JAMESPLUMB’s Home From Home

JAMESPLUMB’s Home From Home

Next week at Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan is the opening of JAMESPLUMB‘s newest foray into the re-imagination of the banal. Through their imaginative reconstructions of existing objects and spaces, the indelible Londoners breathe new life into tired forms and skilfully transmogrify the archetypal into the the whimsical. Labouring away since mid-October in their Home From Home, Orlandi’s gallery space, to work their magic on her personal collection of industrial and vintage furniture, the results are sure to be dazzling.

Join us again next week for impressions from the opening. Until then, the space is open every day from 10am to 7pm (except Sunday) for a “work in progress” viewing of the project’s evolution. Opening night, 22 November, at 6pm at Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Via Matteo Bandello 14-16, Milano.

Text by Tag Christof, Photo courtesy JAMESPLUMB.

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Scarlets – Splendid Chaos

Scarlets – Splendid Chaos

The Scarlets, a band that incorporates the good, the bad. The voice, the ideology. The essence, the vitality. This band has the potential to become the voice of today’s youth, being the leaders of a new movement within their transgressive nature. Their debut album Splendid Chaos is a reminiscence of what Britain bands were back in the eighties, with a twenty eleven twist to. With past performances at London’s Shoreditch Festival, Rocket Club Milano, and Tape Club Firenze, to name only a few, The Scarlets have now released their debut album that is truthfully splendid chaos.

Their roots lead back to Italy, and they’re performing here on Friday November 19th, 2010 at El Paso Occupato in Torino.

By Safia Brown, photo courtesy The Scarlets.

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VICE / Jerry Hsu

VICE / Jerry Hsu

Born in San Jose in 1981, a Taiwanese Californian, Jerry Hsu is famous for being a pro skater, and is an up and coming American contemporary photographer known for framing rawness and triviality. It comes as no surprise that after Vice curated his work In New York and Los Angeles, it is now time for Vice Italy and Ransom by adidas originals to present Jerry Hsu’s intriguing images in Milan: Goodbye for good: Photography by Jerry Hsu.

“As far as Vice’s role in photography, I think They developed a stereotypical style of photography, like the shocking photo of your friend throwing up, or a bar fight, or weird titty situations.” -Jerry Hsu

His photographic breakthrough can be traced back to his first feature in Vice in July 2004. Through his lens Jerry Hsu sees the world in ways that not many so-called photographers do, and portrays his surroundings in a rather entertaining and refreshing manner. The irony of simplicity, storytelling that subtly underlines the nowhere and the nobody. Jerry Hsu’s photography is an iconic yet stochastic example of the significance of Vice photography.

Thursday November 18th, 19h00 Vice Gallery di via Giacomo Watt 32, Milano. Open to the public until December 20th Monday – Friday, 15h00-19h00

By Safia Brown, Photo courtesy Vice.

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Skye Parrott: First Love, Last Rites

Skye Parrott: First Love, Last Rites

In a new New York exhibition, Dossier Journal founder and 2DM photographer Skye Parrott turns her lens on a foggy past to explore the fluid, treacherous reconstruction of memory. With the help of some friends she explores a formidable gap in her photographed life, a turbulent time from which no images of her exist. Through an attempt to reconstruct the spaces and relationships of the time from memory, physical artefacts, and a conflicting interview with a then central figure in her life, she dives deep into a haunting realisation that what is remembered is quite possibly not what is real.

Opening at Brooklyn’s Capricious Space, a self-described sanctuary from the city linked to the emerging fine-art photography publication, Capricious Magazine. Friday, November 19th from 7-9pm, Capricious Space, 103 Broadway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

By Tag Christof, photo courtesy Skye Parrott.

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Gavin Watson / 55DSL

Gavin Watson / 55DSL

Last week 55DSL’s London flagship played host to an exhibition called “Neville,” a showcase of the work of 2DM photographer emeritus Gavin Watson. Known in cooler circles the world over for his poignantly punk Skins and Punks and Raving 89 monographs, as well as his world-class portfolio of photos for an insanely long list of publications.

The exhibition centres on Gavin’s muse and the subject of one of his most important series – one he has, in fact, spent a lifetime following – his younger brother Neville. The series follow the indomitable youth, the other Watson, from precocious kid to full-fledged adult and is extraordinary in the particular, direct, trusting relationship it makes obvious between the lens and its subject. Not to mention, Neville is a bad ass.

The “delightfully offensive” limited edition t-shirt of Neville’s most iconic portrait, complete with killer preteen punk scowl, was featured at the exhibition alongside a box of picture postcards by Gavin, and is still up for grabs at 55DSL’s site.

Text and photo by Tag Christof

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Guest Interview nº18: Andrew Richardson

Guest Interview n° 18: Andrew Richardson

Andrew Richardson practically bears no introduction. The stylist extraordinaire has worked with some of the best photographers on earth, including Steven Meisel, and his work is well known for its lavishness and sensuality. From his roots in the production of Madonna’s Sex book on through to the most recent installment of the magazine that bears his name, Richardson, he has become one of the world’s foremost straddlers of the aberrant lines between fashion, fine art and sex. For this very special Guest Interview, we talk change, collaborators and end with a voyage to the land of id.

The eponymous, infamous magazine you started has its fourth issue out and your work in fashion is as rich and well-done as ever. How do you feel?
Good, Thank You.

You must be blindingly aware that the name “Richardson” itself evokes dirtiness. Yourself and Terry Richardson have mastered the glamorisation of salaciousness, and it’s been a beautiful and liberating thing. What do you have to say about working with him? 
It’s been emotional.

So, why Sasha Grey for the cover of Richardson A4? I mean, she’s been on the cover of Playboy! 
She was on our cover first. She is the Modern Porn Star Movie Star Rock Star the Poster Child for the emancipation of Porn, how could we not put her on the cover?

You’re no stranger to speculation about your own sexuality. It’s common currency that you’re bisexual, but some sources say you’re all about the girls. We don’t make inferences, so we’re dying to know once and for all where you’d fall on the Kinsey scale.
Dark Grey…

Now, onto the slightly less lewd. Issue A3 came out in 2002. Why such a long hiatus? Why restart now?
Sasha Grey is the first a real stand out porn star since Tera Patrick so it was time to get to the magazine together again.

Your inclusion of the American artist Carollee Schneemann in this issue is interesting, since she’s one of the few feminists who sees feminism through the scope of sexual expression as opposed to social oppression. Still, she’s dealt with erotic imagery in a very serious, sometimes somber way throughout her lengthy career. Do you feel that her work’s impetus is at all contrary to the sexually irreverent nature of the magazine?
“How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?  …One , and it’s not a joke” As you say Carolee was very different for other feminists, she is a lover not a fighter. I was doing a pro sex feminist issue so no I don’t see her work in the issue as contrary to the ‘irreverent’ nature of the magazine.

So, exactly how do you go about curating the talent you choose to include?
It’s different now than it was when I did the first three magazines. The internet has made so much more available which is confusing for a generation analog editor like myself. Themes for each issue come up consequentially and I chose contributors instinctually, something to do with how they do or do not fit within the theme of the issue.

At the very least the ubiquity of virtual porn in the intervening years will at least take the edge off its shock factor. I can probably leave this issue on my coffee table when my parents come over. So, what are you going to do to continue to push the envelope?
I’m not really interested in pushing the envelope for the sake of shocking your parents or anyone. Shocking is not the point.

Are the thrust and vision of the magazine and your work the same as they were before? What’s changed in the meantime?
I am very happy to get back to publishing Richardson online and in print, it has made the fashion work more enjoyable too, everything is good now.  The Fashion work is less intense, more appropriate, the Magazine a little more grown up.

On that note, the magazine’s website has quite a bit of interactive content. Even QR barcodes! Is this an attempt to tap into the app-mad zeitgeist or an effort to re-imagine Richardson’s possibilities and scope? 
The latter mainly, the QR codes are an attempt to expand the experience of reading the magazine. The website is more about Fun and immediacy where as the magazine is a personal project made by my Office and Studio 191, more rigorous and permanent. And for sure the website is a great interactive portal that we will be expanding socially and economically in the future.

Insight into your future?
The future will be a subtle, slow burning frightening inward journey to the sexually utopian virtual world online where everything is permitted and the id rules supreme.

Richardson Magazine

Text and interview Tag Christof, all images courtesy Richardson Magazine

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Verger’s Piece of Green

Verger’s Piece of Green

Verger is a pioneer in the sometimes conservative business establishment of Milan. It is thoughtful individuals behind a very savvy brand that not only taps into, but clearly cares deeply about the best of today’s zeitgeist and emphasises quality, creativity, sustainability, craftsmanship, simplicity and change. Last year, they opened a shiny new space at the pinnacle of Via Varese and Via Volta that is, in their words “a place that embraces young creativity” and is one in a handful of bright spots in the ongoing renaissance of Milan as a creative capital in a century with radically altered priorities. The open and warm space, executed by Marco Bonelli of BAM Design, is modular and dynamic and includes an inventive restaurant, Verger Kitchen, as well as a boutique and exhibition spaces.

The core of Verger, in any case, lies in its highly regarded knitwear line that in turn finds its roots in cashmere purveyor Cristiano Fissore. Today, the collection is designed by the very talented Carolina Mazzolari, an alumnus of the University of Arts of London. Carolina describes herself as first and foremost a textile designer, and thus brings a rigorous expertise of fibre and construction. She impressively not only conceives each Verger piece, but also designs the knitted textiles they’re made from. With an almost Scandinavian sensibility, she sources raw materials from Italy when possible, and always with an equal eye towards sustainability and luxury. The designer’s lines are pure, use of colour is sober, and the resultant pieces are enduringly beautiful and classic. Over coffee Carolina hinted to The Blogazine of a possible future men’s line under the label. We’re already queuing.

This November 4th, the space played host to an exhibition in collaboration with AT Casa, billed “Meet A Piece of Green From Milan” and conceived by Daniele Belleri and Elena Comincioli. It is, quite intriguingly, an ongoing project dedicated to the valorisation and appreciation of the spontaneous, unplanted plants in an urban setting; a tribute, essentially, to the weed. The premise is elegant: green growing from a crack in a sidewalk may be a nuisance, a hazard, an allergen, but can when reconsidered become “an unexpected source of beauty, of fragrance, and of colour.”

Milan, with its dearth of green space and abundance of urban decay is in no position to continually destroy and chop down a potential source of free beauty within. With a panoramic eye on renewed collective space, and in response to a critical need for a rethinking of urban space around the world, the exhibition offers a fascinating perspective and an segue to a potentially very fruitful dialogue. The exhibition had been previously shown at this year’s London Design Festival, and this time around visitors were invited to adopt their own potted piece of found Milanese green to take home and love.

More info about the project and its creators can be found at Adopt A Piece of Green From Milan.

Text and photo by Tag Christof, Promotional material courtesy Verger

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Fratelli Rossetti – S/S 2011 by George Esquivel

Fratelli Rossetti – S/S 2011 by George Esquivel

Esquivel is a legend in his time: a sort of present-day, living Salvatore Ferragamo. His métier is shoes, shoes which he obsesses over and crafts painstakingly working from his Southern California atelier. He is the embodiment of the artisan, the cerebral creator awash in a thoroughly impersonal industry. His product is special precisely because of the individualised focus and attention to detail evident in every shoe that bears his name.

Fratelli Rossetti is one of the world’s most important shoemakers, and one those quintessentially Italian brands, like Zegna or Brioni, which somehow manage to brandish patriotic pins on its pinstriped lapels regardless of how relentless its global outlook. The company is known for high-quality and polished sensible shoes, and its rather staid Italianate style. In a thoroughly modern gesture, however, the buttoned-up giant and the decidedly non-Italian artisan have teamed up for a very fruitful collaboration. We’ve caught up with George Esquivel to learn about co-creativity alongside an Italian stalwart, the resulting collection and his take on creativity. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the interview.

By Tag Christof– Photo courtesy of Sara Romani & Fratelli Rossetti

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2DM illustrators take on Casamica

2DM illustrators take on Casamica

In the illustrative spirit of the season, 2DM’s Marco Kleifisch and Sandra Suy lent their visions to this month’s issue of Casamica, Corriere Della Sera’s design magazine. The happy digest, perennially choc-full of well manicured gardens, well lived-in homes and innovative offices, is a feast of lovingly curated spaces and the objects that inhabit them.

Kleifisch’s illustrations are sprinkled from end to end of the issue, and depict the designer and craftsmen maker shakers behind the innovations and creations throughout.

Among them is Momo Mazouz, the man behind the Marais’ famous boutique Derrière, Dutch master gardener Piet Oudolf and experimental designer Martino Gamper. Suy’s work, on the other hand, is a cheeky full page interpretation of the 1976 Newsweek cover graced by the indefatigable Diane Von Furstenburg, in tribute to her enduring success and forever in-vogue wrap dress.

By Tag Christof – images courtesy of 2DM / Management
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Hero / Bruna Kazinoti

Hero / Bruna Kazinoti

Way forward and out on the fringe, yet front, centre and on beat in a way only a Brit-zine can seem to pull off, Hero Magazine is a gem. It at once bombastic, sexual, cooler-than-you and so pungently British that a hunk of stilton’s origins might be less clear at first glance. Beyond its very compelling art direction (with a notably excellent structural use of type), non-sequitur treasures abound in each issue, such as behind-the-scenes photos by Harry Lambert of shoots styled by Stevie Westgarth, a cheeky tribute to vintage Versace, and one helluva lineup of well-curated talent.

The biannual zine, which reads a lot like a really, really long mood board, portends to be a barometer on progressive men’s fashion. Its sinewy combination of high fashion, dirty English ostentation, hot models and seemingly effortless ability to exude cool mostly makes it just that.

Their forthcoming issue features an editorial shot by a relatively new and welcome addition to 2DM, the brilliant Bruna Kazinoti. Tease! Check out Hero’s latest issue for the full experience.

By Tag Christof, Photos courtesy Hero

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