Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2021: Yinka Shonibare CBE RA

World-renowned artist Yinka Shonibare is to be presented with the Art Icon award, supported by the Swarovski foundation. Shonibare is one of eight artists who have received this award since its inception in 2003. This prestigious honouring will take place on 22nd March 2021 in a virtual gala celebration, and will be hosted by the director of Whitechapel Gallery: Iwona Blazwick OBE.

Yinka Shonibare is a name that instantly recognised worldwide. His work explores a range of subject matters: from race, colonialism and class systems. Born in 1962 in London, he moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three and returned to the UK to study Fine Art, first at Byam School of Art (now Central Saint Martins College) and then at Goldsmiths College.

His signature medium is Dutch wax batik fabric, a material inspired by Indonesian designs, manufactured in Holland and appropriated by West Africans colonies. This fabric is woven by Shonibare into intricate and eye-catching artwork that questions identity, both contemporary culture and nationalism in relation to globalisation. Shonibare was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004, and his work Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square. It is now on permanent display at The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Iwona Blazwick said: “Yinka Shonibare is a truly exceptional artist and is an exemplary Art Icon. His vividly clothed figurative sculptures, the Hogarthian scenarios he creates as installations and photographs, and his beautiful films celebrate African culture while exposing the legacies of race and empire. Globally celebrated Shonibare also supports younger generations of artists in Britain and Africa; both his artistic legacy and his charitable initiatives will resonate for years to come.”

The ceremony will be graced with a musical performance by four-time Grammy award winner Angélique Kidjo, amongst other live performances throughout the night. Artwork donated from leaded contemporary artists will be put up for auction, and the proceeds will go towards Whitechapel’s programme which continues to support the youth programme and educational activities. Whitechapel’s Youth Programme has helped to support and empower 4,000 artists the ability to explore contemporary art and meet creative professionals.

The event committee will include the likes of Aki Abiola, Sir David Adjaye, and Nadja Swarovski, amongst a plethora of other high profile attendees.

Nadja Swarovski commented: “The Swarovski Foundation is delighted to continue its support of the Whitechapel Gallery and the Art Icon award, which this year honours an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to our cultural life. Yinka Shonibare’s work is strikingly beautiful and exerts a profound emotional power whilst exploring issues such as race, power and identity. Through his charitable programmes, Shonibare’s support of the next generation of artists and to cultural exchange have been equally impactful.”

Visit Whitechapelgallery.org to find out more.

Art Basel Miami Beach 2020 – Pippy Houldsworth Gallery Presentation

A celebration of thought provoking and eclectic work – this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach Exhibition introduces the work of artists across different generations. Presented by Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, this all-female exhibition brings together works that explore different subject matters and as captioned on the site “initiates a dialogue between feminist icons and the younger generation, reflecting the programme as a whole”. 

Although the presentation is usually held in person, the show will include ‘viewing rooms’, where the public can wonder around in virtual rooms that showcase digitalised versions of each artist’s work. The line-up includes the likes of Mary Kelly, a staple figure in feminist art, Ming Smith’s street photography which focused its lens on African American’s in the 1970’s, and work from Jacqueline de Jong who was an editor for the experimental platform The Situationist Times. 

The talent does not stop there, with the inclusion of prolific work from the younger generation. Highlights from painters Jadé Fadojutimi and Stefanie Heinze, the vibrant portraiture of Wangari Mathenge, Zoë Buckman’s repurposed textiles and the hypnotic oil on linen pieces by Angela Heisch. These works were created specifically for the fair and offer a deep dive into each artist’s psyche – how they postulate change, their ideas on identity, and how their individual work connects to larger ideas. 

In an exclusive interview, Zoë Buckman and Wangari Mathenge sat down with Twin Magazine and revealed some of their thoughts surrounding their work, the exhibition itself, and the ways they have continued to create during this turbulent time. 

Zoë Buckman, Lilith, 2020, boxing gloves, vintage textiles and chain
Photo: Thomas Müller

Zoë Buckman:she would use that cloth to make a sling, it stings, 2020’ and ‘Eyes Closing Now, 2020’

How does it feel to be a part of an all-female art exhibition? 

I was so excited when I saw that. Also those artists, the ones Pippy has selected, I am just delighted to be in such esteemed company. I know and really admire Ming Smith, we’re kind of a part of the same community here in the art world in New York, and I have obviously been a long admirer of hers. But also for me, Mary Kelly is a big one too because I actually studied her work at school, and I have her books and she has been a massive inspiration to me as I have attempted to juggle being an artist but also a mother. I’m getting to know the other artists on Pippy’s programme and it’s exciting. 

I have noticed that you use boxing gloves quite often in your work – why did you choose this medium for this piece and this exhibition? 

I’m really interested in the space in between polarised states. And I think that conversation or that tension between the stereotypically masculine and the stereotypically feminine, has always been a really interesting terrain for me to make art from. I do box [and] for a particular time in my life it was very formative for me because it gave me a space to work through both feelings of frustration and anger about what was going on politically in the world at the time. This was in 2016 in the run-up to the general election here in the States. I just began to really feel that there was this mounting war on women against our rights, and our body, and our body autonomy. It was also when there was a lot being circulated about rape, and scoring different experiences of rape against each other. It was a time where I was finding my feet as an artist in the art world, which is a very male dominated arena. In a way the boxing gym gave me a space to work through certain personal traumas, but it also gave me practice at learning how to hold my own and take up space, and even take space away from others. 

Visually boxing and iconography, like boxing gloves are very interesting to me because a lot of my work does look at masculinity, aggression and violence. So using boxing gloves but reworking them with these domestic feminine textiles, and often placing so that one is balancing on the other and bringing a kind of fragility to something that is stereotypically quite masculine and resilient.

The phrase “it stings” has also been used in your work prior. What does this statement mean in your work? 

A lot of the texts that I use in my work, both the titles, for what I write and embroider, that is taken from this ongoing poem that I’m writing. The poem is called “show me your bruises then” and it weaves together snippets of conversations or memories, or things that women have said to me, or even things that men have said to me. A lot of the text is from my own experiences with relationships with men. But that particular line it used to be “it stings, I sob”, that was taken from a play my mother wrote about her experience [of] coming on her period for the first time. 

In the Jewish tradition, the matriarch of the family will slap the young woman across the face the first time she gets her period. And so that was obviously this deeply problematic ritual for women, at least for my Mum she didn’t know what was happening to her body, and she didn’t know she was going to get slapped in the face by her grandmother. It’s this way of using a violent act to mark a significant time in a woman’s life. She found that, and therefore I find that really interesting and problematic. 

I also merged that with another piece of text which said “Mama would use that cloth to cook and clean, and she would use that cloth to make a sling”. She was talking about her grandmother in the kitchen using these tea towels in all these different ways. When a kid broke his arm, she would use that cloth to make a sling, but she would also use that cloth to tend to her own black eye. This line “it stings” for me, I’m sort of looking at the feminist experience. You can apply that “it stings, I sob” to coming on you period the first time, to losing your virginity, to experiencing violence, to experiencing heartbreak: it just seems so universal to me.  

As an artist and creator, do you believe your art has an obligation to tackle wider socio-political subjects? 

I try to veer away from any feelings of obligation because I feel they can limit the creative process. But I was brought up with this example of art being something that is used to examine or attempt to change the status quo. I personally will always use my art to do that. I think it’s something that I just intuitively want to do, and do. But I don’t feel like I am obligated. 

How does your art speak to your own experience as a woman and to the ‘female experience’ as a whole?

The series that I create they always start from a personal experience. Whether that’s divorce, grieving the loss of my mother, or sexual violence, or abortion or whatever is the impotence for me to embark on a series. It also comes from something within me that I find difficult or problematic or complicated. And then I go through a process of expanding that out and talking to other women, and bringing other women’s experiences and stories in the work. I hope it will always be something that is collective. For example, I’m not interested in making work that is solely about something that I have gone through. I’m more interested in saying “I have an experience with this” and I know there are plenty of women out there that have that; I want to share that space with them.

One of the subject matters highlighted in this exhibition is “metamorphosis”. Did you go through a process of change or metamorphosis that brought you to creating these two pieces?

I think that I’ve been on a real journey of transformation. The last few years for me have been almost a fast track of different experiences: from a divorce, to losing my mother to a terminal illness, to a very painful breakup from a relationship where there was violence and assault. A lot of that has brought a real complex darkness to my work as I have been exploring those things in my work. But more recently I feel that I am arriving at a place of joy and celebration. I think from my own spiritual practice, and through my relationships with other women, my best friends – my gyaldem, it has really put me in touch with this kind of inner force of creativity, and resilience, and joy. A lot of this work is looking at how we as women overcome the fuckeries that life throws at us. Through prayers, and devotion, and dancing, and raving and being together and through accessing our own ‘inner wild space’, and our own ‘inner wild women’; I think that is really the antidote to subjugation, and oppression, and trauma.  

In the current tumultuous time we are living in right now, (Covid-19, the US election, police brutality), where does your work as an artist fit into these conversations? 

I think that where the work explores as an antidote to oppression, and trauma and difficulty, choosing and seeking out joy, and connection to spirit and that inner wilderness that I was referencing; I think that sort of fits in with what is going on right now. Everybody is going through something, everybody is grieving something right now or everybody is anxious about something right now, or feeling trapped or limited or held back. Those are things I have had experience with, and some practice with. And so I think offering as a tool for those difficult experiences, this connection to something that is within us that can’t be limited, can’t be held back or trapped. I think that is a good way of reaching people during this time and what they’re going through. 

Ming Smith, Symmetry on the Ivory Coast, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 1972, archival silver gelatin print

Wangari Mathenge: The Ascendants IX (Just Like My Parents’ House, I’ve Become A Visitor), 2020’

I noticed that you use oil paints in the majority of your work. Why did you choose this medium specifically? 

It started just out of curiosity. I actually started painting with watercolours and acrylic. I just used to look at artworks a lot, like when you go to museums [and] there was this quality, a sort of richness that I noticed. I noticed the difference between oils and acrylics. Acrylics have come a long way and they mimic oils right now, back in the day acrylics were kind of dry and they didn’t really have the mixing mediums that they have right now; I think you can mimic an oil painting with acrylics now. When I was doing it, you could tell the difference. And so it was really curiosity. The first time I ever tried to work with oils, it was a complete disaster. It was a very difficult material to understand. And then it just became a quest to understand the language of oils. And then after a while, I just became good at it I guess. Initially it was just curiosity, and now the reason I still paint with oil is – I think just being comfortable with it. 

As an artist that has a diasporic experience, being between more than one culture, how does your artwork speak to your experiences? 

For me I think it changes. Initially what ‘diaspora’ meant to me when I started painting and thinking about it is very different to what it means to me today. Initially I think it was more of a statement, and now it’s more of an exploration of ‘what is diaspora?’. I think that would happen in any time you’re trying to work out something, whether you’re writing or whether you’re painting it tends to become this exploration, this understanding. With my works what you’ll notice is the motifs and objects, and all of these sort of informs that inquisition which is “what is diaspora?”, because it means [something] different to any individual. 

Most recently, I started reading this book ‘Potential History’ by Ariella Azoulay. It’s really interesting because it questions this whole notion of culture, objects, history, art history: what is it? I think for me, especially now with my work, I’m beginning to really look at what my place is in the world, my place in Chicago, the United States. How I have always kind of thought of myself as being a part from Kenya, and sort of being a part from here [United States], with a basis of being diasporic. But really what is that? I realised that there really is no understanding of what that culture looks like. And so [I’m] basically trying to explore that in my work. 

Do you see your work as a direct representation of you as an individual and your identity?

Yeah. I think it has to be. It’s an interesting question, because I have never thought about it not being that I guess. So it must be. 

How has the current world, this ‘new normal’ we are living in affected your work as a creative? Has it enhanced or hindered your work?

The thing is that I have been in school, right? Especially since Covid happened, the only thing that changed is that I was going to class and mingling with my peers and I had a studio on campus, and then we were relegated to distanced learning. Initially I had to change what I need, because I didn’t have access to the kind of space that I had in school. 

In a way it also makes you a little bit more introspective, because when I was in school I had my colleagues, and I had my professors walking in and kind of making the paintings with me because they come in [and] make comments, and you adjust accordingly. While now because you don’t really have eyeballs on your work all the time it forces you to go I think a little more inwards and pull things out. I think for me the change has been a self-direction. I say it’s forced self-direction because part of being in school is that you’re looking for that direction, and you’re looking to be challenged in that way. But because of Covid that hasn’t quite happened in the last 5-6 months. 

What do you hope this exhibition will do for you and your work as an artist moving forward?

I think I would love to have more people have conversations. And I guess the exhibition has more people seeing my work, right? Like you had said you hadn’t seen the work before and so having more people see the work and then engaging in the conversation is always helpful, because I’m not making this work just for me. So I would hope that all those conversations then helps the work grow and become something else as you move along. 

What do you hope people will take away from your artistry? Is there a particular message that you want to portray? 

No. Definitely for me I know what it is that I’m trying to get out of it. I would prefer to leave it a little bit open ended, rather than say that “Okay, this is what I am trying to convey”. I would rather leave it open ended because I think that’s how we live in any case. When we are confronted with visual things and even with writing, there isn’t that capability to always have the author or the artist translate what is going on. I would like for people to come to the work and take with it whatever they want to. And if it can do that, if it can relate to them in some way without me saying anything, then I guess that’s what I’m looking for.    

To view the full exhibition, visit artbasel.com 

All images courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.

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Introducing ‘HOME’: A Black-Owned Creative Space by Ronan McKenzie

Introducing a creative, multifunctional space made to hone in on artists of colour: this is ‘HOME’. Founded by creative director, photographer, and curator Ronan McKenzie, this accessible art space is built to house exhibitions and events from a diverse range of artists.

This black owned space is one of few, working from the inside out to fully understand and support other BAME artists. The space works as a ‘home away from home’ for creatives through uplifting the voices and work of artists that are often relegated to lower positions of influence and authority or simply cast aside in the art world. The team at HOME also prioritises accessibility and sustainability, through disability access needs built into the space and fabric eco-friendly alternatives to paper backdrops. By giving these artists access to equipment, expertise, and a safe place to create, HOME is moulding a new infrastructure entirely, one built on equity and empathy. 

The space features an array of equipment including an affordable daylight photo studio, an open workspace and a curated library where exhibitions will take place year round. Events that will be held in the space range from film nights, artists talks and portfolio reviews to supper clubs, life drawings, and music events. 

“Art spaces remain hierarchal and out of reach for most – especially BAME audiences, making entering artistic spheres extremely difficult and maintaining a place in them even harder. Drawing on my own experiences of showing work at institutions, and working across fashion and arts, I am all too aware of the difficulties of navigating creative industries as a black female, and amongst the current offering in London, there needs to be a HOME.” – Ronan McKenzie, Founder and Creative Director of HOME. 

HOME’s debut exhibition is titled: ‘WATA; Further Explorations’ a show by Joy Yamusangie and Ronan McKenzie. This exhibition launched digitally on November 28th and will run till February 9th

For more information on HOME, visit homebrym.space

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Jermaine Francis, ‘Something that was so Familiar becomes Distant.’

Covid-19 altered our reality in many ways. For renowned photographer Jermaine Francis, this was felt in the dislocation of everyday London environments.

On his daily walks during the first UK lockdown in March, Jermaine documented the ever shifting landscape of the city. The people had gone, but London was far from silent.

Francis’ portraits reflect the cultural, political and economic movement that were unfolding on the streets. The anxiety, anger, hope and care which have shaped 2020 in equal measure, when social distancing signs were printed on pavements, boarded up shops became commonplace, yet even in isolation, people found power in each other.

It is these photographs which form a beautiful new book, ‘Something that was so Familiar becomes Distant’. 171 pages of visual imagery that offers an evocative living memory of this transformative year.

The first run consists of a limited edition series of 150 copies, and the book is available to pre-order from 7th December.

Jermaine Francis, ‘Something that was so Familiar becomes Distant.’
Jermaine Francis, ‘Something that was so Familiar becomes Distant.’

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Dior Thanksgiving celebration with Kat Graham

Dior celebrates this Thanksgiving with actress Kat Graham, welcoming all into her beautifully decorated, convivial abode. To celebrate the holiday, Kat introduces her “famous” sweet potato gnocchi, glazed in a sage and cinnamon butter sauce. 

The delicious dish is presented on hand-painted faience plates from Dior’s Maison collection. This set of plates takes its inspiration from the beauty of wildflowers, and the spirit of Puglia, Italy. The designs echo the essence of the incoming 2021 Cruise Show by Maria Grazia Chiuri. 

Each dish mimics the designs of traditional tarot card images, bringing a touch of magic to every meal. Enjoy the holidays with the warming and homely energy this set emits. 

View the full collection at Dior.com

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White Cube: Cocoa Sculptures With a Bitter Taste of Colonialism

White Cube tells a story about how art can be an ally to a community constricted by neo-colonialism. The feature-length film directed by Renzo Martens documents the formation of Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC), and how they mobilised their artwork, to bring economic and ecological growth back to their community. The film is set to premiere in Lusanga, Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the international feature film competition at the IDFA film festival in Amsterdam, this November. 

The sculptures are first made using mud and are then 3D scanned and reproduced in cocoa and palm oil in Amsterdam. One sculpture by artist Irene Kanga titled “Forced Love”, depicts a brutal rape to symbolise the catalyst of the Congo Revolt of 1960. 

The artwork is then exhibited in museums and art galleries worldwide and the money from these exhibitions is reinvested back into the community. The White Cube sits on a Lusanga plantation as a pillar for a different future, surrounded by new ecological growth.

“Land or art. If I would have to choose, I would choose both. But if I really have to choose only one, I would choose the land. Where can I put my chair and start making art, if I do not own the land?” – Matthieu Kilapi Kasiama, CATPC.

Renzo’s film and the work of the CATPC, brings light to the complex relationship between the Congolese plantations and the art world. With reports of profits extracted from these plantations to fund museums and galleries such as Tate Modern, the question presides: can these museums ever be truly inclusive when reparations have not been paid to plantation workers who have financed these very institutions? 

“Is there any way, for working people, for the working class to benefit from art? Is there any way for gentrification to be reversed?” – Renzo Martens

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Hair Portraits by Rachel Portesi at The BMAC

Cover image: Homage to Louise Bourgoise (quadriptych) 2018

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) in Vermont recently opened an exhibition with Artist Rachel Portesi and BMAC Chief Curator Mara Williams exploring  the sentimental values of hair as it pertains to identity and its relationship women and femme-identifying individuals throughout society. The exhibit entitled Hair Portraits features a series of Portesi’s tintype photographs of femme identifying models of various ages and ethnicity who see consider hair to be a large part of their identity. Each image through the series reflects on hair’s symbolic significance throughout history, with linkage to culture, fertility, sexual identity and ethnicity. 

“Also informing Hair Portraits is Portesi’s fascination with the cross-cultural presence of hair in historic memorialization and mourning practices. During the Victorian era—which coincided with the rise of tintype photography—wreaths, art, and sculpture were often made using the deceased’s hair as the primary medium, especially among families that couldn’t afford photography. In the Ndebele culture of Zimbabwe and northeastern South Africa (among other ethnic groups), it is customary for family members of all sexes to shave their head during the mourning period, unless the deceased relative willed them exempt prior to passing. Religious sculptures from first-century China have been found to contain human hair in their hollow recesses. And in present-day Western culture, it is not unusual for a parent to save a lock of hair to memorialize their child’s first haircut,” – BMAC

 “I use hair to both honor and say goodbye to past parts of myself. These images address fertility, sexuality, creativity, nurturement, and harmony and discord with nature. Above all, these images — photographs of elaborate, pinned hair sculptures constructed in the studio with the input of their subjects—are a testament to change. In my case, that change is a record of metamorphosis from a past fractured self to an integrated, confident, self-actualized woman,” the artist explained.

Rachel Portesi is now on show at The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, for more information visit The BMAC.

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Red Bull Arts New York presents Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test

In collaboration with Red Bull Arts New York , Jamaican stylist, designer and artist Akeem Smith is set to present his first solo exhibition entitled “No Gyal Can Test” at the Red Bull Arts New York. Set to open doors on September 24th, the exhibition is a compilation of personal photographs and videos gifted to the artist over the past decade by family members, friends and members of Kingston’s dancehall community, documenting the iconic era.  

“Drawing upon his experience growing up between New York and Jamaica, Smith harmonizes disparate elements from this extensive archival documentation, which chronicles this seminal era from the early 80s through y2k, conjuring a collective memory that otherwise would have only existed on the threshold of the artist’s own. Part poem, part anthropological homage, No Gyal Can Test forms a layered exploration of spectral coloniality, diaspora, and the voyeurism that results from transposing these artefacts across cultural, economic, and temporal divides.”

The exhibit includes work in collaboration with sculptor Jessi Reacves, British fashion designer Grace Wales Bonners and musicians Total Freedom, Physical Therapy, Alex Somers and dancehall icon Bounty Killer. Visit Red Bull Arts for more information on Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test. 

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Unit London presents : The Medium is the Message

Cover image : Sthenjwa Luthuli, Untold Stories, 2020 Hand carved wood & 149 x 198cm, courtesy of Unit London

London based Gallery Unit London recently announced the upcoming opening of their exhibition The Medium is the Message — a group show 18 emerging artists exploring the role pigment and blackness plays in the expression of identity through artistic mediums. Set to open on October 2nd, the showcased has been curated by Azu Nwagbogu with the aid of assistant curators Wunika Mukan & Jana Terblanche. With the work of Wonder Buhle Mbambo, Ngozi Schommers, Barry Yusufu among many others the exhibition tells the story of a world which stigmatises Blackness & Brownness while simultaneously celebrating its cultural fruits. Each artist throughout the exhibition approaches this from unique angles, names like Collins Obijiaku for example uses portraiture, domestic settings and seemingly mundane scenes to reflect notions of identity with compositions. While many of the other artists challenge stereotypes and politicised images of black and brown people by focusing on traditions ritual and familial bonds. 

Katlego Tlabela, Tableau Vivant ll Step Ya Money Up! (After Kerry James Marshell’s Club Couple), 2020, Acrylic, ink and collage on canvas Diptych, 77 x 154cm each, 77 x 77 cm, courtesy of Unit London

‘While representation is important, it is empty if it is not succeeded by unfettered existence. This exhibition veers away from the performative power of the image and ponders existence beyond representation. The Blackness presented here is authentic, quiet, and confident. It rejects the societal gaze whereby Blackness is inextricably linked to majesty or misery with very little gradation between the two, their art unveils many facets of black existence that encompass play, solitude, contemplation and a range of human experience with approaches that do not kowtow to exoticism, but rather reflect the communities from whence they were birthed,’ explained curator Azu Nwagbogu . 

For the full list of artists and further information about the exhibit visit theunitldn.com 

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Somerset House presents: Untitled by Akinola Davies Jr

In their latest installation of their ongoing online Pause programme —  a mid-week moment designed to carve out time to enjoy an artist’s work in full —  Somerset House Studios has partnered with artist & filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr. on a film that documents his interactions with his mother during lockdown. In an exploration of themes of mortality , intergenerational relationship and the black female body, Davies Jr. uses his lens to tell a story of black motherhood. 

 “There is redemption in exploring the power of vulnerability. The passage of time and a confrontation of mortality and the eternal.    This work leans on the sacrifice of motherhood.   The process of ageing.   The relationship of the human body with the physical space as expansive lives inhabit the daily ritual of being.  It is a requiem of living memories.  Homage to technology as an archive of embalming our history, bringing life to our past.   It is the honouring of our mothers so our days on earth can be long.   Ultimately I don’t know what the work is about, but I also know exactly what it is about. It is a work that lives in the quiet space, beyond words. It is ultimately what I place value on. The most value,” he explained. Watch the full film here.

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ANIME SALVE by Jess Kohl – A Detailed Visual Account of Neapolitan Queer Culture

British photographer and director Jess Kohl is scheduled to inaugurate her first Italian solo exhibition next month under the title Anime Salve. Set to debut in Napoli, Italy the presentation is a visual documentary recollected during the last two years, intimately exploring themes of gender non-conformity in a city like Scampia where spirituality, gender and sexuality have long co-existed.

Initially her body of work began with a magnification of the concept of the Italian slang ‘femminielli’ which is a word used to describe effeminate men — often used in modern Neapolitan culture. The exhibition then takes its viewers on a journey throughout the lives of five people, most living in Scampia, as they’re framed in intimate portraits and candid shots. A woman named Alessia is documented living with her elderly mother Amalia and Kohl captures current moments of an ever-changing narrative that moves with the city that surrounds them. 

Each subject was documented over a period of years,  which gives an accurate scope of their personal evolution and an authentic representation of marginalised communities throughout change. Named after the famous album of Italian songwriter Fabrizio De André, the exhibition (which translates to “solitary spirits”), also includes monochromatic images documenting the architectural and developments of the Scampian landscape, an exploration of the intersection between queerness and Catholicism, and a visual map between traditions of the femminielli and modern day trans lives. It then closes with a thought-provoking ending composed of 8 portraits that bridges a sentimental connection between the lives of trans women in Napoli and trans women in Koovagam, India through cultural similarities and liberal attitudes towards gender.

Also accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue by ShowDesk, giving a more detailed scope on the documentary which includes an essay by Paolo Valerio, honorary professor of clinical  psychology at the Federico II Naples University. Anime Salve will officially open its doors on September 11th 2020 at the Palazzo delle Arti Napoli. 

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Twin Talks: Osaze Akil – A refreshing mix of modern & traditional black culture

Traditional renaissance art is a genre that was created with a central focus on European history, religion and identity which was mainly if not entirely centred around whiteness. However upon our recent discovery of the Atlanta based visual artist Osaze Akil’s work, we found ourselves moved by his method of re-framing some of these traditionally white narratives to include black identities, while also offering contemporary takes on themes of black divinity with influences from African cultures spirituality and fashion. His work speaks volumes in such a way where it uses different elements and smaller details that ultimately come together to tell stories that speak proudly to both modern & traditional black heritage and culture. Which is why Twin chose to sit down with the artist himself to gain a more accurate idea of the process, inspirations and aspirations behind his work. 

Tell me about your journey, how did you first start painting ? 

I’ve been painting for most of my life. As a child, my mother painted leisurely so I think I picked that up from her. I started painting for myself when I was about six or seven, but I was drawing and sketching well before that. I had all of these ideas and ways that I saw and interpreted the world, and putting them on canvas always felt like a sweet release. If I didn’t have the language [verbally], I had the language to express myself through the art I created.

Security Rising by Osaze Akil

What or who would you say is your biggest influence/s?

I have major influences that  all contribute to my art in different ways. The first would be Toni Morrison. She’s one of my favorite authors and I’ve always been drawn to the mysticism that she alludes to in her work. The idea that black people have a sort of magic, that isn’t self contained, but shared and experienced communally was always something that intrigued me. With my paintings, I definitely want them to feel magical- that there’s an inherent magic that isn’t forced, but still felt by anyone looking at the piece. Another big influence of mine is Axel Vervoordt.

He is an interior designer and art collector, and often references the energy of a space or of an object being transformative. For me, I think of “spaces” more metaphorically. I think about the spaces that black people have been provided, and have been made by us for ourselves, and how they hold the weight that they do because of the energy that we’ve brought into them. Most of the subjects in my paintings are indoors, or enclosed in some sense, which reinforces my idea of us bringing our magic and our energy into the confines of our reality and making it work for us. We’re often put in boxes, and yet we make them beautiful, exciting, and influential. 

Revolutionized Luxury by Osaze Akil

A lot of your work in many ways feel quite sacred, with some even holding biblical titles , what part does religion or spirituality play in your process ? 

I grew up in church. Although I don’t consider myself to be a fundamentalist, I’ve always felt that I am guided, protected, and supported by something much larger than myself. My belief in God is a core part of my identity, if not the most important. I feel that God has given me a gift, which is my talent, and I honor that by referencing God’s work through me in my pieces. Painting has become not only a meditative practice for me but a form of worship. I also often reflect on the importance that spirituality has held in my culture, as an African American. Since slavery, our connection to God and the way that we worship has been the foundation for a lot of ways that we operate today, intraculturally and with the world in general.  

Tignon Law by Osaze Akil

As a contemporary artist, what role would you like your work to play in modern day society ?

I feel that I’m rewriting history, and telling a new story. When walking through art museums as a child, I never saw depictions of black people being exalted, significant, worthy of comfort, or abundance. I feel that had I seen more of that growing up, I wouldn’t have lived thinking that so many positive things that we can get from life could only be afforded to me if I wasn’t who I was. I want those younger than me to have that representation, and to know that even though our past in this country started in bondage, our future can be free.

Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego in the Fiery Furnace by Osaze Akil

What’s the part of your process that you find most exciting? 

I love when I first get an idea, and I do the pre-sketch. I sketch out my paintings on paper about 4-5 times before I actually put anything on canvas. Going through that process, being introspective, and understanding what I want to say through it is very gratifying. Also, the end when it’s completed is also a very exciting feeling.

Do you have a favourite piece of yours? 

I don’t think I’ve yet made my favorite piece. If I had to choose, it would be my “Madonna and Child” piece. We haven’t seen many depictions of Christ or the Virgin Mary as anything other than white. So, challenging that felt important to me. 

Peaceful Isolation by Osaze Akil

How was your lockdown experience? Did you find yourself more or less inspired?

I am definitely more inspired in lockdown than before. Before, there were so many distractions and interactions that I had on a daily basis that took my mind away from creating. Now, I’m forced to sit with myself, learn new things, and focus on things in different ways which automatically sparks inspiration.

Where can one purchase your work ? 

My work can be purchased on my website! osazeakil.com

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Peter Lindbergh : Untold Stories at Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg

Earlier this year Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg inaugurated their run of the ongoing exhibition Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories. The exhibit features unseen work of the iconic German fashion photographer and is the first ever survey exhibition curated by Peter Lindbergh himself prior to his passing in September 2019. It celebrates the legacy of his work with a collection of 140 photographs accumulated over two years which offer an insight into his extensive oeuvre, spanning from the 1980’s the present day.

The first time I saw my photographs on the walls of the exhibition mock-up, I was startled, but in a positive way. It was overwhelming to be thus confronted with who I am,” Lindbergh explained during an interview in 2019. His famous black and white work is known for transcending their own context and giving an alternate spin on fashion photography by finding ways to not have his images centred around the fashion. 

© Peter LindberghCourtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris

“The exhibition allowed me to reconsider my images in a non fashion context. The presentation aims to open the photographs to different interpretations and perspectives. However, I don’t try to claim that my pictures aren’t fashion photographs, that wouldn’t be true either. I insist on the definition “fashion photography because for me that terms doesn’t mean that one has to depict fashion — photography is much bigger than fashion, it is a part of contemporary culture, ” he commented. 

The showcase is divided into three chapters, two of which are large scale installations: opening with Manifest, which offers an insightful thought provoking immersive introduction to the late photographer’s perspective of fashion photography; while the central section features never before experimental works of the photographers shown in pairs or groups; and it then closes with a film installation entitled Testament (2014) which is an unveiling of a hither unknown side of the character of the iconic image maker featuring some unexpected and emotionally moving subjects. The exhibition is currently on at the  Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg until the the 1st of November and is also accompanied by a 320 page hardcover catalogue with 150 images and exclusive interviews with the photographer. For more information visit MKG.

© Peter LindberghCourtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris

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The Auction Collective takes residency at Browns East

Cover Image: Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark, Untitled (737935), 2019/2020

This week The Auction Collective officially launched a residency at Browns East London in celebration of the arts in efforts to showcase some of the finest emerging global talent with themes ranging from the art of seduction , icons and the future.  The selection of artists include carefully curated exciting up and coming names in contemporary including Rayvenn D’Clark, Realf Heygate, Claudia Legge, James Rogers, Andrew Hardy among others whose work in the exhibit will all be available for purchase. 

We have long been admirers of Browns. Their 50 year history of curating top quality collections of the latest designers is an inspiration to us and our drive to give a voice to the rising stars of the contemporary art scene,” explained Tom Best, Founder of The Auction Collective. The exhibit is currently on show at Browns East London and will run until December this year. 

Claudia Legge, Havana Street, 2016 Archival pigment print on German Etching paper 40 x 60 cm

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Postcards From The Past by Elena Cremona

This past week, Elena Cremona , photographer, founder and creative director of The Earth Issue launched a series of black & white images entitled Postcards from the Past. The series, which will be offered in 20 black and white plates is a powerful series of images that document the landscape of Joshua Tree, California. 

“In relativity to human experience, landscapes are static things – their changes are slow, their ecosystems cyclical, and any given  day is likely to unfold within them much the same as the one prior; it is us that moves through landscapes, shapes and colours them with our emotions, and remembers them ‘before, ’ Cremona explained. 

In several ways the twenty black and white images captured showcase the creeping splits of the surfaces and rocks , and the Joshua trees that are most often seen alone. Her journey through the Mojave Desert was paralleled with the ending of her relationship and the images speak of that story. 

The images are currently available for Pre-Order, find out more at Guest Editions.

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A chat with Ming Smith – the photographer whose work is soft, intimate & bathed in community through its documentation of the black American experience.

Cover image: America Seen Through Stars and Stripes, New York City, NewYork Painted, 1976, by Ming Smith

Ming Smith, not necessarily a name widely known in photography, was the first Black woman to have her photographic work accepted into the Museum of Modern Art, in 1975.

The only female member of the Kamoinge Collective, and a dedicated image maker to capturing the humanity for the Black Experience, Ming Smith’s imagery and life trajectory is due a mighty relook. Currently staging an online exhibition of a selection of Smith’s work, from her image of Grace Jones as a Ballerina, to the playwright August Wilson, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery has moved the exhibition online through Vortic

We caught up with the photographer from her apartment in New York. 

How did you first get into photography?

I borrowed my mother’s camera on my first day of school in kindergarten and I took photographs of some of my school mates. The class was predominantly white, and we were about 10% of the class. I had a lot of friends and classmates that I took photographs of. 

Did you feel looking back that there was a central focus for your photographs?

It was just a natural thing. My father was a photographer. He was a hobbyist but he was really artistic: he drew, painted, did films and things like that. However he worked 12 hours a day as a pharmacist, so he didn’t do photography a lot, however I think it then became for me a natural thing to do. 

You trained to be a doctor initially, and then you decided to focus on a career in photography. 

My grandfather would always say that he wanted me to be a doctor. I liked that because he taught bible school, and my grandmother was helping all the neighbours, so I felt that being a doctor was a way of helping people. I know that might sound pretty naive but that was what I wanted to do. I did volunteer work at the children’s hospital when I was young. I saw a lot of pain around me, so I wanted to help.  Being a doctor was a way of trying to help. Then I read something about artists, and they were talking about the system and how your work could help humanity, and you work could be outside of the system, instead focusing and turning ideas into something that would be healing. 

Child Porter, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 1972 by Ming Smith

There is such a sense of intimacy and connectivity about your images. How do you capture that? What do you look for in your subject matter? 

Well there are stereotypes of the Black community, but there is so much love in the community, from people who were making and doing the best spiritually or going to church. There was just this stereotype of Black people, you know, and I never saw those types of images with the love and the empathy and the humanity with the people that were around me in my community.

You have become renowned for your portraiture for Black cultural figures and icons What did you hope to profess or present in these images of these icons?

I hope that other young people or students will find inspiration in what they are teaching: the struggles and what they went through to get to where we are now. For example, August Wilson, I went to Pittsburgh and photographed his hometown and economically depressed neighbourhoods and shot some of the places he talked about in his plays. He documented the comic and the tragic aspects of the African American experience in the 20th Century. The characters in Pittsburgh were the same characters that I knew in Ohio where I grew up, or Detroit, where I was born. 

Lou Drapper’s Pick, 1973 by Ming Smith

What would you say the main challenges you have faced in your career?

I would say being taken seriously. I am a better photographer than a talker. I am quiet, and I like that with photography you can be by yourself, you don’t have to talk. Being shy, photography was a way of me being in it but out of it at the same time. If you are a quiet person it’s harder to take you seriously.

I went to a gallery seeking representation, and the gallerist didn’t hardly even look at my photographs; it was very disappointing. Just like “ok, thank you”. Just total dismissal.

Did you have a lot of other female counterparts and friends that were experiencing the same in the art industry or the creative industry?

I am sure there was, and I’m sure there is, but I have really continued to be a loner and doing photography was almost like a friend or a companion and was how I spent my time. Being a photographer was a way of expressing yourself and going through your own challenges, and needs, and so I spent my time not really talking to anyone else. 

Ethiopian Crew, 1973 by Ming Smith

What was New York like when you arrived? What were you focussing your photography on?

When I got to New York I was photographing but I came for money, and one of the first jobs I had was as a model. It was like 100 dollars an hour: an Ohio pharmacist back then was making 100 dollars a week. 

Someone told me ‘you should be a model’, and so I tried it for a bit. When I first met Grace Jones, she was an aspiring model also. 

You were part of the Kamoinge Workshop: did you feel like things changed then, that you were a part of a group of like-minded individuals?

Going to the meetings, I was first introduced to photography as an art form. Prior to this I had not committed myself to being an artist.  I didn’t think of myself as a photographer as I was still studying pre-med curriculum. So when I came to Kamoinge, I had first heard about the collective on an assignment, where a photographer was talking about whether photography was an art form. I was invited into Kamoinge by Lou Draper, who also printed for Eugene Smith. He used to tell me stories about Lorraine Hansberry, who I loved. that was when I first learned about the goal of Kamoinge: to own and interpret our own images. Roy Decarava was one of the founders of Kamoinge, which came out of the Black Arts Movement, where they started plays, and there were writers, musicians, painters, artists. That is where I learnt about lighting. I remember one member saying that his neighbourhood grew up in Harlem, and that all the young men that he grew up with were all dead. That opened my eyes to the politics. 

Oolong’s Nightmare,Save The Children (for Marvin Gaye), New York City, New York 1979 by Ming Smith

Tell us about your experience of fashion photography.

In New York I never knew about fashion photographers and advertising: it was a completely new world. I had a chance to go into both of those worlds, as I was modelling. I met people like James Moore who was a beauty photographer, or Arthur Elgort or Deborah Turberville, who I loved. She photographed my lips for a Bloomingdales bag! She did fine art photography besides that; I really liked her. I lived in the Village, so I knew Lisette Model, and I would go eat at this little dinner, the Waverley – the cheapest diner! You could buy a meal for five dollars there, and that was where Lisette Model would eat too! She would tell me stories about Diane Arbus, and she would call her Dion. For the longest time, I didn’t realise she was talking about Diane Arbus as she called her Dion!

You documented some of the greatest spokespeople of the African American experience. 

August Wilson really told our stories through his plays: the comic and the tragic of the African American experience. That is what connected me to him, to go to Pittsburgh and photograph him. Eugene Smith did a famous series on Pittsburgh, but the African American experience wasn’t documented. This is another aspect of my work. We also have Katherine Dunham. She was an anthropologist, choreographer, writer. She was an activist as well: she wouldn’t perform in places unless they de-segregated the audiences. There is always a struggle, that is extremely distressing of the black American community. They simplified the experiences of the black community in the 20th Century. Katherine went to Haiti and Africa and notarised the dance technique. When she won the Kennedy award, she talked about how hip hop came out of her technique, meaning the isolations and different notations of moves and contractions and release. Now we have dance, twerk, afro-latin, west African, Haitian, rumba, Caribbean, west African beats. We have had all these different classes come out of the diaspora. That is what Katherine Dunham did. 

Flying High, Coney Island, 1976, by Ming Smith

How do you get inspired?

I follow mainly instincts and my heart about things. I hope to say these things in my work: that is the intention. 

Would you say your photography is driven by intuition?

Definitely. Intuition, which is also very spiritual. It is like there is a spirit that speaks within me, and I go with that. I trust that more than I trust my brain. 

What changes do you see in the photography industry now? 

There is a lot more inclusion, and participation. There are different avenues for photographers – there are now young black American fashion photographers, and I think a lot of the hip hop generation are participating in that inclusion, you can go into documentaries, they work with the NYT. I think this is not only in America, but globally. 

Beauty, Coney Island, 1976 by Ming Smith

Do you think there are still many racial obstacles that need to be overcome in the art industry?

I think of course, but I am in the middle of it, and sometimes it is harder to see, but of course I think there has been many steps in the right direction. Dr Deborah Willis, she started doing books on black images, she started this in publishing and the School – she has made a life of that. I remember she came to Kamoinge to do a book. It wasn’t easy for her to receive support so I think that we have a voice now greater than before and it is growing. People are conscious of it, and they are trying to make it right, or more honest: the documentation of us, including us. Not just the stereotypes. More human.

Do you see more women photographers being showcased?

Most definitely, but I also think that there is more of an option. Before, it was a question of what could you even do with photography! Photographers and artists now, there are different avenues and you can earn a living from it! I see this more and more. Before, what could you do with it, how could you earn a living? Now, photographers both men and women are like ‘oh I could do photography, portraiture.’ 

There wasn’t any kind of show, exhibitions, talks, creating a book… there wasn’t those options. You did it out of pure love in the beginning. You did photography as an art form.

Self Portrait Nursing (Total), 1986 by Ming Smith

Do you still photograph regularly?

Yes I do! The main obstacle with that is everything is digital now. I am doing a book at the moment for Aperture, and so taking it from film to digitising it, to having to re-edit everything over again… it’s a lot! I need a lot of help with the translating of it. 

What do you hope viewers take away from your works?

I think just the personal struggles, the empathy or the humanity or the altruism or just being supportive. Maybe the humanity, and that being exposed to the people I have photographed, they will know what to do. It was like when I heard my first August Wilson play, or the drum, and I went and took my first dance class and the teacher told me he was a Katherine Dunham dancer. People will get what they get from my photography: hopefully an experience that will inspire them in some kind of way. 

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Atomic Punk by Berber Theunissen

Images courtesy of Berber Theunissen

Dutch photographer Berber Theunissen’s project Atomic Punk offers a rare and intimate perspective on the North American road trip. Having experienced an unexpected pregnancy, a miscarriage, a marriage and a honeymoon, Theunissen and her partner took to the road to “capture the moments, emotions and memories in which these intense situations were revolving around [her].”

Theunissen addresses personal experiences in this body of work. Women often carry the burden of miscarriages – they are rarely spoken about in public or in the media, and women feel bound by the ‘13 week rule’ leaving many people isolated and alone. Atomic Punk captures this period of isolation and anxiety through the lens of the classic North American road trip. Theunissen’s work is often based on things that affect her personally: “things that I love, but things that make me feel vulnerable.” In one image, we see Theunissen slumped over a chair in her underwear. An intimate scene full of raw emotion, one that could only be captured behind closed doors. 

I could never have imagined the possible impact of a miscarriage until I’d experienced it myself. One out of four women will experience a miscarriage in their life, and there is still a big taboo on the subject. So yes I’m also sharing my story so that you’re not alone, and that you are allowed to feel whatever it is you feel. 

The project is full of contradictions. It is on one hand a cathartic journey to process feelings of loss. And on the other hand, a time for celebration. Wide expansive landscapes, stretching across California, contradict with private scenes in motel rooms. As Theunissen has said, “It’s all about the vibes and the mood. I think the landscapes and the portraits reinforce each other. They enhance the emotion of the story.” The camera gives Theunissen a sense of security, allowing her to “observe [her] life in a more objective way,” and so photographing these moments was the obvious reaction for her.  There is a disconnect between taking images during a moment of intimacy and then publishing them after for the world to see, this takes courage as emotions are laid bare. Theunissen and her partner have a coping mechanism for this, a way of protecting themselves: “some photographs are just for us and some will be published. Sometimes it takes a while before we share the photo, when the quiet has returned.”

In another image, Theunissen and her partner are on a bed, light streaming through the window, but neither of them are looking at the camera. We wonder what has just been said, what is going to be said and by who? Sometimes these are recreations of events that have already happened, but most of the time, Theunissen is capturing it as it happens. “Before I was a mother and there was no toddler with chubby grasping hands, my camera was almost always on standby on a tripod.” This reveals how a project like this can exist, how the camera can become the third member, recording moments of intimacy, tension and vulnerability. 

The romance of the North American road trip has lured photographers for years, inspired by some of the greats like Robert Frank and Stephen Shore. But these experiences are usually seen through the eyes of male photographers. The intimate approach to Atomic Punk, that explores intimacy, loss and love, shines a new angle on this type of photography. The motel rooms become places of privacy, the roads places for discussion and healing. Theunissen’s images provide a glimpse into a moment in time, allowing the camera to record and save the journey, and while it is a personal story, it has resonance for other people going through similar experiences. And as always, a Californian road trip provides a fitting backdrop for a cathartic journey to unfold. 

Prints of the series are available to buy at Open Doors Gallery in London

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Looking Through Lockdown with Jessica Madavo

All images courtesy of Jessica Madava

Exploring the self during London’s lockdown, photographer Jessica Madavo took the time she found herself immersed in to turn her photography on her own form. Being granted this time to explore her own representation, Jessica shared her images captured and spoke to us about her own motivations and artistic drive.  

Tell us a little about your book you have just created

Its a book full of self portraits I took during lockdown. 

What compelled you to create this book?

I’ve been alone during lockdown, and that that meant no people around me to shoot. I then started experimenting more with different ways I could capture myself and really loved the process. I did find it strange to begin with, as I don’t see as being in front of the camera. 

How did you get into photography?

I moved from Johannesburg when I was 15 years old, five years ago and had the most amazing photography teacher Mr Wallace. He really encouraged me to spend as much time taking analogue photographs, building small light box cameras and working on the images in the darkroom and it kind of kept on going from there. 

What subjects and themes do you explore in your photography?

I’m super interested in people, and faces specifically. It’s interesting to me, how I am able to convey how that person is making me feel in an image and that’s the collaboration that keeps me going. 

What power has photography proved in the last few months for you?

Photography really has become a tool for me to look at the world, and in a sense respond visually to issues I see as important. That, and really just being able to almost have a document for each of the periods in my life. 

What photographers have you taken inspiration from?

I always find this a hard question because I have a lot of love and appreciation for a few photographers, for a lot of different reasons. Someone who jumps to mind immediately because of his dreamy use of light is Paolo Roversi, while Leo Colombo’s colour images constantly catch my eye. Other favourites are include Malick Sidibé, and probably Vivanne Sassen. 

What inspires you in a broader sense?

Since leaving South Africa, I’ve really loved relearning parts about my heritage that I pervious hadn’t really thought about. Music too is something that I truly love. 

What is on your horizon?

I’m still studying, so I’m hoping to go back to university in October, but apart from that I’m just collaborating as much as possible and keeping an open mind to my work. 

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LIMBO Magazine – A Lockdown Cultural Time Capsule

This week a new zine model entitled LIMBO made its debut which was created out of a lack of government support for the arts and creative industries during these difficult times. The LIMBO model , launched by publisher Nick Chapin (Frieze, Vice) is a community drive model with the aim of supporting out-of-work creative minds. The first issue edited by Francesca Gavin, Art Editor for Twin, Kaleidoscope, Dazed & NTS, with creative direction by David Lane of The Gourmand, features a myriad of almost 100 artists including Wolfgang Tillmans, Peaches, Collier Schorr, Tyler Mitchell, Brain Dead, Paul Noble , Georgina Johnson , Carol Bove, Honey Dijon among others who have contributed their art, ideas and humour born out of the global lockdown.

The zine is seen as somewhat of a time capsule , offering creative insight, hope , humour and vision during a time where everything seems so unsure. The publication is a 176 page book that recalls DIY magazines with a method of patchwork , created with expressive work with lo-fi techniques. The magazine also offers a non-traditional approach to publishing as all profits from advertising and issue sales will be distributed directly to the contributors and the staff who need it most. Some of whom have opted to waive their fees and agreed to allow their portions of the profits to be donated to those in need like Vivienne Westwood, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tyler Mitchell and others.  

The book is now available for purchase online limbomagazine.com 

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GUCCI x Bruce Gilden Beaten & Blown by the Wind

Gucci’s latest venture is a limited edition hardcover art book shot in Rome by photographer Bruce Gilden and entitled “Beaten & Blown by The Wind”. The book features a portfolio of street portraits and imagery of the house’s pre-fall 2020 collection with faces like advocate Bethann Hardison, Singer Achille Lauro and actress/model Benedetta Barzini. 

“I have never made a book in this way before, which I viewed as a photographic challenge, and the end result is a creative collaboration with Alessandro Michele. Having Rome as the backdrop was great, the city really inspires me—the beauty of the architecture and its age and watching how the Roman people move around their unique surroundings, as well as discovering the statues in the park high above Rome that mix with beautiful clouds, and the panorama of the city below… it all lent itself for some good pictures,” explained photographer Bruce Gilden.

The images are all featured in black and white and give insight into the city of Rome and all its wonders through Gilden’s lens. It is presented in a format that takes inspiration from vintage tomes with a luxurious feel that create an interesting contrast with the earthy reality of its contents. ‘Beaten & Blown by the Wind’ is currently distributed by IDEA Books and will also be available at Gucci Garden in Florence and the Gucci Wooster Bookstore in New York.

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