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Category: Good Reads

The 'Underground' Arts Scene


The Guardian:

Before the digital revolution, experimental subcultures were far more hidden from view. Today they’re more accessible than ever – with consequences for artists and audiences


The internet has been wonderful for liberating alternative art forms and under-represented artists and their audiences from the gatekeepers of culture. But the problem with the internet is that the underground arts scene – that safe space where risk, dissent and difference are possible – is now only a click away. I’m curious about why these people clicked on those events and whether they asked themselves if what they had found really was for them. And if they did, what on earth were they thinking by attending if it wasn’t?

Sølve Sundsbø

Sølve Sundsbø

“I’m an opportunist, I’m good at seizing opportunities.”

BoF: The Creative Class | Sølve Sundsbø, Photographer

Sølve Sundsbø, who learned his craft as Nick Knight’s assistant in the 1990s, has made a name for himself with fantastical images that defy belief.

Top & Bottom 15 Sexiest Types Of Creativity


From Fast Company Design: A Scientific Ranking Of The Sexiest Types Of Creativity


Making clothes is at the bottom of the bottom list, and Making Ad campaigns is in slot #3 of the bottom list. Though Taking artistic photographs is on the top 15 list in slot #7.

I wonder where running a [fashion] blog weighs in.

Here are 15 sexiest creative behaviors, as rated by female participants:

1. Playing sports
2. Taking a date on a spontaneous road trip
3. Recording music
4. Making a clever remark
5. Writing music
6. Performing in a band
7. Taking artistic photographs
8. Performing in comedy
9. Dressing in a unique style
10. Writing poetry
11. Inventing new recipes
12. Drawing pictures
13. Making sculptures
14. Writing short stories
15. Styling your hair in an interesting way

And here's the bottom 15 (with lowest-ranking at the top):

1. Making clothes
2. Entering a science contest
3. Making ad campaigns
4. Interior decorating
5. Writing an original computer program
6. Making websites
7. Growing and gardening
8. Presenting scientific or mathematical papers
9. Exterior decorating
10. Applying math in an original way to solve a practical problem
11. Developing experimental designs
12. Participating in a drama production
13. Directing a short film
14. Participating in an orchestra
15. Event planning

Stella McCartney Fragrance & Sex

Stella-fragrance-campaign Stella McCartney Explains Why Fragrance “Isn’t All About Sex”

Do you think most fragrance campaigns are geared toward a man’s idealization of a woman?

I think they’re sort of geared to make you feel a little bit insecure and bad about yourself. And it’s all about sex. For me, fragrance isn’t all about sex. It’s about me. It’s about you. And of course, sex is extraordinarily important, but I think it’s not what drives me in beauty.

Wes Anderson’s Cinematographer Details

Robert Yeoman

Vulture: How Wes Anderson’s Cinematographer Shot These 9 Great Scenes

There are few directors with a visual style as distinctive as Wes Anderson's, and to find out just what goes into his carefully composed shots, you'll want to talk to Robert Yeoman. The 63-year-old cinematographer has shot every one of Anderson's films (save for the stop-motion Fantastic Mr. Fox); though, astoundingly, he's never been nominated for an Academy Award. Still, with The Grand Budapest Hotel in the hunt for multiple Oscar nods next week, what better time to talk to Yeoman about his storied career, using nine of Anderson's most famous scenes and shots as prompts?


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Could this film have been Anderson's most pastel confection yet? In a shot like this, where Zero (Tony Revolori) and Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) embrace in a car filled with pastry boxes, "There was so much pink in there, between the boxes and skin tones, that I tried to use bounce cards and white light so that their skin tones wouldn't be overly red." It's a shot that incorporates a lot of Wes Anderson trademarks like deep focus and incredibly specific prop placement, but these boxes are all arranged in a frame far boxier than Anderson typically uses, since he adopted the Academy ratio — 1:37 — for the Grand Budapest sections set in the 1930s. "The aspect-ratio thing came up after I got to Germany for prep," says Yeoman. "We'd been talking, and Wes wasn't sure yet what aspect ratio he wanted shoot in. He'd been so influenced by the Ernst Lubitsch comedies of the '30s, and he was in love with that style." For the scenes set in the 1960s, Yeoman found old anamorphic lenses in Paris to shoot in the wider 2:40 ratio, and he filmed the 1980s sequences in 1:85, though he admits he wasn't initially sure whether it would all cut together well. "But I've seen the film several times now and I never really question it," he says, adding a comment that could sum up his cinematography in a nutshell: "Whether you're aware of it or not, it has an effect on you."

Monopolists Of Customer Trust


Great Perspective


But this is false for the same reason that the attributes of a buyer do not determine their buying behavior. Buyer attributes[1]  are easy to measure and they may correlate to purchasing behavior but they don’t cause it.

Similarly, product or company attributes are easy to measure and they may correlate to competitive behavior but they don’t cause the substitution of a purchase.

Therefore, appealing to Apple to change its strategy, operations or even its core beliefs in response to a competitor’s behavior is deeply misguided. The cause of success and failure in the marketplace is based on being hired by the customer to get a job done. Once hired, the chances are that the trust is secured and the relationship continues even if alternatives are available. There is comfort in the knowledge of whom you’re working with.

This aspect of trusted relationship between the buyer and the product and the interweaving of ‘brand’ (aka intentions) of the hired is the root of loyalty. Of course, loyalties can be betrayed and trust can be lost. But that implies that the primary responsibility of the manager is the creation and preservation of trust. When seen in this light, an alternative axiom becomes clear:

“Great companies don’t have any competition.”

Stefan Simchowitz


The Art World’s Patron Satan

Brice Marden

Brice Marden

Interview: Brice Marden

BRICE: That's what I said at that symposium to Yve-Alain Bois: "You've got to avoid the cheap shot." He said, "What's the cheap shot?" I said, "That thing that's a little too easy to do. You've got to avoid that."

"This is what sports are most about: A person takes a flashlight to his soul and inspects himself for will and courage."


SI: Moment of Truth by Gary Smith

You heard me right: Come in. No, you won’t disturb a soul in this locker room. They’re all lost in that place most folks go maybe once or twice in a lifetime, when their mamas or daddies die or their children are born, a place they don’t go nearly as often as they should. Trust me, these boys will never know you’re here. All right, maybe that fellow in white will notice, the one looking your way, but Willard McClung would be the last to make a peep.

See, that’s one reason we picked this, out of all the crackerjack sports pictures we might’ve chosen, as our favorite of the century. Not claiming it’s better than that famous one of Muhammad Ali standing and snarling over Sonny Liston laid out like a cockroach the morning after the bug man comes. Or that picture of Willie Mays catching the ball over his shoulder in the ‘54 World Series, or any number of others. But you can walk around inside this picture in a way you can’t in those others, peer right inside the tunnel these boys have entered. Their boxer shorts are hanging right there, on the hooks behind their heads, but their faces are showing something even more personal than that. Almost reminds you of a painting by Norman Rockwell.

Can you smell it? No, not the jockstrap sweat, or the cigar reek wafting off the coach, Orthol Martin—better known as Abe, or Honest Abe—in the brown hat. It’s the smell of men about to go to war.

Good Reads | Beware, Designers


Vanessa Friedman for NYTimes: Beware, Designers: What Frida Giannini’s Departure at Gucci Tells Us

But it is also possible that, as attractive as the idea of “wardrobing” is, it serves more as a palate cleanser — a soupçon of lemon sorbet — for a brand as opposed to an identity. It is, ultimately, not satisfying enough, or sustainable enough. There has to be something more, and it was Ms. Giannini’s inability to define that “more” that was the real issue.