Jeremy Corbyn Rolls Up His Sleeves with Marco Grob and British GQ
After Jeremy Corbyn sat for the cover of British GQ with Marco Grob rumors of the event exploded all over the media, with a bevy of stories about the story. Controversies and retractions followed, but what matters at the end of the day is one thing and one thing only: Marco took some fantastic pictures.
Corbyn is something of an anomaly, not just in UK politics but in all facets. Marco and Fashion Director Luke Day were able to get the Labour Party leader into a tie – an accessory he regularly avoids – dressing him up further than normal. For most politicians, especially at Corbyn’s level, a detail as simple as a tie in the House of Commons is unquestionable but Corbyn has made his career being accessible to the people, straight off the cuff, and always authentic. That persona is what’s made him so attractive to his fans and made for such a lovely shoot with Marco. Plus it’s also part of what’s so complex about Corbyn: he doesn’t look like any other politician. He doesn’t carry himself the same way, think the same way, or speak the same way.
GQ couldn’t have Corbyn on the cover of their Election Special and annual list of the 50 best-dressed men in a relaxed shirt, so they dressed him in Marks and Spencer, an affordable British brand – a responsible choice for the Labour leader. Corbyn is more buttoned up, and potentially more Prime Ministerial, on Marco’s cover than normal, but there’s still a glimpse of the Corbyn we know and recognize on the inside with a black and white image of Corbyn rolling up his sleeves – perhaps ready to get to work?
Sawdust Creates a New Logo and Identity for Converse
Converse is as an iconic sneaker brand as any other. The brand was at the forefront of athletic sneakers, and Michael Jordan’s favorite brand to play in before he hesitantly joined Nike. Decades later, Converse is under the Nike umbrella and continues to be at the forefront of lifestyle footwear. They’re on trend but thought they could use one update: their logo. So Conversed asked Sawdust to help them do it. “Trust is the keyword, the Converse team put their faith in us to explore ideas with them,” explains Rob Gonzalez, who created Sawdust with Jonathan Quainton. “They made us feel like part of the family rather than putting the weight of the world on our shoulders — it was very much a team effort with discussions about what works and what doesn’t.”
Converse’s logo has gone through some transformation in the century the brand has been around. They’ve had wordmarks and stars, but Sawdust brought everything together, simplified it, and created the new star and chevron look. It’s no small job to take a logo that’s been at the forefront of cultural conversation for decades and bring new life to it. That logo will be seen on shoes, advertisements, stores, tags, teeshirts, everything. It’s an undertaking the Sawdust understands. “It was a great honour to work on a project of this magnitude with Converse,” Jonathan says.
Not only is it a huge job to shuffle the identity of a brand like Converse, but it has personal implications. As kids both Rob and Jonathan either owned or were well aware of converse as products. Long before they were designers or working with the brand, the shoes were a part of their world. “I still remember the day when I was a kid and my sister bought some Converse Chuck Taylor high tops — blew my mind! I always copied her because she was cooler than me,” explains Rob. It reminds us that the icons walking down the street are all created by hardworking creative minds like those at Sawdust.
Nomoco Helps the Transition Travel with Alaska Airlines
It’s easy to get caught up in the common wisdom about airports: we imagine them as spaces where travelers rush from one timed event to another, trying to get through security lines fast enough to make their next flight, all on the way out. But there’s a magic to the airport, it’s where we move from one space into another. Airports are resting spots between moments on our individual journeys and the perfect place to reflect on where we’re going and where we’ve been. Recently, Nomoco was commissioned by Alaska Airlines through Hornall Anderson to help bring a new energy to a tunnel through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with an installation of a massive illustration.
The illustration stretches more than 200 feet through SEATAC Airport, acting as a transition through the space, but allowing travelers to visit Nomoco’s take on a variety of destinations. Although Nomoco’s illustration includes recognizable locations like the Yucatan Peninsula, Cuba, and Los Angeles, there are sections that are more interpretive. A forest full of birds, a bubbly body of water, and stretches of clouds are all space we can let our travel dreams take hold.
“Inspired by the rich colors of nature and the vibrant air of cities, I aimed to create a rhythmical transition journey space from city to city,” explains Nomoco. “I hope it brings an uplifting atmosphere to the tunnel.”
The next time you’re walking through the airport on your way home, on a trip, or towards another flight, remember to take a breath and remember that there’s something magical about the whole thing. And if you forget to, maybe Nomoco will help remind you.
Tom Corbett Gets Moving with Harper's BAZAAR Greece
Fashion is all about reinvention, and few looks are more ripe for innovation than the toga, a stereotypical Ancient Greek garment that has inspired fashion for millennia. This season Chanel has tapped into that Greek heritage for their line that is rife with references to the ancient past but with a fresh flavor. Harper’s BAZAAR Greece asked Tom Corbett to shoot an editorial that brings extra life to the clothes, and the story just dropped. “We wanted to take these clothes and give them some energy,” explains Tom. “I like to have a lot of movement in my work, so it was a movement story, using our fabulous hairdresser to help with the movement of the hair.”
The key to making a shoot like this work, blending the old with the new, is to keep a very contemporary eye on the imagery and make sure that the references don’t overpower the contemporary artistry. So that’s exactly what Tom did. “The fact that we were shooting in a really modern way allowed us to get away with some of this. I think that helped,” says Tom. “We shot with a very Greek emphasis on it. Being a Greek magazine I wanted to do a modern take on it and I think that’s why it worked.” The influences are alive, but the focus is making sure the clothes, and the model, look amazing.
Joshua Davis Sets a New Pace for BMW in Shanghai
There are as many ways to run as there are runners, each with their own goals, methods, and training. But when they come together to a race, like the Shanghai Marathon, each of those individuals is tested against each other and the details fall away. All that matters is the order they cross the finish line. Or is it? This year, BMW and Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai teamed up with Joshua Davis to give runners more than a finishing time. Instead, they created a data-visual experience that takes all the data collected over the course of the many miles (speed, pace, time, calories burned) and turned it into beautiful visualizations for the runners to take home (digitally, of course).
The Shanghai Marathon is the perfect opportunity for brands to speak to a captive audience of 30,000 runners, but BMW wanted to do more than just create a simple video to play for them. Joshua helped them create a series of visual cues that are as variable as the runners themselves. All manner of colored ribbons swoop, move, and twist with the data collected over the run, and turn into beautiful artwork thanks to Joshua’s ability to combine real-time data collection with captivating visuals. It’s no longer just about finishing times with BMW’s “Art of Energy” – it’s about the experience, and letting those hours of ephemeral sweat and effort turn into something that will live on in the digital space.
Scalia's Salmagundi by Chris Buzelli
As a living justice, Antonin Scalia was a firebrand. A new article in Virginia Quarterly Review, paired with a new painting by Chris Buzelli, opens the story of Scalia’s life and impact with an anecdote about how his propensity for illustrative speech has ultimately injured his own intended legacy. A blustering irony written into his dissent for United States v. Windsor was subsequently picked up as an argument against Scalia’s intentions, resulting in judicial decisions that will arguably have a greater impact than any of Scalia’s other words. That anecdote is a great position from which to begin understanding Scalia, but the story is ever more opaque and complex, which was precisely the challenge presented to Chris with this portrait.
Like much of Chris’ work most of the image is a traditional enough portrait: Scalia in his robes and a tie, caught midsentence (with skin so smooth he looks like he recently took a trip to the spa). We know who this is, but Chris has popped open his skull and revealed a tumbleweed that releases itself out of Scalia’s mouth. The argument in this portrait, both by Chris and by the author of the Review’s piece, Jack Hitt, is that Scalia contained within him the ability to be complex, if messy, and often the resulting quagmire was near impossible to sort through.
Scalia’s legacy is written on paper and echoes through the opinions of judges who have written his words into their own, but to call it focused or clear is a misunderstanding. Chris’ work is to help us understand Scalia and the mess in his head revealed though his own work.
Brian Doben In Martha Stewart's Kitchen
It’s not often an invitation to Martha Stewart’s Westchester home lands in your lap. So, when Brian Doben got that invitation, to take her portrait for a profile by People Magazine, he loaded up and headed to her small farm. When you meet an icon you can never be sure what you’re going to get, but this is Martha Stewart: the queen of all things good. “She could not have been a sweeter woman. It was a wonderful,” says Brian. “I think she spent a lot of time with Snoop [Dogg] - she’s really chill. I think she’s found peace and it was a really splendid time with her and her dogs and seeing her home.” Brian was asked by the magazine to provide a single portrait, so they started in the most obvious place, her kitchen. We’ve all been in Martha Stewart’s kitchen before, whether it’s the kitchen in her home in Katonah, or one on a studio set through the magic of TV, we know what it’s like to cook with Martha. It’s practically a sacred space and the basis of all things Martha Stewart, so it’s bound to be a unique experience.
“It was a bit surreal because we’re in her kitchen photographing, and it’s Martha Stewart so she talks to you in a way that is constantly teaching and explaining,” says Brian. “It’s really quite interesting because she is true to herself. She loves what she does. She has passion that is just at its purest form.” What started as a simple photoshoot turned into a regaling of stories about famous chefs, some set decorating, and a lesson in hygiene (Stewart showed Brian how she removes the garlicky smell from her hands after chopping). Brian and Stewart got along so well that the shoot continued outside the kitchen onto Stewart’s grounds and they spent some quality time with the dogs.
Stewart is a rockstar of homegoods, and even though she’s forever inviting us into her space (at least virtually) there’s still a lot to know about her. Her career and life are both remarkable, but as much as we learn about her there’s still so much more to learn – either about how to make the perfect apple pie, or maybe something even more. After all, if we can fix the small things, we can fix the big things. “She’s such an American Icon for constantly giving tips and all that, but I want to know more about who and why she does what she does. I think she really loves to do it all,” says Brian. “She’s truly like a Warren Buffet, she’s just a walking phenomenon. Good or bad. She’s just who she is. If we can get rid of garlic hands it would be like we solved everything.”
Kyle Bean Finds True Love for Got Milk
What happens when a glass of milk gets to do its own thing? Set free into the world to find its own kind of love, aside from the pairings we force on it (like a slice of chocolate cake), what kind of life would it find? We’re not sure, but Kyle Bean is. In a hilarious new ad for Got Milk, Kyle brought a glass of milk on a love tour, helping it introduce itself to a bevy of suitors including a hot dog, a taco, and a sushi roll. Because at the end of the day, as the ad teaches us, food loves milk. All food.
“We wanted to get a weird British sense of humor to it and I thought that could come quite purely and simply when we’re puppeteering food – that in itself is quite a bizarre funny thing,” Kyles says about the practical way he shot the piece. “Everything was shot in camera.” If you check out the behind the scenes look, you’ll see that each moment of the video was created on unique sets and each movement was puppeteered thanks to special rigs.
Kyle is no stranger to creating work this way – almost everything he makes is practical: cut paper, constructed machines, sculpted figures. He makes impossible images in a workroom and gets them photographed into a final composition. But this was the first time he’s worked on this scale. “It was one of my first forays into proper directing a live action film project so actually it was quite a new experience for me. It was quite a learning curve along the way,” says Kyle. “I was able to work with quite a big team of people which is something different. Sometimes it’s just me working by myself, but on this, it was a good 30 or so crew members, so it was a big team.” The team was all focused on the same thing: making a video that was funny, compelling, and told the story they wanted to tell. But it’s no coincidence that Kyle’s video is live action. He made sure it happened that way.
Initially, Got Milk had the script and were exploring different ways to execute it all. When Goodby Silverstein and Partners, Got Milk's agency, came to Hornet to see how Kyle would do it, he was very clear: “I had the idea of shooting it all practically with real milk, a real glass, and these very graphic sets,” says Kyle. “In some ways, not too dissimilar from the process I’m used to with still works but just it’s on a much bigger scale.” Got Milk swooned, just like the glass of milk, and the results are true love.
Steven Laxton Brings Voice to LGBT Refugees In New Show
American politics is on fire and moving at a blistering pace, it’s hard to pay attention to anything else. But for Steven Laxton, the moment that precipitated this chaos, the 2016 election, was a wake-up call to see the horrors happening on the other side of our borders. “I was very disgruntled and confused about the election and Trumpism and all the xenophobia and sexism and racism that transpired,” says Steven. “I realized that I rather than just post disgruntled posts on Facebook and go to a few rallies, I have a craft that can tell stories.” He started creating projects around immigration and came across Immigration Equality, the leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. Once he started hearing their stories, a whole new perception of what it means to be a refugee opened up for him and inspired his project “Free To Be Me,” on view at The LGBT Center in New York starting today.
“It occurred to me that I didn’t really think about this enough myself,” Steven explains. “When I think about refugees I think of people seeking political asylum or economic asylum or people fleeing from war zones. It’s not often you think about LGBTQ asylum but there’s over 70 countries in the world where it’s illegal to be gay basically. Some of the stories are horrendous so I realized this was something that was worthy of doing.” Steven sat down with a host of LGBTQ refugees to get their stories and act as a conduit for us to meet them, understand them, and recognize the injustice happening all over the world. Things aren’t perfect in the US, but they’re good enough that for many, the US is an escape and a step towards living a freer and fuller life.
It’s not just about facts and figures, as appalling as those are. It’s about the humanity behind those numbers and the absurd laws in other countries governing what is and what is not okay about being an LGBTQ person. “It’s important for people to know the stories and where they come from,” says Steven. “There’s one gentleman from Egypt who’s an architect. He went out on a date when he was younger with a guy, they just kissed, the cops saw him and he was locked in prison for three months only because he was a minor. If he had been older it would have been five years.” He was able to come to the US and build a new life here, a more honest life, and contribute to his new community here.
Check out Steven Laxton’s “Free to Be Me,” presented in cooperation with the LGBT Center and Immigration Equality, is on view starting November 14th and running through the end of the year.
Marvel's 'Black Panther' Times Ten with Marco Grob
Calling Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ the most highly anticipated superhero movie in years is an understatement. Not only is Black Panther set to break records, it’s the first major film of the genre to feature a lead of color, a director of color, and a screenwriter of color. It’s a huge moment for representation in Hollywood, but also it just seems like the movie is going to be amazing. All eyes are on Ryan Coogler leading up to February’s release, and Marvel just released a slew of character posters for the film – a dizzying array of 10 different posters all shot by Marco Grob.
Marco is known for his work in Hollywood, creating brilliant character portraits. Character portraiture is something of a balancing act, because it represents an extension of the film. Marco must get honest and clear moments from these actors through the guise of their characters. Plus it has to look beautiful. At once he plays stylist, cinematographer, and director, juggling each role so that the final image captures a glimpse of a full story in a single composition. That’s tricky enough with one or two posters, but Marco did it ten times for Black Panther: an achievement by any measure.
What a treat to be a part of such a monumental movie, and a beautiful piece of it to boot.
A Wormhole Through Worlds with Jeff Soto and XBOX
Game consoles are windows into a myriad of worlds. Each game has its own story, its own cast of characters, its own aesthetics, and offers its own escape. For a client like XBOX, Jeff Soto had to bring together all of those worlds into one execution. It’s not enough for XBOX to pick one or two: to celebrate their platform they have to represent the entire scope of what’s possible through the console so Jeff Soto did just that. He created a “wormhole.”
In the video, the viewer is brought through what seems like dozens of worlds, each one a representation of a popular XBOX game, and each one created by Jeff. One after another they go, sparking inspiration and curiosity for anyone looking for their latest obsession. XBOX offers those in spades, and Jeff offers a taste of each one.
Jason Schmidt Gets Extreme with Kaws for Architectural Digest
An artists’ studio is a hallowed space: they go there to commune and create, to communicate with the world and express the fruits of that communication, and those thoughts. They build and destroy in those spaces, but once the work is over they head home. The creation continues, it never stops, inside their minds that float inside their heads that lay on their own pillows, or rest against their couches, or bob through the kitchen while grabbing pasta to pour into the boiling water for dinner. The space is always creative, but one is relatively public – or is at least for the creation of the public act – while the other is private. Kaws is arguably one of the most famous and successful living artists, with new work and collaborations dropping all the time and being shared with the world, but his Brooklyn home is shared only with his wife and two children. Until now. Jason Schmidt was let into the home to photograph for the cover of Architectural Digest. And as photographers go, Jason was the perfect choice. “I thought I wanted to be an architect when I was a kid,” says Jason. “I’m super interested in architecture and design and then, I’m also obviously interested in and committed to artists. So, not surprisingly, I’ve been assigned to shoot artists homes because it’s a melding of my two main interests.”
Jason has photographed more than 600 artists over the course of his career so far: mostly photographing studio spaces, creative spaces. But every now and then he gets into a private home space, like he did with Kaws, and it’s a little bit of a different energy. Kaws’ fame and success has afforded him to amass an incredible private collection that spans decades of work from artists of a dizzying amount of disciplines, mediums, and movements. There’s a lot to see at Kaws’ house and sometimes it’s too much. “Some things I wanted to be overwhelming,” Jason explains. “Often if you have a complicated room that’s filled with stuff, it can resolve itself a little bit. Most rooms have something of a sweet spot in terms of the orientation of the room and maybe that’s sort of when you walk into a room – most well-designed rooms – so the room sort of lays out for you just before your eyes when you enter that space.” These spaces are complicated, and Jason shows us the artistry of those complications. But not all of them are, some are simpler and it’s the lack of balance that appeals to Jason.
“I like a room that’s really minimal and I also like a room that’s really maximal,” Jason explains. “And those two extremes, the way all extremes meet in a way, have a lot in common. It’s the stuff in between that I’m less interested in. Kaws’ house is sort of a combination of maximalist and minimalism.” Photographing the hundreds of creative spaces that Jason has, there’s little he hasn’t seen – and that’s kind of the point. As we all search for balance, as much as that balance is alluring for a lifestyle it’s less fun to watch. We want to see it all – or nothing. And Jason’s ready to photograph it for us.
Paola + Murray Make Sure You Don't Miss Out
We all have FOMO - the Fear Of Missing Out. You log on social media and you see that amazing party, or vacation, or dinner party that just seems divine and you wonder “Why don’t I ever get to do amazing things like that?” Social media seems to be the biggest enabler of FOMO, but it can also be a remedy as Paola + Murray recently tested for New York Times Magazine. They attended a dinner party thrown by a food critic and their job was to make NYTimes Magazine’s followers feel like they were there. “Shooting for the NYT Magazine was a dream come true and to know that we were photographing Tejal Rao’s - a food critic for the NYT- dinner party made it even more exciting,” they say. The photographs got posted to @nymag’s Instagram Stories so that all of their followers could attend - in the comfort of their own home.
Being a great critic comes with being a great craftsman, and Rao knows her way around the kitchen. Being in that space, around that energy, is the perfect environment for Paola + Murray to capture what’s actually happening. “Tejal and her partner Hugh were great hosts and the energy during the prep was electric, you could tell they are a well oiled machine and that they have entertained many times before,” explain Paola + Murray. “Timing is crucial when you photograph someone prepping, cooking, serving, eating and so on. For this one we had to move very fast since we did not want to disrupt the “dance” between the hosts and the guests and we also wanted to convey the natural, authentic, warm feel that was being created in the room.” The results are a “fly on the wall” view of what these experiences are really like. But there’s opportunity for more, and that’s exactly what Paola + Murray were going for.
“We wanted the smell of the delicious apple tart being baked to come through the images as well as the juxtaposition of creamy fondue and crunchy baguette,” they say. “We wanted our viewer to eat this one with their eyes and be at the table with Tejal and her friends.”
Take a look! We hope your experience is as delicious as the real thing and you don’t feel like you missed out for a moment.
Sawdust Makes Everything Possible for Wired UK
As a publication, there’s very little that Wired doesn’t cover. Begun as a technology publication, at an age when tech touches every aspect of our lives, covering tech means covering the modern condition. It’s impossible to describe life without tech, and tech without life. So Wired does it all. The UK imprint of the magazine, Wired UK, recently underwent a redesign and with that comes a refresh for their typography. The last time the magazine redesigned they went to Sawdust to create some new typography, so they did the same this time. Sawdust’s response was an emphatic Yes! and a style that’s able to engage will the myriad of topics the magazine engages with.
“We set ourselves the task of creating a typeface that worked efficiently in both flat color and three-dimensional form, however the 3D version needed to work directly over imagery, and without the need for a device within which to hold it. This created a whole new set of challenges,” Sawdust told It’s Nice That.
Since Wired’s focus is so broad and changes every day, Sawdust had to anticipate issues that we can’t even imagine. Technology shift so fast that anything is possible, so Sawdust had to imagine infinite uses for their work and make any of those executions possible.
“We needed a typeface that would work in black and white both flat and three-dimensional. For the flat version, it goes without saying that the color could be adjusted easily (it didn’t need to be set in just black or white) but changing the color for the 3D version, logistically become exponentially more complex and so we agreed a black and a white version was best. Therefore, when working in 3D it became important to keep tonal variants of white and black to facilitate its use across photography.”
Discovering New Dimensions with Joe Pugliese, The Duffer Brothers, and Wired
It’s only been three days since Stranger Things 2 dropped on Netflix and thousands of viewers have already blasted through the whole season of television. And it’s surprising it’s taken even that long. When Stranger Things first debuted on Netflix last summer it was the breakaway hit, and with the second season only a few days old, expectations and anticipation for the third season are already becoming rabid. It’s all thanks to the Duffer Brothers, Matt and Ross, identical twins and creative collaborators. All eyes are on the brothers as they bring us in their world, and Wired Magazine invited Joe Pugliese to photograph them for their latest issue.
The aesthetic of Stranger Things is unique and easily identifiable, but Joe wanted to avoid those tropes. “I didn’t want to freeze them in the show that they’re currently working on because I always feel like portraiture lives on long after the people we photograph are tied to a specific project,” Joe explains. “I wanted to allude to the work that they do which at the core is an exploration of dimension - different dimensions and things living on in other ways and in other places.” To reflect the idea of multiple dimensions, Joe had the brothers play with mirrors and then used those reflections as a kind of visual game with the camera.
Being identical twin brothers, there’s a lot of space to make visual jokes about reflections or similar looks, but Joe wanted to avoid all that. Instead, he found that all stereotypes about identical twins are completely absent from the way the brothers present themselves. As a photographer, it was his responsibility to present that in his work. “They don’t feel like identical twins in person. I actually wouldn’t guess that if I had met them, I would say maybe brothers or fraternal twins,” says Joe. “They don’t come off as really even the same kind of vibe.”
Those differences are crucial when collaborating. The two have known each other since conception and choose to work together every day, and their separateness ensures they better each other. But Joe is quick to point out that they’re perfect equals, and he wanted that to show in the imagery. “I didn’t want them to ever feel like interchangeable in the photo, but I also didn’t want there to be a lead and a non-lead in the image, so I took care to switch them around at will,” says Joe. “They don’t present themselves as interchangeable but they also don’t present themselves as one dominant, or one stronger personality than the other so I wanted to respect the fact that they are definitely on equal footing.” Luckily, Joe and the brothers were able to explore and try new things because Wired offers the creative freedom to get the right images.
“They are one of the few that gives me that much freedom to just guide it,” says Joe about Wired. The magazine, and photo editor Ruby Goldberg, support Joe in every way making it possible to create amazing photographs.