broken fingaz is a graffiti collective with global renown based in tel aviv. one of its four members, named unga, is currently having his first solo show at andenken gallery in amsterdam. ominously entitled you will die today, the artist presents a new body of work on both paper and textile. the first series of large-scale black and white paintings features his well-known fat man character, exploring new scenarios that emphasise the pathos, loneliness and humour in the search for happy death. in the second chapter, Unga experiments with a new medium: a series of meticulously hand-embroidered works made in collab with mayan artisans. these combine pop and folk art aesthetics, suggesting a comment on indigenous style with an invasion of corporate waste and urban animals on the traditional landscape.[on through nov 15]. location: pazzanistraat 17 [staatsliedenbuurt].
his company is synonymous to luxury brands and high-end lifestyle across the middle east, but now the founder himself has gained the global spotlight with a much anticipated and audacious new project in his hometown of beirut. tony salamé founded aïshti in 1989 in the aftermath of a civil war that had laid much of the lebanese capital in ruins, and along its reputation as the region's most glamourous meeting place. what started with a modest warehouse store stocking last season's collections has grown into an impressive network of luxury department stores and monobrand boutiques, and not only in beirut, but also in neighbouring shopping destinations amman, kuwait and dubai.
not surprisingly, the trajectory of salamé's success in retail runs closely parallel to the remarkable rise of post-war beirut as a leading destination of sophisticated lifestyle. anyone with a discerning fashion palate venturing into the city's redeveloped and glitzy downtown area, ends up either at aïshti's mothership emporium or one of its countless luxury monobrand boutiques. but now, salamé has taken a bold new step amidst political circumstances that don't seem to be in his favour, but on the other hand, should also be seen as nothing less than admirable vote of confidence. an avid collector of contemporary art for many years, the aïshti founder has amassed around 2,000 works by various leading artists from around the planet.
known as the aïshti foundation, it has become one of the most prominent – or should we say dynamic, given its accelerated expansion of late – modern art collections in the middle east. salamé's vote of confidence takes shape in a remarkable four-storey structure on the northern outskirts of beirut, built by london-based starchitect david adjaye. overlooking the mediterranean sea, the building stands out from its surroundings, not only because of its volume, but also due to a striking outer shell made of multiple layers of latticed red aluminum in geometric patterns. the design intentionally mimics mashrabiya, the intricately perforated woodwork that often adorns traditional arabic architecture.
from the inside, large windows open onto the sea and the city behind, and generates a compelling visual dialogue between its skyline and the elegant spaces of the galleries. aïshti foundation's stellar new premises encompass no less than 4,000 sqm. [43,056 sq.ft.] of exhibition space spread over various floors. the venue's inaugural show, aptly entitled new skin, is curated by massimiliano gioni – artistic director at the new museum in new york city – and presents over 200 works by international contemporary artists, including ziad antar, daniel buren, rayyane tabet, gerhard richter and akram zaatari [on through jan 4]..
and that's not all, folks. allowing for a hybrid fusion of happening art and lifestyle that'll indulge a demographic of savvy beirutis and foreign equivalents alike, the aïshti foundation building is actually embedded in a larger, 40,000 sqm. [430,556 sq.ft.] complex that's home to a range of swanky new fashion boutiques, a curated bookshop, restaurants and cafés, a spa, and last but not least, a cool rooftop bar where to sit back, sip a glass of bubbly, and take in the gorgeous views among kindred spirits. location: jal el dib seaside highway [jal el dib].
along with its a/w 2015 ready-to-wear collections dropping in stores and across the planet, dior homme has released new designs of its coveted al 13 line of aviator-style sunglasses. a dialogue between the technical and the formal, the frames are crafted from lightweight matte aluminium, captured in sharp lines with sophisticated details and a range of colours that mirror the dior homme's newest apparel designs. additionally, the temples are adorned with the brand's emblematic cut on their endtips. and last, but certainly not least, the grey lenses ensure a 100% uv protection. the al 13.6 model shown here is in silver, but it's also available in a solemn black hue. fancy a pair? we certainly do...
the capsule hotel concept no longer is exclusive to the land of the rising sun. almost three years ago it first arrived in europe – as indicated in a previous post – in a market that was in desperate need of budget accommodation. and although the same cannot be said of amsterdam, the city's hospitality scene has seen an overall hotel boom as of late that's also shaking up matters in the budget segment of the market. recently opened in oud west, an area of town with a dramatically improved hipness factor, cityhub features 50 state-of-the-art sleeping units, or hubs in founders' jargon, set within a spacious 600 sqm. [6,458 sq.ft.] warehouse designed by studio überdutch.
the hotel is a collab effort of sem schuurkes and pieter van tilburg, two college friends and entrepreneurs with an avid interest in travel. the duo first tested the pod concept on a much smaller scale in the very same emerging neighbourhood. acknowledging the hugely positive response, they secured sufficient funds to take matters to the next level. totally in sync with today's savvy digital generation – not surprisingly, its target demographic – cityhub offers hospitality with a compatible hi-tech edge. next to a comfy double bed, each hub comes with a nifty and rather versatile app.
it not only allows to control the hub's mood lighting, alarm clock and music streaming, but also provides an interactive city guide brimming with useful pointers and events, and a chat room to connect with other guests. and obviously, the wifi that enables it all is complimentary. modern comfort extends well beyond the privacy of the hubs, and is arguably most evident in cityhub's lobby and lounge. pairing exposed red bricks with polished concrete flooring, it's furnished with appealing design that adds up to the friendly, welcoming vibe. acknowledging the assertivity of its guests, cityhub anticipates by providing them with a personal rfid wristband that enables an easy breezy self check-in and ditto self service at the cozy lounge bar. location: bellamystraat 3 [oud west].
following various stopovers across europe, the alluring perspective playground exhibition has opened at palais de tokyo in paris. an initiative by vitamin e and olympus europe, it presents an eclectic range of multi-sensory and interactive art installations by various artists, all curated and produced by berlin-based design studio flora&faunavisions. the installations, created by innovative artists leigh sachwitz and andi toma, maser, martin butlers, susi sie, a2arquitectos, infarm, erik olofsen and klaus kemp, have a strong evocative quality, and conjure up fascinating environments that fuse the realms of art and science. interestingly, olympus cameras are available for visitors [15 years and older] to use for free at the exhibition, and the sd card that comes with it is yours to keep. in addition to the showcase, a program of related events is held at palais de tokyo [on through nov 25]. location: 13 avenue du président wilson [champs-élysées].
bassike, the australian merchants of fine organic cotton, have expanded off shore to venice beach in california. with five stores in australia and an expansive range of organic cotton basics, higher end designer wear, leathers and accessories – the sky is the limit. founded in leafy avalon beach by deborah sams and mary-lou ryan, bassike has always embraced a beach vibe and 'for us, it has always been los angeles. its culture and seasonality are two things we simply love', says ryan. the new space is designed by local creative studio brook&lyn and sydney-based architectural agency akin creative. they have also commissioned a number of other local design independents to work on custom furniture, artwork and store detail – in an effort to create a 'store that feels relevant to its neighbourhood. 'so, working with local creative has been a focus for us throughout the design phase', says sams. the new store stocks the entire bassike range. location: 1918 lincoln boulevard [venice beach].
this year's edition of tokyo design week is in full swing, and an elaborate program of events is held across town. the herman miller store celebrates its fifth anniversary and pitches in with a celebration of the life and work of alexander girard [1907-1933]. originally trained as an architect, girard was introduced to herman miller through charles eames and george nelson, established the herman miller textile division in 1952, and served as its design director until the early seventies. the new york city-born creative designed over 300 textiles in an abundance of colourways, multiple collections of wallpaper, decorative prints and wall hangings, an expansive group of furniture, and both decorative and useful objects. the curated exhibition, entitled alexander girard - an uncommon vision, presents textiles, objects, and furniture from the company's archives. also on display are new girard furnishings and silkscreen panels, one-of-a-kind upholstered pieces from the herman miller collection, textiles from maharam, and a wide-ranging selection of officially licensed girard designs and products available [on through nov 7]. location: my plaza, 2-1-1 marunouchi [marunouchi].
hot on the heels of a much-publicized store opening in seoul, acne studios have launched a new boutique in berlin. the swedish fashion brand first arrived in the german capital many years ago – mind you, it was their first store outside scandinavia – in a collab with celebrated retailer andreas murkudis, but ever since the original location closed down, the brand maintained only a pop-up location in the mitte district. as of last week, the german capital has been upgraded again with the opening of a brand new flagship store in tiergarten, not surprisingly the neighbourhood where murkudis established a stellar concept store himself four years ago, and an initiative which accelerated the area's gentrification. situated in the very same former office complex, acne studios have picked a 280 sqm. [3,014 sq.ft.] ground floor unit. the interior is another demonstration of the brand's retail aesthetic, featuring concrete flooring, polished steel panels, and an orchestrated canopy of fluorescent tubes. furnishings are copmatibly few, and consists of custom-made pieces in matching materials. the new acne studios retail space stocks the brand's full range of mens and women's apparel, shoes and accessories. location: potsdamerstrasse 87 [tiergarten].
© galerie boutique agnès b.
the agnès b. galerie boutique in soho is always aims to stir one's senses, whether it's with the fashion items on the shelves or the art that's on display. interestingly, the latter always seems an extrapolation and adds up to the quirky vibe of this wonderfully hybrid venue. currently on display is the first ever exhibition in new york city by artists benoît aubard and pablo jomaron. both art students at the école des beaux-arts in paris, the two were awarded the 2015 prix des amis des beaux arts, presided by designer agnès b. herself. as recipients of the prize, and working in publishing, creating fanzines and limited editions relating to urban areas and language, it was an obvious decision to organize an exhibition of the artists’ work at the agnès b. galerie boutique.
on display at the show are a series of exemplary works by the two young artists. benoît aubard is interested straddles a variety of discplines and areas, including graffiti, advertising, billboards and slogans, signage using text or words written in and for the public sphere. he often uses recycled and re-used objects to write texts on, and which adds a raw edge to his work. pablo jomaron uses mixed media as means of expression as he's interested in the reality we live in. his approach is not about documenting spontaneous moments but staging specific moments and create an entirely new space around it. jomaron also engages in publishing as he considers it another way to communicate and collaborate with other creatives. mind you, fanzines and artists’ editions from the artists will be available during the exhibition [on through dec 15]. location: galerie boutique agnès b., 50 howard street [soho].