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Once upon a time, there was a man and a woman.
These two met and became inseparable.
Sick of New York’s snow —they planned a getaway.
She pulled looks.
He made a deal.
Off to Miami they flew.
They got sweaty in the sauna.
Fornicated in the bathroom.
Went skinny dipping after-hours.
Took over the massage room.
And left a memorable mark with their sexiness and red sequins... To be continued...
POV: Mike Krim's Uncomfortable Lens
Krim is a prolific man of his craft who is multitasking on a daily basis. He curates shows across the world and designs books, magazines, and clothing while simultaneously utilizing his cameras like an extension of his body as he photographs the world that creates the language of his captured images. He is a man with no boundaries and no fear when it comes to subject matter. There’s no discrimination between a heroin addict with a needle in his neck in LA’s Skid Row to the women and men across the board who trust his artistic style and vision, as it is a blessing at this point to show up in one of Krim’s photographs.
There is a performance taking place when Krim is present. He captures the absurd truths of life as the images possess a beautiful chaos that is being simplified and stripped down to produce a truth that is unseen.
What has Mike Krim been up to so far in 2020, and how is the quarantine going in LA?
I was on a roll. I did a show in Tokyo with Agnès B, then another in Mexico City and released a satin varsity jacket with Majestic Japan. Then a month later, we’re on lockdown. Quarantine has been interesting to say the least… all the down time has led to a lot of self-reflection, allowing me to reprioritize shit. I’ve been really productive. I released two new zines and a shirt this month, and projects that have been on hold are now ready to go when this is all over with. My girl is stuck in Canada. I’ve had to get creative with that… doing little video dates and all that cute stuff.
As a photographer and curator, how important do you feel it is to separate yourself from your subjects?
As a photographer, shooting in the street, I try to have zero connection to the subject other than being fully present in that moment with them. It’s mildly psychopathic but I have to compartmentalize as much as possible. I see a lot of wild shit and I can’t let the emotionality overflow into my personal life. I’ll leave the feelings for the viewers looking at the photos. Curating shows and projects is 100% the opposite. I’m hands-on and ears open from the start. It’s my job to listen to everyone’s wants and needs. The artists, models, and the rest of these characters I collaborate with can get really emotional when it comes down to their work. I have to put my foot down and take the reins and make sure everything is pulled together when it comes time to hang the show and open it up for the public. Otherwise, people run a-muck and make it look like some raggedy freshman art school show. Although, that has kind of been on trend, so maybe I have to rethink my approach, haha.
Can you give me a list of subject matter that you’ve captured images of?
Street, sex workers, artists, actors, graffiti kids, nature, parties, anyone and anything controversial that grabs my attention, but since the ‘Rona hit I have been playing with nature and trying to turn all the cacti on my roof into these wild sexual jump offs. I was joking a few years back that I noticed a lot of controversial photographers started shooting cactus as like “the end of the road” kinda shit like when a New York downtown artist starts to DJ… now I’m thinking about it and I really appreciate the cactus and the DJ.
Can you explain what drives you or places you in these settings and in the presence of these individuals?
Since I was young, I never wanted to be at my house. I always wanted to explore and interact with people from different walks of life. I guess it’s the curious, wide-eyed kid in me that’s always searching for something new. I relate and feel comfortable in fucked up scenarios. I’m attracted to controversy; it has a strong pull for me. I have no problem interacting with someone who is severely mentally ill or walking up to someone that most would find intimidating. I know the slang to use to break the ice and shoot the shit with them. I’m really good at reading people and situations. With the women I shoot, most of my girlfriends and female friends are sex workers of some sort. I have a huge respect for them and all women and all the insanity that comes with it. It’s a full-time spicy sitcom around here. I will only work with real ones though. None of that pretend “let’s play dress up” gimmick for Instagram. Being out late in the city, the only girls out are the naughty ones and we all have a mutual understanding of what time it is when its go time. So, if it’s hitting the club, track or TJ Mexico for the night or any city I land in, the first thing I do is start plotting content. Shit can get complicated though… in Tokyo my boy matched with a fly lady boy on Tinder and passed her off to me. The whole time I’m trying to set up the shoot and she is trying to smash. I’m sitting there like damn baby girl, why it got to be like this? It’s 2020.
I have no problem interacting with someone who is severely mentally ill or walking up to someone that most would find intimidating.
Do you possess a sense of responsibility and respect for your subject?
I absolutely do. I make sure the environment is professional, that the subject is comfortable and treated with the upmost respect. The climate these days can have you canceled mad quick so it’s important that there’s a lot of communication and clear boundaries. I have a little sister and a whole squad of females and it’s unfortunate when you hear shit going down with certain people, brands, etc. I’m not sure why they don’t think harder about how they set shit up. Hiring their favorite IG girl and then inviting 20 homies to stare at her… why would that be comfortable for her? The street stuff is more complicated because its always about respect but it’s also not my responsibility to care… I’m a fly on the wall in those settings.
To my understanding all humans deserve to feel like they’re indispensable. Are there times when you feel this task has been accomplished with your subject?
Yeah, facts. Without the subjects, there’s no me and we would not be having this conversation. Many of the people I shoot I’m able to contact and send them a print or get them a zine. It’s all love. They are forever immortalized in my little world… it goes a long way to do stuff like that especially when you are profiting off of it.
I respect you and think you have many disciplined gifts as an artist. Are you cool with admitting you want to be a GREAT artist and someone who contributes on a much bigger scale in addition to what has already been accomplished?
Look, I’m not even sure I’m even that good. Many people I admire from the past and present that are technically “better” make work that motivates me to be better. I don’t think you need to be the best to be considered great. You need to have the drive and discipline and not wait around thinking people owe you anything. I make my own books, my own shows, and I’m not scared to put myself on a pedestal to be judged. That’s a huge advantage over others because people spend more time worrying what others think and who’s ass they have to kiss.
What are your thoughts on the abundance of filters and body altering on social media?
I’m not into it all… Sure everyone edits their pics on photoshop, but you shouldn’t be like remodeling your whole body and face for validation. Everyone looks exactly the same now and it’s just sad… Team Flaw all the way.
Your work is very lifestyle oriented, are you prepared to take your craft to the next level and photograph for major brands?
If the opportunity presents itself, I would love to bring my aesthetic to the fashion game... I always look at old fashion photos and try and bring that element into the nitty-gritty. It would be a privilege.
Are you interested in video and film as a tool for your practice?
I have been stacking footage for a minute and would love to chop it up with an editor… I made one short already and it made Russian news. If that’s a sign of things to come, I’m ready to get busy with the right team…
I see a lot of wild shit, and I can’t let the emotionality overflow into my personal life.
What is your vision for Paperworks in the future?
Well prior to the world meltdown, we were set up to do a series of global art shows throughout 2020 with various artists in some really obscure places. The idea was to remove and change the narrative of what’s typically being done in the art world. Kinda like a big gypsy caravan that doesn’t give a fuck. I would like to pick up where we left off as soon as the world opens back up. I think the brand’s strongest points are the activations and shows we put on. The clothing is also a whole new extension of the brand. We will be doing seasonal drops and you can find us in some of the world’s most desirable stores. Also, I can’t forget about expanding with more artist’s zines and printed matter.
What does the future hold for Mike Krim?
More shows, more content, more printed projects, a white picket fence, a tangerine tree in the yard.
Come One, Come All
Adults need toys too, so spoil yourself and pay a visit to Romantic Depot. <3
Uncensored: Aton Ibe Crawley
The fine artist talks understanding sex through illustration.
Virtuoso, Swordsman, Revolutionary
Lead — DeAngelo wears boots by MAISON MARGIELA from ARTIFACT NEW YORK, harness by LEAK YOUR SEX TAPE, wings and headpiece from TDF COSTUME COLLECTION. Christen wears harness by DION LEE, boots by DR. MARTENS, gloves by WING + WEFT, earrings by PANCONESI, socks from THE SOCK MAN NYC, wings from TDF COSTUME COLLECTION, skirt stylist’s own.
When I first encountered Mooney’s work on social media, it immediately ignited a fire in me, like many in the public who consume and appreciate his work. While provocative in its presentation, it is brutally honest and most of all, cathartic. It speaks to an internal dialogue that many of us gay black men have, trying to reconcile desire, inherent motivations of self, and socially imposed understandings of blackness, masculinity and acceptable sexuality and sexual expression. I had to buy. I display these pieces of fine art amongst my collection that includes the likes of Kehinde Wiley, Deanna Lawson, Renee Cox, Jacolby Satterwhite, Brandon Cox and other African American contemporary artists.
Mooney’s work is important and transformative and allows the viewer to reconcile the conflict with self or with the “other” such that we all come to the understanding that the individual should be the determinate of what normal is and what happiness looks like. Mooney’s juxtaposition of these hypersexual male figures that visually transcend sexuality while playing with societal constructs of what homosexuality is perceived as (utilizing soft colors like pinks and baby blues, incorporating materials such as cotton, which at its base is hard and prickly while its flower is soft and malleable, and playing in gender non-conforming styling) allows for a conversation about what it is to be black, what it is to be male and what it is to be homosexual. Mooney’s honest presentation advocates for human need for sex, human need for community, and human need for individuality.
Essex Hemphill once said, when speaking about the black homosexual’s need to be considered, “I can’t become a whole man simply on what is fed to me: watered down versions of Black life in America. I need the ass-splitting truth to be told, so I will have something pure to emulate, a reason to remain loyal.” Christen Mooney will assure that truth is always told. He will assure that black gay men are not only considered but heard and validated in our love, in our masculinity and most importantly, in our humanity.
Left — DeAngelo wears gloves by RAF SIMONS.
Right — DeAngelo wears durag stylist's own.
Left — DeAngelo wears shirt by WALES BONNER.
Right — DeAngelo wears boots by MAISON MARGIELA from ARTIFACT NEW YORK, harness by LEAK YOUR SEX TAPE, wings and headpiece from TDF COSTUME COLLECTION.
Christen wears jacket, shorts and harness by THOM BROWNE, earrings by MARTINE ALI and CHRISHABANA, rings by PANCONESI. Alexis wears cage, socks and shoes by THOM BROWNE, choker by MARTINE ALI, underwear stylist’s own.
Left — Christen wears cape by AREA, earrings by PANCONESI.
Right — Hillary wears shorts by ECKHAUS LATTA, boots by HELMUT LANG, armbands and matching bracelets by CHRISHABANA, headpiece from TDF COSTUME COLLECTION, additional jewelry Hillary’s own. Morgan wears tunic and shoes by RICK OWENS, headpiece from TDF COSTUME COLLECTION.
Izzy wears coats and shoes by COMME DES GARÇONS HOMME PLUS, necklace by WE ARE CHAINS, socks from THE SOCK MAN NYC, lingerie stylist’s own.
Left — Christen wears jacket, shorts and harness by THOM BROWNE, earrings by MARTINE ALI and CHRISHABANA, rings by PANCONESI. Alexis wears cage, socks and shoes by THOM BROWNE, choker by MARTINE ALI, underwear stylist’s own.
Right — Christen wears coat and earrings by BALENCIAGA, gloves by WING + WEFT, shoes Christen’s own, lingerie and bow stylist’s own. Morgan and DeAngelo wear lingerie and bows stylist’s own.
Left — Christen wears dress by GUCCI, pasties, bracelet, headpiece and necklace held as rosary by CHRISHABANA, gloves by WING + WEFT.
Right — Christen wears cape by AREA, earrings by PANCONESI.
To continue reading more stories from the latest print issue, pre-order office Magazine Issue 12 here.
Bella At The Cross
Photographer Amanda Merten and her muse Isabella Ferrada on femininity and their ongoing collaboration.
Leave Your House with Lana Rhoades
The number-one most searched talent on PornHub, Rhoades is no rookie. The people’s princess demonstrates her divine mastery over her body in front of the camera lens once again.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Rhoades, her Brazzers bio reads, “Lana Rhoades is a genuine slut. So when she proudly boasts online, ‘My horny has no chill,’ you know she means it.”
From posting steamy Snapchats and lingerie hauls to starring in Brazzers masterpieces like “Office 4-Play: Intern Edition” (a favorite) and “When Lana's Home Alone,” the brunette star makes her mark as one of the sexiest faces—amongst other things—in the industry.
Let loose, and get a little holed up while you’re holed up with the Lana Rhoades. And if this get you hot, tune in for more on Brazzers.