Stromae – First he takes SXSW, then he takes America …

Tipped by CBS, listed next to Seinabo Sey and Chance the Rapper by SPIN, and a major hit on the SXSW Instagram reports. Stromae (aka Paul van Haver) has definitely not set foot in America unnoticed.

Even though his French lyrics may not be very accessible to his mainly American audience at SXSW, this didn’t really seem to be an issue. His music, his beat, his act, they are all universal enough to concoct a comprehensible international symphony. By successfully blending hip-hop, indie, pop and electronic dance music, and infusing that melange with ethnic rhythms, Stromae (French slang – verlan – for Maestro) holds the recipe for international hit chart domination.

April 5th Stromae will kick off his North American tour. He will end the Spring tour 19th of April, when he’ll be playing at Coachella Music Festival (!). He will however be touring again in the Fall, and playing at Madison Square Garden (!!!). Yes, I’m liberal with the exclamation marks, but I think these are pretty WOW moments in a musical career.

More information about his tour dates, can be found here.

In the meantime, the Maestro has time to manage his music label, fashion label and attend all sorts of events. He was – for example – a noted guest at Paris Fashion Week. Making a stylish appearance at the Louis Vuitton and Valentino fashion shows.

And at SXSW he also had some time to set the record straight by explaining that French fries aren’t actually French at all. They are Belgian, and could they please stop lying about it…

And on that note/truth bomb, let’s all just agree with The New York Times:

A pop-star embodiment of a contemporary Europe that’s smart, increasingly heterogeneous, historically aware, anxious about the future, sleekly charming and unfailingly stylish.”

Merci for your beat, Stromae!

Foxy Saxophone Lady @ MoMu & Dries Van Noten

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Profession?

Salesperson @ Veritas

What are you wearing & where from?

Pants and shirt from H&M, shoes vintage, accessories Zara.

Favourite designer & style inspiration?

Can’t choose! Dries Van Noten, Marni, A.F. Vandevorst, An Demeulemeester, Stella McCartney,…  I like ethnic and eclectic designs as well as minimalistic.

I like doing my own thing. Of course when I had the money my closet would be 50% Dries Van Noten…

What if you were an animal which one would you be?

I can’t choose between a cat and a fly.
I like cats because they don’t care what you think and they do what they like. I like the ‘in your face attitude’ of felines.
Living as a fly would be very interesting, you can sneak around and find out other people’s dirty little secrets. On the other hand, they don’t live very long. So, to answer this question, I’d like to be a cat.

What artist inspires you?

I respect artists such as Vincent van Gogh, choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, saxophone player Candy Dulfer,… Because they express feelings, thoughts, words,… through their art. And not only theirs, they represent our thoughts, our believes,… And of course they are SO incredibly talented!

What piece of clothing/accessory would you be?

An African inspired necklace. I like the colours and happiness that shines out of it.

What if you were a movie?

Into the wild.

What song would you be?

“Don’t worry, be happy…”

What if you were a city?

Paris! No doubt about that. Nice people, beautiful buildings (musée de louvre) and a perfect combo between interesting things to do and peace.

What’s your favorite quote?

A day not having fun is a day that you didn’t live.

What’s your favorite place to hide from the world?

I have two:  my room, with candles and yoga music and in a vintage store.

If you met an interesting stranger, what would you whisper in his/her ear?

Go to Paris with me…

Secret tips on where to get inspiration?

I see inspiration everywhere. When I see a happy kid on the street, but I also find inspiration in magazines, when I travel, listen to music. I believe that, when you open your eyes, you can see so many little things that other people can’t see and that makes me smile.

If you had a superpower what would it be?

I wish I could fly…

Who or what do you want to be when you grow up?

A happy person, not bittered. A good mother maybe. A person who is loved. And a better saxophone player! I think the process of becoming your best self is NEVER finished…

Secret ambitions?

To see the world. Learn from the people who are close to me, and, once again, to be a better and better saxophone player.

 

Exposition : Dries Van Noten – Inspirations

Last weekend I went to visit the Dries Van Noten exposition in the fashion musuem “ModeMuseum” (MoMu) in Antwerp.

Tip 1: Go visit it. Tip 2: Go visit it on a beautiful Sunday.

From the 13th of February until the 19th of July, MoMu Antwerp invites you into the mesmerizing mind of Dries Van Noten.

And apparently that mind is lined with flower covered walls, moss scented rooms and bejeweled fabrics…
The expo is like walking into Ali Baba’s cave. All kinds of treasures shine and seduce the audience from behind clear glass. Pulling you into the breathtaking universe of Dries Van Noten.

A visit to the exhibition offers you the possibility to take a stroll through the designer’s life, experiences, dreams, and maybe the occasional hallucinatory trip… Everything that inspired and inspires him to create and what made and makes him one of the biggest names in the fashion industry. Inspiration is all around.

I like it when you have something happening by coincidence. Just something in a book is enough. But I prefer a fragment of an image so you are far more free to bring in elements of your own.” ~ Dries Van Noten

In exchange for a small entrance fee you get to visit exotic countries and forgotten eras that worship decadence, elegance and exuberant beauty. You can go accessory picking with Iris Apfel, meet black-and-white movie stars, legendary rock stars, and take a look behind the scenes of the Dries Van Noten production team.

Various different people have inspired me throughout my career. From Francis Bacon to Vassareli, Coco Chanel to Christian Dior, Cecil Beaton, musicians, architects… the list is endless.” ~ Dries Van Noten

Les Arts Décoratifs de Paris combined different art forms to create an inspiring parallel universe. The Dries Van Noten galaxy also features stars the likes of Yves Klein, Thierry De Cordier, Victor Vasarely, Damien Hirst, Cecily Brown, Pol Bury, Christopher Wool, Hubert Duprat, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko en James Tissot.

You can still go visit the exhibition until 19-07-2015 @ MoMu (ModeMuseum) Antwerp.
Plan your visit here.

Anima 2015 : Best of Shorts – Editor’s pick

A while ago a friend invited me to Anima 2015 in Flagey. For some reason I started a post about it, but never finished it. So here it goes, though somewhat later as scheduled…

For those of you who do not know Anima, it’s the annual Animation Film Festival in Brussels. It’s impossible to review all highly original and inspired entries, so I picked my favorites from the selected professional shorts. Beware some are highly disturbing…

Small note : Not all short films are online available in their uncut, full-length versions. So some will only feature their trailers or behind the scenes footage. It will hopefully spark your interest and make you want to see more of the artists who created the film.

1. La Chair de ma chère, Calvin Antoine Blandin, FR, 2014, 12’40’’ – FULL

2. Beach Flags, Sarah Saidan, FR, 2014, 13’39’’ – TRAILER

Vida, a young Iranian lifeguard, is determined to fight and go the extra mile in order to be the one to participate in an international competition in Australia. However, when Sareh who is as fast and talented as her, joins the team, her luck changes. Vida will have to face an unexpected situation when ambition, opportunity, solidarity and being a woman in Iran come together.

3. The Dam Keeper, Dice Tsutsumi, Robert Kondo, US, 2013, 18’05’’ – Nominated for an Oscar!

Introduction to The Dam Keeper by the directors and thoughts on their Acadamy Award nomination.

For more behind the scenes footage go here and here to check their YouTube channel and their website.

4. Juste de l’eau, Carlos De Carvalho, FR, 2014, 4’42’’ – FULL

For the making of, go here.

Supposedly set in Lisbon, more specific during the time of the great maritime discoveries. The Great Explorers arrive in the harbor after a long voyage across the oceans. Greeted by loved ones, friends and family, joyous events spontaneously erupt in every corner of the town. Everyone and everything seems to be caught in a celebratory frenzy. Meanwhile, a young pig doesn’t quite feel included in the whole flurry of things and has the strange feeling of being completely isolated from the others in his own native city.

5. Rulletrappen, Christopher Nielsen, NO, 2014, 9’47’’ – TRAILER

I was lucky enough to see the whole thing. Too bad it’s not yet available online, or in English…

People(/trolls) are struggling upward on an escalator that is going down. Some run, some just keep going, some have worked out a specific step strategy… Until one of them starts to wonder why. The inevitable question that they refuse to ask themselves. Is the goal to fight their way to the top, or is it to relax and just go with the flow of the stairs to the bottom? Because nobody knows what’s at either end of the escalator.

Nielsen managed to create some kind of endless hell of not knowing, doubt, peer pressure, philosophy and mind tricks.

Tous Charlie – A global ode to freedom of speech| #jesuischarlie #jesuisahmed #jesuis

Ever since the attacks the 7th of January we are all Charlie, we are all Ahmed. I also use the hashtags #jesuischarlie and #jesuisahmed, because I support freedom of speech and I condemn the terrorist attacks.

However, I don’t feel comfortable using them, because I’m not really Charlie or Ahmed, am I? Could I ever find the courage Ahmed Merabet showed? Am I as brave as the people who died defending their principles? Or even as brave as the people who survived and went back to the office (or to the offices of Libération) to continue doing their jobs? I sincerely hope I never have to find out, because I’m pretty sure I’m not and I couldn’t.

Je ne suis pas d’accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je me battrai pour que vous ayez le droit de le dire” – Voltaire (supposedly… origin unclear. Translation: ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’)

Stéphane Charbonnier (Charb), Jean Cabut (Cabu), Georges Wolinski, Bernard Verlhac (Tignous), Bernard Maris, Philippe Honoré, Michel Renaud, Elsa Cayat, Mustapha Ourrad, Frédéric Boisseau, Ahmed Merabet, Franck Brinsolaro , and too many others have become victims of intolerance. Meanwhile they have also become martyrs for freedom of expression, heros of creative freedom.

Illustration by Nono

Illustration by Nono

And thus, a vicious circle of violence was supposed to begin. But instead of countering this act of violence with defeat and counter-violence, the artist world has stood up and defended themselves the best way they know how, with satire, pen and paper, and impassioned creativity.

It didn’t take long for kindred spirits to show support and solidarity through cartoons and hard-hitting critical remarks. The Internet was flooded with satirical illustrations, supportive drawings and quotes that support freedom of speech and condemn any form of violence.

And there will be more to come…

Newspapers and magazines around the world dedicated their covers to Charlie Hébdo. Websites payed their respects.

Graffiti artists are paying their respects as well by spraying beautiful hommages on walls and buildings alike. Stencil artists are even calling for action and are making stencils available for the public

On that note, I do hope peaceful and proud demonstrations and creative output will keep on setting the tone. Justice will hopefully prevail and Nelson Mandela couldn’t have been more right:

. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

For more responses of the art community be sure to check Creative Bloq..

Writing For Freedom | #FreeRaif

Amnesty International’s letter writing marathon has already been a huge success. The 19th of December Amnesty announced that already over 21,548 letters were written for freedom in Flanders alone.

We are proud to say we are two of those letter writers.

Our attention was drawn by Raif Badawi or actually by the warm, hopeful message his wife, Ensaf Haidar, sent out:

I fled along with our three children out of Saudi Arabia. We arrived via Cairo and Beirut into Canada. Here we continue to live and try to lead a normal life, but we are waiting for Raif.”

Raif Badawi

In May this year Raif was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a fine of 300,000 dollars and 1,000 lashes. 

He was also banned from travelling for at least 10 years and is not allowed to ever work as a journalist again.

Why? Because he is the founder of Free Saudi Liberals, an online critical forum for political and social debate.

He was charged for insulting Islam through electronic channels, even though he only encouraged peaceful discussion. They also tried to charge him for apostasy, which would mean the death sentence.

Amnesty labeled him a prisoner of conscience, because the government was only detaining him for exercising his freedom of expression (a basic right) in a peaceful and civilized manner.

Even in Saudi Arabia where state repression is rife, it is beyond the pale to seek the death penalty for an activist whose only ‘crime’ was to enable social debate online”.  – Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch asked for the charges to be dropped immediately, “The charges against him, based solely on Badawi’s involvement in setting up a website for peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures, violate his right to freedom of expression”.

And he’s not the only one. He’s one of the many activists in Saudi Arabia who are being prosecuted for expressing their opinions. Most of them also use blogs, Facebook and/or Twitter to spread their message, making them social media activists. Authorities are aware of this and are carrying out a ruthless campaign to silence them. Their measures are brutal. They don’t shy away from physical punishment, severe prison sentences and other penalties.

Amnesty International does what it can to stand by these activists and to stand by Raif. One of their shocking campaign images went viral and got our attention. We hope it didn’t just wake us up, but others as well.

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We, the Reckless Animals team, may not have a political blog. We’re just a lifestyle site, but we do try to put creative people who are doing amazing things in the spotlight. Raif is definitely one of those people, as is his wife. The thought that we would have to answer for what we write, is beyond us. Being imprisoned for expressing your opinion, is unthinkable. We sometimes forget that it’s a privilege to be able to blog and to be able to say what you want in the way you want to.

That’s why we hope our readers and maybe other blogs as well, will take the time to consider this and will also write a letter for Raif or for any of the other artists, writers and activists who are imprisoned for sharing their thoughts and ideology. Because it undermines the power of the people, the power of the Internet and it’s an assault on the human intellect. Having an opinion, having a voice, is what makes us people. Being able to use that voice, to express that opinion, is what makes us free. Nobody should be allowed to shame us for it.

If you haven’t written a letter yet, you can still do this until the 31st of December through the Amnesty International website or click here for a shortcut.

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You can also send a tweet to Raif or a message to Ensaf, his wife.

https://www.aivl.be/doe-mee
http://www.amnesty.org/

i feel ya: SCAD + André 3000 Benjamin

André 3000 has landed a new gig, or actually his jumpsuits have… The jumpsuits he wore on his Outkast tour are being featured in an Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition in conjunction with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

i feel ya

48 jumpsuits, 96 Converse sneakers, one man with a lot of things to say in under 140 characters,” writes Ashley Brozic, Racked.com

The conversation starting jumpsuits, all adorned with ready-to-tweet messages (some critically political, some philosophical, some just nonsensical, some friendly advice, others heartfelt declarations or blunt statements) are prominently featured in the exhibit and have been the talk of the town… and, uhm, tour.

As provoking, humorous and bold as the man who wore them (except for one which was designed for a toddler), these otherwise plain jumpsuits have been able to create a socially dynamic conversation about language, social media and the further context they may or may not refer to.

The infamous Benjamin was also never one to shy away from harsh truths or uncomfortable questions, made clear once again by placing them bold and blunt on the chest of his tour outfits in social media friendly messages. With successful results, especially for someone who never seemed so fond of Tweets, Facebook statuses and Instagram popularity…
Andre3000Benjamin never had facebook
As to why the artist opted for something as simple as a jumpsuit, he had an evenly simple answer:

Because it’s easy to move in, I can easily fold it up, and it’s great tour gear. I can travel across the world and repeat it every night.”

But i feel ya: SCAD + André 3000 Benjamin is more than just that. The exhibition explores fashion, film and painting through the eyes of three dynamic artists, not just André 3000.

The project features fashion innovator-artist-performer-musician-actor André 3000 Benjamin, who designed these jumpsuits to celebrate 20 years of Outkast and made them a crucial part of his and Big Boi’s reunion tour as one of hip-hop’s most legendary groups.

But it also features filmmaker Greg Brunkalla, whose recent work includes interactive installations and advertisements for Nike, HP, and Lincoln; music videos for Vampire Weekend; and a series of intimate celebrity interviews for The New York Times and W titled Screen Tests, which earned him three Emmy nominations and a Webby Award.

Painter Jimmy O’Neal was also an important part of the project. His work focuses on the sciences of physics and biology and he has been featured prominently in international galleries including exhibitions in Holland, Zurich, France and Atlanta. Interesting side fact: O’Neal was listed in the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world’s largest painting (80,000 square feet), which sparked his interest in large interactive installations.

In the video below André sits with Paula Wallace, President and Founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), to discuss his Outkast reunion tour and “i feel ya” exhibition.

You can find more information @ SCAD.edu

The Big Draw | Antwerp edition

The Big Draw will be hitting cities all over the world starting the 1st of October until the 2nd of November. In Belgium the international drawing festival is being hosted in Antwerp this year until the 26th of October.
Mission: transforming the city into one big drawing studio where people can experiment, inspire creativity and exchange ideas…
Something that seems to be working really well with their mosaic of inspiring workshops that all seem to distinguish themselves in originality and creativity. Hundreds of these pop-up drawing studios and workshops will take you through the many techniques that the art of drawing has to offer. You can design buildings like an architect, learn penpho (mixing drawings with photography), draw models, go freestyle on a classic work of art, or experiment with shape, colour, technique and tools…
But there are also other activities, like expositions and walking tours.

The Big Window Walk is one of those tours. A couple of artists get to splash their creative juices on local windows from houses and stores. They use the windows as their blank canvas and leave a signature art piece. Some left messages, some plastered their known artwork all over the glass, some free-styled, some merely doodled. In exchange for the uniquely decorated window, the window host will give a little gift to the artist.

Here you can see Imge Özbilge and Siné Özbilge in action, whilst they take on the Malene Birger windows.
Imge studied visual communication design at the ‘Istanbul Bilgi University’ and has a Master degree in Animation from the ‘AKV St. Joost Academy’ in the Netherlands. She was born to Turkish parents in Vienna, and traveled back and forth between Spain, Austria, Turkey and the Netherlands.
At the moment, she lives and works in Antwerp and Istanbul and gets her inspiration from traveling. Meanwhile she is also studying at the ‘KASK School of Arts’ in Belgium.
She describes her work as mainly history related, surreal and states that her multicultural background gives her a different point of view which she translates to beautiful illustrations. Her style is eclectic and detailed, she considers herself to be an Absurdist.
You can visit her work on her website or her Facebook page.

Another walk will take you on a comic mural tour. This tour will show you all the walls that have been turned into famous comic book fragments. Impressive and definitely worth a look.

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You can find more information on the comic murals here.
More information on The Big Draw Belgium and its activities you’ll find here, and if you wanna go more international, you can take a look here.

So go join in and start drawing!

#TPIA : Café d’Anvers Turning People Into Animals since 1989

Today I’m actually posting a pretty special post. A birthday post. Yes, mine, but also of Café d’Anvers. We are both turning 25 today. Being born in the night of 18 and 19 October, 12.00 precisely, I actually feel entitled to celebrate the entire weekend. Because who is to decide whether I’m an 18 October girl or a 19 October girl… Well, actually my mom was, and she decided 19 October would be the day, but I’m 25 now and I feel old enough to disagree.

Anywayz… I’m not the only one turning 25, Café d’Anvers, a nationally and internationally renowned club, opened its doors exactly 25 years ago. Their slogan: Turning People Into Animals!
And doesn’t that happen to be what I’m doing on this blog, right here, right now?

Café d’Anvers is not one to pass a good reason to party, turning a quarter of a century may be one of those times you want to make memorable. So they did and they will. I opted for a birthday weekend, they chose a birthday month… With an entire birthday campaign, filled with art and spectacular music.
They even hired Steven Lemmens to turn famous artists and celebrities into animals. With a stunning result. Sergio Herman, Amélie Lens, Tanguy Ottomer, Nick Bril and Johnny De Mol all got a make over and look absolutely ferocious.

The artwork will be travelling through Antwerp during the entire campaign, but will land in Café d’Anvers during the birthday weekend, 17 and 18 October. The closing event of the campaign.
Afterwards the artwork will be sold on eBay and will serve a worthy animal inspired cause. (If you haven’t gotten me a present yet, you might want to take this hint.)

But the party itself will probably be pretty amazing itself. Café d’Anvers will be fitted with a new and unique decor, just for the birthday weekend. Antwerp based artist, Charlotte De Cock will get an entire wall at her disposal to decorate as she pleases – but in the theme of the slogan, of course. De Cock’s artwork will then stay on the wall until the next birthday.

Tonight the club will host Chicago legend Lil Louis, aka The Godfather of House. A suitable choice because his hit “French kiss” is also a 1989 baby. Lil Louis will be assisted by Reboot, a contemporary Cadenza artist. And of course Café d’Anvers will also be scheduling some of their residents: Compuphonic and Bollen & Fichtner to finish up their line up.

Yesterday the line up consisted of the best and most notorious of the past residents. Café d’Anvers hosted a ‘Best Of’ filled with artists who played at the club during the past 25 years. Former resident artists the likes of Sven Van Hees (1991-1996), Steve Cop (1994-1998), Koenie (1989-1998), Prinz (2000-2014)and Smos (1991 -2014) took the opportunity and the stage to fire up the club for this special occasion.

Hope to see some of you there to join in on the festivities!
More info @ http://www.cafedanvers.com/

Birthday weekend

The Karl Daily

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Haute of the press!

Have you scooped up a Karl Daily yet?

Karl Lagerfeld has done it again. When he zigs he zags, and when you think he’s gonna zag, he zigs just for the hell of it. When the fashion guru is not busy being a brilliant photographer or the architect of some kind of fabulous event, whilst pampering Choupette, he publishes his own newspaper. Yes, the man lifts multitasking to a new level.

If I didn’t already love him because of the creative mastermind he is, I do now more than ever because he confesses to being “a paper freak” to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).

I love paper. I’m a paper freak. Paper is the material I use for sketching. I always need to have paper under my fingers in order to express myself. I like newspapers. Maybe the iPad is very modern and everything, and I’m not against it, but I like the physical contact. And the physical contact of metal and glass is not as sensuous as paper.”

You tell ‘m! They won’t listen to me.

Books, newspapers, sketch books, magazines… where does he find the time to keep up? Apparantly he barely does…

I read whenever I can, but you know, between the collections, the photos, and all the other things I do, interviews included, there is not so much time left, huh?” – Karl Lagerfeld to WWD.

But still, he managed to publish a gazette.

What to expect? Well, the magazine is mainly Karl in pages. It features his talents for sketching, fashion insight, wordplay, photography and humor prominently, and a couple of pages are reserved for advertising (for his own brands). Like in every decent paper, there will also be a comic strip and it wouldn’t be ‘fashion’ without some street-style elements. Lagerfeld will also treat his readers to a list of hot spots and who doesn’t want to know what he finds hot and where you can spot him? I’m hooked.

And don’t you worry, Choupette will have her part. The fashionable cat was hired as a guest editor and reporter and won’t hesitate to shine her light over the going-ons in the world. Several other contributors will also bring you more exclusive insights into the amazing universe of Karl Lagerfeld.

The newspaper also carries Lagerfeld’s fall campaign picturing model Kati Nescher posing in a mock newsstand stuffed with copies of The Karl Daily.

Check out The Karl Daily and enter the Karl world by visiting his website, Karl.com.

You can also access the full newspaper here.

Don’t forget to like Karl Lagerfeld’s facebookpage for more interesting (& stylish) footage. Because he may share my love for paper, he’s also very aware of the visual world. Being an accomplished photographer and director, he spices up several social media feeds with his classy videos and teasing pictures.

 

PS. Eternal reckless love for the animal who finds me one of those paper Karl Lagerfeld newspapers… I haven’t been able to get my hands on one – yet.