Tag Archives: Culture

Todd Strong’s Test Culture

When humans leave this world, their machines stay behind. Self-automated and lonely, our savvy robots begin to experiment—tearing, digging, sowing, yielding, pumping, splashing, boiling. This is an imagined glimpse at their post-apocalyptic re-creation.

– Todd Strong “Test Culture”


The adorable and altogether benignly curious, as Sianne Ngai describes in her book, Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting, invoke our tenderness, but also our aggression. We infantilize children’s things, and therefore condescend to them, make them less than. Todd Strong works to reimagine the environment, and, in tandem, environmental catastrophe, with a vocabulary of images informed by children’s cartoons as well as meditations on platonic ideals. These playful, semi-autobiographical paintings and drawings help alleviate his climate change anxieties, though they take on sinister connotations nevertheless. We condescend to these childlike images, hold ourselves above them, the same as we condescend to our lived environment, cast it aside as secondary to the rumblings of the economy, a problem more for progeny than for us.

As Todd work’s with these images, certain visual characters – a cloud, a flower stem, a droplet – capture his attention, and he begins to focus on their qualities, recreating their shapes obsessively in a process that denies narrative. The work more closely delves into an exploration of form, scale, line, and color. Thus, a convergence of narrative dissolves, all at once personal, art-historical, and yet-to-arrive: the fitting and infinitely explorable end to a fantastical plot of my own invention; an homage to the utopian strivings of the modernist masters of the 20th century as they stripped art to its bare essentials; and a mirror to the looming demise of our human society as we grapple with our inability to save our world from ourselves.

Take a closer look at Todd’s “Test Culture” series below.



2014---Test-Culture--oil-on-canvas--60x5022-1000pxl 2014---Pump--oil-on-canvas--50x5022 2014---Clap--oil-on-canvas--48x7222_1 2014---Spill--oil-on-canvas--36x5422_11 2014---Splash--oil-on-canvas--36x6022 2014---Garden--oil-on-canvas--24x2422 2014---Gardening--oil-on-canvas--59x3622_12 2014---Cloud-Pop--oil-on-canvas--42x4222 2014---Clouds--oil-on-canvas--32x4022_6 2013---Lift--oil-on-canvas--20x1622_10




Spectacular Carnage

Our generation’s world war is via media, we sacrifice our daily realities for projected purpose and prominence… eye-deep in student loan debt, creating daily content free of charge to the nation’s most profitable private enterprises, data for days, the only lines shorter than the unemployment call sheet – for the good of the country, for the sake of free enterprise, for the economy, for the shareholders and foreign investors: for free WW.3 #spectacularcarnage. This manifesto is the spirit of Leeland Wright‘s work.


“Media Heads”
as told by Leeland Wright

…I want to be apart of the white world. I want to be apart of the mainstream. I’m tired of working the cotton fields of otherness, I wanna finally sit in their house comfortably. I don’t care, I’ll serve the master his cigars, and the mistress her tea. But as long as I’m closer to their level. Man, their grass seems so much greener on the other side of that screen. Yes. That screen. My tv. If it wasn’t for this tv, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Brainwashed, Manipulated, Insecure. I’m an object that belongs to the media. That has been created by the media, & controlled by the media. The mainstream media. It objectifies us, & slowly transforms us from humans to machines. Sort of like a modern day slave. We become the product that they sell to us everyday. My freedom unfortunately, is not to escape this control through mainstream media, but rather to be on a level of acceptance and approval through the media. But, is that really freedom?





Creative couple Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca are at it again

Creative couple Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca are at it again, this time with a new project titled: Gourmet Mouse Traps. As the name suggests, this photography series showcases mouse traps baited with a cheesy dish fit for the pickiest mouse. The inspiration for Gourmet Mouse Traps came to Davide after a week-long cheese advertising shoot in NYC. “I was in a cheesy state of mind that week” says Davide. The idea came to him while he was riding the train after a long day on set. “When I told Claudia her eyes light up, she pulled out a pen and paper and instantly created the menu.”

Food stylist Claudia Ficca embraced the challenge of making miniature dishes. “Making mini versions of these foods required preciseness and concentration, I definitely made use of my fine tip tweezers for this job. From conception to creation this project was so much fun” says Claudia.


Photographer Davide Luciano changed his light set up for each scene, while prop stylist Maeve Sheridan redecorated the set. “It was important for me to create a specific mood for each shot” says Davide, “I wanted to give the impression that the traps were set in different homes at different times of the day.”

Gourmet Mouse Trap is a series of ten photographs: Strawberry Cheesecake , Cheese Board, Grilled Cheese, Lasagna, Bagel & Lox Nachos, Onion Soup, Mac & Cheese, Pizza, and Poutine. Take a closer look at the work below.

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The Sheep Station

“We are not supposed to all be the same, feel the same, think the same, and believe the same. The key to continued expansion of our Universe lies in diversity, not in conformity and coercion. Conventionality is the death of creation.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

Sheep Station featuring the work of late artist François-Xavier Lalanne as the inaugural exhibition of Getty Station, a new public art program located at the former Getty filling station in West Chelsea. The installation showcases 25 of the iconic epoxy stone and bronze ‘Moutons,’ and mark the largest collection to ever be shown publicly in an outdoor presentation. Lalanne’s first iteration of the sculptures was his infamous ‘Moutons de Laine’ in 1965, gradually expanding this particular body of work to include additional variations of the sculpture in epoxy stone and bronze in 1977. Sheep Station will include works from his series ‘Les Nouveaux Moutons’ – made up of the Belier (1994), the Brebis (1994) the Agneau (1996), and Le Mouton Transhumant (1988). Also shown is an earlier series titled ‘Mouton de Pierre,’ executed between 1979 and 1984.

Set in a surrealist landscape amidst the existing industrial gas station architecture, the sheep symbolize Lalanne’s mission to demystify art and capture its joie de vivre. ‘Moutons’ have become Lalanne’s most iconic work, embodying his very approach to art while commenting on the nature of art itself. Sheep Station runs through October 20.





The Facebook Phone: because Tamagotchi needed a 21st Century rebrand

The Facebook Phone: because Tamagotchi needed a 21st Century rebrand…




#secretproject … #questionmark #period

Hey, hey, hey, hey – hey:


So … that’s involving GaGa, Rihanna, Naomi, Cher, and 36 others … non-commercial “artistic and political” #secretproject directed by Steven Klein. A rumor has it that it’s about American involvement in weapons distribution; which would would be amazing considering the reacquantice of Pop and the Military Industrial Complex – but from the other side… This has the potential to be the apocalypse of that Pop Military Industrial Era (Elvis, Laurel Canyon through to American Life and G.O.A.T.)




And it’s back and forth all day like Red and Meth,
I joke when I say I’m the best in the booth, But a lot of truth is said in jest
And if I ever do live to be a legend, I’ma die a sudden death
5 mics in The Source? Ain’t holdin’ my f*cking breath


But I suffocate for the respect, ‘fore I breathe to collect the f*cking check


Cause what you say is what you say / Say what you say how you say it whenever you saying it / Just remember how you said it when you was spraying it


Watch This Space: So … who you payin’ then, huh?

Let it be the new cliché: Art Basel wasn’t seen in a day

Let it be the new cliché: Art Basel wasn’t seen in a day. That’s the first of many startling realizations that overcome you while cruising and perusing a pulsating Miami Beach, absorbing as much expressive, progressive, and impressively offensive art as you do solar rays and eye candy. That’s the second realization: maybe inviting your girlfriend along was a bad idea: much as you try to safely avert your gaze, everywhere you look a gorgeous hip-yet-pseudo-sophisticate in a skin-tight tube dress materializes before you. You lay eyes on your girlfriend and realize (realization 2.2) that she’s taking in sights of her own, purposefully or not.

The doors finally open, you’re officially ensconced in the largest, most eclectic art show on earth. Where to start? You start off in the Sixties: Miró, de Silva, and Picasso right there in front of you. Masters near their end. You could stare from six inches away at these works all day, but you have to move, move right along. There are 260 art galleries from five continents, and you’re hell-bent on seeing what they have to offer.


You’re here because you respect art, all art, you really do. But wonders you what a dozen glasses of variably-filled water are doing on a shelf on a wall at the largest art show in the world. You linger in the freshet of artsy-farts, waiting for any one of the estimated 2,000 featured artists to appear with damp fingers and ring them round the rims, the sonorous harmony of wet friction hushing ten thousand bodies in wonder-filled awe. Multi-media artistry? Sonic expressionism? Impressivism? But no one appears and the display is tossed aside in your mind as little more than college-style dorm décor.

The art is wild. So are the people. The isles seethe with these wild people: scholarly French speaking Catalan; mid-aged ex-wives in track pants with demonic designs of stoic house cats shooting lasers from their eyes; dishevelled youth in fashionably-unbranded organic cotton with shaggy side beards parted at the chin; gay dudes in Budweiser wife beaters and American flag boxers and suddenly you’re realizing the paintings and sculptures and carefully-positioned army duffle bags, penis fish in vagina tanks, and flashing neon signs of encouragement aren’t the only displays trying to make a statement; many of the visitors are shock-value works of art(?), too.



Apple™ is everywhere. “No Photos” signs are conspicuously not present; handheld camera-GPS-computer-phones have made such requests unenforceable mandates. iPhones snap Instagram photographs of iPads powering what you think to be a papier-mâché bird with a Bluetooth headcam “flying” circles around a rotating gear, taking 360° video—hey, cool, there’s you—on the iPad-generator-thingy. This could be art.

You descry a handicapped old guy cruising in his power wheel chair, trailing an iPad 2 attached to a bit of string attached to a lure of some kind. Does he expect a cat or small kid or anachronistic flip-phone-er to chase after it, like dogs at the track, in some cruel joke? Is it an interactive piece? Or just another big-city nutter. Either way, is it art? You wonder…

You wander. You wander the labyrinth: the isles and rows, and turn corners to find faux rolling hills casually enclaved amongst the overwhelm and the excitement. Some of it is abstract; some of it delusional. Some works truly move you; some are just damn cool. Your knees hurt from the slow, observant cant you can’t help but adopt. You’re taking in what you can. You avoid nothing, save the food court, where swarms of hyper-energetic middle-schoolers gather loudly, bumping into everything. You observe a potential buyer become dissuaded, annoyed by the rug rats, move on and maybe or maybe not return; you observe the rubicund-with-rage face of the potential seller.

There’s a lot involved with selling at Art Basel Miami Beach, the least of which are the price tags: the numbers you overhear: the casual “two-point-three for the set, Miss;” the unimpressed miss’ smirk, and the “He is an important artist.” Disparity? Too small a price tag? Too big? A bluff? With movie stars, ballpark heroes, over-played musicians, millionaires by trade or name all art collectors these days—if only for these four days—you realize that the procuring of pieces at Basel is an art itself. You become blasé to the numbers and names being traded. You plop a seat beneath a fake tree on the most distant paper-grass rolling hill. It’s a park in a building in a park. It was assembled and will be disassembled with the other pieces, booths and stalls. On it’s slopes you rest.

You’re beat, man. Your girlfriend’s feat hurt. Both your stomachs rumble. Time for lunch.

And with the gurgling tremble deep within you, your weakened muscles, comes your final realization: you need more time. But first you need a break.

Traipsing along Lincoln, Washington, Collins, 15th, 16th, 17th Street, Espanola Way… you finally settle at crowded French sandwich spot for the best sandwiches in South Beach.

You’re revitalized, but your plan needs reworking. Everything in the art world is happening in the South Florida fashion-cultural-fiscal-social epicentre this weekend, but the Miami Beach Convention Centre, at eleven years of hosting Art Basel, is only just that: the center. The purlieus expand to the corners of the city. Including Basel, there are twenty-two art fairs bustling right now, with tickets ranging from free to “only if we sneak in”. Bars are hopping as Happy Hour gets under way. Music comes at you from corner stores and concerts across the city. Passers-by chatter about plays, like Kurt (about Cobain), and you feel you need to see it. There are the art parties, where you plan to mingle amongst big-wig celebs and supermodels who have a heart-throbbing twist on the English language. A few of whatever A-Rod is drinking and you won’t care that you won’t be able to afford buying anyone anything for the holidays.

Transferring Venetian Causeway, on your way to Wynwood, the early evening shines a SoHo glow over Miami. Advertisements flash everywhere (most for Absolut Greyhound, which you plan to have much of later) and the city has officially illuminated. Basel banners bid you farewell, while a computer-generated silhouette winding her hips on the east façade of a downtown skyscraper welcomes you to the mainland.


After Wynwood, perhaps a foodtruck dinner. Hemmingway today would re-write his Parisian classic, set it here amongst the food trucks and night clubs and hip soirees. A Moveable Fiasco.

Wynwood is impressive. The works slightly more manageable than actual Art Basel, you finally stop asking yourself “is this art?” Nay, this is art. See and appreciate. It’s not hard, but it’s not easy. The art takes a toll, especially when it takes up your day, your weekend.

You’re idling in traffic, east-bound on MacArthur, back to beach-side, Facebooking old friends for a place to stay the night.
Basel banners welcome you back. To 4th street, for a free Verge Art Miami Beach fair. But what you’re really back for are the parties: the clubs whose previously stoic fronts are now open doors with lines of sparkling clubbers patiently waiting for their night to begin. You and your girlfriend way your party options. You’ve researched the highlights: Choice Meeting; Livio & Roby; Fuck Art, Let’s Dance… and those aren’t even the invite-onlys. This is nuts, but it’s nothing new. Art Basel hasn’t altered Miami one bit. Okay, next weekend won’t be Basel. Something else will steal the spotlight, but right now, you have to take it all in. And you need more time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you need more than a day to fully appreciate Art Basel.

Art Basel… you’re head spins and your body shakes from bass beats and you think: what a great excuse for Miami to be, well, Miami for another weekend.


Do Artists Have Time For Love? #questionsthatneedanswers

I’m going to start this piece by changing the subject… Am I throwing you off yet? I want to take this back to square one, wherein lies our original question, “Do artists have time for love?” The query is a valid one, but irrelevant nonetheless. Consider the subject, the artist. For him, time feels time too trivial a constraint. Therefore, what becomes the more relevant question is whether or not the artist is ever able to define and interpret love within the limitations of a lifetime. The common misconception is embedded in the belief that artists know love best because they are the most passionate. The latter statement is true, yes (personal bias), but reality couldn’t be farther from the former. An “artist,” aside from being a slightly (ok, majorly) ambiguous title, is really an embodiment of obscurity. If existent in his purest form, he is a passionate, open-minded force. The root of his creation, his being, his everything, is L-O-V-E, Love.

Yet, in the artist’s eyes, love is not simply a notion between two. He sees that love is expressed throughout, that it breathes through hatred and pain just as much as it does sex and euphoria. So, from it he creates what he deems a possession of his own, an inanimate manifestation of which he takes full control. Whatever it may be – a painting, a photograph, a song – he may do to it what he pleases, when he pleases. And love in this context may seem a definite, advantageous thing for the solitary creator. Why? Because he is a romantic.

Despite that, for every good there is a bad; for every high there is a low. No matter how romantic the person, love befriends just as much as it tortures. Like an untamed creature, it breeds fear in those within its domain. Moreover, Love reigns even more frightening, for it is abstract – always was, is, and will be. But, “Why”, the artist asks, “does it make one do the things he does and feel the way he feels?” Oftentimes, he seeks this question through the affection of another. This time, another who is not-so-inanimate and fully capable of loving in a fashion of his own. He envelops this person into his or her world. Unlike an art piece, a partner is not a boasted wall ornamentation; they too have emotions. Alas, they are selectively subject to the progressive interpretation. Many a time, it is lust that manipulates and masks the face of love, playing the lover a fool. For the artist, the romantic, he falls every time because he is open to the game. As love plays the vital organ of his career, his sole constant, it also leaves multifariousness in characters a dominant influence.

While every artist is different, some patterns remain a thread amongst. The concept of outsmarting love or of settling for its subservient brother are nonexistent in this realm. I don’t remember the last time I shared a true love with someone, but as an artist I can tell you this much: We don’t love because we know; we love because we lust what it feels like. Regardless of whether or not time allows, our lifetimes tend to be a series of fondness and follies, interpreting and misinterpreting this L-O-V-E, Love thing along the way. As each entering and exiting character and concept comes, we create; for, time is precious and creating from such is what we have come to love.

Hugh Leeman had to kill a bird for this

Epilogue is a fully immersive art installation created by Hugh Leeman, Eddie Colla, and D Young V in downtown Los Angeles. It opened September 8 at Hold Up Art Gallery.

“Icarus and the Dream”, 22″ x 30″ sculpture, bird wings and skull, chains, locks, and magic leather chest
The show’s processes and concept have been inspired by America’s gun loving culture, corporate behemoths considered “to big to fail,” and a financial meltdown. It has pushed the three artists away from what we have come to identify as their own individual styles along trading the more traditional media of oil paints, canvas, and inks for reclaimed billboards, fire stencils, carbon soot emissions, and hand painted assault rifles, as a way of taking what we felt was a more relevant look at today through the scope of our art. Check out more images via facebook here.

“Satiated by the Power of a Parabolic Throne”, 24″ x 30″ framed, carbon soot emissions, spray paint, and 16 karat gold on billboard posters 

What I Do, How I Do It, and Why It Means So Much To Me

As a music writer, I find myself writing more album reviews than anything else. Yes, I often am writing manifestos that draw from my own musings as a listener and observer to tackle the more abstract and personal facets of the musical experience, but I don’t think that requires the same kind of formulaic process that reviewing an album does. Those kind of pieces fall into the category of writing that almost demands the absence of process (stream-of-consciousness seems to work best in these kinds of situations), as preconceived notions and the boundaries of reason can sometimes be obstacles when it comes to that kind of thought. But when it comes to more formal criticism, there are steps that I consciously take to correctly construct a thoughtful and accessible evaluation of a piece of artistic effort.

Back when I started writing music criticism, I thought the only way to do so was to assign some sort of alphanumeric grade to a piece to coerce readers to awaken a possibly misplaced trust in me, the writer, to guide the listener in the right direction. For years I have foolishly bound myself to the harsh numerical ratings put forth by music blogs like Pitchfork and Consequence of Sound, blindly following the guidance of critical writers that gleefully dictate what’s good and what is sub-par. Pitchfork is perhaps the most brutal of all music blogs, taking any one or several minor imperfections and warping them into such exaggerated flaws that in turn inexplicably fall victim to unprecedented disdain, garnering the unjust label of music that is not worthy of praise. Anything that falls short of Pitchfork’s terribly high standards is almost automatically deemed unfit for human ears. This is not a fair system. Their terribly faulty 10-point system, occasionally peppered with self-satisfying commendations of albums labeled as “Best New Music” (as if they know what’s best), is at the same time infectious and disheartening. I think we as humans crave so-called experts to tell us what is good and what is bad; that’s why we listen to such critics. Admittedly, for my first couple reviews, I unwittingly prescribed my critical structure to such rubrics. When I finally realized that I had very little negative things to say about the albums I was reviewing, I decided to abandon the numerical grading system altogether and construct my own system of criticism.

Photo by Jon Jordan

I kind of hate the word ‘criticism.’ It carries with it such a negative connotation that invokes uncomfortable feelings of mediocrity and self-doubt. I guess that’s just how the English language works. However, in the modern age, we have such terms like “constructive criticism,” in which the words of elders and experts are carefully tuned to summon positive results from undesirable performances using careful language and an encouraging tone. When it comes to music reviews, however, we as writers and critics are not guiding artists, but rather listeners. We are not in the position to give advice to artists and bands to better their craft; rather we are forced to grade them on their performance, despite how hard they have worked. What do music writers know about composition, poetry, artistic effort? Often, nothing. But somehow we feel entitled to grade someone else’s artistic vision, acting as a discerning, judicious middleman between artist and listener. Well, that just doesn’t sit well with me.

A few semesters ago, I attended a workshop dealing with non-violent communication put on by a fellow student. I felt the ideals put forward during this workshop could be translated to my chosen medium, and so from then on I sought to offer a truly personal and honestly specific perspective when offering critical analysis to music. Since then I have abandoned the use of alphanumeric grading, instead offering a frank and sincere reflection on how one’s music speaks to me. Granted, I avoid writing negative reviews, thus focusing my energies on artists and albums that speak to me personally. I feel that if a specific artist or band or specific album doesn’t speak to me, why should I derail the artistic message of a certain effort? Music is a strange and wonderful being, one that seems to transcend any other art form and speak to individuals in unique and fascinating ways. I can’t bear to assume that what I have to say about some collection of songs or an artist’s style holds any sort of importance over what other people might think about it. Thus, when I write my reviews, I generally write about albums that I find exceptional, and tend to avoid any sort of negative commentary.

If I decide to write about an album, it is usually by way of certain circumstance. Sometimes I am assigned albums or EPs or songs, and if I don’t respond positively, I may refuse to provide a response for the reasons I have stated above. On the other hand, if I feel a certain connection, then I will respond accordingly. I will often listen to an album several times, firstly decoding the instrumental tone, followed by a careful investigation of lyrical content. More often than not, the instrumentation speaks to me on a different level than the lyrics. Often, the instrumentation has a more profound effect on me. Back when I was in high school, I was much more used to the opposite: lyrics often gave me greater insight to an artist’s vision more than the musical structure. I don’t know what has happened in the past several years, but nowadays I find myself responding more to the sound and musical structure more than what the song is literally saying through lyrics (I often prefer to review instrumental pieces for this reason, though I find enjoyment in decoding poetic imagery and lyrical subtext).

Often after examining musical structure and tone, I will delve into the words (if there are any), scoping out any motifs or themes that are present in stanzas/verses/choruses, and drawing conclusions that are cohesive with other lyrics and also with instrumental structure. I have only taken a few music theory classes but I find that I have an innate ear for common theme when it comes to sound and poetic nuance. From there, I go through the album (track-by-track sometimes), and discuss my personal findings, yet refrain from demanding any sort of need for concurrence when it comes to my findings. As with most art forms, I feel that any artistic piece speaks specifically to an individual, so I assume no position of expertise or specified knowledge.

I just want to tell people if something is good. I want to share. Really, that is all I’m going for here. If it’s good to me, it might be good to someone else. I am especially in no position to say that something is bad, and personally, I find it annoyingly arrogant that there are those out there that feel that kind of entitlement. I understand it’s a part of the job, but fuck that. I just want to share the wealth. Honestly. It might mean that I never get a great paying job as a music writer, but if that’s the world I have to live and work in, I’m not sure I want to be a part of it.

I like reviewing music and telling people how great it is. Sure, I have my opinions on what is good and what is not, but I am certainly not going to shove them down anyone’s throat. And anyone who does is just a bully. Because I think a crucial part of human free will is finding our own bliss, and if someone is going to tell me that what I love is crappy, then my natural reaction is just going to be a big old middle finger to them, and I will turn back to my crappy music on my crappy iPod, and I will close my eyes and smile, knowing that no blog and no person will ever tear me away from what I yearn to listen to. And that’s the way it should be.

Is Reagan wacker than crack? #QuestionsThatNeedAnswers

Is Ronald Reagan wacker than crack?


The L.A. Times [recalled], “Hero though Reagan was to so many Americans, his legacy is marred. Economically, the Reagan years were epitomized by a freewheeling entrepreneurialism and free spending. But the affluent got more affluent and the poor got poorer. The number of families living below the poverty line increased by one-third. The Reagan administration’s zeal for deregulation of industry helped create the savings and loan debacle, which left taxpayers holding the bag for billions of dollars in losses.”

But then again, In the words of the Gipper himself, “Facts are stupid things.”


Despite inspiring some of the best rap music of all time, Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, Mobb Deep’s Infamy, I surely praise him for everything Biggie, “10 Crack Commandments” anyone?, but the bad seems to outweigh good here. Alzheimer’s in 1981, The Cold War, debt on top of debt, eradicating the middle class, conducted one of the most absurd invasions of American history targeting the tiny island of Grenada, One-Sided Debates, and lest we forget–Aidsgate.


“Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.” – Ronald Reagan


The Death of a $ale$man. “Reaganomics,” 2011 mixed media collage by GREATeclectic.

So, what did we learn today kids? Is Reagan wacker than crack?… Is heroin doper than dope?


Foreword Story: Most Expensive Meme Ever

Freedom, that glorious word which drives America through each day and each era and is so important to us… it’s been completely revoked from our new milieu, and we’re totally okay with it. Freedom of speech is currently under siege (SOPA and PIPA). We don’t have freedom of choice—and we love it. Creativity, too, is gone; restriction strictly enforced. Individuality, au revoir. It’s the Internet age, babe, better get used to it.

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In A World Desperate For Uniqueness & Originality, The Greatest Irony May Be That We Ultimately Succumb To “Following The Herd”

In a world desperate for uniqueness and originality, the greatest irony may be that we ultimately succumb to “following the herd.” Whether we like it or not, we the “sheeple” have become fervent disciples of a globalized economy. Sheep Nation a series of photographic works by Montreal-based contemporary artist Davide Luciano, explores this fertile ground through a characteristically satirical yet compassionate lens.

Continue reading In A World Desperate For Uniqueness & Originality, The Greatest Irony May Be That We Ultimately Succumb To “Following The Herd”

Foreword Story: That’s Death Over Designer

When I received our assignment sheet from our editor-in-chief, I saw the headline “Foreword Story: That’s Death Over Designer” and I immediately reply. Ironically, I was having a conversation just days earlier relating to the killer topic with a great friend and mentor of mine, author and lyricist Gene “Malice ” Thorton. The conversation came along because an artist signed to Universal Records was recently arrested in Hampton, Va for assaulting and robbing a man for jumping in front of him and taking the last pair of Jordans. My thing is if you have a legit contract with a label, why are you punching people over the last paper of shoes? Whats the real point of trappin’ all day and hustling’ all night if when you do finally make it to the top, you’re still acting like a hooligan?

Continue reading Foreword Story: That’s Death Over Designer

Foreword Story: The Hands of Jezebel

Boy does my mother love Jesus. Growing up the tough macho male that was imprinted in my mind wasn’t Hercules, it was Samson. The tale of betrayal that I was accustomed to didn’t involve a wolf dressed as a grandmother and a girl named Little Red Riding Hood. Rather, the main star was a scrawny Israelite name Joseph and the antagonists his plotting brothers.

Continue reading Foreword Story: The Hands of Jezebel

Strange Fruit: Interview with Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas latest body of work Strange Fruit expresses the historical truths blacks had to endure throughout their journey here in the United States. Hank created vivid comparisons of black perception between the pre-slavery era and post-Civil Rights Movement. The irony that drips and oozes from his canvas, visually gives a voice to those in history who didn’t have one. Hank’s symbolism exposes the role media plays in the down fall of our popular culture. This creative genius shed light on the method behind his madness.

Read writer Ilysha McMillan’s conversation with Hank Willis Thomas, exploring images from his recently released Strange Fruit body of work.

Continue reading Strange Fruit: Interview with Hank Willis Thomas

Femme Fallahs distinctly placed against the vivid–A look at Kehinde Wiley’s latest body of work “The World Stage”

Painter Kehinde Wiley is known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of beautiful young black and latino men, masterfully rendered in the self-confident, empowered poses seen in classical European portrait painting. In The World Stage: Israel a new exhibition at The Jewish Museum in New York, Kehinde explores the global diaspora, with portraits based on photographs the artist took of men of diverse religions and ethnicities living in Israel.

Continue reading Femme Fallahs distinctly placed against the vivid–A look at Kehinde Wiley’s latest body of work “The World Stage”

Congratulations, You’re the New Trend: Commercializing Dissent in the Age of Reaction-ism

Since I’ve taken on the massive task of reading the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, and because it’s an overwhelming mindfuck of a read, I wasn’t planning on writing anything this week. But then as I cruised through the site I call home this afternoon, I came across an article written by a reader named Eddieftw in response to my “Death Of Free Speech Pt.1” entry from last week. First of all, I highly recommend you go and give it a read; he breaks down a very important subject that I think we all should pay more attention to. Secondly, I’d like to tip my hat to him since he made some excellent points. Such great points that the gears began to grind in my head and well, here I am, back behind my laptop and chain smoking my way through an unplanned writing session. Call it a response to a response or a sudden stroke of inspiration; whatever it is, I’m glad it happened.

Continue reading Congratulations, You’re the New Trend: Commercializing Dissent in the Age of Reaction-ism