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Issue No. 4
ISSN 2573–8119

Scroll to see special features from this issue.

A large format bi-annual fashion, art, & photography magazine with fresh eyes, honest design, youthful perspectives and the occasional recipe.

Exclusive
Content Features
  • Up Front with Ben Venom
  • Studio Visit & Insert with Brandon Boyd
  • Because Their Beauty is Raw & Wild by Dave Masotti
  • You Ain't No Better Than The Bouncers by Giulia Soldavini
  • Designer Profile with Rooms
  • Baccalá, Bergamotto, Olive, Pane Recipe by Floriano Pellegrino
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Spring / Summer 2019 – Regular

Pre-order Regular Edition
128 Pages
13 x 10 In. (33 x 25 cm)
Full Color, Perfect Bound
Includes Brandon Boyd Postcard
Shipping June 2019

Price

$20.00Add to cart

Up Front with Ben VenomUp Front with Ben VenomUp Front with Ben Venom

Ben Venom is a self-taught quilter with a die-hard DIY attitude. One scroll through his Instagram feed, you’ll see that he’s like a talented local tattoo artist armed with a Brother sewing machine who loves classic heavy metal acts like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Metallica.

Recently, we connected with the San Francisco-based artist to find out more about his (P.M.A.) positive mental attitude, his passionate, prolific and painstaking pattern work and being an awesome dad to his new baby girl, Beatrice Rose.

Artist Statement

Scott A. Sant’Angelo (SAS) – Please share a little bit about your background: where you grew up, your schooling, what lead you towards a career as an artist and how you landed at this medium?

Ben Venom (BV) – I grew up in the ‘90s in the Atlanta, Georgia punk rock scene and was introduced early on to the concept of Do-It-Yourself. This mentality has followed me through my teen years and into adulthood. Basically, I don’t ever let anything hinder me from seeing my ideas through to the end. When I began sewing I had no idea what I was doing…it was simply a concept I wanted to create.

Originally, although I began as a painter and printmaker, I began to transition to textile-based work in graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute. While I was in graduate school in 2005-2007, I slowly learned how to use the sewing machine through trial-and-error. Mistakes are a large part of my artistic process. In 2008, I was asked to participate in a group exhibition in Berlin, Germany and wanted to do something new and big for the show. After seeing the famous Gee’s Bend quilts of Alabama, I decided to push the boundaries of my art and attempt to make a quilt. This first quilt would contain my personal collection of heavy metal band t-shirts. For years, I had amassed a large pile of torn up and threadbare band shirts that I could never throw away. It’s not cool when your Slayer shirt turns to mesh. Ha! From there, my work has progressed to include all types of material including donated/recycled fabric, denim and leather. Textiles has allowed me to push my art beyond being just a precious object hanging on the wall to become a real fusion of art, fashion and especially function.

SAS – Your work has multiple layers, materials, and depth. How do you get to where you’re ready to literally piece or sew it all together?

BV – Everything I do begins with some amount of research into a particular topic or interest. I will come up with a general idea in my sketchbook by taking notes and doing some quick drawings to work out my idea. I try and utilize the material in a way that adds to the overall design. Just like a puzzle, every little piece has a certain place that fits into the larger image.

SAS – If you had to describe your work, would that be craft, contemporary art, or something of your own description?

BV – In one word, my work can be described as a collision. Much like the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland that shoots opposing forces at near lightning speed to create an explosion and release of new energy, I combine various machismo, loud, and disparate elements of culture with a relatively soft functional medium…textiles. Turning it up to 11 and pushing it past the red. The idea of masculine/feminine, yin/yang, craft and fine art stitched together with techniques usually relegated to your grandmother’s sewing circle. I see a new wave of craft within the fine art world where artists are using many handmade techniques to construct their work. The artist’s hand has shown up again and is very evident within this wave.

SAS – What’s the driving force for your creativity — the process, the output or the completion of a thought or idea?

BV – I enjoy working the most…always working. For me, the process is the best part as things are always changing throughout the entire process. The end is just the beginning again.

SAS – Having recently become a father, (congratulations) how has this besides the obvious changed your work? Meaning, has anything really changed and are you looking at what you create differently now as a parent?

BV – Thanks! It has been a great wild ride my wife and I are very excited about. I have started designing a piece for my daughter Beatrice Rose to wear. Her wardrobe is going to be full of dad’s stitches.

benvenom.com

Studio Visit: Brandon BoydStudio Visit: Brandon BoydStudio Visit: Brandon Boyd

Brandon Boyd is widely known around the world as the lead singer and lyricist of the multi-platinum rock band Incubus. As such, his foray into the visual art world is often met with intense curiosity.


Raised in a creative household, the 42-year-old LA native carried a sketchbook since early childhood and was often encouraged to “draw his feelings” as a form of self-expression, culminating in a lifelong habit.

Boyd’s innate ease with this practice led him to initially believe that visual art would be his career pursuit. This path would be significantly altered when he started a band with Calabasas High School friends that became known as Incubus. The group gained strong local recognition and landed a subsequent record deal.

Throughout his over two decades of extensive world touring, one thing has remained constant for Boyd: a sketchbook by his side. This compulsory compiling of sketches, observations and drawings led him to publish his first book in 2003 and hold a debut solo exhibit in 2008. Book signings, creative talks, gallery shows, and print releases would soon follow as he honed his craft, explored work on canvas and, as a result, his visual art garnered an increasing amount of recognition.

– Jen DiSisto

Introduction by Jen DiSisto
Interview by Jenna Putnam
Images by Alessandro Casagrande & Scott A. Sant’Angelo

Jenna Putnam (JP) – What do you find is the most difficult part of people trying to label you or pin you down to one medium?

Brandon Boyd (BB) – I find it frustrating when those occasions arise that I don’t have any real say, intellectually, on the labels that are inevitably placed upon the stuff I make. But that being said, if it were totally up to me I wouldn’t put a label of any kind on myself, or any artist for that matter. As I’m sure you’ve experienced, labeling something is akin to pinning it down, grounding it and putting it in a prescribed place, mostly for the benefit of the observer. As an observer first, my most rewarding experiences with art and music are when I’m confounded by what I’m experiencing. When I have no reference point for what I’m seeing or hearing. I enjoy seeing what artists do when they give themselves permission to just Make! In my understanding of how most of us perceive the world though, it occurs to me that everyone needs to compartmentalize at some point, so I do my best not to take it personally when someone describes something I’m doing in a way that makes me cringe.

JP – How do you feel about social media and the way we share our work nowadays?

BB – I’m of the opinion that social media is partly responsible for the downfall of large swathes our social and political discourse over the last ten years. But it also has some amazing potential in its ability to democratically showcase art and music, and connect people on mass scales. It’s introduced me to some of my current favorite artists and bands, has galvanized a handful of social justice movements that desperately needed to see the light of day, but it also helped elect one of the country’s most dangerous and incompetent presidents in modern history. So I suppose the jury is still out. Ha. No technologies, be them intellectual or spiritual, are totally without fallout of some kind. It’s the unintended consequences of new ideas that make the most lasting impression, in my humble opinion.

JP – What do you find is the most rewarding thing about being vulnerable?

BB – Having nothing left to hide.

brandonboyd.me

Brandon Boyd signing the postcards included in the first 100 copies of the limited edition

Because Their Beauty is Raw & WildBecause Their Beauty is Raw & WildBecause Their Beauty is Raw & Wild

Photography by Dave Masotti
Model Maria at Brave Models
Cecily at Monster MGMT
Zelda at Monster MGMT
Stylist Elena Dini Silvera
Hair Davide Marrone
Makeup Greta Ceccotti
Photography Assistant Yunus Carlo Boiocchi
Styling Assistant Nicole Egger
Hair Assistant Gabriele Marozzi
Production Curzio Cremaschi

You Ain't No Better Than The BouncersYou Ain't No Better Than The BouncersYou Ain't No Better Than The Bouncers

Photography by Giulia Soldavini
Stylist Tea Barbagallo
Hair Michela Lebowitz
Makeup Camilla Romagnoli using Chanel products
Assistant Gloria Bertuzzi

RoomsRoomsRooms

When Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia met at the Academy of Arts of Tbilisi, little did they know they would soon be making history as icons of Georgia’s contemporary design landscape.

With ROOMS — the interior and product design studio they co-founded — the duo has put their country on the map of global design, and is the first to unearth Georgia’s contemporary design language. Last year, ROOMS celebrated their tenth anniversary with a dedicated retrospective during Salone del Mobile in Milan, and their pieces are coveted collectibles, sold at some of the most praised galleries around the world including The Future Perfect in New York City, Rossana Orlandi in Milan and GARDE in Los Angeles. Mirrors shaped like military medals of honor, tapestries adorned with mythological creatures, table surfaces atop staircases that lead to nowhere… Nata and Keti’s work reflects the iconography and landscape of their homeland: an enchanting mix of influences and narratives that have met through history – Georgia is located in the Caucasus where Asia meets Europe and was part of the Soviet Union until its dismantlement in 1991. Through the ROOMS lens, functional minimalism and sculptural grandiosity are seamlessly tied together by a very human desire to exalt the little things in life. From Tbilisi, they shared some of their magic with us.

Interview by Anna Caradeuc
Portrait by Levan Maisuradze

Anna Caradeuc (AC) — How did you decide on the name ROOMS for your studio?

Rooms — The decision to name our studio ROOMS was pretty simple. We wanted the name to express the basic meaning of space and simplicity and thus, we formulated it from the word “room.”

AC — You’ve worked together as a duo since you met at the interior design faculty at Tbilisi’s Academy of Arts. How has your dynamic evolved through the years and experiences?

Rooms — After graduation, we immediately started working on private residential projects. We also started experimenting and developing our voice. As years passed, our working process hasn’t changed. Of course, the volume and reach have definitely grown in size, we’re a lot more experienced and we have a lot more work but the dynamic between us and how we approach our work has remained the same for all these years. Being best friends has also helped a lot so it’s been pretty harmonious.

AC — Last year, you celebrated the 10th anniversary of the studio at Milan’s Salone with the “Sculpting in Time” retrospective exhibition. Looking back and seeing your collections next to one another, what are some of your proudest achievements?

Rooms — We think that our greatest accomplishment isn’t something material or physically touchable. What we’re most proud of is what we have achieved in terms of our own identity and vision and how it fully expresses our needs. Another important thing that humbles us is that people started to recognize history and sheer spirit in our objects and interiors.

AC — Your work is very much of Georgia and its history through time: the minimalism of the collections recalls the brutalism of the Soviet Era; the handmade and raw quality of the pieces is an ode to centuries-old Georgian craftsmanship; the themes surrounding each collection embody the convergence of East and West in the Caucasus. How do you manage to anchor such influences in the present?

Rooms — Considering that this whole history and past is so rooted in our own minds and identities, it comes naturally to us to translate it authentically in our own creations. The whole concept of what we do is to follow our instincts and go in the direction our spirits take us to. We hope it feels as natural and honest as we intend it to.

AC — Have you ever felt a sense of isolation by establishing and keeping your design practice in Tbilisi, away from the traditional circuit of design studios, galleries, buyers, etc.? If so, how has this isolation informed your approach both in terms of creating and running a business?

Rooms — In the beginning, there was a sense of being an outsider to the design world, considering the lack of information and the little resources available at that moment in time. There were no shops or galleries that would satisfy our needs; literally, nothing was happening in terms of design in Georgia. We can easily say that the only channel that connected us with things that clicked with our vision was the Internet. On the one hand, it was some kind of an obstacle for a young design studio to be so far remote, but in the long term, this whole situation helped us define ourselves, mainly because we were devoid of outer influences, trends or whatever was happening in a parallel universe. It had a positive outcome on establishing our style and marking our place on the international design scene.

AC — Not only are you responsible for having put the country of Georgia on the design map but you’ve also created its modern design style/language with a body of work that’s distinct and often referred to as “Primitive Chic” or, to reference your latest collection, “Wild Minimalism.” Is this something you’re aware of now when you approach new projects?

Rooms — Just recently, we were pleasantly surprised when we received an award from the Business Leaders Foundation “Women for Tomorrow” for taking part in developing business and culture. We rarely stop to think and focus on our achievements but as we’re steadily growing, moments like this make us realize we have a bigger responsibility on our shoulders.

As for creating a style and language, we’re never fixated on one concrete direction. We’re open to experimenting with new ideas.
For our upcoming ROOMS HOTEL project in Bakuriani, we’re working on developing a “Poetic Brutalism” line.

AC — On your website, you state that your goal in design is “to capture the simple bliss of life” which I absolutely love. How does this translate in real life, whether you’re working on a line of products or the interiors of a hotel?

Rooms — We accentuate the character and the mood of products and space. We think less in terms of a brand or specific objects as we’re focused on authenticity and evoking emotions than highlighting materialistic features. Every time we start working on a line of objects or an interiors project, our main objective is to create an organic story that lives on and for which we put part of our own spirit into every detail. It’s all about the awakening of senses and emotions. Thus, the “simple bliss of life” moment is naturally felt in everything we do — or at least that’s our goal.

AC — What would be your dream project?

Rooms — Nothing, in particular, comes to mind when thinking about a dream project. Of course, the scale of work has changed over time but even now, the most important part is receiving pleasure and pouring our hearts into every project — whether it’s a small apartment or massive hotel, it’s all about enjoying the moment and doing our best.

AC — As a female power-duo, what’s the best advice you have received or would like to give to young female creatives about to start their careers?

Rooms — From our personal experience, we think that being honest in what we do and listening to our inner voices have taken us this far. Probably, these are the most important pieces of advice to consider — do what you love passionately, be authentic and never compromise your values for anyone or anything.

AC — How do you envision for the next ten years?

Rooms — We’re the kind of people who live in the moment and think less far ahead in the future but we’d definitely like to have more freedom of choice to express our creativity more distinctively and even more naturally than we do now.

http://rooms.ge

Baccalá, Bergamotto, Olive, and Pane RecipeBaccalá, Bergamotto, Olive, and Pane RecipeBaccalá, Bergamotto, Olive, and Pane Recipe

Floriano Pellegrino and Isabella Potì are proprietors of an ambitious contemporary restaurant in Lecce, Puglia; in the heart of the heel of Italy’s “boot” region. Earning its first Michelin star in November 2018, Bros’ is authentically Pugliese. It’s also correct to say that there is no tradition in the traditional sense of the word.

The culture of the restaurant translates as a fast, modern and dynamic. In constant transformation of the new Mediterranean; it draws from a millennial norms that merge food with technology, best understood and created by these young culinarians. When you eat at Bros’, you taste the world through the Salento dialect. The vibe is a sparsely tabled Minimalist lounge where an international crowd speaks in moderately hushed tones. Observing the staff, one sees a diversity of young faces staring back at you, as the whole team is under 30 with only a few of Italian origin. “The Bros’ team is multicultural, says Chef Floriano Pellegrino. It’s important for us to maintain an international air. On the one hand, it’s our mission to preserve the culinary traditions of Lecce, but on the other hand we alter them; making them new without losing their essence. We selected the land and location of the restaurant and we have accepted that every risk taken is worth it. We show up every day with our focus and commitment to realize our dream. To us this is so important, it is sacred.”

Introduction by TJ Forman
Photography by Courtesy of Bros’

Baccalà with Bergamot, Olives and Bread.

Soffritto

200g seed oil
2 cloves of garlic
25g jerez vinegar
1 tablespoon of pimento de la vera dolce
1 tablespoon of pimento de la vera spicy

Bread sauce
500 gr of Baccalà soaked for at least 24 hours
200 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon
Parsley
Garlic
Laurel
Pink and black peppercorns
Ground pepper

Preparation
Polenta. Slowly fry the garlic in the oil. Add vinegar and remaining ingredients. Continue to fry and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Baccalà. Toast the bread in the oven. Cook the onions in melted butter and once cooked, add the bread. Then add the milk and cook slowly under medium low heat. Finally, filter sauce carefully with a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Finish by adding pitted black olives.

Serving. Place Baccalà on top of the bread sauce, and the olive and bergamotto gel placed next to the fish.

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Spring / Summer 2019 – Regular

Pre-order Regular Edition
128 Pages
13 x 10 In. (33 x 25 cm)
Full Color, Perfect Bound
Includes Brandon Boyd Postcard
Shipping June 2019

Price

$20.00Add to cart

Issue No. 4
ISSN 2573–8119

Milano / Los Angeles
info at rivistabaccala.com
© 2019

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