The Culture Crush

The Culture Crush header image 1

Matthias Vriens-McGrath

March 1st, 2017

As the influence of the aesthetics of ‘90’s Paris seems to grow and grow, it’s interesting to get a feel for some of the pieces of the puzzle that made up that particular ecosystem. Then, stylists, photographers, creative directors, press agents and designers were working in a freer, closed world, interacting with each other and allowing for chance work and experimentation that is now difficult to imagine. 

But photographer Matthias Vriens-McGrath remembers it well. He discusses the creative mindset that led him to picking up a camera in the first place, as well as the aesthetic spontaneity that reflected a time that was both the end of an era and the very beginning of a now unstoppable regurgitation of imagery fueled by the high stakes multi-billion dollar machine that the fashion industry has become today. 


The Culture Crush x ConTent

January 17th, 2017

When Brian Shevlin, founder of  Con Artist Collective invited the Culture Crush to discuss the art scene in New York versus Los Angeles at their space on Ludlow street, we all decided it would be a great opportunity to record the conversation as a podcast for the first time in front of a live audience. We brought along contributor Andre Wagner to talk about his experiences as a photographer in New York City, and the unique way he works with the Culture Crush. It was an incredibly inspiring , as Brian shared his excitement about his new ‘zine project ConTent, and how we all inspire each other to collaborate and keep exploring different media and ways of communicating.  



There Is No Try

December 24th, 2016

We have spent this past year asking questions like, “What ever happened to the counterculture?” and fighting against sameness, and forming the belief system of the Culture Crush. In light of recent events it seems like our fight is coming to the forefront because not only are certain values under attack, culture itself feels like it’s under attack.

With this in mind, our founder Debra Scherer sat down with Donna d’Cruz, founder of Rasa Living, who began her career in the world of music, both with labels and as a DJ and uses these experiences with sound to conduct the flow of energy in a room. Donna has used her bond with music to begin a sound meditation program called A Dip Into Bliss to access stillness, and out of that stillness, she believes creativity is born. Donna encourages her students – and everyone, really – to tap into their creative spirits, especially in times of uncertainty. 


Beirut, My Love

November 15th, 2016

Jey Perie, and Gogy Esparza, a New York-based artist, photographer, and videographer, arrived in Beirut with little more than a tentative plan to capture the lives of young people, both the affluent and the disenfranchised, and left with a deeper insight into the people living in a city known as much for its war-torn history as its nightlife. It seems no matter a person’s background, living conditions, or ideology, there are deep cultural commonalities found in the language of pop culture; through music, sports, and even a pair of sneakers. 


There Is Freedom In Manhattan

November 14th, 2016

When we first started to plan for issue 7, I spoke with André D. Wagner about doing a group of images that might be very personal to him. I suggested the possibility of traveling somewhere, or maybe retracing a few steps of his life. He said, “absolutely not!” Because, for him, the streets of New York, now more than ever, are the basis for what he feels is the most personal work he has ever done. We discuss the weight of the city on us all and how he is just hitting what he calls a new stride.


Saturday Nights at Giorgio’s

November 7th, 2016

The Culture Crush is out in Hollywood with Bryan Rabin, who, along with DJ Adam12, is the mastermind behind Giorgio's, a special nightclub space, named for legendary producer Giorgio Moroder, which is devoted to the idea of the discotheque and the values of pre bottle service club culture, where connections are made and tribes are formed. We worked with Bryan on issue 7 and were just setting up for the launch party when we sat down (on the floor) to discuss the important role nightlife plays in both the creation and reflection of culture. 


Generations Of Culture

August 8th, 2016

On this episode, Jey Perie returns to the studio to share his story of the almost mythological streetwear designer Barnzley Armitage, who Jey had the pleasure of interviewing earlier this year for a special Culture Crush story. They discussed the '80's London club scene and how streetwear was organically grown out of a back and forth between kids trying to outdo each other in terms of being in the know. It wasn't fashion, it wasn't even a business, yet. With excerpts from the original interview, we talk about the way style evolved in the scene before there was the hyper communication we live with now. In fact, according to Barnzley, at the time, clubs were the internet.

All of this talk of generations reminds both Jey and me that we are from this generation in between, the one no-one really pays attention to, the "x generation." That allows us to speak to both as we try to make sense of the world and how so much has changed, in terms of relationships between music, fashion, media, and the world this new generation was left to make their mark in. 


Bantu Wax: Nowhere To Go But Grow

July 22nd, 2016

The Culture Crush’ Debra Scherer sat down with Yodit Eklund, founder of the African surf brand Bantu Wax to talk about her evolving company and African youth culture. Yodit, an Ethiopian native, eloquently shares her goal to create positive images of Africa through Bantu's own ethos and sense of community. She shows us that, contrary to popular belief, Africa is more than just a poverty-stricken continent filled with expensive safari opportunities; it is actually a dense hub of remix culture. Though many industry behemoths talk the talk of Made in Africa, Yodit's guiding force is basically, "if it can't be made in Africa, we don't make it."


Open Casting

June 1st, 2016

Join the Culture Crush for a discussion about photography and street casting with documentary photographer André D. Wagner and casting director David Milosevich just after they had finished a collaboration for issue six of our print magazine. Though they both hit the streets looking for that special someone, it would normally be something they did solo. For this special story, they went out as a duo all over New York City to see who they could find and shoot them on the spot. Now that's what we call real street style.



May 2nd, 2016

On this month’s episode we sat down with Michael Faso out in Los Angeles just as he was about to go and shoot his first Culture Crush feature story. Michael, a.k.a. @deconstrct grew up in the valley around ‘zines and early visual internet culture. We discuss his evolving interests in photography, graphics and media, the making of his own 'zine, and the way he and his friends respond to these industries from their unique point of view.