A glimpse inside the photographic adventures of Max Claus
August 20, 2014 by Max Gibson
The year was 2013 when we first were introduced to the work of Max Claus. In need of a photographer for our first party with Syd the Kid, we tapped him to help us out in a bind. Fast forward a year and Max is still at it. Having blessed us at Wine & Bowties with moments from our first and second Bike Nights, it’s safe to say Max’s shots are valuable. A couple classes at the Academy of Art University and some good practice helped the cause too, as Max has begun to develop a crisp aesthetic. Often capturing adventures with the homies, dope landscapes and more, Max’s photos continue to dazzle, but are only getting better. Juiced to see what he comes with next.
August 20, 2014 BY Max Gibson
From the Bay to the heartland in a split zine from Brandon Tauszik and Nathan Pearce
August 12, 2014 by Will Bundy
Brandon Tauszik has had his hands in a lot of cool shit lately. In addition to gorgeous video work from folks like Antwon, Main Attrakionz and Queens D. Light, and a handful of commission projects, he’s also carved out a reputation for concentrated, idiosyncratic photo essays on everything from doomsday prophecies to Oakland’s tragic and ubiquitous murder memorials.
Brandon’s latest project, All Night Long Vol. 2, finds him teaming up with Illinois-based photographer Nathan Pearce on a collaborative zine for Same Coin Press–which, as the name hints at–serves up the work of two different shooters in the same publication. Pearce’s stark black-and-whites from small-town, heartland Illinois are paired off with Tauszik’s gritty, full color snaps from Oakland, SF, LA, and other urban locales across California. If there’s a certain contrast in the realities being depicted, there’s also a solid kinship between the two collections, and an eye for capturing peculiar, sometimes eerie moments. Like those moments though, these are likely to disappear. They’re limited to 50 copies, so cop one here before they’re gone.
August 12, 2014 BY Will Bundy
Berkeley's favorite indie film crew comes home to tell the story of the African Hebrew Israelites
August 7, 2014 by Will Bundy
A few years ago, we threw up an early trailer for a documentary called The Village of Peace. Directed by Niko Philipides and Ben Schuder, the film offers a look into the world of the African Hebrew Israelites, a small black community that uprooted itself from the turbulence and oppression of 1960′s Chicago to relocate in Dimona, Israel. The migration brought roughly 300 people to Israel, with the intention of founding a society based on a strict set of principles–among many others, polygamy, veganism, and the study of ancient scripture.
Today, Village of Peace is a finished product, having begun to make the festival rounds and even garnering some unexpected support from NBA superstar (and now, exec producer) Amare Stoudemire. As they were able to do (hugely) successfully with their feature debut, Licks, Niko, Ben, Jack, Aaron, and the rest of the team behind the film will be bringing VOP home tomorrow to the Grand Lake, as a part of the SF Jewish Film Festival. For folks who appreciate indie filmmaking, or who want an opportunity to soak up some knowledge about life in a different paradigm, this should be dope. Screening starts tomorrow, Friday the 8th, at 2:30. Tickets here.
August 7, 2014 BY Will Bundy
Psychedelic visions and feminine forms at Classic Cars West
August 4, 2014 by Will Bundy
When we launched our group show, Feels this May, Max and I got the chance to become better acquainted with the folks who make up the artistic community at West Oakland’s Grid Gallery. Among others though, we met Elena Kulikova, an extremely talented photographer and image-maker whose operation is based out of the Grid. She’s friendly and soft-spoken in person, but her work speaks loudly, steeped in psychedelia and kaleidoscopic color. Female forms and floral motifs are mutated into new shapes and filtered through prismatic effects, making for some supremely trippy imagery that’s easy to get lost in.
“Crystallize” is Elena’s latest solo show, and it finds her dipping into new stylistic territory, layering and literally growing crystals on top of still images to create a dreamy set of mixed-media pieces. The show opened last Friday, but it’ll be up at Oakland’s Classic Cars West, in the heart of Murmur territory, until after next month’s First Friday. Below, check out some of the work, and learn more here.
August 4, 2014 BY Will Bundy
The end of an era at an unusual East Bay landmark
July 24, 2014 by Will Bundy
The Albany Bulb, for those who haven’t ever stopped by, is a hidden gem in the East Bay cultural ecosystem. It very literally embodies the “one man’s trash” aphorism by virtue of a) very literally being made out of trash and b) being full of beautiful and frequently disregarded things. Part-park, part-encampment, part-sculpture-garden, the Bulb has been an institution for decades, as well as home to some of the East Bay’s disenfranchised folks.
More recently though, the Bulb is set to undergo a large-scale “transition”. While the specifics haven’t been worked out completely, it’s pretty clear it won’t look the same for long. For starters, its homeless population of 60+ was evicted earlier this year. On the eve of that eviction, the folks over at Slow Cool Assault ran a very dope, very informative piece, which you can check out here. Fortunately, they enlisted Tanja Baker to snap some pics too, to commemorate the Bulb pre-transition. Peep those below.
July 24, 2014 BY Will Bundy
Welcome to the Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando's most beautifully turnt up street
July 18, 2014 by Emilio Courtade
Photography by Bryan Soderlind
“Lined with pawn shops, strip clubs, sleazy motels, and sketchy bars.” That’s how photographer Bryan Soderlind describes the Orange Blossom Trail, a seven-mile road that runs down Orlando’s spine. Known as “The Trail” to locals, the road is a transit hub for many Central Floridians. Pair that with a bevy of eccentric businesses and a diverse population of commuters, residents and solicitors, one can understand why Soderlind describes the road as his favorite in Orlando. Despite its battered reputation, the photographer explains how the block’s buzz routinely drew him in when he passed through, eventually producing an extensive collection of photos. From cars to chickens, the photos shed light on the area’s culture and characters.
July 18, 2014 BY Emilio Courtade
Marlon Sassy puts the rap game on post-its
July 18, 2014 by Max Gibson
In my humble, Marlon Sassy and his passion project known as Gangster Doodles is nothing short of brilliant. Brilliant in the same way Bun B and Shea Serrano’s Rap Coloring Book is brilliant. It’s just a cool idea. Yet where Bun and Shea urge readers to fill in the color of their illustrations, in Gangster Doodles, Marlon brings the colors out, using sharpies and cheap highlighters to create his work. Even better is his medium, choosing to use his beloved 3×3 post-it notes as his canvas.
Having released his first book courtesy of Valley Cruise Press, it seems as though Marlon’s once small project has really taken legs. More from Marlon very soon, but for the time being snack on a small selection of his work, and peep his full collection at Gangster Doodles.
July 18, 2014 BY Max Gibson
A brief introduction to one of our favorite new shooters, SF's Valentin Saqueton
July 16, 2014 by Will Bundy
Always cool to meet talented young shooters out here. Through working with Jusand Jerm from the OnTask fam, I stumbled on the catalog of Valentin Saqueton, perhaps better known to his following as Veeejzilla. At 23, the SF-based shooter and graphic designer has already built a portfolio of a few thousand images, scattered across his Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram accounts.
From rap shows and editorials, to street scenes and ambient landscapes, VJ’s work showcases an eye for peculiar, subtle details and a talent for capturing the vibe of a moment. In particular, his 35mm film work tends to fix even the rowdier action shots into place, bathing everything in a dreamy, nostalic ambiance, somehow without losing the energy. Last week, we had the pleasure of watching him in action, shooting for an upcoming piece on the Bowties, which was good times all around. Keep an eye out for that soon, and soak up some more of Valentin’s work below.
July 16, 2014 BY Will Bundy
Scot Sothern reflects on a lifetime behind the lens in America's underbelly
July 11, 2014 by Will Bundy
Tracing a dude like Scot Sothern‘s personal history can be a little challenging. At first glance, the most prominent points on the timeline seem oddly scattered–thematically, geographically, and temporally, across a good five or six decades. Sifting through his greatest hits, you’ll find cults in middle America and disappearing tribes in the Middle East. His series of vintage photo essays on Vice finds him draft dodging during ‘Nam in Kansas City, tripping in the San Gabriel Valley with blood-drinking Satanists, and drunkenly wandering the streets of 1980s Cairo. There are too many stories to count, and very few don’t involve either sex or substances. When I asked Scot to piece it all together for me, it felt almost like a gonzo Forrest Gump–if Forrest Gump had been really into taking pictures of hookers.
Sothern spent a solid block of time in the ’80s exploring the seedy underbelly of Southern California, meeting and photographing the sex workers who called it home. Scot’s work from that era was collected and published in 2011′s Lowlife, and through the Vice ecosystem, found the audience it always deserved; the book, along with a handful of solo exhibitions, reprsented a high water mark for exposure in Sothern’s career. But to look at his journey through the prism of any one project is more than a little reductive. A half century spent as a freelance shooter and hedonist have left Sothern with a body of work that’s expansive, fearless and occasionally brutal in its honesty. To put it mildly, he’s seen some things.
July 11, 2014 BY Will Bundy
Hawa takes over Babeland to celebrate the Middle Eastern voice in the arts
July 11, 2014 by Will Bundy
Shouts out to Hawa for consistently putting dope artistic things together out here, as one half of Browntourage, and beyond. We’ll be talking a little more extensively about this, but for now, a brief heads about Hawa’s latest project. MAS#ALLAH (from Mashallah, an Arabic phrase of praise, gratitude and protection), which had its soft opening last night, is a multiplatform effort to, in her words, “create a space from the collective imagination of Middle Eastern artists, thinkers, storytellers, and creators of all sorts.”
More specifically, it involves an artist residency at Chinatown’s Babeland Gallery, including a collaborative, inclusive gallery show and an underground function to celebrate the work. Additionally though, the MAS#ALLAH Tumblr represents an effort to build that platform into the digital realm, sharing work submitted by Middle Eastern artists and writers on a global level. For the time being, Hawa and friends are still collecting funds to back the project, so take a look here to learn more and pony up for the cause.
July 11, 2014 BY Will Bundy