“Where do I begin?” laughs American artist Martine Syms down a transatlantic phone line. She’s currently in New York, working on an upcoming exhibition, but we’re connected to talk about her latest solo show Grand Calme which recently opened at London gallery Sadie Coles HQ.
Most people reading this will have experience of writing essays, and anyone who has experience of writing essays also has experience of the unique hell of trying to hit a word count that simply refuses to be hit. There is, it turns out, only so much that hungover 19 year old you has to say about Foucault’s The Birth of the Clinic.
How do you tell a story about knife crime without falling into tropes that demonise young people? It’s a challenge in the current social context, where the image of knife crime hinges on one-dimensional caricatures of young black men. See a news report about tragedy and you might hear the name “gang”, young men in hoodies, or worse, a moral panic about music like “UK Drill” at the heart of all violence in London. So what about the real stories? It’s a challenge that filmmaker Iggy Ldn has taken, to show the beauty of life beyond reductive headlines. His exquisite short film Velvet encompasses all the beauty and joy of life in abundance. The short takes us through a liberated, urgent, dance, showing hypnotising and powerful rising forms as Michael Junior Onafowokan body’s moves in times with music provided by Father and Kwabs. Iggy’s previous work is testament to taking a breath and reimagining visions of blackness — his stand out short film Black Boys Don’t Cry was a critically acclaimed look at the delicacy of black masculinity.
Back once again on the last Tuesday of September, it’s Nicer Tuesdays! This month’s edition sees a stellar line-up grace the stage at Oval Space as we’ll be hearing from renowned Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace, creative director and filmmaker Margot Bowman, independent creative agency Superimpose and illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli will be joining us from her home in Milan.
The brightly coloured creations that Italian illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli whizzes up have graced the pages of It’s Nice That countless times. With a talent for pairing colours and shapes that bounce off screens and magazines alike, Olimpia’s work is instantly noticeable and explains why clients and illustration lovers fall for her time and time again. Recently releasing a new series Cuore di Panna, Olimpia used her style to evoke childhood memories of late 1980s Italian culture and will be taking us through the lip-licking drawings included in the series. Dougie Wallace is a name that will ring a bell with photography fanatics and eager people watchers. Internationally recognised for his ability to capture anyone – from the wealthy shoppers in Harrods to barking dogs – Dougie captures life as he sees it using his high-flash social documentarian eye. The photographer will be joining us to talk through how he’s developed this approach and the projects that have followed.
For Berlin-based graphic and type designer Johannes Schnatmann, the internet is his main inspiration. Working alongside commercial projects, the designer has created his own publication Tempus Futurum which explores the idea of a utopian design process. Featuring over 20 contributions from designers, including It’s Nice That favourites Pouya Ahmadi and Jonathan Castro, each creative dissects the personal concept of Utopia following the publication’s premise that utopian design is impossible. Speaking to It’s Nice That Johannes explains how, “there should be no limit or point of restraint in a design process. Design is limitless”. For instance, “the design of a chair continues to prove that it is limitless. It’s design is still explored and reinvented. It is refused a point of utopia”.
Anyone who has watched a stop-motion animation by Kate Isobel Scott will know she’s got a steady pair of hands and the utmost patience for plasticine. Her shorts are usually all made of moulded blobs of the material morphed into wide-eyed characters wibbling and wobbling through sets that also makes by hand. A process which takes time and a ridiculous attention to detail, Kate’s animated skill was recently picked up by New York-based street brand Knickerbocker to create a short focusing on a 1950s New York street scene with a skateboarder.
If you’ve ever queued in the cold for a Yeezy drop, have an opinion about an Air Max 1 colourway, or keep pristine boxes of Jordans stacked in your bedroom, you might be interested in Sneaker Freaker, a new book published by Taschen this November.
St. Augustine is America’s oldest city. Tucked away on the northeastern tip of Florida, St. Augustine is more specifically the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the contiguous United States. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, a Spanish conquistador, willed it into being back in 1565. 452 years on, and surf-mad publication Indoek have celebrated all that’s good about St. Augustine with the second issue of its city-specific magazine. We now want to go to St. Augustine.
Art Bank Taiwan will join the London Design Biennale for its final week this week at Somerset House. The exhibition will interpret the Biennial theme “Emotional States” in an exhibition titled Invisible Calls. The work will showcase contemporary work by acclaimed artists Cheng-Chang Wu and Che-Yu Hsu who both explore Taiwanese cultural identity through social and political commentary through an ‘invisible call’ to action.
Ever since it was first shown at White Cube’s London gallery in 2010, Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay’s The Clock has slowly built up a reputation as one of the century’s most significant art works to date. The 24-hour long film — yep, it really does last for an entire day — is comprised entirely of film and TV scenes that feature timepieces of some sort.
Natalia Poniatowska employs photography to convey the emotions, truths and challenges of modern reality