• 10.13.17 Ben Rayner and Jigsaw Take On The Issues of the Day

     - Jigsaw
    Fashion is one big conversation that started as soon as we humans began putting clothes on our backs and it continues to this day. We see styles across the street, across the ocean, across the border and incorporate them into our own language, constantly blending cultures and redefining our own. That’s why British fashion brand Jigsaw decided to make Immigration the center of their latest campaign, shot by Ben Rayner. They recognize that their work as an apparel brand is only possible because of border crossings. “Without immigration, we’d be selling potato sacks,” they say. “It was a really nice campaign to be a part of,” says Ben. “It morphed a little bit but it was such a nice idea because Britain is a multicultural melting pot. That’s why it’s such a nice idea especially in current times when immigration sometimes is seen as negative.” To bring the message home, Ben, Jigsaw, and creative agency The Corner, cast models from all varieties of cultural backgrounds while shooting the images in a 17th century British Manor. It’s a blending. “We were tying together an English country house; really old things and new things as well,” Ben explains. But it wasn’t all serious work on set that day. Ben is known for his images that feel intimate and of the moment – and there’s only one way to make that happen. “We knew which models we had to shoot in which outfits, but other than that we got the run of the house,” Ben says. “We really got to experiment a lot and play a lot. So we got the complete run of this awesome old manor house and it was kind of on a lot of beautiful land and it really does look as amazing as it does in the pictures.” The cast and Ben jumped from room to room, photographing set-ups that felt right in the moment, moving as they felt caused to – they were free to move and collaborate, blend ideas and work together, just like a world with no borders. The campaign has been received beautifully and it’s restarted a conversation about immigration and fashion in the UK. Even AdAge wrote about the campaign that can be seen in and around Oxford Circus, the London equivalent of Times Square. Check it out! You don’t want to be the last one.
  • 10.16.17 Rod Hunt Builds a City of Tiny Lights

    Cities are beacons to the world: they draw in the dreamers and the workers, the grinders and entrepreneurs. Lives are built on a grid, pressed into one another in too few square feet, rubbing up against each other creating heat and passion. As often as not those dreams change, sometimes abandoned for the grit and grime and trouble of just getting through life in the city. But from the outside, the city continues to shine and sing a siren to the dreamers. Rod Hunt, who understands that call of the city’s lights as well as anyone else, brought them to life in his ‘City of Tiny Lights,’ an illustration inspired by Frank Zappa’s song of the same name. You already know that Rod Hunt’s work from its incredible intricacy and well designed infrastructure as a cistern for chaos, but ‘City of Tiny Lights’ even while most of the image is dominated by architecture it screams humanity. Even with taxies zipping around, helicopters bobbing in and out, and no small collection of pedestrians filling the sidewalks, the buildings of Rod’s city create the typography of the piece. Each of those buildings is covered with windows, twinkling out their lights, reminding us that every window represents a citizen or a family living their lives on the other side of it. It’s easy to look at a forest of steel and concrete and see nothing but hardness and industry, but Rob reminds us that they hold the lives of everyone within them and that every city of lights, tiny or giant, is a collection of dreamers reaching and living every day.
  • 10.10.17 Marc Hom Gets Classic with Michael Shannon and Esquire

    Michael Shannon is one of those actors that disappears into everything. It’s not just the roles he plays that seem to consume him, it’s everything around him. He fits every world he enters, whether it’s 1950s suburbia or the stars around Krypton. “He’s a chameleon in many ways,” says Marc Hom who photographed the actor for the cover of Esquire’s ‘The Big Black Book,’ an issue that goes through all the ins and outs of what’s happening in menswear. It was Shannon’s chameleon abilities that made the shoot run so smoothly and so successfully and allowed Marc to get photographs at the height of his artistic expectation. “I wanted to be able to look at these pictures again and again and again and feel they’re quite timeless. So that’s how we treated it,” explains Marc. There’s the famous story that Laurence Olivier needed to know the nose of his character before he could act the part. It seems that with Shannon, it’s all about a costume. Every time Shannon was dressed in a new piece of apparel he understood it immediately, making Marc’s job that much more exciting. “He’s amazing because he’s one of those guys, it’s very rare, who understands clothes in a very strange way. He knows what kinds of movements fit what he’s wearing. It’s something rare and very organic,” says Marc. “It was one of those great organic days when everything just fits in terms of character and styling and what I wanted to do, so when you have all those elements together you can just keep shooting.” Every time they did a new set up it was a new story, each gesture and movement tailored for the exact piece, materials, and aesthetic. Part of Shannon’s power is his energy that is solid and still. Marc recognized that power and made sure to suffuse it through every photo. “There’s a certain silence to it,” Marc says. “I was trying to do was trying to have, have a little bit more movement in the color than the black and the white. I wanted to keep the darkness of the more graphic portraiture with the black and white, and then modernize it a bit with the movement of the color pictures. So you have a little bit of both feelings and exploring his repertoire.” Shannon’s abilities extend through the 75+ roles he’s played in film and television, and beyond a single shoot for the cover of Esquire, but he and Marc got to explore everything they could together and the results are dripping with style.
  • 10.3.17 Stephen Wilkes Folds Time for the Cover of Travel + Leisure

    Historically, photography has been a medium for capturing a single moment of time – typically a fraction of a second, as ephemeral as time itself. Any more than that and we look to moving images, film, video, cinemegraphs. Those were the rules until Steven Wilkes took the tradition of time-lapse imagery and compiled that magic into a single composition. His ‘Day to Night’ series, soon to be a monograph with Taschen in 2018, brings hours and hours (up to 30) of time, and thousands of photographs, into single images. From one edge of the frame to the other we see an entire day turn into night (or vice versa), condensing a full day of experiences into a single viewing experience. It’s a remarkable feat, remarkable enough that Travel + Leisure chose Stephen’s work for the cover of their Photography Issue. The cover features Stephen’s photograph of Campanile of San Marco in Venice, showing how this square changes over the course of the day while crowds ebb and flow, pigeons feed and flee, restaurants fill and empty, pictures are posed and selfies are snuck in. Inside the magazine they feature Stephen’s photograph of the river Thames that he photographed on top of the Savoy Hotel, finding the London eye at night while a man sleeps riverside in the morning. It’s a fantastic, if quick glimpse at Stephen’s work and a reminder that his work is on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York through November 11. Check out this issue of Travel + Leisure on stands now!
  • 10.12.17 Reed + Rader Jump on The Coding Train

    If you think the idea of coding a website with letters and dashes and semicolons is boring: boy have we got news for you. Just like everything else in the world, coding is as fun as you make it – and Dan Shiffman makes it fun. His YouTube channel, The Coding Train, is all about learning this incredibly useful skill while having fun with it. He recently renamed the channel, and needed a new intro video for his new identity. He asked his long time friends over at Reed + Rader to help him do just that. The results are explosive and bold, filled with dancing characters, computer generate worlds, and an energetic Shiffman. And that’s exactly what Reed + Rader are all about. “Boldness, whether it’s an explosion of colors or just kookiness in general, is something that is pretty inherent with our style,” says Matthew Rader, who is the ‘Rader’ to Pamela Reed’s ‘Reed.’ “In the case of this project with The Coding Train, the person that it was for, Dan Shiffman, his personality is bonkers and he’s the wildest, nicest guy in the world. It just kind of fit because he’s crazy and we do crazy stuff and it just went together like two peas in a pod.”  Matthew met Shiffman while studying at NYU – Shiffman was an in-demand teacher while Matthew was hoping to get into his class. But since then they’ve become friends and collaborators. On The Coding Train, the information is real, but the world that Reed + Rader created for the video is obviously entirely invented. So are the characters, whose movements were all fabricated from the ground up for each unique shape and ‘body.’ “The characters like vaguely humanoid in the sense that some have arms and they have legs, but other than that they’re pretty bonkers, so it wasn’t really that necessary to have super realistic movements,” Matt explains. “They could kind of have a life of their own.”
  • 10.2.17 Adam Hayes and The Washington Post Have Some Lessons from 3rd Graders

    Kids notice everything. Their brains are little sponges, absorbing the behavior of the adults that surround them, picking up on the cues from witnessing social interactions, and taking on everything else they see. As witnesses who are still digesting “the way things work” without the egos and the socially ascribed intellectual status, sometimes their own interpretations of impossible issues are closer to wisdom than anything the adults in the room have been able to come up with. Recognizing this, The Washington Post Magazine brought together a bunch of 3rd Graders from the Washington DC area and asked them about a host of issues. Their responses were compiled in the latest issue of Washington Post Magazine, and the publication invited Adam Hayes to design their cover and a few alternate compositions. The illustration with typography featuring the title of the piece, ‘The World According to Washington’s Third-Graders,’ is presented in no fewer than four combinations of colors and layouts. In each other them the effect is the same: this is a conversation with kids. They’re made up to look like the decorations in a classroom, but it raises the question who is teaching who? The way these kids think about the world is unanimously simpler than the way adults think about it, but often that simplicity is the part that we forgot, that’s the aspect that trips us up. Adam’s illustration plays with that dichotomy, giving us the opportunity to see both sides, while having an element of subversion. Because of the youthful scholastic nature of the illustration we almost expect the conversation to be shallow, but with questions about the 2016 election, racism, climate change, and much more, the topics plumb deeper. It’s almost an implicit bait and switch, but in the best service: education.
  • 9.28.17 Erwin Olaf Lines It Up for Indochine

    Erwin Olaf’s expertise is building worlds that look just like ours, but are heightened, dramatic, surreal. But when he does his work, he builds those worlds so completely that they’re as present for us as our own. They’re unsettling, like the uncanny valley, drawing us in while forcing us to ache for our own world that’s already standing up around us. He usually brings this gift to fashion stories, but most recently he collaborated with French rock group Indochine for their album art, that exploded into an exploration of an entire colorguard troupe that implies even more. The highly stylized images that feature a cadre of children dressed and styled impeccably are reminiscent of brutal regime propaganda while recalling childhood memories and stroking our hunger for visual perfection. The muted palate of the images comforts while the models’ posing and flag waving sends up red flags. It’s that tension that Erwin works so beautifully inside of and makes for such compelling images. Check out the whole series of art for Indochine’s latest EP, and find the rest of Erwin's work in his portfolio.
B&A Instafeed
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