• 1.19.17   Jing Zhang Offers a Piece of Utopia

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    A life is a reach towards utopia in many ways. The perfect world can be built around you, even if just piece-by-piece and even if the utopia doesn’t extend outside the walls of your home. But depending on who you are and what your dreams are, your utopia could be on the other side of tomorrow. Jing Zhang took it upon herself to imagine what a utopia could look like in her series ‘Utopia Dwelling’ that imagines a handful of homes perfectly suited for a variety of utopias. “I had a trip to New Zealand visiting Hobbiton [the hometown of the Hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkein’s ‘Lord of the Rings’]. I had the idea it would be great to see them being modernized for living,” Jing explains. “Other inspirations include 'Howl's Moving Castle,' lots of architecture, and tree houses. When I was kid I'd like drawing crazy fun houses.” That childhood exploration has now become a full-fledged visual study. The meaning of ‘utopia’ is not only different from person to person but it can change over time. Where a world of ice cream might have sounded awesome as a kid, it might scare adults who are now lactose intolerant. Jing’s own idea of utopia has shifted since she was a child, putting more focus on sustainability. “Instead of childhood fun houses, my idea of Utopia nowadays is more towards self-sufficiency and self-functioning, without being powered by fuel, or relying on extra sources,” she says. “The sub-marine house is perhaps the closest model to the idealism I have in mind. We could fully utilize the power of mother nature.” It’s all about harmony. It seems like the world outside our doors is getting scarier and scarier, so perhaps the best place to retreat isn’t just a utopia, but into the boundless imaginations inside of us all. “Joy and whimsy keep us refreshed and constantly inspired,” she says. “There is too much branding in our creative industry that we often forget about the fun part of creative process. And it is therapeutic to create with my own imagination.” Our best utopia is possibility and in ‘Utopia Dwellings’ Jing offers us a whole selection of possibility to build on.
  • 1.23.17   Faith47's Unlikely Home for New Beauty

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    All speech is a political act - and so is silence. Any action we make is a confirmation of our being, and the expression of that is to declare humanity and give it voice. Speech and art are actions, giving shape to hope or dreams, and shedding a light in corners that are too often dark. Just recently, muralist Faith47 traveled to Goa, India to produce a series of public art pieces that she calls “La Petite Mort,” which translates directly from the French to mean “the little death.” The figurative translation is a little more eyebrow raising, but we’ll let you figure that out for yourself.  In “La Petite Mort,” Faith picked busy and richly textures street as the canvas for hand painted lotuses, a flower whose metaphysical identity reaches far beyond the botany - and the lotus is especially richly referenced in Hinduism, a dominant religion in India. But these lotuses weren’t just about connecting chakras or crossing your legs in the right way. This is about looking to the natural world for a way to heal ourselves. “The lotus, while rooted in the mud, blossoms on long stalks floating above the muddy waters,” says Faith. “This ability for something so strong and pure growing out of dirty water is symbolic of our struggle despite the chaos of life to find our own strength and spiritual clarity. As drops of water easily slide off its petals so too should we not allow the challenges of this life to damage us internally.” Verily, we could all stand to stand up straighter, speak more clearly with more beauty, and let the rest fall away below the heights to which we are climbing. Photos by Zane Meyer and Faith. Video by Zane Meyer.
  • 1.19.17   A Lesson from the Resistance for Jason Madara

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    We are quite literally at the dawn of a new era. As of noon today The United States of America will have a new President and not everyone is happy about it. It’s not just that one side won and the other lost, but many who voted against the President-Elect of the United States, Donald Trump, did so because they were offended by his actions, words, or proposed policies. Now that he’s set to take over leadership of the free world, there are those who would continue to oppose him, to resist him and what he stands for. These people are The Resistance. It’s a growing movement in American politics, a movement that’s becoming more organized and more vocal as the weeks go by - but not everyone is seeing it happen in broad daylight - it’s still new. Jason Madara and his studio mate George McCalman spent the first couple weeks after the election consoling each other and trying to figure out what to do with their experience, and to see if they could channel into something constructive. “I was trying to figure out many ways to deal with how a wreck I was and how everybody’s been a wreck afterwards thinking that we’re living in some nightmare, and then San Francisco Magazine approached George and I with this project,” Jason says. “And it took me a millisecond to say yes.” They asked him and George to photograph the growing resistance to Donald Trump. But it wouldn’t just be a couple photographs slapped together for a cute story. This was an expansive project with 40 subjects and a veritable portfolio. The Magazine wasn’t playing around. “It was a very emotional journey because we’re photographing all these people in our studio which was amazing,” Jason says. “We’re talking about how to deal with this, and I have Nancy Pelosi in the studio and talking to her about all this, and Dianne Feinstein, and Gavin Newsom, and all these great people that are coping with is just as we are, and trying to make sense of it.” These are some of the best liberal political minds of our era, and Jason and George got to pick their brains about what was next, what they could do, and also spent more than a little time commiserating in their disappointment. So what did he learn from these expert community organizers? “We have to be resilient to this, we have to grow from this and be strong from this. We can’t just be doom and gloom every day because that’s not going to help anybody,” Jason says. “Yes, everyone’s angry but that’s not going to help change… We stand up and we come together and we fight together and we do whatever we need to do. That is resilience.” Resilience is action, resilience is getting back into the fight once you’ve been knocked down. Jason and George didn’t get to photograph everyone they wanted because some of their dream subjects had already gotten back into the ring. “The one person we didn’t get to photograph is Kamala Harris, she’s California’s newest senator and I get it. I wasn’t thrilled at first that she couldn’t pose for us, but I get it. She’s busy fighting. That is more important. And we didn’t get Jerry Brown because he doesn’t care, he doesn’t want to be in a photo, he just wants to keep fighting. I get that.” But they did get Tom Steyer, Black Lives Matter organizers, London Breed, women from Dream SF, running the gamut from all walks, all experiences, all influences. It brought the scope into perspective, something that was crucial for Jason, especially when the topics came home.  “You know one of the hardest things about the next day after the election was telling my 9-year-old daughter that Hillary didn’t win. I said ‘Well, Hillary won the popular vote,’ so she asked ‘Well then why can’t she President?’ I had to explain to her that it’s not all bad, the world is not bad, because I still believe that most people are good, I really do believe that,” says Jason. “When you get to do a project like this, it just feels really personal.” No matter where you are on the political spectrum, things are changing all around us all. As a new politics rises in The White House there are loud voices rising outside ready to resist, preparing for every move and counter move. And this month, in the pages of San Francisco Magazine, thanks to Jason Madara and George McCalman, we see the first class of this Resistance.
  • 1.17.17   Mark Hunter Invites You to the Party

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    Las Vegas is legendary. “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” they tell us, relieving us from the pressure of the repercussions of out choices. That’s why we spend so much money, dress up so fancy, and party so hard – none of it matters! But in recent years revelers have looked for something a little different, a little more casual, and for some, LAX Nightclub is exactly that. The new Las Vegas club teamed up with Mark Hunter on an introductory campaign that shows off exactly the vibe at the club – something that Mark knows very well.  “LAX nightclub and I have a history since my early party days,” Mark explains. The club started in LA by the late, legendary DJ AM and Mark has been going since forever. “We would throw these parties at his LAX nightclubs and they were perfect,” he says. This time LAX just wanted him to keep the party going, and keep the camera snapping. “We did a real life casting and all the models schlepped out on a party bus from LA, and went straight into the nightclub so they were ready and wild,” says Mark. “And then working within the actual club environment was so fun for me because that’s what I do.” No matter what he’s doing, Mark always tries to create an atmosphere on set that matches the energy of the final images perfectly. To get a party they threw a party at the actual club. Everything you see in the photos is actually happening, and very little is staged – and when you go to LAX you night might look exactly like what you’re seeing in the ads. The match up of LAX and Mark is more than aesthetic. What makes LAX different is what makes Mark different. “LAX is a club for everybody and you don’t have to get dressed up fancy. It’s not about bottle service, it’s not about paying a huge cover fee, it’s about coming and having fun,” says Mark. “That’s somewhere where I would prefer to go. I would never spend thousands of dollars on a nightclub table and try to impress my friends, that’s just not me and I know that there’s a lot of other people like me.” This is a place where everyone is welcome, and Mark’s work shows how welcoming and unassuming the place is. What happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas, but it doesn’t have to – you can remember it forever.
  • 1.18.17   The Selby Goes Local for Sweetgreen in Brentwood

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    We don’t have to tell you that Sweetgreen has become on of the most popular new casual restaurants in the country, popping up with new locations faster than almost anyone can keep count. They offer salads and grain bowls that are not only hearty and healthy, but draw their ingredients from local producers. But they don’t stop there. Their restaurants are hub for the local communities and that includes artists as well. So, when they were gearing up to open a new location in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, they invited new Angelino Todd Selby to fill it with art. “It’s fun because I just moved to LA so I feel like I’m already being embraced as a local in a way, which is pretty cool,” says Todd. “It’s really cool.” Todd created a series of four pieces that bend mediums, and have a very specific local inspiration.  “It’s neat because one of my favorite things about Brentwood is the Coral Trees that are on San Vicente Boulevard,” says Todd. “As you drive down San Vicente they have these beautiful old coral trees that are in the middle of the road. When they bloom, they have these great beautiful orange blossoms and we actually had one in my backyard when I was a kid, so it brings back nice memories. I love those.” Not only are those trees a huge part of Brentwood’s neighborhood, they’re also what the new Sweetgreen location looks out onto. So Todd decided to center his four pieces around these trees. Each piece is a wild, almost shaped by nature, coral tree presented in a combination of watercolor and collage – a new way of working that he’s created for a very exciting reason. “It’s a new technique that I’ve been working on in relation to my show that’s coming up in Korea,” Todd explains. “I paint my watercolors and then cu them out and collage and then build them up with layers of resin. So the background is on a layer, and then you see the roots of the tree, and the branches, and the leaves and the flowers. Everything is on its own layer so it has a bit of dimensionality to it.” You can see even from the photographs provided here how the depth of the pieces plays with how you experience the images and how they bring you in. You can experience these trees in new ways inside with a salad as you do outside on San Vicente Boulevard, both an homage to local life and the nature that’s all around us.
  • 1.12.17   Tom Corbett Gets Rockin' With Somerset

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    Most of the work that Tom Corbett has been creating with Somerset Collection has been an amazing journey across the globe, exploring different cities and aesthetics. But for a recent issue that examines the energy of the Rock ‘n’ Roll movement, Tom and the publication decided to take it into the studio and examine the energy in a white space. Rock ‘n’ Roll isn’t clean, it isn’t tidy or orderly, but Tom and Somerset wanted to see what they could find given such an unconventional set up. “We didn’t want it to look contrived or too lit and we wanted to do something really free and really Rock ‘n’ Roll. So we lit it as if we were outside,” Tom explains. “The whole premise was just to shoot, just to be absolutely free with it, not to think too much about it, and just go where it takes us.” Even though a clean white aesthetic might run counter to the way we think about Rock ‘n’ Roll, the way that Tom and Somerset set it up it actually did more to show that spirit than they could have achieved in a different way.  It’s all about energy. By creating a space that is “no where,” the models were free to spin their energy wherever they wanted, expressing themselves fully in front of the lens. “The whole idea so they could really run across the whole space and be totally free and not have to worry about where their marks are,” explains Tom. “It was a big lighting set-up, it was something I hadn’t done before and something I really enjoyed it.” By liberating the models from tight poses and tiny places to work, they were able to channel Rock ‘n’ Roll, dancing from one edge of the frame to the other, showing the movement of their clothes and injecting personality in every gesture. And sometimes that movement reached beyond the frame. Many of the photos in the story feature models that are cropped by the edge of the image, as if they’re entering or leaving the photographs on their way from one place to another. Tom didn’t exactly plan it that way, but is thrilled with that result. “I wanted it to feel totally caught, but I didn’t want it to feel contrived or thought out too much. It’s this totally free moment, they have the whole frame to play through and they were moving constantly and if I caught a half of them or a third of them or it was the whole thing then it was all good,” says Tom. “Part of the strength of the images come from the framing. They’re exploding out of the frame, the tight crops, the extreme angles. It bends those traditional rules. We’re trying to push the envelope a little bit.”
  • 1.17.17   Marco Grob Tells the Unfortunate Tale with Netflix

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    You may not want to read any further for what we are about to describe is an inspiring tale of creative collaboration but for the purpose of telling a very, very sad tale. The miserable story is, of course, A Series of Unfortunate Events, a new Netflix series that brings the unenviable yarn of the Baudelaire Children as told by Lemony Snicket to the smaller screen (or tablet, or smartphone, however you get your streaming media).  Netflix asked famed entertainment photographer, and frequent Netflix collaborator, Marco Grob, to help them visualize this most daringly morose of sagas. What they created together is a perfect construction of the decidedly wicked Count Olaf (played by Neil Patrick Harris) as he spies upon the poor Baudelaire trio from his obviously nefarious spyglass – the name for which we did not choose as a way to spoil any part of the show but you should know it was chosen quite purposefully. Not only does the image - created pixel by pixel thanks to Marco’s detailed work – encapsulate the ghastly state of affairs for the Baudelaires, it also reveals the production design that is rich with references, clues, and more than a happy life’s amount of shadows. We cannot in good conscience tell you to watch the show – "Look away! Look away!" proclaims the theme music. But if you must, it’s already streaming on Netflix. (At the very least, we beg you watch through your fingers.)
B&A Instafeed
  • Don’t forget to love your gut! @kylejbean put together all the pieces for @drozthegoodlife Magazine.⠀
#nycstreetart #streetart #art #artistsoninstagram #droz #oprah #healthyliving #cleaneating #graphic #graphicdesign #illustration
    likes 3 // comments 1
  • Sometimes we forget all the little organisms and processes that make our bodies work! @kylejbean helps us remember with this piece for @drozthegoodlife Magazine.
#nycstreetart #streetart #art #artistsoninstagram #droz #oprah #healthyliving #graphic #graphicdesign #illustration​
    likes 117 // comments 1
  • We are all just a collection of so many tiny pieces. This brain by @kylejbean for @drozthegoodlife Magazine. It really makes you think!
#nycstreetart #streetart #art #artistsoninstagram #droz #oprah #healthyliving #graphic #graphicdesign #illustration
    likes 159 // comments 4
  • Dianne Feinstein, California Senator and member of The Resistance, photographed by @jasonmadarastudio for @sfmagazine with creative direction by @mccalmanco.⠀
"It’s not all bad, the world is not bad, because I still believe that most people are good, I really do believe that,” says Jason.⠀
#theresistance #inauguration #blm #america #resist
    likes 216 // comments 5
  • Local San Francisco #BlackLivesMatter organizers and members of The Resistance photographed by @jasonmadarastudio for @sfmagazine with creative direction by @mccalmanco.⠀
“Yes, everyone’s angry but that’s not going to help change… We stand up and we come together and we fight together and we do whatever we need to do. That is resilience,” says Jason.⠀
#theresistance #inauguration #blm #america #resist
    likes 121 // comments 4
  • @londonbreed, a San Francisco local politician, and member of The Resistance photographed by @jasonmadarastudio for @sfmagazine with creative direction by @mccalmanco.⠀
"We have to be resilient to this, we have to grow from this and be strong from this," says Jason.⠀
#theresistance #inauguration #blm #america #resist
    likes 80 // comments
  • An actual banner from the 1963 March on Washington, a tentpole event in the Civil Rights Fight, as photographed by @Platon. We share this on the eve of many scheduled marches on Washington to take place this week as a reminder that history is alive all around us, and through us. It is up to us to keep it living.⠀
#mlk #martinlutherking #martinlutherkingjr #civilrights #marchonwashington #blm #blacklivesmatter #womensmarch #inauguration
    likes 135 // comments 4
  • Every year we share this photo of #MartinLutherKingJr
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  • @repjohnlewis, a living Civil Rights hero, photographed by @Platon in front of the Lincoln Memorial.⠀
#mlk #civilrights #dream #mlkweekend #martinlutherking #blackhistory #ihaveadream #empowerment #blm #blacklivesmatter #marchonwashington #history #americanhistory
    likes 261 // comments 7
  • A quiet moment with @sasha_melnychuk captured by @benrayner for @glamourmag. Styling by Jamie Kay Waxman.⠀
#fashion #fashionable #love #style #beautiful #ootd #beautyall #photooftheday #photography
    likes 271 // comments 8
  • Ms @sasha_melnychuk is on the go with @benrayner for @glamourmag. Styling by Jamie Kay Waxman.⠀
#fashion #fashionable #love #style #beautiful #ootd #beautyall #photooftheday #photography
    likes 189 // comments 3
  • The rosey haired @sasha_melnychuk getting a laugh in with @benrayner for @glamourmag. Styling by Jamie Kay Waxman.⠀
#fashion #fashionable #love #style #beautiful #ootd #beautyall #photooftheday #photography
    likes 209 // comments 4
  • Yesterday was #NationalBirdDay but we
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  • Animals are all around us, some are in plain sight and others are hidden. Tom Nagy
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  • Animals are all around us, some are in plain sight and others are hidden. Tom Nagy
    likes 326 // comments 3
  • Animals are all around us, some are in plain sight and others are hidden. Tom Nagy
    likes 182 // comments
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