“Mary Ellen Mark: Just on the frame (...) basically, you decide how you want to make a frame (...) so it looks right. When you’re in a studio, it’s one thing, but when you’re on location, you want to change the background and make sure it works perfectly as a frame.
Mikal Shkreli: Is there something particular about a person or a person’s image that would draw you to bring more of an intimate scope with photography?
MEM: Well, I mean, sometimes you photograph someone you don’t even know, on an assignment, and there are some people that are just interesting to watch. So you choose them because of that.
The choices that Mary Ellen maked for her images are very particular, explaining that “each situation is totally different.” She continued, admitting that “you don’t want to kind of repeat yourself (...) but each situation calls for something very different.” I glanced around and noticed numerous frames of her work high up on the walls, noticing her range in work.
MS: Do you have any preference between street photography or portraits?
MEM: Well, basically, my feeling, the hardest photography to do is street photography. Those are the people’s work I’ve really admired from the beginning. That’s why I became a photographer.
MS: Do you try to create a story when you see somebody?
MEM: I try to make a frame of it that says something.
MEM: If you’re doing a portrait, you have to take a certain amount of control - you have to be in control. They have to feel that you know what you’re doing, then they have a respect for you. It’s a balance, there is a very delicate balance.
MS: Do you feel a certain sense of responsibility to bring people to life in a photograph, by exposing them or sharing them to the world in a particular way?
MEM: Yea, to be honest. Pictures can lie very easily, so you have to be honest, have respect, or not have respect, whatever, with what you want to say with your camera - not to lie to people.
MS: So what are you trying to say with your camera?
MEM: Each situation is totally different. You’re trying to make an image that’s memorable, maybe iconic. If you’re lucky, you know, iconic.
MS: What do you hold as the power in photography, your photography?
MEM: I think the power in photography - it’s very difficult, now everyone is a photographer, so the bar has been lowered. There’s not as much respect and there’s a lot of really bad scenes being shot that aren’t good. And people don’t know the difference, so, what do I respect, I respect people who’s work I think is great, and whose work hasn’t been lowered by the bar. Everyone’s a photographer now, so people think it’s easy and anyone can do it. In a way it is easy, it’s very easy to take an average picture, that’s a piece of cake. To take great pictures is really hard.
MS: What is the distinguishing level?
MEM: You just look at it. Helen Levitt, Irving Penn, they take great pictures. You just know it when you look at it. It’s talking to you, it’s saying something to you.
MEM: Yes. I have a digital camera, (...) I mean, I think it’s a different medium, (...), and I love film, my whole life I’ve always done film. I have a really great digital camera, but I haven’t used it yet. But I think it’s different from film and it is different. I guess I’m always afraid that I’m going to see something amazing and miss it in film. As long as I can still shoot film and get film - but there’s a transition. I’m not the only one, there are other people shooting film.
Continuing on the subject of analog versus digital photography, Mary Ellen explained that “it’s a different mindset, it looks different, especially for black and white. I shoot mainly in black and white. I think for color, digital can be very beautiful sometimes, but for black and white, I like silver prints. But people put a lot of pressure on you to shoot digital.” Mary Ellen then refered to the annual Easter Parade that took place a day prior our meeting in May 2014, “everybody was taking pictures. Everybody! I mean, I’m talking from five years up to like, old men with their cameras. And people are being shoved and pushed, and it’s just really - there’s no more borders."
We will keep you always in best thoughts.
Accessories Swarovski: Marina Chedel
Accessories Prix de public: Wendy Andreu
Model: Zack Lion
Photographer: Ellius Grace
Costume Institute Benefit on May 1 with Co-Chairs Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Anna Wintour, and Honorary Chairs Rei Kawakubo and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute spring 2017 exhibition, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, on view from May 4 through September 4, examines Kawakubo’s fascination with interstitiality, or the space between boundaries. In Kawakubo’s work, this in-between space is revealed as an aesthetic sensibility, establishing an unsettling zone of oscillating visual ambiguity that challenges conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability. A thematic exhibition, rather than a traditional retrospective, this is The Costume Institute’s first monographic show on a living designer since the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in 1983.
“In blurring the art/fashion divide, Kawakubo asks us to think differently about clothing,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director of The Met. “Curator Andrew Bolton explores work that often looks like sculpture in an exhibition that challenges our ideas about fashion’s role in contemporary culture.”
In celebration of the opening, The Met's Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, will take place on Monday, May 1, 2017. The evening’s co-chairs are Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Anna Wintour. Rei Kawakubo and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy will serve as Honorary Chairs. The event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements.
“Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.”
Rei Kawakubo said, “I have always pursued a new way of thinking about design...by denying established values, conventions, and what is generally accepted as the norm. And the modes of expression that have always been most important to me are fusion...imbalance... unfinished... elimination...and absence of intent.”
The exhibition features approximately 140 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear designs for Comme des Garçons, dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection. Objects are organized into nine dominant and recurring aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo’s work: Absence/Presence, Design/Not Design, Fashion/Anti- Fashion, Model/Multiple, High/Low, Then/Now, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/ Not Clothes. Kawakubo breaks down the imaginary walls between these dualisms, exposing their artificiality and arbitrariness. Her fashions demonstrate that interstices are places of meaningful connection and coexistence as well as revolutionary innovation and transformation, providing Kawakubo with endless possibilities to rethink the female body and feminine identity.
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, on The Met Fifth Avenue’s second floor, has been transformed into an open, brightly lit white box with geometric structures. Intended to be a holistic, immersive experience, the space facilitates engagement with the fashions on display. A suggested pathway begins with four ensembles enclosed in a cylinder, reflecting Kawakubo’s enduring interest in blurring the boundaries between body and dress. Visitors, however, are encouraged to forge their own paths and experience the exhibition as a voyage of discovery.
all photographs: © Julia Ahtijainen
LE MILE Studios x Plotagraph Pro
Situated in London‘s most creative and engaged district, Ace Hotel Shoreditch is surrounded by the theatres performing banned 16th century plays, design and street art destinations. The echoes of industrial and artisanal past within the architecture invite the creative society to start-up studios where makers and thinkers appreciate all handmade, generate new ideas, innovate and inspire each other. Ace is the place where all promising talents meet and work, together or alone, sketching, writing, listening, talking and typing. The lobby is the place to exchange, work and deal 24 hours a day. The hotel is a hub that represents the modern culture of today, and the new way of being and working: be it morning, day or night.
The space is divided into an open series of room-like zones, part of it equipped with a full bar and a gallery space where different personalities, styles and cultures come together to create. This is a place where the newness happens.
And for Le Mile, besides the perfect environment, efficiency and productivity at its best, we had a lot of fun and enjoyed every minute of our stay. From the mornings at Bulldog Edition with the coffees of the very-best-beans from Square Mile Coffee Roasters ‘til the evenings at modernist Hoi Polloi brasserie and Gallery Bar serving breath-taking Espresso Martinis.
We’re glad we were there and... Ace, thanks for sleeping with us too.
all photographs: ©ACE Hotel Shoreditch
In the stereotypical trajectory young-adult actors claim stardom by seeking roles that shed their skin from work on children’s television, acting in provocative roles where nudity and sexuality target the audience. Others take the path less traveled by pursuing roles that challenge the status quo. The ultimate decision speaks to the actor’s spirit. For according to popular belief, an actor’s heart acts similarly to a child’s capacity to play, and develops in the ability to see his or her work as the playground. In their latest television project, the Lees brothers reveal their maturity as actors striving to revisit history in light of a new reality.
In the recently launched CMT television series Sun Records, Jonah Lees plays Jimmy Swaggart, alongside his twin brother Christian, who plays Jerry Lee Lewis. Via record label, Sun Records, music producer Sam Phillips, played by Chad Michael Murray, shepherds the groundbreaking, fearless careers of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis: the formally referenced ‘Million Dollar Quartett.’
As the camera draws us back in time to the roots of rock and roll in 1950s Tennessee, the beats of groovy melodies and hyperactive piano riffs flock swooning women with their boyfriends into concert theaters and high school gymnasiums in anticipation for the musical genius – as Christian Lees refers of Mr. Lewis. The actor processes this praise as admirable qualities of the muse: “Jerry’s confidence and self belief [...] it’s such an important trait to have in this industry.”
In the same way, congregations gathered to commune in the power of their faith with Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Lee’s first cousin. Jonah Lee’s work highlights Swaggart’s desires —inspired and supported by the Holy Spirit —and devious habits exposed as he competes over women, rendezvous into the town chapel and yet still enjoys Jerry Lee Lewis’ company at the piano, where their souls blaze with passion.
The determination that fuels his souls, and pours out into his identity with the Church is a quality the thespian admires. Jonah Lees explains, “Jimmy was very driven and knew exactly where he was going and that he was absolutely going to get there!” These are attributes of Jimmy Swaggart seen in Lees as the young preacher. His ability to share Swaggarts’s musical talent postures the young actor as a multi-faceted performer.
With answers reflective of passions beyond the script, the twins are few of words. They speak on their of newfound interest in television and the relevant message of their show for society today. Without bias, yet with unwavering opinion, they’d prefer to let their work speak on their behalf. There is a genuine spirit that leads these 21-year old performers. Or rather perhaps artists is the better title, for neither of the brothers consider themselves as a triple threat. As his brother plainly states “I‘d like to think I‘m not a threat to anybody,” Christian explains, “ I’ve never advertised myself as a triple threat. Although I’m happy that the role of Jerry Lee also gets to highlight my talents in singing and playing the piano. Everything you hear in the show is played and sung live by me on the day.“
Their audacious tone articulates in accents. This should come without any surprise, for the brothers have built a portfolio of roles in Mateo Garrone’s Tale of Tales preceding roles in musicals Les Misérables and Billy Elliot. Jonah casted in BBC’s film Eric and Ernie and Mary Poppins after he and his brother completed their theatre studies at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. The beauty of such a foundation in music, acting and dance is found in the strength of their undivided attention to storytelling. The greater narrative continues off the camera, on Instagram, where Jonah posts intimate sessions of self-made recordings on the guitar and piano.
His latest post was dedicated to Chad Michael Murray and his wife Sarah Roemer’s newborn baby girl. Jonah, played the guitar and sang “Isn’t She Lovely” in accompaniment by Christian’s piano. Such posts offer personality to his social media accounts, that focus primarily on the show. Jonah explains, “We‘re already starting to get a great following for the show! The Sun Records fans are the sweetest! I love them! So really, I would say it‘s for them. To keep everyone updated on the show! Also, I love the show, so why not parade it on all of my social media accounts[?]” These boys are strictly business, and their art is an extension of their image. That means, that right now their talent, and social media accounts focus on television.
It may not be first preference, nor top priority of all the modes offered in the world of preforming arts. Both Christian and Jonah prefer film. With an identical perspective to his brother, Christian responds to the success of television “My passion lies in film, but it astonishes me how far television has come over the years. With smash hits like Breaking Bad and recently Stranger Things, TV’s a creatively fulfilling way to go right now.” Sun Records is the special project for the brothers, not only as a genre, an experimental musical television show, but also in its message. Setting aside the sizzling sounds and rustic anthem of rock and roll, the show carries a stronger tune, a belting pronouncement for the longevity of their budding careers. Making history in its time, the story’s backdrop during the Civil Rights Movement, where racial tensions were officially defined for today’s reference, the show brings relevance to the passions of society’s daily battles. Jonah Lee ponders, “I think that although we‘ve come a long way we‘ve clearly still got a long way to go. I think the show does a great job in highlighting the very simple fact that we are all the same, and we‘re all fighting the same battles.” Christian echoes his brother’s thought with stronger emphasis on music, as a medium of cultural value: “Hopefully this show helps to prove that we’re all the same, and how music can unite us in difficult times.” Crossing boarders from England to America, theatre to television, this is the first scene of greater tales to come.
Photography Adeline Sumney Wohlwend
Styling Rima Vaidila
Hair Carlos Ortiz
Actors Jonah and Christian Lees
For the bright sun shine and gentle breeze heralding the start of spring, a handful of bright and playful color palettes of frames in 3 different silhouette of glasses and shades are ready. YUN's ever lasting best selling silhouette, Paul is a timeless round shape with casual appearance both for men and women. For the new spring collection the new version of Paul is now available in new colors, Pale peach and Golden tortoise. Henry is a combination of round and square elements with a slim and light frame. All-round design fits perfectly in every occasion, both casual and business. Leo's combination of bold silhouette and minimalistic cool black color will make you stand out and embrace your individuality. It's a timeless composition of a round bold frame with playful colors, pale mint and yellow. Welcome the summer and enjoy its brightness.
Images courtesy of the Artist: Tagen Donovan