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ARTS

1 Nov

“Club 57: Film, Performance & Art in the East Village, ’78–’83” @Museum of Modern Art

“We were all about being very silly at Club 57,” Min Sanchez, one of the regulars, said recently.  ALDEN PROJECTS (One of my favorite haunts. And yes, rents were under $200 a month in those days.) by Brett Sokol | NY Times Club 57, Late-Night Home of Basquiat and Haring Gets a Museum-Worthy Revival.   Kenny Scharf is one of the artists whose early work is being featured in “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983,” at the Museum of Modern...
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11 Oct

Chris Ofili’s Frustrating, Profound ‘Paradise Lost’

The artist’s new exhibition, at the David Zwirner gallery in New York, is a controlling show, one that minimizes the viewer’s ability to walk around the gallery’s space freely. Photograph by Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio courtesy the artist and David Zwirner New York / London   by Doreen St. Félix | The New Yorker To approach a Chris Ofili painting is to make peace with one’s own smallness. For the last twenty or so years, the British artist has accumulated entire universes on his canvases,...
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5 Oct

‘Sunrise, Sunset’ by Edwidge Danticat

Illustration by Bianca Bagnarelli The New Yorker It comes on again on her grandson’s christening day. A lost moment, a blank spot, one that Carole does not know how to measure. She is there one second, then she is not. She knows exactly where she is, then she does not. Her older church friends tell similar stories about their surgeries, how they count backward from ten with an oxygen mask over their faces, then wake up before reaching one, only to find...
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4 Oct

Massive ‘David Bowie IS’ Exhibit @ the B’klyn Museum in 2018

'David Bowie is' exhibit in Barcelona. Photo via David Bowis IS BCN by Craig Hubert | Brownstoner The Brooklyn Museum posted a bright orange square to all of their social media accounts Tuesday, teasing a big announcement they would be making the following day. As many speculated, the cryptic message was a sign that “David Bowie is,” the vast international touring-exhibition about the famed glam-rock singer, who passed away in January 2016, would be coming to the museum in March, 2018. David Bowie is… coming...
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2 Sep

First Black Shakespearean Actor Ira Aldridge is Honoured

Ira Aldridge, stage name F.W. Keene, died in 1867 Coventry & Warwickshire, BBC The UK's first black Shakespearean actor is to be honoured with the unveiling of a blue plaque in Coventry. Ira Aldridge was given the job of manager at Coventry Theatre after impressing the people of the city with his acting during a tour in 1828. The impression he made during his time there is credited with inspiring Coventry's petition to Parliament for the abolition of slavery. His life, 150 years after his...
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19 Aug

‘Loving Vincent’ Film Painted Entirely by Hand w/ New Trailer

by Jordan Mintzer | Hollywood Review Directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman worked for 7 years on this entirely hand-painted film, which played in competition at Annecy. There have already been quite a few films about Vincent van Gogh, ranging from the heroic (Lust for Life) to the dramatic (Vincent & Theo) to the enigmatic (Maurice Pialat’s masterly Van Gogh). All of them offer up their own interpretations of the artist’s brief and tumultuous life, which ended abruptly from suicide at the...
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11 Aug

‘A Girl Without a Sound’ by Buhle Ngaba

by Mbali Phala | The Daily Vox As an act of restoring power and agency to young black girls in South Africa, Buhle Ngaba wrote a story about a voiceless girl of colour in search of her own sound. For it to be the catalyst that reminds black girls of the power of the sounds trapped inside them. She describes the journey of her book, A Girl Without a Sound to Mbali Zwane. "The book was born out of defiance and as a response...
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11 Aug

Basquiat Before He Was Famous

(I met Alexis Adler around 1979 walking down St. Mark's Place, the hub of the East Village. I was wearing an English Beat t-shirt and she stopped me, pointing at the shirt exclaiming "My friend Malu Halasa is married to the guitarist!"  That was all it took to make lifelong friends in those days. It was in that 12th Street apartment I befriended Jean, heard Fela Kuti for the first time and fell asleep to the lullaby of Bowie's 'Low'....
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5 Aug

The Digital and Black Hair: Technology & African Material Culture

Screenprinted floor tiles. I reproduced two patterns in Adobe Illustrator, one straight, one curved. These module allow me to create infinite braided designs. NM   NONTSIKELELO MUTITI: THE DIGITAL AND BLACK HAIR  The term Ruka in the Shona language is used to describe the processes of braiding whilst also being assigned to the production methods of weaving and knitting. These analogous processes are closely related to the development of coding languages and computation. As an artist and educator I situate African Hair Braiding within...
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2 Aug

My Buddy: Patti Smith Remembers Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard and Patti Smith at the Hotel Chelsea in 1971. Photo David Gahr/Getty by Patti Smith | The New Yorker He would call me late in the night from somewhere on the road, a ghost town in Texas, a rest stop near Pittsburgh, or from Santa Fe, where he was parked in the desert, listening to the coyotes howling. But most often he would call from his place in Kentucky, on a cold, still night, when one could hear the stars breathing. Just...
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30 Jul

‘Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History’ Children’s Book

Author/illustrator/filmmaker Vashti Harrison: "I sat down for an interview with Anna Sterling from AJ+ about my new book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History. We chatted about the origins of the project, why representation matters and some of the most inspiring stories from the whole experience! *There is one little teaser in there: My book will feature 40 American women, so my Hatshepsut drawing will hopefully make into another book! ;-)   ...
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18 Jul

Junot Díaz’s New Picture Book ‘Island Born’

Islandborn is about a girl who lives in Washington Heights, learning more about the Dominican Republic, which she left when she was a baby. by Alexandra Alter | NY Times An illustration from Junot Díaz’s “Islandborn,” a picture book to be published next spring. Credit Illustrations by Leo Espinosa By his own admission, the novelist Junot Díaz is an agonizingly slow writer and a chronic procrastinator. Over the past two-plus decades, he has published just three books: two short-story collections and his 2007 novel, “The Brief...
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11 Jul

Aneka & Ayo: My Dora Milaje Research Continues…

It is unsurprising that we at Black Nerd Problems are here for Wakanda. We have well developed theories about it, have imagined our favorite barbershops and corner bodegas. Even those of us who aren’t walking comic book encyclopedias have a soft spot for it, not as it has always been portrayed — which, let’s be honest, has had a heavy dose of deepest darkest exotic AFRICA — but as it could be, as an imaginary place where the past and...
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8 Jul

More Dora Milaje…

(This article is from 2015, speculating about the second Avengers: Age of Ultron before it was released. So it doesn't refer to the HIGHLY anticipated Marvel Black Panther movie that's due out February 16, 2018.)   Everything You Need to Know About Black Panther's Dora Milaje by The Geek Twins   Who are the Dora Milaje? The second Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer features a black woman that looks an awful lot like the Wakandan warriors known as the Dora Milaje. It's customary for the Dora Milaje to...
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7 Jul

We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 | 4/21-9/17/2017

“Waterbearer” by Lorna Simpson, 1986. Courtesy of Lorna Simpson. © 1986 Lorna Simpson Faith Ringgold (right) and Michele Wallace (middle) at Art Workers Coalition Protest, Whitney Museum, 1971. © Jan van Raay #wewantedarevolution Focusing on the work of black women artists, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of color during the emergence of second-wave feminism. It is the first exhibition to highlight the voices and experiences of women of color—distinct from the...
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4 Jul

Neequaye Dreph Dsane’s Street Portraits in London’s East End

Myvanwy, Star Yard, Brick Lane Myvanwy, born in Shoreditch, runs a cultural marketing agency and also mentors young people, helping to steer careers and life journeys. Her view is that if everyone mentored one young person, incidents of youth suicide and knife crime would be dramatically lowered. Real wonder women take to the streets – in pictures by Marcus Barnes | Street Art | The Observer |The Guardian | All images, Marcus Barnes London-based Ghanaian artist Neequaye Dreph Dsane has been busy adorning the...
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27 Jun

Feminism in Anime, Pt. 3: Adults

VMartinwrites Spectrum Council for Diversity in Media To conclude our list we have anime that is both feminist and for a mature audience. When I say ‘mature’ I don’t mean the typical puerile idea of ‘maturity’ being equal to being snarky sex jokes and profanity. These anime are of the maturity that comes with facing life post-high school and staring down realistic issues: unemployment, failing society’s expectations, and violent that isn’t just bloody but has a deep psychological aspect. The stories...
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27 Jun

Feminism in Anime, Pt. 2: Teens

VMartinwrites Spectrum Council for Diversity in Media Continuing from our list of anime with feminist themes, a good chunk of the anime that gets exported here tends to be for a young adult audience. While most people have a variety of ages to gage as ‘young adult’, my requirement is being 14 and older. Adults and well aged anime fans like myself are welcome to read though. At the end of the list are honorable mentions: anime that are good but have...
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27 Jun

Feminism in Anime, Pt. 1: All Ages

VMartinwrites The Spectrum Council for Diversity in Media Since the list is longer than I initially thought it would be, I’ve separated it by intended audience. The first part of this series will be anime for ages ten and up, but I think some adults will enjoy it as well. At the end of the list will be honorable mentions: anime that are great but have already been discussed. To say you’re not a feminist in this day and age is to...
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