Brooklynite hip-hop trio the Flatbush Zombies headlined the first outdoor, free public concert of Summerstage on Tuesday in Red Hook. The Underachievers, who recently toured with the Zombies and Joey Bada$$ on the Beast Coastal Tour, opened for the trio. There were also special appearances by World's Fair and the Tanboys. Jessica Lehrman, who accompanied the groups on the Beast Coastal Tour, snapped shots of the show, including when the crowd broke down the security barrier and rushed the stage.
Brooklyn-based up-start graphic-print label How Very Dare debuts their new line "Trash to Treasure" this week, channeling vintage iconography just in time for another New York summer. "The prints in this collection are inspired by flea market finds: vintage brooches, rotary telephones, retro roller skates, bicycles, and old books," says co-owner Katelyn Brehony.
Take an exclusive look at their lookbook below, and the behind-the-scenes video of their shoot. They will be launching the new batch to the public this Saturday at Alter on Franklin Street in Greenpoint from 3-6pm.
“Enough is enough,” Kirill Bichutsky says soberly while staring at his iPhone. For the tenth time his Instagram account has been disabled for displaying “mature content,”-- namely, tits. Subsequently last month he Tweeted, “Just like herpes, u can hide me for a while, but u ain't ever gonna get rid of me!” A social media nightmare living the after dark dream, Kirill is reputed as New York City’s most infamous nightlife photographer, snapping bar room bacchanals, dance floor debauchery and all other forms of “you only live once” indiscretions. Standing at an overestimated 5’ 10,’’ with thick eyebrows, down-turned eyes, and a button-nose, he has a man-boy quality physically manifesting his juvenile character, but it belies the disillusionment of self-made internet fame. “My followers are assholes; if you don't post crazy content then they say you're boring.” In Kirill’s case, the love/hate relationship with his fans is mutual. “I am my own worst enemy.”
Residing just two avenues over from Times Square, Kirill is never far from the action. In fact, ever since moving into his two-bedroom apartment four years ago (which he recently turned into a studio by tearing down the dividing wall himself) from his hometown of Roxbury, New Jersey, he’s essentially made a career out of forging proximity between his life and work.
Through the doorframe of his room hangs a personal shrine: dangling press pass necklaces on display like won trophies, wreathe a pair of modest, silver wall hooks that anchor a pop-art portrait rendition of Marilyn Manson, who Kirill extols as “the original artist,” because, he adds admiringly, “he just doesn’t give a fuck.” Inspired by the influence of indifference, Kirill takes great pride in the anti-establishment attitude on which his bad boy reputation is built. “Nightlife is taken so seriously. You’re in a room designed to have a good time, you walk in, and they strip you of having a good time with rules,” he explains. So, Kirill made himself an exception to all the rules, except one-- know your subject. “You have to be a partier to do this, because then the walls come down, and you’re just like one of their girlfriends, and not some awkward guy with a camera.” Armed with a dogged, devil-may-care attitude, he employs a “party, aim, fire” method that’s not about getting the shot, but rather, making the shot, breaking down the barriers of conventional event photography to become as much a part of the good time as he is a witness to it.
And as a master of his own image, as it were, Kirill has turned his namesake into a name brand-- Kirill Was Here-- that appears on hats, t-shirts and a black and white sticker most often seen covering a pair of nipples. Pandering to the nightclub circuit crowd as the self-titled "Slut Whisperer", and captivating an estimated six million monthly website visitors, Kirill is pigeonholed by a popularity that depends on curating controversy through salacious photos and lewd captions. “I want new fans,” he says matter-of-factly. Just as he outgrew the confines of his room, at the age of twenty-eight, Kirill now finds himself outgrowing his profession, and is up against another wall that he wants to break down.
“The goal is to make it more of an artistic career,” he says. Transforming himself from, “that photographer who used to crash parties,” into a limited edition fine art photographer will be ironic for Kirill, who dropped out of William Patterson College’s art school and openly rejects the institutionalized arts establishment. “The way we’re made to perceive art is bullshit, he exclaims. Using a Nikon D3S and SB900 Nikon flash, Kirill knowingly acknowledges how the seeming spontaneity and stark spot-lit brightness of his snap-shot aesthetic is, “Terry Richardson-y,” but according to Kirill, what distinguishes his images is nothing more than simply the watermark, since, “people know Kirill, and know a good time is on its way,” he says. Kirill has parlayed partying into an art form and in doing so, believes the artistry of his work is in the moment. “Anyone could have taken it, but it’s a dope moment,” he boasts.
Below the flat screen T.V. resting on a mounted shelf that juts out of the wall opposite from his bed lies “Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality.” Published by Scott Belsky, the founder and CEO of Behance, an online portfolio platform for creative professionals, the book imparts how to execute and complete projects. Considering Kirill taught himself how to shoot and edit, the self-help title isn’t entirely surprising to see. “I never wanted to be a photographer. I’m just in the moment, and it’s scary at times,” he admits. Moving into a new professional direction, not to mention a new address, since Kirill is being evicted in July for illegally demolishing the wall in his apartment, capitalizing on his ability to make a picture out of making a good time is one and the same as figuring out how to make his moments lasting. “I don’t know where the photography is going,” he says, but at least for this summer, Kirill be hustling the Hampton’s usual seasonal summer frenzy.
“I’ve been talking about [getting] it for two years now,” he begins to say, looking down, up-tilting the outside of his right forearm. “I got it in Miami at this party where my boys were doing free tattoos," he says referring the ink on his arm. Reading the thin black outlined Russian letters in his native tongue, “Nu Puguodi,” he says, “it’s the name of the Russian equivalent of the Tom & Jerry cartoon.” It means, “just you wait.”
I remember the first time I took a tour through the Modern Vice factory in Manhattan's garment district. Racks of shoes lined every wall and the smell of freshly-pressed leather filled the room like the thick smoke of a grandfather's cigar: dense and pungent, but not unpleasant--a smell with a hint of nostalgia and a sense of wonder, a smell that packs a swift reassurance of quality and hard work.
Modern Vice, the up-start shoe company headed by brothers Jordan and Jensen Adoni, has captivated me ever since--one of the only shoe companies in New York City that makes all their own shoes by hand right here in Manhattan, and who is headed by two 20-somethings with a branding vision and dense entrepreneurial spirit.
So now, as I walk down the streets of New York, I can't help but see a little bit of Modern Vice everywhere--a girl with their famous Jett shoes (a collaboration with blogger Natalie Suarez and her sister Dylana Suarez), or people talking about their desire to start a fashion brand, or, perhaps most intently, on my own feel, the soles of my Officer Boots clacking against the pavement...my favorite pair of shoes.
Below are portraits of the Modern Vice staff working at the factory. Keep an eye out for Patrick Postle's editorial in the Street Issue, shot also at the factory, due out in July.