Christie’s has created this infographic (click to see it in all its huge glory) about painter Jean-Michel Basquiat along with a series of videos that range from poignant to bathetic. Two of Basquiat’s compadres, Al Diaz and Torrick Ablack, remind us that the young Haitian painter was a difficult person and inspiring mentor. More on Art Market Monitor
Style has a profound meaning to Black Americans. If we can’t drive, we will invent walks and the world will envy the dexterity of our feet. If we can’t have ham, we will boil chitterlings; if we are given rotten peaches, we will make cobblers; if given scraps, we will make quilts; take away our drums, and we will clap our hands. We prove the human spirit will prevail. We will take what we have to make what we need. We need confidence in our knowledge of who we are. — Nikki Giovanni
(Source: blackcontemporaryart, via blackqueerdo)
To: All Nostalgians
From: A Hybrid Chic
“…constant evolution causes expansion”
(Lewis, “Evolution” Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness 130).
Here lies a brief assertion, which deconstructs a thought I have had over a year, on the crippling effects nostalgians can have on the creative culture—when they are afraid of the future. It is with great hope that you will read the following words and evolve courageously, so that our world may expand with the most peculiar and brilliant minds that our culture has ever known.
The Post Neo-Romantics:
Who’s Afraid of the Future?
March 31, 2013
For the past six years, the U.S. has shifted in what many deem a downward motion of economic and social uncertainties, and the view of the good ole days can seem so much brighter. Just as nostalgia was utilized as a trope in Neo-Romanticism, so has it reappeared—remixed—in a Postmodern utopian cultural landscape of the Post Neo-Romantics. As we wrestle with the prefixes ‘post,’ and ‘neo,’ we question ourselves, and therefore deconstruct the notions of newness and originality. How can anything old become new again—without it being just redundant? The simple answer: change the mentality behind the question.
Post Neo-romantics are too in love with the past, yet critical of tradition and uncertain of the future. Ironically, a large population of the inhabitants of this utopian cultural landscape, are mental wanderlusters: people who were not born in a certain decade, in which they culturally identify with, yet they have mentally travelled to that specific space in time, and adopted the cultural, not social, characteristics of decades past—as if it were present day—so, they are unable to connect to present culture, nor add to future culture.
Being too nostalgic can cripple creativity as a thinker is solely stuck at looking only at the past. Yet, if the creative takes inspiration from his/her heroes’ works, eras, cultural concepts, etc., and studies and analyzes it, then add their personal touch to it—innovation ultimately occurs.
I have written this brief memo as a starting point: to cease imitation, which is caused by fear, and to create innovation.
“There is no creativity and innovation without failure.”- Dr. Brené Brown
Cliché as it may be, change is inevitable; nothing stays the same, so you might as well suit up and go for the ride—of course, with plan a, b + c in hand—then again, those plans may require plan d.
Innovation Is Queen
Call it the new Feminist Theory, or just what it is—if “the idea is king,” innovation is queen (Katzenberg, 1991). Sitting on a throne all her own, she is an analytic problem solver, quick witted, charismatic and even ideas are strategically protected by her. Although there are a lot of oppositions to ideas, there is no limit to her innovative moves—don’t give up, victory is a process that sometimes, takes us off course.
Innovation Requires Questions
“Great innovations come from asking great questions.” - Rick Warren
The idea is a vision, yet it takes nurturing and “the successful implementation of new ideas”—innovation—to become reality (Amabile, “The Three Threats To Creativity” 2010). We all know that reality is filled with many questions and only the great questions lead us into uncharted territory. It is on that uncertain journey, that we are introduced to strange land—new information—from different fields that when embraced, questioned, and remixed with profound expertise, a niche phenomenon occurs.
Nostalgians vs. Futurists
It’s not a battle, it’s a collaboration. In a re-mix culture, we must find ways to re-invent the great ideas, even those ideas that had the potential to become iconic—without duplicating them. Let’s be honest, some nostalgic concepts are not legendary innovations because something was missing. So, why duplicate vs. innovate? Find the missing piece.
1. Ask Questions.
Curiosity leads to creativity, and innovation comes from creatively answering the call of curiosity. The way to greatness is often just an answer away from a great question.
2. Be Courageous.
Two of the most common traits innovative people have are: the resiliency to learn from their failures and from others’ failures, and they courageously adapt to change.
Passion fuels the process.
“In the end, merely imitating your heroes is not flattering them. Transforming their work into something of your own is how you flatter them. Adding something to the world that only you can add” (Kleon, Steal like an Artist 41).
Even your heroes, eventually have retrospectives and look back at their body of work, over time, to connect the dots; some leave the world feeling accomplished, while others leave their retrospectives with a great question. Those heroes, wrestling with a question, will go back into their studios and deconstruct the past, then take from the past and the present, and remix it; then, they will implement their new findings—through the process—they will successfully answer that great question. Throughout history, you will go on to read about those past and present heroes and their innovative approach to culture. As you know, you belong in the books: amongst the greats. Be passionate, be great, be innovative—now—be you.
*A brief, innovative, tribute to Jeffery Katzenberg’s ©1991 28 page classic Disney Memorandum.
+ Tanekeya Word is something like a hybrid chic: bridging tradition and innovation—at the same damn time.
pre-order volume II of neonV ”the magazine for the contemporary peculiar woman,” to read this article and more, here.
Photo: *Edited version via @stopbeingfamous
The first day the Quarterly Co. x Pharrell Williams announcement was made—I subscribed. Having been a fan of Quarterly for a very long time, their model is flat out genius and my purpose is to bridge tradition and innovation in everything that I do, so naturally I gravitate to others who authentically do the same.
If you haven’t checked out this no brainer collaboration do yourself a favor and get on board. While you are there, check out the other tastemakers, cultural initiators and cultural producers as it’s so hard not to subscribe to all of them—especially if you’re curious and have an intense hunger for knowledge. I have my eye on two more subscriptions: art, books and design rules everything around me.
I have always been interested in the process; as a creative, the process is where I find out what I am made of, who I am in character and ultimately where I continue to discover my voice. I believe that the spaces, in which we work, hold the energy of us becoming who we were meant to be. So, I decided to archive [collect info] and document Black artistic cultural production in literature, design & the visual arts from artists/creatives of the Past & Present in their spaces.
Follow their creative process: http://blackartiststudio.tumblr.com/
March + April 2013 Covers: has U.S. Vogue ever had two covers right after the next like this? Talk about a shift, kudos.