Author - Peter Boskov

I pass time by writing and educating others about life, fun and humor. Are you having fun yet?

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Opening of African American museum

Next month the Smithsonian’s African American museum will open its doors, offering visitors a colorful journey through very long and complicated history of black people in American continent, written in various old and new artifacts. The major part of the exhibition will be larger installations such as the guard tower from the Angola prison in Louisiana and the Parliament-Funkadelic “mothership” which was retrieved from frontman George Clinton’s home, put  in place since this spring. Many expo materials like the guard tower had to be placed even before the main building was finished. It was transported more than 1000 miles on the huge flatbed truck.

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There are physically smaller artifacts that represent monumental events in the history of black Americans, whose details are already published by the Smithsonian Magazine, as this grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture is drawing near. These artifacts will present about 400 years of US society, from the ages of early barbarism of the slave trade to the significant cultural achievements of black Americans during the past few decades.

This long history is displayed chronologically, starting from the basement of the building and finishing in its third glass story. It will be all about pre-colonial and pre-enslavement African visitors, or more precisely, about the transatlantic trade which caused the immigration of more than 12 million Africans to the American continent, locked in shackles, showing a pair of 17th or 18th century iron wrist locks. Deputy director of the museum, Kinshasha Holman said: “They are probably one of the most poignant objects we have in our collection. It’s something that doesn’t ever allow us to forget that we as African Americans were born of a county built on the enslavement and the ownership of human beings.”

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Commenting these iron locks as the part of the exhibition to Smithsonian magazine, scholar and author of the historical novel “Middle Passage”, Charles Johnson said: “If these shackles could speak, they would say it took the resources of an entire society to create slave ships. Everyone in slave-trading societies, even those who never owned a slave, was implicated.”

Visitors will also get a chance to see an early form of photography captured on glass, the original ambrotype portrait of Frederick Douglass, pointing to the nation’s fight for abolition and the era of the civil war. This speaker, writer, abolitionist and freedman is on the most photographed Americans in 19th century. A scholar of African American photography at New York University, Deborah Willis told to Smithsonian magazine that Douglass thought that developing technology of photography was a very powerful instrument of racial uplift. Willis said: “Douglass believed photos ‘could challenge the racist caricatures of black people that pervaded the United States and beyond with images that communicated black humanity, self-worth and achievement’.”

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During the 1940s, the period before the civil rights era, Dr Kenneth Clark and his wife Mamie were involved in deep social science studies of the 20th century. By their famous “doll tests”, they demonstrated the way in which white supremacist idea affected black people at miraculously young age.

 

image source: theguardian.com

Next month the Smithsonian’s African American museum will open its doors, offering visitors a colorful journey through very long and complicated history of black people in American continent, written in various old and new artifacts. The major part of the...

Nature & Tech

350th anniversary of Great Fire of London

After the hot and dry weather which affected the parks and trees, the people of London may be shocked to see huge flames rising in the center of the city this weekend, which will be reflected in the Thames and licking at the dome of St Paul’s. But this time, these flames are the creations of artists who celebrate 350th anniversary of the most devastating fire in the history of London.  The flames that seemed to devour the cathedral, whose dome is designed by Sir Christopher Wren, were rising above the scorched town after this medieval original was destroyed by the Great Fire, will be shown as projections, made by the artist Martin Firrell. The baker’s shop in Pudding Lane was the spot where the Great Fire began in early hours of September 1666.

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 This London’s Burning festival, which is commissioned by the arts charity Artichoke, includes a huge amount of carefully planned and monitored real flames. It also includes a big fire garden made by the French company Carabosse, which is supposed to light up the lawn outside Tate Modern museum from dusk each evening during the festival. Probably the most eye-grabbing event will be shown on Sunday night, when a 37-metre floating sculpture of a 17th century street of wooden houses. It is designed by American artist David Best, built on to barges by hundreds of unemployed young people and schoolchildren. It will be all torched. The fire will also start at 8.30 in the evening on Sunday on the river Thames, between Waterloo bridges and Blackfriars. Organizers expect thousands of people to come and watch it from the safety of the South Bank.

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The director of Artichoke, Helen Marriage said that this festival would not only serve as memorial to the fire, but also explore challenges and issues in cities in this modern age. There will be an six-hour performance by the American based Early Morning Opera, which presents the reminder that the rise of sea level and flooding are a huge concern and certainly greater than fire. She said: “The festival is an artistic response that addresses the impact of the Great Fire of London on the city, its inhabitants and buildings, and how it emerged from the ashes and evolved to the resilient world city it is today.”

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Daylight festival events include a big version of a domino topple on Saturday, with 23000 breeze blocks which trace the course of the fire through several miles of London. Even if the fire was an usual hazard in medieval cities, the Great Fire of 1666 made the largest damage since Boudicca torched the Roman city. Only the Blitz did more damage since 1666.

Only a small number of people actually died in the fire, no more than 5, including the servant in the bakery who didn’t have courage to climb from a window upstairs. This event made thousands of people homeless, and tallies for other significant historical events, can be only measured out in grains of rice in an installation in Middle Temple.

 

Image source: theguardian.com

After the hot and dry weather which affected the parks and trees, the people of London may be shocked to see huge flames rising in the center of the city this weekend, which will be reflected in the Thames and licking at the dome of St Paul’s. But this...

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Fukushima exclusion zone

We all remember when the Fukushima nuclear disaster unfortunately hit Japan. All the residents within 18 miles around the plant were urged to evacuate as fast as they could. And now, Five years after the terrible even, the established exclusion zone is still closed to any outsiders. But we wouldn’t be called human beings if we hadn’t that strange desire to skip all those rules and regulations, just to satisfy our curiosity.

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Well, there is one person who just couldn’t fight that overwhelming urge to see what did it all look after the disaster. It was a 27 year old Malaysian photographer, Keow Wee Loong. He chose to risk his own life by ignoring long government procedures and illegally enter into Fukushima’s exclusion zone, successfully avoiding the strict police patrol and barricades. And of course, he took his camera there to share that odd atmosphere with all of us. He told the whole story on his Facebook page, sharing all the photos.

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Keow remembers: “Never seen before photo of the Fukushima exclusion zone. When I enter the red zone, i can feel a burning sensation in my eyes and thick chemical smell in the air. before i went there the authority told me that i need a special permit to visit this town and it take 3-4 weeks to get the approval from the local council,, well too much bureaucracy bullshit for me..so i just sneak in the forest to avoid cops on the road … AND IT WAS AMAZING !!!!!, I still remember what is like to only have a GPS and Google map walking in the wood at 2am in the morning to get into the town of Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba and Namie.

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He recalls: “Have you ever wonder what is like in Fukushima exclusion zone now? To feel what is like to be the only person walking in the town when you have 100% full access to every shop and explore? When I was young i always had a dream like this, If I’m alone in a supermarket i will eat all the chocolate up.”

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He noticed following: “Everything is exactly where it is after the earthquake struck this town . The residents started to evacuate the town when tsunami warning came in ….hours later the Fukushima Daichi power plant exploded that lead to harmful radiation leaked.”

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“The radiation level is still very high in the red zone. Not many people seen this town for the last 5 years…is like it vanished … I can find food, money, gold, laptops and other valuable in the red zone….I’m amazed that nobody looted this town clean. Unlike Chernobyl the entire town is been looted clean. This is the difference between Chernobyl disaster and the Fukushima disaster,” Keow said.

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“Well this is the devastating effects of using nuclear energy. Resident lives in Fukushima will never be the same again… the radiation leak at red zone by the Fukushima Daichi power plant is damaging the environment and marine life in the pacific ocean , say no to nuclear energy today. Went in the town with Koji and special thanks to Sherena Ng for all her research, could not have navigated in this town without all the route and map she provided”.

We all remember when the Fukushima nuclear disaster unfortunately hit Japan. All the residents within 18 miles around the plant were urged to evacuate as fast as they could. And now, Five years after the terrible even, the established exclusion zone is still...

City Life

Art Events to See in New York

 Here’s the list of some shows around New York that you should visit.

Film on View: Pourquoi viens-tu si tard? (Too Late to Love) at Museum of Modern Arts 

It is a magnificent black-and-white movie by director Henri Decoin which confronts absurdity and heartache. “A happy-go-lucky photojournalist” who subsequently “falls in love with a lawyer” who is having a little secret, not willing to share it. MoMA’s “Gaumont: Cinéma pour tout le monde” series will be on view till September 7.

Location: 11 West 53rd Street, New York
Price: adults $12, seniors $10, students $8.
Time: 7:00 p.m.

 

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Outdoor Cinema: “Embrace of the Serpent” at Socrates Sculpture Park

This is the film by Colombian director Ciro Guerra which will be on view in this week’s edition of the Socrates Sculpture Park’s Outdoor Cinema program. It is also nominated for an Academy Award in Best Foreign Language Film. “Embrace of the Serpent” tells the great story of two scientists and the havoc they inadvertently wreak on a community in the Amazonian area.

Location: 32-01 Vernon Boulevard
Price: Free
Time: 7:00 p.m.

 

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Launch of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “in Harlem” 

This is about four artists and four uptown parks. The Studio Museum in Harlem will open a show of public works by Kevin Beasley in Morningside Park, Simone Leigh in Marcus Garvey Park, Kori Newkirk in St. Nicholas Park, and Rudy Shepherd in Jackie Robinson Park.

Visitors will be able to see some installations, including Beasley’s sculptures called “acoustic mirrors”. Leigh’s works is influenced by the architecture of the Shona-speaking people of Zimbabwe. Newkirk’s first appearance with public sculptures will show us some reflective fringe curtains. Shepherd’s “negative energy absorbers” are the sculptures that intend to “to dispel people’s feelings of racial prejudice, violence or ordinary disdain by opening them to more compassionate aspects of their personalities.”

Location: Four Harlem Parks
Price: Free
Time: 5:00–7:00 p.m. opening celebration at Marcus Garvey Park

 

 Cao Fei at Muesum of Modern Arts PS1: Exhibition Walkthrough with Xin Wang

Cao Fei’s first museum appearance in the United States will end on August 30. Before it happens, the art historian Xin Wang will lead a guided tour to explain some of the exhibition’s finer details. The work of Cao includes photography, video and installation. It engages with a dystopian modern condition. If we’re to borrow Kathleen Massara’s words, it is: “For the artist, there is always a way out, even if it is an imaginary one.”

 Location: 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
Price: $10 adult
Time: 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

 

news

Films To Come: Moholy-Nagy and the Moving Image at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

During the last weekend of the summer movie program that focuses on Moholy-Nagy and the Bauhaus, visitors will see the magnificent screening of the 1936 sci-fi film called “Things To Come”. It is directed by William Cameron Menzies and it’s based on H.G. Wells’ novel which carries the same title. For this special occasion, Moholy-Nagy had to create some special effects.

Location: 1071 5th Avenue, New York (between 88th & 89th Street)
Price: adults $25, students and seniors $18
Time: 11:00 a.m.

 Here’s the list of some shows around New York that you should visit.
Film on View: Pourquoi viens-tu si tard? (Too Late to Love) at Museum of Modern Arts 
It is a magnificent black-and-white movie by director Henri Decoin which confronts absurdity...

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Story behind Gotan Project

Why by listening to Gotan Project we’re not involved just in music? Why the whole atmosphere has that artistic moment that goes along from the first to the last song? How did they manage to put such erotic, seductive and nostalgic flow in their music? Well, for some time tango was crying out for reinvention and the death of Astor Piazzolla in early 90s ended one great era of experimentation. Some sorts of revivals and occasional modern approaches appear in Buenos Aires from time to time, but there were some people who made clear that a creative void in the genre still existed.

Album “La Revancha del Tango” by Franco-Argentine crew called Gotan Project took tango away from the ballroom and that heavy nostalgia that appears in every step of the dance. In this case, acoustic guitar, piano, double bass and button accordion bandoneón were mixed with some dub moments, screeching violins, synthetic electronic beats and speech samples. It seems that these guys were determined to get tango into clubland.

The tango vibe that they use mostly comes from the classic, dance-friendly orchestral sound of the 1930s and 40s. All those repetitions are combined with sudden shifts in direction with melodramatic elements that go along with the contemporary electronic beat. But this is not a salon music, it is music for the lounge. The liveliest track on the album called “Last Tango in Paris” can be seen as the leastgroundedin tango, but the energy of the song “La del ruso” makes those ten musicians liveliest when doing jazz-style improvisations, it seems. In some moments, they have those smoky female vocals, like in “Una musica brutal” and Piazzolla Solanas song “Vuelvo al sur”. Some of those vocal lines remind us of the past glories of tango cancion, being essentially decorative, evoking more than it actually delivers.

Gotan Project tried and succeeded to explore tango’s suggestive qualities, the melancholy moods and romance, mixed with its local mythologies. This music takes us back to the backstreets of Buenos Aires, where elegant couples were dancing while democracy was collapsing, but it also reminds us of tango as this city’s great export. When you listen to their music, you have some sort of picture in your mind and you wonder what the film might look like. This unconventional use of tango seems trippy, slickly-executed and modern.

The ban Gotan Project got onto the music scene back in 1999 presenting their view of the innovative vibe of electro-tango. This trio of elegant men, symbolically dressed in dark suits, made a huge international success with their first album “La Revancha del Tango”. The crucial element of the Gotan Project is a French DJ Phillipe Cohen-Solal. He began his career in the movie world during the 90s, having a role of music consultant for a various film directors such as Tavernier, Mikhalkov and Lars Von Trier. By time, he also managed to make his name as a composer. He appeared on one of the first French Touch compilations, called “P.U.R.”, in 1991. Christoph H. Müller, who’s Cohen-Solal’s Gotan Project associate, made his name on the electro scene in Switzerland. Müller was always into tech elements, experimenting on machines from his early teens.

Why by listening to Gotan Project we’re not involved just in music? Why the whole atmosphere has that artistic moment that goes along from the first to the last song? How did they manage to put such erotic, seductive and nostalgic flow in their music...

Entertainment

Top 10 artist of all time

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Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

He is one of the world’s artists, philosophers and greatest thinkers. In several different art fields, from science to astronomy, he succeeded to prove to be very innovative and also several centuries ahead of his contemporaries. He is seen as a key person in the birth of the European Renaissance period, which is known for new ideas, scientific discoveries and creation of beautiful art.

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Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

Vincent Van Gogh is an artist of exceptional talent. He was influenced by impressionists of the period, but he developed his own famous, instinctive, spontaneous style. Van Gogh is one of the most celebrated art personalities of the twentieth century. He also played a key role in the development of modern art as we know it today.

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Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)

He was born on 6 March 1475, in a Florentine village called Caprese in Toscana. His father was a serving magistrate of the Florentine Republic and came from an influential family. His son Michelangelo did not wish to follow his father’s steps. He was mostly attracted by the artistic world. At the time, this was seen as an inferior occupation for a family of that standing. At the age of 13, Michelangelo was apprenticed to Domenico Ghirlandaio, the leading fresco wall painter in Florence. There he learned some of the basic painting techniques, but also experienced some new skills, especially in sculpting.

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Claude Monet (1840-1926)

He’s the primary inspiration for the new art movement, later called impressionism. Together with his contemporaries, he was trying to capture the light of nature on canvass in very spontaneous and vivacious style. He painted a various subjects, from urban scenes to his own beloved formal garden in later ages. Monet wanted to capture the essence of what he saw in nature, without being misguided by formal ideas of style and substance.

Spanish painter, sculptor, ceramacist and poet, who left a huge legacy behind. He was one of the founders of cubism and one of the most influential artists of the Twentieth Century as well.

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Raphael (1483–1520)

He’s one of the greatest Italian painters. Along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael is the part of the great trinity of the High Renaissance period. He was known for his clarity of form and ability to convey beauty and perfection.

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Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)

He’s also one of the founders of impressionism, which was a revolutionary new development amongst painters in 19th century. In some stage, he moved on from impressionism after being deeply inspired by the Italian renaissance Masters.

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Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632-1675)

He’s a Dutch painter from the “Golden Age of Dutch Painting” from the baroque period. Even though he was pretty obscure during his life, in the Nineteenth Century his work transformed into light and now he is listed as one of the greatest proponents of Baroque painting. His focus on simple portraits and household scenes is the main element of his work.

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Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

His father wished him to pursue a “respectable” career, so between 1859 and 1861 Paul Cezanne attended the law school of the University of Aix. Finally in 1861, he became disappointed with this career path and quit it to pursue his life’s passion, which was art off course.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
He is one of the world’s artists, philosophers and greatest thinkers. In several different art fields, from science to astronomy, he succeeded to prove to be very innovative and also several centuries ahead of his...

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Band Morphine – life after death

The Boston-based alternative rock band Morphine ruled the big stage during 90s until the tragedy struck. Mark Sandman, the frontman, died ten years ago, on July 3, 1999. But, it was the kind of death that few rock legends have experienced. Mark was onstage, performing with powers, presenting the most ambitious album of his career, that the band just finished. His sudden death while performing on stage was a huge shock for the music world. His fellow friend and band member, Dana Colley remembers some of the stories from the beginning to the tragic end.

About starting the band, Colley said: “He started developing the two-string bass — it was a one-string bass at that time — and I got a hold of the baritone saxophone I’d been playing. I’d been playing tenor previously. When we jammed once in his apartment, the sound just sort of clicked. It was one of these ‘eureka’ moments, you know? It wasn’t anything we would have predicted.” Talking about making the guitar-less band in the middle of the grunge era, Colley says: “I can remember playing early on, at the height of grunge, and kind of jokingly saying at the end of the set that I think we’re the palate cleanser, like the sorbet between the sandwich of heavy guitars.”

He remebers: “The two-string slide bass, baritone saxophone, drum thing, oh yeah. For some reason, people were almost wanting to see the end of that, in a way. Like, OK, they’re gonna shoot the bottom of the barrel with this concept – still thinking it’s conceptual. That’s funny, no one ever asked a rock quartet the same question, ‘Another album with guitar, bass, drums?’ To me, (Morphine) is like a combination lock. You’ve got three numbers to choose from. But let me see you open up a combination lock you don’t know the number for. Let me see how many times it will take you to do that.”

But, when it comes to that particular concert in Italy, Dana Colley recalls: “I remember Mark saying, ‘I don’t want to tour. We’re over this. I want us to get closer as a band.’ Because we’d fragmented, I think, in many ways from Mark’s being pulled out west by Dreamworks. We were kind of pulling the wagons around a little bit. It was pretty intense. He went through the mill for sure.”

On that particular day of the concert, he remebers: “The next day, the temperature was very hot, it was about 100 degrees on the stage. Mark seemed ready to go. He was sitting at Billy’s drum kit, playing the bass drum and the hi-hat with both feet while playing his bass, waiting for us to come down to soundcheck. He was chomping at the bit, ready to play, with a big smile on his face.”

At the beginning of “Supersex,” the second song of their set, Colley explains: “we were doing the introduction, it’s kind of an open-string thing. I look over to my right, and I just see him, his knees buckle. He fell down, he fell back, with his bass on, and the whole place just came to a complete hush.” An ambulance took Mark Sandman to the nearest hospital, but he was soon pronounced dead of a heart attack. He was 46, having no history of heart trouble.

The Boston-based alternative rock band Morphine ruled the big stage during 90s until the tragedy struck. Mark Sandman, the frontman, died ten years ago, on July 3, 1999. But, it was the kind of death that few rock legends have experienced. Mark was onstage...

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Banksy artwork destroyed?

Banksy’s artwork that satirizes western government surveillance is removed, with suspicions that it has been destroyed. His Spy Booth mural was made in April 2014 on the wall of a house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It has three secret agents in trenchcoats who use modern devices to spy on people’s conversations at a telephone box next to the wall. This house with a famous mural is actually located just a couple of miles from GCHQ, which is the home of UK government’s surveillance operations. Another “coincidence” is that the mural appeared just few months after Edward Snowden’s shocking uncovering story about widespread phone-tapping by western governments.

During the weekend, there were rumors that the mural had been purposely destroyed. Social media were flooded with photos of tarpaulins and scaffolding that covers the wall of the house. These photographs reveal that the wall was stripped back to the brickwork, with a pile of rubble down on the ground. This mural also had a protected status. So, it is still unclear if this mural was destroyed during the work on the building or removed beforehand.

In January this year, this house was listed for sale for £210,000, with the note which says that urgent work needed to be done on the house. There is still a possibility that this mural was taken down to enable the beginning of the works. But the funny thing is that, in February 2015, Cheltenham council granted a planning permission, saying that the mural was protected and shouldn’t be removed without the approval of the city’s council.

The leader of Cheltenham council, Steve Jordan explained that these works began with intentions to repair the plasterwork on the house, and that he wasn’t aware of the removal of this mural. He also said that the enforcement notice for the work was issued even before Banksy printed this mural. He concluded: “It [the artwork] is protected by a listing. I will have a look at what the situation is, certainly.” We all know that most of Banksy’s works grabbed huge attention, causing the controversy for years. One piece of wall with Banksy’s painting was cut out and shipped to the United States had to be returned to Britain, which was ordered by a high court judge last year.

“Art Buff” is a painting that shows a woman who stares at an empty plinth, created in September 2014. Just like the “Spy Booth” mural, it was constantly vandalized, shortly after it was painted. The similar controversy was caused in 2014, after Banksy made a work called “Mobile Lovers” which was showing a couple embracing while check their mobile phones, on the wall of a youth club in Bristol. David Stinchcombe, the owner of the club, moved the painting in the club, trying to earn money on donations from the people who wanted to see it. At the time he even received some death threats. Later that year, Banksy wrote a letter to Stinchcombe which declared the painting to be an original, allowing the club to have it.

Banksy’s artwork that satirizes western government surveillance is removed, with suspicions that it has been destroyed. His Spy Booth mural was made in April 2014 on the wall of a house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It has three secret agents in...

Entertainment

Great parenting comics

Many of us grew up with comic books and we still feel a sort of nostalgia when someone mentions it. Most of those early comics were humoristic, carving the path for future authors. That world never disappeared. There are many comic artists today that make us laugh on daily basis, especially the ones who create short ones, but full of humor. Here’s the story about one of those persons, totally involved in this nice and funny art.

Greeting card artist and dad of two children, Brian Gordon expressed the will to create a comic series which would be a bit more personal than his usual works. He said: “I thought I had figured out what kids were like and how to parent after the first one, but my daughter came along and proved I had no idea what I was doing.” Finally in 2013, the “Fowl Language Comics” was launched, as a funny, cute and expletive-filled look at parenting nowadays.

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His comics were an instant success on the internet worldwide. He tries to focus on the tougher part of being a parent, that is well-known to all of us. He says: “Nothing’s easier to make fun of than failure and frustration, and that’s about 90% of parenting, as far as I can tell.”

The author expressed hope that parents would feel a sense of solidarity when they see theses comics. He said: “A lot of people are hesitant to complain about their kids or admit how mind-numbing certain aspects of parenting can be, but we all experience it. I think it takes the sting out of the frustration when you realize that other parents are going through the same crap you are.”

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Early in kindergarten, Brian Gordon decided to become a cartoonist. He says that his classmates had equally unrealistic life goals and dreams, like becoming superheroes and princesses. But this little boy was more tenacious.

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On his official website, he says: “So far, things are working out okay. Secret to my success? I suck worse at everything else. You get a lot of drawing done when Plan B is Starve To Death. My comics are largely inspired by my struggles as a parent, my fascination with technology, science and all things geeky. Oh, and a constant, crushing wave of self-doubt and anxiety. That’s a big source of inspiration, too.”

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His parents characters are always replaced with animals, adding a bit more of comedy in already funny stories. Comics are short and they talk about the stuff that we’re all facing as parents on daily bases. We all have problems and we all make mistakes, but Brian somehow put all that in a funny atmosphere, so instead of being pissed off, we laugh loud. Maybe by creating all these comics, Brian Gordon actually made his life as a parent a little easier. He keeps a sort of diary in his mind and then put it all on the paper.

Here are some of his great comics below, reminding us that we’re all in this together.

Many of us grew up with comic books and we still feel a sort of nostalgia when someone mentions it. Most of those early comics were humoristic, carving the path for future authors. That world never disappeared. There are many comic artists today that make us...

Lifestyle

Painting Kenya in yellow

Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda has the plan to paint the city of Nairobi in yellow and it has already begun with houses of worship. This presents the part of artist’s public art project named “Colour in Faith”, where religious buildings like mosques and churches are painted in lemon yellow, representing the peace among all religions in Africa. From his studio in New York, Arboleda said: “The goal was to take houses of worship in Kenya and paint them yellow in the name of love. The idea from the beginning was to turn buildings into sculptures that speak to our shared humanity.”

The artist says that he chose this particular color because of its brightness and warmth, naming it “Otpimistic yellow”. He explained: “People think our photos are Photoshopped because the yellow is so saturated.” The project started back in 2015 when the Arboleda spent time in Kenyan capital for an artist residency. He’s into creating public art since 2006, and the most famous is his pink balloon project. He used it also as a symbol of peace in Kabul, Afghanistan, after the Taliban attack in 2013. There he met the founder of In Commons, Nabila Albhai. It is a civic engagement organisation. He says: “We talked about our shared humanity and our highest goals as people across religions. How do we disarm each other through beauty? And how do we do that across lines of language, religion, ethnicity and politics?”

Barack Obama’s visit to Nairobi in August 2015 was the inspiration for Arboleda. At the time, some journalists referred to dangerous nature of this, labelling eastern Africa as “a hobted terror”. Later the executive of the same broadcast network had to fly to Nairobi in order to apologize for publishing such stuff. It was a tough job to convince pastors, imams and sheiks to participate, so Arboleda had to go to top religious councils of the country to try to “obtain” the huge number of buildings for the project. He said: “We learned these councils are powerless. We had to go to pastor to pastor, priest to priest, imam to imam, sheik to sheik.”

Eventually, 14 houses were willing to be painted in yellow, but because of the complicated nature of religious bureaucracy, he had only three to begin with. For example, one mosque wanted to see the proof that the color yellow was representative of Islam and some church asked him for the financial support for participating in this project. He remembers: “At that point, I went home and cried. I was so heartbroken. We were trying to make a statement about unity and beauty but even with a shared vision, there are still limitations and challenges. Thankfully, we found people willing to collaborate in a more transparent way.”

The Jeddah Mosque Kambi was the first to jump on board, so it was painted in September 2015. Arbodela says: “The sheikh, from the very beginning, was so willing to support the cause and help connect us to other institutions. He enabled the dream.” Later he added: “In Kenya, religion is a way to control society. To ask questions and have a dialogue is incredibly powerful for these communities.”

Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda has the plan to paint the city of Nairobi in yellow and it has already begun with houses of worship. This presents the part of artist’s public art project named “Colour in Faith”, where religious...

Entertainment

Shaquille O’Neal producing a movie

When we first heard about it, it seemed like a strange couple: Famous gallerist Larry Gagosian sings a contract to produce a documentary movie about a local basketball team, choosing the legendary NBA L.A. Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal for a partner. If you think that this is some kind of random collaboration, you’re wrong. This film, called Killer Bees, is a story of the Bridgehampton School basketball team in their mission to defend the 2015 state championship title.

Regarding to the official movie synopsis, this documentary takes us beyond the court and “explores how Bridgehampton’s African American community came to exist in the heart of the Hamptons and its struggle to survive.” The true story is in slight contrast to the public’s opinion on Long Island’s East End as a summer playground that serves only for rich and powerful. The place where collectors and artists come together to party and to move from the city’s huge heat. So, the support of the film by members of the art world seems pretty natural, in all that odd tension.

The art collector Glenn Fuhrman and the film’s executive producer, told the following to the media: “I’ve driven past the Bridgehampton School millions times and never really appreciated what the student body was about or any of the history.” He heard about the project from filmmaker Orson Cummings, who has already written and directed the movie with Ben Cummings. He said: “It just sounded like a story that was really worth telling.” The new member of the NBA’s Hall of Fame, Shaquille has interest in basketball focused story, which is not surprising. But this time, it was his art world connections that made him involved in this project at the first place.

Shaquille O’Neal has already worked closely with Fuhrman, helping him to curate two exhibitions for Fuhrman’s FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea: “Size DOES Matter” in 2010 and “SHAQ LOVES PEOPLE” in 2014. Fuhrman says: “It was a kind of an obvious call to see if Shaquille wanted to help us get the film made. Much to his credit, he said yes literally instantly. His breadth of interest is so broad, it’s pretty spectacular…”

Gagosian lives in nearby East Hampton, so he knows Orson very well. The movie’s executive producer, Furhman, encouraged him to sign on as associate producer. Just to add some spice on the whole story, when it comes to the art world intrigue, this high school team took painter Joe Zucker as the assistant coach for the season.

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born March 6, 1972. Through the carrier he carried the nickname “Shaq”. Even if this American professional basketball player retired, he is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. He’s listed at 7 ft 1 in, 2.16 m, tall and weighing 325 pounds, 147 kg. With that stats he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. O’Neal played for six different teams throughout his 19-year NBA career. The biggest impact was certainly his time with Los Angeles Lakers.

When we first heard about it, it seemed like a strange couple: Famous gallerist Larry Gagosian sings a contract to produce a documentary movie about a local basketball team, choosing the legendary NBA L.A. Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal for a partner...

Celebs

Marie Lorenz on Hudson River

New York based artist Marie Lorenz showed up with two invited guests at the Village Community Boathouse, at Pier 40, on the Hudson River, couple of weeks ago. She finished her five-week journey in which she piloted a canoe from Buffalo, New York, to Manhattan, passing through the Erie Canal and the Hudson River. Her aim was to take her two landlubbing guests on the water in that same canoe that she had built by herself, whose sides had a print with design in marine grasses manner. She said: “I figured that today we would see if we can get across the river to New Jersey.”

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For ten years this artist is offering transportation to people of New York who want a ride. They just have to name the desired destination, and then she checks out tide charts to see when the tide and current will be the safest to get the canoe there. She thinks that she’s made about 250 people rides by now. This project is the part of her journey-themed exhibition, called “Wanderlust”, which is on view on the High Line and it also includes artists such as Tony Matelli, Mike Nelson, Iman Issa and Rayyane Tabet. Those waterways around New York City have been the inspiration to many artists from various periods. One time Robert Smithson was sketching “Floating Island”, a barge covered with trees behind a tug boat on Hudson River.

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Now in early 40s, Marie Lorenz started building boats at art school, while preparing a major in printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. At that time, the Providence River that runs through the city, was fully covered with roadways. She would sneak underneath them with boats she’d built, making a kind of performance art. She said: “When I moved to New York, the boat became more of a portal for others to see the city through me, and less of a spectacle.” She also wants us to look the wonders of nature with appreciation. She added: “You don’t necessarily think about the tide and the current in the grind of daily life, but there’s an immense force, moving all around the city, and it’s actually part of what made the city.”

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On August 25 and September 15, Lorenz will give visitors a ride in canoe, as the part of the High Line show. They should just sing up until the list is fully subscribed. Those who miss it will be offered with free rowing sessions by the Village Community Boathouse. The part of its mission is “to restore safe, universal public access to our city’s largest public space—its waterways.”

The exhibition “Wanderlust” is on view on the High Line until March 2017. Marie Lorenz’s exhibition “Tide and Current Taxi” will be on view at the Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York, starting on September 23. Her other solo works such as “The Valley of Dry Bones”, “Archipelagio” and “Upriver” were on view in many states across the U.S. and Canada during last 8 years.

 

image source: news.artnet.com

New York based artist Marie Lorenz showed up with two invited guests at the Village Community Boathouse, at Pier 40, on the Hudson River, couple of weeks ago. She finished her five-week journey in which she piloted a canoe from Buffalo, New York, to...