Tag Archives: new york

One to watch: Olivia Bee

Brooklyn based photographer, Olivia Bee is, depressingly, only 20 years old. She’s achieved more in her few years than most of us will in a lifetime. She’s shot for The New York Times, Vice and countless designers whilst her personal series are achingly gritty, exposing a lifestyle that would make the coolest kid envious. ‘Lovers’ is well worth flicking through if you’re in a romantic, dreamy mood, but ‘Everyday’ is slightly more relatable for me at the moment – at least it’s images of all the kind of things I like to think I’m doing like sneaking out of windows, spray painting and participating in half-naked group hugs in the sea. That’s the life.

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Keep track of Olivia’s photographic antics here: http://www.oliviabee.com/

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London Art Fair Discovery 1: Karine Laval

I’ve only just returned to the list of names I jotted down at London Art Fair back in January (rediscovery is so exciting) and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing the best of the bunch on here. First up is New York based photographer, Karine Laval. I’ve always been fascinated by images of the human body and water so it’s no surprise that Laval’s series of poolside photographs grabbed my attention. Her images of bodies submerged under water are utterly compelling in their focus on the natural process of distortion and intense colour.

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They make a vibrant contrast to much of Laval’s other work which heavily utilises light to create sunlight saturated images that are bare by comparison. This, however, is no criticism. There’s something very intriguing about the whiteness of her island images, for example, where the sand and sky are barely separated by a thin strip of blue sea and seem to go on forever… A landscape of dreams. At least that’s what it looks like to me – it’s hard to imagine such brightness with wind and rain slapping against your window.

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View Laval’s full portfolio here: http://www.karinelaval.com/. It’s also well worth checking out her videos via  vimeo. There’s a few very hypnotic and brilliant shorts including this one of a professional dancer performing underwater:

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Blood Orange’s New Sounds: Cupid Deluxe

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I’ve probably mentioned Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) at some point before. He does a lot in the music world as a composer and producer, doing fun things for all sorts of fun people, most recently he worked with Solange Knowles on her 2013 album. He spent three colourful years making ‘orchestral pop’ as Lightspeed Champion before turning his attentions to ’80s disco inspired melodies as Blood Orange. Nowadays, his music and videos tend to be as vibrant and  bright as a pair of sparkling disco pants – psychedelic man. Though this may all be part of the ‘image’, the colourfulness of Hynes’s music as Blood Orange is also owing to synesthesia ( the neurological condition in which one sense is simultaneously perceived by another). Hynes literally sees sounds, describing the experience of listening to music as viewing moving pictures. He takes his influence from French singer F.R David, Rick Derringer, New York 80s gay culture and naturally, drag queens. His latest album, ‘Cupid Deluxe’ is perhaps the most kaleidoscopic yet and boasts an impressive tracklist including collaborations with Friends singer, Samatha Urbani and Caroline Polachek from Chairlift. It’s like a tiny glimpse into a disorganised and crazily creative mind; jumping from soft rock to pop to who knows what, it’s a mind I wouldn’t mind borrowing for a day.

Have a listen and watch of Chamakay and You’re Not Good Enough (the latter is probably my favourite, though the link is to it’s lyric video) for a little taster of what I’m talking about:

 

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Film of the week: Blue Jasmine

It’s been a while since my last film of the week (‘of the week’ is more of a tagline than a truth), but that’s less to do with a scarcity of material and more to do with a lack of time. In fact, it’s been an exceptionally good couple of months for me in terms of watching… so to kick things off, one of my favourites and one of Woody Allen’s best, Blue Jasmine.

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Allen’s latest films have been slightly disappointing. ‘To Rome with Love’ was okay, ‘Midnight in Paris’ was just down right dull (and that’s coming from an Owen Wilson fan), but luckily ‘Blue Jasmine’ popped up just in time to prove the old man hasn’t lost his edge. Unlike the latter two, ‘Blue Jasmine’ leans more towards the side of tragedy. That’s not to say it’s without it’s comedy – there are several scenes worthy of a smirk – but even those are underlined by pain and desperation. This is not a criticism, however, but rather one of the film’s great strengths. It gives it consistency and allows for a deeper character exploration. Cate Blanchett demonstrates this beautifully as the former New York socialite, Jasmine whose life has collapsed after her husband’s imprisonment. Jasmine is forced to restart her life in San Franciso, living with her adoptive sister who she was previously so ashamed of. The story flits between past as present as Jasmine struggles to shape herself a career and formulate any type of social-relations whilst her mental instability becomes increasingly apparent. Trapped in a state of constant anxiety, Jasmine is emotionally exhausting to watch as she continues on her destructive path. Relief from Jasmine’s intensity however is provided by her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) whose kindness is all the more admirable in contrast with such extreme self absorption. You can’t help, but pity Jasmine though in her desperate, frantic state and despise her slime ball of a husband, played by the master of the role, Alec Baldwin. After all, how much trauma can one person withstand?

VERDICT: It requires concentration, but the acting is phenomenal and the narrative ingeniously interwoven to create a startling and deeply saddening image of one women pushed to the very edge. Perhaps Allen’s most powerful film yet.

Hit play to watch the trailer:

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Word on the street: ‘The End is Far’

To say that Polish artist, Olek loves to crochet would be a gross understatement. Her whole world is crochet. Literally. From text messages to bicycles to neighbours Olek’s colourful recreations are endless. She even gave Wall Street’s ‘Charging Bull’ a woolly crocheted blanket at Christmas 2010. So yes she may be slightly insane and clearly has A LOT of spare time, but there’s something very appealing about her bright eccentricity.

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Her solo exhibition ‘The End is Far’ is currently on at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York until 23rd March and displays a variety of crocheted sculptures, an installation room and crochet-covered female performers. So if you’re taking a trip to the Big Apple this Spring it’s definitely worth stopping by, if only to experience what it would be like to live in a world of wool. Head over to the gallery’s website for more info:

http://jonathanlevinegallery.com/?method=Exhibit.ExhibitDescription&ExhibitID=6F3AD85A-B761-1E79-CD2467AF43694B2C

Crocheting just became cool.

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