The story of Father Yod and his mystical 1970s commune
April 22, 2013 by Max Gibson
It’s a bit difficult to neatly sum up the significance of The Source Family’s legacy. Established in the early ’70s with loads of contemporary relevance, The Source Family remains one of America’s most extraordinarily peculiar social experiments. Their story is one of love, sacrifice, sex and religion: in many ways, an archetypal 1970s spiritual commune. Founded by the worldly and charismatic Jim Baker (later known as Yehowa or Father Yod), The Family grew out of teachings inspired by his own spiritual evolution–from mere human to what came to be known as “God Consciousness”. In the years to come, Baker’s vision had grown into a deeply insular, intimate community of hundreds–complete with a well-detailed belief system and even a highly prolific psychedelic band.
Fortunately, this year marks the release of the feature length Source Family documentary. Compiled from the family’s archives, photographs, videos and personal accounts piece together the story of an extraordinary journey, from the commune’s beginnings at Baker’s Sunset Strip health food restaurant, to its eccentric following, and all the strange and beautiful stories along the way. The Source Family is currently screening in major cities across the country.
April 22, 2013 BY Max Gibson
Berlin's powerhouse design collective lends a hand to Nike basketball
April 22, 2013 by Max Gibson
It was only after I started meeting graphic designers (mainly Russ and Hass) that I began to acknowledge the essential nature of design. Before working alongside them, I grossly disregarded the importance of thoughtful design when it comes to representing an idea, concept or business. The advent of the Adobe Suite has revolutionized the field for our generation, yet with so many tools at our disposable it seems there are still those that are able to use the tools better than others.
Billed as “a playground for creative people,” Berlin-based graphic design house HORT has garnered love across the globe for their fearless approach to design. Working in a variety of media, from large scale installations to editorial work, to full scale rebrandings and stationary, the design collective has amassed an exceptional portfolio of creative works. With nearly a six-month wait list just to apply for an internship, it’s easy to see why HORT receives the love they do. Recently, the collective put together a collection of some of their collaborative work with Nike. Entitled HORT vs. Nike, the collective was given the assignment to develop a set of rules and design graphic elements that were adaptable and could easily be used by the Nike graphic department. The theme of each poster was based on comparisons between two parties. Only scratching the surface of HORT’s collective capabilities, the HORT vs. Nike collaboration is a good starting point for us hoop fans with a love for design on the side.
April 22, 2013 BY Max Gibson
Rebekkah Castellanos' photographic journey across China
April 17, 2013 by Max Gibson
It’s been a few years now since we first met Rebekkah Castellanos. When considering her artistic progression, much has changed, while some things have stayed the same. First and foremost, Rebekkah still takes incredible photographs, but more recently, she’s also added music to her growing repertoire, as one half of the group Xolo alongside her boyfriend Justin Cefai. In the Summer of 2012, Rebekkah had the opportunity travel to China. The trip was a gift to her and her family, in return for housing a foreign exchange student from Beijing in their home nearly two years ago.
Blessed with a round trip ticket, Rebekkah jumped at the opportunity, making stops in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai while braving eminent typhoons and culture shock in the process. Never without a camera, Rebekkah captured her experiences in an extraordinary fashion. From the ancient Terracotta Warriors and Buddhist temples, to sprawling urban centers, and impromptu portraits of the people she encountered, Rebekkah managed to to soak up all the visual inspiration these diverse locales had to offer. Fortunately for us, she’s been kind enough to share her journey with the Bowties.
April 17, 2013 BY Max Gibson
Tragic and redemptive, Jonathan Singer-Vine's feature film debut brings a powerful Oakland story to life
April 4, 2013 by Will Bundy
There’s something about the montage that effectively opens Licks that sends shivers down your spine. As the opening credits roll, Oakland scenery drifts by outside the passenger seat window–stately Victorians, liquor stores, kids playing–all set to Lykke Li’s gorgeously delicate “Time Flies”. A lone car creeps down the block, while an unsuspecting kid stands on his stoop, looks up, and catches a bullet to the head. His mother comes barreling down the stairs, torn apart already, and collapses on her son’s body. The sequence is hauntingly beautiful, an unforgettable introduction to Jonathan Singer-Vine’s gripping directorial debut.
Nearly three years in the making, Licks is nothing if not a labor of love. From writing and developing the script along with his good friend Justin “Hongry” Robinson (also known for his musical exploits as Hongry Hussein), to casting, to location scouting, to shooting and even promoting the film–Jonny and a small team of talented collaborators took on virtually every aspect of the process of shooting their first feature film independently. Notably, the film was shot entirely in the East Bay, with a limited budget, and an impressive cast made up almost exclusively of first-time actors and Oakland natives. The result of all the challenges first-time filmmaking presented them with is a film that feels authentic, raw and full of purpose.
The narrative of Licks follows D, a young man whose botched armed robbery attempt lands him a two-year bid in prison and a pair of bullet wounds. Two years later, D returns home to find a neighborhood in paralysis. For an ex-felon, drugs and violent crime seem like his only viable option, and now, even more than before, D finds himself surrounded by temptation and tragedy. It’s a coming of age story heavy on tragic realism–far from mere sensationalism, the heavy doses of violence, sex and drug use that punctuate the narrative serve the function of telling D’s story in all the graphic, grimy detail it deserves. Of course, we’re hardly the first ones to pick up on Licks‘ appeal. The film made its festival debut last month at SXSW, where it was one of just eight movies nominated for an award. Tonight, it’s set to make its Bay Area debut as a part of the Oakland International Film Festival, at the historic Grand Lake Theater.
April 4, 2013 BY Will Bundy
A glimpse inside the creative universe of illustrator and visual artist Andy Rementer
March 29, 2013 by Max Gibson
A few weeks ago, we first shared the illustrations of Andy Rementer. Colorful and refreshingly clever, Andy’s work manages to blend insight with humor, all wrapped in his signature, distinctive aesthetic. While our first feature on the artist showcased his comic series, Techno Tuesdays, Andy’s portfolio is vast and varied. Covering everything from white walls and wrapping paper to pillow cases and the pages of the New York Times, Andy’s signature style has been showcased in galleries around the world. Somewhere between Paris and New York, Andy gave us the opportunity to catch up with him about his favorite work music, dream collabs, and the pitfalls of digital dependence.
March 29, 2013 BY Max Gibson