Saturday, December 24, 2011


 Exhibit>21st Dec to 12th Jan 2011. 11am to 8.30 pm (Sat – Thu)

An idea from the thought of drawing shadows… outlines of shadows,

Imprints, temporal and often to trace a dream. All make the realm of fragile...

Eight artists weave the personal language of their minds into the visible.


Alireza Fani

«A Memorial For Today» is a reflection of how we pass our days and our private moments with tremendous passivity... 

A chronic passivity which we have apparently voluntarily invited into our lives. 

Our acceptance of this passive way of life has led us to turn a blind eye to our alternatives. 

It has become our daily norm. 

Perhaps our issues with «social un-relation» are an outcome of adoption of our passive practices or do we just blame the outside world, as usual.

Kaif Ghaznavi

My work deals with situations of uncertainty and awkwardness, fear and pleasure, pain and endurance. I like to investigate these possibilities through conducting interviews with people with various backgrounds.

In this work Maang, I consider the measure of cycles o rural villages where women follow lunar patterns of understanding time. She maps out this passing of time and space through circular rythms that elide linear duration, in an esoteric charting of the body.

Mohsen Sadeghian

The boxes of  Sadeghian, in their rigid and unusual forms, more than anything, are the expressions of one's desperation with oneself and with the status quo. However they are not reflections of despair from a solely perspective, but that the artist is showing the complex dialectical, social, and psychological processes.

Socio-thematic selection of works prevents the artist from being limited and solely psychologically identified. This strategy makes the interpretation of his works for the audience quite sophisticated as well s multi-faceted. The artist's references to place and space take shape with a delicate skill.

The works have been designed in the shape of boxes, smaller models of place and space, in which symbols and things are visible, like a mesh of similes that from a discursive view that is expressive and resonant. The general color of the boxes, inside or out, are in most cases dark, and parts of the outside surfaces are covered by glass. 


Parul Thacker

City of light or a crystallized light all netted to form one truth of light – which is all illuming forever with a fragrance of beauty. The interconnected fibers are knotted together to form the base/a map of a region above our terrestrial existence that beholds this city of light.

Crystals which are truly an embodiment of light and energy are used as healing minerals by occultists and professional healers. It is with the same intention I use them, to spread its pure energy. Mesmerized by its form we are naturally drawn to them, at times for their colour or at times for their formless form and at times for the unusual glitter it has about a light unseen. I have been intuitively drawn to these minerals whose origin is untraceable but purpose and intent remains unchanged – that of parting with light and energy.

The fiber used is of nylon thread – translucent yet strong it holds these minerals together to form one complete form or map. My own creative map or perception of the land of crystals all held together by one thread, entwined to form dimensions of textures giving the illusion of space and depth. The angular pyramidical stitches form the invisible structures of light or energy. Each one formed by its own dynamic momentum, one leading to another by a single thread of faith, consistently mapping itself until at last the city unveils itself.

My process doesn’t end here, in fact it has just begun, a task to create not just one city of light instead the city growing into a land, a land enlarging itself on earth and the earth spreading its light on the entire universe.

Samira Nowparast

For me, painting is the representation of a world I travel in it mentally. This is a world acquainted with nature; there you can smell the scent of the mixture of mud and straw, and hear the voice of horseshoes. There is no human, but you see his tracks. I trace these tracks. And sometimes I find human-made things; some of them are soft and delicate like a tanned skin, and others are hard and sharp like a razor, gearwheel or a piece of metal detached of something I don’t know what it is, but it seems to me a worn-out thing starts to move suddenly and take possession of something from the future, and claw at my day just like a memory that revives the old sorrows and tears.

Things, whatever they are, challenge the creatures of my paintings. These creatures are "Animal-likes" that have a human identity for me. Sometimes they have abstract forms, and sometimes they appear as more figurative subjects; like horses struggle to escape from a space combined with gearwheel, strap and bridle, or stay and get acquainted with them, as in the series "Permanent Sketch of Mind", "Sanctum" and "Horse Factory". I didn’t find any human-made thing in the "Estrogen" series. The "Animal-likes" are blooming and fertile, and float in a ruddy seclusion; in seasons nobody knows their time, or in a utopia whose seasons were forgotten.

Shivani Agarwal

Through my art practice I depict the transient nature of things, people, situations and emotions.

I have been using the red thread as a metaphor to express the same, which transforms, changes and binds.

It takes different forms and entangles and then changes back again. The dichotomy of attachment and separation, bondage and freedom is hence discovered.

I use painting and photographic images also positioning and painting them to create an almost surreal situation.

I work with multiple images as it helps in expressing change and movement.

Tender, sensitive, easily hurt and broken all these words refer to the transient states of mind we experience.

Thoughts, memories and feelings are born one moment and disappear and sometimes change in the next, I am trying to gather these fragile moments and knit them into a story in my work.

They are feelings so fragile that if they are not dealt with, they will perish in no time.

I am trying to define fragility through transience.

Pooj Iranna

Through my work, I present man made structures, which talk of human beings, their presence, expressions, mind and emotions without their physical existence.

I was born in Delhi which fast grew into a metropolis along with me. Much before I could realize the metropolitan life around me became my cultural background.

This is what eventually became the prime medium of expression for me as it predominated my whole self.

Human persona has so many facets to it that I find it increasingly stimulating to portray it in my language using different mediums. My water colours revolve around the same vocabulary. The visual language here is not very complicated and even the colour palette is less complex. There is a intermingling of nature and man made structures to create spaces. These represent strength of structure on the surface and vigor of human convictions at the subconscious.

The latest works in which I use staple pins to make my sculptures is very synonymous to my concept of shaping of human life. It is about building of intellectual and spiritual character of people. Staple pins joint together determine the strength and energies of people coming together. These works represent human endeavor , not only for existence but making life harmonious from inside and outside.

My choice of medium is guided by my thinking, reasoning and understanding of what I wish to express. Working with different materials but using the same underlined expression gives me a sense of gratification.

Prajakta Palav Aher

Prajakta Palav Aher paints every detail from a multitude of photographic references that she has archived over the years. The candid medium of photography allows her to unpretentiously penetrate the many aspects of middle class life in India, and capture its varied truths.

Her works in acrylic on canvas depict images from her own background and reflect the insecurities and complexities of middle class life. With great skill and photographic perfection Aher paints pictures of fake plastic flowers adorning doors and staircases; newspaper stacks lying behind wooden cabinets; suitcases and bags perched on top of the cupboard; torn papers and documents covered in plastic sheets filling old wall units; and the iconic image of Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, traveling the routes of an everyday commuter.

Although the artist’s portrayals are realistic, they do not come across as documentaries but instead, allow the viewer to realize the disposition of the situations, and find humour in them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kris Van Assche Forays Into Fashion Films

As if Dior Homme wasn't enough, Belgian designer Kris Van Assche keeps busy with his own men's line, characterized as much by mood and nostalgia as French chic and savoir faire. His first fashion film, showcasing spring 2012, centers on the extraordinarily ordinary moment, as director Joost Vandebrug would describe it, when two old friends meet again...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mark Ryden’s carnival of curiosities

Fuzzy bunnies, big-eyed girls, meat, magic, and mystery

Limited to 50 copies, this eight-color fine serigraph is a perfect reproduction of an original Mark Ryden painting made especially for TASCHEN. The print was meticulously crafted by the fine print-makers at Pressure Printing. It is printed on finely handmade paper from Bhutan, and carefully dyed and aged; the work is embossed with a beautifully hand-sculpted bee and printer’s chop. The edition is numbered, signed by Mark Ryden and available only with the first 50 copies of the book Pinxit, published by TASCHEN. Includes certificate of authenticity signed by Mark Ryden.

The artist:

Mark Ryden received a BFA in 1987 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, including a retrospective Wondertoonel at the Frye Museum of Art in Seattle and Pasadena Museum of California Art, and in the exhibition The Artist’s Museum at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Everything is a Part of Itself >Photographs by Rameshwar Broota

Everything is a Part of Itself - Photographs by Rameshwar Broota
29th October 2011, 7.30pm onwards at 1x1 Al Quoz

“Everything is Part of Itself:” Meronymy, the Flâneuristic Gaze, and the Polyphonic Imagination of Rameshwar Broota

The power of the recent photography of Rameshwar Broota lies in the way his images open up new spaces for imagination about the body, the built environment, and our human to the natural world through what is called a “polyphonic” visual language. This polyphony—a harmonious symphony of different possible understandings of the work—is produced by the technique of “defamiliarization of the familiar” through juxtapositions in which the human subject is constituted in an indexical relationship to the various contexts presented. What this means is that the possibility for multiple meanings of the signs mobilized in Broota’s work (often images from the natural world, the built environment, humanly made objects or human life) are possible because of the way he manages to disrupt our familiar optics, by switching the background or the frame that makes us look again, and think again about what we are seeing. In doing so, he opens up the possibilities for re-vision—for re-thinking, re-seeing and re-knowing ourselves and our world.

Even when human being appears to be absent from the tableau, the human's absent presence is still felt and exerted through the distinctive flâneuristic gaze of Broota's lens. Like the way of seeing the world that made the “flâneur” of 19th century literature an icon of seemingly paradoxical detachment in the context of well-traveled cosmopolitanism, and worldly experience, characteristic of modernity, Broota’s camera facilitates a similar disengaged engagement in our own gazes.

This diverse body of work is unified by a practice that utilizes ephemeral juxtapositions of the natural/organic/bodily to the constructed/inorganic/mechanistic in order to rupture these very binaries. And it is precisely this set of shifting binaries that gives voice to the polyphonic visual discourse that characterizes Broota's practice across genre and subject matter. In some works, the body is iconically treated as terrain, while in others, the terrain, or landscape (both the built and the natural, and sometimes an amalgamation of the two) is animated by the cosmopolitan, urbane gaze of the well-traveled flâneur who becomes part of the very landscape his gaze constructs. In some works, photographic interventions recast the body as part of a larger mechanism or machine, in others the possibilities of the self seem to be both framed and delimited by geometric space.

—Maya Kóvskaya, PhD

1x1 Art Gallery
Warehouse No 4, Plot No 364-22, Al Quoz Ind 1
P O Box 214723, Dubai
T: +9714-3411287 F:+9714-3472321
E: W:

Location Map:
Rameshwar Broota, born in New Delhi in 1941, graduated from the College of Art, New Delhi in 1964. As the head of the Department of Art, Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, Broota has been teaching and inspiring many artists of the younger generation.
Since the beginning of his career Broota has been deeply involved in the contemporary human situation that degrades individuals and pollutes relationship between them on the social plane. His early oil paintings, showing, 'humanized' gorillas, were corrosively satirical and showed the artist's concern for the socio-moral being of man. Over the decades, though not a prolific painter, Broota evolved a technique of painting mostly in monochrome: On the canvas surface, usually painted in matte black, he works with a sharp, thin blade to bring in light and forms, exposing the white surface below, creating deep spatial dimensions. In this phase he focuses on monumental humans, wounded, hardened and somehow dehumanized. In some paintings he shows man against a forbidding wall on which appear illegible hieroglyphics, suggesting the inscrutable destiny of man. His highly personalized technique less painterly in application of paint, has the quality of a graphic print.

His paintings have been shown in many solo and prestigious group shows, namely 'Pictorial Space' presented by the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (1 977), 'India: Myth and Reality', Museum of Modem Art, Oxford (1982), 'Modern Indian Painting', Hirsch horn Museum, Washington D.C. (1982), Biennales in Tokyo and Dhaka, 'Art for Man', Saddam Centre for International Art, Baghdad, (1 986), International Art Fair, Cagnes-sur-Mer (1976).

Broota lives and works in New Delhi.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Indian Grand Prix >28-30 Oct'2011@Noida,India

Just a few years ago, India would not have ranked among the countries you'd commonly associate with Formula One racing. Today, however, the nation has its own F1 team in Force India, has bred two F1 drivers in Karun Chandhok and Narain Kathikeyan, and hosted its first grand prix this year. Despite all this, Force India chief, Vijay Mallya, thinks his home country still has more to offer the world of motorsports

Trulli: Target kept Chandhok out
Jarno Trulli has insisted that the decision not to have local hero Karun Chandhok race for Team Lotus at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix was purely a racing one, with the team determined to lock down 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship.

None of us wants to lose this opportunity to finish 10th in the championship.

Lotus tester Karun Chandhok has lost out on the chance to race in front of his home crowd at this weekend’s inaugural Indian event, after the team decided to retain regular line-up Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli for the New Delhi race. Chandhok, however, will be in action in the T128 during Friday's opening practice session.
Many had predicted that Team Lotus would attempt to maximise appeal in India by putting Chennai-born Chandhok in the T128 for the F1’s newest race, especially as the Indian racer recently utilised Red Bull Racing’s simulator in a bid to learn the track. However, prior to the team’s arrival at the Buddh Circuit it was revealed that Chandhok will be restricted to driving in Friday’s first free practice session.

“There is a lot of investment made by the team for the future, for next year, in order to make (the) step into the midfield and I think none of us wants to lose this opportunity to finish 10th in the championship,” said Trulli in Thursday’s official FIA press conference. “This, I believe, is the main reason for not giving Karun another chance. But it is not down to me, honestly, to talk about it. This race is the only thing I can think about.” And eyeing Sunday’s race, Trulli admitted his initial impressions of the circuit were positive.

“I arrived only last night but the circuit itself looks pretty good,” he said. “The layout seems very interesting. Obviously the question mark is about how dirty and dusty it is. I have been around this morning cycling and it was very dusty. I hope they can clean today and tomorrow morning and see how the circuit develops over the weekend. But it is definitely something that looks pretty good.”

Looking further ahead Trulli said the team was expecting to take another step forward in 2012, though he added that the team did not need to make a huge leap in order to achieve their immediate targets. “We have several new things coming in which should make us take a step forward in terms of performance,” he said. “We really hope that we can do what we haven’t done or what we were not able to do this year. We were expecting to be fighting the midfield and we were not quite there, so for next year I think Tony (Fernandes) and everybody is determined to make this step and they are working very hard on next year’s car and there are several deals in place in order to get a good package together for next year’s car so we are very confident of making this step.

“If you look at certain results we don’t really need (a big) jump,” he added. “We just need a little further step, as we are in a situation that the car in front is slightly quicker than us and the cars behind us are definitely slower than us, so we just need a further step to be in the midfield. “Obviously If you want to think about winning races it is different. You need a further jump but you need to take things step-by-step. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the team was built just two years ago.”

“I am very excited about driving at the new Buddh International Circuit in FP1 in front of my home crowd and while I am obviously disappointed that I won’t have the chance to race on Sunday, I accept the team’s decision to opt for the experience and talent they have at their disposal with Jarno and Heikki,” explained the 27 year-old.

Karthikeyan senses ‘historic moment’
HRT driver Narain Karthikeyan has admitted he is looking forward to what will be an “historic moment” when he becomes the first Indian driver to race in Formula One on home soil this weekend.

It is a huge day for Indian motorsport and those first few laps tomorrow are going to be very special.

Karthikeyan has been handed a race seat at the new Buddh International Circuit in Delhi ahead of regular driver Vitantonio Liuzzi and despite the pressures on him as the only Indian driver pencilled in to race, Karthikeyan said he would just try to enjoy himself this weekend, with his main target being just to finish the grand prix.

“The realistic thing with our car is to possibly finish the race and beat your team-mate,” he said. “If you do that, I think at the moment, we can’t expect much more. It is an historic and symbolic moment that an Indian driver is on the grid and, of course, there is a lot following Formula One for a long time. There will be a lot of fans here. It will be hard to explain but it is what it is. I want to enjoy the weekend, have a lot of fun, and try and do the best I can do.’ The HRT driver, who made his F1 debut with Jordan in 2005, admitted he had expected to compete in a grand prix on home soil, and that Friday, when the cars take to the track for the first time, will be a “huge day for Indian motorsport”.

“I did not think in my racing career that I would be racing in India and here we are just around the corner. I’ve had thousands of requests for passes,” he smiled. “I just need to relax and from tomorrow it is going to be different, you are in the car a lot. I just want to enjoy the whole atmosphere. My family, everyone is coming. It is a huge day for Indian motorsport and those first few laps tomorrow are going to be very special, yes.”

The Indian driver has been impressed with the track, too. “With the circuit, again like everybody else, it is wide in some places, I am sure lots of different lines you are going to see, lots of overtaking. It is definitely a very challenging circuit, with lots of run off areas and so on, so they have done a very good job, no doubt.”

'It’s complete, it’s finished. The race is happening, it’s real, it’s a dream come true' - Vijay Mallya
Sahara Force India boss Vijay Mallya has admitted that the Indian Grand Prix is a “dream come true” and an event he did not expect to witness in his lifetime.

Vijay Mallya: "A lot of people were sceptical, and I think we proved them all wrong."

Connected to the development of the track since its inception, Mallya said that all those involved had proved any doubters wrong. “A lot of people were sceptical, and I think we proved them all wrong, which is very, very nice,” he said of the circuit’s opening.

“I drove around the track a couple of times yesterday, I spoke to several drivers. They simply love the track. It’s complete, it’s finished. The race is happening, it’s real, it’s a dream come true. “I have a huge vested interest,” he added. “Over 30 years ago I drove my Ensign Formula One car here in India and I never thought I would ever see a Formula One car race around India in the future.

“As the chairman of the ASN responsible for motorsport here, we have been trying to promote motorsport in this country for over three decades and this is like a dream come true. When I acquired the then Spyker team, I re-named it Force India and there was a lot of strategy and meaning behind it, as it was meant to put India on the Formula One map. We have had an Indian team since 2008 on the Formula One grid and now a grand prix here in Delhi. This is unbelievably fantastic.”

Asked if the Indian Government would now become involved in the event financially, Mallya said that the Grand Prix would continue in the hands of private enterprise. “In a country like India, with the profile of our people, with the number of under-privileged people we also have, it would be too much of an ask if we went to government and said ‘subsidise motor sport’,” he said. “So this initiative here at the Buddh International Circuit is a private initiative by the Jaypee Group – God bless them, they’ve done a wonderful job and invested a lot of money and they haven’t depended on any sort of government grants.”

The Sahara Force India boss was then asked about reports contrasting the glamorous nature of F1 with the underprivileged population he had mentioned. “In every country there are the privileged and the under-privileged. We have under-privileged people in our country, but that doesn’t mean that the country must be bogged down or weighed down,” he said. “India is a progressive country, we have a strongly growing economy, a large economy. The government is doing all it can to address the needs of the poor or the under-privileged people but India must move on.

“Back in 1990, we consciously made a decision to integrate ourselves into the world economy, to open up from an era of total government control and so the country must move forward. The Commonwealth Games were held here in India, now it’s Formula One. I’m sure there will be several more global events in our country, because this is a world-class country in many ways. Sure we have our problems but those are being addressed.”

Sebastian Vettel gets pole position, Narain Karthikeyan almost last in maiden Indian Grand Prix

Buddh International Circuit Long Shot
It was an action packed qualifying session, the traffic snarls at the venue were legendary with the snarls extending to late evening when I was passing by the track. Spotted a few team folks in various cars  Team Lotus prefers the Renault Fluence to travel in style.
Jenson Button Qualifying Indian GP
Sebastian Vettel grabbed another pole position showing the dominance of his Red Bull, he is just three wins shy of Michael Schumacher’s record of most wins in a formula one season and looks all set to equal that if he continues his current form.
“The car was fantastic since yesterday and throughout qualifying,” said Sebastian Vettel. “In the end there was a little bit left in the first sector.
“I’m extremely happy and it’s good to be here. It will be a very interesting race on a challenging circuit.
“You have to really make sure you stay on the line and the circuit here is not forgiving mistakes. It’s not easy but I enjoy what I do and I was excited when I came here.”
Lewis Hamilton was second fastest in qualifying however due to a penalty he was given on Friday, he got thrown back three places and will start fifth on the grid. Fernando Alonso who will start third on the grid and seemed pleased with Hamilton’s penalty :
“With Hamilton’s penalty, starting third will be even better,” The Spaniard said
Teammate Brazilian Felipe Massa could manage only sixth position in contrast. He has been quite a press favorite with certain Indian tabloids going gaga over his resemblance to his brother whatshisname Massa.
Lewis Hamilton Indian Grand Prix Qualifying

Meanwhile Narain Karthikeyan would have entered the bad books of Michael Schumacher. Narain impeded the German champion in his hot lap and was penalized five places. Needless to say that generally means Narain Karthikeyan would be starting last on the grid. However since Timo Glock is approved to race despite being too slow, Narain wont be last on the grid.
Adrian Sutil of Force India qualified in eight position impressing new boss Subrata Roy (in photo with Nico Hulkenberg). Force India fans will remember Sahara bought stake in the team rechristening it the Sahara Force India formula one team.

1 Sebastian VettelGerman RBR-Renault374
2 Jenson ButtonBritish McLaren-Mercedes240
3 Fernando AlonsoSpanish Ferrari227
4 Mark WebberAustralian RBR-Renault221
5 Lewis HamiltonBritish McLaren-Mercedes202
6 Felipe MassaBrazilian Ferrari98
7 Nico RosbergGerman Mercedes75
8 Michael SchumacherGerman Mercedes70
9 Vitaly PetrovRussian Renault36
10 Nick HeidfeldGerman Renault34
11 Adrian SutilGerman Force India-Mercedes30
12 Kamui KobayashiJapanese Sauber-Ferrari27
13 Jaime AlguersuariSpanish STR-Ferrari26
14 Paul di RestaBritish Force India-Mercedes21
15 Sebastien BuemiSwiss STR-Ferrari15
16 Sergio PerezMexican Sauber-Ferrari14
17 Rubens BarrichelloBrazilian Williams-Cosworth4
18 Bruno SennaBrazilian Renault2
19 Pastor MaldonadoVenezuelan Williams-Cosworth1
20 Pedro de la RosaSpanish Sauber-Ferrari0
21 Jarno TrulliItalian Lotus-Renault0
22 Heikki KovalainenFinnish Lotus-Renault0
23 Vitantonio LiuzziItalian HRT-Cosworth0
24 Jerome d'AmbrosioBelgian Virgin-Cosworth0
25 Timo GlockGerman Virgin-Cosworth0
26 Narain KarthikeyanIndian HRT-Cosworth0
27 Daniel RicciardoAustralian HRT-Cosworth0
28 Karun ChandhokIndian Lotus-Renault0


Friday, October 14, 2011

Tattooed Wonder>Rick Genest Goes from Mugler to Mainstream

It looks like Rick Genest (aka Rico, aka Zombie Boy, aka Nicola Formichetti’s Mugler main squeeze) might be on his way to becoming fashion’s latest unconventional muse. The tattoo aficionado—who’s no stranger to the spotlight, having previously made the rounds as a star attraction in a Montreal circus (yup, we’re not kidding)—seems to be making the leap from sideshow to the main stage. In addition to appearances on both men's and women's Mugler catwalks, Genest currently stars in Mugler's new fall campaign, shot by Mariano Vivanco, to be released later this year. The stark black-and-white images provide the perfect backdrop for the brand’s graphic tailoring and Rick’s cranial facial decorations (what kind of SPF does he uses?). If that weren’t enough, he also stars in a meaty editorial for the new GQ Style, which hits .

There are some things for which money, distance, even the law, are no object. If you have a muse, this won't be news to you. Here's the incredible but true story of how Mugler's new creative director Nicola Formichetti discovered Rick Genest—aka Rico, aka Zombie Boy, aka that guy with the mad skull tattoo on his face—and got him to walk in his debut men's collection, basically becoming the face of Mugler. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a little encouragement from Lady Gaga (who, by the way, snapped up half the collection, with the other half in Rick's inky hands).

It looks like Rick Genest (aka Rico, aka Zombie Boy, aka Nicola Formichetti’s Mugler main squeeze) might be on his way to becoming fashion’s latest unconventional muse. The tattoo aficionado—who’s no stranger to the spotlight, having previously made the rounds as a star attraction in a Montreal circus (yup, we’re not kidding)—seems to be making the leap from sideshow to the main stage. In addition to appearances on both men's and women's Mugler catwalks, Genest currently stars in Mugler's new fall campaign, shot by Mariano Vivanco, to be released later this year. The stark black-and-white images provide the perfect backdrop for the brand’s graphic tailoring and Rick’s cranial facial decorations (what kind of SPF does he uses?). If that weren’t enough, he also stars in a meaty editorial for the new GQ Style, which hits newsstands tomorrow. Dark, brooding,

There are some things for which money, distance, even the law, are no object. If you have a muse, this won't be news to you. Here's the incredible but true story of how Mugler's new creative director Nicola Formichetti discovered Rick Genest—aka Rico, aka Zombie Boy, aka that guy with the mad skull tattoo on his face—and got him to walk in his debut men's collection, basically becoming the face of Mugler. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a little encouragement from Lady Gaga (who, by the way, snapped up half the collection, with the other half in Rick's inky hands)...

Lee Carter: How did you find Rick Genest?

Nicola Formichetti: I found Rico on Facebook.

You stumbled across his profile?

I had his picture on my wall forever. I saw it one day on Google. I thought it was amazing Halloween make-up done by Peter Philips or something. I mean, I've done so many shoots with skull make-up. And then, in October I got my first tattoo, a triangle with a circle inside, an ancient Japanese symbol meaning centeredness. And the tattoo artist who did it, my friend Maxime, who has this tattoo magazine called Sang Bleu, saw that picture and said, "Oh yeah, that guy is Zombie Boy. He lives in Montreal.

So you sought Rico out on Facebook and asked him to model for you.

Yeah, I just wanted him to be the face of whatever we were going to create. At that point the clothes were, you know, proper suits and shirts and very clean. I just needed to have some kind of a twist to it or...

An edge.

Yeah, so after seeing his pictures on Facebook, I just thought he was so inspiring. Just by looking at his pictures I changed the whole collection.

You changed the whole collection?

Well, I added more, by taking stuff from him, making it a bit darker and gothicy. So basically I Facebooked him and was like, "You know, I'm doing this thing in Paris and I would love you to be there in two weeks." He emailed me back straightaway and he was like, "Yeah, sure, I would love to, but I don’t have a passport." And then I start thinking how the fuck is he going to get a passport in time?

Like it's a crime to have a tattoo on your face? What did you do?

I had no idea what to do. I was calling my lawyers, saying we have to get this guy to Paris. But then I thought, maybe he doesn’t need to be there physically. Maybe I can do a film or pictures. So I told him I would go to him in Montreal in two days. I called my friend Mariano [Vivanco, photographer] and my manager. We got together the first week after the holidays as I was about to leave for Paris to work on the last bit of the collection. I remember thinking I have to do this, I just have a gut feeling, I have to work with this guy. Everyone said he's a freak, why would I want to do that to a luxury brand? I didn’t listen to anyone and just went. I brought some clothes, a couple of suits, and I actually made lots of clothes the night before I left New York. I had pieces sent from Paris and was just making stuff in my house, and then took everything to Montreal and we did a photo shoot and video. The photos are the ones we just launched as a visual campaign.

I saw those. Beautiful.

It was so inspiring. Then I showed it to Gaga and she was like, "Oh my god, you have to do a show." I always loved her song Shiza. For me, Shiza is in the spirit of Mugler, kind of like a dirty Berlin club meets glamour. So she’s like, "Okay, I will remix it and make it amazing for you." I had just wanted to do a film projection, not a show, but I thought, fuck it, let’s do a show.

Okay, so how did you get Rico to Paris in time?

Right, then we found out why he couldn’t get a passport, because he was homeless. He had a lot of fines or something, because he was always sleeping on the street.

Ah, so Mugler paid them? Were they very much?

It was a lot.

A few thousand dollars?

Like ten or twenty.


Yeah. And he just kept telling me, "I'm not a criminal, I'm not a criminal." It took him so long to tell us. Oh my god, he was so emotional. He was crying and saying how this was going to change his life. It was a beautiful moment.

That was really nice of you guys.

I paid it myself. I really believe in him. He was only in Paris for two days. You kind of imagine him to be a freak, some punk. But it's actually inspiring to hear him talk about shades, which are the dots that create the 3D effect of his tattoo. It becomes more and more refined when it’s shaded.

Wait, is his whole body tattooed? Like a skeleton?

It’s a skeleton theme, yeah. Well, except his uh, there. (Laughs.)

It's good to know some things are still sacred.

Yeah, but not because he didn’t want to. He didn’t have the money.

So eventually he’ll get it done. Sounds painful.

(Laughs.) Maybe it'll be a selection of cock rings. I just really fell in love with the way he lived. In a way his story is similar to Gaga, in that there's no going back. You do what you believe. You are that, you are what you’re creating.

Rick Genest (born August 7, 1985) is a Canadian artist and Fashion Model born in Montreal. He is also known as Zombie Boy for being tattooed like a corpse across the majority of his body. Genest grew up in Châteauguay, a suburb of Montreal. According to his mother he waited, out of respect for her and his father, until the age of 16 to get his first tattoo. He then left home at 17 after graduating from high school, but it was not until the age of 21 that he would first come to Montreal tattoo artist Frank Lewis, since then responsible for inking the majority the designs on his body, which they create together. This has taken over three years, Genest spending thousands of dollars on the artwork, conceived by him to be "about the human body as a decomposing corpse – the art of a rotting cadaver.", and "also a tribute to horror movies", a favourite genre of his. He would become popular in Montreal's "underground scene", but struggled for money and eventually found himself homeless.

Nicola Formichetti (Italian pronunciation: [niˌkɔːla fɔɾmiˈketti]; born 31 May 1977) is an internationally prolific fashion director and fashion editor of mixed Italian and Japanese heritage. He is most widely known as the new creative director for the French fashion house MUGLER, and for being a frequent collaborator with singer-songwriter and performance artist Lady Gaga. Formichetti is also known as fashion director of Vogue Hommes Japan, is a contributing editor of several other fashion magazines, and is fashion director for the clothing company Uniqlo. In November 2010 he was named one of the "most influential creative forces working in fashion today." The following month he was awarded the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the 2010 British Fashion Awards.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Remembering Ravan

There is a park across my house where Ramlila happens every year and then on the day of Dussehra, the huge effigy of Ravan stuffed with firecrackers is burnt. On the auspicious day, a huge crowd gathers in the park and on the highest floor of the nearby buildings to be a part of the ritual. Ravan is one character in Ramayan which has always intrigued me. So on this day of Dussehra, I thought of doing some research on the Demon King and stumbled upon many rather unknown facts about him (they were unknown to me at least) which I would like to share with all of you.

Ravan was the great-grandson of the creator of the universe, Brahma and son of the Brahamana sage Vishrava and younger brother of Kubera(the deity of wealth). His mother, Kaikesi was an asura. Kaikesi’s father Sumali wanted her to marry the most powerful man in the world so that he gets an exceptional heir. He kept on rejecting many kings but in the end Kaikesi chose Vishrava to marry. Ravan was hence half Brahmin and half Asura.

Ravan’s original name was Dasamukha. Following his conquest of Lanka, Ravana went to appease Lord Shiva at his abode in Kailash. Unknowingly and whimsically Ravana attempted to uproot the mountain Kailash. Shiva was annoyed by Ravana`s adamant nature and pressed his little toe under the mountain and pinned him firmly. Ravana cried out in pain so loudly that whole world shook in earthquake. He started to appease Shiva until Shiva was satisfied and made him free from the bondage. Shiva was so impressed by Ravana`s bravery and devotion that he gifted him a powerful sword known as Chandrahas (moon blade). Ravana became a life long devotee of Lord Shiva. Ravana was famous for his dance worship, which is called `Shiva Tandava Stotra`. Shiva was pleased by his dance and named him as Ravana, which means `one who roars terrifyingly`. .

Ravana also performed an intense penance to Brahma (the creator god), lasting several years. Pleased with him, Brahma offered him a boon. Ravana asked for immortality, which Brahma refused saying everyone has to die someday. Ravana then asked for absolute invulnerability and supremacy before gods and heavenly spirits, other demons, serpents and wild beasts. Contemptuous of mortal men, he did not ask for protection from them(that is why Lord Vishnu incarnated himself as a human in the form of Lord Ram to kill Ravan). Brahma granted him these boons, and additionally great strength by way of knowledge of divine weapons and sorcery.

Lanka(the city made of gold) was designed by Vishwakarma for Kuber who was Ravan’s brother. Ravan demanded Lanka from him and Vishrava also advised Kuber to hand over the city to Ravan as he was completely undefeatable by now. Lanka florished under Ravan’s rule as he was a very able king.

Initially Ravan used to force himself upon any woman who rejected his advances. One such incidence was with the sage-woman called Vedavati. Vedavati was performing a yagya to appease Lord Vishnu to marry her when Ravana met her at her hermitage. She, however, rejected his advances. After mocking her dedication to Vishnu and her penance, he attacked her, viciously, by pulling her hair. Her chastity and reputation destroyed, Vedavati immolates herself by building a pyre, while Ravana watched. The second was his encounter with the apsara Rambha, upon whom he forced himself. Rambha was betrothed to Kubera‘s son, but Ravana did not cared. Angered at this, Kubera’s son cursed Ravana that his ten heads would fall off his head if he forced himself upon any woman from that point. This curse is said to have protected Sita’s chastity while she was Ravana’s captive for nearly a year.

Ravan also acquired the capacity to change his form, and in the Ramayana he is described as having ten heads and twenty arms. He was endowed with the strength of moving the seas and splitting the tops of mountains. Ravana’s body bore all the marks of one who had fought the devas: the thunderbolt of Indra, the tusks of Indra’s elephant Airavata, and the discus of Vishnu had all scarred him.

In the Bhagavata Purana, Ravana and his brother, Kumbakarna were said to be reincarnations of Jaya and Vijaya, gatekeepers at Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu and were cursed to be born in Earth for their insolence. These gatekeepers refused entry to the Sanatha Kumara monks, who, because of their powers and austerity appeared as young children. For their insolence, the monks cursed them to be expelled from Vaikunta and to be born in Earth. The all-merciful Vishnu agreed that they should be punished but agreed to mitigate their curse. He asked them whether they would want to be undergo seven births as devotees of Vishnu or three births as enemies of the Lord. Since they wanted to get back as soon as possible, they agreed to be born in three births as enemies of God. In the first birth, Jaya and Vijaya were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Vishnu incarnated as Varaha and Narasimha and killed them both. In Treta Yuga they were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna and were killed by Rama. Then in Dwapara yuga, and in their final birth, Jaya and Vijaya they were born as Shishupala and Dantavakra and killed by Sri Krishna. After the end of three births, they returned to Vaikunta.

So that’s all folks. Happy Dussehra to all of you!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Linda McCartney>Life in Photographs

A retrospective of Linda McCartney's life and photography

In 1966, during a brief stint as a receptionist for Town and Country magazine, Linda Eastman snagged a press pass to a very exclusive promotional event for the Rolling Stones aboard a yacht on the Hudson River; her fresh, candid photographs of the band were far superior to the formal shots made by the band’s official photographer, and she was instantly on the way to making a name for herself as a top rock ’n’ roll photographer. In May 1968, with her portrait of Eric Clapton, she entered the record books as the first female photographer to have her work featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. During her tenure as the leading photographer of the late 1960s’ musical scene, she captured many of rock’s most important musicians on film, including Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, The Doors, and the Grateful Dead. In 1967, Linda went to London to document the "Swinging Sixties," where she met Paul McCartney at the Bag ’O Nails club and subsequently photographed The Beatles during a launch event for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Paul and Linda fell in love, and were married on March 12, 1969. For the next three decades, until her untimely death, she devoted herself to her family, vegetarianism, animal rights, and photography.

From her early rock ’n’ roll portraits, through the final years of The Beatles, via touring with Wings to raising four children with Paul, Linda captured her whole world on film. Her shots range from spontaneous family pictures to studio sessions with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, as well as artists Willem de Kooning and Gilbert and George. Always unassuming and fresh, her work displays a warmth and feeling for the precise moment that captures the essence of any subject. Whether photographing her children, celebrities, animals, or a fleeting moment of everyday life, she did so without pretension or artifice.

This retrospective volume—selected from her archive of over 200,000 images—is produced in close collaboration with Paul McCartney and their children. Included are forewords by Paul, Stella, and Mary McCartney. As such, it is a moving personal journal and a lasting testament to Linda’s talent.

The photographer:

Linda McCartney (née Eastman) was born in New York in 1941. She took a photo course with Hazel Archer and studied art history at the University of Arizona before settling in New York City, where she began her photo career shooting rock portraits. Outside of her photography, which has been exhibited in over 50 galleries worldwide including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, and the International Center of Photography, New York, Linda McCartney is known for her passionate animal rights activism and her staunch vegetarianism. She wrote cookbooks and founded her own brand of frozen vegetarian meals, all the while raising a family, continuing to take photographs, and participating as a Wings band member alongside Paul McCartney. She died in 1998 at the age of 56.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beauty Duty>Gaultier, Kokorico and the French Male Psyche

by Stéphane Gaboué

If the new men's cologne Kokorico didn't bear the imprint of Jean Paul Gaultier, we might have taken its name the way a French ear would, as the humorous onomatopoeia of a cockcrow. The rooster is, after all, a symbol of Gallic pride. But the word's alliteration suggests the feisty designer had something more, well, cocky in mind. Or maybe we're too naughty. Never mind.

In customary Gaultier fashion, the fragrance examines the complex, conflicting forces that make up masculinity. The juice is a spicy, unequivocally virile explosion of fig leaf, cocoa bean, patchouli, cedar and vetiver. But Gaultier can't withhold campiness for long, unleashing here it in the black, lacquered bottle sculpted in the shape of a male profile, with Kokorico printed in Moulin Rouge style. The TV spot, directed by Jean Baptiste Mondino, stars Spanish model Jon Kortajarena in a feathered tuxedo dancing the flamenco and ends with a voiceover by Victoria Abril, a Pedro Almodovar favorite.

The launch party, held during Paris couture week, was attended by a bevy of male models, including Andrej Pejic in a sequined dress and feather fan, and brawny Rob Evans. It's been a while since we've seen so much oh la la in the staid world of men's fragrance—and it feels good. Unfortunately, while Kokorico hits French stores this fall, it won't reach American shores before 2013. But hey, why wait so long ? Just make a trip to Paris. Maybe you'll get to know why French men identify with flamboyant roosters.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Poke the Box"-Seth Godin

3 Marketing Lessons from Seth Godin’s New Book "Poke the Box"

You might be a fan of the good ol’ Facebook “Poke,” but you probably never thought much of the act of poking. Well, that is going to change when you get your hands on Seth Godin’s new book, “Poke the Box.”

The fundamental message of "Poke the Box" is to start new things and dare to take initiative. David Meerman Scott, HubSpot's Marketer in Residence, was able to catch up with Seth about his new book and you can watch their interview below:

We put our marketing hat on and found 3 key lessons businesses can learn from "Poke the Box:"
1. Take Initiative

It is difficult for people to take initiative, but that is where a lot of value lies. The people who make an impact, Seth notes, are those who don’t take “no” for an answer. There is plenty of risk along the way but if you do the work you are capable of, you will achieve innovation. As an example, Seth points out Apple and the way the company now dominates the tablet computer market.
2. Embrace Failure

Failure should be cherished. Embracing failure helps companies learn fast and adapt to rapidly changing business environments. "The cycles of success for companies are dropping from 80 years to 40 years to 20 years," says Seth. "You cannot sit on a success for longer than five years now." But if you fail enough times and build a culture of failure, it is likely that your winning initiative is going to be brilliant.
3. Create Experiences

Seth offered two versions of his physical book—the standard edition and a custom, premium edition. The reason we buy stuff is not because we need the information anymore, he explains. It is because of the experiences they offer. Books are special, they are magical—we share them, we collect them. This type of experience is why people ultimately purchase your product. As a marketer, think about ways in which you can create similar experiences.

Did you read Seth's book? What marketing lessons did you identify?

Seth Godin on his new book Poke the Box from David Meerman Scott on Vimeo.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Paging Loewe

by Jenny Studenroth

Although its Italian counterparts hog a good portion of the luxury limelight, high-end Spanish leather brand Loewe has been turning out stylishness since the mid-1800s, and continues to do so today with Stuart Vevers as its creative director. To celebrate its illustrious history, the house is putting out an unusual art book by artist Robert Clarke.

Echoing Loewe's bold sense of color and whimsy, the entirety of Masters of Leather, as it's called, was written and illustrated completely by hand. Submerging himself in Madrid and Barcelona, visiting Loewe's ateliers and meeting its artisans, Clarke left no bag unturned. The result is a clever, unconventional look into the world of fine Spanish craftsmanship one and a half centuries in the making.

Available mid-September in all Loewe stores.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Show of Hands

Say what you will, it takes a well-dressed pair of hands to get a point across.

photography Joshua Scott
styling Brit Cato
model Ginally Parts Models LLC