A perfect little film on an insanely talented artist that I’ve long been a huge fan of — Death Spray Custom. Curiously strong, iconic, inventive, original, and executed with surgical precision and a sense of humor.
It’s been a personal pleasure of mine getting to know David Teague and Ginger Hall, proprietors of America Antiques & Design, and Compromise Lodge (Ginger’s upstairs vintage hideaway inside America Designs). Their shop full of vintage and custom treasures is nestled in at 5 S. Main Street, Lambertville, NJ– the bucolic Bucks County sister town of New Hope, PA sitting just across the Delaware River. David & Ginger are as unassuming and low key as they come, yet draw a loyal and very notable following. Creatives in the world of furnishings, fashion & film come from around the globe in appreciation of the couple’s discerning eye and uncommon taste level. For anyone looking to get off the homogenized grid and have a true experience of eclectic discovery and one-off finds– this is the place.
David Teague of America Antiques & Design in Lambertville, NJ.
Debuting in 1953, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine represented the ultimate liberated lifestyle for men of the 1950s, ’60s and beyond. Some called Hef’s imaginative, artistic spreads on architecture & interior design nothing more than self-indulgent, male sexual fantasy cloaked under a flimsy cover of so-called culture. For the man that wanted to be (or fantasized of being) the master of his own hedonistic domain — Playboy was his blueprint. And Hef perfected his own personal blueprint for tapping directly into the wallet of a new consumption-based male ideal that thought (and bought) with their crotch. The Playboy man now sought the aspiration of sleek, modern design that Hugh brilliantly linked with the primal desire of getting laid.
Whatever the angle, it cannot be denied that scores of men were introduced to, and educated on, the finer points of Mid-Century Modern Design and the masters behind the movement that is now an iconic part of our history. And the Bachelor Pad, dripping with sexy, come-hither vibe, an inhibition-busting bar, and the latest modern marvels to dazzle her, was born thanks to Hef — who literally fleshed-it-out and showed us just how good it could look, make you feel, and improve your net worth with the ladies.
Some kind of life.
“It was December, riding in the back seat of my own car… a 1969 Chevy Brookwood Wagon, when I think to myself, ‘How did I get here? How did I get a good looking couple to hang out in a seedy Hollywood motel while I took photos, and then get them to drive around the city in my beat up station wagon while I tried to capture the essence of this short moment in time?’
In my early/mid/whatever 20s I was sitting at a lab bench wearing a white lab coat analyzing saliva for flu virus. Not joking, I was analyzing spit for work. At some point almost two years in I realized I wasn’t dead yet, and decided to make art.
Funny how often we automatically assume that long-standing, famous couples must be deeply devoted, madly in love, and happier than a couple of pigs in slop. Sometimes, like in the case of Salavador Dali and his wife Gala– what looked like love may have been a case of shared sins and “the devil you know”… I found this juicy tell-all on the couple written for VF some 15 years ago that made my own mustache curl on end… I even had to omit a few bits that were just too much. Let’s just say, it seems that they deserved each other– neither of them seem exactly easy, let alone pleasurable, to be with.
ca. 1930– Salvador Dali and Gala in Port Lligat, a fishing village near Cadaques, before they married. When they met in 1929 Gala was still married to the poet Paul Eluard, and she quickly began an affair with Dali, who was around ten years her junior. After marrying Dali, she and Eluard continued their intimate relationship. “Letters to Gala” is the published collection of Eluard’s raw, twisted, and emotional letters to Gala that expose the powerful grip she held on him.
When Surrealist master Salvador Dali met Gala Devulina in 1929, the 25-year-old artist found a poisonous muse who defined decadence and outdid him in sexual perversity.
By John Richardson, Vanity Fair, 1998
That Salvador Dali fell victim to his Russian wife Gala’s lust for domination is no longer a matter of conjecture. Ian Gibson, in an eye-opening biography of the artist that Norton will publish here this month, comes up with some terrifying new facts, which reveal in more detail and depth than ever before how and why this quintessential Surrealist—the master of the soft watches—allowed himself to be destroyed by one of the nastiest wives a major modern artist ever saddled himself with.
I can testify to the accuracy of Gibson’s account. In the early 1970s I was a vice president of M. Knoedler & Co., Dali’s dealers. One of my responsibilities was keeping the artist to the terms of his contract at a time when his eye was so bleary and his hand so shaky that assistants had taken over his more arduous work. I could not help feeling sorry for the seedy old conjurer, with his rhinoceros-horn wand, leopardskin overcoat, and designer whiskers, not to mention his surreal breath. The Wizard of Was, as someone called him, was all patter and very little sleight of hand. His virago of a wife and the creepy, conniving courtiers in charge of his business had reduced Dali to a mere logo, a signature as flamboyant as his mustache.
ca. 1930– Salvador Dali and Gala in Port Lligat, a fishing village near Cadaques, before they married. Dali was reportedly a virgin when they met, who feared female private parts, and in a very close relationship with the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. There are differing opinions on whether it was a gay love affair– some say it was, while others claim Dali rebuffed Lorca’s sexual advances. Reports are also that what Dali really got off on was candaulism.
In case you missed it over on the TSY facebook page I’ve been obsessed with the below piece of work for quite some time, and finally posted it up and asked the beloved The Selvedge Yard clan for help in identifying the artist. It took about all of 2 seconds.
As a kid, my healthy diet of Happy Days, Sha Na Na, and flicks like The Lords of Flatbush deeply engrained a love of greaser culture and style that will surely remain until I die. “Bad Girls” by James Alfred Meese slays me with every viewing. Obviously the cover art was intentionally as lurid and enticing as possible to get you to part with your money and buy the “pulp” paperbacks that were named after the cheaply produced paper they were printed on. Here are a few other fine examples of pulp art, which really peaked in the ’50s & ’60s, in my humble opinion.
Bad Girls — paperback cover art by James Alfred Meese, 1958
Bad Girls– They prowl the fringe of the underworld for kicks — cover art by James Alfred Meese, 1958
English artist and motorcycle fanatic Conrad Leach is having his first solo exhibition in the US– happening February 9th at Subvecta Motus Gallery in LA. His graphic Pop style is instantly iconic, and not to be missed– especially when you have the rare opportunity to be face-to-face with the large-scale punchy paintings. Leach’s work will knock your socks off. –Curated by friend Stacie B. London of Triple Nickel 555 & ESMB.
Lucky 13 by Conrad Leach
Norton Jack by Conrad Leach
Good friend Scott Toepfer shot some amazing images for the TSY x PRPS x TRIUMPH Blackbird limited edition jean were all the buzz at the event held at Fast Ashley’s Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Those of you poor souls who were unable to attend deserve a gander too because they are that good. Looking forward to doing this again!
The Black Flag tribute on the helmet is simply strips of everyday black electrical tape. Brilliant. Blackbird event original image by © Scott Toepfer photography
TSY x PRPS x Triumph Motorcycles limited edition Blackbird 14 oz jean — Blackbird event original image by © Scott Toepfer photography
When people speak of architectural photography, these two images always come up as arguably the most iconic and moving of all. You may not know the photographer’s name, you may not know the architect– but if you’ve ever seen these images and appreciate both photography & architecture, they are most likely seared on your mind’s eye.
Julius Shulman was a photographer for 70+ yrs, capturing some of the world’s most amazing structures and spaces ever created by man. He set the standard that others now strive to reach, and when they can’t– they may simply stage or frame a shot using his famous works like a proven template as homage and acknowledgement that it just doesn’t get any better. Shulman brought Mid-Century Modern to the world as much as the legendary architects he worked with. Sought out not just for for his incredible eye– he had an innate ability to understand and interpret the architect’s intent, and tell that story strikingly with laser-like focus. Correction: Shulman didn’t set the standard– he is the standard.
Architect Richard Neutra’s “other” Kaufmann House built in Palm Springs, 1946– the first being Fallingwater, and yes– Frank Lloyd Wright’s feathers were indeed ruffled over this apparent snub when Pittsburgh department store magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann selected another architect for this project. Published in the LIFE Magazine feature “Glamourized Houses” in 1949. –Image by © Julius Shulman / J.Paul Getty Trust / Julius Shulman photography archive. “No other architect Shulman worked with was as controlling as Neutra. He would look through the viewfinder and adjust the camera, only to have Shulman move it back when he turned his head. Theirs was a battle of egos, of who was in charge of what and whom. This was never more so than when Shulman photographed the Kaufmann House on a 1947 evening. He set up inside as the sun began to fall behind the mountains, but to capture the fleeting dusk he decided to move outdoors. Neutra wanted him to stay put. Shulman ignored him and placed the tripod on the lawn facing west. As the sky darkened, the house glowed. For the next 45 minutes Shulman ran in and out of the glass house, switching lamps on and off, opening and closing the shutter to burn in the light. At the end of the exposure he asked Mrs. Kaufmann to stretch out on the deck. Who wouldn’t want to imagine themselves there? The photograph, its lights and darks forming a thousand shades of gray, the geometric lines of the house set against the jagged range, would become one of Shulman’s two most reproduced works.” –Mary Melton
It’s not to say that I’m not a fan of his written works, but what I love Truman Capote for more are his brilliantly bitchy Black & White Ball of 1966 to celebrate the release of In Cold Blood, and his subdued and soothing studio hidden among the scrubs in the heart of the Hamptons that he personally designed as his own private oasis. I believe that most of these pics of the Mid-century modern beach studio were actually taken in 1965 (except for the last pic of Capote seated in his robe), though this story is from the archives of Architectural Digest, ca. 1976. Sadly, it no longer looks quite as charming as it does in these old photos. Through subsequent updates by later owners the beach studio has been sterilized a bit and is sorely lacking Capote’s self-proclaimed intentional untended chic and quirky touches.
1965– Truman Capote standing on the ledge of the fireplace in the living room of his Hamptons country studio near Sagaponack on the South Fork. –Image by © Conde Nast Archive/Corbis
It is virtually impossible to find his Long Island home in the Hamptons, but that’s exactly the way he wants it. Hidden behind scrub pine, privet hedges and rows of hydrangea bushes is Truman Capote’s two-story, weathered-gray beach house near Sagaponack on the South Fork.
He lives in the heart of the Hamptons—a stretch of rolling potato fields and lush farmlands married to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. A year-round farming community and a summer place for city people, it is here that antique farmhouses vie with modernistic glass houses for the dunes and fields. Mr. Capote once called Sagaponack “Kansas with a sea breeze.”
1965– Author Truman Capote relaxes in a wicker chair outside his Long Island home in the Hamptons. –Image by © Conde Nast Archive/Corbis