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Live Fast Mag curates the best of fashion, art, sex, and travel. A vivid and sexy inspiration board for the aesthetically-inclined, Live Fast features in-depth interviews, putting the spotlight on up-and-coming artists, designers and the beautiful minds of our time.

Interview Series

F>A>S>T> Lingerie Guide

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Art Crush: Cole Barash Double Exposures

You may remember a while back when we interviewed prolific snowboarding photographer Cole Barash, featuring his INCREDIBLE behind-the-scenes snowboarding pics that only someone deep in the scene could capture. He’s since made a move to Brooklyn, and his work has diversified in a big way. Cole approached us with his recent series “6 Girls 6 Cities” – a set of double exposures fusing six models from six different cities with urban and natural landscapes from their respective cities.

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Art Crush: Sarah Rosado

When was the last time you ran your fingers through the earth? You should do it sometime, it might bring back some fond memories. NYC-based photographer and illustrator Sarah Rosado decided to explore the cleaner sides of dirt with her eye-catching series called “Dirty Little Secrets.” She’s crafted a set of recognizable figures and objects out of finely-organized piles of dirt, with a sense of humor to butte!

 

Interview Series: Aaron Nagel (NSFW)

Aaron Nagel‘s stunning oil paintings of nude women for his newest show “Fathoms” hone in on his skill at lighting, composition and ability to capture raw emotion. He photographs his subjects first to claim every aspect of the process as his own. Very close to photo-realism, his portraits of these women against a simple clean background project them in a sort of power position, but with the black sleeves revealing a darker, more morose side. “Fathoms” opened this Friday, May 9 at the Lyons Wier Gallery in Chelsea and will be available for viewing until June 7, so if in NYC, stop by and check out the work. In the meantime, we have a little interview with Aaron about his process and his penchant for nude women.

Q&A

LF: You currently have a show up at Lyons Wier Gallery called “Fathoms”. Can you talk about how you came about the title “Fathoms” and what it means to the work?

AN: “Fathoms” was initially just the name of one of the paintings from the show, a smaller 26″ x 30″ piece that is pretty simplistic in composition. I am especially happy with how the painting came out, despite it’s simplicity…which is something I often grapple with; finding the perfect balance between mode and composition. The mood that I’m most often after… I feel like I got it right in that one. When it came to naming the show, I found it worked pretty well, both because it came to represent the right mood for me, and because it implies a depth of sorts – a vague, possibly mysterious, and dark depth. It just fit!

LF: What historical painters have influenced this body of nudes?

AN: Oddly, I found myself paying closer attention to portraiture for this show than with others. Ingrés’ Napoleon portrait and George de Forest Brush’s “A Celtic Huntress” to name a few. I’m not sure what specifically led me to those two this time around, probably the search for mood again (at risk of becoming repetitive already).

LF: You photograph your subjects. Were you always a photographer?

AN: I hardly consider myself a photographer, although I do shoot all my own reference material. I’ve shot my own stuff ever since I could convince some friends to model years and years ago, and have always felt that if I don’t personally shoot the reference or at least heavily manage the shoot, it’s not “mine” enough.  I also dated a photographer a long while back, and despite the scars, she taught me a lot about lighting, which really improved things for me in respect to the final paintings. I shoot with only the final painting in mind, and despite years and years of practice, I barely have a working knowledge of why pictures look good; I just set up lights, and twist knobs and push buttons until the pictures look like I want them to. Good photos don’t necessarily make good paintings, so I’m not after the perfect image, just the right jump off point for a painting.

LF: You are a graphic designer first, a self-taught painter second. How did the painting come into play?

AN: I taught myself graphic design as well, so it’s kind of all been the same journey. I was a drawer first, then got into graphic design first as a means to translate those drawings into something I could use to promote the bands I was in, then as a source of income. I always did art for myself on the side though, and at one point, I wanted to work big, and painting was a much better medium for scale. That’s how it started – but drawing, graphic design, painting – they all inform eachother. I don’t think of them as separate skills.

LF: What is it about oils?

AN: I think anybody that has seen a Rembrandt portrait, or a giant Rubens, or a Caravaggio, or a gloppy Jenny Saville even, can answer that question. Maybe not in the most succinct way, but they’ll be able to. As a visual artist, I’m not really the guy to answer that on paper, but will I continue to predominately paint with oils for the rest of my life? Very probably.

LF: Last year you had your moving truck with all of your art supplies stolen. Obviously there were some negatives about that, but what were the positives? You got a lot of support from your Indiegogo campaign?

AN: I did get a lot of support from the art community, more than I ever would have thought possible. Being an artist isn’t the most social thing in the world, and aside from the occasional show, I don’t do a lot of face to face hanging with artists, so at times the “community” I’m a part of can seem kind of theoretical. It’s very much a real thing though, and getting such an outpouring of support was amazing, I’m very grateful to be a part of it. On a more personal note, the theft did a pretty good job of ridding me of “stuff”, most of which I would rather have held onto, some of which was very important to me, but still, just stuff. There has been a lot of illness in my family the last few years, so in comparison, anything that doesn’t result in a hospital stay can’t be so bad.

LF: How was your work received at Miami Art Basel?

AN: As far as I know? Pretty well. I tend to not get a super accurate impression of what people think of the work though in general, which is probably fine.

LF: You recently moved to L.A. Are you inspired by the art scene here?

AN: I am actually. L.A. seems a little more art friendly these days than the Bay Area, where I moved from. There’s a great artistic community in the Bay, but there is a lot of tension between the tech people and art people, especially as rents get to the point where artists are forced either into terrible neighborhoods or out of the area entirely. In L.A., everybody does something, mostly related to entertainment, but it’s kind of cool that almost everybody has a hand in something creatively.

LF: What makes you tick?

AN: at risk of listing a whole bunch of things here, probably “control” is an accurate answer. I’m not a control freak, but I do like to have control over what I do on a daily basis. I feel like all the freelance work and painting allows for me to work and live day to day on as much as my own terms as possible, and I love that.

LF: What get’s you off, literally or figuratively?

AN: Whoa boy… exercise? That makes me sound the most boring. Cute girls eating bad food? Not much better.

LF: How FAST do you live?

AN: In the parties and babes and drugs corner, pretty damn slow. I’m vegan straightedge, meaning an exciting night out for me is sugar-free vegan soft serve and a ton of coffee. Although I can run fast, and I prefer to drive as fast as possible, so literally, pretty fast.

Aaron Nagel’s show “Fathoms” is open to the public at the Lyons Wier Gallery in NYC until June 7, 2014.

Interview Series: Zio Ziegler

I first saw a Zio Ziegler mural on Divisadero St. in the NOPA district of San Francisco. The lines and figures were mezmerizing, huge contours dipped and collided to form his tribal-like figures, defined by precise shapes and patterns, mostly in black paint. I remember coming from dinner that night and his mural shone under the street lamp, almost jumping off the wall. And over on the top right side read Zio Ziegler in small black letters. I never forgot that name.

I first met Zio on a way on my way to an interview for a photography job. I immediately recognized the work and stopped for a second to watch him paint while he jammed to his headphones beneath his spray paint mask. Under time constrictions, I had to jet, so I crossed my fingers and hoped he was still here upon return. And he was. I took a few pics with my phone and practically tackled him to get his attention. We chatted for a second, I asked him for an interview and explained that FAST was the moniker for fashion, art, sex and travel. His response? Will I make it into the sex section? It was a joke of course, but alas I got the interview from the jet-setting street artist, who is currently doing a month-long art stay in Italy. Check out my two Instagram pics of Zio from that day below and have a good read (he’s quite the philosopher):

F: You talk about your own human condition as a vehicle for your work. Did this insight come to you at a young age?

ZZ: I did not, for the longest time I did not want to be an artist because of the expectations that came with it. I communicated from a young age in a visual way, from drawing girls names in wildstyle in middle school, to the t-shirts for the high school sports teams, once people know you’re an artist, they expect you to be their kind of artist. Almost expect you to produce work that is both representational and at a high quality consistently.  I could do neither, and after a while I felt nerve racked and hesitant to draw in public. I began to hide my sketchbook when I was drawing in a class, or else, I would draw something I knew how to draw. Something that I knew would work out in a resolved fashion. It wasn’t until many years later that I let go of that feeling and just created from instinct. And when that barrier came down, I felt like an artist again, someone who could explore his own condition as a microcosm of the world. To search for universals through a series of mistakes, and to cast away expectation and wander. In a subconscious way I think its why I paint walls today without bringing the materials to cover them up. It’s a full commitment without any return that makes me grow. By just showing up with black paint and no plan, I have no option but to make it work, to try something new and adapt to the space, to pivot to change and embrace the mistakes, and with this I can create in public now.

Self Consciousness is the enemy in painting, I am not talking about being self critical, rather to timid about mistakes. This is the sort of vehicle I like, and also struggle to stay on. Once you say you are the painter who hopes to transform his mistakes into opportunities, it becomes a zen experience where you can only exist in the present. When I succeed occasionally on pushing through a mistake and allowing to see it as something that positively impacted my work, I think that is quite proximate to the resilience of the spirit and the human condition. The true trial and error format of evolution. And, in an eastern way, I think I only discovered the edge of this phenomena through the contrast of self consciousness, so as the light becomes lighter, so can the dark gain new dimension as well.

LF: “I paint how I feel, not how I see” – can you dive into this a little bit?

ZZ: Sure. I could go off on a tangent about psychological portraiture, about transference and things coming through via a sort of osmosis, but I think the essential response is that I don’t always feel this way. Just the other day I was sitting up on a hill in Tuscany, thinking to myself that I am sick of painting how I feel, and now, I would like to paint from what I see. I will swear by one way of making on day, and another the next. The only honesty is that art is contradiction, It’s a wandering path, dropping things you swore by and then picking them up again. The frightening thing is that we all have our way of viewing the world, it is what makes us original and we cannot easily escape it. Sure all the world may be a stage, however, when you are acting you know you are acting and if art is all about letting go, about pushing the binary human condition and getting rid of the grey area, then one is left with something quite dialectical. I think the power in art is that as creators we are not forced to be linear. Yes, the market often wants you to be, and I think that’s why so many greats are born from rejection. Because with societal rejection can come of negation of sumptuary laws, a disregard for trends and a more proximate experience to searching for your internal vision, your a priori.

So yes, I paint from both. I experience the world from both, feeling, emotion, volatility is more honest than the strict rules of representation. I love changing, defying expectations. Doing what I want and not being held to anything. I don’t want to feel like the kid that couldn’t draw in public anymore, I want to trust myself, my hand, my differences and my context, for me this is painting what I feel. It’s painting with your mind shut off, with your expectations collapsed, its like automatic drawing, but It’s more like water. The second you try to hold water in your hands, to stop of slow on cling, its gone, but if you just watch it move, be next to it, in it, moved by it, then you’re in a current you can’t control. When you paint how you feel it is similar to the later. It’s capricious, sometimes you cling to a rock, somethings you’ve drifted too far from structure, but it is honest and with murals- it’s the only way I can make them.

As for painting how you see, seeing is believing, and believing is expecting. It’s clinging to a “known truth” in a ephemeral world. But right now I am attracted to it because I need to push one extreme so that I can re enter the other. So I was sitting there, on the hillside in Tuscany, doing a watercolor of the landscape, and about 50 minutes in, I began to paint my interpretation of that landscape as a figure on opposing page, and then on the next page, came another landscape but this time it was in the figure, and then after that It was pattern, and a landscape on top and figures within, and then I stepped back and realized the figures where searching for something, they where looking for what I was looking for, and on the next page they found it.  When art mirrors life, through whatever tools necessary, I think it inevitably feels right. And having written this, I have a feeling, and from that, maybe a painting. Everything as in physics has its equal and opposite reaction, it’s just letting self consciousness go to the point where you can embrace that sort of volatility and capture it in pigment.

LF: You’re heavy into philosophy. Where does this stem from? Is this an influence from your parents?

ZZ: Absolutely. My dad loves Eastern thought and that was contagious.

LF: Where can we currently see some of your work on the street?

ZZ: San Francisco, Milan, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas etc.

LF: How did the tribal figures make their way into your aesthetic?

ZZ: It’s actually just the way that I draw, the references to tribal figures, modernism and primitivism where not conscious initially. When I stopped worrying about representation, lines just needed other lines, and those needed depth and structure, and then the figures just became gestural representations of emotions.

LF: When you start with a blank canvas, what is your thought process?

ZZ: If I have a great book that I am reading, I often will have a great painting. I listen to audio books while I paint, and I try not to think about the work, but rather the text. It begins with gestures, and movement. And after a few minutes it needs balance, and then once you answer to balance it needs depth. The painting takes on a life of its own, and then demands things from you, and it’s your responsibility to both listen to it and push it out of its comfort zone. I think I often want my work to evolve faster than It is ready for, so some paintings have an urgency while others have a decadence. You can see how ready I am for progress based on that.  I often have 3 or 4 works in progress at once, often in varying styles and with different emotional pitches. Then I’ll break the studio process up with a mural here and there.

LF: What’s your take on the graffiti scene in SF?

ZZ: I don’t know much about it currently, but I grew up spending all of my time on HifiArt.com, and studying letters from pieces by  the great Bay Area writers and others from around the world.

LF: You’ve mentioned that “I force myself to paint fast on the street – keeping all murals to a day in length maximum.” What are the benefits but also challenges of this?

ZZ: This used to be the case, sometimes a wall will take 6 days or so if it is gigantic, such as the one in downtown Las Vegas. I like to be hyper focused so I can be responsive to the painting, to adapt and pivot should that be the case. Also there is a kairos in the world, an intuition of the moment that comes when you are present, and also a movement that the viewer can experience when viewing something made with boldness and speed. The honesty comes through in a fresher way if the work is made is a instinctual way.

LF: In addition to the abundant amount of artwork your produce, you also run an apparel company called Art Sempre and a tech start-up called Weekend Swap. How do you find the time to keep up with it all?

ZZ: I have a terrible social life.

LF: Can you tell us a little about Art SEmpre and Weekend Swap?

ZZ: Arte Sempre was started in order to make my work more accessible to the public. I love leveraging my images onto different things, sometimes designing t shirts, sometimes hats, so it’s  a fun balance of expressions in different modes. As for Weekend Swap, I started that with a great friend of mine from school as a passion project in order to share outdoor gear in different communities we spent time in.

LF: What do you do for fun?

ZZ: Paint. Draw. Ride Bikes. Eat Burritos. Explore.

LF: You’re a Mill Valley native and still reside there. Any aspirations to leave the Bay and explore other areas of the world?

ZZ: I love Mill Valley. Yes, I love traveling, and painting walls in new places, I am currently in Italy and have been here for a month, so my English is terrible right now, but my pasta consumption skills are phenomenal. Who knows how long I will stay. Next up, Tokyo.

LF: What gets you off, literally or figuratively?

Guacamole.

LF: How FAST do you live?

ZZ: Let’s just say I get a lot of speeding tickets.

(All photos courtesy of Zio Ziegler except the above-mentioned Instagram images)

Lookbook Lust: Sugarhigh + Lovestoned

In her lookbook titled “Paradise Lost” for Sugarhigh + Lovestoned, photographer Amanda Leigh Smith captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest wanderer. Starting in the stark rolling desert-like mountains, the story follows the boho-styled model through an empty America. She’s got that motorcycle chic aura about her, like she might get scooped away on the side of the road by James Dean. The lookbook mirrors the shop ideology so closely  – “clothing for lovers, artists, misfits, vagabonds, sinners, old-souls, rebels, stoners, drifters, movers, shakers + rolling stones.” We just can’t get enough.

“Paradise Lost”

Lookbook for Sugarhigh+Lovestoned

Photography by Amanda Leigh Smith

Styled by Tashina Hill

Modeled by Skye Sengelmann

HMUA Clarity Mettler

Assisted by Claire Everson

Jewelry by Vanessa Mooney

Hats by Gladys Tamez Millinery

Interview Series: Anna-Alexia Basile

Anna-Alexia Basile has been working the photography circuit in San Francisco pretty heavily for the last few years now. I first met her as a young photographer for Refinery29, where her photos of SF makers and shakers frequented the blog. But her latest travel work really caught my attention, with it’s spontaneous moments, underwater jaunts and soft film aesthetic (she admitted to loving the Fuji Instax).

Anna’s last minute wanderlust is what we wish we could do, you know, bucket list kind of trips.  She bought her plane tickets literally a few days before departure. Her trips to Sicily and Peru (pictured in the post) are a much-needed diversion from the everyday grind, which Anna describes as “Freeing”. Have a read of the interview below:

Q&A

LF: Hi Anna! How is life?
AAB: Beautiful!

 LF: You’re work is showing up all over the place. How was 2013 for your career, who have you been working with, and what should we expect in 2014?
AAB: 2013 was a year full of change. I’d been shooting the same photos for a while and am enjoying pushing myself with new techniques and aesthetics. I get to work with so many amazing and talented people and would hate to leave anyone out, but I’m lucky enough to get to work with a lot of my friends. I don’t even know what I’m doing next week, little less what to expect of 2014.


 LF: Do you use film, or mainly digital?
AAB: My assignment work is predominantly digital, with a little film scattered here and there. I love shooting with the Fuji Instax. When I’m behind it I make completely different photographs.


 LF: Your boyfriend Jason Henry is also a photographer. Do you feed off of each other creatively?
AAB: Of course! We’ve mastered the art of sneaking into places we shouldn’t be and making the most out of each situation. Everyday is a new adventure and a fresh source of inspiration.


 LF: Anyone amazing you got to work with recently that you want to give a shout out to?
AAB: There are so many, but I’ve been especially vibing with babes Kiersten Stevens and Chloe Roth. Kiersten is one of the few people who immediately “gets” the image in my head, and she’s phenomenal at helping make it a reality. Chloe is One with words, both written and spoken, and always makes everyone laugh and feel super comfortable. These are two very shining people.


 LF: You’re a spontaneous traveler and you document your trips. What’s the beauty for you in last-minute travel?
AAB: It’s so freeing. I love being able to just pack up and get the fuck outta Dodge.


 LF: You spontaneously traveled to Italy and then Peru last, getting your tickets a few days before leaving. What are the challenges of this? How do you work it into your schedule?
AAB: The beauty of freelancing is that you can choose the timing and frequency of your adventures. There is nothing challenging in leaving for me because I know the second I step off the plane I’m going to be living, learning, and making photos. And to me that’s perfect.


 LF: Where is your next impromptu destination?
AAB: I have to keep this one like a secret.


 LF: You went to SXSW this year. Were you shooting it?
AAB: No, but I was on the other side of the lens, staring into the four beautiful eyes — err sunglasses — of Chromeo in a photo shoot for a large sunglass company that they’re teamed up with.

LF: A pic of you and Jason (taking a nap) landed in The Fader. How cool is that?
AAB: It felt so good to see myself with such a beautiful man in that photograph and think, “fuck, I really made it, this is everything I’ve ever wanted.” Jkkkkkkk


 LF: What were your favorite acts?
AAB: I loved Warpaint and Wet…but my highlight was, without a doubt, Ricky Rozay (Rick Ro$$) (The Bawse)!! You can take the girl out of Florida, but you can’t take the years of Floridian butt shakin’ hip hop out of the girl.


 LF: What inspires you about music photography?
AAB: Music is such a full sensory experience. It does something special to our brains and our hearts, we feel it in so much more than just our ears. Like music, I think that music photography is about a lot more than the musician on stage. It’s about a large group of people connecting over the same sounds but experiencing them differently both internally and externally, all together at the same time. It’s one of the many beautiful things in life that brings different kinds of people together. Those moments are really special to photograph.


 LF: What gets you off, literally or figuratively?
AAB: Pretty light. It’s everything.


LF: How FAST do you live?
AAB: The nail polish never gets a chance to dry.

 

Lookbook Lust: Zig Zag Wanderer

We’re lusting over a rad little store that recently opened in Portland called Zig Zag Wanderer, a one-stop-shop for the kitschy boho in you. Amanda Leigh Smith photographed their first lookbook, adding a prism effect for a little flair of psychedelia. With the patterned rugs, home goods, accessories and clothing provided by ZZW, the girls flaunted the boho chic to its finest. Welcome to Pacific Northwest cabin life.

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Art Crush: Fred Michel

I am generally not one to pay attention to flower photography, though I will never forget my first encounter with the beautiful b&w portraits of orchids by Edward Weston. The other day I stumbled across Fred Michel’s botanical photography on Flickr. His style is elegantly consistent, with every type of flower, root, fern or grass arranged and photographed beneath a soft light on a black background. He then colorizes some of the images with a vintage treatment. I spent quite a bit of time looking through his impressive image library of around 11k photographs, all of botanicals in this style.

Art Crush: Personal Pyramids

You may remember our interview with artist, snowboarder and founder of Spring Break Snowboards Corey Smith. He splits his time between Lake Tahoe and L.A., spending most of the winter hitting the powder of the Sierras. He recently photographed his friend Sunny at the Travertine Hot Springs, one of California’s little-known treasures. Sunny withstood the elements like a pro in Ali Strange Bikinis, paired with a Church of Quantum Interconnectedness Healing Pyramid made by Corey himself. Let the healing begin!

If you haven’t already, check out our Interview Series with Corey Smith!

Interview Series: Nastplas

There’s something exquisitely dark and erotic about the work by Madrid-based creative team Nastplas. Illustrator Fran R. Learte “drFranken” and creative director Natalia Molinos “Na” have been a couple since the age of sixteen and the sensual tension shines through in their artistic vision. They work in both black & white and color, often fusing the human figure with abstract illustrative elements. They’ve also integrated their illustrative talent with their interest in science and engineering to craft haunting motion shorts. Their love story is real.

A portrait of Nastplas, illustrator Fran R. Learte “drFranken” and creative director Natalia Molinos “Na”.

Q&A

LF: Nastplas is a team of illustrator Fran R. Learte “drFranken” and creative director Natalia Molinos “Na.” How did the two of you meet?

DRF: We’ve known each other since we were sixteen and have been together as a couple since. We decided to start NastPlas because art and design are our passion and we needed to express all the art that runs through our veins. Natalia is responsible for the creative side and me the technology side and production.

LF: Was it creative love at first sight?

NA: Definitely! We connected from the start. Time increased our telepathy.

LF: Do you think working professionally as a team has changed your visual aesthetic?

NA: Definitely, working together has expanded our visual and creative perception. When you work alone, many important aspects are often overlooked and it is very difficult to cover everything. Teamwork allows multiple points of view , and it focuses more on our own skills as well as in learning from each other.

LF: Most of your work incorporates a figure with illustrative graphics. How does the human form inspire you?

NA: The truth is that we are inspired by everything around us, but certainly we have a lot of influence of the human figure, the brain, and science because my sister is a great scientist and often we talk together about their projects. It is very rewarding.

LF: You’ve worked with some huge corporate clients like Coca-Cola and Lexus. Do you feel like you lose creative control when working for such corporate clients?

DRF: We always try to express maximum creativity without losing sight of the objectives set by the client. I think for a project to be successful you have to make a good working relationship from the outset where each part must be clear what their role is. We like to bring our creativity in each work we do. It is one of the factors that make us stand out and allows us to show our professionalism.

LF: You’ve worked with Advanced Photoshop Mag, and obviously from the look of the work, it’s digital genius. What are a few of you’re coolest Photoshop tricks?

DRF: Although it is a very powerful tool, we don’t have many tricks on Photoshop, normally we use it as a tool for composition. We use many tools and techniques to reach the end piece.

LF: You do motion as well and your videos are mesmerizing. Can you talk a little bit about your process in making this videos? 

DRF: Although we are not specialists in video, as our expertise is digital illustration, we really like this medium. We create and edit motion graphics and we try to make things that come to mind. We are very spontaneous in this sense. As a software developer, I use many algorithms to make new effects, which I enjoy. We are currently filming a short film that we will present in 2015.

IdN Video Opening Title v19n5 from NastPlas on Vimeo.

LF: You live in Madrid. Do you find it to be an art-centric city?

DRF: Despite the difficult times we are experiencing at this time, Madrid is a big city, it provides many opportunities. Here, many people bet in creating culture, and the creativity is alive. There is much movement in the independent arts scene.

LF: What’s your favorite aspect of the city?
NA: We like many places in Madrid. One of the sites that we have recently discovered, is “La Neomudejar” a renovated old station as a center of arts and artistic residence. Definitely an interesting place to visit.

LF: Who inspires you in the illustration world?

DRF: We like many artists, we can not say just one.

LF: If you had a chance to meet any living artist, who would it be?

NASTPLAS: Most people who inspire us and we admire are dead. If we had to choose between people today, we would choose these: In  architecture, Santigo Calatrava , literature, Chuck Palahniuk , illustration , sculpture and other rarities, HR Giger.


LF: What gets you off, literally or figuratively?

DRF: The darkness, the strange, the impossible

LF: How fast do you live?

DRF: I think we live in a world in which everything goes too fast, at a breakneck pace. I like to live fast but enjoy slowly.

Hot Spot: Aire Ancient Baths New York

This year’s extreme cold weather in New York doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The chill of the long blistery winter days drafts straight through the walls of those old Manhattan apartments and it’s hard to escape – we know from experience. Also, you’ve got to be an expert in heels during the snowy morning commute and we salute all of the fashionistas and their stylist winter attire. That being said, there’s also something incredibly soothing about Manhattan in a snow storm, when the city slows down almost to the point of silence. If only for a moment. To get through the arctic temps and to breathe some life back into your bone-chilled body, book an appointment at Tribeca’s Aire Ancient Baths. It’s a life-changing experience.

Ancient Bath Pools

A feast for the senses, the baths were inspired by the legacy of the Greek, Roman and Ottoman baths. The thermal bath ritual begins with the “Tepidarium”, a warm water pool, then the “Caldarium”, a hot water pool and finally a head for a soak in the “Frigidarium”, the cold water pool. In more modern terms, this type of hydrotherapy (or extreme change in temperature) is believed to aid sore muscles, relieve the body of fatigue and increase mental alertness.

Aire Ancient Baths

Aire Ancient Baths offers several packages to fit your soaking needs. The 90 minute thermal session offers various bath options: A warm water pool at 97°F, a hot water pool at 102°F, a cold water pool at 61°F, a steam room at 102°F, a propeller jet bath at 97°F and salt water pool at 100°F. There is also a relaxation room with hot marble, and a section of teas, juices and fruit. The spa also offers a thermal bath with various massage options.

Lobby

Salt Water Pool

Warm Pool

Steam Room

Cold Pools

Details

 

Interview Series: Emily Soto

It’s that sultry glimpse caught by the camera lens, just for a second, that often makes a photograph. NYC-based fashion photographer Emily Soto does that with her model beauties; she has mastered the female portrait. Her soft lighting techniques and talent at capturing tenacious emotive expressions lend to her dreamy, ethereal style. She’s got an enormous presence on Behance, where she’s continuously updating new work. We spoke with the lovely photographer about her art and she had some great insight.

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Art Crush: Forgotten Film by Laura Austin

If you’ve shot film in your day as a photographer, you probably have a few forgotten rolls laying around. Here’s to our resident photog Laura Austin for being proactive and developing one of those elusive buggers, and the results are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Check In: Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

If you visit Los Angeles on the regular and are looking for a chic place to stay, or if you just want a home away from home for the night, the brand new Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles offers more than a few things to thrill any old Hollywood history buff. Located in the historic United Artists building in Downtown LA, the ornate theater was the brainchild of Mary Pickford, the darling of the silent film era. Joined by some of America’s most famous silent film artists – D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks – the film palace was known for its ornate detail and stone spires of Spanish castles and cathedrals.

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Interview Series: Alec Huxley

What happens when you buy a Soviet space helmet on eBay? For San Francisco-based painter Alec Huxley, it turned into a serious source of inspiration. He paints himself and his girlfriend, helmet adorned, in an urban environment amidst a variety of wild animals. With a focus on the American West Coast, he creates cinematic surreal narratives with an seriously intense sense of urgency. A self-taught painter, Alec has an uncanny eye for photo realistic painting, though he’s more concerned with the viability of the subject than the realism of the painting. We had a chance to chat with Alec about his process. Check it:

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Art Crush: Meryl Pataky’s Traveling Palm Tree Project

Meryl Pataky took Art Basel Miami by storm with her “Played Out” neon palm tree installation for Perrier. Twenty-one miniature palm trees in various pop colors were crafted, with twenty of them installed for the show, while one palm tree traveled around Miami for a series called the ‘Traveling Palm Tree Project.”

In case you’ve missed it, we did a studio visit a while back with the rising neon artist, and her work is now in such high demand internationally. We love the girl. Also, just an FYI, she’s currently in the studio making some pretty badass jewelry, so if you’re looking for a statement piece for someone, this is the spot! In the meantime, check out the neon palm tree as it scoured the streets of Miami.

Behind Meryl’s neon palm tree is a Chad Hasagawa Bear piece, an SF-based street artist who we also did a studio visit with.

All photos by Brock Brake, Art Lyfe SF

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