Françoise Hugier: I’ve become mesmerized by the work of French photographer Françoise Hugier and her ability to capture the human experience through all its glory and mundanity. Her behind the scenes fashion photographs of Yves Saint Laurent in the nineties are as equally captivating as her images of village men and women in their natural environments in Burkina Faso and Mali. Hugier is known to work discreetly, almost anonymously, as "a reporter distinguished by the art of disappearing, ready to lurk in waiting, in ambush perhaps, whether backstage during a fashion parade, in shadows in Africa or Siberia, in old communal apartments in Saint Petersburg, or behind the scenes in a Korean company." One of my absolute favorite photographs ever is of a Balinese dancer, taken in Indonesia by Heguier in 1973 . There’s something incredibly sacred about it that always grabs my attention. A recent exhibition in Perpignan, France can be viewed online.
Bom Bom Bow: This song by Dali Muru & The Polyphonic Swarm, a Berlin-based electronic music duo, keeps calling my name and I can’t stop listening to it. I’m not a huge fan of the album, but this hauntingly beautiful tune is so cinematic and dreamy. Good for spacing out.
Luca Guadagnino, FT HTSI: I’ve always loved the films of Luca Guadagnino, not only for their storytelling but for their atmosphere and aesthetic that somehow manages to perfectly portray both a sense of nostalgia and grandeur. I remember watching I Am Love in the theater when it was released, filmed by Guadagnino at Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, and wanting to immerse myself in his world. I visited Villa Necchi a few years ago and it completely altered my perception of Italian design of a certain era. Guadagnino’s sets match his stories, playing off one another to create a certain mood that not many filmmakers can achieve. An October issue of Financial Times How To Spend It featured his most recent design projects, where he discussed his foray into interiors.
Under the Sun: I admire the work of French interiors photographer Roland Beaufre who just released his debut monograph, Under the Sun: Around the World in 21 Houses. It's filled with photos of some of the most elegant properties in sun-washed places belonging to creatives in secluded deserts, Indian palaces, and lush locales. Every home and object feels timeless and personal, and Beaufre has a way of bringing out the charm in each. You can find the book at Kneeland Co. Rarities.
Morning of the Earth: I finally got around to watching the 1972 classic surf film, Morning of the Earth, and was blown away by the sheer beauty. Shot by Albert Falzon in 1972 in Australia, Bali, and Hawaii, - it captures some of the world’s greatest surfers riding epic waves and is set to a really special soundtrack by G. Wayne Thomas. But the true star of the film is the magnificent Ocean, one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts, and she sparkles throughout with infinite grace. So many tears shed for this one.
Apology with Warren Ellis: My good friend Whitney of Arcana Books recently turned me on to Apology, a podcast (and magazine) by writer Jesse Pearson who interviews various musicians and writers. I just listened to the episode with Warren Ellis that was recorded after the release of his book in 2021, Nina Simone’s Gum, and enjoyed it immensely. Warren talks about music being subjective (a good reminder for myself, the music snob), listening to John Coltrane for the first time at the age of 17, his experience with primal scream therapy, and how “believing in something even if you can’t see it or touch it can be enough to do something.” I highly recommend both the book and the podcast.