Nolan Zangas - "So Far So Good" Book

About six months ago, family friend, Taschi Belt asked if I would be interested in meeting Nolan Zangas, as he was looking for a publisher for his book. I confess I didn't know of him, so I looked up Nolan's work and was super impressed. I also couldn't believe how young he was.
She made the intro and on a cold and rainy afternoon, Nolan and I met at Big Wong in Chinatown for some food. We are both a little reserved, but I thought the meeting went OK and I liked him.
Nolan explained that he'd basically designed the whole book already, and I explained the non-traditional way that Blurring Books is working with artists, and we decided to move forward together. Nolan asked for help with the cover, so I introduced him to Sammie Purulak who'd just finished laying out CRASH BANG, my own punk photos book. Sammie designed a beautiful cover for Nolan and tightened up some of the layouts for him, with the end result being one incredible book! It’s like something between an elegant but very personal photography book and a writer's black-book. In his words, "The book features about 5 years of unseen personal work, documentary/street style images of my friends and surroundings all taken in New York.”
In the months that followed, Sean & my communications would take place while Nolan was in so many different countries and time zones shooting for big-name brands. Even at the peak of my DJing career, I experienced nothing like the air miles he's clocking up & loss of sleep he's dealing with.
The extraordinary thing to me is how someone has achieved this level of success at such a young age, 25 (he looks like he’s 20 though) and not let it totally distort his ego and personality. While he does not suffer fools gladly, he’s generally chill and even very considerate. People who know me well, know I’m a stress monster, worrying about everything. As with every project, there are hiccups and fuck-ups, but Nolan never threw a hissy fit or got unreasonably annoyed.

Over the weekend he staged a pop-up exhibition at Earshot and we did the book release, & the whole thing was pretty amazing.
This experience has set a new high bar for me as far as working with artists to create these beautiful objects, known as books.


Nolan putting finishing touches to his massive wall piece.

Mom came to say high.

Checking out my own recent sticker book.

Party pics.

The book 


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RICHARD PRINCE: Early Photography, 1977–87 : Gagosian

Such a thrill to see these works in the flesh!

My memory of how I first stumbled upon the artist is blurry, but even in London in the mid-80s among me & my non-art-world friends, we were somehow aware of the controversy of “Spiritual America” aka Garry Gross's naked photo of 14-year-old Brooke Shields. Though it was his re-photographed Marlboro cigarette ads that I cut out of magazines & saw as ART. I don't know if I knew or cared about his name yet. 

I don’t remember if I bought the two books published in 1988 by The Deste Foundation, (a Greek art organization) in London, or when I moved here in 1989. One of the books shows work by John Dogg (a Prince pseudonym) & I think that’s when I started to search out his work in galleries.

Not only did I discover Prince’s name in these two books, but a slew of other artists became important to me because of them. The books, Artifical Nature & Cultural Geometry were curated by NYC’s very own Jeffery Deitch & when I reached out to him a few years ago to ask if he might contribute some text for my upcoming Stickers book, he was impressed that I had these early works of his.

When I first started working & living in NY, there were these African guys who sold art books on the streets of Soho. My copy of, "Adult Comedy Action Drama" was bought from them for $25. I was friendy with the maître d’ at a restaurant we used to eat at, who told me that Prince was a regular, so I left my book with them & they kindly had RP sign it.

I do know that from the early '90s & in the late '90s when I was working for Warner Bros & Ministry of Sound in those final days of record biz excess & fat paychecks, original Richard Prince art has always been beyond my reach. Thankfully, like me, he’s a book nerd. Not just a crazy collector but a producer/publisher of books like no other artist! There are still titles that are so rare I will never be able to add them to the pile, but with the collection I’ve amassed, including the ones I’ve had signed by knowing (or stalking) the right person, I’m doing fine.

Of the ones that sell for hundreds, rather than thousands, GIRLFRIENDS, BETTIE KLINE & DE KOONING are titles I've been searching charity & used books stores for a long time, so If you know of anyone who collects or trades art books, I’m not someone who only cares about perfect condition books (because they are too expensive if mint!) but always open to trades.

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LIQUID SKY...

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2H8Rq7OiIA/?img_index=1

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2H8Rq7OiIA/?img_index=2

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2H8Rq7OiIA/?img_index=3

In a galaxy far far away… & what also seems like a million years ago: 

For those who don’t know, Liquid Sky was a retail store that first opened at 482 Broome St in Soho (I believe in 1991) and then moved to Lafayette Street. But it was much more than a clothing shop. It was a universe within a galaxy. It’s really hard to describe what “it” was like because the internet has replaced the idea that you had to discover subcultures by walking around or being introduced to people. Liquid Sky was almost ground zero for a new generation of rave kids.

There was a symbiotic relationship between my club-night NASA & Liquid Sky, as it was a place for kids to hang out before going out, a place to ear about DJs & events, buy mixtapes, chat music etc. Plus, Carlos AKA DJ Soul Slinger (the owner of LS) was also one of the permanent rotating DJs at NASA. I think we even changed the name of the Chillout Room at the club to the Liquid Sky Room.

Pre-Breakbeat Science, I was also partners with two German Techno producers in the record store, Temple Records, which was in the baement of LS. 

(TEMPLE RECORDS SIDE NOTE FOR MUSIC NERDS) 

My partners were Ingmar Koch, one-half of Cologne-based electronic “band", Air Liquide, & Can Oral, the brother of the other 50% of Air Liquide. Both of these guys were like the Cologne Techno Mafia & recorded under so many names it was impossible to keep track of! 

Ingmar put out records under these names: Dr. WalkerDigital Dirt IncIngy-BabeJohn AmokUnit 700370°Acid ForceAlternate StatesAsbest!Atlantic TranceBlack OneBrotherz In ArmzCipher CodeCreatureDenpasarElectrochicElectronic DubElevator 101Ermionis Phunk CrewEthik IIFridge Pro 1Future Shock Project. Can Oral released records under his own name as well as Bizz O.D.4EEl Turco LocoFuzz DJGeoffrey MackGizz TVPigSilent Movie, and Super-8

Liquid Sky is about to have a well-deserved major retrospective book released, showing the incredible work done by the super-talented @reyzorro & the many others involved. One day Blurring Books hopes to publish REY’s full artistic monograph.

The clips above are from a much longer one on @liquidskynyc page that I was happy to be tagged on! The snippet of me & the following couple of seconds are actually from a pre-NASA party I threw called, ORANGE. I didn’t know this footage existed till Liquid Sky posted it :) I believe all the footage was shot by Soul Slinger’s filmmaker sister, @ruthslinger & comes from her full documentary shot in the early 90’s. The longer clip features many people I think of warmly including @chloessevigny @mellosince71 @mary_frey & many others whose names I’ve sadly/typically forgotten, plus one I’m so happy to still have in my life, Gabriel Hunter! (2nd clip shows us standing at the LS counter, me wearing yet another ridiculous Anarchic Adjustment hat)

* Any fashion kids interested in the 90’s fit. My shirt is a Duffer of Saint George & the hat was a leather Kangol.

** Music is Soul Sligners RMX

*** @reyzorro has a link to pre-order the book

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EX GF Spotted.

Bonkers one!
Newish friend Robin Nixon, guessing I’m probably an old Orbital head, sent me this clip of their first-ever appearance on Top of the Pops performing their first-ever single, Chime.

The bonkers part is that I’d long left the UK by the time this aired, so had never seen it & consequently did not know my ex girlfriend, KB was the dancer!

The irony here is that KB was pure rocker chick, & we never really bonded over the rave thing.
When I left London in 89 she was making videos for the likes of Jesus & Mary Chain & Primal Scream

I’ve only ever had 3 real relationships & loves in my life. My first GF, Kate, whom I’m still in touch with, KB, who holds a very special place in my heart but for whatever reason, we don’t stay in touch & she hates social media so won’t see this, and of course, my life partner, Wini.


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Reporting on a DJ set 1/12/24

I guess the difference between a club gig & a house party is that I was able to jump from era & genre, with such extreme tempo changes as 95 BPMs to 170 without having a bottle thrown at me. I don’t think I’ve ever played this collection of artists in a 3 hour period before! Frankie Knuckles, Kerri Chandler, Jerome Sydenham & Fingers Inc mixed with Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, New Order, The Smiths, Candy Flip & Section 25 into Roni Size, Ror-Shak, Blame, then, Four Tet, Burial, Overmono, & Randomer with a few feel-good classics like Sister Sledge’s Thinking of You & even a very questionable 90’s Italian house cover of Christopher Cross’s Ride Like The Wind, that was almost the biggest tune of the night 🤷‍♀️

Also, so amazing to have both my kids on the dancefloor with their friends! Thanks so much to @newsummer.nyc & everyone involved. thx @william.m.clark 📸

WARHOL @ BK MUSEUM

Sometimes I feel like I’ve seen enough Warhol to never have to see more, and then I get blown away by either how different they look in the flesh, or seeing works I’d not been exposed to before. As was the case with Revelation - Brooklyn Museum

Apologies for the cropping, wanted to show some details!





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FRIEZE NY 2022

A few highlights & faves from Frieze NY at The Shed.

Not sure if it was simply Max & my moods but neither of us were particularly blown away.

Not to say there weren’t some of the best galleries in the world, showing a ton of stunning art works, that's far outside the price range of normal people, but my memory of Frieze was that it used to have several Fucking Me! moments delivered because of breathtaking beauty, shocking obscenity, or simply ridiculous scale.

Whatever, it was still fun seeing great art & watching this particular strand of humanity.


Tarik Kiswanson

Karlo Kacharava

Alex Da Corte

Nancy Grossman

Marsha Pels

Robert Rauschenberg

Sam Nhlengethwa 

Cajsa von Zeipel


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THE BIKE SHED 87-89

For the four years before I came to NYC I worked for the London iteration of The Limelight Club.
My partner Tommy D & I were resident Saturday DJ’s playing a mix of House & Hip Hop hot tunes of the day.
For the last two years, the club offered me my own night, and I came up with the idea of a night called The Bike Shed. For Americans who might not know, as school boys, a bike shed was where we went to smoke fags (cigarettes) & snog (make out) with girls. The concept was to play five generations of Rock N’ Roll within the same night all mixed up together! Everything from Bo Diddley & Gene Vincent to Sisters Of Mercy & Zeig Zeig Sputnik. The tag line was, The Only No Disco, Disco. My DJ partners in crime were Mike Wells & Tommy Danvers & did we have fun!
I made the work of doing a weekly event extra hard on myself by not only having to book the bands, handing out the flyers outside Kensington Market every Sat but also each week’s flyer had to have 5-10 rock history facts listed listed on them!
After The Bike Shed had been successfully running on Today's nights for a few months, the club told me Marlboro cigarettes wanted to sponsor it. I told them I would not take money from them. but they insisted it was happening, & told me to just use their money to book bigger bands, including Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.
Below are a few of the more memorable nights & some of the trivia..


SEVEN FEET OF WARHOL

Ordering plexiglass to frame this seven foot strip of Andy Warhol / Velvet Underground banana stickers, as we (@stuckupofficial) gear up towards my long term goal of showing “100 Years of Pop & Counter-Culture - told through adhesive materials : STICKERS”, in museums around the world.

I wrote in the first Stickers book—that the Warhol banana for the VU was the first sticker in pop culture that I was really drawn to conceptually and aesthetically, also because I found its backstory fascinating: that a bigger, text-based sticker needed to be slapped on the back sleeve to save the band from being slapped with a nasty lawsuit. (see 2nd image) 

What I didn’t know then was that the bananas came off these large sticker rolls that were apparently kicking around Warhol’s Factory. The kids that worked for him, or just hung out there, took it upon themselves to use the stickers as a sort of critical marker. They would run around to art openings in SoHo and slap the stickers on the windows, walls, and doors of the galleries where they thought the show sucked. Having now heard this story from a couple of different people, it leads me to believe it could be true.

The “Blue Chip” exhibition panel below shows stickers by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst. Ryan McGinness, Barry McGee, Jose Parla, Tom Sachs, Keith Haring, Marilyn Minter, Robert Lazzarini, Kenny Scharf, Jenny Holzer, Todd James, JR, Mathew Barney, James Victore, Chris Johanson & Bansky.

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