18 June 2018

Long Live Print

Against the irrepressible advance of all things digital, it seemed the age of print had reached its denouement, consigned to obscurity and niche peripheries as the online juggernaut brought renowned publications to their knees. Against all odds though, print has not only survived but is flourishing. A new exhibition at Somerset House, Print! Tearing It Up, traces the journey of independent publishing through the 20th century to the present day, situating the success of contemporary titles such as galdem and Thiird within the historical context of magazines as places of dissent and satire.

11 June 2018

A Visual Alphabet of Alexander McQueen

The legacy of Alexander McQueen is almost immeasurable. His disruptive approach to the fashion industry, his ability to channel the most profound notions of philosophy, art and beauty into clothes and his incredible sense of occasion and spectacle made him a designer like no other. More than any other designer to date, his work transcended the functional nature of clothing and elevated it to the highest echelons of conceptual art. His route to the top was long and complex, his friends were many and his inspirations were diverse. In the list below, I explore just some of the ideas, collections, concepts and figures that defined the man and the designer.

4 June 2018

Surprising Similarities Between Schiele and Woodman

At first glance, Egon Schiele and Francesca Woodman are an unlikely match. The former was a painter of contorted, anguished figures working in turn-of-the-century Vienna; while the latter was a photographer of arresting self-portraits navigating the early ’80s New York art scene. Yet, a new exhibition at Tate Liverpool unites these two unexpected artists in a one-of-a-kind show entitled, “Life in Motion: Egon Schiele and Francesca Woodman”. Described as a “close encounter” between Schiele and Woodman, “Life in Motion” initiates a searingly intense dialogue between these two figures, who, as it turns out, have a lot more in common than meets the eye.

28 May 2018

Love Letters to Independent Music Venues

In the past year or so, the UK has seen many of its iconic and seminal springboard music venues sold-off to be flattened of cultural significance and transformed into beige, personality-free residencies. Places of incredible cultural value and history, these grassroots clubs are where the Rolling Stones first plugged in, where The Libertines’ guerrilla gigs ushered in a new era and where today’s music fans are free to socialise and listen to great music all for a very reasonable price tag. Unless something changes quickly, these sonic sanctuaries will be lost forever, and away we go into a future of large, cold, joyless homogeneous O2 style music venues with Carling sponsorship, curfews and plastic-cupped pints at £5.50 a pop. Scandalous is an understatement.

21 May 2018

Father Nature

The baroque feast of Raf Simons’ latest presentation with mountains of fruit and chocolate, breads and cheeses, bottles of wine and artfully arranged floral bouquets, was one of the most discussed sets of the season. It was curated by the Antwerp-based florist and Raf’s long-time collaborator Mark Colle, who magic'd up the boxed-in bouquets at Simons' last show for Jil Sander and the floral walls at Raf’s debut show for Dior. Having created arrangements for Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten, he's become one of the most significant figures in floristry. I had a chat with Mark about his interpretation of a brief of "flemish painting, drugs and techno" and the time he tried to put Raf himself into one of the Dior flower walls.

14 May 2018

A Guide to New York’s Best Record Shops

There’s nothing quite like rifling through tatty 12″s in a damp basement, be it in Amsterdam, Kingston, or a seedy sidestreet in Goa. It’s something to do with the smell, the dust, and the sense of unfettered exploration—that obscure Zambian-disco record you’ve spent however long searching fruitlessly for could be right there. Someone who understands that feeling better than most is Sam Valenti IV, head honcho at record label Ghostly International – which although self-defines as "genreless", the label aims to embody music of electronic methods and humanistic aims. Originally from Detroit and now an honorary New Yorker, Sam takes us on a tour of his favorite places to dig in the Big Apple.

7 May 2018

Documenting LA’s Hardcore Punk Scene

In the late seventies/early eighties, renowned music photographer Edward Colver went to an average of five gigs a week. In that time, he documented LA’s visceral punk rock scene, contributing to some of it’s most recognisable visuals having worked on over 500 album covers including (his first cover) the Circle Jerks’ Group Sex and Black Flag’s controversial Damaged cover. This month, Rough Trade NYC and the Sonos store present Colver’s second solo exhibition after hosting his debut last September. Featuring works from his early gigging days and his later works, including photographs of Andy Warhol, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nick Cave, the exhibition throws a light on one of punk’s most defining lensers.

23 April 2018

Curating Aesthetic Fantasies

Instagram is an infinite playground for anyone with imagination, wifi connection and the patience to plumb the depths of the digital world to unearth its many hidden gems. For those scrolling in search of escapism, there’s nothing like the discovery of a well-curated feed into which to fall. Enter @ __s____o, which has piqued my ocular interest with its mix of surreal artworks, pastel-hued landscapes and beguiling fashion imagery, punctuated by undulating architecture and luscious interiors.

16 April 2018

Paris’s Hedonistic 90s Rave Scene

Olivier Degorce is the most prolific club kid you’ve probably never heard of. A regular fixture of the ‘90s Paris club circuit, the French photographer has been documenting the city’s underground party scene since before you pulled your first party popper. His new photobook, Plastic Dreams brings back hazy fragments of epicurean nights, presenting nostalgic portraits chronicling the fabled '90s nightlife in the French capital.

9 April 2018

The Mythical Nirvanas of Faye Wei Wei

Working from her home studio in South London, Faye’s large-scale dreamy figurative artworks are impressive in size, affection and prowess. With canvases almost the height of the room and a floor piled with drawings, the only way to describe the experience of encountering Faye’s work is to liken it to a reverie. Gorgeous and compelling in equal parts, it’s hard not to gush while getting lost in the romance of the pastel tones and buoyant mark making. Influenced by illuminated manuscripts, Fra Angelico and the symbolism of sea, the London born painter’s emotionally-charged and aesthetically-decorative work explores love, masculine tropes and the performance of gender.