Tilda Swinton graces the cover of the latest edition of W Magazine, and as with all of Swinton’s creative enterprises throughout her life, it looks like she and her team must have shared an amazing experience together during the shoot. Photographed by Tim Walker (I love you Tim!), and styled by Jacob K (I love you too Jacob!), the editorial was shot approximately 8 hours north of Mexico City on the grounds of Edward James’ historical Las Pozas estate.
W Magazine writes: “‘Seen such beauty as one man has seldom seen,’ wrote the English eccentric, poet, and surrealist collector Edward James as he gazed into the heart of Las Pozas, the fantastical jungle paradise he built in Xilitla, Mexico. Hoping to embrace that liberated realm of the imagination and unconscious so familiar to James, the photographer Tim Walker and the actress Tilda Swinton created a series of phantasmagorias inspired by artists Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, and other James muses and collaborators. In an homage to a photograph Man Ray took of James, Swinton wears a pair of leather typist’s gloves made for her by her friend Olivier Saillard, the director of the Musée Galliera, in Paris. ‘He printed the letters of the keys of a typewriter on them,’ says Swinton, ‘which is particularly meaningful to me, who refused to take a typing course, in favor of a path to art school.’ Like James and his circle, the unconventional Swinton has always subscribed to her own mutable notions of beauty. ‘Being beautiful was never really something I associated with people I knew — certainly not girls,’ she says. ‘Boys, maybe. Horses, yes, and certainly my great-grandmother Elsie Swinton, whose imperial grandeur was like a watermark.’ A drawing of Elsie, by John Singer Sargent, once hung in Tilda’s family’s sitting room, just above the television. ‘I saw her looking out of the corner of her eye, straight at me, during my teenage years — a knowing, engaging, and infinitely amused attitude,’ Swinton recalls. ‘She was dark and luscious, unlike the rest of us, who are sandy and pale. Not looking like her felt, somehow, like being born on the wrong side of the beauty tracks.’ Perhaps it depends upon who is doing the looking. In Walker’s dreamscapes, Swinton is the enigmatic beauty — perfectly at home in James’s madcap universe.”
The W Magazine issue comes on the heels of Swinton’s recent performance piece entitled The Maybe which she recently showed at the MoMA in New York. AnOther Magazine writes: “Tilda Swinton — as living art. When visiting MoMa, one might chance upon her asleep in a glass vitrine. In the past few weeks Swinton has slept in the museum’s main lobby, Rodin’s monumental Balzác watching over her, in the half-light of Douglas Gordon’s video installation ‘Play Dead’ and on the Bauhaus staircase next to a Calder mobile. She lies bare-faced, in old, indistinct clothes and sneakers with clumps of mud stuck to the soles. A gentle refusal of explanation and the element of surprise is integral to the piece. There is no schedule for the random appearances, no artist’s or museum statement besides the simple label on the wall nearby: ‘Tilda Swinton. Scottish, born 1960. The Maybe 1995/2013. Living artist, glass, steel, mattress, pillow, linen, water and spectacles.’ It is an open question, a proposal, a treasure hunt. ‘The Maybe; first premiered at the Serpentine Gallery in 1995 shortly after Swinton’s dearest friend, collaborator over nine years and seven films and provider of what she has referred to as her then ‘day job’, Derek Jarman, died of AIDS. Swinton has said that Jarman’s death was the first and foremost reason for the generation of ‘The Maybe’. The performance can be read as a ‘memento mori’ — a performative monument to fragility, to our mortality and to collective mourning. This time around, it is probably more than a coincidence that ‘The Maybe’ is ‘remade’ a few months after Tilda’s mother died, in late 2012.” You can read the full story about Tilda Swinton’s The Maybe by visiting AnOther Magazine.
To see more photos from the series simply head over to W Magazine. And to read more about Edward James’ historical Las Pozas estate (8 hours north of Mexico City) where these photos were taken CLICK HERE. Tilda’s next film project is Snowpiercer from director Bong Joon-Ho (The Host, Mother) and producer Park Chan-Wook (director of Oldboy). Last week a string of several character posters were unveiled including Tilda Swinton’s and co-star Jamie Bell’s. You can see all of the posters as well as learn more about Snowpiercer by visiting The Playlist. For all FEELguide stories related to Tilda Swinton be sure to visit Tilda Swinton on FEELguide.