#WeTheNipple Art Action

05.06.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Fay Fox

Last weekend, the National Coalition Against Censorship and photographer Spencer Tunick staged a nude installation in New York City in protest against the censorship of artistic nudity on Facebook and Instagram. The campaign, set outside the headquarters of the social media entities featured over 100 nudes bodies who were in stance against the level of censorship included in the current instagram guidelines. For the protest, no genitals or female nipples are visible. All female nipples were entirely and meticulously covered with stickers representing male nipples, sourced and created by NCAC and Tunick. All genitals were additionally covered with large round cardboard cutouts also representing male nipples. All visible nipples are male. And yet, the images were still censored when posted online and the campaign’s hashtag was blocked by instagram.

Svetlana Mintcheva, NCAC’s Director of Programs, said, “Here we have the suppression of an awareness campaign that falls within community guidelines with no option to appeal. We are asking Facebook to work with us so that artists do not have to face the frustration and sense of helplessness provoked by such a turn of events.”

To stand in support of the NCAC’s initiative, one can join the fight  here as a We The Nipple campaign signatory. 

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Pervilion at Silver Building: May 30th – June 2nd

30.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Still from To Spoor A Stockroom by Dorothy Feaver

Today in East London, opens a new and interesting exhibition at the Silver Building space in Silvertown.  “Pervilion at Silver Building,”  curated by Dorothy Feaver features the likes of scent, sculpture and film creatives, respectively Katharina Dubbick, Jack O’brien and Stella Scott. For the show, these artists explore the various states of dissolution as they replicate and activate the defunct of the boiler rooms of a sixties office block. Proposing several ways in which the body may register, absorb and release tensions within a built environment. 

In the concrete chambers the Silver Building, sculptor Jack Obrien presents a series of hanging sculptures titled “Buildings that Weep” that approach the body’s complex interactions with surrounding physical structures. Featuring husk-like forms, made of pigmented silicon, silicon chains and taut lines that trace the folds of drapery while mimicking the patterns of veins and muscular definition. While scent designer Katharina Dubbick fills the upper boiler room with an installation called “Time Capsule 7.23am (2019).” 

“I want to capture the moment of exhaustion after a climax – the sense of space that’s left when feelings settle, ” she explains. Through steam the space is filled with scents that stimulate associations of sweat, saliva, sex, gin and tonic, cigarettes, smoke,  sticky skin among other products, capturing the smells of latex and body odour with the help of perfumer Meabh McCurtin. And in a film entitled “To Spoor Stockroom (2019)”, filmmaker Stella Scott tracks liquid cycles that confront the sanitised the future and fetishisation of space in central London. The exhibition is a response to both the pressures and pleasures of the urban fabric of London, presented in abstract ways to intrigue the entire human sensory system. The exhibition will run for four days and close its doors on June 2nd.

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Soft Opening: Belly Room by Nevine Mahmoud

23.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

British visual artist Nevine Mahmoud recently partnered  with London art gallery Soft Opening on her first European solo exhibition entitled ‘Belly Room.’  The exhibition which opened earlier this month features a selection of five sculptures carved from marble and hand-blown glass.  Throughout the themes of the exhibition, the artist explores her ongoing interest in disembodied body parts with the series of glass forms that represent single breasts and full busts, re-opening the conversation around women’s bodies and their objectification thereof. 

With a palette of pinks, amber and nude, the translucent sculptures subtly distort and dissect the female human form, with each sculpture swelling and sagging along the walls of the gallery.  The sculpture series also includes curving marble slides and sheets mimicking a sort of abstract plastic humanity.

Throughout the exhibition, “the artist negotiates the boundary distinguishing perception and expectation. Searching for a form at once recongnizable and alienated, these uncanny sculptures reverberate with suggestive innuendo.”

The belly room is currently open at the Soft Opening in London and will run until June 30th. 

Nevine Mahmoud, bust (phantom Li), 2019 
Nevine Mahmoud, breast (tamarind), 2019
Nevine Mahmoud, carved slide (2019)

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Alexander Binder lends “A Glimpse Into The Bardo”

14.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

German photographer Alexander Binder has been known as a self taught photographer gifted with the abilities of taking his viewers on psychedelic trip into a universe full of contrasts, and oddities using his craft vintage lenses, prisms and optical toys. His work has been featured in several mainstream media outlets including Vice Sleek and even Twin’s 2011 issue.

In his work, Binder explores the blurred lines between the real and surreal, fiction and fantasy, but his latest work is a venture into what is known as the subconscious. Inspired by Sigmund Freud’s famous paperback “The Interpretation of Dreams,” Binder’s series entitled “A Glimpse Into The Bardo” explores the abstract and symbolic aspects of consciousness. In an effort to make this venture as accurate as possible, the photographer had to learn to suppress his conscious control over the photographic process and in aid of this he used pinhole lenses, double exposures and various filters which made it nearly impossible for him to predict the final result. For an even further “Glimpse Into The Bardo,” we sat down with the artist himself to discuss the process. 


What was it like suppressing your conscious instincts during the creation of this series? Were you ever tempted to check if everything was going well? 

Our brain is pretty creative in inventing excuses to exert conscious control over everything we do. Not to forget that we live in a time where “thinking”, “control” and “rational behavior” are highly valued competences. We monitor our health-status 24/7 via fitness-trackers and we love listening to people who explain our world in rational terms.

So actually it was difficult and I had to use several methods to trick myself. I guess it helped a lot that I have been working with self-made lenses, prisms and pinhole cameras for more than a decade because these tools make it almost impossible to predict the final results in detail.

Another way to limit my conscious thinking was a chaotic timing for the whole editing process. Some of the images were on my hard drives for more than three years before I even had a look at them – and some of the photos were made in less than three days.

How long did it take you to create the entire series?

Several years and I am still working on new images for this constantly evolving project.During the process I realized that this specific series maybe doesn’t need a real beginning or an end. I don’t want to sound too esoteric but it just “is”.

What from Sigmund Freud’s “The interpretation of dreams sparked this concept? 

There is actually one paragraph that caught my attention:

“The dream-content is (…) presented in hieroglyphics, whose symbols must be translated, one by one (…). It would of course, be incorrect to attempt to read these symbols in accordance with their values as pictures, instead of in accordance with their meaning as symbols.”

(Source: “The interpretation of dreams” 1913 / Chapter 6 “The Dream Work”)

This is exactly the way that I wanted to look at the photographs. There is nothing to understand about these images with your rational mind. They are abstract symbols that have to be interpreted step by step. Something like a Rorschach test that helps to assess an individual’s personality – or at least trigger some questions about yourself, your hopes, fears and desires.

Being inspired by Sigmund Freud’s “The interpretation of dreams , a book which speaks to the exploration of dreams as our “unconscious wishes,”  do you think the end result from this series may hold some personal underlying connotation to you as well?

Yes, I think so. When I look at the series today I see a deep, almost romantic wish for some kind of nature mysticism.

What’s your favourite image from the series? Why?

There is one image that stuck in my head and I don’t remember when or how I took the photo. It’s one of the most abstract images of the series and it has – at least for me – a very strong, symbolic quality.

Honestly I don’t even know whether I like it or not but it resonates with me on a very subtle level. It makes me think about much more than a blurry black-and-white photograph, a bright light or the vague depiction of a wing-like object. As Symbolist poet Mallarmé said it’s not about the thing, but the effect which it produces. (See Below)

What would you like viewers to take away from this series?

The series doesn’t have a single-minded message or narrative. It doesn’t help trying to “understand” these images in the classical sense, e.g. recognizing specific objects.

Like Freud said, these are more or less hieroglyphics. And everybody has to interpret them in his own way and look for a personal meaning. So the only thing that I wish viewers would do, is that they took their time and let the photos open the doors to their subconscious.

What are you up to next? Will you continue to explore the subconscious? 

The exploration of the subconscious is one of the key motivations and goes far beyond my photographic activities. There is so much to read, learn and also experience that one lifetime is not enough.

I just returned from Northern India where I had the chance to get a deeper understanding of Tibetan culture and especially the Tibetan art in its various forms – from mesmerizing Thangka paintings to otherworldly bronze statues. So there will definitely be a photo project not about, but heavily influenced by this journey.

Keep up with Alexander and his work at Alexander Binder or on instagram 

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Public Gallery: “The Redemption of Delilah” by Alexi Marshall

02.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Your Hair Was Long When We First Met, 2019, Alexi Marshall

In less than a week, London based gallery Public Gallery, will present an exhibition featuring the work of British visual artist Alexi Marshall titled The Redemption of Delilah.

The exhibition, set to open on the 8th of May will reveal a series of work from Marshall exploring and reimagining denigrated women of history through the humanity and nuance that lies in what has been traditionally known as sin. In her work, with the use of print, fabric, drawing and embroidery, the artist invites her viewers for a deeper analysis of condemned female figures, with the story centred around the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. As Delilah’s name has been known to be synonymous with the qualities of being voluptuous and treacherous, her fate following her actions highlighted in the bible has never been revealed, which in turns, forever shows her in a degenerated light.

Throughout the exhibition Marshall highlights the characters’ powers as well as their fallibilities as she explores the internal and external forces and at play.  Each pieces of wrk highlights characters from different narratives including Mexican and Trinidadian folklore that tell stories of tragedies, fate, forgiveness and life and death. 

“At a time when powerful women are still regularly denigrated in contemporary society, Marshall shines a new light on these ‘imperfect female sinners’ offering them a voice beyond the confines of history. These characters from religion and folklore become Marshall’s own personal deities, neither benevolent or malevolent but acting as symbols for fate and the innate wild nature of humanity. ” The exhibition will run its course throughout May at the Public Gallery until the 4th of June. 

Sweetest Downfall, 2019, Alexi Marshall
Jezebels Burden, 2019, Alexi Marshall

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Six artists to discover during Art Brussels

28.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Autour de nous huile sur bois de Karine Rougier, 103 x 93 cm, 2018

Brussels is increasingly becoming one of the most refreshing European cities in which to discover art. Young spaces like collective Ballon Rouge and the collaborative La Maison de Rendez-Vous are opening new spaces and giving a new dose of oomph to the scene. Last week’s Art Brussels, an annual fair in its 37th edition with 148 galleries, was not too big, not too small – the goldilocks porridge of fairs. Here were six artists worth only a Eurostar away.

Merve Iseri

Turkish painter Merve Iseri was both a focus’ at Balon Rouge’s beautiful peach painted booth at the fair and the subject of a solo show at their downtown space. Her graphic large scale paintings touch on the body and landscape, balancing the figurative with a strong sense of abstraction and colour. An off-modernist breath of fresh air.

vision of holding a star in motion, Merve Iseri
Night Walk, Merve Iseri

Kayode Ojo

One of the NYC’s hottest current artists, Ojo originally emerged from a photographic background which he still balances with a glamorous and intelligent take on sculpture. His mirrored, misused furniture works covered with diamante jewellery or lame dresses were perfectly paired at Martos Gallery’s booth with a sexy large scale images of a trans model.

Boohoo Plus Verity Slinky Plunge Split Maxi Dress, Kayode Ojo
Balenciaga Bootcut, Kayode Ojo

Anicka Yi

Outside of the fair, the highlight of gallery night on Wednesday was Anicka Yi’s incredible show at Gladstone Gallery. Aiming to dissolve the boundaries between the human, animal, and vegetable, the show included sculptures that played with the living and kinetic. Its central room was filled with small animatronic moths flickering inside bulbous sculptural balls accompanied by a flickering electronic sounds.

Anicka Yi: We Have Never Been Individual
Anicka Yi: We Have Never Been Individual

Rubem Valentim

Mendes Wood DM devoted their booth at Art Brussels to Brazilian artists on their roster. It included some stunning paintings and a wood carved sculpture by the late Rubem Valentim, a self-taught artist who fused modernist ideas with the geometry, religion and aesthetic of Brazilian cultures. His Afro-Brazilian references were intentionally political, and the results exude vibrant energy.

Emblema 78, (1978), Rubem Valentim
Emblema-Relevo, (1980) , Rubem Valentim

Hoda Tawakol

It was impossible not to love Egyptian artist Hoda Tawakol’s sculptures at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde’s booth. Made from tights, synthetic hair, rice, wadding and resin, these fetish-like small nudes are strongly rooted in the legacy of feminist 1970s art and the use of textiles as a loaded material. These gorgeous little fat figures questioned the representation of femininity.

Nude #20 (2019), Hoda Tawakol
Nude #20 (2019), Hoda Tawakol

Karine Rougier

Another off-fair highlight was Karine Rougier’s incredible detailed show at the young Fondation Thalie. Born in Malta and based in Marseille, this show brought together every element of her practise from scrapbook collages to tiny found object sculptures to her surreal miniature paintings. The work was filled with disembodied hands, doses of sex and horror and a dreamlike fantastical brilliance.

Soulever les Frissons, Détail, 38 x 45 cm, huile sur bois, Karine Rougier, 2019

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Congregation by Sophie Green

24.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

For the past two years British social documentary & portrait photographer Sophie Green has been working on a project in celebration of Southwark’s community of Aladura Spiritualist African churches and congregations. As the product of her detailed studies, Green has created a compilation of all the documented images of the community that is often referred to as the “white garment” churches and will be presenting them in the form of an exhibition and hardcover titled Congregation this Thursday at the Hannah Barry Gallery. 

The images give a front row seat to the Christian denomination practised by Yoruba Nigerians that throughout the past 40 years has become a greater part of Southwark London —  being the community which hosts one of the highest concentration of African churches in Europe. Congregation will also raise conversation about collective identity and power within subcultures, cultural practices and traditional dresses, food and customs in modern technology and fashion. For the project, the photographer collaborated with members of the congregation through portrait sessions and photographic workshops which go hand in hand with the candid images of the men, women and children throughout their religious practice. 

Congregation will be launched available online this Thursday and can be purchased via Loose Joints.

Congregation by Sophie Green 
Congregation by Sophie Green
Congregation by Sophie Green

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Salone del Mobile: Maarten Baas,”I Think Therefore I Was”

15.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Salone del Mobile is the one time of year in Milan where one can discover the most interesting, jolting exhibitions and installations around the city. One of the most essential installations to see was that of Dutch designer Maarten Baas. Although not considered as design, the designer staged an exhibition in collaboration with Ventura Centrale entitled “I Think Therefore I Was.” Set in one of Ventura’s exhibition spaces in Centrale, the installation featured hundreds of monitors, playing fragments of videos in which the words ‘I think’ were cut from hundreds of random Youtube videos. This compilation of information is one that creates a great cacophony of words and moving images that hits you upon entrance.  Leaving one in awe with an overflow of feeling. There is no single screen to focus on, or single audio to listen to, there are hundreds being played simultaneously and what all that information does to the brain subconsciously is quite exciting.

Images by Claudio Grassi

“Having an opinion is once claim to existence. By placing the installation in reference to a catwalk set-up, the first impression is rather intimidating. The screens are like an audience, proclaiming opinions about you, as a visitor. Yet the other way around, it shows a colourful variety of people who have thoughts and therefore therefore are individuals,” comments Baas. The artist has been know for blurring boundaries between art and design using the element of surprise. The exhibition, which has already closed it’s doors, marked the artist’s 10th year in collaboration with the Ventura Projects in Milan. 

Images by Claudio Grassi

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Three Reasons To Go To MiArt

12.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Milan has quietly become a stealthy art hub. Its fair MiArt, which takes place the week before the city becomes obsessed with furniture and design in April, is like the Goldilocks’ porridge of art fairs. Its not too big, not too small. It has emerging names, big historical works and lesser known discoveries. The fair also is the catalyst for Milan Art Week when institutions like the Fondazione Prada, ICA Milan and Frigoriferi Milanesi open new exhibitions. These are examples of why you should book your ticket next year.

Saskia Te Nicklin At Vin Vin at MiArt

Danish artist Saskia Te Nicklin won the prize for best emergent booth at the fair this year, with her inventive Vienna-based gallery Vin Vin. Her paintings, installed against a metal wall installation, played with art historical themes such as still lives. Her refreshingly scrawled pieces touch on nature, the digital and the real. vinvin.eu

Five heads or masks executed while thinking of James Ensor, Saskia TeNicklin, 2019
4 plastic bags with drawn faces, Saskia Te Nicklin, 2019

Leigh Ledare at Office Baroque at MiArt

Brussels gallery Office Baroque brought some new large panel collage-like works from the always subversive Leigh Ledare to MiArt. These pieces felt more like disturbing scrapbook pages, which exposed Ledare’s own fascinations with sex, identity, history and social meaning. officebaroque.com

Leigh Ledare Plot I: Pre-existing Conditions, 2017
Leigh Ledare Plot III: Immune System, 2017

The Unexpected Subject. 1978 Art and Feminism in Italy

It is well worth travelling to the outskirts of Milan for this exceptional exhibition of Italian feminist art from the late 1970s. Discover artists like Ketty Le Rocco, Tomaso Binga, Lucia Marcucci, Maria Lai and Giulia Niccolai in this truly fascinating comprehensive archive show. At least pin down the catalogue until May 26, http://www.frigoriferimilanesi.it

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Hayward Gallery: “Kiss My Genders” 12 June – 8 Sep

05.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Cover Image: Martine Gutierrez, Masking Fish Mask from Indigenous Women (2018)

On June 12th this summer, central London art gallery Hayward Gallery will open it’s doors to a group exhibition titled ‘Kiss My Genders,’ showcasing the work of 30 international artists whose repertoires engage in conversation around gender identity. Curated by Vincent Honoré, the exhibition will feature a compilation of over 100 artworks by several generations of artists from across the world who share interests in articulating with themes of gender fluidity, non-binary, trans and intersex identities communicated throughout their work. The exhibition will include wide range of several types of media including installations, videos, paintings, sculptures, portraitures etc.

Juliana Huxtable Untitled Lil’ Marvel (2015)

The panel of creatives will include names who explore gender expression through the forms of performance, drag and masquerade. Such as names like Ajamu,  a London-based visual activist whose work challenges conventional understanding of sexuality, desire, pleasure and cultural production within contemporary Britain and Amrou Al-Kadhi, a British-Iraqi writer, drag performer and filmmaker, who in collaboration with British photographer Holly Falconer, created a photographic portrait Glamrou (2016) using triple exposure to communicate the experience of being in drag as a person of Muslim heritage. The exhibition will also bring forth political undertones with artist artist Hunter Reynolds who is an AIDS activist as well,  whouses art as a tool to process trauma as well as transform it. The Kiss My Gender exhibition will also be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring original essays and a roundtable discussion with and from a few of the artists along with the exhibition’s curators and a performance by Berlin based artiste Planningtorock, whose song lyrics were featured as the showcase’s title. The exhibition will run throughout the summer and close its doors on September 2019. For more info visit Hayward Gallery.

Zanele Muholi, Phila I Parktown, (2016)
Catherine Opie, Mike and Sky (1993)

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Public Gallery ft. Joan Cornellà: “IM GOOD THANKS”: Apr 3rd – May 4th

03.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

London based contemporary space Public Gallery in collaboration with renowned Catalan artist Joan Cornellà presents ‘IM GOOD THANKS’ — a solo exhibition featuring the artist’s work set to open on the 3rd of April. The exhibition will feature a series of new works by Cornellà featuring his instantly recongisable mix of pitch black humour and deeply unsettling imagery as he gives his audience a glimpse of his dystopic view of contemporary life. Throughout the exhibition paintings will line the walls and surround a central sculpture which represents the artist’s trademark suited character. Each piece of work included in the upcoming exhibition acts as a mirror into the depraved nature of society; confronting topics like our obsessive attachment to social media and masturbatory selfie culture to politically controversial topics such as abortion , addiction and gender. Upon first glimpse the artist’s work may appear as playful and lighthearted but upon further thought and inspection it reveals his admirable method of twisting saccharine settings to dissect modern culture.

“I think we all laugh at misery. We must start from the idea that when we laugh, we laugh at someone or something. With empathy or not, there is always some degree of cruelty. In spite of that, I am aware that if one of my cartoons happened in real life , I would not laugh at al,” he comments. In sync with the growing feeling that the world is sinking further into depraved absurdity, Cornellà sheds some light unto human nature, presenting us in his notoriously dark and disquieting manners. The exhibition is set to run until the 4th of May.

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Illustrating Fashion with Christina Zimpel

01.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Broad strokes, dense colour, a sense of positive circularity to her work – Christina Zimpel is an artist of a wonderfully bold disposition. Being an Australian in New York City, her work has lifted the pages of Vogue Australia to the SS19 handbags (and set design) of Michael
Kors. There is a natural magnetism to her illustrations, often heavily centred around reinterpretations of the runway or figures of fashion. Christina breaks down familiar catwalk looks into bright colour comparisons of ink and gouache (think green against pink, red beside baby blue), or almost-Surrealistic monochrome, creating confident combinations.
Large almond eyes are bestowed on her interpretations, and for all the magnetism of their form and colour, look out with a gentleness: a reflection of the artist? May Christina Zimpel’s illustrative hand continue: she creates illustrations that lift the page through colour and composition.

What do you do for fun, what’s your favourite colour?

For fun I eat and garden and go for walks. My favourite colour is currently
a mossy green. 

What were you good at in school, what were you not so good at?

I enjoyed history and art and creative writing. I did not pay enough attention to maths and biology.


Who were you favourite bands growing up? Who do you listen to these days?
I like the same bands today as I did growing up… Bowie, Roxy Music, Kraftwerk, Prince, Miles Davis, The Clash, Joy Division etc etc. all really great to work to. And my son Lil Jabba!
 

How did you get into art and illustration?
I got into art by suddenly deciding I wanted to draw – so I drew everything I could see around me every day for a couple of years and shared the results on Instagram. Illustration commissions started coming due to that. In the past it might have been harder to get my foot in the door. However, now I have an audience and some great people saw something interesting in me and gave me work which is wonderful!

Describe a day in your life .
I am quite boring especially in winter when I barely leave the house! I work at home so I am up and working at the kitchen table. I can multi task as the dishwasher and stove are close to my brushes and paints. In the summer I get to go outside and do a bit of gardening or walk around my neighbourhood if I need a break.

Your work appears to be shaped greatly by blocks of colour: does colour or form come first for you when you start a piece?
When I’m painting, colour is an important starting point. I have a definite palette and love to work within those parameters. My colour choices come from distant memories when I became really conscious of my surroundings. The sixties pop colours, the clarity of bright reds and greens and pink my mother loved. They form my landscapes. With illustrations I tend to be influenced by the subject matter be it fashion or narratives. Using very bright colours is tricky so I add banal colours to balance them, otherwise you’d get a headache.

Do you doodle?
I love to doodle! That is something I’ve always done.

You are from Perth yet currently reside in New York: do aspects of either Australia or New York enter your work?
Definitely- Australia is a land of bright clear colours and I like the uplifting feelings it gives me, it ties in with the Fauvist paintings I love so much.
New York really gives me so much love for humanity… so many people all the time all living their lives right in front of you. It really comes out in my work – observations of people’s expressions, body language, the heaviness of life.

Does your mind drift as you draw or does drawing help your mind drift?
I have always been the anxious type. Drawing is the best help I’ve found to drift away from my thoughts and tune out the chatter. It makes me live in the moment.  In the UK, the government is increasingly moving focus away from the arts, leaving a potential massive gap in young people’s education of art.

How important is art to you?
When you are exposed to the arts there is something each person will find interesting or beautiful or earth shattering amongst it. All people should get the opportunity to open up their world and find their own creativity or passions. It shouldn’t be a luxury.


You have worked with the likes of the CFDA, Maison Kitsune and Michael Kors: what role has collaboration played in your career?
I was really lucky to work with some iconic brands in 2018. I had the opportunity to draw portraits, landscapes and create brand identities. I had my first merchandise produced – totes and phone cases and T-shirt’s, as well as beautiful look books and interactive displays. It’s been really exciting and it’s giving me hope that I can grow exponentially, and be collaborative, not just work in a bubble.

What was the last thing that made you excited?
The whole thing- I did not see any of this coming!

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“The Wahi Series”, – Northern New York City as seen by Kasandra Enid Torres

07.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Kasandra Enid Torres is a culture and fashion photographer based in Washington Heights, NYC who has been documenting the soulful inhabitants of her neighbourhood for the past three years. Her series titled “Wahi” — short for Washington Heights —  diaries the vivacious poetic spirits of the busy district in ways which treasure the Old New York City aesthetic with a 21st Century twist. In conversation with the photographer , Twin discusses her inspirations and experiences throughout the process of the project. 

When did you first start shooting in New York? 

I moved to the city at the beginning of 2013 after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. For the first two years I didn’t shoot much, I was constantly working 24/7 and if I had free time I spent it sleeping. I was also on an artist block, I wasn’t sure what to shoot. I came from an art background making abstract photography and films. To get myself unstuck, I started to shoot anything and everything.

What inspired you to start the “Wahi” series? 

Around 2015 I started to shoot regularly. At the time I didn’t have access to models so I decided to shoot outside in my neighbourhood. I am not the most extroverted person and having to go out to make pictures by approaching strangers was daunting to me. It was definitely a challenge. I slowly got more comfortable with it and found my flow. I got my hands on a Hasselblad Superwide C, which is a medium format camera with no viewfinder. It was fun experimenting with it and finding its sweet spot. It is a somewhat big and chrome camera. I liked shooting with it for this series because it attracts attention. It is also a conversation piece, people approach me asking me about it and allow me to take their portrait. 

How do you select your subjects? 

I walk up and down on St Nicholas Ave between 168th and 191st street, keeping myself open for opportunities. I am attracted by really interesting people, how they are dressed, how they walk, their  expressions etc. I also choose things that speak to the culture of the neighbourhood, such as the supermarkets, the crowded bus stops, the chairs, domino tables, and the empanada carts. 

What’s your favourite thing about Washington Heights?

My favorite thing about this neighbourhood is the people. I love being surrounded by other hispanics. Having lived away from my family for the past eight years, I like being reminded of my culture and roots. I like listening to the radio blasting salsa or reggaeton while walking to the supermarket. I like watching the intensity of people playing dominos. I love the sidewalk parties of people chilling on their lawn chairs, drinks in paper bags, puffing from hookahs and grilling up on barbecues.  I love the wafts of food smells, such as pernil, mofongo, empanadas, and asopao. It feels like home. 

What would you like people to take away from viewing this series?

I want these images to give the viewer a look inside this Old New York style neighbourhood. There really aren’t many places like this in the city. Majority of the city has been gentrified and franchised. I want them get an honest raw interpretation of this community.  I want them to be able to see how interesting and cool the neighbourhood is, to feel as if they were there. 

Can we expect to see more projects like this from you in the future?

Yes I will continue to document series like this one. I just wrapped up a series I shot near the Adirondacks in January of a Snowmobile drag race. I shot that one during an insane blizzard! I am also currently shooting a series at busy subway platforms like Times Square, documenting all types of people.

What’s next for you as a photographer? 

I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself. With each new series I try to do something I haven’t done before, be it a camera technique, lighting technique, shooting a specific way or subject matter. 

Where can one view more of your work?

Majority of my work is online. I have work published here on Twin (my Afropunk series), Document Journal, a couple of other indie magazines and my website. My Dependence series is published on issue 7 of Recens Paper, another of my favorite project. In the future, I aim to have a gallery show at a space in the neighbourhood. I want to give back to this community that has given me so much. 

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The Art of Women Exhibition

03.03.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

This week, British organization The Art of Women launches their exhibition in support of women across the United Nation. The Art of Women is a solidarity movement for the empowerment of women which unites UN Women with fashion models in an effort to amplify their voices. The organization is a commitment to human rights and is a form of advocacy for respect towards women and  diversity by promoting change through art and raising awareness around issue surrounding feminism . The Art of Women opens the doors of their exhibition tomorrow March, 4th through 6th at the Florence Loewy in Paris. The exhibition shot by Nikki Esser, provides a perspective on a diverse representation of women, authenticity and empowerment as the photographer captures the personalities of her muses through her warmth and the connections she creates with them. For further information visit The Art of Women.

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susan pui san lok: A COVEN A GROVE A STAND

18.02.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Earlier this month at the Firstsite gallery Colchester,  opened an uncanny exhibition titled “A COVEN A GROVE A STAND.”  The exhibition pioneered by artist susan pui san lok, is an exploration of the age-old practice of witchcraft and the history of witch persecutions across East Anglia during the 16th and 17th centuries where over 300 witches were executed by the Witch Hunter General Matthew Hopkins. 

Throughout the exhibition , the artist’s focus is on an 800 year-old oak tree called the ‘Old Knobbley’ located in Mistley, Essex and is rumoured to be where witches were thought to have hidden.  The exhibit also includes a sound installation which echoes several versions of the folk song “Cruel Mother” around the tree. The showcase is set to conclude in April and will evolve overtime as the artist will encourage her audience to participate in the exploration of the themes of voice, place, collective remembrance and resistance.  

Famous Old Knobbley oak tree in forest in Mistley, Essex – Image by Callum Redgrave
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite

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Twin Magazine presents “Twin X” : Jan 31 – Feb 02

04.02.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

This week Twin Magazine opens our doors in London to a group exhibition  entitled “Twin X” which celebrates a decade of local emerging talent and creativity.  The showcase, which opens on January 31st at The Store X in East London, pulls on the visual archive of our biannual print publication featuring the works of several creatives throughout the industries of fashion, photography and art. Collectively curated by Twin Founder Becky Smith; Twin art editor and curator Francesca Gavin; curator and gallerist Antonia Marsh; image director Holly Hay and Twin fashion editor Naomi Miller, the exhibition is an amalgamation of the personal taste and perspective of each curator. 

It is a display which collectively showcases specially-commissioned editorial images that focus on independence and individualism, which are themes that have been carried throughout the magazine since it’s conception in 2009. 

“As publications have come under increased pressure to compromise over the last decade, Twin has remained a distinct and independent platform for pure creativity. The show celebrates the artists that have helped shaped and define independent publishing as it stands today, ” says Founder Becky Smith.

With work from photographers such as Stef Mitchell, Cass Bird, Boo George, Bibi Cornejo Borthwick, Dexter Navy and Akinola Davies Jr, the show deconstructs a central narrative into four sections: Photographers, Models, People and the Unseen. Exploring the thoughts behind these characters, faces and creatives who are defining the nature of contemporary creativity. The Unseen section of the exhibition will also feature never-before-seen outtake shots from the magazine’s photographic archive, providing spectators with a rare insight into the world of image-making and its process. Twin X features free admission and concludes on February 3, 2019. 


Photograph by Yaniv Edry, Issue 19, 2018.

Photograph by Akinola Davies Jr., Issue 19, 2018.

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V & A : “Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams”

21.01.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

On February 2nd, London based Victoria and Albert Museum will open the doors to the largest comprehensive exhibition to be staged in the UK on the fashion house of Dior. Titled “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams,” this exhibition will trace the impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers while exploring the works of the six artistic directors who succeeded him. Although based on the major exhibition “Christian Dior: Couturier du Reve,” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the showcase is reimagined for the V & A by curator Oriole Cullen and includes a brand new section which explores the designers fascination with British culture. 

“There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture. I even love English cooking,” a quote from Christian Dior. The designer deeply admired the British  way of life, even his first fashion show took place at London’s Savoy Hotel and he then later established the brand as Christian Dior London. 

The exhibition also gives insight to Dior’s creative collaborations with jewellers, shoemakers, and glove makers as well as a focus on some of his earliest elite clients. These include author Nancy Mitford, dancer Margot Fonteyn and a special highlight of the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday. The exhibition will presents over 500 objects and over 200 rare Haute Couture garments displayed alongside the designer’s personal possessions. The show will reveal the sources of inspiration which help define the Dior aesthetic, from the intricate designs of Yves Saint Laurent to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s feminist vision. The showcase will be held across 11 sections which include titles such as The Dior Line, Dior In Britain, Historicism, Travels, among others. Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opens February 2nd until July 14th , to book your tickets visit V & A.

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OSL Contemporary: The Future Stands Still But We Move In Infinite Space

21.01.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Norwegian gallery OSL contemporary in it’s latest venture has teamed up with a few artists for part two of their group exhibition called “The Future Stands Still but We Move in Infinite Space.” Opened earlier this month at their HQ in Oslo, the exhibition brings together a group of creatives who challenge our perception and also create an awareness of how different elements are entangled in a network of relations. Through the forms of sculpture, photography collage, film and drawing, these artists tell a story as they perceive the world as a continuous difficult dialogue with objects, memories, sensations, possibilities and prohibitions. Featured throughout the exhibition are collaborative works of Toril Johannessen and Marjolijn Dijkman with a diverse group of microorganisms seen through a light microscope. Also from photographer Kamilla Langleand who creates vintage photographs into fascinating collages and interdisciplinary artist Andrew Amorim who skilled in photography, film and video installation. These among others are the contributing creatives to the exhibition curated by Randi Grov Berger, which will conclude on February 23, for more info , visit OSL. 

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Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language

09.01.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

English creative hub Somerset House has recently tapped two of fashion’s headlining Asian photographers Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng for the conception of an upcoming exhibition entitled ‘English as a Second Language.’  The exhibition, set to open on January 25th, will be driven mainly by the work of these two Asian-born London-based photographers. It will offer a series of images with an interesting perspective, which shall incorporate cultural signifiers, set design and of course fashion as they present their take on Western aesthetics and fashion ideals. While at the same time bringing distinct Asian perspective to their works and challenging the concept of “otherness” to reflect upon the power fashion photography holds in shaping our general perceptions of beauty style and taste. Curated by Shonagh Marshall,  ‘English as a Second Language’ is set to be arranged across three rooms. The first of which visitors will be welcomed by the works of Hannah Moon in her series called ‘Heejin and Moffy’ where she uses the architecture of the Somerset House to capture the imagery of the models who respectively hail from South Korea and London in a dramatic re-imagination of Somerset’s neoclassical setting. The exhibition will then continue with the work of Joyce Ng , whose speciality is working with street casted models and natural environments. She will present a body of work which features a cast from the House’s community across a six week period as she invited visitors to take part in on-site shootings. The series will include inspiration from renowned Chinese novel Journey to the West, which the photographer selected participants to embody each character from the novel within the hidden public spaces of Somerset House. The exhibition  will also feature an extensive wardrobe from iconic names such as Vivienne Westwood, Phillip Treacy, Molly Goddard, Yohji Yamamoto among others.  For further details check out Somerset. 

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Five Art Works To See In Vienna

30.11.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

No one needs an excuse to come to Vienna – as the portfolio of talents in the current issue of Twin proves. Vienna Art Week each November grew out of the contemporary art sales at the Dorotheum, the second oldest auction house in the world. It is essentially a celebration of exhibitions and events across the city is chance to see some stunning work – much of which is still on view for the rest of 2018. Here are five highlights of works to see in Vienna right now.

Giorgio Griffa

This painting on raw jute was the highlight of the auctions at the Dorotheum, amongst work by Lucia Fontana, Maria Lassnig and Egon Schiele. The Turin-based abstract painter, who is getting some serious attention in his later years, has helped redefine abstraction with a dose of quantum physics and emphasis on process. See Dorotheum.com

Spitzhaus Mummy in a coffin and other treasures from the Kunsthistoriches Museum

Film director Wes Anderson and his illustrator-art historican partner Juman Malouf have raided all the museums of Vienna to create this delightful cabinet of curiosities grouped together thematically. If you wanted to see what it feels like to walk into a Wes Anderson film, visit here. 

Donna Huanca

Bolivian-American artist Donna Huanca, who works with Berlin’s Peres Projects, has been given carte blanche to fill the classical surroundings of the Belvedere museum with her large scale paintings and performance works, where bodies covered in paint give a much needed injection of life into the history of sculpture and classicism. For more info check out Belvedere.at.

Pieter Breughel

This is the biggest Breughel exhibition you will ever see in your life is also on at the Kunsthistoriches and the work is on another level. One special highlight is this very strange countryside fantasy and sci-fi politics and reinforces how truly incredible the 16the century artist really was. Visit khm for info.

Chadwick Rantanen

Project space Guimares has a brilliant exhibition of small works entitled Schmaltz on until January 19. It includes this very weird and very wonderful twitching pulsating kinetic sculpture made from a hacked battery powered toy by American artist Chadwick Rantanen, alongside works by Thomas Jeppe, Ken Kagami and Urara Tschuiya. Visit here for info. A

Image by Gregor Titze

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