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  • SXSW: BROOKLYN, NY > AUSTIN, TX

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    Bag featured: Obey Kenyon Duffle Bag

    Noelle took a break from the brooklyn blogging scene and headed to SXSW where she decided to share her day-to-day hangs with us, because, she’s cool like that. Check out her Texas adventures below. And no, there’s still no basement at the Alamo…

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    Dress Featured: Parker Dress

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    Click here to see more from this post over at the OBEY Women's Blog.

    michelle / March 30, 2015
  • Work Sux : An interview with Olivia Jaffe

    Oliva Jaffe is a Los Angeles based photographer who in the digital age still shoots primarily on film. She is regularly touring with metal shredders The Shrine documenting the band and life on the road. We recently got a chance to catch up with her and ask how she got into photography and what it’s like to be a girl on the road with a bunch of smelly dudes.

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    How did you first get into photography?

    It happened probably around the same time music really started to mean something to me. It was probably Barry Feinstein’s photos of Bob Dylan in the mid ‘60s and Annie Leibovitz’s photos of the Rolling Stones in ‘75 that first stuck it to me. Black and white images of people I thought of as gods passed out in green rooms or feeding pigeons in a town square – just doing strange, normal, human things – were and still are so special. Rare glimpses into parts of life you wouldn’t normally have access to, that’s the kind of photography I still think is the coolest.

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    In a digital age, what makes you continue to shoot film?

    I’m a sucker for physical processes, keeping things rooted in the physical world. When you process a roll of black and white film, particles of metallic silver make up the negative. That is magic to me. That’s as much part of the beauty of the medium as the nature of capturing a fleeting fragment of a second in time is. Every single photograph I’ve ever fallen in love with was shot on film. There’s a tangible sweetness there that digital just can’t touch.

    What’s the best thing the internet has done for you?...and the worst?

    For one thing, it’s made it very easy to connect and work with amazing, badass, people I probably never would’ve met otherwise. It’s also provided a weird sense of competition through that whole internet popularity thing. I don’t know. Shit’s better IRL.

    Who inspires you?

    My dad. The Sex Pistols. Lauren Dukoff, who mentored me for a while. People who’ve squeezed success out of what makes life worth living to them.

    If you could photograph one person dead or alive, who would it be?

    Fred Sonic Smith (or Dolly Parton).

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    What advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?

    DON’T GIVE UP. PAY NO MIND TO THE BULLSHIT, but learn how to take constructive criticism. Stay true to your own weirdness, don’t be afraid to get in touch with people who can help you, and eventually you’ll start climbing the right tree. Eat your vitamins.

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    How did you start touring with the Shrine?

    To be honest, it was a bit of a do or die situation. That said though, I’d almost always rather be on the road meeting weird people and being at shows than sitting at home.

    What does your touring beauty routine consist of?

    Ratty old t-shirts, a leather jacket, Dentyne Fire, and yesterday’s makeup.

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    What’s the deal with the Playboy obsession?

    I love Hugh Hefner. He was a huge civil rights activist during the 50’s and 60’s  - Playboy’s chief interviewer in the 60’s was this guy named Alex Haley who led some of the most controversial discussions in print at that time (he interviewed the leader of the American Nazi Party, MLK, and Malcom X for Playboy) – Hef was a radical free-thinker who was totally unafraid to push boundaries other people were scared shitless by. And he obviously paved the way for the tasty smut we all know and love today. What’s not to like?

    You were at SXSW this past week, who were you most stoked to see?

    The Spits are always killer. I’ve seen the Shrine every day of my life for the past 4 years and I’m not sick of them yet. Hadn’t seen Charles Bradley until last week, so he was definitely a highlight for me. That guy, at almost 70 years old, out-performed pretty much every other band I saw there. It was also 700 degrees during his set, and he still kicked ass AND did an outfit change. Also, watching Dirty Fences play is the best thing you could do for your mental health. They’re just so fucking good.

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    You made a post on Instagram that you’re lookin’ for ladies who skate for an upcoming project you’re working on. Can you tell us more about that?

    Well, I was asked to shoot a typical pool skating story (dude tearing it up while babe lounges nearby), but that’s something everyone’s seen countless times. So I wanted to do a little role reversal. Unfortunately my search for lady rippers yielded pretty bleak results, and the deadline for that specific shoot came and went. But I won’t give up hope. If anyone knows any babes who shred pools, tell them to get at me!!! I shoot for Thrasher!!

    What do you do when you’re not busy touring with the guys?

    I eat a lot of sushi and watch a lot of Sergio Leone movies.

    Where can we see more of your work?

    April 3rd at the Paper Agency in Downtown LA. I’ll be showing photos I shot on tour through Europe at the end of last year, and my best friends (The Shrine & Dirty Fences) will be playing. I’d love to see you there!!!

    TheShrine

    Click here for more details.

    All images courtesy of Olivia Jaffe -- and make sure to follow her on the 'gram.

    michelle / March 26, 2015
  • SEATTLE OR BUST

    I think my body is still recovering from our recent trip to Seattle. For being such a rainy place it sure doesn't keep people from going out. Got to ride in a sea plane go, to a Cromags show, drink some beers, drink some more beers and throw a little party over at Zebra Club to commemorate the opening of our new section up there.

    Let's recap...

    Burl, our rep in the NW, picked us up at the airport in this sweet thing. Just our style! I'm kidding but we did really see this on the trip. Either this dude has a great sense of humor and I think I want to party with him or this dude is completely seriously and I think I want to party with him.

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    This is the vehicle we were picked up in. Don't fuck with Burl! Dude is definitely in the A-Team or some covert detail.

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    Thankfully Burl and Doug knocked out the heavy lifting before we got there. Heavy lifting for Nick and I is usually downing 12oz Coors cans. To prep the location, we thought it was necessary to do so by air. Nick contemplating life before we boarded. (also a little sneak peak at a hot fire jacket you'll see next Fall)

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    Everything looked to be in order so the event was a go.

    First off, where my dogs at?

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    Line up at opening time. Thanks to everyone for bearing the rain. Apparently this one dude's mind was just blown. We have multiple pics of him inside and outside with that same expression.

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    Big Shout to Big Mario on the pizza and look at that fine looking section in the back.

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    Doug on the mix playing the most ignorant music possible. Do you Doug, don't ever change, and in the words of E-40, "Yup!"

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    Also playing the smoothest of jams was our guest, local legend Sean Cee. One of the Huf crew and a damn fine DJ. Check him out on the Instagrams HERE.

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    I'm not gonna put a picture of me up because I'm a shitty DJ and my mom says I'm ugly. But I will put some pics up of the Zebra Club crew. Ayo!

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    Hell of a pour there young lady!

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    Plenty of Pabst to go around.

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    Here's the section with no one in the store. There's no one in the store because they were closed. I think they were closed because Lhotsky did damage to their plumbing. I made that last part up but it could happen. Make sure to stop by. It's both a men's and women's section and we're honored to be in a great store like Zebra Club. Please stop by and support!

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    And one last pic for good measure. In my mind this says Shithole Ave.

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    Pubes / March 20, 2015
  • TOUR KICK-OFF FOR THE SHRINE/DIRTY FENCES WEST COAST WORSHIP TOUR

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    In late 2014, Huf and OBEY co-sponsored a European tour with the bands The Shrine, Dirty Fences and Death Alley. The Bless Off tour was comprised of 30 shows in 32 day in 13 countries. 3 photographers (Dennis Duijnhouwer, Olivia Jaffe and Rick Erfmann) covered the shows and the travels and this zine was created. We'll be releasing the zine at the kick off of a US tour with the bands on April 3, 2015 at The Paper agency in LA.

    Free Show and should be epic. Get there!

    TheShrine

    ‡‡ FREE ‡‡
    RSVP HERE

     

    michelle / March 20, 2015
  • The 13th has a Posse

    OBEY was fortuned with good luck this past Friday the 13th. A local tattooer and fiend friend, Cameron North, set up shop in our photo studio and dished out some quick hits to some well inked co-workers, and one for their very first time. History is mixed on why the 13th is meant to be bad luck, while other cultures embrace the number as a sign of good fortune and prosperity. Either way, we were just all stoked on the cheap tattoos and the big bosses allowing us to get inked on company time. Some pics of the brave:

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    The Brothers Lozano, both familiar with the stick of the needle, and one more recently of a scalpel.

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    Michelle enthusiastically approves, while Russell represents.

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    Two legends: East Coast rep Nick L. getting a little filler piece, while Mary is experiencing her first tattoo ever. Her face says she’s glad she waited so long.

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    KVZ flexing her new umbrella-ella-a; Aaron paying respect to his brothers in the US Navy.

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    Zephan, our brother from Loser Machine rolled through for a little addition, and Cheyne happy with the day.

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    Cameron can be found most days working under the watchful eye of the infamous Rick Walters in Sunset Beach, CA at World Famous Tattoo Parlor. He is available by appointment via Camerontattoos4u@gmail.com

    - Cheyne 

    michelle / March 19, 2015
  • PREHISTORIC

    The weather in Southern California has inspired some to hit the beach and others stuck face-first in front of an AC vent. Last weekend I visited the LA Natural History Museum to take a few photos and soak in some prehistoric visuals before the night’s long festivities of Red Bull & Vodka.

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    Next are some visuals from shows I attended at the Observatory OC, the quality of the pictures are caused by excessive jumping and wild elbows being thrown non-stop.


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    "Chronixx" a 22 year old Jamaican-Reggae phenom, brought the Irie vibes to a packed room of dread-head Rastas. Clouds filled the venue with herbal healing and Skankin bodies moved left to right. Chronixx has gained an international buzz in the Reggae scene, bringing a unique melodic voice to modern day roots-reggae. He expressed his inspirations and influences from the likes of Bob Marley, Buju Banton and a variety of American Country Musicians. I highly recommend his music for a sunny sensemilla day at the beach.


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    Wu Tang's very own "GZA" packed a sold out $5 show of rowdy Hiphop fans, from the oldest to the youngest of generations. Playing his legendary album "Liquid Sword" in its entirety. Nothing could compare to the verbal master of the mighty Wu on a weeknight.

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    Lastly "Travis Scott" a Texas native, who took stage for his 2015 Rodeo Tour. His music is Southern Trap influenced mixed with loud high pitch synthesizers and weird melodies and ad-libs. Travis has been making an impact amongst the youthful generation, his constant energy and crowd control is what makes his live performances worth watching. Scott's fan following is in a culture of its own; from Skaters, Hipsters, and Hardcore Hiphop heads, the crowd is extremely young with no patience to get weird off a pill or two all while purchasing a $3 water.

    - Stay trippy

    aaron del rosario / March 18, 2015
  • Desert Daze

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    As I sit here contemplating what to do with a fresh batch of mushrooms, I receive a sign from the Gods of the interwebz.. it's all starting to align.  Our friends over at Moon Block are hosting the 4th annual Desert Daze Fesitval. Sunset Ranch is a completely outdoor, 163 acre ranch located in Mecca, CA in the Coachella Valley of California, near the Salton Sea. Story has it, the ranch was originally a catfish farm and after nearly 100 years in operation is now home to Desert Daze.

    Moon Block produces several music + art festivals a year including DESERT DAZE, BEYOND THE WITCHING HOUR, & MOON BLOCK PARTY. Each event is curated, organized, and built from the ground up by a group of close friends and a growing collective of musicians and artists from Los Angeles and BEYOND.

    I don't remember much about last year, but the aliens I transcended with said they had a pretty good time. Click here for more info & to buy tickets!

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    CJ / March 17, 2015
  • OBEY Clothing Introduces the 'Traveler Pant' 

    OBEY Clothing introduces the 'Traveler Pant’, a new silhouette for the brand that infuses elements of military, climbing and a general casual "feeling good" vibe. OBEY wanted to design a pant that offered a relaxed fit but could be styled and worn like a regular trouser. Made from a heavy slub cotton twill, this pant features slash pockets, crotch gusset, and a drawcord waistband. Jump on a plane, dress it up, skate in it, etc. It’s a versatile piece for an easy tailored look. At the end of the day, it’s rooted in ideas and concepts that we believe in.

    Find the 'Traveler Pant' exclusively here and Urban Outfitters until Fall 2015.

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    Take a moment to watch OBEY Clothing’s Head Designer, Mike Ternosky discuss his collaboration with designer Kyle Ng on the creation of the 'Traveler Pant.’

    michelle / March 17, 2015
  • ARTIST SERIES : PHUONG PHAM

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    Phuong Pham is a recent Los Angeles transplant, with roots in Philly and Baltimore. She specializes in all things fibers, book arts and printmaking and uses traditional and modern technologies to make work about quietly incongruous relationships. For the Spring ‘15 line, Phuong calls upon the recent resurgence of 60’s and 70’s craft aesthetic and the landscapes of her travels around her new home state. She is inspired by the flora of California, nameless donut shops, medical diagrams and hand-colored plates from mineralogy studies.

    Shop Phuong's Artist Series Collection online now here !

    To see more of her work visit phuongxpham.com

    michelle / March 17, 2015
  • I / YOU / HE / SHE / IT / WE / THEY Show Recap

    Last Saturday, we celebrated the opening of the OBEY womens sponsored art show I / YOU / HE / SHE / IT / WE / THEY at the Known Gallery in LA  featuring  a collaboration of  works by visual artist (and former OBEY artist series artist)Blanda, photographer Silke Labson, and musician Kilo Kish.

    The motive behind the show started with the thinking as young motivated females in an industry highly led by the opposite sex, they wanted to unite to elevate their artistic expressions through a harmonious conglomerate of work. This female alliance took the pronouns I / YOU / HE / SHE / IT / WE / THEY and used them to portray their own perceptions of society as they pay homage to their social interactions.

    The result is a multifaceted collection of personal works channeled through various media. Over time and through life experiences, these artists intuitively develop their own impressions of what it means for us to live in a creative world—the common thread behind their work.

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     Silke Labson and her photographsStephen-Paul_I-you-he-she-it-we-they-22

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    Kish Kilo and her sculptureStephen-Paul_I-you-he-she-it-we-they-29

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     Kish Kilo's artwork

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    Blanda and her illustrations
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    Photo credit: Stephen Paul Photo: http://stephen-paul.4ormat.com 

    OBEYWomens / March 16, 2015
  • TEEBS - OVERGROWN - NEW IMAGE ART

    Teebs, our good homie and past artist series collaborator, is debuting a new show this Saturday (March 14th) at New Image Art Gallery.  Peep the details below.

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    Overgrown

    Solo exhibition by Teebs

    March 14th – April 4th

    Opening Reception Saturday, Saturday 14th, 2015

    7pm – 10pm

    7920 Santa Monica Blvd.

    West Hollywood, CA 90046

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    Mtendere Mandowa (pronounced “ten-de-ra”, Chichewa for “Peace”) or Teebs as he is better known, a producer, a painter, and contributing member of the noted LA based Brainfeeder record label comes to New Image Art for the first time, bringing to view his most captivating solo exhibition to date.

    Born in the Bronx, New York with Malawi and Barbados origins, Mandowa bounced around the East Coast living in both Georgia and Connecticut before finally landing in the affable LA suburb of Chino Hills. It was here that he began to attune his sonic and visual languages in the solitary of his mother’s two car garage. Teebs’ notoriety steadily grew as his affiliations with the respected My Hollow Drum collective and online radio station Dublab helped to expand his network and following. In 2008, he was invited to Barcelona, Spain and selected to participate the annual Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA). His growth and experience there prompted fellow RBMA alum Flying Lotus to seek out Mandowa and within months Teebs was living and working in close proximity of both Flying Lotus and fellow LA beatmaker Samiyam. Since this time Teebs, has toured the globe and released ‘Ardour’ and ‘Estara’, two full-length albums under the Brainfeeder label with much success and acclaim.

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    Following the release of his much anticipated sophomore album Estara, Mtendere began to redirect his creative focus into completing the body of work that would later be exhibited as “Overgrown”. His painting practice bares much relation to his music production: collaging, overlapping, and mixing imagery with painted gesture to create meditative and minimalist visual soundscapes. The work emanates a sense of organic appeal with feelings of warmth and movement similar to that of his music. Currently residing in the hilltop neighborhood of Mt. Washington in close proximity to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Highland Park, Mandowa continues to pull influence from his surroundings noting the changes of eastside Los Angeles communities as a point of creative interest. The paintings showcased in this body of work play upon a push and pull between the crowding of space and the pressence of negative space, similar to the surrounding east side communities. At times the works seem “overgrown” with organic shapes bending and folding atop one another while at other times the work remains sparse and refined. Utilizing a combination of work including large-scale mixed media paintings, over 100 smaller abstract studies on wood, delicate mixed media works on paper, and countless re-purposed vintage vinyl albums, “Overgrown” proves to be indeed a lush environment of creativity.

    Mandowa’s “Overgrown” solo exhibition will be held at New Image Art located at 7920 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, California. The gallery will host and artist reception and public opening on Saturday, March 14th from 7pm till 10pm. Live music with vinyl selection by Richard Thompson via Tijuana with cold beers provided by our friends at Pabst Blue Ribbon.

    CJ / March 12, 2015
  • FULL HOUSE

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    「2007年3月にスタートしたGALLERY TARGETは、来たる開廊10周年を前に、展示スペースを2フロアに拡大し、リニューアル・オープンいたします。展覧会第一弾として、今までにご紹介したアーティストたちの作品を展示。
    GALLERY TARGETのアイデンティティともいえる作品群が、2フロアのスペースにてご覧いただけます。
    新旧含めた作品をご覧にぜひ足をお運びください。」

    "GALLERY TARGET opened on March 2007. Just a year before celebrating our 10th anniversary, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our space. We now have 2 gallery floors for exhibitions. The first exhibition will be a group show with artists we have been working closely with.
    If you are in Tokyo during this period, please stop by."

    Full House
    March 12th – 31st.
    * Opening reception starts from 6 to 9 pm on March 12th.
    Open 12-7 pm except for Sun & Holidays
    GALLERY TARGET
    www.gallery-target.com

    Satoru Aoki、Ai Fukasawa、Marcelo Gomes、Misha Hollenbach、HONET、INVADER、Ly、Stephen Powers、 Ayako Rokkaku、Schnabel Effects、Yuri Shibuya、Peter Sutherland and Koichiro Takagi

     

    OBEYJapan / March 11, 2015
  • Glen E. Friedman

    We're proud to present a collaboration between legendary photographer Glen E. Friedman and OBEY. Glen has shot some of the most memorable and meaningful photos in skateboarding, punk rock, hip hop and more over the last 30 years. Always with an eye for perfection and living by the definition of integrity, Glen has amassed a body of work including album covers for the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and Suicidal Tendencies. He was there to shoot Minor Threat, Bad Brains and the DC scene. Glen was in back yard pools taking pictures of Tony Alva and the Dogtown crew as they changed skateboarding.

    Over the years, Glen and Shepard have collaborated on a number of projects, most of which were never available on apparel. Now Glen has released a new book, My Rules, and we thought it was a perfect time to release some of those collaborations. So in support of My Rules we are releasing 4 of those works, each representing a different genre. There is Tony Alva from Dogtown and skateboarding, Henry Rollins from Black Flag, Cornell West the political activist and Public Enemy for hip hop.

    Tony Alva

    Tony Alva – One of the most incredible trailblazers of the sport of all time. Alva was the first skateboarder ever inducted to the “Skateboarding Hall of Fame”, and the first Skateboarder ever voted “Skateboarder of the Year”, The first Skateboarder to do aerials in pools. A precision stylist whose influence will never diminish. Alva set standards when there were none and helped the sport progress like few others.

    Rollins

    Henry Rollins – One of the most important punk rock front men of all time. Henry took Black Flag to popularity they had not seen before his arrival from his humble beginnings in Washington DC as one of the founders of that incredible hardcore scene. Since forming the “Rollins Band” and his own publishing company, writing for major publications and hosting culturally relevant television programming, Henry is a true renaissance man of our time.

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    Dr. Cornel West – A hero to many, Dr. West is a prominent and provocative, celebrated American philosopher activist, and public intellectual. He has authored more than twenty books. He has taught at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Paris. His radical rebel status can be summarized by his admission that indeed he is “suspicious of all forms of authority”.

    Public Enemy

    Public Enemy – The group who helped to forge a political and cultural awakening in Hip-Hop and culture at large, while making some of the most incredibly dynamic recordings of our time. Their second album “It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” is often referred to as the greatest and most important Hip-Hop album of all time. The group’s front man Chuck D. is clearly one of the most respected voices of his generation.

    Friedman’s photographs are an extension of his beliefs, both social and political, and it was a privilege to spend some time with Glen during the launch week of his London ‘My Rules’ show.

    Your relationship with Shepard Fairey has developed over the years and has led to some fantastic illustrated prints where Shepard has been able to amplify the powerful essence of the subjects within your images and fan the flames of your powerful photography. What was your approach to the ‘My Rules’ clothing collaboration with Shepard and OBEY Clothing?

    After Shepard has turned one of my images into a graphic using bold areas of ink and not pixels it works so well. In the past I’ve been reluctant to use my work on clothing as I’ve had concerns about quality but it’s Shepard’s artistry and his company so it’s natural and just works. Ever since the fourth or fifth print collaboration I had always thought in my mind that maybe one day we’ll do an Artist Series and we’ll get them out at some point. I’m really excited and, for me, they all look cool. I don’t know if the rest of the world will understand the Cornel West significance as much as we do in the United States but all they can do is type his name on the Internet and listen to him speak and you’ll fall in love with the guy. He’s amazing!

    On this project we also got more involved in the colours than usual and each one of these people that we’ve used for the graphics has a real identification with a specific colour. Together with the OBEY Clothing team we used specific colours, for example, for Tony Alva I had to get the image printed on a blue sweatshirt; he’s always been Tony ‘Blue Tile’ because of his pool skating… and it’s refreshing to have some bright colours in the collection! We also have the deep red for Henry Rollins and the olive green for Public Enemy. I like colours – it’s uplifting and exciting. The Cornel West one is going to be on heather grey just because it’s my favourite colour in clothing. I was very impressed with how it’s laid it out on the OBEY Clothing site, the collection looks beautiful. Even the swingtags look great!

    I think people come and see my stuff because they’re fans of what I do and because I hold a stringent line for not selling out. I respect Shepard and I respect everything that he does and as a human I dig him and he’s smart and he’s articulate and he knows what the he’s doing! He’ll talk circles around you… in a good way! Not in a bullshit way! That’s my man.

    And you reached out to Shepard for help with the ‘My Rules’ book design?

    Shepard talked to me, maybe four or five years ago, about doing the books in a different way and working with an outside publisher but initially it never really felt right. More recently Shepard then actually introduced me to the editor at Rizzoli who we ended up working with. I appreciated that and it was just natural that since he was the one who introduced me then he would get the gig to help with the design.

    Since Shepard and Cleon Peterson, his assistant, are skaters themselves and love punk and music and hip hop like I do and have a real understanding of skateboarding it helps to have their opinion; they’re of a different generation so it was really good to have their opinion on everything from the images chosen to the mechanics of the book.

    You’ve had a long relationship working with Shepard whether working on print collaborations, the Liberty Street Project, the Idealist Propaganda show, Subliminal Projects… how did you guys first meet?

    The first time we met in the flesh was when he came to my show at the Sixspace Gallery in Los Angeles where I was having the ‘Fuck You All’ show and I just got off the plane and had the news that Jam Master Jay had been murdered. Ten minutes later, coincidentally, I met Shepard just at the gallery getting a private preview because he knew the gallery owner as he was going to be out of town at the opening. I had asked him, upon hearing the horrible news about Jay, if he would help me create an image of Jam Master Jay for the show so I could put up a memorial to him and dedicate the show to his memory. He said yes even though he was going to be out of town and was clearly busy and within 48 hours it was done. He did the main graphic of Jam Master Jay’s head and face so we built the graphics around it and it was ready in time for the opening. We ended up using it for t-shirts for his memory and to raise money for the family.

    Shepard has a non-stop approach to his street art and fine art projects – always piecing them together with incredible passion and drive. I guess it would have been easy for you to work together sharing the same ideals?

    Yes! Absolutely. There’s a mutual respect there. Shepard’s a very articulate guy, a real craftsman and also a bit of a perfectionist. I respect all of those qualities immensely. He’s not just throwing shit out there he’s very political. I’d call him a really strong liberal and I have a lot of respect for that and we need more people like that. He speaks throughout almost all of his art and I respect it immensely.

    His political statements have always been the most important thing to me. He’s not an idiot. He’s not bullshitting. He has very specific ideas about what he wants to do and he is a bit of a perfectionist, even when it comes to his street pieces and I’ve seen him get mad at some of his assistants. He’s worse than me! He’s a really picky guy. That’s why I never got into film and those types of things. I didn’t want to have to boss people around and tell people what to do. If I needed something done right I know I could do it myself. Shepard’s projects are so massive in scale that he couldn’t possibly do them by himself.

    When we do our collaborations on the prints I don’t just give him the photo and he does his thing to it… that’s a big part of it… but we talk together about it and he’ll ask me what I think or sometimes I’ll just tell him ‘this is my vision for this. I want Keith Morris to write the song lyrics in the background’. I wanted certain symbolism to be in the Cornel West image and for Tony Alva I wanted Shepard to do a different colourway and to keep with the ‘Tony Blue Tile’ theme. I thought it would separate it from everything else and be great to have a different pallet.

    There have been some fantastic images such as Bad Brains, Rollins, Cornel West, Jim Muir, Keith Morris, Tony Alva and most recently Jello Biaffra… but what’s been your favourite project that you’ve worked on with Shepard?

    The most important thing that we ever did was with the Liberty Street Protest. His suggestions were monumental. He really helped me hone the message and really get it to a place where it needed to be. He gave me great advice on that and laid it all out, to a degree, as he knew how important it was going to be. The building hadn’t been open for three years since 9/11; we went there in time for the Republican convention coming to town and it was great… his suggestions were invaluable. I kicked ass, installed the thing and made it all happen… it was all my idea but his advice really made it work. It gave it the strength.

    Image-wise I think we’re going to be working on more – we’re currently working on the Pussy Riot image for hopefully early in 2015. They’re really cool women and they really wanted to do it. I want to do it too! I thought it would be cool. I came to them with the idea and they were like ‘hell yeah!’ they like Shepard’s work a lot together with the Russian constructivist inspiration that he uses sometimes. It would be just great, we could exaggerate that, that’s my two cents that I’m throwing in! We’ll see where it goes from my photo but hopefully it will come to fruition.

    As a spectator of the launch night it was impossible for me not to notice the connection that your audience have with your work; seeing the excitement on the faces of this wide spectrum of people coming through the door who’ve been influenced by punk, hip hop and skateboarding was only enhanced by your presence and willingness to explain more details about each photograph. Is that a particularly enjoyable part of being here?

    Well if I see someone looking at a picture trying to figure out what’s going on I just want to make sure that, whilst I’m here, I let them know what I was thinking about it. If someone seems interested in my work then I’ll give them a little bit more and try add to the story… but that’s a good question… I like the work to do its own thing but I also want people to like the books and I want them to like the photographs too. You can see more in the actual prints than you do in the book because some of the pictures are a little cropped in the book. I think that the show really has a lot to say.

    I have fun talking to people and I’m happy for people to ask me questions who are more interested but it’s really about the work. If people have fun talking to me about it then I like that aspect of it. I don’t mind entertaining or educating people but, for me, it’s all about inspiration. I like the work to inspire people and if it takes me to kick them in the ass to inspire them that much more then that’s good to me too!

    The Jay Adams room and the other audio rooms are an intensified experience; looking at an image of Ice T to then being able to hear his voice from the audio feels as though he is present and talking.

    Honestly I couldn’t imagine the impact until I saw it for myself. I know all these people or, at least, knew them in the case of Jay. I helped them get together these words for the book but hearing them read them in their own voices and seeing the pictures really brings you back to the moment and I was kind of a little emotional about the whole thing… even with the people who are alive.

    It’s a lot to take in, a lot of inspiration to be gained, and a lot to be enlightened about from these individuals and their speaking. The interview with Jay just gives you more of an insight into how he talked and how he lived with his own voice and his own words unedited; the interview we did was the basis for the story in the book and I think that it gives you an incredible insight into an individual who is no longer with us.

    The ‘My Rules’ book is a weighty volume not only in content but in a physical sense too. How difficult was it to make the edit down to the images that you’ve included.

    It’s a monster! It weighs around 7 lbs! Although the show only has 52 images whilst the book has over 300. I originally had more but I was limited to 324 pages by Rizzoli. Originally I had another 30 pages of images laid out plus pages of captions too. We saved space by putting the captions on the pictures rather than in an index but I made it as brief as I could; it’s saving me 12 pages of index in the back so we can have 12 more pages of photos.

    There was one page that I had laid out whilst we were already beginning to press the book and I had to take it out and put a new photo in because I had the opportunity to take that photo of Pussy Riot. I really wanted them to be in the book so I had to take a picture out at the last moment to get them in.

    The whole project was mostly really fun – I loved doing it – it was my life’s blood from the past three years but it was never easy.

    What kind of process did you go through over the three years to put the images together and then curate the images for the book?

    I just did it all at home. I printed pages out, edited all my stuff and ended up spending tens of thousands of dollars actually archiving a lot of my work in a way so I could see it on my computer. As soon as I saw a picture I knew I wanted to use I could then use it straight away and I didn’t have to go back and scan it again. It took a long time picking those shots and then separating and looking at the old books and then the best from ‘Fuck You Heroes’ and ‘Fuck You Too’. This is really a best of compendium of those two books plus about 30% of stuff that no one’s ever seen built with a completely different approach to laying it out than I ever had with a book before. I was talking about the writing being very inspirational but the photos are the ones that do all the talking right?

    In the journey from the 1982 ‘My Rules’ ‘zine to the new ‘My Rules’ book over the last 32 years have you experienced a change in how you put that book together? Did you approach both projects with the same integrity, passion and drive?

    I always have the same integrity, passion and drive. I believe that. That’s made all of these things happen. The way I look at books has changed over the years. You can’t really compare My Rules the ‘zine to My Rules the book other than the title; there’s nothing else similar apart from the photographer and some of the images.

    My Rules the ‘zine was only punk stuff with a pinch of skate – just a background. I compare it more to the first book I made ‘Fuck You Heroes’ which was a real hardcover book. I thought when I made that book that I would never be making another book ever again so I printed everything full frame and I didn’t crop any images; I wanted to show people that this is how I work and I don’t fuck around as every inch of the frame matters. These are important photographs the way they are without any cropping and I wanted everything to be in a really respectful format like a classical art book so every horizontal picture is in the same place at the same size and every vertical picture had the same story and there was minimal information on it.

    I got to this book and now I don’t have to show off how to take a perfect full frame picture every time! I’m going to crop some photos so they can appear overwhelming in this new book. Whenever I make a book I really like it to be undeniable. I don’t take too kindly to criticisms so I just try to overpower everything and do it to an extreme where you don’t even have any room to criticise.

    You want to force the attitude down people’s throats but you certainly don’t want to force product. This OBEY Clothing project makes sense. You read the hang-tag and you see the back of the shirt and it’s about the project – not sales. It’s not for book sales it’s just to inspire people. I did it because it’s going to inspire people… and it inspires me… I love the book! I know that in five years I’m going to look at it and be stoked and I’ll cry because people in it aren’t going to be with us… one of them have already gone. I’m really fucking proud of it and I’m happy that Shepard and OBEY Clothing could help me.

    Glen E. Friedman’s My Rules book is available to buy HERE and you can shop the entire My Rules collection HERE.

    Interview courtesy of OBEY Clothing UK

    michelle / March 10, 2015
  • OBEY AWARENESS : GO CAMPAIGN

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    GO Campaign improves the lives of orphans and vulnerable children around the world by partnering with local heroes to deliver local solutions. GO Campaign connects donors to high-impact grassroots projects aimed at changing lives and transforming communities, one child at a time.

    After vetting our partners to make sure they meet our grant-making criteria, the most important thing we do is LISTEN. We never go into a community and tell them their school needs a library or their children need better food or cleaner water – we let them tell us what they need and we listen as they explain what impact fulfilling that need will have. We then brainstorm with them about the best way forward. They know best the needs of their community and we want to help them achieve their dreams and goals. That’s why the projects we support vary greatly – because the needs and priorities of children are different everywhere we GO.

    In addition to giving these children the opportunities they deserve, our mission is also to give our donors, people like you, the opportunity to connect and make a difference. We give you the chance to donate to the project of your choice, to receive follow-up reports on progress and even go and visit a project if you can. You are part of the solution equation and by cutting out the red tape and waste associated with many of the larger aid organizations, we present you with the opportunity to have lasting impact on children’s lives. In this way, GO Campaign offers you a diverse portfolio of investment opportunities and there’s no investment more worthy of our attention than the future of children everywhere.

    Importantly, 100% of general public donations fund our grant-making to benefit local heroes. This is possible because private donors and sponsors cover our general administrative and fundraising costs. Their investment enables us to grow as an organization and thus be in a position to help more children. Your decision to donate today has the power to begin changing children’s ives tomorrow.

    Education and Vocation Training — From new school construction or expansion to new program development, we ensure marginalized youth have access to primary or secondary education as well as non-formal education and vocational training.

    Health and Safety — We raise community health standards by increasing access to medical services, nutritional meals, as well supporting programs to prevent all forms of abuse affecting youth.

    Care for Orphans — We support orphanages and programs addressing the basic needs of orphans and vulnerable children throughout the world to provide greater opportunity for the children to thrive.

    Enrichment — We fund programs that go the extra mile in enriching the mind, body and spirit of vulnerable children. Geography - We desire geographic diversity when selecting grantees and strive to ensure a variety of communities across the globe benefit from our support.

    AWARENESS-1

    For more information visit gocampaign.org and to shop the collection visit OBEY Awareness : GO Campaign

    michelle / March 9, 2015
  • 9 Horse

    The main dude Eric Pritchard just sent across a film he did of an adaptation of Charles Bukowski's 9 Horse. This is put to life at Hollywood Park Race Track, a week before it closed (future football stadium?), starring none other than the legendary Steve Olson. Check it out below.

    9 Horse By Charles Bukowski from Eric Pritchard on Vimeo.

    Pubes / March 9, 2015

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