Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sweat Saturday

Record Store Day!

Street Fashion and Adventures!

While events like Coachella are going on across the country, Miami does its best to create a festival atmosphere every year at Sweatstock. A close knit community comes together outside the doors of Churchills Pub and Sweat Records to take in the local sounds, buy records and drink in the street. A Miami tradition where you get to see all of the faces you see every other weekend while out at the local bar. 4.20 festivities made for an especially sweet day. Here are some personal snaps from the day!

Margarita Holmes

Lauren Ann Wolfe

Katt Naz

Ben Wash

Alvaro Ramirez


Photographer: Natalie Melissa

Tim Walker: My Soulmate
-Natalie Melissa

If Miami were a book, you would find Natalie Melissa shining on the pages of creativity. Photographer and dear friend, she captivates emotion and dream like imagery unlike any other photographer around town. Inspired by the likes of Tim Walker and musical fantasy, this lady knows how to make magic out of a photograph. Below is an interview I conducted with her which exposes all that influences her work. 

Name: Natalie Melissa
Hometown: Miami 
Age: I am like fine wine, I age with grace. 

How long has the world of photography captivated you:
Funny story,  it was because of a bad breakup that introduced me to photography. I didn't know how to express what I was feeling and something in me said "pick up that camera and show it" and so I did and because of that it not only got me involved but it got me my first recognition.

When did you first start shooting:
 My first actual shoot was with some friends from college. I would ask my actor friends and we would do some really conceptual shoots.

Worldly inspirations that moved you to pursue this art form:
 The aesthetic beauty of human interactions and how you can capture that moment and keep it forever. 

What were you like as a little girl:
 Omg, I was this little ball of energy. My mom says I would always love to tell my sister theses imaginative stories of fairytales which has helped me create the photo shoots today. 

As much as I wish I would travel more.. I have been all over Colombia, Los Angeles, and almost all of New York. Each place has their own beauty but I am mostly attracted to their mountainous areas. That always rejuvenates and enlightens me. 

Iconic images: 
Too many to name. 

Music, film, human interactions

Gabriel Garcia Marquez " A hundred years of Solitude" and Isabel Allende " House of Spirits" are my favorites.

Your style of photography: 
Conceptual/Storytelling with a a hint of Fashion

Fashion editorial inspiration: 
Eugenio Recuenco's editorial set in India

Favorite Publication:
 "Narnia" for //Slang Magazine 

Dreams, fantasy, and larger than life imagery clearly inspire you. Why so?: 
Because they are a different world that I sometimes wish I lived in. Its a sort of an outlet to the stresses of life.

Romanticism appears in your work. Would you consider yourself a romantic?: 
Hahaha I want to say NO but who am I kidding I am. I love "Love". I love seeing how love makes people shine and bring out their beauty and I don't necessarily mean in a romantic way but more of just love to everyone. Between a mom and her child, between siblings, friends, or to complete strangers. Loving others is such an empowering thing that can truly change a person for the better. 

What the opposite sex has taught you that has influenced your
Well, it has taught me in a more personal level that seeps into my work, that I have to learn to love myself and love my work no matter what others will think. Not to let others try to bring me down with their hatred. Because at the end of the day it is a reflection of what they are feeling about themselves. It has nothing to do with you its about them and them trying to take it out on you then them facing their own demons. So with that being said, it gives me the strength and empowerment to continue doing what I love no matter what. 

What the same sex has taught you that has influenced your work: Same as the above response. 

Musical influences: 
Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, recently Lana Del Rey, a lot of Film Composers, Bob Marley, and Bebe

Tim Walker: 
My Soulmate

Tim Walker
Fashion photography defined: 
Tim Walker said it best " Everything is contrived from the start. Nothing is R E A L. So what you are trying to do in this fake world is to make a real moment happen by installing genuineness into the artifice"

Recent projects: 
I recently did an amazing shoot for //Slang Magazine called "NARNIA". I have a couple big shoots coming up that I am really excited about, that for me are more personal and just a different kind of element that I haven't necessarily delved into yet. Its pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Which is great because I am evolving which I truly believe is the only ways to not only allow your art grow but you as well. 

Future goals: 
Travel and photograph all sorts of people. I am really into journalism photography. So I would really like to delve into that but also adding fashion into it. 

Special quote: 
"Love and give passion to everything you do and people that surround you. Because that will inspire not only you but also inspire your work. "

*All photos are Natalie Melissa Photography unless otherwise stated 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Never In Kansas

There is a lot that can be said when it comes to the effect of affection.. Complex humans with complex souls. Tornado filled hearts and graveyard minds. A domino effect for all of mankind. 

Artist Emilia Rinaldini

" I like to make noise with my work" 
Emilia Rinaldini

Emilia Rinaldini, artist and student, is pursuing her passion for the arts at the University of Art and Design in Downtown Miami. I met this lady hanging at the schools lounge one foggy morning last month. Her work is full of bright colors and strong emotion, which immediately made my day. Here is an interview that I conducted with this lovely artist!  

Name: Emilia Rinaldini
Birthplace: New York, NY
Education: High School: Milton Academy, Milton, MA
      College: Miami International University of Art & Design

Most influential era
High School – My first art teacher there was named Anne Neely (a well known artist around Boston and New York) who said one thing to me: there is no such thing as line - everything is made up of light and shadow. When she told me this everything clicked, and that’s when I really wanted to get serious about making art.

Don’t laugh, but I mainly listen to Chris Brown when I paint. I remember hearing him sing in an interview he did the year before his first album came out and I was hooked. His voice “fits” my ears. His music isn’t the best, I’ll be the first to admit, but he’s an amazing talent and listening to him inspires me and instantly puts me in an amazing zone. Otherwise, I listen to a lot of Anthony Hamilton and then Jazz & Blues while I paint.

I love anything Fitzgerald. He is my all-time favorite! I wish I had a time machine to go back to the 20’s, so that’s probably why I love his writing so much because it’s as close to a time machine as I can get for that era.

Classic, Established? Chuck Close, Francis Bacon, Daumier, Tim Burton, Michelangelo (as a sculptor, not a painter), Peter Tunney, Roxy Paine, Louise Bourgeois, and Alberto Giacometti. Artists of today? Jeanpaul Mallozzi, David Kassan, Samuel Stabler, Ben A. Jones, Stephen Arboite, Cynthia Fleischmann and Wendy Coad.

Cultural events/movements
Not really. There’s no specific time, or period that I can truly say is an influence in my work. Really it’s day-to-day, and whatever I experience (naturally) comes through in my work. 

Pop culture influences
I wouldn’t consider my work to have a strong pop culture influence, but a lot of people think it does. I’ve done celebrity portraits (some for commissions, some for fun); but mainly the celebrity portraits have been of Chris Brown and Josh Harnett. I’m a tiny bit infatuated with Chris Brown’s voice so painting him comes easily to me, and his voice inspires me so why not show my gratitude to him through my work, you know? And Josh Hartnett because, well… I wanna touch his face and have wanted to since I was in 5th grade haha. But, back to my main point, though I do make “celebrity art”, I don’t see my work as having a real pop culture influence because that’s not what I intend to express in my paintings of celebrities. Simply, I use them as subjects because I have infinite access to good quality photos, which makes finding subjects easy and pretty instant.

Your Work
First memories dabbling in art
I grew up around art. My mom, her sister and the majority of my dad’s family members were/are artists or involved in art. As a kid, I remember spending a lot of time painting, making things – my mom and I made most of the miniature things for my dollhouse. In high school was when I really got serious about painting. I loved anything to do with coloring, painting – some of my favorite toys (that I wish I still had) were those color tablets you could drop into your bath that would dye the bathwater, I fucking loved those! 

Artistic medium
Acrylic paint. I like sculpture and other mediums, but I mainly stick to acrylics. I work quickly and go right into the details so acrylics are great for me because they dry so quickly.

Predominant emotion:
I don’t think there is one. It really depends on who the subject is or what characteristic that specific character is showing. The perspective changes for each portrait so it’s hard to really pinpoint any one emotion in my entire body of work. 

The essence of your art:
I love capturing momentary expressions, and making the portraits a little more vivacious than a standard portrait. I also like to use bright, loud colors to make my pieces pop. So I guess I like to make noise with my work. I want the viewer to be stopped in their tracks when they look at or walk by my paintings.

The piece that you’ve created that you hold dearest to your heart
Shockingly (insert sarcasm), my favorite piece is one I did of Chris Brown. I can’t really say why beyond I LOVE looking at it haha. I gave him one of the paintings I did of him, planning on giving him both, but I couldn’t separate with this one. I actually get a lot of shit from people for using him as a subject. The typical reaction when people see him in my work is “Is that Chris Brown? You know he beats people, right?” and what I want to say, but don’t, is, “well it’s really lucky for you that he can’t jump out of this canvas, isn’t it? *insert: “you’re an idiot” face*” It’s frustrating that people, 1: look at my work and think about what the person in the work has done, rather than what the specific piece says, and 2: look at or hear Chris Brown and only see the one time he beat up his girlfriend. Chris Brown is an amazing talent (singer, writer, dancer, actor, producer, director, philanthropist, clothing designer & painter) so why ignore all the good he puts out and focus on the one time he fucked up? I think about the pressure of being a celebrity and I would probably be the worst because I curse, I smoke, I drink, I don’t care about what I’m wearing, or if my hair looks ok. And for a celebrity to even just go to the grocery store is a chore. So I can only imagine what the pressures of being that famous can bring out in people…especially celebrities like Chris Brown who are so young and have been a part of the industry since they were kids. …sorry for that rant :-P

I love the emotion evoked in the faces you paint, what draws you to the human face and its vast expressions
Faces constantly change. Light, color, emotion, expression give them an endless variety of ways in which they can be seen. I’ve always liked looking at faces – even the ones I don’t like – I remember most people by their face, not name…I’m pretty bad with names. I love meeting new people and seeing where different people come from, so I think portraits naturally kind of fell into my lap.

Future goals
Oh man, SO many! Obviously I want to build my career as a painter and get my name and work out there. I also have a foundation that some friends and I started called Young & Starving that gives young artists and young buyers a platform to break into the art world. So right now, my immediate goals are to build my foundation and myself. Later down the road… I would love to teach at my high school for a few years because it was such an influence and jumping-off point for me. I would also LOVE to work in the entertainment business (music and movies). So I’m leaving myself open to whatever comes along.

One word to describe you work: Variegated

Check out more of this wonderful artists work below :}

*All photographs posted are original Emilia Rinaldini artwork