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11 people on a mission to save the world from blah-ness
Andrew Bolton wanted desperately to be punk growing up. “Punk was anarchic, it was chaotic, and it was sometimes violent, yes, but I always thought punks were so heroic and noble,” says the British-born curator behind the exhibit Punk: Chaos to Couture, which he unveiled at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this past May. “I envied those people who looked really disheveled and cool, but I could never do that. I just always looked preppy, and I think I just gave into it.”
Now settled into his own style — a narrowly tailored collegiate suit by his boyfriend, Thom Browne, usually does the trick these days — Bolton is rounding out his 11th year at the Met’s prestigious Costume Institute, where he seamlessly blends mainstream pop culture and fashion’s hautest wears. His recent shows have included Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, the universally adored retrospective Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, and Impossible Conversations, in which he paired the work of Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, two legendary Italian designers from two different eras.
Designer & event planner
“Instead of making something to hang on a wall, in a gallery, or in a museum, I’m making installations for happy occasions,” Stark says of his approach to party planning, a career he fell into by chance nearly 20 years ago, when he and a friend started making floral arrangements for restaurants and events to support their art careers.
With his sleek, colorful bikes — custom-painted in red, white, black, silver, and gold—gliding off the production line, Martone has now turned his attention to that other bane of cyclists everywhere: helmets and gear. Gaudy Lycra pants are definitely not on the menu. “The fashion industry is my inspiration, and we really treat the bikes as a fashion house,” Martone says, adding that launches in Berlin, Amsterdam, and London reflect the brand’s ethos. “It’s definitely part of our goal to be present in places where people understand great design and want to integrate it into all parts of their lives.”
Playwright, composer, artist
His second theater work, The View UpStairs, is based on the little-known true story of a 1973 arson attack at a New Orleans gay bar that killed 32 people, which remains the deadliest LGBT massacre in U.S. history. In a poetic twist, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down two days after the performance. “It’s about finding a way to create musicals that people in the downtown club-kid scene would think are cool,” he says.
Director of Artistic Planning at Carnegie Hall
“Music is a refuge for people, a place to find inspiration and escape,” he says. “With so much bad stuff in the world, this creative process, this act of performing — in which the audience is as important as the people on stage — is one of those few times people are happy to raise their hand and say, ‘Yep, I’m happy to be a human being. Count me in.’ ”
Ice cream makers
Their Phin & Phebes pints — everything from Vietnamese iced coffee to dark chocolate salty caramel — with whimsical lettering and artwork, can be found in 160 stores in 18 states. Although they haven’t managed to manufacture a version of that original Fluffnut flavor, the inspiration lives on in the name of their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel — who isn’t too proud to beg for a bowl of her own.
Curators & gallery owners
“When you’re putting up shows, you have a sense of what you’re getting, but with performance, you never know,” says Vogt. “We can spend hours and hours talking with the artist and still never know. It’s impromptu. It’s in the moment. It happens and it’s in the flow, and then it can just change direction.”
The familial patter that underscores a tour of the two dusty, artfully jumbled floors that house their professional lives can feel suspicious, like a media-savvy put-on. No sibling spats? Of late no, but histrionics led them to this peaceful state. “We beat the shit out of each other,” Courtney recalls of their childhood in south Florida with two craft-happy art teacher parents. “It was blood and gore and hair-pulling and scratching.”