Thursday, November 29, 2007

The man they call BARASH!

Cole Barash! This kid is 20 years old, and became a member of the Nutopia Forum after meeting Platon in Santa Fe. He's never been to photography school, starting taking pictures when he was 13, and has traveled to more countries than you've clicked your shutter. He regularly finds himself in helicopters, driving snow machines at night with 100lbs of equipment, shoveling snow, scaling treacherous mountains and even contemplating doing a snowboard photo shoots in Hawaii. 
We just saw Cole last night, and he dropped off this amazing cover shot he did for Transworld Snowboarding! We thinks it's pretty amazing. Look out for this guy in the future and also his work in one of the upcoming issues of Nutopia Magazine...Keep ripping it up Cole!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


We were sent this essay from the lovely Mary-Clancey at Art Department, written by Kevin Barnes from the band Of Montreal. We all thought this struck upon some very interesting points in the artistic world and the never ending saga of 'selling out', whether a musician, photographer or painter...

Selling Out Isn't Possible

by Kevin Barnes

Are you a sell out? Yes. Don't let it bother you though, cause apparently I am also a sell out, and so are your parents and everyone you've ever known. The only way to avoid selling out is to live like a savage all alone in the wilderness. The moment you attempt to live within the confines of a social order, you become a sell out. Once you attempt to coexist you sell out. If that's true, then selling out is a good thing. It is an important thing. If we didn't do it, we'd be fucked, quite literally, by everyone bigger than us physically who found us fuckable.

The pseudo-nihilistic punk rockers of the 70's created an impossible code in which no one can actually live by. It's such garbage. The idea that anyone who attempts to do anything commercial is a sell out is completely out of touch with reality. The punk rock manifesto is one of anarchy and intolerance. The punk rockers polluted our minds. They offered a solution that had no future. Of course, if the world would have ended before Sandinista! was released then everything would have been alright. It didn't. Now we have all of these half-conceived ideas and idiot philosophies floating around to confuse and alienate us. I think it is important to face reality. It is important to decide whether you are going to completely rail against the system or find a way to make it work for you. You cannot do both -- and if you attempt to do both you will only become even more bitter and confused.

When I was younger, and supported my parents, I chose to float between the two. A lot of people choose to do this. There are so many confused young people running around now polluted by this alloyed version of the tenets of the punk rock manifesto. Of course they're confused. It isn't possible to be in chorus with capitalism and anarchy. You must pick one or the other. Very few people are willing to do it, though. The worst kind of person is the one who sucks the dick of the man during the daytime and then draws pictures of themselves slitting his throat at night. Jesus Christ, make up your mind! The thing is, there is a lack of balance. When capitalism is working on a healthy level, everyone gets their dick sucked from time to time and no one gets their throat slit. It's impossible to be a sell out in a capitalist society. You're only a winner or a loser. Either you've found a way to crack the code or you are struggling to do so. To sell out in capitalism is basically to be too accommodating, to not get what you think you deserve. In capitalism, you don't get what you think you deserve though. You get what someone else thinks you deserve. So the trick is to make them think you are worth what you feel you deserve. You deserve a lot, but you'll only get it when you figure out how to manipulate the system.

Why commercialize yourself? In the art industry, it's extremely difficult to be successful without turning yourself into a cartoon. Even Hunter S. Thompson knew this. God knows Duchamp and Warhol knew it. Some artists are turned into cartoons and others do it themselves. I prefer to do it myself. at least then I can control how my cock is photographed. Why should it be considered such an onerous thing to view the production of art as a job? To me, the luckiest people are the ones who figure out a way to earn a living doing what they love and gain fulfillment from. Like all things in this life, you have to make certain sacrifices to get what you want. At least most of us do. If you're not some trust-fund kid or lotto winner, you've got to slave it out everyday. People who wanna be artists have the hardest time of it 'cause we are held up to these impossible standards. We're expected to die penniless and insane so that the people we have moved and entertained over the years can keep us to themselves. So that they can feel a personal and untarnished connection with our art. The second we try to earn a living wage or, god forbid, promote our art in the mainstream, we are placed under the knives of the sanctimonious indie fascists. Unfortunately, there isn't some grand umbrella grant that supports indie rockers financially and enables us to exist outside of the trappings of capitalism.

The thing is, I like capitalism. I think it's an interesting challenge. It's a system that rewards the imaginative and ambitious adults and punishes the lazy adults. Our generation is insanely lazy. We're just as smart as our parents but we are overwhelmed by contradicting ideas that confuse us into paralysis. Maybe the punk rock ethos made sense for the "no future" generation but it doesn't make sense for me. I like producing and purchasing things. I'd much rather go to IKEA than to stand in some bread line. That's because I don't have to stand in a bread line. Most people who throw around terms like "sellout" don't have to stand in one either. They don't have to stand in one because they are gainfully employed. The term "sellout" only exists in the lexicon of the over-privileged. Almost every non-homeless person in America is over-privileged, at least in a global sense.

Obviously, I've struggled with the concept. I've struggled because of the backlash following my songs placement in TV commercials. That is, until I realized that the negative energy that was being directed towards me really began to inspire my creativity. It has given me a sense of, "well, I'll show them who is a sellout, I'm going to make the freakiest, most interesting, record ever!!!" ... "I'm going to prove to them that my shit is wild and unpolluted by the reach of some absurd connection to mainstream corporate America."

I realized then that, for me, selling out is not possible. Selling out, in an artistic sense, is to change one's creative output to fit in with the commercial world. To create phony and insincere art in the hopes of becoming commercially successful. I've never done this and I can't imagine I ever will. I spent seven years not even existing at all in the mainstream world. Now I am being supported and endorsed by it. I know this won't last forever. No one's going to want to use one of my songs in a commercial five years from now, so I've got to take the money while I can. It's the same with pro athletes. You only get it while you're hot and no one stays commercially viable for long. It's not like Michael Vick is going to be receiving any big endorsement deals anytime soon. As sad as it may seem, one of the few ways most indie bands can make any money whatsoever is by selling a song to a commercial. Very very few bands make enough money from album sales or tour revenue to enable themselves to quit their day job.

Next time you see a commercial with one of your favorite bands songs in it, just tell yourself, "cool, a band I really like made some money and now I can probably look forward to a few more records from them." It's as simple as that. We all have to do certain things, from time to time, that we might not be completely psyched about, in order to pay the bills. To me, the TV is the world's asshole boss and if anyone can earn some extra bucks from it and they're not Bill O'Reilly, it's a good thing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Our Nutopian Hero of the Day... VITTORIO STORARO

"I have always thought that film was capable of registering the emotions of the people who participated in the making of a movie.
A movie is like a soloist playing in a symphony. They may have personal feelings about the music, but they must play the same tune under one conductor.
As Cinematographers, we write with LIGHT and MOTION, using SHADE and COLOUR to punctuate one important part of the vocabulary of cinema.
Images are the language of cinema. They are formed by the embrace and the conflict of LIGHT and SHADOW, orchestrated on the screen by one of the co-authors of the film: the author of cinematography.
It doesn't matter in which part of the world the screen is. Through this screen we are able to express ourselves, our culture, our sentiments and our emotions. Through this screen we are able to learn and to teach each other.
Through this screen we are able to grow up together."

Storaro is one of the greatest cinematographers that has ever lived. We at the Nutopia Forum have been so inspired by his films and would love to recommend that you check out the following:
The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, Apocalypse Now, Dick Tracy and La Luna.
Storaro, we salute you!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Something for the weekend...

A final thought from Picasso:

You Flaming Galar! (That's Aussie lingo, you know!?)

Steven Laxton, our very own Australian member of the Nutopia Forum, was chosen as one of the American Photo Emerging Artists in the Nov/Dec 2007 Issue of AP. This is such splendid news knowing that one of  our most outstanding contributors is getting recognition for his amazing work.
Steven has been in New York for a while, and joined the Nutopia Forum two years ago when there were just 5 members! He got to know the group through assistant circles and working with Platon, and being chosen for the  Emerging Artists is well deserved. If any you have met Steven, you'll know he is one of the kindest and most considerate people out there in the photographic community, always ready to help out friends and share his great knowledge of lighting with everyone! He also loves a pint and a good Bar-B-Q in true Australian spirit!
Steven, we salute you!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Big Up American Photo

The lovely Miki at AP has been supporting us since over a year ago. Here is a little snippet of what AP published on the Nutopia Forum & Magazine in their EMERGING issue: 
And online here: Platons Salon


Glenn, one of the founding members of the Nutopia Forum, is having an opening tomorrow night. Glenn would occasionally host the Nutopia Forum at his bachelor pad in Brooklyn back in the day. Rumour has it there were occasions when only Andreas would show up and the two of them would watch Bruce Weber films, with a lone pot of caper berries. Don't ask us why no-one else showed up, maybe the two of them planned it that way...

Anyhoo, check out his show:

Friday November 16th 6-8.  The show runs through December 30th and is located at the HPGRP Gallery at 36 little west 12th street - 2nd Floor.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Parlez-vous fran├žais ?

A nice photography competition in France...

We like Croissants.

Quicker than you can say "blog"...

Ok, not sure how to start this post other than WOW. We are simply gobsmacked at the response we have had to the Nutopia Forum. Within a day of having our blog up we had over 300 hundred visitors! T'internet news travels way fast, maybe too fast! We hope we can keep on top of this spider web to live up to expectations!
So here's some links to some lovely people who have already started submitting work, obviously we can't introduce new members to the group everyday, but this blog is a good way to show what's been coming in and what we like!
These people stood out to us today:

Liz Lock & Mishka Henner: Dedicated To The One I Love
"These kids defy the stereotypes of apathy and nihilism among teenagers, and are responsible for looking after their own parents and siblings. Their stories are included with their portraits."
Their website:

Thomas Holton:
We like his "Twilight" series.

Thanks so much for your submissions, we appreciate every email and look through all the work.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's it all about Andy?

Let's talk about a very interesting man. Andy Hetherington is his name. Platon has known Andy for many, many years. Initially as a photographic assistant, but more importantly as a friend. Hetherington is one of those interesting cases, a man who began a photography career trying too hard to please clients and get the jobs. After a certain time of feeling creatively frustrated he put all the brakes on and stopped the momentum he had created. He went back to the drawing boards, and asked the hardest question to ask; who am I and who do I really want to be?
Andy went back to his home country, Ireland. And reinvented himself using his spiritual roots as a foundation. He returned to the mad world with the most amazing and powerful portfolio of images; personal, passionate, edgy and humorous. He put together a beautiful promotion piece and relaunched an illustrious career.
Since winning the PDN 30 Andy is now commissioned for his own voice, and his works stands out a mile in the major magazines. His has recently produced a fantastic small scale book featuring photographs of all the hotel rooms he has ever stayed in. We advise readers to some how find ways to check this out.
We at the Nutopia Forum are proud to know Andy Hetherington.

Monday, November 12, 2007


We love Polaroids, and we love post. Please send a Polaroid to our friend Martin in London:

Martin is a creative at TBWA, and also does this:

Check it.

The First Post!

This feels like the first entry to a teenager’s diary! Isn't that nice?
Actually that sense of innocence and naivety will be a central theme for us. We are certainly not intellectuals, and we are not those arseholes who feel it's their place to make sarcastic comments on vulnerable up and coming photography warriors. We are all foot soldiers together.
We hope you like the Nutopia Forum Website, Magazine & Blog.

Nutopia Blog launched!!!