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Monday, June 30, 2008

That Was Me on the Corner

A hipster lover's delight spilled out on to the corner of Bowery and Bond Street last Thursday when Gregory Rogan hosted buddy Michael Stipe's first-ever solo art show, Relics, at his new shop. Music, art, film, fiction and fashion worlds coalesced as famous friends—Jake Paltrow, Jeff Koons, Chris Martin, Douglas Coupland—came out to support the R.E.M. frontman. But because of the tropical temperature inside the all-black store, the real party took place in front of the cream-colored cast-iron gem of a building, which was chosen, Rogan told us, "because it's where several neighborhoods meet, so it doesn't fit neatly into one box. Just like me. I am not very good as a fashion designer, I am reluctant to be an artist." He then compared the hood to Istanbul, the only city in the world to sit on two continents. So the man is not only talented, but also modest, well-traveled and poetic. We so want to hang out with him. Oh, he also professed his love for Raf Simons and Martin Margiela, two of our own favorites. Total compatibility. Yet it's different with genius musicians, whose charm doesn't always come as easily. When asked whether there was any nostalgic element to his artwork (once-important but now-obsolete artifacts such as cassette tapes, Polaroid cameras and books cast in bronze), a perfectly polite Stipe was unequivocal: "I despise nostalgia. If you listen to our work you notice I'm much more about sentimentality." Okay, my bad, can we go to Istanbul now?

Gregory Rogan and Michael Stipe

bronzed cassettes

P.S.1 curator Klaus Biesenbach & Terence Koh, Polaroid cameras, Rogan Bouwerie store

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