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2 posts tagged "Swoon"

Art School Is In Session

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From teacher’s pet to art-world enfant terrible? “I was a good student,” Terence Koh (left) insisted at Friday night’s Re:Form School kickoff. Playing host for the Bing- and Shepard Fairey-led pop-up art exhibition and education awareness initiative, Koh even decided to dress the part—well, at least within his usual aesthetic. He wore his trademark all-white getup, this time with an exaggeratedly oversize collegiate blazer. “See, I’m sort of dressed for school, aren’t I?” he said. “It’s nice to be back in school.”

That sentiment was felt quite literally. The exhibit was held at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral School in Nolita (recently shuttered for financial reasons), and it drew a crowd of those you’d imagine as the cool kids in school: Cynthia Rowley, Chiara Clemente, and Tatiana von Furstenberg among them. Not everyone was as “good” as Koh—”Oh, I was quite naughty,” Lady Alice St. Clair-Erskine mused, while checking out the artwork—but they were all there for a good cause. The exhibition raises awareness about the need for public education reform, and artists like Fairey, Swoon, Chris Johanson, and Faile all contributed to the show. Rosie Perez, a native New Yorker, felt the whole experience quite personally. “I was one of those kids, one those kids who went to school with hunger pains. I was one of those kids that was ignored,” the actress told the audience. “No one noticed that I was extremely intelligent—don’t mind my accent. The only thing that separates a privileged child and underprivileged child is opportunity.”

Photo: Neil Rasmus/Billy Farrell Agency

Chiara Clemente Has Now Lived Six Lives

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Chiara Clemente will happily volunteer that she’s spent much of her life in the shadow of her father, painter Francesco Clemente. But now the daughter is making her own light: This week, Chiara debuts her first feature film, Our City Dreams, at Manhattan’s Film Forum. A documentary exploring the experiences of five renowned female artists—Swoon, Ghada Amer, Kiki Smith, Marina Abramovic, and Nancy Spero—Our City Dreams is both a window on five eclectic lives and a group portrait of one kind of life, that of the New York artist. Closely observed, beautifully shot and scored, and often moving, Our City Dreams easily earns the acclaim it received on the festival circuit last year. But the feedback she most appreciates comes from her own artist pals. “People have told me that the film makes them feel good about what they do and inspires them to get back to it,” Clemente says. “I couldn’t ask for any better response.” Our City Dreams is at Film Forum through February 17; dates in other cities are soon to be announced. (Click here to see the trailer.) And later this year, the doc will air on the Sundance Channel. In the meantime, Clemente talks to Style.com about overcoming her allergy to New York, why it doesn’t have to be your birthday for the party to be a surprise, and how being a documentary filmmaker is like having split-personality disorder.

I’m going to ask why you chose to focus solely on female artists, but first, I’m wondering what made you decide to center Our City Dreams on artists in New York?

There’s sort of a long answer to that. I grew up in New York, and I think, when you grow up here, you either feel like you can never leave the city, or the second you can, you get out. I was one of those. When I was 18, I took off for L.A., and I really thought I’d never come back. It was like, see ya, bye. And after L.A. I went to Rome and was working there. Maybe three years into living in Rome I began to realize I had more New Yorker in me than I’d ever admitted to myself. So I came back. All told, I was gone about eight years. That may not seem like such a long time, but I left a child and I returned as an adult. I need to rediscover New York. And the easiest way to that, it seemed to me, was through a camera lens. What I mean is—I knew I wanted to create a portrait of New York before I knew anything else about this film. Because I’d been working with artists and filming artists in Italy, telling the city’s story through an artist’s eyes felt like the right thing.

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