• photography by ELLINOR STIGLE
    stylist KAROLINA BROCK

    hair & make up AMANDA BECZNER
    model ANNA NINJA

    retouching KEVIN ROFF


    Written by Karolina Brock by Michaela Widergren

    In a collaborative photography project, stylist Karolina Brock and photographer Ellinor Stigle explore the two spheres of vogue: the dance and the eponymous magazine. By joining pieces of an American Vogue magazine with dancer Anna Ninja’s unique movements, they aim to build a bridge between the underground voguing scene’s stereotyped view of fashion and how fashion and beauty are seen today fueled by the magazine Vogue.

    Anna Ninja, Swedish member of the New York-based Legendary House of Ninja, is one of the world’s most interesting voguing artists right now, bringing together her skills as a trained contemporary dancer and freestyle voguer. As a heterosexual woman, she intrigues. She also has to prove herself in a voguing community established by gay Latinos and African Americans in New York in the 1980’s, a culture created as a form of social survival in a hetero normative and discriminating society.

    By merging the ideals of the two worlds (the voguing culture and the fashion magazine) they present a stripped-down version of the extravagance of voguing ball culture, and its dream of fashion and acceptance.

    The word ‘Vogue’ has over time grown into an expression with multiple meanings and fields of applications. Vogue as an epic fashion magazine served as a muse in itself to the original voguing ball room scene to the extent of the culture naming their dance movement after it. Furthermore the voguing culture and its dance form has today inspired the magazine as well as fashion, music and media world wide.

    top and shorts  AUGUSTIN TEBOUL
    belt as head band BERGE
    dress LACOSTE
    top and shorts AUGUSTIN TEBOUL
    belt as head band BERGE
  • an interview with the artist

    artwork “The Head Of Marie Antoinette” 2013


    An Interview with Marco Mazzoni

    Written by Mari Florer

    Marco Mazzoni’s fascination for art began when he was 14 years old. His friends who had a rock band, asked him to do the cover for their album. “I became interested in art looking for cues from the covers of Korn and Jack Off Jill”.
    He has recently ended the two exhibitions Animanera at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, and Memory is a Bothersome Consoler, at Galleria Patricia Armocida, Milan. He explains that these solo exhibitions have been an end of a cycle and that he is now working on a change.
    “Right now I am studying the symbols of medieval monsters and my new influences are Hieronymus Bosch and The Disasters of War by Francisco Goya”, he says.

    In his favorite media, the sketchbook, you can see drawings with motives of small animals like owls, butterflies and birds or plants like flowers and leaves… and of course the female face – often with a Chiaroscuro light hiding her eyes. Marco describes the light as “knowledge”, the perfect encounter with nature.

    You were born in 1982 in Tortona, Italy. Did you also grow up there? How was your childhood?
    I grew up in a small town near Tortona in the north of Italy, where there was nothing to do. When I was a child spent a lot of time making up stories for my comics while my mother was in the garden or preparing lunch. When I was a teenager I used to drive around on my scooter and I also played drums in a punk band.

    Can you tell us how one of your working days look like?
    I wake up, drink coffee; I go out with my dog for a walk in the park; then into the studio, drawing until evening. I walk the dog. Off to the bar for a beer with my friends and then to bed.

    Do you listen to music when you draw. If so, what kind of music?
    Music is very important to me. At this moment my iPod playlist has albums of Magneta Lane, Now Now and Scarling.

    You recently had an exhibition at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York. I think the following quote from the gallery is interesting: “The imagery reflects the financial crisis and post-election political climate in Italy, with themes of poverty, injustice and power struggles.” Can you explain how this expresses itself in your drawings?

    I prepared the show, listening to the Italian news radio during the Vatican and Italian election. My works The Judge and Famine are just a representation of the power. The Judge is the moralist who controls everything from above. Famine is a visualization of an idea that if the food comes from a single supplier people ultimately loses their individuality.

    How would you describe the political situation in Italy right now?
    Hard to say… we are in an experimental phase right now but I think the situation in Italy for the last fifty years was summed up brilliantly by the Sicilian author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa in his book The Leopard. “You have to change everything to not change anything”.

    You studied at the Brera Academy of fine arts in Milan. I read that you had to develop your skills on your own because the teachers were more interested in the idea or concept. Was that a good thing or were you disappointed?
    The real problem was that teachers wanted the students to paint just oil on canvas and thought that drawing was just for kids. In the end I think it was positive because if they do not accept what you do, but you do it anyway, it means that it is what you really want to do.

    What is your idea/concept behind your artwork right now?
    I have been working a lot with the female figures in the traditional Sardinian stories, but in recent months my interest has turned to the hostility of nature, a hostility that strives for an eternal balance without humanity.

    I know that you find a lot of inspiration from the Sardinian folklore. Why are you so fascinated with these stories?
    Because they are a part of my genius loci. I have a Sardinian mother with a very large family. If you look at the stories of that region, you will find that there is a matriarchal system, even in the underworld, where the women tease their husbands to give rise to conflicts with other families. I think it is interesting because in Italy today men are politically macho historically; but if you look back in history men were subordinated to women. I wanted to study the stories to understand the country I live in.

    Why are you hiding the eyes of the women you draw?
    Because it represents the hallucinogenic effect of medicinal herbs, and because I don’t want that people see A face, but THE face and if you delete eyes to take away the reference point you have to recognize a person.

    The luminous in the woman’s eyes makes me think of death – life leaving the body that are left to be a part of nature. Is there a struggle between life and death you want to show us in your pictures?
    The light is like “knowledge”, the perfect moment in an encounter with nature. Great balance could be represented with a near death experience.

    Are there any religious thoughts behind your art?
    Religion is a fundamental part of my nation; the Vatican is in the center of Italy. Much of my work is a critique of the church, and its cultural impositions, of which we are slaves. Historically, women who helped people in small country towns with their knowledge and their medical care were eliminated and called witches.

    Are you open for free interpretations of your work? For example one of my friends saw a connection to fantasy and science fiction.
    I am very pleased. The opinions of others stimulate me and lead me to study other fields for my work.

    Do you have some new exhibition planned in near future?
    I have a solo show at the end of 2013 with Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, and a solo show in November 2014 with Thinkspace Art Gallery in Los Angeles.

    Any interesting art exhibition you are going to visit soon?
    Marc Quinn in Venice.

    What are you doing this summer?
    I’ll go to bed early.

    All My Dreams On Hold, 2012
    The Judge, 2013
    The Chemical Peacock, 2012
    Argument Against The Man, 2013
    Famine, 2013
    Iris Flooding, 2013
    The Widower, 2013
    The Viewers, 2013
    White Noise, 2013
    To Follow The Sun, 2013
    Copper Bells, 2013
  • photography by Therese + Joel

    Coco and Breezy: the power of two

    Written by Tsemaye Opubor by Michaela Widergren

    Coco and Breezy are fabulous, futuristic, identical twin sisters from Minnesota who now call Brooklyn, New York home. Aged just 19 years old, Corianna (“Coco”) and Brianna (“Breezy”) Dotson left the security blanket of life in Minneapolis and headed for the Big Apple in 2009. They quit their jobs, sold their car, and packed their bags with their talent, a design concept, and the dream of making it big.

    Fast forward to 2013, and the twins have already hit the ball out of the park.
    Their high glam style has brought them recognition on the street, and their individual approach to eyewear design has seen the company they founded, aptly named Coco and Breezy Eyewear, become a brand to reckon with. Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and
    Nicky Minaj are just a few of their high profile clients. Collaborations with global brands such as Adidas and Reebok have increased their reach, and Coco && Breezy Eyewear, as well as accessories designed by the pair have been seen in major fashion magazines around the globe.

    Odalisque caught up with the power twins at home in Brooklyn, early on a Friday morning, thanks to that modern technology miracle known as Skype. Although both sisters were in the room during the interview, Breezy was the talkative one.
    Coco listened in the background, sporadically agreeing, clapping, and laughing and once or twice yelling out in pain, when their new little white kitten with a blue tail tried out his sharp teeth on her.

    The decision to move to New York slowly started to take form when Coco and Breezy visited New York around the age of 17.

    “Honestly, being from the Midwest, it was a huge change just to visit New York. The size, the people, the fashion, everything about it felt right. We realized that it was the only place we were truly at home,” said Breezy.

    The twins credit their parents for pushing them to follow their dreams.

    “Our parents are the shit. They encouraged us to be artists, and there aren’t many parents that actively encourage that choice, they gave us moral support and always told us that they believed in us,” said Breezy.

    “Oh yes, absolutely. They are amazing,” said Coco in the background, humming ”uh huh” in agreement with her sister.

    Although the family was close knit, Coco and Breezy had a difficult time growing up.
    The twins didn’t fit the mold in their suburban school, with pink and purple hair, and their numerous piercings at 13 years old.

    “We were seen as the weird, ugly twins when we were growing up, we didn’t have many friends,” said Breezy.

    In the ultimate example of making lemonade from lemons, Coco and Breezy initially made eyewear to shield themselves from the scrutiny of the haters in their hometown.

    “We started out with eyewear because we were so self conscious, people made fun of us and misunderstood us. So we wore sunglasses all the time, because sunglasses make you confident,” Breezy explained.

    “We never in our wildest dreams could have imagined that we could make it in
    New York with our own eyewear company,” she said.

    “We spent our whole lives hiding behind our sunglasses, and behind our hair. Six months ago we shaved our heads, and we have decided that we aren’t going to do hair anymore. We believe that in order to grow you have to take things away that you love and for us, we had to get rid of our hair.”

    Coco and Breezy say that shaving their heads has empowered them and given them more confidence than ever before.

    “We could never go up to a person and look them in the eye. Now, we feel so strong. We decided that this year was the year to show our true beauty and conquer the world, and we will probably keep the hair off for the rest of our lives”, Breezy explained.

    Many things have changed with the success and recognition for the brand.

    “Just knowing how awesome things are can get me emotional,” said Breezy.
    “I was on the train coming home yesterday and a guy asked me for my autograph. I couldn’t believe it. He said he knew who I was and he loved our work. I was so embarrassed because oh my God I’m not used to that! I kind of giggled”.

    The passion to achieve more means that Coco and Breezy work 20-hour days, and rarely go out.

    “Its great to get all the recognition, but we continue to stay humble, hungry passionate. We keep thinking about the next step, and how can we grow our business,” Breezy said.

    The twins believe that their success is firmly anchored in their strong design sense.

    “Coco and I are artists, we like to paint and to sketch, and that definitely comes across in the work we do when we create each collection,” Breezy explained.
    In the early stages of the design process, Coco and Breezy each create separate moodboard concepts. Breezy starts pencil sketches of the eyewear based on the ideas developed in the moodboards. Coco decides the colorways and also has the final say on which sketches will go into production.

    “We create tons of moodboards, since we have so many ideas. We believe in designing fashionable pieces that are very functional. We are artists, so we believe our products have to look good, but we are from the Midwest, so our glasses need to be functional and sit on the face comfortably as well,” Breezy explained.

    Our Skype time was coming to a close, but clearly there was one last question that this inquiring mind had to ask the experts:
    -So can sunglasses be worn at night?
    “Absolutely!, says Breezy. “Sunglasses are a security blanket for a lot of people.”

    “Of course,” says Coco. “People wear clothes at night, right?! So why can’t you wear sunglasses?

     COCO AND BREEZY are wearing  MOSI and ZESIRO in all images



There’s nothing to see here.