Makeup tycoon Kylie Jenner savors the sweet smell of success in a dazzling home animated with pop brio and youthful energy
By Mayer Rus
Photography by Douglas Friedman
February 5, 2019
What were you doing when you were 21 years old? Looking for a job? Settling for an unpaid internship? Shopping for a foldout futon? Kylie Jenner hasn’t got time for all that. The wildly popular entrepreneur, reality-television star, and youngest member of the Jenner/Kardashian clan is busy presiding over a cosmetics empire worth roughly $800 million. Forbes magazine speculated that she is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire in history. She also has more than 124 million followers on Instagram—a single 2018 post introducing her daughter, Stormi Webster, garnered more than 18 million likes. To borrow a hackneyed phrase, when Kylie talks, people listen.
“Kylie is the ultimate celebrity, the ultimate influencer. For someone her age to have achieved so much is frankly astonishing,” says Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the Los Angeles AD100 designer tasked with conjuring a dream home worthy of a vivacious almost-billionaire superstar. The residence is located in the Los Angeles suburb of Hidden Hills, close to the homes of Kylie’s high-profile siblings and their mother, Kris Jenner. “When we started this project, she wasn’t even old enough to drink legally. This was her first really grown-up house,” he adds.
Andy Warhol screen prints ascend with the stairwell in the home’s entry. Fendi stroller by Inglesina.
“I told Martyn I wanted a fresh, fun vibe to match the way I was feeling. Color was essential. I love pink, and I wanted a lot of it!” Jenner recalls of her earliest conversations with the decorator. Functional requirements were also at the top of her agenda. “My closets and glam room are very personal to me, even down to the size of each drawer, so they fit my specific products and clothes. I spend a lot of time in those rooms, so we had to make sure they were perfect.”
Bullard obliged with a design scheme that is equal parts sparkle and sumptuousness. On the more glittery end of the spectrum are the white lacquer-and-acrylic grand piano in Jenner’s monochromatic, Old/New Hollywood living room; the gold-leafed ceiling of the dining room; vintage Lucite furniture by Charles Hollis Jones; and reflective wall coverings galore. On the plush side of the equation, Bullard deployed carpets of Patagonian shearling, alpaca, and silk; snow leopard–patterned velvet on the vintage Milo Baughman barstools in the lounge; and fur bedcovers.
“The look is glamorous but totally inviting. Kylie loves to have people over, and there’s nothing so precious that you can’t stand, jump, or dance on it,” Bullard explains of the decorative mix.
Sly nods to Kylie Cosmetics, Jenner’s blockbuster business, abound. In the dining room, for example, the leather upholstery on the chairs was custom-dyed to match colors from Kylie’s lipstick collection, ranging from ceruse to pale pink to deep garnet. In the living room, seemingly liquescent brass consoles riff on the drip patterns of the makeup line’s signature packaging. “I have a lot of Kylie Cosmetics, awards, and my magazine covers around the house that inspire me on a daily basis. I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished,” Jenner notes.
Halfway through the project, Jenner learned that she was going to have a baby with rapper Travis Scott (given name Jacques Bermon Webster II), which necessitated a retrofit for a nursery and playroom. “Stormi has definitely taken over the house with her toys,” Jenner says, laughing. And not just any old binkies and baubles. Chez Kylie, it’s all about the bling—a Fendi baby stroller and a Lamborghini child’s car are among the many high-end playthings.
The art-filled bar features condom art by Beau Dunn.
Of course, the fun is not reserved exclusively for Stormi. In the lavish family room, Jenner and her guests can take a swing on a Jim Zivic hammock suspended from the ceiling while enjoying treats from custom cocktail tables with cutouts for ice, champagne, and caviar. The entertainment continues in the bar/lounge, which is tricked out with a billiard table, arcade games, a Saint Laurent limited-edition surfboard, and, for a little added cheekiness, a group of giant condom sculptures from artist Beau Dunn’s “Size Does Matter” series. Andy Warhol dollar-sign lithographs and a dramatic portrait of the homeowner round out the art on display in the lounge.
“Kylie feels a deep connection to Marilyn Monroe, so we placed a series of Warhol screen prints of Marilyn along the main stairway. In general, we selected artworks that felt appropriate for a young collector with feminine tastes. Everything reflects Kylie’s personality,” Bullard says, referring to the Damien Hirst “I Love You” butterfly silk screens that adorn the dining room, the Jean-Michel Basquiat screen print that presides over the living room, and black-and-white photographs of Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, and Twiggy. The Tracey Emin neon sculpture that hangs in the bar perhaps best sums up the saucy vibe of the dynamo’s dazzling home. It reads, “I Can’t Believe How Much You Love Me.”
Artist, Christopher Florentino
Artist, Christopher Florentino
Artist, Christopher Florentino
Modern Art Museum
10.27.2018 — 01.06.2019
We are delighted to share the exciting news about Russell Young’s sensational exhibition SUPERSTAR now on view at the Modern Art Museum Shanghai through January 6, 2019.
RUSSELL YOUNG - SUPERSTAR has opened to great fanfare. Occupying the entire museum, a massive repurposed industrial space in a former coal bunker along the banks of the Huangpu river. The most extensive survey of Russell Young’s work to date, showcasing over 100 works across two decades, and the largest institutional exhibition of work by a Western artist on view in Asia right now. This riveting retrospective offers a fitting introduction to Young’s work on an unprecedented scale for a growing international audience in China.
From celebrity portraits to historical events, standout works such as Marilyn California, thirty individual hand pulled portraits framed into a single painting nineteen feet long by eight feet high, a monumental tribute to the femme fatale’s tragic glamour, punctuate the wide-ranging series on view. Young’s series, American Landscapes features prominently alongside paintings from Pig Portraits, Fame+Shame, Diamond Dust, The Fight of the Paso del Mar, Helter Skelter, Superstar, Femme Fatale, and the world premiere of a five year long project West.
Young has added images of popular Asian Icons to the mix, pushing the boundaries of his ongoing engagement with a typically American ethos to explore similar themes from a Chinese perspective. These Chinese icons are integrated into and premiering at the Modern Art Museum Shanghai, in his latest iconic series of famous figures from politicians to rock stars in a shimmering silver tone and sparkling with diamond dust, pairs a portrait of Mao with a new Elvis painting. This new body of work recasts the notion of the icon in the shifting global cultural landscape where East meets West.
Modern Art Museum Shanghai
4700 Binjiang Avenue
Pudong New Area, Shanghai
Kat Emery (left) and Jacquelin Napal (right) in front of a custom Flore mural at Art Angels’s Los Angeles Gallery. Courtesy of Art Angels.The pop-art gallery and its two female founders have learned a lot in five years.
Kat Emery (left) and Jacquelin Napal (right) in front of a custom Flore mural at Art Angels’s Los Angeles Gallery. Courtesy of Art Angels.
It’s not easy for a gallery to carve out a name for itself in a city as big and starry as LA. But Art Angels, a contemporary, pop-art venture located in West Hollywood, has done just that.
Jacquelin Napal and Kat Emery, the two owners and founders of the gallery, are the angels in question. One of their artists, James Georgopoulos, coined the term, often referring to the duo as “art angels” whenever they interacted. The name fits: As two young, stylish women with business acumen and a taste for market-friendly art, Napal and Emery aren’t cut from the same cloth as many of their peers. And that’s a good thing.
The gallery, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary, has already achieved a great deal of success, amassing an impressive collector base that includes a number of actors, athletes, and other celebrities. Not content to sit on their success, the duo opened up a second branch in Miami this summer, and they’re hoping to repeat the feat in a third location.
Art Angels’s new Miami location. Courtesy of Art Angels.
Art Angels specializes in work by pop-oriented artists, many of whom are emerging; others are more established. Artist Beau Dunn works with toy imagery like Barbie and Hello Kitty, mixing themes of childhood, materialism, and desire to enticing effect. Or there’s Flore (pronounced Floor-ee), a painter with a street art background in the vein of Haring or Basquiat. He makes densely layered murals of signs, cryptic phrases, and abstract shapes. And don’t forget Philippe Shangti, a French photographer who breaks down taboos with his bright, provocative portraits of scantily clad women.
“It’s an incredibly fun experience to walk into our gallery,” Emery tells artnet News. “Our artists are very bold; they take risks. But they’re also very great investment artists. It’s exceptional art that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
Beau Dunn’s Barbie #1′ hanging in the house of model Claudia Schiffer—one of the gallery’s many celebrity clients. Courtesy of Art Angels.
Emery, who’s from Manchester in the UK, met Napal, an LA native, in the early 2010s. They were both working at a gallery in LA. Napal was, by title, the director of the gallery, though her duties encompassed virtually every aspect of the business; Emery came from a sales background. Their skill sets complemented each other perfectly, and they were interested in the same thing: starting a gallery that wasn’t as male-dominated or unwelcoming as so many others.
The two women officially launched the gallery early in 2013. Their beginnings were humble. They started out, like many galleries do today, on Instagram. (The platform has remained a large part of their identity since, and they currently have over 63,000 followers.)
“That’s kind of where we began, before we had a space, before we had a pop-up, even before we had the website,” Emery says. “It’s something we found very important from day one and obviously it’s continued to grow. It’s a fantastic resource for us. We get a lot of collectors who stop by the gallery because they follow us on Instagram and have seen the stuff online.”
Courtesy of Art Angels.
In October of that year, Art Angels launched a pop-up exhibition in West Hollywood—their first big project. And it was, indeed, big—they rented a massive space encompassing thousands of square feet.
“It was quite a bold move for us,” recalls Emery, laughing. “But it went really well.”
So well, in fact, that they were able to parlay the experience into their first real location just three days later—a 600-square-foot space connected to the one they’d rented for the pop-up.
In 2016, the gallery moved into its current home—a 2,000-square-foot retail space in West Hollywood’s design district. (Since then, they’ve also taken over the unit next door; their exhibition space is now over 3,500 square feet in total.) That’s rapid growth for a gallery that had just left its toddler years. But Napal and Emery aren’t done.
In July of this year, the pair expanded to the East Coast, opening up a second branch in Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood.
“We definitely wanted to have a presence on the East Coast,” Napal says of the decision. “We’ve been involved in Basel for the last couple of years and have a very strong collector base there. Five years ago, we chose LA because we felt like the city was missing a gallery like ours. That’s how we felt about Miami, too.”
Despite the name Art Angels, the duo refrained from presenting the gallery as being female-run for the first few years of its existence. It wasn’t a matter of hiding anything; they simply didn’t want the gallery’s identity to compete with the art inside.
“People often assume that there is a male financing the gallery,” Napal says. “But that’s not the case. It’s entirely funded by both of us; it’s our own money, no one else’s. I think it’s also inspiring for young females right now to know that you can do anything. You just need to have the passion and the drive and the dedication, and it all will come together.”
Nirvana’s second album “Nevermind” revolutionized rock music and has sold at least 30 million copies since its release in 1991. Its cover also features one of the best-known underwater images ever made: the photo of a baby swimming towards a dollar bill on a hook. The music – including lead single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – made the album’s success. But that iconic image carved it into our minds.
Spencer Elden, the cover model also known as the “Nirvana baby,” was not simply thrown into a local pool in Southern California. Achieving this image took significant preparation, according to photographer Kirk Weddle.“Since kids are always an unknown at shoots, I did several prelight and prefocus passes with a doll. Once I felt I had the framing, light, and exposure dialed in; the parents slipped the child into the water,” wrote Weddle on
The mention of underwater photography may recall plastic-protected throwaway yellow cameras for snapshot memories of summer vacations. Yet water has long captured the minds of fine artists.
“Alla Prima” by Barbara Cole
The first underwater photograph, a blurry image of aquatic life, was taken in 1856 by William Thompson, who didn’t actually dive in to capture it. This is why French marine biologist Louis Boutan is widely considered the early pioneer of the genre, as he was the first to plunge into the ocean to take the first underwater portrait, armed with a camera he had invented with the help of his brother Auguste.
Underwater photography grew from a long line of documentarians, who wanted to record wildlife beneath the waves. But the attraction to underwater images quickly branched out into the world of make-believe.
As early as 1916, director Stuart Paton adapted Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” into what became an incredibly expensive production that used a system of mirrors to capture underwater scenes. But it was Bruce Mozert, the grandfather of underwater art photography, who first capitalized on the genre. He was an ace at creating seemingly impossible scenarios, such as a smoke-filled barbecue using a can of condensed milk. Florida was the perfect backdrop for Mozert’s interpretations of a homely 1950s way of life, and his images soon became an icon of the clear waters of Silver Springs – and the American dream.
Taking photography to new dimensions
Underwater photography has since grown further into an art of its own. Contemporary photographers Barbara Cole and Christy Lee Rogers have become two of the most prominent artists in the field, ingeniously using water as an artistic tool to transform reality. They don’t simply drag our on-land surroundings into a pool, in the style of Mozert, but rather take advantage of the submarine environment to create a dream-like alternate dimension.
“Emulsion” by Barbara Cole
“My goal since I began to exhibit in 1984 was to push the medium – to paint with a camera, resisting the realism that is normally expected of photography,” said Cole via email.
Canadian-born Cole, whose work will be on view at Galerie LeRoyer this month, entered the world of photography at the age of 19, as the fashion editor of the Toronto Sun. Her days were spent taking pictures and absorbing as much as she could from staff photographers, among other editing jobs.
Cole, who is “always looking for a way to transform reality,” started creating her ethereal compositions by using a Polaroid SX-70. “When that was no longer an option I decided to accomplish an analogous effect by shooting through water. It was a natural progression. I’ve been swimming almost daily for 40 years and the secrets and beauty of the way a figure appears underwater hadn’t eluded me,” Cole said.
“Jet Lag Triptych”, Underworld series, by Barbara Cole
Along with Cole, Rogers is changing the way water is used in photography to create images that can easily be mistaken for paintings and that push the boundaries of reality. Unsurprisingly, water has also had a great bearing on Rogers’ life. She now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and has exhibited globally, but prefers to shoot at sundown in Hawaii, where she grew up.
“Water was like freedom, purity and pure lifeblood. It was also an overwhelming powerful destroyer at the same time. A body immersed in it, free from gravity but trapped by the inability to breathe or survive under it, was a great dichotomy that was profoundly compelling to me,” Rogers said in an email.
In these shoots, the main working environment is inhospitable, so the connection between the image maker and the models becomes even more important. Rogers explained she has to be the “eyes of the models” because they have to keep them shut as soon as they’re submerged.
“Alive” by Christy Lee Rogers
“This is how one of my favorite models Elisabeth Donaldson explains her experience, ‘when modeling underwater there is an initial moment of complete physical terror. You have blown out all of your air, and are underwater in darkness, searching for light, wrapped in fabric that grabs you and pulls you and covers your face,’” said Rogers.
She continued: “I don’t think these images are supposed to be possible. Every time I do a shoot, I think it’ll be my last because I don’t know if I’ll be able to capture it again. It’s so exhausting for me mentally and physically.”
“Obsession” by Christy Lee Rogers
Since the early 20th century, fine art underwater photography has evolved from Mozert’s surrealist, submerged renditions of life on land to Rogers’s and Cole’s painterly images, reminiscent of Botticelli’s billowy fabrics and floating figures.
“Short of working in outer space it’s the best place to be able to play with gravity. Under the water I’m dealing with a weightless world. Figures can be literally suspended, time slows down, and sounds are very gentle,” said Cole.
“Submerged: Four Series of Underwater Photographs” by Barbara Cole is on view at Galerie LeRoyer in Montréal until Nov. 1, 2018.
by Rachel Emerson
Stepping into an art gallery can be intimidating, not to mention often clinical and sometimes, hostile…no matter how informed one may be going in.
However, when you step into Art Angels and speak to owners Kat Emery (Manchester-born) and Jacquelin Napal (a native Los Angeleno), you realize that art can exist in a space that doesn’t exhibit ego, if anything it cultivates acceptance and creativity. Whether you’re just there to appreciate the work, purchase your first piece or your fifteenth, there’s a welcoming vibe extended to everyone.
This self-financed gallery began in 2013 out of the minds of two women who seem to be each other’s business-yin-and-yang. A business savvy pair that stepped into a male dominated industry, only to exceed expectations. If a client needed help hanging a newly purchased piece, Kat and Jacquelin were there with the tools to do it themselves. From painting walls to hanging art, they didn’t mind. On top of the beginning stages of the gallery, eighteen months after its opening, both of its owners had babies within four months of each other.
When asked about the challenges of their entrepreneurial success, Jacquelin and Kat were incredibly gracious and positive about their journey. They’re all about female empowerment and while, they might get asked what it’s like to be in a business heavily ran by men, they cooly reply with a succinct sound bite on women’s empowerment and being open to their own unknown capabilities. After many years as gallerists, the volume of women within the industry is growing and being a part of that movement is nothing short of exciting.
Recently Art Angels expanded its flagship gallery in Los Angeles to house even more impressive work. They have had a variety of exhibits that often nod to pop culture, it’s genuinely a fun place to be. The artists that have been featured on the walls tend to pack a poppy punch of color and opinion. To name a few, the hyper-realistic work of Mike Dargas, mixed media artist, Stephen Wilson, Flore and Russell Young. And alongside their growing list of artists is an impressive (and expanding) collector base consisting of celebrities, athletes and fine art aficionados across the globe.
A space like this has had such a calling that Art Angels has opened up a Miami location where they will be participating at Art Basel 2018 this Fall with a booth at Context Art Miami. Art Angels’ gallery owners say they are in the beginning stages of opening a third gallery, which they have yet to decide on an exact location. If you’re lucky enough, maybe this inclusive, inviting, self-financed duo will bring a pop of art and accepting culture closer to you. Otherwise, catch their life’s work and inspiration at Art Angels Gallery in Los Angeles and Miami, and by visiting their Instagram and website.
“Waggett’s works are a challenge to the artist, critic, collector, and curator. She slaps this universal equivalent straight onto the objet itself. It’s an affront, yet it’s value too. You can’t pretend this hypocrisy isn’t there and that we’re all, desperately, caught in it.” - D.S Graham, Editor, Art Aesthetics
“Elizabeth Waggett creates highly intricate pieces of work that are truly breathtaking. It’s hard not to marvel at the incredible detailing she puts into each of her pieces. Her monochromatic palette is the perfect modern twist on such a traditional form. You can stand in front of one of her pieces for hours, getting lost in her technique and brilliant drawing practice.” - K.Adduci, Founder, Art Zealous
“Elizabeth’s eye-catching drawings appear in great detail and exemplify hyperrealism in art today.” - J. Klos, Curator/Judge, Rise Art
Screen print painting depicts North Carolina native and Hall of Fame inductee.
The Mint Museum has acquired a painting of North Carolinian and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nina Simone.
Nina Simone is by British artist Russell Young. “Having such a beautiful portrait of a N.C. native who was such a strong African-American woman, activist, and performer will add to our contemporary art collection here. Plus, I think it will be such a popular piece with our audiences,” said Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, the Mint’s senior curator of American, Modern, & Contemporary Art. He made the choice with former Assistant Curator Adam Justice, now Director of Galleries at UNC Charlotte.
Russell Young was born in 1959 in Northern England. From an early age, he was drawn to the idea of the quintessential “American dream,” which he thought represented freedom and possibility. Known for his bold, iconic silkscreen paintings of pop imagery turned upon themselves to explore the nature of the American counter culture as seen through the eyes of his youth, his bold ground breaking screen print renditions present a visual journey that bears witness to both the excess and ambition that has helped shape the American Dream. His prints are a brooding and sometimes brutal celebration of the characters and events that glamorize and chastise in equal measure. Whether through direct visual reference or by title, the works set out to both assert and challenge our perception and understanding of what it is to be American in the 21st century.
His body of work includes paintings, screen prints, sculptures, installations and film. He has shown in galleries and museums in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections of Aby Rosen, The Qatari Royal Family, Kate Moss, David Bowie, Liz Taylor, Barack Obama, The Albertina Museum, The Saatchi Collection and Brad Pitt.
Road Trip by David Yarrow
The creative set at Bombay Beach might be charting the course.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANYA KAATS
We were somewhere near H Avenue, climbing the berm that separates the tiny town of Bombay Beach from the sick and shrinking Salton Sea, when an aria pierced the gale-force wind and stopped us in place.
The conditions were cold, dark, and gusty. Yet the voice of Kate Feld, a soprano from L.A., carried all the way from the Bombay Beach Opera House, an upcycled dwelling on E Avenue with a bright-blue façade that opens to audiences gathered in the front yard and on the street. She gave us a brief, beautiful moment in the unforgiving elements but had finished performing by the time we walked there.
On the empty adjacent lot, a hand-painted sign for the Bombay Beach Botanical Garden led us to a larger-than-life-size ceramic flower “skeleton” created by L.A. artist Yassi Mazandi. A block away, at the Hermitage Museum, another L.A.-based artist, Greg Haberny, mounted an exhibition titled Why Do I Destroy Everything I Love? And across the street, The Monster That Challenged the World was screening at the Bombay Beach Drive-In, a graveyard of gutted autos facing forward and rotting like the tilapia on the nearby shore.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SARAH DEREMER
Yassi Mazandi created the ceramic flower “skeleton” for the Bombay Beach Botanical Garden.
For a town widely written off as a post-apocalyptic murk, this place has a spirited community of artists, musicians, philosophers, and at least one polyamorous eccentric. They’re buying up the dilapidated houses and transforming them into cultural attractions for the 300 or so people who live here and many more who visit.
Each spring they host the Bombay Beach Biennale — although they never publicly announce the dates. It’s a carnival of the arts for locals, participants, and a measured number of friends, family, and art-world insiders. The tongue-in-cheek name skewers art biennials like the Whitney in New York and others in Venice and São Paulo.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TAO RUSPOLI
Musicians and merrymakers transform the neighborhood.
“Bombay Beach Biennale has wonderful alliteration and absurdity to it,” says Tao Ruspoli, a homeowner and one of the event’s founders. “But it’s not a joke. By playing with these sacred concepts of what constitutes art or a festival, by being irreverent, we honor them both. It’s a playful engagement with a very serious undercurrent.”
At the Bombay Beach Biennale, we’d make do without the glossy catalog, vernissage, and sponsored amenities.
PHOTOGRAPH BY AMANDA VANDENBERG
Abandoning all subtlety, Olivia Steele installed her neon sculpture, Save Me, directly on the water for the Bombay Beach Biennale weekend.
The Salton Sea formed in 1905 when engineers trying to increase the flow of water from the Colorado River lost control and overwhelmed irrigation canals for 18 months. The deluge filled the dry ancient lakebed known as the Salton Sink and created California’s largest lake, 35 miles long and 15 miles wide.
It’s easy to imagine the eastern shoreline, with its picturesque backdrop of the far Santa Rosas, lined with million-dollar homes, yacht clubs, exclusive cabanas, and bustling cantinas.
Someone had this vision when Bombay Beach was incorporated in 1929, and some version of it became reality, at least for a short time, in the 1950s and ’60s. Tourists in trailers and motorhomes would travel 170 miles from L.A. to enjoy boat races, water skiing, and sport fishing and to see celebrities such as Sonny Bono, the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, and the Marx Brothers.
But as the salinity of the water increased, the sea lost its sparkle, and visitation plummeted. The final blow came from a pair of tropical storms, in 1976 and ’77. They washed away the Bombay Beach marina and bars like Luck of the Irish and Barco’s and filled the eight- by-five-block town — the lowest community in the United States, at 223 feet below sea level — like a bathtub.
Forty years later, trailers and houses along the shore continue decaying in the mud. The the berm where we stood, listening to Feld sing her aria, protects the remaining houses.
The town still has a couple of places to get a burger and a beer — Ski Inn and American Legion Post 801 — as well as a tiny market. But it has no gas station, and the closest supermarket is 40 minutes away. Visitors these days tend to be photographers, filmmakers, and plein air painters who come to document the ruins.
“So many things are fascinating and enchanting about Bombay Beach,” says Randy Polumbo, who transformed one of the houses into a “psychedelic human terrarium” called Angler Grove. “The forgotten, forlorn, bedraggled paradise; the tragic and fraught ecology; the tiny, dense community of rugged and colorful individuals who live here; the beautiful light and desert landscape; the incredible dawns and sunsets; and the defiant hope and creative spirit of both the humans and animals that still find a way to make some use of a fouled artificial waterway.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANYA KAATS
The Toy House by Kenny Scharf is a “permanent” installation.
The sea is failing because it has no outlet, and over the years its sources of fresh water have been either cut off or diverted. It probably would have evaporated by now if not for agricultural runoff from the Imperial and Coachella valleys. As the sea shrinks, the high concentration of salt and minerals makes the water unlivable. Only the algae-eating tilapia remain. Fish die-offs leave little food for migrating birds. And when the wind blows just right, a wretched foulness, infused with tiny, toxic particulates, wafts through the manicured resort communities of the Coachella Valley.
As more of the Salton Sea shoreline becomes exposed, the potential for alkaline dust clouds to blow into the valley presents not only an environmental health crisis but an existential threat to tourism, the lifeblood of the region’s economy.
This is where the artists come in.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TAO RUSPOLI
Giancarlo Neri’s Moontruck fooled some people into thinking it was the actual moon.
On our way into Stefanie Schneider’s exhibition of photographs, appropriately shot on expired and unstable Polaroid film, we found Ruspoli in his element, reveling on a rough edge of civilization. The Joshua Tree–based filmmaker and philosophy addict has been coming to Bombay Beach since 2007, the year he read Kim Stringfellow’s book Greetings From the Salton Sea.
“I was enthralled with this place. When I got divorced in 2011, the first thing I did was buy a house in Bombay Beach,” says Ruspoli, who incidentally released the feature film Monogamish last year.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SARAH DEREMER
Steve Shigley’s Tesseract offered a visual spectacle.
As his visits grew more frequent, he began to notice the others. “Every time I’d go, I’d see people making videos, taking pictures. Nobody spent the night. They would come and shoot fashion, the beach. And there was nothing in the town to celebrate all the creativity that happens here.”
One of his first Bombay Beach houseguests was L.A. hotelier Stefan Ashkenazy, a friend since they were in the seventh grade. Four years ago, Ashkenazy started a camp at Burning Man where he hosted a black-tie dinner for 100 people, including Susan Sarandon, who Ruspoli recalls had a vial of Timothy Leary’s ashes and put a little in everyone’s drink.
“Stefan is like the ring leader, unapologetic in the extreme- ness of his vision,” says Ruspoli, who in 2015 invited Ashkenazy, owner of West Hollywood’s Petit Ermitage, to Bombay Beach for Thanksgiving dinner, along with Johnson & Johnson heiress Lily Johnson White.
“There was a symbiosis between the three of us,” Ruspoli says. A biennial sounded like a wildly creative way to bring attention to the Salton Sea and a measure of culture to a deprived community. “People are hungry for originality and experiences. What would be more interesting and more surreal than bringing art, opera, ballet, and a philosophy conference to Bombay Beach?”
In April 2016 they hosted the first Bombay Beach Biennale. The theme was “Decay,” particularly our attraction to it. The following year it was “The Way the Future Used to Be.” This year was “God’s Silence.”
Ashkenazy collaborated with artists and designers to transform houses and empty lots into the opera house, drive-in theater, Hermitage Museum, Bombay Beach Estates, and The Bombay Beach Beach Club — venues for exhibitions, interventions, performances, and parties.
“The amazing thing is the caliber of people we draw,” Ruspoli says, citing Aileen Getty, who gave a grant; San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Maria Kochetkova, who performed at the Bombay Beach Opera House; L.A. muralist Kenny Scharf, who created the Toy House and painted The Banned Book Library; and a roster of top- tier philosophy professors.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANYA KAATS
Revelers in offbeat outfits, playing offbeat music, marched in the biennial parade.
Tickets to this year’s biennial were limited to 500, but the wind forced the registration table from the parking area to the Ski Inn, so many more visitors slipped in without being counted.
“We’re trying to make this for the locals first and for the artists and their close friends,” Ruspoli says. “We don’t have the infrastructure for a mass audience.”
The free-flowing biennial has a loose schedule, with scores of culture-loving merrymakers wandering the neighborhood from morning to night. The events and installations unfold on the beach and at many of the residences, including Danielle Aykroyd’s place, which she calls Pythia, at Third Street and F.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JEAN KARVELIS
Randy Polubmo’s Angler Grove.
The daughter of actor Dan Aykroyd is a poet and musician who performs as Vera Sola. During the biennial, she played at the Ski Inn and The Bombay Beach Institute of Particle Physics, Metaphysics, and International Relations.
Ruspoli masterminded the institute and runs its program of performances and lectures around the biennial theme. Jessie Ann Owens, distinguished professor emeritus of music at University of California, Davis, delivered a talk about “God’s Silence in Bach’s Matthew Passion,” and a half-dozen philosophy professors stirred lively conversations about a few of life’s timely and perplexing questions.
“One of my big points was the conception of justice in the form of punishment,” says Christia Mercer, a Columbia University philosophy professor and activist who also teaches in prison. She invoked St. Thomas, who had suggested that people in heaven revel in the eternal suffering of the damned, for they have sinned. “I’m interested in what people say about life and how they live life. I hope some of the things I said resonate with people.”
Mercer and Oxford professor Mark Wrathall proved that philosophical ideas, presented interactively, grip and transform people like the visual arts, music, and dance. That’s no easy feat.
Polumbo’s trippy Angler Grove, on H Avenue between Third and Fourth streets, is an adult funhouse with a mirrored exterior and large circular window framing a disco ball and an assortment of colorful, blown-glass adornments that look like sex toys. Its soul, we’d learn, runs much deeper than our first impression.
“Reflective surfaces are the ‘mirror’ Narcissus stared into, the window into the soul of introspection, or better yet, the unconscious,” says Polumbo, an artist and master builder who works in New York and Joshua Tree. “I like people making their own experience and connections, but their behavior is most certainly directed, augmented, maybe catalyzed by time in the structure. Walking out, folks are often stirred up, thinking or feeling hard about something. Being present is a gift art and music easily inspire in humans, and encouraging people to do this together in a fun, lighthearted way can inspire anything from whimsical connections to the kind of healing I expect occurs when groups of monks chant.”
Angler Grove, like the institute, drive-in, and several other attractions, is a “gift to the town,” a permanent installation that visitors access by asking the bartender at the Ski Inn.
Many artists installed their work on the beach, on or near E Avenue. The two-story-tall Tesseract, a four-dimensional steel and light sculpture by Steve Shigley of Yucca Valley, was one of the most photographed pieces. Three adjacent installations — Bombay Beach Metro by Dave Corcoran and Ruspoli, Salty by Ray Ewing and Adrian Pijoan, and El Barco de la Muerte (The Boat of the Dead) by Sean Guerrero — lead to the Bombay Beach Beach Club, a music venue with yellow-Speedo-clad bartenders and loungers facing the sea.
Nothing curbs progress at the Salton Sea more than the politics surrounding it.
In 2003 the Imperial Irrigation District agreed to transfer a massive amount of water to San Diego County. The deal called for mitigation water at the sea through 2017 and a restoration plan to abate the salinity and its toxic aftermath. When the California Natural Resource Agency delivered that plan four years later, its $9 billion price tag was a nonstarter for lawmakers.
In 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown created the Salton Sea Task Force, which came up with a 10-year, $383 million plan for habitat restoration in areas where migrating birds once proliferated and for dust suppression on up to 25,000 acres of crusty playa. But little has happened since then.
“We have a plan, we have money, there is additional money lined up, and we have a constituency, myself included, that is running out of patience,” Assembly member Eduardo Garcia said during a May oversight hearing where he pressed for action. “Now we need to move forward and execute mitigation efforts in a timely manner to improve air quality and safeguard human health, as well as the ecological and economic issues surrounding the sea.”
Some experts say the only way to save the sea is to bring in more water, either from the Colorado River, the Gulf of California, or the Pacific Ocean. But Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, whose district includes the Coachella Valley, has proposed the $400 million North Lake Vision, calling for a barrier wall to preserve the northern shoreline. A new finance district would issue project bonds to be repaid through hotel, property, and sales taxes.
Meanwhile, artists like Berlin-based Olivia Steele, who installed the neon-light piece Save Medirectly on the water, hope to draw attention to the cause as it gains urgency. Ruspoli agrees. “[The biennial] is about how the arts can affect meaningful change and jolt people out of complacency,” he says.
He has lived in Venice Beach and knows the cycle of artists discovering a place, being drawn to its “freedom and anarchy,” and eventually watching gentrification and displacement set in.
“There’s always this risk that what follows spoils it,” Ruspoli says. “In Bombay Beach, that seems like such an obscure possibility. But the desert does have this feeling right now of being the next frontier for artists: It has its original landscape, it’s still affordable to artists, and there’s opportunity to engage meaningfully with the geography, weather, people, and history. But that’s a double-edge sword.”
Back on the berm, Giancarlo Neri’s sculpture Moontruck fools the people who look at it from the neighborhood side, where it appears to be the actual moons rising. But Neri himself was nowhere in sight.
Adam Freeland, the English DJ, musician, record producer, and newly minted High Desert resident, had enlisted Neri for the biennial, but authorities at LAX turned away the Italian artist because of a 1995 marijuana arrest in New York City.
“His non-arrival became the premise of this other work of art,” Freeland says, referring to stickers placed around town with the words “Where’s Neri?” The artist wrote an essay about his troubles in New York and at LAX that biennial visitors could read at the institute.
The stickers add a layer to the Bombay Beach narrative and symbolize the far-reaching interest in the Salton Sea. “I would like to see the biennial grow organically,” Ruspoli says. “I’d like to see the town become a place of intellectual discourse — de-emphasize the weekend and go more toward screenings at the drive-in, maybe a film fest, exhibitions at the Hermitage Museum, and shows at the opera house.
“Opera singers should wear a performance at Bombay Beach as a badge of honor.”
Likewise, Ashkenazy envisions black-tie movie premieres at the drive-in, but his most dramatic addition to the town will be The Last Resort, a five-room (“maybe more”) hotel built with shipping containers that “play with guests in a way you couldn’t in any other environment,” Ashkenazy says. “My big joy in life is the opportunity to guide everyone’s senses and their emotions with fragrance and textures.”
Sonny Bono was the last great advocate for the sea, and no public figure has stepped forward to replace him. Now artists want to fill that void.
“Because of the art, people are talking about a place that was long forgotten,” says Mazandi, who created the ceramic flower skeleton.
The question now is, who’s listening?
30 JUIN 2018
Après avoir travaillé sur les marchés Financiers Européens pendant 10 ans puis dans les médias (IT), j’ai décidé de réaliser ce que j’avais vraiment envie de faire : de la photographie ; avec des questions simples derrière mes images : de la difficulté d’être une femme, de la tyrannie des religions, de la nécessité de rire et d’embellir nos vies…et mille autres sujets que je prends plaisir à triturer quotidiennement.
Je me sers pour cela d’emblèmes universels tels que Barbie, des icônes du cinéma ou des podiums. Ce sont des sources d’inspiration et de réflexions inépuisables, avec lesquelles j’aime aussi jouer. Derrière les symboles, il y a la force de l’apparence, l’exigence personnelle, le rêve communiqué, l’usine du monde. Une formidable matière dont mon travail se nourrit.
J’admire les femmes, autant que j’aime les hommes. Mon travail n’est pas un combat, ni une guerre des sexes. C’est une ode à la féminité. A l’amour. C’est une expression de la nécessité de trouver des équilibres masculins-féminins. Nous sommes des « compléments d’âmes », à valeur égale. Je souhaiterais que chaque femme puisse se reconnaitre dans mes photos. Peu importe les croyances, les religions. Pour moi, nous sommes tous détenteurs de « Sweet littles lies », (Titre de mon dernier livre paru chez CDP Edition, en Avril 2018). Secrets, plaisirs interdits ou clandestins, mystères, font partie du désir, de la séduction, des rencontres, de la vie…
Je me nourris de tout. Mes influences sont éparses et nombreuses. Livres, films, œuvres d’artistes, articles, études… L’ultra sensualité magnétique d’Helmut Newton me bouleverse. Certaines photos d’Oliviero Toscani m’ont permis d’oser. Ellen von Unwerth, Bettina Rheims, David Lachapelle, Pierre & Gilles m’ont également encouragé lorsqu’il s’est agi de me lancer.
Je souhaite être accessible et communiquer juste un peu d’humour et de beauté, je me méfie de ce qui est incompréhensible, ésotérique, cabalistique et d’une façon générale des artistes maudits qui dissimulent leur manque d’inspiration derrière un discours flou.
Los Angeles and Las Vegas share a kinship that goes beyond the obvious. Sure, Vegas is frequented by Angelenos for family vacays and wild bachelor parties, and the music festival circuit (EDC, Punk Rock Bowling, Viva Las Vegas — all of which are thrown by SoCal-based promoters) beckons Angelenos on a regular basis. But right now, the very fabric of Vegas is in many ways being embellished, if not shaped, by L.A. figures on a daily basis. Tal Cooperman is one such figure bringing L.A. flavor to L.V. The Palms Hotel & Casino just unveiled new eateries, bars and clubs and a decidedly new pop and street art–driven aesthetic during EDC weekend, and Cooperman’s role as creative director is central to the makeover, which he promises will entail much more in the next year. L.A. Weekly sat down with the Israel-born, Agoura Hills–bred visionary inside the Palm’s newest hot spot, the Damien Hirst–designed Unknown Bar, to talk about his influence on street art and streetwear, music, hospitality, the City of Angels, the City of Sin and what he’s doing to make these cultures collide.
“I got into graffiti when I was 13 years old,” says Cooperman, a life-long skateboarder, at the grand unveiling of Unknown, which features Hirst’s famous dot designs and a striking segmented shark installation from the artist’s “Natural History” series. ‘I had sketchbooks and felt very much connected to that world. My aunt, who is an artist, took me to the Pavillion [a graffiti yard in Venice, CA. recently replicated in the ‘Beyond the Streets’ art show] and it was the first time I ever saw good graffiti. Fast-forward to 16 years old, I started interning for a company called Gypsies and Thieves based in downtown L.A. The crew I idolized were the guys doing the graphic design.”
Cooperman helped GAT’s Luis Antonio in any way he could, from design input to setting up booths for trade shows, but it was his people skills and friendships that ultimately proved most valuable. He got his best longtime pal involved in GAT, too — Aaron Levant would go on to found the Agenda Trade Show and later, ComplexCon. After GAT, Cooperman moved to San Diego to work for Tribal Streetwear; he says it was there that he started to discover the power of product placement, developing his own sort of organic marketing via friends in bands and word-of-mouth on artists who’d be blowing up. He sent boxes of product to up-and-comers, including Linkin Park, who hit the charts and touring circuit hard soon after, wearing Tribal’s products and introducing Cooperman to other bands to whom he would, in turn, give merch. In a fun yet focused way, Cooperman was using musicians as influencers early on, but he was doing it without an official title and as more of a stylist. Bands such as My Chemical Romance, Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold all wore Cooperman-approved brands onstage and in photo shoots.
The Damien Hirst–designed Unknown BarThe Palms Casino
“These bands were like my family,” he recalls. “I was touring the world with them, having a great time, but literally making zero dollars. I didn’t care. All these guys were coming to my house and they knew my dad. Platinum record plaques started coming to my house. I was happy.”
But soon, Cooperman’s old pal Levant sought to put his boy’s skills to work in a very targeted way: facilitating meetings that would change the face of action sports. After meetings with Nike and Hurley (which Nike purchased), a plan was made to put the leading sportswear tradeshow, ASR, out of business. Levant moved his Agenda tradeshow to Orange County and the pair relocated there. After Hurley and Nike moved to Agenda, pretty much everyone else followed suit
Soon after, Cooperman and Levant started a new company with Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, called DCMA. The Madden brothers happened to be dating Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie at the time, and the exposure the brand received via paparazzi pics took what Cooperman was already doing with product placement to a whole new level, with the young Hollywood crowd — including Brody Jenner and the cast of MTV’s The Hills — basically providing free advertising. Cooperman’s high-profile friendships and relationships with innovative companies were a precursor to today’s social media and swag culture, in which brand campaigns are often driven by courting celebrities and influencers.
Cooperman’s next venture was RESQWATER, a hangover-curing beverage; after some success with that product, his partner asked him to move out to Vegas to expand the brand. That was almost five years ago. RESQWATER grew and ended up in every hotel in Vegas, but the mover and shaker was bored.
Cooperman had worked with L.A. clubs and promoters in the past, but it wasn’t until Brian Affronti from Drai’s nightclub asked him to come on as creative director and director of marketing that his gift for making connections began to shape the Vegas club scene in a notable way. “We definitely shook the cage in Vegas,” says Cooperman, who hired street artists to do the club flyers and posted high-quality recap videos from the club the same night on social media. After a very successful stint at Drai’s, he got a call to work with the Palms about a year ago.
Checking in with neon artist Olivia Steel and photographer Keegan GibbsThe Palms Casino
When the Palms first opened in 2001, it was the hippest hotel in Vegas. It had a presence on TV via The Real World: Las Vegas (the cast lived there); Inked, the A&E show about BMX-er/Pink beau Carey Hart’s tattoo shop; and even its own short-lived, Jenny McCarthy–hosted program called Party at the Palms on E!. Owner George Maloof was as high-profile as they come and the casino’s nightclub, Rain, VIP-friendly lounges Ghostbar and the Hef-approved Playboy Club, and music venue the Pearl made it a Hollywood hub in Vegas. The Palm was rivaled only by the Hard Rock when it came to attracting the younger Vegas visitor demo (21-39).
But the city changed a lot over the years and other casinos sought to snag this market, spending millions of dollars on bigger, bolder nightclubs, art-driven decor, celebrity chef–driven restaurants and slick advertising campaigns that touted the town’s escapist mystique (the tagline “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” became a badge of honor in some respects).
Compared with newer players such as the Cosmopolitan and bigger ones like the Wynn, the Palms lost a lot of its shine over the years, and the banks that took ownership after Maloof didn’t seem to care. The rocker crowd’s renewed interest in the “old” Vegas Strip probably didn’t help. Downtown’s renaissance touts new bars and clubs that transcend the touristy Fremont Street Experience (another L.A. figure, Big Daddy Carlos, and his venues Backstage Bar & Billiards and Fremont Country Club, had a lot to do with that shift).
When Station Casinos’ Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta purchased the Palms two years ago, they planned a $620 million renovation to bring it back; getting Cooperman on board for creative was part of their plan. Phase one of the revamp was revealed a couple weekends ago at a preview party with the theme From Dust to Gold. Along with the unveiling of the Unknown Bar, we got to see the swanky new steakhouse Scotch 80 Prime, a cocktail lounge called Apex (J. Cole performed an intimate set for the opening), the redesigned Pearl concert theater and more. A new 29,000-square-foot nightclub and a 73,000-square-foot pool club (set to open next spring) were in construction mode.
Scott Hove’s bathroom stall installationThe Palms Casino
The Fertitta brothers were already big art collectors and the Hirst shark (titled The Unknown — Explored, Explained, Exploded) comes from their personal collection, as do many of the new pieces at the Palms. Cooperman spent the past year helping curate the property’s art collection, which includes work by icons such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Takashi Murakami alongside street fare from KAWS, Dustin Yellin, Eric Haze, Crash and L.A. fave Scott Hove (whose yummy caked-out bathroom stall outside of Scotch 80 Prime may be our favorite work).
Clearly, Cooperman’s street-art background and irreverent point of view is a huge influence on the Palms’ new vibe. “At first I was kind of everywhere. They brought me in for marketing. And then I started being in a bunch of meetings,” he says. “Everyone has art in their hotels, but our art is more for the younger generation, for younger people who know the artists.”
Cooperman’s old crew in L.A., known as the Seventh Letter, played a part in his ability to bring street art to Sin City, he emphasizes. “Casey Eklips, the founder, has been like a father to me and my brother,” he says. “So I kind of have a Rolodex to call any street artist on the planet, and they’ll pick up the phone because Casey helped raise me.”
Though the art is meant to be enjoyed and to create atmosphere, Cooperman acknowledges that “self-marketing” is part of the plan, too. “We have 800-plus rooms. In Vegas every hotel has about 3,000 rooms and we don’t want to have that. I was thinking about how to get the word out,” says the guy basically made an entire career of getting the word out. “I was thinking about the new generation of influencers,” he adds. “And I think that as much as we hate saying the word 'Instagrammable’ and a lot of us hate social media, I love it. I stayed hip to it and Instagram has done a beautiful job — it’s going to be around for a very long time. So my goal with these moments that we’re creating was to have people speak about our hotel.”
Indeed, much of the Palms’ art seems selfie-ready, providing colorful backgrounds for photo-sharing that recall L.A.’s pop-up experiences such as Happy Place. The cloudscape and “Wish You Were Here” neon work behind the front desk is a perfect example. It features a collaborative piece by L.A. artist Keegan Gibbs and Berlin-based American light artist Olivia Steele.
Revolving street and pop art, new restaurants (NYC’s popular Vandals is on the way, as is a Bobby Flay concept) and big music “gets” with booking partner Live Nation (L.A.-based Blink-182 are in the midst of their first residency at Pearl and the venue will host Janelle Monáe on June 26, Alice Cooper in August and Korn and Zac Brown Band in September). The next phase at Palms will feature a new pool being constructed as we speak, which Cooperman promises will be the most distinctive day club Vegas has ever seen. And more big — and little — things are in the works.
“John Gray [Palms’ president] and I and our team, we’re creating a new brand here, a real brand. Everything from the napkins to the snacks to intimacy kits in the rooms designed by street-art duo DabsMyla. We’re involved in every little detail,” Cooperman enthuses. “We want to change it up here all the time. The art is going to change, too. It’ll be nonstop. This bar [Unknown] will be the heartbeat of the property and stay like this for a very long time, but everything else around the property is going to evolve and revolve. I want people to come here and say, 'holy shit!’ I want people to leave this place and be like, 'I cannot wait to see what’s next for the Palms. I cannot wait to see what they’re going to come up with.’”
The photographer, 79, on the cultural watershed of the 60s, turning down Marilyn Monroe and how all the proper stars have gone.
I was a war baby, literally brought up in an air-raid shelter. The Nazis bombed Heston airfield [near Heathrow] at the bottom of our road every night. I’m lucky I’m here at all.
Mum never lived long enough to see my success. That’s a sadness. She wouldn’t have believed it. She hero-worshipped the kind of stars I’ve photographed and would take me to the stage doors after Saturday matinées to get autographs from the likes of Laurence Olivier.
One of my teachers singled me out to become a priest, along with another boy. After two years I was told I wouldn’t make it because I had too many questions and not enough belief. The other guy became a monsignor.
My reputation was bigger than the Beatles’ when I was sent to shoot them on my first newspaper. I was only 20, and the youngest photographer on Fleet Street. It was obvious that John was the one with the personality, so I put him in the front.
The cultural watershed of the 1960s gave working-class boys like me opportunities we wouldn’t have had otherwise. I wouldn’t have had a prayer of being successful in any other era.
There’s nobody around now I’d want to photograph. Amy Winehouse was the last person – real talent. All the proper stars have gone.
Frank Sinatra’s ex-wife Ava Gardner gave me a letter of introduction. And when Frank read it, he told everyone, “He’s with me.” And I was for the next 30 years. The first three weeks we barely spoke but he let me go everywhere with him. It taught me that a top photographer should “be there” but never get caught up in the lifestyle.
I turned down Marilyn Monroe. My girlfriend at the time was her publicist and she told me Marilyn took all her photographers to bed, so she wouldn’t let me work with her.
Getting romantically involved with people you shoot is a huge mistake. I did it once with my ex-wife, Faye Dunaway. I hated the whole circus after we married. I was becoming Mr Faye Dunaway.
Peter Sellers treated me like his psychiatrist. He’d ring me up at 2am and ask, “Why do all the women fall in love with you, Tel?” He could never understand why women wouldn’t fall in love with him. But I had no trick; I just bluffed it.
Being a Catholic boy I lost my nerve after taking those pictures of Raquel Welch on a giant crucifix, so I didn’t publish them for 30 years. The idea came to me after Raquel told me she thought she would have been crucified for wearing that revealing costume in One Million Years BC.
I turn 80 in July and I’ve no plans to mark it. For my 50th I went to dinner with Eric Clapton, Mickey Rourke and Bernie Ecclestone. Then I descended into a three-day depression. It was a proper midlife crisis. Now I’m at the stage of seeing all my mates die off. Michael Caine always says, “Tel, they’ve started bowling in our alley.” Fab way of putting it.
The Queen is the only person I’ve ever been nervous of photographing. I researched some horse-racing jokes to break the ice and thank God she laughed.
The perfectionist in me always left me thinking I could have taken a better shot. But now when I look at photos of all the icons I’ve shot – like Mandela, Sir Winston Churchill and Sinatra – the memories come flooding back and I think, “Yeah, I did all right.”
Vendredi 22 juin
Une photo d’Iris Mittenaere vendue 40.000 euros aux enchères
« I’m not a princess » écrit sur le torse, des objets en référence à sa vie sur sa robe… Jeudi, une photo de l’ancienne Miss Univers a été vendue aux enchères au profit de l’association Smile Train, qui opère gratuitement des enfants nés avec une fente labio-palatine dans les pays en voie de développement. Pour le photographe Philippe Shangti, c’était important de « réaliser un beau score. Avec 215 euros, on rend le sourire à un enfant pour toute sa vie », a-t-il déclaré à 20 Minutes. Les enchères sur son portrait d’ Iris Mittenaere ont atteint 40.000 euros, qui ont été entièrement remis à l’association, ce qui changera la vie de nombreux enfants.
Kim Kardashian de retour à Paris
Victime d’un braquage à Paris en octobre 2016, durant lequel elle s’était fait voler pour environ 9 millions d’euros de bijoux, Kim Kardashian avait expliqué qu’il lui serait difficile de revenir dans la ville Lumière avant « 5,6 ou 10 ans ». Pourtant, jeudi, la star du programme de téléréalité américain L’Incroyable Famille Kardashianassistait, avec son mari Kanye West et sa sœur Kylie Jenner, au défilé de la première collection homme pour Louis Vuitton de Virgil Abloh, ex-conseiller et ex-consultant artistique du rappeur. Virgil Abloh et Kanye West ont d’ailleurs fini en larmes.
Agathe Auproux se trouve trop grosse (et nous fatigue)
Agathe Auproux, c’est la reine du selfie sur Instagram. Et du second degré. On en déduit donc que sa dernière publication, une photo d’elle en maillot de bain sous laquelle elle a écrit « Quand tu tires sur l’élastique de ton maillot, que tu réalises que tu aurais dû commencer ton régime plus tôt, que tu mangeras quand même des gnocchis ce soir » n’avait pour but que de montrer ses formes et de s’attirer des commentaires élogieux sur son physique. Ce qui n’a pas manqué. Mais bon, elle aurait tout aussi bien pu écrire : « J’ai envie de poster une photo de moi en maillot avec une pose un peu originale et qu’on me dise que je suis bonne. »
Terry O'Neill has photographed everyone from The Beatles to the Rolling Stones, Brigitte Bardot to Frank Sinatra.
He is also the only person to have photographed every James Bond star from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig.
He is known for his razor-sharp eye — so imagine his horror when he woke up one morning to find he couldn’t see clearly.
‘I wasn’t blind but everything looked a little blurry,’ says Terry, now 79. ‘When I went to bed it had all been fine, but suddenly it was like looking through the middle of an old scratched lens.
‘I got up but I initially felt a little unsteady on my feet because my view of the world had changed slightly.’
Terry O'Neil has photographed everyone from The Beatles to the Rolling Stones, Brigitte Bardot to Frank Sinatra.
Terry, who is married to Laraine (his second wife was Faye Dunaway) and has four children and three grandchildren, wondered if it was a complication of cataract surgery he’d had six months earlier.
‘It was strange because I thought I’d have near enough perfect vision after getting my cataracts done and was still busy working as a photographer,’ he says.
After waking up that morning with hazy vision, he went back to the surgeon who had carried out his cataract operation on the NHS.
The surgeon explained that this new problem wasn’t related to his cataracts but was most likely one that potentially had even bigger ramifications for his sight: age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that leads to a loss of central vision which can make everyday activities such as driving or even reading difficult. Around 600,000 people in the UK have some degree of sight loss as a result of it.
It was devastating news. ‘I was shocked to the core,’ Terry recalls. ‘As a photographer, losing my sight was my worst nightmare. My eyes have been my livelihood for over 50 years and I was terrified I would end up blind and never be able to photograph anyone again.’
His surgeon referred Terry to Evelyn Mensah, a consultant eye surgeon at Central Middlesex NHS Hospital in London, who specialises in macular degeneration. She confirmed the diagnosis.
‘By the time I saw her a couple of weeks later my eyesight had deteriorated further, so by then I was struggling to read a book or paper and couldn’t see the hands on my watch very well. It was made pretty clear to me that unless I was treated fast, I’d be left partially blind and unable to work as a photographer. I couldn’t stand the thought that I might never see my wife, my children or grandchildren ever again.’
AMD typically strikes people in their 50s or 60s and affects one 90-year-old in five. It reduces the ability to make out fine detail —straight lines appear wavy, printed words blurred.
‘When someone with the condition looks at another person’s face or a clock, they’ll only be able to see the outline of the head or clock but not the facial features or the hands of the clock,’ explains Ms Mensah.
There are two kinds of AMD; dry and wet. Dry, a slow progressive disease, accounts for 80 per cent of cases and is caused by a build-up of waste products under a thinning macula (the central part of the retina at the back of the eye).
Wet AMD is caused by the growth of fragile blood vessels under the macula. These are prone to leak and bleed, which can blur the vision and, if not treated, lead to scarring and sight loss.
‘This occurs rapidly, which is why treatment should be started within a couple of weeks,’ says Ms Mensah. ‘While there is no treatment for dry AMD, any progression is extremely slow — over years and years.’
There is some evidence that a healthy diet rich in substances called carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), found in brightly coloured vegetables and green leafy veg such as spinach, can help delay progression.
He is also the only person to have photographed every James Bond star from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig.
Terry, however, has wet AMD, ‘which is the cause of more devastating visual loss if it’s not treated’, says Ms Mensah.
As well as age, risk factors for AMD include a family history of the condition. But the most common risk factor people can control is smoking, ‘which quadruples your chances of getting macular degeneration’, she adds.Terry admits being ‘a 20-a-day man for nearly 50 years — I started smoking at 12 and didn’t stop until I was 60’.
Had he developed the condition 20 years ago, the chances are he would now be completely blind. Indeed, AMD remains the leading cause of blindness in this country. However, for wet AMD there are now injections to prevent further blood vessels developing.
The injections block the action of vascular endothelial growth factor, which is responsible for the growth of the abnormal vessels under the macula.
This stabilises an individual’s vision in more than 90 per cent of cases; in 30 per cent of cases it can even lead to improved vision.
Thanks to the treatment, Terry is still able to take pictures but his life now revolves around monthly hospital appointments to have injections in his eyes.
‘It’s not a lot of fun,’ he says. ‘But the alternative — going blind — is much worse.’
‘Whenever I tell my mates what the treatment involves, they screw up their faces and ask: “How can you bear to have that done?”. But you learn to live with it, and the thought of what’s going to happen is worse than the actual injection.’
During the first three months of treatment, patients need to have their eyes injected monthly. Thereafter the injections are usually reduced to once every two months. In the second year of treatment, the regularity of injections can be further reduced.
‘Within a few weeks of the first treatment most people will have noticed an improvement,’ says Ms Mensah. But for this to last, some people, like Terry, need regular repeat treatments for ever.
‘We don’t discharge patients who are stable and no longer need treatment, as they can develop re-activation of the wet AMD,’ adds Ms Mensah.
‘Terry’s AMD is more active in his left eye, so one eye needs treatment every two months and the other eye every four months.’
For Terry ‘the important thing is that my eyesight has stabilised and it’s not getting any worse’.
But some days are worse than others. ‘I make sure I sit by a bright light to read and I’ve got a watch with bigger hands that stick out, but on a bad day I rely on a magnifying glass for things such as reading or doing a crossword.’
As for photography: ‘I still do the odd charity job, my AMD hasn’t impacted on that, although I’ve pretty much photographed everyone I want to photograph.’
The success of the treatment means he won’t have problems recognising all those helping him celebrate his 80th birthday next month. ‘I’m just so grateful,’ says Terry. ‘I feel blessed to still be able to see. Most people don’t think twice about all they see around them, but I do. I’m a lucky man.’