26
Feb 10

The Radiant Child: Basquiat Unseen

The trailer for the documentary The Radiant Child about the 80′s post-punk artist Jean-Michel Basquait was just released. It is directed by Tamra Davis who was a friend of Basquiat. She shot this when the artist was at the height of his stardom and two years before his death. After his death of a drug overdose in 1988 she put her footage away in a draw. As she explains it on this youtube interview, she knew Basquiat was upset that his friends were selling his art when he only intended them to be gifts. She didn’t want to be another person who just exploited him. It wasn’t until his 2005 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum when she realized how little footage exists of Basquiat that she decided to make the footage public. As Davis states ‘representations of Basquiat in video and literature did not capture the Jean-Michel Basquiat she knew.’ The trailer looks great and I can’t wait to see the film. It is sure to be an art-house classic.

Theatrical Release date July 21st, 2010

TrevzNewPop


26
Feb 10

Digitilisms


25
Feb 10

Artist Slash ________.

Recently I was looking for a remedy for my friend who suffers from an identity crises as a result of her status as a writer who spends far more time working in her 9 – 5 than being an artist. Going through this same struggle myself a few years back I wanted her to embrace the artist inside the way I did but I didn’t want her to be irresponsible in the process and do anything rash like quit her job the way I did. (I’m still paying for that little bit of impulsivity.)  During one of my regular visits to Barnes & Noble I was drawn to a book cover with a whimsical illustration that just screamed ‘Pick Me Up!” so I did.  To my surprise the book dealt with the very issue my friend was struggling with. The book is titled The Artist in The Office: How to Creatively Strive and Thrive Seven Days a Week by Summer Pierre.  It is a refreshingly realistic approach to living as a struggling artist.  Lets face it, many artist will never make a living doing art full-time.  Most books dealing with this reality imply that the artist vs. non-artist dilemma is an all or nothing proposition.  This book debunks that thought process and illustrates the fact that life as a part-time artist can be just as exciting as life as a full-time artist.  In an interview with the Creative Times the author states “The more permission you give yourself to do the things that delight you, your life goes through the roof. Start noticing what nurtures you.”

As I mentioned I to went through the struggle of working a “day” job while still calling myself an artist. When asked what it is I do I found myself trying to convince myself as much as anyone else that I was an artist. The excerpt below courtesy of Etsy.com describes this dilemna perfectly.

“Once, at a party, I was asked the inevitable question: “So, what do you do?” I replied that I was an artist. After we covered exactly what “artist” meant, my new acquaintance asked me, “So, do you do that full time, or are you just a wage slave?”

I hate the term “wage slave.” To me, it implies a sort of victim relationship to having a job. It’s as if, as artists, we are shackled to our regular paychecks. This is utter crap. Nobody pointed a gun to my head and said, “March into that job interview, make a good impression, and take the job.” No matter what I’d rather do or not do, I made a choice to go after my day job. I’m also paid for it.”

This isn’t your typical motivational book.  It doesn’t guilt you into leaving your comfort zone with herculean tasks that you know will fade with time.  Instead this book suggests easy and fun to do tasks that enhance your current situation and nuture a fertile enviroment for creative growth.  One example can be found in the following illustration.

So go out and get the book.  If for no other reason than the delightful illustrations by Summer.  You won’t regret it.

TrevzNewPop


23
Feb 10

The Formula For Success

Recently while browsing the Tuner magazine blog TunerLifeStyleTV, I ran across a video by the folks at Honda titled Failure: The Secret to Success. It features Danica Patrick and many others discussing the concept of failure. I find this a fascinating topic considering the struggle I face everyday to survive as an artist.  In the downtown scene I work in the mantra is “Fake It Until You Make It.” It’s hard to find anyone to identify with during the inevitable struggles that we ALL face.   If one were to believe half of what folks in the scene tell us about their “triumphs,” one could easily think that you are the only one who hasn’t figured out the formula for success.  Well surprise, surprise, the formula for success is a long and winding path on a road called failure.

This video is a refreshing look at folks who HAVE achieved success discussing their failures.  It is beautifully shot and edited.  After watching this video you won’t feel like you are the only one struggling to reach your goals despite what your colleagues lead you to believe.  Below that video I embedded a video interview with Lady Gaga from my friends at GakCity.  This was shot in a relatively small downtown bar a few years ago before Lady Gaga was the mega star she is today.  It’s inspiring because she talks about being persistent in her pursuit for fame.   I will end this blog entry with this famous quote also included in this piece from Thomas Edison; When asked about the numerous failures he encountered when inventing the light bulb Edison said ‘I never failed, it just didn’t work 10,000 times.’

Enjoy

TrevzNewPop

Lady Gaga interviewed by our freinds at GAKcity before she blew up.


22
Feb 10

Futura & The 151 Wooster Wildstyle Wall

A couple of years ago I documented a story about the 151 Wooster Wildstyle Wall.   As Paper Magazine put it “a wall covered with the tags of old school superstars Fab Five Freddy, Futura 2000, Jean-Michel Basquiat and others. Believed to have once belonged to art critic Edit Deak, the apartment became a hang-out, a let’s get high spot where the walls became a canvas for the aerosol artists.” This story got a ton of press and I found it hard to present it with a unique perspective, consequently the project got put on hold.

Recently I found myself watching a video on HypeBeast on artist Kenny Scharf who was a part of the 1980′s Post Punk Art scene in NY. A scene that I was totally fascinated with ten years ago before I was “plugged in” and jaded.  Kenny Scharf was a roommate of Keith Haring, who was a friend of Fab 5 Freddy, who collaborated with Futura 2000.   These guys were at the center of what was the coolest 10 year run of art and music in NY.  You had the uptown hip-hop scene, coming downtown to the Post Punk/New Wave scene, and at the center of it all were the street artist.  Among them, Futura 2000.  In books like Keith Haring The Authorized Biography, The Keith Haring Journals, & Basquiat A Quick Killing In Art, Futura 2000 was referenced numerous times as one of the best artist of this period.  Veiwing the Scharf piece combined with a broader perspective as a result of time inspired me to dig up the old tapes and reconsider the footage.   I thought that it might be cool to tell the story of the 151 Wooster Wall through Futura’s eyes.  A risky approach considering I am excluding the interviews of folks like Fab 5 Freddie, Lee Quinones, and several others involved with this amazing discovery.  In the end I was pleased with this approach.  Futura seemed to be instantly transported back to the days when this movement was at it’s zenith and that enthusiasm translated well in this piece.

Enjoy

TrevzNewPop



19
Feb 10

Digitilisms


18
Feb 10

The Digital Magazine War is On!

Thanks to the folks at HypeBeast, for the third time in a month I have seen some prototype of the future of the Digital Magazine format. So I am making it official, I am calling it… The age of the Digital Magazine has officially arrived! You heard it here first. This week Adobe throws it’s hat in the ring with their version of the Digital Mag. How it matches up against the contenders remains to be seen? Will the front runner iPad take the title? Will underdog Bonnier steal the throne? Or will Adobe make another splash? (You flash geeks probably caught that reference.) Personally my favorite is the Bonnier device. It’s more elegant, smaller, has better graphics, and had the best video presentation. Yes that counts in my book. Check out the Adobe video below and do your own comparison. I included links to the other devices beneath the last embed. I also included a scene from Minority Report 2002. It’s the first time I remember thinking how cool would it be if they could invent a Digital Magazine/Newspaper like the one in that scene. Who Knew?

Enjoy
TrevzNewPop

iPad
Bonnier


16
Feb 10

The Graduate is Too Funky

Until this past weekend The Graduate was a film that I only knew about through it’s famous quotes and scenes. Somehow I felt like I had already seen this entire film, heard all quotes and laughed at all the jokes, when I actually never watched it. My unfounded perception of this film as an irrelevant relic of another time discouraged me from actively pursuing this as a rental or purchase. Thank god for TCM where I am a passive participant of timeless gems from Hollywood past. This weekend I sat down and watched the entire film and to my surprise I was able to appreciate it for its cultural significance.

It is ironic when a work of art has such a strong cultural impact that its iconic status becomes a detriment to its viewership. Case and point, the scenes posted below have been played ad nauseum and as a result they have become greater than the sum of it’s parts. Most of us are aware of this film through bits and pieces. The relationship between the younger man and the cougar Anne Bancroft, the plot twist where he falls for her daughter, the chart topping soundtrack by folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel. This familiarity takes away from the novelty that might otherwise draw in an unsuspecting viewer, robbing them of the experience that won over audiences when it first opened.

Upon my own viewing of The Graduate, what I found most compelling were the layers of pop-culture references that when viewed from the cultural landscape of the time were quite revolutionary. The seedy strip club scene, the references to “Agytators,” and “Plastics,” the stunning shots of the “Alfa Romeo Spider” on the freeways of California. This film directed by Mike Nichols ushered in the new wave of Hollywood directors and captured the spirit of the times. It reflected the changing of the guard in Hollywood and in society. According to Filmsite.org “two California settings (Los Angeles and Berkeley) and S. and N. California cultures (materialistic vs. intellectual), There was already a growing dissatisfaction with the status quo and middle-class values, and the breakthrough film mirrored that anarchic mood perfectly for America’s youth of the 60s during the escalation of the Vietnam War.” This quote explains why it resonated then, and why it resonated with me.

I included two popular clips from The Graduate below that I look at now with a fresh perspective. They are no longer meaningless clips from an irrelevant film, I look at them now as cinematic landmarks of a shift in American pop culture. I highly recommend renting this on Netflix or watching it whenever it plays on TCM again.

Enjoy
TrevzNewPop

I also sandwiched the 1992 George Michael video “Too Funky” where they use a sound-byte from The Graduate in the very beginning. Try to catch the soundbyte without getting too distracted by the very young Tyra Banks and Linda Evangelista.

Spoiler Alert!


12
Feb 10

Digitilisms


12
Feb 10

Theophilus London in Complex Mag

Theophilus London The Hip Hop Crooner who has hosted a couple of episodes on New Pop has a feature in the February/March issue of Complex magazine. It’s a fashion feature so there isn’t much substance in terms of the Q & A, but the photos are great. Also there is a cool little widget where you can mouse over the fashion pieces and see a pop up window that tells you everything you need to know about the gear. Check it out here.

TrevzNewPop