We have encountered their inspirational work repeatedly throughout the last few years, but only recently became aware of the extraordinary Copenhagen-based headquarter and Studio Store of Danish multidisciplinary design firm Frama. A little under four years ago, the firm traded their industrial space for the former home of the St. Pauls Apotek (pharmacy) which was established in 1878, respecting all of the building's original woodwork and architectural elements, using it as a canvas to create something radically new. The synergy between the past and present elements of the space is a direct manifestation of how Frama defines their main interest within the creative field as a dialogue between two opposite poles; classical and contemporary approach – between digital and analogue production. In addition to their earliest interest of producing beautiful understated products — designed in-house, next to commissions to other Nordic creatives — in recent years a new focus on interior design was added to their activities, showing that remarkable signature of blending old and new materials, contexts, and influences within every project. The inspirational level of multidisciplinarity in the complete output of the firm today, makes the Studio Store more than just a 'showroom' for their product, but forms an incredible Gesamtvision for Frama's aesthetic design discourse and ideology. And it is exactly this, beyond that we really appreciate their design vision, what makes Frama one of the firms we feel is spearheading creation with a contemporary mindset. When in Copenhagen, make sure to directly step into their universe located at Fredericiagade 57. [ Continue reading ]
We continue to be far from as active here as we would love to be, mostly because of our schedules at ...,staat and New Amsterdam Film Company demanding most of our time, but after some time completely off the grid in (Upstate) New York and California for the both of us in May; we are really picking up the pace again. Starting it up with an incredibly stunning new book by Swedish photographer Mårten Lange published by MACK, that was presented to the world some hours ago at the gallery space of Webber in London. Named 'The Mechanism', the extraordinary publication presents a remarkably melancholic series of monochromatic photographs that form a futuristic narrative about contemporary life. Bringing together anonymous images made in multiple cities, the work deals with themes of technology, economic systems, surveillance and (dystopian?) urban society. Lange attempts to trace the effects of technological developments on human experiences, using architectural tropes to build a narrative loaded with the threats and promises of the future. Cutting back and forth between close-up views and cityscapes, the beautifully designed book offers a filmic sequence of photographs that is at once affective and estranging. We have been familiar with the impeccable work of Lange before, after just discovering 'The Mechanism' we have a new instant favorite. Make sure to order it before this book sells out! [ Continue reading ]
A psychedelic-rock musician turned ultra-runner
We became big fans of Satisfy’s 'subversive movement in athletic gear' after last years interview with its founder Brice Partouche. His mix of cultures reached a new hight with the release of a new film called 'Possessed’. Shot in one of our most favourite places in the world, Joshua Tree National Park, California, the film is directed by Pierre David and Gabriel Novis. It follows Joshua Garrett Grubb, a psychedelic-rock musician turned ultra-runner. [ Continue reading ]
Exactly two months ago we travelled to Milan (unexpectedly as a road trip, due to a storm in Amsterdam) to visit our friend Roel. Looking back at that weekend in February once more; it is safe to conclude that it turned out to be a greatly inspirational (Jos Brink-themed) couple of days, in which we were able to see some of nature's most beautiful hidden treasures in the marble quarries of Carrara ánd some of humankind's more interesting creations when we visited the sweaty Pinacoteca di Brera; the Pirelli HangarBicocca to, for the first time, see Anselm Kiefer's mysterious towers up close; and (finally!) Rem Koolhaas' Fondazione Prada Foundation, where we had the chance to experience the deeply haunting and still extremely relevant 'Kienholz:Five Car Stud' exhibition and sat down with Boglioli's former Creative Director Davide Marello for an enlightening conversation on the state of Italian tailored menswear fashion. The low, late winter sun was out, the sky was blue and the air was cool: this is that rather perfect Saturday at the incredible Fondazione Prada Foundation in captures by Joachim. [ Continue reading ]
When the thrilling 'Tokyo Compression' series by German master photographer Michael Wolf was first presented in 2010, like the rest of the world, we were stunned by its captivating oppressive beauty. In the years that passed, the Asia dwelling photographer kept expanding the series, next to all of the other long-lasting chapters that portray the DNA of different Asian mega cities like Tokyo (and for instance Hong Kong, where the photographer has lived a significant part of his life) as sublime fine-grained puzzles full of mystery and unfamiliar beauty. In total, Wolf worked on'Tokyo Compression' from 2010 until 2013, with three publications as a result, that are among our favorites and part of the most interesting publications of its kind.
Today, we encountered not only one, but three reasons to shine light on this highly inspirational work once again: firstly, the arrival of the definite finale of the 'Tokyo Compression' series in printed form, with yesterday's release of the fourth book named 'The Final Cut' by German publisher Peperoni Books. Secondly, we discovered that some months ago the body of work was nominated for this year's prestigious Prix Pictet and most importantly; as a result of all this renewed interest, the series will be exhibited throughout the world once more in 2017. After it was shown at Blue Lotus Gallery in Hong Kong in the first months of the year, to our great pleasure, a 'Tokyo Compression' exhibition will open for the public in two days in our homebase Amsterdam, where it will be shown next to 'Hong Kong Coat Hangers' at the Wouter van Leeuwen Gallery until the 20th of May. Within that period another part of 'Tokyo Compression' will travel to London, were it will be on display at the Victoria and Albert alongside the other 11 nominees of the Prix Pictet until the 28th of May.
We are extremely excited by this fourth coming of one of our favorite series of all time, so we decided to share some of our favorites below. When in Amsterdam or London: don't miss the opportunity to see Wolf's magic first hand in the coming two months as this seems to be the final chance to do so! [ Continue reading ]
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 ]
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 ]