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August 24, 2014

Lane Coder x Larry Letters

A Fine Art-Inspired Trip to the Californian Outback

“I think there’s an inherent narrative that happens when taking pictures in Big Sur,” says American photographer Lane Coder of his recent collaboration with fellow image-maker, Larry Letters, in the remote Californian outback. “It’s a place stuck in time a little bit, you can still feel the presence of hippies past and present.” The pair, who found an affinity between their work while studying at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, escaped the confines of the studio for the great outdoors in between commissions for Vogue Japan and The New Yorker. “I find beauty in the details as well as giving the ‘whole’ picture; I think it helps tell a more complete story,” says Coder, who snapped the two aerial shots from the plane during his return journey back to New York. While they managed to fit in an impromptu fashion shoot using the rugged landscape and giant redwoods as a backdrop, the trip was not without a touch of danger, says Letters: “Killer seagulls, a bit of debauchery, a couple of trips to the hospital, fine wine in Wine Country, alien-like jellyfish, and California’s gorgeous, chameleon-esque light.”

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Warhol Remix

An Homage to the Artist's Cult Moments Marks a New Met Retrospective

Campbell’s soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles and fragmented celebrity appear in photographer Leon Chew’s Warhol-inspired still life series, in advance of an epic exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art exploring the pop artist’s legacy. Featuring 150 works from some of the biggest artists of the past half-century, Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years seeks to explore whether the silver-haired provocateur is the most important artist of his time. Engaging with Warhol’s own themes of consumer culture, mass-production and appropriation, curators Mark Rosenthal and Marla Prather have paired his works with conceptual heirs such as John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Damien Hirst and Ai Weiwei (whose branded neolithic urns sit as a celebration of Warhol’s Brillo boxes). “We wanted to juxtapose Warhol with other artists to observe and understand how his example was amplified upon, altered and changed,” says Rosenthal. Working with set designer Robert Storey, Chew riffed on Warhol’s own still life photography by referencing key people, subjects or works associated with the Factory. “They’re ubiquitous objects that speak of life, death, sex and power,” explains Storey. “The objects represent pop culture, which is ultimately timeless and accessible to any generation.” 

Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years runs from September 18 to December 31, 2012, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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Fabriken Furillen: Island Escapism

The Stunning Repurposed Architecture and Lunar Landscapes of Gotland’s Refined Resort

London-based photographer Peter Guenzel explores the sparse and calming atmosphere of former limestone refinery turned eco hotel, Fabriken Furillen. Stretching across 600 acres of an old quarry site on the island of Gotland off the southeastern coast of Sweden, the minimalist retreat is set amid the area’s untrammeled natural beauty featuring rocky coastline, wind-swept pines and glistening sea. After discovering the deserted factory in the 90s, founder Johan Hellström preserved its original infrastructure and recycled local materials such as concrete, limestone and hardwood to build the hotel's 17 rooms. “The interior perfectly matches the industrial character of the buildings and the colors of the surrounding area,” observes Guenzel, who has shot for the likes of AnOther, Arena Homme Plus and The Observer. “But it still felt warm and welcoming in a minimalist ‘Swedish’ way. Much of the industrial infrastructure is still in place but not restored—the jetty with the crane, for example, felt like it was slowly disintegrating.” For those seeking complete solitude, Hellström erected Wi-Fi-free hermit cabins alongside the hotel to provide total escapism in between visits to its idyllic bakery or restaurant. “The greatest part about it is the unknown,” says Hellström. “Even if you look at the building carefully, you can't see what's on the inside, and that's very thrilling.”

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