Wish I Wasn't Here: An Interview of Maritza Yoes and Sean Monahan On Their Art Basel Collaboration With Snapchat and Artsy

The gap between technology, advertisement and art is nearly sealed. With years of philosophical rants over context, technique and accessibility often polarizing the art crowd. Today it seems unrealistic to not have some internet served with your art. During Art Basel Miami Beach, Maritza Yoes, one of the founders of LACMA’s social media channel and Sean Monahan, one of the founders of trend forecasting darlings K-HOLE, collaborated with Artsy and Snapchat to bring an array of artists out of the galleries and onto our phones with a range of special edition Snapchat geofilters. The filters were located around the city at prominent art locations featuring a grouping of artist including Chloe Wise and Katherine Bernhardt. I caught up with them to find out how this meeting of art and technology is just the beginning.

BJ Panda Bear: So, can you tell us about the project?

Snapchat is our favorite platform for creativity. We were excited to help make this project come to life to give artists a chance to play with the platform in a deeper way and for Snapchatters to have an accessible art experience. Without going into too much detail, Snapchat had a great idea for artist-designed geofilters. Sean and I helped bring Artsy and Snapchat together to make the creative initiative happen.

BJ: Have you worked with Snapchat in this art context before?

Yes, I have a relationship with Snapchat from my LACMA ties. I was an early art pioneer on the platform through my LACMA work so there's some good mutual trust.

BJ: Is it true that you got LACMA on Snapchat? 

True! I developed LACMA's Snapchat account and the strategy of meshing pop-culture and art history. The pairings are meant to be simultaneously irreverent and thought-provoking. LACMA has continued to maintain the strategy and it's still seeing a lot of success!

BJ: What drives a project like this?

An interest in how art, culture, social media, and technology can converge. We're constantly thinking about opportunities to explore new technologies in an art context. Finding ways for the worlds of art and technology to work together is at the heart of our participation with the project. 

BJ: What does cultural strategist mean?

"Cultural strategy" is our definition for bringing creative people and culturally relevant opportunities together. Full time I work as a social strategist with an emphasis on arts, tech, and culture, but I also love introducing people and helping make collaborations happen, this is something I do naturally! Sean is a full-time freelancer and branding genius. He was a founding member of the art collective K-HOLE where he worked with businesses that had the uncompromising creative integrity of art.

text and interview by BJ Panda Bear for Autre Magazine. Follow Autre on Instagram: @AUTREMAGAZINE

There's No Place Like CHARLIEWOOD: An Interview Of Cult Hairstylist And Artist Charlie Le Mindu

text by BJ Panda Bear

Charlie Le Mindu recently presented CHARLIEWOOD at the Faena theater during Art Basel Miami, the second performance that debuted in Paris at Palais de Tokyo. The Barrett Barrera Projects produced show was a surreal walk through his vision of abstract sexuality that was anything but binary. With a host like Lady Fag and an opening act by drag terrorist Christeene, it was equal parts queer shocker and electro gold. Watching the performance took the audience’s minds out of anything they had seen, there was no turning back from the master craftsmens vision that was expanded by endless spills of tequila. 

Charlie has long had a history as the go to Haute Coiffure, crafting hair and wigs with in the realm of surreal otherworldliness, this extension of head pieces in motion spoke of a necessary need provide movement and life to the meticulously crafted works of art. Autre got a moment to find out what provoked Charlie’s expanded vision. 

Autre: How did you get involved with this project? How did you create it?

Charlie Le Mindu: I don’t know. No, I’m joking. Basically, with my gallery and my agent, Barrett Barrera. It’s a show I did at Palais de Tokyo and I wanted to make it a traveling show so we decided to do it in New York and in Art Basel.

Autre: How did you conceive the concept initially?

Le Mindu: You know, my inspiration is people like Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, surreal painters and what I wanted to do was bring their paintings alive. You know? So that’s what I tried to do.

Autre: And what was the most technical piece of costuming that you did?

Le Mindu: I guess it’s the last one with the fiber optic. That was intense, yeah.

Autre: Awesome, overall how did you get involved with LadyFag and all that?

Le Mindu: Well it’s people that inspire me so I guess it’s great to work with them always and it was a good opportunity because my gallery asked me if I would want to work with them

Autre: How did the dances come into it?

Le Mindu: I mean some of the dance stuff came from different cabaret in Paris. I’m not allowed to give the names, but one of the good sexy ones in Paris and just I just chose the people for their body and their mentality.

Autre: I think that’s amazing that you used Christeene and you had various body shapes and everything

Le Mindu: Yeah, you know in my performance I tried to show different kinds of beauty and what inspires me.

Autre: Love babes, Thank you!

You can learn more about Charlie Le Mindu here. See photos from CHARLIEWOOD in our daily diary. text and interview by BJ Panda Bear. photograph by Patrick McMullen

Music Fucks with Fashion: An Interview with Cozette McCreery

photograph by Nick Dorey 

I first met Cozette McCreery when I was trying on a flower and knit embellished coat and did a few twirls of delight. Her head nod of acknowledgment anointed me with a sense of cool that shook me up a little. After hours of online research I couldn’t get enough and I started to run off on tangents of whether or not to question her on her time as Lucian Freud’s muse or her stint in Israel as a shepherd in training. As one third of the design collective Sibling along with Joe Bates and Sid Bryan, Cozette is part of a special order of epic ladies whose stories from clubland can keep you wide awake and high… like a good Netflix binge. When I finally grabbed a moment with her during her preparation for the AW 2015 women’s Sibling show in London, I decided to ask her the hard hitting questions on the designer clothes, raves, and 80’s era Madge that fueled her. 

BJ Panda Bear: What was your most epic outfit of that rave era?

CM: Thankfully no one brought cameras or had smart phones as I probably looked like a sweaty mess! Not sure if it was ‘epic’ as frankly it was pre-raves when all of us club kids really dressed up (I’d wear Alaia, Gaultier, vintage YSL, full red Jasper Conran suits, Alastair Blair, Rifat Ozbek and Patrick Kelly to clubs. Trying to either be very Robert Palmer video or a Roxy Music groupie) and raves were just not the place for full catwalk looks. I’d be in a Shoom T shirt, Alaia leggings and Travel Fox. Or a full Conran multi-strap dance all in one, leather wrap mini (it was like a belt - to quote my Father) and Nikes. Raving was all about the music and dancing and getting really really sweaty, less about the venue and wether your lipstick had smudged. I was also listening to a lot of Hip Hop at the time so that influenced how I dressed too.

I didn’t get back in to dressing up for a club night until Richard Mortimer asked me to take over the door at Boombox. Every Sunday I had the chance to wear my new designer frocks (Gareth Pugh, Jonathan Saunders, Raf at Jil Sander, Giles) and heels. 

BJ: Last seasons epic homage to Madonna circa “borderline” tugged on all my happy strings. What music have you been listening lately to as inspiration for the new collection and life in general? 

CM: I was always a massive fan of Madonna, still am, but that period was the one I love the most and the one I tried desperately (seeking - haha) hard to imitate in my dress. I listen to music all the time and usually instigate the choices for both the men’s and women’s shows. For men’s AW15 I wanted something that sounded like it could come from a young guy’s music collection, played loud in his bedroom. As it was an evening show (and all pink!) I also wanted it to be a bit sexier especially as Matthew Josephs had cast these buff guys. Women’s AW15 is still to be decided as I keep listening to stuff and thinking yeah this is great then walk to it and think nope not going to work. That’s why it’s brilliant to work with Nathan Gregory Wilkins as he’ll offer ideas and we can bat things off one another and Phoebe Arnold our womenswear stylist has good suggestions too. 

As for my day to day listening well, it’s a bit random. I don’t tend to stick to one genre and try not to be a music snob so if I like the latest Ke$ha I’ll buy it. If iPod shuffle kicks out Rage Against The Machine, Odd Future, Prince and then One Direction and Selena Gomez I’m really happy.

Sibling S/S 2015 photograph by Lorenzo Cisi

BJ: How did you get into DJing?...Name your top 5 - 10 songs you love to spin? 

CM: My ex boyfriend Adam put me forward to this all girl DJ group called Hey Ladies. Funnily enough DJ Fat Tony tried to get me to DJ when I was in my late teens but I couldn’t see why I would give up working in fashion to do it. Probably not one of my best decisions ever as he has joked that I could have been massive by now! Anyhow, Hey Ladies started it and we’d DJ at these great parties and record launches. When the group disbanded I just kept going as I still had people booking me and I really enjoy it. I’m good at parties because I never have a set-list. The last one I did was a really mixed crowd: teenage boys to middle aged aristos and 90’s pop stars but I had them dancing at 4am to The Rolling Stones and Blur so I must have been doing something right especially as they then kept me (hardly forced to be honest as I was having fun) there for another hour. 

photograph by Terry Richardson

BJ: A lot of Sibling reminds me of all the great Kansai Yamamoto, famous for his work with David Bowie, with his knits, textures and color. You both have dressed iconic musicians, the Mariah moment is pretty supreme, who do you want to see wear Sibling next? 

CM: Why thank you. Kansai is quite incredible. Am really glad that he’s getting recognized himself beyond Bowie. Ha ha yes Mariah! Matthew Josephs our menswear stylist was with her in NY and was frantically texting me that she wanted to wear the dress to her album listening but I was drinking cocktails with friends and not looking at my phone. By the time I got back to Matthew she was in it and on Vine singing. AMAZING! And we’ve had similar with Pharrell and Harry Styles. Who would we like to see in Sibling next? EVERYONE! Maybe the person reading this. 

BJ: What new musicians do you see really being the center of the fashion scene right now? 

CM: I’m a big fan of Sky Ferreira, Alison Mosshart you know all the slightly tomboy rocking girls. Are they new? (Laughs) And Pharrell of course. And Bieber in his Calvins. Badgirl Riri covered in Nasir Mazhar. Joni Mitchell and Courtney Love in the Saint Laurent Music Project adverts. Patti Smith in Made By You Converse (of which I am also a contributor, gotta love us erm old birds! Little old me and Patti Smith, still can’t get over that) music and fashion are always a very good pairing. Whatever style and age.  

Visit the Sibling London website to explore stockists. Text and interview by BJ Panda Bear, who is a blogger, curator, DJ, fashion obessor, fixture of LA nightlife, and much more. Follow Autre on Instagram to stay up to date: @AUTREMAGAZINE 

Pharrell in GQ shot by Terry Richardson