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July 31, 2014

The Ones We Love

A New Book Peels Back the Layers on Unlikely Moments of Frisson

The online universe is awash with images of titillating, air-brushed flesh, but one thing you can never have too much of is tender affection, according to Lindley Warren, founder of photography platform The Ones We Love. A space for up-and-coming photographers to share the nuances of the people they love and cherish, the project has so far attracted the work of over 170 image-makers from far-flung locations, including Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek, winner of the 2014 PDN Photo Book Award, two of whose photos in today’s extended series feature in The Ones We Love. “He has the ability to make the most mundane things appear deeply fascinating,” says the Iowa-based curator of the breezy images, a selection of which are included in a forthcoming book and touring gallery show. Paying due to the power of the written word, she encourages the site’s participants to pen a valentine to accompany their loved-up portfolio. “When I curate, I focus on emotion,” says Warren, who was in part drawn to web-based ventures due to the immediacy of the internet. “This project was a way for me to peek into the lives of talented photographers and see the people that they love and are inspired by.”  

The Ones We Love Volume 1 launches at Atelier de Koekkoek, Vienna, on August 14; Viaduct Gallery, Iowa, on August 15; and Kunstler, Brisbane, on August 15. (While the three exhibitions share the same name, the work is different in each location.)

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Flight of the Pompadour

Karan Kandhari's Film On Tribal Obsession is Joined by a Personal Take on Subculture From Jonathan Wingfield

With a pomade-sculpted quiff, the teenage protagonist in London-based filmmaker Karan Kandhari’s deadpan short goes through the rituals of a rockabilly fan’s rite of passage. Captured in 16mm, the 1950s-inspired adolescent played by Oliver Parsons awkwardly shuffles into his first dance, and is intimidated by the Osaka Black Lightning gang before finally procuring his own majestic quiff. “I find quiffs funny. As a sort of display of masculinity they are the most delicate, temperamental things,” says the director, whose Flight of the Pompadour is part of A United Howl, a trilogy of short comedies that explore misfits and loners. “There was a constant battle on set to keep them erect as they were melting under the lights. I had a quiff for many years but it started to rule my life so I hung up the comb. I now look like a bum, but at least there's no grease on my pillow.” To continue our ode to the dedication of musical tribes, NOWNESS asked Jonathan Wingfield to reflect upon his misspent youth.

Camden Frank

He was always there on a Sunday. Religiously. Right outside the tube station. Flared jeans, hippy waistcoat, lithe torso, burning joss sticks, hair down to his arse, rainbow headband, patchouli oil, Flying V guitar, no shoes or socks. Playing widdly-widdly psychedelic synth. With his toes.

Lost in his own world. Making the most terrible music you could possibly imagine. He was supposed to be wigging out in Woodstock in 1969. Not in Camden High Street in 1988. I called him Camden Frank, on account of him looking vaguely like Frank Zappa. He was the most exotic thing I’d ever seen. Although he wasn’t the reason I went to Camden on Sundays, looking back now, he should have been.

I was only there in search of an identity. Punks, goths, rockabillies, skinheads… Camden did all the uniforms. Even as a 14 year old, I could tell the wild-eyed leather gang sprawled out on the Lock were just part-timers. Pastiching someone else’s rebellion. McPunks. But Frank was the real deal. Out of time. Out of step. Out of synch.

Just recently, Camden Frank drifted into my thoughts for the first time in 25 years. This happened, somewhat incongruously, during a conversation I was having with Victoria Beckham. “When did you first come up to London?” I asked her. “Like, properly come up, you know, without your gran.”

“I’ve always loved London, it’s such an inspiring place” she replied, simultaneously deflecting the question and sounding like a foreign exchange student. There was a short pause. “I’d come up to Camden market on a Sunday,” she suddenly blurted out.

Hearing her utter the words “Camden market” suddenly made me feel an extraordinary—and, frankly, delusional—connection with her. In my mind, she too must have crossed paths with Camden Frank. I like to imagine it all sunk in, too. Into Victoria’s teenage mind, just waiting to be channeled into something meaningful. Not so much in the Spice Girls, but maybe Victoria’s solo work, or perhaps the eponymous luxury fashion label.

These days, of course, Camden’s all Amy Winehouse murals and Union Jack Britpop guitars. But where’s Frank? Where’s his statue? Well, I’ve just found him on Google. All I did was type “hippy + outside + camden + tube + station”. A ‘style icon’ if ever there was one.

Polite note to the Sartorialist—hands off Frank, he’s mine.

Jonathan Wingfield is the Editor-in-Chief of System and a regular contributor to NOWNESS.

Fashion credits
The Boy: wardrobe by YMC. Osaka Black Lighting Gang: jackets by Lewis Leathers.

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A Year Remixed

Looking Back with a Cut-Up Review of NOWNESS 2013

The calming silhouette of a meditating Rick Rubin overlooking Malibu beach is juxtaposed with the stances of head-spinning b-boy twins Jay and Perry Howell in this retrospective series by collage artist, Trey Wright. Following a month-by-month journey through some of our favorite stories, Texas-based Wright cut-up and spliced imagery in a year where art and pop visuals were influenced by temporality. The disparate work of Dutch wunderkind Bart Hess and his fetishistic balloon girls pepper the innocence of Fruit Logistica, the citrus fruit trade fair held in Berlin. Elsewhere South London crooner King Krule appears in Rose McGowan’s LA lounge, joined by the cascading feline stars of the surreal Mrzyk & Moriceau-directed music video for Midnight Juggernauts’ "Systematic". Happy New Year! 

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