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

A Lovely Summer Evening At Brooklyn Museum Of Games, Sneaks & Eats. Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

Happy to be outside

On a beautiful Thursday evening in Mid-July, I attended Brooklyn Museum’s “Art Off The Wall” series for their much anticipated, The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibition. I had previously seen the exhibition on the day of the press preview (more to come on that), but was present for a discussion including an esteemed panel of female sneaker heads.

Once inside the museum’s lobby bursting at the seams with attendees for the Thursday evening adult programming, I bumped into my girl Gyasi. With camera in hand, she told me she was waiting for a friend, to which I replied, “Chill. I’m on the press list. You can be my photographer.”

And so, the evening began.

In the shadows

We walked around the ground floor and took some shots outside of the dining area as the sun was still beaming. I was feeling cool in my new super-fitted American Apparel skirt, and the natural light really caught the color combo well up top. We head back inside to view the panel, then went off to play in the FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds exhibit. FAILE, the brainchild of Brooklyn-based artist duo Patrick McNeil and Patrick McNeil, showcased various elements in their exhibit, including mixed media canvases, sculpture, neon wall art, and custom arcade games.

Readjusting my specs

Walking into the arcade portion of the exhibit was sensory overload. The walls and floors were covered in various new-school interpretations of old school movie posters, lit completely in black light, with sprinkles of neon light sculptures sprinkled throughout the space. I really enjoy the elements of lights captured in these photos.

Look at these arms!

After taking tons of photos in the black light, we shimmied over to The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit, which includes some of the most iconic pairs of kicks over the years, and their origin.

This picture was me being silly prior to making a proper pose, but I enjoyed this better. Note how long my arms are.

Grade A tings!

The exhibit does take some time to walk through as there are so many pairs of sneakers on view with intricate backstories, and so many opportunities for photo ops. Gyasi got some great photos there, but once we were done, I had to eat.

We walked over to Dutch Boy Burger on Franklin Ave so I could get something to eat. In dire times, I feel burgers are the only thing that could save me, because red meat = protein + iron. I ordered their signature burger and fries (which was probably a terrible idea at 10 PM) and sipped on a glass of water.

Gyasi couldn’t stay, but snapped this photo of me looking like a creep in the window. The evening was truly lovely and unexpected, as I had no idea it would end with such beautiful photos. Keep capturing your summer folks!

*Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

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

Saturday Sounds: JSMN & MeLo-X Present “Electric Punanny Mixtape Vol. 5”

As a preview to their set tonight at the Brooklyn Museum, my favorite DJ duo, JSMN & MeLo-X have unveiled the fifth edition of their incredibly popular Electric Punanny mixtape. The tape includes a massive mix of fifty tracks spanning the genres of dancehall, soca, grime, and R&B. Stream below, along with full track listing.


1. Zoelah – “Wine Up On Me” (Murlo Remix)

2. P-Money & Gappy Ranks – “Baddest” (Ape Drums Mash Up)

3. Dinamarca ft. Gnucci – “A.M.A.B.”

4. Chudney J – “Bounce”

5. Gage – “Throat”

6. Kalado – “Bad Inna Bed” (Schlachthofbronx Edit)

7. I Octane – “Elastic”

8. Gaza Slim – “Boom Body”

9. Mavado – “Born Fi Dis”

10. Alkaline – “Inna Yuh Belly”

11. Vybz Kartel – “Jamaica Land We Love”

12. Rayonne Hype – “Deya”

13. Gully Bop – “Pu**y Specialist”

14. Vbyz Kartel – “Pretty Position”

15. Busy Signal – “Gyal Yuh Good”

16. Reekado Banks ft. Tiwa Savage – “Turn It Up”

17. Kantana – “Mi Waah Si Di Girls Dem”

18. Popcaan – “Wine and Stop”

19. Mr. Vegas – “Pop One”

20. Vybz Kartel – “Early Morning”

21. Ape Drums – “Bookshelf”

22. Gully Bop – “Roun Here”

23. Vybrant Faya – “Mampi”

24. Nicki Minaj ft. Chi Ching Ching – “Hot Gyal” (Electric Punanny Remix)

25. Popcaan – “Love Yuh Bad”

26. Alkaline – “Young People Time Now”

27. RDX – “Turn It Around”

28. Shatta Wale ft. Davido – “Wine Ya Waist”

29. Realist & Kerry John – “Love Liquor”

30. Porgie & Murda – “Benup”

31. Darnella – “Out On De Road”

32. Benjai ft. H2O Phlo – “Phenominal”

33. Kerwin Du Bois – “No Apology”

34. Kcee ft. Wizkid – “Pullover”

35. Spilulu ft. Super Tonton & Mike – “Tombosha Bantu”

36. Jah Banks & Julio Bashmore – “Battle for Middle You” (BK Bashment Remix)

37. Maleek Berry – “Carnival”

38. Santana D Puppet – “Bounce On It”

39. Sekon Sta – “Bruk Down”

40. Olatunji – “Riddim In We Vein”

41. Skinny Banton – “Soak It Good”

42. Mr. One Hundred – “Headgone ft. Machel Montano”

43. Mr. One Hundred – “Axis Jab Jab ft. Bunji Garlin”

44. Meridian Dan – “German Whip” (Schlachthofbronx Edit)

45. Skepta ft. JME – “That’s Not Me”

46. Wildfire! – “Bondage Version”

47. Karima – “Bantu Juke”

48. Camille Safiya – “Beautiful Mindfuk”

49. Sevana Siren – “Bit Too Shy”

50. Kali Uchis – “Know What I Want”

If you live in NYC, be sure to check them out tonight at the Brooklyn Museum as part of First Saturdays. They go on at 9 PM. Come dance with me!


*Photo courtesy of Electric Punanny


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.

Continue reading

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

Art In NYC: The 5th Annual Brooklyn Artist’s Ball To Honor Kiki Smith, Takashi Murakami and Jean-Michel Basquiat, April 15th at the Brooklyn Museum


Now in it’s fifth year, the Brooklyn Artist’s Ball is one of the pre-eminent events during the spring’s art calendar that honors visionary artists and art industry impresarios. Hosted by one of my favorite institutions, the Brooklyn Museum, this year’s program on April 15th will be honor retiring Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman along with acclaimed contemporary artists Kiki Smith, Takashi Murakami and Jean-Michel Basquiat.


The tables at the dinner are a main attraction, as each one features a unique installation from contemporary artists. This year’s table installations will be designed by Brooklyn-based artists Jen Catron & Paul Outlaw, FAILE, Fernando Mastrangelo, OLEK, Duke Riley, Situ Studio and Dustin Yellin

Following the ball will be the Dance Party (which I was fortunate to attend last year) in the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Glass Pavilion. It will feature a Willy Wonka-esque dessert experience by FlourShop and performances by Brooklyn-based artists.

Tickets for the ball start at $1000, upwards of $100,000 which include a private dinner with Museum Director Arnold Lehman. Tickets for the Dance Party are $100 for non-members, and $75 for museum members. For more info, pleas visit www.brooklynmuseum.orgemail, or call (718) 501-6589.

*Photos courtesy of Liz Ligon

Event: Target First Saturdays @ the Brooklyn Museum 7/5, with Music by Nina Sky

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Target First Saturdays returns to Brooklyn Museum for July, with a full line-up of interactive hands-on art, talks, film, and music performances! Check out the full line-up below, including a screening of Do The Right Thing, and a musical performance by Nina Sky.

Visit Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the discounted admission price of $10 (regularly $15) during Target First Saturday.


4:30 p.m.

Add your mark to sidewalk chalk drawings led by The City Kids, and hula hoop away with members of Hula Nation.


5 p.m.

Matuto fuses Afro-Brazilian beats with folk and bluegrass.


6 p.m.

Curious tales from Brooklyn’s history are told by a local historian. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.


6 p.m.

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989, 120 min.). On the hottest day of the year, on a street in Bed-Stuy, racial and social tensions meet head-on, with tragic consequences. Free tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

Hands-On Art

6:30–8:30 p.m.

Sketch from a live model to learn the art of figure drawing. Free tickets (330) at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.

Interactive Talk

7 p.m.

Filmmakers Paul Trillo and Landon Van Soest discuss their Brooklyn in 3,000 Stills project. Bring your smartphone and contribute to a crowd-sourced portrait of Brooklyn. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 6 p.m.

Talk and Music

7 p.m.

Michael July on his book Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair. Co-hosted by Malik Yoba, and Michaela angela Davis. Anu Prestonia of Khamit Kinks leads a natural-hair show. Book signing follows.


7 p.m.

In his only NYC-area summer show, Blitz the Ambassador blends African popular sounds, vintage soul, and hard-hitting beats and lyrics. Opening set by DJ Ushka and DJ Beto (iBomba) at 6:30 p.m.


8 p.m.

Erica Watson hosts a showcase of hilarious female comedians. Free tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.


9 p.m.

Remember “Move Ya Body”? R&B duo Nina Sky performs their biggest hits.

Getting Jiggy At The Brooklyn Museum: The 4th Annual Brooklyn Artists Ball Dance Party, Feat. Brenmar & LE1F

The Destination!
The Destination!

Being an evangelist of my hometown, that is Brooklyn, New York, I always make sure to support the various outings, events, and companies that it boasts. As a member of the Brooklyn Museum, I have been attuned to the Brooklyn Artists Ball, an annual event held in the museum’s Beaux Arts Court that honors local artists. This year’s festivities took place on Wednesday, April 16th. As one of the highlights of the year for the Brooklyn arts community, the event’s dance party after the dinner has been increasingly popular with the younger crowd.

This year I was privileged to attend the Dance Party on behalf of this little blog, to document the experience through the eyes of a Brooklyn born and based blogger.

The ambience
The ambience

I arrived to the museum at about 10:30 PM to see the museum’s lobby transformed into a cocktail event, with full bar in tow, along with tables for guests to set their drinks as they schmoozed. There were dedicated areas for event sponsors Artsy, an online art destination that held auctions simultaneously of works of honored artists, and Pioneer Works, a “center for art and innovation” that holds various arts classes in a dedicated space in Red Hook.

The dance party was held in The Great Hall on the main floor, coinciding with the Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn exhibition.

DJ Brenmar playing the jamssss
Brenmar playing the jamssss

Brenmar got the party started, playing a mix of tunes that spanned everything from 90’s dance music to southern trap. This was particularly fun for me because I was able to shimmy and jam to rap music in one of my favorite institutions! The crowd was spirited and danced along to the eclectic jams.


Fierce NY-based producer and rapper LE1F took the stage at 11 PM, with a set that proved to be memorable. I was not familiar with his music prior, but became a fan whilst watching him perform. Not only did he deliver sassy lyrics above sexy beats, but his dance moves were AMAZING. The voguing, bouncing, and overall energy was undeniable, and the crowd ate it up. He made every last person in that room dance, which was great to see.

The happiest slice of cake you will ever see in your life!
The happiest slice of cake you will ever see in your life!

Sweet treats were provided by Flour Shop, a Brooklyn-based bakery founded by Amirah Kasseem. Guests got a slice of rainbow cake heaven, a 6-layer multi-colored creation with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles. This was by far, the happiest slice of cake I had ever seen in my life, and eating it made me just as happy.

Hello Luke James!
Hello Luke James!

The crowd was chock full of creative, beautiful people. I was happy to bump into my former interviewee, R&B singer Luke James, who has new music on the way! Check out the gallery below for more photos. Continue reading

Event: Brooklyn Artists Ball Dance Party At The Brooklyn Museum 4/16

bkartistsballApril is here, and it is time for us all to cheer, because a mass of art events now float in the air!

I hope you enjoyed my little rhyme, if not, that is fine also. I’m just super happy to announce that the Brooklyn Artists Ball is just around the corner. The ball, which takes place at one of my favorite institutions, the Brooklyn Museum, showcases the works of a group of hand-selected artists living, and working in the sweetest borough that is Brooklyn (did you catch the Marty Markowitz reference?). An auction of the featured works will be available on Artsy, a mobile app to discover and purchase art, starting  April 7th and ending on the 16th.

The event will be held on April 16th, and will be immediately followed by a dance party (woo!). The party will feature a DJ set from Brenmar, live performance by Le1f, and libations and dessert for all. Tickets are available for purchase here, starting at $100 for the after party ($90 for Members of the Museum), upwards of $50,000 for a Benefactor table for dinner, cocktails, and admission to the dance party.

All funds support a greater mission.

Proceeds support the Museum’s innovative education programs, our traveling and new special exhibitions, and our position as a vital cultural and civic resource for Brooklyn and all of New York City.

Well said Brooklyn Museum, well said. I will be in attendance at the dance party, so if you want to come out and shake a tail-feather in support of the thriving Brooklyn creative community, you know what to do!