Print Is Not Dead: Peering into ‘Fabulous Private Spaces, Personal Style’ with Coveteur

Long before there were “influencers” and Instagram became a lens via which to peer into their respective personal spaces, Coveteur.com was capturing unfiltered, behind-the-scenes glimpses into fashion-industry personalities around the world, many of them unknown (and often unrecognized) at the time – stylists, makeup artists and designers – all tastemakers in their own right.

Read more “Print Is Not Dead: Peering into ‘Fabulous Private Spaces, Personal Style’ with Coveteur”

‘The End’ ft. Asya Rosh by Andrew Kuykendall

As the sun sets on “The End” this summer, bi-coastal photographer Andrew Kuydendall (The Brooks Agency) and Russian beauty, Asya Rosh (Supreme Management) take us a spirited adventure to Montauk in our latest editorial. Photographed on location at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, bask in the feeling of eternal sunshine alongside the refreshing waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

 


 

CREDITS
Producer/Stylist: Amanda Ho (Electrify Mag)
Photographer: Andrew Kuykendall (The Brooks Agency)
Talent: Asya Rosh (Supreme Management)
Makeup/Hair: Jillian Halouska (Starworks Artists)
Production Coordinator: Jen Batchelor (Wellthily)

 

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In The Raw With Surrealist Photographer Duo Synchrodogs

Natural, irrational and appealing are the methodical descriptors the photography duo known as Synchrodogs chose to characterize their work. Although untraditional in nature, these attributes prove iconic and true for all of their photos.

Tania Shcheglova, the model, and Roman Noven, the photographer, prefer to shoot with film, allowing for a more “colorful,” and honest representation of their surroundings. Viewing the world through an open-minded lens, the Ukrainian couple passionately strives to share their optimistic worldviews contrasted with the natural beauty of the human form within each photo.

Despite their pledge to avoid “too much Internet,” and to stay far away from art blogs and magazines as means for inspiration, Shcheglova and Noven first met in an online photography website forum. Sharing a similar taste inphoto style, Scheglova and Noven experienced an instant connection and, soon after, birthed the world-wide, and mostly nude, photo phenomenon known as “Synchrodogs.”Since their initial emergence into the art world as a twosome in 2008, Synchrodogs’s artwork has become a viral movement, leaving an iconic mark in the digital world and beyond. Their rapidly growing popularity has even earned them an impressive resume of accomplishments, from editorial work for New York Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar and Dazed & Confused to campaigns for companies like Urban Outfitters, Swarovski, SHISEIDO, and more. The duo has been most recently awarded the ‘Best Fine Art Photographer Award’ by Vogue Italia, bringing their success to new heights. 

Today, while Synchrodogs pride themselves on “creating images with a beautiful disregard for the ordinary,” and continue to “push boundaries and challenge convention with [their] pictures,” they also remain humbled by their world travels and continue to promote the preservation and celebration of the planet’s natural-born beauty.Synchodrogs5

Where does the name SYNCHRODOGS come from?

It is just something we associate ourselves with — dogs as best friends of humans whose souls belong to endless fields and whose thoughts are absolutely synchronised with each other.

If you had to summarize your style of photography in three words, what would they be?

Natural, irrational, appealing.
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What do you love about workingwith older cameras and film, as opposed to the latest, DSLR high-quality cameras?

We do not work with low-quality cameras. We work with professional 35mm and medium format cameras because there is nothing digital cameras have to offer. Film gives us more freedom in terms of colors and depth, and it helps us control the process of shooting, as we know we only have several shots instead of a hundred, and they need to be perfect.

What are some major differences you’ve experienced in working together as opposed to working solo?

We never tried working separately. Before we met, we wouldn’t call it  “working” separately, just studying. It wasn’t until we met each other that we became photographers.  Before that, we never took it seriously.
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In today’s Internet age, it is easy to quickly search for artists, share artwork and explore inspiration. However, this overwhelming accessibility leaves a lot of room for copycats and even unintentional artistic mimicking when searching for inspiration. How do you find organic inspiration and maintain true originality with your work?

We try to avoid too much Internet, no art blogs or magazines as well; otherwise, it would be too easy to lose ourselves. We like taking inspiration from dreams. We also use our own meditation technique to acquire ideas. And of course, nature inspires us a lot; it is truly a happy place for us.

Your images are beautifully haunting, both unforgettable and eerie. What message or mood do you aim to convey through your work?

We would like people to see the natural world with as much fascination as we see it and feel how eternal it is. We would like people to appreciate this planet more. At the same time, we simply want to fulfill people’s need for beauty and inspire them to live a better, more pure way of life.Synchdrogs1

How do you feel the art of photography differs the Ukraine in the U.S.?

It’s hard to compare Ukraine with its several photographers to the U.S. with thousands of artists, just in New York alone. Ukraine is good for other things, like people who are very helpful and sympathetic, or the surrounding nature. We travel a lot these days, all over the world, and we don’t really shoot in the Ukraine anymore, but we think nowadays the lines are so blurred with the Internet, that soon it will n

The Future Is Nigh with Reuben Wu

This story appears in “Global Generation” Volume 01

It’s common these days, with the proliferation of mass internet content, that successful artists find themselves at the mercy of the media, and in that, having to explain what their artwork represents or how it’s defined. When one looks at the work of British photographer Reuben Wu, one instantly conjures comparisons to surrealism, science-fiction and other-worldly environs. But according to the man himself, “It’s not science fiction which serves as my inspiration, it is actually the real world.”

When Wu was a kid, he fancied drawing over photography. This is, of course, no surprise, as staying inside the lines is a lot more graspable to children than that of compositional principles. The obsession with shooting came while on tour with his band, Ladytron, a new-wave electropop band Wu and his DJ-pal Daniel Hunt started in the late 90s. The band was quite successful, and in 2002, Wu decided to drop his career as an industrial designer and focus on gigging full-time. Ladytron’s tours took Wu all over the world almost immediately after full formation of the band. While traveling to countries like China, Russia and those of South America, Wu began taking photos to document his travels, and thus, a photographer was born. The visual arts aspect is one that brought the two mediums together for him. “I have always imagined music with pictures and imagined pictures with music. They are narratives of the same thing and also share the same inspirations [and] commonalities in composition.”

Reuben Wu_Electrify (1 of 4) The preference of many photographers today is strictly digital, though Wu has found his niche within that of a combination of film processes and digital techniques. His process of using film cameras prepares his mindset in a unique way, allowing him perspective on the editing task that will inevitably follow. “Sometimes, it takes a few months after the experience to process and realize the gravity of the work. This is one of the reasons why working with analogue photography really helps artistic expression. It is never a quick fix like digital can be.” The physicality of shooting with dated film cameras is charm-inducing to Wu as well. “[It’s] almost as if the physical weight of the equipment allows me to truly appreciate the things and places I decide to take a picture of.”

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Wu identifies himself alongside the sublime landscape painters of the 19th Century, whose work, as so elegantly defined by philosopher Edmund Burke, refers to “the thrill and danger of confronting untamed nature and its overwhelming forces.” Wu’s work mimics the philosophy as well as the physical properties of such paintings. Many of his photos have a brush-stroke-like quality to them, while never negating the terror, which as Burke put it, “is the ruling principle of the sublime.” The terror in Wu’s photo’s refers to the often bleak and massively-open landscapes – so massive, in fact, that he includes his wife in many of his shots to illustrate scale. “Extreme environments draw me in because civilizations can’t get a foothold,” explains Wu. “Survival or normal living is a struggle, and it’s that story of the struggle which interests me.” A fraction of that struggle gets dumped on Wu’s shoulders when he attempts to photograph such places.

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During a shoot in Svalbard, an archipelago near the North Pole and one of the world’s northernmost inhabited places, Wu found himself struggling to set up his tripod through waist-deep snowdrifts and temperatures so cold that his face was sticking to his viewfinder. On the opposite end of that spectrum, he’s quite fond of fiery places as well. A recent viral sensation of Wu’s was his series on the Kawah Ijen crater on the island of Java in Indonesia. It’s no secret why this particular location drew his attention. The Blue Fire Crater as it’s known, is a volcano formed by layer upon layer of hardened lava and ash. It’s made famous by the the vibrant blue liquid sulfur that flows through the caverns reaching such extreme temperatures of 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit – the perfect landscape for a photographer who favors the uninhabitable. The subsequent photos were that of an utterly noxious environment viewed through rose-colored glasses.

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A comparison to surrealism often crops up with Wu’s viewers as well. Surrealism was a cultural and artistic movement which began in the 1920s with a group of artists and writers living in Paris. The group’s philosophy was that surrealism would “advocate the idea that ordinary and depictive expressions are vital and important, but that the sense of their arrangement must be open to the full range of imagination.” Herein lies the comparison to Wu’s photography. A quick Instagram-style-swipe through Wu’s feed and you’ll notice a nature-ridden concept: mountains, trees, water, desert, ice, rocks. But upon closer examination, you’ll notice the peculiar color pallets alongside remarkable and intriguing compositions. For example, endless photos exist of Mount Rushmore, the 60-foot head-only sculptures of U.S. Presidents overlooking the South Dakota landscape, but how many show the sole profile of President Washington peaking around the corner of a granite peak with star tracers passing by? This particular perspective offers viewers a chance to imagine a monolithic Washington standing alone within the canyons, looking out over the beautiful country he once ruled. Or, as per the surrealists’ philosophy, it’s a composition that’s “open to the full range of imagination.” Though, unlike the surrealist artists who convened in droves when participating in artistic expression, Wu prefers artistic solitude. As a lone operator,” he says, “the work I create without collaboration has had the clearest vision and [is] especially meaningful when travel is involved and few people are with me.” Sometimes, however, he gets the best of both worlds. A recent collaboration with Istanbul-based fashion designer Günseli Türkay, has Wu’s solo projects brushed upon a stylish collection of women’s wear.

Wu’s vision seems to be along the lines of a call for help, not for himself, but for the planet. His pension for traveling to distant lands to discover the undiscoverable is an idea he’s constantly highlighting in his photographs, and it’s often in those undiscoverable places where the planet shows its ultimate vulnerability. “I think the role of art,” Wu clarifies, “is to take an unfamiliar thing and make it familiar or to put something unknown into the social consciousness and make it more understood.” Though the troubles of our planet are becoming more and more familiar as the years go by, Wu’s photographs are an additional step in the right direction, a direction of honesty which highlights the terror alongside the beauty.

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Follow Reuben Wu on Instagram at @itsreuben | www.reubenwu.com