Ari Marcopoulos does lie, or does he really? His photographs carry a signature that one may call honest and this what intrigues the most.
Andy Warhol by Ari Marcopoulos©
Through the years of his career, as a serpent does, Ari changed his skin several times, revealing a new and shinier one. What he creates is not about glitter but on the other hand, it may be. Keeping in mind the collaborations his shared and the encounters he found along the way, including Andy Warhol, Basquiat… indeed there are several shiny stones marking his footsteps. Since the early 80’s, Marcopoulos has been photographing the reality of the American culture and all its siblings. Mainstream or not, his pictures and films are out there marking the period we are in. And although his work has often been a subject of surveys by several universities around the world, Ari doesn’t feel a nomad.
This is what he told me while preparing his three new major projects: the camera bag he designed for INCASE along with a limited edition book of unpublished photograph (Now is Forever), a show at the Confort Moderne and finally a movie featuring the Y.S.L collection for SS 2011….
Ari Marcopoulos selfportrait © for DAPPER DAN ISSUE O2
FilepMotwary : Ari, where does this interview find you, work wise and personally? What are you up to?
Physically it finds me with a very bad cold in my bed at home in California. Work wise is always varied, I am in-between assignments. But I am working on new books and sorting out an installation at the Kunsthalle in Vienna. Preparing for exhibitions in early 2011 in Paris and San Francisco. Personally is a hard thing to talk about. Life seems to constantly provide challenges
MATTHIAS VRIENS McGRATH EXPLAINS TO FILEP MOTWARY EVERYTHING ABOUT BL33N, HIS NEW PROJECT ALONG WITH HIS HUSBAND DONOVAN-
Its been almost a decade since Dutch magazine closed down and almost six years since my last official conversation with Matthias Vriens. In between and later, many emails regarding our personal news, ideas and hopes took place.
Matthias recently married to Donovan and since then, they both sign as Vriens-McGrath. For a while now I was informed about a new project they have been preparing, BL33N, but finally the mystery is solved, since our last night’s conversation..
BL33N (pronounced BLEEN) is a project by Donovan and Matthias which will oficially launch in May 2011. Since yesterday a rather tantalizingly sexy trailer hit the web in order to prepare us for what’s coming. Bl33n will be an online magazine experience, where all material shot by Donovan and Matthias as a team will support the t-shirts that they sell.
The first collection is inspired by the body. Its design placed inside the shirt, when turned upside down will become a mask when worn over the face while others will include hair prints on shoulders and back that look like heavy metal or jewelry printed in mirror silver and latex. Printing technics will include latex, glitter. Their aim is to open up to a world wide collaboration of people connecting globally and will include a lot of world travel with the brand, while promoting freedom for all.
“Filep, free, freedom is something we take for granted and not available to all of us. Such an abstract, intellectual property, yet essential for all. We would like to promote freedom for all and with bl33n we intend to do just that. Part of our profit will go to promote freedom.”
FILEP MOTWARY: So Matthias,how did you come up with the idea of BL33N?
MATTHIAS VRIENS-MCGRATH: By accident via google, we found bleen, then bought intellectual property of bl33n.
You were one of the founders of published bible DUTCH MAGAZINE back in the late 90’s and early 00’s. How do you see yourself creating a web-platform?
We are just doing it… and take it from there. As we both have never been one to over-think or over intellectualize matters.
Whats the web’s real power today regarding fashion?
I believe pretty strong, information is scattered around in seconds, no where to hide. As horrid as it can be, once embraced it’s pretty cool and exciting.
Your new project along with your huspand surrounds a variety of actions including orthologic actions like promoting ideas like “freedom for all”. What do you really mean with this?
Our believes are visual delights and as simple as that might seem, the human body in all of it’s glory remains a struggle. Nudity as a metaphor for freedom and its something we all have, yet not available to all of us. Seems simple no…?
I would like to know more about the t-shirt collection you are preparing?
The first collection relates -again- to the body. Monster faces, printed upside down, inside out, become masks when pulled over your head. hair prints draped over back and shoulders printed in latex become ornamental, sculptural jewelry. There will be several collages-shirts that connect to the contemporary art world, while others are printed with the BL33N logo placed on parts of the body that become ‘questionable’
Are you thinking or extent it to a complete collection in the coming future?
Yes, both Donovan and feel strongly about underwear for example, but all in time…