• 5.4.15   Liam Dunn Creates Effortless Elegance

    Accessories are meant to fit into a life. They are the gilding on a whole look, a whole personality, and it was up to Liam Dunn to help fit the shoes and bags of Russell & Bromley into a larger picture of a woman who doesn’t just deserve them, but commands them. Liam has been collaborating with Russell & Bromley for years now, and their latest work together has resulted in a shoot that has bright updates for spring. Effortless elegance is the focus this spring, using expanses of negative space and a super light touch. What we see are variations on the soft and natural. In each progressive image, the model is the same but the look is slightly different, but always supremely pure. Each is fresh and casually sophisticated, placing the footwear and bags into a context that is immediately obvious and tranquil. To help contextualize these images, Liam’s hair and makeup creations are organic. On the face, his light touch brings out the model’s natural soft beauty, without adding anything dramatic to distract from her assets. The hair is loose, pulled back away from her face, or allowed to flow freely, both in ways that are uncomplicated but refined. “Fashion is about the individual style of the person,” Liam says. These images help us achieve an understanding of this woman, even if she’s a character.
  • 5.4.15   Amanda Marsalis' Incredible Access

    There is a castle is Western England, near the border of Wales, by the name of Eastnor. Just south of Worcester, it is surrounded by lush forest and dirt roads. You can visit these grounds, driving between the trees, overlooking the vistas, and experiencing the environment as long as you can pay the cost of admission. That cost: a Land Rover. Eastnor is the location of “The Land Rover Experience” where new Land Rover owners go to learn how to use their cars, and just recently Land Rover invited photographer Amanda Marsalis to the experience to help them show off how amazing these cars are. “You literally drive thought mud that comes up to the windows, you go down hills that you think are impossibly steep to go down and all that stuff,” explains Amanda. They only had one day to squeeze in all these experiences, and they weren’t disappointed. In fact, that one day ended up feeling like more than just one because of how packed it was. Like any all day shoot, Amanda and her team arrived before sunrise to start photographing as soon as the light allowed. They saw that beautiful sun rise as it threw its morning light across the English countryside, and then everything began to change. “It started to get really cloudy, then it was pouring rain, then it was flurries for a minute, then it cleared up, then we had a beautiful sunset, then after sunset it started snowing,” says Amanda with a laugh. “And it snowed like eight inches. It was a really crazy day.” All of these different weather patterns afforded Amanda and her team all the different experiences a Land Rover driver can expect facing in their vehicle. And she caught everything. From the water filled mud divots, to the beautiful golden light streaming through the windshield. The assault of weather patterns extended their single day shoot, making it feel like an impossible array of experiences, condensed into one. Its days like this that makes being a photographer so rewarding for Amanda. “A great joy of being a photographer is getting access to things people wouldn’t normally get to do,” Amanda explains. “At the end of the day I wanted to buy a Land Rover,” she says laughing. Amanda’s job this time allowed her onto a literal path that she wouldn’t otherwise get to tread, and she does it for us. She goes on these adventures to show us what they’re like so that we may make the decision to bring those adventures into our own lives.
  • 5.1.15   Marcus Bleasdale Wins Robert Capa Gold Medal

    In late 2012 a group in the Central African Republic began taking over towns and regions in an attempt to steal power away from the central government. The take-overs devolved into a terror campaign as the Séléka continued all around the country in a method that could only be described as madness. Marcus Bleasdale was there to cover the events with Human Rights Watch. When the issue of Human Magazine containing Marcus’ story, “Unseen War,” was released almost a year ago, we brought you the powerful images and the tale that Marcus brought back with him. “It’s probably the wrong term but they kind of went psychotic,” said Marcus upon his return. “The whole society was psychotic for a period of three months… People that killed would never have killed before, and would never kill again. But at that moment they thought it was quite right to kill. And there’s no reasoning behind why people reach that point of anger, of hate, of thoughtlessness.” It was an altered state and something that Marcus was able to capture for the magazine in their breathtaking report. The question that remained was, What would it mean? In February, Human Rights Watch and Marcus Bleasdale put together a show at Christie’s in London entitled “IMPACT” to display how their collaborations over the last 14 years have affected policy all over the world. “Increasingly we’re learning, we’ve been learning, about how to do this,” said Marcus, discussing the discovery that their pieces could create a real impact. The starkest example was the war that had arrested Eastern Congo in the early part of the last decade. The conflict was being financed by illegal gold sales by the warlords to AngloGold Ashanti and Metalor Technologies. In a well-placed exhibition, Marcus and HRW hung “The Curse of Gold,” photographs and stories from the conflict, on the walls of UBS Bank in Geneva. This high profile act put pressure on the financiers of AngloGold Ashanti and Metalor Technologies, forcing them to stop buying the illegal gold. It pulled the money out of the conflict in Eastern Congo and effectively ended the war. They literally saved lives. Marcus has been doing this work for nearly two decades, but it was yesterday that the world took notice when it was announced he received the Robert Capa Gold Medal. Named after the famed Hungarian war photographer whose body of work included covering five different wars, the medal was created to celebrate the "best published photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise." The honor is not lost on Marcus who, in conversation with The New York Times, responded by saying “I’m still shellshocked.” Perhaps the most remarkable point that Marcus made in conversation with The New York Times is how to use your power most effectively. He explains that it’s not so much how many eyes you get on your challenging work, but whose eyes you get on it. “Sometimes the most effective thing is to be on the front page of The New York Times, and sometimes the most effective thing is to put several photographs in front of three people in the world,” he explains. “You just have to choose those three people and put your case to those three people, and that can be a lot more effective than putting it on the front cover of The New York Times.” Congratulations to Marcus Bleasdale for this distinct honor.
  • 4.30.15   Olaf Hajek Breaks into the Third Dimension

    Art is visual communication. It exists to translate ideas and feelings that transcend what words can do and do it with more efficiency. It is its own dialect, and can act as a language between those who do not already share one. The communicative properties of art came into stark relief for Olaf Hajek when he created a series of paintings for the South Korean Lotte World Mall in Seoul. A celebration of spring, Olaf's paintings feature flowers in bloom, rich grass islands, and flittering birds. The images are printed onto three-dimensional installations and cobbled together into sculptures that inhabit the space and bring a new world of this fresh season. Olaf doesn’t speak Korean, and his translator didn't speak German, so they found a primary common language of English but a fundamental common language of art. They were able to create five seasons of installations for the next year through a series of revisions and figurative interaction. Since these pieces were going to be printed into 3D displays, Olaf had to provide the artwork in such a way that would be conducive to creating whatever sculptural elements Lotte would need. He painted each component independently. “I did every single element separately,” explains Olaf. “ The idea was to create a whole painting but every single element was painted on a separate layer.” Since they were creating the installations for five seasons, it ended up being an incredible volume of work. All in all, Olaf lost count of how many paintings he made for the final tally, but it was hundreds. To explain the breadth of the work, Olaf uses the island with the house on it: “There is this image of a little floating island, with green grass and a house. There’s a tree on it, there are birds, every single element is it’s own layer. If I count them together, every single blossom, every flower, I have no idea. I can’t count them." When you recognize that each insect and gem was painted independently and then composed together after the fact, it becomes an almost overwhelming prospect. But no trouble for Olaf, who has been working on the project for more than a year. Since Olaf’s work is typically printed in two dimensions, this project represented a change of tack for him, but the work remains essentially the same. “I dealt with the season’s ideas but in kind of a magical fairytale type world,” says Olaf. The aesthetic is still his. If art is a form of communication, no matter what Olaf is building his language remains intact.
  • 4.28.15   Adam Hayes and Kai & Sunny Find Inspiration with IBM

    It’s 2015, and in this age we know that the internet isn’t just a series of tubes. But sometimes it feels like maybe we’re just plugged into a digital world through our screens. It can feel difficult to connect with the real world around us, losing an element of tangibility, and finding a lack of inspiration. For their latest community push IBM is trying to reconnect users to that seemingly missing inspiration and to show us how they think. Rather than becoming the neo-stereotypical digital zombies, IBM is showing us that there is still passion to draw from this world. Especially in the digital world. Through a series of posters, IBM worked with a handful of artists to illustrate where inspiration comes from in our contemporary world. Each artist was paired with a quote for the posters, along with the central word “Think,” using those ideas as fertile ground out of which to grow their ideas. Two B&A artists, Kai & Sunny and Adam Hayes, joined in on the project. For Kai & Sunny, the quote came from Douglas Rushkoff, a Media Theorist and Author: “I believe we are migrating toward a networked environment in which thinking is no longer an individual activity, nor bound by time and space.”  Kai & Sunny are a collaborative, creative pair, so it was fitting they would work off a quote about moving together, as a group. Few artists work as closely together as they do, and they have a unique take on how multiple people can work off one another for fantastic gain. “From this [Douglas Rushkoff quote] we created our flock of birds migrating,” explains Kai on behalf of Kai & Sunny. “The birds represent freedom and progression. The idea of working together to achieve more. The campaign word 'THINK' has been created by the coming together of the birds but only for that moment.” Kai & Sunny are working with expectation and viewability. They’ve created a pattern that both makes and hides the message, “Think,” illustrating that what is most powerful can be creative by the collective.  For Adam Hayes, the quote wasn’t so much of a quote as it was a question, and came from Mike Rhodin, the Senior Vice President of IBM Watson Group: “How do we redesign how we think?” Adam’s style has always used a combination of technology and puzzles, employing typography to explore space and utility. "My poster mixes mechanical and organic inventions representing a future where man and machine think side-by-side; typeset on a layout of playful letterforms,” says Adam. Bringing the actual quote’s question to life in his poster illustrates the direct question his poster is asking. Combining form and function, we see how the technology works independently of the human mind while being entirely directed by it. In this future we work along side our machines, collaborating and growing together.  To see Adam Hayes’ and Kai & Sunny’s work in context, check out IBM’s “IBMblr,” where all of the posters are featured.
  • 4.28.15   The Power of Honest Representation with Tom Corbett

    Style is about showing who you are. Fashion, makeup, accessories: none of these should get in the way of identity. They are elements of expression, not a lacquer to cover up personal essence and Refinery29 understands this better than anyone. Their latest collaboration with photographer Tom Corbett shows off how the trend of nude lips can highlight what makes a face fundamentally unique, and reveal the wearer rather than try to change them. Tom Corbett’s inherent grace was the perfect match for this story. His signature energy is brought in subtly, coming through in the movement of hair or a powerful look. The intimacy of the makeup sets the tone for moments between the models and photographer, translated directly to the images for the viewer. What we see are soft interactions that Tom has crystalized for us in photographs, telegraphing potential. The concept of this story came from makeup artist Pamela Cochrane whose philosophy is about showing off the features of the wearer. When Cochrane takes care of the beautiful makeup, Tom is about eking out the connection that honest representation provides, showing us the potential strength of ourselves. Hair: Dominick PucciacrelloStylist: Sam BatesSenior Photo Editor: Laura Miller ZisaBeauty Writer: Maria Del Russo
  • 4.29.15   Hollywood and Washington Converge with Jonas Fredwall Karlsson

    Every year in the spring, Washington and Hollywood converge on the White House Correspondents Dinner. This is when the most powerful people in the country break bread with the most popular, and it's an exciting time for all. It is hosted by a comedian who treats the event like a roast, this year SNL’s Cecily Strong, who checks Washington's power to their faces, and the President joins ranks cracking jokes at everyone's expense. The White House Correspondents Dinner has earned a colloquial nickname, "The Nerd Prom," because it's one of the only times Washington, and the reporters who cover D.C., dress up in such a public way for no other reason than to have fun (and give out a few, lesser reported scholarships). But what's a prom without prom pictures? This year Vanity Fair set up a tent to photograph the attendees of the Nerd Prom and conscripted Jonas Fredwall Karlsson to shoot it. This particular gig is tricky in how quickly one has to move. Jonas has shot projects like this before, most frequently at the MTV Video Music Awards, but Vanity Fair offered him something a little more formal. They were shooting while the party was raging in the next room and Jonas had people, like Vanity Fair Photo Producer Ron Beinner, help pull out the attendees to get their photos taken. “We had great help getting people from the party and come into the studio,” says Jonas. “So we had a little more time. Two minutes instead of five seconds,” he says with a laugh. The crucial element was time since Jonas had to photograph dozens of attendees in an incredible amount of time. “I had to come up with a way of shooting between 30 and 60 people within 3 hours and we had a very limited amount of space.”  In order to maximize their use of space, Jonas and Vanity Fair shot in a tent outside the event, and employed a set created by Jesse Nemeth. ”I wanted something dynamic and agile that could be fundamentally changed in the very short periods of time between portraits in order to photograph as many people as possible." Using a series of tonal set pieces and a few bold features, each image offers a unique take on very limited space because of the changeable set. The party doesn’t get into full swing until after all the speeches and the dinner, so it was late into the night before Jonas was even able to start working. “It was really, really intense,” says Jonas. “We started to shoot around midnight, and the last images were done around 3:30a.m. Then we continued working until they turned off the electricity.” Despite all the craziness, speed, and energy, at the end of the day Jonas stayed true to the heart of project: capturing beautiful portraits of famous faces. “The most important thing in portraiture is to connect with the person,” says Jonas. “You go on instinct.”
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
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photo by @thiswildidea. Don
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  • Goodnight from Burano, Italy...the most colorful city on the planet?
#adamtakesover #gsinstatakeover #burano #italy
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  • Excited to try this gorgeous line of Japanese brushes and makeup @surrattbeauty #cosmetics #makeup
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  • #mika tonight!!!!
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  • Morning swim 👙 🏊🏻 #vacationlife
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  • Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber hilt, an original prop from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983). Photographed by Dan Winters exclusively for WIRED. Happy #StarWarsDay! #MayThe4thBeWithYou #StarWars (📷 @danwintersphoto)
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  • Happy #StarWarsDay! Darth Vader’s helmet, an original prop from Star Wars: Episode IV, photographed by Dan Winters exclusively for WIRED. #MayThe4thBeWithYou #StarWars (📷 @danwintersphoto)
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  • Round and round she goes.
Where age stops... well, she won
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