Everything You Need to Know About GARAGE Issue 16: Radical Love

Editor-in-Chief Mark Guiducci introduces GARAGE Issue 16, featuring Billie Eilish by Takashi Murakami, as well as John Galliano, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss.

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Feb 3 2019, 4:42pm

Of all the news cycles of 2018, the first week of October proved perhaps the most demoralizing. I was in Paris, where Rick Owens’ straight-out-of-Hades models were storming the Palais de Tokyo at the very same time that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was testifying on Capitol Hill in a moment of discomfiting synchronicity. A few days later, at Sotheby’s contemporary evening sale in London, Banksy remotely shredded his own just-sold painting, pulling off the self-destructing/self-exalting stunt of the century so far, and sending a message that was as cynical as it was fake newsworthy. The arts were supposed to be the antidote, or at least an escape—so why could I still taste the poison? Around that time, GARAGE’s Social Editor, Ashley Tyner, sent me a Psychology Today essay by Kimerer LaMothe extolling Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of “radical love” as a “message for our time.” Simply put, radical love is a sweeping affirmation of life—all of life. The idea sounds naïve, but in fact it is closer to defiant. LaMothe writes: “It involved flexing the sometimes small and subtle muscles needed to keep alive the faith, the resilience, and the strength not to act out of violence, pain, or fear. To love.” Even when love is not returned.

That powerful idea became the theme of GARAGE Issue 16: Radical Love. It manifested in literal ways (we have a “Radical Love” portfolio that will roll out later this month, highlighting figures as diverse as artists Mark Bradford and Dan Colen, the electrifying playwright Jeremy O. Harris, and Lizzo, the musician behind some of today's most infectious pop music) and more philosophical ones (coming soon you’ll see a number of stories about dance and specifically Martha Graham, the art form and choreographer that Nietzsche influenced most).

One of my favorite features in Issue 16 is a rhapsodic profile of the inimitable Whoopi Goldberg written by Ottessa Moshfegh, whose celebrated 2018 novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, featured Goldberg as its “spiritual hero.” The idea to pair them was that of Deputy Editor Rachel Seville Tashjian, who herself spoke to Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss for a sprawling conversation in which it’s clear that Jean-Raymond is perhaps the most inspiring designer in New York. Leading our fashion stories are 32 pages worth of “Black Cotillion,” which brought together our Style Director, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, and her mentor, Vogue’s Tonne Goodman, for a collaboration with photographer Nadine Ijewere that reframes how we think about black-tie dressing. All of those stories and many others will debut in the coming weeks.

Now to what you have already seen: on our cover is Billie Eilish, the 17-year-old music sensation whom many of our readers may not even yet know—but soon will—though she will be familiar if you follow Takashi Murakami, himself an Eilish fan. Billie and Takashi's GARAGE collaboration (photographed by Juno Calypso and styled by Patti Wilson) precedes the release of her debut album, which promises to seismically shift the music industry landscape when it arrives March 29. To say that EP is very much anticipated would be an understatement. Six million people followed Billie’s Instagram account @wherearetheavocados when she agreed to appear on our cover; as of today, that number has more than doubled. Billie’s melancholic pop is not without precedent—think Kurt Cobain meets Björk—but the open-book way she posts about her life, her adolescence, and her mental health could wind up being as revolutionary to the hyper-polished world of pop music as the Kardashians once were to television. Wouldn’t that be radical?

A version of this story appears in GARAGE Issue 16, publishing February 2019 and available for purchase here.

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