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July 27, 2014

Summer School: HVW8 Gallery

Art Lessons and Dance Sessions in the Californian Desert

From the brazen imagery of Amsterdam’s Parra to the internet-inspired visuals of the Kanye West-affiliated Canadian artist JJJJound, LA gallery HVW8 cultivates an international collision of pop culture and graphic design in a contemporary art setting. “We allow someone that might not be familiar with the artists we exhibit to see them in a lineage of El Lissitzky or Roy Lichtenstein, who to me are examples of fine graphic artists,” says HVW8 co-founder Tyler Gibney. This month the gallerist took psychedelic artists Erin D. Garcia, Teebs, Jean André and Alvaro “Freegums” Ilizarbe on a desert road trip for Summer School, an art and music weekender at Ace Hotel in Palm Springs featuring sun-kissed West Coast bands such as dance-punk duo De Lux. “I grew up with a Bauhaus education and I love the idea of artists teaching and exposing their craft,” says Gibney of the hands-on experience of Summer School’s workshops. Founded in 2011 by LA new music champions School Night and Ace Hotel, the micro-festival’s inaugural line-up included cult mobile letterpress studio Movable Type, and Chris Johanson of the Mission School art movement. “I approach my drawings as a viewer, I want to understand why a choice is made and the reason behind it,” says Garcia, who took on collage class duties while Cali locals Teebs went cosmic with Japanese tie-dye alongside Ilizarbe’s infinity patterns, and Paris’s André showcased poster techniques. “I think there's an elegance in a simple idea that's communicated well.”

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Stella Schnabel Gets Down

The New York Actress Pulls Out Her Best Moves at Her Father's Studio

Stella Schnabel teases out her inner dancehall queen for photographer Rachel Chandler’s debut film. The hypnotic short was captured earlier this year in the balmy August heat during a five-hour dance-athon at Stella’s father, artist and director Julian Schnabel’s Montauk studio. “I had wanted to film her dancing for several years,” says Chandler, a contributor for, Purple Diary and Dazed Digital. “She would come to my nights when I was a DJ and I would just watch her.” The haunting score comes from Paris artist and agnès b. collaborator Charles Derenne’s musical project, 1982. “I was asking a lot of her and her openness exceeded my expectations,” continues the filmmaker, whose intimate, on-set crew included Schnabel’s Chihuahua, Little Joe. Read on for the actress' thoughts on dance.

What type of music do you like to dance to?
Stella Schnabel: Any Aphex Twin album, Nas, Mobb Deep and of course the original New York OG Lou Reed.  

Where do the dutty vibes come from?
SS: I've been going to Jamaica since I was a kid; it’s a reliable source to get my mood in a good spot.

Favorite dancing memories?
SS: My first rave was outside of London when I was 14 with my old pal, Dan Macmillan. Since then, dancing with my girlfriends from Brooklyn at their block parties.

Who is your dream dance partner?
Bez! And Nancy Sinatra, Tina Turner, James Brown, Chris Walken, Yolandi Visser.

What do you do to get in the mood to dance?
There is never a moment I don’t want to.

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Trick of the Trade

An Abstract Ode to Photographic Craft from Michael Bodiam

It’s impossible to look at a set of images without bringing yourself into it. The argument you had with your partner that morning, the flighty thought of hooking up with your confidante at Art Basel Miami or the inescapable fact that this Christmas is your turn with the in-laws. Michael Bodiam’s series The Tools We Use invites you to step on the merry-go-round of synaptic thought. What are we looking at? A Takashi Murakami origami monster? The set for Tron: Legacy II? A 3D dancefloor? Our minds try to make sense of the images, whether the curled photographic paper makes you think of Yves Klein’s “1959 Untitled Monochrome” or simply a stolen kiss; whether the smoke billowing out of a curtain reminds you of a forbidden cigarette you sucked on surreptitiously. Bodiam stumbled upon the subject matter while looking for something to photograph with art director Yarra Jones.  “When you try to shoot something that’s commercially relevant, you need an object,” he says. “I soon realized, I had an enormous collection of design items, in the form of the photographic equipment that I spend my days with. We had what we needed already.”

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