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. 

3 September 2018

Building a Sustainable Wardrobe for the Future

Last week, Danish designer Marie Sloth Rousing was awarded the prestigious Designer’s Nest Award August 2018 at Copenhagen Fashion Week — a prize presented annually to an outstanding young designer from one of the leading Nordic design schools. Sloth Rousing, who recently graduated from The Royal Danish Academy Of Fine Arts, came in first place out of 18 candidates for her conceptual and boundary-pushing collection, Transformable Wardrobe. In this collection, everyday objects, for example the umbrella, the slap wrap (reflective band), and the roller blind, were incorporated into garments to make inventive ensembles treading a thin line between installation art and fashion. For Sloth Rousing the purpose of this was to “make clothing transform from one shape into another — to add another layer to clothing as we know it”. 

   

27 August 2018

Dodging Death and Shooting the Sublime

You could say that not much was expected of Grant. Born into the East End in the 1960s where career prospects were dire, he instead found purpose in the street culture of working class London – football, music and politics – a trifecta that would go on to shape his incredible life journey. From fighting with West Ham's infamous firm, to drinking with Sandinistas, to serving as Primal Scream's photographer, to meeting Mandela - Grant Fleming’s life has been one hell of a journey.

20 August 2018

Defining the Disco Era

Hyper-coloured and embellished with larger-than-life graphics, Richard Bernstein’s pop art illustrations elevated celebrities to deity levels; proving the ideal cover images for Andy Warhol‘s seminal magazine, Interview. Having been given full access to Bernstein’s archives, New York-based fashion authors, Roger and Mauricio Padilha, are set to release the first full monograph on the iconic American artist. Tracing Bernstein’s prolific career, the impressive tome draws together his legendary Interview covers including the likes of Madonna, Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Cher, Michael Jackson, and Aretha Franklin...

6 August 2018

From Narcoterrorism to ‘Narcos’ Tourism

In recent years, Colombia has consistently topped lists of “The Best Places to Travel”. At the same time, it remains near the top of another, more grisly list – that of the world’s most murderous countries. I spoke to award-winning photojournalist Mads Nissen, who’s covered some of Colombia’s most brutal conflicts as well as its recent brittle peace, about the realities of travelling in this fascinating country.