White Marble Duvet Set by SAFE HOUSE USA
Keehnan Konyha is the founder and creator behind SAFE HOUSE USA, a bedding and home goods brand created around concept of street wear.
Konyha has recently been interviewed by a wide ranging selection of media all focusing on his collaborations with artists, affordable but cutting edge bedsheets and monochromatic prints.
However what seems most fascinating about SAFE HOUSE is why is no one else is doing this? And if there are others, why do we not know about it? The vast majority of contemporary interior designers seem to cater for a market over the age of 35 in a family orientated way. Konyha merges his Brooklyn lifestyle into his practice to great effect. In our recession fuelled times the prospect of investing in furniture or other areas of interior design is not always so realistic, especially for people under the age of 30. Most young people now share houses, or live with their parents, meaning that the bedroom is their only personal space. SAFE HOUSE caters to a perfect market, creating bedding sets and throws with impeccably fresh prints in a manner that can transcend any bedroom and be transported as frequently as your lifestyle pleases.
For Sang Bleu we have decided to focus on what Konyha’s inspirations have been so far in his life in regards to interiors and other areas of influence such as fashion, art, music and architecture.
Black Marble Duvet Set
FW13 Extension Collection, Drawn by Richard Haines
Where and what is your favourite bedroom?
I actually have to say mine right now, which is probably horribly vain, but primarily because I spend so much time here. It’s the one featured in the instant shots on the SAFE HOUSE site.
While we were apartment hunting last year, my boyfriend and I, really more as a joke, cast a spell to narrow down what we were looking for, and through curiously suspicious circumstance found it almost immediately and exactly. Call it luck, but if you’re looking for an apartment I say go with the spell, just in case.
What are some of your favourite sets from films?
Eiko Ishioka’s Closet Land and Mishima: a Life in Four Chapters
Eugenio Zanetti’s Flatliners
Scorsese’s After Hours
Stigmata, Production Design by Waldemar Kalinowski, Art Direction by Anthony Stabley, Set Decoration by Florence Fellman and Marco Niro. Patricia Arquette’s warehouse loft is an insane, over the top, one-hundred-percent-fictitious mix of 30s deco, industrial (musically and architecturally), yoga-cum-rave culture and inflatable furniture.
What is your favourite design movement?
Memphis, which is probably pretty obvious, especially Shiro Kuramata, though influences shift. Nostalgia cycles more rapidly. I might be less of a “movement” person, and more drawn to specific designers and visionaries; Tibor Kalman, Michel Graves, Terence Conran, Andrea Branzi, Joe Holtzman, Kelly Wearstler, William Morris, Ward Bennett, Gaetano Pesce, Billy Baldwin, Laurie Anderson.
I’m attracted to cohesion; to comprehensive themes and ideas; to extremes (simplicity can be it’s own extreme) followed to their logical conclusions. I try to stay open. What I find off-putting is typically what qualifies as “good taste.” There’s nothing compelling about good taste.
I think you have to be careful about what you allow in, about what you allow to influence you. It’s a constant, ongoing process of checking in with yourself creatively. Clearly I work with reference, with reappropriation and recontextualization, but I worry that we’ve outsourced our imaginations to an endless stream of reblogged, repinned content in an effort to easily aggregate, brand, and identify who we think we are, or who we dream we could be. My hope is that it’s entirely possible my favorite design movement has yet to happen.
What is your favourite art movement?
I’d be lazy and remiss to fall back on the past here. I love my friends and contemporaries, and New York is too full of preposterous talent right now not to list of them as many as I can:
Sam McKinniss, Ben Schumacher, Erica Bech, Colin Self, Alexis Penney, Landon Metz, Borna Sammak, Amos Mac, Alex De Corte, Kari Altmann, Richard Giglio,Richard Haines, Cody Critcheloe, Jaimie Warren, Travess Smalley, Boychild, Shayne Oliver, Desi Santiago, Scott Hug, BCALLA, Charlie Morris, Barrett Emke, Cyril Duval, Patrick Dyer, House of Ladosha, Juliana Huxtable.
I’m going to forget way too many names here and will absolutely regret it immediately.
Favourite movie from the 1980s?
Terrible and sublime at best, trashy and obvious at worst. This could probably be applied to my taste in almost everything. Anything John Carpenter, Adrian Lyne or Paul Schrader touched, unfortunately.
Favourite set/art direction from a music video?
Mark Romanek’s video for “Scream,” production design by Tom Foden, who also did Madonna’s “Bedtime Stories” and NIN’s ”Closer.” Flawless, untouchable song; flawless, untouchable visuals; still holds the title for the most expensive music video ever made.
Missy’s “She’s A Bitch.” Four years after the “Scream” video, it’s either an homage, the zeitgeist (I think zeitgeist moved slower in the late 90s), or just a straight lift (down to the opening, glossy-type’d shot), but what starts as typical Hype Williams (though w/ a gorgeous and atypical, monochromatic palette) fish-eye-in-a-box video becomes something completely alien and otherworldly around 1:50. Hype in top form, maybe his peak.
And again, Romanek’s video for Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” A dead-on shot at Steven Meisel’s banned spots for Calvin Klein; unfinished, shag-carpeted and wood-paneled basement rec rooms, plus over-saturated, red-eyed, morning-after polaroid filters. I could live in this video. I may have tried?
I’m originally from Seattle, so the first building that comes to mind is St. Mark’s Cathedral, along with the adjacent rectory and (what once served as) the Cornish campus. Though some improvements were made in ’97 by Olson Sundberg, it was never entirely finished or built to the original specs from the late 20s and early ’30s, so the interior is very utilitarian and box-like in its incompleteness, more basilica than cathedral; no transept, no ribbed vaults or pendentives. I’ve got a soft spot for the underdog. And Episcopalians, maybe.
And Jesuits?. Steven Holl’s Chapel of St. Ignatius, also Seattle. The interior light is as much a part of the building as its materials, and shifts dramatically and beautifully throughout the day, designed around the schedule of Jesuit worship. It has a silence, both architecturally and literally, almost impossible to find in New York.
NYC’s modernist Church of the Nativity in the East Village, redone by Genovese & Maddalene in 1968. According to Wikipedia, it’s been described as ”starkly institutional” and “a modern architectural cartoon exhibiting a gross idea with no detail,” but I find something elegant and honest about it’s brutality.
More NYC: Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi; literally what is there not to love? Any building capable of outraging the West Village while avoiding both the leaking starchitecture of Frank Gehry and the cardboard-and-glass Monocle-approved hideousness of new money loft conversion gets tens across the board.
Louis Kahn’s Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban building. I think it’s the only structure that’s ever made me weep hysterically, and I’ve never actually been there.
More from past blog entires:
Favourite interiors in a restaurant or cafe?
This is a rough one, considering the Roman & Williams, Brooklyn-via-Portland, be-edison bulb’d faux rustica prison of the last decade. I’m at a point where the fluorescent, blobject-y Karim Rashid feels of Pink Berry, Rice to Riches interiors have started to feel welcoming, though I’m probably just be jumping the gun on early ‘00s nostalgia.
Since I don’t eat out much, and have totally succumbed to the sad cliche of rarely leaving Brooklyn, I’m going to fold this into nightlife and general mood, rather than strictly decor.
I miss The Beatrice, though technically she was a bar, and sadly, actual documentation is slim. It somehow managed a perfect balance of exclusivity and warmly welcoming once inside, offering both a simple, you-should-be-at-home-here elegance and nightly house party. To the best of my knowledge, that feeling has yet to be recreated. Certain spaces come imbued with a special kind of magic that needs only to be coaxed and tended to, something like what I imagine Michèle Lamy’s Les Deux Cafés felt like.
Output in Williamsburg is incredible, maybe as close to The Hacienda as I’ll get in my lifetime; unreal sound. Bossa Nova Civic Club is also brilliant, hidden away under the elevated train in Bushwick; perfect dance floor, consistently interesting booking, and I’ll always go weak for any amount of Don Loper, Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper.
Passion Lounge; if you know, you know.
Favourite description of a room from literature?
I think I bond more with, or maybe the passages or novels that resonate with me the most, are ones where rooms themselves become characters, or where the lines between the human metaphorical interior and the interior of physical space are blurred; Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled; Sylvia Molloy’s Certificate of Absence; Emma Donoghue’s Room; Adam Lehner’s The Rearrangement; James Purdy’s Narrow Rooms.
If I have to actually choose a passage though, this is taken from “Examples of Confusion,” from Lydia Davis’ Almost No Memory:
“The ceiling is so high the light fades up under the peak of the roof. It takes a long time to walk through. Dust is everywhere, an even coating of blond dust; around every corner, a rolling table with a drawing board on it, a paper pinned to the board. Around the next corner, and the next, a painting on the wall, half finished, and before it, on the floor, cans of paint, brushes across the cans, and pails of soapy water colored red or blue. Not all the cans of paint are dusty. Not all parts of the floor are dusty.At first it seems clear that this place is not part of a dream, but a place one moves through in waking life. But rounding the last corner into the remotest part, where the dust lies thickest over the boxes of charcoal sticks from Paris, and a yellowed sheet of muslin over the window is torn symmetrically in two spots, showing a white sky through two small panes of dusty glass, a part of this place that seems to have been forgotten or abandoned, or at least lain undisturbed longer than the rest, one is not sure that this place is not a place in a dream, though whether it lies entirely in that dream or not is hard to say, and if only partly, how it lies at once in that dream and in this waking–whether one stands in this waking and looks through a doorway into that more dusty part, into that dream, or whether one walks from this waking around a corner into the part more thickly covered with dust, into the more filtered light of the dream, the light that comes in through the yellowed sheet.”
What has been your favourite set design for a catwalk?
This is the dream job; a marriage of clothes and physical space, of sound and music and light. Twelve minutes in which you have the opportunity to transport an audience completely.
Daniel Buren‘s work for Louis Vuitton SS13 is total alchemy; a perfect example of every element working together to create an experience so much larger than its individual parts, though the individual parts themselves remain stunning. The stark, two-color palette; the checkered white-and-yellow floor, referencing the collection, Vuitton’s “Damir” print and Buren’s previous body of work simultaneously; the pure spectacle and anticipation of the models descending via escalator onto the runway; Einstein on the Beach. I wish “gesamtkunstwerk” had an english counterpart that didn’t sound as ridiculous.
That said, AMO‘s work for Prada menswear AW13/14 sent me into a jealous, raging tailspin for like, days, literally pacing around my apartment screaming, gesticulating wildly at nothing like a crazy person, questioning my life, my choices, my purpose. If good art is contagious, maybe great art produces temporary insanity.
The pastel scheme of the set, punctuated with primaries, framing the gentle, almost neutral palette of the clothes, also offset by an electric turquoise piece here or a subtle, checkered coral shirt there; the collars styled half-tucked and askew; the shifting views from the projected “windows;” THE CAT! The show is a living editorial, the definition of an aspirational If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now. For me, the seamless integration and introduction of OMA’s line for Knoll via domestic tableaus is as much of the presentation as the actual clothing. I think AMO’s devotion to concept, research and detail are always evident, but they totally outdid themselves here.
If you want to get in further inside of Keehnan’s head, SAFE HOUSE USA also commission regular mixtapes; you can listen to them here
Visit the SAFE HOUSE USA website here to find out more about their interiors.
Walking Mural, 1972
Currently being exhibited at Nottingham Contemporary is the exciting new exhibition about Asco, a group of performance artists based in Los Angeles in the early 1970s.
Asco (1972–1987) began as a tight-knit core group of artists from East Los Angeles composed of Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Willie Herrón, and Patssi Valdez. Taking their name from the forceful Spanish word for disgust and nausea, Asco used performance, public art, and multimedia to respond to social and political turbulence in Los Angeles and beyond.
They emerged from the Chicano civil rights movement of the late 60s and early 70s, which fought labour exploitation, the Vietnam draft, police brutality, and other forms of discrimination and deprivation.
Their work had a low budget look reflecting their circumstances – Gronk called it aesthetics of poverty. In the 70s, a Chicano artist was expected to paint murals – the Chicano Movement borrowed from the Mexican political mural tradition of the early 20th century. While sharing the Movement’s opposition to racial discrimination, Asco were also determined to free themselves from the straightjacket of muralism. They sometimes did this by parodying it. Examples of this include the pieces Walking Mural and Instant Mural which were outrageous street performances rather than paintings on walls.
Asco’s performances in and around East LA resembled scenes from movies that were never made – or fashion shoots, or promotional images of rock bands. They called some of these No Movies. Made in the shadow of Hollywood, yet in a community ghettoised from the wider metropolis, Harry Gamboa Jr’s photographs of Asco’s performances anticipate the staged photography of Cindy Sherman, Jeff Walls and other major figures in postmodern art working with photography. The imagery they used was linked to fantasy and fiction, Asco retained a dangerous political edge. Their actions were made without notice or permission in a public sphere fraught with political tension and police curfews. Some were made at sites where a violent incident had taken place the previous day – the site of a gang conflict or the fatal shooting of demonstrators by the Los Angeles Police Department.
This exhibition builds on Asco’s acclaimed retrospective, Elite of the Obscure, at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Williams College Museum of Art in 2011-12, curated by Rita Gonzalez and Ondine Chavoya. It will later travel to de Appel in Amsterdam and CAPC in Bordeaux.
The exhibition will run until the 5th of January. Find out more here
Regeneración 2, no. 4, 1974 – 75, p.31, drawing by Patssi Valdez. Courtesy of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library
A fascinating two day symposium to accompany the exhibition discussing the meaning of disgust across a range of practices, including art, literature, film and popular culture, activism, spatial practice and performance, from the twentieth century to the present day took place in November which can be watched on Youtube below. Taking part in the exhibition included Sang Bleu 6 contributor Dominic Johnson, Elizabeth Boa; Wayne Burrows; C. Ondine Chavoya; Harriet Curtis; Kirsten Forkert; Craig Fisher; Andrés David Montenegro Rosero; Marie Thompson and Myfanwyn Ryan.
Rick AKA The Dragon has a fur coat fetish. He creates images using computer software of women wearing enormous fur coats engulfing 90% of their bodies and then shares the images on his Flickr account where you can find him by his user name ‘dragonmaster12′.
The Dragonmaster creates hundreds of images on computer software to fulfil his fetish of women quite literally drowning in fur coats. What is fascinating about these images is that their reality could be so easily achieved. Google search ‘woman in fur coat’ and thousands of images will surely appear. Or alternatively Rick could photograph a woman wearing a fur coat to share on the internet. Its the fact that these photos have been augmented from inception by Rick into a situation that has never existed that is so absorbing.
There is something almost haunting about the digital images that Rick makes, the reality of creating an image of a woman in a fur coat closes in on the mundane and there is nothing instantly sexual about these pictures. Rick reveals no nudity instead we see women engulfed in digital fur usually in domestic situations. The overtly tactile nature to these images with pasted pictures of smoothly photoshopped women’s faces in a virtual setting of a glamourous bedroom or on a ski resort only adds to their surreal nature. There is also a lack of perspective to the images, a woman’s face will be slightly too small or her body will be static in comparison to her background. Most of the time the amalgamation of layers of fur leave the bodies of the women looking even more out of proportion. Theres a complete lack of continuity to the images but it completely adds to their intrigue.
We decided to interview Rick over email to find out what drives him to make these fascinating images and exactly what it is about fur that he is so drawn to.
What is it about fur coats that you find so alluring?Interesting question!When I was a young randy kid growing up in a cold environment,
I realized early on, that cold weather brings bodies together…and at that age, I was really interested in the ladies!
I soon realized that it was a turn on for me to see young ladies wearing layers of winter clothes.
Shortly there after I started offering my coat to the ladies to wear over theirs.This for some reason cranked my libido up to eleven, and I started wearing two or three coats so I could layer the ladies up, and still stay warm too.
Naturally this wasn’t rejected by them, because they were being “looked after” and kept warm.
After graduating college, I dated a “well to do young lady”.. She never mentioned what her folks did and I never asked,
Till she wore a full length shear-ling, with a mans raccoon overcoat over it to a fridged football game we attended.
Needless to say I was “hooked” what a turn on!! She explained her folks were into the fur trade, and I was shortly exposed to
sex in layers if furs..and COLD outdoor sex with only furs to wear..”If you haven’t tried it, you SHOULD!”We split up but I still had the “fever”.. I do to this day… thus these silly pictures are my hobby.How did you become aware of the fur coat fetish community on the Internet?After twenty years with the paramilitary end of a major risk management firm, I found I had virtually no sell-able skills..So I offered to work at a local ISP for free, to learn IT work and web design. after a while I bought half the business, and was ran the ISP..That gave me 24/7 access to the net, because I lived in the building with my daughter, who was attending college.
If you have ever put a kid through college, you know it aint cheap!
So I began designing websites for others and ran into a gentleman named Jay Kraft online.
I did some of his adult web sites and got the idea..What about a fur site? I advertised it by doing fur photo-shops for men and women for a small fee, if their partner wouldn’t indulge them , they could at least still have the fantasy..
You would be surprised how many sold too!
So I got Jay to do photo shoots of pretty ladies naked in fur…and split the profit with him 50/50..
We remain partners to this day…
We have been in business together doing this for over 20 years.
although I no longer run fur fetish sites, as the market is now saturated, I moved on to producing Internet movies, so I am still very active on the net today…My production companies are in Wales, And Portugal. www.blackfoxfemmefatale.com is one of the bigger ones..
I am still active in producing adult fur related material for others though.
I recently gathered up all the old photo shops and put them on flickr, thinking someone might enjoy them.
I still do about two or three a week for kicks…What kind of computer software do you use to make your images?you might find this a bit strange, but I do all the images with a 23 year old program.
the original jasc paint shop pro, basically because it isn’t over simplified, and the “painting” functions are more “real” to the touch. whereas newer graphics programs focus on filters and having everything ”automatic”. and to be honest the only reason I put down pencils paint, and paper was the undo feature lol I also do not use a digital stylus and digital drawing pad as most graphics people do..
I paint with the mouse…it’s easier because I learned that wayfor more advanced filters and lighting effects I use ulead photoimpact, and again the original build of the program, for the same reasons.How do women react to your interest in fur coats?about 99% of them LOVE it. you meet the occasional tree hugger, but when they tell me how many innocent animals died to make my coat I usually say “I didn’t think anyone saw me do it.. now ill have to kill you too” lol. Note I love dogs… but they dont taste very good (just kidding)
the biggest problem I have is once a lady tries on one of my furs is getting it back… I have found that most women who have never tried on a fur are the ones who usually resent them.What is your favorite type of fur?I am really partial to the coarser furs, like raccoon, coyote.. and I love timber wolf and caribou, but i love the softness of fox too.. sable is god’s gift to the fur world… a spirit high… a lady in sable coat (or several at once) is wonderful! lots of fun in bed too!How much is your interest in fur is to do with the sensual and tactile nature of the material? Or do the cultural connotations also interest you?
Of course the softness and warmth are arousing, and I have a coyote floor length coat, 60 inches long , (I am not small guy) that is big enough for me AND a lady to share..
on cold days I get quite a few takers too.. I can tell you unequivocally now that am pushing 60, that midlife crises is much more fun single lolI am basically a misanthrope and don’t give a hoot what anybody thinks. most of the woman I meet love a man who can think for himself, and hasn’t been “feminized”. the reason I wear furs is they are like a second skin…a luxury thing if you will. if the temperature goes up they breath like wool and you don’t over heat, but are instantly
warm going out the door, unlike goose down and plastic, in which you have to move around and generate body heat. animals are efficiently made!
In my opinion the PETA folks would last two minutes where I live.. we hunt for food here, grow our own, and I don’t foresee eating twigs and health pellets anytime soon.
we have plenty of wildlife here, and if you don’t thin the herd, they would starve anyway. so for me animal skin is a natural.
How do you choose the kind of woman you want to be wearing the coats in the images?
I prefer the fresh look, not anything slutty, that is a big turn off for me..
Classic looks, old time stuff, and the business women thing.. Powerful women (not dominant, just self assured) really turn me on
so the rich thing and the furs all goes together preferably smiling of course, like they are having a good time.
since as I said, I am not a kid, anything under 50 looks young to me lol.. and there are a lot of pretty faces on the net to choose from
For you do you think more is better? A lot of your images show women literally drowning in fur.
Do I think more is better? hehehe that is pretty self evident isn’t it? sure. You can never have too much fur! One of things that makes the images difficult (and probably why you don’t see many more made the way I make them) is every photo have a unique “profile” amount of pixel noise, brightness, hue color balance, contrast… etc. You have to have an eye to match these and a steady hand to stitch together credible looking images.. I find it stimulating and arousing, because I can make my own fetish art exactly like I want it..
Do you think most people with a fetish for fur coats are from colder countries?
well you can make the argument that people from warmer climates aren’t exposed to them as much,
as like where I live, but once introduced to the smell, tactile thing and the warmth
during the cold snaps we do have, I get a LOT of converts…Now where i grew up furs were everywhere Generally for men it’s a sexual thing, as men are visually stimulated. I have never been female, but it seems to them it is a means to an end (pressing a guys warm up button) or just warm soft clothing. altho I have met some women it really arouses too!How do you choose the settings for where you place women in the images? Is the setting important to you?
what ever “floats my boat” for the image… I try to use unusual backgrounds,because this is all about the fantasy right? A lot of the images are done to order by people making requests. I have two on flickr of ladies in fur on horses back that are good examples.
A lot of time i wil just go with a mutation of the original photos background for realism..
a well made shot provides a lot of tech info for matching color, contrast.. ect.
Follow dragonmaster12 on Flickr HERE!
A new trend is emerging within eye surgery. For $3,000 you can now have a small platinum shape measuring around 3.5mm immersed in your optic membrane permanently by an eye surgeon. The surgery only takes fifteen minutes and a choice of moons, stars or hearts can be imbedded into the eye.
A badly made film on the Fox News website has been made documenting the first procedure taking place in New York where you can watch it here. The un-modified woman interviewed described her decsion as ‘It’s going to be a conversation maker. I will be able to tell people. It will be unique. It will be sort of my unique factor.’
“It’s a very thin piece of platinum that’s designed for insertion on the top of the eye, it’s not in the eye so there’s no risk of blindness or anything at all,” the surgeon tells My Fox NY. “She could have a little bit of local bleeding. That could go away in a couple days or couple weeks. She could have an infection but we’ll prevent that with antibiotics.”
But the jewellery has not been FDA approved and the American Academy of Ophthalmology is warning consumers about the dangers.
This extreme modification seems bizarre in its final outcome as it doesn’t really resemble anything visually that strong. It’s placement almost looks awkward and its incision seems futile as there is something so aesthetically subtle but simultaneously uncomfortable about it.
Considering the modifications size and placement there is something so utterly intrusive about it, slicing open a layer of the eye is enough to make anyone queasy but especially when the outcome will look like having a vague sparkle in your eye and a shape which can only be deciphered when very close to the face. It will be interesting to see if this surgery will become more popular, the woman in the film seems to only have her ears pierced prior to the surgery so understanding her motives behind the surgery makes it seem even more strange. Apparently the surgery is becoming more popular throughout various areas of Europe and America however dedicating yourself to a surgery that does nothing to improve eyesight seems ineffective. Let’s see how this trend emerges.