Fresh Strokes

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Under the tonal shifts of the coastal sky and amongst a meadow of native grasses one can imagine entering New York’s East End of Long Island for peace and contemplation. Honoring and illuminating art and place, elegantly stretching along The Montauk Highway in Water Mill is a space that holds particular meaning to me, the Parrish Art Museum. I feel that it is no accident that I spent a summer in 2012 living in Water Mill across the street from the museum while it was under construction watching as the undecorated shed came to form. Honest architecture that is spawn from the natural beauty of its context was my ominous reminder to return to self. The idea is straightforward, to play off of what is ever shifting around you while stripping down and stepping into your own truth in pursuance of originality. A series of three very different posts, each representative of the dualities that exist and the ironies at play. In collaboration with two people whom I admire and whose creations I find exciting in their subtleties, with art direction by Lucas Lefler and photographs by Richie Talboy, I’ll start with a splash in the middle, with Roy Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushstroke I & II. Sweeping skywards and standing as a symbol of something it isn’t Lichtenstein’s primary colors and Ben-Day dots boldly mark the entry curiously drawing you in. An essential pairing with Versace, the OG creator of the fashion alphabet, and always one to celebrate heroic individualism, J.W. Anderson. At some points dramatic, my desire to achieve compositional unity ensues.

Above left: J.W. Anderson lurex dress, J.W. Anderson belt, J.W. Anderson boots

Above right: Versace turtleneck sweater, Versace flare pants, Versace suede sandals

Lower center: J.W. Anderson patent leather top, J.W. Anderson napa leather skirt, J.W. Anderson corduroy leggings, J.W. Anderson boots

Parrish Art Museum, Roy Lichtenstein, Tokyo Brushstroke I & II

Art Direction by Lucas Lefler, Photographs By Richie Talboy, Makeup by Dana Bosco

Celestial Transport

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Minimal and arresting, Liz Deschenes advances photography’s material and experiential potential throughout her work. Here in the sun soaked space at MASS MoCA she has created five self reflexive sculptures that produce an almost mind altering state. In a world where art is more often than not viewed through a camera lens, Deschenes’s work draws viewers into the present moment as the panels become the lens in which we observe ourselves in space while alluding to a future where existence is embedded in image. In a constant state of flux digital pigment prints on acrylic shift from cornflower to celestial blues and purples, forever coming back to the history of image production. Positioning myself in this meditative space I reflect back the ethereal layering of texture and color in my storm blue semi-sheer Gucci blouse under a mod grape Giulietta dress finished with martian pompom Miu Miu mules. A transportive environment to lose and find myself in.

Gucci silk blouse, Giulietta grape tunic, Miu Miu pompom mules, Larkspur & Hawk topaz earrings, Larkspur & Hawk amethyst ring

MASS MoCA, Liz Deschenes: Gallery 4.1.1

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Samantha Dametta, Photographs by Jason Gringler

Visual Waves

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Color, pattern and texture combine for my sublime collaboration with Barneys as they document a day in my process of creation. Given a playground of Missoni pieces to express my visual vocabulary, new compositions come into maximal form. The journey, never linear, is part of the multisensory experience, one in which I feed from. Art and fashion for me are a fix, each realm in origin are personal and unique. Maintaining an air of mystery in his technique, the pairings begin to interweave at John Miserendino’s exhibition of dye injected marble slabs at Louis B. James. An aesthetic dream, the color is suspended from within creating an inherently alien field of gradations. Miserendino’s rhythmic placement of the panels and book matched diptychs dance well with Missoni’s slices and cascading lines. Left wanting to play more, the narration skips uptown for Haegue Yang’s environmental installation at Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim. Throwing on a lavishly patterned Missoni mini dress I am immersed in Yang’s, Series of Vulnerable Arrangements — Voice and Wind. Here, complex formations of Venetian blinds form moire patterns while industrial fans and wind machines swirl on intermittently as scent emitters spray Ocean Mist into my hair. As the signature Missoni waves fold into the layers of colored lines these elements are suggestive of the new meaning that can be held in what is known. Just a taste, an eye into the way stepping outside myself and dissociating from my original context has become my way into expression and more is revealed on Barneys The Window.

Barneys The Window: Take a trip to the Guggenheim with Pari Ehsan

Above left: John Miserendino, untitled (here but hanny), 2015 x Missoni Mare Zigzag Knit Caftan, Miansai screw cuff bracelet

Above right: Haegue Yang, Series of Vulnerable Arrangements — Voice and Wind, 2009 x Missoni Mare Zigzag Knit Cover-Up Dress

Lower right: John Miserendino, untitled (mattias and junga), 2015 x Missoni Mare Zigzag Knit Cover-Up Dress

Lower left: John Miserendino, untitled (here but hanny), 2015 x Missoni Mare Zigzag Knit Caftan

Louis B. James, John Miserendino, your pores smaller

Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim, Haegue Yang, Series of Vulnerable Arrangements — Voice and Wind

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Samantha Dametta, Styling by Jasmine Snow, Photographs by Jason Gringler

Extra Bold & Glossy

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Initiating the myriad of feelings associated with a bombardment of visuals and information that is more often than not the story of my life, is Olaf Breuning’s vivacious installation at Metro Pictures. Anxiety gives way to excitement leads to enchantment and all over again but to become one of them. Breuning’s oversized bubbles of photo collage, portraits he staged of friends and otherwise, communicate what it means to be human, all the billions of particles that influence us. Amidst this are the reflective sculptures, versions of ourselves perched on metal scaffolding contemplating whether to observe the party or join it. At the end of the day and in need of some freewheeling liberation I put on my best bear suit and enter in. I turned to Jeremy Scott’s irrepressible Moschino, grinning teddies and heart emojis for something extra bold and glossy. Breuning’s work is joyful without being needy, in it I find my most fun self lost in an endless dream world of interpretation.

Moschino bear mini dress, Moschino letter bomber jacket, Moschino glossy heart sunglasses, Clover Canyon platform shoes

Metro Pictures, Olaf Breuning, The Life

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Rouge New York, Photographs by Tylor Hou

L’ECOLE Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art of Jewelry Making

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Set in a jewel box like environ at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum I had the pleasure of attending L’ECOLE Van Cleef & Arpels, a glimpse into the spirit of creation that defines the iconic French jewelry house. Here I was immersed in the savior-faire which takes a design from concept to the first steps in creation. Taught by L’ECOLE’s impassioned artisans, each who posses an exquisite skill set that make up the process of turning designs into dreamlike confections. A lover of drawing and painting I was overcome with a new appreciation for the level of precision and detail required to execute the initial design drawing and gouache rendering. Today’s subject and what I consider a long time muse of Van Cleef & Arpels is the ephemeral butterfly, the gouache painted stones representative of the diamonds to be inlaid on the wings. In my course Explore & Create 1: From Design to Mock-Up I move from the drawing table to the jeweler’s bench as my two dimensional design takes the form of a pewter mock-up. I try my hand at cutting, setting and polishing honing in on the gesture of the artisan. What I’m left with is the beauty of an experience that is genuine, and admiration for all that the storied jewelry house stands for and has created.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, L’ECOLE Van Cleef & Arpels, Explore & Create 1: From Design to Mock-Up

Photographs by Jason Gringler

Frida Blossoms

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Nature, art and fashion may be the ultimate at this moment for me. Presenting just that vibrant portal of escapism is Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life at the New York Botanical Garden. A path of tall lanky Sunflowers, magenta Fuchsia blossoms and tear shaped Elephant-Ear leaves gives way to an atrium with cobalt walls, terra-cotta brick, and a pyramid of cactuses, a recreation of the lush courtyard garden that was a source of inspiration and a constant subject in Frida’s art throughout her life. While walking through the garden you experience the full impact of nature where the rich smell of blossoms, damp earth and decay permeate the air and delicate, lacey plants drape themselves over fearsome, spiky succulents. Exit Frida’s magical garden, cross the green acreage to the north side and find the Library where you will discover an intimate gallery of Frida’s work. The stylistic hybrid which can be seen in Frida’s paintings, a mix of western Vanitas and Still Life traditions together with Surrealism, portraiture and symbolism specific to indigenous Mexican culture is also evident in her iconic persona and unimitatable style. A true embodiment of her art, an impression to me that is rare and meaningful. Here I create a Frida twist providing a glimpse of designers whose work is spiked with a confection of influences but is something very much their own, a flounced brick red top by Vika Gazinskaya, a vivid mixed-print skirt by Doro Olowu, the spice of Charlotte Olympia sandals, decked in jewels laden with nature’s symbolism by KC Sukamto, and topped with a custom Cosma De Marinis exotic collage headpiece. Nature and signature is clearly sentiment in Frida’s world.

All jewelry: KC Sukamto Magdalena Collection, Madia Earrings, Flora Ring, Majeste Ring, Espine Ring, Madia Bracelet, Vika Gazinskaya flouncy top, Doro Olowu patchwork skirt, Charlotte Olympia sandals, Cosma De Marinis collage headpiece, Face Stockholm lipstick in Matte Sangria, Jin Soon nail polish in Pop Orange

New York Botanical Garden, Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life

Hair Collage by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Samantha Jozic, Photographs by Jason Gringler

Treasure Garden

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The air, heavy and fragrant wraps around you like a blanket and transports you to a different time, location and climate. You are in the subtropical terrain of Mexico, the lush courtyard garden of Frida Kahlo’s house, known as Casa Azul by way of the New York Botanical Garden’s new exhibition Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life. In part one of my romp through Frida’s garden we are given a glimpse at the elemental bliss contained here through a special collection of heirloom jewelry pieces by KC Sukamto. Drawing inspiration from Frida’s life and work KC’s intricately detailed and refined yet wildly exotic pieces contain the unique stylistic hybrid of Frida’s iconic body of work. Each piece is a brilliant reflection of Frida’s symbolically rich garden through stone selection, color and form. Columbian emeralds evoke the lush greens and majestic cactuses, pink sapphires and rubies the fuchsia blossoms, the opal speaks to the water moments and the onyx the black lagoon. The attention to detail is exquisite, prongs holding the Australian opal are spiked mimicking the succulents and the tear shaped amethyst evoke the Elephant-Ear leaves. Imbued in the designs is the long tradition of nature used both symbolically and allegorically throughout art history. The culmination is a magical mix of cultures, aesthetics and ideas, rare treasures that contain the source of inspiration art and life.

All jewelry: KC Sukamto Magdalena Collection, Madia Earrings, Flora Ring, Majeste Ring, Espine Ring, Madia Bracelet, Vika Gazinskaya flouncy top, Face Stockholm lipstick in Matte Sangria, Jin Soon nail polish in Pop Orange

New York Botanical Garden, Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life

Hair Collage by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Samantha Jozic, Photographs by Jason Gringler

Rainbow Daydream

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The studio of Greg Allen-Müller is pristine, beaming white down to every last surface including the tool handles. These surrounds serve as a vehicle to heighten the viewing experience of a striking new body of work. Allen-Müller is as meticulous with his execution as he is with his space. While in earlier works his process of incorporating aluminum was done entirely by hand, one in which is laborious involving the welding of raw metal followed by finishing/polishing/painting, here he has evolved past the tedium through the use of aluminum architectural extrusions. A commentary on the overwhelming outsourcing of labor rampant in the current art world climate, a way to work faster and perhaps relinquish control or not. The perfection of premeditated control, the smooth stylized framework is offset by an explosion of expression, full spectrum color which allows the work to transcend itself. Dan Flavin comes to mind in the way that Allen-Müller’s work seems to have a divine connection with the architecture of a space, also in the sense that full spectrum color inherently is light. Inhabiting this psychological mash up with a sharp bob and slice of mini skirt all for one in a psychedelic RGB color index by Ashish. I am a supershiny creature next to Allen-Müller’s creation fulfilled by perfectionism and emblazoned by color as life.

Ashish rainbow sequined racerback, Ashish sequined mini skirt, Turquoise Wig, Alexander Wang sandals

Greg Allen-Müller, Studio

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Jessica Sanner, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Mother Nature

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As I knew a very special someone would be joining me on this shoot I searched to find the perfect installation in which to capture the pure and delicate nature of a relationship between mother and daughter. My first instinct was to find a pristine gallery environment with the work of an iconic artist to express how profound my mother’s encouragement and faith in me has formed the person I’ve become. As it turns we were meant to end up here within the walls of Thomas Houseago’s Masks (Pentagon) at Rockefeller Center. A piece that held the strength and vulnerability to translate the dynamic between my ginger haired mother and myself. Designed specifically for this space, together the five monumental faces create a temple like haven within the clamorous cityscape, bringing the magical intimacy of the studio into the public eye. The cracked plaster expressions hold evidence of the artist’s hand and the interior rebar bones allude to his process. Similarly ambitious and romantic in process are these two matching looks by a designer I adore, Simone Rocha. Tactile pieces that beg a closer look and make you feel the specialness held in a piece, a place, a person.

Simone Rocha embroidered red floral dress, Simone Rocha embroidered white floral dress, Mizuki pearl cuffs, Mizuki pearl earrings, Miu Miu patent-leather platform mules

Thomas Houseago, Masks (Pentagon)

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Jessica Sanner, Photographs by Jason Gringler

Forward Reflection

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The studio of Jason Gringler is somewhat of a haven, with lofty 14 ft ceilings and the afternoon light streaming through the industrial gridded windows one could not imagine a more perfect space to reflect the artist and his work. Upon seeing in person it is evident that these works are as deep and layered as his intention. Composed of acrylic glass, shattered glass, epoxy, silicone, caulking, spray enamel, vinyl, steel, paint and aluminum tape, Jason references the history and trajectory of painting while avoiding its material associations. What remains is a distinct body of work that elegantly straddles the line between painting and sculpture, embedded with chance yet laden with meticulous precision. Bias aside, Jason’s work is my idealistic art, lines are blurred between the work and the architecture, and the experience within any given moment in time. A fresh encounter within a timeless framework, a practice that makes you evaluate your own methods and deeply admire those that Jason has created for himself. Calling for a pared down look with a bite of color and a hint of material drama, I brought in one of my favorite forms, the overall. This pair by Beckley is the perfect fresh, done in white leather and topped with the choker of all chokers by Zana Bayne, all amidst a layered allure that can not only be seen but felt.

Beckley white leather overalls, J.Crew cashmere boyfriend sweater, Zana Bayne choker collar, J.Crew elsie pumps, Jin Soon nail polish in Charme

Jason Gringler, Studio

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup by Jessica Sanner, Photographs by Jason Gringler