Dustin Lance Black

Naturalist Project Issue #8

text  •  Thom Lonardo     photography  •  Paul Mpagi Sepuya   styling  •  Sara Alviti

Dustin Lance Black is a troublemaker. 

From his passionate, yet controversial, acceptance speech at the Oscars in 2008, to playing a major role in defeating Prop 8 (a statewide ballot that would have made same-sex marriage illegal in California), the award - winning screenwriter, director, and social activist is not afraid to stand up for what he believes. 

A powerhouse of art and activism, the 41-year-old Black took some time to share his thoughts with us on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Marriage Equality, gays in Hollywood, coming out to his Mormon mom, and what area he trumps his partner, Olympic diver Tom Daley in.

TL: First of all, congratulations on the recent marriage equality ruling. What was your reaction when you heard the news?

DLB: I was in San Francisco, and it was early in the morning because things were obviously unfolding on the East Coast, but to be honest, I wasn’t totally surprised. If you’ve been involved in the marriage equality fight, and its path to the Supreme Court, you saw the writing on the wall. It wasn’t until later that it started to sink in. I went out onto Castro Street, and saw hundreds, if not thousands, of people converging to celebrate. I just remember closing my eyes and thinking about how a kid like me, growing up in Texas, could now fall in love, and think about one day marrying their partner, and knowing that it would be recognized and protected by this country.



photographed in: Santa Monica, CA. USA
groomer: Veronica Nunez@art-dept
producers: Chelsea Maloney & Matt Brown


fashion Project Issue #8

photography  •  Tim Richmond   styling  •  Romina Herrera Malatesta

Interview  •  Julia Szabo

Places, like people can seem alone, filled with melancholy. So reads the epigraph to Tim Richmond’s mesmerizing new collection of photographs, Last Best Hiding Place (Kehrer). In it, the author achieves an astonishing personification of some of the American West’s most solitary and desolate places: ghost towns where the ghosts haunt in broad daylight. These are human ghosts; no picturesque buffalo roam in Richmond’s landscapes (in fact, no animals are pictured at all). Here, we see the ghost of rugged cowboys’ past, now a weathered old man still standing tall; there, the modern analogue of Gunsmoke’s pretty Miss Kitty, updated with a tattoo sleeve and a Budweiser sign. The un-peopled landscapes of this book, no less than its human subjects, are bound to take root in your memory long after you’re done leafing its pages and closing the cover. Read our interview with the artist to rediscover the lure of the American West, and how it made a drifter out of him - and order your copy of the limited Special Edition of 100 on the Bookshop page of 



Tali Lennox

Naturalist Project Issue #8

photography  •  Dennis Golonka   styling  •  Romina Herrera Malatesta

model: Tali Lennox @ IMGmodels
hair: Laura De Leon @ Joe Management using Oribe Haircare
makeup: Deanna Melluso using Girogio Armani Cosmetics
prop desgner of still lifes: Teri Cotruzzola

Jock Sturges

Art Project Issue #8

interview  •  Dennis Golonka

Sturges’ ability to capture unstudied, un-posed, natural gestures is remarkable. His photography conveys a quiet warmth and beauty, creating moments of true peace. He prides himself on the bonds of trust, friendship and collaboration between the photographer and model. The admiration and respect he shows for his subjects shines loudly through his works. 

Sturges shared a note he recently received from one of his models, Eva (photo below). It’s a glimpse into Eva’s memory from the day of the photoshoot; along with her thoughts on the image today. It shows the respect Sturges has for his subjects is one of mutual admiration. 

Thanks for pulling out the image of me that one of your friends beautifully described as the ‘water spider’ image; it made my day! I was scrolling through the Facebook timeline inattentively when BAM, all of a sudden I saw my own face. I find it hard to describe what exactly struck me so much, but honestly, it made me tear up a bit. Maybe it was the serenity of my own face, or the remembrance of a time in my life that, now that I look back at it, felt so warm and peaceful – the day this picture was taken, especially. It also could be that I was struck by seeing how beautiful I look, something that I don’t really see in myself in daily life. I also just haven’t seen this picture in a while. All the pictures hanging in my parents’ house I know very well; I can dream them with my eyes closed. But the vast majority of the pictures you took, are not hanging up on the walls to see all the time. They are carefully filed in the albums my mother made. So maybe it was the shock of running into ‘someone’ I know very well, but haven’t seen in a long time. But I think that is just the beauty of the photographic medium. Aside from the personal memories and feelings attached to it, it is just a marvelous piece of art (and that is coming from a graduated art historian! ) The light on my face and hair, the super strange composition, the soft tones, the balance between my stretched arms and held up hair, which is then subtly broken by the falling strand of hair – giving the image a certain liveliness that makes it look as if I could just open my eyes, stand up and move on. Mysterious! I could daydream about this endlessly 




Tham & Videgard

Naturalist Project Issue #8

text  •  John Mascaro     portrait  •  Elisabeth Toll 

Your feet thump the floor of the forest, pine needles crackle as you step, and rays of light penetrate through fluttering leaves high above your head in a remote forest just south of the arctic circle in Sweden.  You’re outside the town of Harads, cool wind brushes your face and you look up to notice something of a mirage, a visual anomaly reports to your view.  As you approach, the geometry of a mirrored cube suspended high above from the trunk of a tree becomes apparent, and this is the hotel room in which you’ll be staying.

I first noticed images of the Mirrorcube, by the Swedish architecture team Tham & Videgård a few years ago when running my own architecture studio in Paris and remember stopping on the pictures within the magazine, reflecting on my childhood memories of constructing crude tree forts in the woods around the home I grew up in, and intuitively thinking that these guys nailed it, created something rather magical, and I was a little jealous.  So when I was contacted about writing this article I happily agreed to do so.  

The Mirrorcube, a 4x4x4 meter hotel room clad in mirrored glass reflects the surrounding nature, rendering the structure itself visually embedded within its surroundings.  The interior, of minimal design was fabricated from locally grown and produced birch and plywood, while the entirety of the room was constructed by local builders and craftsmen.  

I had the fortune of interviewing Martin Videgård and Bolle Tham, two men clearly aware of the need to design with a certain humility, with attention to site specificity - refreshing within the context of contemporary architecture which in recent decades has been driven more by the abilities afforded architectural design via 3D modeling, computation, and the myriad of fabrication methods emergent from such tech-driven advances.  

With these new tools architects have been making a kind of abstract expressionist architecture, indulgent, echoing old science fiction imagery to invent a derivative skyline rather than creating new and relevant experiences for people to inhabit..

Tham & Videgård’s Mirrorcube project eschews the form driven exhibitionism of starcitecture, and by creating a project which virtually disappears, weaves itself into the fabric of the surrounding nature, the team has afforded their studio a good many deserved accolades.  (READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE)