Quick Cuts – Nomadic

Aesthetic - Photographed by Luke Copping

Another quick cut from the latest issue of Auxiliary Magazine, this time from the monthly Aesthetic feature I contribute to. You can see the whole article on Auxiliary’s website. This month’s edition featured model Jason Sokody, the first time that the magazine has featured a male model in one of their regular beauty features.

More work can be seen at lukecopping.com

Quick Cuts – Outré

Outré - Photographed by Luke Copping

Auxiliary Mag just published their June issue which includes an editorial series by me as well as the monthly beauty column I photograph. heres some quick cuts from that editorial, titled Outré. I worked closely with stylist Molly Hoeltke, who created these looks from a combination of ultra modern swimwear and vintage lingerie culled from several design houses.

Outré - Photographed by Luke Copping

More work can be seen at lukecopping.com

Quick Cuts – Molly Hoeltke

Fashion stylist molly hoeltke

Fashion stylist, friend, and collaborator Molly Hoeltke needed a bio shot for an interview and profile piece thats being done on her.  Heres a quick cut from those images. Molly has worked with me on a variety of projects ranging from magazine editorials to my own self directed projects for promotional images. Molly has a unique eye for combining vintage pieces with unique one of a kind contemporary designs. You may have seen her pop up once or twice in behind the scenes photos here on the blog as well.

Antiquarian Luxury

Antiquarian luxury web tear cyberoptix

Cyberoptix Tie Labs has long been one of my favorite designers of unique men’s accessories. Bethany Shorb runs one of the largest ecologically friendly and solvent free screen printing shops in the country, making thoughtful and bold statements in the creation of unique neckwear while minimizing any environmental impact in her hometown of Detroit, MI. Outside of her work as lead designer for Cyberoptix, Bethany has also toured the country with her experimental musical project Toybreaker and designed riveting couture fashions outside the accessories market, including the touring wardrobe for Skinny Puppy’s 2004 world tour.

I photographed several of the Cyberoptix Tie Lab designs last year for a designers feature run in an independent alternative fashion magazine. A small series of editorial images were created for the piece using one of Western New York’s most decadent and luxurious restaurants as a backdrop, it was a brilliant location to shoot Bethany’s ties in, awash in rich red velvets, dark woods, and accented with stunning collections of distinct objects ranging from avian taxidermy to a collection of rare vintage spirits.  It was the perfect setting to allow some interesting vintage menswear to be infused with the punky edge and  darkly intelligent tie designs that Cyberoptix provided. I knew that I had become an instant fan of Bethany’s work when I had decided on the spot to buy several of the ties she had provided for the production rather than returning them to her, most notably Raven and Gasmask, they have since become favorite pieces of my wardrobe.

I was excited when Bethany wanted to use one of the images from the original editorial, after it had initially run, on the Cyberoptix homepage to promote her ExLibris tie. The combination of her tie design laid over part of the image as well as the typography she come together to create an alluring whole, one that I was extremely happy to be a part of, especially given Bethany’s reputation as a young, popular, and passionate designer who is creating stunning yet environmentally responsible garments in a city generally held to be outside of the major fashion markets.

Aesthetic

I recently had the chance to work with model Kerry Quaile for a new regular column I am both creating imagery for and writing in Auxiliary Magazine. The new regular contribution, called Aesthetic, is a breakdown of the hybridization of various counter culture styles with the aesthetics and mindfulness of well styled fashion and beauty editorials. It is an attempt to break these subculture style trappings out of their own stereotypes in order to create something new and impressive. Its been a pleasure to be working on this new column as Auxiliary has given me a great deal of creative control to work with my stylists and various fashion figures in trying to predict these new hybrid styles based on trends in both the alternative and mainstream fashion industries.  This installment of Aesthetic, featuring Kerry Quaile and Lauren Mentkowski is featured in the April issue of Auxiliary, and the first installment Metropolis Androgyne, ran in the February issue.

Auxiliary Magazine Teaser Video

A short behind the scenes preview at a shoot I recently worked on for Auxiliary Magazine’s february issue. I have discovered that my Kinoflos do great double duty in terms of lighting both still and motion pieces, and were used extensively on both aspects of this project.

Auxiliary Magazine Shoot – Preview Video from Luke Copping on Vimeo.

Cover Shoot – Auxiliary Magazine 1 year Anniversary Issue

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My friends over at Auxiliary Magazine just celebrated their one year anniversary with the release of their December issue. For the last year this growing publication has developed its unique take on counterculture fashion and style and this is the finest issue that this small independent publication has released. I was honored to photograph the anchor editorial, WET, for the beauty section as well as the cover of this important edition. WET features a modern take on mass produced plastic jewelry from great independent designers and artists like Plastique, Isette, and CBST’s Closet.

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Its OK to Suck

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Aside from photography I also do a fair bit of freelance writing. Auxiliary Magazine recently afforded me the opportunity to interview Doc Hammer from Adult Swim’s The Venture Brothers for their october issue (and to collaborate with my good friend, NYC based artist Ron Douglas, who went above and beyond to get an 11th hour photo session in with Hammer). In addition to writing one of the most intelligent and funniest animated shows on television, Hammer is also a musician and accomplished oil painter with an interesting view on how sucking motivates him to excel in his chosen fields.

Too many people fall in love with their own work to the degree that they become overconfident and sloppy. This overconfidence can sometimes lead to stagnation in their evolution as a creative. When you feel there is no need to improve and love every single piece you create as if it were your magnum opus, quality begins to suffer and motivation will disappear. For some people its the adversity of constantly trying to improve that allows them to thrive. I wanted to share a passage from the interview that I feel sums this idea up perfectly, it relates specifically to oil painting, but as Hammer goes on to say later in the article, it can be applied to any endeavor.

…Painting is showing up and dealing with sucking, that’s the big tip, that’s what I want people to walk out knowing.

A lot of artists want people to think that they are magicians, that it’s easy and no one else an do it and that they just shit this stuff out, and it’s untrue. People with skill and passion can do it, that’s the talent. The thing that you are born with isn’t the ability to render figure, you can always learn that. What you are born with is the drive to fucking do it, and to want to do it in the face of constant failure. Painting is entirely failure, and if your painting wasn’t failure then your not moving forward and you are not correcting your own mistakes. What’s the point of making another one if you’re so fucking good that you have painted your masterpiece already. Every painting that a good painter does, they hate it, it sucks, and that’s what gets them going to do the next one so they can learn. That’s a hard thing to do, to have your occupation, hobby, life, be a place where you suck and you know you suck. People will get on me and tell me that I need to relax and take it easy, that I’m not really that bad. What they are missing is the arrogance of what I am saying, the fact that I know I suck proves that I know I am better than this, which is a very arrogant thing to do, so people should not be concerned with my self esteem. When I say I suck, it actually means that this is not a representation of my ability, I know that inside me is better. Dealing with my sucking and proudly saying this sucks is how I get up and do it again. I can’t let that thing get out there, I have to apologize for it with my next piece.

– Doc Hammer

To read read more about Doc Hammer’s thoughts on style, menswear, music, painting, and his show The Venture Brothers; or to view the rest of  October issue of Auxiliary Magazine, go HERE

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