February 9, 2009  |  art, News, Photography, Reviews  |  Comments Off


Renowned for his old master style oil paintings of modern black males in renaissance poses, NYC based artist KEHINDE WILEY makes his first foray into photography just as memorable with a new series of stills replicating his instantly recognizable fine art aesthetic. Created for "Black Light," a forthcoming book by Brooklyn-based publishers POWERHOUSE set to debut in May, the series consists of 17 images of subjects Wiley recruited during a day of scouting at Brooklyn's Fulton Street Mall. Back at Wiley's studio, they were allowed to choose poses from reference images in art history books to be photographed in, and their clothing from racks containing fresh new gear from the likes of Nike, Nom de Guerre, and aNYthing. Central to the theme of the book's title, Wiley made his manipulation of light upon his subjects the central aesthetic concern of the shoot, a process author Krista A. Thompson explains in her introduction: Read More

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January 23, 2009  |  News, Reviews, Sounds, Video  |  Comments Off

No, you don't need to get your eyes checked...

Easily their most accomplished and sonically compelling offering to date, ANIMAL COLLECTIVE's new "Merriweather Post Pavillion" LP is a trippy collection of driving sound fields colored by layers of Beach Boys vocal harmonies in the key of "Feel Flows." Strangely enough, it's also named for starchitect Frank Gehry's 1967 outdoor concert venue, one of his first major constructions. Unlike one of Gehry's buildings, however, this record is something you'll be able to live with for a long time to come.

Animal Collective "My Girls" from Chad von Nau on Vimeo.

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January 21, 2009  |  News, Product Toss, Reviews, SK8 THING, Street Cred, Street Life  |  Comments Off

"El Barto" kickflips the leap of faith... 

One of the skate world's best-kept secrets is the ultra-collectible but hard to find SKATE BOOK. A 350+ page hardcover "mag," from the minds of skaters SALMAN AGAH and MIKE BALLARD, the refreshingly formatted quarterly periodical is a welcome departure from the copycat skate mags that could once call themselves cutting-edge. Featuring beautiful photography and in-depth articles, Skate Book embraces several themes and riders per issue, delving deep into each in a timeless manner befitting the magazine's hard cover status. Volume 3 is a must-have featuring lengthy profiles on OG pro and Supertouch homie LANCE MOUNTAIN, vintage skate stickers, and cover boy BART SIMPSON who was illustrated especially for the issue in a series of spreads depicting "El Barto" ripping hard across legendary SoCal spots like Carlsbad, Hollywood High, and the Sunset Carwash Gap. Available for the bargain price of $19.95, you can find copies in person at BARRACUDA LA, or online HERE (subscriptions are only $49.95 for 4 issues). Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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January 10, 2009  |  art, Books, News, Printed Matter, Reviews  |  Comments Off


On the heels of the epic celebration of the life of designer & artist STEPHEN SPROUSE that is "Rock on Mars" at NYC's DEITCH PROJECTS, a barrage of new product is hitting the shelves commemorating the pioneering punk fashionista. Most crucial of these releases are two new retrospective books: The "Le Book" is a three-volume edition featuring rare snapshots and sketches (available in March), while the crucial "Stephen Sprouse" (Rizzoli Press) chronicles the artist's life and creative career in exquisite detail with enough '80s day-glo ink to burn your retinas out (available in February). Of course, a special-edition Sprouse graffiti covered edition is available exclusively at Louis Vuitton stores for a limited time. Which brings us to the high end of Sprouse's product explosion in the form of a revamped collection of Sprouse designs for the Parisian luxury goods brand that single-handedly revitalized Sprouse's career back in 2001 when LV designer Marc Jacobs tapped him to create a signature graffiti patter overprint that would prove to be a marketing coup for the company. Rolling out a host of Sprouse pieces, from classic Speedy bags to ballerina flats in new day-glo colorways ("You’re either going to love it or hate it. I’m fine with either reaction,” says Jacobs) LV presents a second installment of a must-have collection at an unfortunately precarious economic moment. Says Daniel Lalonde, president and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton North America of the seemingly risky move: “I think we’ll be lucky if we have any stock left in the next month and a half.” The most pricey and coveted of LV's offerings is a Stephen Sprouse graffiti skateboard housed a hard case LV monogram skateboard trunk in an edition of three at $8,250 each. Fittingly, the economic blow is softened by news that all proceeds will benefit Free Arts NYC, which provides underserved children throughout New York City with special arts programs. Vuitton is also making an undisclosed donation to the Sprouse Estate, as well as the Stephen Sprouse Memorial Scholarship Fund at the National Academy for Design. Meanwhile, crack open that LV wallet and HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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July 22, 2008  |  Art & Commerce, Books, LA, Mark Ryden, Reviews  |  Comments Off


Today marks the debut of visionary painter MARK RYDEN 's first official children's book, "Sweet Wishes," created in collaboration with fellow painter and partner in crime MARION PECK and based on their short film of the same name. Drawing on their extensive collections of vintage children's toys and ephemera, the artists cast some of their favorite dolls as the story's protagonists and photographed them in lush fantasy sets to illustrate the short story of Dolly, Baby, and Bear and what happens when they are granted a wish from a magical fairy. The book is available now as both a normal hardcover ($20) and a boxed Special Edition (250 copies, $300) that includes the signed and numbered copy of the original picture book, a DVD of the "Sweet Wishes" movie and a Sweet Wishes bookmark, all housed in a two-pieced pink satin box. Like all Mark Ryden merch, this set will surely disappear instantly, so move fast or be forever sad. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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