Yvette’s Orange Snowman Shake
Our indelible Yvette Van Boven whipped up this gingery-citrus-vanilla delight just in time for some holiday cheer. It’s the perfect compliment (or cap) to a hot Christmas dinner. Enjoy!
Yvette van Boven
Yvette’s Orange Snowman Shake
Our indelible Yvette Van Boven whipped up this gingery-citrus-vanilla delight just in time for some holiday cheer. It’s the perfect compliment (or cap) to a hot Christmas dinner. Enjoy!
Yvette van Boven
Happy Christmas from 2DM /
It’s about that time to gather around a fire, eat a few kilos of sugary treats and wait for Babbo Natale or Santa Claus (or whoever it is that normally drops by your ‘hood) to pay a visit. So Happy Holidays, safe travels, warm wine and fuzzy feelings to all!
From everyone here to our wonderful talents, clients, collaborators, bloggers and friends we wish you an inspired finish to your 2010!Tag Christof
Vicky Trombetta & Matthew Josephs: Lurve
2DM’s Vicky Trombetta is fresh off an editorial for the new issue of Lurve, with superb styling by sage Londoner Matthew Josephs. The stunning images here are just an appetizer, so be sure to check out the issue when it hits newsstands!
From the Bureau
David Shama does David Lynch
Swiss-born Paris-based photog David Shama, has recently begun to dabble in film direction and is off to a fine start. His latest work is a music video for the indelible director extraordinaire David Lynch’s recent, somewhat unexpected foray into music. The video is in the running to become the official work associated with the song, interestingly in a competition the esteemed director himself is holding.
We spoke to Shama briefly about the ethereal, intensely physical work, which he likened to a conversation with the model, sweet Swede Annie Åckerman. Among his guiding lights for the video, he cites Chris Cunningham and Jonathan Glazer’s work for Aphex Twin and Radiohead, respectively. (And probably a healthy dose of the master Lynch’s work, as well) He told us of the mood, “I wanted to keep the frame very tight to convey a sense of claustrophobia and to accentuate the captivating feeling of the song.”
You captivated us, kid. And we think Lynch will love it. But this is a competition, afterall, so let’s show some support! Vote Mr. Shama’s film here. Share with your friends!Tag Christof, Images and video courtesy David Shama
It could be the eggnog, the ungodly amount of sparkly tinsel or the fruitcake and pannetone, but whatever the case, we can’t help but feel a bit queasy and overwhelmed this holiday season. There’s just so. much. stuff. While you’re wading through masses of anonymous shoppers in the next few days we know you’ll know exactly what we mean.
And while a splurge and binge here and there probably keeps us all sane (and employed), the state of the world today calls for some radical reconsiderations and even more radical behaviour shifts. Maybe even a healthy dose of sobriety. Considerations of looming population explosions and climate change and finite natural resources can do the head in, but in practice, answers lie in well-measured alterations of our own behaviour. Real solutions often come disguised in the simplest, most elegant packages.
Enter the tiny house, pioneered by the accidental visionary, Jay Schafer, founder of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. From the yurt to the Airstream, it seems we’ve always had an oblique fascination with tidy glove-tight dwellings, but these are meant as far more than simple shacks or ramshackle mobile outposts as they ideally offer all of the creature comforts of a traditional home without the possibility of hoarding – 6 to 77 square meters (65 to 835 square feet)! This is living essentially, not poorly, and the vanguard of this mini movement (no pun intended) is picking up steam. And while in its more semiotically safe incarnations, its shape and scale may cause snickers about its eerie similarity to the particle board dwelling your father nailed together for you as a child, just imagine your playhouse decked out with Sub Zero appliances, a few choice artworks and some fancy furniture, and the misconception vanishes. As BMW’s ingenious MINI and its numerous copycat pretenders have taught us, quality and size most definitely aren’t doomed to an inextricable inverse relationship. The key, as always, is skilful execution and considerate design.
Urban housing considerations are altogether different than the quarter-acre grid and cul-de-sac standard of suburban America, yes. And it would be sheer folly to expect millions of well-heeled, eco-aware urbanites to abandon their comfortable flats and townhouses for tiny, decked out pods, yet these almost revolutionary reconsiderations of space should provide a valuable impetus for the future of home design in general. While the Japanese have been the masters of modularity and efficiency since pretty much forever, those lessons in efficiency mostly just translated into an ability to amass more junk in less space. These pint-sized paradigm benders from the land of the Big Mac and Hummer offer up a refreshing change of emphasis. In an out with the baby and the bathwater scenario, if even the McMansion can be reconsidered, imagine what a true rethink of urban dwellings could amount to! And who wouldn’t love to live in one of these on the leafy green roof of an LA skyscraper or London warehouse?
The cherry on the sundae, furthermore, is that instead of being off-the-shelf kits for Ikea easy 1-2-3 construction, you have to build your own. Tumbleweed is based on a model of education and facilitation, providing expertise, plans and workshops to encourage creative execution of one’s own mini-mansion. The result is an infinitely customisable, open ended, bespoke creation. All probably without mortgage payments, endless metres of floor to clean or negligible maintenance and utility costs.
Text and Image Tag Christof, additional images courtesy Tumbleweed Tiny Houses.
J. Parker Valentine at Peep Hole
PEEP HOLE, one of the most interesting and active art spaces in Milan, until January 29, is displaying Cut-Outs-Inter-Sections, the solo show by J. Parker Valentine, a young American artist (b. 1980) currently based in New York and Austin, Texas.
For her first time in Italy, the artist presents a site-specific work realised directly on the wall and an installation of drawings on MDF boards – coming from a previous show – and used here as a table to support other works on paper.
Even if the artist usually uses different media, which also include photography, collage, painting and sculpture, the exhibition focuses on the semiotic ‘sign’ that is the core of her work.
In the big drawing on the wall of the first room, J. Parker Valentine combines remaining graphite marks and erasures with stained shreds of canvas creating complete and incomplete fragments of an abstract narration, which covers the entire space. As in the table-object room, abstraction becomes the subject and the viewer can glimpse concrete forms through it. The gestural, abstract drawings, the sketches and the dirty marks cross the traditional two-dimensionality of the works on paper to turn into physical objects that reveal their precarious balance. With basic material and lines, J. Parker Valentine creates an interaction between abstraction and figuration, providing a personal path to grasp her own experience and cultural background among the texture of signs in the works.
J. Parker Valentine’s recent solo shows have taken place at Supportico Lopez in Berlin (ongoing), Taka Ishii Gallery in Kyoto (2010) and Lisa Cooley Gallery in New York (2010, 2008). Among group shows: Organic Relationships, The Center for Cosmic Wonder, Tokyo (2010); Substance Abuse, Leo Koenig Inc., New York (2010); Christopher Orr & J. Parker Valentine & Rezi van Lankveld, Front Room, Contemporary Arts Museum, St. Louis, Missouri (2009); If the Dogs are Barking, Artists Space, New York (2009); Creswell Crags, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York (2008).Monica Lombardi, Images J. Parker Valentine. Cut-Outs-Inter-Sections, installation view at Peep-Hole, Milan, 2010
Guest Interview n°21: Naomi Preizler
Fashion icon in-the-making. Cosmopolitan. Budding artist. And she’s still a teenager. Naomi Preizler has been on the world stage for just over a year now, and has already walked for Issey Miyake, Sonya Rykiel, Maison Martin Margiela, Chanel, Gaultier, and Josep Font (and the illustrious list goes on). The Buenos Aires native is a model of the finest class, and simply oozes substance, intelligence, culture and sophistication, to boot. Inspired by her sketches, our Vicky Trombetta even shot her for the current issue of Wonderland. We get deep with Naomi in a long conversation about her place in the world, her view on the state of fashion and her role as subject and object of art.
What came first? Modeling or painting? And how did you make your way into each one?
I was born into an artistic family; my father’s an architect and my grandmother an artist, so they’ve encouraged since I was born. I’ve been drawing and painting since I was very little. I was also into wearing my mom’s accessories, and when I grew older I developed a huge interest in fashion, buying Italian Vogues and becoming familiar with the good designers. Plus my grandmother had an amazing wardrobe, and lots of its pieces belong to me now…
When I was 14 I was scouted by a local agent in Buenos Aires. I didn’t have any interest, but when I heard names like Versace and Chanel and cities like New York and Paris I started to keep an eye on it. I kept it slow until I graduated from high school and by then would travel to London first. I always wanted to go abroad and modeling was my perfect opportunity. Of course I couldn’t avoid being influenced by fashion at the beginning. And thanks to fashion I have something to say. And thanks to fashion I achieved lots of knowledge living alone abroad. I think sometimes that maybe I could still be stuck in Buenos Aires trying to find something to say…
You’ve said on your blog that “the figure is being modeled.” Essentially you are the figure being modeled when you’re working. How do you translate your artistic intuition and your painting into your modeling work?
Well I actually said that because the word “model” means a lot of things. I don’t like to call myself a model and I think that that word is misused for that profession. Because a “model” is something that should be followed because of its perfection. If somebody asks me what I do, I say that I work in fashion…
I’ve discovered a lot by looking at myself in the mirror and experiencing what my figure goes through while on set. I recently shot an editorial where I was pretending to be my own drawings styled in the 1920’s (I’m obsessed with that era). And I really understood then how bones bend and the muscles tense with different torsions and body expressions. So I could say I felt my figure being modeled by me.
How have your life’s recent, drastic changes affected you?
When I studied theatre the task I enjoyed the most was improvisation. It’s pretty much what happens in life. Things come and go unexpectedly. But when something goes away it leaves space for other things to come into our lives. In mine, in a model’s everyday life, this occurs very often. Opportunities and bookings and trips and contacts…
Do you have any formal art training? What made you first pick up a brush?
I became heavily interested in art as a teenager, through reading my dad’s art books. When I started traveling abroad I discovered, by going to all the big museums and exhibitions, how much I loved art, artists and movements. Later, I took classes with different artists. When I became established in NY, I started attending a non-formal art school. First The New York Academy of Art and now I’m attending The Artists Students League of NY, which is a great place where very important artists have discovered themselves, like Litchenstein and Rothko and Pollock… I’m like a sponge and absorb everything I see and hear. The atmosphere during an art class is very encouraging and deep and completely different than backstage! (Laughs)
The painting and artistic expression – is this something just for you, personal moments of release? Or would you like to expand and change lanes, and ride in the artists’ saddle?
I paint when I feel like it or when I’ve got free time, because it fulfills me, and this job requires balance. Because sometimes you are rejected, and I myself feel the need to grab a pencil and sketch something on a sheet of paper and say “I was good in the end”… I would carry my sketchbook everywhere as a means of expression; it’s like a catharsis. If I don’t have it with me I would pretend I’m drawing the situation on air to memorize that vision.
And of course, I love the idea of showing people that I can do something other modeling. People are very surprised sometimes when they discover I have some deeper talent…
What runs through your mind after you have created something on a canvas?
It’s literally the same feeling that I have after an orgasm, pleased and proud. If I’m not pleased with what I’ve done I tend to not throw it out, because in the end it was something that my unconscious wanted to express and I can’t reject it… After I’ve fixed the first lines and shapes on the canvas I stop for a long time and sit and stare and walk around and stare it again and maybe go out and when I come back I’ve already achieved the next piece to add. Because a painting is not an instant, it is a whole process.
Which artists do you admire or feel you identify closely with?
Basically the expressionists from the 20’s like Edvard Munch, Otto Dix, Kokoshka and Egon Schiele. I love Schiele most; he was a deep pessimist and dark character. His career was very short so we can’t really see his improvement like Picasso, but still with no money to buy materials he still found a way to express his very particular view of humanity. I also admire Lucian Freud, because of how he paints flesh on the body; Monet for the his drastic addition to art history. I love the woman as heroine that Rubens set out; David Hockney’s architectural sets; Marlene Dumas and Elizabeth Peyton as the 90’s figurative art revival; Banksy and Basquiat’s philosophies…
Painting, theatre, modeling – what else do you do that we don’t know about?
Nothing is enough for me! When they ask me the typical “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question, I don’t know where to start. In the beginning I loved dancing and wanted to be a ballerina; so there you’ve got something more: dancing. Basically anything related to expression. I like writing as well.
Do you feel that life is its own theatre stage? Which role do you play? And everyone else? Are they spectators or participators?
Yes it is, like the Improvisation task of drama school. If you try to follow a script you will fail. Life is not written. I’m just a student who enters on the sets of different people and then receives other issues and new characters onto my stage. We are all part of the play. We are all part of that system and life is a system which sometimes works as we want it to and sometimes doesn’t, and needs new pieces, new characters, new situations, to keep on working at the same speed that the world around us moves. And sometimes it stops working forever.
Do you live by any particular adage?
My father uses very often quotes from the Torah to refer to different life situations. The one that sticks with me the most is: “If I am not for myself, who will be? And when I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” (Hillel Hazaquen, 110 CE-10 CE).
Who are ‘the fantastic four’ featured on your blog? Are those your designs? What sparked those drawings?
I was in Milan during Fashion Week after a bad casting day, I felt the need to create my own designs. I was going through so many different fashion houses watching them do their thing and said to myself “I can do what I want as well”. So I did it. I drew four different figures with my four favorite looks that I always end up wearing.
Sometimes I would read these cheap magazines where they dictate to you the trend of the moment as if you were a marionette manipulated by the, in this case, fashion business ($$€€££). So I added funny ironic notes next to each look like “Hold your breath for the revival of the 1800s corset and feel a lady again. Where have all those gentlemen gone?” or in the Detail Section, things like “The briefcase: I’m already wearing my dad’s one and believe me, you can take your whole Mac cosmetic collection with you!” (Laughs) That’s consumerism!
You are an exceptionally talented individual. Is there something that is missing right now in your life? Something you’d like to pursue?
Talent! There’s not a limit, you are always achieving new things and developing your knowledge and life experience. My own is very very little right now in comparison with my entire future lifetime. In the end, I would like to feel I’ve lived life the best way I could have.
Everyone is tired of the superficiality and is hungry for what is real and raw, the people and things that they can relate to. What do you think will be the future of modeling and the fashion industry? What would you say is missing?
Fashion people are not the problem. We see fashion as a reflection of society. So it’s the society that’s in charge of moving business, because cause in the end fashion’s client is society.
There’s a lot of junk information surrounding us, propaganda. And then comes fashion to reiterate the same. I don’t mean by this by the clothes themselves, but in the way business moves, how people interact. In any case, I’ve met some amazing artistic, fashionable minds and thanks to them I’ve ended up thinking of fashion as a means of expression. People then choose to buy it or not. That’s the way it should be; we should be able to choose what we truly believe in with no one to convince and confuse us of our original vision. Fashion’s future depends only and exclusively on us, society.
What is your spiritual reality?
My “external me” may be classified in a group of others with the same tag. My “internal me” is the one willing to break that tag. So it’s a constant fight between soul and body, thoughts and extension. Most of the time we think unconsciously but act consciously. That’s why I agree with Rothko and Basquiat that the childhood is such an important process of life because as a child we don’t have inhibitions in expressing what we want, and should be encouraged not to loose that naïve, unconscious way of acting. The final goal is that my thoughts gain more control over my extension. We are a dual being and I try my best to find an understanding between both sides and identification. That’s when I reach a purer self…
Interview Coco Brown. Editing and introduction Tag Christof. Photos courtesy Vicky Trombetta / 2DM, other images courtesy Naomi Preizler.
Milan is dusted in white. And every high street from Via Montenapoleone to Corso Vercelli is dressed up in twinkling light. A giant evergreen in Piazza Duomo has stolen centre stage from the cathedral, and fuzzy songs with bell percussion lines are wafting over every radio frequency. This must all mean… sustainable food! Eh?
Yes, this year Christmas in our lovely city will be just a bit greener thanks to Velofood. The “Sustainable Delivery Service,” which started earlier this month, has cleverly wrapped up sustainably produced holiday confections, wine and miscellaneous delicacies in adorable Milanese monument themed packages, from San Cristoforo sul Naviglio (right down the block from us!) to Bocconi to Casa Manzoni and Palazzo Mezzanotte among others. Each theme has its own special assortment of treats. Order three days in advance for timely delivery, and clean green zero-carbon-footprint bike messengers will speedily pedal a pack or two right to your doorstep. Send some to your friends! And if you want our address to spread a bit of holiday cheer…From the Bureau
Designed by Columbia University professor Shree Nayar first and foremost as an educational toy, the Bigshot camera project is turning out to be something altogether more alluring. The camera is, in the vain of Lego and IKEA furniture, to be built from scratch from pre-fabricated pieces. But quite unlike the iconic Scandinavians (especially the latter), its building fosters an understanding of a process, which despite its ubiquity, remains an opaque demi-mystery to the greater majority of humanity. Quite simply, the plastic and silicone components that make up this elemental DIY digital camera teach principles of optics and mechanics and thereby help to demystify the black boxes that are most point-and-shoot digital cameras.
And with analog photography’s recent explosion into the zeitgeist as an indispensable branch of photography for connoisseurs (as opposed to an anachronistic form of it), companies like Lomography and, more recently, The Impossible Project have sprung up to answer the call of the legions of nouveau-analog warriors. Along these lines in the parallel digital world, a quiet low-fi movement has also taken place, with serious photography being done on mobile phone cameras, with cheap fisheye lenses and with specialty cameras that replicate everything from Quaker Oatmeal pinholes to Soviet rangefinders.
Analogue or not, however, Bigshot is a break-the-mould original, that despite its stated target, is sure to be one rugged, elemental and satisfying image-making tool. For everyone interested in a more direct relationship with their images, regardless of age. Cheeky touches abound, such as a way-cool manual crank that allows for its use even if the main battery is drained, and the camera’s website provides how-to advice for using the camera as a periscope, kaleidoscope and basic pinhole. Most interesting in its functionality, however, are its three lenses that give the little pistol a virtuoso versatility.
There is, however, one gigantic catch: although it continues to undergo continual development and refinement by its creator and his team, the Bigshot project has yet to secure financing (or a corporate sponsor willing to commercialise it) and thus, remains a prototype in search of a home. Anticipation has mounted as the good word spreads, and we’re crossing our fingers and throwing in our voice in praise. We’ll take one for the Bureau in basic black, and can’t wait to tinker and tape. And toy around. (Ha!)Tag Christof, Images courtesy Bigshot project
Decadently handcrafted opulence engulfs the creations of Lauren Tennenbaum’s (IN)DECOROUS TASTE. The artist behind the brand designs footwear, accessories, furniture, and is a painter, photographer, and interior designer. The gritty, deconstructed, grand, and unexpected mood of Tennenbaum’s pieces invite you through the tedious and time-consuming process of their construction, making you aware and appreciative of their stellar craftsmanship.
The ambitious decorative endeavors, and the spiked footwork made with hours of dedicated detail work, are the underlined trademarks of (IN)DECOROUS TASTE Lucite, fur, sequins, leather, and deadly spikes, in particular, are the ingredients that make for a most envied punk couture delight. You pick the spike, its size and other interchangeable elements, from shoe harness to bag strap. Temptations such as the Rudolph sparkled Nike platform, and the hand-painted closet to store them all in, round out the collection.
The brand’s philosophy is based on making something from nothing, turning what was simple and understated into something majestic and smashing. In an age of technologic mass production and a reliance on the assembly line, (IN)DECOROUS TASTE flips the script and reminds us of the authentic, original and precious existence of ‘the limited few, special editions, and one of a kinds.” The use of one’s hands to tear apart and breakdown a ‘perfected form’ and translate it into an altering and imposing finalization is the most appreciated tune that we can adopt and follow. We are all so many things, but too often we disregard the crafting gifts that lie static and unused. In essence, it is the oldest set of instructions; but the beauty of recreating is brilliantly highlighted by (IN)DECOROUS TASTE.
Coco Brown, Images courtesy Indecorous Taste