd Solondz’ Happiness 5. Song: Joni Mitchell’s “California” 6. Video you’ve art-directed so far: Jamaica’s “I think I like U 2” 7. People: Soulwax (Flying Dewaele Brothers)
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T Y h
S ' M H
Photo by The Cobrasnake
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heavy mastermind hitter
H T IR
B E R
KER BAR S I V TRA sman r o f is nes uck busi ing h l n t d i a ea an n pl ucer, of cr e e eb hm od hav an, pr l rhyt y ma ici fu ash a mus he art r c t as ne pla ccess stered a g a u ivin olo s has m v r Su his s he at rikes. t h t u b t ves ys pro luck n yÂ ow bba ine
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Photo by The Cobrasnake
"As far as music, I'm inspired by life, all that's included in it. I feel I'm living on borrowed time.”
Photo by The Cobrasnake
Photo by The Cobrasnake
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often than not, girls go screaming to the band’s frontman, but with “All the Small Things” or the darkly subdued “I Miss You,” Travis Barker shoved the drummer out of the back row. Yet today, having sold a million records with Blink 182, he’s not sticking to the same drill. “Well, I’m a father now as well as a business owner... Then, I was really living week to week. I’m still hungry, but it’s a new hunger now. And I still love what I do,” he says. And for someone who literally spreads himself too thin at times, counting all his ventures in music, art, business, and personal life, he makes up for it by feeding himself with inspiration and well, the right food. “I’ve been vegetarian for 19 years and vegan for 1, aside when I had to eat meat in the hospital to help my injuries heal. As far as music, I’m inspired by life, all that’s included in it. I feel I’m living on borrowed time.” But satiating his pangs of hunger wasn’t really easy, just as nothing truly worth gaining can be obtained through spoonfeeding. Instead, he held to his drumsticks tight, with one hand measuring what could still be stretched beyond its limits. His stint with Blink surely gave him the jumpstart he needed, but it was long after his Enema of the State days that his career really took off to greater heights. His collaboration with DJ AM in “Fix Your Face” and his remix of Drake’s “Forever” are proof of how he’s grown from his pop-punk influences to more varied drool-and-drum-roll-worthy performances. “I was a trash man in Laguna Beach, California, and I played in a punk rock band called Feeble. We were all trash men or city workers. I just played my drums every chance I could just like I do now,” he shares. Look at where it has taken him; aside from being raised into the
floating drum pedestal in his concerts, he has also created his own brands like Famous Stars and Straps, and co-founded DTA and Rogue Status, for which his other creative juices flow into. It happened in ’99 when he got turned off with the way brands initiated bandwagons. “As if you can’t wear something just because you’re not white or a skateboarder.” Knowing that the only way to become somebody is to be yourself, he followed no beat but his own. “I just did me. It started 10 years ago. There was not a huge strategy or thought that went into it. Everything came together… [it was] very organic. I like expressing myself through my lines just like I do with music… Would feel lost without both.” Undoubtedly, Travis is grounded by keeping things real, insisting that “you can see through people who aren’t true or sincere.” Echoing the same vision as his music are his other side projects like LaSalle Records. Personifying a punk rock aesthetic with a tinge of hip-hop, he’s able to bridge the gap between rap and rock—like how he remixed Lil Wayne’s track “One Way Trip” from his debut rock album Rebirth with some parts of the lyrics being: “T. Barker is my motherfuckin’ drummer.” But it’s not just Lil Wayne who loves his sound and style. Travis’s apparel has been worn by G-L-A-M-O-R-OU-S celebrities like Fergie of Black Eyed Peas, with whom he collaborated for the track “Pump It.” Recognized by famous people or not, Travis is always in constant motion especially with his skateboarding crew who spread their vision through tagging. It might seem a lot to handle, so when we asked Travis if drumming helps in directing his energy, he replies, “It feels amazing. It sort of helps me work out things when I get to go and just shed for an hour. It grounds me.” As a playable character in Guitar
heavy hitter Hero: World Tour, people get to be Travis themselves, and the guy doesn’t mind at all. “It’s crazy! Guitar Hero is so cool. Kids everywhere are playing music again. ”With his character pervading all spheres like music, art, and commercial culture—real time or virtual—he makes us believe that life is an art where we define our own realities. Surely making the most out of everything, he’s set to release a reunion album with Blink 182 this 2010. Mind you, even before all these happenings, Travis already knew how to maximize opportunities. Actually, he got hired in Blink 182 by temporarily replacing the original drummer Scott Raynor in a concert. For that, he had to learn the beats of 20 new songs, all in 2 hours. Call it chance or just sheer guts, but Barker’s made and is up for more gains. Gaining momentum with his recent collaborations with Snoop Dogg and Kanye West’s prodigy turntablist A-Trak, the future looks absolutely exciting as he aims to finish his “solo album and continue to have a long, healthy relationship with drums for many years to come.”The newfound DJ-drummer tandem is also a reminder of his mind-blowing jams with his best friend DJ AM last year—with whom he survived a plane crash plunging everyone but them to death. So yes, Travis knows how it feels like to plummet, but nothing stopped him to propel his motor again and keep on driving towards the goal. He knows that it takes a certain amount of pain to get what you want in life, just like in getting a tattoo or body piercing. With his hard-earned insights, signature mohawk, and tattooed torso, Travis shows that he’s not just someone who can create. He has also transformed himself into art. “My tattoos are a combination of artwork and me documenting my life... the good, the bad...everything.”
“Then, I was really living week to week. I’m still hungry, but it’s a new hunger now.” FAMILY:
“There is nothing more important. I’d take out an army for mine.”
Travis’ brand Famous Stars and Straps is popular for its “F” logo often spelled with these words: family, famous, forever, and faith. Now, he shares the lessons he learned about each.
“Love what you do. Fame is merely a symptom of success.”
“Never stop, go hard, live fast, enjoy life, and leave a legacy to be enjoyed.”
“It’s absolutely what got me here. Never give up, fuck a Plan B. Do what you love, love what you do. The rest will happen.”
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SELFdestruct BARRY MCGEE shares the secret to staying relevant amidst the trends in galleries and pseudo-street art. It has everything to do with two words: spring cleaning. By Raydon L. Reyes artworks courtesy of barry mcgee
lies a parallel between San Francisco-born painter plus graffiti artist Barry McGee and his artworks on the streets. This enigma can be defined by transience, continuous movement, and destruction (whether selfimposed or not). But how did this thing to destroy emerge to begin with? As one of the pioneers of the graffiti scene in the US and pretty much everywhere else, he has definitely gone through all the rituals that any legit taggers undergo: 1) Be born in one of the cultural and financial apexes in the world, check. 2) Absorb both the good and the disenchanting elements of the city while growing up, check. 3) Struggle against the bombardment of advertising and conformity in the metropolis, check. 4) Come up with his own street name—Twist—to tag and revolutionize different parts of the city with, check. Although, more than any grand cause that usually got associated with bombers, McGee was really in it for the visual
Photowall @ Art Basel, Miami 2009
dialogue. “I enjoy the simpleness of a street conversation with people I have never met, sometimes that I would never want to meet. It’s a forum of sorts,” McGee points out. In fact, long before the likes of Fafi and Zevs got a hold of their first paint brush or spray can, McGee had already been making his mark in San Franciso, a place he only describes as having a solid population of freaks, anarchists, and aging transvestites—all of which has undoubtedly influenced his art one way or another. He became known in the 80s and 90s for his pessimistic portrayal of urban experience as he digested modernday overstimulation, frustrations, and addictions. This was clearly manifested in his trademark icon that showed a caricature of a man with perpetually sagging eyebags and an expression that might make you think of unpaid credit card bills, everlasting traffic jams, or living inside subways. But despite this seemingly jaded view of metropolitan living, McGee
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“I haven’t done graffiti in years. It’s been spring cleaning around here. It feels great to rid myself of all those trite, familiar trappings.”
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insists that given the choice between changing this chaos or not, “I would not change a thing. I love the chaotic nature of cities. These are humans at their best and worst. These are the things that catch my attention.” And what of the destruction mentioned earlier? For that, you’d have to take his works on the walls, yards, rooftops, and parking lots in the city as examples. This titan of tagging had spent more than 25 years of his life building, creating, and arguably defiling while aesthetically improving public property for the sake of expression, only to discover later on that most of them have been wrecked, stolen, or simply painted over by other aspiring taggers through the years. A classic case would be the site-specific “permanent” public artwork he put up on the four inset walls of a building between Sixth and Howard Streets in San Francisco back in 1998. Made of four 64 x 8 foot metal trays and large portraits of low-income senior citizens and immigrants in the area, all of which were enamelled and bolted to the walls, the entire project was stolen only a year later. This is just one of many occurrences that earned McGee the tag, “creator of many ephemeral public pieces.” Therein lies the struggle that street art entails. Public space is still public space. In the end, one’s work would eventually and almost inevitably be reduced to just another target for collectors to steal with minimal consequence or for other artists to transform into their own visual territory. “The scene periodically reinvents itself every seven years or so. The young kids make the older people in graffiti upset. That is how it works,” McGee utters with developed acceptance. “Destruction is all around us,” he once said years ago. Even more importantly, he added, “They can’t destroy me.” And so he adapted. During the 2000s, his work started becoming more conceptual. Inspired by Catholic churches which he visited in Brazil, McGee painted geometric shapes, patterns, and color drips in a gallery display technique of clustering paintings. His mixed media installations, on the other hand, utilized wood, empty liquor bottles, scrap metal, wrecked vehicles, and
spray cans to depict street characters that have been left behind by today’s society. But even that has been cast into the shadows of McGee’s ever evolving rhythm. “I don’t touch any of that stuff anymore…I haven’t done graffiti in years. It’s been spring cleaning around here. It feels great to rid myself of all those trite, familiar trappings,” he stresses. He has also rid himself of his street moniker “Twist”—the cult name that has resounded in the minds of skaters and other bombers for more than two decades: “I abhor the name. I haven’t touched it for, well, over ten years.” He has instead decided to focus more on fine art, the kind you see in schools and galleries. Using watercolor on linen canvas, he seems to have combined his penchant for painting street characters as well as his more abstract side. What can illustrate this better than a triangular creature made of hair? McGee shares, “I have [also] been doing sculptures with clay and some charcoal drawings that I can only describe as ‘Mission Abstraction’.” You, however, shouldn’t count him out of the graffiti world just yet. While trying to recycle, compost, and get his high school body back, McGee waits with utter anticipation for “this ‘street art’ [in galleries] fad to pass so we can get our cities back for proper tagging and galleries for proper art. Not to sound redundant but, yes, keep it separate. Graffiti, streets. Gallery, abstract expressionism on linen canvases.” Having spent some time as artist-in-residence at McClymond’s High School in Oakland, he also maintains that graffiti cannot exist within the four corners of a school. “There is nothing to teach in graffiti except not to get caught. Other than that, it is wide open. It has been my observation that kids are naturally skilled and pure at a young age. I would never want to upset that purity with the years of computer rock burners that I am known for,” McGee declares. And whether or not street art inside galleries is a fad is a whole new chaotic debate that can wait another ten years. But considering he’s a man who has survived and has catalyzed his own creative destruction for the last two decades, it’s easy to foresee that we haven’t seen the last of Twist. Not yet.
“I enjoy the simpleness of a street conversation with people I have never met, sometimes that I would never want to meet. It’s a forum of sorts.”
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He kidnapped a billboard, made Fortune 500 companies “bleed,” and has remained largely anonymous despite being one of the world’s most controversial graffiti artists. But now, Zevs gives STATUS an exclusive look at his inner workings…and tells us his real name. By Sarah Meier-Albano Photos courtesy of Zevs
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t makes you wonder, really, what he would do if we lived in a Minority Report sort of world with talking holographic billboards and individuals embedded with microchip scanners. As an artist who has riveted the global mixed media scene by skirting the law and laying down his vision on advertising’s holy ground (dribbling paint from the nether regions of logos from McDonald’s to Louis Vuitton) and operated so discreetly that his nighttime ninja tactics have helped him evade the police (despite managing to slice a model’s tarpaulin figure out of a billboard)—it all just pushes you to ask, are there limits? Perhaps. But with this modernday European great, the initiative and operative word, seems to be “defy.” In chapters, we follow his journey of transfiguring and violating urban elements to make them more human—at the least delaying the time when brainless advertising and conflicted psychics rule the world. “I think an artist’s life is like a long path to which he can always come back. You have to find your way and keep the desire to advance,” Zevs asserts. We know of two stories from his youth. One tells of his earliest memory wandering into the world of creativity— using his drawings to make paper airplanes that he would launch off the top of the tower of his home. The other was a pivotal moment, having almost been killed by a local train named ‘Zeus,” later on deciding to take that as the inspiration for the nickname and alias for his livelihood. Zevs—Chapter One:
Defying Vertigo and Death. From the time he surfaced in the circuit in the late 90s, this sensory chef has continued to line the rim of envelope-pushing, in dishing out delectable and taste-tweaking visual treats. “I try to renew my work through changes over time,” Zevs says—something that is evidenced by the progression and clear-cut themes of his work. Segmented into categories, the artist’s very distinct styles are a play on otherwise ordinary facets of cityscapes. His “Logo Liquidation” works can be attributed as the most recognizable Zevs pieces: a signature of sorts, dousing storefront logos with paint and creating the effect of a bleeding, dripping, dissolving Chanel, Coca Cola, Apple, Google, and CNN amongst others. The “Visual Violation” series see popular personalities in portraits with their faces blanked out by a pseudoflashing light while the “Visual Attacks” consist of models with a red paintsplattered bullet hole of sorts in the middle of their foreheads—still fulltoothed smiling from lit advertising boxes. Zevs pulls shadows from street lamps, park benches, and other fixtures of the metro and paints them permanently onto the sidewalks they sit on—spurning the “Electric Shadows” creations in his portfolio. But perhaps the more mindboggling and cheeky of his works are those labeled “Visual Kidnapping” and “Proper Graffiti.” “I have a very strong sentiment of my hostage-taking of the Lavazza image in Berlin on 02/02/2002,” Zevs relates
upon being asked which has been his most defining work so far. “It was very windy that morning, and I really felt the danger up the scaffolding. I was in fear, and I channeled this intense feeling to my work.” He speaks of the notorious gaping hole in the shape of a model’s silhouette that the public was forced to comprehend the morning following his gripping climb. Emblazoned above the kidnapped image were the words “VISUAL KIDNAPPING—PAY NOW!!!,” a bold and earth-rattling feat that sucked critics and loyalists alike from out of the woodworks. And in defiance of what can be comprehended as a dislike for the world of advertising, the artist defines his relationship with the industry and its efforts as a thumbs up “…because I use the power of media and advertising in my work. Advertising is [a] visual adversary, which I use as the influence in my work. Just as in Aikido when you reverse the flow of energy.” Zevs—Chapter Two: Defying Odds and Boundaries. He quotes the best advice he ever received as Nike’s “Just Do It”— the Swoosh being a logo he liquidated in Berlin in 2005. And it would seem fitting that words of wisdom would not come from any other person as Zevs seems to operate better without the dictations or company of people. But then, wouldn’t you too, when what you consider art was being criticized by the general public as nothing more than lowly vandalism? Instead of this hindering his efforts or igniting any rebellious sort of nonchalance, Zevs then turns the tables some more, executing the clever
“Proper Graffiti,” where he reverses the stigma of his medium by isolating grimestrewed walls using high pressure jets to blast his artwork as etched cleanliness versus the city’s own naturally elemented wall vandals. Zevs—Chapter Three: Defying Defamation. We speak of the word “respect” and the role it plays in his world, and his swift response is testament to Zevs’ true artistic soul, “I appreciate the respect for freedom of expression in the city. The street signs, architecture, street furniture, and advertising structure the city and define its limits. Exceeding these limits through graffiti may be a violation of composition of the city, such as scope notes in music. The thing is to know the rules and orders controlling one’s actions. I do not like the word ‘respect’ in its authoritarian form.” Which leads us to the next, and perhaps what he hopes, is the last page. Zevs—Chapter Four: Defying Gravity—A definitive answer to a weighted question. “Today, I would say ‘Moon is the goal,’” Zevs spills in French. “I would paint the footsteps of US astronauts as I did with my own tracks in the snow in the mountains.” And if it’s been any sign so far, there ought to lie a sliver of curiosity as to whether or not he will continue to defy conventions and obstacles, manmade or otherwise, to paint us a picture of the world as he knows it.
He liquidates the logo; we liquidate the low profile pro with a series of telling questions. My name is Aghirre Schwarz. I am 32 years old this year. The east of France.
Yes, but rarely. Two or three times in Paris over the last 15 years and recently in Hong Kong.
I enter through the window.
I would like to travel the US by car as a serial advertising killer.
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TEACHING Miss Thompson With her pouting, perfect, porcelain girls dominating the magazines down under, New Zealandbased illustrator and fashion photographer KELLY THOMPSON is tired of greener pastures. By Anna Canlas Artworks courtesy of Kelly Thompson
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Wellington is a small town, and someone’s got to flee it. That “someone” is Kelly Thompson, 27-year-old somebody in the twin fields of fashion illustration and photography, graduating with a design degree from Wellington Massey. “It feels like it’s time to leave…” she says. “It’s impossible to get away with anything scandalous because this town is too small!” Granted, there are
the usual haunts like Mighty Mighty, an old Pakistani restaurant that’s been converted into a bar complete with live bands and costumed staff, and Matterhorn right down the stairs where “you can always guarantee a pal will be in the courtyard having a drink.” The people in this New Zealand town are pretty mellow, which Kelly loves, but the imaginaire’s got her sights on a bigger picture. That includes pouting, perfect, porcelain girls with the word FRIDAY on their tangas, or two dozen rabbits on undone beds, or half-human (half-drawn) hybrids with
cockatoos for hair, and fluoroafro’d voguettes hiding au naturel behind Silversteinesque Missing Pieces. Sensual without being obscene, detailheavy but spare, and employing a washed-out palette that could only be described as eye candy, Kelly’s work is electric. In fact, magazines like Pulp, Karen, Fluro, Yen, Curvy, and Lucire are all fans and publishers of the artist’s output. In the same way, Kelly herself is a magazine fiend. Once she graduated, she claims to having harassed every magazine to let her do an editorial. Someone said yes; the photographer took her shot. Favoring the photography in Pop, Pilot (a new NZ mag), Lula, Russh, British Vogue, Love, V, S Magazine, and Self Service, she loves mags that look good in a stack, and she hates it “when they go and change the size and my stacking is ruined.” One for order, Kelly extends the same streamlined vibe to almost all aspects of her art: her style (“It kind of emerged without me even realizing. I think my style is clean and beginning to be refined; it’s sexy and playful and relatively uncluttered.”), her technique (drawing with colored pencils on recycled card, scanning said sketches, and then coloring them digitally so she has the option to be indecisive, without the drama of undoing past sins), even her schedule (six days with art, one without). The only thing that’s a mess is her work space—a spare room-cum-office in her city apartment. “I’m trying hard to become a tidy minimalist...and failing,” she says with frustration. Thankfully, it wasn’t as much of a chore for Kelly to get inducted into the world of illustration and photography. As a kid, Kelly’s dad taught her to draw houses, which she would do
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“It's impossible to get away with anything scandalous because this town is too small!”
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every chance she’d get. When she got older, she decided to study photography instead of illustration for the reason that she wasn’t particularly good at it. “Is it bad to say that the best thing I learnt was that university isn’t necessary?” Kelly asks. “Experience is the best way to learn, and it doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have if you don’t know how to put it into practice.” Regardless, Kelly now works as a full time freelancer for both photography and illustrations, favoring fashion above everything but doing commercial work here and there. “Sometimes it can be really tricky because, with fashion, it’s like playing; it’s fun. You can see if something’s working and then change paths to roll with it,” she says, adding “I always feel it’s like a big day of adventure.” Her closet agrees, apparently, as Kelly loves wearing Lover, Karen Walker, Therese Rawsthorne, and Lonely Hearts, mixed with vintage. “I love summer clothes, but
I also love winter layering and delicious coats. I can’t get enough of coats!” Always dressed in skirts, the fashion girl loves looking highly feminine, counting Chloe (Kelly’s current addiction would be capes, as seen on their Spring 2010 runways.), Preen (Interesting sleeves? Check.), and Stella McCartney (Soft color and immaculate tailoring. Check.) among her favorite labels. If money were no object, she’d “be prancing around in Lanvin party dresses looking like a lady.” This one day, though, realizing she had a serious pants shortage, she admits to wanting to cop a few pairs of jeans. Figures. Filling in the blanks is what the woman’s wired to do, the most obvious manifestation being her art-meets-fashion drawings that combine illustrations with photography. Even when it comes to her full-blown illustrations, Kelly admits to starting with a snapshot first. As such, she shoots as many things as possible wherever she goes. “I fly up to Auckland constantly and now have a modeling agent who flies girls to me so I can shoot them
and have them on file to draw later.” Kelly’s main inspiration is people, both as models and role models. On one hand, the artist claims to see subjects at shoots, at which she finds herself with a gnawing urge to draw—or else, burst. In this, there is a curious fascination with skin as the artist is wont to draw half-dressed girls, with their sweaters falling off their shoulders, or even no topside trappings to speak of. On the other hand, Kelly also looks up to several painters and lensmen, which have had a sublime, none-tooliteral effect on her own work. “I don’t really have any one special artist or photographer who I drool over and want to have babies with,” she explains. Among her top five are Mark Ryden (His Uncle-It reminiscent Fur Girl prints have the same ocean-deep eyes as Kelly’s enigma machines.), photographers Lina Scheynius and Jonathan Leder (Their polar-exposed black-and-whites and film-only photos touch on nudity as well.), Aya Kato (intricate, color-splashed drawings all around), and
Ryohei Hase (whose animalheaded humans may have inspired Kelly’s bird-in-anest-of-hair images). Each of these names boasts of an ethereal quality to their work—an ability to transcend the page with their complex constructions, of soulful eyes but empty gazes, strategically placed
hands that cover only the physicality of bare bodies (it’s the thought that counts), or bestial externalities that hint at the humans inside. “No matter how much we think we know exactly what something looks like,” Kelly says ruefully, “we don’t.”
CONDITIONS OF POSSIBILITY Kelly shares how she makes her sexy drawings happen. Camera:
Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Colored pencil, recycled card, and Photoshop
Favorite color to play up: Peach And that color reminds me of: Skin Subject preference:
And that's because... All my boy drawings always end up looking like girls; girls are fun to shoot because they can be more experimental with posing.
Background music: None. I like it quiet so I can hear what’s going on outside.
Location: The beach—I love the sounds and the smell, and there is nothing like having some down time to make you really excited about what you’re going to do next.
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C & P
Graffiti artist SWOON says she senses “little or no separation between art and life.” With this moniker, she’s democratizing public space with subversive art and evading authorities through sheer positivity. By Karl R. De Mesa Photos courtesy of SWOON
as street art is at its best when it’s playful and intriguing. When it becomes too serious, putting forth an agenda in overtly political thrust, no matter how veiled, it becomes the realm of propaganda. And that kind of visual spectacle quickly spirals down to mere advertising demagoguery. It takes a graffiti artist like SWOON to tiptoe this fine line, with her work still putting forth the psalm of whimsy while generating a palimpsest of meaning even to the most casual observer. This is Caledonia “Callie” Curry aka SWOON. She’s a Brooklyn-based artist whose largescale “paste-up” prints have made her a force to reckon with in street art circles. Her works can be seen decorating cities and galleries from Bangkok to Brooklyn. “I am looking always for faces and moments that grab hold of my attention and seem to ask to be examined more deeply,” she says about her conceptualization stage. The South Florida native studied painting at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute and started doing street art around 1999. Since then, she’s gone full time into what she calls her mission in “democratizing public spaces” with art. Usually made by etching an outline into linoleum or wood and using a giant litho roller to apply the ink, SWOON’s works are populated by realistically rendered cut-out everyday people—people you can readily observe in the street made alien and mysterious by her magic. “I draw and draw, and carve, and cut, and print, and cut, and then finally it’s ready to paste. I roll it up and go,” she says. And often, her friends and family are surprised to find themselves in them. Most of them are as hypnotic and mesmerizing as her name. When she gets going, there is little that escapes her eye while her scissors and pen sweep up the rest.
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One of her most popular collaborations produced the 2008 trash boats projects called “Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea/ Serenissima” with the creative anarchists of The Miss Rockaway Armada. These consisted of handmade sculptural wooden rafts constructed out of refuse and garbage from Troy, NYC that the group actually sailed down the Hudson River and finally to the Deitch gallery and another to the 2009 Venice Biennale. Needless to say, SWOON and the gang had loads of fun on those boats. Currently working to overhaul an abandoned church into a school and arts-based community center and on a rebuilding project in the earthquake aftermath of Haiti, STATUS checks out for SWOON’s latest work on the streets. First off, tell us the story on how you came to be called your cool moniker? It was a dream. My boyfriend at the time dreamed that it was my name—a long time before I ever imagined that I would take a name other than my own. A year or so later, it seemed all at once like a good idea to, in that larger conversation that I was a part of on the street, take a name, a voice, a character in the dialogue. So I remembered this name… What are your thoughts on graffiti art being an inherently subversive socio-political commentary, or is it just a fun way to break out of a boring studio environment? Both. And more. [It’s] A way to change your city with your bare hands. A way to change someone’s day on their way to and from a routine. A way to participate. A beautiful collage. A massively vulnerable act masked as aggression. So many things. Please shed light on your goal to “democratize public space.” For me, pasting is about many things, and one of them is about declaring the walls of the city a public sounding board for our dreams desires and collective identity. I see these walls as a ground level, reachable and see-able-bythe-masses bulletin board for a million voices needing outlets. And I am one of them. I have always thought of graffiti…and a million other large and small gestures as ways that people choose the means that they have and go about shaping their environment. I want to live in a city that people feel is their own. That they can form to fit their needs. That they can create in a way that reflects their diverse spirits—not a city you are born and die in but have no part in shaping. It’s said you’ve never been arrested for tagging. Do you find this strange? Yes. And no. I try to have the most positive approach that I can. Sometimes, you can cut through certain dangers by being aware and respectful and positive. So far, knock on wood, I have always managed. Does collaboration make furthering the mission easier? And do you prefer it over working alone? I need both. Collaboration keeps me connected with the world, connects me with my community of friends…breaks me of old habits, and teaches me new things. Working alone recenters me and shows me who I am. Do you find that what initially motivated you to do street art is the same thing that motivates you now? Yes—the motivation is the same, but the work is different. I work on the street still but much less… All of the methods [I use now] come from the desire to communicate with the world, to create a meaningful and active connection with my place and time, to touch people’s lives, and to learn. The work changes and grows, but the impulses have always been the same
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“I see these walls as a ground level. A reachable and see-ableby-the-masses bulletin board for a million voices needing outlets. And I am one of them.”
SWOON OVER IT
SWOON’s 5 favorite street artists today.
This hip-hop tag artist has spread his zeal for the Christian faith in many ways. Among them tagging all over America, Puerto Rico, UK, Germany and even Spain, working with the Christian hip-hop crew Addicted to Christ (ATC). SWOON says: “This man is the genuine article.”
Photo by Adam Amengual
PUBLIC AD CAMPAIGN Jordan Seiler is the man behind the now popular website of the same name founded in 2000. It also happens to be an organization that advocates “expanding curatorial responsibilities in the city.” SWOON says: “The smartest and most hardworking project going.”
READ MORE BOOKS
his huge tags (some as high as trailer trucks) have decorated New York and New Orleans often with the simple slogan in brutal, white block letters: “Read.” SWOON says: “He is a genius.”
The tag name of the man whose work (including wheat paste stickers, murals, and spray-painted diary entries) has made him the agent provocateur of the tagging world. Most widely known for his New York collaborations in the 1990s with graffiti writer Adam Cost. SWOON says: “He is the backbone.”
YOU GO GIRL
The moniker in cartoony, rainbow-colored letters has been spotted as far afield as California, New Orleans, Portland, and even Austin. The urban legend says there’s just one prolific fellow responsible for all this aggro-femme positivity. SWOON says: “The best explorer and most positive, beaming human being I know.”
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NIGHTVISION spin the bottle Photos by The Cobrasnake
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Status Issue 11 Release Party x Antonov @Suite
Photos by Revolution
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Sledge Hammer Photos by The Cobrasnake
flamingo friday Photos by The Cobrasnake
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volcom & flip @ HANDLE BAR
Photos by Joe Alimagno
good time excellente Photos by The Cobrasnake
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Photos by The Cobrasnake
the selby @ colette
Photos by The Cobrasnake
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Cushe urban art fest @ Trinoma Level 4 Park
Photos by Aaron Vicencio
Photos by The Cobrasnake
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Where to find stuff in this magazine Brands ABRAC’E The Ramp Crossings Department Store, ShangriLa Plaza Mall Tel. 635-4410 ADIDAS Adidas stores and shoe departments nationwide ALDO Power Plant Mall, Makati City BILLABONG Stoked, Power Plant Mall, Makati City BRIXTON Greyone Social, Greenbelt 5, Makati City Tel. 729-0945 CLAE Greyone Social, Greenbelt 5, Makati City Tel. 729-0945 CROOKS & CASTLE Greyone Social, Greenbelt 5, Makati City Tel. 729-0945 DIESEL Power Plant Mall, Makati City DIM MAK Trilogy Boutique, 110 Alvion Center, Rada St., Legaspi Village, Makati City Tel. 328-1071 DISSIZIT Available at Greyone Social, Greenbelt 5, Makati City Tel. 729-0945 DKNY Power Plant Mall, Makati City ENVY Robinsons Galleria, EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue FOLDED AND HUNG Greenhills Shopping Center, Ortigas Avenue, San Juan GENERIC SURPLUS Trilogy Boutique, 110 Alvion Center, Rada St.,
Legaspi Village, Makati City Tel. 328-1071 GLOBE Aloha Boardsports, Power Plant Mall, Makati City INSIGHT Trilogy Boutique, 110 Alvion Center, Rada St., Legaspi Village, Makati City Tel. 328-1071 KIEHL’S Greenbelt 5, Makati City LAKAI Aloha Boardsports, Power Plant Mall, Makati City LEVI’S Power Plant Mall, Makati City LUSH Power Plant Mall, Makati City MURAD See murad.com NIKE Nike stores and shoe departments nationwide NINE WEST Power Plant Mall, Makati City NOE FEAR SM Department Stores nationwide OBEY Trilogy Boutique, 110 Alvion Center, Rada St., Legaspi Village, Makati City Tel. 328-1071 OLIVIA AND FIFTH See oliviaandfifth.multiply.com PHILOSOPHY See philosophy.com PILL The Ramp Crossings Department Store, ShangriLa Plaza Mall Tel. 635-4410 See pillfootwear.multiply.com PINK MANILA
The Ramp Crossings Department Store, ShangriLa Plaza Mall Tel. 635-4410 POSSIBILITY The Ramp Crossings Department Store, ShangriLa Plaza Mall Tel. 635-4410 PSYCHO SM Department Stores nationwide PUMA Puma stores and shoe departments nationwide ROYAL ELASTICS G/F Entertainment Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City STEVE MADDEN Greenbelt 5, Makati City ST. IVES See stives.com STUSSY Greyone Social, Greenbelt 5, Makati City Tel. 729-0945 STYLEBREAK See stylebreak.multiply.com THE RAMP CROSSINGS Crossings Department Stores nationwide Tel. 635-4410 TOPMAN Power Plant Mall, Makati City TOPSHOP Power Plant Mall, Makati City TRUNK SHOW TriNoma Mall, Quezon City VANS Vans boutiques, SM Department Stores, Landmark Department Stores, Urban Athletics, Toby’s, Olympic Village, American Rag, Athlete’s Foot, Sports Warehouse VOLCOM Aloha Boardsports, Power Plant Mall, Makati City
WHAT A GIRL WANTS Robinsons Galleria, EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue ZOO See zoo.com.ph CREATIVE ARTISTS Joe Alimagno (Photographer) Mobile: 0906-576-5754 Jem Austria (Model) David Chowdery (Model) Reco Modeling Agency Unit 5B Gervacia Centre, 152 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City Tel: 813-1648 Telefax: 813-1650 E-mail: email@example.com The Cobrasnake (Photographer) See thecobrasnake.com Kristine Dabbay (Photographer) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Anika Hatcho (Model) Stevyn Llewellyn (Photographer) See modernglossy.com Kai Huang (Photographer) See hungryalien.com Patrick L. Jamora (Photographer) See behance.net/padraick Apollo Lara (Model) Arito Lara (Model) Philipp Noelter (Model) Reco Modeling Agency Revolution (Photographer) See cantstoprevolution.multiply.com E-mail: email@example.com Camila Saibro (Model) Reco Modeling Agency Jiro Shirakawa (Model) Reco Modeling Agency David Tang (Model) Reco Modeling Agency Aaron Vicencio (Photographer) See flickr.com/photos/aaronvicencio
dear reader, Thank you for reading this issue. we heart you. you can see more of us at statusmagonline.com love, status team 108 - statusmagonline.com
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Everything about the city I live inspires me (you can imagine; there are green lights everywhere...)
JAySON ATIENZA Award-winning Fil-Am artist JAYSON ATIENZA has been painting mixes of urban, erratic shapes with his signature ink and watercolor style now also seen in tees, bags, sneaks, and skateboards. He shares his talent by founding P.A.I.N.T. (Philippine Artists Inspiring New Talent) and stirring the creativity of newer breeds with the same passion as his. Get to know more of this awe-inspiring Art Director through these odds and ends he’s silly over.
I’ve got a nice thick neck to feature a nice bold neck tie. My M.O. involves a collared shirt, shallow V neck sweater, and some sweet necktie to put the look together. Bright colored neck ties in particular are poppin.
My girlfriend, a.k.a. honey pot.
Gets my stank out.
1ST ADIDAS CUSTOMS
old school style with my own design. I look back at my artistic choices in this pair to remind myself where this whole customizing adventure started.
Our dog, a.k.a. Fran. She’s a real lover, and she likes to sit on my shoulder like a parrot when I’m painting.
I was born in the Philippines and family roots mean a lot to me. These pictures of my family keep me grounded; I know if things get too hectic, that one of them will jump on a plane with me to the beautiful islands where we came from for a break.
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I always have Sharpies on me. Sharpies are an extension of my hand; I use them always when I create my artwork. I buy them by the box.
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