Art:New York based artist Ko Smith’s artistry

2010, 20 x 24 in

In early 2009, I found myself without a place to live, and was traveling between New York and Boston, staying with friends and looking for work. I started a journal where, upon looking back, I noticed that I frequently referred to myself as a “floating weed”, and I’ve used my own reaction to being a floating weed as the basis for my latest art work.

The images are set in a swirling milky-grey environment, reminiscent of a thick fog at dusk, or a frothy ocean surface. All include a fragment of a human figure, sometimes accompanied by an object or animal. In order to create this environment, I brush a few layers of diluted black ink over printmaking paper, then let the paper buckle and kink on it’s own. When I’m satisfied with the levels of black, I brush a few layers of diluted gesso over it and again let the paper do what it will. The time that passes between the layers depends on how long the ink and gesso takes to dry. This process of tinting the paper is important in making the image, as it allows for the elements of time and chance to be part of the artwork. These elements are large factors in the shaping of my experience, so I find it fitting that they are the factors shaping the structure of my drawings. The human figure, as well as animals, are drawn out of the existing surface as a means of expression. The figures are often fragmented as an attempt to distill the image to what is necessary to create the mood I envision. The process helps me to visualize new ideas that convey ambiguity and uncertainty. This is the first reaction I have in describing myself as a floating weed, and this is the initial reaction I’d like my viewers to experience.

Ko Smith

Music:”The American Seen”: Wiz Khalifa “Ass Drop” -“Do something for a boss”(a real nigguh)

Here is the formula …..promoting oppression…demoting women ……RAP star keeping them locked down in a subservient position by making it seem they are bestowing a great privilege on someone who is not worthy(chickenhead).

does Wiz Khalifa believe in the Mcdonalds workers getting ten an hour or would he be the boss at McDonalds?????

Question is who buys this stuff….it cannot be denied that the music is infectious…if someone did  a project of just hip hop’s strongest beats over the last 20 years everyone would realize that its the beat not the lyrics that make hip hop as a formula  work over and over again …original beats ?yes!? original lyrics ? not! low humor ?yes!

everything we love as Americans hip hop represents 

war,subjugation arrogance and jokes at the expense of freedom disguised as freedom 

enjoy 

“Together we Must Solve This Problem”-Martin Luther King in my opinion The Film of the season will be seen @Film Forum on January 19th “King:a filmed record”

Our children can memorize Kanye, Pharrel and Wiz khalifa but can they recite a Martin Luther King speech ?the difference between myth and truth is one instills wisdom the other vanity and superstition you tell me which you would rather govern our future …

Style-List:A Pareeh! Kenzo S/S 2015 :Lim & Leon finally hit the mark …almost

everything is so rushed in the “New World” that one gets the distinct notion that ideas rarely get to be fully realized before its on to the next season…concept…product. We are doing this to ourselves… the pressure is coming from within .Of course designers are no different ..there even in more of a rush Fashion Designer’s have to predict our taste …project the “Next” .That pressured to get it right and in on time  feeling is the distinct feeling i got from the Lim and Leon collaboration when they first arrived at the esteemed Kenzo house  and it still is the feeling one gets .The designs are great ideas not quite fully fleshed out but the duo is getting there …this is there best collection yet …there palette spot on ….when restrained to the wearable they excel at great ready to wear …when there overboard with the details or volume it is still interesting ….a necessary part of designing i suppose .Hit it on the mark or over the top but never bore them .

details emerging kenzo

ken#3ken#5ken#1ken#2 ken#4ken shoeshoe kenzo 3 ken shoe #2

Rubric:National treasure Ntzake Shange found God in herself and we are all thankful for that ….The Schomburg celebrates her fortieth anniversary in literature and theatre arts with an exhibition and series of events from Sepember19th on til Jan3rd

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She found god in herself and we thank her

Since its debut performance in California in 1974, Shange’s work has captivated, provoked, inspired and transformed audiences all over the world. Turning to the choreopoem not simply as an engaging work of text or drama but as a well of social, political and deeply personal issues affecting the lives of women of color, the exhibition will feature 20 specially commissioned pieces in honor of each individual poem, additional non-commissioned artworks on display at satellite locations that address the work’s themes and archival material donated by Shange.
The exhibition’s title is drawn from one of the last lines recited in the finale poem a laying on of hands. The title suggests that navigating through the complexities of what it means to be of color and female is only enlightened by an understanding, acceptance and appreciation of self. With self-empowerment comes the process of “…moving to the ends of their own rainbows.” By presenting visual works from both women and men, all races and various generations, i found god in myself explores the universality inherent in Shange’s powerful message to the world.
A series of spoken word performances, screenings, panels, a community art project and a guided art crawl will accompany the exhibition.

Cinema:@Lincoln Center’s IFC’s Francesca Beale Theatre”Ming of Harlem:Twenty one stories in the air”-Phillip Warnell/Fri,Oct3 5pm screening

MING POSTER JPG

Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air
Phillip Warnell, UK/Belgium/USA, 2014, DCP, 71m

Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air is an only-in-New-York account of Ming, Al, and Antoine Yates, who cohabited in a high-rise social housing apartment at Drew-Hamilton complex in Harlem for several years until 2003, when news of their dwelling caused a public outcry and collective outpouring of disbelief. On the discovery that Ming was a 500-pound pound Tiger and Al a seven-foot alligator, their story took on an astonishing dimension. The film frames Yates’s recollections with a poetic study of Ming and Al, the predators’ presence combined with a text by philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, reimagining the circumstances of the wild inside, animal names, strange territories, and human-animal relations.

Style-List:New York’s Shayne Oliver gives Paris a run for its money ….

designerseanhood by air 8hood by air 7hood by air5hood by air 6hood by air 4hood by air3hood by air2hood by air 1

all editors agree new york designers are not innovative enough …too practical too scared of the buck to think beyond it .So whats up with Shayne Oliver …who right behind Alexander Wang seems to have the skills to be both innovative and saleable this is his most commercial collection yet and still you get the impression not an inch of his genius cuts were compromised …keep an eye on Mr Oliver .

Cinema:held over till Sept23d Thomas Allen Harris’s “Through a Lens Darkley”@Film Forum

throughlensb

 

Inspired by Deborah Willis’s book, Reflections in Black, THROUGH A LENS DARKLY (Willis is also a co-producer) casts a broad net that begins with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris’s family album. It considers the difference between black photographers who use the camera to define themselves, their people, and their culture and some white photographers who, historically, have demeaned African-Americans through racist imagery. The film embraces both historical material (African-Americans who were slaves, who fought in the Civil War, were victims of lynchings, or were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement) and contemporary images made by such luminaries as Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems. The film is a cornucopia of Americana that reveals deeply disturbing truths about the history of race relations while expressing joyous, life-affirming sentiments about the ability of artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through the photographic lens.

Art:The Position Museums are playing in the “gentrification” of Communities

 

 

42653369.BronxArtMuseum2so the “space” ship lands and those too busy with raising there children or just themselves either ignore it and see it as a waste of time and carry on with there day  or those  intent on “raising “there children and themselves deliberately go to see what the alien landing has brought .They take the tour and see reflections of themselves as they are by people who are either empathetic or just merely sympathetic to there humanity or they find indecipherable coded abstractions …or they find projections manufactured to guide them in the eventual relenquishing of there own cultural viewpoint for Empires new clothing of the mind …the new philosophy …the new  business goal ….. most times its carefully interwoven in one piece .They go on the one night when its free unlike there new  neighbor’s who have a membership and seem to fully get exactly the messages the works are communicating …they speak of charter schools and new restaurants that reside where small ma and pa shops of distinct non direct -european heritage once eeked out a decent living till the rent got too high .Before the “space-ships land we are fed propaganda like images of that future that is coming …that future can we all afford it!!!!!

Music:Mnek’s(Em-Ne-kay’s) Brite new voice rooted in great american R& B….hints of Donny Hathaway…Ne_Yo likeability and De -La Soul ease and “Handsome”-ness(marketability)

MNEK-21MNEK-Every-Little-Word-Video

Last week from my most tunedin friend Fu’rqan Washington i heard “Wrote a song about You “the sort of hypnotic infectious summer-y hit we grew up on from WBLS  …the sort of groove that Chicago house celebrated in the 90’s with Ten City. It was immediate love …Mnek’s  voice is refreshingly full,no robotic Vocoder…no Bieber-esque vamping of teenage  ersatz innocence just “Feeling”  skill’s and mature songwriting.

Art:Beauty is in the eye of the beholder:Donald Andrew Agarrat:Harlem Photographer @Schomburg Cultural Center

donalds landscape

 

in the years to come one will hear a lot about this relatively young man who passed away last September  ..you will hear that he was one of the kindest people you could ever meet that his devotion to his people (that is all humanity) was genuine and tireless and that his devotion to quality work was just as much so

donald A

Donald Agarrat’s life and work was and is the genuine stuff  .He made art and had an eye that that was  confident inspired and kind.  In other words he had “the gift” and you can view his work at Flikr/Donald Agarrat as well as at the Schomburg Center ‘s current exhibition Donald Andrew Agarrat:Harlem Photographer  through Sept13th 

                                                                                                    donald agarrat

 

 

ArT:Rene RiCard @ Half Gallery

  the summer has been exquisite….on Teusday i walked Park Avenue  thinking of what the cultural  critic Paul Lynes said of the local somewhere around mid century …”why would anyone want to live there unless they wanted a view of someone else living in an apartment…..its so true that new york real estate is mostly the illusion of Real Estate PR..they buildt Park ave and the masses came ….now it is an address that i suppose has “the  seal of approval”..status  but like Williamsberg ..lacks balance ….a neighborhood and yet a bit tomb like .. a pretty  tomb ..imagine if Central Park was never realized how sullen the environment would be from 52nd t0 107th . ewerdt (the artist Ewerdt Hilgemann) I wondered up from 59th to  69th seeking out Ewerdt Hilgemann’s  7 stainless steel public sculptures that are currently on exhibition till August 22nd from Park ave and 52 to Park and 67th .The sculptures in their polished geometric forms have that corporate art feel that we are used to  ..that befit their setting…they are monumental . However the strength of Hilgemann’s pieces is there deflated cube and rectangle  look ….what starts out as welded steel  cubes and rectangles are made to  collapse in on itself through air-vacuums or by water implosion thus they are made sensual ..humanized.

Well i am not in these parts too often i thought  to myself …may as well find the Half gallery and see Rene Ricard’s show.Ricard died in February ….i read about it from Miami … in the late 80’s Rene was an inspiration to me ….he was instrumental in Jean-Michel Basquiat ‘s career …writing the seminal “Radiant Child”article for ArtForum .Ricard the poet’s little Tiffany blue edition of his “poetry”rene (printed throughout DIA art foundation) sat next to  Pasolini ,Genet , Rilke and Audre Lorde  for years  on my bookshelf its pages edges growing more  worn by  my growing reverance  for the artist’s economy ,wit and wisdom.My only time ever meeting him he sold me a poem …literally on the spot… on paper pulled out of his pocket …i thought him merely a homeless artist ,the owner of the gallery we met in had to explain to me that i was in the company of “the” Rene Ricard  but i held him in high esteem the minute he recited the poem from  the crumpled piece  of paper  …that poems sat between the pages of my copy of his slim anthology for years only later to be lost in storage on my own homeless journey’s.I walk up the steps of the  Half gallery …a  warning its location is a bit hard to suss out (the half gallery  is located down the ally next to a  Lady M  to the  left of the Cynthia Rowley boutique ) but the show is worth the trip ….and you will be left wanting for more ..Ricard’s  blend of painting, text and humor is poetic and made me long for more  than just  the two floors  of works that also seemed as if they were pull out of the pocket of  a “Home”less”man and i mean that in the best of ways..i mean to say Ricard never seems bogged down by reality if anything it seemed to inspire him to do better ..to be more interesting  …as if he were the disciple of Buddha , Kerouac  and Holly Golightly.

Art:After Our Body’s Meet :From Resistance To Potentiality @Leslie Lohman Center

“Shebacca”by Allyson Mitchell

After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality

Exhibition dates: June 5 – August 3, 2014
Opening Reception: June 5, 2014 6-8 pm

[New York, NY – April 2014] After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality opens at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art on June 5 and runs through July 27, 2014. Presented as part of the 12th annual All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival, the exhibition explores queer feminist artists’ responses to dominant notions about the body from the 1970s to present day. Reflecting the ever-growing diversity of feminist art, this exhibition provides a cross-cultural examination of how artists represent the body to challenge past and present forms of oppression and to envision a queer future.

After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality, curated by Alexis Heller, traces the efforts of contemporary queer artists within the legacy of early feminist art. Bridging these historic and contemporary endeavors not only honors the pioneers of gender-conscious art but also highlights the evolution of feminist thought within artistic representations of queer bodies, including some that question the gender binary on which feminism was first conceived.

The works of Tee Corinne and Cathy Cade sought to document and empower the burgeoning lesbian feminist community, emphasizing the female body’s capacity for love, agency and pleasure outside of the heterosexual imagination. Today, South African artist and “visual activist” Zanele Muholi recognizes this same need to preserve marginalized histories, bringing attention to underrepresented populations of black lesbian and transgender individuals, as well as the targeted violence that threatens their existence. For her ongoing series Faces and Phases, Muholi’s black-and-white photographic portraits archive the diversity and resilience of her black queer community in South Africa and abroad, while for Isilumo siyaluma (2006-2011), Muholi generates a series of kaleidoscopic digital collages of menstrual blood stains to memorialize the rape and murder of black lesbians in South Africa.

Heather Cassils’ dynamic performance, Becoming An Image(2012), also evokes the brutalization of queer bodies as the artist’s mixed martial arts blows are imprinted onto a 1,500-pound block of clay. Staged in complete darkness, Cassils’ strenuous movements are only made visible by flash photography, capturing fleeting moments of the action, which, like the artist’s experience as a transgender man, is in a continuous process of change and becoming.

Sophia Wallace’s ongoing mixed media project CLITERACY, exposes the irony of society’s obsession with and ignorance of female sexuality. CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws (2012) includes a monumental wall of texts which challenge phallocentric biases in science, law, philosophy, politics and the art world. Wallace’s focus on the clitoris and female pleasure serves to question and counteract the history of misinformation regarding women’s bodies and the concomitant oppression therein.

Inspired by Indian comic books, Hindu mythology and American science fiction Chitra Ganesh’s digital collages also draw from disparate materials and cultural sources to offer alternate narratives of female sexuality and power. Ganesh’s surrealistic and hybridized female forms collide beauty and abjection, commemorating marginalized and excluded figures from art, history and literature. In Ganesh’s work, the body serves as a site of transgression and revision, tearing apart stereotypes and histories only to reassemble them into a radical vision of corporeality, citizenship and desire.

This exhibition demonstrates how feminist artists have repositioned the political potential of activism into art, allowing critiques of the past to provide space for imagining new queer possibilities. Featuring work from Laura Aguilar, Cathy Cade, Heather Cassils, Tee A. Corinne, Chitra Ganesh, Allyson Mitchell, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, Sophia Wallace, and Chris E. Vargas, these artists subvert the mythologies and ideals surrounding lesbian and transgender bodies and foreground queer bodies obscured by invisibility. There will be an Opening Reception on June 5th from 6 to 8 pm, as well as various events throughout the exhibition that explore these important issues and themes. Visit freshfruitfestival.com for a full schedule of events for All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival which will be held from July 7 to 20, 2014.

About the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
“…invaluable museum.” Holland Cotter, New York Times, June 2013
Best place for gay culture, Time Out New York: New York’s Best 2012
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the first and only dedicated gay and lesbian art museum in the world with a mission to exhibit and preserve gay and lesbian art, and foster the artists who create it. The Museum has a permanent collection of over 22,000 objects, 6-8 major exhibitions annually, artist talks, film screenings, readings, THE ARCHIVE – a quarterly art newsletter, a membership program, and a research library. The Leslie-Lohman Museum is operated by the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc., a non-profit founded in 1987 by Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman, who have supported gay and lesbian artists for over 30 years. The Leslie-Lohman Museum embraces the rich creative history of the gay and lesbian art community by informing, inspiring, entertaining, and challenging all who enter its doors.

The Museum is located at 26 Wooster Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Admission is free, and hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6 pm, and Thursday, 12-8 pm. The Museum is closed Monday and all major holidays. The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization and is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. The Museum can be reached at 212-431-2609. For more information, go to LeslieLohman.org.

 

Art:Claire Harvey revives my faith in the possibility for drawing to be more than just mimesis@The Drawing Center

I add thisartist to the list of great draftsmen who transcend mere draftsmenship ….she is en par with David Levinthal ,Richard Prince,Richter and Muniz …the piece below is the most striking piece in The Drawing Center’s current “Small” show

 

Harvey’s current piece on exhibition in the Drawing Center’s “small” exhibition 

 

           

Music:Nicki Minaj “The Pinprint Movie”

Nicki swings in like Drake style slow and calculating then she really knocks it out of the park by singing her ass off …i think its her and if it is Damn !Kiesha Cole  and Lady Gaga  look out!

The PinPrintMovie reads mostly like a Range Rover commercial meets Columbian Novella  but a really tight one because the music is actually flawless in its Grandiosity…..