STW2D NO. 57 the art edition 3 / 2016 July, August, September
the eye of the beholder Art has as many facets as the number of individuals talking about it. Too many styles, too many individual ideas to be featured in one magazine that is for sure, too. Art has an ancient tradition, a constant evolution; art makes our surrounding a better place since the beginnings of time. There has always been that hunger for expression. The desire to unleash creativity and find a way to manifest it is what makes it move. But what’s art? That’s one of the ultimate philosophical questions out there. And certainly we will never find that one definition that nails it. It could be anything or nothing. A magical process, an act of transcendence, so often more than the sum of its parts. Depending on the perspective and the interpretation of the beholder, it is always a little miracle with mysterious outcome. Whether
it’s creating music, film, photography, whether it comes in the form a painting, an illustration, graffwriting or the act of designing urban cultures: the influence towards the Streetstyle/Streetwear culture is omnipresent. We tried to look at some of the art aspects of the cultures we love from many different angles and asked some of our friends around the globe with a heterogeneous background and a wide range of activities to give us their words and opinions on that. As you may know, our links to the Skateboarding culture and its adventurous protagonists have always been far-ranging, so a special nod goes out to the always vibrant, ever rolling scene that revolves around this art form in all its varieties. Exemplifying that art is really what makes the world go round. So please enjoy the ride.
Yours streetwear today team — 3 —
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streetwear today the quarterly magazine for international streetstyles
Levers, Vera Berger, Jana Malderle, Jürgen Blümlein, Stino, Katharina Handel, Christina van Zon, Chris Noelle,
IMPRINT ISSN 1860-9996
#57 July, August, September | ISSN 1860-9996 | D € 5,00 | USA $ 10,00 | UK £ 6,00 | SKR 70 NKR 85 | E, F, I € 9,00 | A, B, L, NL € 6,00 | CHF 10 | CNY 100 | HKD 80 | JPY 1400
streetwear today Alte Hattingerstrasse 11 | D-44789 Bochum | Germany email@example.com www.streetwear-today.com
Cover: artwork by Sean Cliver
Editor in Chief: Martin Magielka (V.i.S.d.P.) | firstname.lastname@example.org Editor UK | Jason Jules | email@example.com Editor USA | David Gensler | firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Michael Leuffen | email@example.com Editor: Joachim Offenbacher | firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Fabian Banowski | email@example.com Fashion Editor: Sara Magielka | firstname.lastname@example.org Fashion Assistance: Meike Ratsch | email@example.com Design: Judith Anna Rüther Further contributors in this issue: AnnyCK, MvD, Tobias Wirth, FJBaur, Fabiana Vardaro, Kim Keusen, Yvonne Wengler, Stefanie
Marketing, Advertising and Publishing: Heavy Traffic UG Alte Hattingerstrasse 11 | D-44789 Bochum | Germany Martin Magielka | firstname.lastname@example.org Subscription Service, Retail and Distribution inquiries: Meike Ratsch | email@example.com www.streetwear-today.com @streetwear_today National distributor (Germany): Stella Distribution GmbH Frankenstrasse 7 | 20097 Hamburg www.stella-distribution.de International distributors: Austria: Morawa Pressevertrieb | www.morawa.com Belgium: AMP | www.ampnet.be Brazil: H.B. Revistas | www.hbrevistas.com.br
Great Britain (UK): Emblem Group Japan: Kaigai Inc. | www.kaigai-inc.co.jp Netherlands: Betapress B.V. | www.betapress.nl Norway: Listo AB | www.listo.se Spain: Comercial Atheneum | www.atheneum.com Sweden: Svenska Interpress | www.interpress.se Switzerland: Valora AG | www.valora.com Singapore: Basheer Graphic Books | www.basheergraphic.com Thailand: Peng Ha Shieng Co. Ltd. Printed by: Hitzegrad Print, Media & Services, Dortmund Paper by: Igepa Omni Silk We cannot be liable for unrequested material we receive. Submitted images and unrequested material can be used any time. Reprinting of streetwear today – complete or in extracts – only by written agreement. Published features from freelancers must not share the opinion of the editorial staff. Place of jurisdiction is Bochum.
TH E H EATH R OW IA
STW2D No. 57 I 2016 July, August, September
003 The art edition 008 this Page 010 Cooph, the Quite Life & Erin D. Garcia,
Altamont & Sub Pop, Nike & Liberty, Vans & DabsMyla Stow
Toms & Keith Haring Foundation, Brixton & Jason Lee/Raymond Molinar & Hard Luck/ Jason Jessee, Carhartt WIP & Maciek Pozoga, O’Neill Blue vs. Ocean Plastic
»I am the blue light« by AnnyCK & Jana Malderle
044 »Plastic Ocean« by AnnyCK & Christina van Zon
052 Sean Cliver 062 Swanski 070 Andy Jenkins 076 MOB – Christian Roth aka Chrischi 082 Sneak in by Chris Noelle 092 Torsten Frank 096 Matt Irving 102 Martin Ander aka Mander 108 Nick Jenssen 114 Harry Blitzstein 122 Tracy Gray aka the girl of stuff 130 Isabel White aka Elfin 138 This is Art by Tobias Wirth & FJBaur 148 Stefan Marx 156 Atiba Jefferson 168 Poetry In Motion by Kevin Couliau 178 Subscription
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COOPH wearing art while making it
When form follows function, it often gets out of shape. This is especially true for many work uniforms, which offer high practicality, but not so much pleasing to the eye. That’s exactly where COOPH come into play. They care very much about aesthetics. They worship the art of photography. And they’re the first company that manufactures clothing that is aimed specifically at photographers. Thus COOPH’s Field Jacket provides the perfect combination of convenience and style. With a variety of smartly placed pockets and zips, quick access to your camera and all add-ons is guaranteed. This Jacket is the ultimate all-year, multi purpose assistant – made from EtaProof®, a 100% cotton fabric from Swiss weaving mill Stotz. After all, this is apparel designed by people who are photographers themselves. Made from extra-endurable fabric for the heaviest of weathers, it is practically impossible to imagine a situation where you would not be able to shoot the ideal photo.
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Ulrich Grill, founder of COOPH and a professional photographer himself, said: »We are pretty stoked to add this all-year jacket to our growing range of photography apparel. The Field Jacket is hardwearing and feature-packed, but it doesn’t look like your typical photographer’s vest. That was planned. We partnered with the finest mill in Europe to help realize our idea – and I’m eager to see people wearing the jacket.« www.cooph.com www.stotzfabrics.ch
remember the future.
ÂŠ 2016 adidas AG
steal from history nothing is sacred
Kate Moss, 1993 by @bessnyc4, 2016
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Quite life erin D. garcia styles no art issue without our long time friend andy mueller. incredibly, he still finds time besides the whole involvement in the art dump and lakai to run his own brand the quiet life for quite a while, dropping fresh styles combined with great artwork and best quality on a regular basis. if you want to know which artist is hot at the time, just look at his collabs, he knows all of them. the latest surprise is a capsule collection by artist erin d. Garcia. this guy is an artist living and working in los angeles. his work explores where the human capacity for abstraction intersects or conflicts with the sensory desire for specificity. each drawing and painting is part of a distillation process, with the distinct feeling that when viewed as a series, you are ever closer to a revelatory moment. unfolding systems are exceedingly present and each piece is inextricable from the practice of its generation.
IE T L IF E .C O M W W W .T H E Q U G A R C IA .C O M W W W .E R IN D
L I N E S â€” 12 â€”
F e at u r i n g B i O n i C Ya r n u S i n g reCYCLeD PL aStiCS COLLeCteD FrOM BeaCHeS anD SHOreLineS tO C O n t r i B u t e t O C L e a n e r O C e a n S.
Altamont x Sub Pop Here we are now, entertain us... What do Skateboarding culture and »Grunge« have in common? A lot, as both have been considered as sub cultures approx. three decades ago. Their influence to nowadays street culture is enormous and always was and will be a huge inspiration for movement and progression. The uniqueness and the individuality of the Seattle based Label SUP POP with the finest selection of iconic bands and tomorrow’s stars out of the Alternative Music circle fits exactly to the footprint » cut from a different cloth« of Altamont. The substantial results will be dropped fall 2016. Let Altamont entertain you!!!
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Words by Jo Offenbacher www.altamontapparel .com www.subpop.com
V A N S IS
OLD SKOOL CHERR Y GL A ZERR Â© 2016 VAN S INC.
MUSICIANS, L A
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niKecourt x liberty in full flourish
When We think of summer, We cannot help but enVisaGe a sun-soaked meadoW full of the most colorful floWers.
That’s just the bunch of romantics that we are. The various van Goghs decorating our little office certainly tell their own story. Well, we may have taken a little liberty here. But that is oh so fitting since this leads us straight to our next feature, a collaboration between sports giant Nike and UK premium design studio, yes, Liberty, world-famous for their signature floral patterns. The result is a blossoming collection of footwear that thankfully is the antidote to Wimbledon’s infamous ›all-white‹-policy. Asked to provide a novelty design, Liberty digged deep into their rich archive, found some beautiful botanical sketches and turned them into the Dawn Meadows print. British nobility of the highest order. The timeless Nike tennis footgear serves as the perfect canvas for these hand-drawn and detail-driven silhouettes of delight. Distinguished gentlewomen of today, you can now rightfully claim to have your very own still life with you wherever you go. WWW.niKe.com WWW.liberty.co.uK
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Image by Super Future KId / SuperFutureKId.com
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Vans X Dabs Myla Lessons in Love For their latest collection, Vans take their »Off The Wall«slogan literally, joining forces with a design duo that made their mark on countless walls throughout this planet. Australian fairytale couple Dabs & Myla specialize in joyful, monumental murals that brighten up neighborhoods from Rio to Tahiti, and from London to their adopted hometown of Los Angeles. But you would have to be lucky to catch them there, since they constantly carry their irresistible love affair around the globe, find new ways to express themselves, and as a result are now in high demand as illustrators & innovators for various industries. The creative chaotic cosmos of the two takes inspiration from the Golden Age of Animation and Graffiti culture alike, with a new influx of ideas everywhere they go. Now their exuberant motifs are featured on a variety of Vans items, in a vibrant series that is specially aimed at all the playful girls out there. So take the chance, have a share of the outrageous harmony of the inseparable Dabs Myla and cover yourself from head to toe with pure bliss.
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SKATEBOARDMUSEUM Berlin presents THE ART OF SKATEBOARDING
First solo show of LA based Artist Harry Blitzstein in Germany Opening June 29, 6-10pm June 30. - July 10, 12 - 6pm (Weekend 2 - 6pm)
OPEN WALLS Gallery Berlin Schrรถderstr. 11 10115 Berlin
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Toms & Keith Haring Foundation Multiply the joy!
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How about a magic trick? A brand new pair of shoes for you, and at the same a kid in dire need of it gets a pair, too? This feat can be accomplished without any superpowers by acquiring some gear of TOMS. For any shoe (we guess usually two) that is sold, children from the less privileged parts of the planet are equipped with equal measure. They call this concept »One for one«, and it has caught on to much attention and acclaim, and rightfully so. Founder Blake Mycoskie came to the conclusion that something had to be done on a visit to Argentina and shortly thereafter began setting up a product line featuring Espadrilles-inspired shoes. Over the years, the range grew, and so did the relief programs, providing clean drinking water, targeting bullying, and even helping restoring eyesight. A movement was born.
In close collaboration with the Keith Haring foundation, which the maestro himself set up shortly before his death, a special collection of sneakers and sunglasses was developed, and at the very first glance the familiar, joyful Haring motifs catch the attention. Happy shoes & glasses making children happy. And the fact that sales will benefit the disadvantaged perfectly continues Keith Haring’s legacy. His quest for justice on this planet goes on. So, by getting your hands on some artwork for your feet you not only do yourself a favor, but multiply the joy. A good deed, and a very fashionable addition to your own collection, what more could you ask for?
All this is very much in the spirit of Keith Haring. The pop icon devoted a good part of his short-lived stay on this planet to a humanitarian cause, always keen to devote his artistic powers to charity projects, at the same time shaping the look and feel of the cultural landscape of New York City and beyond like few others. In his less than 32 years he became the definite combination of street culture and »high arts«. But Haring literally started in the underground. Advertisement boards in metro stations were the first screens that he used for his soon-to-be trademark drawings, using chalk, often with one uninterrupted line. He just had that certain swerve, we might say. An extraordinary career leading from the ground to the very top. And it is those signature drawings that provide the multi-colored layout for TOMS’ latest series of foot- & eyewear.
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Friendly Union and Brixton Limited Collection – Hard Luck and Jason Jessee, Jason Lee and Raymond Molinar
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words by Jo Offenbacher www.brixton.com
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This fall, Brixton, known for its handcrafted goods featuring only the highest level of quality, materials and timeless designs, handpicked two lines with two iconic names out of the Skateboarding circus. One with Jason Jessee and his bearing company Hard Luck and the other one with Streetstyle legend Jason Lee together with Photographer Raymond Molinar. Consequently, the Brixton & Hard Luck Friendly Union covers a very special and well-selected collection of apparel and headwear. It carries a canvas jacket, flannel and two different tees alongside with a hat and beanie. Jason Lee has been one of driving forces of the Streetskating movement within the 90ies where the roots were set to what nowadays is considered as Streetwear/Streetstyle. Embedded in the Fall 2016 Brixton Limited collection it features a special photography project of the both guys shot on Jason Lee’s farm in Denton, Texas, taking into consideration their own view of photography as a form of art. And Jason Jessee, a Vert veteran known for his unique and hard-line style on and off the board, setting sails against what could be called the mainstream.
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CARHARTT WIP Off the beaten path
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There are few things that are less inspiring than your average artificial photoshoot: staged setting, lackluster model, photographer sticking to his textbook routine. Why not go out and let the dynamics of an outdoor experience animate the shoot? Carhartt WIP equipped Paris-based photographer Maciek Pozoga with their new Spring/Summer collection and sent him on an exquisite escape to do just that. He took a couple of friends on a 3-day road trip to the outskirts to see (and of course capture) the spontaneous action which would unfold once they left the confinement of the city. Without pre-planned routes, they set off to discover what’s otherwise overlooked. The result sprays sparks of freedom. Sling the hammock, pitch up a neat table, unleash the boat, let yourself flow. Use your time consciously: Play some chess, do some introspection, learn how to spell (we are so sorry!). The perfect camping adventure with all the right accessories but none of the excess baggage that civilization usually imposes on us. It is in this scenario that the open-minded photographer will find maximum liberation – and these sincere pictures certainly inspire us to follow that road.
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»As surfers we are on the frontline and we need to be the ones that stand up for change.« Tai »BudDha« Graham L I N E S — 34 —
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O'Neill Blue A blueprint for the better Well, we have hardly recovered from their neoprene bikini series in our last issue, but here come ocean avantgardists O’Neill once again, introducing yet another campaign to save the world. On a serious note: The obscene pollution of the seas and beaches of the world with plastic is obviously a serious matter and a major threat to the eco system of the whole planet. How would mankind need all this plastic? And, in all honesty, how the fuck did it end up in the ocean?! So hard to comprehend. Yet it is literally littered everywhere. What a terrible sight, what a ludicrous concept: Plastic lying around where sand, wood, sea grass, birds belong? And those beautiful waves, may their purity not remain? Yes, we’re getting a bit romantic here, at the same time infuriated, affronted, disillusioned. As happens it sometimes (as the dear reader may damn well know…).
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And quite frankly no-one would be more in the know about all of this (and obviously so much more) than Jack O’Neill. But he was never someone to put up with something that is to his disliking, especially when it comes to nature. After his entire brand was practically born out of the ocean. Always very sensible about the natural habitat of the surf community, the Californian O’Neill waterfront base has always been the beating heart and soul of all sorts of innovative enterprises. In 1996, for instance, the man himself initiated Sea Odyssey, an educational program to raise environmental awareness among the youth (with the main classroom being a 65-foot catamaran). Taking that up with »Our Blue Mission«, O’Neill have stepped into action by turning what’s woeful waste into functional fashion. In cooperation with Bionic, a manufacturer who blends synthetic natural fibers and plastic leftovers into a modern, endurable fabric, a clothing line has been set up to turn the tide. The first installment of the O’Neill Blue Spring Summer collection features boardshorts, walkshorts and t-shirts, eradicating an estimated 200,000 plastic bottles in the process. Knowing the company’s pioneering spirit and their ambition to always innovate, we expect there will be much more to come. »As surfers we are on the frontline and we need to be the ones that stand up for change«, as Tai »Buddha« Graham, surf hero and O’Neill ambassador, wraps it up in a nutshell. It is crystal-clear that the world’s plastic obsession must come to a halt, and now that so much of it is out there, ways must be found to somehow put it to good use. This collection may be a drop in the ocean, but it provides a blueprint as to how it could be done.
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Photogr apher ANNY CKÂ Words by Jana Malderle
I am the blue light
I am the sweet tickle on your feet
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I am the soft melody in your e ars I am the salt y taste in your mouth
I am the painful burning in your eyes I am the crisp feeling on your skin
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I am the wild love in your he art
I am the elixir of your life
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Photographer ANNY CK Art work Stino Hair&Make-Up Artist Katharina Handel Styling Christina van Zon S T W 2 d s h o o t â€” 44 â€”
Model Jak Bueno @Iconic Management
Pants: Tim Labenda
Coat: Bobby Kolade Pants: By Malene Birger Shoes: Vans
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Jacket: adidas Dress: Edited
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Sleeveless: Tiger of Sweden Pullover: Nike Dress: Reserved
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Hey Sean, what’s up? What are you doing at the moment? At this precise moment I am aggravating the hell out of my girlfriend by doing this interview before going to bed. Earlier, though, I was inking an upcoming graphic for a small company I’d started last year called Paisley Skates.
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What are your main fields of activities? Ever since 1989 I’ve worked as an artist in the skateboard industry, but I somehow segued into writing, producing, and being a half-ass photographer as well – assuming, of course, you meant that question in a professional manner. If you were asking what I do for fun, well, I guess the answer would be the exact same stuff with the addition of skateboarding and picking up my dog’s poop. On which projects you are working currently? From the past: Which projects should be mentioned? The majority of this year has been focused on the production of a documentary about Big Brother skateboard magazine, which just happened to coincide and come on the heels of a Big Brother project for DC Shoes that involved not only a shoe and apparel collection but the publishing of a deluxe book as well. Aside from the all the Big Brother crap, though, I’ve been busy with Paisley and assisting in the Dwindle Heritage collection of reissues. Marc McKee kicked it off with a few of his classics for 101 Skateboards earlier this year, but I’ll have a couple in this next round set for release in the fall. The meaning and power of art from your perspective? Perspective has never been a strong point of mine, on paper or in life, but many would say I’m known for doing controversial or subversive graphics in skateboarding. The reason for this is far less than philosophical or compelling as some would hope or surmise, as I simply enjoy doing things that strike me as funny or just plain wrong … and the more ridiculous the concept the better. If it happens to push a few buttons along the way and get a rise, well, I’ll admit that there’s no small amount of pleasure taken in that as well. Which criterias from your perspective define a good piece of art? Far be it from me to say what good art is or isn’t, I’ve certainly contributed a fair share of shitty shit over the years, but I’ve always respected the work of a highly skilled illustrator. Case in point, anything drawn by Aaron Horkey. He’s a modern day master bar none. Other than that, though, just anything that makes me giggle. I really don’t go in for highbrow art school conceptualism.
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You’ve been into art since nearly your whole lifetime and also voiced your opinion on it in a wide range of publications. The bottom line is … … that I’ve been extremely lucky to be where I’m at today and continue doing what I love to do. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to get away with all this, but I’m hoping Paisley will gain some traction to buy me at least a few more years of professional freedom. Art embedded in the urban environment, work on textiles respective other hardware goods. What’s the difference and how to handle it? I’m guessing there was something lost in translation with that question, which is probably a good thing because I can never take these things too seriously. As such, I’ve probably bummed out at least a handful of earnest interviewers, because my meaning of art is about as serious as Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life. All I know is that I prefer doing art that is specifically meant to be printed on skateboards as opposed to soft goods. Why, I don’t know, but I think it has something to do with my imagination being trained to construct in an 8 x 32 dimension.
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You always worked with the who is who of Skateboarding companies. How do you approach different brands and projects when it comes to aspects of art? It all depends on the brand and who ultimately owns them. The more independent the company is the better, obviously, because they’re generally not saddled and crippled by legal concerns. The only times that I’ve ever run into issues or problems with a concept is when the company is part of a larger corporate beast.
The Skateboard as a vehicle for art. What comes to your mind? Screen-printing. That really is the first thing that comes to mind, because it’s a large part of the craftsmanship behind the art of skateboarding. Screen-printing was commonplace in the industry up until the late ’90s when the heat transfer revolution took place and commodified the skateboard. The past few years have seen a resurgence in the craft of screen printing, though, with a handful of small companies, including Paisley, going the extra mile to produce quality finished boards. How do art and Skateboarding culture in general go hand in hand? There’s always been a creative, visual edge to skateboarding that goes far beyond the act itself. It’s also one of the few if only subcultures I know of where art is celebrated and showcased to the degree that it is. I mean, I’m not a rock climber or weekend kayak enthusiast, but I’m pretty sure those sects aren’t throwing art shows for their enthusiasts and participants on a regular basis. Does commercialization set boundaries for the freedom of art? Yes, most definitely. As I’d mentioned before, the only times that I’ve encountered a degree of difficulty were when a corporate entity was involved. Aside from the general restrictions you’d expect from such overly cautious environments, it can get rather ridiculous on occasion. Like several years ago I was involved with a shoe project for Nike SB where the concept revolved around the mythology of Krampus. For one of the illustrations I’d drawn the tongue of Krampus to resemble the Nike »swoosh«, thinking it was a harmlessly clever detail, but the legal department declared otherwise and I had to de-swoosh the tongue so as to not subliminally associate the brand with a devil of sorts.
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The time consuming process of creation of art and the speed of the 24/7 social media. How could this work together? Where do you see opportunities, what about critical aspects? The 24/7 nature of social media is a time-sucking distraction if anything. It’s a bottomless ADHD pit with god knows how many metric tons of warring digital media and information dumped into it on a daily basis. So no, I’m not on it every hour of the day, nor am I sharing every bit of my drawing day along the way. Sure, I’ll abuse the hell out of it as a tool for free marketing and promotional purposes – it’s probably the only reason Paisley has gotten as far as it has – but for me it has a time and a place and that’s usually when I’m on the toilet. Your thoughts on two topics: First, mass customization vs. unique pieces of art; second, I Mac vs. brush and ink. I was born on the commercial end of the artistic spectrum, so I’ve never had a problem with the mass production of art. I actually have a great deal more problems creating a »unique« piece of art, mainly because the former allows me to live, thrive, and survive; the latter does not. I missed the big »Beautiful Loser« boat in the ’90s, so I’m still slogging it out in the commercial art trenches. That said, I’ll still wage war against the use of heat transfers in skateboarding, because: a) I’m not an accountant; b) they make a skateboard look even more like a toy than it already is; and c) they further diminish the place of skateboard decks in an art gallery atmosphere. With regard to the computer vs. the pen, I’m still a proponent of the latter. I’m not adept with computers, software programs, or virtual drawing tablets, and will probably go to my grave gripping a Rapidograph pen in my dead, arthritic hand. Plus, I just really like having a tangible illustration when I’m finished with a project – not a digital file on a USB drive. Where do you get your inspirations from? Who inspires you? Mostly just those artists found in my backyard of contemporaries – Todd Bratrud, Todd Francis, Thomas Campbell, Andy Jenkins, Ben Horton, Winston Tseng, and Marc McKee to name a few – but then there’s always a few standby classics like Robert Crumb, John Waters, and Kurt Vonnegut to keep a healthy perspective on life. Interview: Joachim Offenbacher A R T I S T — 58 —
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@seancliver @paisleyskates www.paisleyskates.com
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» I don’t know what defines art now. It’s to complicate for one answer. For me it was always expression, but mixed with the craft in a very own and hard way. « – Swanski
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Pawel, thanks for your time. How are you? Any news you would like to share from the Warsaw wild east epic center of creativity? Hi, what’s up? All good. The world is getting more and more crazy nowadays everywhere, and also here. But it’s not about politics, haha. Warsaw is great; sometimes I hate it in the wintertime, but its good to be a part of something that constantly grows. Some people say Warsaw is something for these people who missed Berlin in early nineties, maybe they’re right somehow but for me it has a much different and own atmosphere or style.
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Recent projects you are working on? It’s a lot of different things. For sure my company Turbokolor takes most of my time now, we changed a lot in the company recently and this process takes a lot of my attention. We release our Zine Vicious Kids, where I take care about everything. The collections have to be done, and the entire special projects, like for example the signature Chris Haslam line by Turbokolor. It’s his line but we work on it very close. Chris is giving me inspirations, and I take care about how it looks like. It’s great because we have the same taste and sense of humor. But I do also a lot of graphics for other companies and people. Some custom work, like bikes and helmets. Also tattoo designs. My friends from Mob skateboards release my new board this summer. I’m excited cause we work together for over 15 years now. And Cracker (Christian Roth) one of the owners was always one of my authorities that became a good friend over these years. It is cool. A family thing. It is great cause of skateboarding and it doesn’t matter if it’s a global company like Girl or smaller one like Mob, it’s about the relationship that you would almost never have with normal clients of your studio. Oh and I do some murals here and there, and I am still working on my new exhibition already for the last few years hahaha …
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How is Turbokolor running? Any upcoming collaboration to watch out for? It’s pretty good. I can’t complain. It’s a hard piece of work sometimes, actually always but I like it a lot. Next year it will be 10 years. We got some great projects with our friends and people who influenced the brand and me over the years. And this fall we will have another shot from the Haslam line. It’s really nice. You have a wide range of activities; from Skateboarding to cycling and even music cover artwork. How do you approach each project? Different approaches? In which fields do you work the most? It’s always the same for me; it’s just a different part of the same world. Of course you have to work on a bike, a t-shirt or mural in a different way. But it’s just a different medium. Custom work is complicated sometimes, as you have to work with enamel paints that require some more skills as usual, and for sure need more patience. I like most of them the same. I wouldn’t resign of any of it.
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Does commercialization set boundaries for the freedom of art? The boundaries are always in the artist’s head. It depends on yourself what you do and how the market will influence it. If your intention is to make money, it’s quite easy to see this in the works. But the conversation about the boundaries is more a thing for a book or two. Sometimes I think that the art was always limited and we fool ourselves with slogans like »freedom of art«. Sometimes I feel that a new direction in art is free, at least in the first short season since some people start doing something new. Then it starts to be limited because of the demand and the followers of the new trendy shit. Which criteria from your perspective define art? How powerful is art? I don’t know what defines art now. It’s to complicate for one answer. For me it was always expression, but mixed with the craft in a very own and hard way. Mass customization vs. unique pieces of art. The I Mac vs. brushes and ink. For me it is the analog way. Brushes and ink! The Mac is at the end of the creation or even never appears in my work.
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@pawel_swanski www.turbokolor.com www.swanofobia.com www.greedyreaper.tumblr.com
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How can art go hand in hand with the speed of 24/7 social media? What is needed and has to be considered out of your perspective? It can, but sometimes the social media thing is ruining it. The way and how fast you are scrolling posts and how little time you actually spend on it to think about it is ruining it. Social medias are just helping to spread it around the world. Skateboarding and art. What comes to your mind? People that just express themselves in skateboarding made great history. So Skateboarding in the mix with creativity is one of the most beautiful things on the art scene. It’s so good that so many companies are killing it with the graphics instead of logo decks. Where do you get your inspirations? Who inspires you? Nature, old vintage culture, the pre and early industrial era. Thanks a lot for your time. Thank you! Cheers, Pawel Interview: Joachim Offenbacher
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So Andy, may I kindly ask to introduce yourself and your family and tell us what drives you every day since the beginning of Artdump? I’m Andy Jenkins, the Senior Art Director at the Girl Skateboard Company. I’ve been with Girl since day 1 in a multitude of capacities. I started out by doing the original Girl series of boards in 1993, and went on to become full time in 1994. I worked on Girl and Chocolate solo for a couple of years, with the help of a few freelancers for board graphics – Lance Mountain being the most memorable. Amazing man. I went on to hire 1 artist at a time (Bucky Fukumoto being the 1st and Johannes Gamble next. Both awesome individuals) and eventually the team grew to 8 at it’s peak. Somewhere in there we became the Art Dump. Each member has a specific duty in the Girl Co, but as the Art Dump we also worked as a multimedia collective. A bunch of creative weirdos with healthy egos that never got in the way, a rarity, and a big reason we have a history of strong work. These are a group of people I’ve been really fortunate to work with over the years – and I don’t say that lightly. I love them all.
photography: Amber B Dianda, Andy Mueller A R T I S T — 71 —
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www.theartdump.com www.crailtap.com @theartdump
On which projects you are working currently? From the past: Which projects should be mentioned? Right now the emphasis is always the same – work hard, do good work and have fun. It’s a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, but the benefits of doing rad outside projects are a big inspiration. Our biggest project was in 2002, » This Is The Flow «, in Middleberg, Holland. It was an incredible experience traveling to create an awesome skate-inspired installation in an amazing 16th century building. We’re lucky to have had the opportunities to do shows all over the States, in Japan, France, Canada, Australia … it’s truly humbling being able to create and travel. Any Skateboarding/Streetwear related collabos and projects to watch out for the upcoming summer/fall months? Of course! But I can’t talk about them, haha. Can’t let the energy leak out! How deep is Artdump involved in the creative process within Crailtap? Deep. The Art Dump has its fingers in ALL the creative that leaves the Girl building.
What makes Artdump unique in your eyes? The multi-media collaborative form. Each artist involved has always brought their own special skill sets to the table and the idea is to hopefully incorporate those skills as much as possible. My philosophy for hiring people for the Dump is pretty simple – bring in rad, talented and capable artists. Once they get in the doors here and learn the flow, I trust in them enough to let them go, let them do their thing. As an Art/Creative Director, I let people run and handle their own brands/ tasks. I figure, if I liked them and their work enough to hire them, I need to trust them to kill it in their jobs. I just try to keep the Dump energy focused – as much as it can be focused. This is skateboarding, after all. The best ad to this day from your perspective is? The Antihero » Baby Gerwer« ad. Does commercialization set boundaries for the freedom of art? Depends on what you mean by art. Sometimes it informs the art, sometimes not. I guess it might be hard to even know at times. Who knows what might leak into the subconscious. But again, at the end of the day we are skateboarders and work in skateboarding. It’s a unique beast. I think passion for the culture is first and foremost. And maybe that’s to a fault at times? I don’t know.
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Which criteria’s from your perspective define art? How powerful is art? That’s a big question. There are many ways in which art influences general human culture. Your choice on two topics: First, mass customization vs. unique pieces of art; second, I Mac vs. brush and ink. All of it has its positives and negatives. It’s a gift to be able to flow in and out of it all. Much of it is how you use the tools you’re given. The time consuming process of creation of art and the speed of the 24/7 social media. How could this work together? Where do you see opportunities, what about critical aspects? It’s fucking hard. And again, positives and negatives. I think the small window of life things have on social media is a shame. It diminishes any importance the image or idea may have. Shit just comes and goes and is barely even noticed or remembered. But, sometimes it might be a portal into something more substantial – it might spark someone to check out something new and inspiring in depth. That’s the goal, I hope. Fuck selfies. Skateboarding and art. What comes to your mind? Hand in hand. Physical and mental. Lifestyle.
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Where do you get your inspirations? Who inspires you? Inspiration can come from anywhere. Just looking around freaks me out at times. Too hard to name specifics – different every day. Love it. Thanks a lot for your time. Interview: Joachim Offenbacher
Art Dump Zine Workshop at Oakley In Residence Los Angeles
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hey chrischi, what should people know about you? That I’ve been doing what I’m doing since I was 15 – ever since I first picked up a skateboard. main fields of activities? Art Direction, Graphic Design, Video Editing and answering e-mails regarding »Sponsor-Me« Tapes. tell us a bit about the mob and what made you start it back then? Ever since I started skateboarding, I dreamt of having my own skateboard company. My own blank canvas. First thing I did, was a Zine, then a clothing company before I finally arrived at my own Skateboard Company. Why did I started MOB Skateboards? Why do you want to spend as much time as possible with a certain someone when you’re in Love? I was in Love with the freedom Skateboarding has to offer. On the board, off the board and under the board. any collabos and projects to watch out for the upcoming summer/fall months? Yeah, we’re gonna have some Collabos with Swanski, Hans Hackradt and Simon Marchner this Fall. Given our history of »collaboration-graphics« an the fact that everybody is doing it for years now, I grew a little tired of collabos. Back in 2003 , three years after we founded the company, our line of boards consisted of »Collaboration Graphics« with Andy Jenkins, Shepard Fairey, Dave Kinsey, Evan Hecox, Kid Acne, Don Pendleton, Mark Gonzales, Mike Leon, UxA, Bwana Spoons, Dave the Chimp and Swanski. That’s pretty hard to top by any standards. you’ve been into art since nearly your whole lifetime and also voiced your opinion on it in a wide range of publications. the bottom line is … … for art comes to you proposing to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass and simply for those moments’ sake.« - Walther Pater (1873) art embedded in the urban environment and work on textiles and other hardware goods. What’s the difference? Well, the obvious answer is, that art embedded in the urban environment, so called »Street-Art« is usually not up for sale. It’s not marketable – unless you’re Banksy. If you take »StreetArt« away from the »Street«, you end up with »Art« alone. And Art, as we know, can add a mystical value to any product. Art in the street is a statement – the same Art on a product makes it a sales-pitch. A R T I S T — 77 —
On which projects you are working currently? From the past: Which projects should be mentioned? I’m gonna write a book. From the past: watch my documentary »The Mobernists« (2003) on Vimeo. It’s like hearing prophets’ prophesizing. The Skateboard as a vehicle for art – what comes to your mind? Neil Blender, Mark Gonzales, Daniel Harold Sturt, Tod Swank, Alien Workshop, Joe Castrucci, Pushead, Unabomber, Andy Jenkins, Jim Philipps, Marc McKee, Ed Templeton, Rasa Libre, Stacks … How does art and Skateboarding culture in general go hand in hand? Skateboarding is, per se, a blank canvas. No rules. On, off and under the board. You can skate any way you want – same goes for art as personal expression. Does commercialization set boundaries for the freedom of art? Depends on the artist. Look at Shepard Fairey and his OBEY Clothing Label. You could argue that the commercialization of his art on clothing is just a consequence of his success as an artist – or you could say, doing what he does now with his clothing line, he sells off everything his whole »Andre The Giant Has A Posse« sticker campaign promised to be: an experiment in sociometry. Confront people with an image they don’t understand and which does not sell anything. Make them question an image. Wake them up and make them aware of how asleep they are.
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the time consuming process of creating art and the speediness of the 24/7 social media – how could this work together? Where do you see opportunities, what about critical aspects? It doesn’t work. Never has and never will. Quickness and Creativity hardly ever work hand in hand – just look at God and what he came up with as the »Crown of Creation« after just seven days. He should have rather taken his time. Honestly, I don’t really see any benefits in Social Media besides selling products and to keep people in check. I’m not condemning everything digital and online – it really does make certain things easier and sometimes even better – but ultimately the question is: »Do you control the device – or is the device controlling you.«
your thoughts on two topics: first, mass customization vs. unique pieces of art; second, ipad vs. brushes and ink. »Mass« and »Customization« are two words that are not at peace with each other. For me, Analog will always outrun Digital.
Which criteria from your perspective define a good piece of art? It has, to quote Walther Pater again, to give nothing but the highest quality to my moments as they pass.
Where do you get your inspirations? Who inspires you? Books, children, friends, questions, music and nature – best in combination with THC. Thanks a lot for your time. Interview: Joachim Offenbacher
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Sneakers Lightpainting by Chris Noelle Photography: Chris Noelle @lightwriting.de @metofa .com Sneakers: assorted brands by ÂťThe GenuineÂŤ Linz @thegenuine. at
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ADIDAS SUPERSTAR ADICOLOR MINT
NIKE AIR HUARACHE RUN BR — 84 —
NEW BALANCE MRT580DI x Wings & Horns
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ASICS GEL RESPECTOR Moon Rock white
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HARMONT & BLAINE E6001
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ADIDAS STAN SMITH OG PRIMEKNIT
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CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR ALLSTAR II low
NATIVE APOLLO MOC SHELL White
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CONVERSE AUCKLAND RACER GLITTER SILVER WHITE
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VANS CLASSIC SLIP ON TUMBLE BLACK
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Torsten Frank having a good time at work! photo: Zander Taketomo
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the art of Skateboard Videos Torsten Frank belongs to the top 10 skateboard cinematographers worldwide and hails from Stuttgart, Germany. The latest project he filmed for is adidas skateboarding’s #awaydays and Stuttgart’s skatepark is named after his first indy video: Stuttpart. He’s a detail lover, humble, humorous and a skateboarder, who keeps it heartcore!
torsten, we know each other from 1993 on, but now i have the pleasure to ask you some questions and i even get paid for that. it’s a funny world, innit? so here’s my first super investigative question: Whe did you start skating and which videos influenced you back then? I started skating in 1989 and my biggest influences were H-Street’s »Shakle me not« and ›Hokus Pokus‹. From that point on I was hooked on skate videos! My dream became to start filming and to do my own indy video which I did in 1995 : Stuttpark. Why did you favor the h-street videos over the powell peralta videos? Back then; at a time when the worldwide web was inexistent, skate videos were the only way to have an authentic look into the skateboard scene in the United States. Jacob Rosenberg did the first H-Street videos and instead of arranging and scripting everything and banning it on 16 mm like Stacey Peralta did for Powell Peralta, Rosenberg just went with the flow. His filming at the Embarcadero in San Francisco and in the streets felt much more free and authentic. Later on, in the early 1990s, Girl Skateboards and Spike Jonze pushed the limits by having short films in between the skate sections. Spike created great transitions into the skate parts. The way he did that was very inspirational to me. A R T I S T — 93 —
Not only and literally did you enroll at the street university, but also at a real one, too? Yes, that’s true. In 2003, I got my diploma in communication design & time-based media at the März Accademy in Stuttgart. Studying at a university gave me the opportunity to look beyond the world of skateboarding and into the world of arts. This way, I came in touch with the artwork of the ones like Bill Viola and Chris Cunningham, who also did music videos for Björk and Aphex Twin (›Windowlicker‹). With my diploma project ›Rollenspiele‹ I could use the new cutting skills and the already existing footy and friendships. Rollenspiele showed the diversity of skateboarding by portraying four skaters. A pro (Bastien Salabanzi), a kid, trying to get his first sponsor (Phil Anderson), a skateboard punk (Eumel) with an all in or nothing attitude and another one (Christoph Inger), just skating for fun.
Lorenzo: You got a call from TWS in 2012 to film for them. That put you into the ranks of the 10 best skate filmers in the world. Well, that’s well deserved, I’d say. Thank you! It really was a big honor to become the European filmer for their »The Cinematographer Project«. It’s great and inspirational to be in a skate video along some of the finest filmer like Bill Strobeck from NYC who does all of the Supreme videos and Russell Houghton from Los Angeles. My filming took part in Paris, London and Berlin, and I used an interview with the legendary Mark Gonzales as a voice-over. The Gonz has the talent to describe skateboarding in a pure and honest way.
Adidas Skateboarding’s #awaydays got released this May and you filmed a major part of it. What was it like being away for so long and where derives the video’s title from? I’ve been filming for adidas skateboarding for ten years now and I think it was the right moment to do the first full-length video with the whole team. It just felt right to portray the team as a group of friends, having fun skating together. That’s what it’s all about and what the Gonz always says: it’s all about having fun, travelling and skating together. Exploring the world on your board. Regarding the name – Skin Philipps came up with it. He’s the team manager, but also a big football fan. #awaydays stands for touring with your favorite football club, but of course also being on the road and away from your hometown. I was filming for 2 years and went on 25 tours around the world. It’s a perfect combination of adidas heritage and skateboarding.
Being away implies having a home base. Where’s yours? Still Stuttgart. I’ve been living here all of my life. I filmed my first videos here and we just opened a skatepark that got named after my first indy video: Stuttpark. It’s going full circle. A big bonus and something that makes me very happy is an article in Thrasher Magazine in which they showed the world’s 20 most gnarly handrails and the article ends with the one in Stuttgart at the ›Staatsgalerie‹. It’s a sequence of Alec Majerus conquering it! We have it on tape and as his ender in #awaydays. Lucas Puig’s and Miles Silva’s enders/bangers were filmed in Stuttgart, too. Sounds fan-tastic and committed. Thank you for contributing so much passion into skateboarding. Keep it heartcore and stay daddycated!
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Words by Lorenzo Taurino Photos: Zander Taketomo Sem Rubio (b/w pix) Daniel Wagner (b/w fullpipe) Kamil Krzesniak (TF pole grind) A R T I S T — 95 —
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Juice design San francisco hey matt, what should people know about you? I do creative work of all types in the skateboard industry. Growing up in Canada, skateboarding was all that my friends and I cared about. I dreamt of designing board graphics, getting to do that was pretty much the coolest thing imaginable to me. Somehow doing board graphics became a reality and that lead to seeing other people build skate brands, direct videos, create teams, establish the design, productions, sales & distribution process … I enjoyed taking it all in and learned a lot. As a kid, you just assumed »the company« did all of that stuff and you didn’t give it a second thought. But seeing the variety of styles of creating skate brands, from garage operations to large corporations, there’s a lot going on and there’s a lot of room for creativity. tell us a bit about juice design and what made you start it back then? What are your main fields of activities? Juice Design is a small creative agency in San Francisco started by my friend Brett Critchlow back in 1996 . We both got hit up separately to pitch our ideas to adidas in 2006 for their skate program. One night at a party we got talking and both realized we didn’t have time to do a pitch, so we decided to dedicate a weekend to pull our ideas together as a team. I was the guy with the skate background, he was the guy with the agency and larger clients background. It worked out really well; almost ten years later we’re still working for adidas on their skate program. It’s been a long one, it feels good to have helped make this thing grow! That’s been our primary focus for a while now because the volume of work keeps growing, but we do stuff for other clients as well.
»Away Days« was the first official full-length from the adidas Global and Int’l team riders, which I co-created with Jascha Muller. Jascha is the main person responsible for the skate team; he and I work very closely on everything and there was an incredible team of talented filmers, editors, photographers who helped make this whole project come to life. There were so many layers to this project, and while I was »the Director«, there was truly a huge team of people so we could accomplish a lot. The premiere tour was insane! It was so cool to see »Away Days« spread across the world. It made me feel proud and the response has been unbelievably positive. the meaning and power of art from your perspective? I like that art reaches deeper than most people generally assume. Art hides in the shadows. That font chosen for the government document you have to fill out. That faucet in the local public washroom that actually looks cool in a utilitarian way. That picture hanging in your grandmother’s living room with the quaint farm scene. You might love it, you might hate it. If you felt anything for it, there was probably some form of art involved but the general public doesn’t give it a lot of thought unless it’s framed and hanging on a wall.
on which projects you are working currently? from the past: Which projects should be mentioned? I’ve really adjusted my focus to video projects over the past five or so years. I like that they contain so many different creative aspects, but since skateboarding is very focused on video footage it’s also what people really pay attention to. I like that people watch it and they feel compelled to comment on it, but the video projects also set a creative pace for all sorts of things … so in the end it’s really a campaign but so much of the campaign gets established by the tone of the video.
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Which criteria’s from your perspective define a good piece of art? That’s impossible to define, for me anyway. I can find something interesting in almost anything. If I fixate too closely on what I know I will like, I find it gets too predictable. I’d rather try to pursue things that I might like but then venture outside the initial thing that I liked so I can find something new. Like going to a gallery for a specific exhibit, but then making yourself go to a different exhibition at that gallery. Or going to listen to a song you know you like but you listen to the related artists that come up instead. Before streaming music, I actually stopped listening to music for a little while because my iTunes collection nauseated me. You’ve been into art since nearly your whole lifetime and also voiced your opinion on it in a wide range of publications. The bottom line is … The bottom line is if you feel good about doing your version of art, and it doesn’t come at a cost to others, then nobody should be able to take it away from you. When you choose to put it on display for critique is when you might not like what you hear about your work. That’s harder then most people could imagine, it takes courage to go to that level with your art … it arguably takes more courage than talent to present your work to the world. You have to be prepared for the response; good or bad. Art embedded in the urban environment, work on textiles respective other hardware goods and thirdly on the screen. What’s the difference and how to handle it? It’s all the same for me, now matter the type of project. It starts with parameters that you need to focus on. This is easier when it’s assigned to you rather than self-
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initiated. Without parameters, restraints and deadlines it’s easy to never complete anything. I can usually see or feel what I want to create with or without these parameters. But it is nice to have some general guidelines as to what is desired and when it must be done so you can apply that to what you’re working on. Too much freedom is often the worst, it makes you procrastinate and overthink everything. A bit of fear inside due to a tight deadline or a type of project you’ve never done before sparks the fire. Your approach with »Away Days« out of the art perspective? For »Away Days« I knew that we needed to have set »parts« for most of the team riders. There’s some structure to a traditional skate video that needed to be upheld out of respect to the team’s hard work. I knew that I wanted to find a way to spread a bunch of artistic montages throughout the video like the videos I grew up with in the 90’s. Those moments to me were just as important as the skating. Spike Jonze was the master of this in my eyes, but everyone had their own style and it gave you a feeling. When you’re a kid, you skate because you want to escape. A video should let you escape as well, live a different life for a moment. I wanted these montages to act as the glue to the whole video without things feeling predictable. I also wanted to subtly revisit some of the ideas we’ve visited previously in our web features. The Skateboard as a vehicle for art – what comes to your mind? This is one of those topics that always comes up but no skateboarder wants to talk about it. In skating there’s a
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lot of unspoken no-fly-zones, you just leave things like this alone. Is it a sport? Is it an art? What’s the closest thing that it can be compared to? In the case of competitive skateboarding, which I really don’t care about, it’s probably best compared to ice skating or high diving where things a judged by complexity as well as form. From more of a street level standpoint though? It’s the cheesiest thing to say, but it is more of a lifestyle and mentality. Street skating better resembles a style of fine art, or even a martial art. It closer resembles someone’s dedication to a type of fashion or a particular style of music. All of these examples end up resembling something closer to a religion than a sport. As I was saying, you try to define it and it always comes across as cheesy and contrived. How do art and Skateboarding culture in general go hand in hand? Art and Skateboarding are best buds! It’s been proven already, almost like a math equation. Take one skull, one splatter paint, one stencil font and you are good to go. It’s a proven success, time and time again. Does commercialization set boundaries for the freedom of art? I loathe the argument that art for commercial purposes is compromised. It might even be better because it’s been done to serve a specific purpose. Someone said »I need this item to be created« and then they went and hired someone else to do it. People making a living off of art is good thing. Of course the value of commissioned art can come into question, but that’s a pretty idealistic outlook to live by. How many creative people can exist in this world without embracing any form of compromise?
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The time consuming process of creation of art and the speed of the 24/7 social media. How could this work together? Where do you see opportunities, what about critical aspects? Social media feels more like a chore to me these days. I find myself more annoyed by it lately, scrolling to find the bottom rather than actually enjoying what I’m taking in. I guess it feels like it has become more like a tool for curated exhibitionism than a sincere diary. So in that regard, I feel like social media has become everyone’s art these days; the art of curating yourself. I feel like social media is often more interesting from younger people, they just seem to spew their lives to the world with very little inhibition. I think it’s a result of having grown up with social media having always been around. You’re less conscious of what you’re putting out to the world. This definitively changes as you get into your 30 s, you become more critical of what you’re willing to show. I guess I just like the lack on inhibition and level of sincerity in how younger people tend to post. Where do you get your inspirations? Who inspires you? Contemporary art that is aesthetically pleasing and minimal, yet conceptual. Like Olafur Eliasson & James Turrell, but I’m also a big fan of Matthew Barney.
Mid-century modernist architecture & design. I just love the simplicity of things from that era, the lack of technical materials left things feeling a bit more handcrafted. It’s so simple but it still has a very human attribute to it. Film is a huge influence, anything that allows you to disappear from your current life to live an alternate one. I love films that make me feel like I’ve travelled and experienced an emotion I don’t normally feel. But ultimately just poking around exploring life and trying to see or do something new is my main inspiration. I also really enjoy giving yourself some brainless downtime to sit with your own thoughts. That’s become less and less frequent as I’ve gotten busier with work and family. Nothing beats a long drive to reflect on things that you’ve encountered and what you need to be planning for. I used to do these long solo drives between LA & SF for a few years where I’d have a sketchbook laying on the seat. I’d just write things or draw a quick sketch without looking. Every now and then I’d pull over to compile the ideas into something a little more coherent. Interview: Joachim Offenbacher www.juicedesign.com | @juicedesignsf
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Martin Ander Art Hey Martin, what should people know about you? I’m a 40-year-old professional illustration artist, graphic designer, skateboarder, graffiti writer, print maker, author, husband and father. I’m also an enthusiast in all kinds of visual art, comics, subcultures, print media, music, letterforms, composition, cooking, cheap beer, and swimming in lakes. On which projects you are working currently? From the past: Which projects should be mentioned? I’ve got six new graphics for Flip skateboards, posters and packaging for Swedish dancehall artist Kaliffa, Packaging for Blues legend Clas Yngström, an activity book project, some corporate jobs and some private projects on the drawing table right now. So it’s pretty hectic. Stuff I’m known for from the past would be lots of skate graphics for Flip, Sweet, and SevenInch, the Fever Ray album art, the Reebok Pump blacklight design, UP graffiti mag, books for Document Press and lots of posters and t-shirt graphics for various clients. Main fields of activities? Hand drawn commercial illustration for the skateboarding and music industry, book design and private art projects. Any Skateboarding/Streetwear related collabos and projects to watch out for the upcoming summer/fall months? Yeah, The Mander series for Sour Skateboards just came out. And later this summer I’ve got a t-shirt line for DC Shoe Co coming out. Does commercialization set boundaries for the freedom of art? Of course, the hunt for a quick turnover is always the antithesis to originality. But on the other hand, seeing the big brands repeating the same ideas and motifs over and over can work as a trigger to me, to come up with new better ideas and solutions. My goal is and has always been to blow peoples mind, and I don’t really have an interest in working with clients that don’t share that goal with me. Which criteria’s from your perspective define a good piece of art? Original idea, well executed. Your choice on two topics: First, mass customization vs. unique pieces of art; second, I Mac vs. brush and ink. First. I kind of like the idea of unique pieces as a sacred thing, seeing something super rad that is only produced in one unique copy can almost make me have a religious experience, but I’m also a big fan of making new ideas available for a mass audience. I think both of them serve a purpose.
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Second. Anyone can learn how to use a computer and crank out half good designs. But doing stuff by hand is about commitment and understanding the craft. But on the other hand, the computer is just a tool. A good idea is a good idea. It just seems more interesting to me when you can see the artist’s hand, nerve and commitment in it. the time consuming process of creation of art and the speed of the 24/7 social media. how could this work together? Where do you see opportunities, what about critical aspects? As long as you know what you are doing and you have a life and a career outside the social media bubble, I think social media is just a great tool to meet people, exchange ideas and find your audience. Good work is good work, it doesn’t matter to me if I see it in a museum or on instagram. The problem is when your whole life’s work is just on social media, it moves to fast to make a lasting impact. skateboarding and art. What comes to your mind? Good things: Creativity, style and originality. Bad things: Lousy art painted on beat up skate decks. A R T I S T — 104 —
Interview: Joachim Offenbacher
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isle A R T I S T — 108 —
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Hey Nick, what’s up, where are you at the moment? I am in London at my flat; I just got home from the studio. Main fields of activities? Painting, skating and doing Isle. Tell us a bit about ISLE and what made you start it? After Blueprint skateboards took a turn for the worse, Paul shier asked if I would be Interested in doing a company. I was really excited and so I said yes please. We took it slow and started to generate some ideas, it just seemed to happen at a good pace and now we have achieved some really cool things.
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any collabos and projects to watch out for the upcoming months? Yes, the Carhartt collaboration is looking good.
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art embedded in the urban environment and work on textiles and other hardware goods. What’s the difference? I think there is quite a big difference. I am always mindful of the commercial aspect when creating a graphic for a board as apposed to an artwork that exists in its own right. At isle we try to tailor the artworks we make to the personalities of the riders. So in this way they are very specific to isles identity.
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the skateboard as a vehicle for art. What comes to your mind? I remember Gonz skating in a museum all dressed in white. I think skateboarding is definitely a vehicle towards creativity and art. It encourages you to think about things in a different way so you are more open to experimenting with ideas, etc. how do art and skateboarding culture in general go hand in hand? They are site selectee worlds, but the thinking behind them is v similar. Skating maybe – more physically and art – more mental? does commercialization set boundaries for the freedom of art? Massively.
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Which criterias from your perspective define a good piece of art? I always like it when you look at an artists body of work and discover how they see the world through the things they make. Your thoughts on two topics: First, mass customization vs. unique pieces of art; second, I Mac vs. brush and ink. This reminds me of the idea about aura, an artwork has an aura that something mass produced just can’t have. I think computer art is equally valid as painting, there just forms of expression using different technologies/techniques The time consuming process of creation of art and the speed of the 24/7 social media. How could this work together? Where do you see opportunities, what about critical aspects? This is why I love painting because it takes time and it’s quite physical, so it forces people to want to step outside of the screen to experience it in the flesh. I think using Instagram as a tool to promote your work is fantastic tho. Where do you get your inspirations from? Who inspires you? My friends like Sylvain, Casper Jake, Tom, etc. And equally artists I look at and seeing exhibitions. Just being around interesting things and people inspires me. A R T I S T — 112 —
Thank you! Interview: Joachim Offenbacher
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a painter. and a painters dreams.
how is life in sunny los angeles? HB: LA is a good place to be, I think. I wanted to escape this town all my life. When I was in high school in the 1950 s it was very smoggy here. The air was thick and gray back then and I thought, that this is just part of life. But then I came across a travel log, which showed an Austrian village and thought: ›Oh my god, how beautiful. This is like living in a work of art. This is where I wanna be! I’m gonna get out of here.‹ My suitcase was on the floor, always with the lid open and I did not own more clothes than I could fit into it. When I would look at it I would always think, that very soon I would be done writing and I would slam shut the suitcase and leave to Europe, even if I could go there in only a T-shirt and my Levi’s. That was my thing. so did you ever make it out of your town? Because of my family responsibilities, it’s been a joke. The family joke is: You don’t get east of La Brea [Avenue] (laughs). On top of it, I was living in my own world … You know, being the artistic and the poetic guy I was, I wasn’t truly in the real world, I was rather off to dream land. The first painter I fell in love with was van Gogh. I come from European art. All my
ancestors are from Europe, from Romania, Lithuania, the Russian area and the Ukraine. So my ancestry lies there. All the art books I’m interested in are all about European artists likewise. What kind of artists in particular? Paul Cézanne, Chaim Soutine, Francisco Goya, Honoré Daumier, Jean Dubuffet, all the European artists. So spiritually I am in Europe. And mentally I’m there too. LA was just so provincial then. So I thought, I couldn’t do anything in that place. What changed? Over the past 20 years LA has become such an international art market. Before, it has only been movies and celebrities. Great. And I was a snob when it came to movies – it just had to be painting for me, never movies. But they were here, so was fashion. There is so much in Southern California in the art scene. Finally the museums started to pick up and the artworks became international here and some artistic things began forming. But I didn’t really relate to these things going on either. I related to the Europeans, still. Today, you can do anything in LA art-wise, it’s an open place for anyone.
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So it has become easier to be an artist creating in LA? It’s a little hard to be understood here. The people here are still flying around on cocaine and movie deals. They still are not really looking towards the fine arts. They don’t have a deep understanding of it. And yet with the modern stuff, wonderful things are happening here in the art field. But what’s more substantial, is an understanding of Cézanne! (laughs). Meanwhile you’ve made your peace with Los Angeles? Now it’s all international. It’s all connected so much. You just get on a plane and you have your devices to communicate. It has changed by now. You can be an international star right from your garage. You brought up family ties earlier. How did your parents respond to your decision of wanting to become an artist? Oh my god! My mother was an artist, a painter in the tradition of Mary Cassatt and the Impressionists. Not totally trained, ‘cause she had turned down an art scholarship in order to go work. But she was an artist. When I told them, I wanted an art studio behind my father’s shoe store, since it was available, they answered: No, No! They didn’t want me in the arts. They wanted me in the shoe business! (laughs). My mother wasn’t crazy about my art, because I was a wild expressionist painter. And sometimes I painted ugly or violent things, of issues I was going through at the time and what the world was going through. The wars and everything. She saw it like: ›You do art, because you are painting a portrait of someone and you just love the portrait and the person loves it too. And
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she liked painted flowers and happy, beautiful things.‹ Her sense of taste was of a beautiful kind. But I couldn’t do this. So the providential and rather joyful art wasn’t for you? I couldn’t do that. Nor could I do the exacting, tedious illustrations. Just perfect lines. Whereas I just want to take a brush as if it is sledgehammer. And I do all that without thinking. It’s just how I have to do it. Nothing is calculated or planned out. It just doesn’t work when I try to plan it out. It gets boring. But when you are finding things that you didn’t expect, then it becomes exciting. You try to break new ground. That’s why I’ve had several different periods in my art. What kind of periods? I have done some kind of performance art, of which you have probably seen a few of – where I am painting the construction boards. The street art? Yes, which I’m still working on. I’ve got a good one coming up. I want it ready for the show and show a DVD , if the gallery has the facilities for it. I’ll bring it along. On the other hand, there are the paintings that I’m doing for these skateboards. I began with those in 1967. And I really got big at it around 1972–73, I was doing the faces, like these ones. I was doing these way back in the seventies and they are not totally commercial and of course the young people liked them. These paintings are somewhat of my characteristic styles. And they lend themselves to this exhibit. But then I also got to a point, where I couldn’t paint these kinds of faces anymore.
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And now we’re making you do a whole lot of them … I’ve been at it since I got the assignment. I cleared up all those other paintings, which took about two weeks and for the last three months I’ve just been on skateboards every day. Learning a great deal and loving it. I got to love it. I hit a point, where I can’t do them anymore, so now I have to do my whimsical side, which would be like just this last dozens, where kids would look at them and say: ›Oh look dad, it’s an elephant with a little blue cap on.‹ It’s an animal that’s flying in the air … I don’t know what it is, but it makes me happy. So I’m happy to work on these. Good you are having fun. So much of art, whether an artist realizes or not, is autobiographical. It’s about how you are feeling. The artist doesn’t even realize it. It’s really gutsy to be an artist, because you are exposing yourself. You’re saying: ›This is my soul!‹ You have to be a little courageous, but more than that, a little crazy to be going through this. That’s how I see it. So these paintings
reflect one of my major periods of art, then also the whimsical side of me. You say paintings, – when other people may see skateboards? I treated these skateboards like canvases. I couldn’t do it any other way. I just have to look at it and see what I see and how I’m feeling. That is, what comes out! So I treated them boards like I treat canvases. The only way I could get it. What were your other creative periods over time? And how did they differ from one another? In 1964 I was still doing the beautiful romantic series and then by 1967 – 68 there was just wild faces. This was a crazy time. The Vietnam War was going on with its protests. I got out of the service a few years before in 1964. We were the good guys. Everything was beautiful and my paintings were romantic. But everything changed from 1967 on. That’s when I realized these things were coming out. And I found myself
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laughing at these crazy faces. I didn’t want to think about what they meant. But they made me laugh and I wanted to keep painting them. This was the second phase of my artistic career. Years later it lightened up and turned into more of a Disney approach, ‘cause I was trying to be more accessible and experiencing a little more happiness in my own life. So the paintings became happier, since they were painted happier. Then I had other periods, when I did a speed painting thing: I recorded myself painting as fast as I could on videotape and just put some of it on Vine. Just to see what came out of the subconscious. Other periods were the Blitzorro series, in which I had a kid doing the work. Because street art was getting so big, I thought: ›Hey, I’m 72 ! And I’ll show those kids how to do it.‹ I also explored a collage period, which has been real big with me. The skateboards represent the work of the late ’60 s and ’70 s. And I just had a kick. Once I got into it I had a wonderful time and learning experience doing it and I like to thank you for that. Because once you are flowing with these, you move right up to the regular painting on canvas. Is there anything you’d like to change? I would really like some art shows, and I even had some projects in mind that you cannot do unless something big happens in the art world. I would love to teach art to kids on TV by going around to the major museums and have my little collage figures jump into the paintings and say:
›Hi kids! I’ll explain this painting to you.‹ And just spontaneously go through the artists and kick it home. That is a project I have in mind. But you have to have a name to do these things. You have to have a name to publish your collage books. You have to have a name for the museum to accept a painting, blah blah blah. Those are still my dreams and I’m still young! I’m only 27 plus 50 ! (laughs) You still look young. Because I have been doing the same thing for all this time. I’m the same, except, I would say, I got wiser every day and every year, which is a wonderful thing. When you are young, your mind is not yet formed and you’re able to do half-crazy things. I had a real tough time, like many of us do. But we all do get wiser and treat things differently – involving more love – as we learn with time. Now there is a show for you coming up in Berlin! Have you been to Germany? No, just at the border. My only connection was in college; I then wanted to be able to read Kafka in the original language. I do love languages, their sounds. And I love studying them. I’m really looking forward to what you have planned for me, there in Berlin.
And we are looking forward to you have you over there – First YOU take Berlin!
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OPEN WALLS Gallery, Schröderstr. 11.1, 10115 Berlin Vernissage Wednesday 29.06.2016 6pm – 10pm 30.06. – 10.07.2016 Daily 12pm – 6pm
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the girl of Stuff
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Hey Tracy, please introduce yourself shortly and tell us what should people know about you? My name is Tracy Gray; I’m an analogue visual artist, zine-maker, collector and purveyor of all manner of weird and wonderful things, which in turn, has anointed me with the AKA ›The Girl of Stuff‹. I am also a post contributor for Girls Skate UK. Main fields of activities? I shoot on 35mm with my collection of old 90s point & shoot cameras, favourites being my Olympus Mju and Konica Big Mini. I love using Lomography Chrome Purple and Turquoise films (the flipped colourways are always exciting to see), as well as good old-fashioned cross processing of Colour Slide film too. There’s something about analogue photography that you just can‘t replicate in a digital format … and the excitement of never truly knowing what’s on the film until you’ve developed them, has kept me hooked for a good couple of decades. I’ve also started producing zines this last year. My first being GETSTUFFED!, a loose collection of photographs,
sticker pack in a hand screen-printed pizza box. I had an exhibition at Parlour Skate Store in East London, which was hella rad! Massive turnout and good party vibes (they carried on partying at the opening night until around 5 in the morning, whilst I was tucked up in bed by 2 am). Art embedded in the urban environment and work on textiles and other hardware goods. What’s the difference? Art is everywhere. Whether it be organic forms in nature, dance, sculpture, architecture, fashion, graphic design, product design, music, cultural heritage … whatever! Art is also subjective, so what I call ›art‹ you may not and vice versa. I’m currently obsessed with Brutalist architecture, which is considered ugly or an eyesore to many. The Barbican estate in London is one of favorite places to spend a day shooting photos; finding interesting angles & perspectives, checking out the plants in their conservatory (second biggest in London, the largest being Kew Gardens), visiting exhibitions at the Barbican
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Centre or just finding a quiet spot to chill. It really is a truly remarkable place, a city within a city and solely pedestrian. No cars, no bikes, no scooters or skateboards. On which projects you are working currently? From the past: Which projects should be mentioned? Currently I’m getting prepped for the Shitfoot Mongoland trade show in Berlin at the end of this month. I’m going to be working with Lovenskate. So if you’re in town, swing by (bring beer) and say hallo! I recently collaborated with artist & illustrator Eloise Dörr on a project we named ›623‹. Short for six & two three’s, in which I shot urban landscapes for Eloise to
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paint her skateboarding silhouette characters directly onto the photographs. We also produced a zine to accompany the artworks and had an exhibition at Jungbusch in Neukölln, Berlin. It was a super fun process of finding locations that would generally be out-of-bounds for skateboarders (again, Brutalist estates across London were perfect for this) and turning them into our very own fantasy skate spots. One of the images in the zine is of the National Theatre’s stairwell. We flipped the image upside-down to create slopes for skating as opposed to the concrete ceiling, which for obvious reasons would not be possible in ›real life‹.
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Does commercialisation set boundaries for the freedom of art? Most certainly. I’ve recently moved out of London, because it wasn’t financially sustainable for me to live, work and create there. Big business and soaring rents have pushed a lot of creatives further afield, then with the added pressure of an outdated, slow, overstretched yet hyper-expensive transport system … It was time for me to leave. I hardly recognize certain areas of my beloved city anymore. The one thing that has actually become more expensive since living outside of London has been the developing & processing costs for 35 mm film, it’s more than double-the-price. So that has had a knock-on effect on my creative process. Everything is a little slower out here in the Kent countryside. Which criteria from your perspective define a good piece of art? It’s gotta be something I can connect with, that makes me feel something emotionally. I’m drawn to bright
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colors and visually stimulating works. Barry McGee, Bridget Riley, Camille Walala, Jim Lambie, Grayson Perry and Yayoi Kusama are just some of the artists that excite me. Your thoughts on two topics: First, mass customization vs. unique pieces of art; second, I Mac vs. brush and ink. All have merit, but I definitely have more of a leaning towards the unique, hand-made, hand-crafted, DIY approach. Computer technology came a little too late into my education as a kid, so I think that’s why I’m so comfortable with analogue photography as my outlet. Photoshop takes me an age to get my head round, so it’s easier for me to make things with my hands as much as possible. I envy the kids nowadays that can do it all with their eyes closed. It’s just a generational thing I guess. I remember berating my parents not being able to set the VHS record timer when I was younger, when my siblings and me could do it without even thinking.
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The time consuming process of creation of art and the speed of the 24/7 social media. How could this work together? Where do you see opportunities, what about critical aspects? I use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, SnapChat almost daily. They are great ways to promote and get your work seen by a bigger audience and also to connect with like-minded people and share new ideas. I find the like-for-like culture of let’s say Instagram to be a little off-putting though, as well as the whole selfie craze. Seeing younger people wanting to emulate vacuous online ›celebrities‹ for nothing more than the way they look, makes me kinda sad also. I try to use these platforms in a positive way, there’s nothing worse than seeing someone complaining daily about trivial things online. It can become all-consuming, if you let it take over. There’s a big world out there … Go out and enjoy it!
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I have an amazing bunch of talented friends who inspire me to create new work; Artists and jewellers Elfin
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and StrangeFruit London. Artists and illustrators Lucas Beaufort, Sara & Moonia Parson-Texas, Eloise Dörr, Sonja Vulpes, Olivia Skalkos and StefanMarx. Graphic artists Camille Walala and Lakwena. Photographers and zine-makers Sergej Vutuc, Nick JS Thompson, Tadej Vaukman, BenGore and Jenne Grabowski. Skateboard companies Blast Skates, Radio Skateboards, Horse Skate Co. and Lovenskate. Bryce & Carl at Parlour Skate Store, Nick at The Palomino and Danni over at Girl Skate UK . Biggest influences in my life are my ›big bro‹ Stuart Smith (creator/owner of Lovenskate) and Lars Greiwe. Without their continuing support both mentally and physically, I‘m not sure where I’d be! Huge thanks and Dankeschön boys. Thanks a lot for your time. Thanks for having me.
Interview: Joachim Offenbacher
Where do you get your inspirations? Who inspires you? I’m continually inspired everyday from the music I listen to, the food I eat, the places I travel to, the things I see and the people I meet. For my GET STUFFED! project for example, I had been toying with the idea of making a zine for a while before. But I didn’t want to produce something that was in someway constricted by binding or staples. The inspiration came from seeing a bunch of school kids outside one of the many dodgy take-away shops in London (a pretty banal and everyday occurrence), eating out of these mini individual pizza boxes and that’s how the idea was born to package my photographs and make the GET STUFFED! pizza-zine.
www.thegirlofstuff.tumblr.com @thegirlofstuff www.eloisedorr.com/623/
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so isabel, may i kindly ask to shortly introduce yourself? I’m a 30 something freelancer, living and working in London. I work in many mediums but they all go under my artist name ›Elfin‹. main fields of activities? My main income is jewelry. I sell my designs via The Great Frog in London, LA and New York. Besides that I’m also a working Artist; exhibitions, live painting events, t-shirt graphics, shoe customization, you name it. I work in spray paint for large walls; ink for graphics/prints and more recently have started painting in oils. art embedded in the urban environment and work on textiles and other hardware goods. What’s the difference? The differences are endless depending what’s under discussion. It’s not safe to assume one involves money and the other doesn’t; I’ve done walls, which have paid well, and graphics, which haven’t. We could talk about how it feels to put something out there for the masses and relinquishing ownership, but that happens in both areas too. Is it a discussion about legalities? I would say there are pros and cons to both commercial and urban artwork. That question is a real curve ball for me! They’re both for the masses; they can both make money. I can’t tell you the difference, I’m sorry! on which projects you are working currently? from the past: Which projects should be mentioned? There are things in the works that are exciting for both artwork and jewelry, but it needs keeping under wraps right now (the jinx is REAL!). However, here are a few things I’ve been up to of late. Mid May I exhibited in a group show, the ›13‹ Exhibition in Soho. I went to town inking a tarot card design (I’d love to do an entire set). The show’s down now, but do check out The Circle on Noel Street, there’s always rad art on display. Jewelry-wise The Great Frog have just launched my new bangles and ring designs which I›m super stoked about. Most recently I painted in the London Chapter of this years Meeting of Styles in Shoreditch. The scale is so massive, beautiful contrast to working on jewelry. And lastly; I’ve signed up to an Oil Painting course, which starts in July, which I’m excited for. Learning/improving is really important to me.
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Does commercialization set boundaries for the freedom of art? Yeah. It’s not something you can easily remove yourself from in the online age. But you can over think these things. Bear in mind that if you’re successful in some way, you will inspire others but how that manifests itself is out of your control. Basically if you want your work to be seen, you can’t chose who sees it. I don’t have a problem with choosing what I make and for whom, but more issues with artists being told they relinquish ownership once posted online, but that’s a conversation for another time. Which criteria from your perspective define a good piece of art? That’s the same as asking what music I’m into, tough question! Let’s skip my personal taste and boil it down to this; I’d say there needs to be a genuine passion for what’s being created, and couple that with time and effort and I’ll respect it. It doesn’t have to be something I would buy/want for me to appreciate it. Your thoughts on two topics: First, mass customization vs. unique pieces of art; second, I Mac vs. brush and ink. I’d say I’ve been more involved in unique pieces but that’s not necessarily true, just more of me goes into those; they’re memorable. Back in the day I customized shoes for Reebok at Bread and Butter Barcelona; that was a ›golden ticket‹ situation where shoes would be gifted together with customization, naturally those people were stoked. More recently and more regularly I’ve customized shoes for Vans in store and even without getting free shoes, creating one off pieces are special because you’re tailoring one on one with that individual in mind. It’s super satisfying. I’ve done graphics for t-shirts for a few companies and have enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t call it mass customization, that kind of sounds like an oxymoron. As for iMac vs. brush and ink, you might have guessed I’m a
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paint/pen/spray/silver/hammer kind of girl. That said I did try out a tablet and stylus the other day. It’s a very efficient tool, and there’s no mess. I think that’s what’s missing for me; it’s not tactile enough. I do use my computer to print ready images and edit photos but it might be quite some time before I produce digital illustrations.
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The time consuming process of creation of art and the speed of the 24/7 social media. How could this work together? Where do you see opportunities, what about critical aspects? Well first off, I think generally people have taken like ducks to water with it. My brain really digs the predominance of pictures and how much information can be conveyed so compactly and easily. It doesn’t change anything in terms of how I make or how often I create stuff. Personally I think if you try and speed up, force an idea for the sake of looking busy, you might just end up watering down your content. I think pressure to ›keep up‹ in that way comes from within, I feel it sometimes and I resist. I find less is more, but saying that, I do enjoy seeing others progress shots of epic work. Everyone finds their own pace. Of course I’ll document my work and post it, as it leads to more work, but I like to keep creating the main focus. I find it’s good to stay offline for a few days at a time otherwise it can get a bit overwhelming.
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Where do you get your inspirations from? Who inspires you? The weirdest places. The other week I saw a jet-black slug with skin like crushed velvet. Who knows what I’ll do with that kind of inspiration, but it’s there, bouncing around in my head. As for people, I aspire and look up to people I know who have been kind enough to show me their passion, their skills. Twelve years ago, when I first arrived to London from Kent, I knew I wanted to be a freelance artist, and would never have had the courage or skill to do so without my good friends at Lovenskate (for hooking me up with Vans jobs), Strangefruit (for showing me how to make jewelry), Rockwell House (for spraying walls with me when none else would), and Miss Led (for showing me the ways of freelance illustration). You guys fricken rock. Thanks a lot for your time. Interview: Joachim Offenbacher A R T I S T — 136 —
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jacket: Augustin Teboul art shield: »This is Art« by FJBaur
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by Tobias Wirth photographer/production: TOBIAS WIRTH all art pieces: FJBAUR styling: FABIANA VARDARO @ BASICS BERLIN hair: KIM KEUSEN make up: YVONNE WENGLER model: TATIANA CHECHETOVA @ M4 MODELS photography assistant: LINDA HANSES styling assistant: ALEXANDRA CIBOTARU
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jacket: Paige | shorts: Levi’s polo shirt: Fred Perry | socks: Stance shoes: Cheap Monday red bangle: a piece of art by FJBaur
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coat: BLK DNM | dress: BLK DNM shoes: Kiomi | bag: a piece of art by FJBaur
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bomber: Valentine Gauthier bra: Intimissimi | trousers: MTWTFSS Weekday | shoes: Nike headpiece: a piece of art by FJBaur
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bomber: Cheap Monday | trousers: Cheap Monday tank top: Nike | shoes: Ivyrevel backpack: a piece of art by FJBaur s h o o t — 143 —
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parka: Adidas | top: Adidas shorts: Adidas shoes: Adidas background installation: a piece of art by FJBaur
body: Asos | jumper: Uniqlo | jacket: Uniqlo | shoes: Adidas socks: stylist’s own | earring: a piece of art by FJBaur
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jacket: Cheap Monday | dress: Hendrik Vibskov shoes: Cheap Monday | mask: a piece of art by FJBaur
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leather jacket: UNIQUE | turtleneck: Uniqlo jeans: BLK DNM | shoes: Zign sculpture: a piece of art by FJBaur
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The Look of Record Covers
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Already in school the German artist Stefan Marx followed his passion for skate culture and the art of painting deeply. As a teen he launched his own T-shirt label Lousy Livin, whose shirts and other garments have been a canvas for his artistic work until today. Besides using the t-shirt as an art form his artistic universe grown steady. He conducted books of his art, he exhibited solo and in groups in galleries around the world, produced countless little magazines of his work, painted flyers and posters for friends or illustrated skateboards and cloth for brands like the Hamburg based clothing label Cleptomanicx. Many of his droll line drawings of people, animals, machines and landscapes also found their way on vinyl record covers for releases of his friend DJ and producer Lawrence as well as for the Hamburg based labels Smallville and Fuck Reality and the Tokyo based label Mule Musiq. To find out more about his art works for the music culture Stw2d talked to the North Germany artist that constantly transforms all he feels and sees on planet earth into minimal paintings with a maximum sublimeness. Hello Stefan, can you introduce yourself to us shortly? My name is Stefan Marx, *1979, I live & work in Hamburg! How did it happen that you create cover artworks for labels like Mule Musiq or Smallville? How are you connected to these labels? It all started pretty much with my very first cover artwork for my friend Rajko Mueller alias Isolée. He was asking me in 2004 if I would like to contribute the artwork for his long awaited release » We Are Monster « on the label Playhouse from Offenbach, Germany. I was very excited about this, loved his music and the label and got in touch with Ata Macias, one of the founders and art director of Playhouse. I got Rajko’s and Ata’s full support. The release got massive attention worldwide, as it is such masterpiece of Isolée. Mule Musiq got in touch soon after, as Toshiya Kawasaki, the man behind the label, invited Ata and Isolée to Tokyo and saw my work. Then I started to work on several releases with Toshiya, he became a friend and we see us regularly in Berlin or Tokyo. Then in 2005, three friends of mine, Stella Plazonja, Julius Steinhoff and Peter Kersten (alias Lawrence) started Smallville Records, a record store in Hamburg, which turned into a label later, too. I drew the logo and typography, and later I did flyers, poster, and after the decision was made to publish music also the record covers. Last year we founded Fuck Reality, a little sister label of Smallville. How much do your drawings reflect the music on the records you do cover art works for? It depends I think. When I look at the trilogy I just completed with Lawrence on Mule Musiq, the connection is quite strong, but I think it is a very personal connection, which isn’t really obvious for the listener/onlooker … I never try to » illustrate « the music. It is more about my very personal addition for the visual side of the release. I think the listener can all make it up, that’s one of the most fantastic parts of doing record covers. Very often I just want to do this drawing for a record cover, and it fits somehow. With Smallville, I do look also at the covers before the release just to keep it strong in the series and the catalogue numbers. How long do you listen to an album or EP in advance, before you start to think about its artwork? Sometimes I get it quite early that is the case when the musicians are my friends. But very often I have the chance to listen to it after the mastering, when we don’t have much time to finish the art. Do you give artists or labels several layouts to choose? Yes, I do this sometimes, quite often with Mule Musiq. If you have a preference, the best is just to send one! I learned to avoid this kind of struggle over the years, so I’m quite happy with my outcome.
You mostly work with black and white motives. Is this your favourite way to express music in art? I did a lot of colourful artworks too. Mostly all Smallville LPs are with colour. We decided at the very beginning to do all the 12inch EPs in black and white, as my work is mostly not coloured, and it is also cheaper to produce the sleeve. It refers to my artist books somehow too, the process of doing zines and artist books on the black and white photocopy machine. Was music a big influence on your work already before you start to do cover art works? And if so: how? Yes, music is always a big part of my general influence. I loved to look at cover artworks when I was real young. The music in Skateboard videos was influential and educational. I finished my first record sleeve very late. I did hundreds of T-Shirts and also many Skateboard designs before, the three Ephemera items I really loved and still love. In 2004 I thought 12inch record covers will die, and I’m just too young to work constantly in this field. Luckily I was wrong. Did you ever hand out an artwork to a musician or producer and he used it to get inspired for his music? I don’t really know in detail, but my friend Peter Kersten aka Lawrence often uses track titles after my drawings. And also his latest release » Yoyogi Park « was influenced by my 360 degree drawing of the park in Tokyo. Doing covers for Lawrence is one of my favorite things to do, for Smallville or Mule, as Peter is very distinctive in a very amazing way regarding our common process of compiling his or better, our covers. For example the cover for his ambient record » A Day in the Life « was such a perfect match for us both. I’m always very happy to work with him, as I love his music and the way of playing music to others as a DJ so much. Another example is the recent release of Christopher Rau on Smallville » Yamato «. It is the name of the transport company Yamato, a very special one in Japan. I love the logo so much and drew a version during my last trip to Tokyo in January 2016. Christopher loved it and we decided to do his release with it and he named the record after the drawing. What is your personal opinion on artworks for record covers? Is it a canvas for you? A record sleeve is so much more than a packaging. It is a skin and the haptic aspect of music. It also works as a visual for melodies and feelings, thoughts and compositions. It is by definition a place to put art, to advertise the music inside, somehow. I love the fact that it is cheap and multiplied in a high number. When Smallville Records started we thought of seeing the record sleeve more as an art-edition and a space for my drawings and not so much as a space to advertise the music inside with producer name and album titles. I prefer to write all the information on the back of the record, not letting the information distract the cover art.
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Are there people out there who are fans of your work, but do not like music and buy records just to have your art? I heard of record store customers who buy our releases just for the cover. Our release » The Dead Sea « on Smallville 25 was all about art on and in record 12inch covers. I do buy record covers by other artists without interest in the music, too. Did you ever think about doing an exhibition only with your cover artworks? I think this could be fun. I try to keep all the original art I used for record covers. Only sometimes I sold the originals but only to people and friends so I can borrow these after for a show. What are three records that fit perfectly to what you have drawn? So hard to choose, but I try! 1. » A Day in the Life « by Lawrence on Mule Musiq 2. » Flocking Behaviour « by Julius Steinhoff on Smallville 3. » Manhattan « by Lawrence on Smallville
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What are three records, who’s cover artwork matches perfect to the music in your opinion? There are so many great record covers of course. I will list my very subjective and beloved ones, not quoting the records, which show up normally in such a list Pavement: Wowee Zowee (Matador) – Art by Steve Keene, who always paints a multiple amount of the same painting. All Wesley Willis self-published records – Wesley Willis drawings of the Chicago City landscapes, big love …! V.A.: Mata La Pena (Mississippi Records) – a compilation by the Portland based label Mississippi Records. The drawing is by Chris Johanson. Chris is such a great artist and this cover drawing is just perfect for a compilation I think. On what future projects you are working currently? These days I prepare an exhibition that will take place at Gallery Karin Guenther in Hamburg. It will be about small landscape drawings and bigger type drawings. And I work on several artist book ideas. I want to have them ready for the New York Art Book Fair by Printed Matter, which takes place in September every year. Regarding covers, I just send the new Smallpeople EP off to the printer, finished the Fuck Reality 03 release and work on the upcoming ones. Can you name us three musicians or producers for whom you would like to do a cover arts work once? I think this is my favorite question and I need to extend the list to 5. A long time favorite musician and poet is Will Oldham. He is so inspiring and influential, working for and/or with him would be definitely a height of my life. For Mac Demarco I did all handwritten typography for his albums » Salad Days « and » Another One « both out on Captured Tracks. And as I love his music so much, a cover drawing would be finally very amazing. The there is the Japanese Maher Shalal Hash Baz ensemble. It was introduced to my by Peter Kersten and since then I always connect drawings to their music. They are very inspirational and fantastic. Furthermore I recently discovered Will Toledo of the Seattle based project Car Seat Headrest, and as a fresh fan I would like to work with him, yes! And last but not least for my friend Stefan Kozalla aka DJ Koze. I would love to contribute a cover drawing. I need to tell him again. www.s-marx.de Text & Interview: Michael Leuffen
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What’s up? How are you doing? I’m good. Just hanging out in LA, watching Basketball, shooting Skateboarding and spending some time with my friends. No complains at all. Any cool projects you are currently involved? I’m currently involved in a lot of projects. So we are waiting for the second drop of Bravo backpacks, I just started a hat company called ABC together with Andrew Reynolds and Marc Johnson starting out from Baker Boys Distribution. The stuff is gonna be released middle of June. It’s a lot of fun. We have different styles to what you can find out there, we’re having more fun with our own designs than serious designs. I’m also still involved shooting for the Skateboard Mag. We just teamed up with the Berrics which gives us a lot of resources video and website wise. As our issue is dedicated to art: What is art for you and how it influenced you? Anything that makes you stop and think about it, that causes you to think about mentally and emotionally. Art is something that one person creates on his own. There are many different mediums of art, it could be music, and it could be anything of interest. Functional documentation aspects of photography vs. art aspects - how you deal with it? We are artists to some degree, but we need a subject or person to work on, that’s what differentiates us from an artist. A painter can just paint, so I think we are just photographers. I just shoot what I can shoot. I try to make every photo something special and which people will remember and love. Whether it’s Skateboarding, a basketball match or a musician, my goal is to make each photo as beautiful and great as I can, regardless of what it is I’m shooting.
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Which projects do you like the most? My favorite is a little bit of everything. I have a lot of things I’m involved in. I’m a partner in a bar, a beer company and a coconut water company, which is coming up. So it is a lot of different stuff. I just try to make the best out of everything, so it’s hard to say what is my favorite. I don’t like to do things halfway, if I do it; my motivation is to do something great. I’m at the moment trying to really focus on the things I have running to get the best out of it. Also concerning my commercial shootings. Creating a good piece of art vs. the 24/7 speed of the social media. Always try to use the mediums for your advantage. Social media is a business; I also try to not take it so seriously, let the Internet work for you not otherwise. You cannot bring lots of people to attend an art show, but you can tell them about it.
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I put everything out to the Internet, so it’s all public. The point is to realize how to make social media work for you to build up your plan. For example a small water company is not using marketing tools anymore, it’s using social media. Maybe for bigger companies on the other hand this approach will not work, so it depends on the situation. It is a great way to build things and to communicate. For me as a photographer it’s to ultimate platform to get photos out and reach people. It’s amazing to see that I shot a photo and getting people to see it right away. I grew up in the print media era, from which I think it’s still a great medium, but the internet and social media are there and will be there in the future, you cannot ignore it, so use it for your advantage. Direct people to places where you want them to go, tell them what you want to tell them. Skateboarding culture in general as a form of art. Skateboarding is in the streets and it’s always gonna be in the streets. Contests are going to take it away from being in the streets, towards Skateparks and the Street League, but for me, Skateboarding is still in the streets. Take Fucking Awesome or Supreme and those videos, there a so many kids stoked about it. Skateboarding will be always about being outdoors, there are all things around like for example bumps that Skaters encounter in the streets. That’s what makes it fresh and keeps it moving, it will always be that way. The culture is about being outside in the streets, getting kicked out of spots, that’s what makes it different and fresh.
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A good day… for me is having a great photo shoot on a commercial level, go out shooting a good trick, hanging out with my friends, sitting at home playing music, hanging out with my dog Skateboarding… should always be fun My camera… is my favorite thing in the world to have with me. I will take photos if I get paid for it or not. Never forget… to stay positive and tell your friends and family you love them Photography… allows you to meet so many people, to see the world Bravo… shows hopefully a real good backpack that you will like Thanks for your time and cooperation.
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www.atibaphoto.com www.bravocoworldwide.com www.theskateboardmag.com
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Photography: Kevin Couliau Art Direction/Production: Niels Jäger & Tith Kotsambat Models: Rell Watson, »Badchieff« Darouiche as well as Porter »What’s Gravity« Mayberry & Jordan »Flight« Southerland, Justin »Jus Fly« Darlington of Dunk Elite
by Poetry in motion Kevin Couliau The K1X »Uncoachable« series
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In terms of free-flowing creativity, no team sport compares to the game of basketball, where artistic »moves« are the hallmark of every exceptional player - and often referred to as »poetry in motion«.
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For this arty issue, we asked our friends at basketball brand K1X to showcase their new fall/winter collection »Uncoachable«, by singling out some of the game’s most expressive moments.
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Loaded with technical features like ultra light, breathable, quick dry and 360° active stretch materials, K1X’s latest series of performance gear and footwear hits the shelves from august 2016 on and get available at cool streetwear dealers worldwide.
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All images got created in New York by streetball documentarist Kevin Couliau. www.kevincouliau.com www.k1x.com
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©2014 Vans Inc. Photo: Taylor Bonin
©2014 Vans Inc. Photo: Taylor Bonin
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