Victory Press is designer Jessica Humphrey and artist Jonathan Cammisa, collaborating to create a collection of men’s clothing inspired by post modern art, prints and silhouettes of ‘80s skate and surf culture, and the functionality, integrity and ideology of ‘90s outdoors wear.
En route to launch a Victory Press pop-up event at our Los Angeles-based concept store Space 15 Twenty, Jess and Jonathan drove across the country, visiting American factories and getting up close and personal with the country’s great outdoors. Here, the design duo lets us in on every adventure of their nationwide trek.
How did you two come together and launch Victory Press?
Jess: Jonathan grew up in South Philadelphia skating. He was heavy into grafitti and hip hop, and he spent his summers at the Jersey Shore. I grew up in Virginia Beach surrounded by surfing and skateboarding, and as a teenager photographed every punk and hardcore band that came through my town. We met about five years ago in Vinegar Hill, a small neighborhood in Brooklyn. We both were obsessed with 1980s and ‘90s vintage clothing and we had the same taste in art and music, so we became best friends. We decided to start a clothing line out of a shared realization that outdoors wear just wasn't cool. We wanted to make outdoors wear that like-minded people want to wear.
Tell us about the Victory Press pop-up that brought you across the country!
Our friend Kyle came to our studio one day and proposed we set up shop at Space 15 Twenty for the summer of 2014. As a new brand, we were stoked on the opportunity to build out a space with our creative vision and spread our ideas to the West Coast. So, we though it was only appropriate to see the country on our way here so we can tell our story to you.
What was your favorite city or pit-stop along the way?
Mystic Hot Springs, Utah was by far the most interesting destination. We spent a few hours soaking in old claw foot tubs filed in with mineral rich hot springs with epic views of the Utah Mountains. Mystic Mike, who hosts the property, has an extensive collection of posters and stickers he's illustrated for touring bands, including the Grateful Dead. He also has a YouTube channel where he hosts live music and does an awesome job recording. There is also a collection of buses previously owned by Deadheads, for which you can rent and sleep over, if you want. It was truly a mystical moment. And then there was Yellowstone National Park—there are no words for how beautiful it is there.
Any travel mishaps?
Not really. We had good vibes on our side!
What was your day-to-day life like on the road?
We woke up. I'd heat us up some Grady's Coffee we cold brewed the night before. I might have some time to make breakfast while the boys break down the camp. If not, it was Early Bird Granola and yogurt and then we were on the road. Some days were long drives—almost 14 hours. We literally drove until it was time to sleep. Our meals that day would be "Jon's Back Seat Turkey Sandwiches" and the good old gas station special. The other days we'd drive for six hours or so and set up camp. We'd cook chili or hamburgers, relax, shoot our BB gun, then go to sleep extra early, wake up, maybe do a hike and then hit the road again. We were lucky enough to spend a good stint in Yellowstone and Utah where we could meander a little more and soak up the environment. We drove through 15 states in seven days, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to stay idle.
What were some of the best and worst meals you had while traveling?
The best meal was the chili we cooked over campfire the first night in Yellowstone. We brought our cast iron dutch oven and made a slow cooked chili and cornbread. We set up camp with the Grand Teton mountains as our backdrop, with no other human in site. It was magical. We actually ruled on the food tip. Even the sixth time we had turkey sandwiches, they were delicious!
What are your top five travel essentials?
Our trusty Birkenstocks, Oberto Beef Jerky, Snowpeak Titanium Stove, our dog, Jasper, and Santa Maria Novella Potpourri (for the stinky truck).
What advice would you give to someone about to embark on a cross-country trip?
Give yourself a good month because there is too much awesomeness to see.
Philadelphia artist Paul Koneazny was kind enough to let us invade his Fishtown apartment for our newest men's photo shoot. Packed with original art and works-in-progress, the space (which he shares with his girlfriend, fellow artist Jamie Felton) was the perfect setting, and we left feeling inspired by Paul's refreshing outlook on art, music and his approach to creating pieces. On a break from shooting, we sat down with Paul to talk about the creative life.
"You can call me Keating," says Lindsay Keating Sherwin.
It's no secret that over here at UO we love all things vinyl. Now available to pre-order only at UO is the new record from electronic pop trio Robyn & Röyksopp called Do It Again. But there's more to it! This UO-exclusive is made of crisp, white vinyl, and will look fabulous in your collection. Also, how cool is the cover art? Totally loving the throwback to an old CD label across the front.
The album features five massive tracks from the trio that are sure to be your new summer favorites. Each track is a perfect combo of European electronic music mixed with Robyn's superb vocals. Robyn, a futuristic pop-princess in her own right, spoke to Billboard Magazine about the new record saying, "It was an outlet for not having to live up to anything but my own expectations." That's the spirit, right? Do It Again opens with the slower, melodic "Monument" and then ramps the energy right back up with the title track. Do It Again was created, produced, and recorded by all three members from scratch.
Robyn & Röyksopp are on tour this summer, will you be catching them? Pre-order the record here. —Maddie
Alia Penner is a modern-day pop artist based in Los Angeles. Penner lives in a quiet, colorful home atop a hill in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles that overlooks Downtown. Inside her home you'll also find her studio, where she works her magic. Penner's home is a place of absolute wonder; the rooms are filled with her own work, found objects, and of course, her furry grey cat, Edie. Aside from traditional mediums, Alia also works with fashion and film. Currently she works largely with Cinespia, and recently worked with Anna Sui. I had a quick chat with Alia to learn a bit more about her work, and how much she loves balloons and Miss Piggy.
Interview by Maddie Sensibile
It may have taken Samuel Casebolt only one day to pitch his idea for our UO Creative Grant, but he's been working on the concept for years. Here we speak with the artist about his background in film, his love of the great unknown, and the plot for his winning concept, Hell's Belles, up today on his Kickstarter!
Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background!
My name is Samuel Michael Casebolt and I live in Oakland, CA, working in downtown San Francisco as a display artist for Urban Outfitters. I have worked as a production designer for a couple of feature films by Ben Wolfinsohn, one of which, called High School Record, made it into the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. I've also produced and directed four other features, a music video for The Mae Shi, and the short Goodbye Sun, which I released in 2012.
Where did you go to school?
I went to the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, CA. and got a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art. I worked in many mediums including painting, drawing, and sculpture, and was showing in galleries around L.A. almost once a month for a while.
If you don’t know them by name, you probably know Monica Ramos and Leah Goren through their work or have purchased their items on Etsy. Monica and Leah, both Brooklyn-based, share a studio with lots of light, plants and snacks. Between illustrating for publications like The New York Times and designing book covers, they also work on sticker packs, make a Sad Girls Zine, and do impressively accurate drawings of what they wear to the studio. Here’s what they had to say about being better together, as friends and as artists.
Interview by Maitri Mehta
We made it to the end of the year, y'all. And while we don't have a comprehensive breakdown of everything that happened this year (the internet told us it would explode if another "Year End" list was made), our links do have some things to look forward to in 2014, and some good cheer to take us into the new year. See everyone in 2014! —Katie
Art Basel Miami Beach is a mad dash; by cab, foot or rented bike, it’s nearly impossible to see all the absurdity, abundance and amazement that the fairs, events and parties have to offer—especially if you sometimes secretly just want to be at the beach! Banner planes fly overhead promoting energy drinks and club nights, and soon enough, once you’ve immersed yourself in the culture of this art week, it won’t seem foreign or unappetizing, to consider either option. There are certainly more things I wish I saw and experienced while I was there, but I’m already looking forward to next year. Here are some of my highlights from three top art fairs, and my first trip to Miami.
For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions. We then make those books available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?
For this installment, we spoke to Kim Krans, the incredibly talented artist behind The Wild Unknown. In the spirit of the season, we found out what books Kim recommends to keep the mind mystical.
(Photo above by Daniel Arnold)
BloodMilk Jewelry, based right here in Philadelphia, has some awesomely creepy jewelry for sale. Whether it's the owl skull rings pictured above, or the bear tooth engagement ring, there's something for everybody (assuming everybody you know has a penchant for skulls and teeth). I know if someone proposed to me with a bear tooth ring I'd have a hard time saying no. (Hint hint, Scott Speedman. HINT! HINT!) —Katie
For three days last week, I joined the merry band of artists, musicians, craftspeople, chefs, coworkers and documentarians on Doug Aitken’s cross-country art train for Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening, made possible by Levi’s®. —Dave
I nearly bumped into Beck walking out of an art yurt. That was how my Station to Station journey began, really.
I had wandered onto the South Patio at Union Station to find crews in the process of setting up for LA Happening. The guys from No Age checked amps and drums at the center of a formal garden. Film crews milled about, preparing and documenting. Artists from Folk Fibers and Junkyard Jeans crafted their wares in the skeletal Levi’s® Makers tent.
And in the middle of it all, I found the Station to Station yurts. So I did what you’re supposed to do: I explored.
Ernesto Neto’s monochromatic, biomorphic interior, begging to be touched.
Photo via Misha Vladimirskiy
Kenneth Anger’s blood red videodome, with a pentagram-shaped seat from which to reckon with his experimental films.
Photo via Misha Vladimirskiy
A hallucinogenic disco nap in Urs Fischer’s glimmering, smoke-filled dream bed.
Photo via Misha Vladimirskiy
And finally, a light-absorbing felt maze from Liz Glynn. During the proper operating hours of the Happening, Glynn could be found inside her creation, lecturing visitors on the history of the universe. But during my visit, no one was there. Until I walked out. And that’s when I nearly bumped into Beck! So we did what two guys on either end of a cosmic art yurt experience would do: we nodded politely and went our separate ways. Bottles and cans and just clap your hands.
Photo via Misha Vladimirskiy
After that, it wasn’t very long until the front gates opened and the Happening began. People filtered in, exploring the grounds and experiencing the yurts as I had done. Then, from the depths of the train station marched a procession of drummers led by world champion whip cracker Chris “The Whip Guy” Camp. They led a crowd to the center of the South Patio, passing the torch of performance to No Age.
No Age played a sprawling, noisy instrumental set, at times sounding very much like the train at the philosophical center of the Station to Station project. They skronked, thunked, willed feedback from contact mics and then they were done.
The crowd broke up and wandered through the giant space, ultimately catching on to the fact that the show was continuing inside the massive space of the station’s original Ticket Lobby. So inside we went to find legendary Jamaican reggae group The Congos performing with Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras and friends. It’s a combination that barely makes sense on paper, but the result is a kind of slightly glitchy take on roots reggae that feels entirely right on.
Art films played as sound crews switched stage rigs between sets. And before long, Dan Deacon was ready to party. Set up on the floor at the foot of the stage, in the crowd and of the crowd, Deacon led the room through one of his undeniably (almost aggressively) fun performances. Tweaking an improvised hypercolor sound board and singing through a haze of pitch-altered vocal effects, Deacon was hilarious, engaging and completely insistent that you join his dance party. Late in the set, audience members used his Dan Deacon iPhone app (it’s available for Android, too), creating an interactive light and sound show powered by Deacon’s music. Felt a bit like the future.
After another short break, headliner Beck took the stage. His set was created specifically for the Station to Station shows and featured an absolutely massive Gospel choir, who lent disembodied voices to a chilling “The Golden Age,” singing from the sidelines before joining Beck on stage for the remainder of the night. Things quickly went to church, as the choir bolstered down-home renditions of “One Foot in the Grave,” “Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods” and “Where It’s At.”
Beck’s set felt at once informed by and dislodged from the past; songs old and new, reimagined with Gospel choir force and performed in a forgotten wing of the last great American railroad station. The place itself held significance for Beck, who grew up in LA and spent childhood days reading in the station's lobby. He has fond memories of Union Station. I think I’ll have them too.
I took the Metro Rail back to my hotel. There was an after-party there. I stopped in, but I didn’t stay long. I needed to get some rest. The next morning, I was getting on the Station to Station train for an epic 12-hour journey to Oakland. More to come...
Visit the Station to Station site for additional (incredible) coverage.
Toro Y Moi just released this magnificent video for "Rose Quartz," off his third upcoming record, Anything in Return. Created by artist Lauren Gregory, the video depicts lead singer Chaz Bundick (as well as his backing band) as a moving painting. I've never seen such a visually interesting music video in my life! Toro Y Moi's slow jam goes along quite well with this painterly stop motion-like animation - oh, and not to mention all of that lovely glitter. I'm pretty sure something like this could only be imagined from a dream. Too cool. Anything in Return is out on Carpark Records on January 22nd. —Maddie
It's Friday the 13th so you know what that means... it's time to dig through your couch and old purses for some change to take to TD Bank, so you can scrounge up enough money to get a $13 tattoo of something FT13th-inspired!
Right now Judy Gelles portrait series, titled “Fourth Grade Project,” is available for viewing at the Gallery at 543 Urban Outfitters at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia (5000 S. Broad St.). The photos will be on display from September 4 – October 3, Monday-Friday 8-5.
For this project, Gelles spent the last 4 years photographing children of various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. To get a sense of their various upbringings, Gelles asked the children the same three questions to see how their answers would differ: With whom do you live? What do you wish for? What do you worry about? These simple questions prove to show a lot more about the childrens' lives than one might think. The entire exhibit is definitely worth a look if you find yourself in the Philadelphia area in the next month. —Katie
In honor of the start of NYFW, Swagger New York put up a really fun post that features 6 cartoons from the '90s all decked out in designer clothes. My favorite is Sailor Moon up there. SO CUTE. The designer, Michele Moricci, also put the characters in actual clothes from the designers' F/W '13 shows. Daria is looking so elegantè. —Katie
Not busy next Friday? Then I've found something cool for you to do. On Friday, September 6th at The Vex in Los Angeles, the 2nd Annual Teen Creeps Art Exhibition, sponsored by Vans, Blood Is The New Black, and Origami Vinyl is happening. Named after the No Age song, "Teen Creeps," the event is being put on for a second year by Clara Polito, whom you may have heard of because of her awesome baking company, Clara Cakes. The art show has an excellent DIY mentality, and features artwork created by teenagers of LA. Admission is free, but make sure you bring a little cash for tasty treats that will be sold at the show, and wear your dancing shoes because there will be performances by Cherry Glazerr and Party Jail, plus a DJ set by Origami Vinyl. Come out and support independent art! RSVP here!