“You can’t sleep with a yacht. You can’t make love to a Cadillac, though everyone appears to be trying to.”
In 032c Issue 35, we publish a 25-page dossier that celebrates the material world of American writer JAMES BALDWIN (1924-1987), an exile and a prophet whose commitment to love, justice, and fearlessness serves as a guide to our discordant present. Cover star KIKO MIZUHARA embraces transhumanist pleasures on the streets of Tokyo. PETRA COLLINSphotographs newly canonized rap pope GUCCI MANE at an altar of art and flowers in Miami. Meanwhile in London, makeup artist ISAMAYA FFRENCH is the oracle of un-wellness, peeling back the mask on a 387-billion euro industry. French sociologists LUC BOLTANSKI and ARNAUD ESQUERRE unveil a new economy of enrichment, fueled by our obsession with sneakers, art, and luxury real estate, and new work by artist SETH PRICE zooms in on consumer culture, merchandise, and textile production. HANS ULRICH OBRIST and VIRGIL ABLOH ask superstar painter MARLENE DUMAS how she says “yes” – and art book publishing magnate BENEDIKT TASCHEN gets lucky saying “yes” to everything in art. We look through the keyhole to FRANCIS BACON’s past life as a modernist interior designer, and Chengdu photographer and propagandist FENG LI takes photos in Shanghai. We portray TOLIA TITAEV, co-founder of PACCBET and Moscow’s OCTYABR skate shop, and ADRIANO SACK pulls at the threads of streetwear to show us the deep-running influence of the acid-tinged fashions of 1990s CLUBWEAR. Finally, we review our favorite books of the season, and get to the root of all things with PEGGY GOU, WIZ KHALIFA, EDOUARD LOUIS, HARLEY WEIR, DIS, EUGENE WHANG, WILL WELCH and YOON AHN.
Learn more about the issue below:
JAMES BALDWIN is still a Jeremiah: a mournful prophet whose warnings about the health of the world appear to have gone unheeded. As the home he occupied in France during the last 17 years of his life is demolished to make way for luxury condominiums, we assemble the belongings and images that might inhabit a museum worthy of his words, and his life.
Model, actor, singer, designer, and 032c cover heroine KIKO MIZUHARA is a sensual transhumanist inside a skeletronic robot for an editorial shot in Tokyo by THOMAS LOHR and styled by 032c Fashion Director MARC GOEHRING.
We gain access to the leadership secrets of rap pope GUCCI MANE, a prolific artist and entrepreneur who emerged from a “money-green” house in small-town Alabama to become a one-man hip hop incubator. Accompanying a profile by curator DANIEL FULLER, PETRA COLLINS photographs Gucci against her signature floral backdrop in an exclusive shoot at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami.
Remove your vaginal eggs. Spit our your oat milk. Bin the crystals. Above the spotless din of wellness, makeup artist ISAMAYA FFRENCH is pioneering a brand of anti-beauty that sweatily confronts death – yet somehow remains alluring. Creative director and British Vogue columnist RAVEN SMITH talks to Ffrench about Rihanna, Carl Jung, and the grotesque.
In “Rich Things,” sociologists LUC BOLTANSKI and ARNAUD ESQUERRE explain the new system of wealth fueled by our relentless consumption of sneakers, handbags, AirBnBs, and art. It’s the economy of enrichment, stupid! A commodity fetish borne of heritage tourism and housed in private foundations and cultural institutions. Images by artist SETH PRICE appear in parallel to the interview, clippings from a new body of work that disturbs the commercial hierarchy of the gallery, the boutique, and the bodega.
MARLENE DUMAS made history in 2005 when a Christie’s auction result made her work the most expensive of any female artist alive. Born in South Africa, Dumas now lives in Amsterdam, where HANS ULRICH OBRIST and VIRGIL ABLOH met her for a rare conversation about her public artworks – projects that have gracefully found homes in a cathedral, a psychiatric hospital, and a courthouse.
Publishing magnate BENEDIKT TASCHEN opens up about his moonlight career as an art collector in an uninhibited interview with SVEN MICHAELSEN. Through Taschen’s luck, charm, and cunning, the collection grew so large his children started receiving canvases as birthday gifts. “Sometimes there would be a fit because one kid would have preferred a Barbie doll over a Kippenberger,” he explains. “But they had to go through this valley of tears. You don’t always get what you want in life.”
Did you know FRANCIS BACON’s first painting was a rug? In the late 1920s, the painter worked in Paris as an interior decorator, imbibing the influence of Le Corbusier while designing tables, stools, and desks. As REBECCA DANIELS explains, although Bacon downplayed his stint as a designer, it would inform his radical sense of spatial possibility throughout his artistic career.
In “Territorial Signals” we portray the 24-year-old Muscovite TOLIA TITAEV, professional skater and co-founder, alongside GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY, of the skate brand PACCBETT and the Moscow skate shop OKTYABR – a pin on the map where the Russian skate scene converges.
Before streetwear there was CLUBWEAR. Writer ADRIANO SACK decodes the looks and attitudes curated by the magazines, brands, and clubs that defined the early 1990s party scene – and uncovers a historic antecedent to the dominant fashion trend of the 2010s.
Elsewhere in our fashion stories, a guy from Chengdu – prolific photographer FENG LI – takes uncanny pictures in Shanghai in an editorial styled by TAMARA ROTHSTEIN, and two armored knights cross swords in LIVE ACTION ROLE PLAY, styled by MARC GOEHRING and photographed by BRUNO STAUB.
In the “SSENSE Files,” we deliver scenes of cross-platform madness from our work at ssense.com, including face-to-face time with PEGGY GOU, WIZ KHALIFA, WILL WELCH, EUGENE WHANG, DIS, HARLEY WEIR, EDOUARD LOUIS, and YOON AHN.
In “SOCIÉTÉ de 032c,” we glide through a trance-inducing fog in the grand halls of the Belvedere Museum in Vienna with artist DONNA HUANCA, learn the true meaning of family enterprise with BOB and ADAM LEVY of workwear Mecca DAVE’S NY, talk blood, sweat, and femininity with the girls of SKATE KITCHEN, and imagine a techo-dystopian future courtesy of Spanish DJ and model SITA ABELLAN.
Finally, the magazine closes with “BERLIN REVIEW”, our favorite books released this season. We explore the sharing economy wunderkammer – replete with Helmut Lang and Raf Simons – that is the DAVID CASAVANT ARCHIVE, find bemusement in Artforum magazine’s eternally Swiss 147 BACKCOVERS, throw back a warm beer in a changing Berlin-Kreuzberg with artist MATTHIAS STEINKRAUS at ROTE ROSA, and review the uncompromising mental strategies of artist LEE LOZANO, who gave up talking to women in her infamous last, greatest, and most confusing work.