At the Salone del Mobile furniture show in Milan, the Swedish handmade rug company Henzel Studio is teasing show-goers with its new collection of walkable art. The collaborators are a stellar bunch, artists and designers who include Helmut Lang (whose rug resembles his ongoing fashion-as-art shredded sculptures), Anselm Reyle, Richard Prince, Juergen Teller, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Scott Campbell, Marilyn Minter, and Jack Pierson.
Each art rug takes five months to hand-weave in Tibet using centuries-old techniques. Clearly this is high-end stuff, costing more than you can imagine, probably. Following the preview at Salone del Mobile, the debut collection will launch at Barneys New York during the Frieze Art Fair (May 9 - 12), while the pieces by Helmut Lang and Anselm Reyle will go on view at Milan’s Temporary Museum for New Design (April 8 - 13).
Helmut Lang, Untitled, 2013
Anselm Reyle, Untitled, 2012
Richard Prince, 1-234-567-8910, 2013
Mickalene Thomas, Candy Crush, 2013
In 1946, a little travel magazine with big ideas made its newsstand debut. With vim, vigor, and vivid colors, Holiday showed Americans what the good life arising from the post-war boom years looked like — which is to say, recreational, sun-kissed, and flush with disposable income. Flourishing into the 70s, Holiday amassed the best writers (Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac) and photographers (Cartier Bresson, Slim Aarons), and famously spared no expense in the pursuit of its lavish stories.
Sorely missed for 30-something years, Holiday is now returning for spring/summer 2014. This time the travel bible is based in Paris and spearheaded by artistic director Franck Durand (Balmain, Isabel Marant, Giuseppe Zanotti) — who so happens to be partners with French Vogue editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt — and journalist Marc Beaugé. The first issue, numbered 373, picking up where the magazine left off in 1977, includes a profile of Spanish artist Remed (who also contributed the cover art), a feature on Aston Martin with photos by Hedi Slimane, and a visit to the Nolita home of Inez & Vinoodh.
Holiday won't end with a print revival. A café in Paris' 16th arrondissement and a clothing line are said to be in the works.
Barbara Nitke is an American photographer whose career began around the end of the so-called Golden Age of Porn, before the advent of home videos made furtive jaunts to a theater obsolete. By the early 80s, these skin flicks featured relatively known stars and a semblance of plotlines, requiring at least some direction and reshoots. As a set photographer for many of these films, Nitke was able to capture not just the hot and heavy action but also the humorously mundane moments in between — dozing off between takes, a fit of the giggles, the director giving instruction mid-copulation, and so on.
A selection of these images will go on view at One Eyed Jack Gallery in Brighton, England. But for Nitke, these images represent more than an opportunity to marvel at Ron Jeremy's pre-Viagra prowess or chuckle at bad 80s perms. Now a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts in New York, Nitke is a staunch champion of the First Amendment and freedom of speech. In 2001, she filed a lawsuit, along with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, challenging the Communications Decency Act, a law prohibiting the publication of obscenity on the Internet. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court and, although she lost, porn is clearly thriving.
Further evidence that men dressing in women's and putting on a show probably dates back to the very beginning of humankind, two caches of slides have been uncovered in Kansas City, showing high-spirited merriment at underground drag balls in the 1950s and 60s.
The two sets of slides were found independently of each other by artists and friends Robert Chase Heishman and Michael Boles, in a salvage yard and a vacant apartment, respectively. With the help of the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the University of Missouri, Kansas City, they've been able to place most of the snapshots at The Colony and The Jewel Box, nightclubs that have long since closed. Back then, in the interest of safety, a drag party was usually billed as a private birthday party, a euphemism the duo borrowed for their newly launched website.
They've also determined that, curiously, both sets of slides were taken by the same person known only as Jack, whose friendliness with the crowd clearly made possible the cheer and gaiety they display. You almost don't want to know any more, for fear of spoiling the revelry.
Visit Private Birthday Party
Few designers can be evoked by a single silhouette. Thom Browne, with his stunted suits, is among them. The designer's idiosyncratic menswear revolution — and his dramatic forays into womenswear — made him a particularly fitting choice to sit down with respected fashion critic Robin Givhan (Daily Beast, New York Magazine) on Monday night at Manhattan's French Institute Alliance Française for the finale of its popular Art de Vivre series of fashion talks.
Browne took the stage dressed in the silhouette that has made him an icon of contemporary menswear, flashing a solid four or five inches of bare calf — a sartorial choice echoed by many of the men in the audience. Over the course of the evening, the designer discussed his journey from the first gray suits he made for himself in 2001 to the theatrical runway shows that have earned him a place among America's most provocative designers.
He began by recalling the early days, when he worked out of his apartment and even friends would ask, "Why would I want a suit from you when it doesn't even fit you?" Though his message has since been embraced by the fashion world and beyond, Browne admitted he still feels most comfortable when pushing boundaries — to the point of scaring himself. "I want to open people's eyes that fashion isn't just what you see on the street," he said of his experimentation.
Givhan, who once compared a women's look of Browne's to "quinceañera finery," made several attempts to draw him out. True to form, however, he remained resolutely coy. When asked how he sketches, he demurred "conceptually." On dressing First Lady Michelle Obama for her husband's inauguration, he only revealed: "I wanted her to look like the strong woman she is. I wanted her to look like the confident woman she is. And I wanted her to look good with her husband — I guessed he'd be wearing navy."
But kudos to Browne for staying on-message, as he has done since he launched the line in response to the sloppily dressed bankers he saw on Wall Street. "We were living in a time of dress-down Fridays," Browne said of his decision to strike out on his own. "Wearing a suit was the cool thing to do because you're not like everyone else."
Strange animal rings are becoming a thing, none stranger than Strange Wilderness. Based in San Francisco, the new jewelry line is the brainchild of designer and artist Josh Dorey, who digitally sculpts and 3D-prints his animal heads — ram, falcon, wolf, rhino — before casting them in sterling silver. More animal heads are in the works, for those who like to wear their spirit animal on their finger.
$395 at Strange Wilderness
The Fondazione Prada investigates the history of peculiar musical instruments and the relationship between the visual and the aural in its latest exhibition in Venice, Art or Sound, curated by the art historian and inventor of Arte Povera, Germano Celant.
Organized chronologically, Art or Sound begins with musical instruments made from unusual and precious materials in the 17th century. It continues with 19th-century examples of automated instruments and avant-garde experiments, such as 1913's Intonarumori by Luigi Russolo, the Futurist artist, composer, and author of The Art of Noises manifesto.
Also exhibited are works by composers Alvin Lucier and John Cage, sound boxes of 60s artists Robert Morris and Nam June Paik, kinetic sculptures by Takis and Stephan von Huene, and sound installations including Robert Rauschenberg’s Oracle (1962-65) and Laurie Anderson’s Handphone Table (1978). There are also Arman's motorcycle pianos and other hybrid instruments by the likes of Richard Artschwager and Joseph Beuys.
Art or Sound, June 7 - November 3, 2014, Fondazione Prada, Santa Croce 2215, Venice
Dear China, don't you think it's time to give Ai Weiwei his passport back? It's been three years sinced you snatched it from him for unspecified reasons and imprisoned him for 81 days, also on vague charges.
He'd really like to attend his largest solo show ever, at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, opening April 3. The installation, called Evidence, consists of 6,000 stools and bicycles placed throughout the gallery's 18 rooms and atrium. What could be the harm in that?
He's asking very politely in this video, so please just give the man his passport...
Setting up Ai Weiwei's Evidence installation at Martin Gropius Bau...
An award in L'Wren Scott's name has been created by The Art of Elysium, an organization the betters the lives of hospitalized children through music, theater, and fashion programs. The L'Wren Scott Amber Award honors the deceased designer and one of the first children the group worked with. It will be presented to emerging fashion designers, providing them the opportunity to donate their talents to hospitalized children with a small line of clothing. L'Wren Scott's family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Art of Elysium.
Two days ago, a small private gathering attended a funeral service at Hollywood Forever Funeral Home in Los Angeles. The service included tributes from Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott's brother, Randy Bambrough, among other family and friends. Poems were shared by Mick Jagger's daughter Karis Jagger, as well as actress Ellen Barkin. Jade Jagger read Psalm 139, Mick Jagger's grandchildren read Psalm 23, and Randy Bambrough's daughter read Shakespeare Sonnet 18.
L'Wren Scott's cremated ashes have been split between her family and Mick Jagger, Randy Bambrough told the New York Daily News, adding,“Some of those ashes, they will be buried near our parents here in Utah. And there will be a ceremony, date to be determined, in Utah for all family members."