OAKAZINE caught up with rising Parisian graphic designer/comic book artist Jeremy Piningre. Interview and work after the jump — Corinne Stoll
Archive for the ‘CULTURE’ Category
Self-described “jackee of all trades” Alexis Blair Penney has a voice like an angel, makes music like Crystal Waters, and has a wicked sense of style that’s a mix of Eurythmics-era Annie Lennox, louche ‘n loafered 80s California prep, and 1997 Gwen Stefani. A San Francisco local celebrity known for his weekly anything-goes “High Fantasy” party at drag bar Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, Penney has recently been garnering buzz outside of SF city limits for insanely catchy house tracks culled directly from the CeCe Peniston/Crystal Waters/Kathy Dennis school of dance floor sassitude. Although Penney is more than au fait with the art of debauchery (just follow his Twitter), it’s clear that underneath that Patrick Nagel girl makeup is a softer, more contemplative side; to wit, Penney cites simple pleasures, yoga, and plants as inspirations. OAKAZINE caught up with Penney when he played PS1 with SSION in New York — getting so attached that we followed him all the way back to San Francisco where he gave us a tour of his hood. After the jump we discuss a typical day in the life, 90s house, and showbiz. — Photos: Ken Baldwin, Editor: Peter Berwind Humphrey
Musicians have historically been the most influential fashion icons and trendsetters; using clothing — from libidinous leather pants to torn ‘n frayed shirts — to construct their larger-than-life personas. But according to Mark Murder and Robin Graves, the punk-rock aliased designers behind clothing label Tuesday Night Band Practice,clothing is an alternate mode of materializing the energy of musical compositions. One look at their collections of graphic tees, skinny leather jackets, and generally rocker-friendly staples, and you’ll see that guitar wails and wild sex percussion can power things other than just three-minute songs. According to Graves, “We have taken inspiration from our own compositions and have tried to challenge our own ideas, designs, and the people that may buy from the collection.” Originally from the UK, Graves and Murder produced their first collection as TNBP with friends/bandmates Ben Bones and Dan Danger (who have since split from the brand) while living in Bali. Their weekly ritual of Tuesday night band practice quickly turned into creative think tank time, leading to the formation of a clothing label that fuses their musical sensibilities with backgrounds in design. TNBP started out with the so-called “Thunder Dome” leather jacket — worn on stage by friends Jet Black — and now includes an entire line of womenswear and menswear. Equally fashion and rock ‘n roll, Tuesday Night Band Practice encompasses everything from perfectly battered graphic tees — ranging from a bleached-out portrait of Kurt Cobain to a high fashion model in lacy black lingerie — to perfectly tailored outerwear. OAKAZINE spoke to Robin Graves about the creative freedom of Bali, growing up in the UK, and what songs will play at his funeral (Jimi and G ‘n R, no doubt). Check out more of Tuesday Night Band Practice at OAK. Interview after the jump.
Parisian musician/sound designer/artist Colin Johnco is the founder of the independent electronic label LEEP (Les Enregistrements de l’Europe Parisien) and performs in a variety of experimental bands including DR(DR)ONE, FareWell Poetry, and Prison Food Sucks. We first met at the Puces de Clignancourt flea market where he spends a lot of his free time digging around finding inspiration. Check out his website at http://colinjohnco.com/dr-drone.html. More pictures and interview with Colin after the jump. — Corinne Stoll
It’s not everyday a Korean pop star makes the successful transition to New York City luxury handbag designer, but as we learned from catching up with designer SANG A at her Soho studio it’s the amalgamation of luck, chance, and fate which allowed her to depart the rigorous schedule of a famed performer and set up shop half way around the world, creating what she refers to as “rebellious luxury.”
Fashion is about recycling, reinventing and recreating itself. The innovative technologies used by SANG A in terms of textile development place her brand at the forefront of exceptional, innovative design. Just as the fabrication of each SANG A creation is unique, so are the bags themselves. Complicated in appearance, yet simple in function, many SANG A bags transform from one shape to another. OAKAZINE caught up with SANG A. Interview after the jump. — Text by Gabrielle Swan
Ari Marcopoulos’ latest body of work Directory (Rizzoli) is indeed an index, but instead of phone numbers or businesses you’ll find 1200 pages of irreverent black and white Xeroxed images of friends, strangers, family, newspaper headlines, teenagers, cars, graffiti, surfboards, skateboards, landscapes, and firearms. Compiled by Marcopoulos between 2007 and 2010, the photographs that comprise Directory are the result of the photographer’s challenge to self; to break free from the imposed constraints of “normal” construction, and instead let “visual noise” rule his compositions. Marcopoulous defines “visual noise” as whatever may be visually present in the moment, with a great deal of this challenge residing in not judging this “visual noise” as either a “good” or “not good” image, but instead just going with it.
Attesting to his prodigious visual talent, Marcopolous managed to fill an entire phone book worth of really, really strong images with this visual noise. During his travels Marcopoulous aimed his lens at whatever interesting visual stimuli crossed his path, with graffiti being the main point of interest. In fact, graffiti is such a prevalent theme, that Directory could probably double as a directory to international graffiti writers. Recognizable tags pop out all over, with the reccurance of certain memorable names evidence of the graffiti communities’ obsessive prolificness. Marcopolous’ sons are also a large focal point of this book, as teenagers and youth culture have historically played a huge role in Marcopoulos’s oeuvre. Other well known artist like Barry McGee additionally make a few appearances not just making art, but surfing near San Francisco. Although Directory is photographically driven, there are some insightful and poetic accompanying texts by art critic Neville Wakefield. Wakefield’s writing can at times be as abstract as Marcopolous’ images, making them perfect aesthetic complements. Directory was released on April 15th at White Columns Gallery, which presented a solo exhibition by Marcopoulos in the month leading up to the launch. — Text by Johnny Knapp. More images after the jump
Verlaine is very much a mystery. There is an air of film noir in their twisting silhouettes and dark tones that explains plenty about the woman who wears Verlaine. She is sexy and understands that her sex appeal means something important. She is inspired by architecture, history and far off cultures. She wants a traditional garment- a trench coat, a cocoon jacket, a column gown- but she wants more from it. Exaggeration helps to bring her point home: she is rare, treasured and fleeting. The designers of Verlaine chose to stay anonymous for our interview, and their responses to our questions are as obtuse as one would expect. To dress a woman in a cloak of mystery, it helps to be mysterious yourself.
Read our interview with Verlaine after the jump. – Kelsey Kreiling, Editor: Peter Berwind Humphrey
As the train powered on to London, we began to have an in-depth conversation (we coined it “The Gayle and Oprah Show”) about Paris, life, art, culture, design, travel, and so much more. It wasn’t but halfway into the journey that Alice asked if I would help her get down her leather tote. And there it all began; suddenly we were having a full trunk show of the Alice Waese jewelry collection. I was floored by her talent, dedication, intriguing values, and the way she fused so many different elements into her mission as a designer. By casting leathers, skulls, bones, and bark, Alice redefines traditional jewelry and creates unique and unexpected pieces. At the end of our journey together on the Eurostar I was convinced that Alice Waese is going places. Fast.
Currently residing in London, Alice continues to produce her envelope-pushing jewelry, drawings, accessories, and leather goods. Interview after the jump. — Text by Martin-Christopher Harper.
Ludo is a Parisian street artist who makes green (a distinct day-glo green hue attempting to do with green what Yves Klein did with blue), and greyscale photorealist wheatpastes featuring such oddities as butterflies with circuit board wings, mushrooms with lampshade caps, clusters of human skulls emulating grape bunches, and détournements of luxury ads. His work first entered our radar when we happened upon his irreverent and darkly humorous “co-branding project” which could be seen in various bus shelters around Paris. The series saw the artist subverting traditional billboard advertisements by mashing up his signature techno-natural hybrids with indelible luxury brand logos. Thus an avocado with a time bomb in the center was soberly captioned “Calvin Klein”, while a cactus whose center stem appeared to be giving a middle finger was tagged with the H&M logo. According to the artist, “I wanted to hijack my own work and brand it with the usual brands that invade spaces every week with a new crap product. I wanted to see people’s reactions, and see how you can show a bizarre, weird or whatever image as long as it’s validated by a brand. A commercial with a weird dildo as a visual branded by Dior becomes a simple, other uninteresting billboard.” OAKAZINE caught up with Ludo and talked a bit about what he does. Interview after the jump.
The alternative rock band Lush rocked the airwaves between 1988 and 1996, with Miki Berenyi’s vocals taking centre stage. With songs including ‘Ladykillers’ and ‘Single Girl’, the band were one of the first to fall into the ‘shoegazing’ category.
Following the suicide of drummer Chris Acland, the band split, but Berenyi continued to play bass and lend her voice to other musical projects before landing a job at a magazine. She’s famously quoted responding to the ‘Bring back Miki Berenyi’ campaign stating that she’s a grey-haired office worker now, who still hasn’t shifted her post-pregnancy weight. Still a rockstar at heart then…
As the name suggests, Berenyi is of an exotic mixed origin, being part Hungarian and part Japanese. Her mother was a minor Japanese film actress. With her striking looks, quirky dress sense and dyed hair, she was a major icon of the Brit pop alt-rock scene in the early 90s. And by the sounds of it, she’s still pretty cool now. — Rebecca Cope. More pictures after the jump.