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5 posts tagged "Justin Kern"

Takashi Murakami’s California Dreams


Takashi Murakami has had a big week in L.A. On Tuesday, the artist premiered Jellyfish Eyes—his first live-action-meets-CGI feature film—at MOCA. And last night, he bowed an exhibition of new paintings and sculpture at Blum & Poe. Built on the ideas he presented for Ego, his 2012 exhibit in Qatar, the show—titled Arhat—includes scaled paintings, wall-mounted sculptures, and steel sculptures that combine his signature slick pop with newer self-referential themes. “Before, I saw how consumers know Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, and I worked in the same place,” Murakami said of his previous collections. But it was the 2011 tsunami that deeply affected his work—and ultimately elicited a shift. “I totally stepped back from the mainstream and really was focusing personally and on identity.”

Guests such as Co’s Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern, Benedikt Taschen, and Eva and Michael Chow toasted the artist’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery—and his first major presentation in the U.S. in over four years. Peter Pilotto, in town for the British Fashion Council’s London Show Rooms, expressed a particularly keen appreciation for the artist’s creations. “It’s all about craft; we always look super closely at the techniques and how he does it,” he said, marveling at the intense, intricate artistry in each piece. And as a fellow lover of graphic prints, one might say he and Murakami are kindred spirits. “When you see those paintings, you really have to get into them. There is so much information—I really analyze it.”

Arhat runs from April 13 through May 25 at Blum & Poe, 2727 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90034, 310-836-2062.

Photos: Stefanie Keenan/ Getty Images

We Laughed, We Cried, We Went to Co’s Movie


Since branching out to launch their clothing line, Co, in 2011, L.A.-based writer Justin Kern and producer Stephanie Danan have seamlessly straddled the worlds of fashion and film. Each season, they’ve released a mini-movie to complement their collections of easy, no-nonsense feminine separates and dresses. And each season, these shorts have evolved. “The first one was like a trailer, with no talking, and now they’ve become more like movies,” said Kern. Spring ’13 marks Co’s third cinematic endeavor, and the designers teamed up with Oscar-nominated director Stuart Blumberg (whose new movie Thanks for Sharing, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, comes out this August) to create She Said, She Said, a comedic short about a lesbian divorce. This is almost certainly the first fashion film to explore said subject. But even when they’re fighting over assets, stars Marisa Tomei and Élodie Bouchez do the label’s Spring ’13 wares (which include everything from a draped, wing-sleeve black gown to a furry black, white, and pink trapeze top) justice. “We were a bit inspired by clothes actresses wear when they have to go to court,” said Kern of the styling. “I just remember, back in the day, when Winona Ryder went through that whole [shoplifting] ordeal. She looked so pristine in court, and you felt like she couldn’t possibly have committed a crime,” laughed Danan. The movie also stars comedian David Wain, who plays the couple’s lawyer, as well as Parks and Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza, who portrays a leather-trouser-wearing temptress. Watch the funny film’s debut above, exclusively on

In Good Co


The City of Angels may conjure up images of sunshine, palm trees, and bare midriffs, but this season, L.A.-based label Co put a decidedly noirish spin on West Coast cool. Co designers Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern showed their latest collection privately in Paris this season, and the city provided a fitting backdrop for the brand’s elegant new clothes. Black reigned, and was turned out in numerous textural variations, ranging from black velvet sweats to a tailored coat in astrakhan to a weighty silk tee trimmed in feathers. Elsewhere, Guy Bourdin tones of turquoise, brown, and burnished gold gave the palette a sensuous pop. Some of the best looks were the simplest—an angular strapless silk-satin gown that reached, gingerly, to the instep; a top with an armorlike pleated sleeve; a long gilet in trimmed and long-hair beaver. Three seasons in, Co is proving to be an increasingly sophisticated affair, and with the brand’s first two collections flying out of stores, a force to be reckoned with.

Photo: Courtesy of Co

Ready, Set, Co


You can take the film execs out of the film industry, but you can’t take the film industry outta them. L.A. based producer Stephanie Danan and screenwriter Justin Kern may be branching out with Co, a new line of knitted furs, silks, and cashmeres this New York fashion week, but they’re putting their West Coast talents to the project too: They’ve created a video, directed by Breaking Upwards‘ Daryl Wein and starring French siren Élodie Bouchez. Check out the exclusive debut, below. And be sure to check out our New York fashion week preview for more of what you can expect when next week’s festivities begin.

Not Your Average Art Opening


We’re all for filling up your home with art, but Justin Kern may be taking the idea a bit too far. The L.A.-based model/culture impresario has actually moved out of his house in the Hollywood Hills in order to make room for his latest Not to be Reproduced event, a mixed-media art show curated by Shamin Momin that opens today and will be on view for the next two weeks. Called Canned Laughter/Upside Down Libation, the show features work by L.A. artists Yoshua Okon and Barry Johnston and is the first West Coast outing for Momin, who day-jobs as a curator at the Whitney Museum in New York. “Basically, Yoshua has set up this sort of assembly-line sculpture thing in one room,” explained Kern as he waited for Mario Testino to drop by for a private preview, “and Barry’s installation and video is in my bedroom. So, yeah, I’m at my girlfriend’s for now.” Though the “on-the-run exhibition” marks Not to be Reproduced’s most ambitious event yet, the opening tonight will keep to the low-key, house-party vibe he’s made a signature of Not to be Reproduced. “I’ve turned my place into a concert venue, a writers’ salon, a pop-up shop,” he says, “but the goal with whatever I’m doing is to mix cultural events with a nightlife feel. It’s not about having a glass of white wine while you look at art from six to eight.” Next up for Kern and Not to be Reproduced: A series of screenings, launching in May, paying homage to the influence of French cinema on all the arts. Michel Gondry kicks that off, so, you know, Kern might want to think about getting a bigger house.