As I made my way down 7th Ave en route to get lunch with some of my favorite Fashion Buyers earlier this week we discussed a few things, other than Fashion. Its good to get out of the office and showrooms from time to time and just talk– about any and everything. Cat being the random and super hilarious person she is started rambling about couples being vacuumed sealed together. When she first mentioned this I had no idea what she was talking about and considering how passionate she was about these couples who seem to be getting closer than close I had to see it for myself. Within seconds, she pulled up the link and what I saw was one of the strangest yet coolest things I’ve probably ever witnessed– as weird as it may look.
Japanese photographer Haruhiko Kawaguchi takes couples that he meets in nightclubs to his kitchen floor in Tokyo and seals their conjoined bodies together as one in a plastic bag using a household vacuum. The project is entitled “Flesh Love” and so far Kawaguchi has photographed over 80 couples. It makes one wonder, how close is too close? If you think these images are interesting be sure to check out the video and see the process for yourself. Its nothing short of [art] frozen (or should I say “sealed”) in time just long enough to get the perfect shot. This lunch conversation was the inspiration behind a [TNN] worthy post; Thanks Cat!
The Process: [Flesh Love] x Haruhiko Kawaguchi
Having friends that share your appreciation of the visual arts is such an awesome thing. My buddy Keith recently transferred to Parsons and he hit me up yesterday to tell me how he excited he was to be in their library. No, we’re not geeks! The Parsons Library is filled with an awesome archive of brilliant art and he just knows that I’d appreciate it. Every now and then, we challenge one another regarding our knowledge of any and everything pop culture (only because we’ve come to greatly respect each other’s opinions on the subject). He sent me the picture below and asked me, [pop] quiz-style, if I recognized the piece or anything resembling it. Although I failed the quiz miserably, I got a little art lesson.
It’s a shot of Robert Carter’s 2007 work, Ignite. According to Keith, it mirrored the opening for the All of the Lights scene in Kanye’s Runaway. Regardless of whether it actually served as a source of inspiration for Yeezy or just happens to have strikingly similar imagery, I got the urge to re-[experience] the short film while I was on my lunch break today. Needless to say, it was just as good as the first time. A good dose of creative energy never turns stale.
Over the summer, I started envisioning what kind of life I would live once I got to New York. I had ideas of being this super social guy, eating at different restaurants night after night, and so on and so forth (you know, like every other typical twenty-something year-old New Yorker…), but the biggest piece of the puzzle tied back to art. Ever since my sophomore year in college, I’ve had a growing appreciation for the visual arts; and I promised myself that, once I got my own place, I would start exploring my personal artistic desires one step at a time.
Last Friday night, I got the sudden impulse to check out Utrecht over in Chelsea and pick up a few art supplies. After 30 minutes of exploring the store and speaking with some of the associates, I was heading back to the comfort of my home to spill some paint on my new canvases.
Transforming my cozy 1-bedroom into a studio for the night was an exciting experience. I chose to play it a little safe and keep things simple for the first go-around. Since [color] has always been an amazing source of inspiration for me, I thought it’d be a great idea to add some to the walls in my space. I created three different solid-colored canvases to put up–just pure, colorful energy!–and an abstract piece composed of multi-colored brushstrokes (check it out below). Trust me when I say that it feels amazing to have something you’ve created hanging on your walls. It’s the perfect reminder to embrace your creative energy everyday.
You’ve heard it before or maybe you haven’t. One of my all time favorite things to do is to lock myself in a room with my computer and surf the internet for documentaries, interviews and short films related to subjects and people that either interest me or I want to learn more about…
I came across an interview from [ARTST TLK w/Pharrell Williams] which is something similar to a talk show that features two guests that are at different career stages that discuss their work, inspirations and philosophies. Within this particular interview Pharrell sits down with Alexander Gorlin, an architect known for bringing warmth to his modern designs and Daniel Arsham, an artist who tends to cross the lines between architecture and art; known for implementing shapes in some of the most unexpected places ever. I had the pleasure of meeting and attending Arsham’s “Reach Ruin” exhibit (a sculptural exhibition that explores “construction of destruction”) a few weeks ago at The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. It was nothing short of amazing and opened my mind to a few things I probably would have never thought of had I not been able to witness such great talent and execution.
It was very insightful to hear the comparisons and differences of these two artists perceptions and understanding when it comes to creating, advancing and learning. A statement by Arsham that really resinated with me was; “Create something that changes peoples expectations about what they already know.” It seems as though today so many people are taking the “easy way out” and “creating” things that people already have seen which leads to nothing but duplication and imitation. It is true that we are all inspired by things and people that already exist but instead of re-creating why not re-invent? I could go on and on about that but i’ll save it for another post on another day. For now, press play and devote 23 minutes and 52 seconds of your time to something I am sure you won’t regret.
Pharrell Williams Interviews Alex Gorlin & Daniel Arsham [RSRV Channel]
This morning, I opened another one of those annoying email subscriptions that I somehow always get signed up for against my will, and to my surprise, I saw the work of an old buddy of mine, Kendrick Daye. From a branding perspective, you probably know him as GREATeclectic. Aside from being the creative director of Art Nouveau Mag, he’s an awesome graphic designer who has actually done work for [the no names] before; so I was excited to see this awesome sweater that he’s selling in his online shop, BuyBye. It’s called [The Colde$t Wintour Ever] and, in addition to being a perfect representation of his artistic style, it’s a really dope crewneck that I’m definitely considering adding to my collection.
Using what I’d consider to be a blend of heavy digital imagery and the essence of Jean Michel-Basquiat, GREATeclectic is really skilled at bringing some of modern pop culture’s most powerful icons, influencers, and scandals to life in a new way. Capturing the nature of lifestyle, entertainment, and other elements of the American way from the past decade, his work is largely collage-based with a ton of colors, interesting visual details, and a noteworthy message here and there. Check it out.
In addition to the Wintour crewneck, you can find more of his merchandise, including posters, t-shirts, and full-sized, framed, original pieces of his work, on BuyBye.bigcartel.com and visit GREATeclectic or AN-Mag to experience more of his creative energy.
About a week ago, I saw this dope little avatar in my Twitter timeline. It belonged to this guy that I’ve followed for a while who goes by the Twitter handle @TadMichaell. He created this vector image of his face and placed it over a bed of roses and it looked so simple, yet spectacular. For those of you who don’t know, vector images are basically cool digital illustrations made using special lines, curves, and other geometrical primitives in Photoshop. They usually have a fun, cartoonish feel and they can be used to create some really energetic pieces of art. To my completely pleasant surprise, I saw an instagram notification from him on Saturday saying, [#Random #Art @jovelroystan one of my fav instagrammers]. When I clicked on it, this is what I saw:
Needless to say, I was shocked; and within seconds, I had reached out to discover more of what he’s all about. With a love for art & fashion and 5 years of design experience under his belt (which began with him teaching himself before actually getting his degree in web and graphic design), Tad Thompson is letting his creative energy flow far and wide.
Last Friday, I spent the afternoon in the Upper East Side at The Guggenheim Museum to check out Picasso Black and White, a special exhibit exploring a distinct category of Pablo Picasso‘s works. The first of its kind, this collection of pieces is made up exclusively of [black and white] artwork that takes us back to some of the most impactful moments of his career, as well as some of the more intimate parts of his life.
Picasso Black and White exposes the audience to an abundance of interesting facts and stories about this iconic artist’s personal life, his take on the world of art, and the inspiration behind some of his greatest creations. Since I couldn’t take pictures throughout the exhibit, I’m really considering buying the exhibition catalogue from the Guggenheim Online Store. It contains all of the works featured in the exhibit, as well as tons of additional information on Picasso and his impact on art history. If you’re in the New York City area, definitely check it out before it ends on January 23rd. It’s a must-see for any art fan.
And for those of you living outside of the city, get your hands on a copy of the Picasso Black and White exhibition catalogue. It’s not quite the same as being there in person, but you’ll definitely get the picture.
Last month, I found myself in the heart of SoHo at Gallery 89 for a special pop-up gallery, and in fact, the first solo exhibit, for Liza LaCroix, a young artist from Montreal who’s been immersing herself in the New York art scene and building a solid name for herself throughout the city.
Now based in Brooklyn after moving to NYC 13 months ago, Liza LaCroix is the epitome of a young artist living the New York lifestyle and blending her passion for art into a growing career. Between creating her pieces in the studio, working as an art handler, serving as a nude figure model for art classes, and even serving wine at galleries when the occasion calls for it, everything she does seems to revolve around the world of art. She’s completely immersed. And drawing inspiration from visual sources like Peter Greenway films and paintings from Rothko, or other stimulating life experiences, such as love and “good sex,” the little girl that began making art back in her pre-school days is living her dreams and making quite the impression.
Her most recent collection is titled “Works” and was inspired by pierrots from French pantomimes and portraits of hyper-sexualized Babylonian women. Created over a span of 5 months, each piece explores the power of emotion in the human countenance. Using oil paint on lexan and mylar, Liza’s defined brushstrokes add a type of dialogue to the art that ties a rather grim, but vivid story to the expressions and the colors utilized amplify the inherent darkness of the work even further. You can get a little taste of her trill nature and love for southern rap from a few comical titles for her pieces, such as I love head and caressing a voluptuous ass or And yeah I’m quite fine, but shawty much finer.
Living in Brooklyn is such an amazing experience. You don’t have to look very hard to find something going on that consists of culture, fun, and good people. This weekend was the 16th annual DUMBO Arts Festival over in DUMBO, Brooklyn (which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and the creative energy was flowing.
Since I conveniently live about a ten-minute walk away from the area, my friend Matt and I had a quick lunch at DUMBO Kitchen and then headed into the madness of the festival. The event was spread across the blocks surrounding the Manhattan Bridge and featured film, photography, installations, and other types of artwork from an exceptional flock of artists. Between the 340-foot-long (super)hero-themed photo fences and the eccentric performance piece by a school of painted fish, the festival really showed the countless directions that creativity can move the human mind in. It all starts with an idea or concept and it blossoms into something amazing; something powerful.
There really isn’t too much that needs to be said when it comes to the extremely talented young man responsible for this insanely dope illustration. His clean lines and precise details tell a story without a single word needing be said. No stranger to [The No Names] and a person we both respect is none other than the talented Timonthy Eugene. This is the second illustration that he has drawn of us and like a true artist who studies and practices their craft, it gets better each and every time. Things like this are truly humbling and much appreciated. It is so cool knowing many of the people we know that inspire us in a way that is very often difficult to explain. Take a look through some of Timonthy’s work (here). It is obviously worth your time!
verb [ trans. ]
1. To rouse to activity or heightened action
2. To increase temporarily the activity of (a body organ or part)
3. To excite or invigorate (a person, for example) with a stimulant
One of the fundamental functions of art, whether it’s brought to life in the form of a painting, installation, or performance, is to stimulate the physical senses of all who witness it. With music, it’s auditory. With visual art, it’s optical. You get the point. Regardless of the form, it invokes a reaction. When done right, that reaction is powerful.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to an art show in SoHo by my homie Gogy, who was presenting, what he called, “a photo show” that he’d created in conjunction with NY-based creative team Nikolai Rose. Well, it’s safe to say that his use of the term “photo show” was a huge understatement. With themes of darkness and evanescence, this installation/photo exhibit/EXPERIENCE was titled El Vacío and incorporated a number of different, yet connected elements to stimulate the senses.
There’s something inspiring about art. It’s indescribable, thrilling, and liberating. Furthermore, it’s a fluid, translatable language that connects, not only our different cultures and lifestyles, but different generations and time periods as well. Earlier this year, I was asked to contribute an article to an art magazine that was in the works called Visual Magazine and the opportunity was one that I couldn’t help but be excited about.
When I was in school, Survey of Visual Arts was my favorite course (despite my being a business major). Surprisingly, I may have been the only person in my class, possibly even the entire school that thought a look through history’s masterpieces was an interesting course, but needless to say, I got an A and a strong new interest in the arts. I’ve since developed this secret dream of being able to spit out facts and references about different artists and their works at the drop of a dime, but I think I have a long way to go before I get there, so the chance to fill a spot in this magazine sort of sufficed.
Check out the video above for an awesome preview of the first issue!
I met with James Hearn, the editor of the magazine, earlier this summer and he showed me a nearly completed draft of the final product and I can’t wait to get my hands on the first issue. His team has spent [three years] pulling together work from all types of media, including painting, photography, fashion editorials, graphic design, writing, and tons more, and his repertoire of artists comes from across the globe. The publication’s ultimate goal is to shed light on some of the world’s most talented, rising artists (similar to what we do on [the no names]), while cultivating an enthusiastic love and appreciation of the visual arts and individual expression.
Two months after meeting with James, the first issue is finally completed and ready to be published. The next step is to raise some money to complete the publishing process, like printing, packaging, and shipping. Their Kickstarter page is life and in full effect. The goal is $4500USD by August 20th and any and all donations are greatly appreciated. With every $1000 raised, the Visual team will be giving away prize drawings, including copies of the publication (one of which will be signed by the team and featured artists). You can help bring the dream to reality by donating now. For more information on Visual Magazine, check out the Kickstarter or stay updated via their Twitter page and Website.