Best of CH 2021: Interviews – COOL HUNTING®
There are countless artists, musicians, organizers, scientists, designers and inventive individuals from all disciplines that we admire from afar and, although they say never meet your heroes, some of the most satisfying and interesting articles that we are launching at COOL HUNTING involve conversations with these people. This year, like all previous ones, we’ve chatted with people doing interesting and valuable things with their talent and time, from creating digital portraits and music to building better emergency housing. Here are just 10 of the inspiring conversations we had the chance to participate in this year.
Artist LaJuné McMillian opens doors to liberation with digital self-portraits
A forest full of electrical cords and algorithms, a sea drowned in data and waste: these are the areas evoked by Synthetic wilderness, a group show currently on view at the Honor Fraser Gallery in LA through Dec. 18. Organized by a technical writer Jesse damiani, the exhibition features three artists – Nancy Baker Cahill, Xin Liu and LaJuné McMillian – whose work crosses the social, political and cultural implications of emerging technologies. McMillian does this by placing more emphasis on marginalized communities. Through her series of NFT self-portraits, the artist examines the dual capacity of technology to harm already vulnerable people and trigger their release. Using Unreal Engine and avatar creation software, McMillian (who will participate in a series of talks related to the exhibition, titled “NFTs in 2022” on November 13) distorts their profile, creating a kaleidoscope of colors that grows like a rhizome and bursts. through the frame… Read more.
Sound and Sorrow: Nite Jewel talks about his next album, “No Sun”
Nite Jewel — aka singer-songwriter, producer, and academic Ramona Gonzalez — is set to release her first new album in four years. No sun (released solo on Gloriette Records, August 27) is a vehicle not only for expressing the impossible to express, but also for exploring and experimenting with the creation of genres and songs. The LA-based artist decided to do the recording with just a Moog synth and keyboard, and the result is mind-blowing. The record’s rich yet uncluttered music is awash in both heartbreak and strength, and Gonzalez’s featherweight voice engulfs listeners with emotion. Recorded in part as her 12-year marriage and creative partnership fell apart, this album – in which the hierarchy of pop music is both pushed back and reinvented (for example, vocals replace drums and percussion replace drums. accords) – also led the talented multi-artist to his most recent university dive: The Lament of Women… Read more.
“The art of the game: a retrospective of William Accorsi” in The Catskills Urban Cowboy Lodge
A few weeks before the opening of the Upstate Art Weekend of William Accorsi’s retrospective at Urban Cowboy’s Lodge in the Catskills, the imaginative 90-year-old folk artist has passed away. Before the powerful and playful exhibition, Accorsi spent time developing new pieces and charting its future. Accorsi knew death was not far away, and yet his strengthened vision was to continue creating sculptures, completing an autobiography, and reconnecting with some of the institutions that exhibited him earlier in life. Although Accorsi is not a household name (except for those who may have read his beloved 10 button book like children or children), his curriculum vitae is powerful… Read more.
Sol Cacao du Bronx preserves the history of cocoa cultivation while looking to the future
In the Bronx’s historic piano-making district of Port Morris, history is being made again. Since 2017, the district has been home to Sol Cacao, the Bronx’s first chocolate factory, run by three brothers: Dominic, Nicholas and Daniel Maloney, who ethically craft a rare and authentic taste of Caribbean cocoa. Despite the fact that this 100% black-owned business was not launched until 2016 (originally in Harlem), Sol Cacao’s pure, undiluted chocolate is rising rapidly through the ranks of artisans. But the Maloney brothers’ passion for chocolate began long before the launch of their brand. The story really begins in Trinidad… Read more.
The New Biodegradable BioGlitter from TooD + Ethos of Self-Love
Shari Siadat founded TooD, a beauty brand for people of all genders and ages based on self-esteem, self-expression, experimentation and celebration. Growing up Iranian-American in the United States, Siadat not only felt a lack of representation, but also immense pressure on one particular part of her body: her unibrow. After decades worrying about waxing and changing her appearance, Siadat gave birth to her third daughter, a child who looked just like her, and everything changed… Read More.
Kasama rum combines contemporary ideas with family heritage
Tradition and modernity collide with Kasama, a new rum brand founded and managed by Alexandra Dorda. In many ways, Kasama was born out of Dorda’s family history. Daughter of one of the co-founders of Chopin Vodka and Belvedere, Dorda says, “Just kidding that I’m 29, but I have 27 years of experience in this industry. I was two years old when my father started his business. After working for years in the family business in Poland, Dorda began to forge her own path, which led her to develop a passion for rum. While she had the benefit of a deep knowledge of distillation, she also discovered that there was a connection to rum beyond her own enthusiasm for it. “I learned that the Philippines is one of the biggest rum producers in the world,” Dorda says. “My mom is from the Philippines so I had that ‘aha’ moment that I could create the brand I would have loved exists while celebrating the Filipino culture that I’m so proud of”… Read More.
Fueguia 1833 fragrance brand founder Julian Bedel on the inspiring science behind perfume
Fueguia 1833 is no ordinary perfume producer and is a far cry from the licensed luxury brands that are swamping the perfume and cologne markets. The vision of artist and scientist Julian Bedel, and founded in Argentina around 2010, Fueguia’s limited edition unisex personal fragrances use only natural and fully biodegradable ingredients, all without preservatives or dyes. Fueguia’s new range of household items – four beeswax candles, wood and brass diffusers and bioactive disinfectant sprays for skin and textiles – adheres to these same standards… Read More.
Interview: Photographer Dannielle Bowman
From now (by appointment only) at Baxter St at the Camera Club in New York, Dannielle Bowman: Winner of the Portfolio Aperture Award 2020 poster the glorious series of Dannielle Bowman What had happened, photographs that explore a vast historical event with intimate and private scenes, a balance obtained through a delicate use of shadow, light, texture and tenderness. Basically an exploration of the house, What had happened draws inspiration from the Great Migration and began as Bowman’s desire to capture elements of his own history. First by making these black and white images of members of her family in LA, she has since widened her field of action; retracing the history of black Americans by photographing other homes across the country, and even delving into her own archives, discovering that her desire to document these stories existed long before she embarked on the photo series … Read more.
Johan Karlsson from Better Shelter on their innovation and structure in emergency housing
Humanitarian Innovation Project and Social Enterprise Better Shelter’s mission is in its name and the organization’s latest modular emergency housing offers more protection and dignity to those who survive the aftermath of a disaster. Much more than a tent, Structure (which can be used as temporary accommodation, classrooms, clinics or other community-centric spaces) is not only stronger and more durable, it also gives owners the flexibility to put upgrade the structure and add local materials. making them more practical, permanent and personal… Read more.
Interview: Artist Ilona Szwarc on her show “Virgin Soap”
The next show by multidisciplinary artist Ilona Szwarc Virgin Soap is filled with various shades of green and cobalt blue, with scenes of Szwarc shaping a plaster cast on a model posed in a classical position, reminiscent of Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”. Szwarc – whose work exists in a world between photography, sculpture and performance – tells stories of transformation in quirky portraits and through the self-portrait. Showing parts of his process is often an integral part of his vision. In his studio, where we visit the artist ahead of the exhibition opening on September 4, a collection of mid-century colored glass vases can be found near a small model of the Diane Rosenstein Gallery with a model of the vibrant exhibition… Read more.
Image of the hero Dannielle Bowman “Mason’s Ring” 2020