Raise your hand if you've heard of Haw-lin. Some would probably label it "your favorite blogger's favorite blog," or something lightweight pretentious like that. But at its core, Haw-lin is a great resource for creatives. The brainchild of Nathan Cowen…
South African photographer Pieter Hugo captures a unique partnership forged on survival
“Get it how you live.” It’s a phrase Benny Basic and the Big Tymers made prevalent in my life since the early 2000’s. Broadly speaking, more or less, it means do what you gotta do to make ends meet. Do what you gotta do to survive. The phrase comes to mind when examining the work of South African photographer Pieter Hugo, whose documentary work has shed light on one of Nigeria’s most extraordinary yet controversial business practices.
Pieter happened upon the traveling circus of Hyena handlers, known simply as “The Hyena Men”, after a cell phone photo of the troupe was reproduced in a South African newspaper. Provoked by the photograph, Hugo ventured to the city of Abuja, Nigeria to meet the group, traveling with them for a number of days to document their practice. The images he collected while travelling with the group tell a captivating story–a tale of tradition, economic strife and ultimately, survival. Read on for a look inside the world of the Hyena Men.
Illustrator Andy Rementer lends his perspective on the unwavering marriage between man and machine
Look around you as you glare into your computer screen for the (insert large number)th consecutive day. If you’re anything like me, our somewhat troubling relationship with technology grows stronger by the day. It all happened so fast. Regardless, it seems as though, with each passing day, our dependency upon our phones and computers brings us farther from self-reliance, making our gizmos and gadgets more of a necessity than an accessory.
Luckily, there are those with skills that feel the same. Offering his clever perspective on this ever-evolving partnership, renaissance creative Andy Rementer has garnered global acclaim for his vibrant imagery. Penning colorful illustrations for global publications such as the New York Times and The New Yorker, while also collaborating with boutique mainstays like ONLY NY and Apartamento Magazine, it seems as though Rementer has managed to create his own distinguished aesthetic unto himself. While his personal site features much of his recent work, today we’d like to share with you Andy’s self made comic series, aptly titled Techo Tuesday. Combining Andy’s beloved illustrations with shrewd comic commentary on the role technology plays in our lives, Techno Tuesdays is a strip accessible to anyone living in the digital age.
A brief collection of images from our first exhibition at Oakland Art Murmur
This past Friday was a special one. A stepping stone for us in our journey and a moment to remember for a number of reasons. If you’ve stepped inside a Wine & Bowties party before, with the exception of two, the intention more times than not has been to throw bangers. Complete, utter, unadulterated bangers. But this one was different. It wasn’t “crackin,” and it wasn’t going ham, per se. It was just settled, and it felt right. Somehow we brought the grown ups out, and also the kids, making myself, Will and some other 20-somethings the middle children within this eclectic night. It was kinda beautiful.
Many a thank you to go around for this event. First and foremost to Barry’s family for allowing us to share Barry’s work with a new audience. And also much love to the Scrivani family for providing us the space to hold our first art exhibition in Oakland, and the wisdom to help us do it right. To our friends and family who attended the opening, thank you for being a part of such a unique night. In the years to come we’ll look back and understand the significance of it all, but for now, let’s enjoy the moments that Barry captured in his time. A Dangerously Curious Eye runs from now until March 30th, and you can join us for the artist talk this Saturday from 4pm to 6pm at Warehouse 416.
The story behind Barry Shapiro's iconic portrait of the edge of San Francisco
Photography By Barry Shapiro
When I first cracked open the cover of Barry Shapiro’s A Dangerously Curious Eye, I was floored. I had been told, in brief, what to expect–essentially an extensive collection of black and whites, shot in Hunter’s Point and other San Francisco neighborhoods during the turbulent 1970’s and early ’80s. Had that been all I found, it still would have been entirely worth the read. But what I did in fact find, was something more than just photojournalism–something much more resonant, much more powerful. This was indeed a portrait of a community in all its complexity–sometimes Barry’s lens reflects heartbreaking poverty and sadness, other times, pride and exuberance. There were nudes and neighborhood scenes, kids playing and drunks boozing, and running through each shot, a sense that Barry had captured a moment unlike any other.
Here in this collection, alongside its value as historical document, we get a genuine sense of Barry’s personality, and his deep fascination with the edge. Before and after the decade he spent exploring one of San Francisco’s poorest and most marginalized neighborhoods, his work reflected a passion for telling stories that might not otherwise reach the surface. More than anything though, this collection captures his instinctive talent for identifying and preserving the moment. From the candor of those Hunter’s Point portraits to the momentary, drive-by glimpses afforded by his Through the Window series, there’s an almost preternatural sense of serendipity surrounding these images. Naturally, the story of how these images found their way to us, the audience, is a serendipitous one indeed. Read on to learn more about A Dangerously Curious Eye.
Heidi Voet lends her perspective on the perception of beauty
A comical glance into the construction of vanity, beauty and health, Fruits & Vegetables is among Heidi Voet‘s most engaging works. Positioning images of naked women cropped from Chinese magazines alongside vegetables, the resulting work takes on new meaning on closer inspection. Cropping out the top or lower half of the photographs, and replacing the missing body parts with vegetables, the juxtaposition helps to relate Heidi’s commentary. As the organic vegetables age and rot, the falsehoods of enduring beauty and eternal youth perpetrated by the photographs are revealed. In a sense, a duality of timelessness and ephemerality is related powerfully through the work as the fresh vegetables visually complete the young bodies–though both are inevitably destined to fade. I sometimes wonder if pretty girls ever feel trapped by their beauty, but let’s save that conversation for another day.
Software engineer turned carpenter Joel Allen's treehouse in the middle of the Canadian wilderness
Building a tree house is already an arduous task within itself. But building a tree house in the middle of the woods solo, in Whistler, British Columbia on government property might sound damn near insane to anybody–aside from Joel Allen, that is. A software developer turned carpenter, Joel ventured into the Canadian wilderness to construct an egg shaped abode with no electrical power in the fall of 2008.
After going broke in the wake of a botched retirement campaign at the ripe age of 26, it was a by-chance encounter with a true wilderness man that compelled Joel to set out on his own, living out of his car while seeking out adventure at every turn. Turned on to the art of “sports sleeping”–the competition of seeing who could sleep in the most outrageous environment outside of a bed–by a friend, Joel was soon inspired to create the HemLoft.
Keeping it a complete secret for nearly three years after its construction, Joel only began to reveal the house’s existence recently. The house itself, a product of the painstaking process of walking each tool and material into the woods, and then walking all of the excess waste back out, is a true a labor of love, and one that Joel isn’t looking to part with any time soon.
Rio-based photographer Tiago Sperotto on his photographic journey back home to Porto Alegre
It was 2010 when I first connected with Tiago Sperotto. On the verge of being fired from my first post-college job as a barista, on my last day, Tiago approached me with a simple question. “Dude, do you know anyone that needs some photography work done?” It was a serendipitous question, as the Bowties, still in its infantile stages, was in dire need of a shooter to add to the team.
From there, the rest is history, although our journey is still only beginning. Lending his photographic skills to a number of shoots for us over the years, it was love that eventually brought Tiago back to his native country of Brazil in 2011, where he still lives today. Currently residing in Rio, but raised in Porto Alegre, Tiago’s most recent work showcases some of the gorgeous environs the city has to offer. Chatting about his upbringing in Porto, the city’s evolution, and the magic of Guaiba Lake, Tiago offered some insight into what makes Porto Alegre so special.
Abstract perfomance artist Jared Clark creates colorful imagery through an unorthodox approach
Find your medium, and go for it. It’s a message we’ve been promoting on the Bowties since the beginning. Whether you’re creating coloring books for today’s hottest rappers, or building modernist sand castles out of well, sand, there are infinite possibilities when it comes to creativity. Most recently, the whimsical work of Jared Clark exemplifies this idea quite well. In his recent work, simply titled “Bleeder”, Jared manipulates paper and ink in a way unlike any other I (or maybe you) have come across.
When discussing his creative approach, Jared states, “The series came naturally from this idea of filming the bleed images of markers – and using physical limitations as a way of keeping the image pure. Once the physical limitation ideas took the forefront, I turned the camera from the paper to myself and a path into performance was born.” If it feels a bit like I’m leaving something out, you might want to hit the MORE for a better idea of how Jared goes about creating these abstract pieces.
A short cultural history of tobacco advertising in America
from Irving Penn’s “Cigarettes”
It’s hard to deny the allure of cigarettes. A looming presence in the cultural history of America and beyond, the cigarette has now become perhaps the single most indelible symbol of the intangible essence of cool. Whether dangling from the lips of James Dean, or as an accessory to the sumptuous aesthetic of high fashion, the cigarette has played a pivotal role over the last few centuries in constructing an aura of leisurely pleasure.
Today, the marketing landscape for cigarettes has changed dramatically, although many still condemn cigarette companies for their subversive advertising tactics. First introduced to the American public through an advertisement in a local New York newspaper in 1789, it was in fact the Lorillard Tobacco Company that first familiarized America with the seductive pull of tobacco-related advertising.
What the trippy illustrations from a 1972 textbook can tell us about the intersection between art and science
It couldn’t have just been the drugs, right? I suppose it was a combination of things–a golden age for psychedelic art and graphic design, an era when every new scientific discovery seemed to be expanding our collective understanding of human nature, a thousand Ram Dass or Sagan-inspired fusions between both of those worlds. All I know is my textbooks growing up, from the late part of the last century and the early years of this one, just didn’t look like this.
Biology Today, printed in three separate editions for college-level science students, was a prime example of the confluence between the aesthetic and scientific realms that seemed to characterize its particular time period in the world of popular science. In addition to some fifty-plus editorial contributors–seven of them Nobel laureates–Biology Today called on an impressive collection of the era’s most imaginative visual communicators in order to explore and interpret the subject matter at hand. Spanning virtually every medium imaginable, the illustrations, paintings, photo montages and diagrams supplied by those artists bring to life those concepts with psychedelic, surrealistic imagery–from reimagined biblical scenes, to visualizations of drug trips, to cell structures and all kinds of groovy body parts. For the design folks, this is some solid vintage eye candy. For the TED Talk crowd, it’s a reminder of just how far we can take things when we blur the lines between disciplines. And finally, yeah, it’s not a bad advertisement for doing a whole bunch of drugs either. Thanks to 50 Watts, for the inspiration.
Photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya captures the unforgettable moments from LCD Soundsystem's glorious run
If you’ve seen LCD’s farwell concert doc, Shut Up and Play the Hits, you’ll have to remember the last shot in the movie. That goofy kid with tears streaming down his face encapsulated the feelings of a million loyal followers all at once, in a handful of endearingly embarrassing pans across his face. To me, as an ending, it seemed pretty damn fitting for James Murphy: equal parts tongue-in-cheek, flat-out funny and genuinely poignant, not unlike more than a few of LCD’s most memorable songs. Despite the fact that no one really plans to start being a world famous rock star in their mid-’30s, something about LCD’s run just seemed so goddamn perfect, for lack of a better word. A mission statement first single, three unbelievable albums, and then you bow out at the height of your powers, to a sold out Madison Square Garden, bursting at the seams with adoring fans and white balloons.
Of course, that’s a brief history. So fortunately for all of us, photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya was there to capture the moments as they happened, at least during the tail end of LCD’s glorious journey. Aside from having a knack for snapping iconic portraits of James, Nancy, Pat and company, Wijesooriya also pays just as much attention to the surrounding scenery. Crowd shots, clusters of balloons and oceans of plastic cups color the pages of LCD, alongside performance and studio shots, giving us all at least a vague sense of what it actually might have been like to be along for the ride, from Hyde Park to Williamsburg to Indio, and everywhere in between. Elegantly put together by James Timmins, and featuring a handful of exclusive interviews, it’s a solid coffee table option all around. And for those of us who have been grieving with “All My Friends” on repeat for the last two or three years, it’s kind of a must-cop. Feel free to do so here.