Ana Kinsella

a week’s clicks #40

I’m in California! Trying to accumulate links but so busy deciding which 40 to drink and how much money to spend in J.Crew! It’s warm and even when I’m trying to lie down and relax in the cool dark inside there is Netflix to watch and also a huge pile of books I seem to have racked up already (including a Joan Didion first edition for only $8, thanks San Francisco!) but anyway, here is your reading.

From the archives:

The high is always the pain and the pain is always the high. On a gambling addiction, by Jay Caspian Kang in the Morning News, 2010.

During my last semester in graduate school, I made a lot of unexpected friends. I’d meet them in the card room above the OTB on 72nd and Broadway, or I’d meet them over Recession Specials at the Gray’s across the street, or I’d meet them in the poker pit at the Tropicana, or I’d sit next to them on the 5 a.m. bus from Atlantic City, trying not to think about what it meant that these were the only sunrises we saw anymore—the washed-out sun peeking out over the white, industrial cylinders of north New Jersey. My friends and I never really talked about anything. Mostly, we muttered about the bad beats we’d taken, each new friend a companion in losing… Occasionally I admitted to being a graduate student. Although I must have met more than 50 of these friends, I only remember telling one of them about my dream of becoming a novelist. He was a Filipino kid about my age from Queens, and when I made my confession in the back seat of a cab driving to a game he knew about in Chelsea, he only said, “What’s the book going to be about? Hold ’em, Stud, or Omaha?”

a week’s clicks #39

Hello! I’ve had quite a lovely weekend this time: karaoke for a friend’s birthday on Friday, a day trip to Cambridge yesterday for punting and pints with Ph.D pals (tip: bring wine and plastic cups with you for the journey down the river), brunch this morning with a friend visiting from Dublin and tonight, wine and chats with some fashion school friends. Your Sunday reading is below.

From the archives:

Exciting news for fans of the longform profile: I’m going to amass a list of ALL my favourites from all over the internet, all down the years, and will hopefully post the link here next week. In the meantime, here is a Gentlewoman profile of designer and object of much fashion-girl admiration Katie Hillier:

Katie’s love of sorting has deep roots. As an only child, she loved rearranging the toys on her shelves. “I would get up on a Saturday morning and think, ‘Right, I’m going to tidy,’” she said. “I would take all the toys off my shelves and then I would display them. Looking back on it, I realise I was merchandising my room.” She spent a lot of time with her grandparents. “My grandmother didn’t have much money,” said Katie, “but every Wednesday, she would go to Harrods’ food hall and buy meat and fish – things she thought it was worth paying a bit more for. I thought the place was amazing! Then, straight after, we’d go to the market at the top of Goldhawk Road to buy jellied eels and prawns – from one extreme to another.” One of Katie’s pet hates is those online “you might also like” suggestions that lead you to products similar to what you’ve been looking at, she said. “How the fuck do you know what I like, actually?”

a week’s clicks #38

so much to read this week! I feel like I’m squeezing every drop out of this weekend, from seeing out the summer on a dalston rooftop on friday night to book-shopping in Foyles to a midnight jaunt to Matisse’s Cut-Outs at the Tate Modern last night (it closes 10pm today!) to a good old-fashioned street party and dog show this afternoon, plus plenty of reading and good food in between. This week was a good one for reading, so here are some things for this evening:

From the archives: Ladies’ man, the New Yorker, March 16th, 2009.

There are many designers whose work can make women look thinner or prettier. Elbaz seems to have the power to make women appear more interesting. Several years ago, Barneys’ creative director, Simon Doonan, hosted an event for Elbaz in Los Angeles, at which Doonan had imagined that models would walk around the room wearing Lanvin while the guests ate dinner. Elbaz hated the idea. He wanted twinkling chandeliers and a runway. Barneys obliged, but expended its budget, and was reduced to using “local talent” for the models. Doonan assumed that Elbaz would be horrified. But when the show began, Doonan recalls, “not only do the local girls look beautiful and stylish, they actually look like fascinating people. Alber is an alchemist: he took these California chippies and turned them into Left Bank existentialists. Instead of Tara Reid, I saw Jeanne Moreau.”

The second issue of 1 Granary is out now and while I did step down as editor after realising, in a sweaty panic at 3am one night late last year, that there are in fact only 24 hours in the day and perhaps I should be spending more than 5 or 6 of them each day not-working, I did find my way into the issue regardless. I conducted the interview with Christopher Kane that you see on the cover there, and also I met painter Dexter Dalwood in an Islington café almost a year ago, who painted one of my favourite paintings of recent years, where we talked about politics and tub-thumping and Iraq and conspiracy. Strange, now, considering how much has changed in global affairs since then.

Are you wary of being pigeonholed in the media at all? As an artist who is controversial or even conspiratorial?
Not really. When I did the Turner Prize obviously there was a big focus on that David Kelly painting but on the whole it hasn’t been like that. I did this show called Orientalism in Copenhagen in 2012, about how difficult it is to make paintings about the Middle East, basically. Riffing on the idea that 19th century Orientalist paintings were about this racist idea of codifying the subject, but always from a Western viewpoint. Now, if you think of Syria in your mind’s eye, you see rebels in trucks with grenade launchers on the back. People on the street and you see desert, bashed-up buildings, troops on the ground and stuff like that. You don’t see kids going to school, or people having weddings, people sitting having coffee. It’s about what’s fed through to us. That’s what I was interested in doing, as an inadequate version of that with painting.

Anyway, on another note, two weeks ago I met with the two girls who edited the new issue, Olya and Sara, drank cocktails and ate ice cream. We ended up going to a party in Bloomsbury and getting quite drunk and talking for a long time. And people rail against working - doing anything you can describe as labour - for free these days so much, especially people who have yet to make a living from that particular labour (hence the railing, in fairness). I am privileged to make a living off my labour, and I’ve learned not to always have a problem with working for free when you get other benefits from that work: it could be ‘exposure’ or a platform or a great editor or in this case, maybe most importantly, a friendship with some of the smartest, most together girls I will ever know. It’s experience, not the kind that fills a gap on your CV, but that you’ll remember and be glad of for a lifetime. Some things are worth a lot more than a little money in your pocket.

The second issue of 1 Granary is out now and while I did step down as editor after realising, in a sweaty panic at 3am one night late last year, that there are in fact only 24 hours in the day and perhaps I should be spending more than 5 or 6 of them each day not-working, I did find my way into the issue regardless. I conducted the interview with Christopher Kane that you see on the cover there, and also I met painter Dexter Dalwood in an Islington café almost a year ago, who painted one of my favourite paintings of recent years, where we talked about politics and tub-thumping and Iraq and conspiracy. Strange, now, considering how much has changed in global affairs since then.

Are you wary of being pigeonholed in the media at all? As an artist who is controversial or even conspiratorial?

Not really. When I did the Turner Prize obviously there was a big focus on that David Kelly painting but on the whole it hasn’t been like that. I did this show called Orientalism in Copenhagen in 2012, about how difficult it is to make paintings about the Middle East, basically. Riffing on the idea that 19th century Orientalist paintings were about this racist idea of codifying the subject, but always from a Western viewpoint. Now, if you think of Syria in your mind’s eye, you see rebels in trucks with grenade launchers on the back. People on the street and you see desert, bashed-up buildings, troops on the ground and stuff like that. You don’t see kids going to school, or people having weddings, people sitting having coffee. It’s about what’s fed through to us. That’s what I was interested in doing, as an inadequate version of that with painting.

Anyway, on another note, two weeks ago I met with the two girls who edited the new issue, Olya and Sara, drank cocktails and ate ice cream. We ended up going to a party in Bloomsbury and getting quite drunk and talking for a long time. And people rail against working - doing anything you can describe as labour - for free these days so much, especially people who have yet to make a living from that particular labour (hence the railing, in fairness). I am privileged to make a living off my labour, and I’ve learned not to always have a problem with working for free when you get other benefits from that work: it could be ‘exposure’ or a platform or a great editor or in this case, maybe most importantly, a friendship with some of the smartest, most together girls I will ever know. It’s experience, not the kind that fills a gap on your CV, but that you’ll remember and be glad of for a lifetime. Some things are worth a lot more than a little money in your pocket.

a week’s clicks #37

I think there’s a ghost inside this blog, because every time I try to post a link to a certain article the whole thing crashes. So here’s 95% of your weekly reads. Happy end of summer. I’m glad we’re moving on.

From the archives:

Hip-Hop Debs - Nancy Jo Sales meets Paris and Nicky Hilton, Vanity Fair, September 2000.

A friend describes how Paris behaves when she enters a hotel belonging to the family, which includes the Waldorf-Astoria: “She’ll, like, roll up to the Waldorf like snap, snap to the desk clerk: ‘You give me a key’ … with that glare in her eye, like she’s Zsa Zsa Gabor or something. Grabs the key out of their hand, like: ‘Tell them to send up room service right now!’”

And then there’s the supposed rivalry with the Schnabel sisters—Stella, 17, and Lola, 19, daughters of the painter Julian Schnabel. It’s like something out of Edith Wharton. “She and Nicky are like partners in bitch crime,” the friend continues. “They have an ill competition with the Schnabel girls. They do not like each other. It’s like battle of the society sisters: ‘Oh, we both had our pictures in the Post by the time we were 14!’ … It’s a notorious rivalry, like: ‘Can you believe the dress she’s wearing? I would not be caught dead in that.’ It’s like, who looks the oldest at the youngest age, and who got into Spy bar first, and this and that … “

a week’s clicks #36

oh god sorry for the extremely long break in programming. a lot of stuff happened, and i had no internet at work or at home for about 3 weeks there. i read some real books during that time, also plenty of stuff around the internet. Here is some of it.

From the archives:

I’m reading White Girls by Hilton Als right now and I think there is so much to learn from him and his writing, as a writer and as a human. I’ve linked to his essays a few times here but this time it’s an interview with him by Christopher Bollen in Interview mag (again):

BOLLEN: There are some really interesting pieces that sit dissonantly side by side in the book. You have a formal, more traditional profile on the life of Richard Pryor followed by a fictional screed in the voice of Richard Pryor’s sister, as if she were Shakespeare’s sister. Was that looser, wilder second piece a response to the formalism of the first?

ALS: That’s a good question. I think that I live in writing. I don’t really see that many distinctions in the work. What I feel is there are certain demands that you have to satisfy in any piece of writing. When it’s just for me, it’s just for me, but if it’s a piece for a particular publication, I know what they’re going to ask for. I feel really spoiled because the places that I write for tend to want more of your sound. They know that there are certain journalistic demands, but they want your sound, too. I don’t make a lot of money, but I get to have freedom.

a week’s clicks #35

hello from Stockholm!

From the archives:

London swings! Again! From Vanity Fair, March 1997 - perhaps the moment the above movement really started on its righteous path.

This is what it’s like in London now. Everywhere you go, some young sharpie with friends in the art world and a rack of Paul Smith suits has plans. Every rotting wharf, every disused factory, every seedy locale where Ronnie Kray once nailed someone’s head to the floor, is a restaurant or arts complex waiting to happen. And because London has a long-standing tradition of fine design and good art schools—among them St. Martin’s College of Art, the Royal College of Art, and Goldsmiths’—these new edifices, unlike those that sprang up in America during the Reagan boom, are actually tasteful. Every young entrepreneur, in other words, is turning into Terence Conran.

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