art // drake ghosts by anthony hawley

my friend/amazing artist anthony hawley has been making some awesome daily drawings inspired by drake's recent hotline bling video.

anthony on this inspiration: "it’s a really catchy song; like i’ve listened to it dozens of times, but it’s such a weird and bizarre music video. think about what the video would look like without the turrell-inspired spaces. it would essentially consist of a good-looking drake sitting on steps, posing, and dancing around by himself; good-looking women posing on stairs and moving in slow motion; then drake and one of his female dancers joining forces to do some synchronized moves together. the turrell-inspired spaces are beautiful, a little ufo-like and provide an amazing glow of color, but at the same time there’s really no reason whatsoever that the turrell spaces are there. half the video looks like an itunes add circa 2004 and half of it creates this sense of space that’s reminiscent of the original tron or star wars. i keep thinking that those slow motion pan-outs by the camera are going to expose drake as a tiny player in a giant video game or that the millennium falcon is going to appear, caught in the death star’s tractor beam, and plow down drake. by far, the most interesting parts are drake’s hand motions and movements. they’re glorious! in all my drawings drake has six fingers on each hand.
i liked the idea of doing a series of small drawings where drake and turrell kind of haunt each other and meld. the drawings use an existing set of imagery from other small drawings of mine and expand on it. the little ghostesses seemed to fit the zeitgeist of the music video. i mean why wouldn’t you make drawings of drake and turrell turning into ghosts?
i’ve always been a bit obsessive with my listening. like i just get obsessed with a sound, a mood, or a theme in a certain song or album and i can’t stop listening to whatever it is. and there’s not really a logic—it ranges from oneohitrix point never to mozart string quintets to demi lovato. i don’t necessarily love demi lovato or anything about her, but last friday i think i listened to “cool for the summer” all day non-stop without any breaks or anything in-between. i think that i’ve been like this since i started listening to pop music when i was six or seven, sitting by the stereo recording different top 20 hits with cassettes at the end of each year. sometimes it’s not even an artist i love; it’s just a sound, a synthesizer, or an explosive moment, you know? then this all feeds into my daily practice and art.
there’s a link between the obsessive listening and the daily practice that i’m just now becoming aware of—the doing something over and over to get to a feeling or idea without thinking too hard about it."

check out his drawings and purchase them here on his site!

cultureisland event recap // zebra // a wamoo papez listening party

a few months back, i was sitting at a diner on the upper east side with my old co-worker and friend juan (wamoo papez), talking about feeling lost. we talked about the beauty of deep, dark periods of our lives; that if you can push yourself and come to terms with the numbness, you can use it for the good and turn it into something else. something extraordinary. well, two weeks ago juan succeeded in just that. together, we did a listening party for his new album zebra and he killed it. juan creates his music like audio collages by collecting clips from all over the place and then pieces them together to make something totally new. he also orchestrated an insanely cool video, mirroring the sounds and deep emotions of his album (see above). while, his sounds were inspired by a dark period, there was a lot of life to them. the video flowed seamlessly; i enjoyed the mixture of colors, text and clips. there was a lot of texture and depth to both his sounds and his video. and you could actually feel his emotions reverberating through his work. i've honestly never heard anything like juan's music before. he seriously killed it! i've watched juan come along way this year, from his first dj gig at my new york's finest party to now. i love watching my friends grow and expand on their craft, and gain creative confidence by just doing their thing and getting it out there. after the event, we talked about how we both felt this wonderful mixture of emotions -- proud of ourselves for pulling the event together but also in full acknowledgement that there's still work to be done and we couldn't be more excited by that fact.

see juan's interview with cypher league here. photos by alix h luntz.

cultureisland event recap // supreme sound // playlist

a few weeks ago some folks hung out at von bar to take in some motown tunes and drink some yummy drinks to support bandseed. alix h. luntz + i pulled together a video collage that was projected on the wall (stay tuned for that) and dj von trap (michelle von mandel) did the motown tunes, see playlist below. thanks to all who came out + stay tuned for the next event!

watch // sophie calle // voir la mer

sophie calle // voir la mer // 2011

i came across this article on vice featuring a beautiful, simple and touching video of a man seeing the ocean for the first time shot by conceptual artist sophie calle. i've always seen the ocean as my own sort of temple. nature is innately inspiring, but everything seems to come together at the beach.

i also felt connected to this excerpt from her interview:

sophie butcher: when you were younger, i heard you didn't want to be an artist.
sophie calle: it's not that i didn't want to be an artist, i didn't think of it.

sophie butcher: but now...
sophie calle: but now i'm 62 and it's the complete opposite, i can't think of not being an artist. now when i walk in the street, i think how can i use it? i hear a phrase, i register it, and think how can this be an idea? i'm aware in situations, i think of how i can use or transform it. yesterday, i spent 12 hours in the hospital of montreal. i have a little health problem. in those 12 hours there were two to three hours where i was afraid, two to three where i was bored, because it was very long, and two to three where i thought, what can i do with this? as life happens a project is always a possibility. but when i go eat with a friend, i'm not thinking what's the possibility of this becoming a project? when i'm at a nightclub, i'm not watching, thinking who can i photograph? but phrases, an article in the newspaper—not my love life, not my friend's life—but an event has potential. there are many things in life that i don't use... and sometimes, i'm invited to istanbul and i have to find an idea—a project sometimes just appears in a miraculous way."

well said. and interesting that it was a dialogue between two women named sophie.

cultureisland event recap // the denim disco // mix + video

very excited to report that the denim disco was a smashing success! we collected over 100 pairs of denim which will benefit blue jeans go green. since hurricane katrina (nearly ten years ago), the organization has been recycling denim to create insulation for habitat for humanity homes. what happens to the collected denim? the jeans will be shipped to a facility in arizona where the hardware will be removed and the denim will be stripped back to its original cotton fiber state. it will then be put into an oven and cut/sized. in about three weeks, the denim will be delivered to a place of need. you can find out more about the process here.

thank you to everyone who came out and supported us. we're hoping to plan another denim disco in the future, utilizing new collaborative partners. and we're working with von bar on another event in the coming months.

check out our playlist (made by dj keith sweaty). stay tuned for future cultureisland events! *note we're working to get the video up as well but having some technical difficulties*

required reading // links worth sharing pt. iii // art + some other stuff

1. who are the masterminds behind the google doodles? // "we continue to ask how we can delight users and show humor and humanity," says ryan germick, chief doodler.

2. what people asked the new york public library before google existed // via hyperallergic.

3. "girlfriends" is a collection of work by a collective of global female fashion and art photographers exploring the concept of the female gaze // "it's funny cause when you look at some of the work you can see we all have similar influences and references but we all translate those ideas into our own cultures," says dafy hagi from tel aviv.

4. tumblr's picks for artists who made it big in 2014 // and a cool tumblr worth sharing.

5. w magazine declares lykke li's recent collaboration with &other stories a fashion statement born out of utility // "nick cave and patti smith and millions before me can't have been wrong on black being their first and last love... i was a total floral hippie as a child so when i finally could make my own choices, i've been living in different black suit jackets and been really drawn to masculine clothes. i'm not interested in trends," says the swedish pop singer who lives out of a suitcase and says she has long dreamed of a single, portable uniform she could cart along in a minimalist bag.

6. nyt states "somehow, in the last few years, it has become an article of faith that new york has lost its artistic spirit, that the city's long run as a capital of culture is over." // whoever said art is dead in new york is very wrong.

7. matthias merkel hess creates glazed ceramic objects like recasts of buckets, milk crates, trash cans, and domestic items that play on the place of the vessel in the history of pottery as much as they refer to the readymade in modern art // via artsy.

8. contemporary artist korakrit arunanondchai on his recent work and hybridism // "i like the idea of hybrids a lot, like hybrid media, and hybrid experiences..."

9. while helmut lang quit fashion in 2005, he is now presenting a collection of art created from repurposed clothes. // his self-titled exhibit is on view through feb 21 at new york's sperone westwater, 257 bowery.

10. video to watch // "andrew solomon: how the worst moments in our lives make us who we are"  (a ted talk worth sharing).