Snaps from the first Wine & Bowties Talk
February 10, 2014 by Max Gibson
Photography by Intwovision
Wooooo. Thursday was special, wasn’t it? That one was a long time coming. For the folks that made it to Owl N Wood for our first Wine & Bowties Talk, many many thanks, it was truly a moment. With Wine & Bowties we’re in the business of win wins. Facilitating symbiotic relationships and experiences while doing cool shit. That’s the motto.
With each experience and each event we have to stretch ourselves a bit, and Thursday was nothing short of that. One of the reasons we selected the panelists that we did was because all of them are on the way up. Fueled by passion and purpose these folks are continuously progressing at their craft, and that’s one of the many reasons that makes them dope in our eyes. To Lauren, Max, Daghe, Queens and Japheth, thank you for being part of the experience.
In the events to come we’ll get better at capturing these moments. For starters we’ll try recording the discussion next time (I know right? Floppin…) and we’ll also look to engage more with our online community during the panels as well. In the mean time, you can marinate on the images courtesy of Kyle D of Intwovision, who snapped a few pics from our first Wine & Bowties Talk.
February 10, 2014 BY Max Gibson
We kick off our panel discussion series with a conversation on creativity and entrepreneurship
January 30, 2014 by Will Bundy
Like the screenings and art shows before it, this is something we’ve been talking about doing for a long time. Opening up the discussion is always a good thing, and we’re thankful to have the opportunity to facilitate some open discussions here at home, with the folks whose voices, we feel, will add some perspective and insight. There a lot of different directions this could go in, but for the inaugural, we’ll be leading with a broad discussion on creativity and entrepreneurship–and more specifically, on turning creative pursuits into a living.
In doing so, we’re opening up the floor to a handful of extremely dope creatives from Oakland and beyond, who are in the process of translating the things they’re passionate about into something sustainable. For those of us looking to do the same, this one oughta be informative. Featured at Thursday’s panel will be: Ebhodaghe Esoimeme, better known to many as Daghe, the designer, creative director, and emerging DJ behind Cre8tive Class Lifestyle & Apparel Co.; Japheth Gonzalez, the visual artist, gallerist and curator behind arts collective Flavourhood; Lauren Crew, lifestyle photographer and visual artist extraordinaire; Max Klineman, proprietor of Downtown’s Oakland Surf Club boutique and gallery; and Queens D. Light, multitalented vocalist, visual artist, and member of the Them Hellas collective. Much love to our friends at Owl N Wood for hosting this one too. Next Thursday, come find us there, at 45 Grand, between Broadway and Webster.
January 30, 2014 BY Will Bundy
Laurence Tarquin von Thomas's screen-to-print photography anthology hits its fourth iteration
January 30, 2014 by Will Bundy
Much love to the aggregators worldwide. Our focus has shifted a little in the years since KanyeUniverseCity was a thing, but we started on the Blogspot, and now we’re here, so we’ll always have an appreciation for the folks who help to collect the internet’s cool shit and organize it for an audience.
Laurence Tarquin von Thomas’s If You Leave is an ongoing project that takes Tumblr-style aggregation to a curatorial level, spinning out what started as a photo blog into a series of coffee table anthologies. Since launching way back in 2010, Thomas (an accomplished photographer himself) has parlayed his taste in photography into a following in the hundreds of thousands, and four volumes of the If You Leave anthology. Taking what he calls a “screen-to-print” approach to publishing, Thomas collects gorgeous, dreamy pieces from shooters around the world, focusing on the power of a single image, and arranging those single shots accordingly.
December marked the fourth installment of the IYL saga, and it doesn’t disappoint. There are even a few names you might’ve seen here before. Peep a few images below, and read up on the project here, via Dazed.
January 30, 2014 BY Will Bundy
A lifetime of compulsive creation makes a man a folk hero
January 30, 2014 by Will Bundy
Trying to classify people like Lonnie Holley is painful. How do you describe something like “Six Space Shuttles and 144,000 Elephants”? In what context can you locate work that doesn’t even seem to need an audience? Where do you draw the line between someone’s biography and their mythology
For the sake of trying to clarify, Lonnie Holley is a compulsive creator from backwoods Alabama. After living through a whole host of harrowing shit, violence and racism included, Holley picked up the practice of sculpture in the ’70s, sometime around his late twenties. Holley’s sculptures are pieced together using discarded items and repurposed junk, and after a few decades, they caught the attention of collectors are gallerists in the museum world.
More recently though, Holley’s channeled his creative instincts into songs–or more accurately, one-off spontaneous visions, set to music played on whatever instruments happen to be around. In ’09, reissue specialists Dust to Digital took on the task of recording Holley’s music, and the two resulting albums, Just Before Music and Making a Record of It are spectacular, holy things, and I’m really fucking glad they were recorded. Thanks in part to the folks at D2D, but also to Lonnie’s insatiable need to keep making stuff, we get to watch the man’s folk hero history continue to unfold in real time. Last year’s Fader piece, which found Lonnie recounting pieces of his own story, was pretty fantastic. Last week though, the Times ran a profile that helps to round out his picture a little more clearly, and it’s well worth the read.
January 30, 2014 BY Will Bundy
An open letter to one of my favorite young artists, Maggie Lochtenberg
January 28, 2014 by Max Gibson
Photograph by Ian Flanigan
Photography by Max Gibson
How do I say this? Maybe just a thank you will suffice. You’ve done a lot, without doing much, but perhaps that’s the nature of inspiration. It was 2010 when I was first introduced. Those dreamy, distant landscapes, moments that could’ve happened in 2010, 1970, or 1955. Those booty cheek pics standing on the dock and those tattered, weathered Polaroids. But there was more to it than that. Your photos took me somewhere else, and into a world I never knew. In short, it was dope.
The internet is good for making connections. So I put it to good use when I hollered at you way back when. The Bowties was still an infant back then, but we were learning how to walk. Do you remember our interview? You had long hair back then. We talked about creativity and tipis, your fav songs and your fears of conforming. Perhaps that convo was before its time. Or maybe you are, or hopefully we both are. But regardless, it was memorable.
A Facebook post led to our next interaction. “I’M MOVING TO AUSTRALIA, AND SELLING OFF MY CAMERA,” the post stated. It was a Yashica. It was an sunny afternoon in Socal when we met. Standing on Main Street in Downtown LA, you put your camera in my hand. And I gave you some green paper in return. “This is the shutter, here is the aperture,” you mentioned calmly. “Here’s how you load the film.” I nodded like I knew what you were talking about, but I didn’t have a clue. It took me months to get the courage to go out and shoot. A couple rolls of black and white let me know that the camera worked. But I stayed with it, hoping I could maybe channel my inner Maggie if I used your camera. Maybe I did, but I probably didn’t; yet in the process you gave me the ability to capture my own moments. In a way, you helped facilitate these images, and more so, these memories. And for that, I thank you.
January 28, 2014 BY Max Gibson
Peter Beste's photographic portrait of the Houston scene hits Los Angeles this Friday
January 23, 2014 by Will Bundy
Okay, so more on this soon, but for now, much love to our good friend Henoch and the folks at Sinecure Books for helping to bring this one to life. This Friday, the photographs that make up Houston Rap, Peter Beste’s epic coffee table tome/multimedia experience documenting the H-Town scene, will make their way to LA’s HVW8 Gallery. The book collects intimate portraits of legends (Devin, Z-Ro, Bun, Face) and showcases Beste’s discerning eye, and full immersion into the world surrounding one of the most influential scenes in contemporary music and culture.
January 23, 2014 BY Will Bundy
Ayumu Arisaka's trippy collage work pairs well with psychedelic slap
January 16, 2014 by Will Bundy
Been doing this for years, and I don’t see the dope, globally-sourced inspiration tide stemming any time soon, so I suppose we should keep it moving. Shouts out to It’s Nice That for consistently covering some of our favorite artists/people, and for providing a continuous stream of quality artistic ideas to soak up. The latest discovery for me is Japanese creative collective Saigo No Shudan (The Last Resort), a female clique specializing in psychedelic multimedia experiences.
If Saigo is GBE, Ayumu Arisaka is Keef, or maybe Chop, setting the tone with a staggering output of colorful visuals, running the medium-gamut from music videos to postmodern collage. In particular, it’s striking how Arisaka’s imagery pairs vivid, warped shapes and colors with traditional Japanese imagery, creating a disorienting clash of space/time/ideas. Below is a brief selection of her work, which is crazy, and a mix from our good friend Wave, for like synesthesia purposes. More from both parties soon.
January 16, 2014 BY Will Bundy
We make our 2014 debut at Oakland Surf Club with another cult classic
January 9, 2014 by Will Bundy
It’s crazy how some small corner of the world can end up having such an outsized influence on the world. I suppose all it takes is having a scene that’s unlike anywhere else. New York in the ’80s may been a high-water mark for human history in terms of subcultures per square mile–particularly the kinds of subcultures capable of weaving themselves into a society’s cultural DNA. From Madonna to Kool Herc to O’Brien to Byrne to Haring to Basquiat…as time goes on, the legacies of the folks who made Downtown’s dilapidated landscape home only seem to appreciate in impact.
Paris is Burning encapsulates a scene within that scene in a powerful way. Jennie Livingston’s 1990 doc, shot over the course of a few years in the late ’80s, tells the story of the city’s drag ball culture through the word’s of some of its most compelling figures. A few decades later, it’s a touchstone for the fashion and film worlds, and a poignant document, as valuable for the individual portraits as it is for its historical implications. It’s a film about a community doubly marginalized–primarily black and latin, and almost exclusively queer and trans; but it’s also deeply personal and intimate, even as digs into big, burning questions of identity and class and sexuality.
For us, it feels pretty fitting for what we’re trying to do here in Oakland circa 2014. I mean, in a broad sense, what are we doing for if we’re not providing a space for folks to do them? Like really do them. With that in mind, we’ll be screening Paris next Thursday, in the January installment of our screening series with the homies at Oakland Surf Club. Tell a friend, come through, grab some brew, swoop some icy gear. Voguing also heavily encouraged. You know the drill; trailer after the jump.
January 9, 2014 BY Will Bundy
A collection of interviews, ideas and explorations from our year in editorial
January 4, 2014 by Will Bundy
The last year and a half has been pretty experimental for us. We came back home. We threw concerts and art shows and undergrounds and overgrounds. We booked artists and screened films. Over time, we transitioned from what was essentially blogging about cool shit to producing something resembling legitimate journalism and editorial content. We’ve expanded interviews and sought out creative folks to work with. We’ve covered musical innovators and ’70s cults, local boutiques and legendary art world luminaries. Most importantly, we’ve built a team of contributors whose work we’re honored to lend a platform to. Amanda, Ben, Danielle, Adria, Mustafa, Becky, Luke, Benjy, Reed, Madeleine–the list goes on, and I know I’m forgetting somebody. Not to mention, some incredible work from photographers like Ian, Sequoia, Daghe, Kyle, Mikul…I mean damn.
Our approach has shifted some. Our focus has narrowed a bit, and we’ve zoomed in a little on our community here in Oakland. But the ethos is the same. Our goal is to build with the folks we love, and to celebrate the stuff we appreciate. And it’s been a crazy team effort, so thanks to everyone who lent their talents, their voice, and their insight to Wine & Bowties this year.
In that spirit, we wanted to take a look back at some of the pieces we were most proud of this year. The list is far from exhaustive, but it’s an indication both of where we’ve been, and where we’re going. Here’s to our best year yet. Thanks, as always, for reading Wine & Bowties.
January 4, 2014 BY Will Bundy
Photographer Jimmy Nelson captures lasting images of tribes around the world
December 16, 2013 by Amanda Gayle
Photography by Jimmy Nelson
When I was 16, I spent 3 weeks in the San Blas, a splattering of nearly desolate islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. I was there for “cross-cultural community service”, a program which would guarantee my entrance to a respectable university. We were going to be living with an indigenous tribe, the Kuna, who are so autonomous that they adorn traditional art with what we call swastikas, unaware that modern humanity has bastardized their meaning. The trip was more than a resume stuffer; it turned out to be a trip which made me whole again, when I didn’t even realize I was missing pieces. Upon leaving, I was left with throbbing sadness that I would no longer see these beautiful tribal women clad in vibrantly dyed mola cloths, nor their sun-kissed children who followed us around all day, giving us gifts of beaded bracelets and pure, unabashed love.
Photographer Jimmy Nelson has fallen in love with tribes of beautiful human beings on a global scale, capturing the faces of the last vestiges of groups from Mongolia to Papua New Guinea. In his book, Before They Pass Away, Nelson allows us to join him on his journeys, even providing us with interactive opportunities via his website. While his underlying message is one of dire consequence, his approach is inviting. His subjects connect with his camera head-on, allowing for a vicarious relationship between the disappearing and the disconnected.
December 16, 2013 BY Amanda Gayle
It's Nice That sits down with our good friend George, Bristol's illustration/installation king
December 4, 2013 by Will Bundy
If you’ve been with us long enough, this won’t be your first introduction to Bristol, UK-based illustrator and general maker-of-things George McCallum. We first talked to George almost two years ago when he was finishing up art school, and more recently we dipped into his catalog of 3-D objects, which take his cheeky sense of humor and loud colors into the realm of functional objects and furniture.
In recent months, George has been getting some well-deserved shine for these pieces, having been commissioned for pieces by publications like Creative Review, and retail locations like London’s Williams Murray Hamm. Last week, the good folks over at It’s Nice That sat down with George for their Introducing column, offering some insight into his work and process. Read the full interview below.
December 4, 2013 BY Will Bundy