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Opinion | How Covid Stole Our Time and How We Can Get It Back

‘Depressing Math’ can help you live a more fulfilled life.

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You can “Air Type” on this tactile keyboard with inflated key caps – Yanko Design

Ah! Look at that keyboard! When the world is transitioning toward a smart future where a mechanical keyboard with a built-in LED screen will rule the roost, a designer dares to give us a cushioning of air bubbles to type on. When I think of laying my finger on this…

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Solidwool

A beautiful composite material made with UK wool. Designed and made in Devon…

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How Thom Browne Turned the Gray Flannel Suit Into Something Subversive

Over the span of two decades, the designer has transformed the traditional men’s wear staple into a radical and deeply contemporary look for all.

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Together & Newsletter

All the things we like, with all the people we love. Click to read Together & Newsletter, a Substack publication with hundreds of readers.

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How to Drink Empirical – Empirical

“What do I do with your spirits?” is one of our most frequently asked questions. We recommend enjoying our spirits neat first. However, we came up with a few drinks for you to experiment with and enjoy. Each drink utilizes different techniques and flavor profiles, for when the occasion arises.

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DV + and wander, Pertex® Wind Jacket

Constructed from 20D Pertex® Quantum Air, the wind jacket provides water resistance and windproofing at the intersection of light weight, packability, and durability. Reflective stitching enhances nighttime visibility, and cinch cords at the waist and hood provide a custom fit and assist in regulati……

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The clothes in Francis Bacon’s paintings are as fascinating as the subjects

A new exhibition at the RA examines Bacon’s relationship with man and beast, but it’s his take on clothing that offers up a macabre surprise…

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Artist uses AI to perfectly fake 70s science fiction pulp covers – artwork and titles – CDM Create Digital Music

It’s algorithmic, generative 70s sci-fi pulp, courtesy OpenAI. Artist Lewis tells us about how it was done. Meanwhile, see how many friends will pretend to have heard of Neytiri A. Quaritch’s pioneering tome, Green Glass is the Color of the Wind. Whether you’re a hardcore sci-fi fan or have just…

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David Hockney Rediscovers Painting

From his home in Normandy, the eighty-four-year-old artist shows off a new series of portrait paintings and discusses all of the work he still has left to do.

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The Meta Trending Trends: 2022

Top 14 Overlapping Cultural Trends From 40+ Reports by Matt Klein…

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Slow

The Red Forest 6

We have been big fans of the work of Norway-based Iranian collage artist Ashkan Honarvar since his graduation days at the HKU University of the Arts in 2007. In the decade that followed, he has been steadily producing series after series on an extraordinary high level, dealing with reoccurring themes like colonialism, war, mass destruction, megalomania and other grotesque behavior. Always succeeding in creating imagery that is both intelligent and haunting, slightly repulsive but always captivating. In March of this year Ashkan presented another highly ambitious series of eight chapters named 'The Red Forest' that he has been releasing over the course of different weeks.

Within the new body of work, all of the different subseries touch the same ('Honarvar signature') aesthetic atmosphere and share the same underlying technique, but every chapter has its unique elements, telling different segments of the narrative. And although every chapter complements the strong emotion of the overarching concept, our favorite out of the body being the sixth, as shared below. The story behind 'The Red Forest' is based on the first seven years of Ashkan's life, growing up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, which at first sight suggests it is one of the most personal series till date. Yet the seamless fit of the series within the signature running through his portfolio, probably tells how personal his work always is, despite it referring to subjects that are much looser connected to the artist own history. One element within 'The Red Forest' that is a novelty is Ashkan's use of 3D renders, with the skulls and human figures (the female figure is Norwegian model Malena Morgwen) in this project, made with a 3D application Zbrush and then printed out and, as per usual, finished with handmade collage.

Both the subject-matter (as a point of reference for all of Ashkan's work) and this new layer of depth in the disfigurations of human representations, grabs us by the throat a little stronger than ever before, making 'The Red Forest' a significant development and possible important new chapter within the evolution of the brutally talented Ashkan Honarvar. Leaving us waiting eagerly where he will take these new artistic facets in the future.. [ Continue reading ]

Margiela: The Hermès Years

at MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp

Last week, we once again had the privilege to witness another highly anticipated (a little more than any other we have seen before) exhibition opening at our favorite museum in Antwerp: the MoMu Fashion Museum. In the new exhibition, for the first time ever, the museum focusses on genius Martin Margiela’s often forgotten Hermès collections that he created from 1997 to 2003. The exhibition also touches beyond his extraordinary work for the Parisian house and furthermore showcases the relationship between these collections and the complete vision he created with Maison Martin Margiela.

Groundbreaking deconstruction and timeless luxury –two worlds that Martin Margiela made his own– therefore are the starting point of the exhibition named 'Margiela, The Hermès Years', uniquely displayed in a "split-vision" Hermès orange/Margiela White scenography, designed by the museum's regular collaborator, but more importantly also Margiela's former trusted scenographer: Bob Verhelst. For anyone looking for a razor sharp yet very emotional insight into where many of today's ideas about fashion and modern luxury still find their core inspiration, we can only urge to travel to Antwerp before the end of  August, as this extraordinary exhibition clearly showcases the work of an unparalleled visionary in what for us is already among the best exhibitions of the year. [ Continue reading ]

Romain Laprade

The highly talented Paris-based Romain Laprade is among a select group of photographers, succeeding throughout his ever-expanding body of still imagery work to create highly exiting depictions that are nothing short of cinematic: working in a deep warm color palette full of atmosphere and class. From the moment we caught his work of numerous modernist and post modern buildings (most recently the extraordinary Villa Noailles in Hyères) on Instagram, we have truly enjoyed his exquisite perspective on the world around us and kept track of his portfolio with every new entry. The photographer predominantly finds the inspiration for his imagery by mindfully observing his environment, both in the city, in nature and the exchange between the two. Laprade finds the most aesthetic details in the ordinary or on the other hand captures remarkable architectural creations in the most aesthetic frames. In all of these captures there is an interaction: between the borders of the frame; shades of the colors; rays of light; shadow and textures. These elements, that make up his remarkable signature, prove to be a guarantee for engaging images, having catapulted Laprade to one of our favorite photographers working today from the moment we first caught it. Enjoy some of our favorite images below. [ Continue reading ]

Kotn Flagship Toronto

There was a time in which Egyptian cotton stood for the highest possible quality one could get. In particular Helmut Lang's t-shirts made from that particular fiber, for us at least, being the epitomy of understated luxury. Unfortunately, soon after the term and use became established within the globalizing luxury industry, it started to go down hill with the thriving industry. More and more farmers started mixing Indian and American seeds with their original sources for cotton, which caused both a quality drop and resulted in government involvement in the market that eventually toppled the whole industry drastically: with smaller amounts of true premium Egyptian cotton being exported every year. In spite of these developments, in our minds, cotton from Egypt never lost that connotation of the remarkable. Therefore, when at the beginning of 2016 we encountered a small Toronto-based fashion brand named Kotn —honoring the great heritage of true premium Egyptian cotton and understated basic clothing— that came as a wonderful surprise.

A year earlier, Kotn was founded by friends Mackenzie Yeates, Rami Helali and Benjamin Sehl. Based in Toronto, the company partners directly with cotton farmers and textile factories in Egypt's Nile Delta to produce their high-quality basics, including T-shirts, sweats, boxers and dress shirts. By scrapping the middleman, Kotn ensures a fair wage for their manufacturers and an honest price for the consumer. What started with a quest for the perfect white t-shirt has expanded into a full line of men’s standards – hoodies, henleys, sweatshirts, sweatpants, polos, oxfords, pajamas and underwear. Kotn launched with a direct-to-consumer online model, which has garnered a cult-following for the successful Toronto-based start-up. Last week, the company brought their vision to the next level by opening their first brick-and-mortar shop on Toronto’s Queen Street West. Whenever in Ontario's capital, make sure to drop by and get familiar with their inspirational vision! [ Continue reading ]

Kerry James Marshall: Mastry

at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles

After it was first presented to the world at the MCA Chicago and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City last year, two weeks ago the MOCA in Los Angeles opened the tremendously exciting 35-year retrospective of one of our favorite painters working today: Kerry James Marshall. Marshall’s figurative paintings have been unparalleled in their consistent portrayal of African American culture and history. The now nearly 600 years of painting in America contains remarkably few African American painters and even fewer representations of black people. Marshall —being a child of the civil rights era— set out to redress this absence from the moment he consciously picked up his paintbrush, inspired by one of his personal heroes: social realist painter Charles White. 'Kerry James Marshall: Mastry' is the artist's first major retrospective in the United States, containing nearly 80 paintings, all of which contain images of Black subjects going about their daily business, presented with utter equality and humanity. A deeply accomplished artist, who makes ravishing paintings, Marshall’s strategy was three fold.

First, as a young artist he decided to paint only black figures. He was unequivocal in his pursuit of black beauty. His figures are an unapologetic ebony black, and they occupy the paintings with a sense of authority and belonging. Second, Marshall worked to make a wide variety of images populated with black people. This led him to make exquisite portraits, lush landscape paintings, everyday domestic interiors, and paintings that depict historical events, all featuring black subjects as if their activities were completely and utterly normal. Third, Marshall concentrated on painterly mastery as a fundamental strategy. By mastering the art of representational and figurative painting, during a period when neither was in vogue, Marshall produced a body of work that bestows beauty and dignity where it had long been denied. Both on the individual level of Marshall's extraordinary unique artistic vision and today's context granting an ever-growing relevance to his body of work: making that when you are somewhere near Los Angeles, there is no reason whatsoever to miss this incredibly relevant exhibition! [ Continue reading ]

Sammy Baloji

From the moment we encountered the super inspirational work of  Congolese photographic artist Sammy Baloji, we haven't been able to get his haunting imagery out of our heads ever since. In the last decade, the artist, who resides in his city of birth Lubumbashi and Brussels, has gathered international acclaim with his photographic works that explore the cultural, architectural and industrial heritage of the region where he was born named Katanga in the African country Congo. Baloji juxtaposes photographic realities, combining past and present, the real and the ideal, to illicit extraordinary cultural and historical tensions.
With his imagery Baloji explores architecture and the human body as traces of social history, sites of memory, and witnesses to operations of power. History of art and documentary photography blend with that of colonialism. His series of photomontages, of revisited albums confront his historical research with the human and economic actuality (such as the new invasions of these territories by companies from China for instance). All of his juxtapositions are highly charged with meaning, but above all: always succeed in leaving an everlasting impression, that forces one to question past, present and future of Congo and the whole continent of Africa.  [ Continue reading ]

Quiet Earth

A little over a year ago, the New York City-based Asya Geisberg Gallery opened a new exhibition named 'Quiet Earth' featuring new works by American collage artist Matthew Craven. Unfortunately we missed the inspirational display at the time, but recently our friend Merijn at …,staat pointed it out to us and we have been infatuated by the haunting works from that moment. The exhibition featured a series of works on paper, combined together rhythmically repeating a flattening of time and scale. In the imagery, Craven combines found images of antiquity with abstract hand-drawn patterns of ambiguous origin, and often subsequently painting walls to emphasize aesthetic choices that personalize his project. Ever-curious and controlled in his choice of placement and mark, as per usual the artist created enigmatic combinations, that despite (or maybe because) their encyclopedic nature, always succeed to engage our gaze and force curiosity about each specific reference and composition.

Craven always begins his imagery on an aged background, often vintage movie posters with yellowing tape, finding images in old books that are never glossy. As his collages compress millennia by placing the prehistoric next to the modern, they shift around time: the distance between the image’s creation and our grasp of its significance, the hours searching for appropriate materials, the cultivation of isolated fragments before evolving into Craven’s artistic universe. Several of the works use the landscape, colorful and present, to form a dialogue with the silent man-made artworks, adding an exciting visual layer. It seems as Craven is saying that we exist today because of our pre-historic past, and all cultures share the same planet. From a greater distance, the differences melt away (which too many people seem to forget now a days!), and just as all landscapes share underlying structure and forms (hence the quietness of the earth, possibly), so too do Craven’s stone temples, monuments, and patterns. The result is a highly fascinating series of work forming a quest through human history without ever losing our interest on an aesthetic level. We can't wait for more aesthetic journeys from the mind of Matthew Craven. [ Continue reading ]