Barbara Anastacio: Behind the scenes


Tall, striking and no-nonsense! That’s what all the bouncers in Barbara Anastacio’s images have in common.

Taken behind the scenes at the recent fashion weeks, we love how these images give a different take on fashion.
It’s not all about the glitz and the glamour.
Owning the space you occupy is probably one of the most understated qualities of being powerful!

In a Q&A for Nowness Anastacio reveals that as a backstage photographer at Fashion Week, if the bouncers see you then you’re in the way.

With Paris having the most handsome bouncers, New York the biggest, Milan the toughest, and London the most polite, it was only time before someone turned their lens on these masters of ‘territorial choreography’ as she calls it.

All images (c) Barbara Anastacio

Martino Gamper: design is a state of mind


We love exhibitions that make us want to walk slowly…
where it doesn’t matter whether you came alone or with someone, because you just forget…
where it feels like you’ve just spent an hour but then you end up with 250 photographs on your phone…how long were we here?
where you covet everything and delight in the colour and symmetry of someone else’s good taste.

Martino Gamper’s design is a state of mind at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery is all of these things and more. In a deeply aesthetic way, Gamper has curated a display of shelves that range from design classics to contemporary pieces, Ikea to iconic, all of which play host to an eclectic collection of objects loaned from artists, designers and creatives we enjoy and envy.

With his own background in exhibition and interior design as well as his close ties with the furniture industry, Gamper seems like the perfect curator/designer/artist to have crafted this exhibition with just the right amount of precision, restraint and joy.

Martino Gamper: design is a state of mind
Till 18 May 2014
Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Duncan Raban – That Monday feeling…


Inspiration comes when you least expect it.
And we discovered it last evening at our local pub in the form of the images of Duncan Raban. And they made us smile and feel less grumpy about the fact that it’s Monday already.

So here are our favourite picks from his portfolio. Getting his subjects to drop their guard is what he does best, and it definitely shows in his pictures.
So big smiles everybody…it’s a new day already!

Our Veterans of World War 2




Rememberance Day Veterans Parade - London

A day with The Rolling Stones

And just others we love!!!!

All images (c) Duncan Raban


Friday Inspired: A Graffiti Tour with Lauren Psyk


We’ve always been inspired by the grit and talent of street artists as those who make art to express themselves and never for posterity. For this week’s Friday Inspired we have photographer Lauren Psyk share her inspiration from a London East End graffiti tour.

As a photographer I am always looking for shooting opportunities and new subject matter, so I was delighted when a friend recently bought me tickets for the Graffiti Tour of London, organised by Great British Tours. The tour is based in Shoreditch and takes in well known spots such as Brick Lane, as well as some more hidden away places that I never knew were there. 

Displaying Jimmy c.jpg

Jimmy C


Displaying Paul Don Smith.jpg

Paul Don Smith


The most striking thing I learnt on the tour was how little I knew about street art!  Sure – I had heard of Banksy and I’ve always admired good graffiti, but I had no idea there were so many highly regarded street artists with a signature style and instantly recognisable work. My personal favourite from the tour is a guy called Stik, so called because he draws stick figures.  They are always made up of just six lines.  It was amazing to see how expressive and memorable simple stick figures can be – I guess it’s partly about the choice of location for the work.  Some others I discovered for the first time included Jimmy C, famous for a colourful ‘drip’ style, ROA, a Belgian artist who paints unusual looking animals all over the world, and Paul Don Smith, who uses stencilling. 

Displaying Stik.jpg


The other great question posed by the tour is: “what is graffiti?” We were shown some works of art that to all intents and purposes looked like graffiti. But the guide pointed out that these had been commissioned – by brands, shops, cafes etc.  Are they therefore strictly graffiti, which by definition is about vandalism, and is therefore illegal? And if works by artists such as Banksy now sell for six figure sums around the world, are they really that far removed from commissioned works of art? Can this still be said to be graffiti? I left the tour thinking through these issues, with a list of eye catching street artists to explore further.’

Displaying ROA.jpg



Thanks Lauren! What say we do another one of these soon?

To see more of Lauren’s work click here and follow her on @laurenpsyk


Uncovered / Discovered


We often look to art and photography for inspiration but sometimes real life works too.

We recently came across Dermablend’s Camo Confessions and though they’re not what we usually write about, we could not but share.

What we’ve learnt from this is that who you are, is not what you look like. It is how you live.

And as Lupita Nyong’o said in this thought provoking speech -
‘You can’t eat beauty… it doesn’t feed you.
You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you.
What actually sustains us,
what is fundamentally beautiful
is compassion -
for yourself and for those around you.
That kind of beauty inflames the heart and enchants the soul.

Fausto Podavini: A Story about Alzheimer’s and Love


Today we discovered Fausto Podavini and his beautiful series called MiRelLa that follows the touching story of Mirellam, a seventy-one year old wife, mother and grandmother, as she cared for her ailing husband of forty three years, Luigi. Luigi had Alzheimers, a condition they both coped with for six years before he passed away in 2011.

Here are some of the images from the series that made us melt; age is a beautiful but harsh reality, and there is no denying that so much of our lives is controlled by our heads alone.

It might be easy to make growing old look beautiful, but it takes great skill to make each photograph feel like your audience has lived, or lives even the smallest part of it.

Click here for the full photo essay courtesy burn

All images (c) Fausto Podavini

Musical Forms


What would music look like if transposed into a visual image?
What colour would rhythm or melody take?

These are not questions that we have ever asked ourselves but they are definitely ones to consider. And composer Lee Westwood and geometer Sama Mara have explored these in a collaboration called ‘A Hidden Order‘.

Borrowing from geometric art that has Islamic influences, fractal geometry and non-periodic tilings (we don’t claim to understand most of this), Westwood and Mara have created a system where contemporary classical music can be translated into patterns and vice versa, with the results as follows.

Pentagon III – Ensemble


Triangle– Ensemble Variation I


Triangle – Ensemble


The compositions of Westwood and the images generated by Mara were recently on display at the Princes School of Traditional Arts Gallery and we were lucky enough to attend one of their performances where a special quartet performed key pieces from the project. Against the backdrop of a large screen and instruments that included a flute, cor anglais, cello and a marimba, this talented group held a small audience enthralled for forty-five minutes of putting an image to sound.



Certain compositional criteria had to be set in place by this duo when they were creating both the music and the art for this project. And these have resulted in unique musical structures and images that raise the question – in cases like these do you remain true to the rules of music to create a melodic phrase, or do aesthetics win in the end?

An interesting question and a dilemma skillfully raised, this collaboration has resulted in music and art which if either of them stay true to their preordained constructs, they inadvertently force the other to yield to the weird and the wonderful.

24 Photography Project

We recently discovered 24 Photography and we’re in love!

A brilliant, simple idea with unlimited potential that consists of 24 photographers who take an image in turn, one for each hour of the first day of the year. What started out in 2004 as a photography project for 24 Central Saint Martins students has now become not only something to look forward to, but also a documentation of the gamut of emotions people go through on the first day of a brand new year.

The group aims to do this for 24 years and it will be interesting to see how many will stick with the project, and whether the dawn of the new year continues to retain it’s charm in 2028.

Here are our favourites from  over the years -

00:00 GMT Nicky Willcock  (2005)


01:00 GMT Ali Waggie – And Then the World Stood Still… (2010)


02:00 GMT Otis Edwin – I hope 2014 is your best year ever! (2014)

03:00 GMT Sarah Lucy Brown (2009)


04:00 GMT Alessandro Giuliano (2006)

05:00 GMT Colin Blackstock – In paradise (2013)

06:00 GMT Nicky Willcock – Transience (2011)


07:00 GMT Sarah Lucy Brown – Into the light


08:00 GMT Raphael Schutzer-Weissman (2004)

09:00 GMT Justina Burnett (2009)


10:00 GMT Candida Jones (2007)


11.00 (18.00 AWST) David Mazza – Is it a camera? Is it a computer game? It’s Super iPhone! (2014)

12:00 GMT Reme Campos (2005)


13:00 GMT Guy Bell – Excess (2014)


14:00 GMT Angela Zair – Feeling empty (2012)


15:00 (13:00 BRST) Raphael Schutzer-Weissmann – After lunch in Vargem Grande do Sul, Brazil (2011)


16:00 GMT Angela Zair – Finding time (2014)


17:00 GMT Claire Spreadbury – Untitled (2011)


18:00 GMT Raphael Schutzer-Weissmann – Spend what you don’t have (2014)


19:00 GMT Kat Birch (2007)


20:00 (12:00 PST) Alexander Kenney – Polar Bear Swim Club (2010)

21:00 GMT Otis Edwin – Sainsbury’s Frozen Dessert (2012)

22:00 GMT Alison Wagstaffe (2007)


23.00 GMT Alys Tomlinson (2009)


David Bailey: In the Pursuit of Beauty


David Bailey’s Stardust at the National Portrait Gallery gives visitors the perfect opportunity to immerse themselves in what Bailey does best – take fantastic images of the beautiful and the famous, but without letting the glamour overwhelm you.

‘The pictures I take are simple and direct and about the person I’m photographing and not about me. I spend more time talking to the person than I do taking pictures.’

Most of the images are black and white, and though the display does highlight Bailey’s other images taken in India, Sudan, Australia, and London’s East End, the main focus is on his celebrity images. And it doesn’t take much to figure out why it is with these images that the maverick photographer has built up his reputation and his fan base.

Meryl Streep, 1980


Noel Gallagher, 2008


Damon Albarn, 2007


Ralph Fiennes


Marianne Faithful, 1964


Marianne Faithful, 1999


Jerry Hall and Helmut Newton, 1983


Mia Farrow, 1967


Jack Nicholson


Francis Bacon, 1983


Man Ray, 1968


Salvador Dalí and David Bailey 1972

Salvador Dalí and David Bailey, 1972


Jacques-Henri Lartigue, 1982


Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie, 1982


Catherine Bailey


Bailey’s Stardust
National Portrait Gallery
Till 1 June 2014

Evil Things – An encyclopaedia of bad taste


One of our favourite exhibitions to currently see in Vienna is Evil Things – An encyclopaedia of bad taste at the Möbel Museum Wien. A tongue-in-cheek look at those everyday objects that make us grimace or laugh, that have had an unexpected impact on society or the economy, that are utterly useless, have big design flaws or are just plain rude – there’s an interesting conversation to be had around each and every one of these objects.

The exhibition also invites visitors to leave behind their bad taste objects with a story of why they consider the item to be terrible. All the written humour and indignation was completely lost on us given the German wall text, but what we did witness is that one person’s jewel could very easily be another person’s garbage. And since we ourselves possess and have gifted to friends a few of the displayed objects, we completely put down bad taste as being in the eye of the beholder. Now you tell us, why would anyone pass up on the chance to own a set of wind-up teeth that walk across the table? That’s so many hours at work taken care of!

Some of the objects that made us chuckle…

So where do the seeds go?


One can never have too many cats or teapots.


What would an exhibition on taste be without a Blackberry?





Advertised as ‘makes very realistic sounds’!


The Better Half chopping boards


Nearly all these pictures are courtesy eBay.

On a more serious note, the exhibition is based on a 1912 publication by the art historian Gustav E. Pazaurek where he drew up a criteria on taste mistakes of all kinds. Pazaurek also believed that every institution or museum should have a chamber of horrors cataloguing past design mistakes for students and designers to learn from.

This exhibition includes loans from Pazaurek’s original collection as well as new items from several other museums. Getting visitors to bring in their items as this exhibition does, is also an effective way of acknowledging that everyone has taste or at the least has an item to be commemorated to the Chamber of Horrors.

A definite must-see even if you don’t understand German, we’d also encourage you to wander through the rest of the Möbel Museum which is magical in a quiet, non-touristy-museum sort of way…to us this is the best kind there are!

Evil Things. An Encyclopaedia of Bad Taste 
Till 6 July 2014
Möbel Museum Wien