For the last 15 years, Mr. Brûlé, an Estonian-Canadian who keeps his perma-stubble artfully cropped like Tom Ford’s, has gone outside the publishing establishment and started two culture magazines regarded as bibles in certain design-savvy circles: Wallpaper and Monocle.
And he did so while upending notions of what a media company does.
While everyone hailed the iPad as the savior of print, Mr. Brûlé put out a limited-edition newspaper for the slopes of Gstaad and the beaches of Cannes. While retailers rushed online, Mr. Brûlé opened a chain of Monocle boutiques, a micro-extension of the magazine’s shopper-as-curator ethos. And while music migrates to the cloud, Mr. Brûlé started a radio station, with “an international playlist” that samples sounds “from Seoul to Stockholm.”
The common thread behind these disparate ventures is Mr. Brûlé himself, who embodies the border-agnostic sophisticate whom the Monocle brand is built around. His globe-trotting persona (cocktails-with-Danish-diplomats intellectualism, sleeper-seat jaunts to Taipei) has inspired legions of followers, who hang on his oracular pronouncements on what’s next.
Ever since her introduction to the American public, Barbie has been an artistic inspiration. While some work subverts the fabulous Barbie lifestyle (check out my earlier post on Mariel Clayton’s twistedly tragic Barbie photo series), others choose to embrace the aspirational allure the doll has portrayed to our society.
Painter Karen Ann Jones has taken this route and used Barbie as her post-modern muse. Jones chose to paint on steel (instead of canvas) thus giving her Barbie art a vibrant look, cool to the touch. Interesting to read that Jones wanted her original muse to be the drag queen.
On her website she writes: My current body of work started with my desire to paint drag queens. I am fascinated because of their extremes and the beautiful contradictions that they are… I didn’t have a drag queen shoved in my closet to photograph and paint. This urgency to paint led me to Barbies. Beautifully expressive… Lipstick and Rubber. I love the raw ruggedness of steel with the buttery feel of oil paint… bringing freshness and intimacy to inanimate objects.
Check out more of Jones’ work and purchase her paintings online.
Looking for a Tuesday morning picker-upper to get back into the swing of things after a three-day weekend? Chief Creative Office Shahir Zag has just the thing. His Tumblr is full of inspirational posters and typography that range from silly commentary on women’s breast to more profound insight on individuality, self-esteem and our place in society/the universe.
My favorite Zag posters is the one above, about insomniac tigers. Check out other cool ones below:
“Shock to Your System” – Tegan and Sara
“I was writing in Montreal during the dead of winter and I would spend days by myself . . . which resulted in a bit of cabin fever.” Sara told Vanity Fair. The song is “an interior dialogue between the part of me that was transfixed by my loneliness and the other part of me that was ready to get over it.”
Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from high school and college and built a career as a journalist, interviewing some of the most famous people in the country. On the surface, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream.
But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.
Last year I read about four students who walked from Miami to Washington to lobby for the Dream Act, a nearly decade-old immigration bill that would provide a path to legal permanent residency for young people who have been educated in this country. At the risk of deportation — the Obama administration has deported almost 800,000 people in the last two years — they are speaking out. Their courage has inspired me.