fashionlovedreams

My Digital Sketchbook of Images and Thoughts

Myoung Ho Lee – Mad About Trees

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I came across photographs by an artist named Myoung Ho Lee and was very taken by them.  Lee was born in 1975 in Seoul (South Korea) and is fascinated by the solitude and “loneliness” that are portrayed by trees found in natural large open spaces.   The concept is kept simple, using only natural subjects (in this instance, trees of any description) but a certain twist is added by the enhancement and seclution of the subject matter.  Very striking!

Even though the end photograph is very minimalistic in its approach, a lot of work goes behind this simple look.  The fabric backing used in the composition (which can go up to fifteen and eighteen metres height) is positioned behind the trees by the help of a large team of people and heavy machinery.  The other elements that keep the backing up such as rope and bars are removed during a quick post production process by the artist.  This last process really does enhance the photo, as not only it cleans up any unsightly residue, but also makes it look like the backing is magically suspended by itself, giving a certain surrealist twist on the final image.

This very simple concept plays on the technique of separating an object (such as the trees) from its natural surroundings and enhancing its natural beauty.  I have included my favourite images below:

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“Gods Own Junkyard” – It’s Neon Lovin’

“Gods Own Junkyard” – It’s Neon Lovin’.

“Gods Own Junkyard” – It’s Neon Lovin’

This weekend I went to “Gods Own Junkyard” in Walthamstow for some Neon inspiration!   Based in an industrial Estate in Walthamstow, it is truly a “Wonderland of Creativity,”  offering a real feast for the eyes!  “Heavenly Junk in a Hell of  a Location” is their motto,  which is perfectly reflected in their collection of new & used neon fantasies, salvaged signs, vintage neons, old movie props and retro displays.

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The man behind this neon revolution is Chris Bracey, who has been involved in the creation of  iconic art pieces for 37 years and has a cult following in both London and Los Angeles.     Bracey’s work has been featured in many iconic films featuring many A-listers, such as “Eyes Wide Shut (Tom Cruise),” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Johnny Depp)  and “Batman” (Jack Nicholson).

After a film wraps, the method used by Bracey of combining quirky motifs and cathphrase shows he has a real knack of giving the unwanted and discarded  props a new lease of… light (!) 

Icons in their own right, Gods own junk yard is where neon never dies!

I have included (many) of my favourite pieces below.

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Please follow the below link for more information :

http://godsownjunkyard.co.uk/

“Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!”

Last week I treated myself to a trip to Somerset House,  to visit “Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!”  exhibition in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins.  It is  a major fashion exhibition celebrating the out of the ordinary life and fashion wardrobe of Isabella Blow.

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The exhibition was stunning, showcasing over a hundred pieces of Blow’s fashion and accessories.  You truly peek at a life lived through clothes, as you are acquainted with Blow’s eccentric personality and love of fashion in all forms.  The collection that is now owned by Daphne Guiness, is one of the most private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st Century British fashion design.   Several garments from well known designers who Blow helped to be discovered/promoted are featured,  such as Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald.  Notable accessories are also featured from fabulous hat designer  Philip Treacy, whom she was believed to be his muse.

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Born Isabella Delves Broughton, she was part of the rarefied world of British aristocracy.  Her family roots can be traced back to the thirteenth century.  Although Blow came from a privileged background, she was encouraged to develop a career after her grandfather squandered away the the family fortunes during the interwar years and brought disrepute for his involvement in the White Mischief Scandal of 1941.  Isabella chose a career in in fashion, working for magazines as a stylist and editor.  Her first job was assisting Michael Roberts at Taylor, where she developed a skill described as “truffling for talent.”

Blow paid particular attention to fashion that was unconventional in construction crafted from unlikely fabrics, but that also showed excellent craftsmanship and conceptual qualities.  This combination truly spoke to Isabella, as she believed this personified the new British order in fashion.    During her career, Blow assisted US Vogue’s Anna Wintour, worked at Tatler (in which later became Fashion Director) and British Vogue.  In 1997, she also became  Fashion Director of the Sunday Times Style .  She was truly driven by passion and creativity, something that I believe is reflected in the showcased collection at Somerset House.

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Another focus on the exhibition was Isabella’s talent for discovering models.  A room is dedicated to models who Blow worked with, which is beautifully set out in a black and white colour combination, featuring large prints of well known fashion models such Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant.  She had several collaborations with  major photographers such as Steven Meisel, David LaChapelle and Sean Ellis, which pushed the boundaries of convention in her increasingly provocative fashion spreads and establishing herself as a legendary figure within the international fashion and contemporary art worlds.

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I say that this is  must see exhibition for all fashion lovers!

Please visit the below link to discover more:

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/isabella-blow-fashion-galore

(all images courtesy of http://www.somersethouse.org.uk)

Jon Shireman – “Frozen Flowers”

Jon Shireman.  He  is the main man for me today :)

Shireman is a photographer based in New York City who specializes in  fine art still life, architecture, and location photography.  After having a look through his work, I came across a  series of work entitled “Frozen Flowers.”  The images that have been taken are simply stunning as he combined science methods with eye-catching, fresh visuals.

Shireman achieved these photographic prints by soaking a variety of flowers in liquid nitrogen (which causes rapid freezing) and by proceeding to shatter the frozen items at high speed onto a white surface via a spring loaded device.   The beauty of the various flowers such as Orchids, Lilies and other blooms are captured through the remained debris, which in some cases make the flowers unrecognizable when broken apart in such a manner.

What I love about these prints are the fresh colours used against the bright , clean background.  But also, the textural transformation of the shattered petals/parts of the flowers from delicate and soft to hard and almost porcelain like.

Below I have included some of my favourite pieces.  Enjoy!

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Please take a look at more of his stunning work on http://www.jonshireman.com/

SAATCHIng it UP!

SAATCHIng it UP!.

SAATCHIng it UP!

I visited the Saatchi gallery the other day with a friend and I was extremely blown away by some of the pieces that were on display there,  so inspiring!

The Saatchi Gallery is a London gallery for contemporary art, opened by Charles Saatchi in 1985.  The exciting aspect of this gallery is that it aims to exhibit unseen young artist or international artists whose work has rarely or has never been exhibited in the UK.

I have included some of my favourite pieces below:

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Kura Shomali

I found this illustrative style interesting – The soft element of florals being carried by a hardened-edge gangster is humorous.

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Tom Thayer

I love Thayers’ powerful yet delicate illustrations.  The colours used are both subdued yet eye catching in tonal hues used.  It was exciting to see the scene was brought to 3-D life using the same theme but different media.

http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/tom_thayer.htm

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Yuren Teruya

Yuken Teruya is an artist based in New York.
Teruya works with materials such as toilet paper rolls, paper shopping bags and butterfly chrysalises.  Through his work, he aims to reflect life and the history of his origins in Okinawa, Japan.  I loved the fragility of the pieces and the ethereal quality portrayed.

http://www.yukenteruyastudio.com

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Anne Toebbe

Ann Toebbe’s  interiors resemble a cross between a board game and a cut-out paper doll houses, which brings a charming fusion and depiction of chosen places.

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Han Feng

“Han Feng’s Floating City  is neither sculpture nor drawing, Feng’s piece is composed of hundreds of tracing paper buildings of various sizes, their laser- printed details deriving from images of city architecture, which are grouped in dense clusters and hung from the ceiling with transparent fish tackle thread. Hovering a couple of inches off the gallery floor, Floating City has an ethereal, almost spectral quality; it shivers and sways with the movement of visitors. Depicting a city – something we associate, especially in recent times, with population density, atmospheric pollution, architectural diversity and multicultural vibrancy – as something weightless, depopulated, semi-transparent and fragile, Feng’s work asks us to consider the city as something imagined, an idea as much as a place. This might be what a utopia looks like – a notion expressed in language, impossible to realise in reality.   The city’s pale palette certainly appears drained of life, as though emptied of occupants; the use of tracing paper implies preparation, a stage before completion. Looking down on this ghostly apparition, we’re separated from it both physically and conceptually: it’s perpetually distant, a mirage.”
Text by Ben Street

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Marcelo Jacome

Marcelo Jácome’s Planos-Pipas (‘kite-planes’ in the artist’s native Portugese) treats paper as a sculptural material while retaining the dynamic and intuitive quality of a drawing. Swooping across the gallery space like a flock of disturbed parrots, the components of the piece – brightly coloured sheets of tissue paper stretched over bamboo frames, held together with cotton threads – suggest disparate components moving in semi-chaotic unity. Their faceted forms, apparently bumping against each other in perpetual motion, hint at solidity depending where you’re standing: corners meet and mimic architectural forms, or become half-roofs, almost-shelters. That glancing relationship with solid form is part of Jácome’s playful approach to three-dimensionality – his work occupies the space of drawing, sculpture and architecture without ever quite belonging in any one category. The piece seems to literally evade description, much as a kite itself does, whose true nature is only revealed at a distance, on the end of a thread. Jácome’s piece dances on the edge of things, slipping out of our grasp in a dazzling flash of colour and line.

Text by Ben Street

http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/marcelo_jacome.htm?section_name=paper

?section_name=future_exhibitions

Club to Catwalk Exhibition at the V&A, London

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I went to visit the “Club to Catwalk” exhibition on Sunday at the V&A Museum and my goodness, what an incredible explosion of creativity it was!   Literally blew my socks off!   The exhibition featured more that 85 original pieces and to see original print, patterns and textures was a real treat, as it helped to showcase just how exciting fashion was during the 1980’s through revealing the emerging theatricality of British Fashion.
The exhibition focused on the relationship between catwalk and club fashion, presenting excellent examples of how each fed off each other to inspire and create new, exciting and never-seen-before pieces by young, experimental designers of the decade.

In the early 1980’s, London fashion began to turn heads thanks to the highly individual and bold styles that were being presented on the catwalks.   They were being shown in major cities such as New York and Japan and featured young emerging talented designers that we have grown to know as prominent figures in British fashion. These includde Betty Jackson, John Galliano and Katharine Hamnett. They showcased their designs through tongue in cheek events, such as “London goes to Tokyo,” which proved to be immensely popular.

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During the night, designers would reveal their unique and expressive outfits through the vibrant London club scene.   As designer Georgina Godley stated: ‘Young London was all about taking risks and creating something out of nothing through passion and ambition’.   This concept was brought light through the invention of fashion styles- such as “New Romantics,” “Glam Fetish” and “Gothic” movements.   All of the them very different in aesthetic, but all equally as flamboyant and powerfully showstopping looks garantueed to get you noticed.   The specialist nights thrown by nightclubs provided a platform for creative people to not only mingle with like minded individuals but to also to dress up and show off their latest creations.  As   Stevie Stewart of Body Map explained that ‘each group of people, whether they were fashion designers, musicians or dancers, filmmakers, living together and going out together had a passion for creating something new that was almost infectious’.   Popular watering holes would be Taboo and Heaven clubs. 

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Example of “Glam Fetish” BLITZ kid

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Example of “New Romantic” Style

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Example of “Gothic” fashion style

A special mention of a character that would frequent these nights needs to be mentioned at this point.   Leigh Bowery was an  Australian performance artist, club promoter, actor, pop star, model and fashion designer, based in London.  In January 1985 he started the now infamous polysexual Thursday disco club night “Taboo”.  This later on evolved into London’s Studio 54, retaining the wild, fashionable crowd that would ensure punters would have a truly unforgettable experience during their visits.    One of the pieces that he designed was showcased in this exhibition, as one of the popular magazines at the time “BLITZ” had commissioned him to customise a denim jacket.  The denim jacket was provided by Levi Strauss & Co and it featured fringes made out of thousands of golden hair grips attached to the outside of the jacket, making it very heavy to wear and very eye catching, transforming its original aesthetic completely.

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Denim jacket by Levi Strauss & Co, customised by Leigh Bowery 1986 Museum no. T.525-1997 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Early clubs such as Billy’s, Blitz and the Club for Heroes were small and attracted a selective, creative crowd.  As the decade went on, bigger nights were thrown in places such as The Camden Palace, which although less intimate, helped to perpetuate the creative link between music, club and catwalk.  The symbiotic relationship helped to define one of the most exciting decades ever seen in fashion, which continues to inspire new designs.

I highly recommend a visit as this exhibition has an incredible array of designers’ work on display and an equally wonderful soundtrack to accompany it!

Please check the V&A’s website for more details on this:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-from-club-to-catwalk-london-fashion-in-the-80s/about-the-exhibition/

“Blumenfeld Studio: New York, 1941–1960″ at Somerset House

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This weekend I went to see “Blumenfeld Studio: New York, 1941–1960″ exhibition at Somerset House. I really love his work and the exhibition was presented in a very simplistic and well thought out way. This exhibition focused on displaying photographs which formed part of Blumenthel’s studio archives but also, various unpublished transparencies that truly revealed the photographer’s skill and curiosity of his trade. They were kept by himself for number of years as a personal documentation of his countless sittings.

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Erwin Blumenfeld is a Berlin-born photographer that was one of the most internationally sought-after fashion and portrait photographers during the 1940s and 1950s. His work was featured in countless leading magazines such as “American Vogue” and “Harper’s Bazaar” as they liked his highly creative and recognisable style. Other notable publications were “Collier’s,” “Kaleidoscope,” “Look” and “Cosmopolitan.”
Blumenthel had his photography studio at 222 Central Park South in New York. There are around 100 prints and originals of his work, which show his enthusiasm and creative expression though the portrayal of colours, light, repeated motifs, truncated figures and framing. A noteable point to raise here is that the original material provided had deteriorated through time and had fade, which lead the laboratory of Nicéphore Niépce Museum to digitally “reconstructed” as to what was believed was the closest to the original as possible.

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The work that I most enjoyed throughout the exhibition were the “raw” material prints, the ones that were kept untouched without the intervention of directors and engravers. One of my favourites was a photograph of a nude woman, where images of foliage and flowers were layered onto the skin on her bare back. The composition is really simple but really eye catching, with a desperately romantic yet eery mood. Nudes were one of his favourite subjects from the first time he started to experiment techniques in 1936, just after moving to Paris. Blumenthel admitted to “Platonic Erotomania” where he used women’s bodies to practice his techniques on. He used techniques such as veiling, filtering, solarising and well as chemical effects for his search of new techniques.

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I highly recommend going to see this exhibition, as it is truly inspiring to see such a mixture of photography techniques, washed down in beautiful and vivid colourings.

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Check out visiting information at the following link: http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/blumenfeld-studio

I think I’m off to buy a camera now :)

Street Art London Tour

On Saturday I went along to a Street Art London Tour around the East End’s area of Shoreditch, and it proved to be amazingly inspiring! Left me truly wanting more.

Street Art London is an organization that is closely connected with the street art scene in London. They closely follow and work with various street artists on different projects and exhibitions. It takes much dedication as the street art is constantly evolving, sometimes a piece can last a couple of days and others for months at a time. Having such a close working relationship means that they can gather information first hand, not from a secondary source such as books and internet, making the information provided on their tours really exciting and real.
I used to live in that area and the streets (and back streets) are adorned with striking street art pieces that help create the urban visual buzz that the area offers. In between observing the street art, I did start to recognize different artists’s “hand writing” and what was really great for me is that on the tour I got to learn their names and a bit about their story!!
The walking tour took about 4 hours, with a lovely lunch in supa hip hang out The Book Club. I was praying that it wouldn’t rain and my prayers were answered  We met at the designated meeting point around Old Street Tube station early Saturday morning and once everyone that was booked in turned up, off we went.
I don’t know much about the graffiti culture but our guide was really helpful in explaining the difference between graffiti artists and street artist, their culture, the techniques used and why the artists would paint the way that they did i.e. their influences and training. The fact that Street Art Tours work with most of the street artists whose work we were shown means that they are capable to go in great depth about it all. Insider knowledge is always good!

I am going to include some of my favourite pieces that we were shown below :)

The first piece that we were shown was about 5 metres from our initial point. And it involved us looking down, at the pavement. Amidst chewing gum stained pavement some small brightly coloured art appeared! Artist Ben Wilson from Muswell Hill has decided to take it upon himself to make the city’s pavements slightly prettier, but painting over chewing gum stains with bright acrylic paint. His pieces are intricate and depict landscapes.

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Christiaan Nagel is originally from South Africa and has been in London for about three years. During this time he has been installing large, brightly coloured mushrooms all around the city on top of buildings, bridges and walls.

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Artist Ben Eine is well known for his vibrant typographical letters that either appear as a single letter or as standalone words such as “Scary”, “Exciting”, “Vandalism”, “Change” and “Calculate”. When creating single letters, they often appear on shop front shutters, indicating the first letter of the shop’s name.

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Phlegm is a street artist from Sheffield. He trained at university as an illustrator, which comes across in his deatiles, monochrome pieces. He takes inspiration from etching and dip pen techniques, which he used himself in his self published comics whilst studying.

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Pablo Delgado’s work was really striking.  Not only does he create complex characters with stencils, but also tells a story in each of his pieces, allowing characters to work together towards a particular narrative.

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Seeing Roa’s street art was one of the highlights for me. His work is instantly recognizable as he paints large, monochrome textured animals. Originally he hails from Belgium and his biggest work is the Roa Crane on Hanbury Street (Summer 2010). He has also put up rats and birds along Brick Lane, but can only be seen at night, as they hide during the day :P as his works also appear on shutters.

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Another of my favourite piece was by street artist Invader, who originally hails from Paris. His work is recognized instantly, as he pays homage to the Space Invaders arcade cade that took storm in the 80’s. He uses coloured tiles to represent the large pixelated characters that appeared in the well known game. The first character appeared on the streets of London in 1999.Many more have appeared since then, acting as little surveyors of the city!

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(all images for space invader are secondary sourced)

I really liked Stik’s work, which not only appears around London, but has adorned places in New York, Berlin, Jordan and the Middle East. Stik is best known for his “Stik men”, which are monochrome simplified versions of the classic stick man. I find that although they are very simplified, they also manage to convey the emotion that the artist was trying to portray.

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I have noticed Mobstr’s work before, and it was really exciting to see other works by him. He tends to use the same font throughout his pieces; strong, simple bold characters that convey a mixture of sarcastic, cynical and council provoking sentences. Brilliantly simple.

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One of the most exciting was street art that I saw today was by street artist vils. I really liked this as he has managed to create 3-D work, which shows a complex and talented nature. Vils plasters onver bricks and then uses a chisel to carve into it once dried. This results in a large scale, modern version of an etching. A-mazingggg :)

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Below are some other ones that caught my eye during our tour :)

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