29 June 2012

Miles Away | Fashion

Volt Cafe presents a photoshoot for Volt Cafe featuring model Dylan Williams. Photographed by Carlos de Spinola, Miles Away offers an interpretation of fashion for a traveler. The styling of clothing reminds me of a hot desert and the use of grey in the backdrop adds a distant feeling to the photos.

28 June 2012

Esperanza Spalding ft Joe Lovano: I Can't Help It

Esperanza Spalding presents her cover of Michael Jackson's I Can't Help It with an artistic video. The video tells the story of a young lady (Esperanza Spalding) who is in a relationship with man. She reminisces about a special lady she met in an art museum, and tells herself that she couldn't help but have feelings for her. Joe Lovano is featured in the song with accompaniment on the saxophone, and in the video with a stage performance. His timeless style is a wonderful complement to Esperanza's work. Despite the apparently controversial nature of the topic of homosexuality, Esperanza Spalding manages to artistically address it in a way that's respectful, classy, and beautiful.

Music Video: Esperanza Spalding ft Joe Lovano

27 June 2012

Photography | Life in Cuba: Part 2

The second part of the Life in Cuba series is presented by the Maestro Collective. This collection exudes the vintage soul of Cuba through a mix of candid portraits and artistically arranged shots. I am particularly intrigued by the classic, antique aesthetic of the photographs.

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Art | Life in Cuba: Part 1

25 June 2012

Shirin Neshat | Women Without Men

Women Without Men is a film adaptation of a novel by Iranian author Shahrnush Parsipur, which tells the stories of the struggles of four individual women. Directed by Shirin Neshat, it offers an exquisitely crafted view of women rights today in Iran, as compared to Iran in 1953. Neshat explores the social, political, and psychological dimensions of her characters as they meet in a metaphorical garden, which serves as their escape. Women Without Men was an official selection for the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, and for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Women Without Men trailer

For more on Women Without Men, visit the official website.

20 June 2012

Art | Life in Cuba: Part 1

Completed by Aslan and Sharon Killinger from Maestro Collective, this collection of artwork incorporates photography, graphic design, illustrations, oil paint, and paper scans. I love the final effect of collage in each art piece. The Maestro Collective is a dynamic group of artists that combines various forms of art and different production techniques into each unique piece of art.

11 June 2012

Black Immigrants in Israel

On May 30, 2012, Auburn Butterfly posted about Kehinde Wiley's project entitled, The World Stage: Israel. This art project explored the stories of black men living in Israel. His artworks feature young men portrayed in a style similar to those of the classical European portraits. Kehinde Wiley sought to explore the strong correlation between being on the margins of society as a person of colour in America, and that which we see in Israel.

This morning, I came across this article on The Economist, which discusses racial tension in Israel. The article reports some incidences of clashes between African immigrants, and native Israelis.

"On May 29th the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said he was adding African “infiltrators” to his list of threats to the Jewish homeland. He said he shared the rioters’ pain and promised to solve the problem by completing a wall along the border with Egypt. He said he would also build the world’s largest detention centre—and deport all those within, starting with the South Sudanese.
Until 2009 the 15,000 or so asylum-seekers entering via Sinai every year were banned from coming within a radius of 30km (19 miles) of Tel Aviv. Since the government revoked that order, the security forces, after catching immigrants crossing, verify their identity and then pack them off to Tel Aviv. Scores of destitute new arrivals bed down every night in a park near the main bus station."
-from The Economist
Having read this article, it is important to consider that some black Jews within Israel could be native Israelis. Not all Black Jews are African immigrants. Also it is important to consider the spread of African immigrants within Israel, as well as the proportion of immigrants to native Israelis. With that in consideration, one can decide how extreme prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's reaction is.
Check out Kehinde Wiley's project, The World Stage: Israel.
Also check out The Economist article, Israel and its black immigrants.

Thoughts? Comment below.

Jazz | Iyeoka

I'm loving this music video for Iyeoka's song entitled "Say Yes". Iyeoka is a Nigerian-American award-winning poet, recording artist and TED fellow. Iyeoka's gift for telling stories is evident in her lyrics. She was featured on Russell Simmon's poetry jam, and was a 2nd place champion in the 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam. To many of her listeners, her smooth musical style invokes the essence of soul artists Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone.

For more on Iyeoka's story or to purchase her album, visit her official website.

8 June 2012

Loza Maleombho | AW 2012 - 2013

Loza Maleombho presents its Autumn-Winter collection which focuses on tailored jackets, long and cropped vests, with curved piping. The brand's themes are inspired by designer Loza's cultural background in Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire and the United States. Loza Maleombho's patterns and garment samples are produced in Cote d'Ivoire by a small group of  trained women, while the design and development of the clothing takes place in New York.

6 June 2012

Bicycle Portraits | Everyday South Africans

Bicycle Portraits is a celebration of the contemporary South African bicycle commuter culture. The project was conducted by Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler, who shot the pictures from their bicycles as they traveled around the country. 

Watch the video introduction

The aim of the project was to encourage the use of bicycles as a healthy, cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative mode of transportation. Bicycle Portraits plans to "assist the underprivileged cycling community through [the] project." Some mentioned possibilities are the "teaching [of] bicycle maintenance skills, providing necessities like helmets, tires, tubes, locks..." Although it is unclear how the proceeds from the photographic book directly help the community, one can appreciate the work that has been put into the creation of a visual representation of the South African cycling community. The photographs communicate the wonderful universal nature of the bicycle.

For more on the Bicycle Portraits project and photographic book, visit the official website.

4 June 2012

LOOk3 Festival of the Photograph | Charlottesville

The LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph is back again this year, with a new selection of insight artists. LOOK3 includes the celebration of nature, photojournalism, interspecies family portraits, street photography, and pop culture among others. The festival runs from June 7 - 9, 2012 in Charlottesville, VA, USA and tickets are still available for purchase.
Images by Lynsey Addario and Ernesto Bazan (Top to bottom)

For more information and photos, visit LOOK3.

2 June 2012

An Economy of Grace | Kehinde Wiley

An Economy of Grace is a recent collection of artwork by Kehinde Wiley, now on exhibition. The collection displays portraits of African-American women from the streets of New York. The women are shown in poses typical of the classical European era, wearing dresses created by Givenchy's Riccardo Tisco. 

Kehinde Wiley describes the collection as one that "attempts to reconcile the presence of black female stereotypes that surrounds their presence and/or absence in art history, and the notions of beauty, spectacle, and the 'grand' in painting."

Another of Wiley's most recent collection is The World Stage: Israel which explores the history and culture of men of African descent who live in Israel. 

An Economy of Grace is open until June 16 at the Sean Kelly Gallery.

Images via Arise.

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