Archives for : ART

King Of New York:Jean-Michel Basquiat

 

 

1609999_697130643683546_1195853641130504362_nPERSON TO KNOW: Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquit aka SAMO was an AMERICAN/HAITIAN/PUERTO RICAN Artist who 1st achieved notoriety as part of an informal graffiti group who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the Cultural Hotbed of the Lower East Side of MANHATTAN, NEW YORK during the late ’70s where the Hip Hop, Post-Punk & Street Art Movements happened. By the ’80s he was exhibiting his Neo-Expressionist & Primitivism paintings in Galleries & Museums internationally.

His art focused on Suggestive Dichotomies, such as ‘Wealth vs Poverty,’ ‘Integration vs Segregation,’ & ‘Inner vs Outer experience.’ He appropriated Poetry, Drawing, Painting & married Text & Image, Abstraction & Figuration & mixed Historical Information with contemporary critique.

He used social commentary in his paintings like “Springboard to deeper truths about the individual” & attacks on power structures & systems of racism. His poetics were acutely political & direct in their criticism of colonialism & support for class struggle. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992. Today, his work continues to generate more attention from current and new fans years after his death.

Josephine Baker: Trend Setter!

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Andy Warhol:(August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) RIP

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A Tribute to Mr Andy Warhol who passed away this day in 1987

WALLACE THURMAN:Happy Birthday!

 

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Wallace Henry Thurman (1902–1934) was an American novelist active during the Harlem Renaissance. He also wrote essays, worked as an editor, and was a publisher of short-lived newspapers and literary journals. He is best known for his The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life (1929), which explores discrimination within the black community based on skin color, with lighter skin being more highly valued.

 

 

Thurman was born in Salt Lake City to Beulah and Oscar Thurman. When Thurman was less than a month old, his father abandoned his wife and son. It was not until Wallace was 30 years old that he met his father. Between his mother’s many marriages, Wallace and his mother lived in Salt Lake City with Emma Jackson, his maternal grandmother. Jackson ran a saloon from her home, selling alcohol without a license.

 

Thurman’s early life was marked by loneliness, family instability and illness. He began grade school at age six in Boise, Idaho, but his poor health eventually led to a two-year absence from school, during which he returned to his grandmother Emma in Salt Lake City. From 1910 to 1914, Thurman lived in Chicago. Moving with his mother, he finished grammar school in Omaha, Nebraska. During this time, he suffered from persistent heart attacks. While living in Pasadena, California in the winter of 1918, Thurman caught influenza during the worldwide Influenza Pandemic. He recovered and returned to Salt Lake City, where he finished high school.

 

Thurman was a voracious reader. He enjoyed the works of Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Havelock Ellis, Flaubert, Charles Baudelaire and many others. He wrote his first novel at the age of 10. He attended the University of Utah from 1919 to 1920 as a pre-medical student. In 1922 he transferred to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, but left without earning a degree.

 

While in Los Angeles, he met and befriended the writer Arna Bontemps, and became a reporter and columnist for a black-owned newspaper. He started a magazine, Outlet, intended to be a West Coast equivalent to The Crisis, operated by the NAACP.

In 1925 Thurman moved to Harlem. During the next decade, he worked as a ghostwriter, a publisher, and editor, as well as writing novels, plays, and articles.[1] In 1926, he became the editor of The Messenger, a socialist journal addressed to blacks. There he was the first to publish the adult-themed stories of Langston Hughes.[1] Thurman left the journal in October 1926 to become the editor of World Tomorrow, which was owned by whites. The following month, he collaborated in founding the literary magazine Fire!! Devoted to the Younger Negro Artists. Among its contributors were Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Bruce Nugent, Aaron Douglas, and Gwendolyn B. Bennett.

He was able to publish only one issue of Fire!!. It challenged such figures as W. E. B. Du Bois and African Americans who had been working for social equality and racial integration. Thurman criticized them for believing that black art should serve as propaganda for those ends. He said that the New Negro movement spent too much energy trying to show white Americans that blacks were respectable and not inferior.

Thurman and others of the “Niggerati” (the deliberately ironic name he used for the young African American artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance) wanted to show the real lives of African Americans, both the good and the bad. Thurman believed that black artists should fully acknowledge and celebrate the arduous conditions of African American lives. As Singh and Scott wrote,

“Thurman’s Harlem Renaissance is, thus, staunch and revolutionary in its commitment to individuality and critical objectivity: the black writer need not pander to the aesthetic preferences of the black middle class, nor should he or she write for an easy and patronizing white approval.”[3]

During this time, Thurman’s flat in a rooming house, at 267 West 136th Street in Harlem, became the central meeting place of African-American literary avant-garde and visual artists.[4] Thurman and Hurston mockingly called the room “Niggerati Manor.” He had painted the walls red and black, which were the colors he used on the cover of Fire!! Nugent painted murals on the walls, some of which contained homoerotic content.

In 1928, Thurman was asked to edit a magazine called Harlem: A Forum of Negro Life; its contributors included Alain Locke, George Schuyler, and Alice Dunbar-Nelson. He put out only two issues.[citation needed] Afterward, Thurman became a reader for a major New York publishing company, the first African American to work in such a position.

Thurman married Louise Thompson on August 22, 1928. The marriage lasted only six months. Thompson said that Wallace was a homosexual and refused to admit it. They had one child together.

Thurman’s writings

Langston Hughes described Thurman as “…a strangely brilliant black boy, who had read everything and whose critical mind could find something wrong with everything he read.”Thurman’s dark skin color attracted comment, including negative reactions from both black and white Americans. He used such colorism in his writings, attacking the black community’s preference for its lighter-skinned members.

Thurman wrote a play, Harlem, which debuted on Broadway in 1929 to mixed reviews. The same year his first novel The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life (1929) was published. The novel is now recognized as a groundbreaking work of fiction because of its focus on intra-racial prejudice and colorism within the black community, where lighter skin has historically been favored.

Three years later Thurman published Infants of the Spring (1932), a satire of the themes and the individuals of the Harlem Renaissance. He co-authored The Interne (1932), a final novel written with Abraham L. Furman, a white man.

 

Love: Love Yourself!

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Squats: Drop It Like It’s Hot!

970413_565551556819420_1207773859_nDROP IT LOW:  When squatting, drop until your thighs are AT LEAST parallel to the floor to give you the most benefit on each rep 🙂

Marriage: The Truth!

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Present Bailey: Party Planner To The World!

PRESENT BAILEY

Ms. Willa’s World: A Cut Above The Rest!

Photographer /Makeup /hair stylist

Biography

Willa’s natural talent and eye for artistry has inspired her to create looks for models and every day women.
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Description
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Willa work can be described as crisp, clean and classically elegant. Her philosophy is that she does not create masks for women to hide behind, but enhances the beauty that is already there. Whether she is working on Photo shoots , Fashion Shows, at the Salon or Video shoots, her philosophy can be seen in her work.

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Larry Levan: International DJ

 

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Larry Levan (born Lawrence Philpot, July 20, 1954 – November 8, 1992) was an American DJ best known for his decade-long residency at the New York City night club Paradise Garage, which has been described as the prototype of the modern dance club. He developed a cult following who referred to his sets as “Saturday Mass“. Influential US DJ François Kevorkian credits Levan with introducing the dub aesthetic into dance music. Along with Kevorkian, Levan experimented with drum machines and synthesizers in his productions and live sets, ushering in an electronic, post-disco sound that presaged the ascendence of house music

 

Levan got his start alongside DJ Frankie Knuckles at the Continental Baths, as a replacement for the DJ from The Gallery, Nicky Siano. Levan’s DJing style was influenced by Siano’s eclectic style, and by The Loft’s David Mancuso, who briefly dated Levan in the early 1970s. As Knuckles was still trying to make his way in the New York club scene, Levan became a popular attraction perhaps due to his “diva persona”, which he developed in the city’s notoriously competitive black drag “houses”.

 

At the height of the disco boom in 1977, Levan was offered a residency at the Paradise Garage. Although owner Michael Brody, who employed Levan at the defunct Reade Street, intended to create a downtown facsimile of Studio 54 catering to an upscale white gay clientele, Levan initially drew an improbable mix of streetwise blacks, Latinos, and punks.

 

Open only to a select membership and housed in an otherwise unadorned building on King Street in Greenwich Village, the club and Levan’s DJing slowly engendered themselves into the mainstream. The DJ and programming director from WBLS, Frankie Crocker often mentioned the club on air and based his playlists around Levan’s sets. The Richard Long & Associates Sound system,(RLA) of the club included custom-designed “Levan Horn Bass Speakers”.

 

Filling the void left by leading remixer Walter Gibbons, Levan became a prolific producer and mixer in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with many of his efforts crossing over onto the national dance music charts. Among the records that received Levan’s touch were his remixes of “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin On But The Rent” by Gwen Guthrie and “Heartbeat” by Taana Gardner, as well as his production work on “Don’t Make Me Wait” by the Peech Boys, a group that Levan formed and was part of (and who became the New York Citi Peech Boys when the Beach Boys threatened a lawsuit due to the similar sound of the name).

 

With a strong gospel tinge in the vocal arrangements and driven by a tinkling piano, the latter song is a quintessential example of the deejay’s soulful aesthetic. One of the first dance releases to incorporate a dub influence and an appended vocal-only edit, Levan tinkered with the song for nearly a year to the consternation of Mel Cheren, whose label, West End Records, was nearing bankruptcy. When it was finally released, much of the song’s momentum had been lost and it stalled in the lower reaches of the charts.

 

As the popularity of the Garage soared in the mid-1980s just as many of his longtime friends lost their battles with AIDS, Levan became increasingly dependent upon PCP and heroin. While performing, he began to ensconce himself within a protective entourage of drag queens and younger acolytes.

 

At the Paradise Garage, Levan was described as being ‘worshipped, almost like a god’. As beat-matching and stylistic adherence became the norm among club DJs, Levan’s idiosyncratic sets (ranging the gamut from Evelyn “Champagne” King and Chaka Khan to Kraftwerk, Manuel Göttsching, & British synth-pop) elicited criticism from some quarters. Nevertheless, he remained at the vanguard of dance music; recordings of Levan’s later sets at the Garage demonstrate his affinity for the insurgent sounds of Chicago house and hip-hop.

 

The Garage ended its run with a 48 hour-long party in September 1987,weeks before Brody died from AIDS-related complications. The closure devastated Levan, who knew that few club owners would tolerate his quirks and drug dependencies. Although Brody had verbally bequeathed the club’s sound and lighting systems to Levan, they were instead left to Brody’s mother in his will. This change was reportedly instigated by the late impresario’s lover and manager, who reportedly despised Levan.

 

Despite protestations and pleas to the Brody family from Mel Cheren, the systems remained in storage as their property. Unable to secure a long-term residency after a stay at the short-lived Choice in the East Village alongside DJ/proprietor Richard Vasquez and Joey Llanos, Levan began to sell his valuable records for drug money. Friends like Danny Krivit would buy them back for him out of sympathy.

 

As the nineties dawned, Levan was on the brink of a comeback. Although dismissed as a relic in New York, his popularity had soared among connoisseurs of disco and early American electronic dance music in Europe and Japan. In 1991, he was brought over for the weekend to London by Justin Berkmann to DJ at London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub where he ended up staying for 3 months remixing, producing and helping to tune the club’s sound system.

 

Although he was still dependent on heroin, Levan’s 1992 tour of Japan garnered gushing accolades in the local press. Encouraged by Cheren, he entered rehab and made a tentative return to the studio. On the contrary, he informed his mother in June 1992 that he had “lived a good life” and was “ready to die”; Francois Kevorkian described Levan’s final Japanese sets as nostalgic and inspirational, imbued with an air of bittersweetness and closure.

 

 

Shortly after returning home from Japan, Levan voluntarily entered the hospital. He died four days later on November 8 of heart failure caused by endocarditis.In September 2004, Levan was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding achievement as a DJ.

 

The Future: Its Ahead Of You!

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Marvin Gaye + Barbara Mason= R. Kelly!

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Hayden Williams Illustrations: “Queen” Of The Cat Walk!

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Cirque du Soleil: Death In Mid Air.

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CNN) — A performer from Cirque du Soleil died in a weekend accident during a show at a Las Vegas casino, authorities said Sunday.

The performer, 31-year-old Sarah Guyard, was pronounced dead shortly before midnight Saturday, the Clark County, Nevada, medical examiner’s office told CNN. The cause of death had not been determined Sunday afternoon.

The accident happened during the show’s finale, said Cirque Du Soleil spokeswoman Renee-Claude Menard. During the scene, performers are suspended up to 50 feet in the air on lines controlled by wireless remote controls, according to the troupe’s website.

Guyard “was being hoisted up the side of the stage and then just plummeted down,” witness Dan Mosqueda told the Las Vegas Sun newspaper.

“Initially, a lot of people in the audience thought it was part of the choreographed fight. But you could hear screaming, then groaning

Guyard was born in Paris, specialized as an acrobat and aerialist and had performed for more than 20 years, according to a website for Cirquefit, which describes itself as a circus and fitness program for kids.

She taught classes through that program. Parents of some of her students left messages on the group’s Facebook page remembering Guyard.

“No words. My boys loved every moment in Miss Sarah’s class. Deepest sympathies to her loved ones,” wrote one.

“We will miss her terribly! She was an amazing teacher!” wrote another.

Guyard, nicknamed “Sassoon,” was part of the original cast of “Ka,” the long-running Cirque du Soleil show at the MGM Grand hotel and casino, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté said in a statement issued Sunday.

The show has been canceled indefinitely, and the company is “working with the appropriate authorities and have offered our full cooperation,” Laliberté said.

“We are reminded, with great humility and respect, how extraordinary our artists are each and every night. Our focus now is to support each other as a family, ” he added.

The title of the show comes from an ancient Egyptian belief in the “ka,” a spiritual copy of the body that’s with people in this life and the next, according to the company.

Cirque du Soleil, which translates as “Circus of the Sun” from French, is headquartered in Montreal. It was founded in 1984.

Mark Clark: Happy Birthday!

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Mark Clark (June 28, 1947 – December 4, 1969) was a member of the Black Panther Party. He was killed with Fred Hampton during a Chicago police raid on December 4, 1969.

Mark Clark was born on June 28, 1947, in Peoria, Illinois, to Elder William Clark and Fannie Bardley Clark. He became active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at an early age and joined in demonstrating against discrimination in employment, housing and education. According to John Gwynn, former President of state and local chapters of the NAACP, Mark Clark and his brothers played a vigorous role in helping keep other teenagers in line.

“He could call for order when older persons or adults could not,” he said of Clark in a December 1969 interview with the Chicago Tribune.[2] In that same Chicago Tribune article, family members are quoted as saying Mark Clark enjoyed reading and art and was good at drawing portraits. He attended Manual High School and Illinois Central Junior College in Peoria.

After reading their literature and the Ten Point Program, Clark joined the Black Panther Party and later decided to organize a local Peoria, Illinois chapter. He went from church to church in an effort to find a building to house a free breakfast program. He was eventually successful when Pastor Blaine Ramsey agreed to allow a free breakfast program. Church members later voted against continuing the breakfast program because of concerns of government monitoring of the Black Panther Party.

Some family members and friends say Mark Clark knew he would be murdered in Chicago.[2] In the pre-dawn hours of December 4, 1969, Chicago Police stormed into the apartment of BPP State Chairman Fred Hampton at 2337 W. Monroe Street, killing both Mark Clark and Fred Hampton, and causing serious bodily harm to Verlina Brewer, Ronald Satchel, Blair Anderson and Brenda Harris.

Fred Hampton and Deborah Johnson, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with their child, were sleeping in the south bedroom. Ronald “Doc” Satchel, Blair Anderson and Verlina Brewer were asleep in the north bedroom.

Brenda Harris was sleeping on a bed by the south wall of the living room, and Harold Bell slept on a mattress on the floor in the middle of the room. Louis Truelock was also lying on the bed with Harris. Mark Clark was asleep in a chair in the living room. The first shot hit Mark Clark in the heart.

Clark’s gun went off as he fell, according to Brenda Harris, who watched from the bed in the corner. A federal grand jury determined that the police fired between 82 and 99 shots while most of the occupants lay sleeping. Only one shot was proven to have come from a Panther gun.[

Renaissance Hotels: Shanghai Edition

Art, design and sophistication meet in the lobby of our Shanghai Putuo Hotel, a stunning, sophisticated discovery in one of China’s most exciting cities: http://renho.tl/RenPutuo941418_10151480012325334_675427269_n

Solange: Phoenix Rising!

Excited to share that the June/July 13 issue of Complex Magazine is available for free, and ad free, exclusively on SkyDrive! Check it out: http://sdrv.ms/12Ul6iV971391_466144833470173_457302612_n

Michael & Stevie: The Student Watching The Teacher!

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MJJ: 80’s Edition!

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Michael Joseph Jackson: Legends Edition

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