Loading...
 


© COPYRIGHT 2014. LEMON IS A REGISTRED TRADEMARK.
Ola Ray Relives A Thriller With Lemon
Evolution
Lemon 5 - King of Pop
Human after all
42Below with Lemon
Offf Paris 2010
From World of Lemon, with love to all the World Cup nations
Glam, Bowie Shots
Niho Kozuru
Rebel Rebel by Scion
The man who fell to earth by Guido Vitti
LEMON Labyrinth
Space Man: Buzz Aldrin
Slinky Vagabonds: 'Boys keep swinging'
Water.org
LEMON Heroes: 4th issue
Leelee Sobieski: Future Queen of Poland
Gavin Friday’s 'Singin’ In The Rain'
Chip Kidd
The Moloko Plus Cocktail by Lemon Milkbar
PUMA by Miharayasuhiro
2007: A MUSIC ODYSSEY
Ludwig van Halen
Crewdson: Motion pictures without the motion
Allen Jones: Reel Two
Gooey, Creamy Love by Adam Larsson
A Clockwork LEMON: 3rd issue
Der Sagmeister: an interrogation of design's great action hero
Whudafxup with milk?
L.E.M.O.N.
Gene Hackman: The art of compromise
The Oslo File by Guido Vitti
Cold Warhol
Mike Mills: Watching the Watcher
Craig-Martin
Olivetti Typewriters
LEMON Espionage: 2nd issue
The Presence by Guido Vitti
Adobe: Grady&Metcalf
Twisted Tales
LEMON supernatural: 1st issue
Ola Ray Relives A Thriller With Lemon
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 

OLA RAY RELIVES A THRILLER WITH LEMON

In the early '80s, MTV played music videos around the clock, trumpeting every debut as a “World Premiere Event.” Few could match the hype, as videos then were typically a mix of lip-sync, bad acting and low production values. Then came Thriller. The promotional foreplay ran for weeks, and when the anointed hour came, millions crowded around their TVs to watch.
Thriller set a bar that still stands. It was narrative, cinematic, had exceptional effects and insane choreography. And it had Michael Jackson. Michael's love interest in Thiller was the sublime young Ola Ray, and with her, he cemented yet another milestone in pop history.
Fast forward nearly thirty years. In the buildup to King of Pop, Lemon contacted Ola Ray with the offer to reprise the landmark role, and she agreed. Teaming with stylist Gregory Gale, photographer Baldomero Fernandez gathered his crew, a cast of zombies with a bespoke wardrobe and fanned out on the deserted streets of Brooklyn to recreate a thriller night.


PHOTOGRAPHER BALDOMERO FERNÁNDEZ
STYLIST GREGORY GALE
ASSISTANT STYLISTS COLLEEN KESTERSON, JULIA BROER
PRODUCER SHERI RADEL ROSENBERG
ART DIRECTOR GRETA ACKERMAN

CUSTOM FASHIONS
Ola Ray denim studded corset and pant designed by Gregory Gale, custom made by Jennifer Love Costumes NYC
Ola Ray leather studded jacket and lace-up dress designed by Gregory Gale, custom made by bybarak.com
Ola Ray custom leather vest available at Trash and Vaudeville NYC
Zombies are wearing select styles by Rag & Bone, Trash and Vaudeville NYC, Osklen, Raf Simons, Christian Louboutin, and Stylists own vintage collection

EVOLUTION

Beyond his musical genius, Michael Jackson was a virtuoso of pop theater. The single white glove, the sequined military frock, the Thriller jacket – MJ was responsible for more icons of stage fashion than anyone in entertainment history. And while not designed for the masses, his wardrobe ultimately defined the style of an era. In the wake of his passing, it’s hard not to wonder what classics we've been deprived of as a result. We invited several designers to propose their version of a parting MJ look for Lemon 5.

The team of Edda Gudmundsdottir, Orlando Palacios, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Erez Sabag took it a step further.This collaboration between stylist, milliner, dancer and photographer gave birth to “Evolution,” an homage to DNA, reinvention and the child within. Built around Palacios’ mask of collaged MJ fragments, Gudmundsdottir’s shimmering silver ensemble was designed as "a sculpture that moves." The brimmed felt hat was custom made for Jackson in 1989 by Palacios’ company, Worth & Worth. Endowed with Pouffer’s poetry in motion, the result was captured by Sabag for both film and print.

Lemon 5 - King of Pop

LEMON 5 - KING OF POP

Michael Jackson is gone, but he still speaks to us. Sort of.

The dead cast shadows, especially when the dead are titans. They stick around because we don’t want them to leave, at least not until someone takes their place. So who’s taking Michael Jackson’s place? Nobody, of course. Like Elvis and Marilyn, MJ will never rest. We won’t let him; instead, we’ve decided to ask a few questions. What might have happened if he’d never become an entertainer? What does it mean to be a Michael Jackson impersonator now that the real thing has permanently left the stage? What would we ask him, if we could somehow communicate with him in the afterlife?

In this, the fifth installment of LEMON, we’ve checked ridicule at the door and invited an eclectic cast of contributors to celebrate the pure pop magic that Jackson embodied when at his best. Much of the work herein was created especially for this issue, and all of it is a distinct departure from the usual retrospectives which have filled the shelves – ad nauseum, ad infinitum – in the days since his death.

This is Michael Jackson as you’ve never seen him before.


BUY NOW

Human after all
1 2 3 4 5 6 

HUMAN AFTER ALL

One of our lemons, Ayoub, crossed the Atlantic and into Poland in order to collaborate with Artur Szymczak on a mind-bending short.

See for yourselves, link.

42Below with Lemon
1 2 3 4 

42BELOW WITH LEMON

"A Kiwi, two Lemons and a writer walk into a bar... No, we're serious" When Bacardi mandated the not-so-typical for their New Zealand-based vodka, 42Below, they came to us.
With writer Jeff Canzona and photographer David Field, LEMON served up a new liquor campaign with a serious twist.


PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID FIELD
WRITER JEFF CANZONA

Offf Paris 2010
1 2 3 4 5 

OFFF PARIS 2010

Three Lemons; Kevin, Colin and Ayoub made a pit-stop at the incapsulating city of Paris to introduce OFFF crowds to the World of Lemon.

Offf Festival credits here.


PHOTOGRAPHY OFFF/ANDONI BERISTAIN

From World of Lemon, with love to all the World Cup nations
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 

FROM WORLD OF LEMON, WITH LOVE TO ALL THE WORLD CUP NATIONS

We couldn't help ourselves when World Cup fever kicked-off this summer in South Africa - Poking a little fun at our home country - the only nation on earth that calls the wrong sport 'football'.

Best to you and yours in the World Cup. 

Glam, Bowie Shots
1 2 3 

GLAM, BOWIE SHOTS

PHOTOGRAPHY GABRIEL JEFFREY
MODELS KATE EARL (COURTESY UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC), ALEX GALETSKIY
MAKEUP ROXANNE SAFFAIE FOR SMASHBOX
HAIR KRISTIN ANDREA
WARDROBE JESSICA TRENT

Niho Kozuru
1 2 

NIHO KOZURU

Shapes of Things
Shapes of things before my eyes
Just teach me to despise
Will time make man more wise
Here within my lonely frame
My eyes just hurt my brain
But will it seem the same

When World of Lemon’s Kevin Grady wanted to reinvent a plaster life mask of David Bowie's face in homage to his many metamorphoses, he immediately thought of artist Niho Kozuru who meticulously transforms everyday objects into gelatinous masterpieces. Cast in richly colored, translucent rubber, the Bowie mask is a fitting tribute to his 'plastic soul' period.

'Plastic Soul' is the term soul masters used in the 1960s to deride the musical facsimiles recorded by white performers. When David Bowie debuted a new kind of sound in the 1970s, he called it 'plastic soul,' reinterpreting the derogative phrase to generate new connotations for what it could be—both soulful and synthetic. In a way, the self-ascribed label was a challenge to reconsider the term, to make the uncool cool. Because certainly the 'plastic soul' albums Young Americans and Station to Station were not “soulless.” The title songs alone strike deep emotional chords in his listeners’ psyches.

It is this thought that brings us back to the mask of David Bowie by Niho Kozuru. Upon encountering the “plastic soul” in the mask and her artwork at large, do you discover life and soul, or do you simply see the shapes of things?

Kozuru lived in Japan until the age of 12 when her family moved to an 1847 farmhouse in Topsfield, Massachusetts. In time, the quintessential New England architectural style became second nature to Kozuru, and while studying for a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, she visited a historic site that reminded her of home. Having been shipped in pieces from Boston to Honolulu by way of Cape Horn in 1820, The Frame House (Ka Hale La‘u) at the Mission House Museum is the oldest wood house in Hawaii. When Kozuru stepped inside, she was immediately transported back to her family home in Topsfield. Here in the tropical paradise of palm trees, sunshine and bougainvillea, the craftsmanship of structured, streamlined American colonial architecture stood out like Abraham Lincoln in a grass skirt. She saw the details, like the hand-carved wooden balusters and spindles, as if for the first time. It was then that she conceived artwork that would prompt viewers to have a similarly fantastic experience—to see a form so familiar, yet to notice it as if for the very first time.

The craftsmanship of skilled artisans is of particular significance to Kozuru because of her family’s heritage. She is descended from four generations of ceramists who have worked in Fukuoka, Japan, for centuries. In a way, her sculptures echo the thrown ceramic pieces her family members create, a parallel that makes Kozuru conscious of the hand involved in even most minute details of a form. The fine points are what draw her in, because as in her family’s works, it’s the details that belie the seeming perfection of what otherwise would be made by machine.

Most of her rubber casts do in fact capture the details of turned wood architectural elements, like staircase balusters, finials and chair spindles, wheel-thrown ceramics and turned metal machine parts. In each finished rubber object, you can observe every surface detail, like fine wood grain and brushed metal textures. She then stacks the forms onto structural rods to make new whimsical compositions of brightly colored shapes. Lime half domes atop kelly gears, lemon discs atop citrus bowls, amber cogs atop ruby cylinders. Each becomes an edited tower of forms that were once designed and crafted by hand.

Yet her art cannot fully be interpreted as a reinvention of form and human touch. In casting these hand-crafted shapes in a decidedly artificial material, she separates the original humanness from the form. The textures, the finishes and the functions all become entombed in solidified rubber. No longer do the cogs fulfill their designed function, no longer do spindles support chairs, and no longer do thrown bowls hold sustenance. The clear, snappish colors of the rubber further separate the viewer from what each individual form once was. Clear crimson and acidic green transform metal mechanisms and earthy ceramic dishes into LifeSaver shades, a galaxy away from the original hues.

In the end, each tower is so carefully edited to the point of perfect symmetry and balance it appears to be a new kind of balustrade, spindle or finial, complete with a crowning piece at the top, a body in the middle and a grounding base at the bottom. As a viewer, you can bring into them the heroism of a totem, the whimsy of a dreidel, the appreciation of the original functionality, the marvel of the surface details, and the vulnerability of forms in apparent equilibrium. You can read the towers as bodies, the supple texture of rubber as skin, and the susceptibility of movement as something human. Or, you can see the work for what it is, a facsimile, because essentially what is left is only a transparent shell to observe. Like the molten skin of a summer cicada, each is a silent, vacuous reminder of the life that once was.

In Bowie’s life mask, the form that was once actually human, you can lose yourself in the illusory amber medium, where every imperfection is visible, his every pore, the texture of his parched lips, even his wispy eyelashes. And you can interpret in its stillness the concept of a moment frozen in time. But just as you might expect the man to open his eyes, let out a breath and break the surface with his soulful sound, you are reminded, perhaps by the artificial color or the motionless medium, that the face is not as real as it appears, that no soul actually breathes beneath.

Because in the end, maybe it’s just plastic.


WRITTEN BY LAURIE ASMUS

Rebel Rebel by Scion

REBEL REBEL BY SCION

xD

You've got your mother in a whirl, but she'll never mistake your care for anyone else's. Ready to riot, the fully customizable xD needs only your imagination to own the road. Its five doors mean an added escape hatch for you and your friends on epic road trips. Now you've got a car and a cause, so what are you waiting for?

www.scion.com/sav

The man who fell to earth by Guido Vitti
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 

THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH BY GUIDO VITTI

PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDO VITTI
ASSISTANT JEFF BARTLETT
MODEL AMBER GIPSON
HAIR AND MAKEUP BRENDA WELCH
STYLING ERIKA HAGMAN
SETS AND PROPS ANGELA FINNEY
STUDIO BOSTON STUDIO
LIGHTING EQUIPMENT CALUMET
FILM PROCESSING LTI
RETOUCHING NATE DEMANT, SQUARE ROOT
JACKETS COURTESY OF CLOTH LOGIC

LEMON Labyrinth
1 2 3 

LEMON LABYRINTH

DAFT PUNK
BATTLES
THESE NEW PURITANS
JUSTICE

Space Man: Buzz Aldrin
1 2 

SPACE MAN: BUZZ ALDRIN

Buzz Aldrin’s an intimidating guy to interview. It certainly doesn’t flow from his demeanor—when he’s with you, he’s genial, engaging and forthright. But consider the rarity of his experiences and the sheer number of interviews he’s given in the 40 years since he and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to set foot on another world, and you realize there’s not much to ask about those historic moments that he hasn’t already answered a thousandfold.
Heroes take all forms: star artists, peak athletes, political icons. Yet it’s a tired accolade just the same. Anyone with a uniform or a quantum of celebrity is bestowed the honor now. Given a shred of hindsight though, it’s plain that a remarkable few who took the greatest risks, crashed barriers and carved new frontiers really own that title. Buzz Aldrin is an Apollo astronaut, a combat fighter pilot and an MIT graduate who pioneered many of themaneuvers critical to space flight fromthe Gemini missions through to the present day. A real-life Major Tom, he really made the grade. The most famous footprint in all of human history belongs to the man on the other end of the telephone, but as it soon becomes clear, he’s a man not content to merely look back.

World of Lemon: Of all the astronauts and cosmonauts over the years, you’re easily the most visible and most activist. You’re media savvy and engage the press. What motivates that?
BUZZ ALDRIN: Well, it enables me to then be a bit more effective when I’m dealing with the people who are just within the choir of space activities, so to speak. That’s where my creativity exists—understanding what transportation can be used between Earth and Mars. It goes back to my experience with orbital mechanics and how to make those events more efficient. I’m working on slightly advanced designs of lunar landers for application on Mars. Once we commit to land there we have to be sure that it’ll work flawlessly at the point of no return. I try to get more people enthusiastic about future space exploration. A lot of these Apollo reunions bring people together and can really be a mechanism for doing that, by emphasizing the successes and benefits of the past. I’m trying to plant a seed and an understanding of what it means for earthlings to contemplate going to other planets and why we should do that. You know, the moon is one thing, but it’s a very harsh environment at the moon. There are not very many resources there.

World of Lemon: They used to talk about a moon base as an outpost for exploration of other planets. Is that still viable?
BA: No. That has to be understood. You’re not going to use a lunar base to launch missions to somewhere else. We can use the moon to learn about enhanced radiation, reduced gravity and a reduced atmosphere. We can learn to deal with those things on the moon in preparation for Mars, not to create some expensive, bureaucratic base for scientists to make measurements that can be done by robots. Just send people there to fix the robots.

World of Lemon: The Maytag guy goes to the moon.
BA: Yeah, exactly. Having people living there will be very expensive unless they’re really earning their keep. More so with Mars. It is going to be so costly to send people there, and the trip will take anywhere from five to eight months. The faster the trip, the more expensive it is to get them there, because of the energy involved. And once they get there, they just can’t turn around and come back after 20 or 30 days. It’s yet more expensive to do that. They need to stay for at least 18 months. And you ultimately need 50 or 60 people there to build a self-supporting colony that doesn’t require resupply from Earth other than high-tech supplies. So mission after mission, you have to increase the number of people there. You institute 10-, 20-, 30-year workstations. Astronauts should be allowed to train for Mars only after committing to a life of space activity. People aren’t thinking that way right now. The sheer cost of sending people to Mars and bringing them back only to retrain new people for the same mission is crazy. You need to leave them there to build up a legitimate colony. I’ve given myself the task of convincing people that we need to commit to permanence on Mars before we spend lots of money to go there a few times and then fold up shop.

World of Lemon: Your conviction is obvious. But with all of the chaos on our home planet, what are the dividends we stand to reap from the sizeable investment up there?
BA: Well, perhaps the survival of the human race. New generations need to witness exuberant, lively nations tackling enormous tasks that take long periods of time. We don’t give credit to the people in the early 1900s that built the Panama Canal or the Hoover Dam and all those incredible projects. China is building the world’s biggest dam. They’re doing monumental things. And yet here we’re focused on who’s going to win on American Idol.

World of Lemon: Well, the word “hero” has lost a lot of potency over the years. In the decades you’ve seen, what do you think has changed most in what we aspire to be and what we place our value on?
BA: I think the situation changed in the middle of the last century. Ernest Shackelton and Richard Byrd and other pioneers once explored the poles with modest implements. Sir Edmund Hillary gathered a few people and climbed Mt. Everest. The Wright Brothers could build a funny machine in a bicycle shop, find out where the wind blows steady and launch an airplane. People could do all of that with relatively modest resources as long as they had the drive. After Lindbergh, we entered an age of advanced mechanization with all of its expenses, which really snowballed in the wake of World War II. No longer could somebody just say “I want to go do something pioneering.” He had to have massive amounts of resources behind him and considerable periods of time to do those things. So now, the drive becomes one of management, marketing, investing and other longer-term considerations. You can still make waves if you’re a celebrity or by marketing a product, or you can play the money markets and become wealthy that way. But what have you really contributed to the advancement of humankind? To form a company in your backyard that’s going to build a rocket to get someone into orbit, it’s a little too involved for that now. You have to be a part of a big machine that markets, promotes and gathers the resources for the necessary research and testing, where even the slightest mistake can get your program canceled. It’s difficult to be heroic in that way anymore.

World of Lemon: You’re right. And it seems that giant leaps generally require liberal risks. Do you reckon we’re more risk averse now than we used to be?
BA: Yes, we really are. Our expectation of success, coupled with the instant access we have to information, the instant visibility when things go wrong, demands that you fix things right away. The information age has brought about the marketing of a short-term worldview in business and politics. We used to operate on a much longer time span than we do now with modern communication and reporting, with paparazzi that gather at the least sign of a sensation. The tolerance for error isn’t there. People are too busy covering their backs.

World of Lemon: People are usually tagged as right-brain creative thinkers or left-brain linear thinkers. But there’s a real reciprocal energy between creativity and science that feeds each other immensely. What’s your take on that relationship?
BA: When I was a kid we had comic books like Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Terry and the Pirates and Smiling Jack. They dealt with aviation and space travel, and I really think that their creators tried their best to be as realistic as possible. Not anymore. They’ re trying to be more bizarre, psychotic and sensational. I used to think that other intelligent life might resemble us, but there’s no real reason for that. There’s no reason why humans, with our specific characteristics, would be the only beings to develop to the point of self-sufficiency, exercising brain power to harness nature and evolve greater creativity, greater technology and greater spirituality.We don’t have other examples here on Earth, but it could evolve elsewhere similarly. I was just watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, that scene where the early hominid picks up a bone, begins raking up other bones, and pretty soon ends up warring with other tribes’ people. That was Kubrick’s vision of the beginning of mankind and weaponry, of tribes and competition. That was the Dawn of Man sequence in his film, and yet we’re still stuck trying to blow each other up with nuclear weapons, roadside bombs and ambushing people in market places. We haven’t progressed too far.

World of Lemon: You embarked on a degree in astronautics at MIT in 1959, prior to there being any space travelers. How do you generate a curriculum for an environment that nobody has experienced?
BA: You just have to look at what’s realistic according to the laws of physics and chemistry and make projections based on what you know. Thomas Edison looked at people communicating via letters and telegraphs, so he figured it might be possible to record a voice and broadcast it. Then he replaced the candle using electric current. Now we have nature pretty well harnessed, and we’ve got integrated circuits and all sorts of interesting frequencies and lasers and we’re doing things with nature that we never thought possible.We have machines 200 miles up in space making calculations so we can navigate our cars and make the correct turns. It was all once unthinkable.

World of Lemon: Those GPS systems are a dividend that derived directly from our space program.
BA: We’ll never anticipate all the dividends, but I think there are sociological ones too. People will have to go into space for long stretches and not fight each other over minor irritants like we do on Earth. The divorce rate is going up, not down. So getting along with each other is going to be a requirement, not just for a day or a week in space, but for months and years.

World of Lemon: With regards to spirituality, I’ve read that a number of Apollo astronauts that walked on the moon had certain epiphanies or an amplified sense of meaning. Is that experience typical to the guys who walked on the moon?

BA: Well, I think the distribution has to be told somewhat by left-brain, right-brain thinkers. But there’s a universal inquisitiveness for the bigger meaning of things and engaging in what is ethically considered a high-level concern for mankind. Religions and spiritualities came along and have been relied on that way. I was pretty much a realist and a “things” person, an operator of machines concerned with going different places. So I learned to accept what was new and different, even if it was mind-boggling or evoked a phrase like “magnificent desolation.” When I said that, some people thought, “What in the world is he talking about?”

World of Lemon: There’s a book sitting right next to me filled with giant lithographs of the lunar surface, and those two words form a beautiful description of what you were looking at.
BA: Yes. It’ll be the title of my memoir too, about Apollo and the 40 years since we first travelled to the moon.

World of Lemon: You’ve had a rare perspective in that time, and played a key role in human initiative at its greatest. What do you think is the most essential trait for us to possess as human beings?
BA: A willingness to absorb. I applied for a scholarship twice while at West Point and later as a second lieutenant. Certainly my career would have gone differently if I’d been an Oxford guy instead of a combat fighter pilot. I made choices and sometimes situations chose me, so I tried to make the best of it all, and I still hope to. And I guess you have to have a positive, inquisitive attitude to do that. There’s great fascination in the directions that the world is going, whether you’re learning from history or gleaning from present times and projecting into the future. Going into space gives you a broader perspective on the world and the future without your even realizing it.


WRITTEN BY COLIN METCALF
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NEIL ARMSTRONG, BUZZ ALDRIN

Slinky Vagabonds: 'Boys keep swinging'

SLINKY VAGABONDS: 'BOYS KEEP SWINGING'

As if designing a Bowie-inspired line of menswear for Target wasn’t ambitious enough, World of Lemon pal Keanan Duffty (second from left) and his band, Slinky Vagabond, bashed out a brand new recording of “Boys Keep Swinging” just for you. Tightly wound and exuberant, this version is an excellent reprise of the Bowie classic:

Listen to BoysKeepSwinging.mp3

Water.org

WATER.ORG

In the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth, David Bowie plays Walter Tevis, an extraterrestrial who comes to Earth in search of water for his drought-stricken planet.

Today, safe drinking water is just as elusive for millions of people on Earth, and the situation is getting much worse. WaterPartners International is a US-based nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. World of Lemon supports their efforts and asks you to get involved in any way you can, however small. Every effort, and every drop, counts.

www.water.org

LEMON Heroes: 4th issue
1 2 3 

LEMON HEROES: 4TH ISSUE

WE ALL WEAR MASKS THESE DAYS.

We hide behind the facades we create for ourselves on Facebook and MySpace and YouTube and we re-invent ourselves through our profile pictures. We are by turns serious and silly and contemplative and then back to silly again. We are brands and our demographic manifests itself in lists of online friends. The cooler our friends are, the cooler we are. Or we make blogs in which we tell the world what’s hot and what’s not. It’s guilt by association. We are what we eat.

It wasn’t always this way, kids. There was a time when, believe it or not, you weren’t truly somebody until you actually did something. And we mean actually, not virtually, did something. You had to walk on the moon or win a medal or try to jump over Snake River Canyon. Or you had to learn to play the guitar (the kind with strings, not buttons), get a record contract, make an album and then create the illusion that you were no mere mortal but truly someone special. A Rock God. A Living Legend. A Man Who Fell to Earth. You can see where we’re going with this.

When it comes to wearing masks, no one has done it better than Bowie. In fact, no one has even come close. And like the rabid fan in the Bowie episode of Ricky Gervais’ Extras, we love everything about him. (“The catchphrase, the wig: brilliant!”) In this day of reality TV stars and American idols, in which every man and woman feels entitled to their 15 minutes, Bowie has given us four decades. It’s been quite a run, to say the least.

For this, our fourth edition of Lemon magazine, we created a Bowie-themed costume party and then asked some of our heroes to come join us. From Daft Punk to Buzz Aldrin to John Hurt, it was quite an impressive and eclectic bunch of somebodies who answered our call. And you can imagine our excitement when we received the message—via Bowie’s nipple antennae out in space—that the man himself would contribute exclusive artwork to the issue. That news certainly added a little sparkle to our Facebook pages. Guilt by association and all that stuff ...


KEVIN GRADY & COLIN METCALF

Leelee Sobieski: Future Queen of Poland

LEELEE SOBIESKI: FUTURE QUEEN OF POLAND

Leelee Sobieski is one of our very favorite actresses. She’s gifted, brainy, charming, drop-dead gorgeous and best of all, she’s willing to speak to us. What’s not to love? After drawing a ton of critical praise, and multiple award nominations for her early film work, she has made a seamless transition to more adult roles. No mean feat for a former child star, but then her work has always been noted for a startling maturity beyond her years. We spoke with Leelee by phone and discussed her retaking the Polish throne, invading Slovakia and mud wrestling with Milla Jovovich. Oh, right – and her acting career.

World of Lemon: I understand you’re in L.A. now for the Oscars?
LS: I went to the Vanity Fair party afterwards.

World of Lemon: Who were you rooting for most of all?
LS: Well, I knew he would win, but I am so glad that Forrest won. He just gave such an amazing performance.

World of Lemon: I understand that your great, great, great, great uncle was Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland?
LS: Yes, he was a very distant relation. It was a nice story to be told when you were a very young girl.

World of Lemon: Does your family have any plans for retaking the throne? I’d really appreciate the exclusive.
LS: (Laughs) No.

World of Lemon: By “no,” you really mean “yes,” right?
LS: No.

World of Lemon: I’ll just say that you said “yes,” okay?
LS: No! (Laughs) Oh my God, you’re putting all these words in my mouth.

World of Lemon: It’ll be great, trust me.
LS: He was actually a mercenary that was elected to the throne.

World of Lemon: Elected?
LS: Elected. He didn’t take the throne by force.

World of Lemon: But he could’ve, right? As future Queen of Poland, what neighboring countries would you most enjoy attacking? Like, for example, the Czech Republic seems like it’d be easy, don’t you think?
LS: I was in the Czech Republic for a few months.

World of Lemon: Casing the place? Laying the groundwork? Sizing it up?
LS: Oh yeah. I’d actually start with Slovakia.

World of Lemon: Excellent, start with Slovakia, lull the Czechs into a false sense of security, and then really catch them napping, eh?
LS: Exactly.

World of Lemon: Could we please stop talking about your plans for world domination for just a minute, and talk instead about your film career?
LS: That would be good.

World of Lemon: What was your experience like working with Kubrick in Eyes Wide Shut?
LS: It was wonderful.

World of Lemon: Tell us something about Mr. Kubrick that would surprise our readers.
LS: Hmmm.

World of Lemon: It doesn’t have to be true just so long as it surprises them. Like for example, while filming Eyes Wide Shut he always kept a real human head in the minifridge of his trailer.
LS: (Laughs)

World of Lemon: Do you feel uncomfortable confirming that publicly? I can just say that you don’t really want that getting out.
LS: Something surprising… I think it would surprise a lot of people… one of the ways in which he was able to maintain such secrecy while working on his projects was that so many of the people involved with the production were members of his family.

World of Lemon: Really?
LS: You would meet people on the set, or as part of the support for the production, and learn later that they were members of his extended family. It was really nice, but alsoit really helped to keep any details of the film from coming out before he wanted them to be revealed.

World of Lemon: You were nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for your role as Joan of Arc in the 1999 miniseries, but around that same time Luc Besson came out with a film version about Saint Joan starring Milla Jovovich. In both Joan, The Wicker Man, Hercules and in the pages of this magazine, you look pretty impressive with a weapon. Who do you think would win a battle of the Joans if you and Jovovich had it out?
LS: Oh, no! No, no, no – she is just the nicest person ever! Besides, I could never hurt anyone.

World of Lemon: Okay, swords might be a bit too much, perhaps mud wrestling would be better? On Pay Per View? Not that I’ve given this a lot of thought.
LS: Oh, she would totally kick my ass. Have you seen – what is it – she’s jumping out of windows and doing stunts... Ultraviolet?

World of Lemon: C’mon, you’ve got the blood of Polish mercenaries in you.
LS: Well, I am strong... No, I’m only good at pretending to be good with weapons.

World of Lemon: So you’d try to psych her out ahead of time? Intimidate her into submission?
LS: No! She is – I just love her. I met her once, and she is just so sweet and really beautiful and… sometimes when you meet another actress there can be – and it’s unfortunate, but there can be a sense of competition, a distance. But she is just so talented, and nice, and easy to know. I could never fight her.

World of Lemon: So the public will never see any slow motion mud wrestling of the two of you?
LS: Uhh… no.

World of Lemon: This is just shattering news. Shattering.
LS: You’ll get over it. I still have my sword from Joan.

World of Lemon: Yeah?
LS: I designed it.

World of Lemon: Get out.
LS: No, really.

World of Lemon: They let you keep it?
LS: Yes, it’s hanging on my bedpost.

World of Lemon: That’s got to be pretty intimidating to potential paramours.
LS: That’s what it’s there for.

World of Lemon: HA! I can picture you patrolling your apartment in your nightgown.
LS: What nightgown?

World of Lemon: An even BETTER mental image!
LS: I would terrify any burglars, running towards the door with my sword, yelling obscenities. (Laughter)

World of Lemon: As a burglar, I would definitely move on to the lower hanging fruit.
LS: That’s the idea.

World of Lemon: There’s something I need to do here, I hope you’ll indulge me: (ahem) “Leelee, your work in the independent film Heaven’s Fall was terrific, and the film was masterfully directed by the talented writer/director Terry Green.” Okay, I said it. Now Terry, would you please return my copy of Adobe Illustrator?
LS: Oh, so you know Terry? How long has he had your software?

World of Lemon: About ten years. Did you enjoy working with him?
LS: He was great. Sincerely, it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a labor of love for everyone involved and I really loved working with him. Sometimes you’ll meet someone and you can tell they’re just really concerned with fame, but he was genuinely passionate about the film.

World of Lemon: No, I agree, so long as you don’t loan him any software, he’s just fine. I remember him talking about the script ten years ago, and he was very passionate about the story.
LS: It was really a terrific experience. For everyone involved.

World of Lemon: What new films can we look forward to?
LS: 88 Minutes with Al Pacino is due out soon. I had worked with the director, Jon Avnet, once before on Uprising. I really enjoy working with Jon. And In the Name of the King comes out in August.

World of Lemon: And many, many more, I’m sure. Thanks so much for gracing us with your presence this issue, Leelee.
LS: My pleasure!


PHOTOGRAPHY BY JILL GREENBERG
INTERVIEW BY ROBERT BUNDY

Gavin Friday’s 'Singin’ In The Rain'
1 2 

GAVIN FRIDAY’S 'SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN'

With one of the rainiest Irish summers on record, World of Lemon thought it fitting to ask legendary Dubliner Gavin Friday if he might record something appropriate for the weather. Despite a hectic recording schedule and performances in a British Shakespeare production, he obliged us with cheer. The former Virgin Prunes frontman and confidant of U2 created this haunting and emotional rendition of “Singin’ In the Rain”, made famous by Gene Kelly and later infamous by Malcolm McDowell in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Given Gavin’s penchant for surprise, we had no idea what we were in for. But when his MP3 came through, we were ecstatic…

Listen to SingingInTheRain.mp3

Chip Kidd
1 2 

CHIP KIDD

In the early 17th century, European settlers and merchants landed at a rocky sliver on the Eastern coast of the New World, each seeking to implement their own vision of the perfect future. For some, like Dutch fur traders, their “idealism” cashed in on pure economic opportunity. For others, escape from religious persecution was the passionate objective. Over 300 years, this village and trading post developed into a spectacular center for commerce, culture and art. For the last 20 of those years, Chip Kidd has been designing the face of literature at New York publishers Alfred A. Knopf and Pantheon. Nineteen floors up in a newly constructed midtown Manhattan skyscraper, Kidd sits with a picturesque view of the Hudson River just over his right shoulder. The walls of his tightly packed office are brimming with books – nearly 1,000 at this point – each a Chip Kidd design.

World of Lemon: These walls are filled with books. Do you read them all?
CK: It’s kind of hard to wing it when there’s a specific plot. You don’t want to be real literal with it. With the fiction and poetry, I try to read all of it.

World of Lemon: What about the non-fiction?
CK: That all depends. (Chip looks at the crowded shelf for examples) Augustin Burrows... yeah, I’ll read that. Not necessarily because I’m a fan and enjoy reading all of it. I read Anderson Cooper’s book first. That one, Visual Shock by Michael Kammen, I didn’t read the whole thing. It bills itself as a history of art controversies in America in the 19th and 20th centuries. That was a case of the author doing the photo research for me because he did it for inclusion in the book. I went through what the author found to see if there was anything that could be used for the cover. If there wasn’t anything there, I’d have to go find things.

World of Lemon: It started as a formal relationship.
CK: Of course! That’s a very good point. Absolutely, I went through all of the images and you’ve got the Washington Monument, Brancusi... and you just make these connections.

World of Lemon: Do you try to make a trick or a game out of the cover? It seems that every cover has an answer. There’s something for the viewer to figure out quickly.
CK: Yeah, I think so. On a very basic level the last thing you do – an extremely important thing you do – is, stated very broadly, to just make it look good. It should look good. Now, what does that mean? That’s a whole other thing. That deals with color theory and typography and formal relations, blah de blah de blah. You know the phrase, “That really catches my eye.” It’s tiresome and cliché, but it’s true. In a perfect solution, you want that aspect of it. Of course, we don’t always get the perfect solution. It can be very elusive.

World of Lemon: When you’re sitting here in the context of all of your work, what catches your eye?
CK: All of that is behind me for a reason. There’s this sort of display aspect of all of this, which is inevitable. It’s all a reminder of what you’ve done before. I don’t like repeating myself, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded about what you’ve done.

World of Lemon: I notice there are faces on many of your book covers.
CK: Yeah, yeah.

World of Lemon: What does that say? Is there a special connection people have to face imagery?
CK: Yeah, my god. Look at magazine covers. Not that I think that most magazine covers are so great, I don’t. But there’s an instant emotional connection. Whether it’s pleasant or not is another question. It’s shameless and I try to bury it, whether it’s Koji Suzuki or Sayonara, Gangsters. Faces are hugely, hugely effective.

World of Lemon: There’s also a recurring suggestion of what’s not there. Sayonara, Gangsters does this, as does Little Friend. Many of your covers lead the viewer to assume what’s just out of the frame.
CK: That’s good. If that’s actually true, then I’ve succeeded. That’s something to strive for.

World of Lemon: Is this something inherent that comes out naturally?
CK: It’s part of wanting to get the reader’s interest. I can only judge by myself. We don’t poll potential readers or do market research or any of that crap. I’m intrigued by what is implied rather than what is said. What’s not there is as important as what is. What is there should imply that it will lead you to what isn’t.

World of Lemon: Each element has a purpose.
CK: Everything has a purpose, but it’s also like you’re leaving a clue for someone to pick up and literally lead them into the book. It’s almost as if there’s a kind of mystery game going on.

World of Lemon: So you end up creating a visual introduction before any written introduction.
CK: I’m a firm believer in that. The book starts on the cover. That might as well be page one to me. When I do mostly visual books myself, and even when I do a novel, I feel that each surface has to mean something and has to be considered. I’m talking about the spine, the binding, the end papers, whether you print on them or treat them a certain way – I want everything to seem considered. Now does that happen all the time? No! There can be budgetary constraints, or maybe it’s not what the author wants.

World of Lemon: Are you still writing?
CK: As a matter of fact, today I’ll print out the first draft of my second novel, The Learners, and send it off to my agent and to the publisher. There are other various projects. A screenplay of the first novel, The Cheese Monkeys, is done and it’s been optioned by a small group in Toronto. They’re trying to get a studio on board with it, which has not happened yet, but if it does – and they seem insanely confident that it will – they want me to be meaningfully involved with it. So, all the usual media stuff.

World of Lemon: (laughs) “Usual!” One thing I get from your work is a sense of Americanism. The pop culture and historical references feel like they’re from a time when many people saw America as a utopia, when people came here to realize the American Dream.
CK: That’s not a false interpretation. I think that’s a lot of what the whole comic book sensibility is about, or at least the comic book sensibility I had growing up. The whole idea of the Justice League being all powerful beings that don’t want to rule the world, they want to serve it. It’s corny, but it was certainly meaningful to me at the time.

World of Lemon: Can such a perfect place only exist in literature, in our imagined culture?
CK: It sure doesn’t exist in reality. I think we need to have that in some kind of mental reserve to draw from. It my new novel, part of what I’m dealing with is the idea of suicide and what the ramifications of that are. One of the characters likes to flirt with the idea but would never really actually do it. But the idea of it is extremely comforting to him at certain times. That if I need to, I can just bail.

World of Lemon: It’s a sense of control.
CK: There’s control over a situation that you don’t have any control over, except for that one aspect.

World of Lemon: The pages of Lemon have been influenced by the work of Stanley Kubrick, and in this issue we give a patent nod in his direction. What films or directors have been influential to you as a designer?
CK: Since you bring him up, I think it’s worth pointing out that Kubrick himself was in turn fascinated with the work of Manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka (creator of Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion, among many other characters) and invited him to be the art director of 2001: A Space Odyssey – an offer Tezuka turned down due to time constraints. I would say Tezuka is the far more under-appreciated of the two, with Kubrick’s A.I. project basically the Astro Boy story without any of the fun, and Disney’s Lion King an egregious rip-off of Kimba set to a teeth breaking saccharine soundtrack. I thrilled to Tezuka’s simple but beautifully designed cartoons as a kid and have no doubt that they’ve influenced my tendency towards miminalism rather than complexity.

World of Lemon: I’m curious about the phrase “good is dead” that appears in your novel The Cheese Monkeys.
CK: I think I was reading The Onion and was looking at a list of bands that were going to be playing at the Knitting Factory. One of the bands was called God Is Dead, but when I looked at it my head inserted another “o.” I thought, “That’s really cool. That’s really clever that they thought of that.” I did a double take and realized they hadn’t done that. I’d done that. I swiped it from there to use as this catch the teacher uses in The Cheese Monkeys. It’s not an original thought at all, I just think it’s an interesting way to state it.

I remember years ago the School of Visual Arts had one of their subway poster campaigns using this painter named Jerry Moriarty. It was a very interesting set up. You were outside a building. You had a kid on the sidewalk. He was looking up at a house painter. The house painter’s painting the edging and the kid’s looking up at him. The house painter is looking through the window at a guy in the room who is painting a picture. The tagline was “Why dream of being good when you can dream of being great?” Which is not very good language, but the concept is terrific. “Good is dead” is about asking, “Why would you want to settle for being just good?”

World of Lemon: Are you always striving for some personal “great?”
CK: Well, it’s cheesy, but yeah. Who strives for mediocrity? It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.


INTERVIEW BY RANDY J. HUNT

The Moloko Plus Cocktail by Lemon Milkbar

THE MOLOKO PLUS COCKTAIL BY LEMON MILKBAR

1 1/2 oz 10 Cane Rum
3/4 oz chilled espresso
1/2 oz Sweet Honey Brown Syrup
2 oz milk
Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.
Shake vigorously and pour into a tall glass.
Top with 1/2 oz of cola.
Garnish with a lemon wedge.

www.10cane.com
www.sweetsyrups.com
www.michaelsmitheventmusic.com


CREATED BY CLIF TRAVERS

PUMA by Miharayasuhiro
1 2 

PUMA BY MIHARAYASUHIRO

2007: A MUSIC ODYSSEY
1 2 3 

2007: A MUSIC ODYSSEY

BILLY CORGAN
GAVIN FRIDAY
GOLDFRAPP
JUSTICE

Ludwig van Halen

LUDWIG VAN HALEN

Rocking out to Beethoven is easy if you just Let It Be, says Gina Kaufmann

It’s a moment every teenager dreads. Just as the manic highs and lows that comprise the day are finally beginning to drown in the decibels flooding from the stereo – that is when you hear the inevitable knock on the door, followed by the plea to turn it down.

The protagonist of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, adapted for the screen by Stanley Kubrick, is a lucky guy. He has worn his parents down to the point where they no longer bother interrupting. “I was in such bliss, my brothers,” the character explains. “Pee and Em had learnt now not to knock on the wall with complaints of what they called noise. I had taught them. Now they would take sleep pills. Perhaps, knowing the joy I had in my night music, they already had.”

Alex’s music-listening habits should be the least of his parents’ worries. Alex is every censorship advocate’s nightmarish vision of youth poisoned by pop culture. Spurred on by his own brand of devil’s music, he does the kinds of things grown ups have long feared teenagers might do under the delinquent spell of Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osborne, Marilyn Manson and every other madman of rock who has inspired a paranoid urban myth involving the fanatical harming of animals (puppies, kittens and the like). In fact, he does worse. He and his friends dance elaborately choreographed ballets of ultraviolence in the street every night, raping women and bludgeoning old men whilst clad in matching white outfits and giant codpieces. It all starts with that music, that noise he’s always blaring in his room. But just as Alex’s illicit substance of choice is milk, something that most parents in reality wish their kids would drink more of, the music he blares is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, better known to some as the “Ode to Joy.” You may recognize the tune from such places as “piano lessons.”

Now, I don’t know how many of you might associate Beethoven with oversexed juvenile delinquents, but my guess is, not many. In fact, the average symphony-goer was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and it’s only a matter of time before his grown children take away his car, at which point one more folding velveteen seat will sit empty in the theater while he stares out a window tapping the rhythm of his favorite scherzo on his dentures, trying to remember what it’s called. Meanwhile, his children and grandchildren know the movements of his favorite symphonies not by name, but by the products they’re used to advertise. “La donna e mobile” is not a jaunty aria about gettin’ with the ladies; it’s the triumphant sound of a certain brand of frozen spaghetti sauce cascading over pasta by the plateful. Symphony orchestras and opera troupes cannot invent marketing strategies to target young audiences fast enough. Hip-looking fonts on brochures and singles groups attempting to lure sophisticated 20-somethings are growing more numerous by the day. Take, for example, the Austin Symphony Orchestra BATS, a group of professionals in their 20s to early 40s who enjoy classical music and, among other things, “fabulous fun” (amazing, isn’t it, how unfun fun sounds when you put the word “fabulous” in front of it?). Or Ovation, a group of young people who get together for cocktails before San Diego Symphony Orchestra concerts. The list goes on. It all seems so desperate, when really, the problem isn’t with classical music or its ability to appeal to the youths; the problem is with how most people are accustomed to hearing it (at a low volume, possibly while on hold to speak with someone very serious or in a bookstore containing an excess of Oriental rugs).

Flash back to Alex, our friendly cinematic delinquent. There are lots of things you could say about this guy to discredit him– he’s deranged, for example, and fictional. True. But his descriptions of Beethoven’s Ninth are stunning because they were written by someone who has listened to the music for pleasure, not edification. Alex has shut the door to his room, leaned his head back and shut his eyes, the volume knob turned as far to the right as it can go without blowing a speaker. Beethoven himself was totally and completely deaf by the time he wrote the Ninth Symphony. This is music written by a man desperate to hear. Listening to it in any other way misses the point.

In fact, Beethoven could be said to have been an early DIY punk, just with more musicians to work with, an incomparable level of genius and shoes with buckles. He posted the fliers for the 1824 premiere of the Ninth Symphony around Vienna himself. The musicians in his orchestra were hand picked, and those musicians and they did not rehearse in a fancy-shmancy conservatory or what-have-you; they rehearsed in Beethoven’s small apartment. The first performance of the now famous Ninth Symphony was not polished. It was the first time every musician in the orchestra had played the piece together; the rehearsals chez Ludwig had accommodated only portions of the orchestra at any given time. It was a difficult and complex piece, played with more passion than perfection, executed without the benefit of a century and a half of fine-tuning. Let me repeat that: a century and a half of fine-tuning. It is impossible to imagine hearing this symphony that pervades our soundscape for the first time ever, when it was new and exciting, if still rough. Another fun fact: Although the standard dress at the time still involved short pants, or knickers, Beethoven did wear the occasional pair of newfangled trousers. Settle down, Ludwig!

Alex’s song of choice was called the “Ode to Joy” because it is a musical interpretation of a well-known poem of the same name, a drinking song hailing equality, freedom, brotherhood, joy and, above all, drunkenness. The poem calls for all men who are in love to raise a cup, and for he who is mopey to go home and cry alone (harsh, no?). This is a rallying cry, a toast, and a call for paupers to rise up and stand alongside princes’ brothers. The song’s goal was unity.

Was the crowd united? Yes. Beethoven received five standing ovations at the premiere. He could not hear these ovations and had to be spun around to look at the audience to see that they were jumping up out of their seats, waving handkerchiefs in the air. Even by today’s standards, these are good results for a symphony, but one detail about the meaning of ovations in Nineteenth Century Austria: The presence of royalty was honored by three ovations. That Beethoven got five was not only unheard of, it was scandalous, nay, riotous. Police in attendance had to get things under control. The crowd had risen up as one, stirred to the point of disorderly conduct. Since then, the music has been appropriated for a startling array of political uses. Hitler was a far on the Ninth and had it played at many of his birthday celebrations. Then again, Leonard Bernstein conducted it at the falling of the Berlin Wall, and the tune has been an anthem of European unity ever since. It has also been widely interpreted by artists of every medium, from Milan Kundera, whose The Book of Laughter and Forgetting the author compares to a Beethoven symphony composed of variations on a theme, to Charles Schulz, whose cartoonishly drawn Schroeder character idolizes Beethoven in front of countless children, to Andy Warhol, whose famed portrait captures the composer’s wild wair, leaving him literally blue in the face.

But what about us? Does Beethoven’s Ninth still unite us? Sure it does. We can all hum segments of Beethoven’s Ninth, whether we know that’s what it’s called or not. Beethoven is beloved by world-class directors like Stanley Kubrick and makers of McDonalds commercials alike, by kids learning to play the piano for the first time and accomplished maestros who have dedicated a lifetime to the perfection of his compositions. That is a kind of unity, of paupers for a moment being in league with princes. Except that knowing how to hum a tune is one thing, liking it and getting into the spirit of it is another. The Ninth Symphony has appeal for lovers of the best of any genre. Beethoven started something that the kind of pop music that’s clever enough and interesting enough to keep modern listeners on their toes is still doing today. The most recognizable example of the phenomenon is “A Day in the Life,” by the Beatles. You know the part of the song where the pace changes, on a dime, from the lament that begins, “I saw the news today, Oh boy…” to “Woke up! Got out of bed! Dragged a comb across my head!” You know that song? You know that trick? Where the slow part precedes the fast part and becomes this sort of musical foreplay, lingering for a moment and then giving way, in an instant, to the rawk? If you prefer the Stones to the Beatles, you may prefer the example of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” (CONTINUED ON PAGE NINETY-FOUR)

Indy rockers may prefer a comparison to “Epitaph for My Heart” from The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs. Beethoven inverted the symphony, which tended to start big and certain, providing the template for the rest of the work. The Ninth builds slowly, rising up from a beginning that is uncertain and loose, struggling – sometimes furious, sometimes resigned – in the minor keys, climbing, gaining steam and finally, finally culminating with the perfect, triumphant, time-honored “Ode to Joy” chorus that lifts up listeners once and for all out of those minor keys, out of complications and tension and into a grand – not to mention catchy – chorus. It has been a musical recipe for triumph and breakthrough ever since.

No, you can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you’ll find… (now rock out) you get what you need!

If the cleverness of the Ninth can unify the Beatles and the Stones, maybe Beethoven deserves a fresh listen. If for some reason you can’t go to a live concert, please, please, turn up the volume, and don’t stop until the floor is shaking at least as much as it would have needed to for Ludwig to feel it in his bones.

Crewdson: Motion pictures without the motion
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 

CREWDSON: MOTION PICTURES WITHOUT THE MOTION

Standing before Gregory Crewdson’s large scale photographs, each one a hyper-real, über-staged tableau of the dark side of the United States of suburbia, feels like being trapped in a suspenseful movie during one of those pregnant pauses that renders viewers transfixed, helpless to avert the imminent danger: “Hey lady, there’s a woman behind you!” “Little boy, don’t go into that trailer!” The photographs, like movie stills, capture moments in limbo just before something terrible is about to happen, or even creepier, just afterwards.

Perhaps the experience of viewing Crewdson’s photographs feels similar to watching a film because the artist creates his pictures much like a film director. For the photographs in his Beneath the Roses series, six of which are featured here, Crewdson employed a team of experts and assistants, from electricians, set dressers and actors to cinematographers, lighting experts and pyrotechnic experts. (The crew list has inched up to as many as 80 members for one shot.) He spent three years working with town officials, building sets on soundstages, even going so far as to burn down a house. In past productions, he even brought Hollywood into his frames, shooting such stars as Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy and Gwyneth Paltrow. For this series, he photographed Jennifer Jason Leigh, seen here sitting in a car at dusk with the traffic light on yellow, the driver’s door open and a storefront sign that reads “Independent Living Center.” Cranes, props, rainmakers and fire trucks have all been called to duty to transform small-town main streets into big-time productions. And when it’s all done, he then goes on to perfect the shots in post-production with digital imaging and special effects. All for the sake of a split-second exposure.

Crewdson’s work-to-product ratio is reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s: After endless takes, sometimes as much as 99 percent of his films were left on the cutting room floor. And like Kubrick, photographer Gregory Crewdson doesn’t even press the shutter release button. But by directing his crew to bring his vision to life, Crewdson remains the creator.

He dreams up the images while swimming, sometimes in pools but often in lakes and streams. The scenarios in the photographs seem to be somewhere between conscious and unconscious, real and surreal, waking and dreamlike states, just as Crewdson allows himself to float on the boundary of gravity and weightlessness, between this world and another. Still, we could all lollygag on the water’s surface without ever dreaming up an image of a man burying suitcases in the woods by the light of his car’s headlamps. So we have to dig a little deeper to find the taproot of Crewdson’s art. Freud would start with Crewdson’s mother, but it was actually his father, a psychoanalyst with an office in the basement of the family Brooklyn brownstone, who brings the Freudian twist to this story. At an early age, young Gregory became aware of the psychological forces that lurk within the people we see on a daily basis.

Film was an early and powerful inspiration on Crewdson, and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet had a particularly life-altering effect on him. References can also be drawn to Hitchcock and Kubrick for their shocking insights into the American psyche. In the art canon, Edward Hopper and Marcel Duchamp rank as big influences. A recent side-by-side comparison show of Hopper and Crewdson at the Williams College Museum of Art illustrates how the isolation of Hopper’s characters as commentary on the human condition has crept into Crewdson’s own artwork. Similarly, the voyeuristic eeriness of peeping into Duchamp’s secret, final masterpiece Étant Donnés, in which a naked woman lies spread-eagle in a three dimensional rural scene, is rather like peering into one of Crewdson’s domestic creations. Looking into Duchamp’s peephole in the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the first time, one is forced to become a voyeur. The experience is so fascinating, you may find yourself returning, becoming a voyeur of your own volition. This experience is echoed in Crewdson’s work: We are uncomfortably forced into voyeurism when faced with such intimate, psychologically revealing scenarios. Then we look again because we have become willing converts.

Added to the mix of probable influences is the disturbing morbidity of Joel-Peter Witkin’s staged and highly detailed photographs, and a dash of Eric Fischl’s dark humor displayed in pivotal domestic moments. The image of Crewdson’s naked woman standing in a trailer before a little boy practically says, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.”

But when confronted with the exquisite beauty of Gregory Crewdson’s huge chromogenic prints and their shockingly private scenes, all else fades away. The viewer becomes another one of Crewdson’s disturbed characters looking on a domestic affair in all its unordinary raw nakedness. And even when you move on, you can’t look away.


WRITTEN BY LAURIE ASMUS

Allen Jones: Reel Two
1 2 

ALLEN JONES: REEL TWO

ALLEN JONES:“I just have to look around me – art has become life.”
KEVIN GRADY: Not necessarily a grim statement. In fact, depending on the artist who said it, it might actually be a reason to rejoice. But this wasn’t just any artist talking. It was Allen Jones. And the subject being discussed was the influence of his work on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.

Mr. Jones had attended Hornsey College of Art in London where he studied painting and lithography, and the Royal College of Art studying with David Hockney, among others. Soon his interest in Freud, Jung and Nietzsche began to influence his work. By 1969, his sculptures, Table Sculpture and Hat Stand, caught the attention of Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was taken with the forniphilia (semi-nude women with bondage overtones as furniture) and their multi-level symbolism and thought they would be perfect for his upcoming film.

When one looks at Mr. Jones’ sculpture and the furniture in the Korova Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange, it’s easy to see why many believe that they’re both the work of Allen Jones. It very nearly was. But it isn’t. Over the years, however, misinformation grew into myth and, for many, “fact.” Allen Jones, himself, sets the record straight.
AJ: “I never met Stanley Kubrick; we only spoke on the phone. He had seen my new sculptures of female figures that looked like furniture and wanted to hire them for a movie he was making of A Clockwork Orange.
“I explained that they were not theatre ‘props’ but that perhaps I could design something for him based on the same idea. He promptly sent round a copy of Anthony Burgess’s novel, which I thought was terrific.”
“In this bleak view of our future, a Milk Bar seemed to be the only place left where people were able to interact socially. It was a sexy place and I relished the idea of working on the project.”


KG: How come it didn’t work out?
AJ: “Unfortunately, Kubrick expected me to work for nothing, explaining that he was a world-famous director and that I would get a lot of business from a credit in his film. I told him I was not a production designer, but that if he could get me an exhibition at the Louvre I would do it for nothing.”

“In any event, I told him that I did not mind him using the furniture idea if he wanted to. The irony is that so many people think that I did the designs anyway.” And now?

“At the time my intention was to make a radical statement about sculpture. But artists do not ‘invent’ in a vacuum and, with hindsight, my sculptures seem to have been quite prophetic.”


KG: Prophetic. Visionary. And timeless. The work of Allen Jones and Stanley Kubrick still forces us to examine our world and ourselves. Turning away unmoved was never an option.



WRITTEN BY BILL GIROUARD
INTERVIEW BY KEVIN GRADY

Gooey, Creamy Love by Adam Larsson
1 2 3 4 5 

GOOEY, CREAMY LOVE BY ADAM LARSSON

The hills are alive with wide-eyed, pre-pubescent nymphets circling trees and prancing along hand-in-hand. Delightful, indeed. But something is amiss. These beloved candy-coated subjects are not at ease. Upon closer examination, we find one of our stale-expressioned nymphs beheaded, one toting a shotgun and another belly up in a pond. No, this is not a Humbert Humbert day-dream. This is the land of whimsical gore created by none other than L.A.-based Gary Baseman. A man who is fast on his way to becoming a household name in the spirit of Warhol and Dali for his influence and varied achievements. With just a wee bit of prodding, Gary tells Lemon a bit about gooey creamy love, the state of Pervasive Art and the top five things he’s more obsessed with than Dolores Haze.

World of Lemon: When we started compiling ideas for this issue, it became clear how widespread Kubrick’s influence really is. Has he ever influenced you?
GB: I was a late teen growing up in Hollywood when I first saw A Clockwork Orange at the Beverly Cinema. It was at a time when I was ready for rebellion. There was many a Halloween where I dressed up as a droog. The Shining has inspired me too. I have this obsession with collecting photos of people in masks and costumes by non-professional photographers from the 1900s to 1960s. They are very surreal and beautiful. Many look like they came out of a film like The Shining. I also truly believe that all work and no play makes Gary a dull boy.

World of Lemon: So, you’re a fan? It’s funny, your images for this issue seem to have a Lolita vibe. Can you talk about the inspiration for this series?
GB: Yes, I’m a big Stanley Kubrick fan. Lolita inspired me in an indirect way. This series is titled “I Melt In Your Presence.” I created my own utopian world full of innocent, or not so innocent, muses and nymphs with surreal imaginary friends of ghosts, magis and characters in bunny and bear costumes. I’ve introduced a new character named Chou Chou. He is the cute little character with liquid coming out of his bellybutton. He takes one’s anger and hate and turns it into gooey, creamy love.

World of Lemon: Gooey, creamy love. Yum! Your work is an interesting mix of childhood aesthetics and adult subject matter...
GB: I’ve always been drawn to work by the Fleischer Brothers, Bob Clampett, Charles Addams, Dr. Suess, The Beatles, Marx Brothers, David Bowie, David Lynch, Mel Brooks, and Monty Python. Art that’s both playful yet smartly done. I enjoy walking the razor’s edge between childhood aesthetics and adult themes, blurring the lines between genius and stupidity. When I create my art for adults, I try not to censor myself in theme or subject matter. When I create for children, I don’t put in anything that’s inappropriate, but at the same time, I don’t talk down to them either.

World of Lemon: “Pervasive Art” has helped to blur the stubborn lines between fine art and commercial art. You’ve been at the forefront of this movement for 20 years now. What’s your take on the current state of things?
GB: I am determined to tear down all of the walls and give artists the opportunity to create in any medium, as long as they stay true to their aesthetic and have a strong message. That’s the definition of “Pervasive Art.” I was very happy to be so successful in illustration, but it was still very limiting for me. Mark Ryden, who was also once an illustrator, introduced me to my first gallery. My friends, Rob and Christian Clayton also started to show in the L.A. gallery scene and I was thrilled when they got their installation in Art Basel. The Pervasive Art movement is truly subversive to the traditional fine art world since it sidesteps the normal power structure. I think an artist can put their art on anything: canvas, vinyl toys, skate boards, even fashion. People will argue that it’s “selling out.” But it’s only selling out if you’re compromising your integrity, otherwise it’s just selling.

World of Lemon: So, where do you turn for inspiration?
GB: My motivation is to create important art. That’s number one on my list of five approaches to living my life. Number two is to have fun. I like interesting, talented people and cute girls. It is important to play. Number three is to inspire others and giving back to the art community. Number four is to always take risks and experiment and grow in all I do. And number five is to have great sex. I guess that could be put in category number two. Hmmmmm.

World of Lemon: What’s your future look like?
GB: I don’t have a crystal ball, but I have big dreams, and I feel I haven’t even begun to accomplish what I want. As a kid, I was always inspired by Disneyland. I got to go once a year and always looked forward to it. I used to draw maps of Disneyland, knew the whole park by heart. To me, it was the happiest place on earth. Now it feels completely corporate and uninspired. If I could find the right partners, I would love to create a Basemanland someday, a sweet and dirty and playful amusement park. That would be a dream come true.


NEW WORK BY GARY BASEMAN
A LEMON EXCLUSIVE BY ADAM LARSSON

A Clockwork LEMON: 3rd issue
1 2 

A CLOCKWORK LEMON: 3RD ISSUE

Ultraviolence! Angels’ trumpets and Devil’s trombones! A loving tip of the bowler cap to the creative genius and enduring legacy of Stanley Kubrick, Lemon 3 stars Malcolm McDowell, Billy Corgan, Leelee Sobieski, Jill Greenberg, Pop Levi, Ray Bradbury, Matthew Modine, Gary Baseman, Goldffrapp, Chip Kidd, Laura Albert, Gavin Friday and Damian Loeb. Includes a special pull-out poster by Stefan Bucher and an homage to the late, great Flexi-Disc 45RPM.

Der Sagmeister: an interrogation of design's great action hero

DER SAGMEISTER: AN INTERROGATION OF DESIGN'S GREAT ACTION HERO

For every generation, in every profession, there is a hero. An individual whose numerous achievements speak for themselves, whose reputation undoubtedly precedes them and whose talent and charisma are – to put it in less pretentious terms – as smooth as peanut butter and jelly, as memorable as a kick in the groin and as endearing as the contradictory love of those two cowboys in that movie with all the prairies that got out-Oscared by that car movie. A hero leads by example. A hero charms. A hero is responsive. And responsible. A hero, too, is usually vulnerable. A target. A hero turns into memories. And those who have lived in their time are grateful for them. Since 1999, Austrian-born, world-traveled, New York-based Stefan Sagmeister has been graphic design’s hero: He has carved typography on his body; he has gained and lost pounds for a single invitation; he has decapitated chickens (at least in Photoshop); he can make his ding-dong (and by that I mean his penis) appear much, much larger than it is; he can set type in a number of materials ranging from toilet paper to cacti to wieners to chairs; he has willingly taken a year off without clients and lived to tell about it. Stefan Sagmeister is our hero, whether all or any of us want to accept or deny it. During a span of years (1999--2001ish) dominated by venture capitalism, the dreaded dot-coms and the horrible aesthetic that ensued, Sagmeister showed that design could still mean and stand for something, doing it with wit and visual pleasure. Currently, in a playing field with few — or too many, depending on which half of your glass you prefer -- superstars, Sagmeister continues to stand tall. Literally and metaphorically. Designers may be due for a new hero but, in the meantime, we sure are in good, capable hands.

World of Lemon: Unlike thousands of designers across the country (and most parts of the globe), your name, work and reputation are very well known, respected and admired. What is your feeling toward your fame -- and fame in general -- in the design world?
SS: My favorite fame-in-design quote comes from Chip Kidd (“famous designer is like famous electrician”). In my opinion, electricians and designers enjoy the most desirable kind of fame because they are, to a large extent, in charge of it. When famous electricians decide to visit electrician conferences, there will be pats on their backs and egos will be stroked, but outside of these conferences they will be able to go anywhere without intrusions. I have worked with numerous actual stars, famous clients whose fame -- up close -- did not look like much fun at all: If you walk into a Starbucks with Lou Reed, the whole place goes quiet. People turn around. They whisper.

World of Lemon: In the same realm, let’s talk about the infamous 1999 AIGA Detroit poster where Martin Woodtli, your intern at the time, carved a bunch of copy on your body. This is one of the most celebrated posters in the last decade, and it’s been over 7 years since you did it. What are your thoughts on it now? Was the pain – literally and metaphorically – worth it?
SS: Within some design circles the poster became almost too well known, to the point where some people got the (wrong) impression that all of our work goes in that direction. My favorite concern of this poster now is not its blood and guts aspect but its ability to tell the story of its creation in a single picture. I have tried that in some other projects since but never quite as successfully.And the pain induced by designing a cover for Aerosmith was 10 times greater than being cut for 8 hours straight with an X-Acto knife. I have asked you this before, and I think your take on it is quite inspiring…

World of Lemon: A lot of people relate your work to you being naked and showing your private parts – which is all well, good and enjoyable. Yet, I think your work is “naked” in a more serious and vulnerable way. You put yourself and your emotions for all to see. Why has this become such an integral part of your work?
SS: Answer A: The nakedness started with the opening of the studio 13 years ago when I sent out a card that showed longer and shorter versions of my parts. At that time this took a little bit of guts from me (my girlfriend recommended heavily against it; she thought I was going to lose the one client I had). The client not only stayed, but loved it too. Any follow-up nakedness was simply a case of repeating a technique that proved to work before. Also, coming from Austria (in Vienna the main student beach is all nude) nakedness simply was never a big deal, but proved to raise a hair in the U.S.

Answer B: The late Quentin Crisp, British queen extraordinaire and subject of Sting’s song “I’m an Englishman in New York,” came to visit our students at the graduate department of the School of Visual Arts in New York. Among the very many quotable things he mentioned was that he used to say to journalists: “Everybody is interesting.” They came back and said: “Mr. Crisp, this is just simply not true. There are lots of utterly boring people out there.”

So he had to revise it: “Everybody who is honest is interesting.” This has impressed me much and informed many of our projects.

World of Lemon: You are also an avid art fan. And some of your design work can sometimes take on an artistic bent. How does your appreciation of art manifest in your work – if you think it does, of course?
SS: My favorite definition of the difference between art and design comes from Donald Judd, who was involved in both: “Design has to work. Art does not.” Obviously, I am designer, and so automatically all the work I do is design (and not art). And it cant just “be,” it has to work. Having said that, yes, our own work has been influenced by numerous artists: The obvious ones like Jenny Holzer or Barbara Kruger (who in turn have been influenced by design); the obscure ones like Adolf Woelfli; the Vienna Actionist ones like Brus, Muehl, Wiener and Schwarzkogler; the good ones like Janine Antoni and Maurizio Catalan; the ones we have worked with like Mariko Mori, Douglas Gordon or Richard Prince. But even though some of our graphics might look a little bit arty, they are still graphic design.

World of Lemon: Like the rest of us, there are probably things you can’t do as a graphic designer and you have long mentioned that you hire interns and designers who complement your skills and do things that you can’t. What do you wish you could do yourself, without help from another designer?
SS: Really, really, really good Photoshop skills.

World of Lemon: One of the reasons we are doing this interview by e-mail is because you travel a lot. With so many potential clients and design work – as well as students, since you also do workshops and teach internationally – in New York City, what has led you to do so much work outside of the U.S.?
SS: The joy of travel, the fight of boredom, the appeal of the new, the desire to work in different cultures, the possibility to compare, the realization that it is easier to come up with a new concept in a foreign hotel room than in the studio, the current administration, the amount of red states and utterly crappy American airports.

World of Lemon: A lot of designers involved in the music industry can’t seem to get enough of the inevitable doom of music packaging. This has long been a staple of your work and we have seen less of it recently. Has this change affected you? Is music packaging something you would have enjoyed doing longer than the Rolling Stones have been alive? (Pardon the exaggeration).
SS: About 6 years ago, during our experimental client-free year, I decided to minimize design for music to about a quarter of our workload, not because I smartly foresaw the troubles of the music industry but because:
a) I got bored with it on a day-to-day level, stemming from the fact that we often dealt with three clients on a single project and my threshold for dealing with that dynamic became more shallow. About a year ago, we decided not to accept any music work anymore and redirect that time instead toward design for science.
b) As I get older, music plays a lesser role in my life.
c) There are lots of other interesting things out there.
and) What I do miss is the simple act of visualizing music. This never got old.


World of Lemon: Do you have any immediate ambitions for your career?
SS: Sadly, no. I always found things to be more exciting when I had. But at the moment there is nothing very ambitious or outlandish. I would love to do work I am happy with for clients who are nice and have good services or products. I’d love to conduct another client free year in about 2-3 years -- every 7 years seems to be a good strategy to fight the 7-year itch (sabbaticals in academia follow the same cycle).

World of Lemon: An addendum to this last question: Baseball is to Michael Jordan as [fill in the blank] is to Stefan Sagmeister.
SS: I would feel uncomfortable in any sentence comparing anything I do to anything Michael Jordan does. Rollerblading is to Arnold Schwarzenegger as Rock ’n’ Roll is to Stefan Sagmeister.

World of Lemon: I want to finish this interview by letting you talk a little about your “mission.” You teach a class at the School of Visual Arts graduate program that encourages students to create design that “touches the heart,” and this seems to be a driving force of your design work. Go.
SS: The concern with design that has the ability to touch the viewer’s heart came out of the fact that I see so much professionally done and well-executed graphic design, beautifully illustrated and masterfully photographed. Nevertheless, almost all of it leaves me (and I suspect many other viewers) cold.

There is just so much fluff: Well-produced, tongue-in-cheek, pretty fluff. Little that moves you, nothing to think about, some is informing, but still all fluff.

I have conducted the class in various incarnations, from three-day workshops to full-semester courses in various places around the world, and the results have always proven that, yes, it is in fact possible to touch someone’s heart with design.

I have seen personalized Superman gloves touch the heart of Brooklyn garbage men, gigantic video installations touch the heart of Berlin night crawlers and tattooed typography touch the heart of a boyfriend.


World of Lemon: Actually, this is the last question. The theme of this issue is espionage and it looks like you have some international babes of mystery next to you and you are all dolled up to kick some ass. Who (or what) is your archenemy?
SS: Hmmm. Maybe this is why I look a bit lost in these spy surroundings: I can’t think of any proper enemies at all. There might well be people out there who hate my ass, but as yet they have not come forward. Sorry.

World of Lemon: Which vegetable would make the best typography?
SS: Artichokes, asparagus and aubergines.

World of Lemon: You are tall -- do you have trouble finding clothes that fit?
SS: No. Between my brother’s men’s fashion store and my girlfriend’s fashion design studio I get outfitted nicely.

World of Lemon: And, do you have to fly first-class to fit those long legs of yours?
SS: Even though I once conceived first-class advertising for Cathay Pacific many years ago, I have only been in a proper first-class cabin once. Sometimes I have wealthy clients who fly me business class but mostly I stand in line at the airport requesting bulkheads and emergency seat exits like the rest of us in coach. I am sitting in one of those right now.

World of Lemon: What’s your favorite dish at Brooklyn’s Austrian delight, Steinhof?
SS: Paul (Steinhof’s owner and chef) was my roommate when I studied at Pratt and we have remained close friends ever since. I always go for the goulash.

World of Lemon: On your internet browser, what is your default homepage?
SS: nytimes.com

World of Lemon: Do you Google yourself?
SS: Yes, I have done in the past. And checked on the sale rating of our book on Amazon.

World of Lemon: How many times a month?
SS: None, recently. But I just saw the founder of Wikipedia talk and so I just looked myself up on Wikipedia.com. Alas, no entry.

World of Lemon: What subway line do you ride the most in New York City?
SS: The 4.

World of Lemon: Do you clean your own house or do you have a cleaning service?
SS: I have a lady coming in for half a day every week to clean the office.

World of Lemon: What time do you usually go to bed?
SS: 11:00.

World of Lemon: Do you watch any reality TV?
SS: No.

World of Lemon: Would you be in a reality TV show?
SS: Only if it’s about kerning.

World of Lemon: Do women find your accent sexy?
SS: Only in New York. In Vienna they do not.

World of Lemon: Can you fake a British accent?
SS: No. But sometimes somebody who does not know anything about accents mistakes mine for being British.

World of Lemon: Have you ever been in a fistfight?
SS: In my dreams.

World of Lemon: When was the last time?
SS: About a month ago.

World of Lemon: How fast can you run?
SS: Two years ago I ran the NYC marathon in about 5 hours. It would take me double that now.

World of Lemon: So, you are tall, right? If you played basketball, do you think you could dunk?
SS: No. Throughout my school years, various coaches tried me out for the basketball team. Much regret all around.

World of Lemon: Your past interns, Hjalti and Jan, work above a Dunkin’ Donuts, do you like their doughnuts?
SS: They are OK. But we have a local doughnut store across the street on 14th Street that beats Dunkin’ every day.

World of Lemon: What is round and has a hole in the middle?
SS: The Olympic winter medal.

World of Lemon: Thanks!
SS: Thank you!


INTERVIEW BY ARMIN VIT

Whudafxup with milk?

WHUDAFXUP WITH MILK?

www.thetruth.com

L.E.M.O.N.

L.E.M.O.N.

ANTHONY&THE JOHNSONS
SONIC YOUTH
LADYTRON
AGENTS OF

Gene Hackman: The art of compromise
1 2 

GENE HACKMAN: THE ART OF COMPROMISE

The man who’s lost sight of what he’s fighting for. The private investigator who’s literally and figuratively going in circles. The Sheriff who twists the law into sadism. The Priest who struggles with his faith. The self-isolated figure who, against the backdrop of hard lessons, looks back to behold the repercussions of his actions. The compromised man: Gene Hackman.

No one marries a fundamental likeability to deep complexity like Hackman. His characters don’t get the girl; they don’t usually win; and when they do succeed, the victory tends to ring hollow. The antiheroes he often portrays are all sharp edges and barely bottled rage, and they carry more baggage than an airplane full of debutantes. His villains are charming, seductive, witty, and most chilling because you realize, to your horror, that you’re empathizing with them, even the worst of them. Not because you condone their actions, but because through his genial, matter-of-fact performances you are made to understand how easily a human being can skew off course, and how difficult it can be to find your way back.

Marked for Failure
Hackman knows what it is to struggle. His dad walked out when he was a kid. At sixteen, he tried to win the love of a girl by lying about his age to get in to the Marines. The girl balked, but the Corps had his ass for years. After leaving the service, he studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he earned the dubious distinction of being one of two students deemed Least Likely to Succeed. The other total no-talent was Dustin Hoffman. (We can only hope that the Pasadena Playhouse has since revised its nominating process.) In defiance, he went to New York City to be an actor, rooming with fellow loser Hoffman and another nobody called Robert Duvall. One day during this lean period, Hackman found himself working as a doorman at a Howard Johnson’s on Times Square, where he saw the Sergeant who had recruited him walking in his direction. The older Marine didn’t even slow down, but he did take the time to say, “Hackman, you’re a sorry son of a bitch.” Imagine having to think about that exchange for the rest of your shift while you stand around in the cold and hope for a tip for hailing someone a cab. What would that do to you? One imagines Hackman simply smiling through it, eyes twinkling, just getting even more determined.

Semper Fidelis
Despite the naysayers, he kept at it. A string of off-Broadway shows finally led to Broadway, some television, and then to a small role in Lilith, a minor Warren Beatty vehicle. While the film was nothing special, Beatty was convinced of Hackman’s talent and brought Hackman along to play Buck Barrow in Arthur Penn’s Bonnie & Clyde. Offered the chance, Hackman cracked it wide open, giving audiences every ounce of his raw-throated bray and his intense energy, and capping it off with an unforgettable death scene. That role garnered him an Oscar nomination, and Hackman had fully arrived.

From 1970 to 1975 he reeled off a mind-blowing fifteen films, featuring some of the best performances of that decade. He showed off his range as the conflicted son in I Never Sang for my Father and was rewarded with a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. One year later he wowed critics and audiences alike as the tough New York Cop Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection and deservedly took home the Oscar for Best Actor. In 1974 he created Harry Caul, a deeply paranoid surveillance expert in The Conversation, which was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. He was the best thing in The Poseidon Adventure, and the superb Night Moves. And then, as if to show that he really could do it all, he turned in a hilariously comic cameo in Young Frankenstein. Over forty years and nearly eighty films, his body of work has made him one of the most respected actors alive, and younger actors regard him with a reverence bordering on awe.

There’s no room here to talk about every great Hackman movie, but two later films cannot go unmentioned: The first is Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning, in which Hackman gives a blistering, tour-de-force performance that earned him yet another Best Actor nomination. The second is Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. As “Little Bill” Daggett, Hackman pulled together the essential halves of his personality in a film that shows how blurred the lines can be between good and evil men. Sheriff Bill Daggett is human, fallible, cruel, the hero of his own story, and there are moments when he almost convinces us that he’s on the side of right. His gentle, dry chuckle sounds alternately like an indulgent father and the final settling of ruins. It’s a performance for the ages in a film crowded with them, and it won him his second Oscar.

Of course, not all of his films have been Oscar winners. There was a period in the eighties when he accepted work that was beneath him as an actor. Watching Hackman in one of these flicks is like watching Lawrence Olivier play Zeus in “Clash of the Titans.” While his work is typically strong, he might as well be holding up a sign saying he needed the money. And, in fact, he did; he reportedly had to borrow some cash to buy a suit to attend the opening of Hoosiers because he didn’t own a sport coat. These were tough times. Heart trouble. A broken marriage. But he persevered. He has always seemed able to channel it, rather than be channeled by it.

“Take a Good Look, Pop!”
The indelible images of Hackman are many, from “Popeye” Doyle baring his teeth and practically willing himself through rush hour traffic to catch an assassin, to Harry Caul brooding over tape recorders and haunted by voices, to Anderson roaring with righteous indignation as he punches out a racist redneck. Hackman is the ideal actor to play these great roles because, alone among his contemporaries, he radiates a sense that he has no permanent address at either the dark or light side of human nature. He holds us with his performances because deep down we know -- if we’re honest with ourselves -- that under the right (or wrong) circumstances, any one of us is capable of anything. Anyone who says different is either delusional or has a marketing degree. Watching Hackman, we empathize; we hurt for him; and we see ourselves, torn down the middle by impossible choices; lost, trapped -- compromised.

What Hackman brings to so many of his characters is a sense of profound struggle. They’re at war with their conscience like Harry Caul. They rail at God like Reverend Frank Scott. And they die like Buck Barrow, fighting gravity with everything they have before shuddering to the ground like a bull after the estoque. If you don’t recognize the names of these people, you should. In the great tradition of Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, and Bogart, Hackman has made an art of mapping the internal landscapes of deeply divided and fatally compromised men.

Hackman went on Larry King Live a couple years ago and declared that his acting days were surely over. I was angry and sad when I heard. Angry because audiences are selfish creatures and great actors aren’t suppose to walk out on you – they’re supposed to stop acting when they die on the stage or after the last great take or in the arms of a lover half their age. And sad because you just know he’s got a few more great movies left in him. He has said that he never feels more alive than when he’s performing. In the late seventies he retired from acting for a short while and found it to be a kind of death. But he told Larry he writes books now. Okay. Whatever he wants, he’s earned it.

Always Faithful
Forty years ago, a man in his thirties stood in front of a Howard Johnson’s in a funny outfit, opening doors for customers. He was the Old Guy in acting class, the odd man out, the Least Likely to Succeed, a “sorry son of a bitch.” But when you’re chasing what you love, none of that matters. A powerful, sustaining love has given Gene Hackman the faith to persevere through it all. And nobody retires from love. Maybe he’ll come back for just one more great film. A victory lap for the crowd. If we’re lucky, and he does, it will be sublime.

END

A Decidedly Subjective Sampling of Films
“Do you know them? You should; they’re part of your heritage.” -- Night Moves



WRITTEN BY ROBERT BUNDY

The Oslo File by Guido Vitti
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 

THE OSLO FILE BY GUIDO VITTI

PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDO VITTI
TALENT RICK SPATES, MASON SAND, JASMIN TANG
HAIR AND MAKEUP TAMMY MCEVOY
STYLIST JENNA ADAMS
PHOTO ASSISTANTS JESSE CARROL, KATE KELLY
CASTING LEIGH HUBNEY CASTING
FILM PROCESSING SPECTRUM
EQUIPMENT CALUMET
LOCATIONS THE COMMANDER'S MANSION, THE OMNI PARKER HOUSE HOTEL
SPECIAL THANKS HOTEL LE ST-JAMES, MONTREAL

Cold Warhol
1 2 3 

COLD WARHOL

 Vincent Fremont Remembers Andy

  Vincent Fremont first met Andy Warhol in August of 1969. Woodstock was winding down, and droves of muddied hippies were straggling back into the East Village like zombies from Dawn of the Dead. Vincent and two high school friends had given the crowd the slip, ducking inside Andy’s building at 33 Union Square West. Six floors later, the young men--all rock-star hair and velvet pants--stood before the true King of Pop bearing a set of Mexican masks. Gifts of disguise for one of the world’s most widely recognized men.

 The journey to the Factory, for Vincent, started at Point Loma High School in San Diego, where he was one of a small group of oddball students who idolized the controversial pop pioneer. The group befriended Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and became known as The Babies, an adjunct of an organized band of female groupies called Girls Together Outrageously. Eventually, Vincent and his fellow Babies crawled their way east.

 Standing before Andy in this new, improved Factory≠—the famous “silver Factory” had been jettisoned a year earlier due to rent increases—-Vincent was surprised by how easy it was to come face to face with the man himself. After all, it had only been a year or so since Andy was shot and nearly killed by a deranged Valerie Solanas. Yet here he was, standing with Andy in the whitewashed reception area, its walls adorned with vintage photos of 1930s movie stars, headshots of Warhol superstars, and, in block letters,titles of Warhol’s films.

 Vincent and Andy hit it off famously, and Vincent remained within Andy’s inner circle from that point on. In the 1970s and 1980s he developed and produced video, television and film projects with Andy, including “Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes” for MTV. And eventually, the young fan with the rock star good looks grew up to became the Vice President of Andy Warhol Enterprises. Not bad for a Baby.

World of Lemon: It’s funny how one afternoon can change your whole life, don’t you think?
VF: Yes, I think that I spent the whole afternoon talking to him. I mean, especially if you were a male and you could talk, you had a good chance of getting his attention.

World of Lemon: What popular conceptions of Andy exist today that you think are particularly inaccurate?
VF: There are lots of revisionist positions on that, but I mean, some people think he wasn’t capable of doing anything on his own; that he was like a village idiot, but this is totally untrue. I mean, he played everybody. I think what people forgot, or maybe didn’t ever realize, was that he was a visionary, and he was also this person who totally understood the culture in the world that he lived in. He was able to manipulate it. So not saying anything, or saying things rarely, was his way. He was shy.

World of Lemon: So that’s one genuine misconception about him.
VF: Yes. And he didn’t like people touching him unless he really knew them. I think that comes from his family. He was afraid of germs. He didn’t like people touching his food. If you were handing him things you had to be very careful about it. He had little quirks like that. He could be very … if you didn’t know him, and you came up to him on the street, he got nervous, he wouldn’t say very much. That’s why when he traveled he always had a walker with him. They were never bodyguards, they were just people. In effect anybody that walked with him was a bodyguard. When you walked with him you always kept your eyes and ears open.

World of Lemon: Especially after he was shot, I imagine. So was he ever rude to people, to fans?
VF: You might get different answers to that, but in the time that I knew him I never saw him being rude or arrogant. He wasn’t that type. He would try to be very nice to people. He was very good about giving autographs on the street and at different events.

World of Lemon: How did criticism affect him? There are those old films of Andy deflecting criticism by saying “all my critics are right”, but how did he feel inside? Did criticism hurt him?
VF: Definitely a question that only Andy could answer, and you wouldn’t get a direct answer. Personally, I think that it has to affect you, but I wouldn’t speak for him. We used to read reviews out loud, with some humorous commentary. But I think that he was used to being attacked, and he was a master at deflecting and turning a negative into a positive. I’ve never seen anyone better.

World of Lemon: Did he basically have a positive personality? You know, how people can spin things either positively or negatively.
VF: He wanted to do what he wanted to do. People thought, “Oh, he’s just a society portrait painter, he isn’t doing anything important.” In fact, he was doing things of importance. They just didn’t see it, and he was often taking chances even by doing commercial and commission work. He did what he wanted to do, and he didn’t care if he was attacked by the art historians, or anyone else for that matter. When you’re a force in the culture, you polarize people.

World of Lemon: There’s not a lot of middle ground.
VF: No. So he polarized people, and people have preconceived ideas of who he was, and what he was about. I think the press didn’t really bother to find out who Andy was, even though that would be difficult to do. They just read each other’s articles, and pretty soon you would have this kind of geometric structure of a truth, turning into a half-truth, turning into a fantasy. I don’t know what planet these people were on, but they already had some idea in their mind of what they wanted it to be, and it was just ridiculous.

World of Lemon: Well, it’s laziness.
VF: Yeah. Why ask questions when you can read somebody else’s article which is already incorrect and then just double it up again. So you get a double echo of falsehoods.

World of Lemon: It’s funny that you bring that up, because in reading everything from Holy Terror through to Pepper Art Tones, in going through Andy’s place in art history, there’s just so many inconsistencies, that you just can’t really come to any conclusions with regards to his actual life itself. You can obviously look at the work, and come to your own conclusions about that, but there’s just so much conflicting information about the man himself. And that’s curious, because we’re not talking about Howard Hughes here; this is someone who was constantly out in public.
VF: He wasn’t pining in an ivory tower, lonely and producing his art. He was out there everyday, every night. It’s the type of person that he was. He was incredibly curious about the world around him, and the culture, and that’s why he was able to interpret it. Plus he was born in the right time, and in the right place, with the magic-- the talent-- to make us look at the world in a different way. And not just Art… if you read his books he wrote with Pat Hacket or Bob, you see how differently he thought. His perspective on life, his passing comments, his thought processes, they are all very different from what most people think. That’s what made him special.

World of Lemon: Yeah, his curiosity always came through. He always seemed to be a student of life because he was open to such a huge range of ideas and possibilities.
VF: He basically wasn’t judgmental about people. He had opinions and observations about people, which came out in the diaries, but he was not judgmental. There’s a difference. He got criticized when we were all down in Washington, and some people thought that he turned Republican when Nancy Reagan was in Interview Magazine, but Andy was apolitical in the sense that he was interested in everybody, and why should you not be? You just can’t have one side being shown all the time. So he was actually more well-rounded than most people.

World of Lemon: That makes me think of his Hammer and Sickle paintings.
VF: Which he called “Still lifes”. Originally, if my memory serves me correctly, the Hammer & Sickle images were supposed to be shown in a gallery in Italy, but then the whole thing got scuttled due to the political climate in Italy, the Red Brigades and all the kidnappings… you know the possibility of violence. I think that it was basically… it was almost ignored. One of the great series of the seventies.

World of Lemon: I want to shift gears a bit and talk a little about your fascination with Bridget Berlin, who is the subject of your recent film entitled, “Pie in the Sky”. What did you think when you first met her?
VF: I first laid eyes on Bridget in back of Max’s. The backroom started at midnight generally. Midnight to four o’clock in the morning, and I think that it was Urban Television crew that was shooting, and Candy Darling and her manager at that time. Bridget was given ten bucks if she would go over and try and knock the wig off of either the manager or Candy, I forget. Bridget would do anything for a good film. And she wasn’t about violence. It’s more about the act of being outrageous. Bridget was large then, but it was what came out of her mouth that was the most intimidating. She was very bright. So I met her that first fall, and we hit it off pretty quickly, because I didn’t… I think I was one of the few people she wasn’t mean to when she first met them. She was very intimidating.

World of Lemon: Talk about her relationship with Andy.
VF: She was like a muse to Andy. They exchanged ideas all the time, and they talked all of the time, and that was one of the attractions she held for Andy, that she was an incredibly good talker. And they loved taping each other. He did care about her, and he did try and give her advice about her art, which she didn’t listen to. They were incredibly close together, and would love being on the phone together. They were on the phone everyday.

World of Lemon: Are you in contact with her on a regular basis?
VF: Yeah, I just talked to her this morning. Actually I ‘m her official manager.

World of Lemon: Oh that’s fantastic, I didn’t actually realize that. Are you working on a new film?
VF: Well, Shelly and I are trying to do a narrative film, and we optioned Ed Sanders book Tales of Beatnik Glory, Volume One and Two a few years ago. Ed, Shelly and I have written a script and I’ve been trying to get it produced. Ed’s been fantastic to work with. It’s a tuff thing trying to make a movie. It was in a documentary. How to get the production company people to believe in the story in general and it’s a wonderful group of stories and amazing characters.

World of Lemon: So this would be the first film you’d directed?
VF: Yeah, this will be the first… I mean I’ve produced all of Andy’s television work. Dom and Rose and I shot a lot of video in the seventies. We want to make this movie and hopefully we will. And I we’re planning another show next year of Bridget’s work.

World of Lemon: The two of you have to be the most active people associated with Andy’s whole world.
VF: We realized that when we interviewed each other in the Museum of Modern Art retrospective catalog. I asked if I could tape it rather than writing something. At that point I said, “Well, can’t we just tape each other? Because it’s in honor of Andy who created the whole phenomenon of celebrity-to-celebrity taping.” So we did that, and at the end of this interview we realized that we were both lifers. I mean… people tried to disassociate themselves from having been part of a certain world. But I feel very fortunate-- and lucky-- that I was able to work with one of the great artists of the twentieth century.

World of Lemon: Yeah, that’s something that I wanted to ask you. I’d actually spent some time with Nancy Sinatra, and it was really quite interesting. You get a very clear sense of the enormity of the shadow cast by such a formidable, historically significant creative figure such as her father, and she’s also a creative person. She’s always felt that because of her dad, there’s added pressure to prove herself. Have you ever felt any such pressure? Or do you feel comfortable having been part of someone else’s larger context?
VF: I had worked with Andy for seventeen years. Then he died, and then Fred, myself and John Warhol were named in the will to start a charitable foundation for the visual arts. So basically, I have been working with, and for him, my whole adult life. I feel like I help to protect the legacy of who he is, and the integrity of his work. So… I don’t know. That’s a good question. I am trying to do things. I work with other artists from time to time. But still my primary mission is to Andy. It’s funny, since 1990 I’ve done countless exhibitions of his work, here and in Europe. Taking bodies of his work that he ignored in his lifetime, or hardly remembered, and then putting them in another context, or putting them in the context in which they should have been in the first place. The Gagosian Gallery did many wonderful shows for New York. Then we did some shows on Europe. I think it was eye-opening, especially to the American public who didn’t see shows that were in Europe. Again, Andy was taken for granted, and put down a lot, and it was only towards the end of his life, though we didn’t know it, that he was being reevaluated as to how important he is. You know, it always takes an artist to die to really know how… a huge vacuum was created. In Manhattan, I just felt it, coming back from the funeral in Pittsburgh. You want people to realize that you lost-- that they lost somebody.

World of Lemon: What would he be doing? When a great artist dies, you can’t help but wonder, what might they have produced with the time that was taken from them?
VF: People have asked me that question, “What would Andy be painting now?” and I have no idea, because he was very unpredictable. That’s another thing that I don’t think people understood about Andy. His unpredictability. You would think that he was going to say this, or do that, and he would always surprise you.

World of Lemon: He was really complex.
VF: Yeah. And he wasn’t. You know that famous quote: “All you can see is the surface, and that’s all there is.”

World of Lemon: Maybe it’s a moot question to ask what he would be doing if he were still alive. After all, his influence is more pervasive than ever. His ideas and art are still out there in the world, polarizing, delighting, and lighting people up.
VF: He’s stronger, and more influential than ever, even than when he was alive. It’s incredible.


INTERVIEW BY KEVIN GRADY

Mike Mills: Watching the Watcher
1 2 3 

MIKE MILLS: WATCHING THE WATCHER

Graphic designer, music video director, documentarian and feature filmmaker Mike Mills is the invisible character in all of his works. The warm, articulate and slightly self-deprecating Cooper Union graduate started out making skate films and album covers for his friends before becoming one of the most sought-after talents in music video and commercial directing. He has become a generation-defining artist. Part of a world of skateboarders and multidisciplinary artists who’ve grown up but haven’t sold out, Mills, now 40, has made a career of doing the opposite of what people expect. From his intimate documentaries — including Deformer on Orange County skater and painter Ed Templeton — to his exquisite directorial and screenwriting feature debut, Thumbsucker, which he adapted from Walter Kirn’s novel, Mills uses his camera to connect with people. By listening to their stories and finding commonalities through accepting differences, he draws the inevitable conclusion that we’re all painfully and beautifully human.

After working for six years on Thumbsucker, which was well received, what’s keeping you busy lately?
Well, Thumbsucker is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s coming out in Japan in the summer and in France. It’s insane how it just keeps going.

I’m in the middle of doing a documentary for the IFC Channel about the explosion of antidepressants in Japan. It’s really a new frontier of consciousness of depression, that’s what I’m documenting. In around 2000, they started these ad campaigns like, “Does your soul have a cold?” This not only introduced the pills but the whole concept of depression, and it caught on like wild fire. The use of antidepressants is more than doubling every year, and there’s a gazillion blogs and Internet chat rooms now. So I’m only interviewing people who are on antidepressants in Tokyo.

How open are people to talking about it?
They’re wildly open to talking about it. Partly because in Japan it’s so shameful to have any mental illness. Often these people get kicked out of their jobs or their families or their relationships, so they’re kind of like punk rockers or they’re real outsiders. So here I come along, and I want to hear their story, and I think there’s nothing shameful about them, and I’m totally interested, and they’re just like, wow.

Who are the people you’re talking to? Are they of all ages?
A lot of people in their 20s and 30s. Some people have been depressed for a very long time and have been in institutions, and then there’s people who are much more sort of like an American model, like it’s much more gray if they should be on these [drugs] or not.

Pharmaceuticals were a subject in Thumbsucker too…
The real interest is, through my whole life, I’ve been around people who, in terms of their emotional life, can’t quite get with the program. I have a lot of experience with that, so I’m always interested in characters that are like that. The Ritalin that’s in Thumbsucker and the use of pharmacology in general interest me just because it’s a story that can only be told right now. It’s a totally un-nostalgic story. I’m here now in 2006, so I need to be talking about things that are happening now. And I’m really interested in people’s interior lives, and people who don’t feel like they have a place in the world and what they do.

What style of documentary is it?
Like Deformer, it’s of the people and the physical environment they live in, Tokyo in general. I think one thing that came out of doing Thumbsucker, it politicized me more, where [now] I’m doing these [documentaries] for very cheap, and I feel much more like I’m not going to wait for money and I don’t care so much how it looks. It’s still going to be very beautiful but it’s the first feature-length thing I’m doing that’s not on film. And I’m totally psyched not to be on film and for me, myself, to be involved in shooting it.

My working title for this film is I Want to Be Happy, which is what a couple people have said to me. Seeing these people who’ve really been in a very scary place [but] they’ve found some way to get a grip on the world, it’s really inspiring. My new company that Callum Greene, who’s my producing partner, [and I] made to do these documentaries, it’s called the Mabel Longhetti Group. Mabel Longhetti is the name of Gena Rowlands’ character in A Woman Under the Influence. I really dig on embracing Cassavetes’ whole way of making things, which is by himself, at his house. It’s much more of a small-scale, “How much can you do it by yourself, how cheap can you do it?” notion.

When you do a documentary, does that feel like a break for you to not focus so much on yourself?
I always feel mentally healthier after I’ve done [documentaries] because I’ve exposed myself; I’ve reached out to the world. I think they all mirror and reflect issues that are in me. So it’s kind of simultaneously something new, something I didn’t decide every piece of, and it’s me trying to make new friends, me trying to meet people that I feel like I can identify with. And I’ve definitely had my dose of feeling depressed, so part of me doing that film is exploring a side of myself.

The other thing I’m doing, I’m working on a script, which I’ve been doing for a while now. Writing is such an interior, alone, crazy, walking in the dark process. It’s the joys of being lost and trying to have a little faith that it will all make sense. I will say that doing Thumbsucker, making a film is so hard. Doing all those [press] interviews and putting yourself out in the world that much, it’s incredibly vulnerable-making, more than anything I’ve ever done before. So it really made me feel like every film I’m going to do in the future has to be totally myself, totally as authentic as I can make it, and totally as personal and as weird and that only I can do. It’s like getting your arm cut off. It’s like, “Sue, we’re going to go cut off your arm. What are you going to say about it? What are you going to exchange for having your arm cut off up to your elbow? You only have so many limbs, so we only get to do this so many times.”

You like asking the tough questions, don’t you?
I guess I’m always using my art to try to figure out the world. I want it to be entertaining and I totally believe in being dumb as a great, wonderful, mind-expanding experience, but I’m also trying to figure some shit out here.

What do you mean by being dumb?
The intention to try to figure stuff out kind of implies that you’re going to be able to come up with some kind of solution that will make you happier. So by being dumb, it means giving up control of ever really knowing, and celebrating that you’re never gonna fucking know anything, so stop trying to be smart. Celebrate that we’re all unknowing creatures running around, and just go for it. And to me life is so much more exciting and expansive when it’s like, wow, we’re all super-flawed, super-kooky, super-contradictory, super-untogether people, because then I can finally relax and be me.

It’s funny -- you talk about embracing flaws, and yet your execution is so flawless.
Yeah, it’s a total contradiction.

And it is cool…
I totally agree with you and it totally frustrates me.

Do you want to be less cool?
Well, yeah. I don’t feel cool. [Mostly] I sit at my house and I write and I work and I throw the ball for my dog and worry about being cool, worry that I’m not cool. It’s a funny through-the-looking-glass thing. But I totally agree with you. My biggest complaint about Thumbsucker is that it’s too good-looking.

Do you think you’re a spy?
I know exactly how I spy. It’s really different, in that, spying, the person doesn’t know you’re doing it. And whenever I film anybody, I’m super there. As deep as I want them to go, in Deformer or whatever, often I’ll stop an interview telling them something really personal about myself. So like, OK he went that far so I can go that far. And that’s kind of my style. I’m super involved and present and with them. But in life, I am constantly spying. That’s like the problem of my life. I really just don’t feel like I’m a viable part of the world, since I was a kid, it’s an issue. So I always feel like I’m outside the story spying in. And I feel like that’s a part of all the characters that I talk about. That kind of struggle that the work’s about is trying to find a place, and stop spying or stop feeling that you have to be outside.

If you could spy on anyone at any point in history, who would it be?
Oh so many people. That’s my favorite game, like when I can’t sleep. Time travel, you know? To be able to hang out in Freud’s office when he’s interviewing people. I’d like to spy on Walt Disney back in the day when he was kook-ing up things. Or how great to spy on Fellini when he’s trying to write 8 1/2, because I’m trying to write… How the fuck did you do that, buddy?

Do you like spy films?
I’m not intrigued by espionage in the classic sense of the word. To me, what’s way more interesting is in everyday life, with your lover or your family or at work or with your best friends -- people are constantly spying. People are constantly not saying what they’re thinking and trying to figure out more than they pretend they are. I think that’s actually a very beautiful thing. That’s us trying to figure out the world — us trying to find love, us trying to secure love — and I’m very sympathetic to that. If you take it out of the FBI/CIA context and put it in the human context, people spy because they’re afraid to say I want this or that. And I think that’s incredibly common. And sad and beautiful.

Are you a secretive person?
If you really came up and asked me something, I would probably answer whatever you asked if you were a kind, decent person. I’m not really secretive but I’m also not gushy and leaking info all the time. I’m more of a watcher than I am anything else, so that’s kind of being secretive. [Pauses] Not really, to be honest with you. I’m down for the crazy, revealing, personal conversation anytime. The more embarrassing and funny, the better.


INTERVIEW BY SUE APFELBAUM

Craig-Martin
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 

CRAIG-MARTIN

Jessica Craig-Martin’s work has appeared in various flavors of Vogue, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, W, GQ, Art Review, and on the lids of the more exclusive tins of Altoids. She has had numerous exhibitions of her work, including at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; The Saatchi Gallery, London; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSICA CRAIG-MARTIN

Olivetti Typewriters

OLIVETTI TYPEWRITERS

Typing on a mechanical typewriter is like driving a manual transmission car. You feel a relationship. Using the force of your fingers, you punch a key, which scissors out an arm, which slaps into an ink-impregnated ribbon on its way to pound a molded-steel alphabetical letter into paper. The typist is able to add his own physical emphasis, reaching through the machine to the anticipating blankness of the page. There's a violence to it, overladen with machine noise, and punctuated by the slam of the carriage return. To look at an Ettore Sottsass Olivetti Typewriter (shown here: his Praxis 48 and Valentine models) is to catch a glimpse of the possibilities of design. Think of an Italian, Beat generation Jonathan Ive working for the Apple Computer of typewriters, and you're on the right track.

The son of a more pragmatic architect, Sottsass was a rebel, philosophically sticking it to the old man: “When I was young, all we ever heard about was functionalism. It's not enough. Design should also be sensual and exciting.” In a world of boring, uniformly black, merely functional typewriters, his innovative designs, wrapped in colorful plastic laminates, were exuberant, sexy, and openly infatuated with pop culture. Sottsass challenged the artificial separation in peoples’ minds between tools and toys, and thought that everyday objects could be both at once. We love finding the fantastical design aesthetic lavished on a completely utilitarian object. These Olivettis are fun and beautiful, and they're typewriters, fer chrissakes. Enjoy them. And consider the possibilities.


TEXT BY ROBERT BUNDY
PHOTOS BY DAVE BRADLEY

LEMON Espionage: 2nd issue

LEMON ESPIONAGE: 2ND ISSUE

A cryptic message issued from Distribution: “Authorize Lemon 2. Urgent."

We pulled our lids low, dusted our trail, and rendezvoused at the safe house at midnight. We sent out a scrambled dispatch. All the usual agents were recruited for this one… plus a couple we weren't sure about. Backgrounds were checked. Coercion was used, and on a couple of occasions it got ugly. Funds were transmitted using obscure protocols to remote locations and secret accounts. Deadlines were set. The countdown began. We pulled the trigger right on cue, and now… the success of the mission lies in your hands. We hope you like it.

Surfacing from the ghostly domain of Lemon 1, we traded the supernatural for a more earthly underworld here: mining our fascination for the shadowy role of international espionage in popular culture, we discovered alter egos as well. All schtick aside, Lemon IS a high-stakes mission for a small group of artists. A sideline endeavor supported by a handful of truly visionary sponsors, the team you see listed on the following pages operates nights and weekends for the pure love of the project… agents on behalf of a purely creative ideology.

And so, between these covers, you'll find intelligence gathered from collaborators around the world, extracted using mostly sanctioned tactics, with mostly complicit subjects. We surveilled the society set through the lens of Jessica Craig-Martin. We raided the files on Andy Warhol. We interrogated Stefan Sagmeister, cajoled Sonic Youth and quizzed the former Director of Central Intelligence. Our methods worked, our quarry talked. All that was left was to transpose the tapes and render it in print, declassified. With a few typical embellishments, of course. 

Many people have commented on our textured cover technique… but we must warn you: The special laminate and varnish combination we use is ideal for capturing fingerprints in exquisite detail. So the magazine you're holding now contains irrefutable evidence of your identity. You can try to hide this magazine--you know, in the place where you keep your other special magazines--but someday, someone will find it. 

The best thing you can do is pass it on. This briefing is concluded.


KEVIN GRADY & COLIN METCALF

The Presence by Guido Vitti
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 

THE PRESENCE BY GUIDO VITTI

PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDO VITTI
HAIR AND MAKEUP TAMMI MCEVOY
STYLIST VICTOR VARGAS
PHOTO ASSISTANT JESSE CARROL
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT JEFF BARTLETT
MODEL WENDI SICKINGER, MAGGIE INC

Adobe: Grady&Metcalf

ADOBE: GRADY&METCALF

Everything but the idea. Better by Adobe.

Twisted Tales

TWISTED TALES

AESOP ROCK!
ANNIE
FISCHERSPOONER

LEMON supernatural: 1st issue

LEMON SUPERNATURAL: 1ST ISSUE

Introducing “Pop Culture With A Twist!” Lemon’s debut issue brought Grady & Metcalf’s trademark cocktail of obsessive craftsmanship to a wider audience in this tongue-in-cheek riff on all things spooky. “Supernatural” features superstar artist Jeff Koons, an homage to the brilliant Bill Murray, Bill Armstrong’s unsettling ‘apparitions’, Rostarr’s astonishing calligraphic art, a novel take on the Tarot, the writing of literary phenom JT Leroy, plus comic book interpretations of ghostly tales from music stars Fischerspooner, Aesop Rock and Annie.