Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A story behind a photograph 2

I took this portrait of Danny Klein, founder and lead singer from Vaya Con Dios, in Brussels after  lunch in a restaurant. The photographs took less then 5 minutes to make, after we went with my car to Paris for a concert. Danny was an excellent friend of mine and I witnessed the early years of Vaya Con Dios. We spend a lot of time together. This photograph was never published and belongs to my private collection. photo: Marc T 1984..

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A story behind a photograph

This portrait from Martin Degville, lead singer from the in London based New Wave band Sigue Sigue Spoutnik and friend of Boy George was shot in London. Martin sat in a pub smoking a fag. I liked the big mirror behind reflecting the light in his hair. The picture was refused by The Face Magazine for being to gentle, The Dutch magazine Backstage Music took the photograph on the cover.  photo: Marc T 1984.
Philip Glass was in London for a concert.  After the rehearsals we decided to go out for dinner in town. Philip came to my flat, knocked on the door. I was late and  still under the shower, I didn't hear him. After ten or fifteen minutes, or so,  I opened the door and saw Philip waiting for me. I just told him don't move, took my camera, at that time  I used  a heavy Nikon F2 with a 4 or 5 pics/sec motor drive ,  and made the photograph.   The light in the photograph came from a small light bulb just above his head. This was  my second cover for Backstage Music magazine and a double central page in The Face Magazine. photo; Marc T 1982.
Skinny Puppy was a  electro-industrial rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada founded in 1982. I found the three of them waiting outside the open air festival Seaside in Belgium. I found this composition typical for the dark new romanticism of that period. The photograph was published in The Face magazine in 1984. photo: Marc T 1984.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Style portrait interview Number three

 From artist and writer Eva M. Tuschman

Eva M. Tuschman photographed  for Style Facts in Beyjin, China by her father and photographer Mark Tuschman

The robot portrait:

Name: Eva M. Tuschman
Birthday; December 14, 1983
Horoscope; Sagitarius
Place of birth; Palo Alto, California
Place of living: San Fransisco Bay Area
Studies: Cultural and Social Anthropology, Visual Art
Occupation: writer, artist
Most favorite Occupation: Cooking for Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, Big Sur, California

The Fact Interview:

What makes a person stylish?
Sensuality. Allure. Mystique. Inner qualities as expressed through a glance, a posture, a slight  gesture. it's a synergistic collaboration between one's own innate beauty combined with choices for adorning and wrapping the body. It's also about how one moves through the world, whether it's with grace one afternoon or bold defiance the next.

What is the difference between style and fashion?
Style is one's own intuitive sense of aliveness, one's artistic way of imagining and being as expressed through materials, form, colors, textures...Style can be timeless, it can last a lifetime, manifesting in various ways, but always with the integrity of the curator. Fashion, on the other hand, is temporal, often more performative and subject to the ever-changing labels of popularity.

Who has the most distinctive style, dead or alive?
Audrey Tautou first comes to mind, but I think it may be her unusual beauty, which seems like it is of another era, that makes us turn our heads.

How can one become a fashion victim?
By overlaying the body with whatever it is "The Stars" are wearing at the moment, whatever the media commands that you buy in order to be more "sexy" or to supposedly have more fun in life, without taking into account if this authentically expresses how you feel about yourself from the inside out.

Who is your favorite designer and why?
I have a hard time choosing favorites in this category. Recently though I was looking at an online gallery of contemporary Japanese fashion from the Kyoto Costume Institute. Some of the dresses, sculptures really, by designers Issey Miyake and Junya Watanabe, among others, were just incredible. Their minimalist aesthetic and attention to detail is hauntingly beautiful.

Would you ever shoplift an item of clothing that you just had to have?
How tempting! I certainly have a secret transgressive streak.

What is your favorite phrase?
"Last night I dreamed..."

What is your favorite artwork?
I physically struggle to pick just one! I am constantly falling in love with different works. But today I am very attracted to the sculptures by Steven de Staebler and Manuel Neri. There is something so evocative, almost achingly so, about some of their respective forms.

Who is your favorite artist?
Again, this is too tough to choose. A few that I admire in no particular order are Susan Rothenberg, Eva Hesse, Ann Hamilton and Ruth Bernhard, but there are many, many more on the list.

What is your favorite color?
Other then black, i gravitate towards earthen colors: a mossy velvet, the grey of the ocean, graphite silver, ox-blood orange.

What period costume would you most like to wear?
The romantic in me wants to wear something chic from the 1920's or 30's. Anything couture. My alter ego wants to wear a hot pink mini dress from the 80's.

What is for you a little black dress?
Depending on the design, it can speak to anonymity and the alure that comes from that: "She was a woman in the crowd in a black dress". But most of all it is essential femininity.

Do you have and wear one?
Yes, more than one. The choice depends on the circumstance. One is for people watching or writing in cafes. Another is for doing errands or going to the market. But the one I love most is made by a designer based in Tel Aviv. Everytime I zip into it, I immediately feel like I am in a different era, that I can be more sophisticated than I actually am.

Stylistically, what is your favorite movie?
Anything  by Almodovar. I particularly loved his last film "Broken Embraces" The precision of design-how carefully articulated every object was in every space-perfectly juxtaposed the underlying messiness of the character's emotions. Almodovar has a lush, sensual aesthetic that infuses most of his work. In contrast, I was also struck by the visuals in "The White Ribbon". Every frame was like a stunning still black and white photograph.

Who is your favorite photographer? Or more than one.
Of course, I must say my father first. After that I love Edward Weston's nudes, Irving Penn, Michael Kenna, Olivia Parker and a dozen others, of course.

How do you want to be photographed? How do you see a photograph as your own image?
in black and white. And without a smile-just looking into the aperture. I see a good portrait as capturing what exists of a person after language has reached its limits. It's much more truthful and powerful than spoken words.

What is your greatest weakness when it comes to clothing?
Actually, it is the little black dress. I keep telling myself that I don't need any more, but each one says something different, like variations on a piece of music or the difference between exposures taken of the same image.

What is your most prized possession?
Strangely enough, the first thing that comes to mind is a collection of Japanese ceramics - a few which I have made, but mostly ones by master potters. Their cracking glazes and earthen surfaces always return me to something essential - an intuitive recognition as to how I approach and see the world. I also have a bracelet which belonged to my great grandmother after whom I am named. It has "Eva" inscribed on it in cursive; there is something evocative about holding an object, with all of its history, worn by a woman I never knew.

Who is the most important musician? Or more than one.
I can't say he is the most important, but Steve Reich's work (particularly "Music for 18 Musicians) affected me very deeply in my late teens and early twenties. I think what he did for minimalism in the world of music was revolutionary.

Which world leader has the most distinctive style?
Without knowing enough about her political career, Yulia Tymoshenko certainly has distinctive style. I admire how daring she is in taking risks.

For which famous person would you most like to do a style makeover, and what would you do?
No idea.

What attire would you rather be caught dead in ?
A hospital gown. But I wouldn't want to be caught dead in that either.

What is your style philosophy?
Basic pieces - solid minimal colors of good quality fabrics - that can be dressed up with a beautiful textile and an elegant jewelry or dressed down for a trip to the market. Oh yes, and one can never have too many little black dresses.

Monday, 18 July 2011

About black by Marc T.

The idea was to visualize not the color black itself but what it represents. Using a  typography with simple words relating to the color black is inspired from old fashion light-boxes. The fading in and out of the words in a slow rhythm keeps the watcher attention waiting for another definition of what is black following the author's perspective. The entire atmosphere of this graphic display is vintage and refers  to 1980's Yamamoto's  black graphics.  

Style portrait interview Number Two

Leah Chernikoff from Fashionista

The robot portrait:

Name: Leah Chernikoff
Birthday: May 12, 1982
Horoscope: Taurus
Place of Birth: Washington DC
Place of Living: Brooklyn, New York
Occupation: Senior Editor
Most favorite Occupation: reporter

the Fact Interview:

What makes a person stylish?
A person is stylish when what they wear reflects who they are-their clothes make you take notice, put things together in a unusual way, and they seem comfortable in their skin.

What is the difference between style and fashion?
Style is a reflection of personality I think while fashion is more about the business (though it's a creative one at that) of clothes and dressing people.

Who got the most distinctive style, dead or alive?
I can't single out one person as having the "most" distinctive style but some of my favorites include Jane Birkin and her daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon.

How can one become a fashion victim?
When you become a slave to following trends instead of dressing to express who you are and what makes you feel good.

Who is your favorite designer and why?
I like Phoebe Philo at Celine because her clothes are clean elegant minimalist perfection. I also love Isabel Marant because her clothes are just so cool--I always want all of them.

Would you ever shoplift an item of clothing that you just had to have?
Ha - no! Too scared.

What is your favorite phrase?
Don't have one.

What is your favorite artwork?
Wow. That's a tough question. I really like photography and lately I've been into color photography from the '70 by Stephen Shore and Mitch Epstein that I saw at an exhibit. I also love Degas and his paintings of ballet dancers because I love ballet. I love lots of dance but am particularly fond of Balanchine ballets and Alvin Ailey's Revelations (I think I've seen Revelations at least five times).

Who is your favorite artist?
See above.

What is your favorite color?
Grey and navy blue.

What period costume would you most like to wear?
'20 lawn party.

What is for you a little black dress?
Short and sexy.

Do you have and wear one?
Yes I have a few.

Stylistically, what is your favorite movie?
In the Mood For Love by Kar Wai Wong.

Who is your favorite photographer?
I can't pick just one! Today I was looking at photos by Guy Bourdin and I love his work. He's influenced a lot of fashion photography today.

How do you want to be photographed? How do you see a photograph as your own image?
Um, I hate being photographed. I tend to like shots of me when I'm looking down because I'm shy about being photographed.

What is your greatest weakness when it comes to clothing/
French preppy things from Isabel Marant and APC. Also cashmere sweaters.

What is your most prized possession?
Can't think of one.

Who is the most important musician?
I'm sadly not much of a music connoisseur and wouldn't deign to say who is the most important one.

Which world leader has the most distinctive style?
Michelle Obama. She made household names of emerging designers and mixes high anf low pieces for looks that are easy to emulate.

For which famous person would you most like to do a style makeover, and what would you do?
Kate Middleton. She's gorgeous and her style could use a little edge.

What attire would you rather be caught dead in ? 
Harem pants.

What is your style philosophy? 
I don't really have one but I think you should always dress as if you might run into an ex boyfriend.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

About photography

Photography is, first of all a way of seeing. It is not seeing itself.
Susan Sontag.

I took this photograph in the early spring 1980's in Brussels, Belgium. It was a key period for cultural exchanges between Japan and Europe. This cultural meeting between the Far East and the West will influence dramatically  fashion, arts and culture. The 1980's was also the beginning of the careers of Miyake, Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Kenzo influencing young generations of designers all over Europe. This event had a particular and significant influence on the famous group of designers  Six of Antwerp, at that time still students at the Royal Academy of Arts and Design in Antwerp.
This photograph is for me a visual resume of the Japanese influence on Western culture and the philosophical writings and essays from late Susan Sontag from a period that had a real impact on my artistic and creative views. 

An emotion reflected in tranquility, the secret behind a favorite or a best dress.

photography: Marc T

The great romantic writer William Wordsworth once wrote following definition for poetry: "An Emotion reflected in tranquility".
I propose that choosing a dress, standing alone in a room in front of a mirror, is an act of poetry. It is a descisive moment ruled by the mysteries of a hidden, coded language. The dress slides over the body, the zip or hooks are done up and instantly the wearer is transformed into their own ideal of beauty.
Through this transformation is how the dress defines the wearer, communicating variuos ideas and images to the world. This is an act repeated every day, and sometimes more than once with one's wardrobe, its silent gestures guard the hidden secrets of a woman's intimacy.
Going back to the origins of the word "dress" help us to understand and further define this highly intimate yet entirely mundane act. The use of the word "dress" goes back to the early 1450's rooted in the old French "Drecier", meaning "to arrange". Drecier probably finding its primary origins in the popular latin "directiare" from the word "directus" and the verb "dirigere" meaning to direct. In accordance with its etymology, the verb "to dress" has meant and still means "to place, to arrange and to put in order".
Therefore, "to dress" at one time represented the act of communication, and "a dress" an outer garment worn by women and girls, a tangible statement giving form to thought anf feeling. This may not have always been an overt statement but a coded message that could be read or misread, by those viewing the adorned women. It is through the medium of the dress that we can all find something to say, to speak of some secret place that we may never verbalize.
Thinking of clothing, as an act of statement and arranging objects together (which is a choice all of us make consciously or unconsciously every morning), we design our visual statement of purpose for the day. This act of arranging can be seen as our defence and justification to a society in which we may or may not feel comfortable. The dress, for example, is an object always equated with women, it is the basis of perceived values of womanhood. It has been the foundation of a women's wardrobe since clothing existed. The choice of a dress, a traditional feminine object, places a woman in the context of traditional roles. It is the modern woman who remakes that object, and through her arrangement of it, either reclaims it as her own the inherent feminine power, or reject that principle and instills the dress as an object of her own values and manifesto of identity.
What makes for a favorite dress? A favorite dress is not necessarily Haute Couture. Social philosopher Giles Lipovetsky points to how clothing oneself, and more specifically picking a favorite dress, speaks about the wearer's being their emotions, moods and character traits. This dates back to the conventions of society portrait paintings, when women and men were not necessarily painted in their favorite suit or dress but in their best suit or dress. The designation of a dress as  a "favorite" depends on several personal reasons. A dress worn on a wedding, birthday party, first meeting with a friend or lover, first dress with a first paycheck, a dress worn during memorable travels etc etc...There must be a strong emotional link between the wearer and its dress, before a dress is considered as a favorite one among others. A  favorite dress is not always the dress that we choose to wear everyday. The favorite dress can, in some cases, only be worn on special occasions or during specific seasons of the year. The favorite dress is a kind of second skin to reveal hidden messages to the outside world.
the favorite dress is in opposition with the "best" dress, which is often worn for external reasons, rather than inner ones. Best dresses are worn at work, in social groups where coded language has different significations anf functions, we voluntary derive that which comprise coded clothing from ethnic and religious groups based on strict traditional and cultural parameters. The "best dresses" also reveal the social position of the wearer and indicates belonging to a certain clan or stage in life.
For example, the Sunday dress is maybe not the favorite one, but will clearly embody the socio-cultural aspects of Sunday within the wearer's specific culture.
Roland Barthes writes in Systeme de la mode (1967) "The theatre of fashion is always thematic: an idea (or, more precisely, a word) varied through a series of examples or analogies. This creates a dialogue within us and the past favorite informs the newest love: fashion design is then seen as an externalization of the interior discourse.
The dress  is the most visible of the languages addressing identity, a sophisticated medium to encourage relations or non-relations between people and specifically between men and women. The dress is, if we want it to or not, an important and effective item that always will surprise, seduce, reject, misread, provoke, classify and control or un-control situations. The language of the dress is deep-rooted in the most hidden parts of our brain and influenced by traditions, cultures and accepted social rules. The fashion world is only an attentive and sharp observer of this phenomena and translate a basic need into a sublime  aesthetic mirroring one's own ideal of what is beautiful.