Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Kids Who Die" - Langston Hughes, 1938

This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.

Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.
Of course, the wise and the learned
Who pen editorials in the papers,
And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names
White and black,
Who make surveys and write books
Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,
And the sleazy courts,
And the bribe-reaching police,
And the blood-loving generals,
And the money-loving preachers
Will all raise their hands against the kids who die,
Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets
To frighten the people—
For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people—
And the old and rich don’t want the people
To taste the iron of the kids who die,
Don’t want the people to get wise to their own power,
To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together
Listen, kids who die—
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,
Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come—
You are sure yourselves that it is coming—
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky—
The song of the life triumphant
Through the kids who die.

- Tamar Rice and the Value of a Life. - Cahrles M. Blow NYTIMES

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Louise Bourgeois’s Final Act

When Joan Acocella profiled Louise Bourgeois in The New Yorker, in early 2002, the artist had just passed her ninetieth birthday, but she was very clearly, as Acocella put it, “not a dear old lady.” Bourgeois arrived at her fame late in life, and while in her early career she’d been reticent and press shy she’d in her later decades cultivated a flamboyant and confessional manner, exposing the family traumas and betrayals that served as inspiration for her deeply psychological art. By the turn of the century she was “often treated as a character, the art world’s favorite naughty old lady,” Acocella wrote. “She has colluded in this.”
The portraits that the Belgium-born photographer Alex Van Gelder made of Bourgeois in the final years of her life perhaps serve as evidence of this collusion. The two friends first met in Paris in the nineteen-seventies, when Van Gelder was a collector of African art. After keeping in touch with Bourgeois sporadically through the years Van Gelder made a series of visits to the artist’s townhouse in Chelsea beginning in 2008, and fell into a routine of photographing her. (Bourgeois died in 2010, at the age of ninety-eight.) In a new collection of his portraits entitled “Mumbling Beauty,” Van Gelder writes that he and Bourgeois “became more and more inspired by each other,” and “she became a consummate performer in front of the camera.” Under Van Gelder’s direction she is exhibitionist, childlike, savagely playful; she’s shown as a knife-wielding bandit, wearing a sailor’s cap or wraparound sunglasses; she allows pigeons to flap around her head, dons a voluptuous fur coat, bares her teeth and shoves her face right up into the camera’s lens. (By comparison, Robert Mapplethorpe’s famous portrait of Bourgeois wielding her phallic sculpture “Fillette” looks positively polished and demure.) New Yorker article and slideshow here.

Blue: Alchemy of a Colour

One of the most highly prized and sought-after of the colour spectrum, its rarity and the laborious process often used to extract and create the colour, secured its place in some of the finest works of art. Its incorporation was laiden with meaning – from signifying prestige in the Chinese court, to symbolising the infinity of the Hindu god Vishnu – blue in all its guises, from Prussian to cobalt and indigo it has long been a powerful hue in art. 
Exhibition info here. 
Persian, Tile, 13th century –14th century, Kashan, Iran; earthenware, underglaze cobalt blue, lustre glaze. Felton Bequest, 1906 (601-D2)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Queens of Botswana’s Metal Scene

Beavis and Butt-head, in their AC/DC and Metallica t-shirts, might best sum up the stereotypical metalhead in the popular Western imagination: a young white dude who likes headbanging and hates authority, found mostly in American cities or in Nordic countries with long, dark winters and plenty of old churches to burn. But South African photographer Paul Shiakallis’s series Leather Skins, Unchained Hearts provides a visual alternative to this image. He documents the leather-clad women of Botswana’s metal subculture, called “Marok,” which translates to “rocker” in Setswana.
- via Hyperallergic

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Free to be... flashback

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Charles Bradley’s Soul Cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes”

thelma golden

Thelma Golden Reflects on 10 Years at the Helm of the Studio Museum, and Harlem’s Changing Face- Artsy

Mary Reed Kelley Tate Live Stream

Published on Nov 20, 2015
Mary Reid Kelley, in collaboration with her partner Patrick Kelley, presented a new work 'This is Offal', inspired by Thomas Hood’s 1844 poem The Bridge of Sighs in which the narrator laments the apparent suicide of a young woman, whose body he pulls from the Thames.