Saturday, May 1, 2010

Close Up and Private / Modern Drift

Before browsing down, I would recommend that you to play this video of "Modern Drift" by Danish band Efterklang. It is the first song on the soundtrack of Close Up and Private's site.

Up Close and Private 01

At first I thought Close Up and Private was an outfit (what-I-wore-today) blog of some yuppy and his friend/sister/girlfriend — a couple with a preppy predilection for Ralph Lauren. But then I read this, and the site got me even more interested:

Close Up and Private is an on-going project by artist Sergei Sviatchenko which looks to capture the spirit of modern style, as seen through the subtle shades of the individual. 
Through these details a complex discourse between clothing, fashion and image takes form, offering new perspectives on contemporary fashion and identity.

Close Up and Private is curated by artist Sergei Sviatchenko [DK] and designer and art director Nello Russo [IT] and is dedicated to the visual language of style – celebrating classic details and contemporary looks through unique photographic documentary.

Photography and style by
Sergei Sviatchenko (also here), 
art direction and design by Nello Russo

Up Close and Private 02

The pictures do not only pay attention to clothing and outfit details — in pretty much the same way as Tommy Ton does — they appear to me as particular moments in a peron's day.

Up Close and Private 03

Yes, the person wears the clothes, but he also interacts with them in a way that only an individual can.

Up Close and Private 04

Yes, he likes wearing sweaters, blazers, pocket squares, and bow ties, but the attitude that he wears with them reveals a lot not just on his fashion choices, but also how he thinks of himself.

Up Close and Private 05

It becomes clearer that clothing and personal style are not merely exterior, but a medium to both define someone and be a tool for him to express himself.

Up Close and Private 06

I know this may sound high-brow and totally out of context, but it is important to view these images in the way they were intended: as sets (this post featuring Spring Summer 2010), as series with their own streams of consciousness that move from one vantage point to another.

This picture, for example, is one of many black-and-white images. Does it look like an instance of hesitation by an advertising partner, a junior finance associate? Was he suddenly caught off-guard by a thought or a memory that has been bugging him for the entire week?

Up Close and Private 07

Does he need reassurance?

Up Close and Private 08

Is he really the only one who feels compelled to turn his back on everything? The only one that feels like sinking?

Up Close and Private 09

Plaid on plaid, but why isn't he glad?

Up Close and Private 10

I know I may only be injecting my own cynicism where there isn't any, but I can't help being reminded of noir cinema since there is something cut-off and distant about these images, both those in color and in black-and-white. In proper art school terms: surrealist.

Up Close and Private 11

They are meant to be snapshots, which can catch muttered jests.

Up Close and Private 12

Small shrugs.

Up Close and Private 13


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Personal statements.

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And plain simple glimpses into an abstract person's checkered life.

Up Close and Private 16

In the first Close Up and Private series (Spring Summer 2009), a small plastic bag greets the viewer in the first picture. Intended or not, this image expresses the same emotion as the short clip of the same object shown in American Beauty. So is the collection also a desperate cry for meaning in an urban world of material trappings?

How deep do yellow submarines sink?

Up Close and Private 17

How long does happiness last?

Up Close and Private 18

Nice boots!

Up Close and Private 19

I have to try this type of monochrome.

Up Close and Private 20

Day in and day out, how many combinations can we find from all the possible patterns?

Up Close and Private 21

Ingenious mix of polka dots and stripes.

Up Close and Private 22

Of course, there is always a way out of monotony. A kiss of pink, for instance, can make our outfits dance.

Up Close and Private 23

All we need is fresh perspective (and wide-cuffed trousers) each time we feel fatigued.

Up Close and Private 24

It is always our choice to set ourselves free from our own trappings.

Up Close and Private 25

Remove a piece or two when it gets too much.

Up Close and Private 26

Or when things seem suffocating.

Up Close and Private 27

I know it is not easy to always keep things fun, to keep that spirit of play.

Up Close and Private 28

To keep things fun and easy.

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When we'd rather stand back and not care about it.

Up Close and Private 30

Up Close and Private 31

But we must always keep our footing.

Up Close and Private 32

Blue + yellow = green. A smile can turn red into bright orange.

Up Close and Private 33

Finally! This post is nearly through. I can now hide my head in embarrassment for rambling this long.

Up Close and Private 34

The dandy always needs his eye candy.

Up Close and Private 35

And the city drudge his style fixes to keep him sane.

Up Close and Private 36

Fade out from reality once in a while, then you'll see.


-h said...

The button on the back of the collar is a thing of beauty.

ONAI said...

nice captioning... poetic and cool

like this post and imagery