I’m not going to say that I’m not sure how I let nearly two months of radio silence seize the crown here, because we all know why. First and foremost, I shot a coffee table book of photo essays commissioned by Eastland* and spent four weeks on set followed by three weeks in a retouching and typeface selection timewarp. I hustled a new apartment here in Manhattan, though as it stands, I’ve been on such an incomprehensible string of forced long-haul flights that there are no signs of life. To my credit, though, I have compiled a wishlist of furniture and art that nobody can afford. And I filed my tax return.
That one speaks for itself.
Moral of the story: I will do better next time.
The topic of authenticity and quality of work . On the one hand, I would never wish to be a proponent of elitism surrounding the arts – whether the lifestyle as an artist could only be realistically sustained by those born into money à la Belle Époque, or perhaps subsequently, artistic notoriety attracted the requisite (or illusory) fortune for a buy-in to status and excess. Since the Jazz Age, art and epicentres of pop culture have been bouncing between the two – right up until the internet democratised information, and the cost of technology dived in a desperate leap of survival.
So, here we are. In the eye of the storm of oversharing and personal brand manipulation. And
maybe that’s for the better. Consumption of all genres of creative expression should be accessible to all people. The arts are soul food. Escapism, even if you have nothing to escape from (though let’s be real – we all have something to escape from). The arts are a reflection of social pressures and seething rebellion of adolescent dissatisfaction at the status quo (not in age, but in outlook). In that sense, I suppose the fact that we can define ourselves in the eyes of others through an Instagram bio; that anybody can own a phone and call themselves a photographer; that any ill-informed keyboard warrior call themselves an activist (or a nude selfie can be directly branded as feminism); is a fairly accurate capture of where our collective consciousness is in this instant. Maybe it is
just a deeper trough in the cycle of artistic access, where creatives who pride themselves on authenticity and technical prowess will, in a decade, see their craft as a standalone qualification for respect. Or, is this the beginning of a steady dilution of craft and education and technique?
In the grander scheme of things, nobody actually cares. But in this
moment, the logical step for any creative is the great unknown and differentiation through difficulty. And thus the first steps of my exploration in motion over the course of the year with a lot more in the works for 2017. The process is, at times, cathartic in its tedium, and often a disproportionate a mount of output for some meagre minutes of response. And yet it could be the response that is disproportionately powerful – at least, that’s the goal. As much as the context of a Spring collection or a fragrance won’t necessarily prompt earth-shattering revelations, motion provokes more thought. Even in a commercial environment, it is so much more about the story than the product itself.
DIRECTED & PHOTOGRAPHED // MARGARET ZHANG
MODELS // AMALIE MOOSGAARD & CECLIE MOOSGAARD
STYLED // JULIA VON BOEHM
DOP // NICOLE COOPER
PRODUCED // SAMANTHA BENNETTS
SPECIAL THANKS // ALBERTZ BENDA GALLERY & ED MOSES
DIRECTED, PHOTOGRAPHED & STYLED // MARGARET ZHANG
MODELS // ZOE CROSS & JAI STEVENS
DOP // JUSTIN BESSER
MAKE-UP // NICOLA JOHNSON
HAIR // LUKE DAVIS