Here is my latest article for Look Books, on the superb book Antonio – Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco. The book was edited by Mauricio and Roger Padilha, of MAO PR, for Rizzoli and is a must read. Read below or view the original by clicking here.
Who could ever imagine that the same model who was once featured on more than 40 covers of Cosmopolitan magazine would turn into a biologist? I certainly couldn’t, but in this week’s Model Musing I had the opportunity to chat with the stunning Fabiana Tambosi to find out what’s so attractive about genes and cells.
Follow the link for the original post or simply read below.
This week, Model Musing would be giving full frontal if the website wasn’t G-rated. I took the liberty of posting the actual picture which Samuel de Cubber was talking about, here in my blog. He is really proud of it and I didn’t want to keep any of you from seeing why.
Follow the link for the original interview on Look Books or read below.
I have once again interviewed the artist Danny Roberts. This time we talked about his collaboration with the iconic jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. Have a look at the original after the jump or below.
The Model Musing column this week features Daniela Lopes and her memorable ad for Dolce & Gabbana’s fragrance Light Blue, shot by none other than Mario Testino.
Have a read after the jump or below.
This week’s Model Musing involves a pig and a lot of laughter. Have a look at what the model-photographer Zuzana Lettrichova has to say after the jump, or below.
How many people can say they had their pubic hair combed by Tom Ford? Not many, but the subject of this week’s Model Musing column certainly can. Have a read after the jump or below to find out more about Christopher Camplin.
When news broke that Supermodel Carol Alt was about to launch another of her raw dieting books, “Easy Sexy Raw” I remember thinking – “oh no, here we go, yet another diet book from a celebrity!”. I also remember thinking that Carol looked pretty fabulous in our last encounter a couple of weeks prior to that. I was left curious by the premise of her book and the fact that this was one of many in a line of best selling books about the same subject: living a lifestyle that incorporates raw foods to improve the quality of life.
It’s only natural to pay attention when you hear a certain book is a best-seller, but after three hits in a series, you must look closely. And so I did. Carol Alt’s books are not simply diets, like the Atkins or the South Beach, they truly are a way of living that has worked for hundreds of thousands around the globe and has found in Alt their biggest supporter and spokesperson. Adept of this intriguing principle of only eating raw foods for nearly twenty years, Carol’s excitement when talking about her books and her health is not for nothing. After being sent back home by a director in the midst of shooting her TV special “Carol Alt & Friends” at the age of 34, because her body wasn’t in swimsuit condition, this Sports Illustrated supermodel, known internationally for her beauty and sculptural body was shocked. How could the star of the show have let go of herself like that?
At that moment Carol realized that there was something horribly wrong. How was it possible that in less than ten years her body and health had deteriorated so dramatically? How was it possible that a 34 year old woman could be constantly catching colds, having headaches, stomachaches and having the most painful sinus infections? This was her opportunity to turn the tables. Carol prayed as hard as she could for enlightenment, and so it came. When talking to a friend about the recent events, Carol was given the suggestion to look for this doctor that had helped one of their other friends to treat cancer. The results came right at the first day of her new lifestyle, and from that moment on, Carol saw the need to be more vocal about it and tell the world the wonders that such a simple change had brought upon her.
The idea for the raw books were picked up by Random House “in a snap of the fingers”, like Carol likes to say, and the rest is best-selling history. The success of the books led Carol to try and brake new boundaries. After extensive research to find beauty products that did not have any chemicals in their composition, wasn’t she surprised to find that such products did not exist? And so years of research and development started with her team, to come up with the first ever beauty line that is also raw and 100% natural: “Raw Essentials by Carol Alt”.
To prove her point, the model/actress explains that “the company that did before and after tests said it is the best before and after results they have ever seen, natural, organic or otherwise. You see, we do get great results without any chemicals!”. And not only the results are phenomenal, but so is the price. “we wanted to reach out to a lot of people with a product of very high quality and very low cost. Nobody else does that, I could sell these products for 80 bucks each, but I wanted it to be accessible to everyone, not just the elite. I hardly make any profit on this, and part of it also goes into cancer research. I am healthy on my skin and on my body and I really wanted to share that with as many people as possible.”.
Ms. Alt proves being deserving of her supermodel title as she continues to work as hard and as much as she did when she first got it in the early eighties. The creation of this title however is packed with controversy. Eileen Ford, then owner of Ford Models claimed she used to call her models supermodels around the office. Janice Dickinson, a fellow supermodel, claims to have created the title to describe herself. Yet, most of the press claims that Carol Alt was the first supermodel, and she has an idea of why.
“It was only a working title. The agency (Elite Models) started using it after I had a meeting with John (Casablancas, then owner of Elite) to explain that it was impossible to work when we were getting several calls per day from our bookers in the studio. I was really afraid the clients might get irritated and not book me again. This was a time when I was working up to three jobs a day, seven days a week without ever taking a break, it was intense! Clients had to book us with six months in advance! John then decided to create a Super Elite Division in which each of these super requested girls would have its own booker and would only get calls from that one person, keeping things more organized. This division had much bigger girls than me, like Kim Alexis or Kelly Emberg, but I suppose that since I was the first one in, the press picked up on it.”
Whether she was the first supermodel or not doesn’t seem to bother her at all, Carol is very humble about her career and speaks of her accomplishments with profound passion. Her latest given title is “legend”, bestowed upon her by her current agency, Trump Models, In New York. The newly created Legends Division, represents working models that have become huge and unforgettable, like Carmen Dell’Orefice, with a career that goes way beyond the mark of the sixty years; or Beverly Johnson, a name that will forever be remembered as the first woman of color in the cover of Vogue.
Carol Alt is a legend not only because she allegedly was the first supermodel, but because her career in the film, music, TV and literary industries have all been successful and filled with accolades. Her recognition as an actress in the United States, her home country, may not be as huge as her recognition in Europe, but the pile of awards that fill Carol’s shelves in her New York home will show you just how important she is to that world. Carol’s acting career is just as large as her modeling, her first job was on Broadway in Bob Fosse’s “Sweet Charity”, job that made her realize just how much she needed to learn the craft of acting. This was a time in which models did not become actresses and actresses did not work in TV commercials or advertising jobs, so to make a transition of that sort would require a lot of training and talent. Carol hired a coach and worked hard from the very first day. Her first movie, “Via Montenapoleone” was such a huge hit in Europe that it was later turned into a tv series. Since then Carol has worked in more than 50 films and is ready for the release of her latest project, with none other than Woody Allen. His new feature entitled “To Rome with Love”, due in the spring of 2012 worldwide takes the audience back to the good old Allen style, from films like “Manhattan” or “Everyone Says I Love You”.
Carol had hoped for a bigger and more established acting career in the United States, but by the time she was already a big star in Europe the 90’s had arrived, and with that a whole new team of supermodels, girls that had extensive amount of fame and were being offered parts in movies without even wanting to pursue a career in acting. Needless to say, these models were unprepared to deliver serious performances and by the time Carol returned to her country and hit Hollywood, the film community was fed up with models who wanted to be in movies. Carol’s talent and stardom however wasn’t diminished, she was still a supermodel.
Not one to sit on her hands, she took advantage of her position and went on to do work with several charitable organizations and more recently found the cause that lives in the core of her heart: TAMFI, the Tony Alt Memorial Foundation. “My brother passed away in 2005, and nobody knows why, he just dropped to the floor and died. His workers loved him, and that is such a testament to who my brother was, that they didn’t want his spirit to die. They started this foundation to raise money for children’s charities. Everyone in that foundation works for free, they have day jobs, so they donate their time to make sure the right organizations are getting the funds they need.” – explains the entrepreneur.
And then there is also a jewelry line launched in partnership with Sears. Yes, if this woman doesn’t deserve to be called legendary, than I have no idea who else should. The butterfly designed by Carol, is meant to symbolize transformation, because she claims to have been transformed since she started her raw living. With a green gem in the back, Carol hopes she will be able to bring healing energies to whoever purchases the items, which of course also reverts profits to charity.
And does this supermodel turned legend ever get tired? “Well, you know, sometimes I do. I do, but I try to do things that I am passionate about, I keep going because I enjoy what I am doing and from the moment I stop enjoying it I will stop it all. But you know what? I do my best, I am only trying to do my little bit, and for me it is all about health and I am trying to bring health to people.” Could the message be any clearer? I don’t think so.
Article originally published in The Peninsula
This week’s Model Musing column on Look Books features the Brazilian stunner Liliane Ferrarezi.
Check it out by clicking here.
Model Musing: Liliane Ferrarezi
Beverly Johnson is not a fearful woman, she knows what she wants out of life, and she takes it. From a very young age she decided she needed to help in her family’s income and so she went on to become a model. In her early career, Beverly was given the honor of having her face stamped in the cover of Vogue, the most prestigious magazine in the world. That alone would be an accomplishment for any model, but the year was 1974 and Ms. Johnson was the first woman of color to ever be featured in the cover of Vogue.
From that moment on, Beverly Johnson would never again be just a model, she had become legendary. A part of the newly formed division entitled Legends, at New York’s Trump Models, her placement there could not be more suited. At a time in which everyone is a supermodel, to be recognized as a legend is quite distinguishing, even more so, because Ms. Johnson is from an era in which the term “Supermodel” wasn’t even invented.
Legendary Beverly Johnson remains. In 2012 she has launched a reality TV show in Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN, and the rise to success of her newborn endeavor in the world of cosmetics in a partnership with Target. The first ever “Modelpreneur” continues to amaze us.
After more than 40 years actively working in the entertainment industry, Beverly’s career has produced more than 500 magazine covers, advertising campaigns, beauty contracts, runway shows, two books, movies, tv shows and an extensive list of charity work.
Ms. Johnson’s most important accomplishment however was not in front of any sort of cameras, but in the privacy of her home: her daughter Anansa, with whom she now shares a home alongside her granddaughter and son in law. Beverly’s Full House is not just the title of her television series, but a description of what her life has become; a life full of great accomplishments and happiness. Here Beverly tells us a little more about her full life.
What drove you to doing this docu-series on OWN?
It was the perfect opportunity to have my daughter, who I will always love, around me, and my new son in law, who is the son who I always wanted, and also my first grand child. Also, I knew that my daughter would never consent to going into therapy or any of the other things I had been involved with all these years, and she loves reality shows, she got me into reality tv, so she was thrilled with the whole idea, and that’s why I did that pitch to Oprah, it was a great way to get closer to my daughter and work in our relationship.
I can’t imagine how it is to have cameras all around your life and your house constantly; are there ever moments when it becomes too much to deal with and too difficult? Is it a big camera crew?
Well, of course it took some adjusting at first because I didn’t really know how intense it was and I didn’t realize it was going to be 20 to 25 people in my home every day. I don’t know what I was thinking. But also because it is a constructive reality tv show, it wasn’t about shooting indiscriminately, and the purpose of the show was to build a stronger bond with my daughter and to document me building my company. After a while, since we had a purpose in mind, it was much easier to manage, because we knew why we were doing it.
So there is definitely a way to manage the crew?
No, there is no coordination, they are there, from sun up to sun down, and sometimes even longer than that, so there is no way to coordinate anything. We are in a reality tv show, so therefore we had life coaches come in so we could carry on all our normal activities because we are taking our cameras with us when we are going to fashion shoots and everything else in our daily lives.
So, now you are working on this docu-series and your company, but looking back in your career you have been in film, now you are in tv, you’ve done runway, you’ve done advertising, all sorts of things. What are the mediums that you worked with throughout your career that excite you the most? What makes your heart beat faster?
Today the digital media is something that really excites me, I think it’s a frontier that is very exciting, I love the podcasts, the streaming web, I read several blogs, I tweet via @BeverlyJohnson1, I facebook, it’s really about sharing your feelings with people and there is a connection there, I really believe that the internet has really made us able to connect with each other like we never have before.
And because you were the first african american woman in the cover of Vogue, I believe people look up to you, there is this aura around you, you seem to be a huge role model to women of color in particular. Do you think there is a message that comes throughout your career? Did you ever aim to pass on this message that you can do whatever you want and succeed?
I really believe that I am living my life and living my dreams, and if I can inspire and be a role model to other people it’s great, but I am basically just living my life as an open book. In the 70’s and 80’s I was just telling people what was going on in my life and career, and now I get to share it in television, in reality television. I am just doing what I do.
You are of course a fashion and a beauty icon and you have transformed that career into very smart business decisions. When you were at the top of your modeling career years ago, did you already have the idea of working towards these projects or did they come to you little by little more recently?
They were always there, and I got into the business because I wanted to help out my family financially and I was able to do that. I was also able to open up a whole world of fashion and beauty and the arts, which I have grown to love, and also have the pleasure of, in some ways, become an expert just from being in it for so long. I think that it’s something that I wanted to share with other people, my knowledge, my experience and my career, these are things I always wanted to share with everyone.
Can you point out a moment in your career in which you look back and you say “this is it, now I have everything I could have asked for and I am happy!”?
Well, I would say, career wise, I knew that being the first woman of color in the cover of Vogue was something that nobody would ever be able to take away from me because I was the first and Vogue was and still is such an important media, not only in fashion but in the culture of America. So I always said that if I never get to do anything else, I have achieved a huge accomplishment! And that was in the beginning of my career, so it was all uphill from there.
How did it make you feel; were you blown away? Because when you went to shoot the editorial, did you know it was going to be a cover?
No, I didn’t know it was going to be a cover, in those days you never knew you were shooting a cover, you never knew you would be the cover until you saw yourself in the stand. But I knew it was a big deal, it still is a big deal to be in the cover of Vogue, but I didn’t know what what it meant to be the first woman of color in that cover, and what it meant for people of color around the world. I wasn’t prepared for that kind of responsibility to be thrust upon me at such a young age, but it gave me a purpose and kind of a road map of where I should go and how I should honor that achievement.
And lastly, I want to talk about charity, because I know you have done extensive work with Aids organizations and many others, how important is it for you to work with charity?
I did a lot of work with Aids and Amfar in the 80’s, we did that advertising shoot by Annie Leibovitz with Christie Brinkley and all those girls that were coming out and really speaking about Aids when it was still tabu, so I still am affiliated with various Aids organizations and always will be. That’s when you really get to step out of yourself and lend your celebrity to others. I am the spokesperson for global down syndrome, my niece has down syndrome and it is just such a great organization. They do a fashion show every year and if you could just look at their faces when they are walking down the runway and how they perform, there is so much about the condition and knowing that we can help these kids to reach their potential, so that’s something I am very involved with. I am also involved with a center out here in the desert that works with abused children, and we also put a fashion show together for them, and just to see these girls self esteem move up is something that makes it all worth while.
So, should we expect a second season for “Beverly’s Full House”?
Oh, I don’t know yet, it’s too early to tell. I do know it is the second biggest hit in the network and we have had a great feedback on it but we are very hopeful and happy about it.
Article originally published in The Peninsula – volume 9, Issue 2 / June 2012
Out today on Look Books is an interview I did with the legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson.
Have a read by clicking here.
Beverly Johnson: Proud to be a Legend
Influencer of a Generation
The year was 1983, and the collaboration between Maripol and Madonna would enter history to become one of the most legendary and iconic trends in history. The punk influenced look, composed mainly by rubber jewelry and crosses created by Maripol for Madonna’s Like a Virgin album cover and music video became a fashion phenomenon however, that was just one among many projects in which Maripol had her hands on.
With a sharp eye for fashion and innovation, Maripol was not only styling looks but creating art and new concepts of her own. Working for Fiorucci as a creative director, she was responsible for all the buzz around their then famous New York store, which rocketed their designer jeans concept to fame. “We brought in Lamé Jeans on monday and by wednesday we didn’t have anymore left. Even Calvin Klein said he got inspired to do jeans by Fiorucci”, observes the artist.
The innovative rubber jewelry worn by the likes of Madonna and Grace Jones were completely created by Maripol in her NoHo apartment, in which she still lives today. The pieces became a hit, Maripol opened her own store and also worked on developing special merchandising for Madonna’s tour. On the flip side, becoming such a huge style icon back in an era when copyright and patents weren’t really a priority, led Maripol’s company to a closure. “How can you survive when millions of people start making their most horrible supposedly rubber jewelry, which was actually made out of plastic? Mine was made of genuine rubber. I had a factory in Hong Kong, I had this dream to help the rubber industry in places like Malaysia and helping poor people by giving them work. Nobody else had that dream, it was pure greed! Now I know how it must feel to be Prada or others and see your knock off’s everywhere!”
Even though bankruptcy wasn’t ideal, it definitely did not stop Maripol in her tracks. Placed right at the core of the New York downtown scene, in the company of Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Deborah Harry, the group was creating whatever they felt was relevant and exciting.
Going on to produce and direct documentaries like “Crack is Whack” and music videos for talents like Elton John and Cher, this artist experimented in all realms available. It was with the feature film “Downtown ‘81”, produced by herself along with Glenn O’Brien and Edo Bertoglio that she really transcended her time. The film, which depicts a day in the life of the then emerging artist Jean Michel-Basquiat, was the portrait of the times in which they lived in, made with love and honesty for their generation and the many others which would follow and admire them.
Throughout her career Maripol had a couple of common denominators: curiosity and a polaroid camera. Known widely for her work with polaroid pictures, Maripol’s work has been shown in museums across the globe and featured in top art and fashion magazines. A book, Maripolarama was published in 2005 featuring her most remarkable images, and most recently in 2010 a more complete look at her career was brought to our attention by Damiani in a book entitled Little Red Riding Hood. In this book we are invited to take a closer look at Maripol’s oeuvre, drawing a finer picture of who this artistic genius really is.
Her work with polaroids is not over, nor is her passion for rubber jewelry. In 2010, while working on Little Red Riding Hood, inspired by an 80s resurgence that was in the air, Maripol felt compelled to bring her creations back to life. Like any good inventor, the light bulb went on and the designer decided to approach Marc Jacobs for a collaboration with his line Marc by Marc Jacobs. Maripol was taken to Marc by the resemblance of his Bleeker street store with Fiorucci’s back in the 80s. The return was a huge success via 17 pieces that included jewelry and t-shirts and brought attention to Maripols name and brand to another generation of hipsters.
Currently working on independently relaunching her line, she never seems to stop; but why should she? Not many can say they have influenced a generation. Maripol can.
Last week I sat for a talk with Inga Savits, an accomplished model who recently started her own shoe brand out of Milan. Her love affair with designing for fashion dates from long before her modeling years and it’s interesting to see how she took advantage of her work as a model to pursue her dream of becoming a shoe designer; and a great one too.
Already in her third collection, Inga’s designs have been spotted in red carpets across the globe and in collaborations with emerging french designer Alexis Mabille.
Have a look at the full article here or read below.
Model Designer: Inga Savits
Dan Murphy is a bright young fella. A model, entrepreneur and hockey instructor, he is the kind of guy you can sit next to and have a chat about nothing for hours. It doesn’t hurt he’s good looking too.
I featured Dan in the latest Model Musing column for Look Books, and you can have a look at it here or read below.
Model Musing: Dan Murphy
Who knew male models could be so smart and interesting? I did!
For many years I’ve had to defend my male model friends, as people see the profession in a very dumb and marginalized way. The same doesn’t happen with female models. But why?
In an effort to show the true beauty of men, I have now started to include them in my bi-weekly Model Musing columns on Look Books. My goal is to show the beauty that these men carry inside them, and to show that being a model is not only about looking good in the picture or having perfect abs.
Model Musing: Fabio Nunes
In my Model Musing column two weeks ago, an interview with the Australian bombshell and musician Cheyenne Tozzi who is finalizing her first album to be released at the end of 2012.
Have a look and enjoy!
Model Musing: Cheyenne Tozzi
This week I spoke with the Dutch model Lisanne De Jong for my Model Musing column at Look Books.
Have a look at the full story here or read below.
Model Musing: Lisanne de Jong
Everything in life has a purpose, and we all have our tuning methods. For me, tuning is going back to the peace an quiet of the country or the beach; for others, it’s therapy; and for some, it’s shopping; go figure. I know people who have never been to the country and aren’t curious at all about it. For me, it’s a fascinating and mind expanding experience that i cannot live without. For me, to be in the country is to be with myself.
Another week, another Model Musing, this time with Carolina Fontaneti.
Have a look at it here or read below.
Model Musing: Carolina Fontaneti
Danny Roberts is a a very inspiring young man. At the age of 13 he was already creating his own t-shirt line and by the time he was 23 he was already making collaborations with brands like Lancome and Harajuku Lovers. Not many with twice his age have.
I was fortunate enough to interview him for Look Books and you can read the result right HERE.
Dreaming Awake: An Interview with Danny Roberts
In my comings and goings in the fashion industry I meet many interesting people, and Nick Turner is one of them. He is a photographer, a painter and an illustrator with a passion for horses, women and the nature.
Rather young but with a truly moving body of work, Nick never ceases to amaze me.
Have a read at THIS interview I did with him for Look Books.
Nick Turner, His Horses and His Muses
Jeff, who lives at home, is a stoner, a lazy ass, a failure in many different senses of the word, a sci-fi geek and also a grown up. Jeff, however, is also passionate, kind-hearted, a dreamer and a believer. Jeff believes in destiny, he believes life has something special in store for him. He just doesn’t know what it is yet.
Driven by his ideals and beliefs, Jeff picks up a random sign given to him by “destiny” and chooses to follow it. He knows in his heart that the clue he was given will lead him to his purpose in life. There are no half measures with Jeff, he will not stop until he has achieved his goal.
From the less than average life that our anti-hero lives, in a household in which his mom (played by the ever so brilliant Susan Sarandon) could not be less supportive and understanding, Jeff finds himself in a less than fortunate situation. To make matters worse, Jeff’s path crosses with his prick of a brother, here embodied to perfection by none other than Ed Helms. From here on, the two brothers embark upon an unexpected adventure filled with inexplicable accidents and coincidences, each searching for his own unique goal. Their mother, oblivious to her boys’ shenanigans, sits at work dealing with her own mystery: a secret admirer that appears in her instant messaging service in the midst of a terrible personal crisis.
And so our characters go on their search for something; something that is not yet immediately clear to them, or the audience, but one that certainly becomes more and more intriguing, like in a good mystery that yearns to be solved.
I had the opportunity – via the kind invitation of Gen Art, to meet with one half of the Duplass brothers, Mark Duplass, who brilliantly co-wrote and co-directed the screenplay with his brother Jay.
Mark displayed nothing but fascination for Jeff’s unique way of embracing destiny and awe for the actors with which he and his brother were working. Mark explains: “This movie is more heavily plotted than our previous ones, it has many ins and outs, like a good detective story, but it still maintains a sense of improvisation, because the way the actors say their lines is totally their own, they recreate the lines, the script here works merely as a guideline to what is happening in their story, but the way they say it comes from their heads, and this is what keeps the movie exciting and fresh, and this is why we needed to have the help of these guys, Ed, Jason and Susan, who are so brilliant in what they do.”. Taking from cinema verite influences, the Duplass brothers continued to create freedom even in the way their scenes were shot, allowing their actors to perform without boundaries, much like a documentary, where a camera follows the subject and not the subject following the camera.
But the movie, which at times can take a few steps too far into its own charade, takes flight in its quiet metaphors for life that become more and more compelling towards the end – the metaphors that show us that there is after all a method to this whole madness, and that life has beauty in its system of working things out. The plan is often unclear, but the ability to enjoy the ride and appreciate the ups and downs is what makes the difference. To learn from our own mistakes, to grow and to graduate from them is the great accomplishment and, in some cases, the better-diploma.
Ed Helms, also at the event, had similar feelings about this movie. “At first I did not like this character, I thought he was a dick and I did not want to do it (the movie), but towards the end of the script I realized that Pat (his character) didn’t like Pat either and that he wanted to become a better person, that he saw where he needed improvement, and that made me want to be a part of this movie.”.
“Jeff, Who Lives at Home” is one of those movies that makes you feel, even at the worst of times, like there is always room for improvement, and that the possibilities in life are endless. As long as you trust fate and read the signs (whatever you think they may be), it is never too late to allow yourself to learn and pursue your own destiny. You still have, at any given time, a chance to make it in life.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home opens nationwide in the United States on March 16th, 2012
Welcomed by “A View of the Forest” a beautiful multi green-toned piece composed by Kher’s now famous bindis, we are ushered through the hallway to meet “A line through space and time”; a staircase in an empty room that leads up to nowhere, a remarkable piece of work covered by sperm-shaped bindis and that could be an invitation to a more fertile time in life, or perhaps the opposite, we wonder. The bindis, more than a fashion accessory in the Indian culture and constantly present in Kher’s work since 1995 are as she explains “meant to represent a third eye – one that forges a link between the real and the spiritual-conceptual worlds.”
The heavy weight radiator-composed piece in the back room gives name to the exhibition and could probably benefit from a larger space, but it is an astonishing work of art none the less. For this piece the artist sourced 131 radiators from the United States, the west, over the course of six years and shipped them to India, the east, where it was assembled.
The title of this work references The Loo, a fiercely hot and occasionally fatal summer afternoon wind that blows across North India and Pakistan. “We think of winds as harbinger of change, carrying voices of transformation”, Kher has said. “From where I sit, the winds blowing nowadays from the west – from the places that were the seats of power and authority throughout the 20th century – are no longer as strong or reliable as they were.” Traveling east these radiators, symbol of domestic comfort in the west, lost its purpose and the artist continues to offer explanation; “I suppose I am sending them back to the West as messenger and, perhaps, warnings. Other voices are changing the landscape now and political uncertainties have put the world in flux.”.
On the second floor however comes the most brilliant and breathtaking piece, shown last spring at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, “Reveal the secrets that you seek” throws us in a room of wonders composed by 27 shattered mirrors covered by bindis, this entire room feels warm and inviting, and the broken mirrors, which to general belief would symbolize bad luck, in this case are binded by the bindis that call out just the opposite and show us that even when shattered to pieces it is possible to find beauty and reconciliation.
The last piece, “The messenger”, shines on it’s own, in a striking yoga position, balanced by it’s own weight, as a yogi would, this fiber glass sculpture is described by Kher as “an urban witch, a woman of both mythology and everyday life, a hybrid” and the effect is haunting. This sculpture is the most recent in a series of figurative works in which Kher has presented hybrid beings that conjoin contradictions of gender, species, race and role. For this work the artist has drawn upon the attributes of the Hindu goddess Dakini, who is considered the manifestation of energy in female form, which in this case is also partly animal.
An astonishing accomplishment for Hauser & Wirth, this show is overall a breathtaking display of Bharti Kher’s brilliance.
Many years and many models have gone by, but not many remain as active and inspiring as the lovely Ms. Claudia Mason, whom I had the pleasure of representing during my time working at Elite Models.
Claudia doesn’t settle down, she writes, produces plays, directs, wins awards, shoots movies, dances and in whatever time she has left, she models. It’s breathtaking.
Allow yourself to be taken out of breath too in this week’s model musing column, just follow THIS link!
Model Musing: Claudia Mason
Very rarely I come across people that are truly inspiring. It takes a lot to wow me nowadays, i don’t know if it is the kind of work I do and the amount of impressive people I meet constantly, but I find myself being inspired by little things and certain characteristics rather than the entire “body of work” of a person. Eileen Ford had that quality, that “body of work”; her life story was a true lesson. Her passion and the way she carried her life and her business alongside her husband Jerry were truly moving.
When I spoke to her for this article I wrote for Look Books I was truly moved and completely humbled, here it was, a true legend of the fashion industry, a woman that broke the standards and set brand new ones for all those who followed. Eileen Ford had a dream and a passion, she believed in them and never gave up, building a family business that is now larger than life.
Have a read at the full article in THIS link – it’s long, I warn you, but it’s totally worth it!
Iconography: Eileen & Jerry Ford
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is out and I have taken the opportunity to speak to the Brazilian bombshell Cintia Dicker for Modelinia – Have a read HERE!
It’s Valentine’s Day and I have posted this feature on cute model-couple Daniela Lopes and Diego Querzoli on Look Books for the Model Musing column of this week. Check it out HERE !
Model Musing: Valentine’s Day Edition
Check out my Model Musing column on Look Books to find out why the beauty Hannah Holman loves the picture below and how she will melt your heart away.
Model Musing: Hannah Holman
With a smart eye for fashion and aesthetic, Brazilian artist Andre Azevedo has explored all different avenues of artistic work. From video making, to painting and art installations, he has dipped his toe in all kinds of waters and in each of those showed absolute control of his talent and imaginationby creating a body of work that travels through the most inventive to the most high maintenance crowds, all of which have their attention caught by the edgy look of whatever it is that Mr. Azevedo has created. Wether it’s a window for a fashion brand, a TV commercial, a painting or illustrations for a fashion magazine, Andre shows no fear in his work and with his work he conquers the minds of thousands.
With a background in graphic design, Andre Azevedo saw his artistic career turn into a hobby for the ten years he worked as a model manager for one of Sao Paulo’s most prominent modeling agencies. In 2007,
on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Andre realized he needed to slow down and reacess his life; he quit his successful career in Sao Paulo, packed up his bags and paintings and moved back home to Curitiba, a quaint city with the best quality of life in the Brazil, but also a city that thrives on art and culture.
The move to Curitiba was meant to be a hiatus, time that the model manager needed to find his true calling; and that’s where Andre Azevedo, the model manager, became Andre Azevedo, the artist. Making use of his connections in fashion, Andre went on to do freelance work in styling and fashion production in order to make a living while in his free time he could pour his passion into canvases, screens and sheets of paper. It was clear from the beginning that his work had a strong link with the fashion images that were a part of his day to day life in Sao Paulo and that the human eastethic played an important role as a source of inspiration, and as he explains,
“the human being is still the focus of my vision”. But if the human connection is so important, then why completely abandon such a successful career? Couldn’t it be a great source of inspiration as well as an ally? Andre explains that,“
in the beginning the proximity with the fashion universe and the amount of interesteing people I would meet was exciting and extremely stimulating, it made me more interested in fashion, but with time it also became really boring, that’s why I had to leave, but those subjects are still present in my work.” In Curitiba, Mr. Azevedo also discovered a passion for the use of the internet and social media, and through them he also found a great tool to show his work and his ideas to the world. By spreading his work on his blog, Andre started seeing an overflow of followers and admirers, ranging from fashion editors to celebrities like Kanye West, who even posted a link to Andre’s work.
The internet was the biggest art dealer Mr. Azevedo could have asked for, all of a sudden he was receiving requests from other artists for contributions as well as commercial clients like Alfa Romeo and MTV to use his work in their new and creative advertising strategies. With much dedication, Mr. Azevedo took his time making the right decisions. Calls from magazines such as Tank and Made in Brazil started coming in and his collaborations started spreading out into the fashion industry. The Brazilian super-brand Forum asked Mr. Azevedo to develop a set of prints for a limited edition of t-shirts that were sold out and the classic brand Lacoste brought Andre in to participate in a project that culminated in a fashion show, a week of exhibitions and a limited edition book launched in Paris in 2011. Andre’s pannel produced for that exhibition in Rio de Janeiro was so well received that later it was also picked to be used in the windows of the Lacoste stores in Rio de Janeiro.
Publishing mega-house Taschen saw his talent and asked him to submit his work to their infamous catalog of the best illustrators in the world: Illustration Now! – for which he was then included in it’s fourth edition. Following Illustration Now! – Vol. 4, Mr. Azevedo has also been included in Taschen’s The Bigger Book of Fahsion Illustration due out this year.
When the subject of the commercial use of art is brought up, Mr. Azevedo has a very firm stand point: “I believe that the dream of most artists is to be able to stay in their studios and produce the work they feel the most inspired by for days and days, without any concerns of where its place in the art market or the price point, but for the most part I don’t believe that is a possibility. Even though many don’t see the commercial use of art in a good light, I don’t believe it makes less of my work as an artist, to me it’s a great compliment when I am asked to contribute to a fashion label or a major established brand like Lacoste or Alfa Romeo. In general my artistic freedom is never compromised, as I am usually given a theme or subject to work with and I am free to create on top of that.”. And so, after exploring so many different environments all there is left to wonder is; what else is there to do? “ well, photography is still very intriguing to me, it demands a lot more discipline and it’s the only thing that never came naturally to me, like painting or drawing.”
We look forward to seeing Andre explore this new realm and we hope his photos are as seductive as his illustrations!
Visit Andre Azevedo’s blog here.
If you haven’t yet watched Another Happy Day, then don’t be fooled by the title, it’s one of those sarcastic little things that you need to be able to pick up on. Like that movie Happiness; remember?
Well, don’t get me wrong, Another Happy Day is one damn good movie; written and directed by a very talented Mr. Sam Levinson and with a cast that will take your breath away. From Ezra Miller and Ellen Barkin, to Ellen Burstyn and Demi Moore, this is a flawless movie, hissy fits included and all. It’s not just a movie about a family falling apart, it’s a movie about real families, and how real families have all kinds of craziness but all kinds of beauty within them too. This is a movie about the woman who wants her family to get along, about the boy who wants to be a part of, about the girl who needs a father, about the ex husband who has gone so far and grown so cold that he barely knows how to communicate with his loved ones. This is a movie about what happens with a family when honesty, tenderness and understanding walk out the door, because love is still there, but it’s nothing more than an old idea or a dusty memory.
Don’t be discouraged though – this is a movie that still manages to maintain its good spirits, for the most part. There is sense of humour within all the madness, there is irony too, just like our lives. Well, raise your hand if you never experienced one of those “well ain’t this perfect!?!?” moments? As i thought, no hands went up.
Another Happy Day is a great movie because it hits the right chords for the right issues. Yes, not all families are that dysfunctional, but this is not the point. The point is, that there are people like that around us, constantly, we go through situations just as bad throughout several occasions in our lives. If we haven’t yet, we surely will soon, so why not open our eyes and minds and examine something that is given to us by fictional characters, is entertaining, causes no pain and could very well prepare us for those not so happy moments?
This movie is all about reaction, it’s an episode in the life of a family, and within that episode we are shown a lifelong history of bad reactions. Separations, conversations, addiction, mental disorder, lies that come out and truths that are hidden, all of those bring out emotional and erratic reactions from each of the characters. Ellen Barkin‘s Lynn even tries to keep it together, but because of the way she reacted to things in the past, there is no way of fixing it anymore, she has set precedents and taken wrong decisions and now it’s too late. It’s too late for her and for all of them, this so called family hasn’t been an actual family in a long time.
See, all our lives are based on how we carry ourselves and the actions we take. Every bad action will generate a bad reaction. In theory. As human beings equipped with brains that we are, we are capable of making decisions and controlling our emotions, however, some of us forget about that and allow for our emotions to take over and react on situations that could have had a much brighter outcome had we taken the time to ponder and make the right decision.
If this movie doesn’t make you think about life and how you behave in your family and in society, than I don’t know what will, and hopefully this was the goal here, because it’s more than time for us all to pick up that long awaited wake up call. The phone is ringing, what will you do?
Here is a link to an interview with runway coach Connie Fleming on lookbooks.com !
Walk the Walk: An interview with runway coach Connie Fleming
In times when all we hear in the media and among our friends too is the buzz about who’s wining which award or who’s wearing what in which red carpet or what the host will say that will make people uncomfortable or how will the acceptance speech be; i can’t help but wonder, what do these awards really mean and who are these awards important to anyway?
Awards are like great compliments, given to us by people that – hopefully – know and have excelled in the same craft as those who receive it, awards are the recognition of a job well done; much like a star to the child who cleans up their bed room or the treat to the dog who sits quietly upon request. But awards don’t change us, awards don’t all of a sudden make us into something special or different, or at least they shouldn’t. Just because an actor receives an Oscar it doesn’t mean they will only do masterpieces from there on, right Charlize Theron? Of course it is expected of them to only do better from then on, but why should they only then go for those dramatic roles that make you cry for 45 minutes when they can also have some fun while working and do a high energy action movie or a laughable comedy? They are actors after all, they should be open to playing whatever character makes them happy, wether we, the Academy or the critics like it or not.
I was watching a show on Oprah Winfrey’s Network the other night called Master Class, in this show Oprah had Goldie Hawn talking about her life and career, and Ms. Hawn, a very accomplished and established actress – and and Oscar winner for that matter – had something very interesting to say. Goldie Hawn went on to say exactly what i’ve always been thinking, that it’s great to get an award, that it’s really cool to be recognized for the work you did and it’s good to know that your peers admire you enough that they would give you something like an Oscar, but this accolade is like a pat in the back, and it doesn’t make us any more special than we already were before, we need to be glad for it and move on, continue to do our jobs, carry on with our lives, because an award doesn’t define who we are, they give us confidence, even boost up our egos for a moment, but it should not be for more than a moment.
You see, this is where it gets tricky, it’s when the boosted ego lingers for more than a moment, and we believe that we in fact deserve something more than we’ve been getting, that we are in fact different. We are not. We should learn to take those little moments as a guide in our lives, maybe they exist to show us we are in the right path, that we are doing something that is good and admired, and it shows us which qualities we have, and that could be the lesson to be taken from an award or from that “job well done” we got from our boss, that we are in the right path and should continue to work hard, and that we should continue to give the best of ourselves in whatever it is that we are doing, otherwise, what’s the point of doing it anyway?
What is the point of doing something if it’s not done with love and passion? No point at all. So there you have it, regardless of getting an award or not, you should be happy you’ve done it and know in your heart, with or without the award, that you’ve done a great job. Other people’s opinion will not make it more special, they may validate your own, but your opinion will still be the same, much like yourself as a person, and all of us should learn to award ourselves for the hard work we do, we should learn to identify our strengths and weaknesses as human beings and work on them to improve ourselves, and we should be able to admit to ourselves and the world what they are; there is nothing wrong with that, it shows character.
Modesty, actually, false modesty, is a bitch; and i only say this because i used to be big in false modesty. Why would you discredit yourself of something you did that was very well done? No, you should take the credit and run with it, but keep in mind that it doesn’t change a thing about yourself. It is important to know what you’re worth and to keep that in check constantly, because by doing that you will always remember that even though you may have many qualities, you also have many flaws, and they are just as visible, and that no one depends on another person’s opinion to be happy, because by knowing your qualities and flaws you can be happy about yourself as a person and the feeling of being happy is extraordinary.
I recently lost a job, and all i heard from friends and people i know was how good i am and how i would turn this around because of these amazing talents and skills i have and so on and so forth. It wasn’t very long until i started wearing a cloak of wisdom and all you would hear was me talking about myself and how great i was and how i would turn things around because i was really great and no one else could be greater than me and that anyone would be a fool not to hire me because i would add so much value to a company and so on and so forth.
What a bore of a human being i had become. For over a week the world revolved around me and i could not see past myself. Finally one night, i was having dinner with a great friend, someone who knows me inside and out, and halfway through it i see a look in her face, and i know i had seen that look once before, and it scared me. I had to ask her what was wrong, but she would NOT say it, for the life of her, i could see how uncomfortable she was, and that was driving me crazy, because i knew right there that i must have done or said something absolutely awful. Finally, after much insistence she revealed the reason of her discontentment towards me: I was acting like a selfish prick. And there it was, the cloak of wisdom fell off my shoulders and i realized how ridiculous i was, riding on my high horse like i was worth a million bucks when in fact i was probably worth no more than a penny.
So here it is my friends, the true story of how a good person, which i admittedly am, can turn into an absolute douche bag, to say the least. This is again, proof that compliments and awards don’t change who we are. Those people saying how good i was when i lost my job were doing what they were supposed to be doing, they were pointing out my qualities so that i would have enough confidence to carry on and feel good about myself, they were being good friends, and after a while i became a ball of ego rolling down a mountain and destroying everything that crossed my path, even the ones who i loved the most.
We should always, always remember to stay true to ourselves and in our paths be kind and generous to others, because the award of today may be the doom of tomorrow.
Here is a little piece I wrote for Modelina.com about Lisa Cant’s return into the fashion world!
Every year is the same story, as the holiday season approaches, millions, or dare i say, billions of people accross the globe enter a state of utter anxiety that culminates with the new year’s eve celebration. Oh the new year, this emblematic turn of the page of a calendar, or even the start of a brand new one, where projects will be launched, ideas will be developed, dreams will be chased, relationships will begin and promotions will be earned. Or not.
“How come you never go there? How come i’m so alone there?” – with those words Leslie Feist kicks off her latest single, recently released as a part of the album “Metals” – another beautifully crafted work of art by the Canadian musician who has brought us so much joy and heart-break before, and it is in the heart break that i want to focus here, because it is so easy for us to take it for granted.
You see, a heart break can be a beautiful thing, a weapon of mass construction, it can build songs, paintings, installations, books, journeys and even careers. It is not by chance that we are put to test like that, it is not by chance that we are compelled to feel our heart ache so much that it feels like we don’t want to feel anything at all. Just like we need to fall, in order to learn to get back up, maybe it’s getting our hearts broken that will teach us how to master the art of falling in love and dealing with every heart break, minor or major.
It is so easy for us to feel like the other one is at fault, or that we did it all wrong, and then to turn ourselves in martyrs; but why, i ask? Why should we put ourselves through so much pain and misery? It is ok to feel the pain, but living through it is the best part, let’s look at it from another angle, maybe this pain that comes from a heart-break is like a rare delicacy, it’s like that flower that blossoms only once in every few years, and we need to enjoy it as much as we can instead of trying to smash it down, for there is beauty even in the ugly; didn’t someone once say that “the beauty is in the eye of the beholder”?
Well, what i would like to propose here is an exercise, it’s a new way to look at our pain, whatever that is and wherever it comes from, and to turn it into something beautiful; like songwriters compose songs that sweep our hearts away, we can transform our pain in something that will make us happy. Through our pain we may discover a new passion, we may find a new friend, we may come to terms with older issues that were put to the side, because a heart break puts us in a place of fear and unease, it also puts us in anger and frustration, and those are all feelings that are great fuel in life, especially for our creativity.
So lets look at our heart break and gracefully learn from it, let’s look at what we did that could have gone wrong and at the end did. We are only human, we are not in control of life, we can’t decide how other people think, feel or react, we can’t control other people’s actions and emotions, so what we are left with is our own stuff to deal with. Let’s look back at our previous heart breaks and think about how much of it was really just because we projected much further than we in fact were living. Let’s look at our expectations and our romantic ideas, and then try to see if the other part involved shared those same ideas and expectations,or if maybe we had allowed ourselves to interpret further and make up reasons for our actions based on our own feelings, not in facts.
Even though it sounds awfully mechanical, it is also truly reasonable, because if you put things in perspective like that, it also helps to alleviate the pain, because it’s like science, you can’t argue with it.
Now, even after much rationalization, there will still be pain, because a broken heart is a broken heart, you can mend the pieces but parts of it will never be the same, and isn’t that a great thing? Because your feelings can change, evolve and grow; you can learn to turn those amended pieces in a great friendship, or you may turn them into a work of art that will blow the world away in lovely inspiration, or it may also be the last drop you needed to really focus in that career you never pursued because your mind was too distracted with other things.
You see, a broken heart is a beautiful thing, because it changes you, because it makes you look at yourself and the world around you in a different way, it makes you reflect on yourself and your life, it makes you put things in check, and it will always be a great reminder of your capacity to love; and if you really give your broken heart all the love and attention it deserves what you may encounter at the end is even more glorious than what you started with.
Below is a video of Feist performing “How come you never go there” on David Letterman. Enjoy! 😉
Whenever i sit to write in this blog there is fuel that drives me. Many times the source is one particular matter that raises a certain question in my head that pushes me to sit and write and share my ideas with the world. Every now and then it’s not one, but the clash of several different matters that push me to write, in this case the clash of ideas that brought me to my knees is not an easy one.
I live in New York City, a half a block away from the United Nations, i meditate on that building constantly as a way of trying to find peace, i look to it as a source of inspiration, because i would like to think of it as a place where politics, religions, beliefs and economy are all neutral and in perfect harmony, even though i know it isn’t. Many nights on my way home I stop and stare at that building and wonder what thoughts and prayers are going on in there, what matters are being brought to the surface for discussion, and which of those matters are in fact being addressed and which ones aren’t. I always try to think of the United Nations as a place of peace, i try to look at it as a place of reflection on life in this tiny world we live in and for a second my heart gets filled with hope.
Well, last night i went to a different building in the city, the Hearst Tower, symbol of money and power of the american empire, but a place where thoughts come to life in print and websites and media in general; and also the place that houses Marie Claire magazine, which had invited me for a private screening followed by a Q&A of Angelina Jolie’s “In the Land of Blood and Honey” the movie she wrote, directed and produced, about the war in Bosnia; a very controversial movie but also a brilliantly made movie; a movie that raises all the right questions, that stirs all the right feelings, that throws you to the ground and shakes you to look for your human soul.
Angelina Jolie has always been a very mysterious woman to me, a very layered gorgeous woman; she is the bombshell, the actress, the mother, the humanitarian, whatever it is you want to label her as, she can be, i see her as a Swiss army knife, actually, i don’t, because a Swiss army knife has limitations, and Angelina doesn’t. Mrs. Jolie is a powerful woman and she uses the power she has been given very wisely.
In her directorial debut, Mrs. Jolie told a story that many people don’t want to tell, she told the story of something that the world didn’t even want to look at as it was happening, in Bosnia; ugly things done by human beings to other human beings, she told the stories of the war, she managed to brilliantly place the viewer inside the war, next to the soldiers and the victims, she made you feel all they felt, and you could not pick a side, you could not decide who the villain was, because they all had their part in it, they all came in with their beliefs and they all turned into something else as soon as the war began.
Angelina Jolie showed us what it feels like to be in war, to see horrific things on a daily basis, year after year, after year, she made us understand that there is no sense to any of it, that friends and neighbors can turn into enemies in the click of an Uzi, just because. That is frightening, and we don’t want to look at it, it is in our nature to look away, we don’t want to know what happens there, we don’t like to be put in that position, because we don’t want to question ourselves what would we do if we were put in that situation.
Before the movie started, Angelina came out with a message; “Over the next two hours, you will feel uncomfortable and you will want to stop the movie and leave, but these people, they had to live through these things for three years, they couldn’t leave, and many of the actors in this movie were there when it happened, so please don’t leave.”
Well, no one left, and we all wore those Bosnian shoes, and that is exactly what will happen to you too upon watching “In the Land of Blood and Honey”, because Angelina Jolie will not settle for less then the absolute truth, she will not settle for less than the reality, and if the film doesn’t end the way you expect it to end, well, you will have to suck it up, because in war, things don’t necessarily end the way we want them to end.
Mrs. Jolie is a serious woman who takes her job very seriously, and when given the opportunity to tell this horrific story she decided to do the best job she could to show the world how things really happened, not how we hoped for them to turn out in the end, because in war there is no romantic ending, there is just the end. And then some other war begins somewhere else.
If the story was taken from a book of a certain gentleman or not, that doesn’t mater, controversies aside, Angelina Jolie was the right person to tell this story, Mrs. Jolie has the means and expertise to make it work, she made sure that the movie reflected what really happened during the conflict in Bosnia, and because this movie has Mrs. Jolie as its creator people will pay attention to it and they will buy tickets and they will go watch it, even though the theme is tough to digest, so it doesn’t matter where the story came from, but the story was told the best way it could be told, the story reached it’s full potential for the screen and hopefully will help raise awareness of millions of people around the world, because that’s why i write and that’s why movie makers make movies, because we want to send a message, that’s how we know how to help, we inform people through our craft and hope that the message sticks.
So what i took from my encounter with Mrs. Jolie was that if more people in Hollywood were rolling up their sleeves like she is, and Mr. Sean Penn is, and Mr. Steven Spielberg is, then we would have a much better chance of changing the world, because we still live in a celebrity driven world, and if more actors and directors used their celebrity status to give us the truth then we would have a much more educated young generation.
Angelina Jolie is a much bigger person than you would think of, and i feel profoundly honored and privileged to have been able to meet with her and share thoughts and ideas on some of the most difficult world issues, issues that we both care and fight for; in different levels, but still, we are both doing the best we can in our capacities, we are both being the best human beings that we can be.
Culture: Letters to Haiti
In an evening of relentless rain, New York City’s most die hard charity fans showed up for Haiti. The event led by supermodel
entitled “Letters to Haiti” came to show that when you mix, fashion, art and humanitarian causes you can’t go wrong. In it’s third fund raiser, the non profit organization
, founded by Cedrick Roche and his wife,
– moved locations, leaving the grungy Opera Gallery in Chelsea and Mr. Brainwash’s colorful installations behind to inhabit a more minimalist spot.
The gallery at Milk Studios included works by Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo, Greg Kadel, Enrique Badulescu and Ben Watts, among others; all up for auction to help raise money for the charity that supports orphanages and schools in Port Au Prince
But the main event of the evening was
‘s documentary screening which also gave name to the event – “Letters to Haiti” – in which Mr. Conran depicts the efforts of Coco and Behati along with a couple of friends in bringing letters and donations from around the world to the children of Haiti. As some of you may know, James Conran is Coco Rocha’s husband, a talented designer and now also a filmmaker.
Coco’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed and she managed to bring out her buddies Karlie Kloss and Hillary Rhoda as well as long time friend Mr. Zac Posen who made sure Rocha had a fresh-off the runway look to wear for the evening. Before the film started. We heard the warm laughter of Lauren Santo-Domingo trading impressions of Ms. Prinsloo’s pictures with make up artist Joe Hubrich and Carolina Bittencourt-Roche discussing blogging with her friend Luciana Curtis.
After the screening of the documentary was finished, Coco reminded everyone that the silent auction was about to begin, but – and said, “If you can’t bid or donate, then maybe you can spread the word and help us raise awareness, Haiti still needs you”.
The message was received, and it seemed that the guests were in pretty good holiday spirits as most of the photographs were sold with no fuss; well, except for one very colorful photography by Ben Watts; generating a bidding war that culminated with the designer Ana Lerario-Geller having to outbid an unknown gentleman by a hundred dollars in the last minute before the bidding closed. Merry Christmas Robert Geller!
All in all it was a fun night out on a very boring rainy New York evening where the holiday spirit could be felt in full force.
Gabriel Ruas Santos-Rocha, to see mroe of his writing click
All photos courtesy of Josh Wong Photography
West Chelsea saw a true fashion pilgrimage last night when fashionistas like Tory Burch, Marina Muñoz and Jamie Johnson flocked down twenty second street making their way through a shoot for the TV show Damages that made traffic through the street impossible. But nothing could stop them as they had a mission: to attend Annie Leibovitz’s “Pilgrimage” exhibition opening at The Pace Gallery – hosted by none other than Anna Wintour, the fierce editor in chief of Vogue.
The expectations surrounding this event were huge. This was Mrs. Leibovitz’s first purely digital project and the subject of her portraits this time were not the famous faces we are used to seeing in the pages of Vanity Fair or Vogue, but places and objects that are special to the photographer and also represent a special place in the world’s history.
Among pictures of Emily Dickinson’s last remaining dress, Elvis Presley’s television, Sigmund Freud’s couch and Abraham Lincoln’s hat, photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank told stories about her first book project set to come out next year while It girl Lily Kwong giggled about having to find a party dress on a budget for a story she was working on for Vogue.com –- “Give me 200 bucks and I’ll make it work!” Coco Rocha made a quick appearance with her husband James Conran on their way to a friend’s dinner. The couple is also getting ready for their own event next week, the fundraiser for the non-profit organization Lakay Pam that helps to improve the quality of life for children in Haiti. Coco will be hosting her third fundraiser for this organization, but this time they will also be premiering the documentary Letters to Haiti as well as showing an exhibition of pictures shot by her friend, Victoria’s Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo, during a visit they made to the country last year.
In an evening where art seemed to be the guest among a fashion crowd, Chuck Close’s presence was a great reminder of the goal of the evening: to celebrate art and history. Mr. Close seemed to be impressed by Mrs. Leibovitz’s work: “It’s interesting to see an artist like her stepping out of her comfort zone to shoot inanimate objects like these. The result is beautiful. I have never been a person who takes pictures, in fact I don’t think I have ever taken a picture during a vacation or anything like that. I like to keep those moments in my head, so it’s interesting to see these pictures displayed like this.”
The evening went smoothly in the warm environment of the gallery, among glasses of white wine and canapés, Karen Elson, Narciso Rodriguez and Prabal Gurung mingled in perfect harmony with Catherine Newell-Hanson, Eugenia Gonzalez and Michelle Harper. Mrs. Leibovitz signed books to her friends and when the clock ticked 8pm there was barely anyone left — as it would be expected from the kind of in-crowd that filled the guest list.
Photographs from Pilgrimage will be exhibited in New York at The Pace Gallery on December 1, 2 and 3 and next year at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C., from January 20 to May 20, 2012. The book Pilgrimage has been published by Random House and is available now.
HERE is a link to something I wrote on one of my favorite new models for LookBooks.com – have a read! 🙂
Agent Provocateur: Elite’s Gabriel Rocha on Naomi Preizler
Naomi Preizler (Elite) is much more than just a pretty face and a great runway girl. She is a true artist who paints and draws likes nobody’s business, and has a great understanding of art and fashion, which to me is an extremely important factor in a model’s career.
Unquestionably a rising talent in our industry, just the other week Naomi shot single-girl editorials for Vogue Russia and L’Officiel in different parts of the world. Her previous bookings include a cover of Vogue Italia Gioiello; editorials for V Spain, V, Interview, Muse, Dazed & Confused, Wonderland, and Zoo; and features in i-D and Metal.
Naomi was also featured on the cover of the first issue of Harper’s Bazaar Argentina, her native country, where she is also currently working on a line of t-shirts with prints from her paintings.
Naomi has walked the runways of Givenchy, Chanel, Sonia Rykiel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Richard Chai, Rag & Bone, Missoni, Vivienne Westwood, House of Holland, among many others; and has been shot by photographers like Mario Sorrenti,Sharif Hamza and Vicky Trombetta (2DM).
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine,
a fashion editor for an Italian magazine; it was one of those conversations
that happen very unexpectedly in the middle of a hectic week of work somewhere
in Europe. We were talking about our lives, how fortunate we are to be able to
be globetrotting across the planet with our jobs and getting in touch with
different cultures and experiencing so many different lives in one lifetime, to
be seeing things that we used to see in text books in school or in our parents
art books. We spoke of our different backgrounds and the places we now live in
and the places we see ourselves living in, in the future; we decided we are in
did searching for a feeling of a well lived life, which in fact we already
have, given our young age.
But this talk was more in terms of where would we
establish ourselves, where we saw ourselves spending our old age, how our life
would be, what we would become from here on? Well, of course no precise answer
could come out of this conversation, but we do know what we are looking for.
For anyone who has seen the movie “I Am
Love” I am sure the house in which the characters lived in was in fact a
character on its own, possible the most impressive character of the movie. The
house where they lived in, in Milan, had its own character, which was a
combination of years of experience, years of traveling, years of knowledge
accumulated in those rooms. The appreciation for art and architecture that
breathes through the walls, the knowledge of fashion present in its
inhabitants, the admiration for food and the impact of its flavors and also how
they could change a mood with a single bite.
The house in that movie is a character on its own
because it has been lived in, it has felt the love, the laughter and the sorrow
of one or many families, it has seen birthdays and funerals, it has seen
engagement parties and celebrations of all sorts; it looks perfect from the
distance but from up close you can see the floorboards are scratched, the
curtains have stains and the windows may have cracks. Like a person, a house is
allowed to live and accumulate treasures, like we accumulate shoes, watches,
stamps or even a rose from a lover that we keep in secrecy. The house in “I Am
Love” is a character on its own because it is in fact a well lived house, it’s
quite possibly one of Milan’s most famous properties, called Villa Necchi
Campiglio, at Via Mozart, today a cultural institution open for visitors and
kept as it was when their owners lived there.
During this conversation with my friend it then
hit me, through something she said, that art is not meant to be hanging from
the cold walls of museums, but in houses and apartments, where it can be shared
with friends and family, where it can be admired and treated with love, like we
would a plant or animal. Art was made to live with people and witness their
lives, and be accumulated by their homes, not to be left alone in a cold room
alongside other abandoned and marketed pieces of art.
Even though I am thankful for the museums and
galleries, for their existence and for allowing me to see some of the most
beautiful and enticing works created by men, I would adore if more of these
museums could be like Villa Necchi or The Frick Collection are, houses that
have been lived in and were left untouched for the appreciation of the people.
Every time I visit one of these stunning places I ask myself how their lives
must have been and I can’t help but wonder what it feels like to be able to
work there every day. The Pierpont Morgan Library in New York for example is to
me one of the most remarkable places I ever visited in my life, there it is,
the house and life’s work of a man completely devoted to collecting art, books
and obviously money, but that last bit is irrelevant in this case.
Really impressive, and on another side of the
spectrum, was visiting the Frida Khalo museum in Mexico City, because that’s
the place where she loved, bled, and created some of the most beautiful and
relevant works of art seen by men. In that house, Frida and Diego accumulated
art by other artists, their own art, books, animals and all sorts of memories, The
Frida Khalo Museum was to me the epitome of the museum home, every room spoke
to me, it’s almost as if she was there, walking around in her beautiful garden
or flipping through one of her many art books; to be able to see with my own
eyes how that amazing artist lived her life and which books she read and how
she kept her house was a phenomenal and unique experience.
While in Milan I had the opportunity to also visit
the Boschi Di Stefano apartment as well, and these two were very affluent Milanese
artists who acquired more than two thousand pieces of art during their life
together, and by art I mean all types; from paintings to sculpture, from
furniture to chandeliers, it’s all in there for the curious visitor to see, for
It warms my heart to know that someone would leave
their entire patrimony to the city, to the memory of the world, to improve the
lives of those who follow them. To visit a place like this, that always existed
for the love of art, is a blessing, and even though museums were created and exist
to preserve art and were born precisely from the love for art, they haven’t
been lived in, they haven’t had a chance in life, they are these boxes, time
capsules, in which we keep our memories related to art and can access them
whenever possible. It doesn’t seem fair to me, but it sure is great to have
them in such an organized manner.
always had this fear in life, of where I would end up, what would become of me,
then that turned into a fear of what would be done with my belongings, who, of
the people I know, would appreciate having some of the paintings I now own and
would care for it as much as I do? Well, that all is gone now, it is not
important what happens to my belongings after I pass, I will not be around to
see it, but I still definitely hope for the best and that the art I own feels
just as proud and happy for the life they were able to live while they were
living with me as I am proud to have them around me.
I was sitting in a class of physics when someone received a text message saying that the World Trade Center had been attacked. I remember i was planning a trip to Los Angeles with one of my best friends instead of paying attention to class; we couldn’t believe it, all of us rushed down to the tv at the cafeteria in a state of shock, absolute shock, what was going on? How was that possible? What was happening in the world? Still to this day i can’t make any sense of it, i don’t think anyone ever will.
I remember the feelings i felt, i remember having a classmate whos father worked in one of the towers, i remember his despair staring at the tv screen without understanding; i remember the common feeling we all had for him and his family, we wanted them to be well. His father was there, but he survived. I have never seen that kid again, but my heart was with him then and is with him now, because to go through the agony he must have gone through is unimaginable.
It’s unimaginable for me to think that one human being is capable of willingly do a thing such as flying an airplane into a building. We are human beings, not animals; or are we? What is this desire to kill and destroy that some of us have? Where does it come from? Why is it necessary to fight over differences?
Today is the tenth anniversary of september eleven, a day that will never be forgotten, a day that will enter history books and a day that i witnessed and still can’t understand. At all. Every year my thoughts wander away into the void left by those who died, i try to piece it together and today, since the moment i woke up, i cried, because i can’t understand, because the fear is tangible, because the feeling of abandonment from reason is real. To me it feels like a wound that is constantly open and band-aided, and even though i wasn’t in that situation i witnessed with the entire world, and feelings sometimes travel faster than light and sound, and this feeling lives in my heart, there is no denying.
Every year i think of why would any person chose to kill over their beliefs? Can’t things be solved peacefuly? It’s even scarier to think that people celebrated the deaths of thousands somewhere in the world, that other human beings were gloating over something so unhuman, so animal. Just like World War II, September eleven to me is irrationality to the extreme, it’s madness, sheer brutality; and my heart aches for that, my tears roll down because i feel embarrassed as a human being, because i feel that with years and years of evolution we haven’t been able to overcome our irrationalities and act like the geniuses i know we can be, instead, some of us choose to use this genius for destruction of our own selves.
Humans have massacred millions of other humans, enslaved other humans, destroyed the very ground they live in, it’s total self-sabotaging, and that to me is uncomprehensible, because to me it’s such a simple equation, it’s as simple as 1+1=2.
We don’t think the same, we don’t feel the same, we don’t believe in the same Gods, we don’t love the same, we don’t pray the same, but we all want to live, we all want to be able to have peace of mind, we all want to be able to have a place to come to at night, a place to call home, and we want our homes to be safe and free of fear. It baffles me to think that human beings are capable of such violent acts against each other, it disappoints me profoundly to know that we can’t live in peace, that we can’t be trusted, that we have to keep looking over our shoulders or interpreting situations.
I felt the same way when i was in Berlin, that is one powerful place to be if you wanna feel floored by emotions, because the kind of prolonged pain those people had to be put through is beyond me, i have no words, and that to me is rare. We may be intelectual humans, but sometimes we act like savages.
Living in New York, a city filled and built by different cultures and beliefs, my feelings are amplified, because i know it can still work out for us all, look at this city, it’s an example of resilience and survival, it is a multi cultural epicenter, it’s a city that has all cultures, religions, languages, sounds, sexual orientations, everything and anything you can imagine is in here, and we all have learned to live together in respect, we have learned to listen to each other, we have learned to dialogue, we have learned to live in peace.
Now more than ever, my heart cries harder, because i wish the whole world could feel and experience what i feel and experience here everyday, i wish the whole world could have the kind of freedom i have living in New York city, a world of its own, a place where you are accepted for who you are, regardless of anything else. Someone did something right here at some point, and it works, because we understand each other, there is a sense of community like nowhere else, and we come together for each other and we make it work, because we believe it is possible to coexist with all our differences in one city, in peace.
New York did not cause the disaster of 9/11 but the disaster was brought upon this city, and what New York did was beautiful, because New York gathered its strength and rebuilt itself and its spirit, New York and its citizens, people from all around the globe, gathered as one and showed the world that it is possible to live together and make something better, and this is why i cry, because New York, one of the most important cities on earth is to me the clearest example of strength, freedom and peace, and that is what i cry for today.
I was at a deli getting something to eat and all of a sudden i heard Paula Cole’s “I don’t want to wait” playing in the radio. I swear to you, it sent me shivers, good ones; and it sent me straight back to my high school years, it sent me back to my feelings of awkwardness and discoveries, it sent me back, with some shame, to “Dawson’s Creek”. There were entire afternoons spent with my friends at handball or volleyball games, in some others we would gather at someone’s house to talk sex and smoke cigarettes hidden from this someone’s parents; it was super exciting and we were beyond cool in our silly little minds. I hadn’t thought of those days for a long time, i hadn’t reconnected to that feeling in years, and it felt so right and so good to be able to feel all of that without having to live that anxiety that i know filled all our hearts.
I don’t wish i knew then what i know now, everything happened as it should and we had a ball. We laughed and cried with the same intensity and never blinked in front of an adventure, even if it meant suspension from school, because we knew that we had each other to fake our parents signatures and would be able to get away with almost anything. I am pretty sure our parents knew that too, but we were straight A students, so i guess it didn’t matter too much. That feeling was so good, really remarkable, i couldn’t stop thinking of the shows we used to watch, the gossip that used to flow through the halls of school, the principal that we absolutely could NOT stand and the little parties, called “The Best Party for Teenagers”, which we thought was a real grown up thing to do; tens of thousands of kids would go and then come back home at midnight or so, it was a huge deal to all of us and we adored it, i guess no one was really paying ANY attention to the name of the party, really, i am positive we weren’t, because we used to call it “The Best”. Period.
I could not give up that feeling, immediately i snapped back to 2011 and turned to my Pandora Radio to create my very own “Paula Cole Radio”. Oh gosh, “Where have all the cowboys gone” started playing and i could remember a series of other things connected to around that same time. I remembered that was the year Eric Clapton wanted to “Change the World” in the soundtrack of “Phenomenon”, a not so great movie with John Travolta but a damn good song that got him a couple of Grammy’s. Along the same lines, Jewel wanted to know who was going to save your soul in one of her biggest hits and Sheryl Crow i guess made everyone happy and nailed a bunch of awards too with her then current album.
1996 was a great year, Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer got together for the sappy “Up Close & Personal”, one of my all time favorite romantic movies, because it had a great love story intertwined with the career of the small town girl Tally Atwater who dreamed big and made it big as she always dreamt. Stockard Channing had a great role in that movie and the soundtrack threw Celine Dion to super stardom with the hit “Because you loved Me”, we all remember that one, even if we don’t want to. On tv we saw “Beverly Hills 90210” hit their very last season, but by that point no one really cared anymore, it was all about “Friends”, “Ally McBeal”, “That 70’s Show”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Mad About You”, the ever classic “Married with Children” and the unforgettable “3rd Rock from the Sun”. Now, that was a fun year for TV and also the year we got to know many of the kids who are now Hollywood’s biggest movie stars. Oh, let’s not forget that in 1996 the show “Suddenly Susan” was on, and i know that was quite forgettable, but come on guys, the impeccable Kathy Griffin got to enter our homes every week and crack us up; and we can never thank that show enough for pushing Kathy to stardom.
In that year we were still reminiscing over the amazing gangsta-type-movies “Bad Boys” and “Dangerous Minds” and it was the year when the amazing The Fugees took home some awards and the world fell madly in love with Lauryn Hill; “Gangsta’s Paradise” was going strong on the Billboard’s charts, Tupac Shakur had two huge hits out but also took four in the chest in Las Vegas and left this earth to entertain some dudes in heaven; and us, well, we were all left with his great music in our memories. In 1996 we were also reminded of the death of another great one: Kurt Cobain; that was the year when Nirvana’s Unplugged album won a Grammy for best alternative music and at that point that album had sold more than five million copies across the globe. It was definitely a good time for rock n’ roll; Alanis Morisette released her “Jagged Little Pill” to the sound waves and became an instant hit, who could EVER forget her hits “Ironic” or “You Oughta Know” ? I also remember going crazy over Oasis and The Cranberries; not to mention the brand new No Doubt with their colorful videoclip in the height of the Mtv era, followed by Smashing Pumpkin’s “1979”… Oh wow!
I also remember, around that same time, a very nasty and hard to forget hit song that could not stop being played anywhere, it was even in little stuffed animals when you pressed their paw, that nasty song would play, poor children, it was wherever you turned to: Macarena! What were those dance moves? And what were we thinking? We clearly had no filter. Well, obviously, that was also the year in which Shaquille O’Neal was allowed to make a movie, the stupid “Kazaam”, and also the year when Demi Moore released the bombs “The Juror” and “Striptease”, which to this day is still one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Speaking of which, remember how Ellen DeGeneres had her peak right around that time? She came out of the closet and her ratings came tumbling down while her public exposure went off the roof, the world wasn’t ready for her genius but she surely saved my life; but not before joining Bill Pullman in the disastrous “Mr. Wrong”. If Ellen wasn’t such an amazing person and comedian we would not be able to forgive her for that slip! But hey, we all make mistakes, Mr. Pullman, who had just come from a series of big hits, including “Independence Day” in 1994 and “While you were sleeping” in 1995 will tell you, and so will his former co-star Sandra Bullock, who in that year joined america’s heart throb Chris o’Donnell in the also disastrous “In Love and War”; i mean, did any of us really need such a piece of crap? I think not. We also didn’t need “Two if by Sea” Mrs. Bullock, but whatever, i guess you can’t always win right? Right! Because in that year there was enough room left in people’s attention for the brilliant movie “Fargo” which was one of that year’s favorites, alongside “The English Patient”, which I NEVER get tired of watching with a trifecta of great acting: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche and Kristin Scott Thomas, well, Mr. Minghella, you made my year. That was also the awakening of a Hollywood icon: Leonardo DiCaprio had two huge hits, and was laureled by critics and audience in both “Romeo + Juliet” and “Marvin’s Room”, will we ever forget that? I think not.
Us teens had a great year, and so did the teen stars; Neve Campbell had her strongest year with “The Craft” and “Scream” and saw her career explode, for five minutes, but i bet it was great while it lasted, right Neve? Liv Tyler got cast in Tom Hanks’s brilliant “That thing you do!” and stole our hearts yet again. You know who else stole our hearts? Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges in the ever so cute “The Mirror has two faces”, that was quite the productive year for Mrs. Streisand who also had a hit song for this very movie with the also then top charter Bryan Adams. But for me, it was really Ed Burns who got all the attention, his movie “She’s the One” will remain one of the all time classics in my movie library, i mean, that was sheer perfection, from cast to soundtrack, what an impeccable movie! Us teens also had the guilty pleasure of enjoying the iconic Spice Girls, oh boy, and we did! We performed Spice Girls songs in school plays and pretty much wherever we could, boys and girls were all in love with those english chicks, i mean, obsessively in love; no joke! What we weren’t so in love though was Madonna’s “Evita”, oh gosh, what a bore! I mean, nowadays i really appreciate it, especially the outstanding costumes, but i guess it was too much controversy to our silly little brains, “Wannabe” was all we could handle!
Me on the other hand, i loved some brainiac movies, and my friends could absolutely NOT get me: “Basquiat”? what was that? “Sling Blade”? ugh, no! That was a few steps too far, and even movies like “Swingers” and “From Dusk til Dawn” were not for them, so i kept it to myself inside my darkened room in any given boring afternoon. With them i would watch “Twister” or “Daylight”, and don’t get me wrong, o LOVED those too, oh, completely and madly, i mean, i had a crush on Helen Hunt, how could i not?
We also laughed a lot, i mean a whole lot: “The First Wives Club” anyone? Another trifecta, a great punch line: “don’t get mad, get everything!” and that scene with Diane Keaton having a nervous breakdown while they try to find incriminating papers in Brenda’s ex husband’s office was flawless, and so was Hugh Wilson’s direction, oh my God, i can watch that movie over and over and over again and never get tired; in fact, i watched it last night! We also had the remake of “The Nutty Professor”, and that was Eddie Murphy at his very best, i mean, very, very best! Thank you so much for that craziness Mr. Murphy! And even though this next one was only released a year later i will dare to include it in my memoir: “My Best Friend’s Wedding” was being filmed in 1996 and then in the following year made us laugh and cry and caused quite a big scandal with its ending; we will never forget that!
Ninety six was a good year, but it’s surrounding years were really good too, it was a time of discovery and enchantment, songs made us hurt but also filled us with joy, we thought that we would never be able to get over ourselves, we thought life would not reach the year 2000, the 90’s seemed infinite, and we loved every second of it.
So, listening to “Paula Cole Radio” is like traveling in time and going back to a space where everything was possible, time went by very, very slow and we had the biggest hearts in the world, we definitely lived in the moment, in our little universe and i am pretty sure we were completely aware of it, with no regrets, at all, and now that i am able to look back and feel this happy about my teens, i can also relate to my mother and my father when they would blast the stereo listening to Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, John Lee Hooker, Rolling Stones or Supertramp and go on and on telling stories from the years when they would ride their motorcycles carelessly and free and hang out in the neighborhood with their friends all day, having one crazy adventure after the other. I can totally relate, it used to sound so far and weird to me, but at the same time quite fascinating and also somewhat brilliant, to see my mom crying as she listened to Janis and Zeppelin, there must have been something very intense going on right there in those songs, but that’s for her to keep in her heart i guess, those stories were never shared, but i feel touched to have been able to witness moments like that and to have also had the privilege of growing up in such an eclectic environment.
This is what life is all about to me; live in the moment and make sure to store all your special times deep down in memory lane, you will never ever need a picture to go back to those places and feelings, because it all lies within yourself.
Lately i have been caught in this feeling of powerlessness. Don’t ask me why or how, i can’t explain it, it is not a negative feeling, it is a very endearing one, where i feel that i have no power over life and that is fine. Lately i have been caught in talks of God, and don’t ask me why, but i feel very much inclined to dive deep into those talks and examine what that means. Lately i have been caught in this feeling of gratefulness towards whatever comes to me, good or bad, if it is given to me i will take it; why not? My father always used to joke around about this concept: “if it’s offered to you for free, even an injection on your forehead is OK.” he said. Well, maybe i won’t go that far, that sounds rather painful, but i would maybe have a look at all the factors surrounding that offer, for sure.
The reason for all these thoughts is quite unsure, in fact, there aren’t any reasons, these are overwhelming feelings that have been taking over me without asking for permission, and what i have decided to do, in a very smart move, is to let them all in, keep the ones that are of use and let the other ones go.
The talks of God have lead to great debates, with other people and myself; i have discovered that even though i have always welcomed the idea of God as a higher power that manages everything in the universe, i had never really put a lot of thought into it. Detach from the religious God and think about a power the surrounds us, think about the energy that guides you every day; that to me is a representation of God. I myself don’t necessarily call it God, i have been calling it higher power, “the force”, destiny, fate, light, guide and ultimately, i have chosen to very broadly name it life.
This brings me back to powerlessness, because if God is the great manager of life, and in my broad concept is life itself, then really there is no point on trying to tame it. I have many mixed feelings towards God and life, but the general idea is the same, and that is that things will always sort themselves out as long as you allow yourself to be open and accept what is offered to you. Of course it is you who will make decisions to buy milk, start subscribing to a newspaper, go to the beach or stay inside and away from the sun, but what about those bigger things that come to you? What about the rain that falls unadvised, soaks you wet and gives you pneumonia? What about the train that was late today, of all days, and made you miss the most important meeting of your year and quite possibly your job? There is no answer or sense in any of these questions, these things just happen because they have to, and they happen to you because there must be some secret to be unveiled in your life, for life is a great mystery unfolding right before your eyes. Maybe you will lose your job because you have to find a new and greater one, or maybe you don’t need a new one because you will discover that this is the golden opportunity to start painting and welcome a new path into your life.
I can choose to be healthy, go to the gym, eat the right food, be good to other people and pay my bills on time, but i cannot choose to be struck by lightning. Not that i want to. Think about this other concept: you are in a boat, seating alone, nothing around you, no instruments to guide or help you, and the boat just floats away. The boat is life. I know, it sounds stupid, but it is very basic and paints a good picture, because as you navigate through clear skies or the mists of Avalon you will continuously encounter new wonders, storms, fishes, birds and quite possibly other vessels, and that is just how life is; isn’t that cool?
So, life gives you lemons and you make lemonade. What do you do if life gives you cancer? You treat it. It is very simple, the surrounding complications in most situations are created by ourselves, we can choose to bitch and moan, we can choose to be sad and depressed, but we can also choose to navigate through this heavy weight that is cancer with serenity and grace, we can choose to be positive and believe that we are strong enough to beat it. Most importantly we can choose to be grateful to have this opportunity to show strength to ourselves and learn to fight even harder. Of course there will be difficult days, days you question yourself and your strength, but if you keep that positive energy then those doubtful and negative days will be less frequent than in most cases.
All things that cross our path have a meaning and a reason to exist and all we should do is be grateful for another opportunity to learn and connect to something new, or maybe even something that is old and buried deep in the past.
This brings me back to the top; if God is life and life is the great manager, than just learn to gracefully accept life as it unfolds before your soul, enjoy the ride and remember to thank life for your day before you go to sleep and everything will be OK, it always is.
i will take some room in my blog to share words that aren’t mine, but were originated from the brilliant mind of Baz Luhrman, who i deeply admire.
I share his words and have this to say to you dear reader: wear sunscreen.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering
experience…I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you
Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever
Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
But trust me on the sunscreen…