Events, Fashion September 30, 2010 By Eugene Rabkin

filler166 Japan Fashion Now


Photography courtesy of The Museum at FIT (Click images to enlarge)

filler166 Japan Fashion Nowjapanesefashion title Japan Fashion Now
Imagine you are in Paris, in 1981, a fashion editor sitting in the front row. You are subjected to a sex, drugs, and rock and roll diet of Mugler and Gaultier on one side and the bourgeois propriety of Yves Saint-Laurent and Chanel on the other. Fashion is a luxury and looks it. But the clothes that you are seeing right now, by designers from Japan (where you’ve probably never been) Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo (whose names you probably can’t pronounce) are so radically different — black, tattered, oversized, pointedly inelegant — that you are subjected to a dose of cultural insta-shock. Fast-forward to today: walk into any chain store and you see the signs of these designers’ heritage, unfinished seams, holes, distressing. These are now as familiar, acceptable, and safe for mass consumption as Barney is for children.
    But you are no longer in 1981, Dorothy, and Japanese fashion has moved on. A new generation of fashion designers and fashion subcultures has sprung up, no less exciting than the legendary Yamamoto and Kawakubo. Japan Fashion Now, a new exhibit at the Museum at FIT explores the links between the old and new generations.
    The exhibition, featuring more than 100 garments, is organized in two parts. Upon entering you are greeted with a display of the work by the holy trinity of Japanese fashion — Miyake, Yamamoto, and Kawakubo — flanked by the less known names like Matsuda. These garments are from the ’70s and ’80s.

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Music September 29, 2010 By Lily Moayeri

filler167 Chilly Gonzales: Ivory Tower

Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts

chilly title Chilly Gonzales: Ivory Tower
Chilly Gonzales is the Philip Glass of the iPad set. But that might be selling the pianist-cum-rapper-cum-producer-cum-actor with the cartoon-character name very short. Gonzales’ latest full-length, Ivory Tower, is the soundtrack to a film of the same name, in which he stars alongside Peaches and Tiga in a chess-battling love triangle. Ivory’s primarily instrumental piano compositions alternate between jumping, swing-y, saucy grooves, aggressive belligerence, and inquisitive suspense. However, it is live where Gonzales really shines, as I recently caught him at Café Largo, in Los Angeles. Touring under the marquee “Piano Talk Show”, Gonzales mans a beat-up old upright piano, whose innards are exposed with the front panel ripped and worn off. Gonzales plays emotively. Fingers fly over the keys, sometimes with such speed that one can’t actually see his digits. Looking like a rabbi in a dressing gown and slippers, Gonzales’ stage presence is commanding, and hilarious. The self-aggrandizing virtuoso claims himself as such, but does so with tongue firmly planted in cheek, and you forgive him for it because you know that he is, in fact, an absolute musical genius.


Fashion September 28, 2010 By Areti Sakellaris

Photography via

Photography via

kimo title Kimberly Ovitz
Despite her label’s pastoral emblem, Los Angeles native and up-and-coming fashion designer Kimberly Ovitz’s aesthetic is distinctly more downtown avant-garde than Upper East Side traditionalist. In her label’s third major collection, Ovitz maintains command of her slightly off-kilter interpretation of the iconic equestrian lifestyle so key to American sportswear.
     Ovitz’s spring/summer 2011 collection centers around the colors white, black, oatmeal and navy, and combines asymmetric cuts for a very graphic effect. Yet Ovitz’s signature architectural aesthetic is counterbalanced by a restrained use of detail, adding dimension and softness to edgy designs. Consistent with her homerun fall 2010 collection, Ovitz’s new effort reveals a collection that buyers and consumers alike should flock to for its versatility.
     What truly sets Ovitz’s work apart from other rising designers, though, is her eye. Ovitz boasts an intimidating resume: internships at J.Crew, the Chanel design atelier in Paris, W magazine, and with the heralded fashion photographer Herb Ritts. She also completed her undergraduate degree at Brown University before attending Parsons School of Design. After working at contemporary lines such as Imitation of Christ and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Ovitz developed a proprietary stretch fabric and was ready to venture on her own in 2009.

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Architecture, Art, Books September 26, 2010 By Nalina Moses

filler165 Maxxi   zaha hadids art museum in rome

Exterior view of Suite V from the plaza.  All photography by Iwan Baan. Click images to enlarge)

Exterior view of Suite V from the plaza. All photography by Iwan Baan.
(Click images to enlarge)

filler165 Maxxi   zaha hadids art museum in romemaxxi title Maxxi   zaha hadids art museum in rome
No other contemporary architect has a formal language as seductive and expressive as Zaha Hadid’s. Her work has sidestepped the conventional forms of modern architecture (rigid boxes and planes) for something altogether different (warped and tilted vectors) with complete assurance.
     Hadid’s new museum for contemporary art in Rome, MAXXI: Zaha Hadid Architects. In addition to a portfolio of masterful photographs by Iwan Baan, the volume contains insightful essays about the building’s design and development, architectural plans, detail drawings, and construction photos. It’s eye-opening to understand the immense coordination efforts, and also the vast grid of steel reinforcing, that were required to get this building up.
     Since the project spanned from 1999, when Hadid’s office first won a design competition, to 2009, when construction was completed, MAXXI is a powerful summation of the ideas the architect explored during these fruitful years. Chief among them is the notion that buildings aren’t static constructions but complex, mutable entities that emerge from fields of energy and activity at a site. That idea is given full, clear expression at MAXXI. The building’s long curved walls follow the outline of the L-shaped site and retract and expand in response to adjacent street grids. The compressed, overlapping forms recreate the density of traditional Roman city blocks, and echo adjacent military barracks, train tracks, and the curve of the Tiber River. The structure looks strikingly contemporary and still sits comfortably within this very old city.

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Features, Music September 23, 2010 By Benjamin Gold

Photography by Michael Lavine

Photography by Michael Lavine

sitek title David Sitek: the cultivation of Maximum Balloon
For David Andrew Sitek, a member of the unique and eclectic TV on The Radio and a producer, who has helped shape the sound of bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Liars, it’s easy to get typecast. Sitek was key in the creation of the “New Brooklyn” scene that first emerged ten years ago, but since then has been working hard to defy the expectations of his pedigree.
     Sitek’s self-proclaimed production style is a wrench in the system, and is determined to destroy all he deems boring in music. It’s an ethos Sitek has carried over to his new pop project, Maximum Balloon. The album marks a somewhat drastic shift into unapologetically fun dance music, a genre Sitek likes because it’s “more about the ability to get inside the song, not worry about other stuff, and not be self conscious”.
     Fortunately, Sitek didn’t have to explore this new territory alone. For Maximum Balloon, he enlisted the help of a different vocalist for each track, a structure that came about totally by accident. “I was kind of dicking around, which is how I started the song “Tiger”. I was just messing around, wrote lyrics, and I tried to sing it, which just sounded terrible. Then Aku [Orraca-Tetteh, from indie rock band Dragons of Zynth] came over, he sang it, it sounded incredible, and then I knew I couldn’t sing on any of the other songs,” says Sitek.

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Architecture September 23, 2010 By Nalina Moses

Building exterior (Night).  Sperone Westwater, 257 Bowery, New York. All Photograph courtesy of Nigel Young/Foster + Partners.

Building exterior (Night). Sperone Westwater, 257 Bowery, New York. All Photograph courtesy of Nigel Young/Foster + Partners.

bowerbelle title Bowery Belle : Norman Foster
Stunning new buildings are popping up all around the Bowery. First there was SANAA’s tower for the New Museum, which was followed by Morphosis’ building at 41 Cooper Square for Cooper Union. Now, on the Bowery just south of Houston Street, they’re joined by a building for Sperone Westwater Gallery designed by the great English architect Norman Foster.
     The slender, eight-story building is incredibly elegant. It’s a simple, stepped volume with a poured concrete frame, a front facade of laminated glass, and side and back facades of corrugated metal panels. The whole building feels dressed up. Even the metal panels, which are standard industrial panels painted matte black, have a refined look. This formality is striking amid the surrounding rough-and-tumble Bowery storefronts, but it also muffles some of the building’s power.
     The most anticipated feature of the new building is the Moving Gallery, a room at the front clad in bright red panels that slides up and down from floor to floor just behind the glass facade. It’s an interesting gimmick and, when lit up at night, a striking effect.

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Art September 23, 2010 By Eugene Rabkin

filler164 Andy Warhol’s Street Diary

Photography by Andy Warhol. Courtesy of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.. (Click images to enlarge)

Photography by Andy Warhol. Courtesy of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. (Click images to enlarge)

filler164 Andy Warhol’s Street Diaryandywarhol title Andy Warhol’s Street Diary
It feels like everything has been said about Andy Warhol. Each year seems to produce another biography, another collaboration, another exhibition. Not that Warhol is turning in his grave — he would have loved the undying attention. But to say something fresh about him has become a challenge, one that Deborah Bell was more than happy to undertake with her new exhibition, Andy Warhol’s Street Diary.
    “This show is all about Andy’s eye for composition, light, for formal arrangements, for detail,” Bell said at the opening reception. “I always knew that Andy was interested in photography, but it was usually as a means to an end. These were the end product.”
    All the prints in the exhibition are unique, although their variants have been used for Warhol’s stitched photographs. The twenty-five black and white pictures depict him as a flaneur who loved wandering the streets of New York documenting its minutia. The photos carefully juxtapose the grand against the mundane, and this coexistence of diamonds and trash is what gives New York its character. Here is an Yves-Saint Laurent shop window, and here is the flea market, the garbage can and the Rockefeller center Christmas tree. In the catalogue that accompanies the exhibit Jonas Mekas rightly notes that Warhol did not pass judgment on his subjects, and the photos in the exhibition speak to that.

Andy Warhol’s Street Diary, Photographs 1981-1986 at Deborah Bell Photographs, 511 West 25th St., Suite 703, New York.

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Events September 23, 2010 By Nika Knight


Photography by Hisham Bharoocha courtesy of Mountain Fold

life title Life
A group show featuring photographs by Ari Marcopoulos, Hisham Bharoocha, and Ports Bishop, among others, opens tonight at Mountain Fold.
     In an era in which anyone with a cell phone can snap a photograph of his or her daily life and then instantly publish it for the world to see, it’s easy to grow numb to the bombardment of images, personal or otherwise. In Life, contemporary artists engage, rather then distance themselves from, our contemporary impulse to document all aspects of our daily routines. Through capturing such banal (and beautiful) subjects as a knife slicing through a stream of tap water, a still-life of a plastic bust, plastic flowers, burned CDs, and flowers, these photographers explore what lies behind the impulse to document one’s life, and the ways in which photographs create a reality separate from the one they capture.

The opening reception for Life is tonight from 7-9pm at Mountain Fold, 55 Fifth Avenue, 18th Floor, New York.

Art September 22, 2010 By Jennifer Pappas

TIME was photographed by award winning, Santa Fe based photographer, Julien McRoberts who is renown for her stunning imagery of the Southwest.

Watchers, Rose B. Simpson. TIME was photographed by award winning, Santa Fe based photographer, Julien McRoberts who is renown for her stunning imagery of the Southwest.

time title TIME
Every now and then, a project comes around that belts you in the brain, creating one of those “aha!” moments we all love but can’t anticipate. TIME stands for Temporary Installations Made for the Environment and has been around since 2005. This year’s exhibition is the first under the direction of fine art consultant and gallery owner Eileen Braziel, and was photographed by award-winning Santa Fe-based photographer Julien McRoberts, renowned for her stunning imagery of the Southwest. The state-driven art project (funded by the New Mexico One Percent for the Arts act as part of the Art in Public Places program) has chosen “Green Technologies/Innovative Ideas or Materials” for its 2010 theme and features everything from a hand-painted tipi and adobe windmills to biodegradable glass bowls and solar-powered lights.
     According to Braziel, New Mexico is an ideal setting for the ongoing project. “In New Mexico we understand that the first innovators were the Native Indians and settlers. Solar, wind, and water are the most fundamental elements guiding green technology, and often drive ideas in New Media art installations where artists are using solar panels, LED lights, LED projectors, etc.” Additional materials used in the exhibit include traditional adobe bricks, earth, seed, biodegradable soap and recycled metals from the Los Alamos Laboratory. A barcode located on the plaque of each installation allows viewers to download free information about each artist using their phones, completely eliminating the use of paper.

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Music September 21, 2010 By Chase Hoffberger

filler163 El Guincho: Pop Negro

XL Recordings

Young Turks

elguincho title El Guincho: Pop Negro
Like its 2008 predecessor Alegranza!, the sophomore follow-up from El Guincho (real name Pablo Díaz-Reixa) plays like a celebration — a hybrid between Animal Collective’s brand of experimental pop and Brazil-entrenched tropicália. It’s surf rock for the southern hemisphere, a reverb-heavy set charged by an arsenal of drum samples both syncopated (“Bombay”) and full-bodied (“Soca Del Eclipse”). Of course, you may not understand a bit of what Díaz-Reixa is talking about unless you’re some degree of bilingual. Sung entirely in Spanish, Pop Negro’s muscle lies in the power of its rhythmic impressions. Every song has an audible clap, a smack that boosts the break in the beat — even the schizophrenic quickness of “(Chica-Oh) Drims”. Díaz-Reixa is a formidable frontman, and though his lyrical intonations can get lost in translation, his raw energy is eminent on album highlights “Lycra Mistral” and “Ghetto Fácil”. This is one the entire world should be able to get behind.

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