Inspiration: November 2013 Archives

An Interview with Fortune Creative Director Brandon Kavulla

An Interview with Fortune Creative Director Brandon Kavulla

This is an excerpt from an interview I conducted earlier this year with Fortune creative director Brandon Kavulla. The interview appears in the new issue of Gym Class Magazine, "the magazine about magazines." You can see more of Gym Class, at Magculture, which describes the publication as "a gloriously mad 32-page psychedelic comic book format featuring commissioned illustrations." At the time of the interview Kavulla had just left his job as creative director of Wired and had not yet been hired by Fortune.

In 1997 I was hired as design director at Vibe magazine. I knew legendary photo director George Pitts from our days working together at Entertainment Weekly. And he gave me a good rundown of what to expect. What I found in the middle of a bustling office of young hip-hopper and urban style-istas was a power-packed surfer-type dude who looked like he had just wandered in from Cali. That was Brandon Kavulla, the art director, who I soon learned had a laser focus and a passion for magazine design that totally belied his laid-back dude look.

In those Vibe days, we all worked in tiny offices with big glass windows on the front side. Brandon would lock himself inside and go to work, blasting Van Halen, Nine Inch Nails, and all kinds of hip-hop. Soon pages would start to appear on the floor, and in a few hours there would be dozens of feature layouts in as many different styles. Brandon would come out of his laboratory, show me a couple of brilliant versions, and then go back to work on the next story. I've never seen someone who loved his work so much. It didn't matter whether he was creating page designs for stories on U.S. Presidential candidate Bill Bradley, rockers Rage Against the Machine, or Wu Tang Clan member Old Dirty Bastard. Brandon attacked each graphic challenge with hearty enthusiasm and great love. It was remarkable to watch, and it was impossible not to get caught up in his energy.

 

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Not to be Missed: Richard Avedon's "Women" at L.A.'s Gagosian Gallery

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Photograph by Richard Avedon ┬ęThe Richard Avedon Foundation. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Douglas M. Parker Studio.

GQ's Director of Photography Dora Somosi fills us in on this inspiring new exhibit of Richard Avedon's work in Los Angeles.
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Looking at photographs is my job and I do it all day, so it's rare that I am emotionally overwhelmed by a gallery show. Sure, there have been occasions when a museum retrospective has left me in awe -- but a gallery show? Usually they're so much smaller, highlighting one specific moment in a career, and so the experience, for me, tends to be more educational than emotional. 
But then I went to Richard Avedon's show currently on display on the Gagosian Gallery in LA, and the moment I walked in I knew that this space was meant to show his work, and that it might not be possible to pull off a better curatorial arrangement of this particular body of work, titled simply, Women. 


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