TO LOOK UP...

This image was taken by Mert anc Marcus for Interview magazine in December 2011.  Charlotte cited them as two major photographers who gave her a big boost in her career when she was starting out as an assistant to Mary Greenwell. She has worked with them consistently over the years, but I also sense a bit of Antonio Lopez in this iconic image…
Feb 3

This image was taken by Mert anc Marcus for Interview magazine in December 2011. Charlotte cited them as two major photographers who gave her a big boost in her career when she was starting out as an assistant to Mary Greenwell. She has worked with them consistently over the years, but I also sense a bit of Antonio Lopez in this iconic image…

Feb 3

Charlotte Tilbury mentioned that when she was young, she was inspired by Antonio Lopez, a character famous in the times when art, fashion and disco converged in the 70s and 80s in Paris and New York. He was a roommate of Jerry Hall and renowned fashion illustrator.

"Such was Lopez’s world: an exhilarating and irreverent orb of gossip, gorgeous people, designer clothes, groovy tunes, art, kitsch, and street culture that, with the help of Juan Ramos, his behind-the-scenes art director, Lopez channeled into illustrations. This notion of “sampling”—incorporating into his drawings, say, the lines of Fernand Léger, the logo of a Coca-Cola bottle, or a hairdo he’d seen at a nightclub—not only revived the dormant art of fashion illustration but also inspired and soon defined the style of the times. “He was coming from New York so full of ideas,” recalls the Italian stylist Anna Piaggi, who enlisted the artist to illustrate the covers and stories for her short-lived, though now highly collectible, magazine Vanity. “He had all the culture, the girls, the ghetto blasters. Working with him was fantastic, like going into another world.” - W Magazine

Also, while in Shanghai, we got to get a tour of the collection of Qiao Xubing who has an incredible eye. He shows some of his collection in his massive karaoke palace, which is all done up in Shanghai, Art Deco style for private room rental. Each piece is housed in a glass vitrine, so the art seems to hover inside the walls of the building.

This particular painting was not there, however, I learned about the work of Wang Xing Wei, a formalist painter who’s humor and storytelling sometime overwhelm his obsession with shapes and colors. There is a great tension between the two.

This painting is called Untitled (small old lady on the balcony)
Jan 30

Also, while in Shanghai, we got to get a tour of the collection of Qiao Xubing who has an incredible eye. He shows some of his collection in his massive karaoke palace, which is all done up in Shanghai, Art Deco style for private room rental. Each piece is housed in a glass vitrine, so the art seems to hover inside the walls of the building.

This particular painting was not there, however, I learned about the work of Wang Xing Wei, a formalist painter who’s humor and storytelling sometime overwhelm his obsession with shapes and colors. There is a great tension between the two.

This painting is called Untitled (small old lady on the balcony)

Jan 29

Also, while wandering a mall in Shanghai, as one is wont to do in the cities of China, I found this great shop called Ziggy Chen. I only now realise that it is all menswear, but I love the desconstructed, hobo look with roots in Shanghai fashion from the 1900s to 1920s. The fabrics were all tough wools and linens and leathers, but all soft and of the highest quality. Bring it to the west and make some for us, women!

Jan 28

Some more great examples of Kengo Kuma’s work

1.) Translucent cabin in Hokkaido
2.) History of Dentistry Museum in Aichi, Japan
3.) Starbucks in Dazaifu, Japan
4.) Bamboo trees with stone and water in Milan, Italy
5.) Bamboo wood installation for Gwangju Design Biennial in South Korea

Jan 27

I was in Shanghai with my boyfriend, who was there on business. Laura, who works with him and a dear friend of mine happened to bump into another friend of hers, Sally. Laura generously suggested that Sally take me out and show me Shanghai! It is always a bit strange and lonely, especially in winter to wander around a new city aimlessly, so I was grateful for the company, which was exceptionally enjoyable.

I was astounded by a building that we drove by, a mirror panelled masterpiece with plants emerging at every strata. (The plants are more lush and grown in than this photo)

She told me it was Kengo Kuma, a Japanese architect. Further research reveals that he wanted to convey ”traditional Chinese humanistic spirit with a living nature which is away from the city”. I love how he uses modular units to create organic shapes, or in this case, to actually house organic shapes.

I love Hans Ulrich Obrist for his utter lack of pretension (despite being one of the most heralded curators of his day in the height of the global contemporary art world), his insatiable curiosity and his unbridled passion for everything interesting. I saw him recently and he was telling me about how he uses Instagram. I have been anti-Instagram because I feel people use it to create a PR version of themselves, it’s become a platform for showing of materialism and cliches like hotel rooms, puppies and recent purchases.

However, Hans Ulrich restored my faith in the app through his use. He is travelling constantly for work as director of The Serpentine, meeting with artists, architects, thinkers, collectors, museum directors, etc. etc. and so he asks people who he has meetings with to write or draw something on a piece of paper and then he takes a picture! Genius!

This one is from the artist Mateo Lopez, who I posted about a week or two ago.

(Hans Ulrich also revealed that this way, people can’t keep track of where he is and won’t be offended if he was in town and didn’t ring them up to say hi, even better. It’s great when necessity breeds creativity.)
Dec 19

I love Hans Ulrich Obrist for his utter lack of pretension (despite being one of the most heralded curators of his day in the height of the global contemporary art world), his insatiable curiosity and his unbridled passion for everything interesting. I saw him recently and he was telling me about how he uses Instagram. I have been anti-Instagram because I feel people use it to create a PR version of themselves, it’s become a platform for showing of materialism and cliches like hotel rooms, puppies and recent purchases.

However, Hans Ulrich restored my faith in the app through his use. He is travelling constantly for work as director of The Serpentine, meeting with artists, architects, thinkers, collectors, museum directors, etc. etc. and so he asks people who he has meetings with to write or draw something on a piece of paper and then he takes a picture! Genius!

This one is from the artist Mateo Lopez, who I posted about a week or two ago.

(Hans Ulrich also revealed that this way, people can’t keep track of where he is and won’t be offended if he was in town and didn’t ring them up to say hi, even better. It’s great when necessity breeds creativity.)

This film was mentioned in a Mark Bradford catalogue in reference to his sound work he made called Pinocchio is on Fire. I had to look it up and the movie poster and premise is hilarious.

"Pinocchio Is on Fire is a mythological character that I created to talk about black culture in South LA at a time of flux and fluidity in the late 1980s when it was changing from an older narrative of family toward a “Boyz in the Hood” hip hop moment. And now the ground is shaking again, hip hop is receding and immigration has changed the landscape. The work is a sound piece using my voice and music. It came very naturally to me." - Mark Bradford in the Art Newspaper
Dec 18

This film was mentioned in a Mark Bradford catalogue in reference to his sound work he made called Pinocchio is on Fire. I had to look it up and the movie poster and premise is hilarious.

"Pinocchio Is on Fire is a mythological character that I created to talk about black culture in South LA at a time of flux and fluidity in the late 1980s when it was changing from an older narrative of family toward a “Boyz in the Hood” hip hop moment. And now the ground is shaking again, hip hop is receding and immigration has changed the landscape. The work is a sound piece using my voice and music. It came very naturally to me." - Mark Bradford in the Art Newspaper

Dec 17

During this past week in Miami Art Basel, a friend of mine bought some Hiro prints from Pace Gallery. I had never heard of him, so of course, I had to google. The results were fascinating - a cross of formalist compositions, organic shapes and surrealist colours. My favourite is the top photograph of Jerry Hall blowing smoke by the sea.

"By the time Yasuhiro Wakabayashi came to New York in 1954, he’d already set his sights on working for either Richard Avedon or Irving Penn. Arriving from Japan, by way of China, "Hiro," as he came to be known, first encountered fashion photography after World War II while working at an American hotel, where he used to wait for visitors to toss their magazines in the garbage so he could get a glimpse at the glossy images. After a few classes at the School of Modern Photography, in 1956, he achieved his dream of assisting Avedon. An introduction to Alexey Brodovitch, the esteemed art director of Harper’s Bazaar, soon followed. Seeing the originality of Hiro’s colorful, graphic aesthetic, Brodovitch hired him as a staff photographer in 1957, a post he kept for decades. The Getty Museum recently purchased fourteen of the artist’s iconic prints, and we spoke with curator Paul Martineau about the acquisition." - NYMag

Dec 16

Another interesting tidbit from the soon to come Dover Street Market New York - is from architecture duo Arakawa and Gins. Unfortunately Arakawa has passed away, even more relevant as his life’s work was about delaying aging and death through architecture. A person’s relationship with space should be unsettling rather than comforting and through this experience, we can stay young or cradle tentativeness, ie embrace that which makes you unsure. They speak about how architecture can be used to unsettle people, and being unsettled is a way to avoid aging and death. In the western way of thinking, the concept of home is associated with comfort. Comfort is fraught with anxiety, because we know that comfort is only for a certain amount of time. Elation comes when you erase this interwoven dichotomy. Being comfortable is practicing death.