Geysar Gurbanov

Belgians Outwit Terror Suspects with Adorable Cat Pics

Sunday evening, while searching for terror suspects in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, Belgian police put out an official request for radio silence on social media. Citizens were asked to avoid tweeting anything that could inadvertently let terrorists know of of police activity.

So, instead of speculating about suspect whereabouts and police operations, thousands of Belgians rallied on Twitter and used the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag to post pics of their cats — some of them as jihadi cats, others in superhero costumes...

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Nov 23, 2015 11:44:00

Ling Jian Paints East Meets West

In Nature Chain, his latest exhibit at Klein Sun Gallery in Chelsea, Chinese artist Ling Jian pushes a macho motif and feminine mystique in equal measure. At the same time he riffs on art history and philosophy, referencing things like surrealism, Taoism, fashion, and feminism. Ling’s pictorial affections evince neo-Romantic longing and brilliant backhanded critiques of political authority, pop aesthetics, and contemporary Chinese art.

Ling communes with the past and probes the present, synthesizing disparate schools of art — from neo-Dadaist to Confucian motifs — to explore new artistic vistas. He interrogates the human condition in painterly ways while reflecting on the collective Chinese psyche in the face of breakneck change. Taken together, the show reflects a dense concatenation of fantasies and anxieties, dreams and nightmares. You feel the narcotic power of the artist's naturalism, figuration, and abstraction, a kind of ‘metaphysics of presence’ that makes you feel, think, and cringe all at once. Hint kicked it with Ling Jian at the exhibition launch...

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Nov 22, 2015 19:12:00

Finally, an Invisible Collection

Combining Vivienne Westwood's ethos with Juergen Teller's eros, with a dash of Femen's flash politics, the London-based label P-iFashion — short for Politically Incorrect Fashion — has released its fall ad campaign. And, well, the collection is completely invisible, living up to its title. Nary a thread can be found in the au naturel photos by Pawel Tkaczyk. There's no shortage of text, however, which naturally reads like a manifesto. Here's but a partial list of protests...

— Today’s fashion industry is governed by greed and not by vision or talent.
— The time has come to reconsider the way today’s fashion industry exploits rather than inspires.
— [We] reject the fashion industry’s cruelty of using cheap sweatshop factories to produce more and more while spending less and less.
— [We] object to the fashion industry’s ruthlessness of pushing people to buy more and more.
— Either walk naked or reinvent your existing wardrobe in the way you wish.

There are, of course, actual garments — women's and men's basics that have been illustrated by a selection of artists. The provocative campaign is the brainchild of the label's Polish-born creative director, Arkadius. No stranger to shock value, Arkadius graduated from Central St Martins in 1997 with a reputation for irreverence and admirers who included Isabella Blow and Bjork. Clearly, the tradition continues.

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Nov 17, 2015 22:01:00
JR's Unframed series at Ellis Island hospital

Humanizing Ellis Island

The artist of large-scale photographic works boldly sprawled across building walls, roofs, and other public spaces in downtrodden areas of the world, in an effort to lift lives, JR has now turned his focus to one of the most downtrodden groups in history — those who passed through Ellis Island on their way to a better life in the United States.

In a two-part project, the French artist has installed another of his large-scale series, called Unframed, among the scenic rubble of the Ellis Island hospital. He also directed a short film, Ellis, documenting the plight of the millions of immigrants who sought refuge in the New World, starting on this hopeful island, where the Statue of Liberty could be seen and her call to the great unwashed masses heard loud and clear.

Starring Robert De Niro as narrator and written by screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Munich, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), the film is told through the eyes of a fictitious young boy who, denied entry into America due to a medical condition, hides indefinitely in the hospital rather than ship back to his home country. Over the years he watches as wave upon wave of immigrants like him successfully enters New York City. "De Niro was the only person I proposed it to," JR told Hint, "and the only person I could see in this role."

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Nov 13, 2015 12:27:00

When Grunge Cleans Up

The olive-drab cardigan Kurt Cobain wore during Nirvana’s 1993 performance on MTV's Unplugged — four months before he committed suicide — has sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for a gobsmacking $137,500.

While it didn't command the seven figures that Michael Jackson's red-and-black Thriller jacket did in 2010, six figures is nothing to sneeze at. It's far greater than the $40k-$60k it was expected to fetch.

Compared to the other items sold at the 'Icons and Idols: Rock 'n' Roll' auction, Cobain’s shabby sweater was a bargain. Elvis Presley’s gold-leaf piano went for $600,000 and John Lennon’s Gibson acoustic guitar sold for $2,410,000.

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Nov 10, 2015 17:04:00

The Other London Club Scene

Digital-age publishers of 'superfast' books, IDEA has tapped photographer Derek Ridgers for its latest softcover edition. Limited to 1000 copies, The Others showcases 100 of Ridgers' now-vintage images of the outrageous (and decidedly less so) London club scene — The Blitz, Le Beat Route, The Mud Club — of the 1980s.

The title was the name of the folder on Ridgers' desktop, labeling these images as unpublished, but could just as easily describe those pictured. "They are not all punks or skinheads or new romantics," he says. "They are the others.”

The foreword, by nightlife denizen Richard Habberly, offers more choice tidbits. “At Taboo, doorman Mark Vaultier would hold up a gilt vanity mirror to the face of anyone who asked why they couldn't get in and say ‘That's why!’ When Steve Strange turned Mick Jagger away at Blitz, the line was drawn between the establishment and ‘The Others.’”

The Others is the fourth book published by IDEA this year, following Collier Schorr’s Contacts, Willy Vanderperre’s 635, and Gosha Rubchinskiy's Youth Hotel.

Launching November 12 at the Comme des Garçons Trading Museum in Paris, available the next day exclusively at Dover Street Market London and New York, Marc Jacobs’ Bookmarc and online at IDEA books.

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Nov 09, 2015 11:37:00
My Little Karl Lagerfeld

Horsing Around with My Little Pony

Obsessed with pop culture and driven by mischievousness, Finnish artist Mari Kasurinen has altered dozens of My Little Pony figurines over the years to resemble a variety of beloved celebrities and characters of fiction.

In her My Little Pop Icons series, she's meticulously outfitted her creations with the accoutrements and mannerisms of their adopted personality. Karl Lagerfeld appears fashionably aloof behind large sunglasses, Ziggy Stardust gazes skyward in legwarmers, and Lady Gaga dons her that meat dress, her most memorable.

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Nov 06, 2015 20:43:00
Raf Simons

Raf Simons: "Fashion Became Pop...Maybe It Was Nicer When It Was More Elitist"

Over a period of six months, during which Raf Simons was coming to the decision to leave Dior after three and a half years at its helm, he gave a series of interviews to Cathy Horyn. These were destined not for the critic's main gig, The Cut, but for the fall/winter issue of System, the same Paris-based magazine where Nicolas Ghesquière gave the interview about his time at Balenciaga that would see him sued by parent company Kering for breach of confidentiality.

Days after their last communication and shortly after his spring 2016 collection, Simons made the bombshell announcement of his exit from Dior, basing it on "personal reasons." The news sent shockwaves through the industry and beyond, for this marriage of house and designer wasn't supposed to be tumultuous à la John Galliano. Here, as excerpted in Business of Fashion, are Simons' more salient quotes.

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Nov 06, 2015 12:30:00
Peter Beard's The End of the Game

Revisiting Peter Beard's Africa

In the early 1960s, the dashing wildlife (and sometime fashion) photographer Peter Beard chucked his privileged upbringing for the plains, the mountains, the jungles, and the preservation of Africa. Although his obsession with the continent is perhaps most associated with his discovery of Iman in Nairobi, Beard's photos of African animals — usually collaged together and superimposed with hand-written prose and other marginalia — have nonetheless captured the popular imagination.

In particular, his landmark book The End of the Game combines photos, words, and bits of actual animal to poignantly document the plight of elephants, rhinos, and hippos in Kenya and Uganda. “The deeper the white man went into Africa," he wrote, "the faster the life flowed out of it, off the plains and out of the bush...vanishing in acres of trophies and hides and carcasses.”

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Nov 03, 2015 11:36:00

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