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The Wonderful Wizard of OZ

Meet OZ. OZ lives in Milan. OZ is an illustrator who rides a tiny red bike. OZ sends postcards and likes the Beatles in India. OZ drives a Yellow Fiat. OZ reads the news upside-down while wearing stripes. OZ hates blue ink pens. OZ is a nickname for Olimpia Zagnoli Zagnoli was born in 1984 in northern Italy. 

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The WalkupThis young illustrator has adopted a clear line and a retro curvature and color palette. She has exhibited her work and published her illustrations throughout Europe and the USA. Her clients include The New York Times, The New Yorker, Air France, Adidas Originals, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Harvard Business Review. 

Olimpia Zagnoli's Clodomiro as Featured by The Walkup

Together with her father, Miro Zagnoli, a photographer, Olimpia created Clodomiro. The duo’s family-run online shop features everyday objects which appeal to their taste. Their first project is a series of fine bone china plates with erotically-inspired imagery, conceptualized in Milan and produced in Stoke-On-Trent in the UK. Care for strawberries atop a vagina? Or Adam & Even with some spaghetti?

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The Walkup

Above are excerpts from Zagnoli’s Last exhibition at Galerie Michel Lagarde and the launch of the book Monsieur Horizontal & Madame Verticale written by Noémie Revah and illustrated by the artist. In 2013, she was presented the Communication Arts Award of Excellence for a series of illustrations done for Italian newspaper La Repubblica. On the bottom right, is her illustration for The New York Times Sunday Review “It’s Not Mess. It’s Creativity”. On the top left, an excerpt from Flying Marina Abramovic, 2013.

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The Walkup

Top left, an illustration for La Repubblica about censorship and a zebra. Give that poor Zebra her stripes back! Far right vertical, The New Science of Mind – The New York Times Sunday Review. The notebook features sketches by OZ from the Summer of 2013.

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The Walkup

Top Left, a Sunday illustration for La Repubblica about picking the right kind of information. In this instance, the right kind of information also coincides with the right kind of butterflies. Top Middle, a 100% silk scarf designed for Clodomiro. Top Right, an illustration for La Repubblica about astronomy and the dark side of the matter. Bottom left, Zagnoli herself, in the studio, getting work done! Could we steal those glasses? Bottom right, Neuroliterature, a piece for La Repubblica on how neurosciences are trying to explain the feelings activated by literature.

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The Walkup

Zagnoli is part punk, part mod, and highly saturated! At the tender age of 29 she has already made a name for herself in the international graphic design scene. On the Right is her illustration Italian magazine Internazionale urging people to support record stores not just on Record Store Day. Most importantly, they have a Record Store Day in Italy! 

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Record Time

Step 1: Find a friend! I found Kimberley, she’s my go-to crafting buddy. If you have a friend named Kimberley, use her too. Go to your local thrift shop and find cake molds, bowls, or anything circular that is oven safe over 300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Our bowls were only $1.99. This object will be used to mold your record bowl.

Step 2: Continue shopping at your local Goodwill, or thrift shop to find inexpensive records. Ours were $0.99 each, however many places sell classical albums for $0.25 a pop. Be warned! Sometimes the most AWESOME covers actually have the least attractive records inside. Don’t judge a book (or record) by it’s cover. The inside is what counts (in life, and in record shopping), so open the package and the sleeve and see what the record inside has to offer. This is what will be on display in the end product.

Step 3: Preheat your oven to 250-300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Wipe down your record so it does not have extraneous dust – this will melt into the bowl. Make sure the record is dry. Place your record centered on an oven proof bowl. Place in the oven for no more than five minutes (it starts to let off toxic gas if left in too long) at a time. Open a window and ventilate. At five minutes (but sometimes sooner, use oven light to check if corners are dropping, melting, and bending) take out of the oven using oven mitts! Safety first! Remain calm! Don’t fret!

Step 4: As soon as you take the record out of the oven (it will be hot) work quickly (less than 20-30 seconds) to shape the object. You can use the bowl as a mold, and press the record inside. You can also roll the record as you would when making a megaphone out of paper (lower left hand corner). If you are sculpturally inspired, you can even freehand mold the record into different shapes, or stamp the melted vinyl with pattern. If an object is not folding or forming to your liking, place it in the oven to soften it again for another minute or so. The vinyl cools and dries EXTREMELY quickly – usually in under a minute.

Step 5: Place and show off your object. Here I am planning on using the bowl to hold candy near my bar! Kimberley is using her rolled record (in the previous image) as a sconce or a plant holder mounted to the wall. These bowls can be used as planters because of the hole in the middle makes automatic drainage! Since the item is so inexpensive to make, and takes such a short amount of time to form (some would say RECORD TIME, har har), I would recommend making a ton of them and giving them away to people you love as “just because” presents! What a unique and retro way to decorate.

P.S. All photographs by me.

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Studio 54

Located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York, Studio 54 was the epicenter of the debaucheries party-world. Inside its gilded walls, all tomorrow’s parties and celebrities romped. The disco balls twirled, the socialites teased, and the artists observed. The music never stopped and the alcohol flowed as in Victoria Falls. Andy Warhol, talking about the nightclub in 1979 wrote, “It’s the place where my prediction from the sixties finally came true: ‘In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.'” Oh to be a bright young thing in 1979!

Image created by me from photos found at The Ian Schrager Development Company – The Nightclub Years Slideshow. 

In 1977, Studio 54 was transformed into a new age, spectacular nightclub by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, with Jack Dushey as a financial backer. They operated the company as Broadway Catering Corp. It took four months to transform the theater into a nightclub and cost $400,000. Adjusting for inflation, what cost $400,000 in 1977 would cost approximately $$1,502,726.07 in the present (2012).

Studio 54 was widely known for its mixture of “regular joes”, “star”, and “notable personalities”. Rubell, Schrager’s creative partner was known for “casting a play” when selecting the people who could enter the club. The floor of the space held around 1,550 patrons who paid a $15-$20 cover charge to  “be invited to the party”, nightly.

New Year’s Day 1978, at Studio 54 with Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, Truman Capote and Paloma Picasso. Image found via Jerry Hall, HERE.

Bill Murray and Gilda Radner, dancing together at Studio 54’s 1978 Valentine’s Day ball. Photograph via WWD from Conde Nast Digital Archive, found HERE.

Bianca Jagger and Liza Minelli at Studio 54 in 1978, Photo: Bulls, image found HERE.

Diana Ross & Richard Gere at Studio 54. From a genius article called “Instant Art: 1970’s Celebrity Photographs”,  found via Small Shop, HERE. 

“By far the most iconic image to come out of the most infamous nightclub in living history is one of Bianca Jagger, wearing a sheer, red, off-the-shoulder gown riding a white horse (being led onto the dance floor by a painted naked man!). Staged as a publicity stunt a week after the infamous New York discotheque opened in 1977, legend has it that co-owner Ian Schrager was persuaded by fashion designer Halston, who had created the red dress, to give It-girl of the moment Bianca a special birthday present (she had just turned 30, or 27 depending on who you believe).” –  Image and store found, HERE.

Andre Leon Talley (who started as Warhol’s assistant and is who became KING of the fashion world) and Diana Ross in Studio 54, New Years Eve party 1978-1979. During one famous night four tons of glitter was dumped in a four inch layer on the dance floor. It is rumored that the glitter was found in crevices, outfits, and the hair of guests months later. Photo By WWD Archive, found HERE. 

On February 4, 1980, the nightclub closed with one final party called “The End of Modern-day Gomorrah”.  Image found HERE.

Studio 54 has become synonymous with excessive excess and decadence that defined the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although drug fueled and liberal, in many ways the era of Studio 54 was a more naive time.  Some employees and regulars of Studio 54 were early victims of AIDS, a decade before doctors and the public were aware of the disease. Even Steve Rubell, co-founder of Studio 54, died at the age of 45,of AIDS-related complications.

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