Archive for the ‘Nightlife’ Category
This week, Carnival is being celebrated all over the world. In nearly every case, the annual five-day event ushers in a party of historic proportions. And while celebrations in Brazil and New Orleans typically involve record levels of infamous wild partying, Venice, Italy instead transforms itself into the ultimate masquerade ball.
I recently had the pleasure of experiencing Venice Carnival, and it is truly a magical experience. A feast for the eyes in every way—from giant marionette spiders in St. Mark’s Square to cobblestone alleys lined with sorcerers, enchanters, and mystics—the Venetian gala champions art and artists from the arcane to the downright creepy.
Perhaps most fascinating is that none of the celebartions’ colorful players ever break character. If costume balls are your cup of tea, mark my words, this is one you want to experience. Eyes Wide Shut has nothing on Venice.
The Burn is approaching. Anyone who has ever been to Burning Man knows that it is an unforgettable circus of color, fire and stars that no photographs or blog posts can ever do justice. That said, here’s my humble attempt.
This week—and the last week in August every year—tens of thousands of “burners” migrate to the Black Rock desert in northern Nevada for Burning Man. The week-long festival transforms the barren landscape into a hub for art, expression and exhibition. In Issue 3 of WMB 3D: World’s Most Beautiful, I’ve created a round-the-clock photo-journal in 3D, to give the uninitiated a uniquely surreal look at the art of Burning Man.
Photos by Nick Saglimbeni
Temple of Transformation by International Megatropolis Art Crew
Face Forward by Christian Ristow
H.A.T.U. by Terra Cronshey
Parallel Lives by John Hagar
Trojan Horse by Douglas Bevans
Our good friend Melanie Iglesias embarks visits Los Angeles hotspots to give new viewers a first-hand look at WMB 3D: World’s Most Beautiful. Audience reactions never disappoint, ranging from shock and awe to downright hilarious. See what real viewers had to say in the video above.
Meeting your heroes is certainly one of the perks of being a photographer. I’ve been listening to Paul Oakenfold’s music since the early 1990s. In fact, he was one of the only artists producing a very niche music at that time—at least niche in America. One of the founders of electronic dance music, Oakenfold pioneered multiple genres of music that have taken over pop music in the recent years. EDM—and it’s many incarnations and sub-genres such as House, Trance, and Acid Jazz—was a soundtrack to my early days as a digital artist, as I tinkered with computer art on my Amiga 500.
Mr. Oakenfold was nice enough to allow me to follow him around during a live Las Vegas performance at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, where I photographed his adventures for WMB 3D. As expected, both the performance and the crowds were electric, and for this longtime trance fan, it was a dream come true.
Paul was equally open when I interviewed him for the magazine a few weeks later, and his candor gave me an even greater respect for the trailblazing DJ. See Paul Oakenfold’s 8-page feature in Volume 3 of WMB 3D: World’s Most Beautiful on iPad, iPhone, Android, and in Limited Edition Collector’s Print. My sincerest thanks to Paul and his incredible team for the unrestricted access. Here is an excerpt from our interview:
WMB: What was the turning point for you?
Paul Oakenfold: When my friends were out partying, I was in chef training. I’d work lunch from 10 to 3, then dinner from 5 to 11, and then do it all over again the next day. I worked fucking hard. I had just turned 20 and I saw all my friends having a good time, enjoying their lives. So right after I passed my exams, I said to myself, ‘Life’s too short to be doing this. I’ve got to follow my dream of making music. If it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t happen. I can always go back to being a chef.’
There are a few moments in your life where you reach a crossroads. The first one for most people is when it’s time to leave home. You have to decide, are you gonna stay home and be a mommy’s boy, or are you going to go be out in the wild world? Of course it’s easier to stay home, but you know you’ve got to get out. You can’t go through life regretting and hiding. You’re allowed to fall down. We all do. But you pick yourself back up and try again. Succeeding is trying. Maybe you get up and say, ‘This wasn’t for me.’ But you’ve already succeeded because you’ve tried. It’s the people who don’t try—the people who sit there in that same position for 30 years and say, ‘I’m gonna do this,’ and ‘I’m gonna do that,’—those people are bound to face a very dark moment when they wake up and realize, ‘I just let life go by.’
Your stories from your early days are notorious, like when you were sneaking into Studio 54. Were you a troublemaker, growing up?
No, I wasn’t trouble. I was just young and in New York and I wanted to be a part of it all. I was intrigued. But I wasn’t old enough to get into those clubs, so I was going to try to get in by any way possible. I was sleeping on the floor in Puerto Rican Harlem. I had no money, but I was very inspired by the whole scene. I wanted to know what was going on inside the clubs. It was a pivotal moment in my life. I said, ‘This is it. This is fucking it.’ I got a fake ID made up, and I’m sure the English accent helped. In England, they don’t have ID—they look at you and go, ‘Nope.’ But in America, you show them an ID and you go, ‘Yeah, that’s me,’ with an English accent and they fall for it.
Shortly after New York, you famously went to Ibiza in 1987 to celebrate your birthday. This trip is widely accepted as the defining moment in acid house history, or—put another way—the birth of trance. What caused this perfect storm?
There were a few things. My friends were there. The scene was something new and special, and I was already dialed in because of my time in New York. It was the opening of major clubs, but in these clubs you were dancing under the stars. It was also the drugs, and it was the music. Ibiza was a musical playground. So I went back with my flag in my hand and said, ‘This is what we’re going to do …’
Fast forward 25 years, and today, electronic music is everywhere. It’s in hip-hop, it’s in rock-n-roll, it’s in pop. In your mind, what happened?
Now, house music is pop music. Mainstream electronic dance music—EDM—is what we used to call House in the ‘80s. What you’re hearing on the radio is all EDM-based. House has gone completely mainstream.
What excites you?
Being exactly where I am, at the moment. All eyes are on us, and we should make the world proud. It’s a good time to be living in our world, the electronic world.
Any advice to our younger readers?
Yeah, a lot of advice: Work hard, focus on yourself—your time will come—and practice. If you want to be the best at anything in life, you’ve got to practice. The problem with much of the youth today is that they just want to be fucking famous, but they don’t want to work hard; they don’t want to put the time in. It used to just be in America, but now it’s spreading all over the world.
Kris Jenner always throws the best Christmas parties, and this year was no exception. Aside from the amazing food and flawless attire, the most enjoyable part for me is watching everyone kick back and have fun for a night.
The Kardashian/Jenner machine is a big one indeed, and their team works incredibly hard to insure smooth running. My thanks to everyone on the K/J team who helped make 2012 a record year for SlickforceStudio, including Noelle Keshishian, Liz Killimond, Jennifer Stith, Sydney Hitchcock, Sheiva Ghasemzadeh, super glam team Monica Rose, Mario Dedivanovic, Rob Scheppy, and Clyde Haygood, and of course the family itself—Kris, Kim, Khloé, Kourtney, Kendall, Kylie, Rob, Bruce, Lamar, and Scott.
The SlickforceStudio family is more vibrant than ever, and it is a daily thrill to be able to work amongst such a talented team. Joyce, Kevin, Christian, Scot, Maribel, Kate, Francesca, and Daniel—you are the best!
And last but not least, I want to thank YOU for your support throughout the years. Creating our brand of magic everyday is a dream come true for this team of artists. Happy New Year to all of you, and wishing you a joyous, healthy and prosperous 2013!
This past Saturday, I was in Las Vegas photographing Paul Oakenfold’s show at Marquee. By magical coincidence, it also happened to be Earth Hour at the exact time our shoot was scheduled. So Paul, Christian Arias and I all watched from our balcony as the landmark lights of the Las Vegas strip went dark one by one. (Well, every major casino except Treasure Island.) It blew my mind how much ambient light remained from the street and surrounding city, but it provided the opportunity for some wild exposures. Enjoy!