Provocative Chinese photographer Ren Hang loves both the human figure and his mother — or at least, that’s what we gather from his work, which typically features nude Chinese youths, their orifices, erections, and sometimes his mom. While his work is largely banned in his home country, we at Flaunt are proudly less restrained, so without further adieu, and without a single mention of the word OEDIPUS, here’s a plug for his newest exhibition, HIDE showing at Soy Sauce Factory in Bangkok from December 12th through to January 7th.
There are only a few things that are eternal; style, burning in Hell, and style. In a grand celebration of Italian style the MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome is showing Bellissima Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968. The exhibition features some truly exquisite items like this number by Valentino Garavani which was worn by no lesser an icon of grace and beauty than Jackie O.
Sticking with eternal damnation, William Blake’s London studio has been recreated at the Ashmolean in Oxford UK for William Blake: Apprentice and Master a major exhibition of the 18th and 19th century artist who is remembered for his remarkable illuminated manuscripts like The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and the prophetic Book of Urizen. The exhibition runs until March.
While virtual reality has for the longest time been synonymous with disappointing things from the 90’s like MC Hammer’s career and why yo-yos aren’t still awesome, Sir Paul McCartney is doing his bit to bring ridonkerous headsets and naff gloves in from the cold. The former Beatle has launched an application for Android smartphones that utilizes a 360 degree, 3D virtual reality performance of his legendary James Bond anthem, Live and Let Die taken from his recent concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park.
Karl Lagerfeld has constructed a hotel that is two parts Grand Budapest, one part Portrait of Dorian Grey, and three parts fabulous in a 7-minute video for the release of Chanel’s 2014 Métiers d'Art Collection. The film is titled Reincarnation and features Cara Delevingne, Pharrell Williams, and Geraldine Chaplin.
The legendary Samurai Miyamoto Musashi advised; “Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men. Become a criminal of purpose. Be put in jail, and extricate yourself by your own wisdom.” Alternatively, you can find your inner warrior in a moderately more prosaic fashion by checking out the bitchin’ collection of Samurai armor that’s on display at LACMA in Los Angeles. Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection runs until February.
It would be hard for our Love Ewes to descend upon the interwebs this week without a mention of the $2 million dollar apiece sapphire, diamond and ruby bedazzled “fantasy bras” designed by Mouawad and worn by Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in London. The ladies strode the stage in their characteristic jaw-dropping splendour and were joined by sultry crooners Hozier and Ed Sheeran (who managed to achieve the feat of looking like the most awkward ginger kid since Ron Weasley tried his first engorgement charm [Accio Harry Pottter gag!]).
Flaunt likes its libraries the way it likes its lattes. Strange and slightly frothy with almond milk. Few libraries can be as strange as Japanese literary virtuoso Haruki Murakami’s The Strange Library a short and disturbing story that has just been re-released as a stand-alone novella in a new trade paperback designed by the famed book-cover artist Chip Kidd.
In a world where traditional cultures are all too often subsumed and engulfed - where they are homogenised by the dominant trends and vanillafied into bland repetitions of what’s been done before (like a Demi Lovato album), the remarkable Yazzie family of Gallup New Mexico create incredible and unique jewelry pieces that retain the distinct aesthetic of their culture, yet which are elevated by using distinctly modern techniques. Their work is in a word - timeless. Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York. You’ve got a while to get to this one - it runs until January 2016.
Jetlag sucks. And so does coming down from a week of pastel tinted, Miami flavored, gallery hopping debauchery. But we’ll tell you one thing that doesn’t suck, waking up to discover that you’ve shipped a Richard Prince home and it’s waiting on your doorstep. Lavish art sales were in full staratospheric flight at Basel this year, and names that sold included Mickelane Thomas, Sigmar Polke and Juan Munoz. Everyone’s favorite Titanic drownee Leonardo Di Caprio chose to snap up a 1973 Frank Stella for “just under a mil”. A sister painting from the same collection as the Bridget Riley pictured above went for an easy $1.1 million.
If excessive spending on art feels a bit too much like THE DARK SIDE, why not just embrace it and come even closer to the occult at Cameron: Songs for the Witch Woman at the MOCA Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. This exhibition by guest curator Yael Lipschutz explores the occultist Cameron and her husband Jack Parsons, the rocket pioneer and founder of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This mystical duo were an integral part of the mid-century Los Angeles occult scene, with Parsons believing Cameron to be the earthly incarnation of the goddess Babalon, whom he and L. Ron Hubbard had invoked via a sex magik ritual. The exhibition features Cameron's art and various artifacts and correspondence. BYO sex magik. It runs until January 18th.
Japan, rejoice! Kitsuné Maison - the label that brought you Digitalism and Fred Falke is celebrating the end of 2014 with two Kitsuné Bonenkai Party Nights on December 28th and 29th in Osaka. The tastemakers have put together a special back-to-back “nightlife treatment” from co-founder Gildas and English producer Karma Kid. Put your dancing shoes on and prepare to welcome 2015 the Parisian way.
Music Center 50th
Happy Birthday Los Angeles Music Center. Tomorrow night its sister building the Walt Disney Concert Hall will be sharing a conjoined performance by the LA Dance Project and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The two will connected via a big screen umbilical and the Center Theatre Group will also be getting involved. The piece is intended "to make a conceptual statement about inclusiveness, historical awareness and creative boundary-crossing." And why not? As for those cheapskates amongst you who forgot to buy a gift - hang your heads in shame.
Curated by Gus Donohoo and Miguel Jimenez