“As a kid growing up in Houston I collected rocks,” says Christopher Cascio. “I also had a stamp collection and a coin collection and baseball cards, but really what I was into were the Mad magazines and Garbage Pail Kids. That was the stuff that led me to being an artist.” What began with obsessive-compulsive word drawings a decade ago grew into a collaged painting practice — one might call it an image hoarder’s bricolage — that incorporated everything from advertisements of amplifiers and actual clearance stickers to Budweiser labels and nightclub wristbands. They owe as much to the Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers as they do to Mike Kelley and Fred Tomaselli. “I’m a huge fan of Fred Tomaselli,” says Cascio. “He literally puts drugs into his paintings.” More recently, the artist’s meditations on branding have led to two new series of camouflaged map paintings that put Warhol, Madison Avenue, Big Pharma and the shelf of the local marijuana dispensary into a blender. The result is a comical color field adventure; higher learning at its finest.
What was the impetus behind this body of work?
I did a show in 2014 at Peter Makebish’s gallery in New York where I showed these big colorful maps that had pharmaceutical drug brand names, generic names and pill imprint codes. The maps ended up looking like the drugs they were cataloging. The benzos were shades of light blue and the promethazine/codeine cough syrup had shapes of drippy purples that kind of resembled camouflage. They were a critical view of the pharmaceutical industry and how branding happens at that level. It dealt with a lot of socio-political issues. There was a Soma one, a Vicodin one, but I also did one with weed.
Why was that?
I was starting to think about marijuana and how the names of certain strains become that strain’s identity. They’re often given names that pertain to marijuana use, and because marijuana becoming legalized I was also using labels from actual dispensaries. This was 2014, so it’s come a long way in two years. My parents have a place in Winter Park, Colorado and during that time there was a dispensary many miles down the road from Winter Park. Now there are three dispensaries in Winter Park. I don’t do any pharmaceuticals anymore but I still partake in cannabis so it’s something that hits close to home. In my mind, I could always do a series just about that.
And that series is what you’re showing at Maitland Foley.
Yeah, the Drug Map (Cannabis) work from that show in New York is the inspiration. It was a six-by-eight-foot painting and it was a pretty popular piece, it was published in Sneeze, an international poster sized magazine, and it struck a chord with people in the way that the pharmaceutical pieces didn’t. It’s more celebratory.
Meaning that having brands is a win, of sorts, for the average pot smoker while pharmaceutical brands are an example of Big Pharma winning?
Right. And I’ve used all kinds of weed from street drugs to medical marijuana, I’m an equal opportunity-employer in that sense. But I don’t see marijuana in the same way that I see those [pharmaceutical] drugs. So when I was making that first weed painting I was putting in strains that were my favorite strains, making sure that it has more of a connection to my present than to a darker past.
As pervasive as he is elusive, Banksy is a global enigma that incites a lot of #feels among everyone familiar with his artwork—from fans to the police. But in 2004, the clandestine artist pissed off one supporter in particular: Andy Link, a former porn star who now goes by AK47 and heads up an “art terrorist organization” called Art Kieda. The story goes that Link wanted a signed Banksy print at an event, but didn’t want to cough up the extra dough. Link asked Banksy to sign his standard edition, to which the Dismaland artist refused. The fact he wouldn’t sign his “fucking print” both infuriated and inspired Link, who decided to reciprocate the message by stealing Banksy’s statue, The Drinker.
The convoluted saga—which includes ransom letters, another heist and a replica of the original—has been unraveled in the gonzo-style documentary, The Banksy Job, which recently debuted at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. With so much turmoil happening in the flick, we asked British director Dylan Harvey (who co-created the film with Ian Roderick Gray) to tell us a little more about its origins.
It seems like you were involved in filming the heist from Day 1, so how did this project initially develop or how did you get involved in filming so early on?
Actually the heist happened about five years before we even got to hear about it. We just met a mad man calling himself AK47 who explained his story, showed us the videos he had shot himself over the years and notified us about where he is intending to go next with his venture. When we came in, all he had was a cone and a hard drive of footage and a certificate from the police.
Are you into street art or was making this film more about highlighting the characters?
I have always been interested in street art and Banksy. Spending many years living in East London it was all around me all the time and I saw it develop and grow. I loved it all as a form of dissent, but that alone is not enough to make a movie. It was meeting AK47 and finding out his story that gave us the opportunity to make a heist movie (that is also a documentary and a comedy).
AK47 seems like a legitimate lunatic. Was it difficult to work with him?
Yes and no. He is what you see on the screen so at times he could be extremely difficult, especially when trying to make the logistics work out, but at the same time he was very keen to get his story out there and once he recognized how were were going about telling his story and understood the scale of what we were doing, he was very compliant and also went above and beyond in trying to help us get the extra access and help where we needed it.
We’ve teamed up with contributor Pâté Smith to show you the best in off-beat eats! Pâté Smith is a collection of pop culture inspired recipes, drawing food inspiration from music, movies, games and everything in between, Pâté has got you covered.
This week, we based this chocolate dipped ice cream sandwich recipe off of the famous San Francisco classic It’s-It ice cream sandwich. If you’re not familiar, It’s-Its are delicious oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwiches dipped in chocolate. Their cookies are soft and lightly sweetened while their ice cream flavors are a mix of classic favorites to random delights (did I mention they have a pumpkin flavor available year round?). You can find the full recipe here.
To recreate the It’s It ice cream sandwich, I tried to make the perfectly thin but crunchy chocolate shell (a.k.a. a “magic shell” chocolate). Additionally, I spun my own ice cream in order to recreate their bright ice cream colors. If you’re wondering–the strawberry = 4 drops red food coloring + 2 drops of blue food coloring; the mint = 1 drop of green food coloring + 5 drops of blue food coloring. I even made the pumpkin flavor but TBH it was not cute enough to present.
We’ve teamed up with contributor Pâté Smith to show you the best in off-beat eats! Pâté Smith is a collection of pop culture inspired recipes, drawing food inspiration from music, movies, games and everything in between. Whether it’s recreating the perfectly tinted slime or cooking through the latest Action Bronson album, Pâté has got you covered.
This week, we based this Buffalo Fried Cheese Curds recipe off of the legendary appetizer at the famous Murray’s Cheese Bar in NYC. If you’re not familiar, they literally wrote the book on how eat and pair cheese. While it’s common to see deep fried cheese curds in the Midwest, it’s not too common in the Northeast, so adding the Buffalo sauce brings this dish full circle. Note to self: let’s deep-fry a garbage plate next.
I made some cheese curds from scratch using this tutorial. Besides a honking gallon of milk, you’ll need calcium chloride, thermophilic culture C-201, rennet and a couple of hours to kill. Otherwise, you can just cut to the chase pick up some cheese curds at any market–I won’t cheese shame you.
“The destination is easy, it’s everything in between that’s the most interesting,” says Michael Schulz, the adventure-seeking lensman behind the hugely successful Instagram account, Berlinstagram. Having posted nearly 6,000 photos since starting his account in 2010, it’s no surprise that Michael is always on the lookout for new ways to explore his adopted hometown. With this in mind, Infiniti asked Michael to cast his eye on the company’s all-new Infiniti Q30, a car “made for expressive thinkers” and designed around the desire for perspective-shifting journeys.
Marked by an elevated stance and low-slung roofline, the Infiniti Q30 inspires prolonged exploration and thanks to its agile handling, feels perfectly at home in an urban setting such as Berlin. Michael was able to capture this first-hand by using The Seeker, a digital compass specially created by Infiniti for a select number of influencers, to find the car in its secret location. Fitted with a GPS that can point you to any location on Earth, The Seeker gets you to your destination while allowing you to include as many gratuitous twists and turns as you like along the way. A dial shows you the way forward and lights show you how close you are to your endpoint.
The Infiniti Q30 gives you the tools to see your surroundings from a fresh perspective, and intends to take you on incredible experiences. Check out the snaps Michael shot on his adventure around Berlin, and then see how fun it is for yourself by taking one out for a spin. Learn more about the Infiniti Q30 and book your test drive now.
Sunday cruising is for your grandparents, but the joy of driving isn’t lost on this generation of explorers, either. We just need a new way to navigate; one that combines our penchant for tech with our need for discovery. Infiniti took note, and is bringing back the glory days of driving with its all-new Infiniti Q30, a perspective-shifting car that transforms the road into a place of endless exploration.
The Q30’s elevated stance and low-slung roofline offer glorious city views, and the cruising for some is only enhanced by The Seeker, a digital compass specially created by Infiniti for a select number of influencers. This handy little piece of technology opens things up to an entirely new way to roam. Fitted with a GPS that can point you to any location on Earth, The Seeker uses a dial to show you the way and lights to show you how close you are to your desired destination. The amount of twists and turns you want to take along the way is completely up to you.
To celebrate the launch of the Infiniti Q30, the company sent a select handful of people on a little adventure. Using The Seeker as his compass, Cool Hunting Editor-in-Chief Josh Rubin set forth around the cobblestone streets of Krakow in search of an awaiting Infiniti Q30. Josh makes his way from a balcony in the center of town to the stunning, sculptural ICE Building where the Q30 is ready for his journey. To really capture the test drive from his perspective, the Infiniti team mounted six sphere cameras onto a drone for one incredible 360° test drive. This seamless panoramic experience gives you the option to change the perspective as you follow along. Watch as Josh jumps behind the wheel and tours the charming Polish capital, driving around the famous Main Square.
Josh’s amazing 360° test drive is just the start. You can also put yourself in the driver’s seat by taking the new Infiniti Q30 out for a spin. Learn more about the Infiniti Q30 and book your test drive now.
ICHABOD’s is a story I’ve been wanting to tell for several years now. I present it here: words by me, photos by various friends of the artist. By the way: I’m not ICHABOD and I very rarely facilitate contact between him and others. – Caleb Neelon,
ICHABOD is a master of American freight train graffiti: prolific, durable, and consistent. In a game where thousands of graffiti writers compete to make their names as densely distributed as possible throughout the nearly two million freight cars across North America, ICH has been among the very best and most successful. Ceaselessly repeating his ultra-legible signature piece, he makes two things as likely as can be in graffiti: that his name will be rolling on every train in North America, and that you, me, and anyone else will be able to read it.
“The appeal of a freight train for me was obvious from the start, because I was fascinated with freight trains before I started writing,” ICHABOD – or ICH, for short – explains. “Most people want to write their name in the sense of ‘Kilroy Was Here,’ that ‘I was here, at this geographical location.’ If you paint a tag or a burner on a wall, it’s partly you saying ‘I was here,’ but partly, people have to go to see it, it’s one location. But freights, freights are moving walls. When you paint a freight, you never know where it will end up: alongside a highway in a very prominent spot in a downtown area, or in a cornfield in Nebraska. I’ve done freights where the Atlantic Ocean was at my back while I was painting them, since the layup was right on the water, and those trains have gone and seen the Pacific Ocean and been parked next to the Pacific.”
Those sentiments and experiences are hardly unique to ICHABOD: they encapsulate much of the essential appeal of painting freight trains, an activity with thousands of practitioners across the continent. And like the top tier of practitioners of freight train graffiti, ICH researched the United States rail system with the passion of the most serious railfan: he learned which types of cars are most likely to travel the most widely, and which will only run back and forth on a defined route. He learned which types of cars look best when painted, and based on the customers they served, where he might find them laid up on nights and weekends. And he learned how to sustain his painting spots by secrecy, strategy, and the rigorous discouragement of uninvited graffiti writers.
While mastering the rail system and how to scatter one’s name on it most effectively was also not unique to ICHABOD among seasoned train painters, he dove in as deeply as anyone. What separated him was his willingness to paint what was essentially the same piece – an I, C, H, with each at an angle to one another (what graffiti writers call a ‘tick-tock’) with a skull character next to it – more than 3,000 times and counting. (Graffiti writers are often exaggerators, but a look through the ICHABOD flickr group will dispel a lot of doubt one might have with regard to that number). Where many of his peers would get creatively itchy and break their own mold with regularity, ICH never tired of it. “It fits the master plan,” he explains. “I can’t count the number of people who want to get famous by doing graffiti, but who change their style every week or every time they go out. First of all, a lot of writers won’t even know that it’s the same person, and certainly the general public can’t tell that it’s the same person. But it’s simple: it’s brand recognition. Coca-Cola doesn’t go changing its logo every week. You want to get inside people’s brains and burn that one spot, over and over. Especially considering that you’ll only go so far in illegal activity before you get caught. There’s a clock running. You don’t want to have to retire before you made the dent you wanted to make. And how can you make that dent if you aren’t using repetition as one of your tools?”
For the second of two innovative films that debuted at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Infiniti’s Executive Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa, takes viewers into the design process of the QX30 concept car. “From Pencil to Metal” brings you into the studio to see initial sketches of the vehicle being scribbled in thin air, as the car is created around you. From CAD files to clay modeling to the impeccable finished product, the team at Infiniti has put the driver first, creating a virtual reality experience where the car takes shape around you—literally; thanks to YouTube’s 360o video playback, users can look around the car as it comes to life. The team behind the project tells us, “Traditional media can be one-sided, and seem to talk at consumers. But VR allows us to literally bring them inside of the Infiniti brand, an Infiniti car and an engaging story.”
Brought to you by Apartments.com
Don’t let a small space discourage you when looking for your next apartment. Additional space means nothing if it provides little function, which is why you’ll be amazed at what creative potential can be found in smaller living spaces. Even if your decorating options seem limited by landlord laws and rental agreements, here are some ideas that might make you rethink a space’s potential.
1. Consider Open Storage
If “limited” is a nice way of describing your kitchen storage space, opt for metal shelving units to give off a cool, industrial finish to your apartment. While it’s great for essentials like olive oil, fruit, and wine, a few decorative embellishments will really make the storage units serve both functional and decorative uses.
2. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Mirrors are a basic trick for any interior decorator to add more size and dimension to a room. Mirrors reflect light and make spaces feel bigger. Hang large mirrors across from windows in your apartment’s living room, dining room and other rooms so it’s in an ideal position to reflect light back into the room.
3. Mount your TV to the Wall
Maximize your space by hanging your TV from the wall. This allows you to use your console for more entertaining or storage space, in the area where your TV would have normally sat. This move also makes the TV area look less bulky.
4. Chic Dining
If you’re working with a really cramped dining nook, clear furniture and glass tables can make the space look less crowded. To visually expand the space even more, hang up some artwork and add wall-mount scones for lighting. Minimizing the amount of furniture and lighting on the ground space will maximize the room’s space.
5. Divide and Conquer
While this may seem counterintuitive, dividing up floor space into different zones may actually make your apartment seem larger. Use your sofa or consoles to act as “dividers” within a room and create different living spaces within one general room.
Now that your creative juices are flowing, watch Brad Bellflower’s reveal of the all-new Apartments.com
Head to Apartments.com and consider these nifty tricks and tips for your next apartment. What you may consider a setback at first sight, could actually become the space you love most in your new apartment.
Continuing Lincoln Motor Company‘s evolution as a leader in the American luxury auto market, this summer sees the introduction of the first-ever MKC; a five-passenger, utility-minded crossover marked by a sculpted design and an athletic stance. As the latest—and most modest in size—Lincoln SUV to hit the streets, the all-new 2015 MKC aims to capture the attention of an ever-growing population of city dwellers who are keen to escape the urban landscape whenever possible. To do so, the MKC comes equipped with a range of impressive features—some flashy, some subdued and all worth noting.
While the MKC’s sleek exterior is enough to capture one’s attention, an exceptionally serene interior is sure to keep it. Designed especially with the driver’s comfort in mind, active noise control paired with padded wheel wells (which reduce road rumble while amplifying engine notes) creates a heightened overall cabin environment. The innovative engineering actually uses microphones to monitor the sound profile within the car, which is then replicated and inverted by a signal processor to cancel out the initial noise-waves, thus creating a pleasant atmosphere that makes the MKC’s cabin one of the quietest in its class. And, of course, an enhanced THX II Certified Audio System is there for when drivers want anything but silence.
How can human emotions inspire new interactions with technology and each other? This question was the basis for two design workshops hosted by Motherboard—in association with Microsoft and Warner Bros.—for a select student community of international artists, designers, and innovators in Los Angeles and New York City. Inspired by Spike Jonze’s technological love story Her, Captivated By Her, is a two-part documentary told from the viewpoint of students and professors who attended these workshops. Faced with the challenge of finding ways to make technology more human, these students explore new forms of expression and interaction through artificial intelligence.
Watch the documentary above to see how these discoveries play out.
Buy Her now