Art August 17, 2010 By Nika Knight
At Warm Springs, 1991, from the series Immediate Family. All photography courtesy of Sally Mann and Gagosian Gallery. (Click images to enlarge)

At Warm Springs, 1991, from the series Immediate Family. All photography courtesy of Sally Mann and Gagosian Gallery. (Click images to enlarge)

sallymann title Sally Mann
Sally Mann’s photography is simultaneously nostalgic and startlingly real, a beautiful depiction of the contemporary South and the more immediate space of the family. Mann’s preoccupations with growth, time, death, and decay are captured in her images of her young children, the old Civil War battlefields that surround her, and the way in which the people and the wild landscape grow, die, and merge together. Her first solo exhibition in the UK, The Family and the Land: Sally Mann looks at her long career in light of her impulse to focus on the physical world surrounding her as her primary subject.
     The show draws from perhaps her most well-known series, Immediate Family, as well as Faces, Deep South and What Remains. The exhibition first focuses on her portrayal of her young children in all their innocence and immediacy. Faces and What Remains follow with Mann’s unflinching look into the physicality of being, ultimately demonstrating the bare fact of decomposition after death — the literal merging of bodies back into the earth. Finally, the images in Deep South explore the landscape of the South, focusing on the physical and metaphorical Civil War scars that still mark the land. Displayed in a European context, Mann’s photographs take on a more sharply American sheen, their location abroad more directly connecting to them to life within the intricate, complicated space of the rural American South.

The Family and the Land: Sally Mann is on display at The Photographer’s Gallery in London through September 19.

Art August 9, 2010 By Nika Knight

Photography by Samantha West. (Click images to enlarge)

Photography by Samantha West. Click image for slideshow.

samanthawest title Samantha West
We recently came across Samantha West’s photography and felt the need to share it. Born and raised in New York City, West is inspired by “the curious combination of vintage nudes, birds, Fred Astaire movies, bus rides, mermaids (and their long mermaid hair), horses, barefoot cooking, and planning trips she can’t afford quite yet.”
     Published across Europe, Asia and North America, she’s been featured in publications ranging from Vanity Fair Germany to The New York Times. Currently shooting lookbooks for several different fashion designers, West is also making time for her personal project, Musings. She writes, “I love to photograph my friends in their most personal spaces — their bedroom and bath, where intimacy and femininity reign. My focus has always been on the face, skin, pores, lips, hands. I love a unique visage. I love intimacy and honesty.” Finally, she tells us, “I love being able to see a person shine through.”
      Her gorgeous, artful images are testament to her firm belief that in photography, “it is all in the eyes.”

Art, Events August 6, 2010 By Nika Knight

Bears, 2010. Brian Douglas (Elbow-Toe). Image courtesy of the artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York. (Click image to enlarge)

Bears, 2010. Brian Douglas (Elbow-Toe). All images courtesy of the artists and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York. (Click image to enlarge)

shred title Shred
The collection of works in SHRED, the comprehensive show currently on display at Perry Rubenstein Gallery, explores an artform often maligned: collage. Carlo McCormick, the show’s curator, is not only the senior editor of PAPER magazine but also a longtime defender of New York’s downtown art scene. In this show, from simple, layered newsprint cut-outs to videos comprised of animated paper silhouettes, works by such artists as Bruce Conner, Gee Vaucher, Jack Walls, and the late scene darling Dash Snow demonstrate the powerful potential of collage as a medium even as they push it to its outermost boundaries.
     Many other artists created pieces specifically for the exhibition, including Shepard Fairey, the collective Faile, Mark Flood, Swoon, Erik Foss, Leo Fitzpatrick, and Judith Supine. The show also features video works by Martha Colburn and Tess Hughes-Freeland, and a video premiere by Malcolm Stuart and Bec Stupak.

SHRED is on display until August 27, 2010 at Perry Rubenstein Gallery in New York.

Books August 5, 2010 By Nika Knight

Photography by Matthieu Lavanchy and Jonas Marguet

Photography by Matthieu Lavanchy and Jonas Marguet (Click images to enlarge)

neuftitle Neuf Veltes Remplissent un Quartaut
Swiss photographers Matthieu Lavanchy and Jonas Marguet met while studying at the University of Art and Design Lausanne. In collaboration with others, Marguet founded the publishing house Aplustrois in 2008 as a side project. The publisher “considers the editorial object (book, booklet or other format) as an essential complement to any artistic event. The aim is not to document or comment on the event, but rather to push it further and explore new forms starting from it”.
     When Aplustrois was approached by a theater troupe that was working on a play that dealt with themes of the public perception of obesity and the concept of BBW — “big beautiful women” — Marguet and Lavanchy created a book of still-lifes about Western society’s complex relationship toward food, and “the tension between seduction and repulsion”.
     Grotesque towers of chocolate cake and a strangely melded pair of dining room chairs pull our associations with food and dining to their absurd extremes — and pseudo-scientific beakers and equipment seem to allude to our desire to measure out portions and study our food while simultaneously attempting to ignore the baseness of the instinct to eat. Curiously absent of human figures, Lavanchy and Marguet’s images manage to be funny, strange, and disturbing through their objects’ startling manipulation.

Neuf Veltes Remplissent un Quartaut is available for sale here. It is also on sale at Dashwood Books and Capricious Space in New York.

Features August 2, 2010 By Nika Knight

Paul Dano and Kevin Kline in THE EXTRA MAN, a Magnolia Pictures release. All photography courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Paul Dano and Kevin Kline in The Extra Man, a Magnolia Pictures release. All photography courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

dano title Paul Dano Interview
Two weeks before the release of his latest film, The Extra Man, Paul Dano is back in his hometown for a week to promote the movie before flying back to New Mexico to continue filming alongside the likes of Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig (in the not-so-subtly titled Cowboys and Aliens). The Extra Man, in contrast, seems to be more in line with Dano’s previous work. The film is a quietly quirky adaptation of a novel by that quintessential young New York writer, Jonathan Ames.
     I meet Dano in a garish, orange-and-pink room in a SoHo hotel. The room was likely picked by a publicist but seems as though it could have been a set piece in the new film. After some conversation about the décor, Dano asks my permission to make a quick phone call to his girlfriend, Zoe Kazan (granddaughter of Elia). Since his break-out role in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine, the young actor has worked with a string of A-list actors (Kevin Kline, Katie Holmes, and John C. Reilly star with him in The Extra Man). Still, he considers himself “a very normal dude”. We caught up with him to talk about how he picks his distinctive roles, how much he identifies with his characters, and his plans for the future.

Art, Events July 23, 2010 By Nika Knight


Photography courtesy of Interwoven

Photography courtesy of Interwoven

filler29 INTERWOVENinterwoven title2 INTERWOVEN
Coinciding with the Capital Fringe Festival 2010, INTERWOVEN kicks off tonight at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the Danish Embassy and DC’s NPR affiliate, the two-night event will push the boundaries of both textile and performance art through a melding of the two.
     INTERWOVEN will feature the first-ever American appearance by designers and artists Henrik Vibskov and Andreas Emenius, whose previous work, The Fringe Project, explored the nature of physical surfaces and movement, all through fringes. The pair claimed their inspiration came after watching the film Solaris and “staring at a New Years Eve party hat”. Additionally, avant-garde fashion label threeASFOUR will perform, as will fashion designer Peggy Noland. Screenings by artists such as Hrafnhildur Arnardottir, a.k.a. SHOPLIFTER — who is perhaps most widely known for being the mind behind the cover image of Björk’s 2004 album, Medulla — will most definitely be highlights.

INTERWOVEN: Evenings in Performance will be at the Textile Museum, 2320 S Street, NW Washington, DC on July 23 & 24, from 8 to 10 p.m.

Events July 14, 2010 By Nika Knight
Photography by Swoon

Photography by Swoon

haitisixmonthslater title A Picture of Haiti
Monday at 4:53 p.m. marked six months since a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, and the moment passed with relative media silence. In the half-year since the destruction, western media outlets have turned their eyes elsewhere while Haiti still grimly struggles to recover. Now, with the threat of hurricane season looming, the lingering effects of the disaster — 1.5 million people are living in temporary camps near Port-au-Prince, and services are reportedly unable to reach large portions of the affected population — threaten to become even worse.
     In response, Thomas Beale of Honey Space has organized an event alongside leading NGOs, artists, and grassroots organizations working in Haiti “to share their insights into what’s happening on the ground, what projects are really making a difference, and how we can support them”. Presentations and discussions about the current state, and future, of the relief effort in Haiti start at 7 p.m., to be followed by a silent auction and DJ.
     When asked what prompted the effort, Beale responded, “We organized this event to at least try to understand what life is like six months after such an apocalypse, what many are doing to help, what we can do.”
     A PICTURE OF HAITI: 6 MONTHS LATER opens tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Honey Space, 148 11th Ave. (btw 21st and 22nd), New York. RSVP for the event here.

Books, Fashion July 13, 2010 By Nika Knight
Photography by Julian Claessens (Click images to enlarge)

Photography by Julian Claessens (Click images to enlarge)

olivier title Olivier Theyskens

Released this spring by Assouline, Olivier Theyskens: The Other Side of the Picture features beautiful behind-the-scenes photographs by Julian Claessens, which capture Olivier Theyskens rapid, international ascension as a fashion designer. Theyskens dropped out of design school at the age of twenty to design his first collection in 1997, for which publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, and Harper’s Bazaar noted his singular talent. Later that year, Madonna even wore one of his dresses to the Oscars. In the thirteen years since, Theyskens has revamped the house of Rochas and moved on to become artistic director of Nina Ricci.
     Claessens’ photographs explore the variety and careful skill in Theyskens’ designs, while simultaneously exposing the intimate moments, craftmanship, and authenticity behind the veneer of a fashion show. The book is a valuable read not only for its lush overview of Theyskens’s unusual, revolutionary career but also for the thoughtful layer it adds to our occasionally all-too-superficial perception of the fashion world.

Olivier Theyskens: The Other Side of the Picture is available for purchase at

Art, Events July 7, 2010 By Nika Knight

Photography by Romina Shama

Photography by Romina Shama (Click images to enlarge)

filler115 Romina Shamaromina title Romina ShamaRomina Shama is a film director and fashion photographer based in Europe. Her work boasts a distinctly soft, cinematic style as a result of her sole reliance on natural light and an analog camera. Formerly co-creative director of the now-defunct Icon Magazine, Shama has devoted herself since the magazine’s closing in 2005 exclusively to her art. Her current show is on display at Visionairs Gallery Paris through July 9.

Art, Features July 1, 2010 By Nika Knight
Photography by Nathan Perk

Photography by Nathan Perk
(Click to enlarge)

perkel title Nathan PerkelLast Friday saw the fiftieth, and final, of Ryan McGinness’ 50 parties project. Conceived of one year ago by the New York-based artist, the project involved fifty consecutive parties, one thrown each week, in McGinness’ studio. Since New York’s rave culture of the 1990s died and turned corporate, it may be safe to say that we’re all sick of crowds, bouncers, and sponsorship. With a “No strangers. No sponsors.” tagline, these parties revived the concept of the artist’s studio as salon and incubator for discourse and intimacy among the creative community. NYC photographer Nathan Perkel was not only lucky enough to come by a standing invitation, but he received permission from McGinness to take aside party goers to photograph them in his studio. With the context of the events removed, viewers are left to imagine height of the celebrations these fantastic dressers were attending. Following the end of the project, Perkel answered our questions about his favorite themes, the parties’ impact on New York party culture, and what it was like to attend the events as both participant and detached voyeur.