Art July 31, 2009 By Derek Peck


Art July 30, 2009 By Derek Peck
venice cover Matthew Scott
Photography by Matthew Scott

matthewscott title Matthew Scott

The following images are taken from an ongoing project, titled Observing: Venice, by photographer Matthew Scott. Venice Beach is, of course, one of a handful of mythic places in America – Haight Street, Coney Island, Times Square, Las Vegas, Hollywood – where the American experience has historically played out in larger-than-life and non-traditional ways. These have always been the magnets of America’s misfits, marginals, and “freaks”, places  of transience where anything could happen and something always does. Since moving to Venice, Scott has been observing his new, if temporary, home and its inhabitants. Or, as he puts it, “I’m trying to figure out my life and theirs.” What is revealed is an aspect of Venice’s eccentric myth, but only around the edges. More central is a peaceful quietness, a comforting, if banal, normalcy. Instead of training his lens on the boardwalk, he focuses on ordinary people living ordinary lives.

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Music July 29, 2009 By Timothy Gunatilaka
generationals cover Generationals
Park the Van

generationals Generationals

There is something almost overwhelming about Generationals’ debut record. A rush of pure energy wallops you with unabashed ecstasy that can barely be contained. From the sun-soaked vocal lines, static-tinged guitars, and warbling organs on “Angry Charlie” to the blasting horns and doo-wop harmonies on “When They Fight They Fight,” Con Law turns the ’60s and Motown revival (often ascribed to Mark Ronson’s productions) on its head with intricate whirls of synths that inject a New Wave nuance into the songs. Genre-bending and time-traveling aside, this New Orleans duo suffuses every chord of every song with a contagious ebullience — a summery glow even the most jaded would find hard not succumb to.

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Generationals – Angry Charlie

bowery page Bowery Bicycle
Photography Courtesy of Bowery Lane Bicycles

bowery title Bowery Bicycle

Ah, nothing to fill you with that enticing feeling of freedom like cruising your bike down the block on a grand summer’s day. The wind in your hair, sun in your face, and your fellow commuters’ envious gaze on your exquisite new ride. Because really, what other way to ride a bike than with impeccable style? The people behind Bowery Lane Bicycles, a New York-based family company, have the right idea — and they’re performing it with great finesse.
     The retro-style Bowery Lane bikes are handmade in New York out of American steel. The two-wheelers are available in three styles, all of which are locally handcrafted and manufactured and made with eco-friendly parts such as sustainable cork grips. The Broncks Black — the company’s flagship, inspired by a Dutch original — is even made with renewable solar energy, bringing together traditional craftsmanship and sustainable technology. The company was founded with the goal to make affordable bikes that have more to offer than flair and timeless beauty (as if that wouldn’t be enough) and they sure deliver what they set out to do.

Music July 28, 2009 By Chandler Levack
hercules page1 Hercules and Love Affair
Renaissance Recordings

hercules title Hercules and Love Affair

Brace yourselves, Hercules fans. While this valuable back catalogue of DFA DJ Andy Butler’s favorite disco and house cuts smacks of “Raise Me Up” (one of many highlights from Hercules’ self-titled 2008 debut), there’s only one Love Affair exclusive to be found on this double-disc set. “I Can’t Wait”, a sparse house track featuring the laconic femme vocals of neither Kim Ann nor Nomi (or for that matter, Antony), drags on through vibrating backing arrangements of dirty synths as the chorus repeats, “I won’t bear this cross, I won’t wear these chains.” The remaining tracks recount Butler’s love of Euro-dance, The Clash, and Italo-disco, a collision of styles that gets the party started. Take the boldfaced In Flagranti’s “I Never Screwed Around Before”, in which Butler decoupages Joe Strummer over a La Bouche-esque beat; punk meets house only to get sideswiped in drama. But while Butler wears his influences close to his chest (there’s no Aoki-ing around with these samples), Sidetracked remains a well-executed exercise in curation. Consider it Butler’s immaculate collection, closing with the lushest, pearliest confection of house disco yet: Rainbow Team’s “Dreaming”, which soars to heights even Antony can’t reach.

backlund page1 Sandra Backlund
Photography by Peter Gehrke

backlund title Sandra Backlund

For Stockholm-based designer Sandra Backlund, the opportunity to work with Italian luxury knitwear producer Maglificio Miles signified as much of an end as it did a beginning. Until now, Backlund has been doing everything herself, producing mind-bogglingly meticulous sculptural fantasies entirely by hand and on a made-to-order basis. In 2007, her distinctive “three-dimensional collage” knitting style made her the grand prix winner of Festival International de Mode et De Photographie in Hyeres, France. Her support network at the White Club, a non-profit organization in Milan that connects talented young designers with established fashion industry professionals, offered Backlund’s portfolio to Miles, who wisely approached her for a collaborative “production test”.
     The fruits of their labor, the Control-C Collection for F/W 09-10, offers a decidedly more severe vision than Backlund’s past collections, which tended toward charmingly oddball. Composed of five machine-knit and four handmade pieces, the collection proves that Backlund’s bizarre, gravity-defying aesthetic is realizable via machine — and, therefore, mass produceable. The handmade aspect, however, will always be an integral part of Backlund’s design process.

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Art July 24, 2009 By Editors

<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="" rel="lightbox[pics4099]" title="Girls from the Outside – Zanzibar, 2008."><img border="0" src="" alt="bartekpogoda_page1" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-4103" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><em>Girls from the Other Side</em> – Zanzibar, 2008</div></div></div>
<div class="imageframe alignright" style="width:830px;"><a href="" rel="lightbox[pics4099]" title="Ethiopia, 2008."><img border="0"src="" alt="pagoda_page2" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-4106" /></a><div class="imagecaption">Ethiopia, 2008.</div></div>
<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="" rel="lightbox[pics4099]" title="Catholic Church – Kanyakumari, South India 2005. "><img border="0" src="" alt="bartokpogoda_page5" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-4115" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><em>Catholic Church</em> – Kanyakumari, South India 2005. </div></div></div>
<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="" rel="lightbox[pics4099]" title="City Trash Dump – Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2004. "><img border="0" src="" alt="bartokpagoda_page6" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-4119" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><em>City Trash Dump</em> – Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2004. </div></div></div>
<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="" rel="lightbox[pics4099]" title="In the Steppe – Mongolia, 2004."><img border="0" src="" alt="bartokpagoda_mongolia" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-4122" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><em>In the Steppe</em> – Mongolia, 2004.</div></div></div>
<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="" rel="lightbox[pics4099]" title="Left: Blue Lagoon, Iceland. 2008. Right: Utila, Honduras. 2006"><img border="0" src="" alt="bartekpagoda_page3" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-4127" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><strong>Left</strong>:Utila, Honduras. 2006 <strong>Right</strong>: <em>Blue Lagoon</em>, Iceland. 2008. <strong></div></div></div>

Books July 23, 2009 By Valerie Palmer
coverplease After Frank
Courtesy of

afterfrank title After Frank

Throughout history there are distinct turning points, an indelible before and after, like the discovery of electricity or onset of the Internet age. Back in 1959, one of those moments occurred when Robert Frank’s seminal tome, The Americans, forever changed the landscape of modern photography. As mentioned in a previous PLANET post, that same collection of photos is currently criss-crossing the country in celebration of its 50th anniversary, so it’s only fitting that a discussion about Frank’s relevancy continues. Philip Gefter’s new book Photography After Frank does just that. In over three dozen essays, the New York Times writer and former picture editor offers his readers brief meditations on contemporary photography, using Frank’s gritty, highly subjective documentary style as his starting point.
     In accessible prose, Gefter’s short essays manage to trace Frank’s influence from the likes of Lee Friedlander and Nan Goldin to Stephen Shore and Ryan McGinley. All along the way, he offers readers brief snippets — many of the pieces have been taken from the Times or Aperture magazine, so they’re no more than four pages — on individual photographers and subjects like photo-realism or the market’s effect on art-making.

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Fashion July 22, 2009 By Andy Wass
julie page2 Julie Eilenberger
Fashion, Jewelry and Shoes by Julie Eilenberger. Photography by Yves Borgwardt. Model. Kati from Seeds

julie title Julie Eilenberger

A student at Universität der Künste, Julie Eilenberger debuted her designs in early July in her school’s presentation at Berlin Fashion Week. My Inner and Outer Space, a take on astronomic inspiration, combines structure with the ethereal.  Eilenberger, who is 24, says of the collection, “I wanted something dark and unnatural yet elegant…the outfits are somewhat futuristic but with a feeling of history.” 
     Indeed, the Space collection exhibits multiple contrasts: the intricacy of tiny eyelets and veils of asymmetric black Swarovski crystals against simple chiffon and jersey; flowing drapery elevated by exaggerated shoulders sculpted from hand-cut foam.
     The Danish-born Eilenberger lives the role of artist-as-observer, processing influences and letting her pieces develop on their own. She says she doesn’t, by nature, engineer her creativity: “I’m just giving it way and am always surprised by the outcome, as if it’s not mine.” Appropriately, Eilenberger rarely designs with herself in mind. Instead she draws from art or a mood, or she fleshes out and dresses a fictional woman. The muse she cast for her first collection is “strong and ready to take off for space…to protect Earth,” she says. She also looked to classic science fiction films, like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Barbarella, and Logan’s Run for inspiration. The future might as well be fashionable.

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Art July 21, 2009 By Editors

<a href=""><p class="aligncenter"><img src="" alt="bart_2ad" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-4145 centered" /></p></a>