It's been so long since I covered anything at Haunch of Venison that I almost forgot about it. That is until I checked out the current show up at their London gallery by Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie entitled Darkness for an Hour.
While I have to admit, I find some of the Duchamp and other art historical references to be just a little trite and not the best of his work, overall, the mood, the palette, and the subject matter of Ghenie's work is amazing. Like everything else I'm into these days, it's dark dark and more dark.
The exhibition demonstrates Ghenie's ongoing exploration of the medium of paint, and his enduring fascination with European history, addressed through ideas relating to memory, trauma and extremism.
The sources for Ghenie's images are derived from a combination of his own memories and from historical books, archives and films. While Ghenie often engages with specific and emblematic images and moments in twentieth century history - the death of Stalin, the Hollywood comedy stars Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the art collection amassed by Herman Goering during the second World War, or the infamous Dada fair of 1920 Berlin.
Guess who found a (new) band that kinda rocks? All I'll say is that if cool stuff keeps coming out of LA, I may have to tone down my anti LA sentiment a bit. I probably won't, but it sounded good, right?
I don't know what to say exactly, but it's a little math rock, a little droney stoner at times, and reminds me a bit of Battles and early Secret Machines, but their sound is pretty unique. It's hot.
InSound has a little bio on these guys. Check it out: Stemming from a D.I.Y. noise scene based around the downtown L.A. art space The Smell, Health make mathy indie rock with tribal drums, squealing guitars, asymmetrical basslines, and a homemade guitar pedal/microphone called a Zoothorn. As a four-piece led by Jacob Duzsik, the band played its first show after practicing together for six months, and after a short tour started making a go in L.A., playing ten-minute sets with likeminded local bands like Ex Models, No Age, and Mika Miko.
After a few more tours and a slot at SXSW, they returned to home base and started recording their debut album at The Smell. Capturing the cavernous brick acoustics with vintage microphones, Health featured a unique brand of aggressive and concise songs, and was released by Lovepump Records in 2007.
So last week was a little insane. I'm still shocked at how many emails I got about the Stephen Sprouse edition of LE BOOK. I know people consider it a collector's edition, but ya'll are crazy!!
This week, I got my hands on a hot black tee (retail value $99) by Australian indie brand Ksubi.
If for some reason you don't live on this planet, aka you've never heard of Ksubi: Created in 2000, Dan Single and George Gorrow (who spent most of their spare time surfing and playing in a band), were unsatisfied with the range of jeans on the market and couldn't find pairs that fit properly. Under the name Tsubi, they started manufacturing their jeans and denim. Remember they had to switch their name because of some legal issues?!? I think Ksubi's way hotter anyway.
Read teh full Wiki here and check out their site, not that you'll find anything relating to their line there. To check out styles from the line, check out Oak, where you can see pics of the Black Mesh Tee I have for you this week.
Pieces from the Spring/Summer 2009 menswear collection of Bulgarian born Petar Petrov have just arrived at Oak.
Says Jargol: Bulgarian designer Petar Petrov began to present his collections in Paris while training at the University of Applied Arts, Department of Fashion, Vienna. Before going full-time into fashion design, Petar Petrov made costumes for advertising campaigns and music videos, working at Wendy & Jim, "Be A Good Girl" and "Pirouzi."
Petrov's menswear consists of contemporary sportswear mixed with splashes of neon and the occasional graphic or smiley face to create a fashionable "club kids" vibe. Read more on Jargol, where you'll also find videos of Petrov's runway shows from past collections.
Don't miss this interview with the designer in Metal #13. Check out Petrov's site, where you'll find pics of mens and womenswear collections as well as runway footage.
Brooklyn's semi-annual audio magazine -- Journal of Popular Noise -- has a new issue coming out 06.01.09 featuring work by Andrew W.K., Ian Svenonius, and Walker and Cantrell.
Unlike the previous editions, issues 13-15 will be released in two versions: the Letterpress Edition and the Zine Edition.
The Letterpress Edition will continue in the form employed in previous editions. One large format, 14.25" x 21.5" letterpress printed broadside is hand folded to contain the three 7" vinyl records. Numbered edition of 100 copies available.
The Zine Edition takes the form of an 8 page, saddle-stiched booklet. It contains the same content as the letterpress version but is complimented by photography from Roe Etheridge and others, as well as expanded editorial content. Numbered edition of 400 copies.
Best part? It's going to be available at Asia Song Society's latest venture Everything Must Out Going, a popup featuring all artist multiples and publications.
In addition to sneakers, shorts, and shoes, I'm now currently addicted to sunglasses. Lord knows why: New York is like London this spring. We know the sun is up there, but it's not shining much these days.
If you've never heard of German eye and sunglass line Mykita, you're missing out. Check out this super chic all white Daniel style I'm currently into. The reinforced hinge on that side is so sturdy, even I couldn't break them.
White Daniel wayfarer type sunglasses from Mykita's No.2 Collection. Lenses are a dark gradient and arms have a cut out graphic on the hinge. These glasses give 100% UV protection.
Arms are 5.2" long from the hinge and glasses measure 5.6" across the brow, nosepad is standard width. Frames are made from acetate and hinges are 'snap hinge', making a smooth transition from sunglasses to temples.
Available at oki ni. Make sure to check out all the style available while you're at it. Daniel also comes in black for anyone who's into that.
The thing I love most about Yayoi Kusama is that she -- by choice -- lives in a mental hospital in Tokyo and has a studio down the street where she continues to work. Artists are often thought to be crazy and, not only does she admit it, but she embraces it. Oh, and let's not forget, her work is sick. Who else would make huge fiberglass sculptures of pumpkins and cover them with black polka dots?
If you're a fan like I am, stop by Gagosian on 24th Street to check out Yayoi Kusama -- on now through 06.27.09. If you're in LA, you'll want to check out an exhibition at Gagosian there entitled Flowers That Bloom at Midnight. That show opens 05.30 and runs through 07.17.09. The overlapping bi-coastal shows celebrate Kusama's 80th birthday.
This two-part exhibition, which has been several years in the making, Kusama has conceived some astonishing new works, such as Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (2009), a mesmerizing "infinity room" that operates on a system of simple yet ingenious optical devices. In a dark void, a delicate, shimmering mirage unfolds around the viewer, a myriad of gleaming lights that reproduce and reflect endlessly upon each other in golden silence.
I'd be the first guy in line to say: mashups are so over. I mean seriously. Then I heard the latest record by American indie artist Gregg Michael Gillis aka Girl Talk and had to eat my words.
Gillis began making music while studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He produces mashup-style remixes, in which he uses often a dozen or more unauthorized samples from different songs to create a new song; The New York Times Magazine has called his music "a lawsuit waiting to happen," a criticism that Gillis has attributed to a mainstream media that wants "to create controversy where it doesn’t really exist," citing fair use as a legal backbone for his sampling practices.
It's a combination of the seamless way in which Gillis "mashes" the songs together, coupled with the songs he uses (Rod Stewart, Avril Lavigne, Metallica, Elvis Costello, Kelly Clarkson, and Wu Tang?!?) and in what order. It's just plain hot.
I stopped by Odin yesterday on my way to Central Park to see what they have given I walk by at least once daily, but in order not to tempt myself stop in only once or so per month.
At Den -- the permanent pop-up shop to the east of the original shop -- they're having a clearance sale of men's and women's clothing, including an amazing sweater by Victor Glemaud, which is a steal at $119. Get in there before all of the good stuff is gone.
In Odin (sorry ladies I didn't stop in Pas de Deux), there were some great shirts and a really hot navy blazer by Robert Geller, shirts and pants by Nice Collective, and the Trovata tees are only $45 and they're not on sale. This must be recession pricing by Trovata. While I've never bought one of they're tees, I'm almost certain they used to cost around $62 and Odin has bought all the dark and broody styles, which are pretty hot. I also checked out a pair of YSL sunglasses that I want so bad and a pair of shorts by Rag and Bone that I might not be able to live without.
Finally, at the back of the store, where they have the shoes and the fragrances, a friend passed a bottle of Hinoki -- the collaboration scent between lifestyle magazine Monocle and my favorite scent makers Comme des Garçons.
So I don't go to nearly as many shows as I'd like to, but I've made up a list of 10 shows I want to see in the next few months.
Here's the super inside tip and don't tell anyone -- mainly because I can't afford to get tickets until I get paid in a few weeks -- but for some very strange reason, the TV On The Radio show at the Prospect Park Bandshell still has tickets available. Are people just going to go hangout in the park and listen and not worry about paying to get inside the cheap little fence they put up? Should I even bother or just go chill too and not pay the $35/ticket? Either way, given how quickly the Summer Stage show sold out, I was shocked to see that there are still tickets left.
I've heard Big Pink's name thrown around over the past several months, but besides the Gang Gang Dance remix of Velvet that a friend sent to me last month -- which is hot but sounds very different than the original -- hadn't given them much time...until tonight.
I'm listening to the original version of Velvet and, for some reason, I think I've heard it before, but thought it was Panda Bear. Or maybe I'm just mixing it up with something else. Either way, the song is sick and now that I've listened to it 5 times, the Panda Bear connection (vocals for sure) is there, but the Big Pink have a much harder rock n roll edge that accompanies their drugged out, ethereal vocals. If you haven't listened to this track yet, do it now. I'm pretty much obsessed.
So who are Big Pink? According to the Guardian: they're Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell from London and are London's hottest new stars.
I know it's not quite the right time to be thinking about sweaters, wool trousers, and the like, but in case you missed the Fall/Winter 2009 collection by Robert Geller during the whirlwind here in New York we call Fashion Week, I wanted you to have a peak at it now that things have calmed down.
Let's not forget, by the time you've been wearing shorts, tanks, and tees for a month or so, you're going to start to get that craving to wear something substantial again, which is why I plan to pepper Fall/Winter collections on the site throughout the summer. By the time it comes to start adding to your fall/winter wardrobe, you'll have seen so much that you'll know exactly what you want when shipments start arriving in stores in late July through mid August.
Geller, as I'm sure you know, is a former Marc Jacobs intern and one half of the infamous menswear line Cloak before the line dissolved. In 2007, Geller launched his eponymous menswear line for fall/winter and the rest, as they say, is history.
For Fall/Winter 2009, Geller's collection began with an interest in the imperial city of Vienna at the turn of the century.
No matter what anyone says about MySpace, it's the best one stop shopping place to find new music, which is what I was doing the other night when I found Brooklyn indie rap band Das Racist -- a side project featuring Victor Vazquez of another Brooklyn indie band Boy Crisis.
I think these guys smoke a lot of weed. I mean A LOT. My favorite track: Pizza Hut Taco Bell. It's a droning talk rap song about two (stoned) guy looking for each other at a combination Pizza Hut Taco Bell on Jamaica Avenue. Don't hate just yet though, there's serious musical talent here, which is evidenced by songs like Astro Brown, Jungle Fever, and Fake Patois.
This is what they have to say about themselves on MySpace: DAS RACIST IS A WEED EDGE/HARE KRISHNA HARD CORE/ART RAP/FREAK FOLK MUSIC DUO BASED IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, COMPRISED OF QUEENS-BORN HIMANSHU KUMAR AND SAN FRANCISCO-BORN VICTOR VAZQUEZ. THE TWO MET AT BARD ART COLLEGE IN MASSACHUSETTS, WHERE VICTOR WAS HIMANSHU'S RESIDENT ADVISOR IN A "STUDENTS OF COLOR FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE" THEMED FRESHMAN YEAR DORMITORY. Calm down with that all caps thing boys. If I weren't so lazy, I'd retype it, but ...
If you like fake blood, zombies, and naked guys, you're going to love Untitled Hardcore Zombie Project, a solo exhibition by famed indie artist/filmmaker/provocateur Bruce LaBruce, which opens with a peformance at Peres Projects in LA on 05.23.09 and runs through 06.27.09.
LaBruce's most recent film project, Otto; Or, Up With Dead People, which premiered at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals, and went on to be shown at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and other prominent venues around the world, introduced the public to a new genre in the already-expansive vocabulary of LaBruce: horror.
Since the late 1980s, LaBruce has worked in a variety of media, including artist publications, photography, film and cinematography. With his latest project, Untitled Hardcore Zombie Project, which will include a new performance at the opening reception, LaBruce has marked a path to uncharted territory. In his own words:
Zombies and porn. What a beautiful combination. I have been dealing in both genres since the early nineties when I made No Skin Off My Ass, my first sexually explicit feature film, and co-starred in my friend Candy's short film Interview with a Zombie, in which I played a gay member of the undead.
I'm not a huge fan of Chuck Taylors, but like them okay. I just haven't seen anything other than the basic white or black styles that have done much for me until now. Last week I covered an indie rock n roll line out of Tokyo called Overdesign Creation that tricked out some Chucks that I think are hot. Check out that post here.
This week, it's more tricked out Chucks by Brooklyn's Love Brigade to celebrate the release of indie rapper Rob Roy's album King Warrior Magician Lover.
Check out the sneakers on the Love Brigade's blog, where you can buy them for $99. They have a sort of post apocolyptic, Beyond Thunderdome look, which is probably why I think they're hot. These are definitely not your dad's Chuck Taylors and for $99, quite a bargain.
Make sure to check out Love Brigade's site, where you can see images of designs from their latest men's and women's collections.
I've got a copy of the highly coveted, collector's edition Stephen SprouseLE BOOK (retail value $249) to give away in this week's newsletter.
This edition of LE BOOK was done in conjunction with the Stephen Sprouse book that was released in January, the exhibit Rock On Mars @ Deitch, and the custom collection by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton honoring Sprouse.
If for some reason you're not familiar: Stephen Sprouse (1953-2004) was one of the most influential fashion designers of his time and a key figure in the dynamic mix of punk rock, wild style graffiti, and street influenced fashion that characterized the downtown New York community in the early 1980s. He was one of the first to build on the influence of Andy Warhol to create a fusion of art, music and fashion. He continued on a course that disavowed any division among these fields throughout his career.
Read more here in a post I did in January of this year and make sure to check out Sprouse's Wiki for more information on the late designer.
And keep your eyes peeled in tomorrow's newsletter, which you can signup for on the right.
I've been waiting and waiting for a friend who's super busy to send me the latest Maccabees record Wall of Arms. I've been busy too so it wasn't a big deal until tonight when, for some reason, I couldn't wait any longer. Onto iTunes I went to buy it and it wasn't there, which I thought was strange. I didn't, of course, think to go to their MySpace to investigate until after said friend sent me the record one track at a time.
Interesting caveat on iTunes: if a record is only available in the UK, ie on the UK iTunes, you can change iTunes stores and buy it from there. I thought if it was only out in the UK, you could only get it if you're IP address was from the UK or wherever a record was released, but now I know differently.
So I've just had a first listen and the verdict: it's hot.
In case you're not familiar with The Maccabees, check out their Wiki, their official site, which has recently been updated with images, videos, a blog, and other stuff, and their MySpace, where you can test drive a few songs and get tour dates.
I haven't made the jump yet and bought myself a pair of fancy dress shoes, but I'm definitely on the hunt for the hottest ones on the market and keep finding the best ones.
Given I've worn sneakers for so long, I kinda don't know where to begin in actually buying a pair of shoes or how to match them to pants/outfits. So many choices just exacerbates the situation, but I have a feeling it'll be fall before I actually buy anything and, by then, I'll be an expert.
On my short list, the Show Lace Up by Alexander McQueen.
Fine smooth leather lace up shoe with a neon fluoro sole. These shoes are very simply constructed with a long tapered toe in a single panel with matching double stitch detail. Heel is a standard half inch.
The West: Myth, Character, and Reinvention by Andy Warhol
I'm as tired of Warhol as you are. Trust me. The only issue: a lot of his work is pretty amazing and a chance to see more obscure film projects always draws me in.
Through 06.26.09, MoMA has a film series running called The West: Myth, Character, and Reinvention by Andy Warhol that features screenings of three of Warhol's little seen films in the Western vein as he roadtripped from New York to LA to go to a gallery opening. As any diehard Warhol fan knows: he wasn't fond of flying.
In June 1963 Andy Warhol acquired his first silent 16mm Bolex movie camera. Three months later, the artist and a few friends embarked on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles to attend the opening of The Ferus Gallery's exhibition devoted to his silk-screened Elvis canvases. For his first trip to California, Warhol brought along the Bolex and documented the exhibition in what he called a "home movie," Elvis at Ferus (1963).
I can't believe it's finally here: the first section of the much-talked-about High Line will be open to the public as a park. I remember being at a party 10 years ago and hearing about the High Line for the first time. At the time of it's opening, the High Line has teamed up with Creative Time and artist Spencer Finch for its inaugural art commission The River that Flows Both Ways.
Inspired by the light and the water of the Hudson River, The River that Flows Both Ways will transform an existing series of windows with 700 individually crafted panes of glass representing the water conditions on the Hudson River over a period of 700 minutes on a single day. The installation will be placed in a semi-enclosed former loading dock where the High Line runs through the Chelsea Market building, between 15th and 16th Streets, viewable from the street and on the High Line. The work links the movement of the river, viewable from the site, with the historic movement of the railway and the atmospheric conditions of its location on Manhattan's West Side. The piece, with its varied levels of color, translucency, and reflectivity, addresses the impossible search for the color of water.
I'm just back from a few days in SF and while I was there, I checked out a few stores you should know about. First up, Harputs Market (1525 Fillmore Street) in trendy Hayes Valley.
More than thirty years ago Harputs Adidas first opened in Oakland. Over the years, business evolved; Harputs Adidas gave birth to Harputs Market and transitioned from slinging sneakers to providing San Francisco with an outpost for avant-garde and rare designers, stocking names like Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Pleasure Principle, Stephan Schneider, and a line designed in-house called Harputs OWN.
Harputs takes a pragmatic approach to design, concentrating on the development of select "generic" garments (a shift dress, sweater, overall) as statement pieces. Their creative process leans on curiosity and experimentation in conjunction with the various influences that inform our work: how each garment ages, how our customers react, and what new fabric we find. As a result, each piece is part of a communal effort and, thus, always subject to change.
I missed the opening last night, but am excited to check out the X-Initiative and ARTBOOK pop-up up art bookshop.
D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. has been invited by the non-profit curatorial organization X-Initiative to install and operate a bookstore focusing on contemporary art and culture. The store will be called ARTBOOK at X (548 West 22nd Street, between 10 – 11th Avenues), continuing the development of ARTBOOK, a curated art bookstore concept created by D.A.P. with an outpost at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center and recurring installations at The Armory Show, Art Basel Miami Beach and Art LA, among other venues.
ARTBOOK at X opened on Saturday, May 16th, 2009 with an event featuring Kembra Pfahler and The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, celebrating the publication of Pfahler's new monograph, Beautism (published by Deitch Projects and distributed by D.A.P.). The operating hours will be Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm. The bookstore is scheduled to operate through March, 2010.
Sometimes I get something stuck in my head that just won't go away. The hook to my current favorite song, for example: Warm It Up Chris by Kris Kross. Don't ask and I won't tell. I can't believe it took me this long to listen to MGMT. There's just too much music out there. I need someone to send me zip files weekly so I'm more up to date on this stuff. Who's volunteering??
I'm sure you read the post I put up last month announcing that model turned designer and artist David Lindwall's much-awaited, latest collection of tees had finally dropped. And I'm sure you know that I'm obsessed with his tees because they're really hot. So I emailed David and asked if he'd be kind enough to hook me up with one to give away this week and like the cool guy he is, he said "Yes."
For those of you not familiar with Lindwall, here's a little info: David Lindwall was born in the blond and blue-eyed country-(side) in 1982 to a mother forced to continuously alter her outlandishly tall but very skinny boy's clothes. Sick of all that sewing Mother Lindwall informed boy Lindwall that he needed to learn to sew and there in adolescence his fashion education ended. At just 15 Lindwall left home to study chemistry, maths and physics in the city.
His shirts are hot and they sell out of stores like hot cakes. Last collection sold out at Seven in less than a week. They're also carried at Dover Street Market (London), Restir (Tokyo), and I.T (Hong Kong). As soon as I find out the current list of stockists, I'll post it up.
I know what I'm doing this weekend: headed up to the Park Avenue Armory to check out this sick show anthropodino by Brazilian artists Ernesto Neto. Look at these pics and I'm sure you too will get lured into Neto's spider web of fabric and scents.
anthropodino will be Neto's largest work to date and will virtually fill the Armory's expansive Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Using hundreds of yards of diaphanous material, Neto will suspend a gigantic canopy from which large, colorful, and aromatic "stalactites" will descend to within arms reach. On the ground, a series of monumental arches covered in translucent fabric will fit together like a puzzle to create a vast labyrinth of walkways and rooms that invite visitors to step inside the sculpture in which various activities, including presentations and participatory experiences, will take place.
Neto's installation will incorporate the architecture of the Armory itself, and the public will be able to explore the piece from the different perspectives of the drill hall and its interior balcony, interacting with the work from both the ground and from a "bird's eye view."
The thing I love most about New York is all of the amazing art that's everywhere all the time. One of my favorite photographers -- Paul Sepuya -- has work in a show entitled Homebase IV that's currently on view in what used to be medical offices on the LES but has been transformed into a short-term gallery space.
The meaning of 'Home' has become ever more elusive and complex, especially in urban setting and in these times of financial uncertainty. The HomeBase Project is a unique public art project which creates a platform for a multi-disciplinary artistic exploration, by planting itself for two months in the heart of a vibrant urban community, outside of the gallery's 'white box', and by promoting cross-cultural dialogue and a community-based examination of the notion of Home. The result is an unprecedented mixture of unique art projects, live events, textual reflections and cultivation of community which stem from the history and context of the HomeBase site, as well as from a personal perspective of Home. After the great success of HomeBase III which took place in 2008 in Sugar Hill, Harlem, we are now embarking on our journey towards creating HomeBase IV, this Spring 2009, in New York, the Lower East Side.
The coolest part?? During the first phase of the project, each artist occupies a room in the space for three weeks, creating in it a new site-specific installation in various mediums (dance, theater, visual art, video, etc) which relates to the notion of Home.
I'm in desperate need of a new Pleasure Principle t-shirt, especially now that spring has officially arrived. The one I got at Seven last year is still hot, but I'm sick of it. Every time I wear it, though, people go crazy over it. It's just one of those tees.
Check out the charcoal colored Skull + Rabbit Tee from the Brooklyn designers currently available at Bonnie and Clyde's.
As with the rest of the unisex tees from their line, the fit, fabric, and cut are all spot on and the wash is downright amazing. My favorite part, though, is the neckline: I call it a scoop neck, but it's more like a subtly, rounded out, medium deep v-neck. Different enough to be cool, but not so scoopy that it crosses that "is this a girl's shirt or a guy's shirt?" line. Just like everything with Pleasure Principle's tees, it's just right and could be yours for $95 plus shipping and handling.
Don't forget to check out Pleasure Principle's site while you're at it for information on the line, including images from their current and past collections, as well as a list of stockits worldwide.
The London press preview of Stuart Semple's latest show -- Everlasting Nothing Less -- was a hit. The artist and his work have arrived on US soil -- New York to be exact -- to install the pieces for the opening this Saturday 05.16.09 at Anna Kustera. The show runs through 06.20.09. If you've followed Semple's career, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say this is his best work yet, and I'm not just saying that because he's a dear friend. It's really good.
Ever the barometer of popular culture, Semple's new show Everlasting Nothing Less charts the rise and fall of the reproduced image and human created spectacle. In Everlasting Nothing Less he adds a deeper, darker, and intriguingly beautiful dimension.
Semple's painstaking attention to detail in his meticulous hand painting of what at first appear to be machine reproduced silkscreen halftones, not only alludes to mechanization in early examples of pop art but clearly display his preoccupation with retrieving items from mass culture in order to re-humanise them.
You gotta love the Japanese. As fashion -- especially indie and men's fashion -- has progressed over the last 10 or so years, I'm not always as struck by how crazy of weird the Japanese are in terms of dressing as things in the US and Europe have heated up. Especially over the last 5 or so years, the styles coming out of New York and London have more than given Tokyo a run for its money. Sometimes now when I see Japanese, I actually think they're much more conservative than I used to think. Having never visited Tokyo, though, I can't say what goes on there, which I have a feeling is much more crazy.
The thing I do love, though, is the niches that the Japanese market has that just aren't so prevelant here in the US, not even in New York. The crazy, little indie stores and designers that exist and have a huge following in Tokyo couldn't ever make it here for whatever reason.
I'd be the first to say reworked pieces are tired, but these guys aren't just reworking vintage -- but in some cases they do -- they design their own line in addition to reworking some new pieces and have created a ragged, rock n' roll look that transcends the process. I'd have to say their process is much more intricate and their look much more honed that most other designers doing similar work. Motsui works in crushed denim, damaged denim, patchwork jeans, and these really sick reworked Chuck Taylors that you can see in pics below.
After what seems like waiting an eternity since the first single -- 1901 -- was released from Phoenix's first record in a long time, the day has arrived!
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix -- for all of us suckers who haven't managed to get a copy before the official release -- has dropped in digital format in North America today on iTunes. It will be available everywhere in all formats -- vinyl, CD/DVD, Collector's Edition + Deluxe Edition -- on 05.25.09. I'm just about to download it and am sooooooo excited, despite being laid up in bed on a gorgeous spring day. I'll be totally shocked if I'm not completely whipped by this record for the next few weeks. It's the perfect spring music.
If for some reason you don't know who Phoenix are, make sure to check out their official site, which has a sexy new design, their MySpace, where you can test drive a few songs, and see if they'll be visiting your town on tour. Damn! I wish I weren't such a slacker about getting tickets to shows. Both New York shows -- Terminal 5 and Music Hall of Williamsburg -- are already sold out. Maybe next time.
Opus Art has just added a new artist to its roster whose work I've taken an instant liking to.
Laurie Lipton was born in New York and began drawing at the age of four. She was the first person to graduate with honors from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania with a Fine Arts Degree in Drawing. She has lived in Holland, Belgium, Germany and France and has made her home in London since 1986.
Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the USA. Lipton was inspired by the religious paintings of the Flemish School. She tried to teach herself how to paint in the style of the 17th century Dutch Masters and failed.
"I wanted to learn to paint like the 17th century Flemish Masters", she says "but no one could teach me. It was all abstract and conceptual art at my university, so I cut my classes and sat for hours in the library copying Durer, Memling and Van Eyck. I tried to teach myself how to paint in egg-tempera but constantly failed. Finally I developed a way of drawing that mimicked the technique by building up thousands of tiny lines to get a tone. It was an insane way to draw, and took a horrendous amout of time, but I was able to get the same kind of luminous detail that the Flemish painters had achieved."
Up until very recently, the notion of contemporary abstract art wasn't very appealing to me. Not for any particular reason, but partly due to the fact that there wasn't a whole lot of contemporary abstract art in the shows I was seeing in galleries, at least not in New York; and that which I did see wasn't all that appealing to be quite frank.
Something, though, changed in the past 6 or so months. Either I started to become more aware of contemporary abstract art or it suddenly became a bit trendy and now it's popping up all over. Case in point: the forthcoming exhibit at Saatchi Gallery in London entitled Abstract America: New Painting and Sculpture.
Abstract America presents the works of a radical new generation of American abstract painters, whose works surf between fresh cultural expression and postmodernist remix effortlessly, in the face of virtual realities and quicksilver new technologies. The artists are daring and inventive, their strategies broad and exhilarating, their exploration of abstract painting at this critical juncture invaluable.
Looking at the roster of artists involved, I'm shocked to recognize but a few names, although the prospect is exciting, as I get bored seeing the same 12 or so names peppered around in every show.
Arctic Monkeys fans listen up: the band released a DVD -- Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo this past Wednesday that you have to check out. The 76-minute film documents the last performance of the band's acclaimed 2007 world tour, which was at the venerable Manchester Apollo Theatre.
Captured on super 16mm film, Arctic Monkeys at The Apollo is a cinematic feast with impressive, intuitive and confidently held master shots - a film that invites the audience to immerse themselves in the style and force of the British phenoms as they deliver an energetic and impressive live performance in front of thousands of ecstatic fans.
Directed by regular Warp Films music video director Richard Ayoade, captured exquisitely on film by director of photography Danny Cohen (This is England), edited by Nick Fenton (Sigur Ros documentary Heima), and produced by Diarmid Scrimshaw, this is the first ever live Arctic Monkeys performance captured on film.
If you can believe it, I was so busy last Thursday that I missed a free private show by Sweden's The Sounds at Santos who were in town -- as part of a short US tour prior to their huge summer gig opening for No Doubt -- to promote their forthcoming record Crossing The Rubicon.
I first heard of The Sounds last year when a friend sent me a copy of their second record Dying To Say This To You. After listening to it about 1,000 times -- like almost every other MP3 I'd gotten up until that point -- I lost it when my computer got a virus. As I said the other day with Wolfmother, I've been so absorbed with all the other hot bands that have come along in the interim, that I'd kinda of forgotten about these guys until now.
The Sounds are a New Wave band from Helsingborg, Sweden founded in 1999. Their musical style mixes punk and pop/Synth-pop influences. Most songs make integrated use of synthesizers. The group is often compared to New Wave acts such as Blondie, The Cars, the Epoxies and Missing Persons. The Sounds recently wrapped up work on their third studio album Crossing the Rubicon due for release June 2nd, 2009.
I first heard of New York by way of California artist Michael Bilsborough's work a few months back through a friend and really liked his work -- large scale murals and black ink sketches on white paper that combine lots of nudity, sex, and what looks like imagery that has been taken from an architect's sketch pad.
I just got word that Bilsborough has a show coming up at Invisible-Exports entitled The Only Way Out Is Through that I can't wait to check out.
I also dug up a press PDF on the artist's site, which features an interview with Bilsborough by Ana Finel Honigman for Saatchi online done in March 2007.
As Gang of Four sang on the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's movie, Marie Antoinette, "the problem with leisure/ is what to do for pleasure". Twenty-eight-year-old California-born artist Michael Bilsborough provides some elegantly, decadent possibilities.
I forgot how much I like Wolfmother until an email popped into my "Inbox" yesterday announcing that they were back. I guess I wasn't paying attention -- as the months and maybe years flew by in a swirl of indie rock -- but I didn't realize they'd ever gone away. The MP3's from their self-titled first record got wiped from my machine last year when I got a virus illegally downloading music and I haven't listened to them again until now.
I just read their Wiki entry and now it all makes sense: Wolfmother is an Australian hard rock band that formed in Erskineville, Sydney in 2000. Originally comprising vocalist and guitarist Andrew Stockdale, bassist and keyboardist Chris Ross and drummer Myles Heskett. In August 2008, Ross and Heskett left the band due to "irreconcilable personal and musical differences", though Stockdale stated that he would continue using the Wolfmother moniker with new members in the future.
I won't even tell you how long it's been since I bought my wallet. Well, technically, it's not a wallet, but one of those card holders. Wallets are generally too big for my taste. I like the least amount of stuff in puffing up my pockets as I make my way around as possible.
I just came across this really hot, thin wallet by indie UK label Porte Monnaie that I reaaaaaaaly want. It kinda look like a super cool Tyvek wallet, but it's really leather.
Porte Monnaie are the makers of original wallets, comprising innovative and traditional materials in a unique design of minimalist style. Natural, locally sourced russet leather and the paper-like tactility of flash spun high density polyethylene form the back bone of a Porte Monnaie wallet.
The dyes used to colour and decorate Porte Monnaie wallets are natural making it completely recyclable without compromising on quality or style. Hand made in London by craftsmen, and packaged and delivered with care.
I just got word that Sonic Youth is playing a show on Fourth of July Eve at the United Theater.
The venue name didn't instantly click. It took me a minute, but I vaguely remembered Arcade Fire playing some venue way uptown so I googled it to see. Yes, it was the venue for Arcdade Fire's show a year or so back. What I didn't realize is the history behind this place.
The United Palace theater, originally known as Loew's 175th Street Theatre, is one of the Loew's Wonder Theaters in New York City. Located at 175th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, New York City, the theatre was designed by Thomas W. Lamb for vaudeville and movies and opened in 1930.
By the 1960's, as most of the great movie palaces were closing down, the 175th St. Theatre was saved from demolition. The historic theatre was exquisitely restored by the church and is still maintained for concerts. Performances in 2007 included Björk, Iggy and the Stooges and Modest Mouse, The Black Crowes, and The Arcade Fire.
I'm headed out west this week -- San Francisco to be exact -- for the West Coast launch of He loves me. He loves me not., which I've covered a few times since it launched. Check out one of the posts here. For those of you who don't want to click through, here it is again.
New York artist/designer Ju$t Another Rich Kid has teamed up with a small group of the edgiest, more provocative artists and designers around for a project called He loves me. He loves me not. -- a set of 5 custom coke spoons designed by Terence Koh, Nice Collective, Surface To Air, Various Projects, and a piece from Ju$t Another Rich Kid housed in a custom made steel box by Playground.
He loves me. He loves me not. features a silver version of the contraband cokespoon by Ju$t Another Rich Kid that features the golden arches of one well-known American fast food restaurant, a baroque style skull piece with multiple spoons for all you gluttons out there by Surface To Air, the simple, minimal chic piece shown to the right by Various Projects, an old school key with a secret compartment and injesting mechanism by Nice Collective, and a metal credit card sprayed slick with automotive paint to cut up the goods with by Terence Koh.
I'm really getting a lot of mileage out of the trip to Oak I made a few weeks ago. It was my first time in the actual store -- I do a lot of online window shopping in case you can't tell -- and was pleasantly surprised. Not only is the store cool, but their selection of clothing is really hot.
If you're not familiar with the New York store and clothing line Bblessing, you're missing out. Their tees are especially amazing: great fit, details, fabric, and the graphics are always spot on. Priced at $70, you get your money's worth and more. If the Chronicles of Never tee I've been drooling over for the past month or so were priced similarly, I'd have bought it, but $142 is just too much for me to justify for a t-shirt.
There's a few styles at Oak at the moment that you should check out, including the Black Tiger tee.
Worn in washed black t-shirt with white tiger and teabag screen print at front. Small Bblessing logo at back. Don't forget to check out Bblessing's site for more styles and stop by the store (181 Orchard Street) if you're in the city.
As far as I can remember, it's been a while since New York-based, Italian-born artist Francesco Clemente has had a show at a gallery downtown. While I'm a big fan of his work, I can honestly say I've never seen more than one piece at a time in person. Thankfully, Deitch is showing a body of Clemente's work entitled A History of the Heart in Three Rainbows at their Wooster Street space starting tomorrow and running through 05.30.09.
A History of the Heart in Three Rainbows, a monumental suite of large-scale watercolor paintings by Francesco Clemente, will be presented at Deitch Projects's Wooster Street gallery in May. The paintings will wrap around the perimeter of the gallery, creating an atmosphere of contemplation and ritual. The work continues the artist's ongoing project of transforming spiritual life experience into art. The lightness of the rainbow represents a breakthrough from the darkness, from the long night of the artist's darker palette.