In one of the strangest, most profoundly trying times in human history, much to our grief, those of us who are blessed or cursed to watch over planet Earth are having profound reactions to what is going on. And, it also troubles me.
Here in America, as all of you readers from all over the globe well know, we Americans have been immersed for over two years in a political debate that often wanders into something more than politics, but also sometimes looks like something that could turn to a real war, with real dead bodies, and not just a war of words.
Could it happen here? Yes, I think so. One of the downsides of identity politics is that sooner or later a group will get so riled up that they just throw common sense to the wind and forget that they’re a part of a collective called America.
That’s the great danger for counties that are trying to have the same kind of diversity that we in America have, as we see in Europe. The food, the music, the worldview, the new genes, are all great things to have. But sooner or later what has been going on here in America in the last two years could also happen there.
I just hope that folks will pull back and stop the name calling. The main reason why I started Neworld Review is because I have always seen myself as a New World creation. I knew this long before the genetic testing that we now have. I knew my European family. I knew the Native American who was my great grandmother. I knew the Africans. So, it didn’t take much for me to understand that I was a product of this land mass called America.
As such, I want Americans to not necessarily love one other, but at a minimum, not to unleash the kind of bile that we have been cursed with for the last two years.
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Neworld Review: What in your life is the theme that inspires you most?
BERNARD STANLEY HOYES: There are some constant reference to religion and spirituality. There are more early expressions: identity, isolation, family and claiming my roots.
In my formative years I was an activist and individual. It gave me a sense of nature. I was influenced by the nationalist’s cry of the independence movements in the Caribbean. I created portraits of our heroes and read the writings of the great minds of our time such as Marcus Garvey, Gandhi, David Henry Thoreau, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. As I matured, I was influenced by character building, learning from civil rights, and civil disobedience. I concluded that independence is found in personal gardens, that we cultivate in our own yards. So, I turned my attention to family. I sought out as any living relatives that I could find and made connections.
I got married and created a home. I reconnected to my hometown in Kingston and created the body of work that became The Revival Series. This body of work has made me an independent artist.
I attribute my rewards and recognition thus far, to the choices that I made to elevate my consciousness and to set a foundation of faith; my faith in family as well as in my artistic endeavors, have been central to my growth. My art took the same route. I went from social/political content, to a more spiritual awaking and connection.
NR: What has been your largest struggle as an artist?
BSH: Maintaining an artist career through my art practice and sales.
Getting support for my unique vision as I try to contribute to my culture.
NR: Who is your hero or most influence mentor? Or artist? And why have they affected you?
BSH: Many artists have influenced me. The Impressionists were, in my formative phase, in real life development. The artists I observed in Jamaica growing up taught me about taking pride in the building and crafting a painting. Family members such as my mother, Olga May, encouraged my passions. Then my father, in my teens Stanford Vincent, through the Grace of the Most High, decided to claim me and brought me to the States to further my education.
Then as I set on a path of seriously considering the life of an artist, Noran Lewis and Romere Bearden were instrumental in giving good advice as to how to conduct myself as an artist. How to measure my efforts, my drive, as well as my work ethics.
N R: Has your design experience affected you? How?
BSH: While in art school I was a very advanced as a painter. Having been a practicing painter and sculptor since adolescence, I spent my scholarship funds on learning new skills. Such as advertising, photography, layout, typesetting, .....Read More
“I started doing colored smoke pieces at the end of the 1960s,” Judy Chicago recalled to a sold-out crowd of Miami’s hippest. Years before she began to assemble her iconic “Dinner Party,” the woman who is the godmother of feminist art lined the streets of Pasadena with smoke machines and set off blazing colors on beaches and desert stretches throughout Southern California.
Now, on a bright and balmy evening, 80 degrees in February, the petite artist who, hard to believe, is now 79, in a purple shirt and big sunglasses, was about to set off a smoky ode to Miami. Or maybe unleash the Furies.
We were gathered on the asphalt ground of the outdoor sculpture garden at Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), waiting for her to set off “A Purple Poem to Miami”—a one-night extravaganza in the midst of “A Reckoning,” a four-decade retrospective of her work that ICA is showing through April 21. Here in Miami’s sleek Design District, at least half of the spectators would not have been born when Chicago began taking on the male art establishment in the 1960s; but feminist art, so long stuck in a niche, has found a home in the mainstream in the wake of #MeToo.
Chicago was circumspect that night about her struggles as an artist and a woman. She did talk about how she wanted, back in the 1960s and 1970s, to be a pyrotechnician. “There were no female pyrotechnicians at that time.” She said she had to stop the pyrotechnic series she called “Atmospheres” in 1974, without elaborating on why, but last year she told Vulture Magazine that it was partly lack of funding and partly that while she was apprenticing with a fireworks company, the head of the company sexually harassed her.
But she has brought “Atmospheres” back; this was the sixth performance in seven years, always an explosion designed to fit the surroundings.
Chicago was standing on a platform behind four tiers of wooden frames, with flares burning on the outside—better to keep a respectful distance-- and jars that looked deceptively like they might contain fresh-scent-for-a-gracious home candles. It resembled a minimalist altar. Before she brought the altar to Miami, Chicago and her pyrotechnic crew tested it on the Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino.
You can see A Purple Poem in its 11-minute entirety on YouTube. But Chicago is an artist for a three-dimensional world; you had to be there to ponder what it means to have a rainbow of smoke engulf you. Rather like a living triangle of rebirth, apocalypse, and hope.
She has always said that some of the smoke art in the Atmospheres series was meant to soften the environment and fill the space with beautiful colors—a purple smoke installation in Santa Barbara in 1969 that you can find on the Internet has a look of ethereal lilac bushes on a moonscape—while others, more radically, re-created women’s activities like the kindling of .....Read More
A musical comedy that always entertains is Kiss Me Kate, and it’s being presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company on Broadway at Studio 54 located at 254 W 54th Street. It features the unforgettable, funny, sometimes spicy, lyrics and music of Cole Porter and a book by Sam and Bella Spewack.
Kiss Me Kate is full of tremendous singing performances, exceptional choreography by Warren Carlyle and spotlights the brilliant direction of Scott Ellis.
The cast is simply marvelous and stars Kelli O’Hara as Lilli Vanessi/Katherine, Will Chase as Fred Graham, and Petruchio and Corbin Bleu as Bill Calhoun and Lucentio. If you don’t know what Kiss Me Kate is, this hilarious production is a musical within a musical. It is a theatre company preparing for and then staging The Taming of the Shrew, and it’s so funny to watch.
Kiss Me Kate is something I was used to seeing in the movie version, and I am very familiar with the fantastic songs in it, including “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “Why Can’t You Behave,” “Wunderbar,” “So in Love,” “We Open in Venice,” “Tom, Dick, or Harry,” “I Hate Men,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Where Is the Life That Late I Led,” “Always True To You in My Fashion,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” and “Kiss Me Kate.” Each song is delivered in a showstopping manner by this absolutely outstanding cast! O’Hara has one of the most stunning operatic voices you will experience on a Broadway stage. Chase also has a memorable voice as does Bleu, who by the way, is quite the dancer. He is a tap-dancing delight.
The cast is mixed and inspiring to see. There are a lot of Black actors that are standing out on that stage, and they include Adrienne Walker, who plays Hattie—her voice is so lovely; James T. Lane, who plays Paul and leads.....Read More
There’s no point in trying to talk to you.
You’re like a cat that never left
The apartment where it was born.
&, so, if I told you,
You wouldn’t believe me,
That there’s always snow
On the crest .....Read More
Every day lends us a new experience in life. Take a walk...ride the bike or head out in the car. Get on the road and see the beauty of the day.
This segment is about taking a real look at what we may be missing as we are on the road. Photography gives us the opportunity to experience the detail. Detail in things even a small as a flower. Taking that "drive though the lens" so to speak.
The following are shots from The Valley of Fire in Nevada. ( 50 miles outside of Las Vegas) Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area covering nearly 46,000 acres. The state park derives its name from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago.
The Super bloom was shot in Lake Elsinore (60 miles from San Diego, CA) Established as a city in 1888, it is on the shore of Lake Elsinore, a natural freshwater lake about 3,000 acres in size, elevation: 1,296
And finally, my road trip ended in Antelope.....Read More
When your introduction to the world of dance is to have the great choreographer, George Balanchine, call your name at an audition it’s enough to send chills up and down your spine, no matter how agile and gifted you are as a dancer.
Hearing her name, as she tried to hide behind the other aspiring dancers, for a moment stunned Glory Van Scott. Keeping to the rear of the other dancers, she thought would give her the cover she needed in order to learn the intricate steps each of them had to perform.
“I want you to lead the line,” Balanchine said.
“My God,” Glory said to herself. “Uh-oh, kid! You gotta get this together or your goose is cooked. You function, you focus—and you get it right.”
She went to the front of the line, paid close attention to the demonstrators of the steps, and then danced as though her very life was at stake.
“And I got the job!” she exclaimed
That was in 1954, and her audition was for House of Flowers with music by Harold Arlen and the book by Truman Capote. The cast was a veritable retinue of future stars, including Geoffrey Holder, Carmen de Lavallade, Alvin Ailey, Diahann Carroll, Pearl Bailey, and Arthur Mitchell, just to mention a few of the legends she invokes in the book’s subtitle, each of them going on to fame and fortune.
Moments and personalities such as these are recalled throughout Glory’s memoir, an absolutely engrossing book festooned with several motifs—photographs, poems, essays, reflections, and praise songs—all of which taken together replicates her multifaceted career.
One of her most poignant recollections—and this is no easy choice for a woman who is a highly acclaimed dancer, poet, playwright, educator, and founder of a youth theater—occurs during the funeral of her esteemed colleague, dancer and choreographer Talley Beatty.
Dr. Van Scott had wanted a flock of doves to be released at the close of the.....Read More
I wanted to like this book. It is about the art scene that roughly bridged the beat era of the 1950s and the 1960s in Los Angeles. This occurred when I was a teenager. Then I excitedly anticipated each installation at the Pasadena Art Museum, which was briefly the magnet for cutting-edge art.
A brash a new wave of artists emerged in Southern California in the late 1950s that bore allegiance to no school and practiced an outlier art, challenging the New York-centered abstract expressionist hegemony that had once been a rebellion but had become what the newcomers considered an authoritarian establishment.
Rather than eschewing figurative representation as had Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, many of these new artists pulled imagery from mass culture and blew it up, repeated it and even celebrated it. Of course, Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns were already breaking the hold on the East Coast, but L.A. had no real art scene of its own
Some of the young artists to emerge were homegrown but a significant number came from the Midwest, and rather than heading to New York where the competition was tough and was in some ways a closed shop, they flocked to Southern California where they could start something entirely new. Among this new guard were artists who have since become iconic figures. Among them were Ed Moses, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Claes Oldenburg, David Hockney, James Turrell, Helen Pashgian, Ed Keinholz, Ed Ruscha, and Wallace Berman.
Berman died in 1976 but throughout the ’60s the self-defined beatnik was at the hub of the art scene that bloomed around the Ferus Art Gallery and its enigmatic cofounder Walter Hopps and partner Irving Blum. City Lights has just published his son Tosh Berman’s memoir Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman’s World in what appears to be a hastily edited volume, which is sometimes chronological while bearing chapter headings mostly named for middling to luminescent celebrities that Tosh knew. It seems that his father was a magnet for the likes of Dennis Hopper, Brian Jones, Allen Ginsberg and host of greater and lesser known artists and bohemian hangers on, all ended up in his Topanga Canyon home.
Tosh Berman also is credited for a photographic collection of his father’s works, Wallace Berman: American Aleph, published in 2016 and for which he wrote the introduction.
Perhaps City Lights took on this project because it’s the niche publisher for all things beat but other than that it’s hard to see what the allure may have been for this, unfortunately, rather superficial and frankly poorly written personal history reveals very little about Wallace Berman other than some basic facts of his life that could be gleaned from a quick Google search.
Wallace Berman was born in New York City in 1926 to a Russian Jewish family that moved when in he was in grade school to Boyle Heights, then a Jewish-Mexican enclave of Los Angeles, finally settling on westward with much of the Jewish community to the Fairfax area near Hollywood. Until he was apparently expelled for gambling, Berman attended Fairfax High, whose later alumni included Herb Alpert and Phil Spector.
Before he was old enough to order a drink, Berman frequented the clubs in the vibrant jazz world on Central Avenue, where surprisingly, he became good friends with Sammy Davis Jr. This is only the first of the celebrity names dropped in the book. Apparently, .....Read More
we woke death
this morning, lady
Lady Day and day .....Read More