“My Queer Blackness, My Black Queerness” – The Project / Fundraiser highlighting the beauty of Black Queerness

24.06.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover image: Black Dolls by Campbell Addy & William Ndatira

“My Queer Blackness, My Black Queerness” is an ongoing digital initiative launched by Twin’s online editor Jordan Anderson as a celebration and exploration of black queer identity. “It is a protest , a celebration that frames blackness as a polyphony, a genre or melody with a vast variety of notes & textures, denouncing both white queer racism and black queer antagonism by way art , film and literature.” The initative launched yesterday is an initiative that holds 3 aspects, the primary being a limited edition  print sale / fundraiser featuring the works of 12 photographers Tim Walker, Campbell Addy, Michael Bailey Gates, Sackitey Tesa, Hao Zeng, Daniel Obasi, Florian Joahn, Kennedi Carter, David Uzochukwu, Emmanuel Sanchez-Monsalve, Justin French & Myles Loftin who have given their interpretations of black queer identity through imagery — 100% of proceeds of which will be split between two charities centred around Black Trans Lives. The second aspect of the is a weekly updated journal, shot by photographer Damien Frost, who documents and trans / non binary people of colour from all around the world as the site provides a virtual space for them to exist and be celebrated in all their glory.

The latter aspect of the project , is a weekly film screening of filmmaker the late Marlon Riggs’ films who document the history of the Black Queer Identity within American society. The project will run for three weeks and will carry weekly updates and reminders on the MQBMBQ instagram . To discover more information, visit MQBMBQ.COM  

Gully Queens by Tim Walker

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“Inside Helmut Newton 100″ – A Digital Initiative

07.05.2020 | Art , Blog | BY:

Helmut Newton is known by many as one the most dexterous photographers of the 20th century. His notorious black and white work pushed the boundaries for fashion and fine-art photography, as he was one of the pioneers to explore themes such as sexuality and femininity within fashion.  The Newlands House Gallery was recently opened which is a space located in Petworth dedicated to contemporary art, photography and design. 

The space’s inaugural exhibition titled HELMUT NEWTON 100, which debuted in March was temporarily closed as a result of the current health crisis, but in response the gallery has introduced “Inside Helmut Newton 100.”

Curated by the gallery’s artistic director, auctioneer, art dealer and DJ Simon De Pury, the digital exhibition features a virtual tour of the exhibition which can be viewed via instagram and facebook as he takes the audience through the collection of iconic portraits, landscapes and fashion images, as well as glimpses of some never before seen artwork from the photographer.  The virtual initiative will also feature a section titled “friends of Helmut” which will engage some of the photographer’s friends such as Mary McCartney & Juergen Teller in discussion . Keep up with gallery’s digital endeavours by following Newlands.House.Gallery.

Jenny Capitain, Pension Dorian, Berlin, 1977’ by Helmut Newton
Neewlands House Gallery by Elizabeth Zeschin
Neewlands House Gallery by Elizabeth Zeschin

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“The Mirrors Within” , by Bolade Banjo

03.12.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Photographer Bolade Banjo recently announced the release of his photographic story “The Mirrors within” in the latest issue of i-D Magazine. The inspiration behind the series stemmed from the work of photographer Anna Puschel’s book Layer of Reality where she explores experiences with the concept of Synesthesia, which is the condition of connecting colours, emotions and memories. From this , the photographer took away the knowledge of how the tonality of colours hold connections to memory and inherit acts as an emotional factor of life. Which is how he began exploring the archive of his reportage shot in the past few years and was able to spot the moments which these patterns had manifested themselves and now had been evident as emotive inspirations for samples of his present day work.  

“I’ve come to understand reflection is a process that allows for personal expansion and greater awareness, something that has taken me some time to accept. Looking back at this rhythmic arrangement. I’m able to connect all these collected moments to navigate the ever-changing world, ” he explains. 

Throughout the series, Banjo takes his audience on a sensorial journey throughout the  concerning nature’s various channel of perceiving memory as he connects moments and images that from a wider view, acts almost as an visual auto-biography of his artistic journey. The full version of the story can be found in i-D Winter issue NO.358 – 2019. 

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The New Black Vanguard -Photography between Art and Fashion

06.11.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover image: Renell Medrano, Untitled, Harlem 2017

A few weeks ago, NYC based not-for-profit foundation Aperture opened its doors to The New Black Vanguard — an exhibition of photography between art and fashion curated by Antwaun Sargent. 

The New Black Vanguard is a visual  documentary of fifteen artists who works fuse the genres of art and fashion through innovative perspective. It compiles the images of these talents that have recently been on reign in magazines,  ad campaigns & museums across the world , be it New York, London, Johannesburg or Lagos.  Each piece of work opens up conversations from different perspectives around the roles of the black body and black lives as a subject matter, collectively celebrating black creativity in fashion and art.

Not only through the hands of photographers, but stylists, designers and other creatives as well. The exhibition includes selected works from photographers including Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Micaiah Carter, Tyler Mitchell, Daniel Obasi, Justin French and a few others. It will be open throughout the rest of the year and will come to a close on January 18, 2020. For more information visit Aperture. 

Jamal Nxedlana, Late Leisure, 2019
Campbell Addy, Adut Akech, 2019
Dana Scruggs, , Nyadhour, Elevated, Death Valley, California, 2019

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Homage To Karl Lagerfeld: 30 Years of Photography at Galerie Gmurzynska

26.02.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Swiss art gallery Galerie Gmurzynska has recently opened it’s door to an exhibition in honour of the artwork of the late Karl Lagerfeld. Many might not have  known that one of the iconic designer’s talents were photography but over the decades Galerie Gmurzynska has worked with Lagerfeld on numerous shows, publications and projects. The gallery is also said to be the very first to put his photography on display. 

“We wanted to honour this long collaboration and this man whom we regarded as one of the last true renaissance genius. We were all incredibly saddened by his passing and spontaneously wanted to show our respect for Karl by remembering our two decades of collaboration, showing a wider public his lesser known passion for photography,” said co-owners Mathias Rastorfer and Krystna Gmurzynska. The exhibition features nearly 50 pieces of Lagerfeld’s work which has been curated  Rastorfer in a way to take it’s audience on a comprehensive journey throughout his body of work.  The exhibition will conclude on May 15th. Visit the gallery’s website for more information.

Cover image: Benicio Del Toro (Hollywood Stars) 2002

Nicole Kidman (1995) by Karl Lagerfeld
Gone with the Wind (1996) by Karl Lagerfeld
Series BodyParts (1998) by Karl Lagerfeld

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Hyun Mi Nielson Spring/Summer 2019

10.12.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Founder of Hyun Mi Nielsen, Christine Mi Nielsen is an experienced and ambitious Danish designer who has creatively served at some of the most renowned fashion houses such as Givenchy, Balenciaga and head womenswear designer at Alexander McQueen. Throughout her journey, she has worked with and under many creatives at the helm of these houses known for their distinctive and at times iconic pieces. However in July of 2016, after her departure from Balenciaga, the designer  decided to launch her own label, “ I have never wanted to start my own label. The thought never occurred to me until I was asked: “Why don’t you start your own?!”.  That was where it all began, since then she has been invited by the French Fashion Federation to showcase during Couture Week and has launched four couture collections. The latest being Spring/Summer 2019, entitled hybrids. The collection explores the fusions made possible by a multicultural world, veiled sheep herds, fetish culture and post war street style. The construction, styling and photography has a punk poetic ring which leaves you in some sort of trance craving for more.  Plunging necklines, leather bustiers and distorted colourful prints, Twin sits down with the designer to get further insight on the collection.

What was the inspiration behind the most recent collection? 

Magpies, travellers, 70’ties, free spirits, punk, there are also a soft under current of SM and something ethnic. 

Would you say your work and style has somewhat been influenced by the designers you’ve previously worked with? 

I think all people to some degree or another is shaped by their past and my working life is a part of my past.

Where , what or who do you look to for inspiration ? 

I get inspired by the most things in nature, art or just walking down the street. I love to do research, images or developing techniques or volumes. But I have some reoccurring themes I love punks, free spirits, 70’ties etc.

What fashion school did you attend and when did you graduate ? 

I did my BA at The Danish Design School – today it the school has changed name  and become a part of The Royal Academie of Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark. I graduated my MA from the Royal College of Art and Design in London.

How does music and pop culture influence your brand (if it does)? 

I listen to a lot of different music, and definitely love pop music. I for example love artist like Beyonce and the British singer Farai.

What person in the public eye today would you class as the Hyun Mi Nelsen poster woman? 

There are alot of strong, working women I’d love to see dressed in HYUN MI NIELSEN. But as you ask, ‘in the public eye’, my answer is Beyonce. She has already worn the label in the video Apeshit. I’d love to see her dressed in it again.

You of course have a tonne of experience under your belt, working with different designers and attending fashion school. Do you think it’s absolutely compulsory to attend fashion school to be a designer or is gaining sufficient experience enough to get started? 

No, today is not necessary. But why go? It is FUN! And you have time to experiment in a supportive, creative environment and meet like minded people.

What’s next for you ?  A/W 19 and lot of adventures.

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Steven Meisel: Role Play

15.12.2014 | Fashion | BY:

It’s not often that a fashion photographer wields enough influence to create an issue of Vogue featuring only black models; neither is it very common for just one person to photograph each and every cover of Vogue Italia for the past 20 years. But then, Steven Meisel’s extraordinary passion and talent set him up for an illustrious career from his early days as a fashion illustrator.

International auction house Phillips is launching a travelling selling exhibition of Meisel’s work. Role-play has already visited Paris, and will be arriving at 30 Berkeley Square in London from 16 December to 11 January next year, before heading to New York.

The show features 25 images that capture Meisel’s most notable contributions to fashion photography, including an image from the 1990s, when Meisel was instrumental in welcoming the grunge aesthetic into mainstream fashion. He has since concluded that the image is one of his favourite pictures, as, in his words, it ‘captured a real cultural moment of a music scene and a fashion scene fusing together to create a new look.’

Meisel has undoubtedly become one of the most significant fashion photographers working today and this exhibition is a brilliant opportunity to view his work as it is intended to be seen.

Steven Meisel: Role Play opens tomorrow, 16 December till 11 January 2015. Located at Phillips 30 Berkeley Square London. 

phillips.com

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Allen Jones RA

20.11.2014 | Art , Fashion | BY:

Allen Jones knows how to sell sex. Since he first exhibited his fibreglass women in the late 1960s – the prototype fembot, down on all fours, arse practically over head, strapped into bondage gear – he’s owned it. They were – are – the literal representation of sex-on-legs. And who’d have thought that the place to get a little artistic perversion in London these days would be at the Royal Academy?

It’s clear that Jones’ coterie of fetishised furniture sculptures represents a very specific sort of fantasy. It’s everyman erotica; pert tits, big lips, hard-bodied, submissive, available. Serving you cocktails, ready to take your hat. They’re expensive whores on all fours. Yet, even as a feminist, you have to relish in how aggressively politically uncorrect it all is. Jones makes incredibly, obviously, seductive art. And you might feel a bit grubby about it afterwards, but then we’ve all been there, right?

Jones’ paintings provide a little counter balance to the implied misogyny of his sculptures. In these colourfully kitsch scenes he paints about power-play with cross-dressing inferences, of the dominate female, the submissive male, of the animalistic rituals of mating and the delicate interplay of coupling represented in the form of dance. It’s the paintings and later sculptures that suggest a much more complex side to Jones than the ones his critics would have you believe. To reduce Jones to a fetish artist, means you ignore a lot of the richness and ambiguity in his work. And it’s this that makes you want to go back and take a second look at the sculptures – maybe it’s not all about oppression and submission, maybe there’s something deeper at play? Maybe it’s not a male-female thing after all. Maybe she’s in control. Hell, maybe she’s even enjoying herself. Imagine that.

Allen Jones RA is at the Royal Academy, London until 25th January 2015

royalacademy.org.uk

IMAGE CREDIT: Allen Jones RA, Body Armour, 2013 Photograph, 127 x 127 cm London, Private Collection / Image courtesy of the artist © Allen Jones

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Vivianne Sassen Analemma: Fashion Photography

06.11.2014 | Art , Fashion | BY:

Flourishes of dynamic movement, of fabric that bursts out of the frame like a blossoming bud, and a peak of flesh teasing from underneath… Vivianne Sassen’s fashion portraits offer a lavish antidote to over-exposed minimalism. Hey there colour, welcome back.

Currently on show at The Photographer’s Gallery as part of their fashion season, Sassen’s Analemma series makes the body a vehicle for movement, albeit captured in a static photograph. With her crackling eye for shape and form, Sassen creates little fashion aliens out of her subjects. These beautiful freaks, with their saturated skin-tones wrapped in voluminous swathes of fabric, can be found striking a pose against a surrealist landscape or moulding their bodies into sculptural installations. Their composition owes much more to art history than to contrived fashion formulae.

Mirroring the performance element of her shoots, the 350 or so images on view are presented in a sweeping swirl of movement; projections slide across the walls and floors in a constant loop of motion. And the colour literally blooms from her photographs. Sometimes it’s sharp and graphic, cutting a bold, clashing contrast of dramatic shapes and hues. Other times it’s present as a beautifully tonal and subtle spectrum. It’s Sassen’s non-conformity, her ability to eek-out every single droplet of pigment and her contextual references to fine art, that mean her work can not be confined to, or defined by, the fashion industry.

It’s funny that colour seems to have taken on an avant-garde status in fashion, but here’s to the industry’s current renegade and her eye-popping palette of human sculptures.

Vivianne Sassen Analemma: Fashion Photography 1992 –2012 is at The Photographer’s Gallery until 18 January 2015.

thephotographersgallery.org.uk

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