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Art Connects Us —
TWYLA // Summer 2017 —
Individuals. Questioners. Rebels.
Oso Paradox Charli Howard
An artist who critiques digital culture and a body-positive model examine what’s beyond the surface.
Oso Parado

Meet Oso, Twyla Artist

Oso is a multimedia artist who lives most of the year in Tulum, Mexico. (“It’s Williamsburg with the ocean,” he says). Influenced by his upbringing in a deeply intellectual and artistic home, Oso’s art is a layered examination on how the internet and social media reflect an obsession with beauty, celebrity and technology. His Smartphone Portrait Series depicts nude models clutching phones, a commentary on how these devices are so ever-present that they are practically an extension of our bodies. “You can be naked, but people will still have their phones. It’s a representation of what’s happening right now with how we communicate,” says Oso.

Charli Howard

Meet Charli, Body-Positive Model

Charli Howard made waves in 2015 when she posted a Facebook letter dumping her modeling agency for telling her that she was too big to be in the industry. This marked a major shift for Charli, who is now happily modeling for a new agency and using social media to promote a more realistic, body-positive message. Charli is also the co-founder of the All Woman Project, an initiative that features real, unretouched models in fashion campaigns. Charli explains: “We create these high-end beautiful images of women, but we showcase their flaws and that women do have cellulite and stretch marks and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“When I look at Oso’s work, it reaffirms to me that a muse can be whoever the hell an artist wants it to be. I think we can be our own muses.”

CHARLI HOWARD

Oso Parado
Charli Howard

Art Connects Us

Both Oso and Charli ask us to question the predominant messages we receive via advertising and social media today. Oso’s work draws from the swirling noise of the internet, which he collages and manipulates, ultimately reflecting culture back to us like a mirror. Similarly, Charli stands out in a sea of social media sameness. She says: “I think it’s important that we teach girls that what you see [in fashion] isn’t real, that a lot of it is Photoshopped. Fashion can create images that are a lot more representative of the women we see on the street.” Both artist and model think fashion can take some lessons from art, with its more flexible notions of beauty: “Art talks a lot about that deeper search for beauty,” says Oso.

Oso Parado

“Art is a reflection of what’s happening now in society.”

OSO PARADO

Charli Howard

Charli, who are your mentors?

Becca Thorpe, VP MUSE NYC and Director of Curve
“She’s my agent and a former plus size model. She’s been amazing in encouraging me to keep being me.”

Candice Huffine, Plus-Size Model
“She’s pushed me to be myself and embrace my flaws.”

Vera Papisova, Digital Wellness Editor, Teen Vogue
“Teen Vogue is actively campaigning and changing the way women’s sexual health is viewed and she teaches me that when women join together, it’s a great thing.”

oso Parado

Oso, who are your mentors?

My Mother
“She inspires me to be a better human being and artist. She helps me feel like everything is possible with the right intention!”

All Creatives
“I learn something from everybody. I get inspiration from people in different fields, not just artists, but chefs, musicians, architects and designers.”

Nature
“This is why I live very close to the ocean. I learn a lot from studying nature’s natural rhythms and its complex simplicity.”

Oso Parado x Charli Howard
Charli Howard

Charli, what books are on your nightstand?

Mad Girl
by Bryony Gordon

“This book is by a columnist at the London Telegraph and she talks about mental health issues and how things like OCD are fairly common.”

Size Zero: My Life as a Disappearing Model
By Victoire Dauxerre

“I just started this one about an up-and-coming French model who got down to a size zero and all the health implications that came with it.”

Charli Howard

Oso, what books are on your nightstand?

Digimodernisim: How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture
By Alan Kirby

“It helped me understand more about how digital technologies have impacted our society, which is relevant because my work is all about how the internet influences us on a daily basis!”

Hypermodern Times
By Gilles Lipovetsky and Sébastien Charles

“According to this book, postmodern society is characterized by hedonistic neo-individualism that they call the second individualistic revolution. It also talks about the anthropological nature of luxury and emotional consumption.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
by Mark Manson

“In an entertaining and funny way, he talks about topics like how the avoidance of struggle is a struggle and who you are is defined by what you are willing to struggle for.”

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