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The ACC: NYC’s Latest Creative Collective Taking the City by Storm?

December 24, 2016
  • Photographs by Stacy Kranitz
    Text by Taylore Scarabelli

    New York imports The ACC (Always Cooking Crack) collective hail themselves as “the best” from Toronto. The crew of tripped out Canadian artists may have only recently moved from the gritty benches of Tompkins Square Park into a shared Williamsburg apartment, but they are well on their way to making it BIG in the big apple.

    The collective are currently working on a project called OUTSIDE, (both a literal and conceptual interpretation of the term). This idea came to Jimbo Williams, the ringleader of the troop, when they were “here and homeless” squatting in the apartments of generous girls and sleeping in a storage unit in Alphabet City. They are also working on a photo book with images from their recent road trip to Art Basel, busy boys indeed.

    “Only three of the [original] members still remain,” Williams says over email. Most of them couldn’t keep up with “the jarring lifestyle” in the LES and “fled back to Canada” leaving the remaining three members, Williams, Logan Howlett, and 17-year-old Aristotle to fend for themselves. Nostalgic for the days at 730 (their old studio in the six, where Dev Hynes and “the entire Alexander Wang team” once stopped by), the ACC cast is shrinking, but, with the recent addition of nodel and it-boy @myjacuzzi the boys are ready to take NYC by storm.

    Over FaceTime (Williams answered while he was “taking a shit”, so punk!), the crew tells me about how they were recently approached while on a tour of the NeueHouse to be in a short film. “What’s that thing Walter Pearce does?” Williams asks. “Casted, ya we got casted.”

    Already touted as “the cool street kids of New York” by a Nowness scouting agent, the ACC are well on their way to success but are finding it hard to survive as artists without day jobs. “I’ve been retired for two years,” says 24-year-old Williams, a self-described illegal immigrant. “We could get jobs, we’ve had offers,” Howlett interjects. “Vogue shoots from, like, Russia and castings…but we specialize in certain services…right now it would just be like ‘oh you have a really nice look’ or ‘be in a music video.’ Nothing I would say is demeaning us but…”

    Having recently been disappointed after meeting with a creative director at Barney’s, the collective is taking time to work on its own projects. Focused on “film, fashion and fine art” the trio already have two brands under their label: DED (Howlett’s video company) and INSUB’ORDINATE, Aristotle and Williams’ anarchic streetwear line. But the most promising project is their to be their soon-to-be-launched online flea market, LA ROPA LIFE. It’s “the shedding and selling of all of our personal belongings,” says Williams “which will be replaced by five suits each.”

    I asked the boys about the reasoning behind the suits and Howlett responded: “we just feel like it.” After all, it’s not the meaning behind the art that counts, it’s the attention that you get for it. Which, according to the boys, is all a simple matter of “manifest destiny”.

    “Literally everything we’ve been doing in the course of time, we strongly feel that this has been manifested, that it was force of energy,” says Howlett. “We know that most likely not everyone may understand what our message is but that’s actually not the point, the point is finding a specialized group that we can make a system, just curate, make art.”

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