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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

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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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Interview Series: Jenny Liz Rome

The female form has been penned to paper for centuries, artists just can’t seem to get enough of the curves of a beautiful woman. Illustrator Jenny Liz Rome‘s modern but abstract vision encapsulates such leading ladies, where she fuses her own photography with found images, taking fragments of the female form and weaving them together to make a whole. Fashionable, yet quite primal in a way, her characters linger with a brazen sensuality. Have a read of her interview!

LF: You’re quite adept at figure drawing. Why such a focus on the female figure, in particular?

JR: Many people identify my work as 100% drawing, but the bodies and faces in my images are actually collaged from photographs. I started by taking images of my friends, and have since began combining my own photography with found images. In almost all of my work, you’re not looking at one woman who actually exists. I make each girl with fragments of bodies and portraits. Working that way gives me the freedom to create an entirely new human being, and body shape. In any given image, you may be looking at the parts of 3-5 different people. I focus mainly on the female form, because it’s the perfect canvas.

LF: A head piece or hair plume seems to dominate in your work, sometimes even covering the face. What’s this all about?

JR: I love hair. It’s funny though, because I spend way more time creating it then taking care of my own. I find it much easier to draw a ridiculous mane on a dancing woman with bear shoulders then it is to comb through my knots. I like to cover eyes to leave a sense of mystery in the image. Eyes are so personal.

LF: B&W vs. color?

JR: Ohhhhhh. Ummmmm. Hardest question.  For about 2 years I was obsessed with B&W. I thought to myself, ” Pffff, why does anyone work in color? B&W is so sexy.” If you have seen my recent stuff, clearly I am changing my mind. Color is really becoming a huge part of my process. I am using watercolors right now, and it’s way sweet. I haven’t had stained pink and blue finger nails since University. It feels pretty refreshing.

LF: You have cited themes of femininity, raw animal nature and surreal fashion in your work. What inspires you most in these areas?

JR: I have always been very interested in a humans potential to be a very primal creature. I named my last series (beginning with the woman dawning bear and lion shoulders) “Lady Of The Flies.” We were made to read William Golding’s “Lord Of The Flies” in high school,  and it really grossed me out at the time. The idea of what young children could be capable of, if taken out of modern society, was unsettling. I decided to take that idea of unforgiving primal roots and create a fashion line from it.  Kind of a strange jumping off point, but it gave me a lot of inspiration. I tend to design a fantasy wardrobe that I wish i had to courage/means to wear myself.  With such little opportunity to dress how I really want, I find myself pining for Halloween.

LF: You’re work is a multi-layered process. Can you talk about the tools you use to to get there?

JR: Well , I start with several images. Some of my friends and some found images, that I find in magazines or on the Internet. I pull the images into Photoshop – and make what might be best described as “Frankenstein’s Wife” – as I make a new person out of several people. Once I lay the groundwork for the body, I start on the hand drawing portion. Drawing details like the hair, pieces for the outfits, the feathers, the flowers, etc.  which will later be digitally composited.  For a lot of my recent work, I’m also adding a color portion, so i get to play around with water color for a while. I scan all of my hand work into my computer and play with composition until my eyes hurt, or notice I’m getting really thirsty. Lately I have been printing the almost complete product, and giving it one last layer of pen work, to get a nice illustrative finish.

LF: What do you do when you’re not drawing sexy ladies?

JR: Play tennis, play with cats, go swimming, go to concerts, travel.

LF: How to you get off, literally or figuratively?

JR: Pressing the “Flatten Layers” button on Photoshop, when I’m finished with an image.

LF: How fast do you live?

JR: It’s hard to sit still. I have a lot of hyper energy. Except at 2 p.m. when I need a cat nap.

Lookbook Lust: Luv AJ Shark Tooth Collection

The Live Fast Mag crew is wild for Shark Week and we’re constantly looking for the hottest shark-inspired accessories to give some edge to our style. Luv AJ‘s new shark tooth collection couples chunky teeth, two-tone metal combinations, bold chains and Swarovski crystals in kick-ass designs, and it’s definitely our Lookbook Lust of the moment! See you at the beach!

Shop the Luv AJ collection here

Interview Series: Basement Fox (NSFW)

“Models in the Morning,” a series of sensual photographs of women in their bare essentials, has made quite a splash in a very short time. Photographer Asher Moss a.k.a. Basement Fox has built a fan base of over 15k followers on Instagram in less than nine months, all with his posts of beautiful models in their most intimate moments and the hashtag #modelsinthemorning.

The success of the series has inspired Basement Fox to take it on the road in a sixties camper to capture America’s finest women for a coffee table book, and we love the idea and the spontaneity of meeting and photographing diverse models from all over.

He’s put together an Indigogo campaign to help finance his trip with about eighteen days to go, so let’s help him make it a reality!

Models in the Morning – Photo Tour from BASEMENT FOX on Vimeo.

Q&A

LF: First of all, how do you find all these lovely models?

BF: The fucking internet.

LF: “Models in the morning” celebrates natural women in little to no makeup or clothing. Why is this vulnerable state so important?

BF: All people are attracted to things that are real because they can relate to them. Rare to find people or experiences like that.

LF: You seem to have struck a chord with your hashtag #modelsinthemorning, which propelled you to 14k Instagram followers in only nine months. Has this rapid popularity affected your work in any way?

BL: If you don’t grow, you die. People’s belief in an artist should act as a catalyst to push them to do something that is hopefully, magical.

LF: There’s quite a nostalgic aesthetic to your locations and even styling decisions, almost like the days of the flower child. Can you talk about this?

BF: Since childhood, I’ve had an obsession with the sixties and seventies. Something to do with the sexual revolution, rock n roll, the culture, it was an awakening to all the things I hold dearly. Oh, and Dylan. There was nothing like that period, and there never will be again. The only way to capture a glimpse is by recreating it. It also helps getting really stoned and listening to Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl.

LF: What’s your idea of a free sexuality?

BF: I’ve woken up next to someone so wild and free it made me feel completely human. It was not emotional, it was raw and beautiful. That person let me be exactly who I was. That’s free sexuality. It has nothing to do with nudity, but the release of expression without bias or judgement.

LF: You talk adamantly about using film, shooting in camera and using natural light. What has this done for the overall tone of your images?

BF: It has taught me about light and darkness, the emotion of the scene and the person in it. Film has a softness that makes you feel closer and more intimate with the subject.

LF: Have you ever used digital, or are you strictly a film guy?

BF: 75% film 25% digital. If and when a digital camera emerges I treat it like a light meter to see what the shot is going to look like on the negative. And the film ALWAYS wins.

LF: What’s your background in photography?

BF: Incredibly limited. Picked up a 35mm Pentax at a flea market and haven’t put it down since. Keep adding to the analog collection.

LF: You’re taking your “Models in the Morning” concept across country with a sixties camper, stopping in ten major cities and a dozen small towns. How will you find your models? Or do you have them already lined up?

BF: Thank god, many of them are finding me. People are finding out about the trip and my inbox gets a little bigger each day. Also, doing casting calls in each city, so it’s a matter of filtering out who works for this project and who doesn’t. Referrals have been by far the best route.

LF: Any special destination stops on the way for you that you’re really excited about?

BF: Marfa, TX. All my stoner friends tell me Marfa and Joshua Tree will be exceptional stops.

LF: What gets you off, literally or figuratively?

BF: Skinny bitches, old playboys, an occasional bush, hot showers and cold mountain dew.

LF: How fast do you live?

BF: I’m a long distance runner.

In Focus: Meryl Pataky’s “Cellar Door”

We did a studio visit a while back with Meryl Pataky and have since been in awe of her work. After seeing firsthand the time, money, commitment and volatility of working with a medium such as neon, this girl deserves some major props.

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Editorial: Alexander Jacob “NoHo”

“North Hollywood has this street vibe you often see in Venice or Silverlake, but dated and nostalgic – with cool alleys and wide streets,” says L.A.-based photographer Alexander Jacob about the hood he shot Ford model Cristal Serrano in. A match made in Instagram, the two decided to put together a test shoot near her digs in NoHo; sans MUA and stylist, they pulled it off in this fresh and sun-kissed photoboard. Check it out.

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Art Crush: Matthew Tammaro

Matthew Tammaro‘s photography makes you feel like you accidentally stepped into his private little world. His images scream the free-spirited road trip vibe, with a playful sexual tension that emanates from a diverse mix of female muses. A recent transplant to L.A. from Toronto, it seems like his aesthetic will fit in just fine.

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