10.01.2011 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cult painter Rita Ackermann and seminal director Harmony Korine share a love of irreverent, mischievous beauty. As such the first exhibition of their collaborative work Shadow Fux is just that: provocative, weird and stunning.

Korine’s recent film Trash Humpers – an eerie yet comedic nightmare vision – provides the point of departure. Starting with large-scale stills from the film, in which the characters wear wrinkled jelly-like masks that make them look like geriatrics, they used a call-and-response method to build up layers of blackjack collage and paint. Accompanying these ‘cut-and-paste’ works, projections of two of Korine’s films set the scene.

The result, which appears to be a succession of arbitrary scribblings reminiscent of childish colouring-in sessions, in fact speaks of the nature of collaboration and co-existence. Characters are plastered one over the other like some kind of mutant lab experiment: the cracks and joins are still visible.

Ultimately their work is a mixed media mess, a jumble, in which fragmented narratives coalesce to form jarring yet beguiling scenes. But it’s this dissonance that is most successful and resonates most deeply. Catch it quick at New York”s Swiss Institute before it is gone.

Shadow Fux is at the Swiss Institute, New York until 23rd January 2011

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Lizard Lounge

31.12.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Tucked down a side road in Dalston, in a 6000sqft basement is Late Night Chameleon Café. Known by the acronym LN-CC the self-proclaimed ‘retail concept’ opened its doors this month.

The store is the brainchild of former Selfridges and Harrods buyers John Skelton and Daniel Mitchell who enlisted Twin favourite, set designer Gary Card to create the rabbit-warren interior.

A cylindrical corridor leads to the three fashion rooms showcasing the best of cult fashion design. In one room Damir Doma, Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester are ready-styled on mannequins or hanging from suspended rails. Emerging  brands like Nonnative and SASQUATCHfabrix are in another while in the third room Raf Simons sits alongside Lara Bohinc and Mawi.

There is a fourth ‘Celestial’ space full of rare art, fashion books and records.  All the favourites are here and then some: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Phyllis Galembo, Maison Martin Margiela and Harmony Korine.

But it’s the details that set this boutique apart from other retailers.  The brands are carefully handpicked, cleverly edited and curated so that the space feels more like a gallery than a boutique. Built-in benches encourage thorough perusal of the records and art books. Oh and did we mention the changing rooms are on wheels?

LN-CC is a shopping landmark in the making; book your appointment now.
[email protected]

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Indecent exposure

19.11.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

We are near saturation point when it comes to pop-up shops, but have an insatiable appetite for pop-up art spaces. Flash Projects is the latest photography project from the really rather good James Hyman Gallery, who consistently impress with their selection of vintage photography (take this paparazzi shot of Bridget Bardot, top). Now, the gallery will take their archive of prints on the countercultures of the Fifties through Seventies to spaces all over London with exhibitions and limited-edition sales.

Flash Projects’ delicious debut is a collaboration between photographer and artist Jean Clemmer and Franco-Spanish couturier Paco Rabanne entitled, Canned Candies The Nudes of Jean Clemmer (images above and below), a body of work originally produced in 1969. Rabanne’s wicked ‘unwearable’ fashions, crafted from unconventional materials like metal, are the perfect match for Clemmer’s hazy aesthetic. The little-known Clemmer (1926-2001) was immersed in painting, music and photography, and worked as Salvador Dali’s personal photographer for two decades.

The photographic series is seemingly bathed in a silver glow, and recalls the sci-fi spirit of  Barbarella (1968), for which Rabanne was costume designer.  Clunky chainmail get-ups deemed risqué at the time seem just as modern and fresh now (see young designer Fannie Schiavoni’s chainmail harnesses Canned Candies is a climatic collection that’s the result of an early art and high fashion clash. Invest now.

Canned Candies. The Nudes of Jean Clemmer runs from the 26th November – 18th December at Flash Projects, 8 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PG.

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Animal magic

28.10.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Love art but can’t afford it?  Recently there’s been a spate of initiatives to make sure you don’t have to starve yourself to be able to take home a piece of art.  Outline Editions is one of them.  Founded by arts, lifestyle and features editor Bill Tuckey and curator Camilla Parsons, Outline Editions recognises that graphic design is increasingly in demand as a new affordable wall art.

Following the success of their debut pop-up shop in May, Outline Editions are back with another. The temporary gallery, housed in a former second-hand record store on Soho’s Berwick Street will be a feature in itself: the window and floor graphics are produced by designer and illustrator Kate Moross.

Limited-edition prints from their nature-inspired autumn collection Into the Forest, will be on sale at smile-inducing prices – from £15 to £185.  Take in the neon landscapes of new-wave graphic artist Anthony Burrill, or marvel at the intricate detailing in fashion illustrator Klaus Haapaniemi’s designs.  Fancy an even more modest purchase?  T-shirts, books, vinyls and other products will also be on sale from the likes of Kate Moross or Supermundane.

The temporary store is open until 31st  January 2011 at 94 Berwick Street, London W1F 0QF. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 12 – 6.30pm


It’s bigger than

21.10.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture , Music | BY:

This month Twin’s art editor Francesca Gavin curates ‘Syncopation’, a ten-day Berlin exhibition that explores personal notions of selfhood. Gavin’s work as a curator, editor and writer is already varied, yet: “My true alternative self is a musician,” she explains.

Gavin grew up making music, performing below fleapit cinemas; steeped in the embrace of jazz and folk. Her grandmother’s record label Dial Recordings, which released Charlie Parker and Mile Davis’ records, sparked a love of soul, jazz, hip hop and black music culture and its relation to art.

The show presents the work of artists and musicians Cory Arcangel, Frankie Martin, Jeremy Shaw, Matt Stokes (pictured, top) and Mark Titchner, and is one part of a bigger exhibition – Despina Stokou’s project ‘D12’. Like the Detroit rap group who failed to find twelve members, instead asking six MC’s to create alteregos, Stokou has invited six artists to showcase theirs.

Head to the private view to catch a live lounge jazz performance by Gavin, accompanied by Julien Quentin.  The party continues at Bierhaus Urban from 11pm with Jeremy Shaw and Gavin on the decks.  Deeply buried true selves may just be revealed.

Jayson Scott Musson, How to Hip Hop, 2010, video still.

21.10-31.10, Grimmuseum, Fichte Straße 2, 10967, Berlin, open daily 2-7pm.
The after party is on the 21.10, Bierhaus Urban, Urban Straße 126, corner Graefe Straße

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Image is everything

15.10.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

While the Frieze Art Fair takes hold in London, over in New York Tribeca Cinemas are holding the inaugural Architecture and Design Film Festival. Following the mantra – design directs everything – the festival celebrates the spirit of architecture and design through film.

Here are Twin’s picks of the festival from the features length films, documentaries, and shorts: –

Big Brother Britain (2009)

An animated film highlighting the extent to which surveillance penetrates every aspect of life in Britain.

My Playground (2010)

Following Team JiYo, this Denmark-based documentary explores the impact Parkour and Freerunning are having on the perception of urban spaces.

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight (2008)

A documentary portrait of American graphic design, co-founder of New York Magazine and the enduring I

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Love NY campaign, Milton Glaser.

Visual Acoustics (2009)

Narrated by Dustin Hoffman this film provides not not only a testament to the evolution of modern architecture, but a portrait of the late Julius Shulman, the world’s greatest architectural photographer.

See for the full program.

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Maripol rocks

11.10.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion , Music | BY:

Stylist, creative director, jewellery designer, Polaroid artist, cult film producer, boutique owner: Maripol’s CV reads like a Soho House members list.  But no, this is one woman’s work. Wholly appropriately, then, is it that her first monograph, entitled ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, should be a mixed media scrapbook.

Drawings, designs, Polaroids and writings chart her creative journey from a stint at the famous Fiorucci house to her recent collaboration on a line of accessories with Marc Jacobs.  Thrown into the mix are snapshots from her work with Grace Jones, Deborah Harry and, most notably, Madonna, whose iconic ‘Like a Virgin’ style was Maripol’s brainchild.  This is one seriously covetable coffee table book.

Published by Damiani.

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It’s a kind of magic

05.10.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Eadweard Muybridge is more like a magician than a photographer. His legacy spans the divide between

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scientific documentation and investigative – yet humorous – art. Deemed able to stop time, Eadweard Muybridge, born Edward James Muggeridge in 1830 in Kingston upon Thames, is now the focus of an exhibition at Tate Britain. Best known for using stop-motion to prove that a galloping horse has all four feet off the ground at one stage in its stride, the Tate’s retrospective works reveal a fuller picture.

Leland Stanford, Jr. on his Pony “Gypsy”—Phases of a Stride by a Pony While Cantering, 1879

Muybridge’s documentary approach and catalogue aesthetic prefigures cinematic technology and is yet wholly reminiscent, for modern audiences, of that medium. His composition of panoramic landscapes is akin to the skill of a film director. What’s more, his invention of ‘zoopraxiscope’ – a method of projecting painted versions of his photographs as motion sequences – anticipated the technological advancements that were to come in cinema.

This is a show that appeals to biologists and historians, as much as photographers as filmmakers. The visceral truths Muybridge uncovered about natural life and technology’s possibilities are ultimately: “a feat in photography which has never been excelled, and which marks an era in the art.”

Dancing (fancy.) (Movements. Female). Plate 188, 1887

Eadweard Muybridge is at the Tate Britain until 16 January 2011.

Horses. Running. Phryne L. Plate 40, 1879, from The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 1881.

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The word on the street

30.09.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Ted Polhemus is anthropologist by training, but a photographer in practice. He spearheaded the notion of ‘style tribes’ in the mid-Nineties with the opening of his V&A Streetstyle show and accompanying book.  Sixteen years on, street style has evolved.  So, this evening, Polhemus is re-launching his influential book with some much-needed updates. We caught up with him to find out just what has been going on over the past couple of decades…

Why was it important to update the book now?
It was such a different world in 1994 when Streetstyle first appeared. I had thought we would see something interesting come from Japan but I had no idea just how interesting and how varied. Even more importantly, instead of one centre – one where it’s at – now, in the 21st Century, new styles can crop up anywhere and everywhere. It was important to celebrate this truly global transformation. And, to note the extent to which fashion is increasingly influenced by street style – the result being that today’s consumer demands to be part of the creative process and refuses to be led around by the nose like a passive fashion victim.

How did you get involved with PYMCA?
PYMCA started solely as a youth culture oriented photo library and, as I am myself also a photographer of street and club images, they were the people who handled my work. Then when expanded to also include a cultural research facility I contributed text and ideas. Although not a conventional publisher PYMCA is perfect for this book – bringing unequaled photo research, knowledge and international contacts into the project.

What is fundamentally different about street style now as opposed to when you first published this book in 1994?
The interesting thing for me is how fashion is so different in 2010 than it was in 1994 when Streetstyle first appeared.  Or consider how different it is today from what it was in the year I was born, 1947 when Dior launched his ‘New Look’. Today there isn’t just one new look, there are hundreds and thousands of them. Nor does the designer get to impose a ‘total look’ the way Dior once did: today most of us are creative consumers who sample & mix different styles of our own choosing. To be provocative: fashion has gone out of fashion and been replaced with personal, idiosyncratic, do your own thing style.

Would you say style tribes still exist?
As for street style the big news is that just as people today seem unwilling to conform to the dictates of fashion, so too most are unwilling to conform to the ‘uniform’ of a particular style tribe. In, say, the mid Sixties you could be a dedicated follower of fashion, a Mod or a Rocker. Now most of us are just us – sampling & mixing our own unique style ‘statement’. This is true for the majority today in the UK, Europe and the USA where street style first appeared. If you look to places like Mexico, Argentina and Brazil you will on the other hand see lots of different, active style tribes. From the perspective of the UK or America, however, although plenty of marketing people and (how I hate the term, sorry) ‘Cool Hunters’ keep sighting new tribes on the horizon, I think that if examined properly (for example actually ask people ‘Are you an Emo’?) we find an unprecedented epidemic of individuality. Never before in human history have people had such choice in how to look: for most of human history your tribe laid down very strict guidelines on appearance. After that, for about 500 years, fashion decreed what was in and what was out and people did as they were told. Now anything goes and it is certainly exciting.

Why do you think people are nervous to be associated with a certain style – and now rather than before?
I think people are fed up with being crammed into stylistic boxes – more often than not, labels which have been imposed from without. Once people experienced the thrill of creating their own, unique look there was no going back. When will today’s fashion journalist realize that their job now is to celebrate and present the diversity which is all around us rather than to try to cram everything into a single ‘direction’? The world of fashion – style – has changed so much but, interestingly, many professionals within the fashion industry don’t seem to have noticed.

Can you sum up the difference between fashion and style for us?
Historically, fashion came only from professional designers, from the upper class end of the market, defined a single ‘direction’ (a ‘New Look’) which all but the socially suicidal would conform to. Style bubbles up from all sorts of unlikely places – often the ‘wrong side of the tracks’, from crazy teenagers, musicians experimenting with visual as well as musical style. Also, while fashion was always about constant change, style can be happy to settle on timeless classics. Do people really still, religiously change everything in their wardrobe every season? I can remember when people did. But I think we’ve changed our attitude to change and with it our attitude to fashion changed for its own sake. I can remember when it was a compliment to say so and so was ‘trendy’, now, more often, it is a put down.

How does your street style work feed into your other projects?
I’m currently working on a new book about my baby boom generation and, while incorporating a lot about street style, it also opens out to examine design in all its forms. That’s my thing: using style as a mirror onto what is happening at every level in history and in our own times.

Which other (street style or otherwise) photographers do you admire?
I so love the work of Martin Parr – but really it’s a love of all those photographers going back even a hundred years who have recorded real people exhibiting themselves in public.

Do you keep up to date with what people like Facehunter and the Sartorialist are doing?
Not on a day-to-day basis but I think that sites like these (and there are actually hundreds now) are the way of the future. Professional models where clothes which some stylist has chosen and which you suspect they might not choose themselves just look so unexciting now. All over the world – Helsinki to Havana, Mexico City to Tehran (both of which have their own style blogs) – people are transforming themselves into works of art. And doing it themselves. DIY.

Lastly, what’s your style? In what era/style were you most comfortable?
In my time I’ve been a Modernist (think Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis), Beat, Hippy, Glam Rocker, Punk, Goth, Perv (I wore a black latex catsuit to the launch of the Streetstyle exhibition in 1994 at the V&A) and now (afraid to see if I can still fit into the latex catsuit but also keen to rescue the world from our present epidemic of casualness which threatens civilization as we know it) have returned to a minimal, less is more Modernist style. At the book and exhibition launch at The Book Club tomorrow Sept 30 I will be wearing my black Thai silk suit, black shirt, a tie the colour of deadly jungle snakes and black Italian shoes (not trainers!).

The Streetstyle book launch and exhibition private view is on Thursday 30th September 6pm-2am at The Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH

Images by Ted Polhemus and Belen Asad, courtesy of PYMCA.

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Happy days

24.09.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Sarah Cockings and Briony Clarke are Welcome to Happy.  And today they are coming to roost.  Got it?

Sponsored by the Arts Council, fine artists Sarah and Briony – collectively ‘Welcome to Happy’, – have spent the last three weeks rolling their red gypsy wagons around North London as part of a rather refreshing, nomadic installation.  Assuming ‘the role of traditional street peddlers or modern door to door salesmen’, they have knocked on every door in Archway and offered locals the chance to invest in interactive art works at affordable prices (between £1.50 and £35).  An antidote to an often profit-driven industry, rather than hard cash, they hope to forge personal connections within the community.

In the spirit of new friendships Sarah and Briony are continuing their interactive work this evening: post wandering, they are coming to roost at the volunteer-run charity-cum-gallery TOANDFOR.  The private view is a concluding episode of a journey that highlights the heart of this project – to move beyond the typically transient and often severed experience between artist, artwork and viewer.

TOANDFOR, 720 Holloway Road, Archway, N19 3NH. The private view is on 24th September, 6-9pm.
The exhibition runs until the 10th October.

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New era

17.09.2010 | Art , Blog | BY:

“Thinkers became earners, creatives became entertainers, and a whole dumbed-down generation now feels entitled to success and profit without having to work or think too much.”

The End of Success Culture.

This is the manifesto of London’s first Anti-Design Festival, an antidote to the slick, commercial face of the capital’s annual Design Festival. ADF is the brainchild of designer Neville Brody – the man behind The Face magazine – a celebrity in the industry, and as close as a graphic designer can get to being a household name. ADF is Brody’s stance against the commercialization of his craft, and the festival is an attempt to evaluate and redefine the direction of the industry.

Visit the world’s smallest cinema, debate the relationship between academic and professional life and discover what the art world could look like in 50 years time.  It’s all going on at Redchurch Street, E2 – which will be a hub of interdisciplinary activity for 10 days, across 10 venues. Join street artist Ben Eine, curator and academic Cecilia Wee and artist Sarah Maple in the battle against the spiritual hollowness that Brody feels has gripped our creative cultures. In their own words ADF will be, “at best an alternative to well-rehearsed design and at worst another hyped-up London show.” You decide.

The Anti-Design festival runs from the 18th – 26th September. The main venue is RADLAB @ Londonewcastle Project Space 28 Redchurch Street, E2. Go to for the full line-up.

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15.09.2010 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

NOWNESS, ‘luxury lifestyle online’, today unveiled an exclusive fashion film entitled ‘Chronology’. In collaboration with Net-A-Porter, the film, by I Am Love director Luca Guadagnino, features highlights from the Autumn Winter 2010 collections of such Net-A-Porter bestsellers as Christopher Kane, Sigerson Morrison, Miu Miu and Yves Saint Laurent. Styled by Cathy Edwards and modeled by MariaCarla Boscono, the film combines commercial sense, a sharp edit and a dreamlike surrealism which is evocative of 2005 feature film Mirrormask.

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Corinne Day 1965 – 2010

31.08.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

In the early hours of Saturday 28th August 2010 British photographer Corinne Day died after a long battle with cancer. Born in 1965, Day became known for her raw aesthetic and documentary-style. She first picked up a camera while working as a model, recording the everyday lives and struggles of her colleagues – and returned to the UK with a prolific body of work. In 1990 The Face magazine gave Day her first editorial commission – an eight page story featuring the scrawny teenage beauty Kate Moss, styled by Melanie Ward and entitled ‘3rd summer of love’. The resulting collection of black and white shots of a freckle-faced, squinting Kate Moss launched the careers of all three women.

Corinne Day’s career has been punctuated by controversy – not least for her 1993 Vogue shoot of Kate Moss in her Soho flat wearing boyish underwear and framed by fairy-lights. Yet it’s her hard-edged, grunge style that made her so influential. Like her contemporaries Juergen Teller and David Sims, Day helped to distort, disturb and reinvent the glossy face of fashion photography. But by the late Nineties she’d became disenchanted with the stale and airbrushed look of magazine editorials, turning instead to reportage. This body of work was collected in the book ‘Diary’ published by Kruse Verlag in 2000 – her anti-fashion antidote to the world of glamour.

Honesty was at the heart of Corinne Day’s life and work. On discovering her terminal illness in August 2009, she insisted on recording her entire hospital experience – combating despair with documentary. In her own words: “Photography is getting as close as you can to real life, showing us things we don’t normally see. These are people’s most intimate moments, and sometimes intimacy is sad.’’

All images courtesy of Gimpel Fils

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