okay, we’re officially falling forward. and that’s good cuz’ it’s high time to enjoy some sweet crisp air. this month, we dialed up our fam with jordana bermúdez, arielle wilkins and james hancock. we’re also in fashion mode with paris in burning, our on-loop movie mixing downtown ny art-house with uptown swagger.
might we suggest more of our rhythm on rockaway radio? strike your pose and find us. 🔥
JORDANA BERMUDEZ : I was born in Mexico in Zapopan, Jalisco, but I grew up in Mexico City.
ROCKAWAY: When did you start taking photographs and what caught your eye from an early age?
JB: It started in the '90s by looking at travel magazines. I was interested in images more than anything else.
I started taking photos when I got my first camera phone. I needed to document everything around me with the intent of keeping selected memories with me forever. What reminds me of this recent newsletter I read titled “In fear of forgetting”.
My Influences and inspirations are mentors and friends I got to know closely during my year at ICP's Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism program. Jessica Leherman is also an inspiration -- she encouraged me to document the dominatrix community in NYC after looking at her BDSM work.
ROCKAWAY: What do you love about photography -- and how do you get into the flow?
JB: I've loved photography for as long as I can remember, but I always felt something was missing until I found out about visual storytelling. Now, I can't separate an image from a story. We have NO limits but time. I get into the flow when I go out and observe. There are so many stories around us if we look. It could be at a party, in the park across the street, or on the internet. I approach people, ask if I can photograph them, then document what is happening. I don’t give directions -- I want the person to see the photo and see themselves in it.
ROCKAWAY: What's your advice to someone who wants to learn how to take a picture?
JB: The pandemic gave us tools to connect with people worldwide. Look at your favorite photographers' work, learn what you love about their photos, then reach out. Work on personal projects that show how you think creatively, share your work, and ask for feedback. I've reached out to people I before imagined unreachable. Some linked me with editors; others became close friends.
ROCKAWAY: How did you come to the Girls Can't Skate project and what do you love about the art of movement?
JB: Parks have always been my safe place. I grew up rollerblading and biking and was also friends with the skaters. When I moved to NYC, I returned to parks looking for a sense of home and familiarity. It was in LES Coleman Skatepark where I found the womxn and non-binary skateboarding community. Andre Lambertson, asked me to watch "Minding the Gap," a documentary about young men united by skateboarding. Afterwards I decided to tell the other side of the story and document the life of the skaters who don't identify as male. Movement is what makes community possible. We need to move to create.
ARIELLE WILKINS : I'm originally from Houston, Texas, but have been living in NYC for 14 years until just recently.
ROCKAWAY : When did you become an artist and what inspires your work now?
AW: I started when I was young. I attended an arts middle school, high school and college. It's funny how my aspiration as a youth is what I'm currently doing now. My inspiration is various interactions and environments. I use it as a way to express my POV through my illustration work.
ROCKAWAY : What kind of visual diet did you have as a kid — what inspired you?
AW: I've been in the arts for as long as I can remember. Being from a creative family in Houston, Texas, I was exposed to the visual arts at a very young age. I remember going to art galleries when I was six years old and always had art kids at hand.
ROCKAWAY : What do you love about color and how does it inform your work?
AW: I love using bold colors, to ignite my visuals. My work is extremely dreamy, and I use bright color in my work as a way to escape from some of the harshness of reality.
ROCKAWAY : How do you balance work and play?
AW: I consider myself a 24/7 creative. Whenever I'm stressed I create art and use it as a source of meditation. Being focused, zoned out, and painting out my frustrations helps so much, and seeing the outcome is fantastic.
ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?
JAMES HANCOCK: I’m was born in Australia but have lived in many places across the world. Both myself and my wife like to move around and make new lives in different places. We’ve spent significant amounts of time in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London and toured all around asia and europe together.
ROCKAWAY: When did you becomes an artist and what inspires your work now?
JH: I’ve always been a visually creative person. It makes so much sense to me to make things with my hands, in fact if I’m not making something I tend to go a bit crazy. I’ve always been inspired by what is around me and I tend to draw from what I see in the local environment, so when I’m in New York I draw buildings, when I’m in Australia I draw birds and flowers!
ROCKAWAY: What kind of visual diet did you have as a kid — what inspired you?
JH: I jumped around as a kid, one minute I’d be into surf culture graphics, the next American comic books, the next fantasy and Warhammer figurines, the next Scandinavian silkscreen fabric such as marimekko. I took inspiration from all these things, again, things that were around me. I remember my parent’s marimekko bed spread!
ROCKAWAY: You’re a true jack of all trades — what do you love about storytelling thru illustration and font and maps and murals?
JH: I love working across many mediums and a few techniques, it keeps me interested and guessing. I love visual communication in some ways because I don’t like verbal communication all that much! I'd rather draw all day and show those drawings to people than get up and talk about what’s going on. I especially like maps and of they layers of information; you can talk to real things that exist around you and communicate those to people, and you can also give a vibe of a place. I also love all the detail you can put into maps, little easter eggs for the viewer that are fun to find.
ROCKAWAY: How do you balance work and play?
JH: I don’t, work is play and play is work, it’s all the same to me.
ROCKAWAY: What is your late summer mantra?
JH: Soak it up. Take the sketchbook out and draw in the flickering light of the sun.
at the crossroads of the village and chelsea, you’ll find this organic grocery, vitamin market and pharmacy all rolled into one. there’s also a fresh juice n’ smoothie counter for hydration or saunter to the refrig and find a foursome of our cans for your sipping pleasure.
“Everybody wants to make some mark upon the world. Then you think, you've made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name. Then you've left a mark. - Dorian Corey
It’s fair to say Madonna borrowed ‘Vogue’ from this Jennie Livingston-directed documentary showing the African American and Latinx Harlem 80s drag ball scene. Iconic fashion and strutting contests play out between names like Pepper LaBeija, Willi Ninja and Venus Xtravagenza. The music? It’s mostly disco numbers + a wicked Loose Joints track called ‘Is It All Over my Face.’
founder freestyle flow :
fall is here! loving the sunny days and crisp air. perfection weather in the city! plus bts (‘back 2 school’), rto (‘return to office’) — why does everything have an acronym these days? just speak in real words, people/media* — making the streets feel more alive than what feels like an eternity. we back baby! so hit that corner store on your commute and grab what you know is good ;)
rock on. x b
where the streets meet the beach. @drinkrockaway
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