Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize: Jordi Ruiz Cirera

This years Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has been awarded to Spanish born and London based, Jordi Ruiz Cirera (b.1984). The winning photograph captures a Bolivian woman who was clearly reluctant to sit for the camera. The 26-year-old subject is of a Mennonite woman, which is one photograph from the Menonos project, Ruiz Cirera’s long term examination of the daily life of a religious community that forbids images. Over a period of time Ruiz Cirera managed to build up a relationship of trust with the community and was eventually able to photograph them. The National Portrait Gallery, presented the £12,000 award on Monday 5 November and the winning portrait has been on show at the Gallery since Thursday 8 November.

Interview with Alex Katz

Turner Contemporary Gallery, Margate, from the 6 October 2012 to the 13 January 2013, will be home to an exhibition of works by acclaimed American painter Alex Katz. Featuring works from the 1950s to the present, the show takes a look at his studies in oil, his large-scale paintings, his collages and cut-outs in an impressive display of colour, scale and immense skill. Aesthetica sat down with Katz to talk about his work, influences and life.

ASFF Interview: Shasha Nakhai & Rich Williamson

Taking 200 short films from over 25 different countries, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is set to launch tomorrow. Including shorts from the BAFTA and Warp Films archive, ASFF really is a celebration of emerging and established short filmmaking talent. Each of the carefully selected films have their own unique stories, and not just in the storyline but in the tales behind how they were made. Aesthetica speaks to the directors and writers of The Sugar Bowl, Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson, on how they came to make this film.

Interview with Cig Harvey: You Look At Me Like an Emergency

Opening on the 14 November at the Robin Rice Gallery in New York, Cig Harvey will be launching installation exhibition, You Look at me Like an Emergency, based around her best selling photographic book of the same name. The exhibition is set up to mimic the book and allow the audience the experience of walking through it, even the cover of the book is replicated in the large white title stuck onto the red back wall. Drawn into a world of stories of relationship failures, falling in love and adjusting to motherhood the viewers will be struck by the vivid colours and perfect compositions of Harvey’s friends, family and found objects. Previously featured in Aesthetica 48, Harvey speaks to Aesthetica about her first photos and her desire to exhibit in the UK.

ASFF Filmmaker Interview: Anya Camilleri

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is opening in just three days. The City of York will be alight with 200 short films across 15 different venues. Amongst these innovative films will be Perfect, directed by Anya Camilleri with Pandemonium Films Ltd and in association with The Comedy Unit. Featuring Stephen Moyer (True Blood) Perfect is the chilling tale of a redundant estate agent taking on the world. Screened with six other Thrillers, Perfect will be on from 9 until 11 November at York City Screen and the Guildhall. Aesthetica has a quick fire interview with Camilleri to uncover the inspiration behind the film.

Eddie Peake & Prem Sahib: Feel Up at Southard Reid, London

Located up several flights of carpeted steps in a Dean Street townhouse is Southard Reid’s gallery space. A single room facing out towards the plush bars and restaurants that now populate the heart of Soho. The current exhibition, Feel Up (2012), was born of an ongoing collaboration between the artists Eddie Peake and Prem Sahib.

Sadler’s Wells: Alias, Sideways Rain

Arriving at Sadler’s Wells for the first time, Geneva based dance group Alias performs Sideways Rain. Directed and choreographed by Guilherme Botelho, Alias have produced more than 20 new works and performed in Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America to critical acclaim. Sideways Rain was created in 2010 and is one of the company’s biggest hits, attracting popularity all over the world.  Performing on the 15 – 16 November at Sadler’s Wells, Aesthetica spends a few minutes with Guilherme Botelho.

ASFF Animation Preview: The Man With The Stolen Heart

The animation screenings will be one of the many highlights of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF), beginning next week on 8 November. In total, ASFF will be screening over 200 films across 15 different venues in the City of York, and making up that number will be the 24 short animation films. Bar Lane Studios and St William’s College will play host to these little gems of cratfsmanship that include stop-motion and computer animation. In adition to this sparkiling programme of animations, Myles McLeod of winning animation company, The Brothers McLeod will be leading a masterclass on how to create an animated world and explore the process of shaping characters. The Brothers McLeod have worked with the BBC and Disney, and have directed commercials for Guinness and Skittles. We take a moment to look atThe Man With The Stolen Heart,one of the animations screened at ASFF.


Interview with Stuart Semple, Artist and Fashion Designer

Artist, and now fashion designer, Stuart Semple, has utilised his artistic eye to create a cardigan, in collaboration with Aubin & Wills. Built upon the memory and close relationship he had with his Grandad, Semple’s newest piece has history and thought sewn into each seam of the cardigan. The piece even has deep pockets to replicate how Semple’s Grandad stored his supply of tissues. Semple came to prominence back in 2000 when he made his distinctive social commentary drawings available on ebay. Since then Semple has featured in many major international exhibitions, including his large scale canvases and installations. Semple has even also featured on the cover of Aesthetica back in 2008 discussing Mashups, an exhibition he curated that sought to make sense of the complexities of mass culture. Semple talks to Aesthetica once more about his journey into fashion designing.


Sharon Lockhart | Noa Eshkol at The Jewish Museum, New York

Sharon Lockhart’s latest body of work Sharon Lockhart | Noa Eshkol, will be exhibiting at The Jewish Museum from 2 November through to 24 March 2013. In this exhibition, co-organised by the Los Angeles Museum of Art (LACMA) and The Israel Museum, Lockhart engages the legacy of Noa Eshkol, the Israeli dance composer, theorist, and textile artist who created an innovative notation system that describes virtually every perceptible movement of the body. Conceived by Lockhart as a two-person exhibition, Sharon Lockhart | Noa Eshkol consists of a new, large-scale, five-channel film installation, series of photographs and architectural interventions by Lockhart, and a selection of Eshkol’s carpets, scores, and archival drawings.


ASFF Filmmaker Interview: Nicholas Paton

It is now exactly a week until the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) opens at City Screen in York. The following days will see 200 films screened at 15 different venues across York. These films are the products of incredibly talented filmmakers from across the world. Amongst these filmmakers is Nicholas Paton, director and writer of Candid. Based on a supernatural mystery that emerges from a photographers images, Candid will be screened along with five other short films at the York Explore Library and at the Guildhall. Aesthetica speaks to Nicholas Paton about drama, photography and his future plans.


Karl Largerfeld and Carine Roitfeld: The Little Black Jacket, Saatchi, London

Karl Largerfeld is a strange icon. He appears, complete with his metal-adorned knuckles, his slick black and white attire, his silvery hair combed neatly on top of his sunglasses-wearing-head, like a fashion-conscious, aristocratic angel from a bizarre monochrome future. On top of his celestial appearance, as the designer for the iconic House of Chanel, Largerfeld is often also heralded as being Godlike for his impeccable sense in fashion-design and his sensitive handling of the iconic silhouettes and classic pieces of the very Coco herself… This isn’t where God ends in Karl though. Another step further takes us right to the gates of heaven where Largerfeld actually appears as God, tucked between the cheeks and folds of white, fluffy clouds in the world according to rapper Jean-Roch (see 2012 music video, Saint-Tropez). He is the Wagner, the Saatchi of fashion. He is… apparently… God.