~ART FAIR WEEK – in NYC: the insider’s . . short list !!

here’s your best, real shot . . .
at what’s best – in NYC this week !!
it’s the galleries, and not the fairs . . that are driving the baby, this year.

and, the 6 TOP PICKS, ARE !!

1 & 2. CANADA GALLERY has a double-header:

1. LUKE MURPHY rocks the main space . .
his luminous, at once both gestural & philosophic . . paintings look amazing, cascading along the west wall – in the two story double height gallery front room. and then, you walk through a computer keyboard ‘time’ tunnel – into the magical LED mini, wired light boxes in the back room. their animated flickers can’t be caught by an ordinary camera, one of the reasons why I’m saying: go see this, as a priority.
besides the creative acumen & digital world wit on display.
this show is an . . experience. you gotta be there.

LUKE MURPHY, ‘UNHAPPY USERS’, CANADA, 333 BROOME ST. FEB 20 – MARCH 20, 2016
more: info & exhibit photos

2. and then, in the new annex next door . . .
CANADA is showcasing a whole bunch of rockin’ newbie . . rollers.
called ‘ANTHEM of the SUN’ the show, which was organized by PALI KASHI, lives up to it’s title.
I went for Luke’s show, was amazed . . & then stepped next door, and promptly fell down the maddest, baddest Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, ever.
and so will you !!


‘ANTHEM of the SUN’, ORGANIZED by PALI KASHI, CANADA, 333 BROOME ST. FEB 20 – MARCH 20, 2016
more: info & exhibit photos

3. while you are on Broome St, head next door for the young painter HEIDI HAHN’S solo show at JACK HANLEY GALLERY, where she’s rockin’ . . heartbreak !!
tell me . . about it !!


HEIDI HAHN – ‘BENT IDLE’, JACK HANLEY GALLERY, 327 BROOME ST. FEB 12 – MARCH 13, 2016
more: info & exhibit photos

4. for ‘BABY’ BLUE CHIP LOVERS, do NOT miss:
GREGORY CREWDSON & his ‘CATHEDRAL of the PINES’ . . at GAGOSIAN on W. 21st St in Chelsea.
Gregory, and his amazing band of merry pranksters, an almost cinematic, totally dedicated behind-the-scenes photo set crew – are rockin’ heartbreak, melancholy, and the . . ‘je ne sais quois’.


GREGORY CREWDSON, ‘CATHEDRAL of the PINES’, GAGOSIAN GALLERY, NYC . W 21st ST. JAN 28 – MARCH 12, 2016
more: info & exhibit photos

5. for best out-of-towner, pop-up . . .
and, maybe even also file, under: love that ‘baby’ blue chip art market – that’s why I’m here crew !!
BILL BRADY is doing a . . TOMOO GOKITA POP-UP !!
72 FRANKLIN ST – JOHNSON TRADING . . in TRIBECA.
FRI MARCH 4 / 6-8 PM, and . . TOMOO WILL BE THERE !!


TOMOO GOKITA PAINTING on PAPER,’Family’ – image via @billbrady
TOMOO puts cutting edge, radical, hyper-twisted ‘realism’, and . . of course, supreme black & white- all in the same, stunned . . breath.

6. and then, if you want to get real down & dirty, go see . . the real Bushwick & Brooklyn & street art – from the ground up . . only weekend hrs.
go see ‘CASH4SMELLS’ at the subversive / co-operative new storefront project, studio space & gallery – they call: DRESS SHOP !! 322 TROUTMAN ST, Brooklyn.
& where the works on the walls – can be had for $100 a pop.


CASH4SMELLS, DRESS SHOP – 322 TROUTMAN, BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN – up thru MARCH 12
PHOTO: @andro.nyc
more: info & photos – DressShop tumblr

ready, set, GO.




~ANNIE HALL by DREW MILLWARD, CHICAGO – by way of GALERIE F

this is . . supposed to be NEW YORK CITY’S – BIG WEEK ?!!

so, how come the best NYC image . . is coming to us – straight outta CHICAGO ?!!

DREW MILLWARD . . . & GALERIE F, have collaborated on a poster/print for the LOGAN THEATRE presentation of . . ‘ANNIE HALL’ – ‘A NERVOUS ROMANCE’.
lol.
wonderful !!!

image via Instagram . . . @billycraven
see: GALERIE F, CHICAGO


‘THE BIG LEBOWSKI’ – by DREW MILLWARD
image via DREW MILLWARD

check out: DREWMILLWARD.COM – for more great, iconic & funnie !! images




~FRAGILE . . .

as they say . . . #mood


FRAGILE stickers . . .
image via Instagram . . @blank_stickers




~ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU . . ‘THE REVENANT’ & a look back to FALL 2003

‘THE REVENANT’, 2015
DIRECTOR: ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU, who also was a producer, and co-wrote the screenplay with MARK L. SMITH
Based in part on a novel by MICHAEL PUNKE

A FILM REVIEW – by NANCY SMITH, FEB 28, 2016

absolutely riveting.
talk about GREGORY CREWDSON and his ‘THE CATHEDRAL of the PINES’, this was the shocking . . DEATH & MANHUNT . . . under the tall, tall PINES.
the winter scenes add such a cold, cold visual, and cinematic heartbreak beauty – throughout.
I hope it sweeps the OSCARS tonight.

ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU . .
at the JULIAN SCHNABEL . . ‘New Indian Paintings & Selected Sculptures’ opening, at PaceWildenstien in Chelsea, NYC.
OCT 16, 2003.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH – first published in artnet, editor Walter Robinson.

I had the great luck to catch Director ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU in 2003, at a Julian Schnabel opening, way back in the Fall of 2003.
that’s 13 long, long years ago.
his film ’21 Grams’ had just opened in theaters, and ‘BABEL’ had just won the Best Film, Drama award at the Golden Globes, the very night before.

see: more pix from the Julian Schnabel, ‘Indians’ opening , NANCY SMITH – ART LOVERS NEW YORK, FALL 2003 on artnet.
http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/people/smith/smith12-19-03.asp#12

watch: ‘THE REVENANT’ – TRAILER
https://www.google.com/search?q=the+revenant+trailer+youtube&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8




~HEIDI HAHN . . via JORDAN CASTEEL

that’s what friends are . . for !!

JORDAN CASTEEL posted about her Yalie Grad Class of 2014 painter pal HEIDI HAHN, when Heidi recently opened a solo show at JACK HANLEY, and she just gave us news of the show’s sweet review by MARTHA SCHWENDENDER, in the NEW YORK TIMES this weekend !!

heartbreak ?
with friends like these, and a good many others – banish the thought.
though . . keep the paintings.
who can’t relate to a little melancholy ?
mojo comes and goes, for us all.


HEIDI HAHN . . . painting at JACK HANLEY, NEW YORK
image via Instagram . . @jordancasteel

read: MARTHA SCHWENDENER on HEIDI HAHN, NYT
–http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/arts/design/review-heidi-hahn-at-the-jack-hanley-gallery.html?_r=0

HEIDI HAHN, ‘BENT IDLE’
FEB 12 – MARCH 13, 2016
JACK HANLEY – 325 Broome St, Lower East Side, NYC




~NICHOLAS STEINDORF & DARREN WILL: where are they now ?


A LOOK BACK . . .
artist NICHOLAS STEINDORF and musician DARREN WILL – at SPRING BREAK, MARCH 2015 / NYC.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

last year at this time, NICHOLAS STEINDORF was exhibiting a handful of short, intense and lyrical animated CGI video clips at SPRING BREAK ART FAIR. DARREN WILL composed the original soundtracks, that accompanied each clip.

this year, Darren’s band, MOTHXR, [mother] for whom he is the bassist . . is a having a big release party for their new album, ‘Centerfold’, tomorrow night at BABY’S ALL RIGHT, and . . they just scored a real nice review in FADER – link follows.
this time around, Nicholas collaborated with Darren to produce a ‘lyric video’ for one of new album’s songs: ‘She Can’t Tell’ – link follows.

MOTHXR – ‘CENTERFOLD’ ALBUM RELEASE PARTY
BABY’S ALL RIGHT, 146 BROADWAY, BROOKLYN, NY
FRI FEB 26, 2016 – DOORS OPEN at 8PM
+ SPECIAL GUESTS

read: the FADER REVIEW & SAMPLE MUSIC
https://www.thefader.com/2016/01/28/mothxr-she-cant-tell-single


totally dig the new album’s design, or what !!!!
esp that . . faux ‘commercial’ backdrop.
and, the retro, 70s ? – nylon windbreaker jacket.
cheesy, NOT !!
absolute – fab. just grabbed me – the moment I saw it.
‘vernacular’, I think that’s the moment’s big . . style: key.


the release poster . . so mellow/exciting. so throw-back. so Americano.
just so, exactly on the right/wrong sweet spot . . of cool.
great graphic. chalkbaord fonts, everything. right down to the shade of the lipstick, orange (!!)

watch: NICHOLAS STEINDORF’S ‘lyric animation’ . . for ‘She Can’t Tell’, MOTHXR . . YouTube

if you remember Nicholas’s clips for Spring Break 2015, as well as I do, you can take a real . . ride, forward.
pure visual poetry.
melodic intensity . . yours for the taking !!

a Steindorf sampling . . from last year:

PURPLE, 2015 – https://vimeo.com/121252050

(JACK GOLDSTEIN’S) KNIFE SEQUENCE, 2015 – https://vimeo.com/120108194

JAMES, TOBEY POND, 2015 -https://vimeo.com/119393358

ROSE, NEW YORK STATE, 2015 – https://vimeo.com/131001973

NICHOLAS STEINDORF . . is a big, & dynamic part . . of that YALE MFA GRAD class of 2014 – which is blowing up big in NYC, and deservedly so.
must have some . . helluva 2 years !!




~TOMMY MALEKOFF . . The Outdoor World

‘THE OUTDOOR WORLD’, 2016
A SHORT FILM BY – TOMMY MALEKOFF
FEATURING ORIGINAL MUSIC BY – JOE WILLIAMS
& running 10:17 minutes

FILM REVIEW – by NANCY SMITH, FEB 24, 2016

A singularly striking, but casually unwinding, almost freestyle cinematic ode – to MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE and also, to Black life . . .
as seen through the lens of a young New Yorker.
the word: vernacular – does come to mind.

TOMMY MALEKOFF leans into his subject, like a ski jumper leans into his skies.

‘The Outdoor World’ . . is a remarkable short film on MEMPHIS, of all places.
independently made by a young New Yorker, TOMMY MALEKOFF with a hand-held camera, and not much else. okay, and – with a lot of . . verve.
it also features . . an incredible, original sound track by JOE WILLIAMS aka DJ MOTION GRAPHICS. This singularly striking ‘travelogue’ with absolutely no words, but which is metaphor-rich, for your own taking !! is just transfixing – from frame one. it’s just the way TOMMY MALEKOFF, apparently a natural behind the camera, sees the world from his own very personal & straight-forward inquisitive . . vantage point. we are one with him, in his journey behind the lens, a young artist / explorer / producer just about to burst on the scene . . with no, or not much (!!) previous history or art world baggage to hold him back.

part of the magic spell of the film, besides just how strange vernacular Memphis can be . . . esp to a New Yorker, is the rhythm, the momentum, the framing & editing . . of the visuals – which pair up so nicely with the rhythm of the sound track, so completely, so sweetly. words ? who needs words. I might be wrong, but the closest I can come to describe the way the film moves, in words . . is, it’s the visual equivalent of house / wave / beach music.
it moves real casual, but it’s very transfixing. and then there’s the music.

in its own way, the film is also about . . BLACK LIFE.

as with most cutting edge art today – it’s also about indie low-key production, but big on both content, hand-lettered info graphics & real world digital photography . . in other words: small scale / big visions. DIY spirit, individual skills, and . . making your singular voice count, within the mass web of social media that surrounds us, bombards us 24/7 & then, focusing in on our own particular location-specific . . urban experience.

as for ‘graphics’ / sometimes called graphic design:
these 2 images are from Tommy’s website.
if ‘quiet beauty’ were a catalog, a style – this would be that, and that . . would be ok.
being right on the vibe – is hard to do.
don’t take it for granted, just how striking this singular home page . . is.

IMAGES: TOMMYMALEKOFF.COM

TOMMY MALEKOFF, and ANDREW KASS . . at ‘The Outdoor World’ – 170 Suffolk St, Lower East Side, NYC screening.

TOMMY MALEKOFF & ANDREW KASS are key players i.e. big energy & innovative creative contributors . . among the informal swirl of the very downtown, very politically aware, ‘seed-like’ & ‘gonna be’ very influential . . openly subversive, indie rebel, creative, cutting-edge & mostly underground . . urban-based, and informally structured . . artist crew centered around curator / artist . . SEAN VEGEZZI, is the best I can put it.
you know, the guys of . . 15 WARREN ST, 170 SUFFOLK, and 34 JOEY.
again, very urban-based in outlook, as in rooted in the actual infra-structure of the city, or with regard to global politics. a general over-all dynamic, as opposed to say . . specifically sticker art, or street art per se, though the group shows I have seen obviously include a lot of street art just by the nature of how things roll indie in NYC. the key is, these guys grew up in the downtown area, and within the underground fringes of the downtown art scene, and they don’t wait for things to happen, they just throw up the shows – on their own, or hit up other indie pop-up venues, or subway stations, lol. and abandoned buildings, and let’s leave it at that.

TOMMY MALEKOFF . . seems to have been blessed, not only with a natural eye . . for the camera & in turn – indie filmmaking – but, also with the insight that it takes to inform the footage, and thus blow up a small film of 10 mins – into quite the entrancement.
quite the statement.
and, with no .. words.


JOE WILLIAMS aka DJ MOTION GRAPHICS, and of whose moniker . . we have no doubt.
motion graphics – is what this film is all about . . style-wise.
and JOE supplied the original film sound track – and it is pro, and it is brilliant.

I asked Tommy to tell me a little bit more about how the film’s music score came to be, & this is what he emailed me:

“For the score – I came to Joe with 3 songs:
‘Walking in Memphis’ by Marc Cohn, ‘Where is da Bud’ by 3 6 Mafia, and ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’, by Elvis.
Joe took the melodies from these songs and applied strings to them instead of lyrics to make a more orchestral, atmospheric sound that referenced popular songs from/about Memphis. He also used samples of noises from mosquitoes and ducks for parts of the song(s). Each segment of the video has a special song made up of these references.”


backtrack: 170 SUFFOLK appears to be a large, vacant one story floor-thru space, much like a garage. SEAN VEGEZZI and pals put up an incredible pop-up, group show there back in June, 2014.
and interestingly enough, TOMMY MALEKOFF was one the featured artists. no, he didn;t show a film, it was kind of the exact opposite of a film, he put subtle ‘trash / tracks’ throughout the space. I know – it sounds crazy, but it really gave the place some . . ‘spatial’ grit. trash from North Carolina. bye the way. Tommy seems to be into . . geography. cities.
it made the space ‘bounce’, transcend. added city infrastructure ‘narrative’ – does that say it better.
one day I have to post the pix.
maybe soon.


as if . . anything by this crew needs grit.
grit & hardcore thought – am I.
I’m up for as much grit as you can throw at me. anything, but the wall-to-wall mediocrity this town’s art scene has become, for the most part.


of course inside it is dark. it is quite huge, and wide open and beautiful. raw, but not dysfunctional, with a great bank of high windows at the back near the ceiling, bringing the city lights inside. there was just enough light to pick out ‘poster’ mages from the film.
football. hmm. the outdoor world, you just never know.


DJ DONDERO, in front of one of the ‘film’ posters – featuring the MEMPHIS PYRAMID, what a strange tourist attraction.
and that’s just how the movie starts . .
the film’s outlook is curious, more than anything, I would say.
the ‘souvenir’ site, the ‘tourists’, mainstream America, America . . the Great Mall, speaks for itself. come up with your own metaphors, they are yours – free for the taking.
form the elevator ride down, to the crocs in the water. to the history of the place itself.
there was an info sheet hand-out, (it hosted the mega-fight between LENNON LEWIS vs MIKE TYSON in in 20020) – when you entered.


the projection screen was just off to the right, the back wall.


you can see the lights & buildings of the city’s night . . just outside, through the bank of large windows at the ceiling, just above the screen. very nice, lucky random draw-of-the-straw – real estate touch.


and then the film opens.
epic.


the film begins, with an aerial shot, and we descend via elevator into the Memphis Pyramid.

at first I thought, ok . . it’s going to be an ‘extreme urban infrastructure’ take down. a walk on the wild side, illegal high storied intrusion. but it was in fact, quite the opposite.
it was like finding a home movie souvenir, by a really smart kid. and then the music kicks in & you are off and running. entranced & wondering. wtf. this was no kid. this was a master at the vernacular. vernacular photography – look it up. not quite the same as ‘found’ photography . . because Mr. Malekoff is indeed the eye behind the camera of his very own footage. . with a pictorial style . . all his own, somewhere within the genre of ‘reality’ ‘souvenir’ and ‘documentary. it’s not fiction. it’s not made-up, but it is chosen & composed. and the vibe is very very cool, very chill. the direction, the easy scope, the unobtrusiveness, yet the telling . . of the average day to day, is not average at all. trust me, I’ve seen too many film projects in my lifetime – to know. the diff.
talent is rare, but when it spools – trust me, talent . . outs.


the croc.
the Outdoor World. Memphis – style !!


the big catfish . . ?
scale, size. animals. bio. haven’t I been hearing those very words, lately ?


the ‘tiny’ minnows.
we are minnows swimming in a sea of technology, social media & information overload.
we are on the other side of that glass. whose in the outdoor world, them or us ?
and hey, that’s just what I’ve been thinking . . who is really bio these days. we are . .
we are wired. we are . . wireless. we are computer merged. we are . . mutated.
and we are under assault by the nano life of the food chain. invisible particles. viruses. the icebergs are melting, but the viruses are growing.
everything is upside down.


the chicks, the cars. The Outdoor World – Memphis style.
the world was once so – easy. maybe that’s why souvenirs are so – pleasant.


LIL RON – the indoor / outdoor world ?!! (reference footage)
fab. bio. skills.
the dancing is called . . gangsta walking. it seems to be a form of ‘bio’ competition.
no wires, but wired !! but smooth wired. and nothing . . digital. well maybe the music recorded. it’s also referred to as ‘jooking’ . . it’s a dance native to Memphis.
Memphis must be such a special place. what’s in the water ?
besides crocs and catfish ? or maybe that’s it.
even, just the songs. the Memphis blues.


B. FRANK (reference footage)


LIL BUCK (reference footage)


back inside ‘The Outdoor World’ – at 170 SUFFOLK.


the hardcore party . . life.


sure to be a player. . .


in the outdoor world of NYC . . night life.


ASPEN and MOSIE.


yep.
‘The Outdoor World’ . . comes inside, and takes over . . your world.
if just for 10 mins.
you are knocked out of the water, taken deep down into the faux pyramid, and turned onto ‘jook’.
just a homemade ‘vignette’. not.
just another spectacular NYC night !! this crew never fails to knock it out of the park.
and they’re so chill – at it. the way they throw you – for a loop.
style. graphics. timing. curiosity. music. culture story-telling. slice of life documentary. the celebration of the great American vernacular. Memphis as seen by NYC.
the great American city adventure. cities are . .. us.

downtown indie filmmaker TOMMY MALEKOFF, and musician JOE WILLIAMS . . aced it.

READ MORE-SEE MORE: TOMMY MALEKOFF WEBSITE – ‘THE OUTDOOR WORLD’
http://www.tommymalekoff.com/the-outdoor-world.html

what a great title.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH

ps: @andrewkass & @doublebreed is a good place to start – if you want to follow these guys.




~EMORY DOUGLAS . . The Art of the Black Panthers

always remember: ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ does NOT mean . . . terrorist.
witness our world after 9/11: terrorist equals . . FASCIST, BRUTALLY REPRESSIVE, HYPER-VIOLENT & the very anti-thesis of . . freedom, liberty, speech, art & LIFE !!

at least, that’s my take away – from the new Black Panther documentary.

my other take away – was the discovery of this artist: EMORY DOUGLAS.
I had seen his work, but wasn’t aware of the total story – Minister of Culture for the BPP, the Black Panther Party from 1967 thru 80s – his art defined a generation & then took off and became global symbols for freedom.

there is a wonderful, vivid, and profoundly informative video clip on Mr. Douglas, his historical take on the Black Panthers – and the times they rose up from, his own involvement, as well personal first person background about his art-making.

WATCH: EMORY DOUGLAS: The Art of the Black Panthers . . on VIMEO

this video was produced & directed by . . DRESS CODE out of NYC.
dresscodeny.com
@dressscodeny


image: EMORY DOUGLAS – DRESS CODE VIMEO
EMORY DOUGLAS . . is still very much around, and his work is being exhibited globally.
I’d like to see another exhibit – in NYC.
super talented, super articulate, and for all appearances well-grounded & easy going . . but very, very focused, his oral history of the BBP movement, and his own work – this video clip is a gift. to us all, and it’s al the more remarkable by its non-strident tone & the first person narration.
oral history: priceless.


image: EMORY DOUGLAS – DRESS CODE VIMEO
his first formal foray into ‘art’ – was in a school print shop & the format of woodblock prints – made a lasting impression.


image: EMORY DOUGLAS – DRESS CODE VIMEO
his early depiction of cops . . as PIGS standing on 2 feet – went on to transcend the Black Panther Party & became a universal symbol for the abuse of power.


image: EMORY DOUGLAS – DRESS CODE VIMEO
his use of markers to ‘mimic’ the heavy black outlines of woodblock printing – reminded me of the very popular use of makers, ink pens, and Sharpies – today. esp among ‘sticker’ & cartoon artists. and illustrators and legions of graphic artists in general . . across the board. this is where art is today, in every sense Mr. Emory is a very much . . living artist.


image: EMORY DOUGLAS – DRESS CODE VIMEO
his words – are just as stirring as his art.
he says: art is a LANGUAGE – and that’s why it’s so POWERFUL.


image: EMORY DOUGLAS – DRESS CODE VIMEO

sticker art – or what ?!!!!!!!!!
art – as COMMUNICATION.




~THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD of the REVOLUTION

‘THE BLACK PANTHERS: Vanguard of the Revolution’, 2015
DIRECTED, PRODUCED & WRITTEN BY: STANLEY NELSON
A PBS DOCUMENTARY
FILM REVIEW – BY NANCY SMITH, FEB 18, 2016

An amazing archival & living history document, I was lucky enough to catch a PBS screening on my TV yesterday.

All these people I had heard tell about, but never really knew the facts about – came to life with wall-to-wall archival photos. The historical record, fleshed story & behind-the-scenes narratives are provided by a wide array of players – from all sides of the story: from FBI informants to the very compelling first person accounts provided by luminaries such as: KATHLEEN CLEAVER, ERIKA HUGGINS & JAMAL JOSEPH. All three, still very much alive, strong & vital . . . and, who had been there. in person, played a role, & lived through it. how can you beat that ?

so often with these historical PBS documentaries, fascinating as they are, we have only the archival footage, the old sienna, or black & white photos, the strips of journals and scraps of letters. dry, crusty, newspaper clippings – imbedded, colored, intentionally or not, and still interesting, don’t get me wrong – with the ‘bias’ of their times, which is invaluably telling – in its own way.

here, we have the real voices of a remarkable generation – an incredible oral history rolls out, closely following the chronological timeline of the events, and enriching our ‘take’ beyond all hope & imagination. It’s really a remarkable accomplishment. the film has a beautiful cinematic rhythm, too. not too shrill nor militant in tone – but it ‘packs’. the archival footage of then FBI Director J. EDGAR HOOVER – proves our by now, only ‘inherited’ subliminal thoughts on the guy – to be right on. ugly, ugly as sin. secret files, unfair trials, brutality, killings, by outright assassination, or by paper trails, as in no true affordable legal representation, etc. etc. at one point it even drops that even the ‘personal’ security guard with . . was it Fred Hampton or Huey Newton, or both – was a federal agent/informant.

on the other side, although the empowerment was real, and the uniform went a long way towards making the exploitive white folks wake up, and feel threatened, the proud afros, the cinematic black leather jackets, and the ubiquitous guns, was not so much truly terrorist in nature – as it was posing. strutting. these guys weren’t thugs, they were pop cultural visionaries, & as I write that – hope I’m not offending anybody – from the perspective of 2016 – they didn’t bomb schools, derail trains, blow-up suicide, mass machine gun, or poison. they walked their walk, they talked their talk, they strutted their stance. it was a form of power, but it was not terrorist, as we know it. it was militant, it was organized, it had a target, but it was also kind of by and for ‘writers’ – if you know what I mean. Bob Dylan was subversive, too. it was just finally time for a change, and these guys seized it. as far as I could see, they got pretty beat up, too. in the process. it was urban resistance, the militant style was their most potent weapon.

for artists, I think we all love anything ‘archival’ and esp of the photographic record . . one of the inherent visual strengths of the film – is just watching the self-empowerment & pride that glows out from these young strong faces. usually all we get to see in PBS records of the history of the USA . . are the beat-downs, the sadly mis-used & doomed genius musicians, and the true root/giants of our culture . . or the severely kicked-in-the-backside, if not lynched, downtrodden ordinary folk from the Jim Crow era. ok, occasionally we get brilliant film portraits of the modern gifted black women writers, like Zora Neal Huston and Alice Walker. this doc was so much different. you had to wonder, over and over – at the power of the Party, which came, truly – from within.

the other surprising aspect of the film, that will captivate artists is the actual artwork that runs through the film, and even informs the film’s final credits – artwork by EMORY DOUGLAS – the “Black Panther Party’s Minister of Culture and chief art director for their newspaper for 12 years.” Today we would call that – an indie zine !! a cross between folk lore, folk art, and mid-century revolutionary art. And lucky for us, as this documentary is made to celebrate the 50th (!!) of the movement – a very youthful and sweet Mr. Emory Douglas is still around and kicking, teaching, and making art . . to tell us his story – in the first person. priceless. I always saw the soulful woodblock print-type art. . on the covers of the books by the black woman writers I so revere, I never knew from where it had sprung, now I do. boy, is his time for global recognition overdue, or what !!

though of course, following the lives and different sets of circumstances of the various leaders, and even the heroic small ‘folks’ who get caught up in the party’s momentum – they all glowed with charisma and down home fire, coming from NYC 2016 – you can’t not appreciate their street style. and smarts. drives. dreams, goals. just such a beautiful, beautiful generation. again, I’m not saying this, to be smart-ass, nor to trivialize their fight, plight, brutalization, tragedy & the crass covert way the American system ‘played’ them, and the so-called ‘democratic’ gov’t failed them. except in New York, bye the way, witness the ultimate freedom of the New York 21.
just put it this way: the white cops, and the white feds look like mad-crazed un-educated nasty, rural dogs. fat, sweaty, mean, ill-clothed, and just so full of fear. such an attractive look, no wonder time is on the Black panther side, you are what you – eat.

there is one other one small slice of cinematic telling included here, that maybe won’t mean much to many, and . . if you blink you’ll miss it, so I’m mentioning it. and that’s the brief alliance of the Black Panther Party . . with THE YOUNG PATRIOTS aka the HILLBILLY NATIONALISTS – the young revolutionary voices that sprung up out of the deep, raw poverty & the outright government abuse of the stubborn & early-rooted Appalachia. if you are into quilts, fiddles, banjos & vintage hand-painted Southern Potteries – Blue Ridge dinnerware, you know what I’m talking about. another folk art rich area of America – that also got really ripped off. American dream, right. I think they were among the first to fight in the Revolutionary War, the Mountain Boys (?), and, the first to be ripped off by the new nation – by GEORGE WASHINGTON, himself, who taxed the hell out of their whiskey & beer industry, even stole the recipe – for his own big money-making use.

so yeah, with all the authentic first-hand accounts, and the glorious, if steely archival clips . . and, ‘clips’, i.e. moving film . . not just still black & white photographs – it’s hard to believe this film comes out to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party . . whose full and
official title always was – and is: The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. self-defense being the key phrase.
and, after 9-11-2001, and certainly in light of the recent sad, brutal & shocking events in Paris, and elsewhere & even still here at home in the urban trenches, and it’s not just in the streets, bye the way: why isn’t . . ‘STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON’ up for an Oscar this month, why wasn’t the awesome JAMES BROWN biopic, ‘GET ON UP’ . . sweeping up at last year’s Oscars ?
don’t get me started, but even so . . repeat after 9-11, and on-wards – I think we all should really really think hard, about our ‘domestic’ policing, and I hope we can as a nation, better appreciate . . 50 years on, just how truly revolutionary their stance, their ideology, their intellect, their artistry, their power, their poetry, their militancy, their voice, their struggle . . was.

watch: ‘THE BLACK PANTHERS: Vanguard of the Revolution’ – OFFICIAL TRAILER


‘Black Panthers from Sacramento, Free Huey Rally, Bobby Hutton Memorial Park in Oakland, CA, 1969.’
courtesy of PIRKLE JONES & RUTH-MARION BARUCH
photo via: PHOTO GALLERY – THE BLACK PANTHERS.COM


‘THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD of the REVOLUTION’, ARTWORK BY: EMORY DOUGLAS

more info: ‘THE BLACK PANTHERS’ DOCUMENTARY – OFFICIAL WEBSITE




~ANDY MISTER / @helensaidthis . . turning the small – into the damn funnie & then, takes off with . . urgency – BPP / update THURS FEB 18, 2016

or is that: turning the damn small – into the . . . BIG funnie ?


got consent ? FOUND image by ANDY MISTER
artlovers: depends where you’re putting it . . !!
image via Instagram . . @helensaidthis

want more: ANDY MISTER.COM


ANDY MISTER, ‘Fred Hampton’s Deathbed’, 2015. carbon pencil on handmade paper on panel, 20 x 16 in.

FRED HAMPTON, 1948-1969. African-American activist & revolutionary. Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party – who was gunned down in his sleep – by the ‘authorities’.
see: FRED HAMPTON

ps:
behind every joker . . the tears of a clown, ain’t that the truth !!

UP-DATE: THURS FEB 18, 2016 – 12:46 PM

growing up Canadian, and, just not knowing . . everything !!

I posted this artwork by ANDY MISTER . . because it really resonated with me. as a pure visual. raw, powerful. skills. I was first drawn to look at his work yesterday, I had checked it out before . . by the seemingly ‘random’, but very catchy !! & simple, ‘single unit’ image of a ‘small’ object – he had just posted to Instagram.
you know, the single cell . . of the big info aggregate. it’s fun to see what grabs our attention – in the huge sea of images & info we swim in.

that’s what I mean: how one small image can grab your attention . . and before you know it – you are up, off and running down info highway. Alice in Wonderland – among the infinite universe of Instagram posts.

in this case . . first I googled FRED HAMPTON & I found out who he was. and I was amazed. and I thought that – was that. but I guess there was a reason why ANDY MISTER had highlighted this particular work of his, done in 2015 – on his homepage.

because . . a couple of hours later I turn on my TV – and there is the PBS documentary . . ‘THE BLACK PANTHERS: Vanguard of the Revolution’ . . playing in my living room, on my big screen. I almost fell off my couch, oh yeah. the serendipity of the ‘info’ food chain & catching the wave.
the life of a dedicated ‘super-encounterer’, oh yeah.
jump started from: art.
now, that’s what makes me feel – it’s all for REAL.

sometimes in the search for art, I call that “following the bread crumbs” . . but this was much more than that – because it was such a random , a lucky, random connect. the power of the digital web. the power of the digital collective mind. the power of the . . ‘info trippin’.
talent seeking. world understanding. they used to use TAROT CARDS back in the day. before computers & smart phones.
just joking, maybe.

lol, the power of “Cultivating the Art of Serendipity” – by PAGAN KENNEDY, NYT
she coined the word: super-encounterer. & all the power to ya.

which I only found because . . an artist I follow, ever since I saw his work at LITTLE CAKES back in the 2000s . . BRENDAN MONROE . . @brendantheblob – did the huge wonderful illustration that accompanied it & took up 3/4 of the NYT, Sunday Review page of . . Jan 3, 2016.

I don’t have emojis on this keyboard – or I’d be going crazy with fireworks !!
fer sure.