Rarely are retrospective books collated by the person they feature. But in concurrence with her fiftieth birthday, Cindy Crawford, the Illinois-born brunette ... More
Book by Cindy Crawford
Interview by Barney McDonald
“I loved being a model in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with
some of the founding fathers of fashion photography.”
— Cindy Crawford
Rarely are retrospective books collated by the person they feature. But in concurrence with her fiftieth birthday, Cindy Crawford, the Illinois-born brunette whose beauty mark punctuated fashion photography from the late ’80s to the millennium, recalls her life and career through photographs, personal comments and reflections. With chapter headings such as “The Art of Modeling,” “Cindy, Inc.” and “What I Would Tell My Younger Self,” the substantial hardback Becoming could only be about Crawford: supermodel, mother, businesswoman and health & fitness guru.
To be expected, the small selection of family photos are the most intimately telling, and her early model shots convey a sense of imminent potential. Later photographs exhibit a model at the height of her powers, delivering a performance like only a muse can. The lesser section of more mature snapshots evince a woman who has crafted a life out of a career and a career out of her life. Even the nudes make an appearance, highlighting how brazen yet wholesome Crawford could be and still is.
She’s the all-American girl/success story, and she’s happy to tell us all about it. Happy birthday, Cindy!
Barney McDonald: What made you decide to look back on the last 30 years and beyond, and is it easier to do so having such a vast body of photographic work?
Cindy Crawford: A few key people in my life have been encouraging me to do a book for some time. I knew what I didn’t want to do—a health and beauty book or a coffee table book of all pictures—but it took much longer to figure out what I did want. After doing Oprah’s Master Class, I realized I’ve learned a few universal lessons along my own life’s journey. I had the idea to marry 50 iconic images with 50 ‘lessons’ to celebrate turning 50. The format changed a bit along the way, but that was the original intention.
BM: Do you consider yourself lucky to have worked when you did as opposed to the multi-media, multi-dimensional environment we’re in today?
CC: I loved being a model in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some of the founding fathers of fashion photography, like Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, along with other greats, like Herb Ritts and Helmut Newton. My biggest ‘fashion’ moment was walking down the Versace runway with Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell, lip-syncing the words from the “Freedom ’90” video we’d just done with David Fincher. The opportunity this new generation of models has is the ability to take more control of their own image through the use of social media. I think that direct connection with their fans is great.
BM: You say in the book that you always approached modeling as a job: “It’s what I do, not who I am.” How did you manage that separation, and do you think people understood that?
CC: I definitely think growing up in the Midwest instilled me with a good work ethic. I showed up on time, prepared and ready to work. I still do. Modeling is a great job, but it is a job.
“When I first moved to New York,
my mom and I would ‘have coffee together’
every morning over the phone.”
— Cindy Crawford
BM: You certainly transcended modeling to become a model of style, health and well-being. Professionally speaking, do you consider that your greatest accomplishment?
CC: I don’t look at my life in terms of accomplishments. There are a lot of benchmarks that stand out for me: my first Vogue cover, doing my own exercise video and skincare line, deciding to have my children at home. Modern life is so busy and I consider getting through each day an accomplishment. Balancing motherhood, marriage, health, work, friends and philanthropy can be overwhelming, and some days definitely go more smoothly than others!
BM: At what point do you think family became more important than your work, if ever?
CC: Family has always been more important than work. When I first moved to New York, my mom and I would ‘have coffee together’ every morning over the phone. I started making new friends who became like family and I’ve always treasured my friendships and tried to be a good friend. [My husband] Rande and I both hold each other and our family life as the most important thing so we don’t have to try hard to make decisions that put family first.
BM: What do you hope people see when they look through this book?
CC: I write in the dedication to my children that the pictures are a celebration of my career and what I’ve been up to for the last 30 years, but more important are the lessons contained in the words. Hopefully some of the things I learned can help them and others.
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As well as being a brilliant sculptor and painter, Peter Schlesinger dabbled in photography for over 30 years, capturing some of the ... More
Book by Peter Schlesinger
As well as being a brilliant sculptor and painter, Peter Schlesinger dabbled in photography for over 30 years, capturing some of the greatest personalities of late 20th century art world. Schlesinger was a student at UCLA in the ’60s when he met professor and artist David Hockney, becoming Hockney’s lover and muse. Following the pair’s move to London, Schlesinger’s photographs reflect his intersection and intimacy with a bohemian inner circle including Robert Mapplethorpe, Paloma Picasso, Grace Coddington, Tina Chow, Cecil Beaton, Christopher Isherwood and Manolo Blahnik. Compiled of still lifes and portraits of his contemporaries, A Photographic Memory 1968-1989 is Schlesinger’s first monograph and personal document of the private, in-between moments of a bright and creative era.
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Renowned photographer Taryn Simon is reissuing her acclaimed photobook Taryn Simon: Contraband with a foreword by art curator and historian Hans Ulrich ... More
Book by Taryn Simon
Renowned photographer Taryn Simon is reissuing her acclaimed photobook Taryn Simon: Contraband with a foreword by art curator and historian Hans Ulrich Obrist. Contraband contains over 1,000 on-site photographs taken during five days at the US Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Site and the US Postal Service International Mail Facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Simon’s subjects were items detained or seized from incoming passengers and express mail—a miscellanea including Botox, deer tongues, Cohiba cigars, Lidocaine, GBL date rape drug, pork, heroin, imitation Lipitor, syringes, locust tree seed, cow urine and Egyptian cigarettes. Simon is a Guggenheim Fellow and has exhibited in the likes of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, the Whitney Museum of American Art and MOCA Los Angeles.
via Hatje Cantz
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Girl Band, a raucous Irish all-male quartet, is releasing a self-produced debut album, Holding Hands With Jamie. Singer Dara Kiely, drummer Adam ... More
Album “Holding Hands With Jamie”
Girl Band, a raucous Irish all-male quartet, is releasing a self-produced debut album, Holding Hands With Jamie. Singer Dara Kiely, drummer Adam Faulkner, guitarist Alan Duggan and bassist Daniel Fox originally formed Girl Band under the name Harrows—a self-described bad Strokes ripoff band. Recorded in Dublin, Girl Band’s freshman album is a love child of punk rock and Irish angst. Shot through with drum tempos that hit the listener’s eardrums the way Sugar Ray Leonard beats on a speed bag, Holding Hands With Jamie delivers an adrenaline rush to whoever’s looking for one.
via Rough Trade Records
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It’s been a prolific year for Los Angeles psych-rock band Wand. Following last summer’s successful debut Ganglion Reef and their spring 2015 ... More
Album “1000 Days”
It’s been a prolific year for Los Angeles psych-rock band Wand. Following last summer’s successful debut Ganglion Reef and their spring 2015 release Golum, Wand is ready to close out this summer with their newest, 1000 Days. The band describes themselves as “an obese organ falsely organized as 4 overjoyous nerds,” and has a friend in Ty Segall, who they toured with last Fall. Wand recorded 1000 Days between LA and San Francisco, and the album is just as imaginative and alert as ever, with signature hi-fi texture and leisurely sing-song melodies.
via Drag City
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German photographer Chris von Wangenheim entered New York’s 1960s fashion scene with a unique penchant for shock value and an eye for ... More
Book by Mauricio & Roger Padilha
German photographer Chris von Wangenheim entered New York’s 1960s fashion scene with a unique penchant for shock value and an eye for excess and glamour that spread through his work well into the ’80s. Wangenheim’s photographs were iconic, dark and dangerous, symbolizing the sexual revolution and the underworld of punk and porn and drugs. His editorial work was featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Esquire, Playboy and Interview, and he shot campaigns for Christian Dior, Calvin Klein and Valentino. Gloss is his first monograph, containing over two hundred provocative and iconic Wangenheim images. Never-before-seen outtakes include supermodels Christie Brinkley, Lisa Taylor and, of course, Gia Carangi.
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A quarter-century ago, Jersey rock band Yo La Tengo released their debut album Fakebook, which featured acoustic covers of Cat Stevens, The ... More
Album “Stuff Like That There”
A quarter-century ago, Jersey rock band Yo La Tengo released their debut album Fakebook, which featured acoustic covers of Cat Stevens, The Kinks, etc. alongside a few of the fledgeling group’s original songs. In the wake of Fakebook’s silver jubilee, the band reunited with former member Dave Schramm to record Stuff Like That There, a new LP that covers the likes of The Cure and Hank Williams as well as Yo La Tengo’s own classics, and includes a few new tracks. “Rare is the band that can cover themselves. Rarer is the band that would even think of it, and rarer still is a band that would return to the conception and re-imagine its first breakthrough record,” remarks Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. The vibe is ’50s cafe meets Pacific island bar shack—“I Can Feel The Ice Melting” (Parliaments) and “Somebody’s In Love” (Sun Ra)—as classic doo-wop meets breezy chord progressions.
via Matador Records
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Sea Change is a photo documentary about young Europeans in the aftermath of 2007’s global financial meltdown. In the spirit of the ... More
A Documentary Photobook
Sea Change is a photo documentary about young Europeans in the aftermath of 2007’s global financial meltdown. In the spirit of the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words,” Project Sea Change enlisted some of today’s newly renowned photographers including Bénédicte Kurzen, Robin Maddock, Jocelyn Bain Hogg and Yannis Kontos to tell the story of European youth culture and their fears for the future. Will I get a job, buy a home and be able to support a family? Who will provide for me if I lose my job or health? What will happen to me when I’m elderly? Inspiration came from Great-Depression era photographers—most notably Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange—who were hired by the Roosevelt Administration’s FSA program to capture America in the wake of the Dust Bowl, documenting the crisis and culture of the era. Sea Change collects the best of their photographs so far and includes a foreword by Harald Birkevold, journalistic director of Project Sea Change. The book accompanies the ongoing exhibition as it travels worldwide and spurs the global conversation about Europe’s future.
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Hollywood’s favorite unlikely badass Jesse Eisenberg steals the show in American Ultra as Mike, a stoner gas station clerk and unwitting government ... More
Film by Nima Nourizadeh
Hollywood’s favorite unlikely badass Jesse Eisenberg steals the show in American Ultra as Mike, a stoner gas station clerk and unwitting government agent whose life is overturned when the government tries to exterminate him for liability reasons. The action-comedy, directed by Nima Nourizadeh (Project X), premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and is reminiscent of TV-series Chuck (2007-2012), in which a less stoned but equally involuntarily normal dude discovers that he too has secret agent prowess. Kristen Stewart plays Mike’s girlfriend Phoebe, who is along for the bloody, boisterous ride. The rest of the star-studded cast includes Connie Britton, Topher Grace, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman and Tony Hale.