Unless your algorithm has been steering you in the wrong directions, you’ve seen the bong water Nalgene. Maybe even bought it. Effective messaging in a simple bold serif, with multiple colors to choose from, this water bottle has hydrated heads across the globe. The brainchild of Ariel Stark-Benz under his Mister Green brand, Bong Water’s ubiquity is a nod to Mister Green’s foresight and a feather in the cap for the burgeoning cannabis scene. Instead of talking with Ariel about all the other great things that he creates, we texted back and forth for an interview specifically about the water bottle. What follows is exactly that.
We first met Los Angeles-based photographer Radka Leitmeritz a few years back at The Courts while she was on a commercial shoot. Bursting with energy and always with a camera nearby, we were drawn into Radka’s world and have never really left. With a background in fashion and passion for tennis, Radka’s latest project with Porsche, Court Supremes, celebrates the power of the women who play the game. We recently caught up with Radka to talk about the project and the inspiration behind it.
Photos & Words by Anthony Pappalardo
Brian Lotti is a Brooklyn, New York-based painter. Like many denizens entrenched in the ‘80s/’90s skateboarding culture, certain brands and skaters grew to symbolize more than tricks or accomplishments; they became important timestamps and jumping-off points for creativity. This was my introduction to Lotti’s form of expression, not just in skateboarding but the precision and freedom he exuded—equally progressive and expressive. Street skating in the early-’90s was a renaissance but not only in tricks, it was a change of aesthetics and presentation that birthed many creatives.
Unlike many of his peers, Lotti’s personal evolution sprawled past the streets and industry and into universities and even Buddhist monasteries. He stepped out of skating around 1993 to pursue other creative endeavors but sharing a through-line of feeling. As a painter and filmmaker, he’s able to animate the mundane and underappreciated much like he did on curbs, ledges, and schoolyards but it’s never literal or obvious.
I’d liken his work to the snapshots that exist in our minds of everyday moments that somehow stick in the backs of our brains vividly. Unlike memory which often proves to be more false than true and more romantic than palpable, his work evokes feeling through process, intuition, and individuality.
After a brief visit to his Brooklyn studio, we chopped it up about painting and I quickly learned how little I knew about the visual renaissance he’s entrenched and thriving in.
With information overload at an all-time high, Meditation is a key component to clearing the mind of all the excess noise. As we’re always on the lookout for a new approach or idea in the wellness space, we were instantly drawn to the WAVE meditation app and WAVE Kit, a music-guided meditation app and experience that you can use on-the-go or at home. We caught up with Matt Wong, the Director of Music at WAVE to learn more about the nuances of making music to meditate to.
How did you start composing meditation music? Before you did this, what kind of music did you like to create?
Growing up in Portland, Oregon, my mentor was a Buddhist. He introduced me to Jazz, where I got my start playing and eventually composing music. My first upright bass teacher also made me learn Qi Gong. That being said, my career took many twists and turns that lead me to WAVE. I spent most of my 20s touring the world as bass guitarist in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, an indie rock band from Philadelphia. Touring and producing records eventually lead me to compose original music for film and tv. Being able to score a huge amount of original music for film & tv allowed me to transition to Director of Music at WAVE. Last year, we did over 900 minutes of original content. As Director, I lead a team of composers and engineers to create the WAVE Library.
For anyone that has ever collected baseball cards, Dick Perez’s artwork is immediately identifiable. Distinguished with classic portraiture accompanied by bold graphics, Perez is the artist behind Donruss’s Diamond Kings and prior to that, the man who brought art back to baseball cards with his set for the Hall of Fame. Now 80 years old and living in NYC, Dick is working on a supplement to his 560-page career-spanning book The Immortals: An Art Collection of Baseball’s Best. We caught up with him earlier this month to talk about his life in art, baseball, and his love of tennis.