Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, Now On View At The Brooklyn Museum

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Frida & Idol. Nickolas Muray.

Late last year when the Brooklyn Museum announced they would be curating a full exhibition on Frida Kahlo, I was overjoyed. Those that know me know how much I love the remarkable Mexican artist and iconoclast of a woman. Since my schedule was a bit off around the holiday season, I completely forgot to RSVP to the press preview (I know) but scheduled a time to visit with the help of the Press team at the museum. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving opened on February 8th at the Brooklyn Museum. I visited on a Tuesday afternoon in what I would call one of our NYC “slush storms”, but the weather did not deter me from seeing a full exhibit dedicated to one of my favorite women.

I arrived a bit early and sat in the lobby, staring fondly at the LED screen wall at the exhibit’s entrance that blinked “FRIDA KAHLO” in all caps in an energetic color pairing of coral and cobalt blue. I received a complimentary timed ticket (price $20) for the exhibition, which allows patrons an hour to walk through the entire collection of works. Untimed tickets are available as well for $35. The clock struck 12:15 PM and it was my time! I walked into the technicolor reception area where a flavorful soundscape of Latin tunes pumped, curated by Remezcla.

Matilde Calderón025

Ricardo Ayulardo, Family of Matilde Calderón y González, 1890. Silver gelatin print, 8 x 10 in. (20.2 x 25.2 cm). Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Archives. Bank of Mexico, Fiduciary in the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museum Trust.

Upon entering the exhibition in the Robert E. Blum Gallery, I was amazed at how large and expansive it is, including intimate family photos & those of her with husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera, relics from indigenous tribes in which she decorated her home, her surrealist paintings, and her vast collection of elaborate garments, mostly inspired by the Tehuana women in Oaxaca state. I felt right at home with the myriad of colors and indigenous items on display, at times a bit emotional whilst reading through the life experiences of Frida; having contracted polio at age six resulting in one leg being shorter than the other, was a victim of a major car crash at age eighteen, resulting in wearing a body cast (photo of one below), and her passionate, yet tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera. It made me think, “how can a woman who has suffered so much, make herself up and create such beautiful works of art?” The thought is one that stuck with me on my tour.


One of Frida’s adorned body casts

Just imagine suffering a terrible car crash which fractured your ribs, legs, collar bone, pelvis, and displaced some of your vertebrae, resulting in bed-rest and a body cast, and still finding the will and energy to paint said body cast, as well as other canvases from bed? Her works are a true testament to the human spirit.


Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907–1954). The Love Embrace of the Universe, 1949. Oil on Masonite, 27 ½ x 23 ¾ in. (70 x 60.5 cm). The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation. © 2018 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The surrealist nature of her paintings draw you deeply into her world. Take the piece above, The Love Embrace of the Universe, where we see Frida embracing a naked Diego in a style similar to a Madonna and child painting from the Renaissance. They are embraced by what appears to be Mother Earth, whom is embraced by the cosmos, or the Universe. Her multi-layered style really makes you stop and think about her inspirations, and how her mind works, in general.


A Myriad of Frida’s Dresses

Frida’s personal style of dress, adopted from the Tehuana women of Oaxaca state, was a deliberate homage to the culture of her mother, as well as a protest of Eurocentric/colonial ideals. It expressed her “radical politics and artistic sensibilities.” The many layers of her clothing, and long length of skirts enveloped Frida in gorgeous silhouettes, while hiding her physical ailments. This idea of “Appearances Can Be Deceiving” is also the title of one of her paintings in which we have almost x-ray view of what lies beneath her clothing, showing a detailed depiction of her limp, and medical corset to support her deteriorating spine.


Frida Kahlo on White Bench. Nickolas Muray

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is on view at Brooklyn Museum until May 12th. Tickets may be purchased here. You can experience a Frida Kahlo-inspired First Saturday on April 6th at the museum. Tickets for the exhibition must be purchased in advance.

Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

#SoulofaNationBKM is Now Open at the Brooklyn Museum! A Glimpse Into Some of My Favorite Works

EL162.50_SOAN_Carolyn Lawrence (2 of 3)

Carolyn Lawrence (American, born 1940). Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 48 1/2 x 50 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (123 x 128 x 13.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Carolyn Mims Lawrence. (Photo: Michael Tropea)

Soul of A Nation: Art In The Age Of Black Power is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. Organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with Brooklyn Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Brooklyn Museum is the only east coast venue for the exhibition. Featuring over 150 works by more than 60 artists, the exhibition gives an encompassing view of the artistic response to the Black Power movement across the United States, displayed in groupings of Black artist collectives in various regions across the States. I have been patiently waiting for this exhibition to arrive at the museum, as the focus is one that is very important to me, specifically the dynamic of Black artists creating works in some of the most challenging times in our society.

EL162.52_Lorraine O'Grady

Lorraine O’Grady (American, born 1934). Art Is (Girlfriends Times Two), 1983/2009. Chromogenic print, 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York, NY. 2017 Lorraine O’Grady / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I had the opportunity to attend the press preview of Soul of A Nation and was elated to see familiar faces in some of my peers. The exhibition begins on the fifth floor and continues down on the fourth floor, with works ranging from photography, sculpture, large scale paintings, textiles, mixed media, audiovisual presentations, writings, and archives from The Black Panther newspaper. I was able to walk through the entire exhibit almost solo at times (which is a big deal for me) to take in every piece of art and the stories behind it. There were many favorites, but as I do not want to spoil it for you, I have compiled a short list of a few of my favorite works in the exhibition.

Black Unity

Elizabeth Catlett (American, 1915-2012). Black Unity, 1968. Mahogany wood, 22 1/2 x 20 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (57.2 x 51.4 x 31.8 cm). Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Catlett Mora Family Trust. Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY

Born in Washington, D.C. to parents who were the children of freed slaves, Elizabeth Catlett’s Black Unity, sculpted from mahogany, depicts two conjoined Black faces on the front, and a fist on the back, a central Black Power symbol.

EL162.64_Ringgold United States of Attica

Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). United States of Attica, 1972. Offset lithograph on paper, 21 3/4 x 27 1/2 in. (55.2 x 69.9 cm). 2018 Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York. 2018 Faith Ringgold, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Born in Harlem, Faith Ringgold is a legendary multi-disciplinarian whose art ranges mediums from paintings, to quilts, to sculpture, to children’s books. An educator first, there are many teachable moments in her works. United States of Attica is a poster made in tribute to the men who died in the prisoners rebellion at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York, in which the men fought for better living conditions and political rights. Ringgold will be live at the Brooklyn Museum for Brooklyn Talks on September 27th discussing her artistic career. Tickets available here.

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Roy DeCarava (American, 1919-2009). Couple Walking, 1979. Gelatin silver print on paper, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives. 2017 Estate of Roy DeCarava. All Rights Reserved

Roy DeCarava is another Harlem-born artist, whose specialty was black & white fine photography depicting African American life. His early focus was that of jazz musicians, including the likes of Mahalia Jackson and Miles Davis. He was the first African-American photographer to win the Guggenheim Fellowship, and with this win, he was able to photograph his community, as seen in the above photo, Couple Walking. Sherry Turner DeCarava, publisher and art historian will be live at the Brooklyn Museum on November 8th for Brooklyn Talks. She will be discussing and celebrating the new edition of the 1955 best-selling book The Sweet Flypaper of Life, which features words from Langston Hughes, and photos from her late husband, Roy DeCarava. Tickets are available here.


Wadsworth A. Jarrell (American, born 1929). Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971. Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 64 x 51 in. (162.6 x 129.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R.M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harris, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.18. Wadsworth A. Jarrell. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Born in Albany, GA, Wadsworth A. Jarrell was an instrumental figure in the Black art movement in Chicago. He co-founded AFRICOBRA: African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists in 1969. The collective would become internationally known for their politically-themed art in very vibrant colors. Revolutionary (Angela Davis) is a perfect example of this style, featuring an abstract, color-drenched depiction of Angela Davis composed almost entirely of words and sayings that are powerful to the Black community.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is on view at the Brooklyn Museum September 14, 2018–February 3, 2019 in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th and 5th Floors.

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052


WEDNESDAY 11 am–6 pm
THURSDAY 11 am–10 pm
FRIDAY 11 am–6 pm
SATURDAY 11 am–6 pm
SUNDAY 11 am–6 pm

Event: Target First Saturdays Celebrating Caribbean Culture @ Brooklyn Museum 8/6/16, Feat. MeLo-X & Majah Hype

MeLo-X. Photo by Hannah Sider

With the recent celebration of Emancipation Day in many Caribbean nations on August 1st, the Brooklyn Museum will be celebrating Caribbean culture in all forms this weekend at their monthly Target First Saturdays program.

The full line-up which you can see below, features film, storytelling, crafts, and live performances by choreographer and dancer Blacka Di Danca, comedian Majah Hype, and musician (and my friend!) MeLo-X.

5-9 pm CaribBEING House: Mobile art center caribBEING House stops by our Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden. In our galleries, contribute to an interactive wall map of Brooklyn’s Caribbean heritage, tell us stories of your #MyCaribbeanHeritage, and see photos from the classic film Rockers.

*6 pm Film: Watch Rockers (Theodoros Bafaloukos, 1978, 100 min.), a documentary celebrating reggae culture and sound systems in Jamaica.

6-10 pm Backyard Bashment: Join choreographer Blacka Di Danca in a dancehall workshop at 6 pm, hear comedy by Majah Hype at 7 pm, and enjoy music by MeLo-X from 8 to 10 pm. All programming takes place in our outdoor Beirgarten in the Steinberg Sculpture Garden.

6:30-8:30 pm Pop-Up Gallery Talks: Enjoy short talks about Caribbean and global masquerade traditions in the exhibition Disguise: Masks and Global African Art.

*6:30-8:30 pm Hands-On Art: Create your own Caribbean-inspired musical instrument.

7-8 pm Community Screening: Join artist Rusty Zimmerman in a presentation and discussion of his Free Portrait Project, a portrait painting series that captures the diversity of Crown Heights. Learn more about the project through #WeAreCrownHeights.

7:30 pm Book Club: Danielle Brown performs musical excerpts from her book East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home, which chronicles Trinidadian music from Brooklyn.

*8 pm Film: The film Bazodee (Todd Kessler, 2016) captures the power of Trinidad’s soca to overcome cultural barriers. For the film’s opening weekend, the screening will be followed by a Q&A with actor Machel Montano, writer Claire Ince, and producers Susanne Bohnet and Ancil McKain.

9 pm Performance: Disguise: Masks and Global African Art artist Alejandro Guzman performs Ganggang: Creative Misunderstanding Series. Featuring Abigail Deville, Christopher Manzione, Clifford Owens, Elan Jurado, Geraldo Mercado, Jessica Gallucci, Marcus Willis, Sam Vernon, Tre Chandler, and William Villalongo.

All events that are starred are ticketed, with tickets available in the museum lobby before showing. As always, EVERY TING FREE, so come through and whine it up with me!


Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

#MANday Interview: M. Tony Peralta Has A Fresh Take On Latina Icons With “Rolos & Icons”

M. Tony Peralta and his work, “Dora Con Rolos”

*Originally published on Slant News

It’s an unseasonably warm Friday afternoon for October and I am making my way to Manhattan’s Lower East Side to chat with artist M. Tony Peralta. His newest exhibition, Rolos & Icons had opened the night prior to a packed house of family, friends, and supporters. This was the first time he had ever held an opening downtown, and the incredible turnout was a feat in itself.

I had been following the works of the Dominican-American artist by way of Washington Heights for a few years now as we have many mutual friends who’ve invited me to his events in the past. I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of his Latin roots, hip-hop and pop culture elements that were consistent through his works.

I sat down with Tony to talk to him further about his career thus far, Rolos & Icons, and the inspirations behind his work.

I have been following your career for a number of years and I have noticed that there has been a strong female presence throughout. Why is it important for you to showcase women of color in your artwork?

The first exhibit I did, Complejo, had to do with identity issues. Mainly being Black and Latino, and the identity issues we have growing up and the effects of it. I started to think about some of the things that women go through as well; the whole good hair/bad hair thing, which I went through myself, as a man. I had curly hair and would shave it off. For women, it’s a little more extreme because they have to go to the hair salon, and get their hair straightened, and relaxers, etc. I grew up with a single mom and an older sister, and a younger sister, and our bathroom was filled with their products.

Growing up with a single mom that was a very strong figure, along with my sisters and brother, I had a good balance. My mom was very influential. I don’t think it’s something that I do consciously. I grew up with low self-esteem, so I touched upon things that affected me [with the Complejo exhibit] but then I started to think about how it affects women as well because they deal with it more, whether it be a hair [texture] thing or skin lightening, if it’s body issues. There was a piece in the exhibit of a woman in hair rollers, and that woman almost became a Latin Mona Lisa. She had a certain gaze that people thought was beautiful, and I feel that it influenced other artists to start creating works with women in hair rollers as well.

A glimpse into “Rolos Con Icons”

Continue reading

Painting With A Twist Pairs Art With A Glass of Wine In Its New Brooklyn Outpost

As a creative, I am naturally drawn to experiences where I can make something with my hands, or learn a new skill. But how about if you are not so creative, and still want to be able to creative something beautiful, say, with a group of buddies? You should get into Painting With A Twist.

Founded in 2007 by Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney in New Orleans in the wake of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Painting With A Twist had the mission of lifting the spirits of their neighbors after disaster. In the eight years that the company has been in business, they have grown their paint-and-sip franchise to over 240 locations in 33 states, with 100 additional openings by the end of 2015.

I was invited out for a special blogger’s night at one of their new locations in my neck of the woods in Brooklyn.

The ambience

Opened in September by sisters-in-law Suzette and Felicia Riley, Painting With A Twist of Brooklyn is located in the heart of Cobble Hill on bustling Smith St. Upon entering the bright space, albeit a few minutes later than I expected, I was greeted by warm faces, a spread of dinner options, and of course, the choice of white or red wine. I had arrived just in time to take my seat in front of a blank 16 x 20″ canvas, with a small array of paints and brushes to use within the lesson.

The beginnings of my masterpiece

Our instructor was super lively and approachable, ensuring that painters of all levels would be able to complete the evening’s assignment which coincidentally, was of a large glass of red wine. The first step was to cover the canvas in a golden tone and add a few red strokes. As I am a type-A personality (which our instructor caught on to rather quickly) I reeaaaallyyy took painting seriously. My father is a painter and I would help paint certain pieces of his work when I was a child, so this was important!

The final product

Although I may have taken painting a bit more seriously than some of my counterparts in class, I truly realized how relaxing and therapeutic it can be. To constantly be on the move, writing, and updating on social media, it was really nice to focus on one thing for a little over an hour.

My painting and I

You must excuse my sleepy/greasy face in the photo as I was running on E, but I must say, I am really proud of this piece. I hadn’t painted on canvas in maybe 15 years, so this moment was really satisfying to me. I took a little longer than the class, but I completed my work; which is most important.

The entire group and their masterpieces

It was really fun to be in a group, majority women, to unwind, paint, and really take a break from the outside world. The experience is excellent for a date night, a girl’s night, birthday party, or even for a group of children as they offer a range of classes. You may view them all here.

The evening ended with a few special raffles, and guess who won a gift certificate for a free class? This girl right here! Can’t wait to go back. Maybe I will see you there.

Painting With A Twist – Brooklyn
228 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231


*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo

I received a complimentary class from Painting With A Twist.

Art In NYC: Flux Art Fair Launches During an Event-Filled Week In Harlem, May 14-17 at the Corn Exchange Building

Tomo Mori, Rain, 2013, Acrylic canvas on canvas collage, 36” x 48”

The art scene in New York City has been incredibly energetic for decades, and we are seeing a resurgence of this energy in the contemporary-sphere in none other than Harlem. Leanne Stella, renowned curator & fair organizer is solidifying this position with the launch of Flux Art Fair. The inaugural fair is an extension of Stella’s Art In Flux program, which provides opportunities for artists through pop-up exhibitions in under-utilized spaces in the neighborhood.

Uday Dhar, Mirror Mirror No.8, Janus, Casein, water-based pigment, spray paint, crayon, and collage on canvas, 54” x 48” (Sold)

Flux Art Fair will take place on May 14 through the 17th, coinciding with Frieze Art Week in New York City, and will be held at the historic Corn Exchange Building. It will feature thirty artists selected by a curatorial committee consisting of Danny Simmons, Manon Slome, David C. Terry, Rachel Weingeist, Raul ZamudioRoger C Tucker IIIKristin Sancken, and Omo Misha. 

Aya Rodriguez-Izumi, Lynesse as ‘American Buffalo’, 2014, Photographed sculpture, Digital C-print, 30” x 20”

American Buffalo, 2014, Sculpture, fishnet stocking, yarn, and acrylic, 18” x 15” x 15”

The images throughout the post are a glimpse of what you can expect at the fair and beyond, as artists curated pieces for  Chef Marcus Samuelson’s Harlem EatUp!a food festival throughout Harlem that takes place the same weekend. Are you excited yet? I hope so! Read on for full event details, and how to purchase tickets below. Hope to see you there!


GENERAL ADMISSION:   May 14-17, 2015

To purchase tickets in advance, go here.

THUR/FRI/SAT 11:00 am-8:00 pm

SUN 11:00 am to 6:00 pm



81 E. 125th Street, Harlem, NYC

Event Re-Cap: The 2015 Brooklyn Artist’s Ball & Dance Party at Brooklyn Museum; The Sights & Sounds and What I Wore!

Artists Ball Dinner in the Beaux Arts Court (Liz Ligon for the Brooklyn Museum)

On the evening of Wednesday, April 15th, Brooklyn’s art community came together for one of the largest fundraising gala celebrations of the year, the Brooklyn Artist’s Ball. Held at the artistic mecca of Brooklyn Museum, the event’s initiative is to host installations by local Brooklyn artists via table ornamentations and auctions, honor various trailblazers in the art world, and raise funds for the museum.


Takashi Murakami, Arnold Lehman, Jeanine Basquiat, Lisane Basquiat and Kiki Smith (photo by Elena Oliva)

This year was particularly special as it honored retiring museum director Arnold Lehman, artists Takashi Murakami and Kiki Smith, along with representatives from the Jean-Michel Basquiat Foundation, Lisane and Jeanine Basquiat, sisters of the late-great artist.

Notable guests were treated to specially created installations by artists including OLEK, Swoon, Pioneer Works, FAILE, Catron & Outlaw, Duke Riley, SITU Studio and Fernando Mastrangelo, as seen in the photo up top.


Takashi Murakami & Amirah Kassem (Photo by Liz Ligon for Brooklyn Museum)

After the ceremony and dinner, guests were treated to a dance party in the museum lobby, with a fun Takashi Murakami-inspired gumball installation by Amirah Kassem of Flour Shop.


Catchdubs at the Dance Party (Liz Ligon for the Brooklyn Museum)

Sounds of the evening were specially curated by Brooklyn’s own, Fool’s Gold Records. Co-founder Nick Catchdubs spun groovy tracks throughout the evening, whilst sharing the stage with Fool’s Gold label newcomers.


Leaf performing at the Dance Party (Liz Ligon for the Brooklyn Museum)

It was really awesome to see some of my new favorite acts perform in the museum, including Leaf, Shash’U (who played enough Kaytranada and Kendrick to keep me dancing in near 5 inch heels), and Bosco. The dancers were ON POINT, the vibe was a mix of vogue, funk, and hip hop, and I was all for it!


ME! Dressed in Maison Kitsuné

I felt really cool to be at the dance party for the second year in a row, and was sure to bring my A-game fashion-wise as I absolutely hated my look last year, LOL. I had the pleasure of wearing the beautiful Pearly Bali dress by Maison Kitsuné and I felt like a million bucks! The full skirt and modest neckline are totally up my alley and perfect for dancing!

Many thanks to the lovely ladies at Allen/Cooper for having me. Here’s to more celebrations in art and culture!

Review: Why It Is Imperative That You See “Basquiat: The Lost Notebooks” at Brooklyn Museum

Jean-Michel Basquiat by Tseng Kwong Chi

I am a child of the arts. I grew up in a household surrounded by art and music as my father was (and still is) a painter. It has always been second nature to me to surround myself in art and beauty in all ways possible. Having an artist father has also made it second-nature to be exposed to, and grow an appreciation of the mind of an artist. As I grew older, I realized I was an artist as well, but a gift of mine is to really connect with artists on a human level.


Jean-Michel Basquiat, American, 1960-1988 Untitled [Cover, Notebook 1]
Mixed media on board

9 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 1/4 in. (24.4 x 19.4 x 0.6 cm)

I have been a fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat for many years, not because he’s become increasingly popular over the years, but because we have similar stories. Like me, he was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to Caribbean immigrant parents (his father from Haiti and mother from Puerto Rico. Although his parents were not artists per say, he was surrounded by art as a child, even being a Junior Member of the Brooklyn Museum. I was so humbled that my first press preview at the museum was for Basquiat’s work.

When you step into the walls of Basquiat: The Lost Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum, you are really transfixed into the mind of Basquiat, surrounded by his written thoughts on composition notebook paper, with singular pages being framed one-by-one to fill the entire room. This was such incredible energy for me, because it was much like going through the journal of a poet; seeing what moves them, what upsets them, what they hope for, and what they dream for. You are able to see snippets of this throughout the exhibition.


Jean-Michel Basquiat, American, 1960-1988 Untitled [A youth with “crow” syndrome] 1980-1981
Ink on ruled notebook paper

9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (24.4 x 19.4 cm)

Not just an exhibition of notebook pages, Basquiat: The Lost Notebooks is a full multi-media experience, featuring video snippets of Downtown 81 and A Conversation With Basquiat, along with various paintings, some which are being shown for the first time. The experience is one of wonder as these works are mostly new to the public. You can’t help but imagine “What if he were here to experience his fame and influence?”. Being in the presence of his notebooks, his inner-most thoughts, you are really able to gather what is the genius of Basquiat.

Brilliant yet troubled he was, through his most simple works, those from pen to the pages of a simple lined composition notebook, we are able to better understand one of the artistic greats of our time.

The exhibition is on view until August 23, 2015. Not to be missed.


Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway

Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

Wednesday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Friday–Sunday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Event: Brooklyn Artists Ball Dance Party 4/15 at Brooklyn Museum, With Music Curated by Fools Gold!

Ayo Brooklyn! It’s that time of year again, time for the Brooklyn Artists Ball Dance Party line-up! I had the pleasure of attending for the first time last year, jamming to the sounds of LE1F and Brenmar in Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion at the Brooklyn Museum. This year is sure to please with a super-awesome musical line-up curated by none of other than Brooklyn-based label Fool’s Gold (cue air horn).

Here’s what you can expect:

– Music by Fool’s Gold signees Leaf, BOSCO, Shash’U, & Nick Catchdubs (one of my FAVE dis, btw)

– Dessert by Flour Shop, AKA the folks that make that amazing 6-layer rainbow cake

– Virtual reality by Pioneer Works

– Installation from Situ Studio and Robert Moy of Brooklyn Balloon Company

– OPEN BAR (important, yes?)

Individual tickets are $100, $75 for members and may be purchased here. All proceeds will help fund future programming at the Brooklyn Museum. Will you meet me on the dance floor?

Event: Target First Saturdays at Brooklyn Museum 4/4 Celebrating Basquiat, With Music by Lion Babe


Another month has begun, and you know what that means? Time to share the programming for Target First Saturdays at the Brooklyn MuseumApril’s programming is exceptionally exciting as it is a true homage to New York City during the 1980s. To celebrate the opening of Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, Saturday’s programming is meant to evoke the NYC  that he experienced in the realm of art, music, and culture. Special live performance by one of my fave downtown duos of the moment, Lion Babe.

Full program below. Be there Saturday, April 4th! As a note, all events with an asterisk are ticketed, with free tickets offered at the museum visitors desk.

5 p.m. Music: Revive Music presents a jazz tribute to Basquiat reminiscent of downtown NYC in the 1980s.

*6 p.m. Curator Talk: Exhibition Co-Curator Tricia Laughlin Bloom shares her insights into the creation of Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks.

*6 p.m. Film: Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (Tamra Davis, 2010, 88 min.) offers an intimate look at Basquiat’s career from his first SAMO tags in the 1970s to his early death in 1988.

*6:30–8:30 p.m. Hands-On Art: Design and create your own crown in celebration of Basquiat.

7 p.m. Music: Natasha Diggs, of New York City’s premiere all-vinyl party Mobile Mondays, spins ’80s and ’90s hip-hop.

7–9 p.m. Interactive Space: Join W.A.F.F.L.E. (We are Family for Life Entertainment), a collective known for transforming subway cars with gravity-defying pole pirouettes and acrobatics, for an interactive performance and dance workshop. Contribute to a collective mural with Slackgaze and enjoy an ’80s hip- hop set by DJ Kid Ginseng from Tom Tom Club.

7 p.m. Poetry Reading: Inspired by Basquiat’s rich use of language, Cave Canem presents Poetry Meets Art, featuring readings from LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs and Roger Reeves.

*8 p.m. Dance Performance: Urban Bush Women explore representations of the body in Dark Swan, for which the contemporary dance company won a 2014 Bessie Award.

*9 p.m. Workshop: Tom La Farge and Wendy Walker of the Brooklyn-based Writhing Society lead a writing workshop inspired by Basquiat’s notebooks.

9 p.m. Music: Recently named one of “10 New Artists You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone, Lion Babe presents a unique blend of soul- and funk-infused R&B.

Art In NYC: Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks Opens April 3rd At the Brooklyn Museum

Jean-Michel Basquiat, the illusive Brooklyn-born street artist of Haitian & Puerto Rican descent, has become a cult favorite in the art world since his untimely death in 1988. In the past five years alone, various exhibitions of his work have been shown in New York City and around the world, but this newest exhibition offers something a little bit different.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks opens to the public on  Friday, April 3rd at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition  features 160 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings. This multi-media exhibit is sure to be a treat for Basquiat fans, and those who are interested in seeing into the mind of an artist.

On view until August 23, 2015. For more information, please visit

Art In The South of France: “La Musique Adoucit Les Mœurs” at AD Galerie, On View Until 25 April

We love music and we love art. We especially love when both of these intertwine for something beautiful. On view now at AD Galerie in Southern France is the group exhibition “La Musique Adoucit Les Mœurs”, which loosely translates to “Music has Softened Morals”.  The exhibit is meant to be the visual interpretation of how music inspires the artist.

Below you may see some selections from the exhibit, on view until the 25th of April.

Maxime Lhermet “Skull Who’s Bad?
Acrylic on resin skull – 22x18x13 cm

Bernard Pras “Jimmy Hendrix”
A rgentic Diasec – 152×125 cm

AD Gallery

40 Giacometti Driveway





As NYC is currently covered in snow, one of our favorite art institutions, Brooklyn Museum, gives us a glimmer of hope in their programming for their Target First Saturdays series. In celebration of Women’s History Month, this weekend’s event is entitled “Women Changemakers”, featuring a slew of inspirational women in the creative realm. This is also an opportunity for guests to see the awe-inspiring exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. Here are my picks for the evening:

Healing Space

6–9 p.m.

Participate in a range of healing activities, including herbalism, tarot readings, acupressure, and partner stretch, among others. Led by Harriet’s Apothecary, a collective of black healers continuing the legacy of abolitionist, community nurse, and herbalist Harriet Tubman.


7 p.m.

Princess Nokia, singer and voice behind the Smart Girl Club radio show, creates dance anthems for millennial feminists through a blend of trip-hop, cyberpunk, and electronic sound.

In Conversation

8 p.m.

Editor, writer, and actress Tavi Gevinson discusses her founding of Rookie Magazine, a site by and for young women, and its companion print publication, Rookie Yearbook ThreeFree tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.


8:30 p.m.

Join the performance collective Colored Girls Hustle for a group collaboration to create an interactive “mix tape” of sounds, songs, and remixes that explore hip-hop feminist politics. Celebrate how our community hustles hard for justice, creativity, and wellness. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 7:30 p.m.


9 p.m.

The DJ duo JSMN and MeLo-X spin reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, house, and electronic music inspired by downtown street cultures from around the world.

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Art In NYC: VOLTA NY Opens Today at Pier 90 As Part of Armory Arts Week, On View Until March 8th

Here in NYC, we are in the midst of Armory Arts Week, with many shows opening today to the public, and lasting throughout the weekend. One such show we are here to feature is VOLTA NY, “an invitational fair of solo-artist projects and is the American incarnation of the original VOLTA show, which was founded in Basel in 2005.” As the show has grown since it’s inception in 2008, this is the inaugural season at the larger location of Pier 90, adjacent to the Armory Show in Piers 92 & 94.

To mark the arrival of the anticipated art event, Volta has teamed up with GalleryLog to produce a video series focused on six artists that will be participating in the show, and their inspirations. You can view Dustin Yellin’s video below.

Interested in attending the show? Details below.

LOCATION: PIER 90 // West 50th Street at 12th Avenue // New York, NY 10036




11 am – 2 pm



2 – 4 pm



6 – 8 pm

Celebration for the Artists

Cocktails by Lucano




Friday – Sunday, March 6 – 8, 11 am – 12 pm



Friday – Saturday, March 6 – 7, 12 – 8 pm

Sunday, March 8, 12 – 7 pm





General Admission $25
Vernissage Admission $25
Cultural Institutions $20
Groups (10+) $20

To purchase tickets, please go here.

Mutually acknowledged VIP access between VOLTA NY and The Armory Show

Art In NYC: Kehinde Wiley “A New Republic”, Now On View At The Brooklyn Museum

Shantavia Beale II, 2012.

Brooklyn-based portrait painter Kehinde Wiley unveils a retrospective of his 14-year art career in A New Republic, now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. His unique portrait painting style has gained much attention over the years as he paints his subjects, mainly Black men, in a grandiose style, similar to that of traditional European portraiture.

Through street-castings, he finds his subjects, and they are able to choose the theme of their portrait, in a collaborative fashion. A New Republic features sixty paintings and sculptures from Wiley’s fourteen-year career, including selections from World Stage paintings,  in which he takes his street casting process to other countries ’round the world. Not to be missed.


Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

February 20–May 24, 2015

Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing and Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor


*Photo courtesy of Kehinde Wiley/Brooklyn Museum