Making Paper

Art. Applied art. Selling out. Killing time. It’s all the same to me. Visual problem solving is something I’ve been doing all my life. Even the words I write are just a means to an end. An end that makes pictures in my mind.

I grew up making paper cut outs. Like most kids, it’s one of the first artistic expressions we’re taught in kinder. It’s slightly after, “here’s how to scribble,” “stay inside the lines,” and “don’t run with these.” Making cut outs made it easier for me to express myself. In fact, 14 years ago I made a cut out card for my now wife that officially started our relationship.

Trimming paper into shapes was my gateway to how I dress (patterns, architecture, draping) to what I do professionally (communications planning, idea visualization). Seeing the largest collection of Matisse cut-outs was like meeting my maker. Seeing how these flat objects were masterfully cutout, sometimes in a single stroke, other times in minuscule iteration. It’s like toggling the bezier on an anchor-point for what seems like minutes just to get your curves right. Something so small, inevitably something so much more.

How, what seemingly looks like child’s work, was a groundbreaking art direction of the time. This was 3D printing. This was perspective twisting, 4-dimensional wild style graffiti. This is a reminder to never take creativity for granted. There were teams of people helping assemble Matisse’s visions. Crafting. Editing. Drafting. Painstaking.

When some people see it, it’s just paper. When I see it, it’s papel.

Henrti Matisse, The Cut-Outs on display at MoMa until Feb 8 2015

File photo of an employee posing with Henri Matisse's artworks at the Tate Modern gallery in London

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In Reverse

A thing to love about #TBT, other than seeing how your co-workers used to look before they weathered the storm that is their careers, is brands digging through their archives to air themselves out. Not mad at this UPS gem that looks straight off a mood board for The Incredibles. There are probably loads of sweet Sears avant-garde pleated chinos or back of the comic decoder rings in that parcel.
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This Dukes of Hazzard Domino’s fleet doe? I can imagine getting my Hand Tossed rush delivered through ramping streets in accompaniment of “yeeehaaaaz”. Uggh, nvm. I just pictured what my regular Domino’s crew would look like in Daisy Dukes. Never again.
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Off Trak

Went to the A-Trak show this weekend. Opener was Salva and, more notably, also featured a set by Cam’ron.

On paper, this night made so much sense. It checked all the boxes in my life and was destined to be a non-stop party with all my cultural kinfolk. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. The trap kids didn’t seem as nostalgically enamored with Manny Fresh. The Clams Casino air craps dancing crowd didn’t care for Duck Sauce disco. Molly popping glowstick charmers (insert Diplomats homo-phobic interjection) didn’t care for the fact A-Train (#notypo) only used two turntables, mostly no headphones, and did some Roc Raida-esque body tricks on a juggle. WTF? How? Why?

Has over genrizing music and culture muddled the fuck out of taste? You paid $25 on a Saturday to come to Terminal 5, which isn’t close to anything else dope, to lose your shit. Stop doing your best American Apparel window mannequin impersonation when Dipset “Salute” closes the night because you don’t feel the wom-woms down your spine. Stop throwing flags during a DJ Snake track because he ain’t hiiiip hoooopppp. Let loose.

Other than me getting mad frustrated at people not allowing themselves to enjoy the night, this entire event fucking rooled and was mind blowing.

Here’s me trying to breakdown an A-Trak set:
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Feeling the Crew

How can you not love a women with a “high-low look that reflects her own boy-girl style–androgyny with some sequins and a dash of nerdy glasses” in this town? That’s how FastCo described J.Crew head chic in charge Jenna Lyons. Just the thot of the look instinctively makes me reach for my sunglasses to hide my lurk. Over the weekend a friend and I were talking about upcoming summer looks and dumb shit only vain Four Pinners would tither over, but J.Crew and menswear entered the convo.

Honestly, I have a soft spot for the Crew. At my current job, as in most advertising jobs, they asked me to name my favorite ad. (The worst right?) I couldn’t name a thing because I don’t own a TV and most pre-roll spots are shit. Instead, I named J.Crew as a platform. At the time, they had me by the balls. Gaming me up on Chippewa, Stutterheim, etc without having to depend on the internet and the frothy comments sections. Just real life dopeness. Especially the Liquor Store and the few menswear specialty shops. There’s shelves full of vintage Swinglines and stacks of Japanese magazine Lightning. Now, don’t mix this up with the outlets or suburban mall shit. That’s like saying all Nikes are dope. Realistically, the triple-zero tiered, ZOMG Nick Wooster is rocking ’em, #veryrare stuff isn’t the same as the Sports Authority team sports, BOGO stuff. J.Crew knew that “playing curator was also a branding strategy” and so did I. Respect.

But, back to the weekend’s conversation, this is New Jack City, New Money City, slay for days city. As much as I love the mission of what Lyons and co are doing, just because Pepsi ads are sweet, doesn’t mean I’m popping tabs on sugar water. For that look we were discussing, watch this space.

Me and the dude Big Gee SD pulling hard on that J.Crew look circa 2011.
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Top Heavy

I’m a sucker for hats…the suckering usually pertains to the fact that I feel I look stupid in them. I have a size 8 dome (yes ladies, the rumored correlations are true) and hardly find headgear that fits me well. Anywho, peep these highlights for Supreme’s up-coming season.

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For Fucks Sake

Only an idiot wearing winged Jeremy Scott teddy bear see-through metallic unicorn high tops would have the top & bottom ensemble on at the same time. But, paired off separately with other patterns and colors, you’re a class act.

Supreme Spring/Summer 13.

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For the People

Too price conscious for Opening Ceremony, Supreme, or Top Shop? No fret, Staple’s Spring 13 affordably runs similar graphic appliqué and style.

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Tasty

I think it’s okay to slut out a proven design. For example, these classic clones have welded seams and precision molded soles. Vans, Converse, etc don’t offer these lovely details. Of course the price point is higher, but if you have the taste, why not? My choice is the high top in antioxidant blue and the wino in cabernet.

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front red

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Salty

I’m too lazy to remember if I did my wrap on Saturdays Surf already. But, in gist, I love it. I love it because I grew up surfing. I’ve duck-dived 10 foot beasts praying to reach the sand bottomed depths of safety. I’ve tasted Hawaiian reef (and no, it doesn’t contain pineapples nor ham). I know that waking up at 6am to skim on top of glass and the preamble of the oceans boom is one helluva way to start a dawn. I was about that life. Honestly though, the real reason I love Saturdays is because I know that it’s all a well guised marketing ploy.

My favorites from Saturdays Surf Spring 2013.

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The Block is Hot

Supreme Spring/Summer 13. Reminds me of PegLegNYC from a few years back. There’s a compliment in there somewhere.

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