The Candid Photographer's Spirited Home Movie Ahead of Her First Children’s Book
G is for grumpy girls and J is for jump for joy in today’s effervescent short, courtesy of Tierney Gearon’s iPhone. Spliced with images gathered over the past three years for her new project, Alphabet Book, the film features Gearon’s four kids and their sprightly friends playing dress-up in picturesque locales from Telluride in Colorado to the family’s home in Los Angeles, creating a project Gearon describes as an “art book for children and a children’s book for adults.” The New York Times’ regular embarks on a series of children’s parties in New York, LA and Paris to celebrate the book’s release next month. Her work has long been synonymous with the raw candor and spontaneity displayed here, catching the eye of art impresario Charles Saatchi in 2001, who gave her her much-publiziced debut exhibition I Am a Camera. “You only have one little moment that suddenly comes to life,” says Gearon of her method.
How did you come up with the photographs depicting each letter?
Tierney Gearon: In the beginning I just started shooting every mask, costume and prop that started with the letter A. And on holiday I would pack tons of fun costumes for the kids, so part of it made me look like the fun mom that had loads of cool things to do. But then anytime I went into a shop the kids would always convince me to buy something else because it would be good for the book.
And hold the children’s attention?
TG: We did so much playing! It was like setting up different sets, like you’re doing a commercial. What was great about this project was that I did it together with the children, a collaborative effort.
What books did you love as a kid?
TG: I was obsessed with the Joan Walsh Anglund books and still have them. There’s one called Babies are a Bit of Heaven that was amazing. But, of course, there’s Eloise and The Little Prince and Curious George.
Any plans for Halloween?
TG: I like making things at home but the kids like to buy readymade costumes. So we usually buy lots of different costumes and on Halloween we end up putting a crazy concoction together. The kids go to town!
The Alphabet Book is out November on Damiani with signings at Dashwood Books, New York City November 6 and Colette, Paris November 15.
The Artists Talk the Politics of Pairing Up in the Latest in Our Series With EDITION Hotels
Tracey Emin and Harland Miller, two names synonymous with London’s contemporary art scene, come together in “Dedication,” the latest episode of our series in conjunction with EDITION Hotels, shot by their old friend, the long-time documentarian Johnnie Shand Kydd. “Rather than a collaboration, I see it more as helping each other out,” says Emin. “When I was a younger artist, we all used to do that.” Emin rose to international fame in the late 1990s as one of a new wave of British conceptual artists championed by collector Charles Saatchi, and featured in his seminal exhibition of 1997 Sensation. While Emin and Miller muse on the focused and frequently isolated world that artists inhabit in this video, they also discuss their occasional collaborations with other artists, including each other. Miller has published several novels and become known for his large canvasses depicting satirical, fictional Penguin covers, and in 2008 organized an exhibition, You Dig the Tunnel, I’ll Hide the Soil, at London’s White Cube Gallery, where he asked artists as well as Emin to make a work as a response to a particular piece of writing by Edgar Allan Poe. Emin obliterated Miller’s own contribution to their joint work by painting over it, but Miller remained unfazed. “That’s a positive part of collaboration,” says Miller. “You have to take it on the chin.”
Each film in the On Collaboration series has been produced in partnership with EDITION Hotels, a new project between Ian Schrager and Marriott Hotels. The London EDITION opened in September 2013.
Jem Goulding’s New Film Captures the Inner World of the Restless Prince of Ballet
Leaving Ukraine at the tender age of 13 to join London's Royal Ballet School, Sergei Polunin became the youngest-ever principal dancer in the history of the Royal Ballet at 19, earning him comparisons to 20th century greats Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev. In this touching portrait by artist and director Jem Goulding, Polunin reflects on early triumphs, autonomy and “playing with journalists” while performing at Moscow’s Stanislavsky Theatre. Known for his visceral, adrenaline-charged technique and emotive style, the dance prodigy is making a return to ballet since his controversial departure from London's Royal supertroupe last year. Goulding assembled footage from a week spent with Polunin on and off the stage in Moscow, where he is currently under the mentorship of Igor Zelensky, the artistic director of the Stanislavsky Ballet. “Sergei was in the middle of an intense rehearsal schedule for his tour of Coppelia, and I sat in on rehearsals every day,” explains the filmmaker, “though I always planned to catch him outside of ballet; sometimes we would be at a restaurant, other times he was fresh out of the shower after training, and tired.” Shooting on Super 8 and her 16mm Bolex camera, Goulding depicts a seldom seen side of Polunin: From candid moments in Red Square to a spontaneous tour of the Bolshoi. “Sergei is an adrenaline junkie, a thrill-seeker and fearless in many ways,” she adds, “even if some of it comes from youthful naivety, it's still compelling.”