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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.

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Interview Series

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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

Preview: Michelle Guintu at New Image Art

Every once in a while we need to throw something a little hip hop on the site, ’cause who doesn’t love some old school Pac or Biggie? There’s always room on our playlists for some throwback rap. San Francisco artist Michelle Guintu‘s latest work, including these tempera paintings of hip hop artists, has been labeled ‘Kindercore’ – part kindergarten part hardcore. Michelle’s installations play with a little of everything, from sewing cigarettes together to crafting McDonald’s paper mache dolls. When asked “what kind of art do you do” Guintu jumbles her words and things get awkward. Maybe because she plays with a little of everything.

New Image Art Gallery presents Michelle Guintu’s first solo exhibition “Walking Home”, opening December 14th, 2013, 7pm-10pm. That’s tomorrow folks! Guintu is creating a sculptural installation for the show as well as exhibiting her paintings of hip hop artists and rock stars. Check it out!

Art Crush: Kristian Schmidt

As you probably already know, here at Live Fast Mag, we are a little bit obsessed with the ocean. One of the most exciting exhibits we caught at Art Basel Miami this week centered around the whale shark, and the few daring ladies willing to dance beneath the sea with them.

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Interview Series: Cochi Esse

It’s apparent that London-based photographer Cochi Esse is an old soul, her diverse body of work meshes the modern beauty aesthetic with a timeless vintage flair. You’ll see references to Marilyn Monroe, Edie Sedgwick and Frida in her work, as well as playful nods to other eras. Her sense of styling, color palette, as well as the use of film all lend to her overall vision. We chatted with the aspiring photographer about her process and she’s a pretty interesting character.

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Art Crush: Gerhard Human

For our love of all things skateboarding, we wanted to share these suspect characters by illustrator Gerhard Human. The personalities in each character are so spot on, it makes us want to grab a board and go for a Monday mid-afternoon joyride. Who wants to come?

(VIA)

Lookbook Lust: Lust Covet Desire AW13

One of our favorite muses, model and blogger Jenny Parry takes to the streets of L.A. for this edgy lookbook “Misfit” for Lust Covet Desire. Photographed by Olivia Malone, Parry shows off her misfit side, if you could even call it that, and damn she looks sexy. This is exactly the type of Fall fashion we’ve been craving, with beanies, comfy sweaters and worn out jeans. Have a look.

Interview Series: Lucy Schwartz

Los Angeles-based pianist, songstress and overall hip chick Lucy Schwartz has been on the fast track to success for a while now. As a blossoming musician, she composed songs for “Shrek Forever After,” “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” and the now for the newest season of  “Arrested Development,” her song “Boomerang” appeared at the end of the final episode.

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Lookbook Lust: Coal Headwear AW13

We’ve been keeping an eye on the down-to-earth, everyday styles of Coal Headwear for a while, and last week they launched a new website! It’s looking better than ever, with headgear for those long-awaited adventures, or just for a day out on the town.

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