What started out as a blog focusing on my business of personal sales in design toys/ urban vinyl turned into a blog about videos, toys, clothing, art and the politics that make my life in Newark/Irvington New Jersey.
MICHEL VALENTINO was born in march 1972, he was trained as a director and digital artist for film. 1995 Valentino made himself independent as a freelance director and multimedia artist.
He created visual effects for the film industries and produced numerous international music videos and promotional films. As a specialist for visual effects and model tricks he worked under the management of directors and producer all around the world.
Then in 2005 Valentino got out of the film industry to dedicate his whole creative work excluding the multimedia arts. He deals with the key elements of a society which is driven and controlled by politics, war, fashion, entertainment and computer technologies.
His works reflect contemporary developments and visions as well as utopias of the past like future, social structures which are marked by the influence of different cultures, life styles and technologies. The video camera, the photo camera, the computer and miniature models are equal, privileged tools in his creative working process.
Halcyon and NOOKA coordially invite you Thursday September 18th from 6:30-930pm for a special preview of our Nooka watch selection and celebrate the opening of Matthew Waldman's exclusive in-store art installation.
NOOKA is the brainchild of artist and designer, Matthew Waldman. In 1997, Matthew had a flash-back to a first grade math class while staring at a large wall clock in a London hotel and was struck by how few options there were for time display. He them sketched his ideas for potential designs on a napkin and brought them back to New York. After working on the designs, he submitted them to his legal team, and indeed, they were unique enought to patent!
The linear and graphic representation of the time with Nooka timepieces presents a more intuitive way to view time. The visual mass increases aas time passes, giving weight to an ephimeral and abstract concept. Once you're used to the new visual paradigm, you may never go back to standard analog and digital time displays for your wrist.
Initially licensed to Seiko in 1999, the Nooka Zoo enjoyed critical acclaim in the select markets it was released. No longer associated with Seiko, Nooka Inc. now produces the line more truthful to Matthew's original vision. Nooka is proud to have been selected as finalist in the Genart awards for the accessories category for 2005.
Music Curated By: Alex Graham (Matterform, Jane's Addiction) Nick Chacona (Hector Works, 2020 Vision, Mood Music) RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org 57 Pearl St. Brooklyn, NY 11201 Map For more info go here.
Urban lifestyle brand Carrot Clothing can trace its roots back to 1999, a tumultuous time for its owner's native Serbia. In a noble effort to uplift lagging spirits and voice personal concerns about freedom, he began printing t-shirts featuring unmuted anti-war messages for family and friends. This move, though courageous, landed him in jail and at the mercy of unforgiving local authorities for spreading allegedly "terrorist" policies.
Since then, he has joined forces with skateboarders, street artists, and other creative minds to establish Carrot Clothing, a brand whose very essence is based upon the family-like relationships between global art, skate, and street communities. The brand aims to transcend typical business aspirations, hoping to inject the streetwear industry with its own unique perspective. In the two years since its inception, Carrot has developed into a globally-recognized lifestyle brand with an exciting collection available in more than 20 countries worldwide. Carrot hopes to continue on its promising journey with the hope of inspiring people in the same way that they themselves have been inspired by the remarkable feats of others.
John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist who advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish all slavery. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859.
President Abraham Lincoln said he was a "misguided fanatic" and Brown has been called "the most controversial of all 19th-century Americans." His attempt in 1859 to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the state of Virginia, the murder of five proslavery Southerners, and inciting a slave insurrection. He was hanged, but his behavior at the trial seemed heroic to millions of Americans. Southerners alleged that his rebellion was the tip of the abolitionist iceberg and represented the wishes of the Republican Party. Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that a year later led to secession and the American Civil War.
Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis. Unlike most other Northerners, who still advocated peaceful resistance to the pro-slavery faction, Brown demanded violent action in response to Southern aggression. Dissatisfied with the pacifism encouraged by the organized abolitionist movement, he reportedly said "These men are all talk. What we need is action - action!"  During the Kansas campaign he killed five pro-slavery southerners in what became known as the Pottawatomie Massacre in May 1856, in response to the raid of the "free soil" city of Lawrence. Brown's most famous deed was the 1859 raid he led on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (in modern-day West Virginia). During the raid, he seized the federal arsenal, killing seven people (including a free black) and injuring ten or so more. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, each of Brown's men had fled or been killed or captured by local farmers, militiamen, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee. Brown's subsequent capture by federal forces, his trial for treason to the state of Virginia, and his execution by hanging in Charles Town, Virginia were an important part of the origins of the American Civil War, which followed sixteen months later.
When Brown was hanged after his attempt to start a slave rebellion in 1859, church bells rang, minute guns were fired, large memorial meetings took place throughout the North, and famous writers such as Emerson and Thoreau joined many Northerners in praising Brown.
Historians agree John Brown played a major role in starting the Civil War. His role and actions prior to the Civil War, as an abolitionist, and the tactics he chose still make him a controversial figure today. He is sometimes memorialized as a heroic martyr and a visionary and sometimes vilified as a madman and a terrorist. While some writers, such as Bruce Olds, describe him as a monomaniacal zealot, others, such as Stephen B. Oates, regard him as "one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation." David S. Reynolds hails the man who "killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights" and Richard Owen Boyer emphasizes that Brown was "an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans might be free." For Ken Chowder he is "at certain times, a great man", but also "the father of American terrorism."
Brown's nicknames were Osawatomie Brown, Old Man Brown, Captain Brown and Old Brown of Kansas. His aliases were Nelson Hawkins, Shubel Morgan, and Isaac Smith. Later the song "John Brown's Body" (the original title of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic") became a Union marching song during the Civil War. Wiki
Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans is a riveting tale of hope, heartbreak and resiliency set in New Orleans' most fascinating neighborhood. Shot largely before Hurricane Katrina and edited afterwards, the film is both celebratory and elegiac in tone.
Faubourg Tremé is arguably the oldest black neighborhood in America, the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement in the South and the home of jazz. While the Tremé district was damaged when the levees broke, this is not another Katrina documentary. Every frame is a tribute to what African American communities have contributed even under the most hostile of conditions.. It is a film of such effortless intimacy, subtle glances and authentic details that only two native New Orleanians could have made it.
Our guide through the neighborhood is New Orleans' Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie who bought a historic house in Tremé in the 1990's when the area was struggling to recover from the crack epidemic. Rather than flee the blighted inner city, Elie begins renovating his dilapidated home and in the process becomes obsessed with the area's mysterious and neglected past. The film follows the progress of his renovation, which eventually emerges as a poignant metaphor for post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans.
Irving Trevigne, Elie's seventy-five year old Creole carpenter, is the heart and soul of the neighborhood and a born storyteller. Descended from over two hundred years of skilled craftsmen, he beguiles Elie with the forgotten stories behind Tremé's old buildings. Other neighborhood chroniclers like Louisiana Poet Laureate Brenda Marie Osbey, musician Glen David Andrews and renowned historians John Hope Franklin and Eric Foner help bring alive a compelling and complex historical experience that gracefully combines pre and post hurricane footage with a wealth of never-before-seen archival imagery.
Long ago during slavery, Faubourg Tremé was home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South and a hotbed of political ferment. Here black and white, free and enslaved, rich and poor co-habitated, collaborated, and clashed to create much of what defines New Orleans culture up to the present day. Founded as a suburb (or faubourg in French) of the original colonial city, the neighborhood developed during French rule and many families like the Trevignes kept speaking French as their first language until the late 1960's.
The film brims with unknown historical nuggets: Who knew that in the early 1800's, while most African Americans were toiling on plantations, free black people in Tremé were publishing poetry and conducting symphonies? Who knew that long before Rosa Parks, Tremé leaders organized sit-ins and protests that successfully desegregated the city's streetcars and schools? Who knew that jazz, the area's greatest gift to America, was born from the embers of this first American Civil Rights movement.
This film is imaginative, revealing, and disturbing. The images are unforgettable, reminding us of who we are and who we have been. Today many Tremé residents are unable to return home and the neighborhood is once again fighting many of the same civil rights battles first launched here a hundred and fifty years ago. Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans celebrates the resiliency of this community and how they managed to carve out a unique and expressive culture and history that would enrich America and the world.
This past Thursday I went to Harlem to check out Kehinde Wiley's exhibit called The World Stage: Africa, Lagos-Dakar at The Studio Museum in Harlem. I posted something about it a couple of weeks ago on my blog and I decided to finally check it out. I def. wanted to take my daughter because as far as I know she's never been to a museum before and I think this would keep her interest; at least for a little while and I was right. She was so amazed by the colours and patterns that would just pop crazy. Surprisingly there were actually a couple of other things I saw there that I really liked.
There was an installation by Saya Woolfalk called No Place. I looked all over the web for pictures of it but none were available. I think that's a shame because it's great. I was so amazed by it. She is def. a good artist, I need to do more homework on her.
EYE NOTES – EXPANDING THE WALLS which have young photographers' work next to James VanDerZee's classic Harlem portraits also had great pieces by the new artist Christina Pardes and Nicole Rodriguez.
Afterward we stopped by the gift shop. After an hour of serious selecting we picked two good books. I picked Graffiti Brasil because of the ill illustrations and of course I have to own something with Os Gemeos in it...lol. Cece came to me with about 10 different books and I would tell her to keep looking and make sure that was the one she wanted. When I finally picked my book this was the book she had. I took a quick look and thought it was age appropriate and paid for it. It was The Storm by Barbara Barbieri McGrath. While on the train cece asked me to read something on one of the pages. As I read it I started to realize the book was personal stories by children of Hurricane Katrina. Love it!
So everybody needs to go today.
Now as for my thoughts throughout the day..... I couldn't help but compare Harlem to Newark. Both are big historic cities of America with a deep and rich history for the black community. But for some reason I could feel something in the air when I came off of the train. I looked around and knew that this city was a big deal. I can see people looking to find a little bit of Harlem's history. There is a deep love for this city from the residents, tourist and artist that feel it through their bones. But in Newark I don't get that feeling. I think between the riots, drugs and crooked politicians we lost it. I think little by little we are getting something but it's missing that history. From the culture to the commerce Harlem is steps ahead and away from Newark. We need to start to really preserve and start finding people that can bring back the history of Newark. There's no future without a past.
Speaking of commerce you know I had to stop by Atmos. I guess it's not only the Jersey boutiques that really don't have anything for me. I saw a pair of McQueens that were sick but didn't have it in my size.
In the early 1990's a loose-knit group of likeminded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery. Rooted in the DIY (do-it-yourself) subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip hop & graffiti, they made art that reflected the lifestyles they led. Developing their craft with almost no influence from the "establishment" art world, this group, and the subcultures they sprang from, have now become a movement that has been transforming pop culture.
Starring a selection of artists who are considered leaders within this culture, Beautiful Losers focuses on the telling of personal stories. It speaks to themes of what happens when the outside becomes "in" as it explores the creative ethos connecting these artists and today's youth. Check out the website here.