The Unknown Hipster

Posted in Culture by unknownhipster on December 12, 2012

ColetteBooksigning_L

Dung called me from Art Basel in Miami the other day:

-       Hey, Unknown, the book is sold out in the US.

-       Yeah…?

I was rather surprised because my first collection of poems, Found Love letters and Unread Poems from the Trash Room, self-published 35 years ago, is still available

(Interested? Free bicycle delivery in the greater Brooklyn area).

-       So, what is August Editions going to do? How about selling my old collected poems instead?

-       The poems are interesting, but… uh, maybe another time. Actually, a new edition of a 1000 copies of The Unknown Hipster Diaries is already in the works, it will be available around March next year. And it will have a new picture of you on the cover.

-       What about an abstract image? Or a photo of some weed growing freely out of a Bushwick sidewalk?

-       Uh… How was the exhibition opening of your illustrations at Colette?

-       It was cool, and…yes, Balthus, was there.

-       Balthus?

-       Yes, he is very cute.

-       Balthus, like the painter?

-       Balthus Billy Zahm, Olivier and Natacha’s baby, don’t you check the Purple Diary everyday? I think it was Balthus first opening, Natacha said so.

-       You must be very honored!

-       Woody came early, though, needed some sleep.

-       Woody?

-       Yes, Sarah and Philippe’s baby. He is very cute too. And very well-dressed. Cool socks. What is that loud music behind you?  Are you at a party?

-       I’m in Kanye West’s car. Baldessari’s driving. In fact, we are going to André’s pop-up Le Baron for Larry Gagosian, Glenn’s D.J.ing, he says hi.

-       Could I request a tune?

-       What about your book signing at Colette, on Saturday?

-       I just bought a stock of blue spray cans.

-       You mean, you’re going to graffiti the books?

-       Why not? …Well, right, with all the babies, maybe I will borrow their color pencils.

The Unknown Hipster Diaries booksigning at Colette, Saturday 15th December, from 4pm to 6pm.

The Unknown Hipster Diaries exhibition at Colette, 10th December 2102 to 10 January 2013

 The Unknown Hipster Diaries, 2nd Edition, will be available March 1st, 2013, from Amazon and selected bookstores in the U.S.

My Life As a Model

Posted in Fashion by unknownhipster on December 1, 2010

I have recently been offered to do some modeling for French GQ.

I was worried I would have to lift weights or swim two hours a day, but they said it was okay to stay as I am.

Modeling involves very little participation, and there’s nothing demeaning about it if you work with tasteful photographers.

A lot of the job is waiting around, and while most people in the studio spend their day checking Facebook, it’s not forbidden to read a book or write poetry while you’re worked on by the hairdresser or have your nails polished.

It’s a known fact that Fashion photographers have big egos, but it’s okay not to talk to them. There is always loud music in the studios anyway, and photographers can hardly hear themselves giving directions. And this is okay too, because their directions are generally very basic, like « gorgeous », or « yes ! ». Actually, if you happen to hear them over the noise, their comments are more embarrassing than anything else. They suddenly make you doubt and think the whole enterprise is not serious, but it is.

Here are some of my favorite shots, with a few behind-the-scenes commentaries and my own tips.

This was for November Fashion. While posing with these logs, I had a great talk with the girls. Karolina, the blonde on the left, had studied philosophy in Moscow, while Prune on the right had just published a novel. It turned out both girls had been featured more than naked in purple diary, which disappointed me.

Successful modeling is all about being yourself and not trying to hard. A Fashion story on axes, for the December issue. I did my best menacing demeanor with the Best Made ax, so the crew played my old tapes.

For an air travel editorial. I’m so relaxed when I model, I can actually fall asleep for real. I walked out of the shoot with these expensive pyjamas, and had to return them to the assistant the next day, but they shrunk down 3 sizes since it was raining and I couldn’t find a cab.


Who said modeling was a tough job ? I remembered I just had some delicious bruchetta from catering, and the only thing that bothered me on the shoot was the rough feel of this rare vinyl on my fingers.

A tribute to The Fantastic Mister Fox, one of my favorite movie, ever.

Another cool shot. I almost forgot the photographer was there.

If the stylist wants to play, I’m able to completely transform myself.


A few tips for modeling :

-  no sport at all

-  sleep as much as you want, or don’t

-  extract respect from assistants by insisting on your musical tastes

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All that happened

Posted in Art by unknownhipster on August 10, 2009
Reading on my vintage Duke Kahanamoku Maui longboard

Reading on my vintage Duke Kahanamoku Maui longboard

I love surfing.

If you paddle a little further than the other surfers, beyond the breaking line, not only will it keep you away from the harsh competition, but it also leave you plenty of time to read, think, or simply do nothing.

And at the end of the day, when everybody’s gone, you just catch a wave back to the shore.

It’s upon my return to civilization that, looking at the Purple Diary, I realized all that happened when I was surfing.

Beautiful sunset in Biarritz

Beautiful sunset in Biarritz

While Terry was busy shooting a Pirelli calendar, Olivier was kissing more girls in a night than most people in their entire life. And he was also taking hundreds of new photographs of the sexy Natacha Ramsay in unexpected locations.

"Natacha Ramsay in Arizona", after Olivier Zahm

"Natacha Ramsay in Arizona", after Olivier Zahm

And this is how I learned about the death of Dash Snow, the fantastic artist with a fantastic name.

Before I read Glenn’s beautiful eulogy, I only knew of Dash from pictures in a 2008 issue of Purple.

Dash Snow, after Purple

Dash Snow, after Purple

Even the hipsters I questioned at the time were uncertain when it came to describing Dash’s work. Some said he was doing Polaroids. Others that he was handsome : « You have no idea with the beard, but he is incredibly handsome ! »

But even if you haven’t seen his collages or anything else, you could tell he was a true artist by these photographs, just like when you see a picture of Marcel Duchamp playing chess, Jackson Pollock putting own his paint-dripped shoes, or Picasso proudly standing in his briefs.

The effect is the same of Dash choosing an LP, drinking a beer in bed, or wearing a dress.

"Dash Snow in his Bowery studio", after Purple

"Dash Snow in his Bowery studio", after Purple

For this is how one knows he is confronting a real artist : when you feel a little square or slightly overcautious !

By the way, on my last day of surfing, I flooded my ipod while listening to « Perfection as a Hipster », by God Help The Girl.

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