The Gap: An Inspirational Video About How All Artists Struggle in the Beginning We’re not in the habit of reposting things we’ve covered before, even though at least once per week we run across some post or video from a few years ago that is going ‘re-viral’ and is being covered by everyone who missed it the last go around (and some who didn’t). For this video, however, we’re making an exception. And we beg your forgiveness for that but the truth is, our readership has more than doubled since 2012 and it would be an injustice not to share this with those new readers. Plus, those who have already seen it will definitely benefit from re-visiting this motivational message. The video above is a fresh take on an old snippet of interview that NPR’s Ira Glass of the show This American Life gave back in 2009 (it initially went viral in early 2012). It’s an inspirational ‘don’t give up’ message for beginners that describes what Glass calls ‘The Gap’ between your taste and your skill that exists when you first begin any artistic endeavour. (via Reddit)
Demon Days: Alvin Leung Amid tentacles and open flames, the self-professed “Demon Chef” Alvin Leung reveals a wicked palate and a penchant for carnal creations in this short by filmmaker Ryan Hopkinson. Born in London and raised in Toronto, Leung rose to prominence in Hong Kong, becoming known for what he calls “X-treme Chinese” cuisine, a far-out technique that harnesses the futuristic appeal of molecular gastronomy alongside the wide reach of fusion. The incendiary results both morph traditional Chinese recipes into kinky culinary experiences, and tackle off-the-plate issues: the self-taught chef’s signature dish, Sex on the Beach, serves up an edible “condom” on a shitake beach, created to raise funds and awareness for AIDS charity. Preparing to launch Bo London, an offshoot of his prominent Hong Kong Bo Innovation, set to open in Mayfair this autumn, Leung spoke to NOWNESS about the science—and the magic—behind his delectable madness. What inspires your X-treme recipes?
WeTheUrban PHOTOGRAPHY: Portraits of Soldiers Before & After War Photographer, journalist and filmmaker Lalage Snow realized some striking portraits of British soldiers, taken over a period of eight month before, during and after their operational deployment in Afghanistan. As usual a picture is worth a thousand words, and the signs of the war are clearly visible on the soldiers’ faces. Lalage’s project is named We are not dead, and on his official website (lalagesnow.com) you can read the caption written by each soldier.
Divine Proportions Saudi Arabian basketball players and Qatari swimmers feature in Brigitte Lacombe’s striking portraits of Arab women in sport. Commissioned by the Qatar Museums Authority, Brigitte and her sister, the documentary filmmaker Marian Lacombe, stayed at the pre-Olympic Arab Games in Doha for ten days last December to find their subjects. Traveling extensively around the Arab world, visiting Qatar, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, Lacombe photographed athletes who were often from economically deprived or war torn countries. “The young girls and women athletes we met were spirited and full of joy,” says Lacombe. Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport by Brigitte Lacombe and Marian Lacombe is running at Sotheby's London from July 25 to August 11, traveling to the Q.M.A.
WeTheUrban ART: Incredible Finger Drawings by Judith Braun As strange as it sounds, New York-based artist Judith Braun creates all these wonderful landscapes and abstract patterns using nothing but her fingers dipped in charcoal dust. Braun says that she often uses her both hands simultaneously to the extent of arms’ reach as this allows the inherent symmetry of the body to generate a gestural vocabulary of mark making.
Break Line: Stephanie Gilmore Slicing her way through breaking waves, professional surfer Stephanie Gilmore stars in Trestles Forever, filmed on the Pacific Ocean by NOWNESS regular Todd Cole. The 24-year-old Gilmore rose to international prominence in 2007 when she seized the Women’s World Title for the first time, an award she has regained in four of the five years since. “I love working with people from outside the world of surfing,” says the New South Wales native. “It’s so refreshing to see their take on what we do every day.” SoCal-based Cole turned to the famously ocean-adept cinematographer Sonny Miller to swim after Gilmore with a 16mm camera locked into some custom-made underwater gear and loaded with black-and-white reversal stock. Location The Trestles, San Diego County. Shoot duration One day; a few hours in the morning, then off on a boat looking for clear pools of water, and then another hour of surfing at sunset. Number of waves surfed 16. Number of surf choreographers used One: Sonny Miller.
Top 10 Collage Artists: Hannah Höch to Man Ray - In Pictures From its roots in European Dadaism in the early years of the twentieth century, shadowing modernism and tracing its way through photography, collage is a medium as diverse as it is politically charged. Emerging as a reaction to the First World War, collage allowed artists to interact with existing materials – anything from newsprint and magazines to maps, tickets and propaganda and photographs – to rip them apart and then reassemble them, creating visually dynamic hybrids. Coined by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, the term ‘collage’ points towards a medium simultaneously serious and tongue-in-cheek; a technique that is deeply referential of the political world in which the works were produced. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Photos of the Real World: Amy Powell’s Family Album When Amy Powell’s open, heartfelt email below landed in my inbox, as an introduction to her pictures, it brought home to me — in an unexpectedly powerful way — how indispensable a medium like photography can be: intrinsic to one’s being, a bond between loved ones, and a way of representing the complexities of life that, as Amy puts it, are “hard as hell for some people.” It was through a camera, she notes, that her mom “showed me affection as a child. When she took pictures of me I felt loved and special, like something to treasure.” The story behind Amy’s exceptional pictures—the relationship with her family and the collaboration with her sister, Erica—reveals that photography has always been central to Amy’s identity. “Growing up shy and not having anyone to talk to, the camera was the perfect thing to have in my hands,” she writes. “It has helped me deal with feelings of stress; show and contain my worry; connect and have intimacy with family. . . . – Phil Bicker My name is Amy.
Teenage by Matt Wolf - Culture Talks We were all teenagers once, but some were more so than others. Indeed, a century ago, one was a child and played, then one was an adult and worked – life didn’t allow for that hazy middle bit where emotions ruled, tears proliferated and parents didn’t understand. In Matt Wolf’s dreamlike documentary Teenage, he shows, through archive footage, new film fabricated to look like old, and contemporary teenage diaries brought to life by the likes of Ben Wishaw, that heady period of change, when, for good or bad, the young took control of their own destinies and passions. He traces the seismic shifts caused by industrialisation, changes to child labour laws and the onset of war, how education and free time allowed the young to sculpt their own paths, leading, perhaps inevitably, to rebellion. What is the element of youth culture that you think affected you the most as a teenager? Was it what was au courant when you were growing up or was it something from before? Text by Tish Wrigley
Typography Inspired Office Concept By Benoit Challand – Made in Shoreditch G: Tell us about your project? I’m really attracted by architecture and design. I always making project of architecture and design and this one is a kind of mix between my design project and my illustrative/type style. Type and design mixed up. As you can compare on my portfolio, I love type (I buy sometime book or magazine because there is only a nice type on the cover)… G: What was the inspiration behind this? The main inspiration is the work of the great Richard Sapper who worked few years ago on furniture/open space appliance design. G: What are you future plans? I always looking for people with unique vision to collaborate with and I’m currently working with the photographer Alexis Raimbault (upcoming series in few days) for an exhibition in Paris. Social links: Website:
Building a Museum: Report from Down East - James Fallows A Maine couple defies the odds -- and helps to build community in the process. By John Tierney By John Tierney If you’ve been following the reports here by Deborah and Jim Fallows in their American Futures series, you know that the small city of Eastport, Maine, a town that has faced hard times in the past, is a place with lots of good things going on. Reinvention and resilience across the nationRead more Now let’s look in on another bold venture in Eastport, this one of much smaller scale and different orientation, but no less important in the way it’s helping to revitalize this coastal community. Hugh French, an Eastport native, and his wife, Kristin McKinlay, were living in Portland, Maine, in 2002 when they decided -- in the great American spirit of mobility -- to move. But on a visit back to Hugh’s hometown, they saw an old, dilapidated building for sale, the former home of the Eastport Savings Bank, and decided, virtually on the spot, to buy it and create an art museum there.
'Fictitious Dishes', a Book That Recreates Meals From Your Favorite Novels In his 1995 book, The Romantic Movement: Sex, Shopping and the Novel, Alain de Botton suggested a connection between Madame Bovary’s libido and excessive shopping and consumption habits: The backlash against Flaubert at the time, he suggested, was not just against Emma’s extramarital affair, but also against a world where women would consume “without need”. Incidentally, it would take the same Emma to eat some pineapple at an upper-class gathering to truly realize how unsatisfied she is with her husband. Literature, particularly novel, is marked by those moments of precise summary, or the perfect foreshadower in the form of a meal. In Nabokov’s Lolita, it becomes the gin and pineapple juice that Humbert drinks, which “doubles” his energy and “dances” in him — the intoxication of a middle-aged man in the face of the tween energy of Dolores. Ulysses‘ Leopold Bloom happens to have a thing for giblets, especially kidneys which “gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine”.