The Man Like Me chaps still holding it down for London town (now with Mike Skinner in the back) with another bona fide top boy pop smasher yes yes.
“LONDON. FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO LIVE AND DIE HERE. THERE IS NO GREENER GRASS. NO BEACH UNDER THE PAVING STONES. THE STREETS OF LONDON ARE PAVED WITH GOLD.”
‘Paved With Gold: A City Symphonic’ was a one-off event curated by ISYS this summer as part of the launch of the Tanks at Tate Modern. It was the best thing I went to all year.
Bringing live music (curated by NTS Radio), poetry and film together: youth orchestras partnered with young auteurs against a physical backdrop of moving image punctuated by lyrical readings. All to create one of the most arresting portraits of and odes to London.
Nina Manandhar and Cieron Magat, the duo behind ISYS, are two of the most talented people I know. Theirs is an honest, heartfelt vision with hours and hardwork. There is romance, and realism. Of pride in people, alone and together. Community in action. Hearts on sleeves.
Cieron is also the G behind T-Shirt Party, which continued to champion white tees this year, including a free local library takeover, an on-demand high street shop and the best Olympics t-shirt. And he directed the mad lovely Slime ‘Crown’ video. So for that hat-trick he’s my local hero of the year.
1. A love
2. A quote
“Look mate, this is my country.” Mo Farah
3. A childhood memory
Twirling myself in the curtains so no one could see me and thinking of sad things so water would come out my face.
4. A view
“We met through a shared view, she loved me and I did too.”
5. A book
‘Filmmaking For Dummies’
The Wellcome Collection is one of my favourite museums in the world. The permanent collection is always worth a visit, but even more it’s their consistently informed and provocative exhibitions that require repeat visits.
The current winter exhibition, ‘Death: A Self-Portrait’, puts forward 300 works from a diverse collection from the ex-antique dealer Richard Harris on the iconography of our dear old friend Death, encompassing everyone from the Incan empire, Rembrandt and Mapplethorpe.
The accompanying book is a must.
Waris Ahluwalia, the designer and actor, was in town recently for the launch of his latest House of Waris jewellery collection and accompanying film collaboration with the multi-talented director du jour and one of my favourite people, Quentin Jones. Both have bold and distinct aesthetics and strong visions. And they also know how to have fun.
Waris’ personal style is exemplary in its Zen sartorialism, brilliantly off-set by his natural grace. His bit-parts in Wes Anderson’s ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ and ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ are memorable exercises in gentle stoicism and comic silent acting. And similarly, there is serious consideration and playfulness in his work. Personally, I find it inspiring to see a second generation Indian making his waves in the arts in his own way. To be honest and original; there’s the bite.
Waris Ahluwalia and Quentin Jones
House of Waris part 1
with Quentin as Waris
1. A love
Yet to find. Show me the way.
2. A quote
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt, from the speech ‘Citizenship In A Republic’ delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris on 23rd April 1910
3. A meal
Rice, daal and yoghurt. Or any meal prepared by my favourite chef, my mother.
4. A living person
5. A motto
Omnia Vincit Amor.
The first blog focused on graff back over a decade ago; all feisty and contrarian and not giving a shit, HurtYouBad is now reincarnated as a magazine: “a graffiti magazine without graffiti”.
Purposefully refuting convention, it stands up strong in its content and aesthetic with features on Smart Crew and Vader, photographs from wonderboys featured previously here Will Robson-Scott and Sean Vegezzi and written contributions from two of my favourites, Gary Warnett and Stuart Hammond. It’s tight, it’s rough, it’s matt.
Big up Freddie Fraser Forsyth on continuing a record of original, sterling and well-made graffiti publications.
“Buried in among the important world news about celebrities falling out of nightclubs and criticising each other on Twitter, there are also less important things like war, famine, terrorism, aggressive dictatorships and global economic meltdown to report on.” The World According To VICE (2010)
The Syrian crisis is one of the defining and desperate world events of our time.
VICE has dedicated its latest issue to Syria, and the complexities, challenges and war it finds itself embroiled in.
There is no other magazine in the world like this.
The bruv wonder Will Robson-Scott hits up global bombing round two. Still playing it true, and documenting it right. And if you haven’t seen it already, check his golden documentary ‘Graeme’ from earlier the year (one of a number of true film portraits he’s been clocking up).
1. A hate
Brick Lane on the weekend; rise of the idiots has occurred.
2. A childhood memory
On the bus going to school in the morning seeing a suited man drinking a Special Brew, vomit into a plastic pag, drop the plastic pag and vomit slide around the top deck of the bus.
3. A drink
Jamaican Mule at Freud’s; deal sealer.
4. A pub
The Crown and Goose in Camden. What a pub should be: simple, alcohol and open late.
5. An area
Soho, Berwick Street etc. Sums up London’s eccentricities and its dark undertones.