History of Our World

The Bikeriders | Danny Lyon, 2003

Posted in Photography by A on December 9, 2009

Crossing the Ohio, Louisville

Renegade’s Funeral, Detroit

Route 12, Wisconsin

Benny at the Spotlight, Cicero, Illinois

Funny Sonny packing with Zipco, Milwaukee

Barbara at the clubhouse in Chicago

Benny, Grand and Division, Chicago

Last year my girlfriend called me up and she asked me to come down to Grand and Division. She needed some money. And she said it was a bar. She says that the guys are havin’ a meeting there. Well, I didn’t know the guys or anything, so I went there and I never felt so out of place in all my life. I walked in there and had white Levis on, I had a sweater on. And I looked and the first guy I seen was Corky, with an earring hanging out of his ear, his belly button showing, like half naked. To me it was like half naked, you know? And here he’s hootin’ and hollerin’ and he scared the livin’ shit out of me. So I sees my girlfriend and I goes over to her and I sits down there and I’m takin’ everything in. And all these guys kept comin’ up to me sayin’, you know, different stuff like you need a man, or you want to come live with me? And I was about ready to just run. So I says to my girlfriend, well, I gotta go. And she says, oh, they’re not that bad. Just sit here. So all of a sudden I seen Benny and he was standin’ at the end of the bar. And I says to my girlfriend, boy, who’s the good lookin’ blond guy? I says, he don’t look like the rest of these guys. She says, oh Kathy, you don’t want to go out with him. She says, because nobody wants to go out with him. So she ordered me a Coke and I sat there and was shootin’ the breeze with her, and all of a sudden Benny came up behind me and he started talkin’ to me. And I says, well, I gotta go home. So I walks out the front door real nice, bein’ grabbed about five times, so that when I got outside, I could see on my slacks were just hand prints all over me.

So I’m standin’ on the bus corner, almost in tears, thinkin’, oh my God, something’s gonna happen to me yet. And they all come chargin’ out of the front door. They had Benny start up the bike and they grabbed me and they took my purse and they put me on Benny’s bike and they told him to take off. They’d meet him on the expressway. He takes off. He goes through the stoplights and everything, so that I wouldn’t jump off. And I wouldn’t have jumped off anyway ‘cause I was scared shitless. I never was on a motorcycle in all my life. So we went to the Green Duck out on River Road. But before we got there I’m sittin’ on the bike real nice. I figure, you know, at least he’ll get me home. All of a sudden he takes his hand, he puts it on my back like this. I said, whatta you doin’? He says, I’m just checkin’ so you don’t fall off. I says, OK, like an idiot you know? I thought he was really checkin’ it out. So the second time it happened, I says, don’t worry about me, I says, I won’t fall off. He says, okay, and he was real nice about it. Five weeks later I married him. I ain’t real sorry. The only thing is I thought I could change him, you know? Every woman thinks that she can change a guy. Not to her own ways, but to be different. Not to be different, but to be, I don’t know. Like he’s wild. I used to think he’d get over that. But he don’t. And he’s got a vicious temper. He’s got a temper that all you have to do is say two words and he’ll knock you on your rear end. And I ain’t used to that. And I ain’t gettin’ used to that, ‘cause like I told him, I don’t look good in black and blue. And I know the bleeding stops, but still, one of these days. I ain’t got that much blood left.

Were you at the Spotlight when he got worked over that time? You shoulda seen him. His whole head was black and blue, his kidneys were kicked in. His back had scabs on it. He was bleedin’ all over the place. He just stood there. You know what the guys in the club said? Well, one thing we gotta say about Benny, he’s the only guy that stood on his feet from the clubroom all the way out to the street without fallin’ down. And there were guys hittin’ him with stools and blackjacks and everything else. That’s the only thing they say. When he got in trouble once before he put his fist through a window on Broadway and Belmont and the guys, well, he got into a fight and he missed the guy and he went right through the window. His whole hand was wide open, and he was still fightin’. And the first thing the guys said, well, Benny doesn’t give up. He sees a little blood, he doesn’t pass out. They like him because he’s a fighter. And that’s just what they need in that club.

Kathy, Wife of Benny, Member of the Chicago Outlaws.

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The Bikeriders

Danny Lyon

Chronicle Books LLC

2003

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Danny Lyon

Chronicle Books LLC

A

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Seascapes | Hiroshi Sugimoto

Posted in Art, Photography by R on December 7, 2009

North Pacific Ocean, Iwate, 1986

Sea of Japan, Hokkaido, 1986

North Atlantic Ocean, Cliffs of Moher, 1989

Tasman Sea, Ngarupupu, 1990

Black Sea, Ozuluce, 1991

Red Sea, Safaga, 1992

Tyrrhenain Sea, Scilla, 1993

Water and air.

So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract attention―and yet they vouchsafe our very existence.

The beginnings of life are shrouded in myth: Let there [be] water and air. Living phenomena spontaneously generated from water and air in the presence of light, though that could just as easily suggest random coincidence as a Deity. Let’s just say that there happened to be a planet with water and air in our solar system, and moreover at precisely the right distance from the sun for the temperatures required to coax forth life. While hardly inconceivable that at least one such planet should exist in the vast reaches of universe, we search in vain for another similar example. Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea.

Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.

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Seascapes

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles

1994

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Hiroshi Sugimoto

MOCA

R

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Fluxus | Fluxus, 1995

Posted in Art, Music, Object, Photography, Print by B on December 2, 2009

Joseph Beuys, Manifesto, 1970. Alteration of George Maciunas’ Fluxus Manifesto, February 1963.
From 1. Karton, Edition Hundermark, Berlin 1970. 30 x 21 cm

Fluxus Collective Editions, 1963 – 1965

Fluxus Street Events, March – May 1964. Photograph by George Maciunas

Dick Higgins, Danger Music No.2, 1962. Performance at Fluxus Internationale Festspiele Neuester Musik, Wiesbaden 1962. Photograph by Hartmut Rekort

George Maciunas, Dick Higgins, Wolf Vostell, Benjamin Patterson & Emmett Williams performing Philip Corner’s Piano Activities at Fluxus Internationale Festspiele Neuester Musik, Weisbaden 1962. Photograph by Hartmut Rekort

Takeshia Kosugi, Anima I & Ben Vautier, Attaché de Ben & George Maciunas, Solo for Violin.
Simultaneous performance, May 23rd 1964, by Ben Vautier and Alison Knowles (not pictured) during “Fluxus Street Theatre” as part of “Fluxus Festival at Fauxhall” New York City. Photography by George Maciunas. 51 x 40.5 cm

La Monte Young, The Tortoise Droning Selected Tigers From the Holy Numbers for the Two Black Tigers, The Green Tiger and the Hermit, from: The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys.
Performed 1964 at the Pocket Thetare, New York. From left; Tony Conrad, Marian Zazeela, La Monte Young and John Cale.  Photo by George Maciunas

Fluxus is not: a movement, a moment in history, an organization. Fluxus is: an idea, a kind of work, a tendency, a way of life, a changing set of people who do Fluxworks -Dick Higgins.

Taken from the Latin word meaning “to flow”, the origins of Fluxus began in the early 1960s with Lithuanian born George Maciunas (1931 – 1978) who’s ideology quickly attracted a large network of artists, composers and designers who continue to express his extraordinary vision in the manifestation of anti-art, encompassing everything from music, photography, sculpture, installation, publications and pavement art to poetry and drama.

Beginning with a series of festivals featuring concerts of new experimental music and other avant-garde performance, Fluxus artists reacted against the commodity status of art, its commercialization in the gallery system, and its static presentation in traditional institutions. They often rejected the concept of artistic genius and single authorship in favor of a collective spirit and a collaborative practice.

Fluxus compositions or scores for performances and events involve simple actions, ideas, and objects from everyday life. Some scores, such as those in George Brecht’s Water Yam (1972), were printed on cards and then packaged into plastic boxes and sold as inexpensive multiples. These scores call for open-ended actions and events that can be performed by anyone at any time in any place. Also on view is Yoko Ono’s Invitation to Participate in a Water Event, in which she invited people to bring containers to her 1971 exhibition. These vessels were filled with water, displayed in the show, and labeled as collaborative works of art.

Sometimes a documentation or artifact from a Fluxus event became a work of art, a material presence that referred to an absent action or previous performance. Alison Knowles’ Journal of the Identical Lunch (1971), documents her ritual noontime performances at a New York diner with various artists and friends. In Dick Higgins’ ongoing series, The Thousand Symphonies, he composes musical scores with bullet holes and paint on sheet music. The result is both a documentation of the artist’s action and a work of visual art.

Incorporating musical compositions, concrete poetry, visual art, and writing, Fluxus performances embody Higgins’ idea of “intermedia”- a dialogue between two or more media to create a third, entirely new art form. Fluxus performance also incorporates actions and objects, artists and non-artists, art and everyday life in an attempt to find something “significant in the insignificant.” The influence of this highly experimental, spontaneous, often humorous form of performance art prevailed through the 1970s and has been rediscovered by a younger generation of artists working today.

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Fluxus

Thomas Kellein : George Maciunas : Jon Hendricks

Thames & Hudson

1995

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Fluxus

Thames & Hudson

B

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Aberhart | Laurence Aberhart

Posted in Art, Photography, Print by R on December 1, 2009

Plate 8 – Detail #4 (obliterated portrait), Waikumete Cemetery, West Auckland, 8 February 1993

Plate 72 – Watchtower near Toi Shan, Guangdong Province, China, 27 November 2000

Plate 83 – Mount St. Michel, Normandy, France, 12 October 1994

Plate 104 – Dargaville (Mt. Wesley Cemetery), Northland, 17 April 2003

Plate 110 – Mater Dolorosa, 18 December 1986

Plate 183 – The Prisoners’ Dream 3 (Taranaki from Oco Road, under moonlight), 27-28 September 1999

Plate 185 – The Prisoners’ Dream 5 (View #2. Ripapa Island, Lyttelton Harbour), 14 March 2000

Plate 212 – A distant view of Taranaki from the mouth of the Wanganui River, at dusk, 3 February 1986


Laurence Aberhart has been at the forefront of New Zealand photography since the late 1970’s, and is recognized as a major international figure. Like the paintings of Colin McCahon – an artist whom Aberhart is frequently paired – his photographs are a sustained meditation on time, place and cultural history.

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Aberhart

Laurence Aberhart : Gregory O’Brien : Justin Paton

Victoria University Press

2007

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Laurence Aberhart

Victoria University Press

Sue Crockford Gallery

R

Candida Höfer | Libraries, 2005

Posted in Architecture, Photography by A on November 18, 2009

Albertinum Dresden | 1999.

BNF Paris | 1998.

Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar | 2004.

Biblioteca Nacional Madrid | 2003.

MOCA Los Angeles | 2000.

Sächsische Landesbibliothek Dresden | 2002.

Národní knihovna Praha | 2004.

Candida Höfer photographs rooms in public places that are centers of cultural life, such as libraries, museums, theaters, cafés, universities, as well as historic houses and palaces. Each meticulously composed space is marked with the richness of human activity, yet largely devoid of human presence. Whether it be a photograph of a national library or a hotel lobby, Höfer’s images ask us to conduct a distanced, disengaged examination through the window she has created.

Not purely architectural photographs, her rhythmically patterned images present a universe of interiors constructed by human intention, unearthing patterns of order, logic, and disruption imposed on these spaces by absent creators and inhabitants. Her photos of ornate, baroque interiors achieve images with extreme clarity and legibility while the camera maintains an observant distance, never getting too close to its subject.

Born in Eberswalde, just north of Berlin, in 1944,  Höfer was a student at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art from 1973 to 1982, embracing film before going on to study photography under the tutelage of Bernd Becher. Since 1975 she has taken part in numerous group exhibitions and released a number of volumes with Thames & Hudson, including Candida Höfer: A Monograph, published in 2003.

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Candida Höfer | Libraries

Introduction by Umberto Eco

Thames & Hudson

2005

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ICA

Thames & Hudson

A

Don McCullin

Posted in Photography by A on November 6, 2009

Don McCullin

Zanskar, above the Padam Valley, Kashmir.

Don McCullin

The elephant festival, Sonepur Mela.

Don McCullin

The Kumbh Mela.

Don McCullin

Gathering for early morning prayer, Ganduk River.

Don McCullin

Herdsmen, Bihar.

Don McCullin

Blind beggar with his son in the Muslim district, Kolkata.

Don McCullin

Dawn, Kolkata.

Don McCullin

Old lady in the House of the Dying.

Don McCullin

Saris drying, Sonepur Mela.

Don McCullin

Dusk on the Ganges.

Beggars, Sagar Island.

Beggar, Sagar Island.

It can’t be easy bearing the title of the world’s greatest war photographer, but that’s only one of the burdens Don McCullin carries around with him. After 20 years of confronting the world with unforgettable images of war, from Congo to Biafra, Beirut, Cambodia, and of course Vietnam, he doesn’t have many alternatives. It all used to be addictive too. By his own admission, McCullin used to be ‘a one-war-a-year man’, but then it grew to two, and then to three, until it had it stop; not because wars stopped, or killing stopped, or inhumanity stopped, but because there came a natural limit to ‘looking at what others can’t bear to see.’

In the 20 years or more that he lived with death, often those of his close friends and colleagues, or diced with death personally but cheated it, McCullin never lost his own humanity, his care for the people, soldiers and victims whom his lenses caught in the most agonising of extremities. He did it through possessing a mixture of qualities, summed up as: ‘the balls of a commando, the cunning of a rat, the eye of an artist, the anger of a man with his eyes open.’ John le Carré has said he would rather watch any amount of TV battle footage than have to leaf through one of McCullin’s albums of human suffering. Visitors to McCullin’s exhibitions have been seen to wander in a flood of tears.

After making his first trip down the Ganges in the company of travel-writer Eric Newby in the mid-sixties, McCullin has returned to the sub-continent again and again, sometimes on harrowing photojournalist assignments, but more often to capture what is to him ‘the most visually exciting place in the world.’ The results; ghostly, film-like accounts of India’s everyday diversity, allow a sense of beauty and dignity to rise above squalor and degradation. Charged with McCullin’s trademark ability to challenge and uplift the viewer, they reveal a style that has graced some of the more unfortunate corners of human existence, one that is at the same time surreal, but nonetheless human.

Today there are no more wars for McCullin. He is content to photograph the Somerset landscape, still-lives, and the victims of other tragedies, such as the Aids sufferers of Africa. He shares his time between the State of New York and the British countryside, with his wife Marilyn Bridges, an American aerial photographer.

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India

Don McCullin

Introduction by Norman Lewis

Jonathan Cape

1999

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Don McCullin

BBC Radio 3

Jonathan Cape / Random House

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The Omega Suites, Lucinda Devlin, 2000

Posted in Art, Photography by R on November 5, 2009

Electric Chair, Greensville Correctional Facility, Jarratt, Virginia, 1991

Electric Chair, Greensville Correctional Facility, Jarratt, Virginia, 1991

Final Holding Cell, Greensville Correctional Facility, Jarratt, Virginia, 1991

Final Holding Cell, Greensville Correctional Facility, Jarratt, Virginia, 1991

Executioner's Room, Greenhaven Correctional Facility, Greenhaven, New York, 1991

Executioner’s Room, Greenhaven Correctional Facility, Greenhaven, New York, 1991

Electric Chair, Greenhaven Correctional Facility, Greenhaven, New York, 1991

Electric Chair, Greenhaven Correctional Facility, Greenhaven, New York, 1991

…we are present at the moment before or after the body twitches it’s last spasm and not when the death rattle is heard. However, once we cease to be seduced by the beauty of the designed formal space, the civilized moral consciousness asserts itself to challenge privileging the esthetic reaction. Slowly, as we begin to understand what we are looking at, we must question whether the unseen action is any less brutal and barbaric because we perceive its instruments with out witnessing it actually taking place.

Some great moral works of art, such as Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist drama Les mains sales, André Cayatte’s film Nous sommes tous des assassins or Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C., in which viewers cannot read the list of the war dead without seeing their own faces mirrored among the names of casualties, are based on forcing our acknowledgment of participation in human tragedy.

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The Omega Suites

Lucinda Devlin

Introduction by Barbara Rose

Steidl

2000

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Lucinda Devlin

Steidl

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R

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White Silence: Grahame Sydney’s Antarctica, 2008

Posted in Art, Photography by A on November 4, 2009

Ice Roads

Ice Roads

Flags denote ‘roadways’ and safe paths across the ice. Red and green flags are a sign of safe passage, black flags mean danger.

Observation Hill

Observation Hill

A natural monochrome: the dark volcanic stone of Observation Hill meets the sea ice on a cloud-blanketed day.

Pegasus Airfield

Pegasus Airfield, on the permanent Barrier ice. The Constellation aircraft crashed on landing years ago, and is slowly being swallowed by the wind-blown snows.

McMurdo Blizzard

Chapel of the Snows

Condition One blizzard at McMurdo, November 2003.


Everyone is a visitor in the Antarctic: no one belongs. One or two secretive lichens aside, there is no life away from the ocean; too far straying from the life support of the sea and all animal life perishes. Nature makes it abundantly plain that this is no place for humankind, and that our presence on the sterile frozen continent is a temporary pass, as unwelcome and inappropriate as on the moon.

Grahame Sydney was born in Dunedin in 1948 and gained his secondary education at King’s High School. Though art classes were not on offer (Sydney learnt his painter’s craft through private classes) there was a Camera Club, and he was introduced to photography under the inspired tuition of the late Reg Graham. While photography remained a satisfying pastime well into Sydney’s adulthood, it took a back seat to the development of his painting. Sydney embarked on a full-time artist’s career in 1974. Working in egg tempera, watercolour and oils, his paintings have been widely exhibited and are held in private and public collections around the world. He also is both etcher and lithographic printmaker.

In November 2003 Sydney flew to Ross Island and, frustrated by attempts to paint in conditions where the brush hardened and exposed fingers threatened frost-bite within seconds, he turned again to the camera. So captivated by this lens-view of a frozen world, he returned in 2006 and took another series of photographs. Exploring a continent that appears at first glance to be devoid of colour, warmth or comfort, each image in fact reveals an extraordinary terrain that is solemn, sparse and poised with a magnificent stillness.

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White Silence: Grahame Sydney’s Antarctica

Introduction by Grahame Sydney

Penguin Group

2008

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Grahame Sydney

Penguin Group

A

The Image as Rememberance | Giovanni Chiaramonte & Andrei Tarkovsky

Posted in Art, Film, Photography, Print by R on October 28, 2009

Myasnoye, 1980_I

Myasnoye, 1980

Myasnoye, 1980_II

Myasnoye, 1980

Myasnoye, September 1980

Myasnoye, September 1980

Myasnoye, September 26, 1981_II

Myasnoye, September 26, 1981

Myasnoye, September 26, 1981_IV

Myasnoye, September 26, 1981

Myasnoye, September 26, 1981_I

Myasnoye, September 26, 1981

Myasnoye, September 26, 1981_III

Myasnoye, September 26, 1981

Myasnoye, October 2, 1981

Myasnoye, October 2, 1981

Seated on the railing of a balcony  against a backdrop of pale birch trees, a handsome woman, her lips closed, gives a hint of a smile. A young solider, his machine gun slung over his shoulder, stares ahead with an intense melancholy, his face stiffening under his bearskin cap, decorated with the five-pointed star of the Red Army. An old house, it’s logs worn and split by the passage of time, stands alone, immersed in the light, along the line of shadow at the edge of a wood.

These are Andrei Tarkovsky’s most beloved black and white images, the ones crucial to his destiny: his mother Maria Ivanovna, his father, Arseny, his childhood home at Ignatievo. Tarkovsky selected, reproduced, and pasted these and other photographs from his family album into a black diary he carried with him. A visual sequence of his life, a presence from the past that would accompany the director in his preparation and making of the film The Mirror and would stay with him, like a portable flashback that could be replayed again and again in moments of home-sickness throughout his short life, right up to his exile in Italy and his death in Paris on December 29, 1986.

Acceptance of the history of the people and the family of his birth, acknowledgment of the cultural tradition in which he was raised, a profound love of the desire for freedom and the creativity of mankind, made in the image and semblance of God: these are the foundations of Tarkovsky’s art. ‘In all my films,’ he wrote, ‘it seemed to me important to try to establish the links which connect people… those links which connect me with humanity, and all of us with everything that surrounds us. I need to have a sense that I myself am in this world as a successor, that there is nothing accidental about my being here. …I always felt it important to establish that I myself belong to a particular tradition, culture, circle of people or ideas.’*

The vitality of his sense of belonging also comes from accepting, acknowledging and loving the little images of his own genealogy, these humble traces of daily life observed through memory, viewed by remembering. Just as the dream sequence that runs through Ivan’s Childhood, awakens the little orphan to the sacrificial fulfillment of his destiny, so too does The Mirror reflect the decisive moments of the story by literally reconstructing those black and white photographs on the set as backgrounds for some of the scenes.

*Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time, translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair, London, 1986

1/3

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Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids

Edited by Giovanni Chiaramonte & Andrei Tarkovsky

Introduction by Tonino Guerra

Thames & Hudson

2004

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Giovanni Chiaramonte

Andrei Tarkovsky

R

Black Than Crows / Number (N)ine, HUgE Magazine, December 2006

Posted in Fashion, Photography by R on October 27, 2009

Black Than Crows - Number (N)ine, Eight Peace, huGe Magazine, December 2006_I

Black Than Crows - Number (N)ine, Eight Peace, huGe Magazine, December 2006_II

Black Than Crows - Number (N)ine, Eight Peace, huGe Magazine, December 2006_III

Black Than Crows - Number (N)ine, Eight Peace, huGe Magazine, December 2006_IV

The romantic ideal of the tortured artiste is always in fashion — even so, the Number (N)ine designer Takahiro Miyashita seems to take special pains to suffer for his craft. When planning the portrait that accompanies this article, he asked that his face be obscured, perhaps fearing that the gigantic frames he wears wouldn’t provide sufficient cover. During our interview, he fielded several questions with enigmatic pronouncements like ‘‘You would have to ask my brain’’ and ‘‘I am a shadow.’’ At times, he simply stared into space, as if submerged in an autistic trance. Thus the sobriquet ‘‘Taka the oyster.’’

Miyashita is part of a relatively new wave of Japanese designers,including Junya Watanabe, Undercover’s Jun Takahashi and Daiki Suzuki of Engineered Garments and Woolrich Woolen Mills, who are obsessed with American style; in Miyashita’s case, his dark side yields clothes of paradoxical luminosity. His fall collection, My Own Private Portland, features updated Northwest classics like plaid shirts, fur-lined trapper hats and nubby, grungy cardigans. In the spring of 2009, his Lonesome Heroes dudes will be sporting a mishmash of brocades and Navajo patterns.

At 16, Miyashita came to the States and fell in love with Americana. While his contemporaries were struggling with algebra and first dates, he was assisting stylists for Japanese magazines like the defunct Check Mate. ‘‘I got expelled from school because I did so many things,’’ he says cryptically, before admitting to having smoked pot. Miyashita spent his days on the streets of Harajuku and Shibuya, the epicenters of Tokyo teenage street style; what little money he had he spent on clothes, which he’d tear apart in order to remake and customize them. Through this process he taught himself how to design and started working with Nepenthes, a label that specialized in American-inspired clothing. Eventually he began traveling regularly to the States for research, focusing on cities like Austin, Tex.; Butte, Mont.; and his favorite, Portland, Ore.

Miyashita wears his pop-culture infatuations on his sleeve — and everywhere else. On a recent afternoon in Paris, he sported old khakis with Birkenstocks, a lumberjack shirt, a Victorian-inspired vest, a dangling fur satchel, an assortment of necklaces and trinkets, a jeweled guitar pin, a large stone ring, a leather cuff, a big plastic watch, a rakish hat and a crumpled cigarette pack worn as a brooch. His shows are set to the tracks of idols like Nirvana and Johnny Cash. He constantly adds to the collection of vintage clothes, records and images that inform his work; ‘‘The Outsiders’’ and ‘‘Rumble Fish’’ are two of his favorite movies, and he’s crazy for Joseph Szabo’s pictures of American teenagers in the ’70s and Slater Bradley’s ‘‘Doppelgänger Trilogy’’ featuring Kurt Cobain.

‘‘What sets us apart from older Japanese designers like Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto is that we are much more influenced by youth culture and, especially, music,’’ says Jun Takahashi, Miyashita’s close friend. He’s right: while their predecessors have traditionally focused on intellectual experiments with texture and shape, these new designers have an innate understanding of global street trends. Miyashita, who not surprisingly loves American punk rock, has formed two bands, the Highstreets and the Ivory. ‘‘I still believe that music can change culture,’’ he says. (The name Number (N)ine refers to the Beatles’ ‘‘Revolution 9.’’) ‘‘I just made a song called ‘Dark Shadow,’ ’’ he says. ‘‘The lyrics say, ‘Please, please, please kill me.” All my work, whether it’s in fashion or music, is about rebellion and not being conventional.’’

He recently traveled to Portland to see Wipers, a favorite band, but says he’d instantly give up music if he had to choose between that and fashion. His men’s line is growing steadily, and he hopes to further develop his women’s range, which at the moment consists only of adapted versions of his men’s collection. ‘‘Without fashion, I would have nothing,’’ he says earnestly. ‘‘It’s my life.’’

It’s the quintessential designer sound bite, but in this case it feels painfully real.

– Armand Limnander

 

Image / HUgE Magazine

Text / T Magazine

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Number (N)ine

Eight Peace

Armand Limnander

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