21 January 2019

A New Time For Dreams

As hastily made resolutions fade to distant memory, 2019 stretches languidly before us, rudderless with the possibility of the unknown. It’s the hazy mood which menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner taps into with Grace Wales Bonner: A Time for New Dreams, a new exhibition at the Serpentine’s Sackler gallery that traverses themes of spirituality, mysticism, rhythm and temporality. Building on her process to date, the exhibition is unique in that Wales Bonner has worked directly with the artists and writers that have inspired her rather than using their work as source material.

4 January 2019

London Fashion Week Men’s: Ones to Watch

There's something satisfying about the way that the newly christened London Fashion Week Men's (formerly London Collections: Men's) falls at the beginning of January. What says fresh start more than the prospect of a whole new wardrobe? What better time to throw it all out and start again? But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The menswear industry is one in flux. There's been a quiet exodus from the schedule, with global powerhouses Gucci and Burberry (to name but a few) ditching menswear shows to present a unisex offering during womenswear week. It's begged the question: is a menswear month still feasible?

17 December 2018

Raising the Morality Bar for Businessmen in Art

It’s a bad time to be a white man producing tear gas in America. Between Black Lives Matter protests, resistance at Standing Rock and controversial boarder control tactics used on asylum seekers, the aerosol cans have become synonymous with conservative power. While someone is always going to be producing weapons like tear gas and riot gear, the recent protests at the Whitney Museum in New York are asking whether someone gets to profit off of the use of these items and also be at the head of one of America’s leading cultural institutions.

3 December 2018

10 Immigrants Who Became Famous Artists

Immigration, at its very essence, is a beautiful thing. Despite the circumstances people leaving may come from, and the bigotry they may face when they arrive, immigrants still carry with them the hope of a more plentiful life. In addition to being beneficial for those immigrating, the culture they import with them helps to make a place more interesting and diverse. Now it isn't always perfect, with many possible problems naturally arising, but overall multiculturalism is a staple of what makes society great.

19 November 2018

The story behind David Hockney’s 'Portrait of an Artist'

Flying over Los Angeles in 1964, a trip that would initiate a life-long emotional and artistic relationship with the city, David Hockney was immediately struck by the endless specks of blue that dotted the land below. Unbeknownst to him and his Bradford upbringing, private swimming pools were commonplace in LA, a standard social space that Hockney would adopt as a recurring motif for many of his major works throughout the 1960s and 70s. Among his best known is his Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), painted in 1972 and, as of last week, the record holder for the most expensive painting sold at auction by a living artist ($90.3m), comfortably exceeding the previous record of $58.4m set by Jeff Koons.

29 October 2018

New Perspectives on London Fashion

Compared to its counterparts in Paris, New York and Milan, London Fashion Week feels like the epicentre of young, cutting-edge design. Initiatives like NEWGEN and Fashion East nurture emerging talents, providing up and coming names with much needed support and mentoring, as well as the space to explore a more positively disruptive approach to fashion — the sort that LFW has become known for. This season’s crop of NEWGEN and Fashion East talents presented some of the most exciting SS19 collections of the season with many of them drawing on their childhood roots — from Vietnam, China, India to Yorkshire and Devon — to create a colourful, binary-free vision of the future. 

15 October 2018

Subversive Soviet Superstructures

The ‘hidden architectural gem’ is an established trope of the modern age, something to be unearthed by an eager photographer and then propagated via the internet to an eager, ever increasing audience. Frédéric Chaubin’s visual exploration of the ‘fourth and final age of Soviet architecture’ is a case in point. Frédéric Chaubin's book Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, documents 90 buildings in 14 former-USSR republics belonging to what he calls the 'fourth age' of Soviet architecture.


8 October 2018

Comme des Marxists

Presented for the very first time in the UK, Comme des Marxists, a radical commentary on modern life, exhibits as part of the 10 year anniversary of Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion. The exhibition features work by Austrian born and New York-based artist Rainer Ganahl, as part of his ongoing investigations into the relationships between daily life, culture, economic systems and political structures.

24 September 2018

Hardened

Jeff Mermelstein is a photographer who needs no introduction. Since the early ’80s, he’s dedicated his career to chronicling the extraordinary in the ordinary and the remarkable in the rudimentary. A trailblazer in New York street photography circles, Mermelstein’s enduring influence permeates across all kinds of photographic practices and styles to this day. With his brand new photobook "HARDENED" being released later this month, I take a closer look at the street photography stalwart and what this photobook means for our increasingly technological world.

17 September 2018

Frida Kahlo’s Letters to Home

There are few artists who have inspired the heady heights of idolatry to the same extent as Frida Kahlo. And just when it seemed that Frida-mania had reached its peak, 2018 brought with it an even greater surge in fascination with the Mexican artist, thanks to the extensive retrospective at London’s V&A. Through a range of personal artefacts — such as clothes, makeup, jewellery and even a prosthetic leg — the mammoth Making Herself Up offers new insight into the famed artist. Now, a brilliant new book — published today by Virago — has arrived to provide a further glimpse into the woman behind the icon presenting a compilation of letters from the artist to her mother Matilde Calderon Kahlo, and printing them in English for the first time.