All posts tagged: Art

Beyoncé & Kendrick Lamar: Politicizing Popular Art

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. …

Watch “The Wolfpack” – A Mesmerizing Documentary That’s Available on Netflix

Directed by Crystal Moselle, The Wolfpack journey’s into the secluded lives of six brothers who had non-traditional upbringings, characterized by a severe lack of connection to the outside world. In order to escape the confines of their Lower East Side Manhattan apartment (which some years, they didn’t leave at all), the brothers watched and recreated their favorite movies. The Wolfpack is an exceptional documentary about extraordinary young filmmakers who harnessed their oppression as a means of creative power. They maybe grew up sheltered, but their intelligence and appetite for creation seems to outshine the effects of their seclusion. To see the world through their eyes – at times lost, sometimes disillusioned, but above all, hopeful – is a gift unto itself. The Wolfpack, which is available on Netflix, is an absolute must-see film. It embodies so much of what I love about documentaries; not only are the viewers allowed a glimpse into the peculiar lives of “The Wolfpack” and their family, but we are given, if briefly, a chance to rediscover the outside world and bask in its infinite possibilities. After you watch The Wolfpack, be sure to check out their short …

Video of the Day: Street Art in Miami

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.

Yes, I Want to Share Another LA Video

This may be the fourth or fifth time I’ve shared a similar video – one that features swooping images of Los Angeles’ beautiful skyline and an impressive array of street art – but I must share this one, because it’s just that good. Simply titled Los Angeles, Ian Wood’s newest video comes as a city-wide follow-up to his previous downtown exploration. As someone who fell in love with Los Angeles and decided to make the move here recently, I’m struck by how much of this city I have left to explore. As evidenced by the range of stunning shots that are stitched together perfectly, this sprawling metropolis is wildly diverse in so many ways. From culture, to architecture and nature, Los Angeles seems to have something for everyone. The experience of watching Los Angeles is so much fun that I find myself enthusiastically bouncing around to the music with every new viewing. Each shot is a sight to behold, and the soundtrack exquisitely compliments the varied imagery. So watch the video and let me know what you think! And if you’re interested, check out this map that highlights all of the shooting locations.

EXPLORING: MOCA / The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

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.

Unsettling & Beautiful: “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”

I’m not one for reviewing movies, so lets call this a brief one-sided discussion in which you are welcome to join in the comment section below. A few weeks ago I watched Lily Ana Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night because it was available on Netflix and I remembered reading such great things about it after its 2014 Sundance premiere. The reason I wanted to write a bit about Amirpour’s film is because it felt so new and original to me that it demanded a post of its own. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night takes place in a close-to-empty Iranian town called Bad City. The film’s tone is new wave cool, with a spaghetti western vibe and a vampire-horror theme. Although her style of filmmaking is clearly influenced by many genres, I believe Amirpour’s film transcends all genre stereotypes. With A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, I felt like I was watching something important unfold before my eyes. It’s one of those films, like 8 1/2 or Mulholland Drive, that’s iconic the very moment it’s completed. I want to hear from you! What did you think about A …

Skid Row & Los Angeles’ Income Gap

Yesterday I showed up to work two hours early, so I originally wrote this post sitting in a coffee shop, drinking coffee and scribbling with my bright red pen in a crisp new notebook that I had just bought because I had nothing on me. Empty notebooks are exciting objects. What will I fill the pages of this new one with? The feeling of not knowing what is to come is quite freeing. I just write and write and write until there are no more pages left and I’m forced to buy yet another one and fill it with more. Most of what I write is nonsense – lists and goals and dates and appointments – but sometimes, it sticks. Here’s what I chose to write about: Since I moved to Los Angeles, a lot has changed. I realized that I was strong enough to do it, but I am going through the motions of missing home immensely. For some reason I was under the impression that moving to LA was going to be an easy transition, because in many ways, it’s similar …