From the moment we met Ben Nason in London back in 2001, he always seems to have had a camera hanging round his neck. At first I thought he might be just another one of those posturing inner city types, getting about with artistic gear designed to impress the ladies but no, turns out he was a real photographer who took real pictures and they were real bloody good. Ben’s work speaks for itself – he is a meticulous craftsman with a gifted eye who continues to search out subjects of fascination. He is holed up these days in the South of France, intent on rebuilding what his sons call The Broken House, and collaborating with a mate on electronic music.
Anyone looking to take a break from the rigors of big city life should give some serious thought to Hotel Mawimbi on Mexico’s beautiful Isla Holbox. Run to perfection by Italian expats Onny and Carmelo, it’s the ideal place to get the sounds of New York out one’s ears for a while. The staff is brilliant, the food first class, and I can honestly say we never got sick of waking up to the sound of the ocean lapping the beach. This was a our second time staying at the hotel, we were there five years back, and we’re looking forward now to returning in 2013 to tackle the swim with the whale sharks… hopefully, they’ll still be vegetarians.
We all know how awkward it can be when a friend wants feedback on creative output, and what a relief it is to discover they actually have talent. No such worries with our mate Mike England – we’ve been fans of his work from the moment we met him in London back in 2000. Mike commitment to his art is total, a fact that’s belied by the body of work he’s produced since he graduated from the prestigious St Martins School of Art. These days, Mike splits his time between his place in Andalusia, Spain, and London, where he likes nothing more than to terrorize pedestrians and motorists alike with the maneuverings of his trusty motor scooter. Be warned…
Amy nearly started tripping when she saw these Moroccan-made cement tiles from Kismet. Suddenly, dreams of spacious backyards and grand foyers filled her head – along way from our one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. These tiles are crafted according to traditional materials and methods but with bold, modern motifs. And with over 50 original designs on offer, it’s a brilliant way to add a splash of color to your world.
We’ve been fans of the work of Arturo Vera for a while now. The California-based photographer has a rare gift for capturing the most surreal of elements in the everyday lives of his fellow residents, whether it’s at the local swimming pool or nearby on the dustiest of thoroughfares. It’s the kind of thing that can’t be taught – an eye that belongs to the inspired rather than the rabble. Be sure to take a look at his diverse portfolio.
The BBC has a long history of producing quality drama, so it’s no surprise then that “The Hour,” their latest offering currently airing weekly in the U.S., is so damn riveting. A six part series set in mid-fifties London, it traces the evolution of a new-look current affairs program as it tackles the burgeoning Suez Canal crisis in Egypt. This is a show with style and substance – capturing a fascinating epoch in British history – that should easily prove to be the pick of the “Madman” inspired shows currently doing the rounds.
Couldn’t wait to show off the work of Canadian illustrator & designer Matthew Billington. Matthew, recognized for his complex color and design theories, had shown his work worldwide – from Moscow to Melbourne, to Tokyo and Berlin. Using his cut & paste methodology, he’s produced an eye-catching body of work, including the above piece titled “Modern Living – a Modernist’s Perspective.” Give it a squiz.
It’s not every day you come across work as stunning as that created by Miranda Skoczek. The Melbourne-based artist dazzles with her moving combinations of imagery and color. Miranda, who sources a range of inspirations, from textiles and traditional dress from around the globe, to folk art and modernist design, explores the boundaries between abstraction and representation, design and the painterly. Like all great art, these are pieces you can really lose yourself in – we hope it won’t be too long before she has a show in NYC.
I first met Maggie Ogden on the floors of Conde Nast. She started her first week in heels, a smart skirt, with her hair up in a neatly coiffed bun… and ended it walking round bare foot in jeans. Suffice to say it was the wrong environment for her.
No, Maggie’s calling was her art, and ever since she came to her senses and dusted off her paint brushes she’s been bustling her chops in Boston refining her craft. This summer she heads to Maine for a nine-week stint at the prestigious Skowhegan Artists Residency Program, before finishing off her studies and heading back to NYC where she belongs. Look for her shows in the New Year.
There’s nothing we like better at the end of a hard day than to kick off our shoes and feel a quality woolen rug underfoot as we sip a world-class cup of coffee. And here at Morris Etc. that can mean brewing up beans from only one brand – Cafe La Semeuse.
We’ve tried a host of the others, from Illy to Blue Bottle onto the incredibly over-rated Stumptown, and in our opinion this Swiss maker is the clearly the smoothest and the tastiest.
Fact is, we’ve been singing the praises of this coffee for a couple of years now. Our blend of choice is usually the house Expresso, ground for us to perfection by the good people behind the counter at Greene Grape Provisions. Do yourself a favor and try La Semeuse – hell, we’d bath in the stuff if it was socially acceptable… But it’s not, right?