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.


2 April 2018

The Spectacular Style of Wes Anderson's Characters

Welcome to Wanderson, the weird, colourful, and wonderful world of Wes Anderson, where liberally perfumed lobby boys rule the roost and shark hunting sailors sail the seas. And that's before we get to the clothing. Indeed, from headbands to head bandages, Peter Pan collars to drawn on moustaches, Wes and his team are responsible for some of the most iconic looks to have graced the silver screen. Here are a few of my favourites.

26 March 2018

Truth in the Post-Truth Age

In 2005, celebrated photographer of contemporary culture Wolfgang Tillmans felt he could no longer express what he wanted to say through photography alone. In response, he started to arrange newspaper clippings, photographs, drawings and objects in playful compositions on tabletops in a project that continues to the present day. The project, entitled “truth study centre”, examines what Tillmans refers to as the “science of truth” by making connections and comparisons between a variety of ephemera. For Tillmans, these arrangements can be understood as a type of collage consisting of minute fragments of a bigger global picture.

19 March 2018

A Visual Voyage Across Zimbabwe

Last year, in the dying days of the Mugabe regime, photographer Gina Nero and her partner travelled 4,000km across Zimbabwe in a Honda Jazz. The eight-week journey that took in “high-density townships, rural villages and cities stuck in time” led to this beautiful collection of images. I caught up with the Melbourne-born photographer (whose photos of LA, Baton Rouge and Cuba have won prizes and been shown at Tate Modern) to hear about the smell of corn, the policemen’s “supermodel swag” and the time Mugabe was gifted a massage chair live on TV.

 

12 March 2018

Remembering Margiela's S/S 90 Show

In the autumn of 1989, on a derelict playground on the outskirts of Paris, Martin Margiela staged his S/S 90 show. Since then, the Belgian designer became the first to instill the cult of invisibility at the brand, beginning with himself. As other designers chose – or were required to embrace – fame, Martin Margiela made a clear statement in the opposite direction. As Margiela / Galleria, 1989 – 2009 opened in Paris last week, I revisit the unorthodox show through the words of those who helped create it c/o The Gentlewoman. True to form, though, and despite any accolades, the designer remains as removed from the hysteria and histrionics that surround the fashion industry as ever. While his silence is maintained, his work continues to speak volumes, after all.

5 March 2018

Life on the Fringes of Society

“They are all trying – through bodies of work – to reflect the complexities of the reality of those worlds that they are able to provisionally pass through,” curator Alona Pardo tells me of the link connecting all the photographers featured in the Barbican’s latest exhibition, Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins. Engaging in the dialogue between art, society and politics, the show directly – and at times poetically – addresses difficult questions about what it means to exist in the margins, the role artists have played in portraying subcultures and the complex interminglings of artistic and mainstream depictions of the outsider.

Igor Palmin Untitled XVI, Stavropol Krai, USSR, 1977 From the series The Enchanted Wanderer, 1977 Courtesy of the artist © Igor Palmin