Shout out to Anika and Nasty Nate for being down, and to Morgan and co. for handling. The Day After Valentine’s Day was one to remember. Whole party going crazy. Thank you for supporting Wine & Bowties, check out some pics from the night right here.
February marked the first installment in our nascent discussion series, Talks, where we opened up a conversation about creativity and entrepreneurship. For the inaugural, we called on a superstar cast of young creatives: Cre8tive Class founder Daghe, photographer Lauren Crew, MC and visual artist Queens D. Light, Oakland Surf Club’s Max Klineman, and Flavourhood’s Japheth Gonzalez.
A few years back, one of our favorite artists laced us with a used Yashica. Since then, we’ve been collecting memories of people we love and the places we’ve been. A reminder to keep capturing these moments, and a thank you to Maggie for getting us started.
We step inside the world of the Top Dog Guy. Looking back on 23 years of service, we sit down with Top Dog’s longest working employee, taking time to learn about his life, his career, and his legacy as a Berkeley legend. With photography by Scott Rockwell and words by Max Gibson, this piece is one for the ages.
Ayumu Arisaka creates some incredible, trippy collage work as a part of the female design collective Saigo No Shudan. We took a brief tour of her repertoire, and paired it with some psychedelic slap curation from our good friend Yung_SMH. Heavy vibes all around.
So what exactly is art? Any human creation? How does something transform from, “Just some shit I’m working on,” into a work of art? Must it hang in a museum, at least hang on a wall? What if it’s not to be seen, but only heard? What about that beat you made last night? Is that art? While we all have our own definitions of what art is, the video above compelled me to reconsider the definition of the term.
Meet Melati Suryodarmo, an Indonesian performance artist who has garnered global notoriety for her butter dance. Titled, “EXERGIE – butter dance” specifically, the film above documents part of Melati’s peculiar yet extraordinary 20 minute performance. Using 20 blocks of butter, laid out in a square across a black dance floor, Melati’s performance is received by a live and seemingly receptive audience. I usually don’t like to use the “W” word, but I already know a lot of you are sitting here like, “Damn this shit’s weird as fuck!” But wait, when she finished, people clapped! On top of the fact that they had just watched a lady writhe in butter for 20 minutes.
Which brings us back to my initial question, what, the fuck, is art? Personally, if Melati had performed this in her room by herself, I’d dismiss it as some weird shit. But since she’s on stage, with an audience and a camera perhaps this aligns more upon the side of artistic expression. In reality I suppose there is no definite answer, although perhaps Andy Warhol might’ve answered it best when he said, “Art is anything you can get away with…”
As many of us near, are at, or have recently passed that threshold known as the 25 year mark, our time on earth and how it’s spent becomes something to consider. Those, “What am I doing with my life?” thoughts tend to seep in at the strangest moments and for the first time we can begin to objectively look back at our childhood. Not to ostracize the folks who are far from 25 on either end, but age and purpose seem to lie at the foundation of Ping Pong, a new documentary about the reality of getting older. Centered around the lives of 8 players, (with 703 years between them) Ping Pong captures their pursuit of the annual World Over 80s Table Tennis Tournament, held in Mongolia each year. The film tells the stories of these players, revealing the unique ways in which ping pong influences their lives. Set to open in July in the U.K. Ping Pong should be making its way to the U.S. by mid-summer.
It’s one thing to get inspired by an artist as you come across their work on the internet, but’s another thing to watch an artist’s progression in real life. Although I’m sure he was taking pictures before it happened, I’d argue that getting hired at Freshjive was one of the first big breaks of Ian Flanigan’s photographic career. From shooting product shots and live boxing matches, to photographing the out-of-pocket images that typify the Freshjive brand, Ian’s work is as varied as it is focused. Capturing a variety of compelling landscapes through his travels, the photo collection within showcases Flanigan’s eye for setting and composition through landscape photography. Having recently completed a short film comprised of over 4,000 photographs taken while in New York as well, it seems as though Ian’s portfolio is evolving by the day. Hit the MORE to check out Ian’s landscapes along with his short film from New York.
Highlighting the cult following that the Ralph Lauren brand has garnered over the years, this recent edition of Put This On focuses on the ‘Lo Heads, the famed Polo enthusiasts whose love for rare and iconic pieces of Polo gear has spawned a title and culture all its own. Charting the development of the movement, from its beginnings in the 1980s to its prevalence today, PTO sheds light on a unique American culture that draws from the lifestyle that Ralph Lauren embodies. An already intriguing culture within itself, it seems as though the ‘Lo Head culture may also be rooted in materialism despite its aspirational undertones. Makes me wonder what Ralph himself thinks of all of this.
I think even the most avid Instagram users were a little shocked when they saw the billion dollar price tag put on the photo-sharing network by internet juggernaut Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook empire. But looking at it from their perspective, the decision doesn’t seem all that strange. Instagram was becoming ubiquitous, essential, indispensable, and to their credit, they had found a way to intertwine what they did with Facebook and the iPhone–two similarly indispensable products– seamlessly.
Former entertainment lawyer Bob Lefsetz tends to stick to talking about the music biz in his now-famous newsletter. But please believe there are parallels between what Kevin Systrom and your favorite artists do. At the end of the day, it’s about putting the work in on your craft and creating something people love. Read on for some wisdom from Lefsetz on everything Instagram did right. For those pursuing big things, this one’s pretty essential.
In one of the more progressive initiatives to directly reach the people in recent memory, Argentinian artist Raul Lemesoff has created a tank vehicle simply aimed to educate the masses. Equipping a 1979 Ford Falcon with a number of book shelves attached to the car’s exterior, Lemesoff has created the Arma De Instruccion Masiva, better known as the Weapon of Mass Instruction. Frequenting various destinations throughout Buenos Aires, Lemesoff’s vehicle offers passersby the ability to take a book for free, for keeps, adding to the general knowledge of Buenos Aires’ book reading public.
Describing his artistic pursuits as as “a search for beauty in its most simple (honest) form: line, shape and color,” the work of Piet Mondrian remains influential to the development of abstract art in the 20th century. Most recognized for his bold, grid-based paintings, much of Mondrian’s work dealt with theories of life, spirituality and the celestial. Distilling his work down to the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow along with black and white, Piet’s paintings sought to visualize the world through the use of vertical and horizontal lines. Relating the dualities of life through the perpendicular lines, much of Mondrian’s work represents spiritual energy through his own artistic lens.
A major point of reference in commercial design as well as popular culture, the influence of Mondrian’s paintings can also be seen in the work of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who used Mondrian’s designs to formulate a variety of iconic dresses in 1965. Although it may appear hard to decipher the messages that lie within the work of the artist, it appears as though Mondrian maintained a continuous curiosity about the world throughout his career, once famously stating, “I don’t want pictures, I want to find things out.”
The vibe, the music, the atmosphere- it’s all important. But at the end of the day, a great party begins and ends with great people. Friday night marked our eleventh celebration, and in our mind, provided us with an opportunity to break from the norm. This one was a little different, a little weirder, and a little looser, so for those of you that made it out, thank you for being a part of it. Thank you for being so cool, so open-minded, so diverse and yet so united.
And while After Hours was, in a sense, the first function we pulled off on our own, the night would not have been possible without the help of a few special people. To our bartenders Claudia and her team, thank you for your insight and professionalism. To Sydni and Whitney, thank you for holding down the door. To As Is, thank you for once again providing the soundtrack to another special night, and to Oscar, for always coming through in the clutch. Much love to Rebekkah too for capturing the moments as she does so well, and to Gino for providing us with a space to make it happen. Thank you again for supporting Wine & Bowties. Let’s keep this good thing going.
At first glance, the works from Chinese artist Lu Xinjian‘s City DNA series could just as easily be arbitrary patterns, intricate, colorful graphics along the lines of Keith Haring’s. But the titles of each work offers a bit more insight into the process behind its creation. Beginning with Google Earth, Xinjian turns the aerial plots of some of the world’s most famous cities into stencils in Photoshop, before painting each by hand with colors based on national or local flags. As the title suggests, each work in City DNA carries with it the distinct imprint of the metropolis it’s abstracted from, allowing the work to double as a fascinating study in urban planning and the strange, often haphazard ways in which cities tend to develop. A pretty dope concept, if you ask me.
It seems only logical that cars would be a recurring theme in Andy Warhol’s work. With pop art honing in on, and poking fun at the implications of mass-produced consumer culture, the automobile represented one of American industry’s biggest triumphs and most impactful contributions on a global scale. Alongside the soup cans and coke bottles, then, came numerous paintings, drawings and installations featuring Cadillacs, Fords or Beamers, a motif as emblematic of the 20th century’s growing consumer society as any.
The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, naturally enough, is celebrating Andy’s fascination with cars with Warhol and Cars: American Icons, showcasing a career-spanning collection of works touching on vehicles of all shapes, sizes and colors. From early fashion drawings from his pre-pop days in the late ’40s and ’50s to the iconic and haunting car crash prints of his Five Deaths series, the exhibition uses cars as a means to explore not only Andy’s meditations on the theme at hand, but also to delve into his development as an artist over the course of a career. The most notable item in the collection though, might be the 1977 BMW M1 art car, commissioned by BMW and hand-painted by Warhol in all of 23 minutes. For those of us who can’t make it to Pittsburgh anytime soon, peep the gallery below.
From the mind of Duane Hanson, a Minnesota-born artist whose poignant life-like sculptures brought him fame in the 1960′s. Known for depicting gritty scenes of life’s not-so-glamorous incidents, large scale pieces such as Accident (1967) depicting a violent motorcycle crash, and Race Riot (1969-1971) showcased Hanson’s ability to create astoundingly realistic environments using a variety of artistic materials.
Combining fiberglass with polyester resin and bronze, alongside other materials, Hanson constructed his sculptures with meticulous precision. Choosing to create softer, less jarring scenes in the ’70s, Hanson turned his attention to middle America, situating realistic people in real environments rather than constructing traditional installations. Pieces entitled Supermarket Shopper, Hardhat and Woman Eating typified Hanson’s departure from the graphic scenes he once created in the sixties. Passing away at the age of 70, Hanson and his work remain a significant touchstone for the tradition of hyperrealism in art.