Hey hey Mambo

Go go go you mixed up Siciliano. All you Calabrese do the mambo like-a crazy with the…

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So, yeah. Finally got to check out the Mambo exhibition at NGV.

Verdict? Great curation by Eddie Zammit (of T-world fame). The whole time though I was looking for my favourite piece and didn’t find it which was disappointing. Funnily enough, it doesn’t even come up on any internet searches either but with such a massive output of work, this isn’t really a surprise. It was the t-shirt print that was my introduction to Mambo in the early 90’s. I begged mum to let me get it. As a 13 year old girl it took a lot of convincing because I was a strange child and liked the grotesque and things usually pigeonholed for boys. I did end up winning out and getting it though and wore it to death. I’ve still got it in a box somewhere I’m sure. It was bright orange and had an epic large full colour placement print of a grotesque looking dude holding (and eating) a burger made up of his own body parts in it (eye’s, organs etc) with great gooey / drippy typography ‘Self serving’ at the bottom. It was probably a style amongst a range released just after the brands inclusion in the ‘Surrealism: Revolution by Night’ 1993 exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW (If anyone actually knows please correct me if I’m wrong on this! I’m purely dot connecting here).

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1993 poster for the group show at the Art Gallery of NSW

Mambo was probably one of my introductions to surrealist art and went on to inspire in a pretty direct way a piece in a campaign I did for a Perth based accessories label some 16 years later. An image that also ended up being re-licenced as the official campaign creative for the Fremantle Street Art Festival in 2011.

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Mambo Self Serving illustration inspired – My Image originally part of a campaign for Miss Jam Jam (accessories label), re-licenced as the official campaign image for the Fremantle Arts Festival.

Creatives generally try and hide their references… I’m happy to own that I pretty much nicked the idea and re-contextualised it for a fashion piece. It looks nothing like the shirt but the essense behind it is the same. Oh tisk, tisk I hear you say? Well I say straight up – nothing is new, the basis of all ideas have been done before in some way or another. It’s how you re-purpose, give new context and join new dots that makes you a good creative (and openly crediting inspiration is something more of us should do… but that’s just my extra two cents).

Speaking of referencing. I came across a piece in the exhibition I can (hand on heart) honestly say I’ve never seen before and independently came up with the same idea a few months ago to pitch in for one of the labels I’m working for. Luckily it didn’t go ahead because it’s pretty much exactly the same as what I had scamped out. Moral of the story… always good to do a quick internerd search of potential ideas before going ahead with commercial work. Cool to think I was in the same headspace as them though.

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The near unintentional rip off piece.

Inspiration and unintentional near rip-off’s aside. The rest of the exhibition is great and I recommend anyone living in Melbourne to go and check it out.

Its a curation of Mambo in its heyday. Such a shame it ended up being a stocked in Big W and losing it’s edge. For me that really knocked the brand off my radar. Interestingly enough though, aside from their own online store – they also now stock at Surfstitch, City Beach and Myer. A very strange decision to have such a wide target – can’t imagine what the strategy behind that mix must be. I’m sure is churning over enough of a crumb though, but its definitely now not the brand it used to be. Hopefully this exhibition will inspire renewed interest, even if not in the brand but the legacy of art for art’s sake as t-shirt prints.

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‘Redneck’ t-shirt, 1996.

 

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Wayne Golding – Victims of fete, 1996.

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Reg Mombassa – Australian Jesus Alter, 1998

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Can’t not include the peens and boards, boardshort yardage <3

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Really really want pizza now.

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King Brown x Black Canyon

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Vaguely remembering the launch of King Brown Mag (the first issue) way back when. Vague, not because it was forgettable but because It was while ago and my memory is shite. I was doing a fair bit of working hard / playing hard around that time so details of things are a tad blurry.

It’s really awesome have called Melbourne home for the past 2 and a half years and have seen the slow but consistent exodus of fellow creatives from the most isolated city in the world make their way over here too and doing cool shit. Said cool shit most recently including transforming the Spares store on Smith street into an exhibition space for tonight’s King Brown issue 10 launch and exhibition. Co-curated by fellow P-towner Sean Morris (one half of Black Canyon along with Tom Groves) and featuring artists from around the world, doing what they do best using canvas’ of both brown paper and denim jackets was rad.

Personally, and being in a creative in the rag trade the denim jacket customisation was especially cool to see.

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King Brown Mag, Issue 10 Issue 10 with sick embossed cover by Brendan Monroe and extra cool shit including glow in the dark patch by Stevie Gee, neon poster by Malarko and vinyl sticker from Sheryo which is going straight on the fridge.

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Free beer by the Feral Brewing Company

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Back wall feature mural by Sean Morris.

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Funk Cat Gang by Bafcat

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She’s got to be loved by Melissa Grisancich

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This time last year by Luke Pelletier

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Probably my favourite – Body hair, don’t care by Michael C Hsiung

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Left to right: Summons by Ryan Boserio, Creamyfrontcreamymoist by Susannah Rose Sykes and Platinum Edition by Tom Groves.

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Creamyfrontcreamymoist by Susannah Rose Sykes

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Platinum Edition by Tom Groves

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Tropical Death by Swerfk

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Various media on brown paper by the likes of Sean Morris, Mel Stringer (Girly Pains), French, and Yok among others.

And technically not part of the exhibition but I also thought the impromptu ‘street art’ of and old mate I ran into was pretty rad too.
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Also for those going to Sugar Mountain tomorrow – Sean is part of artist lineup with a collaboration with Ghostpatrol. Head down in-between bands to check out their stuff.
 
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Devil in the detail

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If the devil is in the detail, then praise the dark lord.

So needless to say I’ve been DYING to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at NGV since it was first announced earlier this year and haven’t been able to get to go and see it until this week because – cripple.

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The City of Lost Children, 1995.

My introduction to Gaultier was one that came from an obsession with music video and film in the 90’s before and whilst I was in Film school. I liked Madonna but I was more interested in the stage outfits during her blond ambition tour – similarly, I loved Jean Pierre Jeunet’s City of Lost Children for the production design and colour art direction but the costuming was something that inspired the way I dressed at that time. In the years before internet and style.com / having access to images of international designers work – these pop cultural touch points were the gateway that lead to my love of fashion. And by fashion – I mean style. Art that you wear.

This close link between music, film and costume has always been my primary connection behind my love of fashion. It’s drama, narrative and concept all entwined in something wearable. Needless to say my favourite season I watch like a hawk is always the haute couture collections. There is a big difference though between appreciating silhouette and concept through a bunch of images on a screen and getting your face right up close and personal with the construction of those garments which is something that just cannot be translated through those images. The craftsmanship is incredible and the attention to detail is just inspiring to say the least.

Yes, I’m that really annoying person at an exhibition that is unapologetically standing right in front of the dress examining each sequin and mentally dissecting the garments construction, whilst others try to read the plaque about which celebrity wore it and chat to their mates about how hot Beyonce looked in it. Sorry (not sorry) about that.

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Otilee - NGV Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

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It’s a real treat to be able to see so much of body of work up close like that. In fact, I was quite overwhelmed. Gaultier, you’re even more genius than I thought you were. I should also say at this point also that whoever was responsible for the exhibition installation design did a fucking great job, hats off to you dudes.

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The future is now

What’s the deal with getting older? It’s weird.

When anyone asks my age, my defult response is ‘19’. Which probably sounds weird. I’m not 19 – I’m 33 – the power number. Now that is weird. How did I get to be that age. How is it 2014. Next year we’re supposed to have hover boards and shit. I’m very disappointed. Both for the hoverboards (that would have been sick) and the idea of not being young forever (a really hard concept to grasp).

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The future is now. (Back to the Future II, 1989)

I’m not a normal 33 year old – even though google and facebook seem to think I am with their basic targeted ads for child care, mortgages and a bunch of other boring adult shit. I don’t feel like an adult – when I can, I still rock my 14 hole doc martens and band shirts, get blind drunk and sing to strangers on the street. I’m cruising through life without a mortgage or children – I’m pretty sure at 33 you’re supposed to be a responsible adult with a dependents and stuff. That’s not me, not this year anyway – except for my fur child, who is actually the best cat in the world.

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Mogwai Pillow Forks atop of Mount Mog.

My existential / ¼ life crisis aside though – what a weird year.

As a top line glance – 2014 saw me art direct a major national campaign for Lee Jeans among other things, design the re-brand of Lee’s sibling brand ‘Riders by Lee’ nationally, be part of a group art exhibition for the first time in three years and slip two disks permanently in my lower spine in one fell swoop. You’ve been a giver and a taker, 2014 – a bit of a lovable jerk. I’m yet to update my portfolio with any of this said work but here are some sneak peaks below of the 125 Years Lee campaign.

125 Years of Lee Jeans – Australia and NZ campaign. Art directed by me, shot by Cara Stricker, styled by Britt McCamey, Hmua by Max May and two hot butt’s owned by Megan Irwin and Isaac Carew.

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Check out the rest of the 125 Year campaign here.

Everything else – well, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. Here are some shameless selfies and other sick stuff that took me through 2014.

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A year of Red to orange to yellow hair spectrum and all variations in between.

Partying with rad crew in Syd Syd for the official 125 Years Lee party.

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This red wine vom vom I did on the kitchen bench in the shape of a beautiful love heart.

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This stylin’ pooch I made friends with in Kings Cross

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Being hypnotised by 125 Buddy Lee dolls staring at me.

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The day I discovered Milo and Otis on one of my weekend jogs along the Yarra River.

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Receiving and email from my old man with a link to a video of him and his Ulysses bike makes on the Black Dog charity ride – swigging straight from a bottle of whisky. My dad is all kinds of awesome.

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Driving with a car full of pink and green balloons for Brendan’s birthday.

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Getting the day off work and hanging on the balcony drawing peens doing cute things as part of a new art series I’ve been working on.

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Then beginning to prep some canvas’ with linework to start painting up for said ‘peens doing cute things’ series.

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Then getting bored with painting and setting up flash lighting in the bathroom to get a shot of the toilet for my Ladies Week piece. BTS is always so glamourous.

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Almost as glamourous as glueing red glitter to tampons multiple times to get the right looking one for the Ladies week piece final shot. A few of these tampons were harmed (note: flushed) in the process of getting the shot. Lets take a minute of silence for them, shall we.

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Taking french lessons as well as being schooled everyday at work with my desk calendar which has been scarily accurate everyday. We called it the Oracle.

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Discovering that I am, in fact not unbreakable.

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Then spending two weeks recovering from two slipped disks lying flat on my back on the couch without makeup and obscene regrowth looking like a rabbit with myxomatosis using Buddy Lee to shield me from the horrors of daytime TV.

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Our family christmas portrait featuring crimbo cactus.

What does 2015 hold? Who knows. But I’m sure these ‘Mannequin Hollywood’ style glasses will give me all the magical powers to make it cool.

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See you on the flip, homies.
Hope 2015 brings all the cool things to you and yours.

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Dino Crimbo

Four days until Christmas.
What the shit?

So we’re super late this year getting our arses into gear because cripple and also how is it already the end of December?
Finally finished the wrapping and getting Crimbo Cactus dressed for the occasion.

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You so smiley Crimbo Cactus!

This year we decided to wrap everything in Brendan‘s super sick dinosaur wrapping paper and coordinate bows and individualised cards back with the palette.

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If you love it as much as I do you can get your sticky fingers on it at David Jones and select newsagencies and card shops nationally.

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Front of wrap

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Back of wrap – the bones line up with the bodies on the front. So rad.

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Jeepers creepers

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Where did I get those peepers? Well, I have some pretty rad friends who brought over a bag of googly eyes to entertain myself with while I’m a cripple. They know me well. You should actually check one of them out – Simon is a rock-star concept artist.

Oh the potential fun for the hours of non-dead-insect-on-the-couch / non-yellow-head-on-the-desk action to be filled with giving things eyes. So much fun, so little actual non-cripple time.

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Oh Mogwai, you have no idea how much fun you’re about to have.

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Super chilled and on his way to fabulous – ooh yeah.

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Mogwai is actually a Jerk. Eye installation – destroyed. This could have been an epic photo.

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Hello balcony flamingo’s! (Brendan’s arse crack an added bonus).

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Back in yellow-head-on-the-table-position. Don’t look at me like that, Mac.

Googly eyes are so choice. I highly recommend picking some up.

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Adventures in the land of Criplee

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(image source unknown)

So somehow I’ve slipped two disks in my lower back. It’s sucks balls big time. This is the second week of being housebound. When I’m not on the couch with my legs up like a dead insect I’m trying to work from home. Let me paint the picture for you – its quite tragic. Mac dragged out the dining room table, computer chair reclined back as far as possible with my legs up on a chair on the opposite side of the table – I’m essentially reclining under the table with just my little yellow head and arms poking out to use the mouse and keyboard.

When not being a yellow head on a table or a dead insect on the couch, or embarrassing myself by accidentally listening to some pretty terrible music coming up in my playlist while making work calls (that they could totally hear in the background – shit like White Lion. Seriously… dear freakin god. I only have that album in the playlist because of Hungry, which is pretty rad town but the rest…. fucking hell) Anyway, I digress – when not doing these things I’m dreaming with Prince Valium doing yoga in fields of sunflowers or you know, just trying to walk to the fridge and other fabulousness. Thank you, drugs.

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(image source unknown)

Can you hear the violins?
The lighting is also very dramatic.

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(image source unknown)

So, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight from the rabbit hole.

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So hungry

So you may have noticed that my website has changed / looks kind of hungry for content. That, my friends is because some jerkface decided to hack into it, add in some evil code that basically made it die.  So, I’m now currently in the process of rebuilding / re-adding content.

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Totally picturing said hacker looking like Dr. Robotnik. He was a jerk too… those poor bunnies :(

To that person I say;

Stay tuned though – Portfolio will be fat and juicy again by Christmas.

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Oh Hai

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So in the death of my previous blogs ‘Adventures in the land of Otilee’ and ‘Porcelain Backbone’ emerges this one. Nice and tucked away inside my website. AND with a name referencing Puff the Magic Dragon not just because it sounds cool, but also because until recently I legitimately thought my name was the name of the land where Puff and Jackie Paper did all their excellent mist frolicking. Which would have been most excellent indeed – where the hell is Honah Lee anyway?

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Puff the Magic Dragon (1978)

Here, I’ll be posting much of what I’ve posted in the past; creative process, behind the scenes, tutorials, trend forecasting – and basically anything I think is rad and feel the compulsion to bang on about.

Enjoy!
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