Friday, October 18, 2013

love this take on gerhard richter

Virginia Nimarkoh
Untitled #1, 2001 (After Gerhard Richter, Betty, 1988)
48.6" x 36.8 " (framed)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Where can you find Dan Flavin/Vladimir Tatlin, Ethiopian scifi, and Albrecht Durer all in one? This video.

From over a year ago-- I suppose because he's Ethiopian-Canadian R&B he gets to quietly drop art references and nobody gives a stink about it (unlike Jay-Z & Picasso Baby, which is as much PR for Jay-Z as it is the Contemporary Art world, whose square heads racistly-classistly moaned and groaned about his validity as an artist. Puhlease, get over yourselves.)

Look for the art references:
Dan Flavin, “monument” for V. Tatlin, 1969

Albrecht Dürer, Self-Portrait as Christ, 1500
Speaking of which, next time I'll blog about artist-as-Christ identifications. Yeezus, anyone?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

dayum, preach on preacha!

“The black prophetic tradition has been the leaven in the American democratic loaf,” West said. “What has kept American democracy from going fascist or authoritarian or autocratic has been the legacy of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin King, Fannie Lou Hamer. This is not because black people have a monopoly on truth, goodness or beauty. It is because the black freedom movement puts pressure on the American empire in the name of integrity, decency, honesty and virtue.”

Chris Hedges: Cornel West and the Black Prophetic Tradition.

Monday, September 9, 2013

kaj and mlk-via miranda july

Dear E,

As we work with the youth of America on behalf of the Skyhook Foundation Mr. Abdul-Jabbar wanted to share this photo of himself with educattors across the country. He met MLK Jr. when he was 17 years old and became inspired to become a writer. He attended this press conference as a reporter representing the HARYOU Act (Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited) in 1965. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Best, Deborah

Deborah Morales | iconomist |
Iconomy® Media & Entertainment
a division of Iconomy®, LLC

Leading Icons from Success to Significance
Representing the NBA's All-Time Leading Scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

hillary commends arsenio hall for how he handled the l.a. riots

AH:[regarding the LA riots]"We gotta stay involved everday. After the fires burn out we can't allow our involvement to burn out."

BC:"This is not just about race. It's about ethics and education and economics. It's about kids being divorced from the life we want them to live."

Welcome back, Arsenio. YAY!

Sunset at Montmajour

New Van Gogh discovered after it was originally thought a fake!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A japanese dude who's secretly a hasidic jew?

i see that prayer shawl sticking out homie.
Look for him!!!!
80s nostalgia= headbands and bandanas with the wartime japanese flag. (which ive always liked design wise not so much colonialism wise)

even if it makes others uncomfortable, i will love who i am.


harkens back to my other fave badasses.
RIP Kriss Kross' Chris Kelly (overdose)--i appreciate the backward pants yo. subvert the patriarchy of front facing pants!
RIP Lisa LeftEye Lopez (car crash/angel of death). You were a bright star of fast rhymes amidst sultry diva-beltin.

This post dedicated to all the dearly departed music icons everytime I watch music videos that are near to my heart.

tenuous precious connections, but really just an excuse to listen to music and this post presupposes, you will too?

why disco is great.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

'nuff said.

A good argument for having a big afro.

[Questlove on a woman who withheld her elevator floor from him in his ritzy building because he was black/because of her desire to be 'safe' from his black manhood]

"Then it hit me: "Oh God, she purposely held that information back." The door closed. It was a "pie in the face" moment.
I laughed at it. Sort of.
Inside I cried. But if I cried at every insensitive act that goes on in the name of safety, I'd have to be committed to a psych ward. I've just taught myself throughout the years to just accept it and maybe even see it as funny. But it kept eating at me (Well, I guess she never watched the show …  My English was super clear … I called her "ma'am" like I was Webster … Those that know you know that you're cool, but you definitely know that you are a walking rape nightmare — right, Ahmir? Of course she was justified in not saying her floor. That was her prerogative! You are kinda scary-looking, I guess?). It's a bajillion thoughts, all of them self-depreciating voices slowly eating my soul away.
But my feelings don't count. I don't know why it's that way. Mostly I've come to the conclusion that people over six feet and over weight regulation or as dark as me (or in my tax bracket) simply don't have feelings. Or it's assumed we don't have feelings. I mean, it's partially right: I literally figured the only way for me to not go insane in a career that creates junkies (or at best Kanye) is to desensitize myself from feelings. The thing is, though, I'm a halfway crook, an awesome poker player. Yeah, I hurt. But I'll be damned if I let you know that. Call me a 75 percent robot, 25 percent human being.
When I got off a plane Sunday morning, after the "not guilty" verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, and I was waiting in customs, I read an apology e-mail from a friend who said, "I am wrong about many things, but I want to apologize for taking that particular story you told me too lightly." The one about the woman in the elevator. And it kinda touched me. My friend related to me, and it was a gut-punch I wasn't expecting on an already emotional day, so I guess I started to almost … cry?"

on misogyny and homophobia in hip hop.

i used to, and still love h.e.r. feelin these songs on hip hop.

key and peele. so smart. and funny.

But if you look at the previous post....Does a conscious hip-hop need to be separate from a gangsta rap aesthetic? Maybe not. Subvert the overall gangsta-misogynist-homophobic-minstrelsy(?)-mode and go for the subtle thrill of incorporating black history, civil rights, awareness of police brutality, etc.
And not just you, Harding, or Magnusen.

Monday, August 26, 2013

do you see clearly? gil scott heron on warren g in 94

I never realized how awesome this video was even though I always loved the song.


cf. kanye black skinhead @

I could be wrong but here is the end of apartheid being compared to getting out of the game??? @

Good on Warren G for quoting "bicentennial Blues by Gil Scott-Heron. Yesss.

Friday, August 23, 2013

on first class aspirations to be lower class (or low-class-shaped)

Check out this Whitney Audioguide & Stieglitz's own journal entry about his famous work Steerage. It's immigrants leaving America to go to Germany, by the way.
Stieglitz found himself looking at the low-class deck called the steerage (full of immigrants):
"There were men and women and children on the lower deck of the steerage. I longed to escape from my surroundings and join them. Round straw hat, the funnel leaning left, the stairway leaning right, round shapes of iron machinery...I saw a picture of shapes, and underlying that, the feeling I had about life."
On second listen I'm not sure if he wants to be among the lower class or just is fascinated by their shapes, as an artist.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

hot damn seattle!

Exhibit A
Under My Skin: Artists Explore Race in the 21st Century

On display May 10 to November 17, 2013
Exhibit B
The NAAM's upcoming community response forum on Trayvon Martin soon!...details TBD, stay tuned!
Exhibit C
RACE: Are We So Different? On Exhibition September 28, 2013 - January 5, 2014

yuri kochiyama

nice story npr!!!

even cooler lady featured in the story of course.

I first learned about Kochiyama from this documentary about Kochiyama and also Angela Davis.

Friday, May 31, 2013

how quickly

Brittany Salsbury: "how quickly the rhetoric and cultural production of race fluctuates. Combining reinterpretation of the past with a critical view of the present, “Black Is, Black Ain’t” emphasizes the necessity of renegotiating race’s very definition by problematizing it as social fact and, ultimately, discouraging complicity in the way it is culturally produced and viewed."
U of Chicago Exhibition/Black Is, Black Ain't.
There are so many things I love about this.
Black Is, Black Ain't

love art

The most healing and honest art I've seen in some time.


AAMD mentioned it in the 1990s and look where we are today? Museums need more people of colour throughout the ranks, including “in the top positions” and not just at the level of security guards, she says. Major resources should be put into “attracting young people of colour away from more lucrative competitive fields” into museum leadership positions, she adds.

Monday, February 18, 2013

slavoj zizek and cornel west-belief, commodity fetishism, disillusionment; belief without belief

psy and mc hammer

hughie lee-smith

Thanks to Harold for pointing out this awesome guy's work I LOVE it.

"Mr. Lee-Smith's paintings usually have spare settings suggestive of theater stages or bleak urban or seaside landscapes. Walls stretch out under gray skies. Men and women, as lithe as dancers, seem frozen in place. Most are dressed in street clothes; some wear exotic masks. Children frequently appear, as do props reminiscent of circuses. The work has an air of mystery associated with the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico and Edward Hopper."

Untitled (Two Figures and Beach), 1955

While I totally agree with the quote above (from Wikipedia) I like that Lee-Smith lets the brushstrokes show a little more, is expressive and less 'clean' than hopper and de chirico (both very polished while like Lee-Smith, contain elements of loneliness and mystery). I also like that this composition has approx. equal amounts sky and land, the big house at left balanced with the distant houses at right, the male figure and the caped figure, and the tall pole/tree at right contrasted with the small horseshoe shape at lower left.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

rip donald byrd feb 4


safeway diversifies c. 1961 because of this sign right here

Seattle's Congress Of Racial Equality (CORE) used these signs in successful picketing and boycott againstemploymentdiscrimination in October 1961. At the start only 6 out of 1,700 Safeway employees were black; three months later, there were 28.

Monday, February 11, 2013



cf. and solange knowles (thanks jeff b!!!)

adrian piper

Powerful~15 min. art video in honor of black history month! Mesmerizing powerful and intense. My friend R.A.W. has reviewed the piece in the upcoming issue of La Especiale Norte, to be titled "the critical organic catalyst issue, or, who's that brooooown?" Details and arts forthcoming!

Adrian Piper is a conceptual artist and philosopher. Cornered was at the SAM recently and she also had a piece at the Henry in The Talent Show.


When installed, there are two birth certificates for the same person on either side of the screen hung on the wall. The video was installed on a CRT tv in the corner of a room, with successively larger rows of chairs in front of it,starting with one chair right in front of the screen. The screen is cornered in by a big table so that Adrian speaks to you from a 'trapped' position. She remains deadpan, serious, and forthright throughout the message. One birth certificate listed "white" and one listed "octoroon."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

bearing witness from another place

beautiful exhibit at the NAAM right now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

get down girl go 'head get down

Giotto it up today, Marriage of the Virgin.

I don't care what y'all say I still love her... and on her 12th birthday he found out it wasn't his!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

time to drop everything and go.

My fear is that it's sold out: Harry Belafonte Is Coming to Town This dude is legit. Not only this: In 1985, he helped organize the Grammy Award-winning song "We Are the World", a multi-artist effort to raise funds for Africa. Also this: When he was asked about his expectation of criticism for his remarks on the war in Iraq, Belafonte responded: "Bring it on. Dissent is central to any democracy.

don't conflate love with hate

bell hooks:
People may be surprised to know how much bell hooks loves men–especially black men–but she does.

I say surprised, because the general tendency–especially among men–is to confuse feminist politics and political activism with being anti-men.

So if you couple this tendency (to conflate feminist politics with being anti-men) with the undeniably harsh realities that confront black men in America, then it is easy to see how decades of political activism to teach and educate about patriarchy and sexism in the lives of black folks could cause some people to view bell hooks as being anti-black men.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, a very important part of bell hooks’ intellectual and political project over the years has been to create spaces for men–especially men of color–to do the critical work of examining masculinities and sexualities.

On the one hand, black feminist scholars and activists have always had to point out the systematic advantages that black men have in relation to black women. On the other hand, not many have taken the time to dedicate an entire book to exploring the complex issues that black men face in America.
Yet, this is precisely what bell does in her book We Real Cool: Black Men & Masculinity.

But she does expect men to be part of the movement. In her essay, “Men in Feminist Struggle–The Necessary Movement” she points out the limitations of traditional feminist theory in it’s inability to engage and re-conceptualize masculinity, and she talks passionately about her “deeply felt conviction” that men must play an active role in feminist struggle.

Mudede on Scott on first contact

Charles Mudede on local filmmaker Shaun Scott's Seat of Empire

"Scott claims that it was more of an interaction, a mutual exchange of ideas, values, codes, goods, and bodily fluids."

I wonder if it's John Wayne-Sherman Alexie style fluid swapping or Disney Pocahontas/Dance with Wolves type fluid swapping (is there a difference?)

"When one group meets another, both are transformed by the experience. The pioneers did not just impress their culture on the locals and the landscape, but were changed by both into something new, something other than what they were to begin with. There is no purity, just mixture—Scott is committed to this position."
Check out this clip on the World's Largest Brothel:
Also cf. a Lacanian analysis of the Alexie story, "The entire story of John Wayne and Etta revolves around the logic of symbolic identification and of enjoyment that Zizek describes in 'The Loop of Enjoyment' in Tarrying With the Negative. Both Native American and European in this story are cautious about one another’s culture. The Other – for the European, the Native American, and for the Native American, the European – occupies a space of desire outside one’s own community, a space that is fantasmatic and characterized by either excessive fear and alienation or excessive pleasure. Zizek indirectly describes perfectly John Wayne’s fascination with Etta as the Native, and perhaps even her own fascination with John Wayne. They are fascinated with each other as an Other, and at the same time, they feel threatened by their very fascination for each other, as though they were violating their own tribal-national-ethnic identity (Zizek 203)."