Okay, so we know this post is long overdue, but we were so caught up with all of the drama on Empire that we forgot to weigh in on it. So, without further ado, here is a round-up of the
The ever-colorful and provocative photographer David LaChapelle debuts his photographic series “The Rape of Africa” at the David DeSanctis Gallery in Los Angeles and makes a bold political statement.
LaChapelle reinvents classic Botticelli’s 1484 Venus and Mars painting with Naomi Campbell as Venus and allegorical images representing the rape and pillage of Africa’s people and land.
Blindie is loving LaChapelle’s social series that makes offers much needed social commentary on the state of affairs in Africa. We’re also loving Naomi Campbell in the series!
The Warholesque picture of Barack Obama looking upwards with the word “hope” written across the bottom has appeared on everything from t-shirts, buttons and posters during last year’s presidential campaign and now the Associated Press has come forward to claim the copyright.
The iconic image of Obama was designed by Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey and has even inspired Obamicon.Me where indviduals can converts their personal photographs to the same red, white and blue stylized portrait.
Fairey has acknowledged that his painting is based on a photograph taken by the Associated Press. Mannie Garcia is the photographer who snapped the infamous picture at the National Press Club in Washington while on assignment for the AP in April 2006.
The AP wants credit and compensation for Fairey’s use of the photo, however Fairey’s lawyer Anthony Falzone claims “fair use protects Shepard’s right to do what he did here.”
Cell phone-slinging supermodel Naomi Campbell will be opening a photo collection of herself at the Art Photo Expo Miami, running from Dec. 2-7.
According to the AP, the show will feature more than 50 photographs and illustrations of the Brit beauty from fashion photographers such as Arthur Elgort, Albert Watson and Steven Meisel. All items will be up for sale.
“I am not doing this retrospective because I am over,” Campbell, 38, said. “For me, each picture tells a different moment in my career and just for me its a timeline really.”
First introduced into the Marvel Comics X-Men series in issue #133, Sooraya Qadir is a mutant superhero that puts a powerful face to the often misunderstood Muslim women.
Appropriately nicknamed “Dust” for her mutant abilities to turn into sand and conjure up dust storms, Qadir is a Sunni Muslim woman from Afghanistan who was sold into slavery and separated from her family. She was rescued by Wolverine and taken to Xavier’s Institute where she learned to control her powers and became a member of the Hellions squad. Dust now appears regularly as one of the “New Mutants” or X-Men in training.
When Qadir is reunited with her mother she explains her choice to wear an abaya and head covering (the head to toe, cloak-like garb often referred to as a burqa) as a personal choice: “I never wore it because of the Taliban, Mother. I like the modesty and protection it affords me from the eyes of men.”
Created by artist Ethan Van Sciver and writer Grant Morrison, Dust is a modern day superwoman that defies the usual uber-proportioned, sexually charged images that depict women in the overtly heterosexual male comic book world.
Is there a hint of fetishism, objectification and victimization of the “exotic” eastern woman? Yes. But that is for another post.
Spelling his name without capitalization as a sign of humility, carr explains the misspelling of his play’s title as: “‘Kin’ is spelled that way because we are all in some ways related. . . . ‘I’ is spelled ‘Eye’ because it’s an insightful look into the spirits and souls of many African-American people. . . . and ‘Bee’ has the double ‘e’ spelling because a bee creates honey that’s sweet, that provides nutrients to us, but it’s also something that stings. There’s some stinging commentary, some stinging critique inside the (African-American) family.”
First performed in 2001 at Fisk University, carr earned rave reviews for his hilarious and touching exploration into what it means to be African American in a changing world. His seven characters run the gamut of stereotypes: Senseneb, an ancient father of secrets; Jesse D. Blues, the blues man; Big Mama, the grandmother; The Head Doctor, a barber who “provides young men with their education about what it is to be a black man in America.”; Black Act-Tore, who represents the conflicts African American artists face; and Pass-Tah, a wayward man of God.
Besides juggling characters on stage, carr’s resume includes activist, ordained Baptist minister, radio and TV commentator, journalist, publisher, producer and jazz vocalist.
“I’ve learned that building in life is a step-by-step process,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to do here, build an artistic life step by step that will contribute something long-term.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the New York-based dance company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and it’s celebrating with free performances throughout New York, according to the Washington Post‘s Robin Givhan.
The black modern dance company is also celebrating with tours around the world and a Barbie doll inspired by a dancer from “Revelations”–the signature work of the group, choreographed by Ailey in 1960.
“So much of ‘Revelations’ is about the ritual of processionals and the idea of moving forward toward some goal in a mindful manner,” Givhan writes. “It speaks to the idea of marching toward grace..It is as allegorical as a contemporary Kara Walker mural, but without the accompanying acrimony. It is personal without being political, powerful but not strident. ‘Revelations’ is sacred, but not sanctimonious.”