Monday, 8 November 2010

You're Looking Very Concave This Evening

Jarvis Cocker in Q Magazine, '95

In honour of the thrilling news that Pulp is reforming I’ve scoured the earth for a few classic pictures and videos of my favourite frontman, Jarvis Cocker. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jarvis twice. Someday I hope to hold a conversation with him that lasts more than 73 seconds.

Morrissey called. He wants to know what kind of conditioner you use.

The face of a legend… The chest of E.T.

Is there room for one more?


Hit Single Pulp: Disco 2000

Pulp- Disco 2000

simsy | Myspace Music Videos

Acrylic Afternoons (Different from album version)

Love Is Blind (Fan video)

Something Changed

Here’s a little BBC Documentary on Pulp (1995.)

And here’s my favourite Pulp website:

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Below are links to a few of my articles:

SHOWstudio on Beards: SHOWstudio
LFW Diary: Metal Magazine
Markus Lupfer Interview: Metal Magazine
Numerous interviews (Jeremy Scott, Margaret Howell, Exit Magazine (Print edition) Exit Magazine (Print)

Various Interviews (Alan Aldridge  Exit Magazine (Print edition)  KAWS, Exit Magazine (Print edition)… Email me if you'd like to see pdfs of the interviews or other articles (Tim Soth, Nan Goldin, Thomas Ruff, Futura 2000 etc.)
Interview with Samantha Sweeting: Motilo
Interview with Venetia: Dazed & Confused

Brian Butler Interview: Vice Magazine

DMX Krew Interview: Fine Magazine
Live Reviews: Loud and Quiet

Print editions of most of these articles can be found at the Central Saint Martins Library. Or at my house.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Frieze Furniture

Every year thousands of art collectors swoop into London to attend Frieze Art Fair. I usually go to check out the hits, drool over the Nan Goldin photographs and Raymond Pettibon drawings, and sketch the chairs. Every gallery brings their own chairs. Sometimes they surpass the pieces on the wall. If you're a modernist lover they are the art.


Frieze 2010
Photos by Kirsty Buchanan

Monday, 11 October 2010

party in the living room!

We used to drive up to San Francisco sometimes, even just for a day or two. We went to some amazing parties, usually in a living room with crusty sofas and spontaneous dancing and people making out up against the fridge with most of the lights off

Here are a few of the records that were playing:

On danse...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

When I See A Train I Want To Take It in My Arms

I love traveling: trains are romantic, cars are pensive, planes are speedy, and bicycles are liberating. Walking is my favourite mode of transportation.

Photo by Burk Uzzle, 1970.

Over time, I’ve gotten quite organized about the process and intricacies of travel. Here is my advice:

*If you travel with fewer people, you’ll be more in tune with the environment and locals, and thus get into more fun/crazy situations.

*If you like to be prepared go to the library before you leave and photocopy pages of places, important numbers and maps from Let’s Go travel guides. Have a think about what you want to do when you get there (but don’t stick to a schedule or it’ll feel like a school trip. Save some time and flexibility for adventure.)

*Bring a notebook (or laptop.) Flying or riding heightens emotions and provides a quiet time to think about your life.

*Pack a few books you want to catch up on. Toss nuts, water, and chewing gum in your bag, and for epically long journeys rye crackers and sliced cheese like Edam.

*If you get restless or have a lengthly journey ahead, bring Kalms Forte tablets (light homeopathic downers) or chamomile tea bags.

*Pack a cardigan or an enormous scarf in your carry-on to use as a blanket. Make a Sleep playlist on your ipod. I have Air’s Moon Safari album and Spiritualized’s Pure Phase on mine.

*Wear something comfortable yet dapper; you might get unexpectedly upgraded to first class or meet someone interesting. This has happened to me randomly a couple times. Don’t forget a comb and chapstick.

Photo by Ralph Gibson, 1970

Mosquito Advice:

An important thing to remember is mosquitoes, like lovers (or vampires) adore your scent, your sweat, your blood…so the aim is to hide your delicious human smell. Shower before bed and wear long, loose clothes tucked into each other. I suggest thin cotton pajamas in hot climates. For a non-toxic homemade alternative to the sprays, mix a little baby oil with tea tree oil (If you’re not wrapped up in rare sheets.) Citronella oil is another natural repellent. Some say drinking tonic water in the evening makes you less tasty to the mosquitoes but that might be a rumor.

If you’re too busy or broke to go anywhere right now, read about trips instead. Try:

· As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee

· The Places In Between by Rory Stewart

· Rosie Darling by Rosie Swale

· On the Road by Jack Kerouac (that’s a bit obvious, I know.)

· Go Ask Alice (just kidding.)

Feel free to contribute your travel suggestions in the comments section…

This song always makes me think of driving around the city...

Sunday, 26 September 2010


I don’t DJ much these days or record enough old-fashioned mixtapes but I still make mix CDs for my friends’ birthdays and spend too much time creating obsessively detailed playlists. Here’s what I’m listening to this week:

Summer Camp’s Round the Moon. The video samples the classic film A Swedish Love Story.

So does this video by Au Revoir Simone & Neon Indian…I guess that movie was bigger than I thought…

Look here’s Neon Indian again…This makes me want to find a swimming pool to jump in. Oh wait, I don’t live in California anymore.

I like a lot of songs with “dreams” in the title (Roy Orbison’s In Dreams, Weezer’s Only in Dreams, Ariel Pink’s Among Dreams, et cetera…) here’s another one by Wild Nothing

Tones on Tail: after Bauhaus and before Love & Rockets this is what Daniel Ash was doing…

Can someone please make a video for this song? HEALTH’s Disco2 is packed with gems like this. (The USA Boys video is pretty frisky but the fact that the first couple minutes look like a cheesy ad made me not want to post it…so I put up Before Tigers instead.)

Just look at the wolf and think happy thoughts.

ariel pink, so many songs to pick from…

What’s the inspiration here? Kraftwerk boy band? I can’t decide if this video is terrible or brilliant, but The Drums' album is quite tasty…

Monday, 16 August 2010


Photos by Alistair Allan.

I just came across this list I scribbled a few years ago when I moved to Hackney…

You know you live in East London when…

The 55 bus is a great place to meet people.

Every good electro night is described as ‘polysexual.’

Consequently you haven’t met a straight guy in six weeks.

You forget fringe-less girls exist.

Everyone has at least one Pete Doherty story.

Your boyfriend is so thin he’s now two-dimensional.

You see Faris Rotter so often you think he’s part of the wallpaper.

Your passport photo was taken by Alistair Allan.

Every Sunday night (in a secret location) there’s a guestlist-only candlelight memorial mourning Boombox. All tears shed must glitter.

At least half your friends go to Saint Martins.

You haven’t seen flared jeans in years, and consider them a symptom of blindness.

You thought Santa was the mayor of Shoreditch.

Photos by Larissa James.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

BERLIN: A Metropolis Guide


After you’ve bought your day pass or parked your bike, pick up a copy of Zitty magazine at a newsstand or record store, it’s similar to Time Out. It’s all in German but you can figure out what exhibitions are on in the Kunst (Art) section and what gigs are on.

See what's new at the Hamburger Bahnhof modern art museum and the small Guggenheim museum Unter den Linden 13, Train: Französische Straße. It’s fun to wander around the contemporary art galleries in Mitte. Also Sprueth Magers Gallery usually has excellent exhibitions on. Gallery Oranienburger Strasse 18. Train: Oranienburger Strasse. The Helmut Newton Museum is also worth a look if you love photographs of beautiful statuesque women. Jebensstrasse 2. Train: Zoologischer Garten.

The best time to visit Berlin is in the summertime, though any season will be interesting, as long as you bundle up. If you do go in warmer months hang out at the Badeschiff- an outdoor bar complete with sand underfoot, iron beds, hammocks, a bar, free gigs, and an open air swimming pool. The view is amazing, the vibe is relaxed, and it’s open late. Eichenstraße 4. Train: Treptower Park.

My favourite hairdresser in the world, Persona Non Grata, is based in Berlin. Or fly him out if you can afford it. He’s known for hair sculpture: avant-garde cuts and colours with the obsessive precision of early Vidal Sassoon. He also specializes in going platinum and asymmetric fringes, though he can do understated styles upon request. If you want a real Berlin souvenir book Persona Non Grata to cut your hair.

Oh, look who we found in the hall...

Hair by Persona Non Grata. Photo by


Young indie rockers and hipsters: go to White Trash Fast Food on Saturday night for dancing or Monday night for screenings, Schönhauser Allee 6/7.

For tasty cocktails and a lesbian/ mixed scene go to Barbie Deinhoff’s in Kreuzberg Schlesische Straße 16.

Feeling experimental? If you’re a fan of massive nightclubs and minimal techno you might want to check out the infamous Berghain/ Panorama bar, preferably around 6 am Sunday morning. Public sex (gay and straight welcome) at this club is allowed, cameras are not. Some people say it’s hard to get into but I’ve never had a problem, just look bizarre and not too wasted and be prepared to queue. Am Wriezener Bahnhof. Train: Ostbahnhof.

Also keep your eyes peeled for club night flyers in record shops. (Leave any other nightlife recommendations or funny stories in the comments box...)

Josephine in Treptow. She likes behrensen saurer apfel and dead beat poets.


For vegetarians on a budget: order the hot halloumi sandwich from the falafel place near Barbie Deinhoff’s on Schlesische Straße; the nearest train stop is Schlesisches Tor. Expect warm cheese on a bed of lettuce and onions and salad with a creamy garlic sauce and a dab of spicy chili. It’s about 3 Euros and fills you up for hours.

Delores. This inexpensive California/ Mexican café offers delicious quesadillas, burritos, and salads filled with vegetarian, vegan, or meat ingredients. Try the lime marinated tofu quesadilla with fresh guacamole (5.50 with a side of fresh salsa), or the spicy mole burrito with peanut salsa if you’re feeling adventurous. Delores plays cool music and has a selection of new fashion magazines in English and German for you to peruse. Rosa-Luxemburg Strasse 7. Train: Alexanderplatz.

Room 77. As you walk in it looks like a cross between a dive bar and a living room. There’s a random old man playing the guitar, numerous sunken velvety sofas, maybe a floppy eared dog wandering around. Everyone was really friendly when we went, including the waiter and the people whose booth we squeezed into because every table was occupied. Room 77 specializes in juicy cheeseburgers with crispy potato wedges that come with a sour cream dip. 77 Graefestraße. Train: Schönleinstraße.

If you’re a candy freak and a fan of Germany’s famous square chocolates visit the Ritter Sport Chocoworld Store. They have every type of Ritter chocolate including limited edition flavours, (such as vanilla bourbon and creamy cashew) bite size, giant size, and melted praline hot chocolate as well as a build-your-own bar, where you pick the fillings and they make the chocolate fresh for you that day. Upstairs there’s a café and an exhibit explaining the manufacturing process. Französische Strasse 24 Train: Französische Straße.

Have you ever tried honey-hazelnut-yogurt milk chocolate? What are you waiting for?


Close to the Ritter Sport Chocoworld is the French department store Galleries Lafayette. The food hall stocks an impressive assortment of French mustards in a plethora of tastes and sizes, from caramelized onion to cognac. Upstairs, the beauty department sells unusual products such as expensive cologne that is meant to reek of the four body excretions and perfume that is marketed to smell like the blood of a virgin on clean sheets. Französische Straße 23.

Glasses aficionados: rush to the vintage specs shop Lunettes Brillenagentur. They sell beautiful frames and quirky one of a kind designs from about 20-200 Euros, most priced around 120. (You can get the prescription put in cheaply in Berlin or at Mott Street Optical in Chinatown, NYC or at Arckiv in London.) Marienburger Straße 11. Train: Senefelderplatz

If it’s the weekend, check out Treptow flea market on Saturday for knick knacks, vinyl, random electronics, and inexpensive china or better yet, Mauerpark on Sunday for sheepskin rugs, 60s lamps, and vintage treasures. Train: Treptower Park. Mauerpark: Bernauer Strasse 63-64. Train: Eberswalder Straße.

Do You Read Me? is a phenomonal magazine store. They have hundreds of international contemporary magazines (specializing in fashion and culture) plus zines and books. They don’t mind if you browse for a while either. Auguststraße 28. Train: Rosenthaler Platz.

Reach for the scent of virgins.

Cologne scented like blood, sweat, tears, and sperm. About 50 Euros. Or you could mix that up at home.

A fox stole in a vintage shop near U2 Eberswalderstrasse.

A Constructivist zine at the Guggenheim.

Artwork at a train station.

Berlin: A Metropolis Guide by Margo Fortuny originally appeared in Fine Magazine:

Monday, 17 May 2010

Yves Klein in my mind

Yves Klein was a prolific painter, composer, and conceptual artist in the 1950s and 60s – until he died in 1962, aged 34. He’s famous for using women as paintbrushes (called anthropometries.) Klein also invented his own shade of ultramarine blue (IKB), painted with fire, and exhibited emptiness in 1958- an opening that attracted 3000 people.

Klein was fascinated with the colour blue. It represented the abstract elements in visible nature. In the 60s, using his trademark blue shade, he found a way to show the body’s energy by using nudes as living paintbrushes. Their forms pressed against papered floors and walls became records of the experience.

In the years following his death, major art institutions have honoured him with exhibitions, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Gallery in London, and many other national art galleries.

This winter, Mitchell Bridges (conceptual artist) and I reenacted an anthropometrie twice, in front of large audiences, as an ode to Yves Klein. We reversed the gender roles to open up a discussion about the fluidity of masculine/feminine identity.  Instead of an instrumental ensemble, an old record of violin concertos accompanied the happenings. We used white paint for the first performance and red paint for the second performance.

Here are some of the photographs by Laura Jung:

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Advice for meeting my mother

Bring a gift. Not something crummy. Something fine: loose assam tea from Harrods, macarons from Ladurée, Charbonnel et Walker hot chocolate, a Diptyque candle, Neal's Yard bath oil, an art book on a hot artist, the latest exhibition catalogue from a hyped show, a handmade drawing (preferably framed)...if you're broke go to a second hand bookstore (e.g. the Strand in New York or the little shops on Charing Cross Road in London) and pick out an old photography book.

Dress up and groom yourself: something tasteful, e.g. trousers, unwrinkled shirt, sweater, tidy shoes. No holes or stains. Above all look clean. Check your fingernails. Disguise bite marks if relevant.

Be as polite as possible. Sit up straight. Smile. Say thank you/ please/ I appreciate that. Offer to carry her bags (not her purse.) Hold the door open. Ask her questions about herself, her life, her projects. Complement her and her dogs. Things my mother likes to talk about: New York, Greece, travel, languages, art, architecture, style... I suggest you read the New York Times and the Guardian (or the online editions) so you have a few things to talk about. Most importantly, at the dinner table, put your fork down when not using it to eat. Whatever you do, do not wave it around to punctuate your thoughts in conversation. She might stab you with it if you do.

If you go out to dinner with her, offer to pay the whole bill. Insist upon it at least once, or be sneaky towards the end of the meal and pretend to go to the loo and discreetly arrange with the waiter to pay the bill.

To make a good first impression, don't talk about yourself too much but present yourself in the best possible light. Show her you're motivated, a hard worker. Before you meet her be prepared to answer questions like: Describe your educational background. Where do you see yourself in ten years? What are your professional goals? What has been your biggest achievement to date? (e.g. winning awards, learning languages, exhibiting, opening your own gallery...) It sounds like a job interview but it'll be worth it, because if she likes you she might introduce you to Larry Gagosian or invite you to a Pucci hotpants party on a friend's yacht.

Obviously, don't mention previous experimentation with drugs and /or unconventional sexual practices, even though she's pretty bohemian.

If you stay in her house, be a thoughtful guest. Be tidy. Ask if she needs help with anything around the house.

After you meet her, send her a letter or email saying how lovely it was to meet her. If it was a visit, send a thank you letter.

Thursday, 25 February 2010


London Fashion Week just ended. My friend Martin, Dalston-based co-head of Purlstitch Knit Club, and I were photographed several times as we left fashion shows and parties… Since you’ve probably seen what was on the catwalk, here's what we wore this week:

I wore this vintage (1970s) dress to the Liberty’s party.

I wore this vintage suede skirt and Shu-Ba top (feathers added) to the METAL/Lina Osterman party.

I wore this satin kimono and leather obi sash to the PPQ show.

Martin wore this to the METAL/Lina Osterman party. Check out the miniature birdcage necklace.

Martin wore this to the Roisin Murphy / Linda Farrow party. Cape, shirt, hat vintage.

Martin wore this to the PPQ afterparty. Couture trousers by Sara Loi. Coat by W.S. Wilkenson & Sons.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Fellini & Le Donne

Oggi, vorrei discutere Fellini e la sua visione delle donne e il ruolo delle donne nei film di questo regista. Dopo discutero' lo stereotipo delle donne in Italia, insieme ai film di Fellini. Nel mille-novecento-ottantanta Fellini ha detto:

‘Penso che il cinema sia una donna a causa della sua natura rituale. Questo utero e' il teatro, il buio fetale, le apparizioni- tutti creano un rapporto, noi ci proiettiamo sul rapporto...noi forziamo lo schermo ad assumere la personalita' che noi esigiamo, come facciamo con le donne, su cui ci abusiamo. Le donne sono le diapositive che sono inventate dagli uomini. Nella storia, lei e diventata la nostra fantasia.’
Viceversa, c’e un paradosso. I film di Fellini sono attraenti alle emozioni a causa dell' impatto delle protagoniste femminili al pubblico. I personaggi femminili ottengono piu comprensione di Fellini, dei loro equivalenti maschili. Le donne di Fellini sono le vittime o le prostitute, i personaggi umani nel mondo crudele che e' dominato dai valori maschili e insensibili. I protagonisti maschili sono di emozioni inferiore; sono superficiali o brutali.

D’altre parte, i personaggi femminili sono descritti come le fantasie sessuali e il desiderio delle donne di essere la proprieta' degli uomini. Le critiche femministe dicono che i film di Fellini danno il messagio al pubblico che dice che queste fantasie rappresentono le donne vere. Questo messagio limita il potenziale delle donne e rinforza lo stereotipo femminile in Italia.
Negli anni cinquanta in Italia, c’erano due gruppi stereoptipi di donne. Ci sono la madre e la vergine nel primo gruppo. La madre e il capo potente che controlla la famiglia e unifica gli Italiani (che sono decentrati in Italia.) Ci sono le prostitute/ amanti nell' altro gruppo. L’idea di una donna professionale era impossibile o comica.
Come Italiano, Federico Fellino ha questa opinione riguardono alle donne. In aggiunta, la filosofia di Jung ha influenzato Fellini. Questa filosofia dice che c’e una anima (l' elemento feminile nell'uomo: l'anima e' erotica e emotiva) e un animus (l'elemento maschile nella donna: l'animus e razionale o logico.) Fellini crede che gli uomini e le donne non siano opposti polari, sono le forze complementari. Come direttore, lui ha sperimentato con l’idea della anima e l’animus.
In aggiunta, le sue visioni dell' infanzia hanno influenzato i film di Fellini. C’era sua madre, che era una donna distante. Un altra donna bizarra nella vita di Fellini: quando Federico aveva sette o otto anni, una domestica della famiglia lo ha molestato. Era un poco traumatico. C’era anche la visione italiana delle donne: la vergine e la prostituta. Fellini si aggrappa a queste visioni, il suo cinema e' dipendente dalla sua fantasia soggettiva.
I personaggi femminili di Fellini sono le sue fantasie sessuali, ma l’aspetto della fantasia e' l'essenza dei film di Fellini. I sogni, la poesia, la fantasia, e l’immaginazione sono gli elementi piu importanti delle creazioni di Fellini. Io sono una femminista ma mi piaciono i film di Fellini perche lui e' un maestro di questi elementi. Il suo cinema 'e surreale, un sogno che e' bello e difettoso.

-Margo Fortuny