December 2009 Archives

Martha Rosler's library

Since reading this last year, I've been meaning to say how much I love the idea of a personal library becoming an accessible work of art. Intimate, interactive, revealing and restless. And with free photocopying facilities. Here's the library of Martha Rosler:

"As an artist's library, her collection suggests multiple meanings and possibilities. She has constantly brought the familiar under closer examination, using text both as a representational strategy and descriptive tool. Given the uncommon diversity of her interests and influences, and their significance in the production of critical positions, we deemed it relevant to open her familiar - and occasionally obscure - sources to readers. Comprising more than 7,000 volumes selected from the books at her residence and studio in Brooklyn and academic office in New Jersey... The contents range from political theory, art history and poetry to science fiction, mystery and children's books; they include periodicals, dictionaries, maps and travel books, as well as photo albums, posters, postcards and newspaper clippings."


December 10, 2009 | 10:49 PM | Permalink
The photography of Fernando Bayona

I like the baroqueness, the staged approach, the storytelling in Fernando Bayona's series "Circus Christi" and Once upon a time".


December 10, 2009 | 10:28 PM | Permalink
Lagerfeld's books (reprise)

Since posting about Karl Lagerfeld's books some time ago, I've been fascinated by him and his library. And the number of books it contains. In a recent article in Vogue India (Sept. '09) about his new Parisian abode, there is talk of 300,000 volumes in his previous home, while the article below mentions 150,000 in his Biarritz mansion. The piece gives a good insight into his cultural consumption:

"He has devoted his existence to living as much as possible in the present, keeping himself attuned to trends, not just in fashion but in art, politics, movies, and music. “I go to Colette,” he says, referring to the eclectic boutique on the Rue Saint-Honoré. “I buy all the new things, I buy all the music magazines, listen to new music.”... “Karl reads everything, looks at everything,” the Paris fashion stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington says. “He’s permanently filling himself with independent culture and establishment culture, so basically he knows everything, and he’s like a sampling machine.” Lady Amanda Harlech, Lagerfeld’s “muse,” concurs. “He said to me once, almost in a worried way, that he has to find out everything there is to know, read everything,” she says. “The curiosity is ceaseless.”


December 10, 2009 | 08:31 PM | Permalink

One of my current interests is the intersection between brands, fashion, art and advertising. Election day (below) is an example of this. As is Room Service, an out of print book by Karl Lagerfeld which I found at World End's bookstore on King's Road last week (and has a pink 7" vinyl single embedded in its cover). Both are by Steidl, a German publishing house that is beguiling me with the books it makes.


December 10, 2009 | 12:44 AM | Permalink
Election day (Teller x Westwood)

Got a box from Amazon today, containing the first series of True Blood, Luis Vuitton - Art, Fashion and Architecture, and Election Day. The latter is by Juergen Teller (interview here) and brings together Vivienne Westwood's ad campaign for her 2009 Spring/Summer collection. Featuring Vivienne Westwood herself, her husband Andreas Kronthaler (interview here) and Pamela Anderson, the photo shoot is eccentrically offbeat and cool in its random rock&roll settings. A great collaboration. A lovely little book.


December 10, 2009 | 12:04 AM | Permalink
My twitter bio

Family man, flaneur, innovator, strategist, brand head, visual gourmand, book bulimic, counterculture historian, eclectic & syncretic. (@ashleybenigno)

December 06, 2009 | 09:45 PM | Permalink
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance


December 06, 2009 | 08:16 PM | Permalink
An interview with Yone


December 06, 2009 | 08:01 PM | Permalink
Danny Choo's Dollfie collection


December 06, 2009 | 07:46 PM | Permalink
Sufi-stemmed flowers

Reading William Dalrymple's "Nine Lives" (a beautiful book on the state/fate of mystic traditions in modern India) came across this poem by the 17th Century Pashto Sufi poet Rahman Baba:

"I am a lover, and I deal in love. Sow flowers, So your surroundings become a garden. Don't sow thorns; for they will prick your feet. We are all one body, Whoever tortures another, wounds himself."

Could well have been written in the hippie sixties. So fitting for today's geo-political situation. Some struggles have been happening for a long, long time.

December 06, 2009 | 07:12 PM | Permalink
Fallen princesses

Dina Goldstein detourns Disney with her Fallen Princesses series.


December 05, 2009 | 11:26 PM | Permalink

Steven Meisel continues to have his photographic finger firmly on the zeitgeist. His contribution and cover page for Vogue Italia this month features his visual take on Twitter. Here's Meiselpic.


December 05, 2009 | 07:30 PM | Permalink
Ave Maria

Retna and El Mac have painted a lovely mural of the Virgin Mary in Salt Lake City.

ave maria.jpg

December 04, 2009 | 12:54 PM | Permalink
Invaded space



December 04, 2009 | 12:14 PM | Permalink
The Obama ecstasy pill

In Texas, a guy is found in possession of Obama shaped ecstasy pills.


December 03, 2009 | 10:04 PM | Permalink