Monday, May 15, 2017

Consisting Of A Single Colour

Photographed By Maddalena Arcelloni

Maddalena Arcelloni

Photo Courtesy Of Maddalena Arcelloni

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
I’m currently based in New York. But, I’ve moved here “only” four years ago.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED?
I was born and raised in Milan, Italy. When I was 17, I spent a year in the United States as an exchange student, and I learned a bit about the non-metropolitan American culture. t was very interesting and very forming for me.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CITY OR HOMETOWN?
I think one of the best things in my home country is the ability to enjoy life and take your time in doing it. For example, I love having a glass of wine in the evening, sitting outside a bar or a restaurant and enjoy the company of my friends. It’s a bit different in New York, where there’s less time to relax and everyone is always running around to the next thing. On the other hand, I find Italy a bit slower and a bit more traditional when it comes to work, while New York is really a unique place for opportunities, especially in the field of photography. One has the chance to do a lot of different things and to collaborate with a lot of diverse interesting people.

WHAT WERE YOUR CHILDHOOD ASPIRATIONS?
As a child, I thought I’d study medicine and become part of Médecins sans Frontières. Then I wanted to be a psychologist. I ended up becoming a lawyer instead and then quit everything to be a photographer and moved to New York.

WHY PHOTOGRAPHER?
I first started because I love observing people and I loved capturing faces and all their different emotions. So, I was shooting more “candid” images on the streets. Then I discovered I could make my own ideas become reality and I started shooting in studio, working around a concept and enjoying every little aspect of making an idea come to life. I enjoy building something from scratch. I feel my photography is for a great part aesthetically driven (I like shapes and colors). I also like people very much. By combining the two, I started shooting editorials and portraits, where I feel that both these elements can meet in a harmonious way.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND TRAINING?
As I mentioned, I used to be a lawyer. A banking and finance lawyer. I did study photography as well, I took some classes when I was in college and when I quit my lawyer career, I studied at the International Center of Photography here in New York. I really liked that school, it gave me the chance - that I never had before - to completely immerse and dedicate myself to photography 24/7 for an entire year. Also, the program I attended was very much focused on fine art and conceptual photography. And I notice that this more conceptual approach comes into play in my fashion editorials as well.

WHAT HAS BEEN A SEMINAL EXPERIENCE?
Oh, there’s so many… I suppose that year I spent in the United States when I was 17 was one of them. I discovered a lot about myself back then. For several reasons, it wasn’t a completely pleasant year and it helped me to push my limits and discover my strengths and weaknesses. Another seminal experience is having been a lawyer, having had a full-time job. If I hadn’t ended up feeling “trapped” in it, I might not have grown the balls to completely shift to being a photographer. I think every experience in one’s life - whether good or bad, but mostly the challenging ones - helps one grow and take certain steps, while I feel that too much comfort makes one dull. That’s why it’s important to always experiment. It puts us out of our comfort zone and make us grow. I’m discovering the importance of this now more than ever before.

WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE DAY AT WORK LOOK LIKE AND WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
There’s not really an average day at work. Every day is filled with different things to do, whether it’s organizing a shoot, editing images or working on a new idea. Even meeting people becomes part of the job. I find inspiration in a lot of things. I usually get ideas randomly. To give you an example, I was asked to do a solo show at an art space in Milan last year, which happened to be at the headquarters of a law firm and a newspaper. I knew that the people who would see my work were going to be mainly accountants, lawyers or journalists. Instead of proposing an existing body of work, I decided to create something new. I was trying hard to get an idea and nothing would come to mind. One day, while chilling in the bedroom, I looked at my boyfriend's “Sunday” shoes (read: shiny elegant suit shoes) and I just thought I'd play with them. So, I cooked some spaghetti and replaced the shoelaces with the pasta. And there it was: I started using office-related objects (from ties to hole-punchers and pens) mixing them with everyday household objects and created a whole new surreal series (that I titled “White Collar”). That was the one I showed at the art space and I thought people coming to the exhibition would find it funny and easier to relate to. And it all started just by looking at a pair of shoes. I guess you can never tell when and how inspiration will come to you.  Even the most mundane thing can trigger it.

WHAT OR WHO HAS HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
It’s hard to pinpoint exact names or things when it comes to influence. I very much like the work of some well-known photographers (such as Irving Penn, Avedon, Mapplethorpe). There’s so many others that are not as well-known whom I admire for the great eye or visual approach they have, that I always keep them in mind when I work on my own concepts and that I know have an influence on me.

HOW DOES YOUR AESTHETIC TRANSLATE IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE?
Surely not in my dressing department. I only wear black clothes, while my pictures are way more colorful and light. I like to put colors together and I like a very minimalistic style. For example, for my living room I picked big colorful bean bags, like spots of solid colors and I build around that, keeping everything in a matching color palette with simple shapes. I like order and cleanness and spaces too, both in my images and in my everyday life. Which could qualify me as a bit of a control freak. And I can’t deny that!

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
Lately, I find myself focusing more and more on photography. Often, it’s becoming hard to tell the difference between what’s “work” or “personal pleasure”, since I enjoy very much doodling the ideas that come to my mind. When I’m not thinking of the next thing that I’m going to shoot, I like spending time with my boyfriend, my friends and to read (another great source of inspiration).

HOW DO YOU STAY MINDFUL?
I’m not sure I’m great at that. I do have my balance but I don’t really have a specific practice in place.

Monday, May 1, 2017

And The Living Is Easy

Image Courtesy Of JDF/ B Productions 

Summertime.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Art Movement

  Photo Courtesy Of Erin Hanson

Erin Hanson


Photo Courtesy Of Erin Hanson

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED AND WHERE TO DO YOU PRESENTLY LIVE?
I was born in Portland, Oregon but moved to Los Angeles when I was still quite young. I've lived in Berkeley, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and more recently, San Diego.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT CITY OR HOMETOWN?
San Diego is very close to the coast as well as being a short distance from our beautiful deserts. These are both subject matters I paint often and love to explore. It is easy to spend a whole day exploring the natural scenery that is never more than a handful of minutes away from any city hotspot.

WHAT WERE YOUR ASPIRATIONS GROWING UP?
I always wanted to be a professional artist growing up. I studied art at the private school I went to, and I worked in a mural studio painting huge 40-ft paintings when I was a teenager. Later, in college, I followed my other passion of science and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2003 with a degree in Biology.

WHAT HAS BEEN A PIVOTAL MOMENT?
Likely, the day I decided to finish a painting every single week. This was 11 years ago and I have stuck with that promise ever since. This decision has been invaluable in developing my style and technique.

WHY ART AND WHEN DID YOU START PAINTING?
I love being an artist, because I can influence and inspire so many thousands of people. I like being able to uplift people spiritually and make them look around and appreciate the natural beauty all around us. I first started painting and sketching when I was 8 years old. I used to sit on the sink and sketch my face over and over and over again. I must have sketched my own face hundreds of times as a child.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND TRAINING?
I have a degree in Science from UC Berkley. There are many facets of science that likely play into my approach to art but as far as formal art training I am self-taught. What you see is over ten thousand hours of painting, research and studying my craft.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU ON A DAILY AND WHO ARE THE ARTISTS YOU LOOK UP TO?
I would have to say that nature is likely my biggest source of inspiration. Once of my most recent paintings is of the trees and sky just outside of my San Diego gallery. The sky was so vibrant and the trees framed my view in such a striking way, it had to become a painting. There are so many artists that I admire or appreciate, that is a hard thing to answer succinctly. One piece that I saw as a young child at the Getty in Los Angeles was Irises by van Gogh. That was the first time I had really been introduced to Impressionism or Post Impressionism and it really stuck with me.

WHAT ARE YOUR MOST FAVOURED TOOLS AND PAINT TO WORK WITH?
Simple oils and brush.

WHAT THEMES ARE YOU SEEKING TO EVOKE THROUGH YOUR CRAFT?
I think it is more important to let the viewer experience what they experience and not try to tell them what to think. Ultimately, I very much hope that my paintings make the viewer happy, I hope that they feel uplifted in some way and that it brightens their day.

HOW DOES YOUR AESTHETIC TRANSLATE IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE?
It would probably be hard for me not to be artistic in many parts of my life. I have always loved and appreciated interior design, fashion and the culinary arts.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING?
Typically, I explore nature and when possible I love to take a day with my fiancé getting ice cream and catching up on the most recent movies.

HOW DO YOU UNWIND AND STAY CENTERED?
Going for a run helps and when I need to stay focused I will put on an audio book while painting. That helps outside noises or projects from distracting me away from painting.

Fashion

Photographed By Karen Burgos

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Marnino Toussaint

Photo Courtesy of Marnino Toussaint

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE? 
Currently, I reside in Miramar, Florida. I was born and raised in this city as well.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CITY OR HOMETOWN?
I think the best thing about my city is the people’s undying will to succeed. South Florida is not known for anything but retirement but in actuality, South Florida has so much amazing talent of every kind that goes unrecognized. I think the people here are so driven to prove that there is much more to this space then old folks who have moved on from their careers.

WHAT WERE YOUR INFANT ASPIRATIONS?
I actually grew up wanting to be a comedian. Ha! The funny thing is, I’m bad at planned humor and sometimes come off corny. After that phase, I wanted to be an actor and I spent many years training and working on that craft. My parents really believed in my acting and wanted that career for me probably more than I did. I still have a passion for acting and I do it for fun every now and then when I have time.
 
WHAT HAS BEEN A SEMINAL EXPERIENCE?
Difficult question, I believe that each moment is important in its own light. However, I would have to say that the first poetry slam I ever participated in (which also happens to be the first one I won) would be that for me. Not only did that moment introduce me to a gift that I now use to make a living but also taught me confidence, strength, love for myself and others, and most importantly showed me how to touch other people’s hearts.

WHY MUSIC?
Music feeds my spirit. To be able to create is the God in us. When I write, and record a song, I literally feel a peace fall over me that’s unexplainable. When I create, I feel like I am the most me I am at any point. I can go on for days.

HOW WOULD YOU CLASSIFY YOUR SOUND?
A fusion of Hip-hop and RnB. However, I love to experiment with music. If I were to release a country music album, I wouldn’t be surprised.

WHAT THEMES DO YOU PURSUE THROUGH YOUR LYRICS?
In my most recent project, "Something About Now", love, friendship, betrayal, discrimination and faith were all important themes. I don’t believe I pursue any themes in particular, but I do allow my music to serve as a voice for situations that don’t get its proper light whether that be in my life or the life of others.

IS THERE A SONG OR MUSICAL PASSAGE THAT NEVER FAILS TO MOVE YOU?
"Oceans" by Hillsong. Also, "Lost Ones" by J. Cole. Both are so powerful in different ways. "Oceans" feeds my spirit and gives me life every morning while I worship, while lost ones is a beautifully written story that makes me feel real emotion every time I hear it.

WHAT OR WHO HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
Nas, most definitely takes the credit. I spent a moment in my life literally studying his music. I would repeat songs over and over and try to break down his lyrics, his flow, his story telling and would write everything I learned down on paper. I might’ve been obsessive.

WHAT’S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
Now, while being a bit busy, it's been difficult to find one process that always works. However, being around other passionate and driven creatives always fuels the fire for me.

HOW DO YOU SPEND A DAY OFF?
With the people I love. I get busy but I always try to make time for my people. To them I may seem discounted, just sitting in the same room with them makes me happy.

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
After long days, I like to go to the gym, put my headphones on and get a good workout in. I’ve grown to love health and fitness. It is peaceful, but I still feel like I’m being productive.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Music