• 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.
  • 5.6.15   Platon Helps the Met Communicate Across Cultures and Time

    Art is communication. Artistry is a conversation that crosses cultures. In the absence of language, or in a crowded room, the best way to communicate ideas and experiences can be through artistic expression. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's latest blockbuster exhibition, "China: Through the Looking Glass," examines the West's development of experiencing China and China's artistic influence over the last century and a half. Referencing Alice's trip to Wonderland, the exhibit uses the couture works of some of the world’s most beloved designers, as well as films and objets d’art, to show us our own historical responses to China's rich visual and social history. In our contemporary age we've reached new heights of communicating across borders. Our digital progress has shrunk the world, making the farthest distance between two people the space between a typist and a keyboard. But that doesn't mean that all communication is easy and complete. "We have more information than ever before at our fingertips, we’re going through high-speed globalization that continues to increase by the minute. Stats and figures can move at the speed of light but culture does not," explains photographer Platon. "It’s much more complicated. And it is creating a kind of cultural indigestion." This back up is something that Platon is acutely aware of, working in the space between culture and politics, using his photographic reach to teach the world about human rights struggles and political instigators. It was because of that contextual sensitivity that the Met commissioned Platon to shoot the entire catalogue for their exhibition. “Artists are able to have a dialogue between cultures," says Platon. "Often when the politicians put up barriers between us, artist still continue. We’re free to exchange ideas without any political consequences and I think that’s just such a beautiful dialogue." Through the Artistic Direction of Wong Kar-wai and curation of Andrew Bolton ("Who is the most extraordinary collaborator I’ve ever worked with,” says Platon) this exhibition is set up to display that dialogue that has been going on for the last century and a half. The show includes a vast array of pieces from the Met's own vault, in cooperation with The Costume Institute, the Louvre's vault, and the private archive of Yves Saint Laurent (that was shot at Yves Saint Laurent's headquarters, a highlight of the project for Platon). All these pieces come together into a distillation of how the West has taken inspiration from China's history and turned it into its own expression. “The show is probably one of the most complex and large-scale, ambitious shows they’ve ever done," Platon says about the almost two hundred distinct pieces that are being exhibited. "It’s a dialogue between the cultural history of China and how the West has been inspired by that history and how it has interpreted motifs, ideas, colors, textures, forms, and philosophy." In some pieces the inspiration is obvious to Western eyes, the reflection of an urn's pattern on the lining of a dress, but as Chinese designer, Laurence Xu, explains, there are fundamental differences between western and Chinese fashion. “Shape is very important to the West, their fashion focuses on the human form. But Chinese clothes are all about visual impact and are typically very colorful. We use a range of colors in just one design, but western dresses use block colors. We’re more bold with colors than the West.” Those differences are apparent in this collection by the Met. The usage of these themes by the designers and pieces highlighted in the Met show may be lost to the Western eye who has become accustomed to writing off bold shapely choices as costuming and exaggerated couture. But the designers who understand his heritage let the inspiration flow freely. It is the essence of this fundamental difference that Platon employed to his advantage. So many of these pieces were far too delicate to put on human bodies, either because of their age or their cultural value. Damage could not be risked. Instead, Platon and the Met used mannequins as the models. Rather than seeing these static displays as a liability, Platon used them as a beneficial element. “My ambition was to make it sort of human and animated and not be restricted by the still life, and that’s exactly what we ended up doing,” says Platon. “All of these really have power and move even though it’s a mannequin.” By focusing on the inherent human element within the garments, the movement in each image is drawn from the work of its creator rather than an exterior construct for the shoot. In many ways, this makes the representations more pure, more focused on the curated pieces and the central message of the show. And that is what is most important when all is said and done. "My job was to create a living document of the entire exhibition because the exhibition comes down after a few months and then you’re left with just a book," explains Platon. When the pieces go back into their respective vaults, what we have are the photographs Platon has shot paired with text provided by the museum in the pages of a book. The in-person examination available to museumgoers will expire, so Platon's presentation becomes that much more crucial. He becomes our eyes, seeing this show definitively for everyone who will have to miss it. It's a responsibility that Platon understands and is proud to undertake. China: Through the Looking Glass opens on May 7 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the catalogue shot by Platon, in a limited edition of 500, is available through the Met’s Store now.
  • 5.5.15   Pale Horse Design Jumps In to Lucha Libre

    In Mexico there is a tradition of amateur wrestling that transcends our conventions in the States. Lucha Libre, Spanish for “Free Wrestling,” is a display of pageantry that bridges the gap between backyard wrestling and professional. It is an art form all its own, relying on characters and performance to create mini dramas within the ring. And as Chris Parks, the man behind Pale Horse Design, can tell you: there’s nothing else like it. “The sound of Lucha Libre in Mexico City is different from anything I’ve ever heard before,” says Chris. “It’s a really exciting style of wrestling, it’s acrobatic and the characters with the masks and costumes are very dramatic and exciting and flashy.” Chris’ love for Lucha Libre has extended beyond being merely a fan, inspiring a curiosity in him that lead him down a road to today. This evening, “Pale Horse Lucha: The Art of Lucha Libre” opens at Nova 535 in St. Petersburg, Florida. For Chris, the world of Lucha Libra was a rich mine to tap creatively, and he started by using the style and characters as a springboard into his own creative process. “After watching a lot of this live wrestling, I had met some other wrestlers that had seen some of the work I did for WWE. So it was kind of an instant connection,” says Chris. “I had started just creating my own masked characters and showing them to these guys and they were really interested in taking on these personas. So it was never really a plan, just one thing lead to another.” Through these new connections he found someone to make the masks of his characters (a gentleman who had trained for his craft in Mexico), eventually making entire costumes, backstories, that have all built to the match at his show this evening. The personas of luchadores (the name for the wrestlers) aren’t created in an artistic crucible like Chris’ Oraculo and Serpentico, and Chris knows this. But it’s not really something to stress about. “Everything we’re doing is a little bit different and not really worrying about the way that it’s been done in the past, but really kind of creating our own thing,” he explains. At the end of the day, he’s taking inspiration form this tried and tested tradition, and it’s entertaining people which is the ultimate goal. “I’m creating my own cast of superhero characters that I can use as my inspiration for the illustrations, and then people can watch them actually battle it out in the wrestling ring,” says Chris. If you want to see that display, tonight is your chance! Pale Horse Lucha is tonight! Get your tickets here!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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. Agency: Brooklyn BrothersArt Director: Esin Cittone 
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
  • Photoshoppin
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  • My view from laying flat on the ground after today
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  • In progress painting for Nightgardens. #nightgardens #theartparlor #kpprojects
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  • Nice to see @sagevaughn at his opening tonight. #sagevaughn
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  • Thanks for the cool pic @danap07 - final touches happened today on my wall in Soho / Little Italy! Final pics coming soon! @paulmarciano @guess @gumball3000 #guessvipers #guessgumball @gigihadid @thelisaprojectnyc @montanacans #newyork #nyc #paintlife
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  • And commence the work-in-progress office re-organization for me/taq #mytinyatlas #totewell
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  • NYC in full bloom 🌸 #givesyouwings
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  • New tear sheet from the campaign we shot for #Timex with @tothco // @megagouveia / styled by @mobolajidawodu mu: @oksarahappleby #wearetherhoads
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  • This absolute beauty - played for an hour. Ex-organ playing child now grown up, still love big organs. (Don
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  • Finally...the surprisingly relaxed closeup.

#handpainted #handlettering #holiday #type #typography #signwriting #skills #scrolls #madskills #carousel #ghosttrain #cakewalk #funfair #funofthefair #painting #aspiring #illustration
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  • The Caterpillar.

#funfair #flying #funofthefair #illustration #signwriting #handpainted #handlettering #typography #type #onestop #alphabet #skills #madskills
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  • Or-ight then... The R, the pink, the bulbs, everything!

#lettering #signwriting #scrolls #letterforms #handpainted #handlettering #pink #funfair #candyfloss #carousel #cakewalk #vintage #funofthefair #wurlitzer
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  • ...had a go on the Flying Chairs of course, with my Dad, who wouldn
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  • "Please Pay Here
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  • Today
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  • I had so much fun with everyone last night @palehorselucha My friends and I are always dreaming up wild ideas and I
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  • Here
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  • Mark your calendars – From May 13th to 17th, we will once again transform the @FriezeNewYork VIP experience with our signature design and programming. Stop by! #NHxFrieze #VirtualFrieze
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  • Its a scary thing stepping foot into a Globo…you never know what you’ll see. Thats my face when I step foot into my local globo gym, but I am safe in my @bricknewyork Globo Gym Tour 2015 shirt. Paired with my 50 Shades of Gains workout from @Just0Josh8 and my @progenex bag: bands and shaker included and Im good to go. 
todays program for me...
Strength: - Bench Press @3010; 1 - 1 - 1
Accessory: - Close Grip Barbell Floor Press; 1 set x 8 reps (after warmup sets of course)
- Barbell Strict Overhead Press; 3 sets x 8 reps; :90 rest
- DB Rollback Extensions; 4 sets x 10 reps; :90 rest - Dips (weighted, if able) - 4 sets x 20 reps; :90 rest 
- Oblique Crunches - 3 sets x 20 reps per side
- Band Pull Aparts - 5 sets x 30 rep
- Superset w/ Band Pushdowns - 5 sets x 30 reps
#50ShadesofGains #WeBleedOrange #BrickBros #33andshirtless #CantStopWontStop #ILiftWhatiWANT #EatingAllTheFood #GLOBOfear
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  • #brainfartsNconcepts #sketchbook #doodles
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  • ✌🏼️#themightyKC
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  • Someone dragged me out of the studio today......
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