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THE UNLIMITED Magazine is a theme-based iPad quarterly that examines contemporary culture through a techie lens. Designed with features that encourage readers to swipe, push, tilt, listen, watch, and participate in,The UNLIMITED is a complete interactive media source. We bring forward the latest revolutionary inventions from across the globe, as well as the brilliant people behind them. We provide the platform for you to create your own individualized reading/viewing experience. 

Each issue of THE UNLIMITED comes with a carefully chosen topic, which we make sure to dissect to pieces. From wearable tech and cutting-edge artists, to unusual cultural events, and novelties in the music field, THE UNLIMITED is an internationally available format that is innovative in nature and timeless in essence.

Artist Profile

Filtering by Tag: art

Francine Dressler

The Unlimited Magazine

We had Francine Dressler's daughter and business partner, Madelyn Somers, interview Francine about the re-launch of her original prints from Los Angeles circa 1979 AND WE GOT A SNEAK PREVIEW FROM THEIR UP COMING COLLABORATION WITH ARTIST HATTIE STEWART.


“I had often looked at them and thought like what am I going to do with all of these. I was done with her really, or I thought, but I guess not.” - Francine

Madelyn Somers

Madelyn Somers

Madelyn: Do you feel like the response that you got in the 70s with your artwork is like the same response you are getting today?

Francine: I think it is still brought about that people love to laugh, people love good sense of humor. I was a little bit shocking then,  I was really the only one on the street showing boobies, in fact one time I did a show and they asked me to put a blanket over my work.

M: It is so relevant though, I have talked to so many of my friends and they are just like she didn’t make these today? Just how liberated and cheeky and boisterous these women are, and there is so much about feminism in todays world. I know you were just creating these women without thinking about a feminist attitude.

Francine Dressler

Francine Dressler

F: Well no, I did not get married until I was 32 years old, so I was single for a long time. I had to fend for myself. It was my life, that is how I felt about it, it was not really like I am a feminist it was just who I was. It was the times, and it was newly acceptable for women to behave in ways that it was not before. A lot of exploring.

M: Not only does her sense of humor relate to so many people, but also her figure it is very relatable. Was she inspired by someone specific?

F: I lived with my cousin and I used to draw her a lot, but I do not think she inspired me to draw her. I think when I ended up living on my own I used the mirror a lot and I posed myself. I think it is just all women, and just experiences I have had with women and their humor. You know if I am sitting across the table and somebody is eating something and they are eating something in a funny way, I would think oh that would be a funny drawing. People do say it looks just like you. So I guess it is me.

M: I mean definitely over time it is uncanny how much you look like her. Were you posing naked in the mirror for yourself?

F: I mean I did, not naked, but I used my hands and I used my poses cause I lived by myself so she had to come from that. I would just make myself pose and think, oh that would be funny I am going to draw that. It just evolved.

M: You were just doing selfies.

F: Yes I was doing selfies that is a good point!

M: And they are funny selfies.

M: It was cool to come home, because she has so many prints in her drawers that are not colored. She goes back and hand paints the color, and I was trying my hand at it. Then she brought out all her pen and ink and actually dipped the pen in the ink, and I really just didn’t fully realize the medium that she used. It felt like a quill, like old fashioned.

F: I get asked a lot what is it like to live in the 70s. If I asked you what is it like to live in 2014, I mean it is just your life you are just living it. When you are living your life a lot of times it is not that romanticized. Its not like oh wow you lived in the 70s, you lived when so and so was happening. Its like yeah you just sort of expect it. When I look back I feel fortunate to be young when the Beatles first came because it really did influence you and your life, but yeah it is just your life I can not really pin point anything, was good.

M: Yeah I am sure one day someone will ask me and I will reflect back on it, but mine was more of a hodge podge of like the 70s, the 60s, the 90s the 80s, we are now all reliving the past. All these trends are coming back. I was just in a vintage store, he is like the 70s are coming back.

F: Yeah well it was the 40s and the 50s for when I was younger.

F: We started this collaboration with having Stewart, who Madeline told me about her and I love her, and I love what she does. She looks like she is having a lot of fun doing her work, and I was having a lot of fun doing my work.

M: When I approached her and just told her the adjectives of how we describe your women, liberal, sassy, cheeky, she was like those are exactly the same adjectives I would use to describe my work. I think that caught her attention. She has been so sweet. We are going to launch in 2015 and my dream would to create like a pop up Keith Haring like store, like he had in the 80s. Just gathering all these emerging artists and talents from all over. I mean now I guess you do not know who is going to be still talked about in 10 years like Keith Haring, Basquiat, and Andy Warhol, but kind of create the factory scene but now.



Eric Helvie

The Unlimited Magazine

Artist Eric Helvie uses snuggies as his canvas, but his work is far from being warm and cozy.  inspired by millions of VISUAL references he creates a LANGUAGE that is unique and VIBRANT, he gave us a look into his latest work. 

The Unlimited - What is the story in your work?

Eric Helvie - An addiction to looking is where it begins. A need to constantly be flipping through imagery, whether its is film, art history, other people’s art. A lot of my work comes from this addiction or this need that I can not control, and the individual works are a distillation of this process. A pure sort of refined comment on thousands and thousands of images.

TU - How do you refer to the snuggie in reference to your art?


EH - When I first came across the snuggie I thought this is a completely absurd object and it has no meaning and no cultural value. Then as I continued to look at snuggies for whatever reason I realized that there was all of these layers that I was projecting onto them from my own addiction to looking or seeing. I felt that the snuggies for whatever reason had this quality of being both humorous but also somewhat decadent and even violent in some aspects. If you consider the military endeavors that allowed people to live in the amount of comfort to give them a blanket with sleeves. All of these things sort of coming together, all these layers, make the snuggie for me a perfect example of the distillation of art history and imagery and even politics in some cases.

"I think it is a fascination because of my personal aversion to emotion in the work, and even now as I am saying emotion in the work I cringe."

TU - How do you treat emotion when it comes to your art?

EH - My art has never been focused on emotion, or emotion has never been important to my art. In fact it has been something that I have avoided. I have a distaste for this idea that the artist has to deal with his deep inner psyche through his work, its bullshit and I do not give a fuck about it. I think I view art as work and the best art as just being incredible acts of creating.

TU - And there has never been a time when your emotion crossed into your work?

EH - I need my work, but need is not an emotion. It comes to individual pieces I will say yes I love this painting, but it is more because I have a hard time imagining seeing it leave the studio. Beyond that, when it comes to my painting the thing that tends to be the most powerful presence in the studio is art history and visual references in general.

Cameron Gray

victoria brandt

Cameron Gray was Born in Anaheim, right down the street from Disneyland, and has lived all over California. This alone should sum up what “Gymnasty”, his last show at mike weiss gallery, was all about. Gray shares his thoughts with us about the over saturated internet, MIke and Claire, Spandex and the GIFration* 

Tell us about the idea behind “Gymnasty”

My personal relationship with the internet. I am working with and trying to spend less time on the internet. The whole Gymnasty show is a look at this feeling of being overwhelmed, and this saturation of media. 

What kind of  imagery inspired the GIF multi projection tunnel?

The whole LA culture of spandex, working out, self improvement, facial plastic surgery and all that stuff is in there. Thousands and thousands of images, it is just really about ultimately putting everything in and then letting the viewer kind of become overwhelmed to the point that it becomes an abstraction. I have my own references, whether it is Beyoncé or any other pop culture references. It is just the internet.  It is this tunnel of transformation that ultimately does not transform you in any way.

How was it to collaborate with Mike and Claire?

They came to see my first show at Mike Weiss gallery, and then contacted me. I sat down with them at a coffee shop and then just laughed the hardest I had laughed in years, like my  stomach hurt. Just having fun with them. They just inspired me in so many ways. They are just so creative. They are so on top of it. They are so fearless. I am eternally grateful for them and what they brought. 

You use photoshop as a medium and not just a tool for editing, is that part of your criticism on media and how you can change what a medium is?

This is a work I had started before “Gymnasty” and I felt a lot of pressure to go back into video and I did find my way to projection which was really fun. I made some discoveries along the way with projection that I am excited about but it does come back to this idea of working in video and collage. I think this idea where I have gone into complete over saturation has now led me to sort of more of a minimalism that I am really interested in exploring. I was never interested in minimalism before, but I am starting to see the power of it.  

*GIFration - the GIF Generation 

Mike and Claire 

Cameron Gray 

Kirsten Kay Thoen

The Unlimited Magazine

Artist Kirsten Kay Thoen talks to us about spiritual art, mediation and the inspiration behind her light sculpture. 

Arboreal Prism
Duratrans, plexiglass, brass, LED, electronic components
24 x 24 x 32"

THE UNLIMITED - What is your process and what helps you get into your zone?

Kirsten Kay Thoen - Meditation is a part of my process, daily grounding in this urban complex of New York City is major. It is a way to also try to tap back into these experiences I have had in nature, so that's huge. It is really just sitting with the imagery for a length of time. I have these entire archives so certain images will speak to me and they will start calling forth geometry that I begin seeing. It is an abstract process these forms are not in any way literal but they are more energetic speaking. I begin drawing in my 3D modeling prototypes.

TU - What is your biggest ambitions? How big would you go with your work?

KKT - I have a proposal that I am writing that is definitely very ambitious to get funding for. It is incorporating physical computing to make it interactive. I am seeing this piece that will incorporate solar panels to energize the actual movement of the work. There is new technology that has created translucent solar paneling. I want to try to use it with motors and microcontrollers  to almost unravel over time a cocoon like shape that is very large scale, maybe 10 or 12ft. Then inside as it unravels over a period of time there is a gem like light-structure that has also been energized by the solar panels that is revealed.


TU - Whats are challenges, on a day-to-day basis?

Ice Fractal, #1
C-print on Duraflex & plexiglass
21 x 21 x 2.5"

KKT -My ideas are very expansive and they often involve a high level of production and collaboration with fabricators. I have been building that network, but a lot of it is also funding the concepts.  A huge challenge along the way has been that I come from a photography background, not a sculpture background, so I am very self-trained at this point. I have self taught myself 3D modeling and CAD (Computer-aided design).

TU - What is light for you besides just an energy and element in your work?

KKT - I think it is bonds the work with its  energy and the subtle life-like illusion that it creates. I do think it has this functionality to it,  in the way it asserts a little bit more within the space. It has this aura of light around it, this little sort of glow helps to assist in that world that I am creating. I also really like how light plays on perception on all levels like perception of photography, and perception of viewing the work.

TU - How do you feel about digital and instagram? Do you find it draining or inspiring?

KKT - That is actually a part of my work, the ubiquity of imagery in the digital era. I am asserting a physicality in that virtual space,  a physical experience of this media.

In a way I am creating the potential of someone to linger longer with the work. The movement across the wall of 2D imagery in a gallery, the speed of that absorption, is also something I am trying to divert.


Instagram @kirs_thoen    /

Kirsten works will be a part of "Topography" Group Show at Gallery Nine5, Soho, NYC (Opening reception: Saturday, January 17th, 6-8pm)

Tom Smith

The Unlimited Magazine

Tom Smith is not a digital artist. In his most recent show “Heavenly Bodies” the New York City based artist featured acrylic paintings inspired by the aesthetic of digital art. We sat down with the artist the hear more about his technique and his new video project "Tamala and the Volcano". 


THE UNLIMITED - Your work reminds me of digital art but it is not, describe your technique?

Tom Smith - I like for my work to go in and out of those two illusions.

For a few years I was doing collages  on paper that are cut into tiny strips and then glued together, so there is an illusion of it looking like a digital filter.  That was the entry point for me into painting and after doing that process, I took on the challenge of finalizing a painting without slicing it and combining it.

Last January while working in Brazil I started using this illusion of putting two different colors on a paint brush and creating these brush strokes that sort of mimic digital output or a photoshop filter, or pixels even. A lot of the paintings in the show are using that technique, which kind of echoes the process before of a painting that looks like it is digitally created but then when you see it in person you see all of the hand techniques to create the picture.

TU- What inspires you?

TS- I am not necessarily inspired by digital culture in any way. It is not so in the foreground of what I am planning for each painting. I think about it a lot as like building an environment that could be explored in space or in time.

"The light that is in each painting is specifically supposed to remind me of a certain time of day."

Your color palette is vivid and computer like which only adds to the digitized illusion, care to elaborate ? 

I am bit of an idealist, with color especially. 80% of the work that goes into my paintings is color studies. The colors are meant to inspire a certain type of reaction in the viewer as in other forms of entertainment. The color palette could come from a Disney or anime movie, more vibrant than true life but also referencing reality.

Can you tell us about your new piece?

I create these sci-fi surrealist videos that circle around idealism. In this case the idealistic vision of a woman or of a hero. In the video that I am working on now my character Tamala steps into the role of a volcano sacrifice. I shot the video in Iceland and under water on Fire Island. I also worked on a series of stop-motion animations that will be integrated into the piece. The final shoot will happen in New York using a green screen and the video will be released this year. 

Ron English

The Unlimited Magazine

Ron English took over the lobby of the Tribeca Grand with his newest show "Evolutionary Alternatives". The show features a series of paintings and the mural on the Grand Wall of deer with camouflage. Along with other paintings of non-existent animals, the show is based on the concept of how animals may have evolved had their surroundings been different, all done in English's signature cartoon colors yet photo-realistic painting style.

Mike and Claire : Un-Seriously Serious

The Unlimited Magazine

Obsessed with fairy tales, moving images and availableism, creative duo Mike and Claire open up about their latest story Grimms and their role in redefining the modern day classics. 

Image from the story Characters - courtesy of Mike and Claire 

Image from the story Characters - courtesy of Mike and Claire 

Inspiration - Grimms 

Claire: Over Thanksgiving break Mike found this beautiful calendar for the 2014 year of Grimm's illustrations. We really liked them and kind of wanted to make a project that was our interpretations of these illustrations. It started out us wanting to stay in the realm of those illustrations that we found but by the time we got around to actually shooting them we realized that we were kind of essentially just really inspired by the illustrations in making up our own stories. Instead of like Cinderella or Little Mermaid or anything like that it became more like we wanted to address like gender and politics through this idea of a fairytale and it sort of feels like the project isn't finished yet, feels like just the beginning and we were really inspired by primary colors and keeping it sort of in this realm.

Mike: A lot of our work is always talking about issues that are really important to us but doing it in a playful way because we feel like if you’re too aggressive about something or if you approach it in a way that is really serious people don't want to be involved in it, or they like get too wrapped up in it to so that they don't really cause a change.

C: Its just like seriously, un-serious or maybe un-seriously serious

Reinventing the Classics 

M: I feel like these fairy tales or these morals need to be reinvented for a new generation because everything seems like its a little too far behind, you know? The idea of needing a prince charming is something that is becoming obsolete to people now, which feels really good. Then there is just the perspective of us making work as two queer people and wanting to have stuff like that available to other people. Basically were just trying to make work that starts new conversations.

C: I think with the idea of the fairy tale its been so watered down and saturated by things like Disney for example, like the Little Mermaid. The Disney movie has a happy ending, and I mean the real tale is fucked up and she gets her tongue cut off and she dies and like that is fucked up and there are numerous tales like that. Its basically like you are sugar coating a really scary thought to put in a child's mind to teach them a lesson and that has been really interesting to us because I feel like through our own work were still like growing as people too and in some ways its like lessons to ourselves that we learn that we try and put back into the work, maybe.


"The fairy tale its been so watered down and saturated by things like Disney..."

Don't Touch Me - Image courtesy of Mike and Claire 

Don't Touch Me - Image courtesy of Mike and Claire 

Modern Day Fairy Tale 

M: We heard this story today about this person who's lover forgot their suitcase and they were like, “can you bring my suitcase on the plane” and they were like, “sure” so they flew over and then the police went into their suitcase and found a bunch of heroin.

C: He had never met the girl before, so he brought over this suitcase that had a bunch of heroin in it and they spent the rest of their life in jail together. It sounds like a modern day Grimm's fairytale. Its just that brutal and its kind of exciting. Its kind of a Pandora's box situation, not really, but its like you don't open the suitcase what the hell?

M: Its the same thing its just modern fairy tale.

C: Yeah, its just like we are making things to fit what we want to see. It is funny because I feel like one of my all time favorite movies is Edward Scissor Hands and i love that movie so much because its taking Beauty and the Beast and redoing it in a really like beautiful modern way. I don’t know, for some reason that movie just like always sticks with me and I really, really love how he did that film. It is just that idea of taking such a basic idea and placing it in the modern world. It always feels like new or something.

M: The idea of like a cellphone being something magic is kind of disregarded as something trivial or kind of stupid or like things that take place in modern day world aren't magical anymore and thats kind of a strange thing to me because basically all fairy tales take place in like ancient times but its cool reinventing stories or just reinventing things that have elements of today in it.


Creating As a Duo

 M: We’re definitely not exactly the same but we are the same in the way that we recognize each other's differences when we are working and my style of work really compliments Claire's style of work and Claire's style of work really compliments my style of work.

C: It is funny because we had a guest critique in our class a while ago and he kind of told us like you guys are from the same pole, but Mike was like were from the opposite poles and we meet in the middle. I feel like Mike is like really slick and I’m like kind of a country bumpkin and I don’t know how to explain that more but thats for me kind of where it like meets in the middle. I guess if you look at what we used to do separately Mike is really slick and I used to do a lot of like digital mash up shit and I think we have sort of found a way to mash that together which is cool, but idea wise I feel like were very much on the same page do you feel like that?

M: yeah definitely


"Mike is like really slick and I’m like kind of a country bumpkin."


M: We have always been really interested in the idea of availableism, which is making work with what you have available and it even applies to making food or it can be anything just using what you have available around you. So, if you have you know 500 slinkies that we found on the street then were going to make a project that uses slinkies.

M: Everything DIY

Interview by - Karin Bar 


Flavie Audi - Supernova

The Unlimited Magazine

She is a French - Lebanese, London based artist who focuses on capturing light and sensuality in a static object. This is an artist profile of one of the most interesting and promising artist today.

What is the key moment you got into glass?

During my last year at the architectural association I was making models in glass and developed my thesis on structural glass. Working by hand freed me from rational, linguistic and digital expressions. I was not only fascinated by the sculptural potential of glass but also by its power to create delicacy, subtlety and mystery, through the fluctuation of light. Since that moment I wanted to find out more about glass. 

"Glass helps me to define an aesthetic of buoyancy, transparency, invisibility, ambiguity and sensuality.

Can you describe the process you go through to create work?

 It starts with a strong intuition about an idea. I try to find my own language in a combination of different disciplines. I work with various makers and craftsmen to execute and materialize my ideas. I embrace simplicity and directness as a positive practice. Reduction and Distillation down to the essentials are fundamental in order to reconstruct, challenge and rebelliously twist conventional rules. By employing a more intimate relationship with the materials, an expression of sensuality and life can emerge. I look for hidden potentials, accidents and discoveries in materials to reveal aesthetic and technical qualities. I spend a lot of time experimenting with materials. Once I find a moment of beauty that intrigues me I investigate deeper, finding ways to celebrate it. My interests lie in creating experiences of mystery with spatial and visual encounters that invite contemplation and meditation. A kind of seeing; a  release. I always think of the spatial dimension and impact of the work in space. 

 Where do you find your inspiration?

It is very different for each project. An idea can be very sudden, appearing from an unconscious link in the mind, or it can happen very slowly and gradually. It is about listening attentively to my intuition, and hearing when ideas arrive. Sometimes I find inspiration in kinetic properties, particularly fluidity and energy. On other occasions inspiration comes from a sense of comfort, excitement or interest that I feel during an encounter or while drawing. The acts of drawing and making are my main inspirational refuge. I find my creative energy in a constant ebb and flow, between designing and making. Most of the times it comes from a feeling of nothingness and clarity.


We know you describe your artwork as sensual, would you describe your architectural designs the same way?

There is no disconnection between my architectural, design and art thinking. This desire for sensuality came from a frustration towards minimal, dry, sterile architectural and design environment nowadays. I am irritated by the abuse of the generic minimal Zen aesthetic. I don’t feel that buildings are revealing life and humanity. I think that it would be interesting to combine a sense of simplicity, and more precisely clarity, together with life and sensuality. I try to reach sensuality with color and shapes that are formless and in constant state of flux suggesting indeterminacy and limitlessness. 

"My main driving force in the process is the search for the sublime."

The art of glass making is very old, how do you think you are bringing it into the modern age? Do you consider yourself to be an old school artist when it comes to the digital age and social media?

Originality occurs when you add and combine different disciplines. I have never considered myself to be an ‘old school’ Artist, as I am not attached to only working with ancestral techniques. At the moment I am using analogue processes, but I always aim to challenge and rebelliously twist the conventions of any process. The aesthetic of my work is not classic in a traditional sense. The shapes, the senses of fleetingness and the colors have a certain similitude to a digital aesthetic. The cosmic visual appearance, the tactility of the work and the serendipitous making processes bring it to the modern age. I don’t approach glassmaking with a specific design to be executed but with technical challenges that break the conventional making process.

Glass blowing would generally be considered a masculine craft, by being one of the few women in the field do you feel you are changing that stereotype?

 I am not a glassblower or a craftsman. I put in place the different stages of evolution, bringing together the craftsmen similar to choreography or orchestration.

Matt Starr

The Unlimited Magazine

"I don't want to be another boring artist doing boring things in boring spaces for boring people."

Matt Starr is a New Media artist living in New York City. His art is based around creating a total experience. His work often explores low brow culture and social media culture, and creating a dialogue with viewers.

Let’s talk about your recent series you started posting on instagram?

@mattstarrmattstarr @mattstarrmattstarr @mattstarrmattstarr

For the cast series, I have no direct relation to the products I am using, the prints and logos. I've never owned a Prada Purse or Hermes Scarf. It's partially about creating a dichotomy between these two opposing forces, like cast and pain with opulent and not so necessary. At the core of it is humor. People connect with humor on Instagram. When there are so many beautiful pictures of models,  nature, and food it's relief for most to stumble upon something more unexpected. In life and art people are looking for a way to connect and humor to me, is an effective way of doing that.

Regardless of what I’m trying to say or not say with the cast series, there’s a certain humor that allows those images to resonate. It’s interesting to see in a really short period of time, how people reacted to it. I mean it’s ridiculous to see someone in a Louis Vuitton body cast, but that ridiculousness is what makes it so intriguing. 

Do you think the fact that you can receive instant feedback on your work impacts the way you will progress a series or work?

Matt Starr at diet installation

Matt Starr at diet installation

If I believe in it, the hopes are other people will catch on. Obviously I'm affected. What artist isn't looking for affirmation through likes and comments? To what degree? - I'm not sure yet.

I live quickly, I move quickly. When I speak, whatever is inside just comes out - for better or worse. It comes out and whatever comes out is just what I have to live with. It’s kind of the same with my art, and this was even before social media, but now I have an outlet.

So do you then publish things without actually being certain of what you are trying to say and then have people’s interpretations inform the work?

Yeah. Well for example the Matt Starr X Kim Kardashian sex tape. I worked on that 60 seconds for about 4 months and I obviously had a lot of thoughts about that. Then I put it out there and the way it was received, just like a lot of work, was not what I thought it would be.

With the cast series, I just thought it was funny. Only after the response did I start to re-conceptualize what it was saying, but also I think people get too caught up with concept. In college I was very caught up in concept and theory. Right now, I’m very in touch with my emotions and naturally I am a very emotionally charged person and a lot of what I do now is based off feeling. I used to be too caught up in concept and wasn’t happy with the work I was producing. When I stopped thinking so much and just started feeling, I became a lot more satisfied with what I was doing. I became more confident in my work and I think something more real came out of that. I think a lot of artists get caught up in trying to manifest these certain concepts and then you lose the emotional aspects, and then people don’t connect. In the end, the art that I make, and want to make, I want to be accessible. I want it to be out there in the public realm as much as possible. I think to do that there has to be emotion and there has to be humor. 

The diet installation was done at the DKNY New Art City show which was based on the "Downtown" culture of NYC.

Is diet the only work you have done as a physical product?

Diet is the only thing that I have basically objectified. It was the first time I had to think about putting a price on a piece of art. That changed the way I was thinking for a bit, about the piece while I was making it. Most of what I do is experienced based. I am selling experiences and people will hire me as Matt Starr the artist, not, ‘We like this object,' or 'We like this painting can we have it? Can we buy it? Can we put this on the wall, or in our gallery?' It's more like, ‘Can you transform this space? Here’s your budget, this is what we are looking for.’ Diet was the first time I had to think about objects. How does the price reflect the people who can afford to buy it, who want to buy it, and the type of people that will be buying it. It was weird. It was the first thing I made that you could take home with you. I’m pretty happy though, that it included diet condoms and cigarettes.

Tony Lorenzi: Raised by Jay

victoria brandt

On October 17th Tony Lorenzi is opening a pop-up exhibition titled "Raised by Jay". This one day only Williamsburg exhibit features images from the artist's childhood that have been edited to create a feeling of Jay-Z's presence. The Unlimited asked Lorenzi some questions to find out why he had an "Empire State of Mind" growing up on a different continent.

In Sweden is there a large hip-hop scene, and how influenced is it by the American hip-hop scene?

Absolutely. I’d say that it started off with influence from the states, to claim anything else would be a lie. I believe the same goes for the entire world. And of course it still is inspired by America…I mean its easy to see how Swedish MCs style wise mimic Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar or whoever is hot right now…even though they would never admit it of course. But a big difference comparing now and then is that the English-language was frequently used in the beginning of Swedish hip-hop while most rappers now use Swedish in their songs.

And even though there was a rap scene early on it didn’t evolve to become great until the mid 90’s (according to me). And today it its really bigger and better than ever before…a lot more commercially accepted…and, depending on taste of course, I’d say that Sweden has one of the best graffiti-scenes in the world. But that might be another difference between America and Sweden, how we define hip-hop. I think of it the traditional KRS-way, with the four elements (including graffiti) while in America hip-hop as a definition seems to have become more
limited to the music-genre. Nevertheless, writers often talk about the time when national television in Sweden aired Style Wars as the starting point for the graffiti scene in Sweden. We have always been looking to USA on how to do it.

How did you first come into contact with American hip-hop, and Jay-Z specifically?

Well, it started with skateboarding and even if it is not officially a part of hip-hop I’ve always seen it as closely related to it. My kid sister and me had a favorite movie called Thrashin’ which starred Josh Brolin amongst others which we watched over and over after our parents recorded it from TV. But maybe that is off topic since you are probably referring to music and not the culture…

A group called Looptroop Rockers is from my hometown Västerås (which recently released a single produced by Lord Finesse btw) and they did a lot of gigs, which I think made me interested in the musical part of hip-hop since I was already into graff. I then started listening a lot to NWA, Ice T, Cypress Hill, 2 Live Crew, Wu Tang and Outkast amongst others. So when I found hip-hop I also found friends and one of my friends introduced me to Jay Z’s music. I think it was when he featured Big L’s Lifestyles ov da Poor & Dangerous when I heard him for the first time…but it wasn’t until Reasonable Doubt I really got hooked.

Where do you find the common ground between you and Jay-Z? You have such different backgrounds and yet you feel connected enough to say he "raised" you, what makes you feel this way?

I’ve thought a lot about this…and you are absolutely right that we have nothing in common really. The clash between hip-hop culture and Sweden don’t rhyme at all (no pun intended) and that’s why I think I focus so much on this in my art where I kind of question how I fell in love with
hip-hop from the beginning. If I look at it from a distance I would say that hip-hop is a part of America, I mean it belongs to American culture while Swedish culture has nothing at all that compares to hip-hop. And maybe it is just that, the feeling of being raised in a country which
creative culture doesn’t interest you which makes you search for something else. My grandparents are from Italy and Denmark, and my grandmothers husband was from the Czech Republic so their influence also gave me a feeling of belonging to the world rather then to just Sweden. Also I remember how I loved to draw but I seemed like a dorky thing to draw horses or whatever while graffiti seemed more exciting to the younger me. In the same way writing rhymes seemed cooler than having a diary or writing poetry.

But back to the question, when you feel this way, in love with a culture that doesn’t really belong to you, you look for someone to guide you in it so that you can (from the other side of the Atlantic) understand it fully. This is where Jay Z plays a big part since he seemed to embody
the personal traits which I didn’t have…he seemed so confident as a person and at the same time he wrote texts that to me was and still is brilliant in so many levels that the common person cant even grasp it. I mean, the general non-believer in hip-hop thinks it is only about the
material things mentioned in there, or the violence or whatever else negative aspects that you might find in it. Even when it comes to understanding his lyrics, I’m confident I understand them to a deeper level then ANY Jay Z-fan out there. To me, it has always been about listening to a man talking about his life, his surroundings, his thoughts and feelings. I mean, when Drake became the Drake we know today people labeled it as some sort of emo-rap but to me Jay was just that way earlier, you just have to listen more carefully.

I could go on forever but to keep it short, his music raised me in the way that he gave me confidence, different hands-on or more metaphorical ways of how to act in different situations, the hustling game over there seemed to resemble the relation I as a graffiti-writer had to cops over here, an idea about how you have to commit to stuff in order to succeed, a greater interest in literature which no teacher could ever give me and all these quotes or lines I know by heart from different songs pop up in my head in situations as some sort of advice when I need it the most. He gave comfort when feeling down, attitude before a basketball game, inspiration when I needed it. In short, he has been like an extra parent.

What is your favorite Jay-Z song?

Song cry. Easiest question so far. I have a lot of memories connected to that song. Thats a great example of him being emotional but still keeping I cocky as if he has to because of the expectations on you. But no matter what you can still understand that he is a great person beneath that cocky surface and harsh words, so even if he can’t see tears coming from his eyes, just the thought of sheading tears is admitting your vulnerable self.

Did this bond with American hip-hop music ever alienate you from people in Sweden?

Yes. And it still does. People (and I can only speak about Sweden) and mostly older generations don’t get rap, graffiti, breakdance or Dj-ing. At the most, it is stuff you do when you are young, as if it is a joke. To me it is life and a way of thinking. The same goes for people you grew up with which was into hip-hop but has left it because they think it is impossible to work in a bank and listen to rap or write graffiti. So to some extent it is like it is okay if you are a certain age to be involved with hip-hop, but if you don’t “fit in” when getting older you are being looked upon as someone strange. Of course it is easier in for example Stockholm than in smaller cities in Sweden. But at the same time hip-hop gave me my best friends. So I never had a problem with feeling alienated, it has built my character and the person I am today.

photgraphed by Daniel Lindqvist

photgraphed by Daniel Lindqvist

Who are some other rappers you connect with?

I love Lil Wayne, Common, Pusha…and Kanye…other than that I mostly listen to 90’s hip-hop and Swedish hip-hop. When I find a good record it is on repeat for years, I’ve been that way with all Drake-records for an example. That dude is a genius.

Do you think the fact that you living in Sweden came into contact with Jay-Z a Brooklyn based rapper and were able to feel such a bond with him is an example of American globalization?

Definitely. I’m raised with Disney, Coca-Cola, Hip-Hop, Skateboarding and other typical American traits. So of course the American globalization plays a big part in me getting so into Jay Z. I still think it is strange though, how I can feel so much for a country and a culture which I have never experienced for real more than on vacations. Even more than the culture I’m supposed to love as much. But I love that I have the possibility to feel that way of something that isn’t sprung from the country I was born in.

Maybe that is why I also have a hard time understanding the nationalistic thoughts growing in Europe right now. We should all hold hands and love each other instead of hating each other for various stupid reasons because this is mine or that is yours or whatever. The world is ours to take care of. 

Rebelution Ink, 560 Grand street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The Infinity Pool

The Unlimited Magazine

The Infinity Pool is a digital exhibition space that features a different artist each month. The digital platform was created by artists David Alexander Flinn and Adam Patrick Ianniello. The Unlimited sat down with the two to talk about how this digital curated space functions, and Adam's currently running series.

What is The Infinity Pool?

David: The infinity pool is an entity. It is like an alien brain hovering in space. That is how I think of it.

A word to describe it?

David: Vacation.

It is like an alien thing, but it is also a bit like a labyrinth in the way that we want it to be complex and we want you to feel like you are lost in it.

The evolution of it and its natural design, the growth is not linear, so it is constantly going to be zig-zagging and bouncing between universes and dimensions because it is dealing with totally different subject matter from totally different people. Some alive, some dead.

It is already everything, so it will never need to expand. I think that is the benefit of having it be something digital and kind of ephemeral. It is unbound by weight, by rent, it has no limitations, which to me makes it everything. If the infinity pool became a gallery format, physical manifestation, it would just be a gallery. You loose the freedom to be entirely open to any type of project.

I think watching the artists grow, and watching the capability of the infinity pool grow, that growth in enough.

We have a really big sense of humor, and something we are really into is challenging institutions and challenging standard notions of right or wrong, so I think that is the beauty of having it as an abstract entity.

We take people that are not comfortable being in a gallery, or showing art in a gallery. Then pushing then to do something that would be the equivalent of exhibiting work. We are getting them outside their box and we are learning more about ourselves and what we sort of like to see from them. It is a push and a pull when we finally get to meet, and finally get to talk about something. They do not know themselves going into it what they want to do. It is always cool to guide them along their path and figure out who they are for the website.

"The main thing is we are interested in the work, thats all. There is no money, no sponsors, there is just us wanting to see people make good work, and trying to give them the opportunity with what we have, which is this."

That is what the website is, we want it to be a sort of rite of passage. In the sense that people feel comfortable doing it but they have to step up and do something more than they have normally been doing.

We do not want mid-career people, we don’t want people everyone knows. We either want people that are emerging in a way, or people that we idolize and respect greatly. We wanted to have new people where we can have a fresh look at things.

If the infinity pool had to exist in a world without internet what would it be?

I think the infinity pool would have been more like a monthly book.

An AA meeting.

Either like an AA meeting or a monthly...its already kind of like an AA meeting. I think probably a monthly or quarterly book. I am thinking if we met in the 1700s what we would have done and it probably would have been like a manifesto. Yeah a manifesto.

Flags-  Adam Ianniello exhibit on The Infinity Pool 

Flags-  Adam Ianniello exhibit on The Infinity Pool 

What inspired you to produce for this month? as a founder and participant

Smoke-    Adam Ianniello exhibit on The Infinity Pool 

Smoke-  Adam Ianniello exhibit on The Infinity Pool 

In the past year I have been going upstate to work, to photograph. Every time I go up there it will clear my mind and I figure out new projects to do, especially in the form that I do them, which is dark room photography. The first time I went up there I went to a place which is a Tibetan monastery. Its all deep up in the hills of Woodstock, and there is an area up there that is basically a path where monks walk everyday and its covered with these Tibetan prayer flags. So that really inspired me and I really got into wanting to do something with Tibetan prayer flags and I sort of dove deep into Buddhism and meditation. When this month came around I decided to go back up in August and I brought a video camera with me, and I started filming things. I spent the whole week filming nature basically. Just whatever I felt like doing, I wanted to film. When I came back I realized I could use that footage and sort of transcode them into the flags themselves. All the flags have a good luck meaning, and they are broken down into five elements: sky, wind, earth, fire, and water. When that hit me I realized I am going to do five videos and each of them is going to contain just that element, and try to portray it in the most pure way possible.

I think when we talk about the infinity pool we always talk about taking whatever practice we do and trying to transform it into a digital format. Approaching it as this is what I am, this is what I do, this is what I like to do, but I have to make it in a way that people on the internet will understand. Which is different than the way that “the gallery” would fit into the picture.

I basically took what I did photographically, and turned that into a video format. So people could visualize what it is like to stand in front of one of my pieces.

Peter Tunney

The Unlimited Magazine

This is a collaboration project with The UNLIMITED Magazine, The Tribeca Grand Hotel, and style curator Natalie Kates. These three interactive pieces take you through Peter Tunney's installation within the hotel. The audio is of Peter discussing the works as he walked through the exhibition, and his interview was done in his Tribeca studio.

Artist Profile with Jenna Gribbon

The Unlimited Magazine

Jenna Gribbon's paintings will make you want to talk.

The Unlimited talked to Jenna about her "Conversation" Portrait series.

This particular series of people having conversations is meant to capture a very specific moment in time when someone is expressing something or listening intently. I seem to always return to painting people, and I guess it's because there's nothing more interesting to me than the people of a given time, their presence, and their relationship to their world. It's fascinating how a good portrait can approximate something of that presence, and materialize it into something permanent. I think that the people I know are pretty interesting and worth documenting, and that they are at their most beautiful and themselves when they're deeply engaged. I love being in a room with people enlivened by a good conversation. There isn't really anything better. These paintings create something of permanence out of those moments.

Do you paint from life or photos?

I don’t paint the figures from life. It's important that they come from a photo because only a photo can sort of freeze time that way, capture that one specific moment. Otherwise the scene would have to be set up, and that's not what I'm interested in for this work. However the backgrounds are more fantastical and are often painted from life, or completely made up. Whatever is happening around the figure is meant to be a kind of amalgamated version of their interior world and mine, with cues taken from the conversations. 

In what way do you give each painting its own character?

I had a goal in this series to paint every single one in a different way, and even within each painting to paint in a few different ways. I do a lot of...a kind of channeling of other artists that I like. It's kind of fun to feel like a sort of medium for all of these people in painting history, and think, Oh, I’m going to paint this part as if this person were painting it and then I’m going to be this person when I paint this part. Of course you are never really that person, and then that's where you find yourself. I think it keeps it fresh in a way because I don't get stuck in this rote delivery of brush strokes. Then the paintings become not only about the conversation the subject is having, but my own conversation with myself about paint. 


"I think in order to really paint someone well you have to fall in love with him or her a little bit. It's an act of devotion to paint someone's face. Even in the case of a commission, in order to do it well, I have to develop a sort of emotional attachment to the subject."

What is The Oracle Club?

My boyfriend and I started it three years ago. It is a work space for artists and writers predominantly.  We also wanted a place where creative people could go and sit and have a quiet evening and nice conversation, (Which goes back to my interest in good conversation), but be able to sit down and talk to someone and play some records and maybe have a bottle of wine or a cup of coffee without feeling like you’re in some kind of scene-situation or there's music blasting. It doesn’t have to be dinner. It can be people just sitting around. Sometimes people have parties here, and sometimes we have readings, collage class, or concerts, but the day to day is really just a lot of good work happening.

Anyone interested in membership can contact us through our website, and send us an email to tell us who they are and about their interests.

Interview & Photography by Karin Bar

The Oracle Club, 10-41 47th Avenue, Long Island City, NY; 917-519-2594;

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