A few weeks ago I spent a long weekend in New York City, marking my first trip to the big apple ever. On the flight from Reykjavik I started reading How to See the World by Nicholas Mirzoeff – on visual culture and how we see things and are seen – and realized that although I had the experience of observing the New York City of film, television, and advertising, I had never actually seen the city. While I had been dreaming of visiting NYC for years, I showed up almost nervous. After spending time in parts of rural Iceland (the least populated place I have ever been to) I was heading to the most densely inhabited place I had yet to occupy. Iceland has a way of slowing you down and I worried that the extreme change in environment would almost be jarring. But instead of feeling overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of New York’s streets, it felt good to finally see it myself – not on a screen or billboard. I found New York City to …
Although it’s not technically summer yet, it sure feels like it to me. Last fall I posted a “mood board” here on Catch-all, which visually encapsulated my feelings during that time of year. I forgot to share something for winter and spring, but I’m so excited about this summer (woohoo, school’s out!) that I decided to come back with a summer post. I’m always inspired by the beach and the desert, but this summer I’m also enjoying bright, playful patterns, oranges and pinks, vintage Emilio Pucci, all things Lupita Nyong’o, Twin Peaks (It Is Happening Again), Wet Hot American Summer, fruity cocktails, greasy diner potatoes, purple flowers, and donuts and pies. What visuals (and tastes, smells, and sounds) are stimulating you this summer?
Things are starting to cool off here in Los Angeles and I’m getting a bit of that fall feeling. There’s a crispness in the air that reminds me of fall in Arizona; the leaves may not change colors, but I always sense that as the weather cools off, the mood changes. Things start moving just a little bit slower, and for some reason, I always begin to feel more at ease. In addition to embracing the calmness that fall brings to my life, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to work on creative projects throughout the year, so that school doesn’t entirely burn me out. I thoroughly enjoy academic work, but at my core I’m someone who likes to get my hands dirty and make things. I’ve completely neglected that side of myself as of late, so in an attempt to reinvigorate my creative tendencies, I’m going to be bringing a little more experimental energy to Catch-all. And in order to get some ideas flowing, I’ve decided to share my fall inspired mood board. What’s creatively inspiring you right now?
American popular culture, specifically from the mid-60s to mid-70s, was highly politicized, critical, and urgent. Calls to action and societal critiques were common in forms of expression created and disseminated within mainstream youth culture. The sheer abundance and popularity of politicized art meant that both creators and consumers were interested in engaging with immediate problems. The imperative for change was palpable. But this sense of American political urgency seemed to diminish in the 1980s, with the election of President Reagan and the establishment of an overpowering neo-conservative ideology. From the 1980s – 2010s, political expression was still a part of mainstream American pop culture, and is exemplified in the work of N.W.A, Shepard Fairey, Michael Moore, and countless others. My intention is not to discount these works, but to say that I am hopeful that America’s youth will collectively become more political again, with the same urgency that characterized the 60s & 70s. Which brings me to Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. Already this year, we have experienced two particularly powerful political moments in music: Beyoncé’s release of her music video for “Formation,” and Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy’s performance. …
I really have Vimeo to thank for discovering so many stunning, imaginative, and inspiring short films! Checking out Vimeo’s “Staff Picks” is a simple way to catch high quality work, and what I love about a great short film is that it’s so creatively reinvigorating to watch something that’s short and sweet. Walls of Change, by The Cinemart, chronicles the six-year transformation of Wynwood, Miami, as it developed from an industrial area that had seen better days, to one of the world’s most expansive displays of street art. The result is an area of abundant beauty, diversity, eccentricity, and political charge. After watching Walls of Change, be sure to check out Here Comes the Neighborhood, a ten episode series about the Wynwood transformation and the artists and individuals who made it happen.
Earlier this week I decided to check out The Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles because I knew I was running out of time to see Kahlil Joseph’s video exhibit, ‘Double Consciousness’. I’ve been a fan of Kahlil Joseph for a few years now, with my introduction to his work being the stunning music video for Flying Lotus’ ‘Until the Quiet Comes’. I’ve watched Until the Quiet Comes maybe 50+ times and it still moves me with each new viewing. He is, without a doubt, my favorite short filmmaker. His work is so stunning, so emotional, so impactful, that I honestly can’t put into words exactly how it makes me feel. Double Consciousness features Kahlil Joseph’s m.A.A.d, a double screen projection accompanied by the music of the equally as talented artist/rapper/visionary, Kendrick Lamar. Below are a few images from my visit. If you are in the Los Angeles area, be sure to check out Kahlil Joseph: Double Consciousness before it ends on August 16th.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art | LACMA 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Last Bookstore 453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
A few of my favorite stills from Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 (1963).
“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” – Paul Gauguin “Good art provides people with a vocabulary about things they can’t articulate.” – Mos Def “I think an artist’s responsibility is more complex than people realize.” – Jodie Foster “Every artist was first an amateur.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson “True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.”- Albert Einstein “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t, say any other way – things I had no words for.”- Georgia O’Keeffe “A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.”- Albert Camus “I’ve been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.”- Barbra Streisand “I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing.”- Francis Ford Coppola “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”- Ansel Adams “Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall in love with …