Photo: Andres Altamirano; Text: Remy Holwick.
Welcome to the new OPC digital.
I was approached with the concept of helming a digital media site by Jesse Simon at OPC Management in late July, amid a trifecta of conspiring energies –on the heels of the NYC lockdown, on the crest of the wave of Black Uprising, and in the middle of election season– each of which deserved our full attention on its own.
This year, the media has run our lives— our phones overflow with everything from the most basic needs for surviving a virus, to the locations of protests and testing sites, to seemingly-daily accounts of police brutality and the murder of black people, to polling info and the surreal psychobabble of the president. This is a daunting moment to step into media. There’s already so much. And it generates so much fear.
But even in all the noise, I think there’s room for one more American publication. So many of the sites we look to for that ubiquitous new-fashion blend of fashion/art/culture are European. I was very interested in creating a publication that attempted to speak to the breadth of urban cultural realities in the US, without focusing on one subculture. I was also very interested in our creators’ input— what they wanted to say but felt they didn’t have a forum for. The nature of the creative mind is rarely such that it produces only one linear body of work, consumed by the public in a linear way. There are so many ideas that never get published. There are so many tangents that don’t fit. I asked each of our creatives to think on those ideas, and what they would produce that would defy category and take us somewhere new.
From Zhi Wei’s veiled, heavy analog meditation, RE-SPIRE, to Simbarashe Cha’s sparkling tale of looking in from the outside, Vigo Summer, to Sean Pressley’s intimate, complex portraits of his own Black experience, and Catalina Ouyang’s deeply considered commentary on her own work and self-concept, the stories told in this publication are incredibly diverse— but that diversity creates a uniquely American cohesion. This country is not a melting pot— for some, this has always been obvious, while for others, 2020 has shone a spotlight on this in a new way. America doesn’t have a point of view. The United States is the sum of myriad lived experiences, constantly colliding against a myth of “Americana”. It is my hope that the vision of voices in America, as presented here, conveys some of that truth.
Launching this publication was possible only because I have been blessed with the single greatest gift a creative person can have— a group of friends who are both brighter and more talented than I, and loyal and dedicated enough to spend their time and energy creating the work that fills this launch issue. If there is one reason I think this concept is successful, it is the collective strength of voices like Zhi Wei, Simbarashe Cha, Andres Altimirano, Mary Sucaet, Sean Pressley, Catalina Ouyang, Jo Rosenthal, Alexandra and Earth Marzella, Reni Lane, and David Usui, along with the watchful eyes and guiding hands of Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, OPC’s Jesse Simon and Blair Green, who have pushed me to think through each decision and enabled me to build this platform on the strength of their vision, and most of all, OPC fashion director Jess Mederos, who has been my other half through all of it. Thank god she wakes up early.
I hope you enjoy what’s here. I hope you come back often. If you like what you see, please drop us a line. We’re friendly. Jo Rosenthal means it when she writes about there being room at the table for everyone.
Thank you so much,