Westwind Orchard

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Down a winding road, nestled deep in the Rondout Valley between the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains, sits Westwind Orchard, a pick-your-own-apples farm two hours north of Manhattan. That it’s located in the harmonious-sounding town of Accord, New York, lends even more appeal to the orchard’s charms. And then there are the stewards of the land, its proprietors Laura Ferrara and her husband, Fabio Chizzola, who both maintain dual identities. “Most people here don’t know what I do,” says Ferrara over lunch at the farm this past May. She’s referring to her other profession as one of the fashion industry’s top stylists. Chizzola, meanwhile, originally from Rome, leads a second career as a fashion photographer. For 13 years, the couple and their son, Matteo, have divided their time between the Westwind and an apartment in downtown Manhattan.

Fashion has been Ferrara’s primary occupation for nearly two decades—her work has been seen in Vogue, Glamour, and Marie Claire, along with dozens of ad campaigns—and yet the Brooklyn-raised Italian remains an anomaly in that codified world. Preferring a uniform of comfortable, trend-proof classics—Levi’s, white tee, army jacket—Ferrara’s philosophy on fashion and beauty is far more in line with that of an organic farmer. “We modify food to make it bigger or look more perfect in the produce aisle, but it’s not real, and it’s not good for you. And you see the same thing with plastic surgery and how we alter ourselves to meet these unrealistic standards,” she says. (more…)

Jimmy Moffat at Red Hook Labs

Monday, May 25th, 2015

“The people here are very renegade, very do-it-yourself,” Jimmy Moffat says during a recent tour through Red Hook Labs, the 11,000-square-foot photography studio and exhibition space he opened in Brooklyn just last month. Indeed, the industrial, hardscrabble setting seems a fitting one for Moffat, who famously launched the photography agency Art + Commerce in the early 1980s with Anne Kennedy and Leslie Sweeney out of Kennedy’s West Village apartment. “We would move her bed out when we had a meeting and put a little table down,” Moffat recalls. “There was a place called Texarkana downstairs. My friend was the bartender, and he set a dedicated line for me at the bar so I could answer calls there.” (more…)

At Jack Shainman’s Upstate Space, a Venice Golden Lion Winner Has Room to Spread Out

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

The New York gallerist Jack Shainman loves a fine spectacle, especially when it surrounds one of his artists. This Sunday, El Anatsui’s retrospective show debuted at Shainman’s massive upstate space, The School, where a crowd of more than 1,000 flocked to take in the Ghanaian-born sculptor’s large-scale metal works, along with early painting and pottery projects. Outside, tents offered shade from the afternoon sun and 80-degree weather, as visitors lingered over snacks from local Hudson Valley food trucks stationed on the property.

For the full post: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/jack-shainman-el-anatsui

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A Third-Grade Rap Portraitist’s First Visit to New York, for His Tribeca Film Festival Debut

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

When 8-year-old Lenox Buringrud, known by the name Yung Lenox, was asked about his first impressions of New York City, during a visit to town last weekend, he responded with appropriate candor: “It’s kinda smelly,” he said. Despite it being the hometown of several of his favorite rap artists — Action Bronson and A$AP Ferg, for example — the city’s trademark characteristics, such as the steady noise and unidentifiable odors, were clearly less impressive for the Seattle-based third grader who had arrived for the premiere of “Live Fast, Draw Yung,” a lighthearted, 16-minute documentary which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last Friday.

The film, directed by Stacey Lee and Anthony Mathile, highlights Lenox as a then 7-year-old hip-hop portraitist and artist, whose illustrated likenesses of rappers such as Cam’ron, Kool Keith and Raekwon have turned the subjects into fans themselves — thanks to a sizable Instagram following. His work appeared at the Frieze Art Fair last year, and was shown at Lenox’s first solo exhibit in Los Angeles last May.

Even with the increasing attention, Lenox himself remains unfazed by it all, an advantage which his father, Skip Class, jokes has allowed him to keep his “charming and personable” personality. Meaning, he’s about as normal as any other 8-year-old. His trip to the world’s largest Toys “R” Us (“It was tall, but not like normal Toys ‘R’ Us.”), and a sighting of Times Square’s Naked Cowboy (“He had his underwear on.”) both drew shrugs, but naming his favorite moment from the film’s two-day shoot last year elicited his most enthusiastic response: “I got to eat doughnuts!”

For the full post: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/21/yung-lenox-tribeca-film-festival/

The Female Gaze: Seven Women, Six Labels, Infinitely Inspiring (Interview Magazine, March 2015)

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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Read online.

 

An Artist’s ‘Meditation Nightclub’ on the Las Vegas Strip

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Artists’ residencies in Las Vegas tend to involve grand theater stages and bizarre ticketed performances, but at the Cosmopolitan hotel, the New York-based multimedia artist Lia Chavez has crafted an altogether different kind of spectacle. As the first in the annual lineup for the hotel’s P3Studio artist-in-residence program, Chavez has set up a surprisingly cerebral take on the notion of nightclubbing.

“I wanted to extract the very best elements of a great nightclub — namely, those encounters with ecstatic abandon — and create an experience all about that aspect,” Chavez explains. Her show, “The Octave of Visible Light: A Meditation Nightclub,” tracks and displays the real-time relationship between visitors’ oscillating brainwaves and corresponding colors and sounds for a mesmerizing spectacle that’s entirely unique to each participant.

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A Salumi Lover’s Tour of Italy

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

SalumiChef Christopher Lee, who helmed the kitchen at Chez Panisse between 1987 and 2003 and helped put Alice Waters’s locavore haven on the map, first immersed himself in Italian salumi-making in 1988. He wanted to cure his own prosciutto for the restaurant, but there was little information available in the US at the time. Under the tutelage of some of Italy’s most renowned curers and butchers, Lee spent the next decade visiting, observing and tasting in order to learn the process and technique behind this centuries-old tradition.

Today, he oversees the in-house salumi program at New York City’s il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, the only restaurant in the city permitted to cure its own meats on-site. “Our model is the flavor of Italy,” says Lee of the dozen or so varieties he offers, including culatello, coppa and, yes, prosciutto.

Read on for 10 of Lee’s favorite butchers, food shops and restaurants in Umbria, Tuscany, Chianti and Emilia-Romagna, where you’ll find terrific salumi—straight from the source—among other delicious local foods.

URL: http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2014/12/23/a-salumi-lovers-tour-of-italy (more…)

Monuments by Fabien Baron

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Because landscape photography so often means rendering the setting and the subject one in the same, the final images usually offer little room for interpretation. They may be powerful or sweeping, but they’re more about place than personality. What the camera captures is what exists—nature in its purest state. For photographer Fabien Baron, though, the challenge to defy that notion was a siren call.

This past April, Baron traveled with a team of assistants to the western region of Greenland to create his provocative series called Monuments, nine medium-format black-and-white photographs of icebergs that lend an almost unsettling, sinister light to the northern territory’s frozen landscape. Given that Greenland’s local language has four different word roots to express the concept of snow—and four more for ice—an artist’s interpretation seems particularly welcome here. “I really wanted the experience to be different from what people have seen before,” Baron, who is also Interview’s editorial director, explains. He saw his study of the massive icebergs, some as wide as a few city blocks, as more than just environment, but rather as fearsome figures that come alive in his lens. “I wanted to shoot them at night,” he says. “I felt the icebergs looked even more dangerous and more special at night. And I wanted to light them up like monuments.”

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Why Feminism Still Matters — According To A Badass Artist

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

What exactly is a feminist sculptor? Wangechi Mutu can tell you. A “homegrown feminist” since childhood (“I considered myself a feminist before I even knew what feminism was.”), her art explores ideas like race, gender, technology, colonialism, and consumption — often through a lens that challenges and deconstructs cultural depictions of women — African women in particular — and the female body. Hoping to achieve a balance of art and activism like her icons before her, from Arundhati Roy to Nina Simone, Mutu reminds us why that message matters, both in art and in life. “Because we assume it’s normal for women to earn less, work harder, be tidier, and demand not as much as a man, to me, it’s important to stand behind feminism as an idea.”

At 42, the Kenyan artist is regarded as one of the most significant African artists of her time. Her beautiful, unsettling, mysterious, powerful, erotic, even scary compositions are pieced together from magazine cut-outs, synthetic materials, beads, strips of leather, and fake hair. Adding even greater depth to these awe-inspiring pieces: the fact that her subjects of focus are typically female figures — strange chimeras bearing human, animal, botanical, serpentine, and machine-like traits.

Her recent show at the Brooklyn Museum, “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey,” presented a sprawling tour through more than 50 of these works. It was an epic, provocative, multi-medium retrospective; and for anyone who was lucky enough to experience it in person, it’s easy to see why Mutu earned the museum’s distinguished Artist of the Year award.

(Published: November 19, 2014, Refinery29)

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Printing Textiles In India With Block Shop

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Twice a year, Lily and Hopie Stockman, the siblings behind the textiles label Block Shop, begin designing a new collection from their home base in Los Angeles before traveling to India to oversee final production. “It’s gleefully low-tech,” remarks Lily of the entirely handmade process. The two-year-old brand, known for its colorful palette of limited-edition printed scarves and textiles, collaborates exclusively with a co-op in Bagru, a small city near Jaipur known for its natural dye processes and craftsmanship in traditional block printing. “We know every printer in our co-op, so we know who prints what scarf,” Lily says, adding that proceeds from sales go back into Bagru’s local community (earlier this year, the sisters sponsored a mobile health care clinic that treated over 200 individuals).

The Stockman sisters gave T an inside look into the making of their Autumn/Winter collection (available online today), a small-run selection of patterns that take equal inspiration from the graphic line drawings of Sol LeWitt and the elaborate landmarks of nearby Jaipur.

Click here for slideshow