Nite Jewel Unearthed

26.08.2016 | Music | BY:

LA-based musician, Ramona Gonzalez, otherwise known as Nite Jewel, is quite literally going it alone with her latest album: ‘Liquid Cool’. Since making her way onto the music scene in 2008, creating songs with her husband using a portable eight-track cassette recorder, Gonzalez has caught the attention and imagination of many, including director Noah Baumbach who selected her track ‘Suburbia’ to appear in his film Greenberg.

Now, as she embarks on the road to play her brand new material in Europe, Twin caught up with the much-hyped electro artist to discover how solitude can be one of the best things to ever happen to someone.

You have said that you recorded much, if not all, of your latest album ‘Liquid Cool’ in various closets. How? Why?
Well, it just so turned out that the two places I ended up living in in Los Angeles over the course of recording ‘Liquid Cool’ had these large walk-in closets. I wanted the sound of the record to be very intimate, so I decided to set up shop in these spaces with just a few instruments, in order have privacy and go deep into that fantasy world I was creating.

Was there a specific event that lead you into leaving your previous label? And how did you feel, both creatively and personally, to go solo?
No specific event, but just a general feeling of a poor fit over the course of our relationship. It’s a big commitment to get into a relationship with a label, not only a financial partnership, but a creative partnership as well. If you aren’t feeling like the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts, then it’s probably best to get out while you can. There’s nothing worse than giving away 50% of your rights/ownership/and profits to an entity you can’t get behind.

I’ve been releasing my music independently since 2008. ‘One second of love’ was the only release done with a label other than my own. The main thing Secretly Canadian [record label] and I agreed upon was perhaps I did a better job at releasing my music on my own independently. So it felt great to get that kind of reassurance. And generally it’s been a better experience doing it on my own, albeit more of a personal expense.

There is an oft-mentioned sensuality to your music, is this deliberate? If so, how do you achieve it?
Definitely not deliberate but perhaps just the way that I sing, coupled with the prominence of the bass and rhythm section.

How has your style and sound progressed over the past ten years? What do you want to say now, in comparison to what you wanted to say then?
It’s progressed immensely and honed itself, but always been very much Nite Jewel. I think I’ve always toyed with similar themes throughout my career. The cross-section of love and technology has always interested me from the very beginning, and continues to be a theme in my work.

Your sound has also been described as “dreamlike” – what was the last thing you dreamt of?
I have very vivid dreams, but the last one I can remember being woken up by, was one where I was doing some sort of very dangerous aerial gymnastics à la Cirque d’Soleil. I’m afraid of heights but have consistent dreams of daredevil type mid-air acrobatics.

‘Liquid Cool’ is said to look a lot at the idea of being alone, is this something you are, or previously have been, afraid of? Have your perceptions of being on your own changed over the years?
I think aloneness is something I have always cherished, but at times it has been something I’ve grappled with being an artist. Aloneness is always directly linked to productivity/creativity. If that isn’t going well one day, aloneness can seem daunting, but most of the time it is a great thing. For ‘Liquid Cool’ I was more exploring the pervasive feeling of aloneness in a world where we are also so virtually interconnected. The internet can prove claustrophobic and crowded, but in reality we are experiencing that alone. That somewhat paradoxical dichotomy was what drove the concept of the album.

This album has been described as a “stripping back the pieces of our own lives until we can really see one another again” – is there anything in particular that you feel is particularly obstructive when it comes to communicating with those around you?
Yes, our online lives/personas.

You’ve done almost everything on this album yourself, how does the feeling of seeing it finished and out there now compare with previous work?
It’s refreshing! But also familiar. I have always done everything on my own, so it’s nothing new. Even when I have worked with other people, in the end, it’s my work, my voice.

Who else, musically, is inspiring you right now? Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
For new stuff: The Internet, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Harriet Brown and Jessy Lanza.

What is the rest of the year looking like? What are you up to next?
Our UK and European tour starts on the 15th September. Come see us!

For a full list of Nite Jewel’s upcoming tour dates, click HERE.

Nitejewel.com

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Hauser Wirth and Schimmel is bringing the revolution to LA

19.12.2015 | Art | BY:

From 13th March 2016, Hauser Wirth and Schimmel, a gallery in the heart of the downtown LA art district, will host ‘Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016’, an exhibition featuring almost 100 artworks by 34 female artists. Spanning seven decades, the exhibition aims to reflect on women’s artistic progression in the field of sculpture.

The display will be partly overseen by Paul Schimmel, the former chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art. He has noted that the exhibition is modeled on gallery founder Ursula Hauser’s private collection, which included several pieces by prominent female artists.

The exhibition will explore how integral elements of contemporary art have been pioneered by female artists since the post-world war II era, who in seeking to form their own artistic narrative, expanded and redefined sculpture.

Moving chronologically, the exhibition takes off directly after the Second World War, when sculptors like the legendary French artist Louise Bourgeois and New York artist Louise Nevelson combined feminism and surrealism to create large-scale sculptures and installation art. Moving forward into the 1960s and 70s, works by Post-Minimalist artists including German Eva Hesse and the iconic Yayoi Kusama illustrate how conventional uses of materials changed at this time, with tactility incorporated into sculpture to convey the artists’ presence.

The exhibition continues with artists emerging from the Post-Modernist era and expanding further into the realm of installation art, using videos and being more expansive in their use of space. Concluding with work by a new generation of sculptors, much of which has been commissioned especially for the exhibition, visitors are able to see how artists have built upon the legacy of previous sculptors, while incorporating new uses of colour and materials into their work.

The exhibition will run until 4th September,  2016.

hauserwirthschimmel.com

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LA Screen Star

14.11.2011 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Hedi Slimane has taken his diary to the streets of Los Angeles. The maverick designer turned photographer’s signature black and white images can be seen on 89 digital billboards throughout the city. With his solo exhibition California Song at the MOCA in Los Angeles just opened, for the next three months the digital billboards will evolve and follow his California diary. Having turned London’s Brick Lane street kids into the global epitome of cool, since 2006 Slimane’s online photographic diary has invented new ways of documenting emerging youth culture.

California Song marks the beginning of his “California period” in July 2007 and traces his explorations of cycles of urban youth culture and artistic communities, through installations of photographic essays, exhibitions, and publications. Be sure to follow the story.

Hedi Slimaneʼs California Song, is at MOCA Pacific Design Center until January 22, 2012.

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The Last Tycoon

24.10.2011 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Madelyn Somers hand-makes super dapper bow ties for women. The 23-year-old LA based designers mission is to inspire women to be empowered individuals and part of the proceeds go to Women for Women International. Tycoon Neckwear uses recycled men’s ties with a feminine flareand her designs have so far caught the eye of Janelle Monae and Ellen Degeneres.

Twin spoke to the LA born and bred designer about her style…

What’s your fashion background?
Fashion is and has always been something I’ve taken an interest in, but never thought of it as a career. My mom has a degree in fashion design, so she taught me how to sew and I took a few sewing classes in college.

I love thrift shopping at flea markets, the goodwill or my favorite, the Jewish thrift council store which are all around Los Angeles for great designer finds, but I’m not the one who keeps up with fashion blogs and collects fashion magazines to keep up with the trends for the seasons. I dress in what I like which is usually in the realm of quirky menswear chic with some funky pattern or pop of color.

Where did the idea come from for Tycoon Neckwear and what’s it all about?
It came out of a little boredom and what to do after college, but I was thrift shopping one day and found a basket of men’s ties that brought on an immense curiosity to reclaim them in to something cool for women. Since classic menswear always inspired me, I wanted to figure out how to incorporate menswear into women’s fashion without feeling like I was borrowing from my dad’s closet.

I bought a few ties and the next day I started sewing them. I found a box of vintage buttons my mom had stored in her studio and incorporated them. It seemed to all come about pretty organically. I came up with a whole ad campaign. I loved building the brand from the ground up, it was inspiring to not only have a product, but create a product that came with a pretty effortless statement that I felt strongly about.

Tycoon is a neckwear line that inspires women to be empowered individuals. Tycoon uses recycled men’s ties with a feminine flare to create a force of confidence, individuality, and style. I loved the idea that Tycoon is sustainable because salvaging something old and turning it into something new is a part of an eco-friendly movement that

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I’ve always been passionate about which also contributes to the fact that they are all one of a kind creations.

What does style mean to you?
Style to me is really is about individuality and making a statement about who you are and what you want to say to the world without being vocal. It’s our first impression when you walk out the door and who doesn’t want to give off an impression by making a declaration to the public that “I am a confident individual and this is how i chose to express myself, no one can tell me otherwise.”

I loved what street fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham said, “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you could do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.” It’s a chance to be uniquely you and it gives us the joy of being able to reinvent ourselves a little bit each day. There are no confines necessary to the immense possibility of what is style and lady bow ties are just one of those possibilities.

tycoonneckwear.com

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