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Review of PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Costume Institute at the MetropolitanMuseum of Art, New York

Punk was an attitude and an aesthetic, a movement which provoked anti-establishment with exhibitionist flair. According to John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), “Punk was like nothing anybody had seen before, like nothing. Punk was fearless. Utterly fearless.” With this fearlessness came its unabashed fashions, its intended chaos of cut-offs and chains which has been captured and appropriated by high-end designers into relics of couture. PUNK: Chaos to Couture, at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nods to the birthplaces of punk before progressing through a series of four Do-it-yourself themes of punk fashion.  

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Interview with James Franco: Psycho Nacirema at Pace gallery, London

When thinking of James Franco, images of an intense acting talent spring to mind, his performance in 127 Hours was nothing short of incredible, as he captivated audiences with his near solo performance for over an hour and a half, a solid testament to any actor’s talent. The second is his undeniable outward beauty that has elevated him to movie star heartthrob status. It is this lethal combination that won him one of his breakout roles playing James Dean in a TV film on the icons life. Franco in true method mode, locked himself away, cut himself off from friends and family, and became Dean by watching Deans’ films. Just for good measure, Franco is also a published fiction writer, holds an MFA (Masters) in writing, and, is a PhD candidate to boot. And now, Franco has opened an exhibition at Pace, London, largely based on Hitchcock’s film Psycho. Aesthetica speaks to Franco about his relationship with Hitchcock and his approach to art.

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Interview with Kate Nowakowski: Winner of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition

Winner of the Short Fiction category of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012, Kate Nowakowski speaks to Aesthetica about her success and her advice to writers. There is still chance to submit Short Fiction or Poetry to the Creative Writing Competition 2013. The final deadline for submissions is 31 August.

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Review of Social Codes, Yannick Fournié and Cyril Le Van, Paris

The theme of contemporary dress codes was suggested by the Galerie Géraldine Banier who then proceeded to contact two French artists who would dovetail for a harmonious exhibition. The two artists chosen, both born in the 1970s, could hardly fit better together and still remain distinctive. Both have a strong interest in the gaudy surfaces of pop culture and a need to plough and harrow smooth exteriors. Yannick Fournié’s oil-painted figures have weathered skin, battered and mottled by age and embattled emotions. It comes as no surprise to learn that his painterly heroes are Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Egon Schiele.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Open for Entries

The Aesthetica Art Prize 2013 is now open for entries, offering both budding and established artists the opportunity to showcase their work to a wider, international audience. Now in its sixth year the competition is a celebration of visual art, inviting all artists to submit imaginative and innovative work that pushes the boundaries of their chosen medium. Committed to nurturing new and existing talent, the Aesthetica Art Prize is a fantastic opportunity to develop your presence in the international art world. Prizes include up to £1000 in cash, a group exhibition, six months studio space, six mentoring sessions and editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine, which has a readership of 140,000 worldwide.

Interview with artist Sarah Van Sonsbeeck

There is an increasing noise building around the work of Dutch artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck. Though this should hardly be surprising since her work is fundamentally concerned with the texture of the sonic, the structures of the audible, and the mapping of sound itself. But while Sonsbeeck is sometimes described as a “sound artist”, there is a pertinent spatiality to her work that derives from her training as an architect at TUDelft. She later entered the Gerrit Rietveld Academy where teachers encouraged her to incorporate her architectural study into her work, something she was initially reticent of, but finding inspiration from other artists of the spatial, such as Rachel Whiteread and Gordon Matta Clark, she began to feel comfortable working in the idiom of both the spatial and the audible.

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On Kawara: One Million Years, Brussels

From today Bozar Expo, Brussels, exhibits conceptual artist, On Kawara’s One Million Years. Until 14 July the ongoing work will appear at the Centre for Fine Arts and the ongoing work, which was conceived back in 1969, documents the passage of time. The 20-volume work is biblical in scale and is a typewritten record of one million years, past and future. Each volume contains 2,068 pages and the past is dedicated to “all those who have lived and died” and Future is “for the last one”.

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Blondiefest: One Way or Another at ICA, London

Curated by Tom Wilcox, Associate Curator at ICA and Hanna Hanra, Editor in Chief of BEAT Magazine, Blondiefest: One Way or Another opens at ICA on 5 July and surveys and celebrates the cultural legacy of Blondie and their iconic frontwoman Debbie Harry. As one of the greatest bands to ever come out of New York, Debbie Harry and the band define their epoch – their records and image are synonymous with their time and place. Their beginnings were in New York’s mid-’70s punk and new-wave scenes, but by the late ’70s and early ’80s their eclectic musical style, compelling rhythms and seductive pop melodies had propelled them from the fringes to the mainstream.

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A Cuckoo’s Broken Wing, Short Fiction Winner from Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012

Kate Nowakowski’s captivating short story A Cuckoo’s Broken Wing, is the winning entry for Short Fiction in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012. There is still chance to submit Short Fiction or Poetry to the Creative Writing Competition 2013. The final deadline for submissions is 31 August and the following is an extract from Nowakowski’s story.

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Aesthetica Short Film Festival at V&A Friday Late

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is a celebration of independent film from across the world, and an outlet for championing and supporting short filmmaking. This Friday a special programme of films from the 2012 festival will be screened at the V&A, London, for the Friday Late event. Themed around Dalston, the event this Friday 28 June is the first in a series of Friday Lates that will invite London’s creative communities to take over the Museum for an evening, presenting a range of music, art, design, film, architecture and more.

5 Under 30: Young Photographers’ Competition at Daniel Blau, London

Daniel Blau Photography Gallery has announced the winners of its first annual 5 under 30 competition. Marianne Bjornmyr, Madoka Furuhashi, Andi Schmied, Tereza Cervenova and Lara Morrell will have their work displayed at a group exhibition opening on 5 July. It’s a varied selection that includes landscape, still life and portraits shot in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

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Stephen Walter: Anthropocene, London

The title of the newest exhibition at the Londonewcastle Project Space, Anthropocene, refers to the current geological age, a period of time during which human behaviour is the dominant impact on the environment and the climate. Running 3 – 26 July, Stephen Walter’s solo show is an exhibition of drawings, photographs and prints produced within the last four years (including his iconic London maps).  There will also be an interactive digital display of his London Subterranea, developed in collaboration with Cogapp.