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Art, fashion, music, and food converged at the SECURITY BANK PRESENTS STATUS YARDSALE. On November 16, the #StatusTribe were called to show their stripes and, without surprise, they didn’t disappoint in a day full of festivities.


Upon entering the yardsale, artwork from emerging local artists


As the crowd wove in and out, looking through the

different booths, music from our favorite maestros made everybody sway to the beat. SINYMA, Similar Objects, and Tandems ’91 put on great shows while new breed hitmakers CRWN and BP Valenzuela proved their chops onstage. All together, they set the perfect soundtrack for Yardsale.

Photographed by Grace de Luna and Carlo Nuñez

greet you right at the entrance. Throughout the event, live art in a form of a mural was completed by the talented Jun Digan and Kanel Adriano. Their creation lived up to the mantra for the day: You Deserve Better.

WHAT WE SAW Every kind of personality found a little something to suit them during our yardsale. Labels like Husq, Twine, and Newspaper Boy catered to those who wanted the best from homegrown goodness while The Morning AfterX, Stockton Row, and Wolfe + Huntr welcomed those who wanted to stand out, offering novelty and handcrafted items. Sneakerheads had their fair share of the newest releases via Greyone Social, Secret Sneaker, and SoleSlam. On the other hand, the stylistically-impaired had a little help from Pormada, Shop Carisse, and Sneaky Knicky. Foodies had more than their share with dessert stations, organic products, comfort favorites, and specialty dishes. We also got an exclusive from our Kickstart Circle Winners: Wednesday Wardrobe, Antler, and Italianeh.



n event is only as good as the vibe of the people who attend it. We spotted our favorite artists from different fields who lent their energy to our Yardsale. We were more than pleased to see them come over and stay ‘til the end of day.

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As far as she-douches go, Amanda Hendrick went far. Reaching the status of a worldwide model, she took on a few battles on her own, conquering being anorexic and being an asshole. By Janroe Cabiles




Lady rockers Ex Hex has been around the block more than once, and they’ve got the chops to prove it. Well, you better get ready for a hell of a ride. By Carla Hutchinson


25 TECH PACK: System boost It’s time for an upgrade.



All the way from Australia to South by Southwest, Panama takes their nostalgic brand of electropop coast to coast–gathering new converts everywhere they go.    By Carla Hutchinson


all That Glitters

Open up your eyes and see the shine.

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These colors will never fade.



Adding a fresh name to the R&B roster, Grae serenades his way out of his humble beginnings in California into heartfelt aspirations with his upcoming EP, Crux. By Olivia Estrada






Branching out farther from her father’s roots, Clara Benin takes on a solo career and a debut album with her guitar in hand and her voice on the ready. By Denise Mallabo

30 STYLE ID: TOP OF THE GAME Give your wardrobe a head’s up.



Bold prints, polished cuts, and minimal aesthetic: see the classic ‘60s style reinvented. By Alysse Gafkjen

42 ELECTRIC YOUTH Sporting brighten are sure By Nikki

a look that can up any day, these colors to shock your system. Ruiz



53 MAN OF STEEL Hardware

54 INK EXCHANGE Digital Prints




57 GLISTEN UP Beaded





Photographer Aeschleah DeMartino brings us Permaid, a performance art piece that’s grown a personality of her own–it’s a fascinating experience. By Carla Hutchinson


The monsters underneath your bed are artist Jeona Zoleta’s models. She renders them in glitter and full color because they aren’t so terrifying once you befriend them. By Olivia Estrada


With the skill of old masters and the heart of contemporary pioneers, Ronson Culibrina renders peaceful settings anew to provide a harvest of wild ambition. By Olivia Estrada


Embodying the mother of vampires, LA actress Natalie Dreyfuss adds more to her string of TV roles as Cassie in The Originals and more gore than her usual girl on screen. By Kitkat Ramos

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Collecting geometric shapes and primary colors from his obscure illusions, Michael Swaney turns your expectations into a surreality with the help of his paintbrush. By Pola Beronilla






satirical current of political humor in distorted, colorful visions of smoking blonds and smiling aircrafts. By Janroe Cabiles

BLOCK PARTY: iconia galleria

While some people think outside the box, there are a special few who think inside of it. In squares of props and crops, these Instagram users make you want to double tap that. By Janroe Cabiles


They say two heads are better than one, but it only takes one Pharrell Williams to conquer the world. From recording studios to turning chairs, fashion runways to art galleries, he wears his art on his sleeve and a Vivienne Westwood hat on top of his head, proving that he is ahead of the game. By Pola Beronilla


“I was just another typical art student going nowhere,” says artist Mr. Dark desires in multicolored, doe-eyed figures are awakened as the art tycoon chastens seductive fantasy into serene faces, fusing contemporary and kitsch beyond the line of sweet erotica. By Janroe Cabiles


Artist Kate Moross is no wannabe and is more than able to spice up your life. From bookshops to TV screens to glossy pages, her doodles have escaped the borders of her sketchpad. Talking to us from her studio in London, she recounts life in the eye of a surreal, media-crazed storm. By Olivia Estrada

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96 DIRECTORY about the cover


Styling for a living means that you got to be the walking billboard for your skills. Fortunately, this is never a problem for Ria Casco.


Framing hue for smiles and snickers is what Todd James does best. With babes and bullets as his muses for musings, the contemporary artist blends nudity and nostalgia with his



In an oversized mountie hat with a few bling rings here and there, Pharrell Williams takes the front of our Art Issue, donning a lace coat on top of a gray pullover and a steady gaze blazing through the lens. With bold lines in black, our art director Nyael David leaves his mark on the cover as he strokes the names of our sui generis artists against a pale backdrop.


Saving trees, one pixel at a time.


the pulse of hip at your fingertips

go see

we’re all models off duty. smize! 


there’s more to what’s in print

NightVision  who’s spotted partying where

Photo Diary confessional for lensmen

Digital Magazine DOWNLOADS STATUS in pixels, not paper

free mixtapes and wallpapers


brushes it off

Pharrell Williams (70)


n this day and age, where it seems everyone is in a copy-andpaste lifestyle (from shopping in retail chains to dressing the same as everyone else), it’s refreshing to see individuals who stand out from the masses–people who follow their own path and aren’t afraid to go against the grain to communicate their vision. In this issue, we have selected the masters of today’s art scene and see how they’ve combined self-expression and commerce while still staying true to themselves.  If I were to follow the lead of anyone, it would clearly be Pharrell. He has managed to conquer the world of fashion, music, art, and design, unknowingly starting a global movement of “happiness.” In his feature, we revel in how he uses his life as an example to embrace what makes us different, leading a unique approach in life. From tagging walls in NYC to working with the Beastie Boys, Todd James has certainly made a name for himself. His tongue-incheek style filled with sex appeal has landed him in galleries and museums around the world. We talk to him about the evolution of his life and how he uses humor and graffiti as his building blocks in art. Whether it’s pizza and a soda or a bad action film, British artist Kate Moross draws from her inspiration to create unique, vibrant illustrations–no starving artist here. So far, it has been working out, seeing her as a regular in the glossy pages of British Vogue, Dazed & Confused, and Nylon. Studying under the much-admired Takashi Murakami, Japanese artist Mr. takes the lead in the Japanese Neo-Pop movement. Taking his world of anime and manga and placing it on a global stage, he shares with us how his art communicates a pure message of what’s right and wrong and how he develops his philosophy through constant self-questioning.  Looking at the work and success of this issue’s acclaimed artists tells us that it’s not only important to follow your own vision, it’s necessary.

MR. (76)

Editor-in-chief Kate Moross (82)

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contributors editor-in-chief Rosario managing editor Denise

nikki ruiz “I want to be known as someone who takes iconic photographs,” says Nikki, taking cue from her idol, Annie Leibovitz. “I don’t want to be someone who takes random photographs without understanding the passion, concept, and beauty of art.” Check out our in-house fashion editorial (42) and see that Nikki’s definitely right on track with her vision.

Herrera Mallabo

art director Nyael David graphic designers Grace de Luna

Tiff Ko Carlo Nuñez

Pola Beronilla de Leon Cabiles Olivia Estrada Carla Hutchinson Kitkat Ramos

features editor

fashion assistant Jill editorial assistants Janroe

Dan Buenaventura Gabrielle Bailon Chynna Lemi marketing assistant Gia Palamos

account manager junior account executives

@RosarioHerrera @denisemallabo @nyaels @GraceAnnD @happeetiff @oycaloy @HiMyNameIsPola @orangetoenails @janroetheboat @MsOliviaSylvia @thehutch_touch @KitkatRamos @danbuenaventura @gabybailon @chynnalemi @giapalamie

tweet us!

contributing artists

shanna fisher It’s a closed case with Shanna every time. She’s an insider when LA has new angels under its wing and knows how to bring them to our pages. She worked overtime to catch the original beauty of Natalie Dreyfuss (67) while juggling her schedule in between shoots. Well, we shouldn’t expect anything less from someone whose favorite artist is crime photographer, Weegee.

Sean Armenta, Ria Casco, Ian Castañares, Nicole Ceballos, The Cobrasnake, Sylve Colless, Digii Daguna, Nick Dorey, Regina Echavez, Khian Estomaguio, Apple Fara-on, Shanna Fisher, Grace Fuentes, Alysse Gafkjen, JC Gellidon, Kelly-Ann Hughes, I Hate Flash, Carmen Jaudon, Alyssa Krauss, Arnelle Lozada, Shaira Luna, Hanna Pechon, Rony’s Photobooth, James Perry, Nikki Ruiz, Steffi Santiago, JP Singson interns

Justine Ballon, Trish Guzman, Dariz Kho, Matt Panes, Vin Quilop

What’s your STATUS? tell us. editorial

diigii daguna In between the lines and doodles of Diigii Daguna are dreams of being drawn by the greats. “I’d probably go with Junju Ito, Keith Haring, and Edward Gorey,” she says when asked who she would prefer to draw her portrait. We tell her, however, that she might see herself as part of that list as she let’s her artistry free in “Electric Youth” (42).

advertising marketing general inquiries read our digital version like us follow us instagram: statusmagazine STATUS is published by STATUS Media Group. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

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our daily grind is for your coffee beans.

visit to read more stories.


vowel movement


A-based label LEZARD is going to bring out the water animal in you. Sexy prints, interesting cuts, and studs add intrigue to bikinis and onesies like the “The Concord,” “The Colette Studded,” and “The Provence.” May it be for the poolside or the beach shore, for swimming or for sunbathing, you’ll surely bring the heat.


ariations on a theme is the driving force behind UK-based brand THFKDLF’s floral capsule collection. Derivative yet oddly hypnotizing, the repeating cherry blossoms motif gets the optical illusion treatment in tees, hoodies, beanies, and leggings. It’s a puzzling pattern, vintage yet modern, leaving you feeling like you’re dressed in an Instagram filter.








on the other hand I

t’s a fresh twist on streetwear. OTHER UK is a bit of a Renegade, keeping the basic out with pops of plaid, ombré, stripes, and graphic patterns. Devoted to longer, tunic-like cuts and slim fits, it’s a whole other world. Exclusively presented in black, white, grey, and red, this is one collection that will make you stop saying you don’t have a thing to wear.


keen and green S

ense and style come together with POPPY LISSIMAN. The Australian accessories designer gives us rare handmade pieces that hold bursts of color and a sense of humor. Featuring sunglasses, phone cases, and purses made from vegan or faux leather material, her new collection is guaranteed to be made crueltyfree. Fill your wardrobe as well as your heart with these one-of-a-kind trinkets. - 15



past break I

n the time of technology, expensive gadgets, and unlimited apps, the accessibility of everything makes life a bit boring. Come back to simpler times with DIMEPIECE LA. With monochromatic color schemes, pixelated graphics, and clipartinspired prints, Ain’t No Wifi features zip-up jackets, joggers, turtleneck crop tops, and paneled sweaters. It’s fashionbackward, in a good way.

house apparel Y

ou’ll like your beats fast and your BÄAS down low. Since its conception in 2013, the streetwear label has grown in the music scene from a small batch of T-shirts to diverse apparel with cultural patterns infused in urban fashion. Their new collection provides hoodies, sweaters, shirts, and beanies in toned-down colors with minimalist logo designs.

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numbers game F

ounded by three of the most sought-after male models in Korea, 87MM knows their stuff. Riffing off a mix of schoolboy prep and irreverent streetstyle, their latest collection pairs black and white with blue and red for a slick pop. Our favorite detail brings square silhouettes with pants zippers saying, “open here.” You know what to do.

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apanese designer ATO MATSUMOTO may be more known for his sneakers, but he has more tricks up his sleeves. This season has him reaching for mandals instead of sneaks, pairing them with slim cut pants, smooth silhouettes, skimming cuts, and shinier textures. You’ll want to hoard every piece for your favorite man, and have him look at home on any continent.


rough and ready W

atch out: this line is only for those with the stones to pull it off. STONERIVER’s pretty rocks are dainty yet rugged, perfect for beauties with a bit of an edge. Playing around with length and attachments, this line will keep you down-to-earth—and with good reason. Focus your energy with quartz, amethyst, and turquoise for starters. They’re just too precious.

no haters allowed T

here’s going to be no shame in your game with CRITICS CLOTHING. Printed black shirts, sweaters, and tank tops like the “Phuck Y’all Pap Tee,” “Critics Mayan Disk Sweater,” and “Critics Head of the Game Tee” will get you all the attitude you need for miles and miles.

admit nothing A


ake a breather from the everyday stress of picking clothes with OXYGEN Daily. Featuring a line of basics like tees, polos, jeans, and accessories in cool hues and clean cuts, partner this with that and get a breezy look that will definitely turn heads.

lmost quintessentially British, WEEKEND OFFENDER wants for nothing. Balancing classic cuts and a nod to the outdoors with cheeky window dressings and sporty gear, their lineup is a sight to behold. Windbreakers, jumpers, trousers, and buttondowns round out the crime scene, with socks, boxers, and even footballs as accomplices. Possession with intent to distribute? We’re guilty as charged. - 17



modern pulse

street etiquette


A-based label CLASHIST is livin’ the dream, producing pop culture-clashing clothing, making sure that no icon is safe. Embrace the gaudy and trendy tacky—this clothing is envied by the Tumblr set. From Ryan Gosling to Bill Murray, Johnny Depp to Dave Franco and Seth Rogen, plus countless caricatures and a shrine to breasts, their designs are definitely not for the faint of heart.


here’s no room for underdogs with HERO’S HEROINE. Designed for both men and women, this streetwear brand takes your wardrobe from zero to hero with a collection of tees that feature pixelated portraits of icons from the hip-hop and rap scene, luxurious sweats, and bold print vests in hues of black, white, gray, and red.


andcrafted elegance, attitude, and style worthy of stars like Megan Fox, Emma Roberts, and Lily Allen is what you get with VANESSA MOONEY. Rings, bracelets, hand chains, and earrings made with the cool chic in mind will not disappoint and will be with you through the many seasons and phases.

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type dreams N

o sugar and spice here, just everything NICCE. Attracting up-and-coming musicians from Ella Eyre to Jessie Ware and CHVRCHES, the London-based brand packs their collection with winter parkas, knitted beanies, classic shirts, and sweats decorated with multiple white Nicce logos. We’re certain that these pieces are exactly our type.


sunnies side up kiss & tell P

Words by Pola Beronilla, Janroe Cabiles, Jill de Leon, Olivia Estrada, Carla Hutchinson, and Denise Mallabo

ucker up ‘cause PLNY LALA’s ready to smack you down with some style. Made for girls with an aesthetic attitude, the Polish streetwear brand’s collection of sweatshirts, longsleeves, raglans, tees, and beanies in black, white, and gray with a mix of baby pink and raspberry red will give your wardrobe a peck on your chic.


ook through VALLEY EYEWEAR and see life from a different angle with Prism. Withstanding the test of time, their latest pieces of handcrafted quality eyewear in somber monotones embody an iconic blend of classic design and individuality. Choose any set of frames from their collections and survive the highs and lows of fashion trends in style.

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fruit of labor C

ut the crop and reap the benefit of ROYAL CABALLITO. An ode to summer’s gorgeous bounties, Harvest collects garments with an imaginative mix of fun silhouettes, poetic patterns, minimal designs, and creative use of knit in fresh aquamarines, golden yellows, and coral colors. Seeking a maximum comfort and chic, these threads are certainly refreshing.

f being fashion savvy is your game but you still crave for that street style comfort, then ZANEROBE will satisfy your every whim. Founded in Australia by friends Leith Testoni and Jonathan Yeo, their latest collection of well-constructed, fashionable men’s bottoms and tops with fabrics and textures is far more than perfect. - 19






et the calmness and tranquility of the sea wash you over at HOTEL CORT. Found on the shores of Palma de Mallorca, the one-hundred-year old building has been refurbished into a sanctuary adorned in shades of blue with framed maps and other nautical items to maintain its connection to the beach located a few meters away. Escape permeates in each of their 14 suites with various comforts provided by Egyptian cotton and linen towels to a private red wine bar. In the same spirit, the recreational activities available are for those who want to experience a subdued luxury through their rooftop pool and jacuzzi with sun beds and in-room beauty and spa treatments. Plaça De Cort, 11 Palma de Mallorca 7001 Spain


HOOCH, MAKATI here’s no such thing as last call when you’re at HOOCH. Located in the main vein of the business district, the bar presents itself as a scene for respite from the hustle of working in the metro. Handcrafted cocktails such as the fruity Salcedo Avenue and the sweet-spicy The Provocateur offer a glassful of much-needed refreshment. Locallybrewed beers on the tap and other signature creations from their formidable bar can be enjoyed with bar chow or selections from Lulu, the bar’s sister restaurant right next door. With steampunk-inspired interiors, comfortable suede chairs, and low-lightning, nothing can distract you from whiling the hours away with your friends or meeting new acquaintances.

G/F 125 V Corporate Center L.P. Leviste Street Salcedo Village, Makati City


FRIDAY FAVORITES Accompanied by your favorite cocktail or single malt, these dishes from HOOCH kick off the perfect weekend.

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RISOTTO NERO Scallops and flash-fried shrimp on a bed of squid-ink risotto

GOLDEN CRAB CAKES Crab salad, lemon mayonnaise, cucumber, lettuce, mangoes, and French caviar

CITRUS GLAZED MAHI-MAHI Line caught, sustainable mahi-mahi with candied lemon and olive

DIRTY DOZEN Chicken wings bathed in spicy sriracha sauce served with lemon salt and sriracha powder

Words by Olivia Estrada, HOTEL CORT is a member of Design Hotels, Photos courtesy of Design Hotels™ HOOCH photos by Carlo Nuñez




GRIND, BLUEBAY WALK Building F, Unit No. 183-184, Bluebay Walk, Metropolitan Ave., Bay Area CBD, Pasay City Dime to Drop: P1,000-P8,000 Don’t leave the store without: Items from their Stance Skate Legends Collection


ife’s too short not to get down and dirty. Fit for the adventurous, GRIND provides clothing and equipment for skating, surfing, biking, and any adrenaline pumping activity you can think of. The brand has built an empire of branches in and out of Manila, and recently added another one located at the Bluebay Walk in Pasay City. The sun and heat seen through their glass panel windows make you long for the thrill of an adventure-packed afternoon. The store is covered in pale wood panels, giving you a surround-sound feeling of half pipes. Displays like multicolored boards, simple geometric racks, and furniture support the pieces from brands like Hurley, O’Neill, Volcom, Raen, Roxy, Deathwish, and Fluidsurf. These are perfect companions to get you through the daily grind.

dear rivington, new york 37 Great Jones St., New York, NY 10012 Dime to Drop: $100-$500 (P4,475-P22,377) Don’t leave the store without: One of their vintage pieces


midst the bright lights and busy streets of NYC, DEAR RIVINGTON will take you to a different dimension. Be under the illusion of being in an 1800s movie set around the distinct interior settings and clothing with periodical silhouettes. Influenced by a fusion of antique garments and Japanese avant-garde, the store distributes men’s and women’s clothing, as well as one-ofa-kind jewelry. Founded by Moon Rhee and Heyja Do and reopened in 2009, the brand searches and curates vintage apparel scouted from different parts of the globe like corduroy gaucho pants, cummerbunds, and weekender bags, as well as high-end pieces from well-known brands like Comme des Garçons. Stained wood, antique furniture, and classic books surround the selection, which give the place a distinctive feel. Any old soul would fall in love with a class act such as this.

traffic la

o about your day Beverly Hills-style with TRAFFIC LA. Packed with designs from big names like Vivienne Westwood, Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, and Costume National, the brand has attracted a number of high-profile fans from stylists, actors, and musicians. May it be their selection of menswear, womenswear, jewelry, or shoes that tickle your fashion fancy, you’ll definitely find an edgy wardrobe in here that’ll cause some heavy traffic. - 21

Words by Jill de Leon





TICKET HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 Craig Robinson and Clark Duke return as Nick and Jacob trying to go back in time to save Lou (Rob Corddry), only this time, they travel to the future.

FOCUS Will Smith stars as a seasoned con man orchestrating his most dangerous scene, but finds himself thrown off by another con artist he once took under his wing before she stole his heart.

ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE (1994) I think Jim Carrey made a choice to be this looney dude and it turned out to be an amazing product.

BLAKE ANDERSON (Actor) @UncleBlazer MENACE II SOCIETY (1993) Sometimes, you just need to kick back, smoke a joint, and watch a hood classic.

JUPITER ASCENDING This sci-fi fantasy follows an ordinary janitor, who is partnered with a warrior from outer space, as she finds out that she is the heir to the planet Earth.

OUT OF THE DARK Directed by Lluis Quilez, this thriller sees a couple moving to South America with their daughter to take over a manufacturing business, but find themselves living in a haunted house.

THE WRESTLER (2008) It’s a man movie about wrestling, which I always grew up loving. It’s just a well-done movie, and I really liked it.

THE THING (1982) If I could get to choose a new dad, I think I’d choose Kurt Russell, ‘cause he’s the best.

NAKED GUN (1988) It’s just straight-up comedy. There are no rules in this movie. They just go for any joke they want.


THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT Adapted from a novel by Ron Rash, Jeremy Irvine plays a young man struggling to escape his dark path, but instead intertwines his fate with a drug dealer with a violent past.

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BETTER CALL SAUL (AMC) From Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, the creators of Breaking Bad, the spinoff follows Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), a small-time lawyer trying to make it big without going to the court, six years before finding himself in a strip mall, working with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.

THE 87TH ACADEMY AWARDS The time for the Oscar statuette has come at last, with Neil Patrick Harris on the stage of the Dolby Theatre. The ballots are in, and one film has to win, with directors Richard Linklater, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Ava DuVernay, Morten Tyldum, and James Marsh for the biggest category, Best Picture.

OUTLAW COUNTRY (WGN) Set in Buckner, Missouri, this docudrama follows both sides of law enforcement and crime in the small town, tailing Steve and Mike Cook, brothers who act as Sheriff and head of the Buckner Criminal Task Force, as they investigate John and Josh Monk, who they think are behind the surge of crime.

Words by Janroe Cabiles Blake Anderson photo by Arnelle Lozada

THE LAST FIVE YEARS Richard LaGravenese brings Jason Robert Brown’s musical to the screen, pairing Cathy and Jamie once again as they rehash their relationship, from start to end and from end to start.




HOT OFF THE P RESS STARLING BOOK 1 By Ashley Wood Ashley Wood’s done it again. Riffing off of his acclaimed Sparrow series of art books, he’s going bigger and better with a new title. It’s essentially Sparrow, but bigger, making it a welcome addition to his body of work. Starting off with a volume of allnew art, keep an eye out for additional volumes, collecting the latest and greatest work of contemporary artists.

GEORGE HARRISON: BEHIND THE LOCKED DOOR By Graeme Thomson The life and times of George Harrison, thoroughly examined by noted biographer Graeme Thomson, reveals the former Beatles’ psyche, examined through in-depth interviews and dogged research. This is no pandering publication; it gets into the good, the bad, and the ugly, painting George Harrison as a human being, instead of just a pillar of pop culture.

AMERICA: ICONS AND INGENUITY By Dan Winters, Courtney A. McNeil, and John Grzywacz-Gray This reads as a love letter to one of the icons of contemporary photography, a retrospective of Dan Winters’ work up to the present. Collecting the memorable images from his career, including editorial portraits (the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama, Helen Mirren, Tupac, Brad Pitt, Jeff Koons among many others), electron micrography, landscapes, and personal images, it’s a clear look into the heart of this photography giant.



n the world of the selfie, how do portraits (self and otherwise) stay relevant in the art world? After all, highlighted in the foreword written by prominent art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon, “portraiture is often dismissed as an art form mired in the past: deadly dull, deadly old-fashioned, just plain dead.” Well, the British National Portrait Gallery’s definitive book on the subject begs to differ, as does Graham-Dixon. “A multitude of contemporary artists have found a multitude of ways to revitalize the art of portraiture,” enthuses the critic, and this revitalization is clear: through the eyes of various artists (including Marina Abramović and Annie Leibovitz), portraiture is alive and well. Some examples of this new creative wave?

Soft and moody photography portraits reminiscent of 17th century Dutch masters, with nods to Vermeer

Three-dimensional likenesses captured in wood, creating miniature exact replicas of specific individuals

A remake of King George III’s royal portrait referencing Australian colonization

Words by Carla Hutchinson

FOOT N OTES “The grandmother of performance art” Marina Abramović’s latest work Generator involves a padded room in which visitors don blindfolds and noise-canceling headphones to explore nothingness.

Ashley Wood got his start in the comics industry, doing covers for Judge Dredd, Spawn, 30 Days of Night, Uncanny X-Men, and Tank Girl.

George Harrison financed Monty Python’s Life of Brian for $4 million because it was something he “would like to see.” It went on to be considered one of the best comedy films of all time. - 23




GEORGE MAPLE george-maple

SWAY CLARKE II sway-clarke-ii


“Can’t Do Without You” Caribou This song is so perfect in every sense. It just makes me smile.

“Partition” Beyoncé It’s just sexy.

“Core” RL Grime I love the drums and the energy. It’s really good pre-show warm up music.

“Take a Look” Aretha Franklin I like to listen to this song to give myself some perspective.

“I Prefer Your Love” St. Vincent I think that is such a beautiful line, “I prefer your love to Jesus.” Wow.

“Magic” Coldplay There is a contained immenseness bursting at its seams. Like you want to cum, but it never quite happens. Such a tease.   

“Gold” Chet Faker Because I’m jealous I didn’t write it.

“Kids (2 Finger in Dem Kopf)” Marteria I love the sense of humor of this song. It’s something I would write.

“Latch” Disclosure It’s such a great original song that reminds me of what it’s like to be with somebody special.

“Love Me Harder” Ariana Grande feat. The Weekend I love this duet with the two of them. It’s very sensual and romantic.

“Because the Internet” Childish Gambino The whole album is brilliant to be. It’s such a hidden gem. Very well done from start to finish.

“I Got U” Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones I remember listening to it for the first time, dancing in my girlfriend’s apartment in Paris right by the river in the summer. Magic.


BUTCH WALKER may be Afraid of Ghosts, but we sure aren’t afraid of the collaborators on his new album, which include Johnny Depp and Ryan Adams. We hope they got along like a “Bed on Fire.”

It’s not just for American boys. ESTELLE’s made it clear that she’s looking for True Romance, “Time After Time.” After a listen, “All That Matters” is that “Something Good” came out of it, enough to “Make Her Say” yes.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year for music–the 57th Grammy Awards! While you may not agree with the nominated acts, no music lover can deny the spectacle that is the Grammys. Stay tuned on February 8 to see if your favorites won a golden gramophone. The show will be broadcast live by CBS.

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Ambient music artist Tycho, also known for his design and photography under the name ISO50, is coming to Manila as part of his Awake world tour. Blending swirled melodies into hypnotic anthems, catch Tycho’s multi-textural sounds at the Theatre at Solaire Resort & Casino in Pasay City on February 3.

Almost as big as the game itself, the Super Bowl halftime performance on February 1 draws just as much of an audience. This year’s headliner Katy Perry joins the ranks of previous halftime performers, including Michael Jackson, U2, No Doubt, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and Beyoncé.

JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ gets your heartbeats racing with Vestiges & Claws, his first new album in eight years. Consisting solely of original material, it may have been written “With The Ink of a Ghost.”

Words by Carla Hutchinson George Maple photo by Sylve Colless

Swedish-Australian electropop twins SAY LOU LOU release their first full-length LP: Lucid Dreaming. Featuring their singles “Julian” and “Games for Girls,” we can’t wait to hear more from the dreamy duo.


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top of the game From Charlie Chaplin’s adorable bowler hat to Vivienne Westwood’s outrageous “Mountain” hat popularized by Pharrell Williams, fedoras have proven its timeless appeal. Functional and stylish as seen on the Gareth Pugh Fall/Winter collection, without a doubt, it’s the crowning glory for chilly evenings. By JP Singson

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Looking back, AMANDA HENDRICK’s hurdles have gotten her far. “I really like to meditate and practice being a human being. I used to be a dick.” In a better place, this candid queen is parading her “blunt, honest, and goofy” soul around the world. By Janroe Cabiles Photographed by Nick Dorey and James Perry

Before the marrow of her comeback, Amanda had to bite the dust before a drastic change. “I struggled with my weight, at one point,” she recalls. “I used to be very anorexic and tried all sorts of diets but was still always hungry. I got caught up and lost who I was for a minute. I’m happy and content now. I never thought the size issue in the industry would be as restricted as it is, but something definitely has to change.”

DREAMS AND SCENES Aside from my first show, I’ll never forget

the time when I bagged an exclusive for Balenciaga. I also loved doing the campaign for Smashbox’s collaboration with Curtis Kulig called “Love Me” in 2013–that was really fun. But of all the designers, I really admire Vivienne Westwood. I like how she is trying to put out a strong message through her brand.


ritten on Amanda Hendrick’s back are the words, “No matter where you go, there you are.” Boundless to no corner, this model and blogger goes wherever her passion takes her. “What I love most about modeling is the traveling, definitely,” she says. “I have friends all around the world now, whom I would never have met if it weren’t for modeling.” Her raven, sometimes strawberry blonde hair, clear blue-green eyes, pierced nose, and style that she classifies as “a rock & roll Princess Jasmine” has reeled in the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Topshop, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Balenciaga. The Glasgow native has come a long way from being scouted at a train station at the age of 15. “People had always mentioned it to me, but it didn’t seem like something I wanted to do. Eventually, I just sort of went with the flow and it worked!”

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AMANDA’S WEB I started blogging because I wanted to

spread positivity. I just like posting things that I like or inspire me in some way. If they inspire other people too, then that’s awesome. I pull inspiration from anywhere– that’s the beauty of it. You never know when you’re going to be walking along the street, and then boom!

NO REGRETS, JUST INK I’ve lost count of how many tattoos I

have. Some of them, I got when I was young and intoxicated. Some are for old lovers, friends, and family. I have a few matching ones with people. All of them have a crazy story or meaning, so it’s hard to regret any one of them.

Styled by Kelly-Ann Hughes

REAL TALK There is nothing sexier than a girl who

doesn’t give a fuck and is comfortable just being herself. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and why the fuck would you want to be, anyway? People do notice when you’re being fake or being a copycat, and it’s not attractive. Find yourself, who you really are, scream it from the fucking rooftops, and don’t lose sight of yourself, you wonderful, unique human! @AmandaHendrick

“There is nothing sexier than a girl who doesn’t give a fuck and is comfortable just being herself.”


HERE FOR THE LONG HAUL Modern punk, riot grrrl, hardcore, indie rock: EX HEX has done ‘em all. Now, they’re giving their own blend of hard rock and power pop a spin with a debut album that’s hitting all the right notes. By Carla Hutchinson


ur favorite description of Ex Hex’s frontwoman has to be, “Mary Timony has indie rock O.G. status.” It may seem like hyperbole, but there’s more than a nugget of truth in it. Getting into the hardcore scene in D.C. when she was around 15, Mary has since been a part of Autoclave, Helium, and allstar rock veteran supergroup Wild Flag. All in all, not a bad resume. Starting out in her hometown of Washington, D.C., she briefly lived in Boston before relocating back home, where she and bandmates Betsy Wright (bass) and Laura

Harris (drums) teamed up to form Ex Hex, recording most of their tracks in Mary’s basement studio. Mary laughs, remembering: “We joke around and say that there’s only like, four bands [in D.C.]. We all kinda know each other. The music scene is really small there, but I like that. Nobody moves to D.C. to be big on the music scene.” That may not have been the intention, but Ex Hex has certainly been getting attention for their debut album Rips, garnering rave reviews for the short, loud, riff-happy, and fun record. Drawing comparisons to classic rock icons The Ramones and Cheap Trick, Rips proves that this is just the stellar beginning for Mary and the

gang. “The sound of the band is pretty raw,” explains Mary. “We like bands that were around in the late ‘70s and ‘80s–music that was on the radio when I was a little kid. We definitely didn’t want to make it sound derivative, but we want the songs to be songs you could listen to a lot, just because that’s what’s fun to play.” Fun to play and fun to listen to: this seems to sum up the band pretty well. Their style, at least on this album, has been hailed as lo-fi, simplistic, and pared-down, without sacrificing any of the raucous energy and entertaining chemistry they’re beginning to be known for. Having just finished a US tour, they’re gearing up for a European jaunt, getting ready for more trips, headlining shows, and opening for King Tuff–not to mention thinking up ideas for a couple more of their wacky, kitschtastic music videos. It’s a busy time for these music mavens. “We’re really enjoying [touring]. We worked so hard on making the songs into songs that we liked that it’s really easy to play them,” says Mary. “Touring’s hard, it’s stressful. Playing the show is what you live for when you’re on tour, so when you get up there after driving for nine hours, you’re so glad to be

playing.” Tours end up producing the best stories too: Mary recounts a gig at Minneapolis’ legendary First Avenue and 7th Street Entry where they snuck out after their set, left the merch table unmanned, and went to catch Pentagram, a metal band from D.C. in the ‘70s, who were playing down the street. “We were like caged animals or something, out of the blue,” laughs Mary. “We’d just been on tour for so long, in the same routine, so we got to see this awesome band and had a blast and we were all huge Pentagram fans.” They’ve been doing this for so long: forming bands, playing their hearts out, touring sold-out shows, and continually reinventing and improving themselves as artists and musicians—there’s no doubt that Ex Hex has had a lot of practice. They’ve proved their staying power long before other luminaries have burned out, or retired. And the secret? Mary sums it up: “I’ve just been doing it for longer than most people do–I guess I’m just one of the lifers. I have to keep doing it or else I get bummed out.” @exhexband

“We definitely didn’t want to make it sound derivative, but we want the songs to be songs you could listen to a lot, just because that’s what’s fun to play.” - 61


hopeful honest y Indie electronic band PANAMA takes their nostalgic electropop from coast to coast, spreading their sound from their native Australia to Texas’ South by Southwest festival, and all other stops in between.

“Sometimes, I write with rules in mind. Other times, I have to throw the rules away. I constantly have to change the way I work in order to be inspired.”


triking gold with the release of their EP Always, Panama has been taking their trademark hopeful house music and creating new converts everywhere they go. They’re back from a European and US tour, after playing at SXSW last year—you’d be hardpressed to find naysayers of the band. Whatever they’re doing, it’s working. Frontman Jarrah McLeary keeps the magic going. After spending two years on what was supposed to be a new record for his then-band Dirty Secrets, he realized that the sound he was working on had evolved and didn’t quite mesh with Dirty Secrets’ pop rock aesthetic. Releasing the new material under the name of Panama, it became clear that this new direction was the perfect fit. “Since the start of Panama, I’ve always considered it as a solo project, I guess,” Jarrah tells us. “But I do really like the idea of having a band for the live aspect. It’s nice to see musicians interacting with each other on the stage.” Guessing from the millions of listens on their Soundcloud page, Panama’s next moves are heavily anticipated.

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Hey Jarrah! It’s great hearing from you. What have you been up to lately? How’s the band? At the moment, I’m working on a bunch of new material in my home studio. I’ve been hunting around for different sounds and discovering some new synths and plugins I hadn’t had a chance to use until now. The band is really good. We just got back from touring over in Europe and the US, so it now feels like we’re quite close as a unit. Being back feels nice because I’m able to sleep in my own bed again! We’ve heard that it took you a couple of years to write the songs for what was supposed to be your next Dirty Secrets record. How did you sustain the creativity? I just tried to keep my mind active and open to new things. At the time, I had just moved from Perth to Sydney, so I was making new friends and experiencing a lot of different things. It really helped push me out of the routines I was used to. Looking back, it was a difficult time.

By Carla Hutchinson

After working on them for so long, what was it like for you to realize that all that material was more suited for a whole new band, a whole new sound? The producer I was working with at the time was actually the one who suggested I should change the name to something else, because it had been so long since I last recorded. The fact that I wrote all the songs myself this time in my little shitty apartment also made for a different-sounding record. How did that tie in with the Dirty Secrets’ breakup? I think once the other members heard the record, it had a polarizing effect. They either dug it or they didn’t. And that’s why some left and one stayed. “Hopeful” is an interesting word to use when describing house/ electronic music. Why “hopeful”? The music I write usually comes out in a positive light, somehow. Even if the song is dark, it seems to always feel uplifting. It’s just the way I write, I guess.

Do you have an easier time writing up-beat dance music or slower, sadder songs? I tend to always touch on the darker experiences of my life when writing. It’s definitely easier for me to write a song in this way. If I was told to write an up-beat dance track, I think I would struggle. It’s not something I’ve ever been able to do naturally. We know you get asked this a lot, and we wondered if it was something you really intended with your band’s name, since you like to leave it open to interpretation. What does Panama mean to you? To me, Panama is still defined in the way I write music. Sometimes, I write with rules in mind. Other times, I have to throw the rules away. I constantly have to change the way I work in order to be inspired. So I think a name and its definition can change over time as well. @panamatheband


a shade apart Singer-songwriter GRAE is ready to make the waves reverb with his brand of music that has earned the attention of Ne-yo and Frank Ocean. Out of his simple stories from Pasadena, he pens heartfelt tunes for the sake of authentic expression. By Olivia Estrada Photographed by Sean Armenta


reaking through the noise barrier built by today’s biggest names, Grae premiered his first single “No Other” to the excitement of Complex. The song is about lost love and an affirmation that the one who is left behind is not necessarily the one who has suffered the greater lost. His voice rings powerful with the twisted promise as the chorus goes, “So baby, if you talkin’ ‘bout me don’t lie, tell him / Once you had love from me there’s no other / Couldn’t get enough of me and my loving / You’ll never find another me no other.“ As a new voice in the R&B scene, he brings in the genre’s staples of a head-bobbing melody and honest lyrics. He also reveals that there is a little bit more to his love stories, setting him apart from manufactured hits by sharing personal confessions. “The person I wrote it about had a fixation on vanity, capital gain, and self-ignorance, but still knew love,” the musician explains. Curiously enough, he’s not your usual lover as we asked what a date with him would be like. “Fun!” he exclaims immediately. “I don’t really like going on typical dates where I take a girl out to dinner and a movie. That’s blah and boring. I always go somewhere cool or random, like a trampoline park, or a rooftop bar with an indie band or even a museum opening that has awesome modern art and dancing. Anything that would

be a cool experience for both of us.” Grae likes to live in the moment as it is the core of his sound. Crux, his first EP out this 2015, will introduce us to his everyday forays. “I always write about life and what inspires me, so the key elements in this EP are life experiences and influences around me.” What has a typical day been like since you released your first single and on the days leading up to the release of your EP? It’s been pretty cool to wake up and do a bunch of interviews every other day, photo shoots, and sessions with other producers and such. I don’t have any crazy anecdotes yet, but I’m sure that will change quickly. What excites you most about this career that’s just beginning? The most exciting part is finding out that I’m not the only one that likes the music I make. It’s a harsh industry that will test your determination time and time again, but to see people start to recognize what you’ve been working on is very exciting. In the next few years, I hope to have a few albums under my belt and be out on tour. I want to share my craft to the rest of the world and work with the great writers and producers of our time.

With the power of Soundcloud, YouTube, and other similar platforms where people can share their music, what do you think one must do to stand out and avoid sounding like everyone else? It’s all about being unique with what you create, whatever it may be. People will always be able to easily tell if something is genuine. If you can manage to put out genuine content that you truly love as an artist, most people will feel that. It’s all about the feeling. What doubts and challenges did you have to overcome to get to where you are now? The biggest obstacle, no matter what life has thrown at me, has always been mastering my own self. Being able to conquer my fears and doubts that I’ve had about my music, my personal

life, and being able to control my own anxieties as a person are the most challenging. I’ve been lucky to have mentors and colleagues by my side to help me learn how to stand by what I believe in, fight for the things and people I love, and never stop writing and working relentlessly. How will you continue to keep them at bay as you pursue your career? It’s all about honesty. Being honest with myself as a person will resonate through how I speak, how I sing, what music I write, how I perform, who I surround myself with, and what career decisions I make. @theofficialgrae - 63


growing into her own Singer-songwriter CLARA BENIN will captivate you with her no-nonsense music, soothing both your heart and soul. By Denise Mallabo Photographed by Grace de Luna Makeup Nicole Ceballos


hen you ask musician Clara Benin how it’s like being the daughter of Joey Benin, former bassist of iconic band Side-A, you’ll get a coy and almost cynical smile. “I don’t know. I’ve never been anyone else’s daughter other than Joey Benin’s.” Still, she shares that she relished watching her dad’s gigs and tagging along at their out-of-town shows. She also admits that the ultimate perks of having a talented musician as a dad is learning from him to be as musically competent. “The best thing that I’ve learned from my dad when it comes to music is just to be humble. He never compromised his faith for anything in order for him to just fit in, I respect him so much for that. My dad kept it real; he kept it true to himself,” shares Clara. Looking at her Youtube account, you’ll get a scope of the type of music she dabbles with: soothing, easy, and stunning. Her songs are relatable, something that she wants and loves doing. Clara tells us, “When I write songs,

most of the time it’s more of a need, it just comes out from me. It’s a very long process; it usually takes me months to write one song. I like challenging my listeners and myself. I want people to relate to my lyrics and to learn from it. I like writing about life.” Out of her observations comes her first album, Human Eyes. In it she offers a calming reflections over the rush of days and a collaborative effort with notable mentors. “I got to work with saxophonist Tots Tolentino for one of my tracks. My dad also helped me a lot in this album; he played the bass for some of the tracks.” When did you realize that you wanted to become a musician and that you wanted to write your own songs? Before, I never really wanted to pursue it. When I started playing the guitar and write, it was more for myself because I didn’t want to share it to the world. I didn’t think that

“I want people to relate to my lyrics and to learn from it.” 64 -

my songs were good enough. But eventually, when I got older, my music became my passion, the very purpose why I’m here. I can’t imagine myself not doing music. Do you write better songs when you’re happy or when you’re sad? There are more emotions that you can use to write songs when you’re sad. I also don’t regret anything that I write, because that’s how I felt during that time. How do you want to be known in the music industry, a good singer or a good songwriter? I think more of a songwriter; I’m more of a lyric person. I want people to be able to relate to my music, I don’t just want to sound good, but of course that’s very important, too. What’s your favorite track from Human Eyes and why should it be everybody’s favorite as well? I have a track called “Dust” and I wrote it last summer. It’s about my view of life. It talks about my purpose. For a

lot of people, death is such as scary thing, but if you know that you’re living for a purpose and not just for the sake of breathing, then if you die tomorrow, it’s okay, because you lived the life that you were supposed to live. And that’s what my song “Dust” is about. What’s your advice to people your age that want to create their own music? If writing and making music is what you really want, invest in it. Buy good equipment, buy a guitar, and go to a music school if you can. You really have to work hard for it, people think that it’s so easy to be a musician, but the struggle is real! You can’t just stay in your room, record, and upload on Soundcloud, hoping that Ellen Degeneres finds out about it. Working on your music is not an overnight thing. @ninebaralc


FISH OUT OF WATER LA native AESCHLEAH DEMARTINO brings to life an art project that could only come from the City of Angels: a latex dominatrix suit-clad mermaid. Cheeky, thought-provoking, and compelling, Permaid’s journey documented through Aeschleah’s lens makes for great commentary. By Carla Hutchinson


icture this: a lithe figure lounging on top of a row of washing machines. It is clad entirely in black latex, from head to fin–its form a compelling mashup of human and fish. This is Permaid, brainchild of photographer Aeschleah DeMartino and fashion designer Nicolette Mishkan, a character that’s stealthily becoming a fixture in the LA art and party scene. She’s popping up everywhere: in the DMV, on the Santa Monica Pier, even at LAX. “Permaid represents the freak inside us all. She struggles in society because of her differences. She cannot hide her darkness like the rest of us. Most people have a sweet, soft façade they present to the world and it’s not until you grow familiar with a person, do you see their idiosyncrasies. Permaid wears those characteristics on the outside and it’s over time when you see that she’s actually super sweet and welcoming,” says Aeschleah, waxing lyrical about her creation. Permaid toes the line between art and life, a performance piece that has developed a personality of her own.

“I will spend endless amounts of time setting up a shot, but it’s a moment that occurs with the model or the outside world that I seek.”

Nicolette dons the suit, and Aeschleah photographs the outcome. It’s a project that takes a lot of work–once the suit’s on, Nicolette can’t walk and Aeschleah has to carry her around. The suit can also be suffocating, and feels like an oven in the LA heat. “The suit is always with her and my Yashica T4 is always with me, so Permaid can come to life at any moment when we are together. We’ve taken her to parties, to get fish tacos, to the DMV, and on flights with us,” Aeschleah shares. “We never expected such a positive response from the public. At first, we were worried people would be offended by the Jewish S&M mermaid, but we’ve gotten the opposite reaction. People can’t seem to get enough of her.” It’s a winning combination of wit, charm, and weirdness. There may be plenty of other fish in the sea, but none of them can compare to Permaid. What style of yours do you think shows through every image you produce? I look for shapes and symmetry when composing an image, which is something I have always been pretty consistent with. My process is very intentional and calculated. Attention to detail is incredibly important to me. I will spend endless amounts of time setting up a shot, but it’s a moment that occurs with the model or the outside world that I seek. It’s that moment when she lets her guard down between shots, or when the wind blows her hair a certain way, or when the light shifts for a second.

What do you want people to come away with after viewing your work? I want the audience to get the feeling I get when I look at a piece of work that inspired me. I want to make beautiful things, even if there is a component involved that is jarring or a bit shocking. When I look at beautiful work, I get that euphoric feeling comparable to a sugar high or when the Advil kicks in and your headache clears. It usually lasts for just a moment, which is why it feels so good. Do you relate a lot to Permaid’s almost literal “fish out of water” experience? Her personality is a reflection of Nicolette and I. We often speak about Permaid in the third person, joke about how we’ve created the perfect woman, and get jealous when she laps us on Instagram with more followers. Her story is pulled from our experiences and history. Feeling like a “fish out of water,” and not understanding why we were so different from our peers was a common emotion for both Nicolette and I growing up. Permaid’s story is also about embracing her differences as something unique and using those dissimilarities to her advantage.

This is definitely performance art, but how does Permaid’s influence and personality peek into your real life? The performance aspect of the project is the most thrilling. It’s a rush of adrenaline when we’re setting up for a shot in a densely public forum. We never know how long we can push it before we upset someone, are asked to leave, get arrested, etc. We recently practiced our First Amendment rights in Santa Monica last week by protesting/ panhandling with a sign that read, “FUCK SEA WORLD!” Permaid posed with the sign for 15 minutes and earned $10 in donations from passersby. What’s next for Permaid and what’s next for Aeschleah? Permaid’s story is constantly evolving. She has become an animal activist and is passionate about ending the inhumane treatment and captivity of sea mammals at Sea World. We don’t know what she’ll do next, but we have so much fun working on the project, so more remains to be seen. We’re hoping to finish the project one day with an exhibition and a book. I have a couple more projects that only a few people know about. I have been working on them for some time. Revealing those projects to the world is what’s next for me. @aeschleah - 65




hildhood is a painful experience. It is a time where imagination runs amok, without regard for the limitations set by grown-ups. It’s a struggle for a child to convey the reality of unicorns, rainbow roads, and kaleidoscope vision, which many of us grow out of and cast aside. Jeona, in her little studio amid the bustling business district, is perhaps the only exception to this rule. Her paintings convey purple skies and fantastical critters that still haunt our dreams. These same creations and creatures have found homes in different galleries across the globe like the Musée International des Arts Modestes in Paris, Queens Museum in New York, and Equator Art Projects in Singapore. Like the best of us, Jeona tried her best to fit in at first. In the middle of pursuing a nursing degree, an epiphany came. “I was a teen witch and I felt that my witchy vibe didn’t for that kind of reality. Sometimes, the most vulnerable thing a girl does is the most empowering,” she tells us. Doing away with everything expected of her, she had to get out in order to give into her purpose. She shares, “I live for fantasy, virtual reality, and the belief that artists are modern shamans.” From this, Jeona has produced paintings like Cherry Bomb Shells, a pink-red rendition of two girls among an abundance of cherries, playing with the idea of sexy and fantasy, and The Rainbow Magic Sparkle Fantasy Furrest, where mermaids and sea sirens rendered

nightmare muses

“I live for fantasy, virtual reality, and the belief that artists are modern shamans.”

Springfling Springbreakers

Dive into the bright and twisted fantasy of artist JEONA ZOLETA. The candy-colored, glitterinspired works betray the cartoon chaos she happily battles everyday, armed with a sparkly paintbrush. Fresh from an artist’s residency in Australia, Jeona speaks to us of the magic pixie dust that fuels her neon nightmares. by Olivia Estrada

in shades of blue and green are subject to modern fetishes brought by internet culture. If other artists try to tame the wild muses within, Jeona lets them live out their own rules within her canvas. She describes her works unabashedly as she explains The Iridescent Rainbow in the Ghetto Glitch Portalette: “It’s the gateway to oblivion, or a labyrinth of mystical rooms of aliens, bad taste, trolls, brats, spirals, magical dust, poop sparkles, teen witches, gypsy music, holograms, glitters, and weird unicorns.” Her artistic process may also raise an eyebrow or two. Jeona starts in the afternoon as she claims to stare into the mirror and let the rain of emojis wash over her. She then busts out her chosen soundtrack, which include that from her own band, joL3NA, along with some FKA Twigs. Irreverent she may be, Jeona doesn’t make the mistake of being out of touch. She works hard, with the hope of keeping at pace with her magical forays. “I just feel like I have a lot of cartoon fantasies and it’s never ending.”

Cardboard Castle Wilderness - 66


modern miracles Artist RONSON CULIBRINA displaces current trends in timeless sceneries, maintaining a knack for classic techniques. In his creations, influences converge regardless of origin, much like the world we live in. By Olivia Estrada

Tulip Maiden on a Sunny Afternoon


he is perfect. A beautiful, friendly woman inviting you to to join her. Beyond is a bucolic setting with a field offering up a sun-ripe bounty of flowers and fruits. She’s already carrying some of them in her arms—Jeff Koons’ tulip balloons. Ronson’s art traverses both the local and global, the past and the present, as Fernando Amorsolo classics are peppered with Jeff Koons’ inflatables, Yayoi Kusama dots, and Ai Weiwei patterns, with a Snoopy or two thrown in. “I would break things apart and marvel on its individual parts.” Ronson recalls his childhood dissecting toys that carried over to his current artistry. As he places a certain feature of one artist’s work in another’s, one is forced to look at what makes the sight both familiar and foreign. If other artists aim to evoke emotion, Ronson chooses to concentrate on the oddity of

juxtaposition. “The audience can be in any emotional state when they view my works. No matter what emotional state they’re in, they could focus on the scene in front of them. Their attention can suddenly shift to why they are international contemporary images in a traditional Filipino painting.” Oil pastels in hand, Ronson transforms his canvas into a commentary of the digital age through traditional art. “The art world has been existing with the aid of superimposition, integration, and such. But with the advent of the internet, it opened a lot of opportunities for artists to explore and enrich their practice.” He continues, “Economies, cultures, and art are unified into a globalized system, thus providing opportunities for artists to tackle and discuss

Parties & Laughing Visages

issues beyond geographies, making their commentaries current, socially significant, and relevant. It also serves as a promotional hub and depository of an artist’s tools and outputs.” As his audience ponders on how the modern elements of today’s most important visionaries find themselves in these country scenes, Ronson’s story is a tale that is almost the main myth of our own Internet-driven consciousness. “I was raised in the rural town of Binangonan, Rizal, which could perfectly be represented by an Amorsolo painting. I moved to Manila to study and enrich my art, which introduced me to the contemporary giants such as Kusama, Koons, and Weiwei.” In turn, his works become reflections of the viewer, both caught in a conventional upbringing and the progressive contemporary thought. Among these layers of interpretation, crossreferences, and histories, Ronson refuses to place his works into categories just yet. “Since I’m not a fan of labels, people can describe it in any manner they choose to,” he shares. What’s important to him

right now is to catch people’s gaze, and to invite them to understand the underlying core of his craft. “If people take a look at my intentions and rationalize my aesthetics, they’ll realize that there are no other ways to present my subjects without having a quirky aesthetic. Perhaps, I’d call it interestingly peculiar.” It was inevitable to ask Ronson what he thinks the artists he borrows from will say about his works. He tells us, “I think they’ll get my intention. They might find the works amusing, seeing their works interact with the works of other foreign artists in a calm rural scenery.” In an active dialogue with the sprawling and interactive art scene, Ronson’s message will not only translate clearly but will cut through the barriers to create more fields of artistry.


Interchange of History Under the Mango Tree - 67



Actress NATALIE DREYFUSS is at ease with her small stints in TV shows and being a series regular in some. But now, her role as Esther, the mother of vampires in the CW show The Originals, may have power over her destiny that may be better than the original. By Kitkat Ramos Photographed by Shanna Fisher


laying Cassie was a big change for me because I usually play a teenager–but this teen was possessed by a 2,000-year old woman,” Natalie tells us of her most recent role on TV, the character Cassie in The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals. “I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to play adult characters, let alone a mother and an extremely powerful witch!” she exclaims, eager for her steady growth in playing the character of a young witch possessed by the spirit of the mother of the New Orleans vampires, Esther Mikaelson, the nucleus that started what eventually became a coven of purveyors of evil. But we don’t want to spoil you from the exciting series, now that it’s picked up from the first half of the second season and where Natalie’s role takes more shape in the world of the bloodsuckers. Natalie tells us about how the season is going saying, “This season is awesome. I love getting to know so much about the history of the original vampire family. I think it’s really cool to understand how all these characters came to be.” Digging past the vampire history, Natalie’s long list of TV roles include New Girl, House M.D., 2 Broke Girls, and True Blood, as well as a character in the film National Treasure: Book of Secrets along with the magnanimous Nicolas Cage. “I do love the fast-paced - 68


nature of TV,” she shares. “But one day, I will move more into films and be able to spend longer amounts of time rehearsing and playing with the other actors, which would be a big change for me.” From playing an angry college girl with Nick, a fake friend to an ex-heiress, to being a fairy in the blood-spattered HBO series, there is no way to box her in one genre. When asked about her preferred box she says, “I really like sci-fi. One of my favorite fantasy series would have to be Battlestar Galactica. I thought it was incredible. I would have loved to be a part of that. Outside of the fantasy genre, my favorites are all Aaron Sorkin. I love The Newsroom, Studio 60, and The West Wing.” Having played side-by-side with a lot of big names in and out of airtime, she says the advice that stuck with her came from Tim Roth in the film Lie to Me. “He was amazing to watch and film with. He brought something new and different to every single take, no matter how late it was in the night. He taught me it was possible to push your creativity and always come up with something surprising and unique.” Beyond the craft and for all these wants, when it comes to acting, there is mostly one thing that continually tickles her fancy. “I love comedy and would be thrilled to be a part of something Judd Apatow would direct or a women-driven film like Bridesmaids,” she says. “I hope to continue what I’m doing with TV for as long as possible, and I am definitely happiest doing comedy in front of a live audience. So I hope people know me mostly for my comedy chops!”



Albino Ape

Pirate Bay

SURREAL CRUNCH Drawing from the chaotic harmony of his imagination, Spain-based artist MICHAEL SWANEY knows the right strokes to get hue out of his mind and onto his choice of canvas, proving that there is no pleasure without any paint. By Pola Beronilla Interview by Olivia Estrada


olors of every shade and shapes of all sizes brightly pop in the work of Michael Swaney. Treading the fine line between the familiar and the strange, he serves a bowl of surreal through his slightly ambiguous characters, heavy patterns, and rich tones. With characters seemingly sketched from a child’s beautiful nightmare, he fuels these youthful tendencies. “My childhood was filled with nature: snow, lakes, ponds, beaches, animals, skiing, swimming, cliff jumping, camping, and bike riding. I’m not sure if my dreams or fears from my childhood show up in my work,” he recalls. “One thing that shows up in my work from childhood is drawn forms. There are still things I draw with the exact same procedure as I did back then.” As he locks down these obscure visions underneath his paint, the subtexts of his work go beyond the eyes of the audience. With art exhibited in cities like LA, Brazil, Madrid, and Cologne, his own brand of painting merges geometric shapes and primary colors with subtle criticisms of the digital age we live in. And despite the convenience that technology brings to art,

Michael still finds himself yearning for the human touch. “I think traditional art forms ground us. Making things with our hands reconnects us to our primal instinct,” shares the artist. “All of our senses are engaged. It is a genuine and non-superficial act.” I noticed your artworks share some characters that look quite alike. What are the stories behind them? My current work is in part about this online culture that we’re completely dependent upon and obsessed with, and on the other hand, and I think as a counter reaction, it’s also about the simplest things in life, like making things with our hands for example. I’m always in search for and take photos of decorative and practical things that people make everyday; things like sales and window displays, home improvements, possessions with personalized add-ons, or handmade signs to name a few. I think these random acts of creation show true human spirit.

Big Boss, Rich Ross, Like A Boss

Things that have nothing to do with art-making, but to me are the most authentic pieces of art. How did you formulate your current aesthetic that favors geometry and all these colors? These paintings came out of a necessity to make something more immediate, intuitive, and spontaneous after having spent many years doing very meticulous, somewhat photobased mixed media work. I tend to use all and every color because I love color, but with these new paintings, I needed to restrict myself to a specific set of colors or to a pale or dark monochromatic palette. The forms and compositions all come from doing lots of loose pen and oil pastel drawings, which I then use for the basis of the painting. From there on out, I work very intuitively and quickly. You grew up in a small town in Canada and have traveled around the world. What is it about Spain that convinced you to move there? How does the culture influence your work? The stop-over in Spain came out of instinct–a weird unexplainable attraction to this idea I had of what Barcelona was like, and

“I think traditional art forms ground us. Making things with our hands reconnects us to our primal instinct.”


for the word Barcelona itself. When I got here, it was all I had ever imagined. Then I met my wife. I think Mediterranean culture has an incredibly unique, strong buzz that immediately crept into my art. The day is divided so differently here and that influences the way I work tremendously. History is all around you in the architecture, the streets, the sculptures, and in the people, and it’s inevitable for this not to be absorbed–not to mention the painting history this country has. What fascinates you most about your career so far? Just the fact that you can see new places and meet amazing people all for the sake of something you make amazes me. The best is yet to come. - 69

H E A V Y H I T T E R - 70

the mad hatter It might be too clichÊ to say that everything this man touches turns into gold. It could also be an understatement. Why avoid the obvious when it’s a reality that makes everyone happy? Well, clap along if you feel like PHARRELL WILLIAMS is the truth. By Pola Beronilla


“well,whether w e

know it or not, ev erything we look at is intak e... that, to m e, is how you find the truth in things and, hopefully, what you’r e r eally looking for.” - 72


When We first met Pharr ell with his N*E*R*D super friends Chad Hugo and Shae Haley in 2010, he mentioned a dream of traveling to space with Neil Armstrong. Though that rocket ship has yet to take off, his constant rise to unimaginable heights is better than any interstellar lift-off. From The Neptunes to The Voice, he has been upping the ante, conquering the realms of music, fashion, and art– and he might just be at the first step of the ladder he’s climbing. For the past two decades, Pharrell Williams a.k.a. Skateboard P has been the man behind the global hits we all know and involuntarily sing along to. He has sold millions of records in the span of his 20-year career through both his creative partnerships and solo grind. As an ingenious artist, producer, and songwriter, he has not only become a force in hip-hop and R&B but has also helped shape contemporary pop. Being the most sought-after guy in the business, he has lent his skills to the likes of Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Nelly, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, and Miley Cyrus, just to name a few. As his ear for music continued to progress, unlikely artists like Fall Out Boy, Pitbull, and the Scissor Sisters have also leaned on his artistry. He has even worked with Academy Award-winning film composer, Hans Zimmer. In 2013, it seemed that Pharrell had hit his biggest year to date as two of the year’s chart toppers had his name written all over them. From getting lucky with Daft Punk’s funk-infused comeback to assisting Robin Thicke and T.I. with some music clarity, Pharrell joyfully ended his year with an Oscar nomination for “Best Original Song” for Despicable Me 2’s “Happy.” And just as everyone seemed to think that his smile couldn’t get any wider, he showed he wasn’t quite ready to cap things off. Hiding underneath a Vivienne Westwood mountain hat, he performed his cheerful track at the 56th

Annual Grammy Awards, causing traffic on the Internet for his odd fashion choice. But in the end, everyone loved it. “Happy” soon became the year’s most talked-about track. Following this single, Mr. Williams also released his second studio album, G I R L, in March under his record label i am OTHER. Filled with soft funk beats and cushy soul jams, his sophomore release speaks of an overwhelmingly positive attitude that he gleefully provides us with. However, his happiness has spread beyond the album. Giving a hand to every form of creation, Pharrell has molded himself as an artist in the truest sense. “Well, whether we know it or not, everything we look at is instake. We take in a thousand times more things than we think we do. We see everything, but it’s up to us to realize what’s actually there,” he shares to Interview. “That, to me, is how you find the truth in things and, hopefully, what you’re really looking for.” Though he is a familiar face at Art Basel Miami, he’s been known to collect works of the likes of Keith Haring, KAWS, and Jeff Koons. Having a ringside seat to the art scene helped him create a few artworks, too. His first artwork, a series of chairs with human-shaped legs, was made with the support of French gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin. He then met several artists, some of whom he ended up working with on different projects. - 73


Maintaining his relationship with Mr. Perrotin, he organized an exhibit in one of the city’s premiere galleries that explored a cross-pollination of his different artistic worlds–curating modern art that featured 40 pieces from 32 artists, including ten specially commissioned for the exhibition. Named after his sophomore record, the show displayed art produced by his friends in the contemporary art scene, such as street artist JR and two artists known for mixing fine arts and Japanese pop culture, Takashi Murakami and Mr., as well as NYC-based artist Daniel Arsham, Belgian sculptor Johan Creten, and French sculptor Prune Nourry. Apart from being the busiest man in the music industry and establishing his new place in the art scene, Pharrell has also been revolutionizing the world of fashion. From his refined style, he has established Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footwear with BAPE founder Nigo. Highend labels such as Louis Vuitton and Moncler are also part of his catalog of work–he didn’t let his style hang by a thread in 2014. Earlier in the year, his fabric initiative, the Bionic Yarn Company, teamed up with G-Star Raw to design and develop RAW for the Oceans. Mainly consisting of denim outfits and products, it aimed to clean up the oceans by creating eco-friendly clothing made from recycled materials such as plastics found on the beach. He also collaborated with retail giant Uniqlo for

a collection named after his multi-media creative collective and record label, i am OTHER, based on a shared philosophy of a creative way of life, and released a unisex fragrance with Comme des Garçons in line with his latest album. In the beginning of 2014, Pharrell put his best fashion foot forward, entering a longterm partnership with adidas. Before the year could end, aside from making waves starring alongside Cara Delevingne in a Karl Lagerfeld short film for Chanel, Pharrell wasted no time in collaborating with the powerhouse brand once again. Since making a comeback in January, the Stan Smith has been revisited and customized by several major names in fashion. Now, it was Skateboard P’s turn to redesign the classic shoe, coming up with three characteristically unconventional prints. And come 2015, his Superstar collection with the brand promises to be one of the most colorful events in sneaker history, releasing 50 different hues of Superstar. What we’d give to step into his shoes even for just one day. Pharrell Williams moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss him. At his pace, it seems that he is on an endless collaboration with the universe and is always one step ahead of his fate. He may have planned for world domination from the very start, but you can see no one complaining. It’s the takeover we’ve been waiting for– but we do have to catch up. “The universe is going to continue to evolve,” he shares with Complex. “The ultimate feat in that experience is the perspective of awareness.”

@Pharrell - 74


“Th e univ ers e is going to continue to evolv e, The ultimat e f eat in that experi ence is The perspective of awar eness.� - 75

"GIRL," 2014 Š2014 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. - 76


Drawing a blurred line of Japanese Neo-pop and Superflat with his own fusion, MR. syncs in and out of a surreality constructed on the venture of innocence with a betrayal of erotic beauty. By Janroe Cabiles Photos courtesy of Galerie Perrotin


“Sassy,” 2014 ©2014 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

“High School Story: Yeah! Yeah!,” 2013 ©2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

"My aesthetic is like a neighbor who helps ease your loneliness…There is also a certain nostalgia, a vision of scenes from my childhood."

“Three Best Friends,” 2010 ©2010 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. - 78


“Making Things Right,” 2006 ©2006Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


tanding before the world of humanities with his body of work of painting and sculpture, Mr. is revolutionizing the art of otaku, a fascination bordering on obsession for anime and manga. Boundless from the restrictions of culture and perversion, Mr. fuses dark desire and otaku in prepubescent characters lifting their skirts or gazing at old men's crotches, and chastens them with bubblegum colors, doe-eyed figures in Sailor Moon-esque outfits, and dreamlike scenes. “I was just another typical art student going nowhere,” Mr. says. Spending his last year in Sokei Academy of Fine Arts & Design under the wings of Takashi Murakami in 1996, the artist created a moniker to live behind as he pursued his art, based on baseball player Shigeo Nagashima. “I decided to make fun of my situation by taking on a ridiculous stage name. It comes from the idea that the nuances of the way I speak are similar to Nagashima. The nickname was first given to me by my mentor, Takashi Murakami.” Fully adopting the role of Murakami's protégé and a Kaikai Kiki studio member, Mr. immersed himself in the Japanese Neo-pop, contemporary, and kitsch scene, finally participating in Murakami's 2000 exhibition, Superflat. “It was

incredibly tough [being a protégé of Murakami]. I tried to quit only to be rebuffed. I spent ten years in training with him, and in that time, I developed my own reasoning for continuing to paint on a daily basis. I continue to work with that philosophy now. With that said, it was definitely the most difficult period of my life.” With the drunken intent of liquifying seductive fantasy and blending it with serenity, Mr. departs from the stillness of the corrupted real world. Lost in the in-betweens of dreams and reality, the pleasure or infatuation exists nowhere and everywhere for the artist, saying, “I think that otaku are the very sort of people to blur those lines." Venturing out of the four corners of his studio, Mr. has showcased his haze of beauty, color, and erotica in galleries such as Nano Galerie and Galerie Perrotin in Paris, Lehmann Maupin in New York, Leeahn Gallery in South Korea, and Galerie Perrotin

in Hong Kong, leading up to his on-going exhibition Live On: Mr.'s Japanese Neo-Pop at the Asian Art Museum in Seattle. “My aesthetic is like a neighbor who helps ease your loneliness. It is a vivid portrayal of otaku culture, as well as the negative aspects of post-war Japan. Although these things are negative, there is also a certain nostalgia, a vision of scenes from my childhood.” Despite the infused tint of eroticism, Mr.'s form of expression through his visual language of anime and manga comes from a place that is deceivingly pure, a layer kept locked, safe in his mind.

“The Moon Glows Blue,” 2014 ©2014 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. - 79


At what point did the otaku culture start influencing your aesthetic? From the time I was born, my home had a color television and there was a lot of anime on TV. So I had one eye on anime from the time I came into this world. Watching television is free so even a poor person had plenty of opportunities to see these shows. In some ways, I am trying to crystallize this poor people's culture and put it on canvas. What is it about anime and manga that made you adapt otaku as a lifestyle? Anime and manga are more pure and have a clearer sense of right and wrong than the real world. There is an incorruptibility that is maintained there that can't be maintained in real life, and that is where my longing lies.

What is your creative process? I continue to use the methods I learned at Kaikai Kiki, namely beginning with a drawing on paper which I then scan as data, refine, print on silk screens, and then transfer to canvas. For my materials, I use acrylic paint. I spend a lot of my time in front of the computer continually tweaking until I have a completed image. Tell us about the impact that the Arte Povera movement had on you. When I was an art student, I often used to make pieces with garbage I collected. I was influenced by the Italian Arte Povera movement. I think I empathized with Art Povera because my own family was extremely poor. I was irritated by the post-war poverty in Japan and the grand delusion that was the bubble economy, and thought that perhaps I could capture a pathetic portrait of the contemporary Japanese in these heaps of discarded trash. Later on, I realized that Japan and Italy were also linked by their positions as defeated nations in World War II.

With the highlight of your playful, hyper-sexualized themes in your work, the influence of otaku culture makes itself known. Can you tell us how you access this dark infatuation you pour out in your pieces? On the internet, there are an enormous amount of anime works, as well as two-dimensional illustrations based on those works floating around. After immersing myself in that environment, it has become part of my flesh and blood. To someone encapsulated by a different, more conservative culture, how would you explain the beauty of the "ero kawaii" in your art? There is a huge gap between the philosophy of beauty in Christianity, as well as the philosophy of abstinence, and the animism of Japanese religion. In Christianity, there is one true God and the rule is to be faithful to him and strict in your adherence to his principles. Animism, however, begins with the affirmation of everything in the environment, so human desires are understood as an extension of nature. In other words, the unfaithful, immoral, and accidental are all accepted and because one forges one's philosophy through a constant process of selfquestioning, it is only natural that one's own eros is also addressed in that process.

“Shakotan Love ♥: Virgin Blue,” 2013 ©2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

“Yokohama Baby,” 2013 ©2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. - 80


"Anime and manga are more pure and have a clearer sense of right and wrong than the real world. There is an incorruptibility that is maintained there that can't be maintained in real life, and that is where my longing lies." “Urryyaa!! (Wrea!!),” 2013 ©2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

“So Sweet!: Daydreaming,” 2013 ©2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. - 81

It’s impossible to escape the work of KATE MOROSS. As a graphic artist, designer, and illustrator, she emerges from the digital age where art knows no framed canvas. Instead, her art is the subliminal text that re-creates our culture and is inseparable from the seams that hold together the world with live in.

By Olivia Estrada


Kate Moross Logo



hings to know about Kate: she was greatly inspired by the Spice Girls in her youth and by the music of the ‘90s, looking at album covers to fuel her creative curiosities. Her favorite song from the British quintet is “Say You’ll Be There.” She doesn’t really buy her clothes, though she pairs green leopard printed tights with her green hair (she’s gone through pink and bottle gray-blue phases) and a banana yellow shirt. “My wardrobe is a hodgepodge of second-hand or customized items, T-shirts from my friends’ bands, or just gifts from people who saw something weird in a shop and knew I would like it.” Things you may not know about Kate but have definitely seen or heard about somewhere, whether in a bookshop, on your TV screen, on the side of a bus, on someone’s shirt: her work. Her doodles and typeface patterns crawl over publications such as The Guardian, British Vogue, Nylon, and Dazed & Confused. Labels from youth culture staples like Ralph Lauren, Topshop, Kiehl’s, A Bathing Ape, adidas, as well as established names like American Express, Ford, Cadbury, and Converse have also fallen under her meticulous drawing hand. Kate’s color palette bleeds into her photographic and directorial work for artists like breakout crooner Sam Smith and singer-songwriter darling Jessie

Ware, whether it’s for their music videos or cover art of their singles and albums. Whoever said it was right to stay inside the lines clearly didn’t know where the borders ended. “I don’t like being labeled, but it’s impossible not to be. People need to be able to call you something. However, when I’m asked to say what I do for a living, I find it nearly impossible,” shares Kate from her studio in London, the anchor for the sailing imagination that takes her across the globe. “I just say, ‘I make stuff, or I do lots of things.’ I just can’t seem to sum it up in one word. I don’t think I even know what I want to do or be yet. I love to experiment with new media, new ways of expressing my thoughts and my designs. Not being defined by a specific trade means I can be whatever I want, whenever I want.” Kate has also added writing to her list of creative incarnations with her book, Make Your Own Luck, a survival guide for the struggling artist based on her own experiences. The book documents Kate’s insights from making it through art school, moving to the Big Apple only to be still in time with Big Ben, and getting one project after the other from music production to advertising spreads. It’s also a by-product of her “DIY Manifesto,” a philosophy that creates rules outside the given restrictions. As a person who is called upon for an illustration

CD Sleeve - 83



project, a storyboard meeting, a cover art mock-up, or a global campaign all in one day, Kate likes to go with her instincts. She jumps on the flash of inspiration as a blink catching the sight of lightning would. “I try not to get too obsessive about making things perfect. Showing someone a sketch or a quick idea and getting rejected is much easier than spending four days on something and making it perfect for them to turn around and say the same thing. I approach all media like this. When I shoot a music video, I like to send an edit really quickly, something really rough within half a day to gauge a visceral reaction to the music with the film we’ve shot.” After she latches on to her initial impulse, it’s all about keeping at the pace it dictates. “Usually this is a really good starting point to find all the things people don’t like, then you can work hard to improve it. It also makes the client a part of the process, and makes everyone feel that they are contributing to the work. I actually really like working for big companies. I don’t usually find it scary, I just act the same as I would with any client; professional, efficient, and willing to collaborate.” The same goes for her work with artists. “I don’t follow the same process from one design to the next; I just do whatever feels right, - 84

Multi-colored Tribal


Jack of All Trades

The Guardian

and I also like to work closely with the artist to see what they envisage and what they want to represent their music.” When asked if self-doubt ever crosses her mind, she makes it clear that there’s not a second to spare for that. “The worst thing that can happen is that someone doesn’t like your work. All you have to do is make something they do like or fix what you started with. It’s nothing to be scared of–it’s all part of the creative process. You develop a pretty thick skin after a while. I’ve had so many rejections that I forget about soon after, but I move onto the next job.” From candy-colored letterings, onetake videos, clothing designs, and graffiti murals, she doesn’t let anything hold her back except for the fear of leaving something untouched by her skill. Kate recently established Studio Moross, a seven-man team that forwards Kate’s vision through projects with Bose, RayBan, and Spotify, as well as acts like Disclosure, Washed Out, and Banks. “I’m so happy that I started the studio. It’s

incredibly important to me,” Kate tells us. “Everyone who works there is significant in the work we do. Even if one of us is the lead designer on a project, in practice, we’re all working on it together, sharing our thoughts, ideas, and feedback. This is my favorite part of working with a team, the ability to collaborate and critique–by just chatting over your shoulder to someone, you can make your work stronger.” It’s with this that we asked Kate what she thinks are characteristics that lead to success. “Wow, that’s a tricky one,” she exclaims.“I have no idea what people need to succeed these days. What is the definition of success? I think anyone can be a great artist whether they succeed professionally or they just do it in their free time. Creating interesting work is all you need to focus on. Challenging yourself and being prolific are important too.” One last thing to know about Kate. Despite her overflowing portfolio and on top of all her accomplishments so far, she’s only 26 years old. @katemoross Songrey - 85

Starting with tagging train tracks in New York City, contemporary artist TODD JAMES now spreads a satirical tickle through a tableaux of punching colors, smiling weapons, naked women, and watermelons. By Janroe Cabiles - 86


A burlesque of political humor

greets you with googly eyes as you fall out of the babbitt hole and into the world of Todd James. Walls covered in distorted humor, shadowed by simple lines and provocative bodies decorate the underlying satire that is the artist’s rhythm of aesthetic. At the age of 17, James went into tagging the New York City Subway under the alias REAS, eventually becoming a pioneering artist in the ‘90s underground art scene. “I slowly began doing commercial work, mainly logos for rap artists in the late ‘80s,” the artist recalls. Including the logos for Eminem, Red Man, Kid Rock, the Beastie Boys’, Brooklyn Dust Elephant, and The Source Magazine, Todd’s design in his book/zine Attitude Dancer was used for Iggy Pop’s Beat ‘Em Up album. “By the 90s, I was mainly doing logo design and illustrations, and making my own cartoon ideas. I had no desire to do any galleryrelated work. I enjoyed and understood working on a project and moving on to the next one. I was coasting along, working at my friend’s design company Funny Garbage, working on animated projects.” Before his sexy brand of mock & roll reached the galleries, what first attracted

him to the smarts of art were comic books and cartoons. A few other things included Ralph Bakshi movies, Marvel Comics, Heavy Metal Magazine, Vaughn Bodē, Frank Frazetta, and Star Wars. “My influences besides those would be Peter Saul, Terry Johnson a.k.a. King Terry, and Blade, a graffiti pioneer in the ‘70s.” “Around 1998, I started bumping into Steve Powers, who was doing a magazine at the time named On The Go. We would sit on the street and talk about graffiti and music.” After doing a small show called Adventures of the Four Letter Word, Todd and Steve teamed up again, now with Barry McGee, for what was to be the show that would introduce them to the formal art scene, Street Market. “The show was born out of everything we had done up to that point. All the weirdo, unconventional graffiti ideas we were into, as well as our sense of humor and aesthetic were the building blocks of that show.” The show, an apocalyptic version of an urban street meeting the streets of Philadelphia, originally opened in the Institute of Contemporary Art, Street Market made its way to NYC’s Deitch Projects a year later as a much bigger version, was selected for the Venice Biennale in 2001, and was expanded for the LA MOCA Art in the Streets exhibit in - 87


2011. Rearing his tongue-incheek duress into the doors of museums, Todd went on to show at Tate Museum in Liverpool, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Parco Gallery in Tokyo, Collete in Paris, Lopez Galleria in Madrid, and Lazarides Gallery in London. In 2012, Todd recreated famed creation Vandal’s Bedroom at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen in the Free To Be You & Me exhibit, which first appeared in Street Market and MOCA’s Art in the Streets. “It’s a fantasy of what a graffiti writer’s bedroom could be,” he explains. “I was inspired by a picture of an anime fan’s room who had posters everywhere. I had been drawing lots of black book drawings at the time and I wanted to circle around and come back to something that was pure graffiti. Since Street Market was all about the departure from graffiti, this room was the perfect addition for me to do.” The installation of walls pinned with hundreds of rough sketches is the pinnacle of the polar coast of his work, heavy with tags and pop culture references such as well-known cartoon characters such as Velma Dinkley, Yogi Bear, and Betty Rubble, smoking cigarettes and doing the deed in an alley. Musings for abusing absurdity craft is Todd James’ aesthetic. His art has heavy themes of war in the Western - 88

context bathed in cinematic cartoon crazes. The political view from a different plane sets a perspective privy to the sequitur the contemporary artist lays on his pieces. Featuring grinning aircrafts, skulls wearing sailor suits, and tanks smoking cigarettes with the occasional lounging blonde bombshell at the foreground, he carefully places a translucent layer of bikinis on bullets of his paintings, flippant and indifferent to the shots fired. Adding the innocence of childlike drawings on the continued theme of bare women, he paints bananas for tits, machine guns for cacti, and ice cream bras. With one look at the artist’s work, you would think a certain agenda might be looming in the bold colors and women Todd’s hand outlines, but snickers and smiles are all Todd is really after. “I don’t really think about what gets across to the audience. I create to entertain myself.” With a twisted trifecta of contrast consisting of the elements of nudity, nostalgia, and news, Todd James spreads the vice of dry laughter, caught on fire from bombs and babes, living in a sheet of paper where arresting logic has no place. @ToddJamesREAS

















Quick tip for the online-savvy artists: less is always more. With the right color palette, props, and set of hands, minimalistic and curated feeds aren’t far to reach. By Janroe Cabiles

BENEDETTO DEMAIO painter, art teacher

What is your favorite part of the human body and why? (Can we take a guess and say hands?) I love hands. They are the means through which I express myself. I work with my own hands: the authors and main characters of my works. They interpret my daily life. They express my feelings and emotions. They trace my thoughts with simple gestures. They play with the objects that surround me. They caress the colors. They live! I leave all my senses to them. Through my hands, I explore my reality, I experience new visual languages, and I give vent to my creativity. I use my hands to talk about myself; they speak about me and for me. What is one theme that you choose to tell the story of your Instagram feed? I’ve chosen a color to tell my world: turquoise. I live in Milan, but I was born in a small town in southern Italy overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The colors of the place where I grew up, the gradients of the rough sea, the shades of the sea bottom, the turquoise that characterizes my work is an evocation of my origins, the feeling of belonging to a wonderful land, a place that shaped me, what I consider my home. Every time I put a touch of turquoise in my work, I feel safe. What is your favorite photo editor app? My favorite apps are Snapseed and Photoshop Touch; I always set brightness, shadows, and colors before post a picture on Instagram.

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ANDREW ZONZINI illustrator, graphic designer

What were you doing before this interview? I’ve spent the last 42 hours swearing against the dark sides of the World Wide Web. Perrycolante: one point, hacker: zero. What do you like using for shoots? I like to use different elements that interact with the subjects I shoot. Usually though, I cover the focus of my characters with different things which in the end become masks. What message do you want to get across through your photos? I’d like to transmit socio-political messages that cover events happening in our society during this historic time. I use an ironic key, immediate, and easily accessible from the viewer’s point of view. Other times, the message is not there and that is purely the case of an aesthetic photo. Do you have any favorite photo that you’ve posted? If I had to pick only two, I would choose “Oblio” and “Volée.” I particularly prefer “Oblio” because it transmits a sense of drowning, and I’m not referring to the literal sense of the word, but to the sensation that everybody at some point in his or her life has encountered. While instead “Volée” is created purely following an aesthetic sense: I like the color and the composition of the elements.


CHARLOTTE LOVE set designer

Favorite prop while shooting? Fruit–it’s cheap and you can eat it after. What fruit has the most personality? A banana! It’s a gun, a phone, and put some goggly eyes on it and it’s a little person. What do you like posting pictures of? Mostly things I’ve made, something that has come from my imagination. I always think, “If you can draw an idea on paper, then you can make it come to life in a photo.” What is the process of your shoots for Instagram? I usually get ideas for shoots late at night, and literally the second I wake up, I start putting it together, pulling out all the content of my props cupboard and making a huge mess. Even if I have a to-do list that’s longer than my leg, I can’t focus until I’ve got my idea out. What is your secret to curated colors on your Instagram feed? My secret is pink.

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NIGHTVISION glorious art basel by The Cobrasnake - 93


one last time @ raven

by Regina Echavez

Le baron × art basel by Rony’s Photobooth

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by I Hate Flash

N_thing M_ndays @ 71 Gramercy by JC Gellidon - 95

DIRECTORY BRANDS ADIDAS Greenbelt 3, Makati City AEROPOSTALE Glorietta 3, Makati City ALDO AVON BANANA REPUBLIC Greenbelt 5, Makati City BENEFIT BETSEY JOHNSON BOBBI BROWN CACHE CACHE Glorietta 1, Makati City CHARLOTTE TILBURRY CLINIQUE CLOSET CASE VINTAGE DIOR ESTEÉ LAUDER GUERLAIN H&M SM Makati, Makati City, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Robinson’s Magnolia, Quezon City, SM North Edsa, Quezon City INGLOT

JOUER LUVS MAC MAJESTIC MARC JACOBS Greenbelt 5, Makati City MICHAEL KORS Greenbelt 5, Makati City MISS SELFRIDGE Greenbelt 5, Makati City OXYGEN Glorietta 3, Makati City PAUL SMITH Greenbelt 5, Makati City PENSHOPPE Glorietta 3, Makati City RIVER ISLAND Greenbelt 5, Makati City SFERA SM Makati, Makati City SHANA Glorietta 5, Makati City STEVE MADDEN Glorietta 3, Makati City SUITE BLANCO SM Makati, Makati City SUNNIES STUDIOS Glorietta 2, Makati City TOMMY HILFIGER Greenbelt 5, Makati City TOPMAN Greenbelt 3, Makati City

TOPSHOP Greenbelt 3, Makati City VANS Vans Concept Stores, SM Department Stores, Robinsons Department Stores, Landmark Department Stores, Urban Athletics, Toby’s Sports, Olympic Village, Shoe Salon, American Rag, Sole Academy, Greyone Social WAREHOUSE Greenbelt 5, Makati City WEISS XTREME LASHES YVES SAINT LAURENT ARTISTS Sean Armenta (Photographer) Ria Casco (Stylist) Ian Castañares (Photographer) Nicole Ceballos (Makeup) The Cobrasnake (Photographer) Sylve Colless (Photographer) Digii Daguna (Illustrator) Nick Dorey (Photographer) Regina Echavez (Photographer)

Khian Estomaguio (Hair) Apple Fara-on (Makeup) Shanna Fisher (Photographer) Grace Fuentes (Nails) Alysse Gafkjen (Photographer) JC Gellidon (Photographer) Kelly-Ann Hughes (Stylist) I Hate Flash (Photographer) Carmen Jaudon (Stylist) Alyssa Krauss (Hair and Makeup) Arnelle Lozada (Photographer) Shaira Luna (Photographer) Hanna Pechon (Makeup) Rony’s Photobooth (Photographer) James Perry (Photographer) Nikki Ruiz (Photographer) Steffi Santiago (Photographer) JP Singson (Photographer)



I’ve recently started to travel more often, and this keeps everything organized. Plus, it’s cute!


I begged my mom to give it to me when I was a teen. I love it so much, I’m pretty sure my future daughter is its next owner.

URBAN OUTFITTERS SUNGLASSES I love its shape and I miraculously love the fact that it’s yellow.

“Fashions fade, but style is eternal” may be the most Pinterest-ed style quote, but there’s a reason it still rings true. Stylist RIA CASCO embodies its spirit, finding ways to put together any outfit, for any occasion, to play up any asset. Preferring classic cuts and the occasional ‘70s touch herself, she’s hell-bent on making the world a better-dressed place, one meticulously clad foot at a time.



I always root for a self-made individual. The success factor is really all about knowing how to market yourself and these books teach you how.


I was never a fan of strong, musky perfume. I like a light, subtle scent.


A recent buy from a quick trip in Hong Kong. Pretty sure I’ve been wearing it every day since.


I’m a sucker for anything tortoiseshell and anything that I could wear for 20 years. This pair qualifies in both categories.

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I rarely wear color, but this one’s an exception. Whenever I wear this, I feel like I’m Blair Waldorf and can rule the world!

I’d have to say this is one of the most precious things I own–it used to be my grandmother’s. I fall for its classic glamour over and over–I could swear I lived in the 1920s in one of my past lives.

Portrait Photography by Shaira Luna, Product photography by Ian Castañares Makeup by Hanna Pechon, Hair by Blo Blow Dry Bar



For those days I literally do not want to think of an outfit, this dress is my best friend. All I need are a pair of white sneakers and sunnies, and I’m good to go.






STATUS Magazine feat. Pharrell Williams