Neue Luxury - - Front Page - A note from our Edi­tor in Chief BRETT PHILLIPS Founder & Edi­tor in Chief

Wel­come to the fourth is­sue of Neue Lux­ury. Our ob­ses­sion is­sue.

Ob­ses­sion is a strange beast. Het­ero­ge­neous in na­ture and more of­ten than not stig­ma­tised as be­ing a neg­a­tive af­flic­tion, con­di­tion or dis­or­der to which we have no agency and to which we are in some way bound or sub­ju­gated. For some, ob­ses­sion can be lib­er­at­ing, a mo­dus operandi of sorts that pro­vides an ef­fec­tual mech­a­nism to sharpen re­solve, chan­nel ef­fort or help clar­ify in­tent. For oth­ers, ob­ses­sion can be a bur­den of un­ease, com­pul­sion, obli­ga­tion, ap­pre­hen­sion and fear. I must ad­mit that in first think­ing about the theme and nar­ra­tive of this is­sue, I had never thought of ob­ses­sion in neg­a­tive terms, as some­thing that if left un­abated would re­sult in a land­scape of dis­ad­van­tage, dis­rup­tion or harm.

That’s not to say that I’m not ob­ses­sive or in­deed ob­sessed. I ad­mit to be­ing (or hav­ing as the case may be) both of these things. Over the years I have ru­mi­nated about its ori­gin, mo­tive and in­deed the legacy that ob­ses­sion will have in de­ter­min­ing who I am, what I will do and who I will be­come. My ear­li­est rec­ol­lec­tion of ob­ses­sion is at the age of four. I re­mem­ber be­ing res­o­lute, con­trolled, de­ter­mined and de­lib­er­ate with­out doubt of abil­ity or fear of con­se­quence. I was fo­cused on achiev­ing that which I had set my mind to. And while my av­o­ca­tion at the time was to empty the con­tents of our kin­der­garten’s com­mu­nal sand pit over the fence into the va­cant ad­join­ing prop­erty, I now come to re­alise that ob­ses­sion takes many forms and has many di­men­sions. One can­not speak of ob­ses­sion with­out un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­ro­gat­ing mo­tive.

Our Septem­ber is­sue is ob­sessed with the icon­o­clasts, lead­ers, mak­ers and brands that pur­sue their ideas re­lent­lessly, un­ceas­ingly and with a sin­gu­lar vi­sion that makes it pos­si­ble for them to change our view of the world. We ex­plore the art of ed­i­fi­ca­tion and how the lux­ury be­stowed upon the Ro­man Cat­a­comb Saints (p2) played a role in abat­ing the icon­o­clasm of the 17th cen­tury. We con­trast the ob­ses­sions of Ital­ian ar­chi­tect Achille Sal­vagni (p17) with that of cu­ra­tor, direc­tor and poly­got, Ade­line Ooi (p20). With­out ap­pre­hen­sion, fear or anx­i­ety we ob­sess over the com­plex, evoca­tive and mon­u­men­tal por­trai­ture of artist Jo­han Van Mullem (p4) and con­trast his oeu­vre with that of botan­i­cal artist, Azuma Makoto (p7). In ex­pand­ing our global foot­print we also travel a few miles out­side the Basque city of San Se­bastián to speak with Chef An­doni Luis Aduriz—a man whose vi­sion and culi­nary ob­ses­sions know no bounds (p9).

I trust that you will en­joy the is­sue. I know that our team has ob­sessed over every as­pect of it in or­der to re­alise our vi­sion and live up to our prom­ise.

Cover im­age sup­plied courtesy of the artist: Jo­han Van Mullem Ink on kada­pak, 180x140. Photo by Ed­win Smet.

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