We've been big fans of Australian photographer Akila Berjaoui's sensual photography from the moment whe we discovered her beautiful series 'Lake Como', some years ago. Since then, she has been steadily continuing her worldwide travels with her analogue cameras, showing her beautiful signature in every new series that she produces. Last month, Berjaoui celebrated a new important milestone in her blooming career, when together with Prestel Publishing she officially presented her very first book to the world named 'The last days of Summer'.
The new book proves to be the most elegant platform on printed paper for Berjaoui's work till date, adding a significant new chapter to her ongoing artistic love affair with sandy beaches, sun, water and beautiful woman. In 'The last days of Summer', the spectator is taken to her hometown of Sydney and subsequently to bathing hotspots in Italy, France, and Brazil, amongst other places. Taken over the summers of 2015 to 2016, Berjaoui’s sun-streamed photographs of bathing beauty is brought to life in her familiar lush color palette that reminds of late 70s and early 80s photography. Her photographs have the power to veritably evoke the feeling of an earlier time; every detail is rich in the romance of 20th century travel, right down to the beach umbrellas, miniature but elegant swimwear and hidden Italian coves that are still cherished by the few who are able to keep a secret; in her work Berjaoui paints a sunny dreamworld on film. Beyond the surroundings, through her eye for beautiful framing, the eye-pleasing subjects in front of her camera always seem at total ease, with a hint of sexual tension lingering in the air. Curves are always soft and sandy tan lines both playful and honest — overal the visual narrative (and title) of 'The last days of Summer' transcends an undertone of nostalgia referring to a more heartfelt and colorful (pre-selfie!) era.
With summer all over The Netherlands at the moment, there's no better time than now to order 'The last days of Summer', which finally captures some of our favorite photography in between two book covers to truly reveal its extraordinary beauty in the best possible form. [ Continue reading ]
The Head of Fashion and Textile of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague on his return to designing and how it brought him new perspectives on the future
Eye on the future
After discovering the extraordinary work of Belgian fashion designer Jurgi Persoons by chance, a little under ten years after his eponymous label closed shop in 2003, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp graduate continued to be much of an enigma. The legacy of his raw-edged romantic vision includes punk-spirited seasonal presentations in Paris along the bank of the Seine and on a deserted parking space, at that time breathing new life into the anti-fashion spirit of the Antwerp Six (and Margiela), who had started a decade earlier. As most of Persoons' vision (who withdrew from the fashion world after 2003) lays hidden in a time before the internet started absorbing everything that takes place, only bits and pieces are still to be found now, with every once in a while a piece from his hands popping up on eBay.
Six years ago, after years of working in the printing workshop of his partner, Persoons had returned to fashion, but in a completely new capacity: as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague. There he becomes the Head of Fashion and Textile in 2013, which finally granted me the chance to sit down with him and learn more about what had fascinated me for so long, right before the graduation show of 2016. With the new graduation show upon us tomorrow, we sat down another time to speak about the rather eventful last twelve months and how it brought Jurgi new perspectives, both as Head and through the (highly surprising!) return of fashion design in his life. [ Continue reading ]
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 ]