Matthew Donaldson Closes in on the Provocative Hip-Hop Performance Artist
Inspired by “Grace Jones, Nina Simone and [Elizabeth Berkley’s character in the sleazy b-movie Showgirls], Nomi Malone,” Zebra Katz is the alter ego of 26-year-old Brooklyn rap provocateur Ojay Morgan. Taken from his self-released EP Drklng, the subversive lyrical bravado and pounding bass quakes of today’s Mike Dextro-produced track are accentuated by the rapper’s hypnotic gaze in the new video by British director and photographer Matthew Donaldson. Morgan sees live performance as his stock in trade. “To live in the moment, react, create and breathe,” he says of his aim when up on stage. “I’m driven by audience participation, so the higher, louder and more intoxicated the audience is, the greater the show's energy.” Drklng also features the unbounded energy of fellow New Yorker Busta Rhymes on “Ima Lead,” a re-appropriation of Morgan’s explicit breakthrough single “Ima Read.” “My audience is evolving more than my performance at the moment,” says Zebra Katz of his growing cult-like popularity. “With each new show in a new city I’ve never been to before, I see and hear more Katz presenting themselves in the front row like offerings.”
Check out more exclusive Zebra Katz stills by Matthew Donaldson at The Telegraph.
Look 1: White blazer, Tommy Hilfiger; white T-shirt and trousers, Lacoste. Look 2: Mohair coat, Neil Barrett; white T-shirt and trousers, Lacoste. Look 3: Fluffy jacket, Neil Barrett; white T-shirt and trousers, Lacoste. Leather mask, vintage.
Thanks to Alex Shah at Premier Model Management
The Frenetic Rapper Gets Lost in London During His Recent Trip
“New York is my home, but London is a new playground, I love it here,” says Zebra Katz aka Ojay Morgan, of his recent visit to the English capital for both Men's fashion week and a feverish performance at east London’s XOYO. Capturing an off-duty Katz in this series of intimate stills, photographer and filmmaker Amy Gwatkin rejoined Morgan a year after they first met at Rick Owens’s Paris studio, and spent a day wandering the bookstores and museums of the city that Morgan first visited in 2006, when studying Shakespeare at the British American Dramatic Academy.
The Versatile Supermodel Stars in a Gender-Bending Animated Short
Daria Werbowy morphs from skater to rocker, businessman to dancer as she shape-shifts through an array of different characters in this stop-motion animation by photographer Cass Bird. The pair were inspired by a series of black-and-white cut-out collages made in the early 70s by Cindy Sherman, an artist famed for her fascination with identity and gender. “I’ve always been interested in how clothes can override our identity,” says Bird from her home in Brooklyn. “How they can change our posture completely, or even how we feel about our sexuality.” Since their first collaboration over a decade ago Bird and the Ukrainian-Canadian Werbowy have traveled the world capturing some of the most distinctive images of the chameleonic model. Bird is celebrated for her spontaneous and intimate photographs of celebrities including Cate Blanchett and Viggo Mortensen, as well as personal projects like recent monograph Rewilding, which portrayed androgynous girls in the Tennessee wilderness. She brought a similar uninhibited freedom to this latest session with her close friend Werbowy, who holds the record for opening and closing the most runway shows in a fashion season and has graced the pages of everything from Vogue to V magazine to the Pirelli Calendar. “I laughed the whole way through it,” says Bird. “I’m always taken with Daria’s physical range. She pushes herself physically and emotionally and has this God-given gift to be able to channel masculine and feminine energy quite genuinely.”