Artist Decoded: Jesse Draxler - "Tire Fire + Developing a Point of View"

"Jesse Draxler is an artist best known for his collage and mixed media works, though with his new exhibition "Tire Fire" we find him returning to the medium that sparked his love of image making, drawing. As a child growing up in rural Wisconsin Draxler drew incessantly. Being that his father was a mechanic he would spend hours upon hours drawing cars, trucks, and engine parts. Later in adolescence, his attention changed as circumstances became bleak.

Draxler’s mother was in a near-fatal car accident when he was nine. Upon her recovery, over a year later, his parents were divorced. His mother, whom he was now living with, soon remarried. Then just months after the wedding she was ran over and killed by her new husband in his truck, an event to which he arrived just moments later.

In the following years, Draxler states that he barely remembers a thing. These times of pervasive uncertainty and loss changed him forever and his focus shifted to much darker interests. He was always an outcast from his peers, but from this time on Draxler leaned into his outsider lot in life. It wasn’t until almost two decades later that he began to see a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Themes of bewilderment, isolation, ambiguity, and absurdity are all strongly represented in Draxler’s work, along with frustration and aggression. Yet these are not endpoints but have rather become the in-roads to deeper understanding and acceptance. It is clear he has spent the better part of his life straddling the line between fear and ecstasy, the beautiful and the grotesque. The result is Draxler’s unique ability to present a point of view in which the subtle nuances of the human condition are concisely illuminated, satisfying a psychological and emotional itch that so seldom gets scratched."

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Talks about his show TireFire
  • Containing multitudes
  • Finding the balance between commercial work and personal work
  • Developing a point of view
  • Susan Rothenberg
  • Viewing the entirety of your life as an artistic practice
  • Listening to music as a tool for creating art
  • Billy Corgan
  • “The Inner Game of Tennis” by Timothy Gallwey
  • The intersection of physical activities and artistic practices

Artist Decoded: John Kilar on "Nomadic Living + The Flow State"

"Photographer John Kilar’s site will tell you, simply, that he is a nomad. Portraits and landscapes by Kilar will show you that too, with a raw presentation of untamed characters and equally wild and beautiful locations. Variety does not shake the colorful, documentary aesthetic that is true to his photos, which show a curious admiration for each subject.

John Kilar’s images can be found in Oyster Magazine, VICE, Dazed & Confused, Purple Fashion, and DIS Magazine. His client list includes Heineken, Urban Outfitters, The Cobra Snake, and several other lifestyle-saavy brands which Kilar worked with while living in Venice Beach, California."

Text by Linnea Stephan @ Juxtapoz

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • His journey into a nomadic lifestyle
  • Synchronicities
  • Following your bliss
  • Deactivating technology to be more focused on the present moment
  • Expanding consciousness
  • Identity
  • Having empathy towards others

Artist Decoded: Shari Frilot (Senior Programmer @ SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL + Chief Curator @ NEW FRONTIER) - "The VR Landscape"

Artist Decoded is a weekly podcast series created by emerging creative director and photographer Yoshino.

SHARI FRILOT, SENIOR PROGRAMMER, SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL & CHIEF CURATOR, NEW FRONTIER “Stories work in deep, sensuous, biochemical ways and define how we see ourselves, how we see the world, and how we imagine our future. I love storytellers who push me beyond what I know and encourage me to see differently.”

Shari joined the programming team in 1998 and currently focuses on American and World Cinema dramatic features, as well as films that experiment and push the boundaries of conventional storytelling. She is also the curator and driving creative force behind New Frontier at Sundance, a program highlighting work that expands cinema culture through the convergence of film, art and new media technology.

As Co-Director of Programming for Outfest from 1998-2001, she founded the Platinum section, which introduced cinematic installation and performance to the festival. From 1993-1996, Frilot served as Festival Director of MIX: The New York Experimental Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. During that time, she also co-founded the first gay Latin American film festivals, MIX BRASIL and MIX MÉXICO. Shari is a filmmaker and recipient of multiple grants from institutions including the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Media Arts Foundation. She is a graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe & the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Vogue Cover Model Adwoa Aboah Opens Up on Addiction, Depression + Body Image

via i-D

After early battles with addiction, depression and attempted suicide, the cover star has emerged on the other side of recovery with a new vision for supporting young girls. By account of her recent interview with VICE/i-D, @GurlsTalk is "the best friend you wish you had growing up, a voice to speak out on body image, feminism, self-perception and empowerment."

Be vulnerable, be open and be true to yourself. I found when I was trying to be someone else everything was so much harder. But when I was true to myself, I felt so much freer.

Click here for the feature in full.

Thumbnail Image: Paul Maffi

Experience Everlasting Light in this Seashore Library, The World's Loneliest

The moment you walk in, you will feel moved by something.

Check out this visit to the Seashore Library at Nandaihe Pleasure City, China, a 5000-foot ocean-side structure inspired by an Andrew Wyeth painting and designed by Gong Dong at Vector Architects. 

If you're looking for subtitles in English, flip the [CC] switch in the bottom right corner.

If this reading room is considered the auditorium, then the sea is the ongoing play. This metaphor is the underlying theme of this space...Light creates atmosphere, and we hope to reveal the completeness of light in the space of this building.
The state of life we hope to achieve is that anyone staying on the seashore has a space where they can feel their relationship with the sea, while holding a book.

Stillness Within Every Piece: Q&A with Graphic Designer Elyn Kazarian

Use other peoples’ negativity as your fuel to create something positive.

Elyn Kazarian is a designer currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work provides an atmosphere of orchestrated pulse which effects people in a subliminal way. 

what is your craft? My heart will always be in the arts. Right now, I work as a graphic designer and creative director within the music industry, but who knows where I'll be in the coming years.

what are you most afraid of? I'm most afraid of not living up to my full potential. 

where do you get your drive from? My drive primarily comes from music. Besides nature, it's one of the few things that keeps me constantly curious.

what does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness to me means being aware of yourself, your abilities and potential, while also being aware of your surroundings and how you're affecting it. It's important to stay open minded, especially towards those around you.

what role does stillness play in your life and art? Stillness actually has always been an important aspect to my life and art. I never talk about it, especially in regards to my work, but it's there within every piece I create. People don't realize how powerful stillness is. Sometimes when I'm listening to music, the most catching moments for me are those exact moments of stillness in between the notes.

name up to 3 emerging visual artists, designers, musicians that inspire you right now. They all happen to be musicians: Innanet James, Smino, and The Code.

what is a book you have read / talk you have heard / video you have seen that has impacted your outlook on your life and art in the past year? There are 2 TED talks that I recommend: Janine Shepherd: A broken body isn't a broken person and Ramona Pierson: An unexpected place of healing.

what is a mantra or affirmation you are working on this year? Use other peoples' negativity as your fuel to create something positive.

how do you stay woke (awake/aware) on a daily basis? I listen.

Artist Decoded: Andrew Thomas Huang and The Importance of Collaboration

Artist Decoded is a weekly podcast series created by emerging creative director and photographer Yoshino.

Artist filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied Fine Art and Animation at the University of Southern California, graduating in 2007.

Huang's film and video work have been exhibited at the MoMA, NYC; MoMA PS1; The Barbican Centre, London; Potmasters Gallery, NYC; and the MoCA, Los Angeles.

As an experimental filmmaker whose work bridges the gap between video art and film, he has developed a strong reputation for his collaborative practice, having worked extensively with Icelandic artist Bjork, as well as Radiohead's Thom Yorke, the Icelandic band Sigur Ros among others.

Topics discussed on this episode:

  • How learning how to figure draw changed the way he generated ideas
  • His thesis project in college, entitled "Doll Face", was the first video he posted on Youtube. He released it in 2006 and it was received very well. This video marked the first realization of the viability of online video content to him.
  • His journey into the world of filmmaking after college
  • How the creation of his short film in 2012, Solipsist, made a huge impact on the current trajectory of his career
  • Collaborating with Atoms For Peace, Bjork and Sigur Ros
  • The importance of storyboarding
  • The ebb and flows of creating art
  • The importance of promoting your work

Artist Decoded: Artistic Duty with Vice Photo Editor Tim Barber

Artist Decoded is a weekly podcast series created by emerging creative director and photographer Yoshino.

Tim Barber (b. Feb. 5th 1979) grew up in Amherst Massachusetts, lived for a few years in the mountains of Northern Vermont, studied photography in Vancouver B.C. and now lives in New York City. A photographer, curator and designer, Barber worked as the photo editor for Vice Magazine (2003-2005) and founded the online gallery and image archive (2005-2012), which was released as a free App (2010) and evolved into (2013-2016), a curated community platform for artists. Barber co-curated the inaugural New York Photo Festival (2008), curated / edited a series of five monographs published by the Aperture Foundation (2008) and launched the independent publishing house TV Books (2008-2010).

Ideas expressed in this episode:

  • Art being able to communicate messages that words can't describe
  • Creating, manifesting, capturing, hunting for... "IT"
  • The podcast highlighting todays "unsung heroes". These artists have the potential to eventually become "cult classics".
  • Our job as an artist is to translate experiences and to share them with the world
  • Different levels of dimensions and consciousness
  • Virtual reality becoming a part of reality
  • Living with love and fear in our lives. Creating a no fear zone
  • Becoming Photo Editor for Vice
  • Conversations becoming artworks within themselves
  • Trying to live within a non-consumerist way of life
  • The art world being a vast sea of hits and misses. Being both deep and shallow.
  • Our relationship with our own truths and universal truths

Five Unique Artist Tributes To Victims of Police Brutality

On social media platforms generally reserved for self-promotion and fan engagement, artists of all walks are speaking out against racism and police violence, in a way that only they can. 

we need to stay +

A photo posted by knwng (@knwng) on

To our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who may not know how loved you truly are ♡

A photo posted by Kenesha Sneed (@tactilematter) on

The Dark Noise Collective is crowdsourcing a resource for writers who want to join the fight against police violence. Click here for more.

Artist Decoded: Exploring Self-Development with Makeup Artist Isamaya Ffrench

Artist Decoded is a weekly podcast series created by emerging creative director and photographer Yoshino.

Isamaya Ffrench is a makeup <slash> interdisciplinary artist whose clients included Junya Wantanabe, YSL Beauty, Chanel, Selfridges, Nike, and Camper. She works with magazines / publications such as Vogue, Love, Dazed and Novembre. She is the UK Brand Ambassador of YSL Beaute. She splits her time between London and Paris.

Topics covered:

  • Self discovery through artistry
  • The importance of collaboration
  • Creating a creative dialogue with collaborative partners
  • Trusting those who you collaborate with
  • Having ideas and executing them
  • Self-development
  • Personal approaches to beauty
  • Mental wellness
  • Psychotherapy
  • Being comfortable in one's own skin
  • Life being a constant flow of change
  • Letting go