• 9.9.19 Shepard Fairey Murals the Great Bowery Water Tower

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    Artist Shepard Fairey has created street art over the past three decades that resist cultural norms and expectations. Perhaps his most notable works are the We The People and Obama Hope campaign posters, which were shared across the country millions of times in a variety of ways, making Shepard Fairey a household name throughout the US. It’s his belief that art is a social act that connects people not only with each other but also with ourselves. Shepard believes that art is activism, that serves as a catalyst for action. Shepard was and is still today inspired by the 1980s and 1990s street culture of the Lower East Side, what he refers to as the “unholy trinity of cultures:” graffiti, hip-hop and punk rock, and skateboarding. In a collaboration with several iconic NYC organizations, artist Shepard Fairey created a mural on the water tower that sits on top of the famous Germania Bank Building, currently the home of Great Bowery’s New York Headquarters. This famous graffiti-covered building has seen decades the Lower East Side’s history and culture, making it the perfect canvas for Shepard Fairey’s work. The mural features local activist and actress Rosario Dawson, a Lower East Side native. The painting illuminates Dawson in an empowering light, showcasing her as the inspiring NYC advocate she is. The mural serves as a symbol of power and equality that highlights both NYC’s creative culture as well as Great Bowery’s work with The Lower East Side Girls Club and their Alphabet City Art School.  A key factor in the success of this project was the incredible fundraising and spotlight put on the LES Girls Club by depicting LES New Yorker and board member Rosario Dawson. This altruism and support of the local community is one detail that convinced the Landmark Preservation Commission to approve the project after they initially rejected the idea. Rosario Dawson was raised on the Lower East Side with her family. She lived in a family of squatters and was sitting on a stoop one day when she was approached by a local talent agent to cast her in the movie, “Kids,” kickstarting her acting career. She’s currently a board member of the Lower East Side Girls Club, serving as an important social justice figure and activist, fighting to improve the lives of the young girls of this club. On July 17, once the mural was unveiled, Great Bowery hosted “A Conversation with Shepard Fairey,” with the artist and David Hershkovits, founder of Paper Magazine. The two engaged in a discussion about art, activism, NYC’s creative culture, and how it all came together in Shepard Fairey’s illustration of Dawson on Great Bowery’s water tower.  “Art connects people with the better side of nature and makes them hopefully see something in themselves that then they can also see in other people. So it's at least subconsciously a bit of a bridge to all of humanity and I think people are better people when they're capable of making art, being creative, taking chances, expressing themselves, sharing with others. Because why would we do it if we didn't have some impulse to create meaning with other people? Otherwise, people would just do stuff in isolation. I think it's a social act,” explained Shepard. “Rosario Dawson is a recognizable person that it would make a viewer curious. A lot of the work I've been doing focuses on an appealing archetype that maybe is just representing an idea or a subject that is actually literally in there life embodying an idea. It's really important to draw people into a conversation about the subject matter. Using Rosario for that piece was great because we’ve both been outside this building, in this neighborhood, for years. I put illegal street art on the outside of this building. We’re part of the history.” After thirty years of creating street art, Shepard Fairey remains extremely passionate about his craft. He seeks to look at what’s going on in our society to create what isn’t being said and what needs to be done, with the hope of inspiring action and change.
  • 9.3.19 Bose Collins Grows with Evolver

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    For their annual personal project, creative design team Bose Collins created the mesmerizing short film, Evolver, taking viewers on a journey that explores the idea of transformation through a captivating visual medium. Produced entirely in-house, the project weaves together endeavors in live-action, graphics, and sound design. “We’ve always done personal work in between client work,” explained Nathan of Bose Collins. “We’ve used the time to try new images, new technology, avenues we haven’t explored before. Evolver is the latest in the long, passionate work that we’ve been leaving behind like bread crumbs over the year. We wanted to try prosthetics. At the same time, we met someone who is really good at organics and wanted to give her a tryout, and so we started doing these tests and that’s where Evolver was born. The opening shot of the girl in the natural form, we made the prosthetic for the opening eye and made the CG models based on the prosthetic.” The entire endeavor took about a year to complete. Most of the Bose Collin’s personal projects have an aspect that dances on the line between spirituality and nature, in the way the work emerges and reveals itself. In this project, the sequential element of the earth and metal transformation to energy was undeniable. One of the most difficult tasks for the team was choosing the right name for the project. “We couldn’t think of a name for ages. However, once we got to watch the final cuts, we realized we had something quite special that we were really proud of it. We knew the name had to be epic, so Evolver was just the perfect fit.” “It was a real collaborative team effort. There are certain programs for certain things, hard objects or soft objects. This project is a mixture of them all. Some of the details were even shot in-camera. The eyes and face close-ups, particularly, were much more analog and organic. We’ve been enjoying hybrid work of blurring the line between CG and live-action. We’ve tried to maintain ‘if it can be shot with a camera, it should be shot’.”  “The first stage was the most fun for us, the deconstruction moments of the first stage where the spheres are coming out. Just designing that first stage to match the prosthetic was fun for us. For that first stage, we focused on the organic, primeval form that reveals itself and then transforms into pure energy at the end. The fun part is when we can play with things, to see what sticks. Things you thought might be a good idea, are tried and they’re actually not so great. Or happy accidents. You make the thing you like, you show it, and then people come to you for it.” If you build it, they will come.
  • 9.10.19 Serial Cut Celebrates 20 Years with SC99

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    In celebration of their 20th anniversary, creative studio Serial Cut embarked on a visual journey they’ve dubbed SC99: Purely Iconic. The year-long campaign that debuted in January of this year reached its final culmination point this Monday, September 9th, 2019 or, 9.9.19. The date pays tribute to the year in which the brand was incepted and this year, 2019. The endeavor included a film, book release, and event, complete with monthly Easter eggs to entice viewers to keep checking back. Serial Cut worked with over 50 professionals to produce a film that set the stage for the campaign. In a 7-day production period, their giant team of creatives worked together to create a story that tied together all of the specially curated elements to celebrate their two decades of creativity. The result is literally the biggest production that the studio has worked on. The film takes viewers on a journey throughout the studio’s philosophy, depicted throughout nine different rooms. Each room focuses on a different value and showcases different acclaimed revisitation of past projects. Before yesterday’s launch, the brand released trailers and teasers that include behind the scenes looks at their process. “Since the beginning, I wanted to split a giant SC99 logotype in 9 rooms, where each was about some characteristic that defined the studio, so all together is the studio itself,” explained Serial Cut. “In “Renderoom” we talk about the CGI we do, in “Typeblocks” the typography have an important role, in “Digitactile” we show how digital props convert into tactile ones, and so on with the rest of the rooms. In all of them are some well-known projects (that some fans will recognize) but revised, they don’t appear as they were originally. That´s a nice part to look at, there are many details we take into account to make it special and tell the story of the studio in a very free creative and original way. I was the one that wrote the bio of each character, so I include personal details of me or the thing I like or I don’t like. It´s really awesome how the characters come to life when you put them a name and invent their lives.” Showcasing two decades of work was no easy feat. Serial Cut created a massive compilation piece of the most iconic projects the brand has worked on in the past two decades. The book celebrates their 20 years of work in 544 pages and features the pure creativity the brand has harnessed throughout the years that combines pop culture and surrealism into one. Throughout the year-long campaign, new cover art for the book was unveiled each month that featured one of the nine characters introduced in the SC99 film. The book is available for purchase here. “The storytelling, as also the concept in an image is the base of everything. Without this, the image can be beautiful, but you probably will forget it sooner than if it also comes with a strong concept. I think many images show a concept behind, we love to blend concepts generating some surrealism or 2 techniques, for instance, tactile and CGI.” To celebrate the final conclusion of this year-long endeavor, Serial Cut produced an event where their fans, clients, and collaborators could come together to celebrate their years of creativity. The full film was featured on a big screen, followed by a talk about the in-depth process and some behind the scenes moments of the SC99 Book and Film. The event and entire campaign were a huge success, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next 20 years.  
  • 8.21.19 New Muralist Chris Wyrick Hits Home with Lenny Kravitz

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    In a mural collaboration with Lenny Kravitz that was featured in Architectural Digest, the latest addition to the B&A roster, muralist Chris Wyrick, headed to Lenny Kravitz's home to create a space that truly honors the artist. From a young age, Chris Wyrick was immersed in a world of creativity. Having his father working as a museum director, Chris was brought up in a world that was filled with paintings, sculptures, and art. “I’m really interested in transforming space. I spend a lot of time outdoors, my love of surfing and things that take place in the outside world come into my work, and I’m really excited about using natural forms, exploring them in scale to change the perspective of them and people’s experience with them. Ultimately I’m like a little kid in a lot of my beliefs, I believe in heroes. I’m really obsessed with mystery and magic so I’m trying to bring more of that into the world.” For their first collaboration, Chris arrived at Lenny’s home in Brazil and didn’t leave for the next 30 days. “It all started when the head of his design firm, Kirsten Mattila, was doing some work in LA, saw my murals, and asked me to come down to Lenny’s ranch in Brazil to paint the guest house. I worked with her to develop a palm themed pattern that had a camouflage feel to it. We went back and forth for quite a long time working on the palette and scale of the mural. When we got to a good place, they flew me down to Brazil and I got there just enough ahead of Lenny to do some tests on the wall to show him the scale of what we were thinking. It’s funny, I was supposed to go down there for ten days and even though the guest house was to be finished in that time, it was gonna be a stretch because it’s a really large interior. But when I landed they said, “you know Lenny saw some other things that you’ve done and he’s interested in you looking at his master bedroom suite and the media room in the house, and the project just grew from there.” “I really first got started on the project one night. Lenny is a total night owl and he’s obsessive about spaces and interiors. He just gets into this sort of amazing manic place. It was about 11:00 at night and I was working in the guest house and he came over to borrow a paintbrush. He had this vision in the main house which at the time was all just white walls and he envisioned these big triangles there. He wanted to reach a clean, simple, African-inspired aesthetic. We painted until 3 AM and had created a series of different triangles snaking their way through the main hallway all through the house. It was an amazing experience.” “There were so many influences and inspirations that he wanted to reference. In the bedroom, he wanted to stick with the natural theme but at the same time wanted a sequence and some of that grit, Andy Warhol-esque. He was very clear, he wanted a very masculine but delicate piece and it was my job to balance all these different things he was throwing at me. He had this incredibly beautiful vintage bed with a ray of warm pink to yellow to orange to brown colors that felt very 70s. The first iteration we tried the palms using the palette of his bed. I painted for about two days and he came in and he kept looking at it on and off and finally, he posed the question ‘Is this working?’,” explained Chris. “The next morning, there were some local painters that he had working on the house and they came in so quickly and painted over everything. It kind of took me back a little bit how fast it was removed. As soon as he realized it wasn’t working, it was just gone. And we immediately started again the following day. Collaborating is at the core of my work, but it’s usually on the front-end, talking about design, so to have this moment where we really connected in that place, over that space, was incredible.” Alongside these unexpected magic moments, creating with Lenny Kravitz meant one thing for sure: they were listening to music throughout the process. “We listened to a lot of things, but mostly jazz. Lenny had a connection to Miles Davis when he was young, he got to meet Miles and see him perform. It was a really powerful influence on him. I think jazz is a way, way bigger influence on his music than a lot of people would realize. We both share a huge love of early fusion jazz from the 60s and 70s, the stuff that Miles was doing. If we weren’t listening to jazz, we were listening to Led Zeppelin, the Stones, a lot of heavy early rock.” Where other projects have also had Chris on site for a month or longer, not all experiences have been as artistically immersive with other creatives, as this one. As if Chris’s experience at the Kravitz home wasn’t already a whirlwind experience, Lenny opened his home to his entire band to prepare for their soon-departing world tour. “I think one of the reasons that this project worked the way it did was because Lenny is such a real person, he’s completely authentic, it’s not a big show. He loves being around people and working with people. He creates a family situation, so in Brazil, we all ate lunch and dinner together, every day, around a big table. He had one of the heads of Kravitz Design there with me, and there was a rotating group of creatives. He invited friends of his like Rodney Burns of Church Boutique, LA and an artist named Noah Becker, there was a painter that lives in Berlin and he and his girlfriend came and painted on-site as well, and his biographer David Ritz came from LA. He had a couple of friends come to help with the Architectural Digest shoot, so it was a very interesting group of people. It really was this bonding moment where we all got to know each other in the creative process, and actually create.” This was one of four collaborations for Chris with Lenny Kravitz, and he hopes it won’t be the last.
  • 8.9.19 Creative Director Albie Alexander Steps Into His Latest Role with B&A

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    In a world where so much of our time is spent online or looking at a screen, brick and mortar stores have become few and far between. In an effort to cut through the noise, brands have expanded to translating their digital presence to create in-person experiences. A trailblazer of creating memorable branded moments, B&A is proud to announce the addition of Creative Director Albie Alexander to our experiential roster. “It is my mission in life to create artful experiences that serve as a catalyst for connection - with ourselves, each other and the world now on a profoundly deeper level," explains Albie. “We live in such an overstimulated world with a 24/7 news cycle and a complicated relationship with our screens that is pretty unhealthy. I believe that now more than ever, brands have the world's stage to create meaningful positive change that shifts culture and builds a more mindful and inclusive world for the future." Having studied many different avenues since starting his education, Albie will tell you that he studied at the school of life. It’s his personal belief that there is no linear path in education, and that culture was his greatest influence. “I’ve been lucky enough to live in very diverse cities such as London, New York, and LA, and been exposed to so much beauty, that I would say culture has been my greatest teacher”. He’s made his career creating experiences, with roles at Paper Magazine and most recently, Refinery29. During his time with the digital media company, Albie co-founded the experiential sensation, 29Rooms, to celebrate the ten-year success of the brand. The endeavor came from the idea to create an experience that would immerse attendees in their content and where culture and creativity would be unlocked and celebrated every year. The event became a viral hit, both online and off. Albie led the creative direction, building experiences with countless brands, artists and partners for nearly half a decade. “I’m not in the business of creating backdrops for a cute photo-op, I’m in the business of creating disarming experiences that invite people to be moved by beautiful things, to feel in new ways, be educated on issues that impact other communities than their own, and maybe even connect with a stranger for a few minutes. I want to crack open people’s imaginations and show them their limitless possibilities, that they can dream big and that they are worthy. It’s an exciting time to be a creator and I think we all have the opportunity and responsibility to challenge the status quo with the work we are putting out into the world. And so, if I can keep creating more experiences that help lift people up to realize their full potential - then that is all that matters to me." 
  • 8.18.19 Joe Pugliese's First Collaboration With HBO

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    In his first collaboration with HBO, photographer Joe Pugliese captured the key art for the hit television drama, Succession.  “HBO wanted the tension that would exist in a family. It’s something that we can all relate to: family tension, awkwardness, being at a table you don’t want to be at. Everything was made to feel intense. We had multiple concepts to shoot, and only one that made the cut. We had another entire dining room concept. A lot of what we do on shoots like this is to shoot a lot of concepts on set that day and then choose the final. We had one whole day to prelight, and then a whole day to shoot.” The family portrait captured by Joe shows the cast of the television show at the dinner table, during an intense moment of pause. Not only were all 7 actors on set for the shoot, but they also came in character, ready to act. “We built the set from scratch and shot it on the Highline stages. I worked with a set designer, an LA-based partner of mine. HBO was supportive of me having my team there. We had stand-ins, so we were able to experiment with compositions and positioning of all the other characters so that we had a real plan of attack with the actors. It was very set specific, so I didn’t want to skimp on that department, and I didn’t want it to feel like it was lit for a photograph,” explained the photographer.  As a television show progresses, season after season, the concepts surrounding the promotional campaigns can become more subtle. Regular viewers have an idea of what’s going on in the plot, and potential viewers are more savvy and curious about what the show is about. For this Season 2 shoot, the audience had already been acquainted with the cast in the first season. “We wanted to get into the character’s minds, and since HBO felt that the characters were now introduced to the audience, we didn’t have to reintroduce them the way they did for season 1. So it made me want to light it extremely cinematically, in the way that in film and cinematography you never really know what the lighting source is. You are hopefully believing that that’s the way the dining room looks. Using a globe like or a chandelier, using a big soft light that surrounds them which is what the walls would do. Having the light coming off the marble table. These little lighting cues that made it pretty sharp and believable as a lighting idea.” In a shoot with multiple concepts, it’s unlikely that the result is a perfect match to the “All the key art was the most in-camera campaign I’ve ever done. The RAW file looks almost exactly like the poster which is very, very rare. What we were shooting on the day was exactly how you see it, all the way down to everything on the dining table and the lights on the wall, the fireplace, where everyone is sitting. It was pretty technically challenging but we really had time to finesse it and I think it shows in the final that it’s photographic. There were no surprises,” said Joe. “I was really happy with how it all turned out. For me, it’s always fun when you see the cast interact in ways that are out of what you’re familiar with. In this show, they absolutely hate each other but on set, they’re palling around and joking and being the best of friends. They’re their own separate family.”  
  • 8.28.19 Brook Pifer Gears Up for Class with Levi's

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    In her latest campaign with Levi's, photographer Brook Pifer captures the excitement of Fall in a series of images that show off the best fits of the season. No matter the equipment required, Brook doesn't show up to set without her film camera. Brook created GIFs using the striking portraits and inspiring group shots she directed. “What makes a really special GIF is when you get that added third dimension. It’s very much about thinking less a photographer and more like a cinematographer,” explained Brook. “Anytime where there’s an action moment that didn't line up against a wall, I know I can create something special. I like to look for when I can see that depth between the camera, the subject, and the background. There is a bit of a technicality to make it look the way it does, it can’t look flat and also have that dimension. It has to have the room for movement.” “On set, it’s work but it’s a fun environment. I like to play music on and off set. Once they’re in front of me while I’m rocking and rolling, we can crank the music up and I can be vocal with direction but if I see something serendipitously happening, I let it happen. I give the subjects the time to be creative and have that moment to breathe because that's when you get those special in-between moments. On set it is work, but you’ll see people waiting to be brought to frame who were having fun off set and now they’re jumping onto set and keeping the fun flowing.” For this project with Levi’s, Brook captured the fresh-faced cast in a suburban neighborhood in California. The team worked with locals to include the classic white Jeep parked outside into their set, which became one of the iconic backdrops in the shoot. The shoot focused on a pattern of neutral backdrops to draw into the energy of the choreography of the photography, whether it was a group shot or portrait, to make the subject pop. “We were drawn to backdrops with light or even some texture to tie in that story so it looked consistent and very high end. We wanted it to feel back to school. That’s what you would do with your friends. You would grab an ice cream after school hanging out. We’re listening to music and now we’re dancing and hugging and creating a human pile up! That’s how I see the stories we create. I think it creates a more honest narrative,” explained Brook. “Something that was really great about the casting for this project was the focus on an approachable, aspirational, relatable aesthetic. It was incredible, the team was so great to work with. They loved what I’ve worked on in the past and trusted my vision, knowing that we can adjust if we needed to. They're kind of a dream client, to be honest. It’s a huge blessing to get that as an artist.”
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