Monday, September 1, 2014

Fani Hristova

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Original photo by Ivan Durgutovski. 
Q&A with Fani Hristova. By K.K.W


Recently returned from a gig in Switzerland, and before that Ios, Greece, she is one of the few DJ's who have had gig's many other countries. One of the best in her country, coming from a very eclectic musical upbringing, which is at the core of her abilities making her one of the most interesting people contemporary Macedonia.  

Fani Hristova. Image courtesy of
Miss Hristova. 
K.K.W: At what point in your life did you really begin to feel & be drawn to music?

F.H: Music is part of my life since ever. Being raised in a family where music is an everyday thing, I can’t really say that I remember specifically when I was enchanted by the music for the first time. Even if we talk about the music that I play, I would say the same. In my home we listen to Soul and Jazz, so I guess it’s not surprising at all that I chose Hip-Hop.

DJ Fani @ work. Image courtesy of
Miss Hristova. 
K.K.W: Hip-hop has spread all over the world, so when did you first start to get into it?

F.H: When I first heard The Fugees, back in 1996, I knew that this is my music! Our family friends from USA visited an they brought me a few tapes, and there it was this single ["Killing me softly"]. And few years after, I got one compilation CD, with some summer hits, and the only song that catch my ear was Nas’ “You can hate me now”. It was clear that I’ll go in that direction.


Modeling for Elena Luka,
photo courtesy of Miss Hristova. 
K.K.W: When did you become interested in being a DJ, was there someone or something that made do it?

F.H: With the fact that I already was into Hip-hop, I thought Macedonia missed this kind of music/parties even though it’s true what you said, Hip-hop was already spread all over the world. And I simply tried playing it - and It happened.

K.K.W: Your first gig, what was it like?

F.H: Even though it was my first, I still can put it in my  'Top 3 gigs'. Because it was Monday, and nobody here was making parties Monday. But very soon after I started, the same evening, the word was spread and a lot of people came. And that didn’t happen because of me, but because of the music. Hip-hop, ladies and gentleman.

K.K.W: Given that its probably tough for a female DJ anywhere, what about in Macedonia?

F.H: When I started, I was the only female Hip-hop DJ here. And I never see it as a man’s job, which is still my opinion. It was never tough for me. The only thing that matters here is: you have to really know and love this music, and be sure that you will make people have fun. This is my only rule for these 15 years I’m a DJ. I’m saying to myself: Fani, you are not aloud to go home, before you make the best party!

K.K.W: Have you ever thought of yourself as medium [or vessel] for the music,
like a conduit through which it flows into the people?


F.H: Yes. Like every other person, I have my good and my bad days, but I lock my mood when I’m leaving home. I have to be the medium when I enter in the club.

K.K.W: What were some of your favorite gigs, that you remember?

F.H: As I said my first one. Then the Halloween party in Basel, Switzerland 4 years ago, and my last party in Ios, Greece, this summer. But then it’s not fair to pick just few of them, because I enjoy all of my parties. So many memories…

K.K.W: Traveling for gigs is always tough, and gives you a few stories to tell, do you have any good or bad details to share?

F.H: Yes! Once I met a very nice guy on the plane, we had a nice conversation, he helped me with my luggage… very romantic. And after one month we started a relationship! Then once, coming back from a Red Bull party in Kosovo, they stop me before the border, from the routing control. They took my passport and didn’t want to give me back, because they thought that I am a Go Go dancer. In their perception it was impossible for a DJ to look like that and be so tall and skinny! Then my manager step up and show them my equipment, so they let me go. But I have millions situations…who knows, maybe one day I will put them in a book.

K.K.W: Have you ever considered yourself an example for a modern contemporary Macedonia?

F.H: Of course, but I keep the old school education and family values I have.

DJ Fani @ work. Image courtesy of
Miss Hristova. 
K.K.W: I know your seriously into Hip-hop & Rap, so what are some of your favorite albums?

F.H: Having the classical music education, I like the classic music, and also Jazz and Soul. But here are some of my favorite albums; 

Notorius B.I.G – Ready to die
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black-Star
Wu tang - Forever
The roots - Phrenology 
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Jay Z – The blueprint 


Hard @ rest, Fani Hristova.
Photo courtesy of Miss Hristova. 
If you would like to know more, go to:www.facebook.com/pages/Fani-Hristova/667857349973795?ref=profile. 'Art is the reason, art is the way'

Kasiopeja Naumoska

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Original photo by Ivan Durgutovski. 
A visual stream of consciousness: Kasiopeja Naumoska. By K.K.W 
Kasiopeja Naumoska. Photo courtesy of the artist.
For all the talk of abstract, expressionism, post this, post that, its all for not. There are those that paint what they see & others who paint what they feel, or a combination of the two. Then there are the few who create from some place else;
a voice inside the mind, or part of their soul.
Mr. Paradise oil on canvas 25 x 25 cm 2014. Image courtesy of the artist.
There's a darkness that hovers close to the light in Kasiopeja's paintings, beauty marred by the pain of reality. A story is told in 2-dimensional fury leaving open the door to the 3rd dimension. Sometimes bold lines are placed with intensity, accentuated by fierce quick brush-strokes. Figures who's forms are simply defined, faces that seem to tell a story and yet have only the beginnings of individuality - hidden from all [maybe even themselves]. Like Prometheus chained, their voices are heard only by those who can understand the pain, anger and the beauty of it.
Me and no one - oil on canvas 20x25 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
There's a tenderness that permeates one of her strongest pieces; framed by dark and muted colors on the left, with burst of fire on the right [Never more]. No sun although there is light, a warmth flows out from the sadness of it, a feeling of regret or sorrow on the face of the figure. Has its world been reduced to ash like that of Carthage? Or seen heaven scorched when the Adversary was defeated & fell quick like lighting? If the bird it holds is a crow, perhaps the figure feels sorrow because of the message it brings. Whatever the reason, its a fantastic painting full of mystery, feeling and deeper meaning. 
NEVER MORE 80x80 cm, oil on canvas 2014 Image courtesy of the artist.
Kasiopeja's paintings are an amazing example of contemporary visual-art from The Republic of Macedonia. Vivid and muted colors fused with intense lines, thick layers of paint along with light strokes create worlds that are somewhat alien, and yet oddly familiar. 

If you would like to know more, go to:www.facebook.com/kasiopeja.naumoska?ref=br_tf. Or to make further inquiries about a purchase: kasiopeja.naumoska@gmail.com 'Art is the reason, art is the way' 

Ivan Durgutovski: Reinvention & Satire

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Original photo by Ivan Durgutovski. 
Digital vandalism, or social critique? I, Durgutovski. By K.K.W
Ivan Durgutovski, photo courtesy of the artist. 
On average, there are usually many creative individuals who are gifted; though few who have wit to match, and the ability to point a subtle critical finger at society with style. Born under the sign of Virgo, his planet being Mercury and his element being earth, explains a great deal about his creativity. A heightened sense for the intangible, swift in his ability to communicate it, and yet very much grounded in matters of the here and now.
From the project - Metaphysics:
A typographic diary
on Beehance.
by Ivan Durgutovski. 
One of his most striking body of work [William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Reinvented], perhaps meant only for Facebook is probably his most controversial. At a first look, even with a translation, it seems extremely simple, and without much creativity on his part.
"What about a fuck". From the album
William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Reinvented.
Image courtesy of the artist. 
Although thats why it resonates as an interesting example of contemporary - Macedonian Pop-art. In todays world, traditional forms of creativity often take a back-seat [are less important] to cleverness through an idea and simplicity. Just look at "Split Rocker" by Jeff Koons.
"Its Branko's fault".  From the album
William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Reinvented.
Image courtesy of the artist.
Extracted from the society he lives in, the words are those in vogue; things overheard and lamented, along with matters of politics having to do with his country's position. 
"Rednecks man"From the album 
William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Reinvented. 
Image courtesy of the artist.
While Bouguereau's work is stunning in its realism, its reinvention's of classical themes, touched by an obsessive bourgeois need for greatness & grandeur. This is an aspect of almost every society that belies the full reality. 

"C'mon". "Wait, I'm acting crazy [like a fool]"
From the album 

William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Reinvented. 
Image courtesy of the artist.
Durgutovski brings these two elements together, creating an elegant mockery of the establishment and the less-then cultured aspects of his society [& most others] . In a way he has also tapped into the contempt and ridicule that was directed at Bouguereau's work, even in his own time by the impressionists & the avant garde. 
"Very good, indeed". From the album 
William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Reinvented. Image courtesy of the artist.
"Reproductions of a pastoral myth"
By Patrice Renne Washington.
Image courtesy of the artist.
His work is very similar to Patrice Renee Washington's work [Reproductions of a Pastoral Mythfor the exhibition "Re: Purposed".  And while their approach and the end result is different, the idea is much the same. 


Aside from social commentary, Durgutovski is an award-winning graphic artist, and a photographer. His creativity runs the gamut from abstract to realism, and minimalism. He's certainly one of the great examples of visual artists in The Republic Of Macedonia; fully intent on self-expression, visual experimentation and social criticism.  

"Look at her", "She is wearing high-heels on the beach again"
From the album 
William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Reinvented. 
Image courtesy of the artist.
From the project - "The day I stopped time"
by Ivan Durgutovski. Image courtesy of the artist. 
If you would like to know more, go to:www.behance.net/durgutovski. 'Art is the reason, art is the way'

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A tale of 2 cities

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Original "Street-art" found on Canal street,
near Walker street (downtown Manhattan),
artist unknown
From the project Rise Of The Young Ones: A tale of 2 cities. Photography & text by K.K.W

Every city see's the rise (figuratively) of many things that shape it and becomes a precedent for further change. However, architecture is one of the few aspects of a city that rises literally, figuratively, alters the landscape, affects the lives of many, and the perception of the city as a whole. As so many buildings are now constructed with large amounts of glass (or some kind of semi-reflective material), this makes for a considerably different visual subject.
Watch like a hawk, move like a shadow. 
DSCF#8701
DSCF#8702
DSCF#8703
DSCF#8704
DSCF#8705
DSCF#8706
DSCF#8707
DSCF#8708
DSCF#8709
What we create, reflects aspects of who and what we are. In this way we mimic the creative force and nature, which is not one but many things. Showing a dim reflection - an equal opposite - this aspect of modern architecture is a disturbing & beautiful example of human nature. There was never one city, but many (even within one). 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Palestine: increasing awareness [part 3]

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Original "Street-art" found on Canal street,
near Walker street (downtown Manhattan),
artist unknown
Palestine: Documentaries & films to increase 
awareness. By Aleksandar Ares.

With yet another round of hostilities between the military wing of Hamas & Israel, the rest of the world watches through the media & social networks. Most of us know little of beginnings of the situation between the two countries, or the region know as Palestine. And with all things, one must understand how it works and began in order to have a relevant opinion. Change for the better, not just for one side, will only come with the facts being known. British double-dealing, to win the war against the Ottoman Empire, and satisfy the their French allies would lay the seeds of future conflicts.  

Before the state of Israel was created, going further back to the era before world war one (the days of Ottoman Empire), "...the population of Palestine in 1850 was 350,000 inhabitants, 30% of whom lived in 13 towns; roughly 85% were Muslims, 11% were Christians and 4% Jews..." [Justin McCarthy]  "...In 1914 Palestine had a population of 657,000 Muslim Arabs, 81,000 Christian Arabs, and 59,000 Jews..." [Justin McCarthy] and 1,339, 763 non-Jews by 1946. 

After WW I the British were formally awarded the mandate to govern the region of Palestine [although since defeat of the Ottomans, they indirectly controlled the area]. In 1947, following WW II the British announced its desire to terminate the mandate, and the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending partition into an Arab state, a Jewish state and the Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem. The Jewish leadership accepted this, the Arab Higher committee rejected it. A civil war began.  More then 700, 000 Muslims were displaced from their home, and would never see them again.

While many support the state of Israel, which is not wrong, many of these people perhaps do not consider the wrongs done by Israel (and Zionist groups who engaged in "terrorism") since 1948 which have lead to the situation today. However, the wrongs done by militant groups within Palestine, and outside of it, to the Israelis after peace agreements were made is certainly not right. In some ways it may have been better that the state of Israel, should never have been created. How do you give a larger portion of a land, or any of it, to a small group of minorities (most of whom had emigrated from Europe in recent years prior to 1948 and soon after)? 

If you would like to know more, go to:www.youtube.com/watch?v=etXAm-OylQQ 'Art is the reason, art is the way'


Palestine: increasing awareness [part 2].

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Original "Street-art" found on Canal street,
near Walker street (downtown Manhattan),
artist unknown
Palestine: Documentaries & films to increase 
awareness. By Aleksandar Ares.


With yet another round of hostilities between the military wing of Hamas & Israel, the rest of the world watches through the media & social networks. Most of us know little of beginnings of the situation between the two countries, or the region know as Palestine. This is a very good film that is not meant to give all info about the lives of Palestinian's, but a dramatic look at the choices and actions of two young men (similar to others who end up in the same place). I had first seen the trailer for Paradise Now on the DVD for Good Night and Good Luck. At the time I didn't watch it, that was much later, but I found it was quite good and moving. I hope you enjoy it, cheers. 




If you would like to know more, go to:www.youtube.com/watch?v=etXAm-OylQQ. 'Art is the reason, art is the way'

Palestine: increasing awareness

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Original "Street-art" found on Canal street,
near Walker street (downtown Manhattan),
artist unknown
Palestine: Documentaries & films to increase 
awareness. By Aleksandar Ares.



With yet another round of hostilities between the military wing of Hamas [in Palestine] & Israel, the rest of the world watches through the media & social networks. Most of us know little of beginnings of the situation between the two countries, or the region know as the "The Middle East". And with all things, one must understand how it works and began in order to have a relevant opinion. Change for the better, not just for one side, will only come with the facts being known. British double-dealing, to prevail in WW I, and satisfy the their French allies would lay the seeds of future conflicts. 

While many support the state of Israel, which is not wrong, many of these people perhaps do not consider the wrongs done by Israel (and Zionist groups who engaged in "terrorism") since 1948 which have lead to the situation today. However, the wrongs done by militant groups within Palestine, and outside of it, to the Israelis after peace agreements were made is certainly not right. In some ways it may have been better that the state of Israel, should never have been created. How do you give a larger portion of a land, or any of it, to a small group of minorities (most of whom had emigrated from Europe in recent years prior to 1948 and soon after)?  

If you would like to know more, go to:www.youtube.com/watch?v=etXAm-OylQQ. 'Art is the reason, art is the way'