"It's ART Dad..." Juergen Teller becomes everyone's favorite photographer

Apple stickers, monstrous pottery, The Fox Is Black Radio and more

Hi there, welcome to a new TFIB. Ummm this little universe is only a week old and yet so many of you have come back to support and I’m immensely proud and grateful. The feedback has been so rad to see and I’m gonna keep on trucking and doing my thing! Thank you again for all the good vibes!

<3 Bobby

Celebrity crushed

There was an exciting moment last week when the entire Internet discovered the photographer Juergen Teller. So what exactly happened? Well, each year W Magazine puts out their Best Performance issue featuring the celebs who did exactly that, gave stunning performances. This year's batch of talent was captured by none other than Juergen Teller, who is well-known in the art and fashion world and who has litch-erally worked for every major fashion house over the last 30 years. NBD.

His work has always been eccentric and over-the-top, bridging a high/low aesthetic that’s fantastic and ridiculous. For example, he'll take a unique looking model, put them in a mundane environment, which is then punctuated by a ballgown worth tens of thousands of dollars. This formula isn’t necessarily unique to Teller but it’s what works for him. This blend of “elements at odds” are exactly what makes his photos so noteworthy. He knows how to make an image that captures your attention.

My personal favorite example of this is a series he did with British actress Charlotte Rampling. In one shot, Rampling is seated behind the piano, seemingly playing it, while Teller himself is splayed atop the piano, legs over head, his rosebud on full display for the world to see. The entire thing is completely out there and that’s part of it’s brilliance. It’s meant to be camp and ridiculous, that’s what’s fun about it! And as Kyle Buchanan rightfully pointed out this is exactly what W does every year. You take literally the most famous, most talented people on the face of the earth and you make them look like a bunch of average weirdos. Let’s not forget that things can be fun!

Obviously there were plenty of fun memes that came out of this little event, but I have to say the though the whole thing reminds me of the types of people you overhear at a museum, staring at say, a Jackson Pollock painting, loudly proclaiming, “my seven year old could have painted that better!”

Maybe they could have? But they didn’t.

An apple a day

Bao T. Nguyen is a graphic designer from Sacramento, CA (shout out to my home town!) and he’s been fantastic to follow on Twitter. I found him from his work on the PS4 Spider-Man video-game, where he made ALL THE LOGOS IN THE GAME. You must visit the link to see what I mean, it’s honestly one of the most impressive design projects I’ve ever seen, it’s like 200 logos.

Recently he shared this project which I’m assuming is self-initiated, and it’s the most beautiful collection of Apple stickers. Like, those little stickers you peel off of a fruit apple. I love the variety of shapes and sizes of each of them, the little details included on each, and biblical references are pretty hysterical. Not to forget the way he’s able to render each of these, they look so real! Bao, if you’re reading this, let’s do some wallpapers!

King of the monsters

Over the last decade I’ve found quite a joy in collecting ceramics. I enjoy (and own) the work of folks like Ben Medansky, B.Zippy, Tracy Wilkinson, Peter Shire, Cody Hoyt, and Eric Roinestad, all very different artists who do amazing things with clay. And there are a few things I love about the medium.

One is the tactility. That you get to handle the pieces, you can move them around your home more freely, which isn’t usually the case when you think of "art." There's also the imperfection in the work, or better said, the hand of the maker. Which is why, when I saw the work of Shinichi Sawada, I fell in love instantly.

He is a Japanese sculptor who creates these fantastic, mythic creatures, cover din horns and spines and gnashing teeth. The pieces come in a range of sizes, some totemic, some looking like they could crawl out the door, escaping out into the night. And the pieces feel like they come from a different age, primordial in many ways, which only helps build this idea of myths and stories in your mind.

What's also quite remarkable is that Sawada is autistic, and mostly non-verbal. Thanks to Japan's social welfare system he was able to find a ceramics teacher who support his passion in making art. I’m so happy he’s been able to express himself in this way.

You can see his new show at Venus Over Manhattan from Feb 24 to Mar 20, 2021.

The Fox Is Black Radio

I don’t think I’m ready to take the leap back into making mixtapes quite yet, but I do love to share the music I’m listening to. I thought the best way to achieve this in the interim would be a TFIB “radio station” on Spotify, an ever-evolving, ever-changing playlist that’s updated weekly. For now I’ve curated it with about 20 songs which runs a little over 2 hours. This feels like a Goldilocks length so far and we’ll see what works over time. Hope you enjoy, and if you have any music recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments below.