A NewWerktheater Edition
As one of the last features of this year we wanted to share this special project we did at NewWerktheater. Parallel to our collaboration of last month with Lennard Kok, the Fallen Bird, we’ve been busy in our other role at NewWerktheater and …,staat to work on another collaboration we’re extremely excited about; Jupe by Jackie x …,staat.
The idea behind NewWerktheater Editions is to explore disciplines beyond those that are generally our own. To create great things with great people. To see what we can get from the ground and where we could end up if we walk a road unknown. 'Aesthetic Memories' exemplifies precisely this. This body of works took us somewhere we never could have imagined beforehand. We were drawn to the mastery required for this ancient technique. First, we fell in love with the craft, then we met the person behind it and fell in love all over again. Meeting Jackie was one of those instant clicks. You know the type.
When we started discussing designs, deciding on form, translating our inspiration for color, we soon found ourselves entering the territory we set out to find – challenging tradition. Hand-embroidery is traditionally decorative, traditionally representational. But, what if we worked with abstractions? What if we clashed the intricacy of the handwork with geometric elements? [ Continue reading ]
Make it simple.
There are few places left in Amsterdam’s most central areas that have enough character to weather the ever-growing storm of tourists and people that particularly cater to them. At times, especially in the summer, the city feels like an urban amusement park. With no end of this development in sight, the once authentic center is slowly turning into an empty shell of its former self. Fortunately, there are still some spots that offer some kind of cultural experience (let’s hope it stays that way!), with the Zeedijk being one of our favorites. Located in the small but dense Chinese quarter of the Dutch capital, the street is famous for its restaurants and supermarkets, but also for being the original gateway of heroine into the country in the late sixties — during the last few years it has also been embraced by a growing number of brands, in search of a real environment for their stores.
Among them are streetwear household names like Amsterdam’s own giant Patta, the Comme des Garçons BLACK store, and most recently Stüssy also opened its doors in the street. Next to, for instance, newcomers like Bonne Suits, who shares a space with SMIB and The New Originals. Although we appreciate these streetwear brands, for us the appeal of the street was taken to the next level by another recent addition, as in April our friend Koen Tossijn also found his way to the infamous Zeedijk and opened his first brick and mortar store ever for his brand TOSSIJN — introducing a well needed touch of understated luxury and a toned down color palette, next to all the logos and graphics at his neighbors. [ 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 ]
Last Saturday, one of our favorite Amsterdam-based galleries; The Ravestijn Gallery, opened a new show by Dutch collage artist Ruth van Beek named 'The Situation Room', which we feel ends a very interesting year of exhibitions, following other favorite shows by Vincent Fournier and Robin de Puy. The work of van Beek originates in her ever-growing archive. The images, mainly from old photo books, are her tools, source material and context. By folding, cutting, or adding pieces of painted paper, she rearranges and manipulates the image until her interventions reveal the universe that lay within them.
With her imagery, van Beek triggers the imagination of the viewer: passive human hands are animated, objects turn into characters, and abstract shapes come to life. The original image may have been taken out of context, but the familiar imagery –the formal photography of an instruction book, a clearly displayed object, or a staged action– remains recognizable, and thus speaks to our collective memory. Contrasting elements engage in conversation in van Beek’s work: the dead past coming to life; the literal and the abstract; displaying and concealing expressively; both the limitation and the endless possibility of an archive. Hereby, van Beek joins a new generation of artists that, by finding restriction in closed archives, offer a counterweight to the limitless availability of information. The constant organization of the world around her even gets a literal representation in van Beek’s work: the rearranging hands of instruction books appear and reappear, like a self-portrait of the artist as a creator. [ Continue reading ]
Harley Weir presents her first solo-exhibition at Foam in Amsterdam
The official opening is tonight, but the very first solo-exhibition of the talented British photographer Harley Weir at Foam in Amsterdam has been open for the public since the 2nd of December and we had a chance to see it for ourselves this week. It marks an important step in the rise of the 28-year-old, who has been receiving international acclaim and a growing attention in the last years, after kick starting her career at age 17, when she shot her first fashion editorial for Vice UK. Although presentation-wise the exhibition at Foam isn't the best thing we have ever seen, the curation of the imagery shows the incredible talent of Weir, far transcending the specific subject-matter, showing an intriguing coherent body — undisputedly making her one of the most interesting voices in contemporary photography.
The title of the exhibition, 'Boundaries' refers to what is ultimately dissolved in the work of the photographer. But even as she crosses the lines of what usually holds people apart, on personal as well as political levels she is not out to make any statements. The exhibition therefore reads, as Weir specifically intended it, as a visual poem, open to interpretation. The exhibition shows a mix of Weir’s ethereal portraiture with still life images and reportage work in Israel, India, Jordan and the series that struck us deeply when we encountered it on Dazed some weeks ago: the haunting depictions of the temporary homes at the refugee camps of Calais. Whatever it is in front of her lens, Weir always seems to get to its essence by framing that what seems to speak to her most, creating captivating visual narratives that stick. [ Continue reading ]
Last Friday, the doors of the beautiful Capital C building in Amsterdam have opened for BIG ART. The new initiative of curator Anne van der Zwaag presenting over 50 XL artworks by contemporary artists and designers, running until the 27th of November in what used to be the Diamant Exchange of the city. A unique mix of acclaimed names and upcoming talents, monumental paintings, drawings, large sculptures, big photos and huge installations. As one of the official partners of BIG ART we will present some of our favorite artists included in the curation of van der Zwaag. Today, we focus on a longtime favorite of ours: Amsterdam-based artist Marijn Akkermans, with whom we talked about the development in his work after graduating from the art academy 15 years ago, the pressures of modern society and the installation-like presentation of his incredible work at BIG ART. [ Continue reading ]
This coming Friday, the doors of the beautiful Capital C building in Amsterdam will open for BIG ART. The exciting new initiative of curator Anne van der Zwaag presents over 50 XL artworks by contemporary artists and designers and will run for 10 days in what used to be the Diamant Exchange of the city. A unique mix of acclaimed names and upcoming talents, monumental paintings, drawings, large sculptures, big photos and huge installations. As one of the official partners of BIG ART we will present some of our favorite artists included in the curation of van der Zwaag. Starting with Rotterdam-based painter Katinka Lampe, with whom we discussed the democratization of the contemporary visual culture, the rise of artificial self-representation and how this is reflected back in her haunting distorted paintings of young human figures. [ Continue reading ]
Six months have passed and our good friend Olaf Hussein has returned with a new seasonal offering, which will be available online and in his shop on the Prinsengracht 491 in Amsterdam from today. For his Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, the Amsterdam-based designer takes a trip to the deep South of the United States of America, or more specifically, to the world as portrayed in the iconic moody feature film 'Paris, Texas'. This cinematic masterpiece from 1984, directed by Wim Wenders and shot by Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller, forms the main inspiration for the new seasonal creations. Where Hussein's former collection felt like the conclusion of the starting period of the brand, which asked for the (successful) establishment of his name (literally) — the new collection shows a new kind of ambition in the products being released under the OLAF HUSSEIN label, going beyond the earlier (necessary, no doubt) road of prominent branding into the realm of, what we feel are, interesting contemporary pieces marrying technical features and sharp minimal silhouettes. [ Continue reading ]
Rinus van de Velde at tegenboschvanvreden in Amsterdam
At the beginning of this year, one of our favorite artists working today; Rinus Van de Velde, presented the impressive 'Donogoo Tonka' exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst in which he brought his one-of-a-kind, overtly rich artistic vision on the world around us —built up from many layers of signature charcoal strokes— to the contemporary art museum in Ghent. At the beginning of this month Van de Velde returned with already his next show (at the same time some of his work is also on display as we write this at Tim van Laere Gallery Gallery in the group show 'Take Care, Amigo'), this time at his Amsterdam-based gallery tegenboschvanvreden — forming a new, not to miss, chapter in the ongoing display of unique talent from the self-described drawing-obsessed artist. For the exhibition, named 'A Sunday as a Sunday', the Antwerp-based artist has created a new series of drawings, focussing specifically on the theme of the antihero, having stopped the prominent portrayal of himself in his works, which marks an important new direction. [ Continue reading ]
IBASHO Gallery presents the work of Toru Ukai at Unseen Photo Fair 2016
Tomorrow the 2016 edition of the Unseen Photo Fair will open its doors for the public at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam and it promises to be another celebration of photography, with work from all over the globe having found its way to the Dutch capital again. Although we weren't blown away by what saw in the former two editions, there will be always (we hope) those hidden gems to be discovered amidst the more repetitive imagery on display. Returning Antwerp-based gallery IBASHO is one of the participants we really appreciate.
Last year the gallery was a newcomer on Unseen (after they had just started their operation on the edge of the Antwerp-South area) and this year it brings a debuting photographer to Amsterdam, which we feel is one of those few great new talents to be discovered. With its focus on contemporary Japanese photography, during their first presence at Unseen Photo Fair IBASHO presented, amongst others, the iconic 'Tokyo Parrots' by the great Yoshinori Muzutani in Amsterdam, this time around it introduces the incredible series 'Invisible Machinery' by the very talented Toru Ukai. The Tokyo-based photographer is interested in the hidden and invisible structure in our modern society, which he has given the moniker invisible machinery, portrayed in his ongoing series to be seen at Unseen. Ukai observes the structure in the social systems, the law and the architecture, but also in the behavior of people; gestures and figures — captured in sharp and cold tones, with a distinct digital feel, proving to be a perfect fit for the science fiction-like arena which is urban Japan. Having such an interesting signature, perfectly fitting the narrative of his unique perspective on the world around him, makes us eagerly look forward where Ukai will take his beautiful photography in the years to come..
When visiting Unseen Photo Fair in the coming days, make sure to not skip IBASHO's booth and enjoy the work by the incredible new talent! [ Continue reading ]
Aldo van den Broek at Galerie Ron Mandos
Although the official run of the exhibition ended last week, the highly inspirational show named 'FERNWEH' presenting the latest works by the Berlin-based Dutch artist Aldo van den Broek, continues to be open by appointment at the Amsterdam-based Galerie Ron Mandos until the 20th of August. Giving those who have missed it a last chance to see, what we feel is one of the most interesting exhibitions of the Summer to be found in Amsterdam. Recurring themes in all of Aldo van den Broek's dark and mesmerizing work are history, underground, punk and romanticism. His creations characterize the world where he lets architecture and people meet. He is fascinated by the urge of people to strive for safety and freedom simultaneously and the deconstruction that usually follows. Travels and experiences bring valuable inspiration to his work. His researches brought him to Berlin, where he has been living since 2010, but also the post-communistic suburbs of Belgrade and Tbilisi.
Aldo’s work reflects his interpretation of purity and beauty within ugliness. Therefore, he choses to work with wasted materials with no apparent value. Used and re-used by himself, or found on the streets and abandoned places. By literally using his own past failures as a beginning for his new works, these different themes are constantly transforming and melting together till they reach their final appearance. [ Continue reading ]
Jack Davison at Foam Amsterdam
Two weeks ago Amsterdam-based museum Foam presented the first international exhibition of probably one of the most exciting talents on the rise in photography: Jack Davison. We first discovered his work last year when he joined renown agency mini title and through his inspirational collaboration with another great talent from England, artist Joe Cruz, which to our excitement was given a follow up some weeks ago. It is very thrilling to see this first step in a growing international recognition of Davison's great talent, who without a doubt is destined to become a leading name in photography in the years to come. Davison's work shows a diverse range of inspirations that he derived from the historical canon of photography—from Salvador Dali and August Sander, the Flickr community and the Internet in general, to Mark Michaelson’s infamous book, 'Least Wanted: A Century of American Mugshots', next to iconic imagemakers like Richard Avedon, Ernst Hass, Saul Leiter, Irving Penn, and Edward Weston.
As Foam has previously shown the work of many of the icons that inspired him, for the exhibition Davison is moving back and forth between photography’s past and present is an intriguing addition to the context of the photography museum. What you see in the exhibition is that Davison effortlessly employs and appropriates different genres and styles in what seems to be an endless stream of visual consciousness. In our eyes therewith young Davison forms a great hope for a world flooded with mediocre imagery, having grown up right in the middle of this ecosystem, transcending it by looking beyond just Instagram to all the iconic imagemakers of the past and bringing a new excellence into the digital age. Make sure to see the exhibition when in Amsterdam and follow this young photographer, who we believe will become an iconic imagemaker himself in the (near?) future. [ Continue reading ]
Thijs Zweers at Unfair Amsterdam and TORCH Amsterdam
Today marks the opening of a new edition of Unfair Amsterdam. After debuting in 2013, the Dutch platform set up by a generation of young artists working together as a creative community looking for new ways to show and sell their work present another great edition. In the coming four days those artists in the Netherlands are showcased which in the eyes of Unfair need to be seen by the public. One of them is Thijs Zweers, who together with TORCH gallery Amsterdam, presents his 'The Land of Virtually Nothing' series which after Unfair will be on display in the gallery from the 16th of April. Although we haven't mentioned him here before, we have been following the talented Amsterdam-based artist for a while now and really appreciate his raw aesthetic. In his imposing drawings Zweers describes the new habitat for the younger generations; a digital wilderness of subcultures, images and stories with a very distinct romanticism. Using pitch black Siberian charcoal he describes the digital existence in detail. All works by Thijs Zweers start from the thought that the digital universe has become an autonomous biotope. Although all things seen on a screen are created by human fingers, the scale and expansion of this universe are way beyond human control. Simultaneously, staring at screens has become both a form of entertainment and a guideline for existence. Make sure to visit Unfair and don't miss the haunting work of the Dutch artist. [ Continue reading ]
Michael De Feo at The Garage Amsterdam
After we wrote about the inspirational 'Ceasefire' show by Pryce Lee at The Garage last Summer, the new upcoming show by the ambitious gallery is another reason to visit the beautiful 17th century carriage house in the canals of Amsterdam. With the show named 'The Fashion Pages' The Garage will present the international premiere of the latest body of work by the renown New York City-based artist Michael De Feo. The new series were created atop fashion editorials and advertisements and stems from De Feo’s recent takeover of the ad spaces of New York City bus stop shelters, with many of the photographers, models and brands involved applauding his unlawful 'collaborations'. Through his floral interventions De Feo transforms these images and the models within, blurring the line between unsanctioned and authorized works, which are both as aesthetic as subversive, forming a beautiful constructive statement in the overload of content one encounters these days. When in Amsterdam, make sure to not miss this when it opens on the 8th of April! [ Continue reading ]
With a little under two weeks of running time left, make sure to drop by Amsterdam's Rapha Cycle Club to catch the insightful exhibition named 'Goudkuipjes Mooiste' focussing on the career of one of Holland's most successful road riders: Hennie Kuiper. In the last year opened Cycle Club right in the heart of the beautiful historical center of Amsterdam, on the 9 streets and around the corner of our own studio, the olympic champion, world champion, five-time Tour de France stage victor and multiple one-day Classics winner is honored in an elegant overview. Both through beautiful photography and all kinds of original treasures his numerous accomplishments and accompanying stories of his greatest victories (and defeats) in the career of the cyclist also known as ‘The Gentleman’ have been integrated seamlessly in the space. When in Amsterdam make sure to drop by! [ Continue reading ]
During the weekend of the 5th of February, Amsterdam will welcome a new initiative by the name of MONO JAPAN. The debuting event organized by the Japan Cultural Exchange offers a stage to acclaimed Japanese masters of traditional practices next to the new generation of ambitious and enthusiastic creators from the country famous for its craftsmanship and design vision. The inspirational new platform has curated a diverse selection of exhibitors, presenting their products which range from pottery, washi (paper), textile, clothing and furniture to teas, sakes and art in the iconic rooms of the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. Out of this beautiful lot of ambassadors of the Land of the Rising Sun we particularly love the work of multidisciplinary artist Ryo Okamoto, who is present with fellow artist Daimon Kanno, to introduce his totally unique, yet very Japanese vision on contemporary art. [ Continue reading ]
Here's something to look forward to in the fast approaching new year. Amsterdam-based The Ravestijn Gallery will start 2016 tremendously with the show named 'The Magic Tree' featuring work by Dutch photographer Marie-José Jongerius, opening on the 15th of January. The story of the show starts all the way back in 1999, when Jongerius left for Los Angeles with the mission to photograph writers, actors and directors. With each car ride to a new photoshoot her fascination grew with the relentless attempt by the Americans to control this Californian landscape. For over ten years she has photographed places where human imagination and the force of nature interact, from artificial lakes to the edge of the advancing desert, of which an incredible selection is shown in Amsterdam. Her images of the isolated - sometimes freely in nature, sometimes peeking out of their man-made cages - are both mysterious and highly aesthetic, making 'The Magic Tree' a must visit next month. [ Continue reading ]
Our friend Koen Tossijn has come a long way since we both had a share in the 'Blue Jeans' exhibition, which took place over two years ago in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. At that point Koen still solely focussed on bespoke denim with his label Atelier Tossijn, but his ambition always was to create a full wardrobe of staple piece items, boiled down to perfection. Born out of his longing for a greater quality of life and a fascination for the everyday, in the last two years Tossijn went on a quest to find a way to work outside and within the modern-day fashion industry. Instead of an ever-changing new collection, Tossijn aims to create one steady stream of everyday essential pieces, which he named fittingly the 'Wardrobe' collection. Designed to their most essential form and made in ton sur ton shades with only the best materials available, the pieces in the Wardrobe evolve over time in a constant search for perfection, which is seldom seen in modern fashion anymore. [ Continue reading ]
At the end of this Summer, British artist Pryce Lee’s first solo show in Amsterdam opened at The Garage. The new and highly anticipated body of work named 'Ceasefire' sees the artist explore the meaning of ceasefire, the culturally charged term after which the show is named. Both in its appeal by politicians and in its definition, ceasefire has become an ambiguous and often murky term. With this new installation Lee thrusts the question of its meaning centre stage by invoking icons of peace and war to explore the intent and meaning of a word that has become increasingly part of political parlance while its outcomes have become less clear. When in Amsterdam make sure to see this extraordinary show! [ Continue reading ]
Last week marked the proud release of Tenue de Nîmes' 12th printed Journal de Nîmes, with the new issue centered around the theme ’New Vintage’. In the 92 pages we share the brands or products which we feel our kids will be collecting as the ’New Vintage' one day. Starting with fashion visionary Ralph Lauren who founded his beloved ‘Double RL’ brand 1993, after being the first rebel to sell vintage next to his ‘new’ clothing in New York City making him something of an icon for this particular issue. We take you to Mr. Lauren’s most personal archive, which he continues to use to spread his deep love for the rugged spirit of the American West in his full diversity. Furthermore Journal Nº 12 highlights some of the most inspiring brands that successfully used their inspiration of the past into a contemporary collection, which inspire us in everything we do ourselves. [ Continue reading ]
After releasing a preview in May, our friend Olaf Hussein returns today with the official release of his Autumn/Winter 2015 collection. Through his latest designs, one of the most promising names in Dutch menswear clearly shows his global ambition by moving beyond the foundational inspirations of denim and the Amsterdam heritage, embracing influences from the North and on the other hand the realm of elegant sportswear. Titled 'Ø L Å F' - the moniker which has given the label a growing visibility in the fashion world through the popular caps, socks and recently released graphic tees - the collection embodies an oxymoronic idea of nuanced boldness. Athletic details, combined with a strong black and white color palette and forward-facing materials, exemplify the outdoor world colliding with the inward-bound hectics of a city. With 'Ø L Å F', the brand continues its pursuit of an expressive yet sophisticated aesthetic and doing so in a highly promising way. [ Continue reading ]
On the 25th of September the inspirational 'Van Gogh+Munch' exhibition opened at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, after it had been on display at the Munch Museum in Oslo. The exhibition - for the first time - explores the similarities and connections between the two influential artists; starting with alignment in aesthetics and stylized kinship to their connections which exist on a deeper level. Rather than uncritically accepting established perceptions, the exhibition takes a closer look at their artistic point of departure, the influences they were exposed to, the development in style and technique and what artistic goals they set for themselves, and in this way create a deeper understanding of why these artists are so often compared to each other. When in Amsterdam make sure to visit. [ Continue reading ]
Although we weren't overwhelmed by what was on display at the last Unseen, there were still works which impressed us in the best possible way. We loved finally seeing the 'Tokyo Parrots' in printed form, as discovering the larger-than-life 'Facades' images by Markus Brunetti, but most impressive was probably seeing the work of celebrated American photographer Todd Hido in person. For the first time in the Netherlands a solo exhibition of his work opened on the 12th of September at Alex Daniëls Reflex Amsterdam, who in turn showed a new group of works unique from the show named 'Selections From A Survey - Khrystyna's World' at Unseen. [ Continue reading ]
Two years ago an interesting ambitious new hotel/temporary housing project was presented to the world in Rotterdam and the West of Amsterdam. Given the moniker The Student Hotel, the concept bridges the gap between the ideal accommodation and a home, welcoming all types of guests: from travellers, (exchange) students, aspiring young professionals, or simply people who are young at heart. Given a bold colorful modern aesthetic with clear hints to the iconic American college campus, the first Student Hotel turned out to be a great success, with several new location in and outside of the Netherlands opening its doors. The latest Student Hotel opened its door this month in the city where it all started; Amsterdam, located right in the city centre, with basically everything worth a visit within walking distance. On top of all the leisure facilities available on-site, an iconic nightclub will be ready to host you at The Student Hotel in 2016. We feel this is the most iconic and beautiful Student Hotel till date, with a lot more in store for the concept in the future. [ Continue reading ]