Celebrities’ Favourite Photos

artistic merits

otisOne dark night in 1984, thirteen year old Otis Frizzell jumped out of his bedroom window and headed to the local fruit and vege shop in Mt Eden. With his big brother acting as lookout, Otis began to make his artistic mark on the shop wall. The resultant graffiti piece, depicted in his favourite photo, is early evidence of a prodigious and irrepressible talent. “This piece is important on many different levels, but basically it’s the first full colour, full sized bomb I ever did that really felt like I was ‘getting it’. So I guess this photo is almost the seed of my entire art career – or at least the beginning of a style direction that led me to where I am today.”
Far from being a “naughty, wayward, hell child”, Otis reckons he was quite straight as a young lad, although he did like to express his rebellion through his art. He says his father, renowned artist Dick Frizzell, thought aspects of graffiti were “quite cool and interesting, although my parents weren’t too sure about the illegal side.” Otis has been widely regarded as New Zealand’s most high profile graffiti artist, although he says he stopped doing illegal pieces in his late teens when he started scoring a few commercial jobs. “That was the pivotal point, when I realised I could get paid for my work.”
During a career as colourful as his personality, Otis has enjoyed considerable success as a hip hop performer, radio and television personality, tattooist, graphic designer and chauffeur to the stars. But today he is firmly focussed on life as a full-time artist in a creative collaboration with Mike Weston they label Weston Frizzell. “We’ve had three exhibitions in the last four months, and have lots of editions, commissions, painting and prints on the go so we’re working really hard. There’s a good vibe around what we’re doing and we’re selling a lot so we’ve had to step up and make sure we’ve got the product to fill the demand.” How does he deal with the likely comparisons between himself and his father? “I take it on the chin. I’m confident in my own ability without being arrogant. If I make sure the work is good then there’s no sweat.”

CHOCOLATE BOMBSHELL

jaquieSummer, late 1970s, London. Broadcaster and media personality, Jaquie Brown, is an adorable, pint-sized four-year old, snapped by her father in all her chocolate ice-cream smeared glory. There’s just a tiny hint of attitude in her expression as she looks into the camera. “Messy eater? Who me?” she seems to be saying as she points towards her sticky face. “I love the photo because it was taken by my Dad, a keen photographer who was always taking cool snaps of me and my brother. Dad died a few years ago and I’ve still got lots of his photos. This one is really special because it is looking at me through his eyes – seeing the joy and wonder in his child.” Jaquie is not sure exactly where in London the photo was taken. “The string I’m holding might have been attached to a balloon or toy so perhaps I was at a children’s party. I love the fact that I’ve got food all around my mouth. This photo reminds me how important it is to have fun and put ice cream on my face sometimes.”
Jaquie has a little less time for ice cream fun these days, as she is putting all her energies into her new show The Jaquie Brown Diaries, which started shooting in November. The show has been described as a “hybrid comedy/factual satire series that follows the trials and tribulations of an almost famous TV presenter and her search for self discovery”. The show blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, with Jaquie playing a character that is an exaggerated version of herself who interviews local and international celebrities. “All my time and energy is going into the show. It’s hugely exciting – like having a career baby.” The show is just reward for the popular presenter, who made her name in TV2’s Space, as a C4 presenter, and as a reporter for TV3’s Campbell Live. “It’s great to have been doing something for a while and to have things slot into place. But I’m still a messy eater.”

NO ORDINARY THING

jasonThe journey from Auckland to Queenstown is rarely considered “life altering” but that’s how Opshop frontman Jason Kerrison describes being part of the MORE FM team in the Accor $10 Queenstown Race to Cure Kids, a charity event that raised over $382,000 for vital research into children’s illnesses. “The night before the race we were spoken to by Stephanie Fong, a 14 year old Lincoln High School student and Cure Kids ambassador who has a unique immune deficiency disorder. She told us how important Cure Kids is to sick children, and the hope it extends to their families. After Stephanie spoke I got up and sang a song for her, and everybody pretty much ended up in tears. This photo, of Stephanie giving me a hug, was taken just after that. It sums up my experience of the whole three days. It was really quite something.”
Until recently, Jason worked as an operations manager at Kiwi FM as well as fronting the hugely popular rock-pop band. But with Opshop riding high after the launch of its latest album Second Hand Planet and a heavy spring/summer touring schedule, music is now his full time job. Jason says he is “still quite aghast” at the seven nominations Opshop achieved at the New Zealand Music Awards. “It was totally unexpected, but nice to know you’ve been recognised in great company for the work you do.” Hit single Maybe was also nominated for a Silver Scroll, the country’s most prized award for songwriting, and it recently became the first song by a Kiwi band to top the iTunes chart. Last year, Jason made it to the top 26 of reality show Rockstar: Supernova, after being lured to the auditions by a mate. “I never had any intention of doing anything with it. If I got through it was my intention to be the anti-hero – to get to the final two and say ‘you know what guys, I don’t think I’m right for your band.” Perhaps Jason and Opshop will find fame in the USA under their own steam instead? “We’ve got a few insurgency missions planned there for next year,” he laughs.

BEACHY KEEN

jennyIt’s the quintessential Kiwi summer holiday snap.  The waves at Matheson’s Bay, north of Auckland gently lap at the shoreline as blonde moppet Jenny Clegg plays in the sand while looking adoringly at her Dad, Brian Joblin. “I love this photo because to me, the beach and summer are so closely knitted,” says Jenny, who with husband Nick owns uber-cool street-wear label, Federation. “Family is super-important to me, and I would fully be the first to grab the photos if my house was burning down.” Having become a mother to Ryder (two-and-a-half) and Monte (seven months), Jenny says photos have become even more significant in her life. “When I look at this photo of me and Dad it makes me think of the great times we shared, but it also makes me excited about the cool times I have ahead with my own children, who are my favourite human beings on the planet along with my husband and family and friends.”
It’s been an exciting and hectic few months for the Federation team. Within the space of 10 days in September they showed at New Zealand Fashion Week, opened their first retail flagship store at Britomart, and moved workrooms. “The whole thing was a bit of a blur but it was all good. We are very excited about our flagship store because it is a complete representation of us from start to finish.” The brand continues to go from strength to strength, with plenty of off-shore interest, buoyed by Federation making it to the final round at the prestigious 2007 Sportswear International Awards. Along with Federation and Minti, the company has also launched a new label called For Good that hit the retail stores in September. The higher end styling of the range allows Jenny to “do heaps of crazy stuff and design garments that don’t quite fit under the Federation umbrella.” After such a busy few months, Jenny says Federation is happy to consolidate for a while. “We will be keeping the business steady and building from all the amazing things that have happened – while trying to simply enjoy them as well.”