“A Totally Subjective Art Review From an Unprofessional Art Critic on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from a piece I wrote for The Style Con back in December. Revisiting in honor of the recent ending of Mike Kelley’s exhibition at MOMA PS1.

The first thing you notice is the screaming. I’m separating the adhesive from the back of my MoMA PS1 sticker while pretending to read the description for Mike Kelley’s 200-plus oeuvre when I remember something my friend told me about the exhibition last week. Something about how he didn’t know how the docents could stand being in each room for more than 20 minutes at a time. “Screaming,” he said. “So much screaming.”

The recollection comes about twenty minutes and ten dollars too late. Because right now I’m standing alone in the foyer of the museum, a month’s worth of nagging anxiety threatening to push me over the climatic edge of total mental deterioration. I look down the hallway towards monitors displaying cartoons of breathing, heaving, shaking glass bottles, each accompanied with its own horrible human exhalation. Screams, moans, the unsettling noises of which we are all capable.

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“NYFW: A Guide for Creepy Pervs” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from my piece “NYFW: A Guide for Creepy Pervs” as seen on The Style Con:

It’s New York Fashion Week casting season and you know what that means! Time to break up with that girl you’ve been dating! There’s no place quite like New York to live in the perpetual quest of the Bigger Better Deal, and no better time to capitalize on that dick-driven delusion quite like NYFW. Yes, this is a magical time in a magical place. On any given Sunday there is always someone richer, hotter, and younger than what you’ve currently got welded onto your ankle, chaffing your skin and annoying the shit out of you. NYFW, with its parade of 100-pound baby aliens, will make you regret every vaguely old, not entirely pretty chick you’ve liked over the last ten years, sending you weeping into your pillow at night over years of low standards. Love really is a beast of burden, especially when you’re trying to prove to all your dude friends that you’re the man in the Bang Department. That’s right. Bang Department.

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“The Bathroom Attendant: 20 W 29th St” on Harry’s Five O’Clock Mag

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The following is an excerpt from my piece “The Bathroom Attendant: 20 W 29th Street” as seen on Harry’s Five O’Clock Magazine:

Welcome, sir. And won’t you allow this gentleman to open a set of brass doors for you? And then allow a second gentleman to open a second set. Pass low tables packed with bearded freelancers basking in the blue glow of their MacBook Airs. Ignore the delicious smell of freshly fried scotch eggs wafting through the air. The food can wait; there’s business to attend to. Traipse down the stairs, list to the right and here it is: A black-lacquered lavatory suitable for graphic designers, entrepreneurs, and you. 

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“Gracie Van Gastel: From Nada to Prada” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from my piece “Gracie Van Gastel: From Nada to Prada” as seen on The Style Con:

In modeling, there are some girls who just start out getting it. Even in the most horribly lit,over-styled, makeup-caked test shoot taken in the bowels of some photo studio in the middle of anti-fashion hell, they manage to shine through against all odds, communicate their, I don’t know, model aura or something. I’ve seen these girls operate in real-time, and, say what you will about the talent required to model, it’s something to behold. These girls are the unicorns, the girls who, at ages as young as 14 years old, when most acne-riddled twerps are just freaking out about whether or not the shoes they wore to school were Popular Kid Approved, possess a transparency that took myself, as a model, over eight years to get, which, given the brevity of most modeling careers, is about seven years, eleven months, and thirteen days too long. But the unicorns… they’re the lucky ones. They’re like Harvard-bound dorks born understanding calculus. Only, you know, these are fashion babes destined for Vogue.

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“Xiao Wen Ju – From Nada to Prada” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from my regular series “From Nada to Prada,” as seen on The Style Con:

When Chinese model Xiao Wen Ju first got her start in 2010, she arrived on the scene with the over-dyed, strawberry brown hair one might find on any frightfully ordinary lass in a domestic cell phone campaign. But to be booking that haute couture ish, you better be lookin’ extra-ordinary. Just a few months into the game, Xiao got the memo and quickly took her hair back to its dark, silky roots. Voila! A star is born.

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“The Spectrum of Effort” on Lady Clever

Screen shot 2014-02-01 at 9.04.38 AMThe following is an excerpt from my piece “The Spectrum of Effort” as seen on Lady Clever:

Sweat pours from every inch of every body in this smelly, disgusting room. The towel on my yoga matt is drenched, slate blue where it once was gray, soaking up to the best of its ability while my vision floats somewhere between the ceiling and myself, unfocussed and unstrained in a restorative shavasana. We get thirty seconds here. Thirty beautiful, empty seconds.

“Go from one-hundred-percent effort to zero-percent effort,” the instructor says, a disembodied voice somewhere in another corner of the room. “Do it so quickly and so fully that everything in between disappears, like it never happened.”

I started taking Bikram yoga over a year ago to deal with some Hurricane Sandy-induced cabin fever, which was so significant it trumped all my years of humming and hawing over the aforementioned sweat and stink that was previously a workout deal breaker. The first class sent me out the door reeling in an exhaustion-induced, dehydration-riddled high that has since become more manageable in the year since I began practicing. But I don’t come for the highs anymore; I come to have my brain rewired within my skull, the thought processes altered in a way I cannot exactly describe. I come here for seemingly meaningless instructions that pertain to a pose that actually pertain to your life.

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“One of Many: Dimes and Dozens” on Lady Clever

Screen shot 2014-02-01 at 9.01.17 AMThe following is an excerpt from my piece “One of Many: Dimes and Dozens” as seen on Lady Clever:

There’s no sign-in sheet. Which is bad, you know, because there’s already about forty-five girls here, all in roughly the same make and model: thin, tall, mostly blonde and usually Russian. A familiar hum of all-too-familiar conversations buzzes in between walls the color of radioactive tangerines. “It’s from Miami,” someone says. “What did you do last night?” asks another. “We’re not that young anymore!” quips a blonde on the couch, at least six years younger than myself. All the girls around her laugh in dumb chorus.

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“Agnes Nabuurs: From Nada to Prada” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from my piece “Agnes Nabuurs: From Nada to Prada” as seen on The Style Con:

“She’s so ‘normal’ looking to me, but it’s nice…” 

So wrote one commenter of Dutch model Agnes Nabuurs on The Fashion Spot’s message board, a place where model enthusiasts stalk, chart, post, revere, revile, and – in my case – research. It is the beta Magna Carta of careers, where you get a chronological, documented account of a girl’s appearance in the fashion world, from potentially regrettable start to laughably lucrative finish. Had I more a remarkable career myself, I would have hated this website. But I didn’t, so yay!

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“Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe It’s Drug Addiction: A Beauty Guide!” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from my regular column “Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe It’s Drug Addiction” as seen on The Style Con:

Coke. Zip. Blow. Snow. Gutter glitter. Tardust. Candy cane. Base. Riding the white horse. Petting albino bunny rabbits or whatever you or your grandma calls it — I, as your drug addict’s beauty editor, was admittedly nervous to bring up the topic of cocaine as it pertains to beauty regimes because of our admittedly chic, cosmopolitan and fashionable readership. I understand. Coke has become, for many, a social necessity. Your fabulous life does not allow for boredom or sleep. Your fabulous life also can’t afford you rolling around the city looking like party girl garb. You need me. Just like cocaine.

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