'Blues for Smoke' art exhibit now showing at the Whitney

Mark Morrisroe (1959–1989), Untitled, c. 1981. Gum bichromate print, 24 15/16 × 20 7/8 in. (63.3 × 53 cm). The Estate of Mark Morrisroe (Ringier Collection) at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. © The Estate of Mark Morrisroe (Ringier Collection) at Fotomuseum Winterthur

Blues for Smoke features more than 40 artists from the 1950s to the present in both blues and popular music. The exhibition title was inspired by the 1906 sold album by jazz pianist Jaki Byard. The curator handpicked pieces that are poetic and avant-garde, closing a divide based on race, genertion and canon. Art lovers will enjoy a series of performances, events, screening and readings.

Blues for Smoke is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The exhibition is curated by Bennett Simpson. At the Whitney Museum, the installation is overseen by Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator.

On exhibit at Whitney Museum of American Art located at 945 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10021 until April 28, 2013.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s papers at Museum of African American Diaspora in San Franscisco

The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Where Art and History Intersect offers an inspirational journey through five centuries of African American history, culture and heritage. Presented as part of MoAD’s Collector’s Series, the exhibition celebrates Bernard and Shirley Kinsey’s passion for collecting objects of extraordinary significance over the 40 years of their marriage.

Museum guests viewing the Kinsey Collection exhibition during the opening reception on February 8
Photo 2013 © Courtesy of Cindy Charles Photography

One of the largest private collections of African American artifacts, documents and artwork, the Kinsey collection of rare books and manuscripts, paintings, prints, sculpture, and photographs includes an early version of the Emancipation Proclamation, correspondence between Malcolm X and Alex Haley, slave shackles, a 1773 first-edition copy of poems by Phillis Wheatley, a 1795 Bannaker’s Almanack, 18th and 19th-century slave documents, letters by Zora Neale Hurston and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and fine art by luminaries such as Henry O. Tanner, Artis Lane, Richmond Barthé, Elizabeth Catlett, Samuel L. Dunson, Lois Mailou Jones, Richard Mayhew, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and more.

On view at MoAD from February 8 to May 19, 2013.

The exhibition is organized by The Bernard & Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Arts & Education and KBK Enterprises, Incorporated.

Wells Fargo Honors Emancipation Proclamation with Art Exhibit

Portrait Bust of An African, 1899-1900, May Howard Jackson (L) and Untitled, ca. 1980, Elizabeth Catlett (R) on display in the Kinsey Collection exhibition at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. (Photo Credit: Rodger Allen. Courtesy of the Museum of the African Diaspora)

Wells Fargo Launches National Art Exhibit in San Francisco Honoring The 150th Anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation

National exhibition recognizes art as a voice for history and culture
Bernard Kinsey (C) accompanied by Shirley (L) and Khalil (R) greeting guests during the opening reception of the Kinsey Collection tour launch in San Francisco (Photo Credit: Rodger Allen. Courtesy of the Museum of the African Diaspora)

Wells Fargo recently kicked off its national art tour featuring the “The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey: Where Art and History Intersect” at the Museum of The African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco. The yearlong celebratory tour is presented in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Kinsey Collection, a robust collection of art and artifacts dating back to the 1600’s, includes an early copy of the Emancipation Proclamation along with other important artifacts that share important and untold stories in the rich history of African Americans.

Museum guests viewing the Kinsey Collection exhibition during the opening reception on February 8
Photo 2013 © Courtesy of Cindy Charles Photography

Ahead of the exhibition opening, Wells Fargo collaborated with the museum for a preview and reception inviting media and patrons to view the exhibit and speak with the Kinsey family.

Wells Fargo also hosted a special lecture with Bernard and Shirley Kinsey where they shared their distinguished collection consisting of four generations of African American art and historical documents. Attendees walked away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of The Kinsey Collection and the rich cultural heritage it represents. The collection will be on display in San Francisco until May before traveling to Charlotte and concluding in Baltimore later this year.

Wells Fargo team members pictured with the Kinsey family during the Kinsey Collection tour launch in San Francisco
Photo © 2013 Courtesy of Cindy Charles Photography

Wells Fargo customers in San Francisco can take advantage of free admission to the museum with photo identification and any valid Wells Fargo debit or credit card. Customer Appreciation days for San Francisco are February 16, March 16, April 20 and May 18, 2013.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Passion, Politics and Painting

"Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting" is the largest exhibition ever mounted of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera's combined work – more than 120 works are featured, including their paintings and photographs of them. Atlanta's High Museum of Art is the only U.S. venue that will feature this exhibition. It runs from Feb. 14 through May 12, 2013.

"Most scholarship about Frida and Diego focuses on their tumultuous relationship as a couple rather than their shared ideas and ideals," offers Elliott King, guest curator of the exhibition, in a press statement. "The exhibition 'Frida & Diego' instead focuses on how the artists influenced each other while learning from and sharing in each other's successes and failures. The exhibition considers both artists in a shared cultural and political context."

Kahlo's key work included in this exhibition are:
The Bus, 1929
Hospital Henry Ford (Henry Ford Hospital), 1932
Autorretrato con Monos (Self-Portrait with Monkeys), 1943
Diego on My Mind, 1943
La Columna Rota (The Broken Column), 1944 – In 1925, at 18-years-old she was involved in a tragic accident that left her barren.

Rivera's key work included in this exhibition are:
El Joven de la Estilografica (Portrait of Best Maugard), 1914
Flower Day, 1925
Autorreatrato (Self-Portrait), 1930
Vendedora de Alcatraces (Calla Lily Vendor), 1943
Portrait of Natasha Gelman, 1943

The exhibition is absolutely phenomenal. It also includes new museum acquisitions, custom-designed reading room installations and special events:

  • Lectures  – "Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Between Tradition and the Avante-Garde" on March 14; "Dialogos: Contemporary Mexican Design" on March 21; "Collecting Latin American Art Now" on March 28; and "Inside the Studio of Diego Rivera" on April 18.
  • Film Series – "Extraordinary Cinematic Visions: Mexico Past and Present through the Eyes of Gabriel Figueroa and Carlos Reygadas" running from Feb. 23 to April 27, 2013.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s career was short-lived but oh so meaningful

Brooklyn born painter Jean-Michel Basquiat began his life as a frustrated artist early on. As a young man, he started out doing graffiti around New York, a city not unfamiliar with thousands of such artists. Eventually replacing his paint cans with paint brushes, he managed to find his true calling in the art world.

Though he passed away at the very early age of 27, Jean-Michel Basquiat was able to make a significant impact through his Neo-expressionist artistry. Basquiat painted the life and subjects that reached into the core of his heart and hopefully into the hearts of those who would observe his works. With subject matter that focused on the imbalances and vast voids in life, he would combine images with poignant written words.

Some of Basquiat’s pieces employed a unique combination of painting, poetry and hand-drawings – culled together to express angst and disapproval of "the system." His work was lauded for its earnest coverage of the disparities between the haves and have-nots as well as the often debated, segregation versus integration. Though he spoke with a bold artistic voice, Jean-Michel Basquiat was simply utilizing his graphic formats to quietly strive for peace. A peace that he felt was dramatically hampered by the uneven class structure of our country.

Just two years after being featured on the cover of the New York Times, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who had by this time, become a well-known and respected artist, was dead of an apparent drug overdose. In his final years, he had become withdrawn and reclusive – an artist who’d dealt with years of anguish at the human condition – with only limited power to affect the change that he, and many of us, feel is so overdue. –mark anderson

The Randolph Linsly Simpson Collection of African American History

Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library houses one of the world’s most comprehensive collections historical photographic portraits of African Americans dating from 1850 to 1840 including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and cabinet card photographs. The 500-plus piece collection includes formal studio portraits of politicians and bankers, cowboys, workmen, families, African American men in military service, emancipated slave children, and carnival performers. In the new enlightened era of gaining a better understanding of people of color, this collection will serve inquiring groups well in gaining a firm grasp on African American history.

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe

Beautiful diaspora of the African woman. 


Mickalene Thomas's Origin of the Universe is the first major solo museum exhibition for this highly acclaimed multi-media artist. The exhibit includes some of Thomas’ most notable decorative portrait paintings as well as a new body of work that explores landscapes and interiors. The exhibition also features a mural in the entrance way, a debut film about the artist’s mother, and an installation of interior settings that are furnished similarly to the scenes present in her paintings and photographs.


Origin of the Universe opened September 28th at the Brooklyn Museum .

LeSean Thomas shares failing his way to success



LeSean Thomas is a celebrated Pop-Artist with a Hip Hop/ Anime-driven aesthetic that is praised by industry veterans and fans of the genre. His most notable work was on the Award-winning show “The Boondocks”.

This video is from TEDxSinchon, where he gets the chance to speak on his successful failure and how he got to where he is today.

Wait patiently for the third installment of LeSean’s awesome documentary series Seoul Sessions, which has been delayed by the hectic production schedule of Black Dynamite which airs Sunday nights on Adult Swim.

AlunaGeorge Showcases Art in "Your Drums, Your Love"

Here’s a hot new song from London duo AlunaGeorge,“Your Drums, Your Love”.It is directed by Henry Scholfield and sees Aluna and George in a gallery space filled with the ever-evolving work of the much in demand London based illustrator Arran Gregory.

Arran Gregory showcases his life size fiber glass wolf sculpture. Arran’s wolf could remind you of some old fashioned video-games or a graphic rendering, but at the same time it is out there in the real world. Its image has been idealised and digitalised. But the idea of the wild, of the perfection of nature is still there.

The new 'Your Drums, Your Love' single is available from 15th October. Keep your eyes peeled for a forthcoming debut album in Spring 2013.

Wilda Gerideau Squires

Wilda Gerideau-Squires is an award-winning fine art photographer who has received international recognition for her abstract images. As the jurors for the ARTROM Gallery of Rome, Italy said of her abstract works in awarding her “Second-Place” for overall excellence in their 2007 exhibition “ABSTRACTIONS”: "Wilda’s photographic images isolate details of common forms and exalt them, allowing us to look deeper into them, extracting their nuances, folds, shadows and highlights, making them appear bigger than life". Most recently, Wilda was the recipient of Honorable Mention awards in the Prix De La Photographie Paris and selected as a Finalist in the 2007 Photography Masters Cup. Her work is held in private collections in the United States and Canada.