A few weeks ago, The Cut named a few photographers to watch. They ran the spectrum of what fashion photography is now and the one who stood out to me was obviously the weirdest of the bunch, Charlie Engman. His image featured an older woman staring at the camera, caught somewhere between fashionable folly and curmudgeonly crankiness. It’s charming and ugly and beautiful, something easy to fall in love with. The image—Above.—is from a series Engmand did called MOM that he did a few years ago for The Room. It’s an incredible series that shows that fashion and style are not tied to age.
While catching the new LP from Los Angeles’ own house maker Magic Touch, we found that he was collaborating with a Brooklyn artist in the same world, Octa Octa. Both are 100% Silk labelmates so it makes sense that they be together but Octa Octa has a little something extra to him that is quite enveloping. He’s making big open house jams intended for you to walk around and soak yourself in rather than dance in and dance out of. It’s certainly body music but, as he describes it, is ultimately “boring house.” That’s kind of a joke (as his music isn’t boring) but it’s intended to be listened to and to connect with not just tune out on while you bump and grind. The best example of this is “Further Out,” a luscious eight minute example of contemporary house music done right.
Dianna Lynn Vandermeulen describes her work in stars. Really: look at her website. Each body of work is explained in symbols! What a cute, playful way of presenting work. It certainly is better than ambiguous names as it captures a specific magical quality her work has. She embraces “girl” colors that she juxtaposes with the dark and she often uses the shiny and the sparkly. She’s not afraid to get big with her work, using the otherwise cloying to be beautiful. This is what makes her collages wonderful: they feel like you are staring into a the sky or into water from the gaze of an enchanted crystal.
Most persons born in the early to late eighties will remember a specific bedsheet that I cannot Google to find because it it something so common yet so specific that it is impossible to find on the internet. It was a play on primary colors and geometry: it was a white sheet with a black grid that had red and blue trim with infrequent green, yellow, and more shapes placed throughout. The concept is something between Memphis Group and DJ Tanner’s bedroom. Sound familiar? I hope so (because I still cannot find a photo of it).
Whoever made these sheets had a big influence on the current crop of designers and artists. That’s why there is so much pattern clashing and playing with geometry. You see it from Will Bryant to Stephanie Gonot—and my theory is that these bedsheets had something to do with it. This idea jumps across the pond too as artist and art director Anna Lomax has felt this too. Her work is a huge playing with pattern playing and collision of forms. It’s artistic play time that is quite wonderful.
John Goldsmith is a Vancouver based photographer. He does a lot of projects and portraits but his street photography has to be his strong suit. It’s not that he’s capturing fashionable street scenes or crushing cultural commentary but instead is finding rich oddity in the world around him. His camera is somehow able to find things the normal eye is missing, to capture specific moments where something is weird, be it from your perception being off or that you are just the right angle. This element of fleetingness is why his street photography is so great: it catches abnormalities in normality.
Steve Kim is a Los Angeles based illustrator whose work is a morphing of many things. He does a lot of work for The Verge and Polygon which has him reflecting on topical items like memes and video games. His style is central to his work and he doesn’t relinquish any part of himself to a client. Kim makes ghostly, somewhat haunted illustrations that slice people and subjects up, creating odd and eerie works.
Here is something important to know that many may have been unaware of: A.P.C. makes quilts. Like grandmothers and some Brooklyn and Downtown Los Angeles hobbyists, the French brand have a line of quilted goods that range from zig zagging pillows to checkered blankets that range from the common to the experimentally lovable. They’re obviously pricey, covetable goods but—Boy.—would they look nice in any home or apartment.
I did not get a news app until last week when a friend told me that the Yahoo News Digest deliberately makes it so you don’t have to constantly check for news: they rake through everything and only give you the news you need to know. Instead of offering you everything, they are only offering you some things, making the act of visiting the app quick and impactful. It doesn’t waste your time nor do you have to dig: it gives you what you want and can even tell you when to look at it. It’s very brilliantly executed too, despite Yahoo!’s godawful new logo.