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quote of note

Quote of Note | Karl Lagerfeld on Large-Format Fashion Books

karl-sketch2“I must say, some are not very beautifully made. They’re coffee-table books for people who drink alcohol. I have nothing against coffee-table books as long as they are well done. They must not look like gravestones on a table. Sometimes they are too big, they come in boxes and things like this. No, a book has to be easy to open and you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to lift it. I like books I can read in bed. Those big tombstones would kill me.”

-Karl Lagerfeld in an interview with Miles Socha that appears in today’s issue of WWD. At his own bookshop, 7L, Lagerfeld gets 5% off retail prices. Notes the designer, “I am very much against the idea that you get it for free because it’s your bookshop.”

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Quote of Note | Todd Hido

stieglitz“My photobooks are organized by genre, and they are definitely not alphabetized. They’re sequenced and clustered together based on my twenty-five-year knowledge of who taught who, and who preceded them. It’s almost a little family tree of lineage. I find it to be an interesting way of approaching the collection, because you can see patterns of influence and how they fan out into the world we adore….Believe it or not, I have a strange little hobby of leaving books out and open to certain pages, sometimes for years. One of my favorite books, which has remained opened on my table ever since the day I got it, is Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set. It’s an exhaustive examination, which I believe includes every single Stieglitz photograph that Georgia O’Keeffe inherited and ultimately donated to the National Gallery of Art. Also, I often create sequences and juxtapositions between various open books; I’ve made some unique connections and combinations that way.”

-Photographer Todd Hido, who has amassed a personal collection of more than 3,200 photography books, in an interview with Aaron Schuman in The PhotoBook Review

Quote of Note | Bruce Sterling

OMNI_CVRS.indd“Genuine science-fiction art performs a social function for a tight-knit, ninety-year-old community. It exists to enable its viewers to achieve and maintain their highly valued otherworldly state of let’s pretend. Sci-fi art is a form of realist genre painting, like aviation art, like natural-history painting. Its cousins are comics and game design and set design, disciplines that prefer certain conventions to be respected: Comics fans require the canon, gamers like to enter the game world and play, theatergoers need set design as the backdrop of performance. Art that is too heavily freighted breaks the suspension of disbelief and leaves the sci-fi fan with the awkward realization that Martians have better taste than he does. [Omni publisher Bob] Guccione‘s effort to class-up sci-fi art was like trying to break-dance in a Vegas tuxedo, but he never saw the solecism there. Although he had a few veteran sci-fi illustrators within his mag—Michael Whelan, Frank Fazetta, Tim White, and glitzy-robot maestro Hajime Sorayama—it’s clear that these accomplished sci-fi professionals caught Guccione’s roving eye almost by accident.”

-Bruce Sterling on The Mind’s Eye: The Art of Omni (powerHouse Books) in the September issue of Artforum

Quote of Note | Michael Bierut

thoughtsondesignPaul Rand admitted all his life that he was insecure as a writer. It was his passion for the subject that made him such an effective one. In his day job on Madison Avenue, he had learned the virtues of saying more with less. As a result, Thoughts on Design is almost as simple as a child’s storybook: short, clear sentences; vivid, playful illustrations. Ostensibly it is nothing more than a how-to book, illustrated with examples from the designer’s own portfolio. But in reality Thoughts on Design is a manifesto, a call to arms, and a ringing definition of what makes good design good. This, perhaps, has never been said better than in the book’s most quoted passage, the graceful free verse that begin’s Rand’s essay ‘The Beautiful and the Useful.’ Graphic design, he says, no matter what else it achieves, ‘is not good design if it is irrelevant.’”

-Designer extraordinaire Michael Bierut in the foreword to the new edition of Paul Rand‘s Thoughts on Design, back in print for the first time since the 1970s and published by Chronicle Books

Quote of Note | Tom Hanks on Typewriters

groma“Remingtons from the 1930s go THICK THICK. Midcentury Royals sound like a voice repeating the word CHALK. CHALK. CHALK CHALK. Even the typewriters made for the dawning jet age (small enough to fit on the fold-down trays of the first 707s), like the Smith Corona Skyriter and the design masterpieces by Olivetti, go FITT FITT FITT like bullets from James Bond’s silenced Walther PPK. Composing on a Groma (pictured), exported to the West from a Communist country that no longer exists, is the sound of work, hard work. Close your eyes as you touch-type and you are a blacksmith shaping sentences hot out of the forge of your mind.”

-Tom Hanks, who has channeled his love of manual typewriters into a new iPad app, Hanx Writer

Quote of Note | Jeremy Scott

Moschino fw14
Looks from the fall 2014 Moschino collection

“I like to think of my work and the way people approach it in the same way people approach a Lichtenstein painting. You can write a one-hundred-page dissertation about why he used comics. Or it could be like, ‘This is cute!’”

-Fashion designer Jeremy Scott, creative director of Moschino

Quote of Note | Paul Hornschemeier on Giant Sloths

sloth

“There actually is a prehistoric giant sloth on the campus of the college I went to, Ohio State. I think it was vandalized sometime in the last couple of years, but I think they repaired it since then. I can’t remember which school it’s a part of. I want to say it’s the geology school. Whatever museum it’s in, a lot of the signage and a lot of the exhibits kind of feel like these leftovers from the ’70s and ’80s. It just always felt a little out of step with modern times. It just kind of had this very particular vibe that really stuck with me. But I didn’t really have the idea for the actual story….There was always something about the giant sloth, just being this creature that its modern day equivalent is so puny and so inconsequential. It’s funny, when I mention the film to some people, they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s funny, like a giant sloth.’ I’m like, ‘No, there really were giant sloths.’ A lot of people aren’t even necessarily aware of them. They were these gigantic, huge, powerful things the size of bears. So there was always a metaphor there in the back of my head.”

-Paul Hornschemeier on the slothful inspiration for his animated feature-in-the-making, Giant Sloth, starring Paul Giamatti as an insane museum curator

Quote of Note | Takashi Murakami

T_M

“I have this idea for a sweet comedy about death. A middle-aged author of e-books, with middling sales, retreats deep into the mountains of Japan to build a grave for his recently deceased father. After getting scammed out of all of his money, he falls into despair, but for some unknown reason he is visited by a savior in the form of a middle-aged woman. And then his divorced wife from ten years ago appears unexplainably too. Then this young woman with whom he spent a single night in a club many years ago is being treated for an incurable disease in the mountainside sanatorium, and she comes to him for emotional support. I’d love to do that story.”

-Artist Takashi Murakami discussing his filmmaking aspirations in a recent interview. Also on his wishlist? “Some form of a collaboration with J.J. Abrams.”

Quote of Note | Mitch Epstein

(Mitch Epstein)“I used to make pictures without thinking about how they would relate to one another as a series. When I went to Vietnam in the early ’90s to collaborate with a Vietnamese dissident writer, a novelist, I started to conceive of my individual pictures as part of a greater whole, as projects. I began to conceive of these projects as photographed from the inside out, not the other way around. In other words, I let go of the conventions of supposedly neutral ‘street photography’ and began to find ways to insert and invest myself into a situation and yet still remain somewhat detached. Family Business is an example where I photographed something I knew intimately and cared about deeply, but did so with emotional restraint. I’d absorbed my lessons from strict documentarians, which allowed me to make something personal without sentimentalizing it.” —Photographer Mitch Epstein

Pictured: Mitch Epstein, Flag (2000), from Family Business, a film and photographic project about Epstein’s father and the demise of the family furniture store.

Quote of Note | David Carr

stack-of-magazines“For the last six months, my magazines, once a beloved and essential part of my media diet, have been piling up, patiently waiting for some mindshare, only to be replaced by yet another pile that will go unread. I used to think that people who could not keep up with The New Yorker were shallow individuals with suspect priorities. Now I think of them as just another desperate fellow traveler, bobbing in a sea of information none of us will see to the bottom of. We remain adrift.”

-David Carr of The New York Times in his most recent “Media Equation” column, “Riding the Juggernaut That Left Print Behind

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