Artist a Day Challenge No. 14 “Art Is” by Lorraine O’Grady

One day I was sitting in my hair stylist’s studio where she has a small table with a dish of candy on it.  A man in the studio, displeased by the offerings in the dish lamented, “Why don’t you have any black candy?”. “Black Candy?” A playful argument ensued, but I found the question absurdly random.  Why must … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge No. 14 “Art Is” by Lorraine O’Grady

Artist a Day Challenge No. 13: Performance Art

Admittedly, one area of conceptual contemporary art that I infrequently explore and struggle to comment on is Performance Art.  In 2014 the Walker Art Center curated a performance art exhibition that showcases black artists and their contributions to this unique creative medium. Radical Performance was the first large-scale retrospective of its kind. Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge No. 13: Performance Art

Artist a Day Challenge No. 10 Basquiat & Golden Boys

In 1983 Basquiat took an extended leave from NYC to live in Los Angeles.  Accompanying him was the reclusive, eclectic musician and artist Rammellezee and painter Torrick Ablack (aka Toxic).  Basquiat was at the apex of his career at this time and during this trip to Los Angeles he tried to leverage his fame to encourage art world powerhouses to … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge No. 10 Basquiat & Golden Boys

Artist a Day Challenge No. 9: Lorna Simpson

This series of collages by Lorna Simpson of embellished photographs and cutouts from Ebony magazine just beg for a story to be told. These traditional photos with their bold swaths of color that form these beautiful plumes of smoldering smoke look like some type of artistic Rorshach test.  Simpson purposefully wants us to draw our own conclusions from her … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge No. 9: Lorna Simpson

Artist a Day Challenge No.4: Elizabeth Catlett

In November I saw “Sharecropper” by Elizabeth Catlett at LACMA.  I loved the depiction of the duality of strength and despair shown as byproducts of exploitation in this piece.  As a graphic designer and sculptor in the 30’s and 40’s, much of Catlett’s art highlighted African-American and Mexican women as caretakers, patriarchs, workers and nurturers; her work was used as a platform … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge No.4: Elizabeth Catlett

Today’s Google Doodle: February 1, 2015

Today is Langston Hughes’ 113 birthday, and Google has posted a beautiful doodle in tribute to the writer.  I am smitten with the animation by doodler Katy Wu and how the illustration captures the vibrancy of the jazz age and the beautiful message in his poetry.  Hughes deftly recognized our stark, painful realities while artistically transcending the pain … Continue reading Today’s Google Doodle: February 1, 2015