Evolution of TV 1920s-1940s Back in the day, TVs were all work and no play. As in, a huge gizmo, with all these whistling cogs, motors, and mechanical thingamabobs, just to churn out a picture so tiny you could hardly tell it was moving. Just before the first bombs of WW1 dropped, the TV finally went electric, evolving from a big ol’ cabinet to a sleek, kinda smaller radio look-alike.
1980s-Present With TV broadcasting reaching the far corners of the world, the telly started to try different styles on for size: from classy wood, to classy wood-like plastic, to just plastic (though it was shiny and silver, mind you), finally the ‘90s amassed an army of cool, black, plastic TV sets. And from there the developments spun way outta control– projector TVs, plasma, LCD, HDTV, TVs as small as your palm to as big as your billboard and getting slimmer by the millisecond…you know the rest. Makes me wonder what cool thing they’ll think up next. And you just know we won’t be holding our breath for too long.
1950s-1970s Thanks to a major makeover–a little slimming down and a more modern look–the TV became America’s favorite pastime, making its home in practically every American living room. The only thing needed to make the boob tube experience complete? The remote control–though that sort of exceptional laziness came with a $400 price tag. But hey, thank God for Technicolor, which became affordable in the swingin’ sixties. The beloved-yet-obsolete Betamax followed a decade later.
Watch Tv on your Nokia N96 with Smart.
TV in Your Hands.
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TO ALL THE RENEGADES OF SPUNK
he world’s experiencing a renaissance in rebellion. We’ve heard that word thrown around without just cause (sometimes, just ‘cause), but STATUS can hear that ol’ battering ram for positive change—and a different note in the rebel yell. Today, to rise up means to get up, stand up, and act up. Where there’s determination to deviate from the norm, culture’s reborn, art is startled, and people begin to question for the simple reason of finding reason. Then again, we didn’t need too many reasons to round up all these new rebel rousers for this bull-resistant issue. JEREMY SCOTT could have just been another head of threads flinging free garb at Kanye and Madonna, but more than indulging in star-studded debauchery, the Great Scott’s all about design that makes a—and the—difference. And it does take a little stepping out of one’s comfort zone to do just that—whether you’re hailing from already-established bands and creating a radio riot like PEDICAB or launching into new sound space like JANELLE MONAE; or going full-on art attack like TERENCE KOH, WK, or MARK SALVATUS. Or, like our mutinous man SHEPARD FAIREY, spreading “Hope” around by redefining it with an image or two. Of course, we’re bound to do the same with our rebellion issue. If change can come from the unlikely—one man getting up, speaking up, and reminding not just America but the world that it damn well sure can—then this humble magazine is our medium for just that. Defiantly Yours,
The Status Team
STATUS ISSUE 05
...is Revolutionizing Rebellion STATUSPHERE x CHECKOUT COUNTER................16 STATUSPHERE x REVIEWS.........................18 GO-SEES.......................................22 SWAG TEES..........................................24 SNEAKERS......................................26 ACCESSORIES...................................28 BOOTS.........................................30 BAGS..........................................31 KNIVES........................................32 CHEESEBURGERS.................................33 MAESTRO JANELLE MONAE.................................34 PASE ROCK.....................................35 PEDICAB.......................................36 NASA..........................................38 JAPANESE MOTORS...............................39 AMANDA BLANK..................................40 DJ RIZ........................................41 MASTERMIND VOLCOM SKATERS................................43 WK........................................... 44 MARK SALVATUS................................ 46 SHAWN MORTENSEN...............................48 COSTANTINO ZICARELLI..........................52 TERENCE KOH...................................54 DAUL KIM......................................56 RICKEY KIM....................................57 SLICK.........................................58 RETNA.........................................62 HITMAN JEREMY SCOTT..................................64 RICK KLOTZ....................................70 SHEPARD FAIREY................................74 WORKING GIRL LEAH MCSWEENEY................................80 CLAW..,.......................................82 ERIN WASSON...................................84 NIGHT VISION..................................86 RIGHT RIDER x MAEGAN RAE HARTSOOK.............94 101 LAWS OF POWER.............................100
o, the dirt-flamin’ hells’ angel on the cover isnt some random hick Nabil Elderkin found on the freeway. Don’t let the mullet fool you, ‘cause your’e looking at a guy who’s made fashion haute, ‘n’ heavy with his rogue designs-which explains the Adidas logo: Jeremy Scott spreading his mad love through his collaboration with the big O by O line. For us, though, we’re just glad he did’nt go for the assless chaps.
contributors CHIARA CUI
A full-on pop culture geek, Chiara will devour any record, film or book you put in front of her. As a tween, she had dreams of working for Kevin Smith’s production company View Askew, but will now settle for a job getting coffee for Alan Ball. She has an inexplicable obsession with David Lynch, Charles Bukowski and the TV series LOST. She wants to start a band called the Watussi Eaters. A graphic designer, writer, and at one time a radio DJ, she struggles to reconcile her big city dreams with her love of the ocean and rural countryside.
TOFF DE VENECIA
Sometimes, the clearest paths are the ones right in front of you. Toff has been writing all his life but never really got to take it seriously. Over the years however, he has discovered that writing is when he can get most creative and most confident in himself. Writing is his home away from home. Writing is the one constant thing in his ever-changing life, in his ever-adapting mind, in his ever-chaotic world. But before he gets too sappy or philosophical, Toff just wants to give a shout-out to Emma Frost. Signed, sealed, delivered, “make mine Marvel!”
Terry Richardson is an international celebrity as well as one of the most kick- ass, in-your-face photographers of our time. His talent for taking raw, amusing, maybe accidental, and definitely provocative pictures is what makes him a photographer you wouldn’t wanna mess with. Anyone who can shoot Kanye West, Married to the Mob and different fashion campaigns for the likes of Gucci and Armani Exchange has got to be crazy-talented. Watch out, though, ‘cause this photo menace is also out working on his first feature film. But then, whatever the medium, there’s always something specially Terry—and most likely, bizarre—about it.
SARAH MEIER ALBANO
If you don’t know who the Sarah Meier-Albano is, we don’t know what cave you’ve been hiding in. This supermodel-turned-MTV VJ-turned-co-founder of events powerhouse Steak Productions has been in loads of commercials and billboards all around the Metro. Anyone who manages all that and strike up a lil’ writing on the side, is definitely on the top of our lists.
Fresh from her stint as Market Editor for Lucky Magazine, Meg Cuna made her move to start stylecaster.com earlier this year. This hybrid web company combines great recommendations, bitchin’ editorials, e-commerce and social networking. So, of course she was a natural pick to run her nails through an interview with fashscratchin’ artist Claw Money. A Status-factory girl, indeed.
The very first photo we saw from photographer Nabil Elderkin took our breath away. This Australian export, now based in Los Angeles, has photographed widely recognizable artists, celebrities, and personalities like Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, John Legend, and the Black Eyed Peas to name a few. His artistic eye has him photographing ads for Vans and Billabong. And although his shoot for Jeremy Scott was his first collaboration with Status Magazine, rest assured, this isn’t the last.
ART DIRECTOR Revo Naval SENIOR EDITOR Paolo Lorenzana ASSOCIATE EDITOR Victoria Herrera Nicola M. Sebastian FASHION EDITOR Rosario Herrera FASHION ASSISTANTS Jessa Lopez Josephine Reyes MARKETING DIRECTOR Jon Herrera ASSOCIATE MARKETING DIRECTOR Mesh Villanueva DESIGNERS Nicole Bianca Po Patrick Jamora
INTERNS Thadeus Delosa Abe Domingo Christine Braganza Erika Hoffman Francesca Theodoro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Lucy Arthur Christine Braganza Anna Canlas Barbie Cruz Chiara Cui Meg Cuna Gino de la Paz Fickle Pickle Erika Hoffman Peter Imbong Sarah Meier- Albano Nante Santamaria Toff De Venecia Anine Vermeulen
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alesi Almario Adam Amengual Steven Berkman Patrick Jamora Nabil Elderkin Revolution Terry Richardson FINANCE Eva Ventura PUBLISHER Whiz Kids Publishing
What’s your STATUS? We love to hear from you! Email us! email@example.com It’s also available digitally at WWW.STATUSMAGONLINE.COM/DELIVERY For advertising opportunities, please email STATUSMAGAZINE1@GMAIL.COM or MAGAZINESTATUS@GMAIL.COM Or call (02)8901708 / (02) 8956833 Status Magazine / Unit 3 / Ecoville / Metropolitan Avenue / Makati
OH MY, O! W hen it seems like the creative designers of the world are stuck in a rut, we can always count on Adidas to shake things up. And as if on cue, this February, Adidas’ launches their Originals by Originals (“O by O”) line to the whole world. Adidas teams up with the most original of designers in the world today: LAbased designer Jeremy Scott, Alyasha Moore, from Fiberops, and Kazuki Karaishi, deemed as one of the Japanese gods of modern streetwear. Each has its own distinct design philosophy and style. While Jeremy shines his creative and
wild imagination with his leopard prints, Alyasha twists the concept of ‘40s-and-‘50s-inspired Americana, and Japanese designer Kazuki produces highly technical yet wearable streetwear. By creating a mini collection for the brand, they stay true to Adidas’ values of creativity, individuality, and authenticity. Their lines consist of both apparel and footwear, so there’s a little something for everybody. At first it seems like an unlikely partnership between Adidas and these three designers. But in hindsight, this proves that Adidas has
the eye for what design really is. These designers are not your predictable, cookie cutter designers, but are trendsetters in their own right. They are pushing what design really means in today’s contemporary world. We can only look forward to what Adidas has in store for us in the future. available at Theodore’s G/F Quadrant 4, Bonifacio High Street Fort Bonifacio, Global City, Taguig T (+632) 8563571/ 8561635 www.adidas.com - Hannah P
THE GREATER GOOD W
WE’VE GOT NAIL E
stablished in 2006, Nailsdid is a UK-bred ladies label that takes the talon-transforming trend of nail art and lays it thick on streetwear. After consumerist curiosity led graffiti god Frame to collaborate with M.I.S.S. (Mama’s International Secret Society) and paint some sharp-ass nail art on a couple of t-shirts, 500 pieces had sold out within the first week. From bright lacquer colors to other slick “services” like
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the Brazilian wax tees (trading trés chick artsense by collaborating with Misbehave Magazine), to their funky-fresh shirt designs for Summer ‘09 and an upcoming jewelry line that’ll feature ‘80s oldschool hip-hop flava, Nailsdid is definitely one brand that’s scratching our itch for art-breaking apparel. www.nailsdid.com
hat was first an invitation to infuse mad entertainment biz skills into a very fashionable project, DJ/Producer Ben launched a brand that would successfully integrate trendy streetwear and dance music under one stylish roof. What’s Good? not only asks that most important question, but answers it by bringing credible independent fashion labels to Southeast Asia at affordable prices. What’s Good? opened its first store in Singapore in October 2007, even if this wasn’t Ben’s original intention. “I’m based in Malaysia. If I wanted to have a store, it would be in Kuala Lumpur,” says Ben. “But Singapore’s an equally important market for us, so when the opportunity arose to have a Singapore store, I jumped at it.” Still, they already had retailers selling their merchandise at the time, Ben says, even
if “none of them really seemed to understand what our brands were about. At the end of the day, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Less than a year later, What’s Good? opened its second store, finally, in Kuala Lumpur, and has also acted on plans to infiltrate Japan. Aside from housing their own line, What’s Good? collaborates with other equally fresh-making indie labels like Know1edge, Methamphibian, Crooks & Castles, and Alphanumeric. The popularity of their products has enabled them to keep developing better, slicker, grander collaborations—just to make sure that “What’s good?” is a question you certainly don’t need to ask.
LIVING THE HIGH LIFE
SUPPER’S READY TO RIP F
irst it hit hard-ass Amsterdam, then it built a cruise line, and now its latest satellite hotspot is in the roaring Lion City. Supperclub is that all-encompassing club/restaurant/ entertainment haven where the only rule is: leave your inhibitions at the door. Put up by artists, Supperclub thrives on art. From its servers to its walls, everything—and we mean everything—projects art. The 80-foot staircase, the smoking room filled with smokin’ hard bodies, and a revolutionary floating wall are all part of what makes Supperclub an exciting, all-night frenzy of food, music, alcohol, and inhibitionless fun—all done tastefully like the art it upholds. With the club’s three-hour, five-course meals, you can experience everything from alcohol injections, meat dresses, and maybe even the chance to meet the oyster lady.
And that’s just for the actual meal. Supperclub’s even got spontaneous performances by local and international artists, musicians, singers, exhibitionists, DJs, and, who knows, you might even get on the club’s allembracing marquee. If you think that’s a lot to take in for one night, then come back the next week when they’ve changed everything from the menu (a little variety never hurt anybody), the performers, and even the utensils (if you’re lucky, you just might get a fork), and behold a little novelty in your nightspot. ‘Course, if you’re gonna pop into those unisex restrooms with see-through mirrors, you just know that anything can happen up in this club.
Odeon Towers, 331 North Bridge Road, Singapore -Christine Braganza
ver dive into a pool with Swarovski-encrusted tiles? How about walk barefoot on a heated patio towards private cabanas surrounded by a killer view of the Hollywood sign? The Thompson Beverly Hills sure has all that luxury packed in. Located on Wilshire Boulevard, it’s about 3 minutes away from the suntanned mother of all shopping districts, Rodeo Drive. As if that weren’t enough, the glossy décor, with its chrome lamps, inky marble tiles, and silver curtains, will make you feel like you’re Vinny Chase living it up in Entourage. And sure, the Thompson’s plush ‘n’ posh rooms are stocked with bath prods from Kiehl’s, cashmere-soft towels, and linens from Sferra
plus an iPod dock right beside the bed, but this hotel’s claim to fame is the ABH rooftop lounge, a.k.a. “Above Beverley Hills.” Keep your peripheral vision on-check when A-listers like Leo DiCaprio enjoy signature cocktails in this exclusive lounge. ‘Course, if you get hungry, you can call for room service or hop on down to the ultra-hip sushi bar, Bond St. But be prepared to drop some serious cash during your stay, with rooms starting at $299 a night up to $4000 for a penthouse suite. We all know luxury like all this don’t come cheap.
9630 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, California www. thompsonhotels.com -Christine Braganza
ELECTRIC POWER TO THE PEOPLE T
he breeding ground of bronzy tans, topdown autos, and teen dramas, the O.C. is also a platform for the biggest, craziest, and most goodlooking trends these past few years. With its gender-breaking-and-powergenerating style squeezed so damn fresh, the O.C. has given us another addiction: the brand Lira. Having launched his first men’s and women’s lifestyle collection
in early 2008, Lira’s Todd Kellogg developed a line that would unite genders in an idea of individuality. Many of Lira’s t-shirts have graphics of power lines and electricity symbolizing that highly charged ability to stir one’s own atmosphere. Whether it’s from pure passion or other elements that Kellogg gets a transmission of inspiration from—music,
art, travel, and sports—and that he says “brings us all together”, these happy and causeworthy vibes are then emblazoned on t-shirts, v-necks, hoodies, and even accessories. Now with this undercurrent of power and individuality, who wouldn’t get a positive charge from Lira?
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JOFFY CRUZ (vocalist – THE DORQUES)
The Informations – “Strange Habits” Joffy says: “This virtually unknown Swedish band makes quirky psychedelic music. I don’t know if I don’t understand them because they are speaking Swedish or because they are speaking gibberish. Or is it English?” Vibe: Shroomed-out elves swing through the branches of pine trees on a crisp winter morning. TV on the Radio – Dear Science “Family Tree” Joffy says: “I had this on repeat at work for about a week ‘til I got sick of it. A well-constructed track. Just try not to think about the similarities to Coldplay.” Vibe: What must play when a hipster soul is beamed up to heaven. Pastel Vespa – L’Anarchie “Tumbthumping” Joffy says: “An old cover of an even older song. I recently discovered Pastel Vespa’s music and have been collecting her other cover songs one by one. Consider it an alternative to Nouvelle Vague.” Vibe: Top of the Pops invades a retirement home, especially since everyone’s pretty much retired Bossa Nova from their playlist.
ACT UP: Turbo Goth Photo by Angelo Maniquis
Pink – “So What” Tony Arzadon Remix Rocktakon says: “Okay, I know not again but dude, he killed this one. Arzadon crosses bad pop with electro and you get a dancefloor burner. Pink is sure to keep the ladies happy and the synth lines have everybody from the Jersey Shore to L.A. hipsters going nuts. Another must-play at all my commercial gigs.” Gel Abril – “Spells of Yoruba” Rocktakon says: “This track is banging in the underground right now. Although it’s not making it into all my commercial sets, it’s definitely one of the hottest records on the house and techno scene. The simple drums and repetitive vocal sample ignite any place, dark and dirty.” Kanye West – “Love Lockdown” - Eli Escobar Re-edit Rocktakon says: “Such a great song by West gets just the right remix treatment. Just a little nip and tuck job by Escobar makes one of the best songs out more DJ-friendly and harder hitting. I’m playing this every time I DJ right now.”
arah the tattoo artist had the pumpkin soup. Paolo the sous-chef came out from the kitchen and immediately fell in love with Sarah the tattoo artist. Thank God for that because a short gestation period later, Turbo Goth was born. Bonded by their “passion to create beautiful music”, destiny, and a shared love of the word “turbo”, Sarah Gaugler and Paolo Peralta put it this way: “some songs you can dance to, some you can riot to. And,” Sarah adds with a raised eyebrow, “absolutely nothing is boring.” Drawing divine inspiration from the holy musical trinity of Daft Punk, Iggy Pop, and Madonna, this terrifically dressed twosome whip up electro-pop delights that are nothing close to Goth, made from a homegrown recipe of crunchy guitars, spacey melodies, and synth-y dance beats. ‘Course, Turbo Goth prom-
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MICH DULCE (vocalist – US-2, EVIL-O)
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend “A-Punk” Mich says: “I love this band, period. Amazing live and I actually love every single song in their album.” Vibe: A few mod rockers decide to plug their instruments into a beach hut’s socket. Pete and the Pirates – Little Death “She Doesn’t Belong To Me” Mich says: “This song is so jangley and pop and reminds me of Belle & Sebastian, which is always a good thing.” Vibe: Under a cheerful crepe-tissue sun, Paper Boy and Paper Girl pick paper flowers in the patchwork field where the cut-out animals play. Thomas Tantrum – Thomas Tantrum “Work It” Mich says: “I’m a sucker for girl vocalists and I saw this band open for Dirty Pretty Things and she’s so cute and shy and endearing. Plus the song is just bound to get stuck in your head; it’s so catchy!” Vibe: An all-grown up Powerpuff Girl picks up an ambiguous, transpacific accent and uses her womanly superpowers to rule the world.
ises to “entertain both the spectators’ ears and eyes” with a yin and yang performance from the couple—the spasmic Paolo jerking each note from his guitar as he jumps about and fiddles with his magic box, while the stunning and statuesque Sarah stands serenely in the eye of Paolo’s storm, nonchalantly singing and occasionally speaking her oh-so-pop lyrics with that floating, baby-doll voice of hers, her delivery at times accented by a most becoming pout. With an album set to launch this year and their commitment to the “creating of art rather than ‘hits’,” Turbo Goth is all for climbing above the electro multitudes. “We plan to go up.” Sarah points upwards, “that way.”
Turbo up at the band’s regular gigs at Gweilos, Makati, every other Wednesday. You can also check out Turbo Goth’s gig schedule at myspace. com/turbogothband. And why not get a tattoo by Sarah the tattoo artist while you’re at it http://purpleturtlealien.multiply.com/.
Director’s Cut: RA RIVERA
ne of my all-time faves is the 1965 film Help! starring the Beatles. The primary reason why I like it is that I’m a big fan of the Beatles. Reason number two is that I’m also a fan of the director, Richard Lester. He’s been credited as the father of the modern music video, even receiving an award for it from MTV. The story’s pretty simple: this cult is about to sacrifice a girl to the goddess Kaili. But the girl loses the sacrificial ring, which they need to complete the ritual. They realize that the ring’s stuck on Ringo Star’s finger. The cult tries to get it back and that’s when all the crazy shit happens. I think they might’ve used it as an excuse to go to all these exotic locations, like the Alps and the Bahamas. Then again, they were pretty messed up—in-between
and during shooting (according to interviews the film was shot in a “haze of marijuana”). People have even tracked down the scenes where they’re all red-eyed. Being a music video director myself, I’m heavily influenced by both the music and the film production of Help! along with A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles’ other film. Help! is almost a musical because of the song numbers in between the narrative. It’s those music segments I like… the aesthetics, meaning the style and the language/ grammar of the film-making; how it was shot, edited, all the camerawork. Before MTV even existed, these music segments used innovative forms and techniques that are now the standard in today’s music videos. Totally ahead of its time. I often find myself referencing his work when I do my own music videos, even subliminally.
GHOST TOWN T
he master of inarticulate nastiness, Ricky Gervais, tries his hand at a romcom. Bertram Pincus (Gervais) is a dentist because the only people he has to deal with have mouths stuffed with cotton. But when a botched routine procedure (a colonoscopy, go figure) gives him seven minutes in heaven, he comes back down to Earth with an unwelcome new ability that makes him all too aware of all the ghosts whose earthly baggage’s been blocking their flight onwards. And all of them have requests. One particularly persuasive/ pesky spirit, Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), manages to get Mr. Congeniality himself to help him stop Gwen (Tea Leoni), the wife he had chronically cheated on in life, from marrying a guy (he claims) is just another douche bag.
Somehow, in spite of, or perhaps because of, his horrible dentist jokes and a frank wit that hints of a social awkwardness, the widow starts to give him a second look. A look that’s lingering, somewhat curious, and almost affectionate… With Ghost Town as Gervais’ first major leading role, and a surprisingly sappy one at that (at least, by Gervais’ standards) the well-watched viewer may cringe at the awkward mess that is sure to ensue. And yet it almost comes as no shock that Gervais pulls it off with the same deadpan brilliance as he always does, tagteaming with the fun and quirky Leoni to squeeze out a few serious laughs. A mainstream flick with a kinda average storyline becomes, through quality delivery, a happy, little piece on love, second chances, and moving on.
their final destination, Generation Kill peels off and examines the complex layers of war with grim yet engaging frankness to spell out a fairly obvious truth: war is never pretty and always messy. Writer/Producer David Simon, creator of The Wire, manages to finally give viewers some actual reality TV. And as we share in the battles and suffering that take place off the battlefield as much as on it, we realize that fighting the
Good Fight is an elusive ideal, especially in our boundary-less, shifting modern-day world. They say war is no longer fought in the trenches. Generation Kill shoves that notion into the mud, where exploding bombs leave your ears ringing and the blood of soldiers and civilians flows. A rogue, flying shoe from a seriously pissed Ay-rakee is the least of Mr. Bush’s woes.
DVD BOX SET:
ven before the last soldier has been airlifted out of the Middle East, HBO brings us an Iraq War epic saga. We spend the first 40 days of the hugely unpopular war with the Marines of the First Recon Battalion as they struggle to fight a new kind of war amidst the challenges of ever-shifting rules of engagement, army politics, and understanding a strange land with even stranger people. As they journey deeper into enemy territory, with Baghdad as
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Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman
comic about comics—or at least, the story of a young, MAD-induced boy who grew into a madly talented comic artist. Bagging a Pulitzer for his first memoir, Maus, that turns his parents’ survival of the Holocaust into, quite literally, a cat and mouse game, Art Spiegelman was writing graphic novels before the term zoom!-ed its way into the modern lexicon. Other than the original comics from its ’78 publication, we find in this reprint of Breakdowns a collection of never-before-seen material capturing the worries, woes, memories, and neuroses of a very pivotal artist. The book opens with a comic of Spiegelman’s collaged
memories, all the odds and ends that find their way into his panels. What follows from that extended introduction is an eclectic mix of his works, from an early draft of Maus—a rougher, more cartooney, threepage version of the later series—and a graphic deconstruction of a single joke told again and again, to an experiment in Expressionism that explores his mother’s suicide, and the crazy pulp story, “Ace Hole-Midget Detective”. Breakdowns breaks down the words “memoir” and “comic”, taking its readers on a poignant yet amusing journey into the weird and wonderful mind, and the resulting art, of one crazy “%@&*!”. Just remember to drop his baggage off at the end of the book.
Skins and Punks: Lost Archives, 1978-1985 by Gavin Watson
he kids aren’t all right. Well, at least they weren’t where Gavin Watson grew up. From the photographer that inspired the likes of Terry Richardson comes a book not about skins, nor punks—though they are the subject matter in the photographs— but about family, friends, and surviving industrial, working class England. Watson fills up the pages of this longoverdue sophomore work with snapshots of his forgotten youth and equally lost youth movements—and no, those emo kids you see thrashing about
on MTV aren’t the same thing. Skinheaded kids in bleached jeans, their young faces hardened, hang out in the streets, lift weights, do drugs. A gang stomps on a fallen kid’s face. Watson’s own baby brother, Neville, musters up his toughest face in biker boots and suspenders. At times brutal, often mundane, occasionally hilarious, and always subtly engaging, Skins and Punks offers a truer look into youth culture than a plastic Holga and a pair of neon-pink wayfarers could ever provide.
Presidential Material: Barack Obama
by Jeff Mariotte illustrated by Tom Morgan
t’s no surprise they made a graphic novel saga out of it, considering the epic showdown that was the ‘08 U.S. presidential race. And hey, if the first black president’s already got a You Tubefamous Obama Girl, a pop-art portrait, and a Hollywood-endorsed slogan, why not a comic book? Tracing Obama’s
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transformation into the uncanny Mr. President, which starts with his humble beginnings as an international student with a funky name, drops in on his groovy, fag smokin’ collegiate days, and reaches its end with the discovery of his secret political superpowers and the amassing of a league of celebrity sidekicks, Obama is an entertaining
way to remember a pretty damn historical moment. A great piece of pop paraphernalia to add to your collection, though I’m not too sure the kids will be zooming the Barack Obama action figure around the dining room. Oh, and there’s one about McCain too, if you were actually interested.
SUBCULTURE: Bar Counter Culture Our resident hoochie princess, Starla Hohansson, gets her a blonde with hazel eyes, with legs that dangled somewhere freak on downtown—downing hard-ass hooch and running with above her head. To call it anything less than pole sports would be a shame. the freaks. Three nights are definitely a charm. by Anna Canlas
Night 1 It’s Friday, and usually I’m in love with the Fort, but tonight, I’ll stake out Makati’s red light district instead. Of course, everyone knows about Ringside, with its diapered midget boxers, oiled girl boxers, pillow fights, and referees that give you crazy eye illusions the way their big bosoms are sandwiched between black and white stripes. And so I walk past the bazaars selling the work clothes (on P. Burgos, that means dresses with slits slits with dresses). Past the beerhouses and the bars with all the foreigners. I end up in a bar with foreigners. Jools Cabaret, to be exact. I enter this tiny room with a wall-length mirror, a reception desk, and no receptionist. Just when I’m heading out, though, the sliding door whooshes open and a guy in a suit tells me to go in, to a high-backed couch, where I’m handed a hot towel. Onstage was a girl prettier than me, a girl who wasn’t, and one with a beer belly. Yeah, they were pole-dancing, but the thing was, some of them were world-pole-dancing-championship contestants! There was
STATUS STOCKS UP:
(REAL) LIFE ON MARS: The fact that Mars is the 4th rock from the sun means that it’ll be a cool place to live in. And now that scientists have sniffed out methane fumes on the red planet (that’s a good thing), it looks like Earthlings will be staking out that prime, red, real estate. MAY-BUHAY MILES: We all never really listened to those pre-flight safety instructions, so that can’t be the reason why a lot more people haven’t reached their final destination—even after their planes nose-dived into destruction. So, yeah, maybe the mortality of plane crashes is crashing ‘cause of luck, better crew reaction, or maybe those fluffier pillows they’ve been handing out in Economy.
PLATEU: OBAMA—DA BOMB/COULD BOMB?: So the votes are in, and Beyonce sang “At Last”. Yes, he can, but can Americans let go of their Super-Sized meals, cars, and debt? If not, Obama’s hope is just chump change. KARA-OKEY LANG: Whether it’s half-Filipino-half-somethings or half-baked Filipinos, the “Pinoy Superstar” is still in stasis. Now if Charice Pempengco milks her Third-World cuteness and grows up a little, will Oprah still love her?
Night 2 On my second night, I realized the first night was kind of sleazy. So I thought about what all those nudies say that “it’s not smut, it’s art” and headed straight for beatnik bastion Cubao X. I really wanted to go back to the Future – that bar on the first floor of the I Love You store. But the Future had different plans for me. Last time I was there, I saw a Pinoy English dandy: tight pants to the ankle, long-sleeved shirt, ruffle down the front, bowl cut, aaand—brown skin. But damn you, unpredictable store hours! The Future was closed! And all I could do was listen to new new wave on my iPod, pretend to sit on the unmatched armchairs, and imagine a Korean-vodka-with-Yakult cocktail (My Shirota) on my tongue. But I’m tough. So I headed to Malate for some tall drinks and short servers at Hobbit House (1212 MH del Pilar cor. Arquiza St.). As I got down, I almost stepped in cat puke, but their massive drink list of beers from all over the world made me feel all right. And how can dark thoughts stay when folk singers croon “Puff The Magic Dragon”? Night 3 My brain cells are wide-awake, so it’s down to Murphy’s Irish Pub on Rufino. Tuesday nights are quiz nights, as in Scrabble or Vodka Roulette or some other board game. You pay 500 for a group of five, to hopefully kick another group of five’s ass, and possibly win a beach trip at the grand finals. But it’s not all fair. I played warm-up Scrabble with my girlfriends, and all we got were words like FOXY or IS. Some other group’s board had ZENITH and OBOE. I think we got bad letters! Plus, fish and chips have a way of distracting a girl. I demand a rematch! In a year. Or more. But for now, I call a truce. This hoochie misses her mindless evenings. Dear God, will you turn the night back on?
DOWN: COMEBACK KIDDING: They say mid-life crises are a form of realization. So the much-publicized comeback record pretty much wrecks the right of a rock god of yesteryear (Guns’N’Roses and Pearl Jam come to mind) to wreck hotel rooms. NO LOVE LOCKED DOWN: What seems to be on a constant downward trajectory is Kanye West’s humility. Whether it’s whining to the press about his holy work ethics or feeding delusions of vocal grandeur with a Vocoder, we are definitely not siding with the West. PRIMER BEEF: Mark Ndesandjo (Obama’s half-brother) Why You Need to Know Him: You thought Barack was the personification of new age and change in, well, stereotype? Check out his Kenya-born half-bro Mark who lives in Shenzhen, teaches piano to orphans, and heads an Internet company, skydiving, skiing and surfing during his downtime. Possible Cultural Significance: So the last name’s a little hard to pronounce, but he’d make dish out some pretty good “dirt” (“there was that time in Navajo when B brought out the bong, and decided to play strip-cowboys and indians with the local babes”) for that Obama bioflick that’ll most likely come up. www.statusmagonline.com - 21
Usually, when school’s in, style’s out. But these high-flying co-eds from Ateneo get high marks in the STATUS dress code. Photographed by Revolution
Sabs 20 AB IS
BFA Information Design
Mary Anne 19 AB EU
Nicole 18 BEA ID
22 - www.statusmagonline.com -- for more go-see photos check out http://www.statusmagonline.com/gosee
Monique 21 AB IS
Ji Hyunk Park 17 AB COM
Tamila 18 AB EU
BFA Information Design
Ha-eun Baik 17
R. Lance 19
BFA Information Design
Mikkel 18 BS MGT
Paolo 19 AB COM
Christine 19 BS MGT
BFA ID www.statusmagonline.com - 23
Some killer t-shirts for work and play. Photography by Revolution Grooming by Xeng Zulueta Model Eric Soriano
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Crooks & Castles - [P 1,580] Crooks & Castles - [P 1,580] Stussy - [P 1,200] Obey - [P 1,480] Rise Up - [P 1,200] Lore - [P 1,200] Deter - [P 1,500]
Tee by Stussy Hat by Stussy
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SWAG 8. Undefeated - [P 1,300] 9. Stussy - [P 1,200] 10. Lore - [P 1,200] 11. Rise Up - [P 1,200] 12. Adidas - [P 1,895] 13. Copy - [P 1,500] 14. Capital - [P 1,600] 15. Lira - [P 1,200] 16. Puma - [P 1,100] 17.Puma - [P 1,100] 18. Adidas - [P 1,595] 19. Obey - [P 1,000] 20. Bonafide Icon - [P 1,500] 21. Copy - [P1,800] 22. Bonafide Icon - [1,500] 11.
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These sly wicked sneakers will creep up and have you wanting all.
1. Circa - [P2,484] 2. Nike Cortez Fly - [P4,795] 3. Circa - [P2,484] 4. WTaps x Vans - [P5,050] 5. Elements - [P2800] 6. DC Match Mids - [P4,990] 7. Puma First Round - [P4,550] 8. Nike Dunk Low SB - [P4,500] 9. Adidas Stan Smith 2 - [P3,595] 10. Adidas ZX700- [P3,795] 11. Puma - [P3,910] 12. Lakai - [P2,800] 13. DC Xander L&D - [P6,490] 14. Nike Blazer Low SB - [P3,500] 15. Vans Half Cab Pro - [P3,500] 16. Adio - [P2,800] 17. DC Pure SE - [P4,290] 18. Puma Basket II [P3,110] 19. Nike Cortez Fly - [P4,795] 20. Adidas Superstar - [P3,995] 21. Vans Neckface TNT4 - [P3,180] 22. Nike Zoom Team Ed SB - [P3,800] Hat by Freshjive Tee by Obey Jeans by Diesel Shoes by Vans Vault
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MISS INDIE PENDANT These pendants are good for ladies who can rock self dependence and mad style as well.
Photography by Revolution Makeup by Xeng Zulueta using Shu Uemura “Mirage” Collection 2009 Model Megan Rae Shirt by Jeepney Pendants by H&M
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GIVE ‘EM THE FINGER
Slip ‘em on and wrap everyone ‘round your finger. Definitely rings to rule them all.
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Not too high, not too low, these ankle booties are a must-have for your stylish appetite.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Michael Kors - [7,950] Charles & Keith - [P 2,699] Nine West - [P6,450] Rafe - [P20,999] Nine West - [P6,950] Nine West - [P7,250] Promod - [P5,495] Charles & Keith - [P2,495] Aldo - [P8,195]
Shirt by Deter Skirt by Warehouse Boots by Charles & Keith
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All Boxed Out
Grab some of these cute, box clutches to keep your evening essentials.
Blouse by Warehouse Skirt by Warehouse Clutch by Aranaz
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Artisan - [P6,950] Artisan - [P9,950] Tint - [P2,698] Rafe - [P12,499] Mix - [P16,499] Carbon - [P2,998] Aranaz - [P2,700] Aldo - [P2,095] Tint - [P2,698]
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BLADE RUNNER Stay sharp in the jungle-and we donâ€™t mean the urban one.
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Burger king [P75.00]
Mcdonald’s Cheeseburger [P 49.00]
Jollibee Cheeseburger [P 43.00]
Brother’s Cheeseburger [P 130.00]
Burger Machine’s Cheeseburger [P 51.00]
Wendy’s Cheeseburger [P100.89]
Grade-A, USDA, whatever, when we’re starving we certainly got no beef with these processed patties. www.statusmagonline.com - 33
I think of it as I’m an artist so I guess it’s a form of art. Walking art. But yeah, I don’t place too much thought into it. I wear uniforms—black and white—and that’s all I have in my closet. Oh, it’s a mixture of fire and water and…funk.
How much trouble did that wild imagination of yours get you in then?
Out of this world yet grounded in groundbreaking sound, the music of JANELLE MONÁE is the sort that might actually change the world for a better future.
t seems more like the girl had clicked her heels to escape Kansas rather than to get back to it. For Janelle Monáe, a far-off future she constructed on the dust clouds of her imagination is her home—specifically in Metropolis, an androidabounding city in the year 2719, where the absence of love is just a part of the dystopian skyline. Metropolis is also the debut album Monáe is releasing in four installments, aka “Suites.” And it’s where Cyndi Mayweather, an afropompadoured, equestrianthreaded fallen android, is on the run for falling for a human being. That’s the starting point of the space rock-‘n’-soul opera and first installment that is Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition). Though the Cyndi saga is set in a future similar to the one Janelle excavated from the 1927 film Metropolis, the heroine’s journey is quite similar to that of her creator’s: Janelle on the run from her Kansas hometown—and all—for New York; Janelle jetting from her NY drama school and finding herself singing for sustenance in Atlanta; her alien sound offsetting the radars of Outkast and later, Bad Boy’s Diddy, who launched Janelle’s Suite life through her own label the Wondaland Arts Society. And as the 24-year-old tells STATUS, 34 - www.statusmagonline.com
bending time and space, she and Cyndi are simply fighting for love, creative liberty and justice to the music for all.
call it. ‘Cause I know my purpose and there’s nothing that will stop me from getting that message out.
So it’s 8 P.M. over there, but I’m guessing your day is far from done…
And apart from being uncompromisingly creative, you mentioned you were also a businesswoman. You aren’t one of those overly sensitive artists who say no to the phone skins or Gap commercials.
Well, I’m still in Wondaland right now and you caught me in the middle of working on some tunes for Suite 3, which will be coming out in 2009. Suite 2 and 3 will be combined. Cyndi Mayweather will stop running and she will fight back, realizing that she is indeed the arch-android…she is the one who has been sent to Metropolis to fight the Great Divide. The Great Divide is an organization created to divide and conquer and to not allow the androids and humans to live in peace and to be united. So Cyndi Mayweather will be very brave in Suite 2 and 3. And when the music press calls you “the future of Rock ‘n’ Roll”…is it more difficult to get that creativity out? Not at all. Andy Warhol’s quotes speak to me to this day, and one of the things he’d always say is never to label your art. While everyone does and while they’re trying to figure it out, you should focus on art. I let everyone else, figure out what they wanna
Well, I have a label also, so there are a lot of things that I intend to do. And 2009 is gonna be a very dynamic year for the Wondaland Arts Society and we’re gonna be signing and putting out suites on other artists. There’s Deep Cotton, I love Jastecps. There’s a group called Hollyweerd. Rhabi. You know, there are lots of artists in Atlanta that started off in the underground scene with me and nobody really knows, so I really wanna help these artists and put together a really big tour and shake things up a bit. So in doing a Gap commercial…actually, I love the argyle sweaters they have and I love their commitment to the community and I read their mission statement. And then there’s your style, which screams volumes. What personal statement are you making with your hair and all those dapper masculine duds?
Well, I think in my imagining things…they would sometimes come true. And yeah, it did get me into trouble, lots of times. I’ve always been a risk-taker and sometimes, it works and it doesn’t but that’s all part of life—being unafraid to fail. And so, as long as I’m here, I’m gonna fail and not be afraid of it and after that, you’ll get a chance to really get into your prime. (Laughs) Wow. Well, you did mention that Obama influenced a lot of your music. You ever get to meet the guy? There are people that are working that out right now…pulling a couple of strings and hopefully, that’ll happen soon. We probably wouldn’t talk about any business. We’d pick each others’ brains… I’m sure he’d wanna know about Metropolis and what goes on and how he can get there and I’ll see if I’ll try to get him there. And I would like to pick his brains and understand where he got all his funk from. He and I share similar core values, which is really never to get too high and get too low. I think he’s an artist as well…his mind is very agile and he has this really broad imagination. And what about people who’ve slapped you with the diva title—more for giving a more positive meaning to that word? That word is old to me. People should come up with new terminology. I’ve been compared to a lot of men, which is kind of cool and I like that, so…I don’t know, call me a boy or something like that. That’s grand.
ROCK ROCK THE MIC THE MIC RIGHT RIGHT
Devlin and Darko DJing. My man Fat Jon on flute, probably Naeem (Spankrock) backing me up, Eli Escobar and XXXChange playing computer drums, a statue of Santogold as tour manager to make sure we eat our vegetables, brush our teeth before we go to bed and don’t die from alcohol poisoning, The Posso girls on keys and backup, Prince Terrence on real drums, LLoydski on guitar…and I dont wanna say who’s Penny Lane ‘cause I might get in trouble. Lindsay Lohan perhaps? I love her.
PASE ROCK (aka Patrick Vaughn) doesn’t just know how to turn a club into a den of rabid groupies as a golden god in the DJ-verse. He’s also a rapper who knows a good verse or two to get them screaming for more.
The titles of your songs are pretty naughty, to put it mildly. What spurs the title-choosing process?
By Vicky H
ou don’t doubt Pase Rock (aka Patrick Vaughn) can, on one night spinning a club out, make a girlfriend or, well, two hundred. Even with—or rather, because of—song titles like “Lindsay Lohan’s Revenge” or “The Motherfucking Rave is Over”. They’re just a few of the hits he’s whipped out that gets girls going wild and dragging their girlfriends to the dance floor. It all sounds a little crazy, right? Especially since lately, the guy’s been up at four in the morning writing songs to finish his record—hard proof that there’s a method to his madness. STATUS sits down to pick his brain, so keep on reading, baby.
STATUS: It seems like you always knew you’d be a DJ considering you’d be playing with grandma’s turntables as a kid. So how did slipping yourself into this business all play out? I’m still not sure this is what I want to do for the rest of my life! For some reason, I just had a natural connection to it. I think because when I was younger I was a dancer and nobody was playing the stuff that would get me hyped to dance. I grew up watching the DJ at the roller-skating rink. That was my connection to clubs and DJing. I grew up at the tail end of the “Roller Disco” concept. When I first got into music Michael Jackson, Off The Wall, Thriller and Planet Rock were big. I probably knew five songs as a toddler. “Atomic Dog”, “Rappers Delight”, “Rock With You” and stuff like that. And I still play those records! To answer your question, I feel like it’s a spirit that just
caught me—like a ghost or something that’s haunting me and instructing me to do it. It’s just inside me and I can’t stop doing it until the curse is lifted or until I get exorcised or something. I struggle with it frequently and some days it hurts, but it’s a big part of who I am. For the most part, I embrace it and feel blessed to have my life this way. You’ve DJ’ed practically everywhere. What is the o ne little thing that you look for: a place, an atmosphere and a crowd that probably no one even notices? I always look for the person who got dragged out by their friend or friends and look like they really don’t wanna be there. I try to spot them and make sure that they have a good time. They might not know who you are, or don’t like what they think is the music about to be played. So if I can throw them a curveball of excitement to get them into the groove then I’ve got a new fan, and that’s how you win people over—the element of surprise, if you will. As a DJ, you know a lot of artists that sometimes don’t make it into the club playlists. Which of those do you think deserve to be shed some major limelight? Blaqstarr and me. I deserve more limelight. Play my shit, yo. But definitely Blaqstarr. Dream posse to bring on-tour? Dead or alive…
I guess I feel like you should make a statement? I mean if you’re buying a CD and you just read it and you see, like, “Single Ladies” vs. “Al Qaeda Can Eat A Dick”, which one are you more interested in? And yes, that is a real song of mine. Speaking of song titles…we just couldn’t resist: “Sexy Motherfucker”—what’s sexy to you? Meagan Good. Models. Long legs. Furniture. “Get Money Kids”—what crazy jobs did you do as a teenager? I was Chuck E. Cheese. For real. “So Fucking Disco”—tell us about your early disco days. I already did, right? You’re a music man but we want to know about something else: your fashion. What are your favorite brands, either new discoveries or ones you’ve been faithfully following? Favorite brands are Obedient Sons, Louis Vuitton, Corpus, Ksubi, Comme Des Garçons, Uniqlo, Steven Alan and Marc Jacobs, on the high-end side. On the casual side, I just wear WESC and 10 Deep ‘cause I like their clothes. Oh, and they sponsor me too. New sponsorships, collabs, or song titles with ‘penis’ in them—anything we can expect from you in the near future? Yes, but if we talked about it, it just takes all the fun out of it, doesn’t it?
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PEDICAB POWER The Uncanny SFX-Men It wasnâ€™t hard for the hipster huddles and radio DJs to hail Pedicab when its five seasoned artists shook local music with new aural seasoning. And now everyone is along for the ride, as well.
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R It wasn’t hard for the hipster huddles and radio DJs to hail Pedicab when its five seasoned artists shook local music with new aural seasoning. And now everyone is along for the ride, as well. By Chiara Cui Photographed by Alesi Almario
nterviewing the country’s supergroup Pedicab, famous for their high-energy live performances, electropunk/synth-heavy sound, and a lineup that reads like a music geek’s wet dream, it’s easy to get a little intimidated, and with good reason. The band is made up of Diego Mapa or “Daddymaps” on vocals, Raimund “Sugarraims” Marasigan on bass synth, Jason Caballa (“J. Sonic”) on guitar, Mike Dizon (“Masterbeat”) on drums, and R.A. Rivera or “Just Toni”, who volts in the visual and audio effects. With about eight or so heavy-hitting acts (The Eraserheads, Cambio, Monsterbot, Twisted Halo, Teeth, Blast Ople, Eggboy, Squid 9) strapped to their band belt of association, their history is definitely nothing to sneeze at. “We’ve always thought of this as an outlet to do things we wouldn’t normally do with our other bands. Kaya lagi siyang interesting,” says Jason. Of course, Pedicab’s timing was serendipitous. It was almost as if they had heard the cry of the people, clamoring for something they hadn’t heard before. “It was gonna be a dance band,” Diego says of their budding intentions for the band.
And a dance band it most certainly became, Pedicab releasing their debut album Tugish Takish in 2005 and creating an echoing wallop of sound in the local musical landscape. Their ubercatchy dance-punk packed tight with tongue-incheek lyrics caught on and spread throughout the Metro like wildfire, taking up residency in places like Saguijo Cafe, which was then only starting to become an integral part of the local independent music scene. “Imbis na nagmo-mosh yung mga tao, sumasayaw na. Parang nakadefault na, ‘pag kami na—sayawan,” Diego says of the band’s gigs. With singles like “Dito Tayo sa Dilim” buzzing from every car and kitchen radio, they had single-handedly managed to usher in a revolution of sound—even from their initial drive towards obscurity. “It was supposed to be an art band,” says Raimund, weighing in on Pedicab’s initial vision. “In the first album, diba, there was a visual element to it. So [R.A.] would project live and recorded and canned videos on stage while we were performing. He had either a TV or a tarp, but we wanted it really sparse, we wanted it really low-tech.”
The visual element of the band, with R.A.’s experience and unique aesthetic at the helm, is just one more thing that separates them from their contemporaries. Seeing them play live is also a unique experience. No other band integrated visuals as they had done and they also worked it into their own band identity and image, playing gigs with each member dressed in matching outfits. “Mahilig kami sa mga bands that wear the same thing,” Jason says, citing bands like Devo as a uniform act of inspiration. With the release of their sophomore album— Shinji, Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter—in July 2008, they’ve proven they still have what it takes to make you shake it. And if you’re wondering who Shinji is, that would be their studio engineer Shinji Tanaka. “Pinaglalaruan ko yung vocoder. Sinasabi ko [in a robotic voice] ‘Shinji, ilabas mo na ang helicopter. Shinji ilabas mo na ang tangke,’ tapos tawang-tawa kami. Tapos pauwi, naisip ko ‘Yun na lang!’ tapos nagustuhan nila, so yun,” Diego explains of how they churned out the album title, later admitting part of the reason behind the name was to hear it
announced on a P.A., which eventually happened when the album was nominated at the NU 107 Rock Awards last year for “Best Album Packaging”. And now, with a spot in Singapore’s Mosaic Festival in March and the still-reverberating buzz from Shinji refusing to die out, 2009 sure seems like it’s shaping up to be a great year for Pedicab. “I always say it’s the Golden Age. Kasi inabot ko yung the dirty ‘90s and the boring ‘80s,” muses Raimund on the current state of the local music scene. “Dati kasi kailangan you were doing a specific sound or hindi ka ire-respect ng audience mo. You had to be grunge or, kung hip-hop ka babaduyin ka ng audience, even radio stations would do that to you. Ngayon naman, kahit anong tugtugin mo, okay, there’s a lot of venues for bands to play. Tapos on a specific night, marami kang pwedeng puntahan, iba-iba yung lineup, hindi parepareho. And then if you don’t even have time for a music career, pwedeng on the side and still be successful...and still get to play several times a month.” Diego adds: “It doesn’t matter anymore who listens to you or ilan eh, as long as you’re doing the things you want to do.” www.statusmagonline.com - 37
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND When you say “mix- tape,” N.A.S.A. ain’t kidding. They’re bringing different yet equally talented artists together not just in one record… but mostly in one track! Some call the mix crazy, but we call it vision. STATUS chats with Squeak E. Clean, aka Sam Spiegel, to tell us how their music can take our minds to the next level. By Vicky H
’m listening to a beat and I can hear Kanye rapping on the track, Later on Lykke Li’s soft, melodic voice hits the chorus, followed up with a verse from Santogold herself. How’s that for a collab? The song entitled “Gifted” is just one song from N.A.S.A.’s upcoming album, The Spirit of the Apollo. They aim to bring together different artists, producing a unique record that you could call a defining mark of our times. N.A.S.A, which stands for North America, South America, is composed of visionaries Sam Spiegel from Los Angeles, and DJ Ze Gonzales from Sao Paulo. Through music, N.A.S.A. explores how in the 21st century, we leave behind all boundaries and limits to our yesteryears. It’s 2009, and it’s time for a new perspective. Sam sits down with STATUS and he shares just that. We live in One World: We made a record based 38 - www.statusmagonline.com
on the principles of exploring outside of your comfort zone for inspiration and collaboration and also on the principle that we are all one race of human beings that should not be divided by any of the false boundaries that have been propagated through the mass consciousness.
played a big part in why the album took so long (almost six years!) to make. I learned so much from collaborating from all of my heroes that it’s indescribable in a quick answer. I do feel, however, like I could work with anyone now and feel good about collaborating with them.”
The Two Geniuses Meet:
Blast from the Past:
“We met and had similar enthusiasm for listening to music, particularly Brazilian, making music, and Djing. We met at a friend Dvno’s (Edbanger’s crew) studio, where he was finishing a record with his band at the time. We started talking about Brazilian music and hit it off, and the next day we made our first track together.”
“I would love to get James Brown and Bob Dylan together in the studio. The incredible poetry of Dylan’s music and the vitality and backbreaking funk of James Brown would be a great combo.”
Challenges and Lessons: “The greatest challenge was really coordinating and getting everyone together to record. That
“Whoa. I can’t believe we’re actually doing this.” “Recording with George Clinton felt like that for sure. He’s just such a larger than life character whose music I’ve worshipped since adolescence. Working with him felt surreal.”
Mission for N.A.S.A: “A great thing I think the record could do is to be to open people’s minds to different types of music and new artists. The record was all about exploration and not being limited or stuck to one type of music.” Ready for Take Off: “We have almost completed our NASA film which is a documentary with footage from everything from going down to Sizzla’s rasta compound, Judgement yard in kingdom Jamaica to digging for records in Sao Paulo to recording all night with George Clinton. We’ve combined this with animated music videos and animated bits where we animate the work of our favorite artists like Shepard Fairey, Barry Mcgee Twist, Mark Gonzales, Marcel Dzama, The Date Farmers, and many more.”
The Rising Sons
For surf-rock band JAPANESE MOTORS, hanging loose is just what it takes to stay afloat in today’s uptight music biz. Surfer/singer Alex Knost shoots the breeze on their debut album, the O.C. disorder, and keeping it simple, stupid. By Nicola M. Sebastian
sking Japanese Motors to explain their choice of band name is like talking about your mother on a first date. At least, that’s how lead singer Alex Knost describes it when prompted for said explanation. It could be a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the lagging US automobile industry. It could be a proclamation, declaring in two choice words the stand this band takes on global politics, eco footprints, and thinking for yourself. It could also be absolutely arbitrary. It could be all that, but Japanese Motors is hesitant to oblige with either a nay or a yay. “I could explain,” says Knost. “I just don’t wanna…that’s like asking me if I’m against or for a certain religion—it’s our deal.” Granted. Their name might remain a mystery, but it isn’t hard to single out their sound from the rest of the radio rabble. Ditching all the electro-hyped urban fuss going on, Alex Knost, guitarist Nolan Hall, bassist Chris Vail, and drummer Andrew Atkinson hit the beach, infusing some good ol’ California
sunshine into Japanese Motors’ post-punk-slashgarage vibe. Over jangley guitars and pop grooves that could’ve come from the ‘60s, guys who wear their hair in their eyes sing about the hair in their eyes. Oh yeah, and getting drunk, chasing swells (and girls), and surviving the artifice and traffic of L.A. With the band’s OC origins and a RVCA pro-surfer for a lead singer, it’s no wonder you can literally hear the seagulls in songs like “Single Fins and Safety pins”. “What interests me about surfing is the subculture,” muses Alex on his liquid habit. “That’s what gets me in music too. Sub-cultures are very poetic at heart, at least until the bomb goes off.” One thing’s for sure, the bomb’s definitely gone off on whatever indie anonymity the band enjoyed before, what with the launch of Japanese Motors’ self-titled debut album just last October. “We’re just stoked that someone would put it out,” supplies Alex. “Recording it, we were like ‘is this right?’;‘I dunno what do you think…’ and so on. We were over-thinking it
and then just decided to wing it.” But experience is a great teacher, as Alex discovered: “I felt blind recording it, but looking back, we learned a lot. Only now am I able to listen to it and go ‘yeah, I’d like this if I wasn’t a part of it.’” From this side of the radio, it’s tempting to raise a jaded eyebrow at yet another scruffy surf band, started by some random suburban kids that got their hands on Dad’s old records. But what makes it work, saving this particular foursome from a retro-wannabe fate, is its convincing sincerity. When Al Knost lazily croons about being “too hippie to be a punk/too punk to be a hippie” you can almost taste the beer he’s swigging from. “It’s just common people doing common things,” shrugs Alex. “I try not to care sometimes. I just wanna hang out at the beach and, as long as I can do that, the rest can go out the window.” “But of course there’s an aesthetic: it’s what we know; it’s what we feel, see, forget, and fuck up,” Alex says, summing up their lackadaisical deal in modest tones. And what
exactly do they see? The cultural dichotomy of their native L.A. “It’s so black and white… on one side of the road there’s Starbucks and fake boobs, and then the other side is full of poor, awesome bands and the Latino community. It’s great fuel for the creative fire. Inspiration in front of your face and a constant reminder of the alternative right across the street.” Far from Googling obscure music for inspiration, Japanese Motors do, in fact, spew out what they know. “[What does it] for me are all these bands with nothing… you know, shitty equipment—I mean really shitty not fake banged up Strats but like hand-me-down crap—and just going for it with absolute fearlessness.” As for that pesky “surf band” label that’s doomed many a musician to quirky music obscurity? “To be honest, labels wear me out,” replies Knost. “Call it what you want ‘cause we don’t know what to call it.” How about we call it a damn good time?
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Did anyone ever tell you nice girls shouldn’t be doing this shizz? Ummm.... highschool seriously.
my entire career? No,
Do you have to muster enough balls to get up onstage? I get stage fright every time! It’s funny, ‘cause I love to perform. It’s better than sex and drugs...well, better than drugs. But being onstage, I think, is such a big part of wanting to make music for me. And I still get the craziest butterflies before I go on.
You say you like dirty talk? Then MC-rific AMANDA BLANK is your girl. Her fast-talking, fiery mouth spits out whatever the hell rises from her imagination. Just don’t come a-running when your ears get smoked. Introduction by Erika Hoffman Interview by Vicky H
t’s a tough world out there for some lady MCs. The industry has its stereotypes, and for some reason people don’t seem too sold on the idea of a girl rapping. But there is one chick that takes the cake in knocking those reservations. Amanda Blank won’t take no sh*t from anyone—and she makes sure you know it. News about her stirring up a storm with Spank Rock and following the trail blaze of fierce femmes like M.I.A and Santogold just makes you realize how serious and committed this gal is. With a solo debut album soon to drop, and another record for her Philly pop band Sweatheart, we won’t have to wrack our brains for long on what she’ll rap about next. STATUS shot the questions; Amanda filled the blanks.
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You’ve done collabs with a lot of amazing artists. What have you learned from all that? I’ve learned to be myself and live my life…and have fun, or really, what’s the point? Santogold for sure has definitely taught me a lot about song writing and making music and, in genera, being a woman in this industry. I really love her. I couldn’t do any of this stuff without her. Growing up, who’d you listen to? What artist gave you that stroke of inspiration and admiration?
Lil’ Miss Amanda Blank, please do tell us, how’d a nice girl like you get into this rapping business? Technically, I guess I started rapping in high school, but it was really my first apartment right after high school that I started to go for it. I always thought I was being silly and for me it was just something to do for fun, but the more I did it, the more people started to pay attention. And then one day, Spankrock said to me, ‘Yo, this is really good Amanda, you should do this forreal’ and we wrote “Bump” and then it was over from there. To be honest, I don’t think I would’ve ever taken it seriously if it weren’t for his encouragement and hand-holding...and me being such a show off!
You’ve broken a lot of stereotypes when it comes to the whole female rapper deal. How was it going against the current? At first, it was kind of rad ‘cause at the time we were just in our own little bubble. There really weren’t any other girls doing anything similar to me except maybe Peache, and she’s like OG fairy god mother of white girl electro rap, but I think because of that, people were a little more interested in just seeing and hearing what it was about. It wasn’t until later that they really started to judge it. Now it’s definitely more difficult. People are amazing if they love you and what you’re about and they are vicious if they don’t.
I listened to tons of stuff growing up but I’d say my biggest lady inspirations to do what I do would be Monie Love, Mc Lyte, Roxanne Shante, Debbie Deb, Chrissy Hynde, Joan Jett, Grace Jones, Blondie, Madonna, and Janet. Amanda Blank’s top five rules of making a statement are… Be loud. Be aggressive. Be true to yourself. Never worry about what you look like and don’t take no shit!
BUSINESS The Crooklyn Clan’s beat-turning half DJ RIZ gives us a spin on his offhand style, sharing sound space with a classic like “La Bamba”, and getting Paris Hilton to back that thang up. By Nicola M. Sebastian
hen I DJ, I come to the club, open my computer, and go,” DJ Riz says of how he starts cranking up a party. After all, he has mastered this offhand style since his early days on the radio. Playing the other half of the long-time hip-hop dynamic duo Crooklyn Clan with DJ Sizzahandz, DJ Riz is first and foremost a product of the good ol’ fashioned pause button mixes of the early ‘90s. A decade later, he’d rise up to hiphop fame in the fashion of his biggest influence, DJ Marley, who played “hip-hop, R&B, classics, you name it.” When his parents thought he was crazy for his unconventional musical endeavors, they weren’t exactly wrong. Not only did Riz etch out a reputation as an international DJ; he also continued to work with out-of-the-playlist picks like the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Otherside”, Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind”, and Gary Jules’ “Mad World”. By now, it’d be a feat for Riz to count how many records and remixes he’s done since he pressed play on his career. An online shop lists more than a hundred CD titles—unreleased mashups not included. “To this day, it boggles my mind when ‘Be Faithful’ comes on at a party. The reaction is almost the same as it was when it first came out almost ten years ago,” he remarks of his epic Crooklyn Clan hit with Fatman Scoop. “I knew it [had] solidified as an all-time classic when I heard it at a bunch of weddings being played with ‘Celebration’, ‘Electric
[Boogie]’, and [gasp] ‘La Bamba’…” It’s no surprise that the NFL, with their season’s slew of events at the hottest clubs, hosted by the likes of Paris Hilton, handpicked DJ Riz to be its go-to master of ceremonies. “When I was done, we were just kickin’ it,” he says. “In my mind, though, I was like ‘hmm, maybe I can scoop up Paris, [you] never know…’” ‘Course, the boys at the NFL are just a small fraction of his revved-to-intoxication club audience in Toronto. Across the map, he’s pumped up his beats per minute at scenes in Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, London, and Spain. When asked about his favorite city, though, what happens in Vegas is always a wet dream for him. “I call it the ‘Land of Make-believe’,” he says, describing his favorite party capital, where, as the town’s celebrity DJ, he’s spun at Pure Las Vegas, sometimes with The Hills’ Lauren Conrad on the floor. “People from all over the world come here daily, it’s just one big constant party,” he says, while adding where else he’d like to stick his decks at: “I have never been to the Philippines…I have a sore spot for the beautiful Pinay women!” And what else does Riz wanna get a rise off of? “Years ago, I heard Diddy was interested in making an album called ‘The Party Kings’ with us…that would’ve been great.”
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HIGH ROLLERS All you need is a skateboard and some good vibes to hang with the boys of Volcom Stone— just don’t offer ‘em Balut. By Nicola M. Sebastian Photographed by Patrick L. Jamora
f this were surfing, we’d say that the boys had been skunked. For the past two days, dark clouds had stubbornly refused to take a hike, keeping the concrete waves unskate-able and the Volcom skate team, here on the Volcom Salute Balut tour, indoors. Excluding their excursion to a friendly neighborhood black market, the boys have spent the whole day zoning out to National Geographic, possibly catching up on way-too-many days of skipping school—although copious amounts of beer and other stimulants of the organic nature would probably be frowned upon, if not straight illegal, in an academic setting. It’s all good though ‘cause their wheels had gotten a taste of a whole bunch of prime local skate spots, like Roxas Boulevard, UP Diliman and the Ramon Magsaysay School in Cubao, before the hefty cumulonimbus’s decided to dump their load all over the Metro; just a bunch of rowdy young boys looking for a good time and some decent concrete to tear up. If you can roll—and roll with it—come along. It’ll be a great trip.
STATUS: So how’s the tour been? Brandon Westgate: Great, been getting a lot of good skate, except for today ‘cause it’s been raining. David Gravette: Yeah, we’ve got like police escorts, which is pretty insane. It’s probably the first time a cop has actually helped me. They take us down oneway highways and get everybody out of the way and just charge (laughs). Been a little rough though because my skateboards got lost in the airport and I dislocated my freakin’ toe. Damn. How’d you manage that?
DG: Skating a pool. It’s pretty messed up. After I fell I was like, “oh man, I think I broke my toe,” and I took off my shoe and I could see in the sock my toe pointed at, like a crazy angle. So I was like, “I guess I did… alright you guys wanna see?” And everybody was like “alright, get the cameras ready.” So I had to sit there and wait before I could break my toe back straight. So how did you get into skating? What’re your stories behind that? Chima Ferguson: My brother started skating and I used to just do whatever he did. Chris Pfanner: It was when I moved to Austria from Nigeria. These kids in my neighborhood would always come skate this ramp I built for my bike and destroy it. So I made a bet with them that I could do what they were doing ‘cause it seemed so easy. So out of a bet became a passion, and I’ve been stuck with it for the last 12 years now. How’s it been touring with these guys? CF: Well, I used to see these guys in magazines and stuff before and to meet them in real life is pretty cool. CP: We’ve gone through a lot of crazy stuff together. But, as we say “what happens on tour stays on tour.” Give us a little something. C’mon. CP: A bunch of guys that are on the road, for quite a while, partying. You can imagine the rest. Put like three dots and people can fill it out. Who’s got game with the ladies then? CF: (shrugs) I dunno. Maybe
Brandon. (Everyone laughs). Me I kinda just get drunk. I don’t remember what I say. So it’s good. How have you found the Philippines so far? BW: It’s really, really hot (laughs). But it’s good, the people are really nice, fun spots too. Though I really didn’t know what to expect before coming here. What did you expect? Like the jungle or something? BW: (Laughs) yeah. CF: I heard that it was really bad and had lots of crime but then I come here and it’s pretty relaxed. Crazy lifestyle but it’s still cool. DG: A lot of guns, seen a lot of guns. You see a security guard with an M-16; we saw that the other day. What goes into your skating? CP: For me skateboarding is about the moment. No one gets to tell you what to do; you just do what you wanna do. So what goes through your head then, when you’re right in that moment? CP: That’s the thing. Nothing. You know I’m just so focused on that one thing that the rest of the world just stops for a moment. It’s a good escape from everyday life. So how do you feel about where skating’s at today? People always say that everything’s been done… CP: No way man. You can’t say everything’s been done. There are new generations coming…new ideas, approaches. Even if it’s the same trick, it’s always done differently. 43
K W s ’ y a D a All in volutionary rial art re st du in at Wh it’s urban t graffiti, n’ is es do WK renewal. ur By Lucy Arth
o most he is known as WK, to some the ‘master of movement’, and to his mum— well, no doubt something less sophisticated—normal, even. As a painter with a penchant for canvasses that are public property, it isn’t any wonder it’s hard to find out his real name. WK is a prolific artist, with a distinctive presence and body of work that has inspired and disarmed the people of NYC and beyond for almost two decades. He is dedicated as much to his style as he is to his canvas: the urban landscape. In one intriguing act of devotion to his art form, he recruited a newspaper vending machine to the cause, modifying it so that it served up cans of spray paint. He then went around the city ambushing New Yorkers with
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his creation, trying to get them to express all that pent-up urban angst through a healthy dose of vandalism. Essentially, to spray it, not say it. We can only assume that this exercise in catharsis was well received by those notoriously irate New Yorkers, and that the city was a hell of a lot more colorful by the end of it all. As he says, “I want to do my thing, and I want to show people how they can use a city to do theirs.” Famous for his monochromatic painted murals of skaters, kungfu masters, boxers, and mountain climbers, all of his work incorporates a unique and often eerie sense of motion, affronting our sensibilities in order to stir up an inner rebellion. His signature images of figures pushing
and stumbling through the streets have become as typical to the SoHo District as boutiques ‘r’ us and gawking tourists; such an urban landscape providing the ideal backdrop for WK’s style: motion tripped out on emotion. His friezes (murals to the art-unaware) almost seem to freeze and stretch time, giving the impression of a distressed, almost desperate kind of movement. As the name of his website (wkinteract. com) suggests, his work truly interacts with its surrounding environment, using space and dimension, corners, bars, stairs, or whatever else he can incorporate. The emphasis seems to be on working with what is there, not against it. The pace and ambience of NYC is perfectly
complimented by his murals; in fact, his images are rather like the city itself: manic, dynamic, tense, moving, and always in-motion. But that doesn’t mean his work can’t hang with the “proper” art types. WK can provoke and inspire from a gallery wall as easily as he can from a city one, and has had exhibits in America, England, France, and Japan. We caught up with WK to talk motion, emotions, street art politics and painting with a toothbrush. Just finished going through your site—truly awesome stuff dude. Please state your name and current stomping grounds, for the record. WK. New York, NY
Where do you draw your influences from (other artists, graffiti or otherwise), and what inspires you in general? My influences are from daily life and the ability of the human form to endure. I love how there’s a sort of minimalism in your work (in terms of color). Is the choice to stick to mainly black and white (even in your photos!) a deliberate one, or is that just where the creative process took you? It is deliberate. When and why did you decide to start using the urban landscape as your canvas? More than 20 years ago (in the 1980s) back in France, the street became my forum but the elegance and beauty of Niece and Paris did not seem appropriate for my style. I therefore moved to New York in the early 1990s and found a more suitable ‘canvas.’ Looking at the photos on your site, everything seems pretty out in the open in broad daylight. Who donates their walls to you, and why do you think they choose your art over some lovely lucrative billboard? The larger pieces that are two and three storeys high are legal but the other smaller, life-size pieces are not all “out there in the open”. For large projects, when I find a spot I want, I approach the owner and ask. It’s pretty simple. I have met a lot of good people over the years this way and we have remained friends. What compels you to paint, regardless of the canvas? Motion and movement. How do the different canvasses and mediums affect the experience for you on a personal level, artistically speaking? Like most artists, I go through phases of likes and dislikes, but I hardly ever paint on canvas. I prefer working on harder surfaces like wood and metal, similar to the walls I have
taken. The dirtier the better and the less of a frame I have to work within the better. Many people feel tagging impedes the process of legitimizing graffiti as an art form because it perpetuates the whole ‘vandalism’ misconception. I suppose this is essentially because it is an eyesore for people who do not understand it. Some writers argue that tagging is an important part of graffiti art, and that aspect of it is not supposed to be ‘beautiful’. What’s your take on the ‘urban terrorism’ notion? I am not a graffiti artist, although I use similar media to execute my work and you can hardly compare what any of us do to “terrorism.” It seems that in certain parts of the world, graffiti is becoming a more acceptable, less affronting art form and is actually making its way into the mainstream. Do you think that it diminishes the underground feel of the movement or do you see it as an inevitable, and indeed positive, progression? Street Art and Graffiti will both evolve, submerge and emerge according to the economies and politics of their relative societies. The relevance of the works change within the context of its time and location but it is always reactionary. In the same vein, I see a lot of graf artists are finding a balance with the corporate side of things and using their art as a means of livelihood. Do you feel that someone becomes less substantial as an artist if they don’t do everything as a labor of love? Do you see it as selling out? Or do you think creativity and commerce can live harmoniously and it’s on the artist to find that happy medium? It is important for an artist to be able to afford to feed himself, once he can retain enough artistic control on such a project.
What is a brand you’d love to design for? Are there any specific brands out there to whose ethos or identity you can relate?
I have not worked for any brands although I have collaborated with several of them over the years, but I have moved my work away from that direction in recent years. Loved the gear section of your website. It’s that Banksy-esque humor paired with a shitload of insight and just a dash of cynicism that endeared me to it. Is it a factor for you to make art that doesn’t always take itself too seriously? My urban camouflage to which I think you are referring very much predates the “Banksy-esque humor” you mentioned, so I do not really think that is a legitimate comparison. Urban camo is not all humor since it has enabled me to blend in better with the urban jungle and provided a way to avoid getting caught by the cops. There is a fine line between you and jail when you are out bombing at night. Is there a message, or are you just happy to make the world beautiful? I don’t think of what I do as something particularly beautiful. Everything I do is emotionally charged and most of the emotions I portray in my work are not romantic. What is the strangest tool you’ve used for your art? A toothbrush. Soundtrack while you’re working? Silence. Dreamer or critic? Critic. Form or function? One leads to the other… Hatefully remembered or quietly forgotten? Both. www.wkinteract.com
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SALVATUS ARMY MARK SALVATUS is an army of many, an army of one—where in-your-face art is concerned, at least. By Anna Canlas Photographed by Revolution Visuals by Mark Salvatus
e’s more than kissing distance away, but Mark Salvatus’ facial hair is making me itch. “Gupit-gupit lang,” (just a snip here and there) comes the artist’s sheepish reply, fingers rubbing the oddlydistributed scruff on his chin, when I ask about his Edward Scissorhand-enabled shave job. The work is uneven, artsy; overgrown in some parts, but sparse in others. A facial happy trail, if that’s not too distracting. Even sort of, well, crude. Crude seems possible, when you think about the 28-year-old’s medium and materials: streets, maps, street maps; Mongol pencils, concrete posts, public 46 - www.statusmagonline.com
property—even the entirety of Metro Manila. In an art scene dominated by digital art and Photoshop, this cross-disciplinary artist drops trou. First on the list of the man’s artistically nekkid art-o-biography, is, ironically, a project called Wrapped. Making the contemporary not so temporary, the exhibition began during a 2007 residency at the IASK Goyang Art Studio in Seoul, when Mark lived in a small South Korean village scheduled for demolition by “The Man” (whoever he is, in those parts). At this, The Other Man—let’s call him, uh, Mark—decided to play anthropological embalmer.
Armed with hand gestures, a certain yellow pencil, and a fauxKorean accent, Mark asked people from the village to trace their modernday possessions onto the wall. He’d then go over the outlines with a distinct bandage pattern—as if to preserve the object. “No, no, no. Don’t draw…don’t draw,” recalls the Lucban-local Mark, in a failed attempt of a failed attempt at Korean-English grammar. Despite the initial hesitation, people eventually got the hang of it; the cute Korean kids started calling their friends to draw, too, on the walls; and the Pilipinas Street Plan member’s part-graffiti, part-performance art,
modern-mummification ritual has now been re-enacted by communities in Barcelona, Angono, and Quiapo—all taking Mark’s lead. Right now, the Wrapped movement continues, with Mark’s latest show “Good Morning Sickness” currently on display at the Nospace Gallery in Bangkok. After swathing umbrellas, scissors, boots, bottles of soda, D-SLRS, or even Jessica Stam’s Bulgari ad mug, Mark now wraps actual faces, by taking pictures of people in his bandageprint masks. The memory is a secret; a game of who’s who, played only between Mark and the person in the photograph. For the same project, Mark toyed with the idea of maps: on one
wall—an archipelagic smattering of paper ovals— still in his trademark pattern; on the other, a Magic Markered-out map creating a tripped-out camouflage. If that’s not guerilla enough, there’s no place like home. Trek through the Markcurated Manila Street Art Museum: an exhibition space that exists nowhere and everywhere—a busy intersection that’s apparently the mind of The Salvatus himself. Balikbayan boxes with discarded clothes, an old tire, and angry writings on the wall, are just some of the things Mark finds on the street, and cheekily tags with museum-issue title cards. True, this project (like a lot of Mark’s art) rests on punch lines. No surprise, given Mark’s Advertising background at UST, and his admiration for Andy Warhol. But he’s not cracking jokes. If anything, he has his middle finger and pointer finger in v-formation, and he’s probably doing that back-and-forth thing from his eyes, to your eyes, saying, Hey. I seeeee you.
At this time, then, Mark Salvatus is no longer the scruffy artist with a creative shave. He’s Boy Agimat, Mark’s supposed alter ego with an oversized amulet for a head. Inspired by the third-eye amulets sold along Mark’s inspiration station, Quiapo, Mark produced stickers of the oversized eye and stuck them all over city property. “’Pag nilalagay ko sa labas, parang there’s somebody watching you.” (When I place them outside, it’s like there’s somebody watching you.) To Mark, it’s a reminder to look at the cityscape differently—to take back the streets from giant corporations and politicians with their big-ass billboards and takeover tarps. Oooh. Well-played, Mr. Salvatus. Stickers that stick it to the man! And that’s art? A grin peeks out from the overgrowth. “Nakikipagusap lang ako sa ‘yo, art na ‘yun.” (That I’m talking to you is already art.)
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Multi-media artist Shawn Mortensen’s witnessed all kinds of “cool” be born, transformed, and re-born in the last two decades—and just ‘cause of his out-of-sight photos, we’ve got a pretty good view of it all as well. By Vicky H Photographed by Stephen Berkman
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wo decades in professional photography had to start somewhere, but considering his initial subject matter, Shawn Mortensen’s was already a big deal to begin with. “I began my career taking Polaroids in 1989 of people around me. While studying art in college I ran an underground nightclub in LA called The Last Shot. I photographed Keith Haring, Keith Richards, homeboys and club kids, actors and artists…basically people I was hanging out with like The Beastie Boys and N.W.A.” Since then, Shawn has established himself in the industry, producing iconic images of Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G., Joe Strummer, and the The Sex Pistols, to name a few. He’s shot ad campaigns for clients like Nike, Supreme, Fresh Jive, and even won himself an MTV Video Music Award. As well as photographing celebrities, musicians, and artists, he’s also produced photo essays from his adventures in Mexico, Jamaica, Mongolia, and South Africa. His two books It’s My Life… or It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time and Out of Mind showcase his body of work as a photographer. Shawn’s diverse portfolio shows the very range of his talent, if not the range of his artistic interests. Born in California to an artist mother and rodeo cowboy father, Shawn has always considered himself an artist. It is art that continuously plays a major part in his life, spurring him to learn more about it and become a photographer. “When I studied art history, I was inspired by Alfred Stieglitz. He worked to bring modern art to America, was the husband of Georgia O’ Keeffe, and was the ‘Father of Modern Photography.’ I thought it strange that photography was still not accepted by academics as ‘art’. That has dramatically changed, but www.statusmagonline.com - 49
when I began I considered photography painting with light and the most modern medium.” As a photographer, Shawn had to carve his own rules for what he could achieve. “From the outset as a photographer I was consistently told I had to narrow my focus and that I ‘couldn’t do it all’ ...that I had to choose one aspect of the arts or culture to work within. So I decided early on to be as productive as possible, but personally ‘keep my head down’ and maintain a low public profile. My personal goal was to wait until I had a body of work before I did books and exhibitions. This allowed me to define myself as an artist. Taking this approach gave me time to learn what I do and how I do it.” Shawn’s inspiration comes from the many places and people, from
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the many young artists he continues to meet and hang out with to the pioneers of photography. “People like Gary Winogrand, William Eggleston, and Helmut Newton—and the way they created a social commentary with their work,” he says, indicating a few image-making icons of his social enterprise. “I am also very inspired that my subjects allow me into their lives and allow the intimacy we share while creating portraits. That trust is something that motivates me to the greatest degree.” Shawn’s instinct for talent has him snapping amazing individuals before they become our very own cultural obsessions. “I create portraits of people around the world. Some of these individuals have become incredibly famous. Mostly, I love to shine my light on new
talent and help introduce their work to the greater world,” says Shawn, a rabid cool hunter who detects what’s on the cultural radar before the mainstream picks up any sort of signal. “I love to find something new and I’m curious about how art is evolving! So I do my homework. I put the time in. I find it enormously rewarding and fun to be able to turn people on to new things. I am genuinely out there...at music gigs, on the Internet, at galleries, at art fairs, and reading. I think reading is fundamental! Reading and being present are the keys to my success. I tend to spend months trying to come to an understanding of a cause or subject. I try to celebrate our shared interests as well as our differences, [spending] time getting to know my subjects and only pulling
out my camera when I feel a sense of intimacy.” And that’s exactly why we get him, and he gets us. He is forever a student, always soaking in everything the world and people have to teach him. After all, Shawn is a storyteller, and a great one we might add. “I aspire to tell human stories. I’m also a firm believer in a ‘one world’ mentality and adamantly believe in human rights. I want to create historic images that will live on a hundred years from now,” explains the citizen of the world, whose global perspective—one cultivated from consistent travels to Asia and Africa apart from shuttling between LA and NYC—has influenced his all-encompassing philosophy. “Essentially, my travels have helped me realize who I am. It pushes me to adapt, to learn more, to be more
“I love to find something new and I am curious about how art— music, contemporary art, film & literature—is evolving! I find it enormously rewarding and fun to be able to turn people on to new things.”
MOUTHING OFF: REBELLION IS: as Joe Strummer said, ‘A PUNK is someone with exemplary manners!’ Our aspirations of greater social justice will be realized through carefully planned, informed & disciplined ACTION. Lead by example. ‘Think globally, act locally’ ‘One LOVE ... people get ready ... this train is Bound for Glory!’ Many things will unfold in this generation; we will witness the dawning of the long promised time of brotherhood & goodwill among men. To achieve this we must live in the cognitive awareness of our shared value as human beings. ACT as if your life depends on it... it does. KEEP IT POSITIVE
sensitive, and to live closer to my own spiritual philosophy. My camera is a sort of passport to those experiences. People often ask me, ‘what are you doing here?’ and I answer that I am there to learn and share what I have learned with the world.” Shawn’s purpose for oneness has led him to fight for several human causes. “I am most known for being the first to photograph and promote many artists—musicians, painters, actors, and directors, but I’m also at the forefront of human rights in regard to globalization and access top basic human needs such as medicine, food, and the right to vote.” Currently, Shawn is developing projects that cover human rights issues to reach a more global audience through film and television.
Shawn Mortensen is our guru, our mentor, our teacher, and one hell of an inspiration today teaching us a thing or two about playing a bigger role in our history. “I am aware that life and culture goes through cycles. We can learn from mistakes of the past and we must be aware of history in order to correct it, rewrite it, and not relive it in a bad way! Historical context is one of the fundamentals of being an important contemporary artist.” For someone who considers himself a student of history, we have no doubt that Shawn will also be one of the rare few that will change it. He will lead the way, and we’ll be right there following. www.shawnmortensen.org
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MASTERMIND his parents flew to [turns out to be] the Saronno, Italy. After Mussolini salute (the six cozy years in his latter was still part father’s homeland, of the Axis Powers). however, his engineer I thought ‘Aww shit, dad was called back to this is scary.’” Kuwait for a massive He painted project. Cos witnessed the vivid image for a great environmental his May 2008 exhibit disparity between the Digesting Gestalt at clean countryside of the Hiraya Gallery. Italy and a massively Entitled “Still Life”, destructed Kuwait. he juxtaposed the Like the aftermath black and white image of an apocalypse, translated in oil destroyed buildings paint into the same and burnt cars on canvas with a colorful bridges were what he still-life painting would see on his way of a bowl of fruit on to the English school a table. The tension he attended with between images and British, Indian, and title is disturbing Kuwaiti classmates. yet undeniably Eventually, compelling. Cos and his family In another returned to his show, I’m with Stupid/ mother’s hometown in I’m Not with Stupid, Isabela, where in high last October 2007, Cos school, teachers were turned the Zicarelli forced to speak with residence into an him in English. He art environment. The felt like a special show subverted the child, but special gallery’s perceived is an apt adjective. neutrality. With Perhaps in another an ironic sense of life he was the son humor, it challenged of Tristan Tzara, the the manipulative role founder of Dadaism of institutions—the (pretty much the supposedly objective don’t-give-a-damn gallery definitely art movement that falling under that Putting hiscategory—as crazy craft where his mouth is, deviant artist goes all-out with so-called Putting his crazy craft where his mouth is, deviant artist COS ZICARELLI eats constrained absurdity). authorities that COSTANTINO ZICARELLI eats constrained art for breakfast—and spits out art for breakfast—and spits out a damn good feast for the senses the local art scene’s “You have to art, a damn gooddictate feast what for isthe senses the local art scene’s been famished been famished for. learn from tradition and its corresponding for. to go to extremes,” worth. Household says Cos of his drive objects and such were By fickle*pickle by Patrick L. Jamora towards Dadaism. Photographed His thus given titles life mirrors extremes like: “This is the as well. The down-tostairway/This is not the way around his head several first met this Fil-Italian earth artist narrates, the stairway.” times over. As he force-fed artist in the 2006 Boxed “I started painting Wanting to be himself grub that spilled onto his exhibit at Big Sky Mind. What because of my dad. more rebellious in filled the bar wall-to-wall were 10 clothes, he repeatedly exclaimed a I found this box of concept, he’s excited nearly undecipherable x 10 art works mostly using oil pictures of my old for his upcoming solo “Belíssima!” “ paints, pastels, and graphic mixed Belíssima!” while a fellow artist ancestors, Italian show in March at the blew bubbles by him. One can only media, but one piece remarkably ancestors. There was Art Informal gallery and unforgettably wonder what and stood out. this cousin of mine in Greenhills. “I’m Costantino Zicarelli had why he does what he does. Initial itial or cousin of my dad, going back to my early wrapped the prescribed dimensions impressions, deranged isn’t the he was doing the concepts of Dadaism, with a Hi-Top Supermarket plastic word to describe him or his art. Hitler salute, but it what is art, what is bag. Later on, he removed the Exhibit after exhibit reveals an meant to be.” Right plastic, unveiling something undeniable, underlying structure after this interview, that was both palate—and thought— in his work, though maybe he prepares for the provoking: a sealed 10 x 10 morbidity has something to do with next show. He will go transparent acrylic box filled with it. to Megamall to find a spaghetti. That exhibit ran for a Death, war, and motherload of plastic month. destruction are his teddy bears rats to burn and mold I encountered him again as of inspiration. It all began into the shape of a he did performance art in the same the day he was born; the same swastika. It’s a task venue. He sat by a table wearing day the swastika was created which is thankfully a white wife-beater and denims. (September 15). At eight years not as painstaking In front of him was a plateful of old, Costantino (a.k.a. Cos, just as bribing about 20 that good ol’ spaghetti, his mouth ‘cause it’s shorter) was lucky street kids to go wrapped with electrical tape all to escape the Gulf War as he and onstage and fight—in
COSPLAY COSPLAY I
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his parents flew to Saronno, Italy. After six cozy years in his father’s homeland, however, his engineer dad was called back to Kuwait for a massive project. Cos witnessed a great environmental disparity between the clean countryside of Italy and a massively destructed Kuwait. Like the aftermath of an apocalypse, destroyed buildings and burnt cars on bridges were what he would see on his way to the English school he attended with British, Indian, and Kuwaiti classmates. Eventually, Cos and his family returned to his mother’s hometown in Isabela, where in high school, teachers were forced to speak with him in English. He felt like a special child, but special is an apt adjective. Perhaps in another life he was the son of Tristan Tzara, the founder of Dadaism (pretty much the don’t-give-a-damn art movement that goes all-out with absurdity).
“You have to learn from tradition to go to extremes,” says Cos of his drive towards Dadaism. His life mirrors extremes as well. The down-toearth artist narrates, “I started painting because of my dad. I found this box of pictures of my old ancestors, Italian ancestors. There was this cousin of mine or cousin of my dad, he was doing the Hitler salute, but it [turns out to be] the Mussolini salute (the latter was still part of the Axis Powers). I thought ‘Aww shit, this is scary.’” He painted the vivid image for his May 2008 exhibit Digesting Gestalt at the Hiraya Gallery. Entitled “Still Life”, he juxtaposed the black and white image translated in oil paint into the same canvas with a colorful still-life painting of a bowl of fruit on a table. The tension between images and title is disturbing yet undeniably compelling.
In another show, I’m with Stupid/ I’m Not with Stupid, last October 2007, Cos turned the Zicarelli residence into an art environment. The show subverted the gallery’s perceived neutrality. With an ironic sense of humor, it challenged the manipulative role of institutions—the supposedly objective gallery definitely falling under that category—as so-called authorities that dictate what is art, and its corresponding worth. Household objects and such were thus given titles like: “This is the stairway/This is not the stairway.” Wanting to be more rebellious in concept, he’s excited for his upcoming solo show in March at the Art Informal gallery in Greenhills. “I’m going back to my early concepts of Dadaism, what is art, what is meant to be.” Right after this interview, he prepares for the next show. He will go to Megamall to find a
motherload of plastic rats to burn and mold into the shape of a swastika. It’s a task which is thankfully not as painstaking as bribing about 20 street kids to go onstage and fight—in pairs a la WWF—in a makeshift boxing ring, while he and artist Angelo Suarez, act as commentators. The kids caused a riot on the stage of the CCP Main Theater, amidst an audience of international artists who were visiting Manila. It was a stint done three years ago, too cumbersome for the sake of mocking social realists. But mockery is fun, whether intended or unintended. From sardonic solos to crazy collaborations, Cos Zicarelli stirs a commotion in each work, often leaving the mind baffled until you realize the wit in it all—where you let out a laugh and find that the joke is on you. www.costantino.deviantart.com
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Working broken glass, bodily excretions, or whatever odd material he digs up into his art, TERENCE KOH proves that when shit hits the fan, itâ€™s damn right beautiful. By Toff de Venecia
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he sun is setting on New York’s Upper East Side. The surroundings are unusually quiet outside the home of art collector Oliver Sarkozy at 407 East 75th Street. While being escorted into Terence Koh’s current exhibit Flowers for Baudelaire, two white draperies converge to sheathe the universe that the artist had originated within the cubical space. As you remove your shoes and enter, your pupils dilate to a room drably lit by a single fluorescent light. Two ivory chairs are in the middle of the room with different-sized canvasses rendered in powdered sugar and corn syrup hoisted on adjacent walls. The air is dry. The silence is deafening. Everything is stark white. And you think to yourself, what the hell am I looking at? “Art should twist your soul. You get so shocked that you forever then see the world in the simple fact [that] you know, and are happy to exist,” says Singaporeborn, Chinese-Canadian artist Terence Koh, the brains behind this queer concoction. Using mostly unconventional materials, the artist sources much inspiration from his
hometown of Mississauga—a focal point for art and commerce in Canada and a key to understanding Terence’s unique view of the world. The artist recalls, “At an art gallery in Ontario, there is a little carved stoned sculpture of a seal that has a skeleton for his head. I could not stop looking at [it], especially the hollow of the eyes in the skull. It was one of the most striking pieces of art in the world.” It seemed thereafter that emptiness in its fleeting, ephemeral antiquity had become his leitmotif. Terence began his career crafting zines and illustrations under the pseudonym asianpunkboy. He moved onto making sculptures and installations, utilizing everything from vegetable matter to boudoir chandeliers. His work surpasses the boundaries of physicality and, from which, draws a crafty existentialism in a style similar to wabi-sabi, or the Japanese worldview centered on transience. But most evident in his art is a predilection for black and white. “White is a feeling. I have always found pleasure and relaxation in painting things with cool, mattewhite house paint,” he adds. Terence received his Bachelors Degree from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver and has shown in several prestigious art schools around the globe. In art circles, he is known to carry himself in a fashion cut out from The Matrix. But like most artists working Gothic Revival, Terence is often
misunderstood. “I wish they knew that I feel I am completely sincere in all things I do,” says Koh, whose cultural heritage and sexual preference could be viewed as sources for palatial insecurity. “Being Asian and gay puts you within niches within niches. But I wouldn’t want to be the blonde, white version of myself. My outside self defines what I do and for that, I am proud.” Growing up, his parents were relatively open to his personal undertakings although they never quite grasped them. It wasn’t until they saw his installation at the Whitney Biennial, his hut of white furs, that they made heads or tails of why their son would often draw cats upside down as a kid. Terence also remembers having a fascination for hyacinth, especially when it was getting dark and the air was warm. “That warmth made me an artist,” he recalls. Still, art can be a pain these days; Terence’s sleep troubles caused by constant thought regarding his immeasurable options. “I have complete freedom of choice as an artist. And choice is very difficult.” Oftentimes, he escapes by cuddling underneath a comforter and assuming a fetal position, singing to himself like a child tracing supernovas between realms of vacuity and simultaneous rebirth. “I do art not for myself but to touch other people. I want to move people,” he says. With upcoming solo exhibitions in Paris and London in 2009, consider us mortals sagaciously shook up. www.asianpunkboy.com
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No dainty plaything, model-slash-Web-wench DAUL KIM can make readers heel on her anything-goes blog—and then walk all over high fashion when she stomps the runway.
By Anna Canlas
’m bored and I need to vomit out what’s in my head, otherwise I will die,” says the razor-sharp tongue; the eyes, like slits; those bangs, they could nick you. The human dagger is Daul Kim—the ballsiest nineteen-year old you’ll never meet. Reason being, she’s pretty busy right now: collecting forks, painting faceless Playboy bunnies, shooting short films of her own, basking in the pride of a number fourbestselling guide book, and walking Chanel to tacky, toogs-toogstrance. Let me beat you to it—the girl’s got Seoul. Born in the South Korean capital, Daul grew up in Malaysia, moved to Singapore for daddy’s business, and got streetspotted at age 13. “I actually never thought I could model. I never thought I was pretty enough.” But with art on her mind and milk on her lips, the tween Daul quickly learned to, well, milk the situation—using all that modeling moolah to buy a ton of DVDs, books and art supplies; all those countless gigs, an excuse to quit studying. 16 years old and too cool for school, Daul flew
back to the homeland and soon landed editorials in Korean Vogue. A year later, she debuted at Chanel and Martin Margiela in Paris, setting off a relentless sched of touching down upon a gamut of runways for every airport runway she lands upon. Now, the mannequin’s pocket change can buy more than oil paint: “I rented a hotel room because I wanted to play PS3 with my friends right after a party... It gets worse.” At the moment, DK’s based in New York and has racked up projects for Moschino and H&M, shows for Dolce, McQueen, and Rodarte, that Korean Vogue cover alongside Coco Rocha, and model-of-theyear bragging rights from Japanese magazine Anan. On the catwalk, she’s all kohl-lined eyes, deadpan face, and head jutted forward, like she’s about to give you hell. Backstage, she’s all fish lips and air kisses, cat claws and playtime with the guinea pigs (Tigre and Jamong), and parachute suits and combat boots—as shown by off-set and street shots that have got rabid fans all over the world dying. But Daul Monster doesn’t mean any harm.
DAUL PARTS: Daul Kim Plays Favorites Runways: “Rodarte because the concept is so unique and edgy. Dolce & Gabbana because I can fag out.”
Book: “A Ball Dwarf Shot Up by Cho Se Hee.”
Designers: “Many depending on the season. I like Bless and Pelican avenue.”
Boutiques: “Daily projects, favorite vintage stores in NY...Rick Owens in Palais Royale....Harvey Nichols!!! in London, etc etc.”
Music: “Jim Rivers, Pappe.”
No-fail Outfit: “Isabel Marant jumpsuit.”
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On her blog “I Like To Fork Myself”, the model—no role model, mind you—likes to share shopping lists, artistic opinions (e.g. crying over Blade ‘cause it was that good-a super hero movie which plays trance music. instead of Superman orchestra Batman shit.), poetry that makes you tipsy (We went into a Chinese restaurant/there are so many fishes and crabs/and eels crammed in the tank/a fish’s memory is 3 seconds…/i hate fishes but they all look so miserable/3 seconds later they will forget), and photos with a man’s naked torso, or a stuffed fox hanging by its mouth on some guy’s crotch. “Most of my fans in Korea are teenagers and young adults. A lot of them… asked me to take it down… and and are also asking me if I’m on drugs, and telling me to not be a bad example. Or,”—Miss Blade catches the light—“loved it.” www.iliketoforkmyself. blogspot.com
RICKEY KIM’s online insights on pop, politics, and the profound are the stuff a lot have taken to heart. And why not, considering it’s from a guy who, despite a few tough hurdles to success, has always used his head. Introduction by Barbie Cruz Interview by Nicola M. Sebastian
rapping your mind around Rickey Kim seems to take on the same catalytic nature of looking into his work. Kim’s brainchild Evil Monito Magazine and his blog, entitled straight-to-the-talkingpoint Mr. Kim Says, are both as cool-commanding as the man himself. EM has undergone a few transformations since then. Succeeding its being an outlet for change-theworld action, it’s been known as a design studio and marketing service before it re-launched as an online magazine in May of ‘08. It’s an arena where minds meet and heads butt on music, fashion, culture, and a dose of the political. And his blog—a more blatant picking of the guy’s day-to-days; the life and times of a guy whose sweet success is rooted in staying true to himself, trusting his own way of seeking answers and presenting them. Lucky for us, Mr. Kim speaks up. So, what have you been up to lately? You seem to have your hands in a lot of things. As you know Evil Monito Magazine (www.evilmonito. com) has recently been brought back and I’ve taken on editorial duties at another city magazine here in LA called 944. ‘Course I’m still busy with brand consulting still and designing a few projects.
Let’s talk about Evil Monito a little more. What’s it all about? It seems your biggest drive is on connecting, whether it be people and their talents, or ideas and the expression of them through art. Back in ’01, I found myself as an angry student activist. I was a Communications major at UC San Diego and I was listening in to all these lectures from some of the leading minds in ethnic studies and philosophy. I wanted to change the world. I wanted to talk about what I was learning in academics and apply it to the real world, namely pop culture. I was obsessed with the idea that I learned methods in taking apart the world around us. I took to writing long diatribes of what was wrong with this world and I needed a platform to express it. I couldn’t find anyone who would publish my thoughts so I decided to start an online magazine, hence Evil Monito was born. And so for someone whose body of work largely occurs and exists online, what’s your take on the internet, in terms of its largely self-regulating nature and effect on art? The internet is, by far, singularly the most powerful thing to
have happened to human civilization. And that’s because the internet archives everything around us—more or less what archeologists did in the past, but now everything is done in real time and there are so many avenues of interaction. Sure, there are a few pitfalls in the lack of quality control, but, as humans, that’s expected. I mean, we try to imagine ourselves as flawless, but if you think about it, we are so dysfunctional. Communicating our vulnerabilities only creates better art. I’m from that school of thought: the more mistakes you communicate to yourself and to others, the more you grow. From your observations then, what’s your take on street culture and where it’s at today, especially with regards to high vs. low culture? Street culture is a necessity for progressive culture. Coco Chanel once said, “fashion that does not come from the Streets, is not fashion.” I believe this 100%. Street culture is everyday culture. Remnants of street culture find themselves in high art arenas and it makes it revolutionary. Why? Because it is primal; it is real; it is human.
What can we look forward to from the Mister who, when he speaks, the hordes follow? Lately, academics and politics. I have many friends in both fields and I’m getting the bug for both. Let’s see what unfolds. www.evilmonito.com
Mr. Kim Says… Love art: “I appreciate Damien Hirst and how he’s sabotaging the high art world with his stunts, like selling his art at an auction house, deriding the gallery system. For me, that is art, the auction house and the auctionee becomes very much part of the art, if not a greater component than the actual art in question.” Play that funky music: “Dengue Fever, a Cambodian psychedelic rock band. They’re based in Echo Park and comprised of a couple guys and one girl. Except the girl is the only Cambodian! Their music is totally out there, it transcends all genres.”
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CITY SLICK-R Street sovereign SLICK takes time off from spraying up cotton and concrete to mouth off on living in the Wild, Wild West, growing up on Spam, and your momma. By Sarah Meier - Albano
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o, you. Yeah you. Come over here, and slide up next to me. I’m about to pick the mind of an artistic machine gun, and I want you to bear witness, because my ass is about to get shot. Slick has enough curb cred to be his own urban legend. He’s been out bombing in the streets of Los Angeles before “street” referred to anything more than a bubblegum-riddled slab of concrete. Not to mention that Slick’s brand, Dissizit, translates his vandalistic vision into hype-inducing items of clothing that stay true to the medium and the message. He’s got Mickey Mouse throwing up gangsta signs—doing the “L” sign with one gloved hand and an upside-down “peace” with the other to form the infamous letters “L.A.”—in a piece of work known by aerosol aficionados, gangsta wannabes, and even regular schmucks the world over. He’s got Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss, and Madonna showing love on his tees. And he’s got you, and the rest of us, hyperventilating over what he’ll tag up next. STATUS reader, meet Slick.
Transitioning from graf king to a major player in the apparel game; what is the biggest difference about slapping an image on a shirt, versus a wall? Nothing can compare to finishing a sick burner on a wall. It’s a different high from designing tees. Yes, it’s a good feeling to have heads fiending for a t-shirt but it falls way short from the feeling of
knowing you just killed the wall. You have Asian roots, and a tinge of traditional imagery in some of your work. Where do you think the East stands in this ever-morphing hip-hop/ streetwear/urban culture industry? Living out here in the Wild, Wild West, it’s difficult to speculate where the fuck the east stands on the rising price of tea, let alone street culture. I did observe, however, in Japan how they jock hip-hop, punk and vintage American pop culture, whereas they are so rich in culture themselves. I guess that old saying, “The grass is always greener...” What’s the biggest insult to a graffiti artist? Being called a graffiti artist. Re: the starving artist stereotype—how has it been redefined today? I’m living proof of that myth. To succeed, you have to be versatile and adapt. It also doesn’t hurt to have your very own “Tina K” by your side. If you had to pick three tracks, one to represent your past, one for the present, and one for the future - what would they be?
Past: Rammelzee, “Get Funky” Present: Gary Numan, “Metal” Future: Pink Floyd, “Time” In both graffiti and street wear, it’s easy to bite styles from other artists. Really though, is there such a thing as a completely original piece? Isn’t everything borrowed or inspired somehow from things seen elsewhere? Everything’s been done. The thing that separates the men from the toys is how you flip it and more importantly, timing. Like good comedy, timing is everything. You’ve recently made some noise for yourself, in part, by slapping hot chicks on shirts. If you had to immortalize a dude on a shirt, who would it be, and why? You mean, besides you or Marlon? Dunno, but whoever it was, he would have to look hella good in lipstick, miniskirt and heels! So, I’m going to assume that you’ve been mingling in all sorts of circles lately. Whose company have you found yourself in that made you go “oh shit”?
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Sorry to say, most of the time I’m cooped up in the lab and really don’t get out as much as I would like. I still manage to bump into some of my heroes. Being a fan of the culture, I still trip on dudes like Futura, Seen, Mare, Doze, Haze, Everlast, Muggs, Divine Styler, and even became friends with some of them over the years. I still trip out that I work with Dannyboy of “House of Pain/LCN” on a daily. I guess those are the perks of the game. Ever had a significant brush with the law because of spray paint? I’ve been pretty fortunate thus far. All of my major shit stemmed from being fucked up on drugs and fucking around with wrong people. I’m so thankful for being clean these past six years and not around that stressful lifestyle. What would I be surprised to find on your bookshelf/ nightstand?
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First off, what the hell you doing in my room!? It would probably be those compromising photos of your momma, along with my sawed off shotgun. Aside from Style Wars, what’s the most influential movie/artist/album that has defined your style or choice of path? Aside from Style Wars and Star Wars, it would be A Clockwork Orange. How it defined my style or choice of path, not at all... Just a good dang flick! Any hidden ambitions you have that can only come with insane amounts of money? First probably would be films. Next would most definitely be a casino. What sort of edge or advantage did growing up in Hawaii give you? First off would be that I probably wore a t-shirt everyday of my life!
Second would be being raised in a multi-cultural environment. I was exposed to Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, black and even white customs. I could then sift through all the bullshit and pick the good shit from each culture and make it work in my life. I could eat Spam, eggs, and Portuguese sausage for breakfast with sweetbread French toast, hike in the morning to a waterfall, go to the beach in the afternoon, smoke some hash buds, grind at Zippy’s, go to an art opening, smoke again, shoot some pool, go to a strip club, check out my homie’s band at the spot, battle some fools on the dance floor, mac on some hotties, gamble in a Chinatown casino, end up back at Zippy’s, ooof the hotties from earlier, watch the sunrise over Diamondhead, and then do it all over again…only in Hawaii! You have a blank wall, and only three cans of color.
What three do you choose? What color wall? If it’s a black wall: silver, semiflat black and yellow. If it’s a white wall: beige, black and banner red. Any other color wall: black, white and silver! Pair of kicks that get more wear than the rest? Lately, I’ve been rocking my high-top black leather Chucks. B-boys and skinny jeans; seems like the two just don’t go. What’s one fashion explosion you could never get in to? It’s hard to say because at one time or another I was probably into some whack shit, looking back. If short leisure shorts ever came back, I don’t think I’d do it—not because I couldn’t pull ‘em off of course, but more so because my pops still rocks ‘em! www.dissizit.com
What’s the biggest insult to a graffiti artist? “Being called a graffiti artist.”
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Graf guru RETNA’s cleaned up the streets by slapping a little grit on ‘em, getting everyone from art snobs to “bomb” squads to see eye to eye—and see a little deeper as well. Photographed by Adam Amengual
here are some wall wreckers who can’t and won’t see the difference between subversive street art and vandalism. Since his color-conquering rise in the ‘80s, it may have taken a “higher” power and some hard times to get Retna to put a little depth into his artful delinquency. But for every reinterpreted signpost or building-marking mural that screams out the soul of his city (L.A., hearty melting pot that it is), all his experiences have come into spirited play for passersby getting their thought provoked by this “eternal broadcaster”.
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It takes a guy whose vision goes far beyond the visual norm—even in already-unconventional graffiti—to get a little appreciation into the art of wall. From elaborate periscopes of color sprayed on concrete to mixmedia meshing brushwork and graf-influenced textstyle painting together for the snootiest of contempo-art galleries, street savant and Seven Letter Crew member (damn good graffiti cred to the uninitiated), Retna’s gotten all eyes on mad style with a hell of a lot of substance.
We’re eyeing that name of yours… I chose the name Retna ‘cause when I heard it and understood it for the first time, the delivery and power of the name stood out. Retna without the eye. Everyone has two. Growing up, you’ve evolved into one of the most respected graffiti artists out there. How’d you get into the scene in the first place? Thank you, well the journey’s not over yet. I was into art early on, even before I did graffiti. I learned about graffiti in 1986 from a
kid in my class who was very knowledgeable about spray-can art, around the same time I was heavily influenced by the gang culture that was going on. I’d practice my pieces on paper and after school, I’d go to a program with counselors who were gangbangers. How they became counselors beats me. But they were cool. One in particular would draw my name in blocks that still influence my style to this day. I didn’t have the courage to do anything substantial ‘til 1990. From there, I just got the bug, you know. It became my life—the only thing I was
interested in. I just did it the old-fashioned way. I put in work, tried to do something I thought was new and innovative and gravitated towards other established artists so they could help guide me along the way. I kept an open mind and had a real love for the streets—and still do. You tackle a lot of different art— installations, mixed media—apart from graffiti. Is there an allencompassing style you employ in each type of art? Well, all of it in some shape or form is derived from my street work. The installations are opportunities to work on projects where I can push through any limitations I might put on myself due to the nature of graffiti’s strict regimen. The mixed media work is graffiti in thought and action. By appropriating adverts, I felt that my fine art was being true to the street in which I am from—stealing them, painting over and around them, and reclaiming the corporate space. When I do my graffiti work, it all depends on the spot, my attitude at the time, that will reflect the style. For the most part, all my pieces are freestyle. There is nothing better than a solid crew. What have you learned from being in the 7th letter crew? What I’ve learned is to be on your game, you don’t have to be one of the guys whom is considered dead weight. You have to put in work, be innovative with your ideas, and maintain a strong presence on the street. And if you’re not doing that, then you have to be active in some other creative source which will in turn benefit the crew in some way. The seventh letter stands for G. In another interview, you quoted God and Graffiti. How do you link these two in your life? Well, I guess my upbringing had a lot to do with that and later,
I took psychedelics, which further enhanced those ideas and opened me up to other ways of thinking. I don’t think I’m alone here, but I feel the energy of God, the universe, or whatever you wanna call it is inherent in all of us. Creativity was the trait I was given and I assume I’m supposed to use it to share it with others as they have done with me. Graffiti is what I do—it’s who I am.
MASTERMIND “Creativity was the trait I was given and I assume I’m supposed to use it to share it with others as they have done with me. Graffiti is what I do—it’s who I am.”
With all the run-ins with the law and all, what kept you going in graffiti? Well, I think it was just the love I had for it. I never got into it to make a buck. It was for the mere enjoyment of creating. I took the good with the bad, oblivious to how much negative things I would subject myself through over the course of my time as an artist. But I know that inherently, I was, in my mind, doing something positive. What helps is the admiration and acknowledgment from some of your peers. Sometimes you will have people outside of your circle of influence who will be touched by your work and being able to give that to someone is always a dope feeling. It all excites me, especially the high-up spots, the ledges, the bridges, billboards, etc… Beauty is in the retina of the beholder. How would you define the aesthetic that you strive for, both in your work and perhaps even in your daily life? Sexy, imperialistic with a gangsta twist… Art always has a social voice, what messages do you want to send to those passing by yours? Live at live. Create, Motivate, inspire, love, peace. Who do you hope to inspire with all that? The young kids who might need a path to follow so they don’t get lost on the streets. Same as it did for me. www.digitalretna.com
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By Gino de la Paz Photographed by Nabil
From slipping pop tarts like Britney and Paris into his oddball gowns (erecting an Empire State Building of a dress) to sticking the subversion in sportswear (an Adidas collab with Keith Haring), JEREMY SCOTT has become the high-mulleted high priest party starter of fashion. ‘Course for him, that party just doesn’t seem to end.
roaning under the weight of a more-ismore maxim, the catwalk at Jeremy Scott’s SS09 show at Elysee Montmartre in Paris was a full-frontal fusion of the unlikeliest talking points. Cheeky models did their thang in a mashup made up of one part Marie Antoinette and one part ‘80s Madonna. Dubbed “Let Them Eat Gas,” Scott’s latest collection turned toile on its high-haired head. This was both expected and surpising from fashion’s so-called avant-garde absurdist. But having played with the moving target known as taste throughout his decade-long careerhaving re-conceived Manhattan skyscrapers as party dresses, created telephone-print cargo shorts, and juxtaposed army helmets with Mickey Mouse ears-the former Karl Lagerfeld protégé should be used to criticism by now. Or is he? “All I can really say is that most fashion critics are so far removed from anyone that would really wear the clothes that I design and are of such a different age and mentality that there really is no way they could pass jugdment on it other than to slag it off,” says the thirtysomething designer. “That’s the norm for what people do when they do not understand something or are afraid of it.”
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the clichéd “classic with a twist,” Jeremy Scott’s mission is simple: to have a damn good time with fashion. That said, his philosophy is a twoway street with expressions of both his Midwestern roots and adopted international lifestyle chucked in for good measure. Born in Missouri in 1974, he attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where he studied fashion design. He says he’s been extremely fortunate to have all these people-”my family, my teachers, my friends”-celebrate his creativity. “I had a very happy childhood and adolescence. I mean, even my teen years were really relatively not very rocky. I’ve always been a happy guy.” Moving to Los Angeles in 2001, to a tamely decorated home in the Hollywood Hills, he takes the laidback Left Coast attitude with him wherever he goes. “I think L.A. is the quintessential American city. I’m constantly inspired by the color of the light here, the blue of the sky and the peace I have living
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here,” he shares. And despite regularly jetting to Paris for shows-and the more important after partiesScott confides that he “could not imagine living anywhere else.” Earthquakes, traffic, and paparazzi notwithstanding, there really is no place like home. “I was already very successful in Paris as that’s where I started and the city gave me so much. But like any good guest, one must know when it’s time to leave the party.” Jeremy Scott once told i-D Magazine’s Glenn Waldron: “I love creating and I hate the empty feeling when it’s done.” Now, a few seasons on, he tells me something else. It seems that he’s too busy to ever feel empty after finishing a project as “nothing ever seems to be really finished.” To wit: “I’m working on my show then I’ve got fittings for Adidas right after and then I’m starting a project for Barie and it’s time to do my next collection and I’ve got to shoot my lookbook
for Adidas and it goes on and on so nothing’s ever really done. I’m always working!” True. His collabo with Longchamp in 2006 comes to mind, so does a Keith Haring x Jeremy Scott project for Adidas. The stint with the German sportswear giant, by the way, was something he couldn’t resist. “Adidas offered me complete freedom of expression and control of the image,” he confesses. “I have an enormous amount of love and respect for the brand’s heritage so it’s a joy for me to get to play around with their iconography and create a new vocabulary with them.” Backstage, the post-“Let Them Eat Gas” party coincided with the launch of the newest Jeremy Scott x Adidas Originals effort. This one, available at select boutiques in February 2009, consists of leopardprint tracksuits and winged sneakers for men and women. Using his Midas touch on the footwear, Scott seems to have paid homage to Mercury, the messenger of
Have you always rocked a mullet? “Since the day I was born.”
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HITMAN “Vanna White was a fashion icon for most American households throughout the ‘80s, so to dress her was kinda epic in a Midwest farmer’s son kind of way.”
the Roman gods who happens to have bird-like limbs on his ankles. The trendies love it, while the rest don’t get it. The Mulleted One takes it all in stride. “Like anyone that has a strong voice, people either love or hate them. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Madonna have all been called polarizing. The list goes on and on. What better company could I keep?” Speaking of company, the friends Jeremy has been bouncing with come from a heady collision of cultures, subcultures, and social statuses. Cory Kennedy, M.I.A., and the Ed Banger crew (Scott was even name-checked in a Busy P track, “To Protect and Entertain”) are some of the scene staples he currently pals around with. But as it turns out, the high fashion contradiction accepts old-fashioned friend requests. “You meet, you get along, you have a lot in common, you give your phone number, someone
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sends a text, you share a joke, and it goes on from there!” Michelle Obama, however, is someone who could have absolutely anything from his collection. Scott, no shit, would love to dress her up in his love. You see, it’s this openness and craziness that keeps things fresh for this white-trash fashion innovator. Scott believes that “avant-garde is not dead” and has merely evolved from what it once was. “As things change, what was once cutting edge now is common place. That’s the nature of the world. I think that now is an interesting time as the pop and avant have merged to be hand in hand. There is not the distance or the distaste for the pop that once was.” Describing himself as an anomaly, he once stated that he dresses rap people and pop stars. Britney, Paris, Lindsay, Mary Kate, Ashley, Kristin, Mischa, Nicole, Kanye, Madonna, Fergie, Bjork. “They
come to me because they know I have such diverse inspiration.” Then again, as he continues to stick two fingers up to convention, there’s one thing he probably will never change. As Paris shook with boozed up fash-hag diehards following Jeremy Scott’s show, his celebrity shutterbug pal Mark the Cobrasnake captured the designer’s signature mullet covered in a gauzy sock cap. For better or for worse, this redneck hairdo has become part of Scott’s branding. He’s had it in different variations and different colors, once with the hair on the back down to his waist à la Jane Child. In a twisted way, his ape drape is like his creative genius. It may come in some newish, hot mess of an incarnation, but it will always be undeniably and distinctively Jeremy Scott.
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Rebel just ‘cause
Rick Klotz, firestarter of Freshjive Clothing, may not burn bras or flags as political/socio-political protests—but he can slap damn good radical statements on t-shirts and make ‘em sell like hotcakes. By Anine Vermeulen
ick Klotz’s ultra-candid approach to Freshjive Clothing—the label he founded—and life in general makes you want to get his name tattooed on your arm. Or printed on a t-shirt, at least (a Fresh Jive t-shirt, natch). Whether on political statement tees or in upcoming coffee table books, Klotz has always got some sort of demonstration going on—on organized religion, pedophile priests, trannies, and cocaine—that’ll make it hard not to get into this controversial designer’s head. At a certain point in his career, he decided that the media is evil, enough is enough, and that people had lost that protest-hardy attitude that once drove the youth of the nation. So what did he do? Well, he took it out on a couple of t-shirts, of course. Now that’s the kind of picketing we’d want to pick off of a clothing rack.
Your very first label, FreshJive, was started way back in ‘89. Was there a strong demand for urban streetwear back then? In 1989, I don’t remember even calling it urban
streetwear. I just remember making stuff out of Los Angeles and it hitting. What does street style mean to you, anyway? Actually, street style doesn’t mean shit to me anymore. It’s all been figured out and it’s just another category in the commercial market. And I’ll have to categorize Freshjive as a “streetwear” label, commercially speaking. But I really hate labels and categories. And just about all the companies, except for a small handful, just put out a lot of “style” with no significant message beyond trying to make gear that makes them seem “tough” or matches their kicks. It’s all just regurgitated shit created by pussies with no eccentric edge. No edge at all. There’s not much eccentricity and edge to street style anymore. Is that fashionable freedom from bull what got you into design in the first place? How’d that happen? I was really into all forms of men’s style when I was young and into my early 20s. At first, it was punk-street style. In the early part of the ‘80s,
Los Angeles was a real hotbed for an underground punk rock music scene. But then I just kept moving on to different interests of style. Keep discovering. As far as my own company, I started it while attending art school. I was doing a lot of work in clubs and music in the LA scene, and I was skating and snowboarding a lot as well. I just wanted to make some gear that reflected my own lifestyle at the time. I really didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I just did it. Your website is full of the skate street culture and general cheap and kitsch porno gangster vibe of the ‘70s. How have people like skateboarding legend Mad Dog (Tony Alva) and independent publications like Slash influenced your label? I’m just interested in lost and forgotten cultures, and anything that pushes the envelope. Tony “Mad Dog” Alva was the number one influence on me up until the age of 12. He was just so on-edge and radical. He was the first superstar of skating. As far as publications like Slash, which was the first punk fanzine out of LA, well I’m www.statusmagonline.com - 71
It’s all such bullshit — from the companies to the customers. Everyone prancing around in their new clothes, trying to front with style that they bought at some store. just a digger, and get a kick out of these bright spots in pop cultural history. And like you said, the punk rock mentality was a pretty prominent influence as well… Well, I’ve become quite jaded over the years of making clothing. At some point in my career, I became completely disillusioned with designing clothes. It became totally meaningless. So I gradually started lashing out at society via crazy marketing ideas and provocative t-shirt designs. It’s all such bullshit—from the companies to the customers. Everyone prancing around in their new clothes, trying to front with style that they bought at some store. All I care about now is making statements and communicating messages. And having fun. Your ad campaigns have been quite, er, thoughtprovoking. There’s that woman shaking the largest booty I have ever seen for your chicken and waffles campaign, making quite the statement. How do you keep 72 - www.statusmagonline.com
everyone on their toes through advertising? I don’t know. I just want to do weird shit. It’s no fun if you can’t do weird shit. The medium is the message, so to speak. When did you start your line of propaganda tees and what was your reasoning behind them? The medium is not the message. The message is the message. It just so happens that the medium of a t-shirt is a great canvas for communicating a message. As I mentioned above, at some point I found it really meaningless to put out logo t-shirts or pretty t-shirt designs. If it has no message or wit, I see no reason to make it, except to make some money from people who don’t care much for messages on their t-shirts. On one of your most controversial statement tees, the words “FUCK GEORGE BUSH” are emblazoned in big bold letters. How’d you like that Barack dude as Prez?
HITMAN Yes, Freshjive is my political mouthpiece, without a doubt. As far as the new president elect Barack, well it’s nice for morale that he was elected but I wonder what it’s gonna be like when the honeymoon’s over.
I don’t have anyone in mind when I design. To take you through my design process you would have to follow me into the bathroom as I take a dump. That’s usually where the best ideas pop into mind.
And who are your zeros?
Do you think there’s a limit as to how far you can take free speech in fashion?
And for all those designs that depict the current state of the nation, where have you been drawing your influences from lately?
Scientology: The future religion to take over Christianity. It’s all fables anyway.
No, I don’t think there’s a limit as to how far one should be able to take free speech. But even though some people might find some of our designs offensive, that’s not the only point. Again, it’s gotta have a message. Who do you have in mind when you design like a prototypical FreshJive guy/ girl/gay? Can you take us through the design process?
I don’t know if my designs are up to date. I don’t think of it that way. I’m a born rebel and truth seeker, and have no fear to tell it like it really is. I’m influenced by bullshit in society. At the moment, I’m influenced by organized religion, pedophile priests, rapists, child molesters, transvestites, and cocaine. Who are your heroes? My father, mother, and my close friends.
Egomaniacal world leaders, greedy people, Kanye West, and Travis “douchebag” Barker, all in that order. Scientology. Go.
You dabble in photography. What usually gets your photogra-freak on? Are there any upcoming shows or exhibitions people can look out for and what did you focus on with such? I have a photo project in the works called “DICKS”. It’s gonna be a photography book of beautifully photographed penises in all shapes and sizes. And look out for our upcoming promo video called “ILBT” (I Love Big Titties).
Is there a sense of camaraderie/discourse amongst the Street Wear labels in LA; or is it all cutthroat, backstabbing, and a constant flinging of cred at one another? Can you trust you peers? Do you trust them? I don’t know if there’s any sense of camaraderie, as I don’t hang out with anyone into “streetwear”. I don’t know what’s going on with any camaraderie or discourse. But most everyone I know involved seem like good people. The Urban up and up Would you visiting? photo ops
Ideal is on the here in Manila. ever consider There are great in this country!
I’d like to thrilla some Manilla Ladies with my vanilla in a Philippine villa. I don’t even care if they’re ladyboys, as long as they pass the test in a dimly lit room. www.freshjive.com
“All I care about now is making statements and communicating messages. And having fun.”
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“Art has the ability to engage people, capture their imagination, make them curious about the subject, and turn them onto something that they weren’t familiar with.”
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From Andre the Giant to Obama, Shepard Fairey’s work definitely sticks to the minds of this generation—no wheat paste necessary. STATUS talks to the founder of OBEY GIANT and delves deeper into what his art is all about. By Vicky H
hen the Emperor was parading around naked, only one kid called him out. This was the best part of the story The Emperor’s New Clothes. We gotta hand it to him—that kid was keeping it real. Even if you can fool an entire nation, there will always be that one person who questions the truth. Now if artist and graphic designer Shepard Fairey was in the story, he could be that kid. Growing up in South Carolina, Shepard was heavily into skateboarding and punk music. But it was a lesson in stenciling that pushed pen to paper in the good Shepard’s artful advocacy. While attending the Rhode Island School of Design for college, he taught a friend how to stencil, using a picture of WWFreak Andre the Giant as an initial design that led to his idea-bearing special project of “Andre the Giant has a Posse.” While in school, Shepard started putting up these Andre Posse stickers all around town. As an experiment in phenomenology, philosopher Martin Hedeigger’s concept that aims to awaken a new sense of wonder in one’s surroundings, the stickers got people to question just that. And question, they did: where are these stickers coming from? What do they mean? It all proved that the campaign was effective. The project portrayed our world as a media junkyard with clutter coming at us from every angle. ‘Course, we need something to shock us and keep us from the cultural numbness. Shepard understands the politics of the use of public spaces and its impact on the people. In times when society is being led unquestionably by something else—whether it be the constant stream of advertising telling us what to buy, to the government implementing certain laws— someone is definitely going to say something. Shepard’s vision has led him to crazy adventures, from jumping off buildings to spending a couple nights in jail—all for the sake of wheat-pasting Obey posters all around town. Today, Shepard has successful maintained his role as an artist for the public without compromising his original beliefs, balancing
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HITMAN commercial jobs with artistic integrity. He set up a design studio, Studio Number One, which produced the cover art for the Black Eyed Peas album, Monkey Business, and the movie poster for Walk the Line. He also established his clothing line, Obey Clothing, and an art magazine called Swindle. And you might know that iconic Obama poster with “HOPE” emblazoned below the next prez’s picture, now published as the cover of Time Magazine’s “Man of the year” issue of ‘08. This iconic image is one of the most memorable political posters of our time. How’s that for sticking one hell of a message onto our minds?
non-commissioned work to get new ideas out. I also DJ for fun, which I really enjoy doing. It’s sort of an extension of the type of art that I do, but away from it as much as
My aesthetic comes from several different influences. When I was younger, skateboard graphics and album packaging graphics were really a big influence on me. I loved all the
Describe your current lifestyle… “Yo, my lifestyle’s crazy, I’m luxury and lazy, so much gold that jewelry don’t phase me” Haha... a bit of Ice T, Pimpin ain’t easy for ya... My lifestyle is all work. I got two kids now and I’m married, and I’m grateful for all the happiness they give me. I love my family very much, but I get up every morning, I come to the office practically everyday and work on graphics for myself, the clothing line, and oversee what my design studio’s currently working on. There’s been a spike on interviews as of late. I talk to people on what our plans are for Subliminal Projects, the gallery at Studio Number One and sometimes I work on fine art at my other studio and then at night, I usually work at home on illustrations or weird,
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both Soviet-Russian Constructivism posters and especially AntiVietnam War / Fillmore SF posters in the 60’s, that were done by John Van Hammersfeld and Rick Griffin...So I say graphic art in general has been my biggest influence. I also love people from graffiti culture like Twist (Barry McGee) with the way he constructs his installations of bigger and smaller components that keep everything cohesive, but tells a story. Barbara Kruger and Robbie Canal have also been something I hugely look up to, as far as my own style. I try to make everything bold and cut through the clutter because people encounter graphics on a daily basis, so it really has to be engaging in order for your message to work. That’s the guiding principal of my work. Over the years, you’ve grown your company to develop a clothing line, a design studio, as well as an art magazine. What lessons did you learn when it came to building each project?
possible. And on weekends, I might go postering, I might go to a rock show, I might go see a movie with my wife, or I just work more... Haha... Not a lot of Cristal in hot tubs, but you know, I’m doing what I want. What influences developed your aesthetic style?
stuff that Jamie Reid did for the Sex Pistols, I love the stuff that Jim Phillips and Vernon Johnson did for Powell and Santa Cruz Skateboards, and I also loved the Clash’s album packages. As I got older, I started to develop an appreciation for propaganda posters over the years,
One lesson I’ve learned building all these projects over the years is to be patient. Things don’t translate to money or recognition, or anything that defines success immediately. If you are passionate and you’re doing something vigorously, you’ll probably end up being good at it, and it’ll probably ultimately succeed. That’s been my experience. Swindle magazine, which is a success in it’s own right, isn’t necessarily a success financially. We keep pouring money into the thing, but the reward of
interviewing great people, and writing great content really fuels the fire to do more issues. We’re making something that we’re proud of and share a lot of our influences through others in the magazine. When I first failed as an artist, broke as shit, I decided to get right back up and change my idea of not needing to make money off these projects right away. Clothing has also been a hurdle with all of us too, and I’m proud to say that aside from the OBEY Giant street art campaign, that it has also taken leadership within it’s industry. Patience is the
best advice I can give to anybody out there wanting to pursue anything. Your OBAMA poster received intense praise and support from not only creative circles but from people not even aware of the street culture or OBEY. What did you realize about the power of art through this campaign? The OBAMA poster definitely went beyond my expectations, but I think it’s the perfect example of a lot of the principals that go into my art, amplified just because of how large a president
election is. Art has the ability to engage people, capture their imagination, make them curious about the subject, and turn them onto something that they weren’t familiar with. That same piece of art can be a symbol that allows that phenomenon to replicate, where one person sees it, digs for more info, and want to pass that along to others which happened to the OBAMA poster as well as the OBEY Campaign has done. With politics, because there’s something generally at stake with shaping what’s going to be
of the country, the OBAMA poster empowered people to be passionate about OBAMA and the future of the country. I was fortunate to be apart of that, and I believe that my poster was one component of the equation, but the effect was pretty profound. There’s a principal in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, that if you create and seep into the mainstream, it really starts to shape a culture. I think that poster was a great example of his ideas in his book.
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Artists are oftentimes discontent. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it can fuel your motivation for change. What systems and attitudes of society did you feel discontent with? I feel discontent about everything, all the time… almost. Like Johnny Rotten says, “Anger is an energy, it keeps me motivated.” However, sometimes there are opportunities to be positive, like the case of the OBAMA poster, but I don’t know if I would’ve felt that sense of urgency if it weren’t for my discontent towards the Bush Administration and the prospect of another Republican presidency. I think the country was on the wrong track. I’m against the war in Iraq, I want health care reform, I want green energy and jobs, I’m worried about the climate crisis and pollution, and I’ve been making art about all those things. I try to make things less topical and more universal, but there’s just so much shit out there that I have
to give my opinion, no matter if I jeopardize my career. But I’m also making art to encourage people to do their own things and have their own ideas. Whatever era you’re in, there are the people that are unhappy, but submissive and obedient towards societal pressures and the rules, and really only gives them the option to keep their mouth shut. If I can make work that gets them to question that, then that’s a great way to help alleviate discontentment. How would you like your work to influence the kids of today? I’d hope to influence the kids by having them question everything, even my own actions. I want them to understand that you don’t necessarily have to have the backing of a corporation to get your ideas out. I started with a $4-an-hour job at a skate shop, and I’ve built this up over the years with very humble means and I think that anybody can make a difference if
they try. And I hope that people get that from my art. What is your next step for 2009? In 2009, I’ll be going to the OBAMA inauguration and I’ll be doing an event out there. I also have a 20year retrospective show in the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. Those are exciting things for me, but really I’m taking a lot of time off of gallery shows to just work on a body of new work. I’ve been showing a lot of work that I’ve compiled over the past three years, I haven’t had time to experiment and come up with new shit that I’m excited about. Also the 20th year anniversary edition of the book Supply and Demand will be coming out with 100 more pages and a free poster and stuff...pretty mellow, but at the same time, stockpiling for the next years to come... www.obeygiant.com
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ON CLAW From bombshell of the NY bomb squad to detonating damn good design with her own label, CLAW MONEY’s right on the dirty, sexy money of curb and clothing.
By Meg Cuna Photographed by Aaron Cobbett
LAW is among a rare breed: the female gray writer. Exploding on the walls of NYC in the early 1990s and gaining iconic status in both street and fashion cultures, Claw continues to reign supreme as the Queen of the New York City bombers. STATUS caught up with Claw Money to get a peak into her whirlwind life—and let us tell you, it was no easy feat considering her many titles and ‘roundthe-clock projects. But catch up with her we did, and we made sure to cover all the bases. Claw talks candidly about her humble beginnings, her take on personal style, and what she’s got on rotation.
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For those people living under a Louboutin, please fill them in on your superlative-slash-title: Artist/Designer/Stylist/ Fashion Editor/Brand Consultant/Author/TV producer/Blogger/Party Girl. Seriously… Your life is unparalleled. Make us believe you’re human and tell us about your first job… Cutting hair! I convinced my dad when I was about eight or nine that I had a “natural talent.” Next thing I know, I was charging my uncles five bucks a cut. I was really good at layering and blending, and I’d also trim their eyebrows and sideburns! At 12 or 13, I had a few stints as a babysitter but I would always get caught smoking and talking on the phone. Needless to say, it was nothing permanent. Really, in retrospect, who would want me to babysit their kids?
Besides being a well-known graffiti writer, you’ve also forayed into fashion. Was it a natural progression? I had a passion for fashion long before I got my hands on a can of Rustoleum. I’m an FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) dropout, and it was at that point that I picked up my graffiti habit. It wasn’t the other way around. I started in my twenties, which is late for a graff writer. To me, graffiti and fashion come from two totally different places, but I’m lucky enough to have eventually merged them. I was leading my double life—stylist by day, vandal by night. It was hot! I put my first Claw on a t-shirt at the request of friends right after 9/11. I did it as a goof, but the demand grew. The stores couldn’t keep them in stock and I thought: “I could really make a go of this!” But I don’t consider my collection “graffiti clothing”; my logo is the “throw up” that I painted on walls illegally, but other than that it’s not meant to evoke graffiti associations.
You’ve done several collabs including being the first woman Nike included in its famous artist series, plus Ecko Red, Boost...and then there was that rumor floating around about Camp Beverly Hills. What else do you have in store? Camp Bevs didn’t work out! Bummer! I love that brand but the timing was really off. As far as collaborating, I’m super picky about the projects I take on. I understand the power of my brand and the cache of my name. I only want to do projects that are creatively fulfilling and push my brand. Since I have my own t-shirt company, I don’t feel the need to do co-branded tees, though I have done them before and would do them with my friends. Good collaborations are a way to really get loose and do things a small brand normally can’t doThe ideal co-brand would allow me to make things I can’t on my own, like sneakers, snowboards, and whatever else isn’t already under the Claw Money superdome.
How would you sum up your personal style?
Tell us about who or what inspires you…
I am in a bit of a conundrum with my personal style. I just turned 40 but my style says 18-ish slob. Time to upgrade to some age-appropriate attire. I have been into the jeans and sneakers thing forever and frankly, I am bored with it. Comfort is a must so that is where I must hunt for some new stuff. I love the idea of wearing nicely cut feminine pant suits with high tops or funrunning sneakers, but no one will let me leave the house! My husband will ask me: “what is with your career-lady commuter look?” Suits look great with shell- toe Adidas! He obviously knows nothing…
Louise Bourgeois, Danielle Levitt, Zandra Rhodes, people on the street, and my friends. And what are you currently listening to?
What are you working on at the moment? Putting the finishing touches on Claw Money Fall 2009 and looking for a financial partner. Also working on my second book, an art show for June 2009 with Daze and West, working with brands, and making secret television shows!
Santogold, Talking Heads and Big Daddy Kane. What about a bite-size list of the 10 things you hate? 1. Fakes. People, not bags. 2. Try too hard to be someone, or something. 3. Animal cruelty. 4. Poverty and its effect on the world. 5. The resurgence of AIDS as an epidemic. 6. Wearing high heels. 7. Constantly tripping and falling because I am a klutz. 8. Never getting enough sleep. 9. The recession. 10. Getting old.
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MORE THAN A-MUSE-D By Vicky H Photographed by Terry Richardson
odel. Stylist. Designer. It doesn’t matter what Erin Wasson decides to do. Because we know that when she puts her mind to something, she kills it every time. STATUS talks to the forever “it” girl of cool about doing what she loves—and loving every minute of it. Erin Wasson is not your average model. Hailing from Texas, she moved to New York and has been milking the modeling industry with her ads for Maybelline, Elie Tahari, William Rast (the brand new fashion line of Justin Timberlake), and most recently, Gap. From photo shoots to runways, Erin has conquered it all. And even then, there’s something about Erin that makes us think she sees past all of that: “There’s no equation to keeping it real—you just do you.” Case in point would be her effortless sense of style that has been copied by bloggers all over the web. Her outfits have been studied by a tribe of hardcore fans and dissected piece by piece. Her style is called “Modge Podge Chic,” as she describes it. If you find yourself thinking what on earth that could mean, we suggest you think of Erin’s key piece, an “oversized t-shirt and jeans.” Sounds too simple, right? But when you catch Erin rocking it, you’ll find yourself swiping some of your boyfriend’s tees to match your denim the next day. And although Erin’s called herself a tomboy 82 - www.statusmagonline.com
before, we had to ask what the trick could be to turning on the sexy. “Throw on a pair of high heels and show a little skin.” It’s just a matter of small changes done right. Aside from being a clotheshorse, Erin’s creative mind has her working on other projects closely linked to the fashion industry. She’s styled for the Council of Fashion Design of America (CFDA) winner/neighbor/buddy Alexander Wang for two seasons. Last year marked the debut of her jewelry line, Lowluv, which consists of body jewelry made up of luxe metallic chains. “I’ve always been into jewelry,” she says. “I’ve collected it for years. When Alexander and I were working together it all made sense.” When skate line RVCA rung her up for a design stint, she found herself creating her first capsule collection to be launched in the spring of 2009. Erin Wasson x RVCA was inspired by “kids walking the streets,” and in fact, it’s “everyday casual but cool.” When it came to designing for RVCA, “it was instinct and divine intervention.” And speaking of skate lines, we were psyched to find out that Erin is a skater girl herself (“I picked up a skateboard when I was kid.”) And she also started surfing six years ago on a trip to Cali. The best thing about it? “The sense of freedom. Wind blowing through your hair.” Now, Forbes may have called her one of the “most entrepreneurial models”, but we know that title doesn’t come easy. Erin’s advice is to “take every day for what it
is, and work through obstacles to accomplish your goals.” There will be much more to see from Erin within the next coming months. Who knows what projects could come out of her creative mind and free spirit? For now, though, she wants to “brush up on my horseback riding skills and become an Ultimate Fighter.” www.erinwasson.com
Random Shizz: Love streetwear? Give us some brands… Hell yeah! Neighborhood, Vismin, and Supreme-they did a dope Bad Brains hoodie this season, and Rogue Status. The thing about jewelry is that… It individualizes any look. You acted with Justin (for William Rast), do you see yourself joining the Hollywood club? Only time will tell. Let’s say right now you’re a DJ… Who will you play? Sister Nancy, Afro funk, Wu-Tang. Best place to kick back and relax? My apartment in NYC with a good set of music playing or Hawaii. Dreaming about? A Vacation.
NIGHTVISION All The Way Live @ Embassy
Photos by Revolution & Thad Rumble
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RON ENGLISH @ FRESH MANILA Photos by Revolution
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Chris Brown Rihanna Concert @ the Fort
Photos by Revolution
MTV Music Summit
@ the SMX
Photos by Bathing Abe
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Where to find stuff in this magazine Addidas Available at all Addidas Originals Stores nationwide. ADIO Available at J& Surf, 2285 Solid House Bldg. Don Chino Roces Ave. Pasong Tamo Ext. Makati City (632) 893-5766 ARTISAN Available at Adora, Greenbelt 5, Makati City ALDO ACCESSORIES Available at Greenbelt 5, Makati CIty ALDO Available at Greenbelt 5, Makati CIty ARANAZ Available at Power Plant Mall (632) 833- 6845 BONAFIDE ICON See www.bonafideicon.com CAPITAL See www.karmaloop.com/kazbah CARBON Available at Greenbelt 3, Makati City CELINE Available at Eastwood, Mandaluyong City CHARLES & KEITH Available at Greenbelt 5, Makati City CIRCA Available at J& Surf, 2285 Solid House Bldg. Don Chino Roces Ave. Pasong Tamo Ext. Makati City (632) 893-5766 COPY See www.copycollection.com CROOKS & CASTLES Available at Greyone Social Power Plant Mall (632) 896- 5084 & Greenbelt 5 (632) 729- 0945
DC Shoes Available at Brat Pack, Greenbelt 5, Makati City
DETER See www.deterclothing.com
& Greenbelt 5 (632) 729- 0945
PROMOD Available at Greenbelt 5, Makati City
ELEMENTS Available at J& Surf, 2285 Solid House Bldg. Don Chino Roces Ave. Pasong Tamo Ext. Makati City (632) 893-5766
Puma Available at all Puma Stores nationwide
FIRMA Available at G/F Greenbelt 3 Ayala Center, Makati City (632) 916-7257
RISE UP See www. riseupinternational.com
HELLZ BELLZ Available at Greyone Social Power Plant Mall (632) 896- 5084 & Greenbelt 5 (632) 729- 0945 LAKAI Available at J& Surf, 2285 Solid House Bldg. Don Chino Roces Ave. Pasong Tamo Ext. Makati City ( 632) 8935766 LIRA See www.liraclothing.com LORE See www.lorestudio.com MAYAN TAMANG See, www.mayantamang.com MICHEAL KORS Available at Greenbelt 5, Makati CIty MIX Available at Greenbelt 5, Makati City NIKE Available at Nike stores nationwide NINE WEST Available at Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong City OBEY Available at Greyone Social Power Plant Mall (632) 896- 5084
RAFE NY Available at Greenbelt 5, Makati City
STUSSY Available at Greyone Social Power Plant Mall (632) 896- 5084 & Greenbelt 5 (632) 729- 0945 TINT Available at Greenbelt 3, Makati CIty UNDEFEATED Available at Greyone Social Power Plant Mall (632) 896- 5084 & Greenbelt 5 (632) 729- 0945 VANS Available at Greyone Social Power Plant Mall (632) 896- 5084 & Greenbelt 5 (632) 729- 0945 WAREHOUSE Available at Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong City ARTISTS Aaron cobbett (Photographer)- see aaroncobbett.com ADAM AMENGUAL (Photographer)- see adamamengual.com ALESI ALMARIO (Photographer)- see alesi.multiply.com NABIL ELDERKIN of Blur Photo (Photographer) see nabilphotorgraphy.com
PATRICK JAMORA (Photographer) www.behance.net/padraick
REVOLUTION (Photographer) see cantstoprevolution. multiply.com STEVEN BERKMAN (Photographer)- see stevenberkman.com TERRY RICHARDSON (Photographer)- see terryrichardson.com XENG ZULUETA (makeup artist) Mobile: 0915-983-6581 MICHELANGELO (artist)
HEART BREAK KID
oker Player is an occupation right?” asks 20-year-old Megan Rae Hartsook jokingly. At the moment, this FilipinoAmerican model loves the game. That and surfing, being on a plane, horseback riding, spectator drag racing, being the English Premier League’s TV hooligan…the list of inclinations is pretty endless. “I just want to live a crazy, happy life, so when I’m 80 and all wrinkled, I can look back and say ‘Daaaaayum, I had fun!’” Megan is full of energy, and this energy sure needs an outlet. When it comes to music, Megan prefers “Booty Music…you know, any music that makes my booty shake.” For girls, this firecracker’s your best friend when it comes to shopping and hanging out. But for the guys, Megan confesses, “Wine and cheese are my biggest tease.”
ESSENTIALS 5. “Food, especially the Steak Souvlaki from Cyma.” 4. “Water or wine, or champagne like Martini Asti because it’s yummy, bubbly, and it’s an aphrodisiac.” 3. “Clothing. Anything funky, like [what] Gwen and Kate Moss [put on]. I like Kate’s ‘cause she’s edgy and a trendsetter.” 2. “My home because there is nothing like it. I have Internet, my bed, and unlimited food.” 1. “Love. Because all we really need is a lil’ bit of love...and money. Right?” DEMANDS 5. “A cool job like an event planner for cool people like Steve Aoki.” 4. “A Blue Great Dane because my favorite cartoon was Scooby Doo.” 3. “A pimped-out condo. Imagine a mini-Playboy Mansion.” 2. “World peace. ‘cause everyone needs to chill out!” 1. “A Camelia flower ring because that is the ‘pebble that I want for my penguin.’ Hey, it’s an inside joke.”
Photographed by Revolution Makeup by Xeng Zulueta using Shu Uemura “Mirage” Collection 2009 Shirt by Mayan Tang Jumper by Hellz Bellz Shoes by Aldo
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