Saturday, April 28, 2007

Márcio Kogan rules.

Márcio Kogan got into architecture because he was constantly looking to explain why things are like this. Thus his will comes from philosophical matter.
An event was particularly important for him :"My father was an engineer/architect. One day he brought me to see the modernist building that he was building in São Paulo. A few days later, he left us, my mother and I, leaving us alone with that marking memory which oriented my life. The important thing in architecture is that it should convey emotions, and memories. the rest...

Learning architecture at the Mackenzie university of São Paulo, made him think evenmore of the reasons for architecture to exist. The process to understand architecture even took him 15 years. "I barely understand it today" he says. His projects reflect this typical brasilian style, and Oscar Niemeyer or Burle Marx, Lina Bo Bardi, Paulo Mendes da Rocha rank among his idols.

His website is particularly well made and we can measure the scope of his talent.

To learn more :

Friday, April 27, 2007


Seven visions of porn from contemporary artists or movie makers, that is what "Destricted" is all about.

Sex has always been a subject for contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons, or Mapplethorpe for example.
But it is always rarer to explore porn, as a source of creation. That is why Matthew Barney, Richard Prince, Larry Clark, Marina Abramovic, Marco Brambilla, Sam Taylor Wood, and Gaspar Noé decided to express their intimate view of what porn could be.

What is really interesting is that those short movies give the opportunity to the viewer, to decide whether it is porn or contemporary art. More than being provocative, those 7 visions are a precious ethnological-psychological-artistical document. A new form of porn is maybe born : Artporn...or perhaps a new wave in history of art...

To learn more :

Friday, April 20, 2007

John Galliano counterfeits William Klein

The fashion designer was condemned to pay 200.000 euros of damages to the American photographer for counterfeiting the “contacts painted” technique for Dior ads.

The “painted contacts” of William Klein consist in operating new pullings of existing photographs in the shape of bigger “boards contact” and to surround a photograph with lacquers of color. A technique that the American artist, who currently lives in Paris, developed for about fifteen years. Even if the photographs used, are not those of William Klein, the five publicities, published in March in “Vogue” and “Elle” in France, but also in Great Britain or Russia, stole this concept.

In an interview to Le Monde, William Klein explained that he discovered with anger the pictures when a friend of his asked "why did you do those ugly pictures for Galliano ?"
But was it unexpected from Dior's designer or was it just another scandal to make Dior evenmore famous ? We could wonder about the strategy behind this so-called scandal.

Personally I believe Galliano did it knowing the it's called.

David Bowie = Innovation

After Madonna, David Bowie is the latest biggest star on earth who H&M has invited for a special project. This time, it is not about fashion but about a music and culture festival.
Bowie would be the first ever programmer.

The first edition of this event named H&M High Line Festival will take place in New York City from 9 to 19 May. Not only will David Bowie be the programmer of the festival but he will also introduce through the festival his own tastes and the bands he likes. His choice proved to be as brilliant as eclectic with bands such as Arcade Fire, Air, Laurie Anderson, Deerhoof, Ken Nordine, The Polyphonic Spree, Meow Meow, The Secret Machines, Daniel Johnston, Bang one has Can All-Stars, and The Legendary Stardust Cowboy. So open your eyes and ears to this special choice !

The English actor Ricky Gervais will also present his one man show. The program is not limited to these concerts, since there will also be exhibitions of photographies of Claude Cahun and Laurie McLeod, as well as a one hundred years retrospective of the Spanish cinema.

Part of the income will be given to an organization which already collaborates on a NYC project of the opening of a park in West Side.

More info on :

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hedi Slimane leaves...Kris Van Assche takes over...

Virile, original, male elegance has a new name, the one of this young "ultraraffiné" Belgian designer, trained by Hedi Slimane and who now takes over from him at Dior Homme.

Jude Law wears his pieces, and Brad Pitt loved his accessories. With barely more than 4 collections, the name of this Belgian designer (29 years old only) is on every lips.

KVA, yet nicknamed, is said to bring back "some interest in men fashion".

His vision of his fashion is as followed : trying to make men more beautiful, more elegant without avoiding them to be masculine. The recipe of his success : hasard, lots of seriousness and an incredible talent.

KVA was not meant to work for the fashion industry. Born in Belgium, he was the single child of a simple family. His grand-mother had a certain sense of fashion and refinement. She simply loved beautiful things. At the age of 12, he experienced a revelation. As a Madonna fan (like any designers we might say...) he went to one of her show from the "Blond Ambition Tour". The costumes of that show were designed by Jean Paul Gaultier as we all know. From that moment on, working as a fashion designer became clearer for him :" I had the choice to become Madonna, or Jean Paul Gaultier". He chose the second option.

At the age of 18 he entered the Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts which had already formed Dries Van Noten or Ann Demeulemeester. For him it was then the end of loneliness, and those four years would mean freedom, happiness and hard work of course. Besides his teachers said that he was too serious. First rule for him : elegance ranks above extravagance.

DR Hedi Slimane

After his final school show, he was proposed a défilé for YSL. Not very keen on "designing ties all day long" he decides to accept, Paris being an interesting city for him. His meeting with Hedi Slimane was decisive in his growing process. The first 6 months of internship had become 6 years of close collaboration as first assistant of the master Slimane, who convinced him to continue the adventure for Dior Homme. On his sides, he learned precision and understood that precision, clacissism, which was once reproached to him, could become an asset. After this long collaboration with Slimane, he decided to launch his own brand. He managed to convince a team of 15 collaborators from designers, to marketing managers. His company was set up !

He observes men so as to design an elegant silhouette, full of small poetic details that make the difference. Dignity, ambiguity, between strengh and vulnerabilty, old allure and modern accessories are the words to describe his style. His style is described by himslef as "a bad shaved elegance".

Then there is no wonder that Bernard Arnault decided to chose him as the new artistic designer for Dior Homme after Hedi Slimane left (apparently due to the strong desire of Slimane to set up his own brand...also because he was asking too much money...)

Anyway, KVA is set to impose his own vision of men fashion and therefore leaves Slimane to express his art at a different level. Indeed not only is Slimane a fashion designer, a revolutionary of men fashion that even women want to wear what he designs, but also an architecture amateur (Bauhaus always inspired his clothes in their shapes), a photograph and a contemporary artist.
On top of that... David Bowie's designer. Then he can only have my admiration and respect.

More info on :

Hedi Slimane

Kris Van Assche

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Exclusive Interview with Contemporary Artist Mattia BIAGI for Art is Alive

I discovered the work of Mattia Biagi a few weeks ago through a fashion magazine and decided then to get in touch with him.
The result of this work and the professional contact I had with the artist himself and his manager, is this exclusive interview given for Art is Alive.

I feel proud of that interview but most importantly I want to thank a lot Mattia for taking the time to answer my questions. I also want to thank Price Latimer for making this interview possible. You are both adorable. Thank you very much.


Exhibited all around the world, for Art Basel Miami or for the Red Dot Art Fair 2007 in New York City for example, Mattia Biagi is a complete artist. Former apprentice for Giulio Cappellini, considered as a reference in Design, former model for fashion designers, Mattia Biagi participates now in art projects and managed to impose his artistic views.
Let's meet this exceptional personality.

How would you describe yourself and how would you describe your art?
I would describe myself as energetic. I am always looking for the “next”… the next project, the next thing, the next inspiration. As soon as I am done with one thing, I am immediately looking for what’s next. The most important part of my job as an artist is the fact that I work with a material that is regarded by most people to be terrible – an industrial material that smells bad, makes a mess, and is disgusting in appearance. I like using objects that are trash for others; I never use new objects. I utilize materials that people consider to be shit and make a beautiful object of art out of it. I believe that there is beauty in everything. Everyone can have some sort of a response to that; the idea has a universal appeal.

Do you feel like you belong more to the fashion universe or to the contemporary art world? Perhaps design and architecture rather than fashion and contemporary art?
It is all the same to me. I think it’s all one thing. Everything inspires me… art, fashion, design, architecture. My art is a blend of all of these things.

Do you believe that frontiers exist between fashion and art?
No, not in my mind.

What is the role of an artist in today’s world?
To reflect the moment that we live in.

We know your heritage from Cappellini. In what way design inspires and inspired you?
At Cappellini, I was working with a company that pays a lot of attention to other things outside of the design world, to fashion and other types of design. Giulio Cappellini wanted someone removed from the world of furniture and architecture, someone in touch with fashion and design, which was perfect for me since I had come from that world through modeling.

What do you intend to describe or denounce through your artwork?
I just want to express myself and to convey that there is beauty in everything.

Does living in L.A influence your creation’s process?
Oh yeah. LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) is great. The idea for the tar collection came from the La Brea Tar Pits, which is right next to LACMA. Also, the weather influences me beacuse you can work outside all year. Since my work must be made outside, if it rained everyday I couldn’t do what I do.

What other artists, designers, architects do you feel close to?
There are a lot. Not one person in particular, but I like certain aspects of different artists and designers: the tension in Picasso’s work, the pop culture imagery in Warhol’s work, the proportion and scale of Dali, Galliano’s use of contrast and different textures of fabric, Westwood’s punk chic, the strange and unusual scale of Starck’s objects, the glossy luxuriousness of Gucci, the geometry of YSL.

How far do you hope to go artistically speaking?
As far as possible! I want to leave something for the future and I will.

What gallery do you work with?
I have shown my art in exhibitions all over the world… in Italy and most recently in the U.S. at Patricia Faure Gallery in Santa Monica, Twentieth, Ghetto Gloss and Cappellini in Los Angeles, Rose in Venice, Dzine in San Francisco, Majestic at Home during Art Basel in Miami and the Red Dot Art Fair 2007 in New York City. I am currently working with a private art dealer, Price Latimer, in Los Angeles.

Why did you choose those galleries?
It just worked out that way.

Why is black so important in your artwork?
Because there is a black part in everyone, but there is beauty in that as well.

What kind of relation do you have with that so-called color?
Before, I worked with a lot of color, so black is just part of the vision that I have right now.

Would you consider to do something else if you were not an artist?
I cannot imagine doing anything else. I always try to do everything related to art.

Do you consider that “art is alive”?
Yes, totally. A piece of art gives you emotion and emotion is life.

To finish with, what would wish to this blog?
Grazie! Ciao!

Thank you again and good luck !

More info on:

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Warhol again, at Thaddeus Ropac's Gallery

APRIL 14 – MAY 19, 2007

The Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery opens the new drawing space with the exhibition called "Andy Warhol’s Popstars". The exhibition was organized by the Albertina Museum of Vienna's gallery.

In collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Warhol’s death, this exhibition will show drawings and collages of pop stars, one of his primary themes. The gallery will be presenting major works from his Popstars series dating from between 1975 and 1986.

Andy Warhol, who started out in the 1950s as a commercial artist in New York, was intimately familiar with the medium of drawing and photography. Drawing was relevant to the artist in a two fold way : On the one hand, he used it as a « tool », producing preliminary studies for his well-known subjects, such as the ‘disaster’ paintings, portraits, and icons of consumerism ; on the other hand, he presented the drawing as a work of art in its own right, where he used the «artificial processes » of overhead projection, silk-screen printing, or superimposed photography.

Andy Warhol’s Popstars graphite drawings were developed in a creative process comprising two tages. First, Warhol took Polaroids of pop musicians, actors, and singers, which he subsequently projected onto the wall, and onto the paper mounted there, by means of overhead projection. Finally, using a gray graphite pencil, he traced the outlines that seemed most significant to him in order to mark the features of his sitters. These graphite drawings may also be considered as models and studies for the colored acrylic and silk-screen pictures executed by Warhol of the same personalities.

The artist invites the exhibition’s visitors into his private viewing room. There they will be able to meet Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli, Charles Aznavour, as well as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, over and over again. From 1963 onwards, Warhol had a close relationship with the Stones. Mick Jagger, androgynous icon was his almost his single model. In the mid-1970s, Warhol made the cover of Love You Live, which appeared in 1977 at Virgin Records. The original drawings of the Love You Live series and the ingenious portraits of Mick Jagger are for sure the climax of the exhibition.

To learn more :

"New York is a fcuk you attitude"

New York is in identity, a culture, a melting pot, a creation craddle, an artist shelter, and of course an allure !

That is what the Victoria&Albert Museum (again?) decided to show us through the exhibition called "New York Fashion Now" dedicated to the young generation of designers : Zac Posen, Dereck lam, Maggie Noris and so on, twenty incredibly talented designers who launched their own labels in the five years between 1999 and 2004.
They're all coming from Big Apple of course and managed to demonstate a same ability, a same energy, a same approach that convinced everybody, ranking first... the Stars.

New York Fashion Now captures this significant moment of design productivity, both within the city's mainstream fashion culture and outside it. The twenty featured start-up stories provide insight into how so many young hopefuls have prevailed at this particular moment.

Menswear, Sportswear-Chic, Avant-garde , Atelier, Celebrity are the few areas of the exhibition to admire. Go run there or tun to NYC !

Duckie Brown, underpants with attached gloves, Autumn/Winter 2002-3, photograph by PLATON

More info on :

Art Cologne new dates

Great news in the area of contemporary art fairs : Art Cologne changed its dates and leaves Fall for Spring. Its 41st edition is in April. Galleries from more than 20 different nationalities were selected among the long list of appliers.

This time Art Cologne will make a difference with the other art fairs, with its "Open Space" : 40 galleries in open space withtout some sort of boundaries to create a single art space. They agreed on that principles which was something hard to do.

The young generation of artists will also be represented with the "New Talents" area where 25 young artists have been selected and the "New contemporaries", area aimed for young galleries.

To learn more :
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