Tagged: Interviews

Harry Peccinotti talks to Filep Motwary

Self-portrait © Harry Peccinotti

Self-portrait © Harry Peccinotti

In the visual world, Harry Peccinotti is the epitome of a Renaissance man. As an artist, graphic designer, art director and photographer, he created a distinctive style in the 1960s that feels as fresh as ever— and is as mimicked as ever—today. His work captures women’s bodies and faces in a graphic, almost abstract way that has earned him the nickname “Mr Close-Up”. Despite a career that has spanned the art direction of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, the creation of iconic title sequences for films including Alfie and Chappaqua, the founding of the groundbreaking magazine Nova, the almost single-handed introduction of models of colour into the fashion mainstream, and photographic commissions from the Pirelli calendar to the Vietnam War, the London-born, Paris-based legend was a bit shy when Dapper Dan visited him at home.

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Light A Match, Start A Fire: Michael Gira Talks To George Skafidas

Photography by Zach Gross

Photography by Zach Gross

Slow-moving and punitive; visceral and crushing; dour and blatant; repetitive and atonal; never played the same way twice; constantly trans- forming into whatever is next; a process of discovery for its creators as well as its audience: the music of Michael Gira, and in particular his creative output with Swans—the band he birthed, bore, buried and brought back to life over the course of three decades—is disorienting and destabilising. With themes that plumb the depths of human depravity, it even touches on the horrifying. Yet for those who imagine music as a redemptive, transformative, epiphanic experience, Swans occupies a sort of holy space in the artistic cosmos.

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Romeo Gigli talks to Filep Motwary

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Photography by Vassilis Karidis

Romeo Gigli is utterly charming and undeniably Italian, yet also, at times, a solitary nomad. He is one of the very few European fashion innovators who turned the late 1980s and early ’90s upside down with subtle shapes that defied the aggressive angles of the time, and ambitiously eclectic collections whose mysterious origins and destinations prefigured the global influences that have now become standard. It was hard to find Gigli, as he swore distance and silence from the media after an acrimonious takeover and the subsequent breakdown of his company in the mid-’90s, and an ensuing dispute over the copyright to his own name that continues to this day. Yet his recent capsule collections for Joyce, the eminent Hong Kong- based group led by his old friend Joyce Ma, who, as a buyer for her eponymous boutique, bought his very first collection in 1985, are undoubtedly a success. It is proof that the romantic creator has a soul of steel.

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François Halard talks to Filep Motwary

Self-portrait© François Halard

Self-portrait © François Halard

François Halard graciously agrees to an early-morning interview over the phone from New York. The French-born, continent-straddling photographer has been one of the world’s most highly regarded interior and architectural photographers practically since his teens, and his collaborative résumé is a roll call of legendary American and European artists, editors, fashion designers and art directors. The critic Vincent Huguet’s description of Halard’s work needs no translation: he photographs “en liberté, avec gourmandise, mais aussi avec une forme d’urgence, de nécessité”.

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Brent Wadden talks to Lisa Wilson

Untitled (2012) by Brent Wadden courtesy of Peres Projects

Brent Wadden is a Canadian artist who has been based in Berlin since 2005. His paintings and weavings range from colourful displays of symmetry to subtle monochrome motifs of repeating shapes. By applying tools and techniques from handicraft traditions to contemporary designs, he blurs the line between the traditional categories of fine and folk art. Lisa Wilson is a folklorist and self- taught painter currently working as a graveyard conservator in the ghost town of Port Royal, in Newfoundland.

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Valentino: Modernists In The House

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, creative directors at the house of Valentino, form a solid, unbreakable couple, even if only in professional terms. They’ve been working together since they met, and immediately clicked, at Fendi in 1989. Their creative dialogue is fuelled by mutual trust, complementary tastes and a great deal of sincerity and ease. “I am a very loyal person,” laughs Chiuri, all smoky eyes and bursting emotionality. Piccioli has the nonchalant demeanor of a true Roman—he never seems to register stress—and an insatiable curiosity. He lives in Nettuno, a coastal town not far from the città eterna, and proudly enjoys the detoxifying balms of provincial life.

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Stephen Jones talks to Filep Motwary

Stephen Jones may be England’s most beloved milliner; he is certainly its most radical, and its most playful. In the late 1970s, he famously attended Central Saint Martins by day and the Blitz club by night, where his extraordinary self-made hats attracted the attention of New Romantic royalty including Boy George, Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran, as well as future fashion legends Isabella Blow and Jean-Paul Gaultier. The year after Jones graduated, Blitz owner Steve Strange offered him backing to open a millinery shop under his own name, and the rest is history. Jones is now entering his fourth decade of endlessly inventive collaborations with Gaultier, John Galliano, Thierry Mugler, Comme des Garçons, Vivienne Westwood and more, which he produces alongside biannual collections for men and women under his own name, and a seemingly inexhaustible flow of one-off designs for modern icons such as Grace Jones, Björk, Beyoncé, Kylie and Princess Diana.

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Edward Buchanan: An American in Milano

No one enjoys chaos more than Edward Buchanan. “The creative process, for me, simply consists of regurgitating everything that I see around me,” the Ohio-born, Milan-resident designer says. And by everything, he means everything: highbrow, lowbrow, tabloid, catwalk, sidewalk, street and elite collide in his high-speed brain, translating into a streamlined, pragmatic vision.

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The Rebel Abides: In Search of Ben Wallers

Photography by Jesper List Thomsen

Even by the generous standards of modern garage lo-fi hipsteria, Benedict Roger Wallers seems inept and incongruous; a charismatic lone wolf in a cowboy hat or trilby and a tie whose electrified howls are too idiosyncratic to be broken down into market-oriented terms. It is difficult to sketch a thumbnail summary of a musician who has amassed a vast and unwieldy discography under a variety of names and genres: the most widely acclaimed is probably the Country Teasers, but he also moonlights as, or in, the Rebel, the Company, the Male Nurse, the Beale, the Stallion, the Black Poodle and Skills on Ampex, across folk, country, garage, post-punk, no wave and electronic pop.

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“It’s StIll Amateur Hour Round Here” Eric Isaacson talks to Bill Kouligas

Dead Moon "In the Graveyard", MR089, 2011

Much is disputed or simply unknown about the mysterious, iconic label Mississippi Records, but a few facts are clear. Based on Mississippi Avenue in Portland, Oregon, like its namesake record shop, the label has spent most of the last decade releasing and selling fine vinyl-only releases and reissues of roots, gospel and unclassifiable obscurities, alongside essential new music from the lively art-punk scene. Eric Isaacson, one of the three dedicated people running the label, insists, “It’s still amateur hour round here.” We are inclined to disagree, but when J. Spaceman describes Mississippi’s output as “unbelievably beautiful”, who are we to argue?

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