Monday, 21 February 2011

M/M Napkin Thoughts in A Bar

Photograph by Fabrizio Scarpa and may not be reproduced without written authorisation. All rights reserved.

Napkin Thoughts in A Bar

Anthony Haden-Guest talks with
Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö
of Manner of Man Magazine

Anthony Haden-Guest: The cover of TIME or maybe if was NEWSWEEK proposes that humans will become immortal in 2045. Can this possibly be a desirable situation? A legitimate question, even if I misunderstood the coverline.

Manner of Man: Yes, it was Time that put that on the cover. You did not misunderstand it at all. The real question is the play on the word immortal, and if it is desirable to us as men. Is it? Hell no. We could not care less about personal publicity. It’s all about the work. We’d rather go under first, before the world beats us to it. In terms of our work? Our work is timeless therefore immortality is assured one way or another, like it or not.

AHG: We live in a 3D world. Why does black-and-white look more real? Or does it only look more real to me?

M/M: Well, that is because black-and-white is more real in a world dominated by fast technology. It isn’t just more real to you Anthony; we view it the same way because it often relates to memory. Black-and-white is very much like Proust’s writing, À la recherche du temps perdu aka In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past . It is a way of seeing that refers one to memories yet also keeps one constantly cognizant of true quality. That is why we decided on a black-and-white logo for Manner of Man Magazine and designed the overall graphic look of the magazine as a 19th to early 20th century print publication.

AHG: Are the American Far Right decent folks who just happen to believe some very strange things?

M/M: That is open to interpretation because we feel there are many decent folks in all areas that happen to believe some very strange things.

AHG: Would you want to join a club that lets in people like you?

M/M: Of course, contrary to what Groucho Marx said, absolutely. Manner of Man Magazine provided the club grounds, and our contributors established the club. We feel we are in fine company.

AHG: The rich have not been richer, the poor poorer since feudal times. Are we in a pre-revolutionary situation?

M/M: Do you mean mentally or financially? The rich are richer, and the poor poorer both mentally and financially due largely to their own level of addictions.

AHG: Will neckties ever come back? Or trouser cuffs? Suits look really stupid without them.

M/M: It is a matter of personal style. And it is something that fashion and trends cannot dictate. We have placed Manner of Man as a brand geared toward the confident and independent man. It's for the guy who carries himself with a personal nonchalance mixed with an I don’t give a fuck elegance. He is the man all truly cool men want to be deep down ...he is at once both angel and devil.

AHG: Drink, drugs, casual sex. So what do you think about them?

M/M: Anthony, are you still in Studio 54? We agree with Oscar Wilde who said, “I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.”

AHG: You're offered a role on Reality TV. Do you take it? Okay, do you take it if it's a health risk?

M/M: In fact, a year ago we were offered a television program for Manner of Man by a major West coast talent agency. Did we take it? No. There were no health risks involved however Reality TV poses too great a risk to our particular brand.

AHG: So why DIDN'T painting die like we all thought it was going to in 1968?

M/M: Painting didn’t die in ’68 because quality, authenticity, genuine talent and tradition were not fully addressed by ’68 art. The times and the genre of the period had to do much more with issues outside art including mass communication. It was authentic in the sense that politics, advertising and familiar imagery were raised to the level of fine art as well there were installations that addressed human sensations in attempts to break new ground. It was wild stuff but not Rembrandt; it just required wit and a bit of conceptual bullshitting. Art dealers loved it because it was an avenue to generate new fast product. It brought the entire idea full circle. Therefore, painting didn’t die because man realized that it was that particular medium of fine art outside of the ’68 scene that addressed human vision. Painting represents man’s ability to translate that vision in a personal way via the physicality of paint that other ways and means could not. History and current auction house sales have proven this as fact.

The above conversation with Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö of Manner of Man Magazine 2011 © Anthony Haden-Guest. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission.