Hint Tip: United Colors of Benetton

Even after decades years of ruffling feathers with provocative ad campaigns—such as an image resembling pietà of a man dying of AIDS, a collage of multi-ethnic genitals, the bloodied shirt and pants of a soldier killed in the Bosnian War—Benetton can still inspire shock and outrage.

But while its upcoming exhibit at the Design Museum in London won't be as shocking or outrageous as a recent campaign image of Barack Obama locking lips with Hugo Chavez, it may still inspire. The show, Happiness and Other Survival Techniques, draws from Benetton's magazine Colors and its new trilogy of subtitles—Happiness, Shit, Transport—created to elicit smirks.

The 10-day exhibit will be simultaneously presented at Benetton Icon Stores in London, Milan, Barcelona and Paris, where, on walls of monitors, video projections and animations will take visitors on "an unpredictable journey through our habits and contradictions: an unusual and authentic world, as only reality can ever be."

Happiness and Other Survival Techniques
April 3-13, 2012
London Design Museum
28 Shad Thames
London SE1 2YD

Mar 21, 2012 11:40:00
Keith Haring, Self-Portrait with Glasses Painted by Kenny Scharf, circa 1980

Keith Haring's Early Years at the Brooklyn Museum

Keith Haring, one of the most revered and adored artists of the 21st century, moved to New York in 1978 at the gutsy age of 19. He quickly made a name for himself chalking up subways, commandeering found objects and turning out murals in his now signature aesthetic of simplified line drawings of animals, humans and sex organs—highly sexualized but stripped of their luridness. His Radiant Baby pictograph soon became an icon of pop art. Opening today at the Brooklyn Museum, Keith Haring: 1978–1982 explores this early period in the artist’s career.

On display are: the first video Haring ever made, a self-portrait that shows him literally painting himself into a corner with Devo playing in the background, and his journals that document, among other minutiae, his daily budgets, such as a bank deposit of 11 cents. We will also see photocopied exhibition flyers, examples of his first street art, collaborations with artist friends like Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and nearly 155 works on paper, which include a sketch of the World Trade Center shaped from two penises.

Though Haring passed away over two decades ago from AIDS-related complications, his legacy is still very much alive in New York City. This exhibition, on view through July 8, 2012, reminds us why.

Visit Keith Haring: 1978-1982 at the Brooklyn Museum

Mar 15, 2012 10:13:00
Mike D

Beastie Boys' Mike D Has a License to Curate

Mike D says he's an early riser. After three decades in the music industry and 40 million records sold, you’d think the Beastie Boy would sleep in a little. But no. This morning he’s holding court in the penthouse of the Chateau Marmont to discuss Transmission LA, the weeklong arts festival he's curating at MOCA Los Angeles, sponsored by Mercedes Benz. Raf Simons had the honor last year in Berlin.

It's no small feat juggling the art (a well-selected lot, including friends Tom Sachs, Peter Coffin, and Will Fowler), music (himself and DJs), food (Kogi Truck’s Roy Choi), and visual aspects (Paperrad’s Benjamin Jones and his longtime buddy Mike Mills) for the extravaganza. Factor in his two homes under renovation and his two Maroon 5-jamming kids, and it’s fair to say that Mr. D can’t wait to get back to his favorite yoga pose, the sitting lotus.

So what does the curatorial foray have to do with the Peter Pan-like rapper and drummer from the Beastie Boys? “Hip hop is art," he explains. "What we do is make choices, whether it’s sampling these two bars or choosing what beats go in. They’re basically all curatorial decisions. With the Beastie Boys, we’ve always taken visuals seriously—and I don’t know if we’ve taken anything seriously. We’re equally as fascinated with the visual possibilities of what we do with the musical ones.”

Transmission LA: The Audio Visual CLUB
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 N. Central Ave, Los Angeles
April 20th – May 6th, 2012

Mar 15, 2012 13:24:00
MUJI store

MUJI's Mojo Goes On Display

To know MUJI is to love MUJI. The low-priced, logo-free brand borne of the need to clothe and feed a destitute post-war Japan, MUJI has since become an accidental international phenomenon, opening stores across Asia, Europe and North America. Long before Ikea and its promise of a blonde-wood utopia, MUJI was supplying all the stackable shelving, beige porcelain tea sets, and cardboard computer speakers the world could ever want or, more importantly, need.

Honoring its decades of service to common-sensical yet design-conscious customers, MUJI is the subject of the London Design Museum's latest exhibit, launching tomorrow, March 9. Product Fitness 80, as it's cryptically called, the exhibit highlights the best of MUJI's offering over the years, those possessing the most integrity, purest minimalism and finest monozukuri, or craftsmanship. Falling exactly one year after the Japanese earthquake, the exhibit also serves as a reminder of the dangers of materialism and over-consumption. The moral of MUJI has always been to use and enjoy the simpler, humbler things in life.

In typical MUJI mindfulness, admission is free for those with a store receipt.

Mar 08, 2012 20:03:00

Hint Tip: Fashion Exhibits

A spate of new museum exhibits should keep your mind off the sad fact that Fashion Month is almost over...

what: The Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent devotes its 17th exhibition to Kabuki. The centuries-old Japanese theater costumes (courtesy of Shôchiku Costumes) are accompanied by accessories, engravings, photographs and documentary footage, the first of its kind ever held in Paris.
where: Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, 5 avenue Marceau, 75116 Paris
when: March 7 - July 15, 2012

what: In Youthquake (a term used often by Diana Vreeland), FIT explores the dramatic impact of youth culture on fashion during the 1960s, a decade defined by the ascendance of young people as a political, social, and aesthetic force. The exhibit features over 30 garments, accessories, videos, and other related media.
where: The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, NYC
when: March 6 - April 7, 2012

what: Still under renovation, Musée Galliera at the Docks will stage two small exhibits this summer. One looks back at Cristóbal Balenciaga, with more than 70 historical garments collected by the late couturier, shown alongside his own couture pieces. The other, White Drama, will showcase Comme des Garçons' all-white spring 2012 collection by Rei Kawakubo, who also designed the scenography for the exhibit.
where: Musée Galliera at the Docks, 34 quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
when: April 13 - October 7, 2012

what: Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of formal relations between Japan and Israel, the Design Museum in Holon will mount an exhibit of 80 women's and men's looks by Yohji Yamamoto—an Israeli first. A series of site-specific installations will inhabit and respond to Ron Arad's iconic building, unifying indoor and outdoor spaces, including the two major galleries, a lab space and garden.
where: Pinhas Eilon St. 8, Holon, Israel 58459
when: July - October 2012

what: Celebrating Christian Louboutin's 20th anniversary and drawing from the shoe designer's personal archive, a major retrospective at the London Design Museum begins with the origins of the iconic red sole and continues through his latest collections, touching on everything in between, from stilettos and studded sneakers to handbags and Louboutin's new men's range.
where: Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD
when: May 1 – July 8, 2012

Feb 29, 2012 12:44:00
Untitled #466, Cindy Sherman, 2008

Hint Tip: Cindy Sherman at MoMA

You'd think, given her obsessive self-involvement and makeovers, that Cindy Sherman would be more into fashion. But no, she sticks to her artistic roots, while the rest of us label her a muse and icon. On the rare occasion that she enters into a collaboration with the fashion world—Balenciaga, MAC, Marc Jacobs, Comme des Garçons—she'll usually make a farce of it. 

An upcoming retrospective at MoMA (opening February 26) will hopefully shed light on this and other paradoxical relationships. Bringing together more than 170 self-portraits, the exhibit traces Sherman's career from the mid-1970s to the present. Key works include her early film series that took aim at the portrayal of women in cinema; her old-master series, in which she poses as aristocrats, clergymen, and milkmaids a la Vermeer; and her more recent society portraits that poke fun at how the wealthy handle aging (hint: not well).

Feb 02, 2012 19:15:00
Kristen McMenamy by Juergen Teller

Hint Tip: Juergen Teller at Lehmann Maupin

Lincoln Center and Milk Studios aren't the only places fashion's finest will be popping up this Fashion Week. A few illustrious faces are taking up residence on the Lower East Side with the opening of Juergen Teller's exhibit at Lehmann Maupin Gallery on February 10.

Teller—the impish photographer perhaps best-known for his quirky, blown-out portraits of models and celebs for Marc Jacobs' ad campaigns—will take over the gallery’s LES branch (201 Chrystie Street) with an exhibition divided into three parts. The first features photographs of model Kristen McMenamy from the duo’s controversial photo shoot for 032C magazine, in which the ghostly blonde vamps around an Italian villa in S&M gear and various found props. Some have called it pornographic. We wouldn't go that far, but we will tell you this: there will be nip.

The other two sections offer something a little tamer, and a personal counterpoint to the artist’s fashion photography. Keys to the House is the very essence of domesticity, images of Teller’s friends and family from around his British country home, while Men and Women offers a study in the ages of man. These range from the youthful vigor of the artist’s cherubic son, Ed, to the 72-year-old photographic pioneer William Eggleston, plus portraits of Dame Vivienne Westwood as a contrasting icon of feminine power.

Jan 31, 2012 19:39:00
Prada's 24 h Museum

Hint Tip: Prada's 24 h Museum

Few labels have cultivated as artsy an edge as Prada. The Italian brand, forever restless, continues its tradition of backing unconventional art projects with 24 h Museum, conceived by Francesco Vezzoli. The Milan-based artist is, of course, better-known for his pornographic remake of I, Caligula for the 2005 Venice Biennale, and for orchestrating a LACMA gala where Lady Gaga performed on a Damien Hirst-embellished piano.

Starting January 24, and for exactly 24 hours, Vezzoli will transform Paris’s iconic Palais d’Iéna into a surreal installation based on three types of museums: historic, contemporary and forgotten. Part art museum, part red-carpet event, the living exhibition celebrates—in cohoots with Rem Koolhaas’s think tank AMO—the "eternal allure of femininity" through Vezzoli’s interpretation of classical sculpture as contemporary divas. Think Beyoncé meets Bernini, or Madonna meets Michelangelo. If it sounds kitschy, it is, in the artistic sense of the word.

Just before midnight, the space will transform into a disco, where real-life goddesses will mingle with Vezzoli’s creations. And if you can’t make it to the Palais d’Iéna, don’t worry. You can still be a part of the online exhibition by submitting your own Vezzoli-fied photo via Facebook. Or peek in when the invite-only nightclub is live-streamed on the site.

Jan 22, 2012 12:28:00
Ouattara Watts

Hint Tip: Ouattara Watts

On February 7, Vladimir "son-of-Carine, brother-of-Julia" Restoin-Roitfeld will launch an exhibition of artist Ouattara Watts, thus kicking off Fashion Week once again and suggesting his impeccable fashion timing is not accidental, but drilled into him from a young age, alongside his ABCs.

Since stepping into the art world in 2009, the budding curator has worked largely outside the traditional gallery mode, scooping up overlooked artists from the '80s and betting on a comeback. But instead of opening a space of his own, a prohibitively expensive venture, Restoin-Roitfeld has dipped into his Rolodex, partnering with cashed-up luxury brands—Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani—for a series of pop-up exhibitions. It’s a recipe for buzz and glitterati, even in the unlikely event that only his style-entrenched family and girlfriend attend.

Born in the Ivory Coast, Ouattara Watts first came to New York in 1988 on the advice of friend and fellow artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; the stylistic similarities are unmistakable. For those interested in viewing the neo-expressionist works while not under the influence of champers and chatty friends, the exhibition will run through February 19 at 560 Washington Street, Door 37E—an ideal spot for popping in between shows.

Jan 12, 2012 12:50:00

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