Shot by Spike Jonze this video is simply amazing! Watch as famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma and a young LA based dancer named Lil Buck collaborate on a performance that you don’t see too often.
Here’s the lowdown from Mr.Jonze himself ” The other day, I was lucky enough to be at an event to bring the arts back into schools and got to see an amazing collaboration between Yo-Yo Ma and a young dancer in LA, Lil Buck. Someone who knows Yo-Yo Ma had seen Lil Buck on YouTube and put them together. The dancing is Lil Buck’s own creation and unlike anything I’ve seen. “
If you work all day in front of a computer then you will without a doubt relate to this Modeselektor video where two figures battle it out in a world full of videos within videos. I myself am always in a battle with my computer monitor where one window is closed only to reveal another window full of work and information that I have to digest. The entire scenarios takes place on a computer monitor with the figures jumping back and forth from screen to screen creating a clever and playful effect courtesy of director Dent de Cuir. Watch the full video after the jump!
This piece is an exact representation of: discovering (despite a frantic search for at least one orange popsicle) the remaining popsicles in the freezer are all grape. I hate grape. Well, maybe that’s not exactly what artist Rokkaku Ayako had in mind when she created this piece, but she definitely has a knack for capturing the essence of childhood in frenzied acrylics and scraps of cardboard. Ayako’s work bleeds with the immediacy of youth. Like when our mothers would say they’d be back in an hour, and we had absolutely no concept of how much time that really was.
In a series titled Volutes (Curls in English), French photographer Gilles Soudry captures the haunting images of smoke frozen in time. Set against a black backdrop, the jets and coils unfold hypnotically, creating eerie, translucent shapes that take the likeness of strange creatures: aliens, ghosts, deep-sea invertebrates, and parasites come to mind. The indistinct shapes allow the viewer to make his or her own interpretation of what the smoke has manifested. At once ephemeral and static, it’s like an otherworldly dance that transcends the logic of space and time, or as Soudry describes it, “an aerial choreography [. . .], outlining an imaginary figure which is freezing into crystalline transparency before it scatters” (Source).
Trained as a photoengraver, Soudry’s work is aimed towards the “photography of matter, surface effects, [and] transparency” (Source). He is interested in shifting outlines and fluid dynamics, combining the fixed nature of the image with figures of immateriality and transience. Volutes captures beauty, mysticism (and indeed, a dark sentience) where otherwise there would just be a thin haze. In this way, Soudry fosters an awareness and appreciation for the beauty and forms that occur on the periphery of materiality and awareness.
If her voluptuous women with their cartoon eyes weren’t enough, Lisa Yushavage captured my soul by saying:
“As an artist you’re supposed to spend your life doing something that’d be an utter waste of time for anyone else. And even so, there’s no proof you’re not wasting your life making some total crap.” (Source)
Using her exceptional skill in oil paints to create hyper-hued landscapes with ripe, almost blowsy, nudes is clearly not making crap. With a career that started in the mid 1990s, her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions, including the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Royal Academy of Arts, London; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.
“I don’t want my pictures to be up to any good. I like the idea that they’re troublemakers. So if I’m told they’re bad for the world, it pleases me. I don’t want to make something that’s an antidote. I want to pose questions. That’s what I do. I suppose I strive to bother people and be loved for it. That’s the dream.” (Source)
These are erotic pictures of women, painted by a woman. Rather than the patriarchal view of sexual woman as object, these women are sexual for themselves. Sometimes kinky, often controversial, these paintings have been compared to soft-core porn. It’s intended as an insult, but it’s actually a reclaiming of power and the ability to depict women in all their forms. “It’s not about being well behaved,” Yaskavage says. “It’s not about behaving for others.”
The essence of female power is not that women must be desexed, it’s that women can decide how they want to be seen—sexy, silly, powerful, maternal, erotic, masculine, intelligent, profound—any combination of these, and much more. Yaskavage’s women are the creatures of her mind, brought to life through her skill with a paintbrush, and behaving in exactly the way they’re meant to in the worlds she’s created.
Angel Olsen has one of those rare voices that deserves to be heard. You might actually have already heard it and didn’t even know it from her work with Bonnie “Prince” Billy and The Cairo Gang, but when I first heard her debut Strange Cacti a while back, I was instantly mesmerized by her unique voice. She self-describes it as, “Never changing, always changing” which makes perfect sense after listening to her newest album Half Way Home from Bathetic Records. I was lucky enough to ask her a few questions regarding what she’s learned from being on the road, as well as how she came up with the cover art for her new record.
In regards to the cover art for Half Way Home… “The cover work for the album began as a photograph of a girl looking out into the mountains from a high point. It was taken from the top of Knapps Castle, just outside of Santa Ynez. I asked Steve Krakow/Plastic Crimewave to make a drawing based upon that image. I’ve always been a fan of his magazine, Galactic Zoo Dossier, and his column in The Chicago Reader “The secret history of chicago music”. He’s been a friend for years and I thought if anyone should work on this, it should be him.” As for why she didn’t use a photo… “I didn’t want to use a photo of myself in the end. I felt that I shouldn’t be framed this time around, something else should be.”
eL Seed is a Tunisian artist who writes graff in arabic. His work is often socially aware- he recently completed a large piece in his home country that translates to “Oh humankind, we have created you from a male and a female and made people and tribes so you may know each other.” The phrase, a verse from the Quran, was used to “convey a message of mutual respect, tolerance, and dialogue in a country brimming with countless possibilities.” And last November, he did a wall that read “this is just a phrase in Arabic” as part of a commentary on Western prejudice and misunderstanding of Middle Eastern culture. Pretty solid skills to top it all off as well.