Friday, November 30, 2007

HOT OFF THE PRESS: shout outs

big shout out to TRACE magazine, CLAM magazine and LEISURE LAB for giving me love these last two months. so first, big thank you to LEISURE LAB, Zane Tate's online zine for the interview op!! those were great questions! if you are interested, it's here. (and those of you who gave me feedback about it..thanks and much luv!)

then the new issue of CLAM just came out...check it out on the right...


CLAM is one of my all-time favorite international fashion, art & culture magazine...it's published in Paris, but it has offices in New York City and in Japan. now it's possible to order it online through their myspace page!

What you can expect is hot fashion photography (Marc Baptiste and Andrew Dosunmu rule!), an amazing array of creative people (visual artists, designers, poets, musicians, dancers, etc) from places that usually don't get this kind of exposure (like Africa, East Asia, Latin America and Central Europe), and classy issues that break away from the conceptual and aesthetic cliches of a lot of similar magazines. Actually, one of CLAM's principal photographers, Marc Baptiste, is also a regular contributor for TRACE. Every issue is organized around a theme (previous ones included 'freedom' and 'escape')...the latest issue was about GROWING UP AND BEING ADULT.



you can check the TRACE blog too..look for "Art Heals"...it definitely got the dopest bloggers, such as Sarah White for instance, keeping your hunger for fresh satisfied.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

ART SHOWS in December: Art Basel & Foundation Factory

my work will be shown at two art shows this December...one is at ART BASEL Miami, FL at the Brian Burkhardt's WORD OF MOUTH show (BRIDGE ART FAIR at the Diet Gallery)...very exiting..i wish i could be in sunny Miami too...it's snowing in Boston:(

...and also in the FOUNDATION FACTORY show I helped to produce and designed the flyer for. anyone in Boston, this shouldn't be missed!

def come check out some of the illest artists, bgirls and bboys in town. here is a lil history about where it all started...

IF YOU DON'T KNOW BY NOW: this is the shit...

this is off the hook...one that deserves to be a megahit...bring back the 70s Snoop!....thanks for the link, Kon:)
Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction

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talking about Kon...check him and Amir out at the BBE records' 11th anniversary party on December 1st, at the Canvas Room in London, UK..it's a craaazy line-up...let's see..for example DJ Premier, Marley Mar, Dimitri From Paris, Gilles Peterson, Pete from BBE, Louie Vega, Osunlade, and of course our very own, Kon & Amir! i'm proud of you, man! i hope you throw on some DS;)

BBE 11 @ Canvas 1st Dec 2007

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

serious withdrawal



i was out of town this last week, and i didn't get to work on any of my projects...man, i never experienced such withdrawal symptoms in the last 10 years! i missed drawing so much, i came home at 10 pm last night and banged this out in a semi-delirious state (it's 5 am now). i guess when you find your creativity flowing into the right channel, work becomes addictive. it's a very satisfying addiction (if you gotta have one, might as well be this), but things get uncomfortable when i am away from my tools:(
it also helped that i was drawing a beautiful woman, whose face was very inspiring to work with. her name is amana melome,she is a singer living in LA, and she is gorgeous! her beauty holds fragility and strength in perfect balance. it is entitled "GLOW". it's also got some lunar energy (it was the full moon tonight).

Friday, November 23, 2007

STREET LIFE: color treatment

the alley beside the Enormous Room/Central Kitchen on Central Square (Cambridge, MA) --courtesy of the owner of E Room---, recently became a playground for local and out-of-town street artists.

this dope piece was painted and painstakingly stenciled by my friends, Kenji and Buildmore. they invited me to add some of my own stuff. I decided against wheat-pasting my logo; instead I took my #5 brush to paint it on the wall...what was I thinking?!

here it is!

my partner in crime, nine.

here is a bad bottlesucka! now this here on the right is really beautiful

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

HIT THE DECK skatedeck art show rolls into Boston

HIT THE DECK was a blast! the decks were fantastic, both local and out-of-town artists brought fresh works...i didn't like the hanging system, but what can you do...i'll have some party photos up soon, so stay tuned. i actually made a tri-part deck, but as i found out they only had space for one:( oh well, here is the complete set.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Now this cutie is my painter friend, Shayna.

Mitch aka MK Fresh, Matt and Shayna

Josh Falk of Project SF and Dan of Bodega

Kira and Swat getting down

I got my friend, Kenji startled..lol.. Mr Smooth on the left is Dana of Project SF.

Tara & friend

oh, and i want to share my friend, Nick Zegel's crazy tree-house skateboard, which wasn't at the show (I wasn't the one curating it, or else it would've been there for sure) but definitely deserves to be seen!

Monday, November 19, 2007

STEVIE WONDER concert afterparty II: photos

...so here is the follow-up with some pix...
Spinna and Bobbito keeping the house going all night


my friend, Aurelie, grooving to "Superstition"

4:15 am, some of us can't quit it...

At 4:30am those of us who couldn't stop dancing were in for an incredible surprise treat! Stevie Wonder walked in with a modest accompaniment of two of his bodyguards...by this point there were only about 40 of us left in the room (which was packed earlier), so we could get really close. Stevie is my hero, since MLK's death, not a lot of people have carried on the message of love with such charisma and authenticity. His presence was intensely spiritual, I think all of us in the room would agree.

He gave a moving speech about his love for people, about the evils of drugs that undermine communities, and about that fact that kids should be taught respect toward their parents and elders again. You can go and listen to his speech on Dj Spinna's page!

well, Spinna & Bobbito's amazing set was definitely crowned by the man himself, one of the most gifted musical geniuses alive. Unforgettable! thank you!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

too much...

talent shows early... a friend forwarded the link to this video, and i just had to share it...this kiddo is only four!

and here is his lil 2 year old brother...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

FUTURE SHOCK: DJ VADIM keeping it alive

check out DJ VADIM (BBE, Ninja Tunes) freaking the beat..NYC's DJ Vadim, hailing from Russia via London, is part of the new generation of DJ's who are shaping the future sound of hip hop. Along with Yarah Bravo, Vadim is also part of ONESELF, one of the freshest new acts out there. Vadim has worked with my compatriot, SENA, with whom I had an interview here a while back...these guys are definitely peeps to watch out for!

Dj Vadim - Got to rock

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4 My Writers - DJ Vadim featuring Juice

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

11/17/07 STEVIE WONDER concert afterparty w/ DJ SPINNA

!!!!

for more info check here

if you don't know Dj Spinna, you can get an idea here...soulflow, baby!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

BROKEN PROMISES:"When I Came Home" a documentary about Iraq veterans, homelessness and the price of peace

Do you find yourself wondering what is going on in Iraq? How many years has it been now? Have the media become too numbed to the news coming out of Iraq that the daily bomb attacks don't make front page anymore? And what has happened to the people who have come back from Iraq? Are we going to see more and more young folks alongside of Vietnam vets on the street?

Many people I know are so disgusted by the idea of war that they see soldiers as active part of the evil military machine, so they blame them for even signing up for the army. This is a familiar argument mostly coming from well-off liberals, who don't really want to look beyond the ideological dimensions of the problem at hand. Frankly, I think that to blame soldiers uncritically for being 'guilty by association' in an unjust war is a very simplistic way to approach the problem (or to be a little more forceful, I think it is also partly responsible for many of the vets' failure to readjust to ordinary life and for their eventual decision to becoming homeless). Though in many ways, I'm an idealist when it comes to peace and justice, I can't help but to think that one also has to be a pragmatist with issues like war. First of all, every highly educated middle-class liberal who rejects soldiers for 'signing up for war and wanting to kill', should face the fact that the history of the world has always been a story of conflict and reconciliation. If you don't have a means to protect your country, a more powerful one with an army might take yours out. Look at Europe...have they learned from the two world wars? The recent Balkan conflict proves the contrary. This is not to say that I support the idea of the military. I'm just being realistic.

People form communities around an identity or uniting principle (family, tribe, place of origin, ethnic background, political or religious conviction, etc), and in order to maintain the survival of that group identity, they will often use violent means...some group only use it to defend itself, while some create ideologies that justify an offensive use of violence. The fact is that without a military, or an ally with a powerful military, no country can survive today, whether one likes it or not. Of course, I don't like it, but am willing to live with it as I don't think I have any other choice. I think that the more important issue to focus on is how to make sure that the military stays out of war. Having grown up in a country that in the 20th century had gone through two world wars, a civil war, and forty five years of totalitarian government, I have somewhat of a different perspective on the realities of war and the price of peace.

The uneasy paradox that anti-military US liberals are turning a blind eye on is that they ARE, in a way, a beneficiary of the military...to have the kind of economic opportunities, education, freedom to travel, or the freedom to criticize the government is partially the result of the fact that this country has a the world's mightiest military. One can try to deny it, but it is nonetheless the case.

In fact, I'm willing to push that point even further: the reason why we have this relative freedom and comfort is because there are people out there who have NO CHOICE but to take jobs below the poverty level and have NO OTHER CHANCE to escape poverty but to enlist in the military. Would you ever think of measuring a glass of orange juice in terms of its human cost, or entertain the thought that it may have come from a dirty use of human labor? You don't have to go to China to find sweatshops...in Florida, for instance, you can find illegal immigrants exploited and practically employed as slaves on orange plantations (I don't want to distract from the main point, but you can read up more on this horrifying reality... here I will write on this later).

Most philosophical arguments against the war are fueled by a frustration with abstract concepts...it is easy to blame "the military" and "the government", but when one humanizes these concepts, the issue becomes a little more complicated. Without a doubt, I do believe that those behind the decisions to engage in the Iraq war and the handling of current African and Latin American political affairs should be criticized and made accountable for. The list is endless. But when one is willing to look beyond philosophical abstractions, one can discover another alarming social reality behind the war.

Face it, many of the soldiers come from low-income marginalized communities who see the military as the only way to leave the world of poverty, to have a decent education, and in fact have no desire to kill, but are willing to fight and die for a country they love. And if you noticed, the military has no shame in specifically targeting minority youth with their recruitment team. The proliferation of military video games as a conscious recruiting tool is very alarming too.

So for me, the question to think about is rather how to maintain my stance against the war, without overlooking the sacrifices that individuals make for my security and comfort. What I'm trying to say is that instead of being an armchair political activist and argue endlessly about corrupt government officials and the evils of the army, one should try to understand the bigger picture. Personally, I refuse to shy away from trying to untangle the complexities that effect the lives of individuals involved in this mess.

So here is another slice of the bigger picture. There are more than 1.5 million new veterans in the US and the number is ever growing. Many come back with missing limbs, severe trauma (PTSD-post traumatic stress disorder), and with memories that will leave a scar on their psyche forever. If you think that in exchange for their service, the military takes care of its soldiers...well you should reconsider. Follow-up mental health care for veterans is known to be poor and often non-existent. And now I realize that the situation for veterans from low-income communities is even more dire. Like the illegal immigrants who are forced do the dirty job to keep prices low, many of these vets get rejection and humiliation upon their return to home and are stripped of their dignity.

The documentary, "When I Came Home", is a story of the realities behind the war that was based on lies and faulty premises. It is about Herold Noel (27), a Brooklyn veteran, who after returning from Iraq, found himself homeless because the army that he'd served, decided to turn its back on him. It is a sobering story of broken promises, hypocrisy, and the search for reclaiming dignity.

Watch it. Learn. Get out of the ideological armchair and put things in perspective. Dig deeper and ask more questions. Have compassion.

Here is a description from the film:
"When I Came Home is a documentary film about homeless veterans in America: from those who served in Vietnam to those returning from the current war in Iraq. The film looks at the challenges faced by returning combat veterans and the battle many must fight to receive their benefits from the Veterans Administration. Through the story of Herold Noel, a homeless Iraq war veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and living out of his car in Brooklyn, the film reveals a failing system and the veteran’s struggle to survive after returning from the war. When I Came Home follows Herold’s battle with homelessness and PTSD as he tries to get help from the VA, city agencies, and various veterans organizations."

By buying the DVD, you can support select homeless veteran organizations. Click here to read more about it here.)