The Brilliance!


We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

Brill uber

Uber. Semi-late. Don’t be ultra-late!!!

Catching a cab is a lot easier said than done. Especially when your “just-10-minutes-away” late for a meeting uptown. Increase the degree of difficulty if you rarely carry cash. I first heard of uber like a year ago. Always skeptical of a new app on the iPhone, Uber sounded too good to be true. You just take a photo your credit card and it automatically scans the numbers and your pretty much locked and loaded. Choice of a regular cab, town car, SUV or scooter in Europe. The map pops up and you can see if your guy is driving the wrong way to get you and everything. No cash exchanged cause it all linked to your credit card. The receipt gets emailed straight to you. Ultra-easy. In a world where there are still cabs that don’t take a credit card, this is a savior. Uber so modern. So many cities. I use it in LA, NYC and Paris. Come Basel time Miami better get their shit together. Getting a cab there is a mess. Thank God for Steve Jobs. Again.


Hotels & Chicago, Public Hotel!

It’s weird having taken a break from the site - cause I want to write about stuff that happened while we were on vacation - but I’m like, “Is it old news?!” Whatever. I’ve always been fascinated by hotels, remember being a little kids and running down the hall ways as fast as you could? Vending machines? Indoor pools that had like a fake palm tree vibe? Straight Radisson status. Fast forward to my early/mid 20’s and I started traveling more - experiencing more hotels, etc, kind of getting the vibe for what I dig, etc. At its core, a hotel is about rest, you know? Not always sleep - but rest. And luxury is, by my definition, comfort - not always excess - but thoughtfulness. I stayed at the Public Hotel in Chicago for the first time like a month or two after they opened - actually booked it cause RSVP Gallery was interviewing me and I liked to color tone from the pictures for place to shoot it at. Stayed there like 15-20 times since maybe? I actually stay there on Christmas day now as like a new “thing”, tradition. Ian Schrager absolutely nailed it. It’s actually a super old hotel that they’ve converted, read up on it, etc. Its every little detail. The cups in the bathroom, painting over the linen wallpaper heavily, the original brass hardware on the closets/bathroom, the double organza floor to ceiling curtains, the hallways!!!!, the neighborhood its in, that CVS you can walk to on the corner in the morning, even the way you enter the place…its gets my like every time I swear. Though, I can say the Pump Room is good - its more just a better magnet for interesting people. And I might change the carpet style in the room - would be insanely expensive but chevron, wide plank, wood flooring would be perfect. Ahhhh, cool, I finally have this post off my chest, ha. All these over-the-top themed-out hotels have such a short shelf-life - and when they’re times up they look like a joke. I think Public hit that sweet spot, they’ll get cooler with age. Stay in the “Loft” style room, and ask for a corner - its better than the 1 bedroom suite.

I actually, no joke, have worked with a developer a bit to better understand if a 10 room hotel can work out financially…hmmmmmmmm. I already have the flooring and bathroom fixtures picked out, etc, etc. Ha. Hmmm.


Friday Randoms!!

•One of the best things was uploaded to the internet this past week by BRILLIANCE favorite Keelayjams and it’s this video
•It’s not new, but Bootleg Bart is a Friday time killing must-see if you aren’t already familliar
•I love the portfolio of Chris Golden
•These photos of Rutile crystals found in quarries in Germany are amazing to look at. I’m obsessed with them.
•I like this
•13thWitness killing it as usual
•I feel like Google is overtaking Apple in terms of memorable commercials. Every time I see a Google Chrome commercial on tv or online I don’t rush to skip it or open another tab and wait for it to play out so I can watch whatever YouTube video I’m really waiting on. They’ve done such a good job recently of making spots that connect with you, that are emotional, that are fun, but always super simple and easy. Actually it’s been a while since Apple really, really inspired us I feel like. Virgil’s post a few back about iTunes is true, especially the part about a downward spiral since Jobs passed. Feels like the Post-Jobs-era Apple is searching for identity and inspiration still. It’ll come…
•Unless you’re a web designer and your site is part of your portfolio, you don’t need anything fancy…I feel like a big chunk of artists & designers on the web are really starting to grasp this. Photographers on the other hand…Seinfeld voice what’s the deal with still using Flash for your sites!!?!?
•Have a good Friday. Read THE BRILLIANCE. Tell your friends. Enjoy this GIF.



Leif Podhajsky & the new psychadelic aesthetic…

Trends come and go in art & design. With the internet, it seems this is a day-to-day occurrence rather than something that takes months or even years to evolve, so when a new aesthetic, a new ‘look’ starts to stick and really hang around, it’s a pretty exciting thing to me. If you don’t already know Leif Podhajsky, you’ve probably at least seen his work somewhere already…seems like it pops up as the cover of one of the 5 daily Pitchfork-reviewed albums like once a week, I swear…Bonobo, The Horrors, Youth Lagoon, Foals, Tame Impala, Grimes, Shabazz Palaces…the list goes on. Anyways, there’s been a reemergence in recent years of I guess what I’d call a new psychadelic aesthetic. Trippy, choppy, hard to look at in a good way…it’s easy to see why Podhajsky has been tapped to work with so many of these bands. His work match up so well with the music. Probably the best compliment I can pay to his work is that you can easily get lost in looking at it much like you can get lost with a good song playing in your headphones. There’s a lot to discover. Totally unexpected color palettes, classic gothic, grungy, oily rainbows and golds and perfect symmetry and inverted imagery floating in desert landscapes with this beautiful sort of 70’s retro vibe but without the boring-ness that usually comes with ‘retro’ graphics these days…there are some other great artists doing work in this vein as well…Justin Blyth is always doing killer stuff, Sabrina Ratté, I’d even say Eric Wareheim (of Tim & Eric fame) has been one of the champions of this stuff with his videos for Major Lazer, MGMT, HEALTH…Anyways, check out Leif’s site and get inspired.



Kind of wild for our first new interview. And, ha, its so perfectly our style. Weird, irreverent, but kind of that perfect look at who Tom Sachs is in the way he responded - and maybe a perfect show of how we do stuff - just posting the actual picture. We’ve always cut-and-pasted the exact response we get from people we interview - ha, took this one to another level. Interviewing and artist and he gave us a piece of art as his answer to our questions. Like Virg said, we’re trying to get those actual pieces of paper! Crazy. Anyway, yeah, Tom Sachs, chats with us about what he had for breakfast, his first art purchase, if he ever met Steve Jobs, etc, etc, etc. Get hip to it, and honestly the best way to learn more about his is Google, ha.

Brill sex

Punk: “Chaos to Couture”!!! Cliff-notes for fashion!!!

As into Art and all that as I am it’s almost as hard to make time to see Art as it was to find time to read. I hate reading LOL. Rather rarely have time for it. But a few nights ago at the MET Ball I got a glimpse of what I have been missing with these A-level exhibitions. I love this particular exhibit first and foremost because I love the point of view of people behind it. Nick Knight and Riccardo Tisci entitled Punk: “Chaos to Couture”. What I love most is this is a perfect exhibition for those that ignore the medium because of the “Zoolander-ness” of fashion. Punk is the perfect platform because it came from kids that didn’t give a shit about fashion and looked at expressing themselves in a utilitarian sense which is perfect launch pad for the Art of fashion. This exhibition puts those places and things right next to the dream. Recreations of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s famous SEX shop that started it all to a cigarette-to-cigerette replica of CBGBs bathroom. All adjacent to couture gowns from Riccardo and rare Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane interpretations of that punk fashion spirit. We’ve seen it on the internet, but rarely seen it with our own eyes. This is an exhibition you can learn from. Cliff-notes for fashion. Walking thru it its one of those moments you realize learning off the internet has a ceiling. Just when I get tired of fashion its great to be reminded that fashion is Art. The medium is fabric. Sans canvas.


Inside Koenigsegg & just cars in general.

I’ve gotten like entirely too into cars. Always been into the brands, etc, but now it’s more about the details - I’ve become obsessed with the melding of design and technology in newer cars - dual-clutch transmissions, carbon-ceramic brakes on road-going cars, “negative” torque-vectoring, turbos vs naturally aspirated, all the tech around quattro, etc, etc, etc. I’m still quite new to it all. Cars are these insanely complex pieces of design and art that we get to interact with every-day. An insane amount of moving pieces need to come together perfectly to get from idea to the street, you know? I actually dug around and researched the designer behind the last car I got, ha. It’s like, I think getting a clothing line designed & manufactured is challenging, think about a car, just totally blows my mind. So yeah, this whole post was supposed to be about this amazing car company, Koenigsegg, and this brilliant little web-series showing behind the scenes of their design, testing, and manufacturing process. The attention to detail and innovation is too inspiring. Sure, the cars are like $1M+ in cost and they’ve only made 100 - but its this guys kind of crazy ambition to be the best super car company in the world that makes it all so fascinating - and with a staff of just FORTY FIVE people?!?!1 The show can be a bit over-the-top technical - best one’s to start with are these two. What if tumblr kids started car companies instead of clothing lines??

***All that said - I’m actually not a fan of the Koenigsegg’s design. Too much engineering, not enough sex. Love the company though.


Don’t sleep!!! CAVEMPT is OUT HERE!!!

Let’s save the chat about how wild it is that since our 3 year hiatus “streetwear” totally did a back flip, came back and has like 3 different meanings depending on who your talking too. Could be a kid on Prince & Mercer, sales woman at a GIVENCHY buying appointment or London stylist. There’s differences from the glory days of ALIFE on Orchard St. and the GLOB days. I’ll get there in some way, I want to do a crazy roundtable interview surrounding it this summer. Back on track, sifting thru the lines that are classified in a broad sense as “streetwear” there is CAVEMPT. It reeks of being slept on. It’s what I call an open brand. Perfect for a rapper or female singer to only wear that to pin their identity against. What strikes me the most about the brand is the embedded art direction of the graphics and garment choices, the fact that its Skatething and the “bubbly” graphics are missing, and the lookbook videos fit in that rare category of fashion videos that don’t put you to sleep. Anyone that knows me know Im basically british and belong in Shoreditch or something. Little digging you’ll find the brand has many of roots there as well as Japan. To top it off producer Zomby is in the brain trust. Basically in this streetwear revival what attracts me to anything is that there is a real concept underneath arbitrary graphics. CAVEMPT. Leaders of a new streetwear.


Keelayjams!! The projects of Kyle Williams

“Digital Collage / Sculpture / Video / Painting” - the main navigation links on artist Kyle Williams’ site. Pretty normal stuff for an artists portfolio…alright, what do we have here, let’s see…”Lindsay Lohan’s 2010 Mugshot In Croutons”, “Classic TEVA Sandal Stuffed With 16 Hotdogs”, “Lana Del Rey Bass Guitar”, and my personal favorite and honestly one of the best things on the internet, “Eating A Salad Out of A Pair of Lady Air Jordans After Winning the Big Game”. (Seriously, click those)
See…this is why I love the internet. Where did this stuff exist before?? Maybe a conceptual artist like Erwin Wurm was doing these sort of blasé, weirdo, dry humor type things which I also really love but it would have been in the gallery realm. This particular brand of creativity exists best on the internet — Tumblr, Vine, Twitter…before all these platforms—just a few years ago, Kyle’s sort of work just didn’t exist to a larger audience. Take “Gummy Worm In A Drill”, one of his newest videos featuring…a gummy worm on a drill set to the theme music from ‘Home Improvement’. Without the immense platform that is the internet to post to, what’s the motivation to make that? Sure it’s funny to you and some friends…yeah…but you KNOW as soon as that goes on Tumblr people are going nuts for it. Anyways, I love what Kyle is doing. And you know we here at THE BRILLIANCE! love a good unchecked spelling while we’re at it, go grab one of his ‘MICHAEL JODRAN’ tees and follow @keelayjams on Twitter. #VERY #VERY #VERY #INTETRNET


iTunes Update? Nahhh! *Chief Keef Voice*

iTunes updates. For real. I avoid them like the plague. Usually out of a rush every time I plug in my phone into my laptop its a quick ‘cancel’ outta habit. The other day I hopped on Mike Will’s eardrummas…. laptop trying to navigate that new iTunes update…. whoa. It’s like super PC #vibes in there. That search function?? Who said the last update was broke by the way? In all those smart-kid conversations with the friends about wehter or not Apple has taken a downward spiral since Steve Jobs passing away I have always been the one to say, “Steve obviously left a roadmap for how the company should run for the next 10 years” and I have ignored the things like the weird ad campaigns and lackluster updates. But this one is gonna be hard to get over. Keep iTunes easy. Focus on making an all black skin of iTunes or something. Oh shit. I’m sounding like those crazy kids that comment on internet blog posts that I laugh at. I’ll stop LOL.