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Sedi Pak’s Morphic Nature

“What my work is aiming at is, above all, realism: I pursue the inner, hidden reality, the very essence of objects in their own intrinsic fundamental nature.” — Constantin Brancusi

2016-04-28-1461883216-1573780-1SediPakinstallationphotobyBarden8124.jpg
Sedi Pak, sculpture studio installation view. Photo by Lane Barden.

Sedi Pak‘s majestic, mysterious, and seductively strange wood sculptures and the architectural installations that evolve from them offer an array of satisfying paradoxes. They operate in several dimensions and speak multiple languages at once — emotional and mathematical, natural and industrial, organic and artistic, spiritual and conceptual, esoteric and narrative, poetic and scientific, literal and symbolic, formal and material, of craft and technology. Her sculptural process is so labor intensive that it’s positively performative; requiring precision engineering, endless patience, and Herculean handiwork to accomplish the weightless, effortlessly organic gestural surrealism of the final objects. But beyond an audacious statement on the persistent power of the handmade object and the salience of craftsmanship, these pieces also have profound personal meaning and a broader cultural message.

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Sedi Pak, sculpture studio installation view. Photo by Lane Barden.

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Sedi Pak, sculpture studio installation view. Photo by Lane Barden.

Her method of working with wood as both muse and material speaks to finding her ultimate inspiration among the elements, specifically with regard to the transformation of substance at the hands of time, art, and industry. Her imagery and style explore the tension between nature and culture; and her unique merging of technological and analog approaches yields objects which visually, energetically, and physically embody both. Her aesthetic and art historical context includes the works of sculptors like Tim Hawkinson, Buzz Spector, and Woods Davy; but also storytellers and illustrators like Lewis Carroll, Shel Silverstein, and Gene Roddenberry. Evoking the earthly fossil, the extraterrestrial landscape, the shedded skin, the petrified hive, the frozen lava flow, the striation of sediment and the rings of trees; as the lovingly planed, voluptuous biomorphism of the sculptures emerge from the floor and migrate to the wall, their installations expand into to fill the entire chamber with impossible delicacy, epic heft, illusion and rhythm in the language of architecture, which Brancusi called “inhabited sculpture.”

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Sedi Pak, sculpture studio installation view. Photo by Lane Barden.

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Sedi Pak, sculpture studio installation view.

Pak’s previous and parallel series also explore the narrative of “the entire life of an object” — pausing to notice every stage in the progressive incarnations of say a brown paper bag, or an apple. In the case of these sculptures, the “object” is the wood itself. Brancusi also said, “Matter must continue its natural life when modified by the hand of the sculptor.” Pak might add, when modified by the entire unpredictable chain of events that take, for example, wood from being a living tree to a processed product to abstract fine art which itself approximates the arboreal. “I strive to illustrate the science of nature at work…creating platforms on which I can express and show creation and motion through definitive shape, designating moments,” writes Pak. It’s reminiscent of other things Brancusi used to say, like, “I don’t sculpt a bird, I sculpt its ability to fly.” In that spirit, Pak doesn’t so much sculpt wood, as she sculpts its ability to be transformed.

2016-04-28-1461883624-6457804-10SediPakinstallationphotobyBarden.jpg
Sedi Pak, sculpture studio installation view. Photo by Lane Barden.

***

New works are installed at SEDI PAK STUDIO, open now through May 7th. By appointment.
Silverlake address provided with rsvp.
Contact for a viewing:
C: 310-430-1707
E: Sedi@sedipak.net
W: sedipak.net

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Heavy Rain Falls, Gary Clark Jr., Elvis Costello and Flo Rida Shine For New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 4

Intense but brief rainstorms put a damper on about half of New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s fourth day on Thursday (April 28), with…
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Happy Anniversary, William and Kate! A Look Back at Their Most Memorable Moments

Royal Couple

William and Kate captured the world’s attention when their courtship began more than a decade ago as students at St. Andrews. Since then, the public has followed their every move—holidays, a public split and reconciliation, and, of course, Kate’s wardrobe—culminating in a reported 3 billion people watching their April 29, 2011, nuptials.

As a married couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continue to grab headlines with their public appearances and travels—sporting cowboy hats at a rodeo in Calgary, receiving personalized jerseys from LeBron James in Brooklyn—and recaptured the kind of fervent attention that surrounded their wedding as the world eagerly awaited the birth of their two children.

While the couple is famously private, and very protective of little George and Charlotte (photographers were not allowed to photograph George’s first day at his Montessori school), they have shared quite a few utterly charming family snapshots, some even taken by Kate herself. Here, a look back at William and Kate’s most memorable moments, from the earliest days to their second child together, and beyond.

 

The post Happy Anniversary, William and Kate! A Look Back at Their Most Memorable Moments appeared first on Vogue.

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100-Year-Old Granny Crushes Bridesmaid Duty At Granddaughter’s Wedding

Martha Wallbank just created a new title for wedding parties: Centenarian of Honor.

The 100-year-old grandmother recently appeared in her granddaughter’s Cumbria, U.K., wedding as a bridesmaid — and a spry, spirited one at that. 

When engaged couple Vita Cresswell and Gary Whineray told Wallbank they wanted to have their wedding on her 100th birthday as a way of honoring her, the eager grandmother immediately shot back, “I’m the bridesmaid, aren’t I?

As Cresswell told Metro UK, “We just thought why not and went along with it.”

So, on April 8, Wallbank dressed to the nines in a blue and cream outfit that coordinated with the other bridesmaids. She even had a birthday balloon accessorizing her wheelchair. 

And Cresswell, ever the classy bride, was more than happy to share the spotlight. 

During the ceremony, Cresswell told Metro UK, “The vicar said it was someone else’s special day, and her hand shot up.”

The congregation then sang “Happy Birthday” to the excited birthday girl, who “just sat and waved throughout the ceremony, smiling and singing,” Cresswell said. 

According to the Daily Mail, Wallbank is very involved in her four grandchildren’s lives. She plays pranks on Cresswell’s new husband by pretending to fall asleep mid-conversation. 

Numerous studies have shown that strong relationships between grandparents and grandchildren benefit grandparents’ cognition and happiness. The bond between this blushing bride and her eager Centenarian of Honor seems to be undeniable proof.

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Indiana Governor Bans Boys from Wearing Clothes with ‘Gay’ Colors

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Wednesday that bans what he called “gay colors” to be worn by boys in public elementary and secondary schools in the state.

Pence referred to pink, chartreuse, teal and magenta, in particular, as “gateway colors” for young boys who might have an inclination toward homosexuality.

“Governor Pence believes that if boys wear clothes with colors traditionally worn by young girls, this can cause gender confusion for the boy,” said Hugh Strait, a spokesman for the governor.

Pence’s announcement comes as the state prepares for Tuesday’s presidential primary.

The executive order comes as other states have passed laws that critics say discriminate against gays and LGBTs.

In recent weeks, North Carolina passed a law that says that LGBTs must use public restrooms that conform to the gender on their birth certificates. Mississippi passed a law protecting business owners who don’t want to serve same-sex couples.

The Tennessee Legislature approved a bill that allows counselors and therapists to reject gay patients if their homosexuality runs contrary to their religious beliefs. The state’s governor has not yet signed the measure.

Pence’s spokesman said that the governor wanted to remind Hoosiers that he was supporting discriminatory laws long before other states.

“The governor wants to emphasize to people in his state and to the rest of the country his commitment to intolerance, whenever and wherever it exists,” Strait said.

A year ago, Pence signed the so-called “religious freedom” law that allows business owners to refuse to serve customers such as gays who offend their religious beliefs.

The law was criticized throughout the 21st century.

Pence’s executive order bans boys from wearing clothing with bright colors in public elementary and secondary schools because of a concern, he said, they act as “gateway colors.”

“There are boy colors and there are girl colors,” Pence said, “Once we started letting boys wear girl colors, what’s next? I don’t want to think about it.”

The governor’s spokesman was asked who would decide what is or is not a “gay” color.

“The governor knows a ‘gay color’ when he sees it,” Strait said.

The executive order comes several months after political conservatives criticized Frito-Lay for offering rainbow-colored Doritos — in green, blue, purple, red, and orange — to benefit a non-profit LGBT group, It Gets Better.

In late September, Mike Huckabee, then a Republican presidential candidate, called on Frito Lay to quit offering the “gay” snack food. In addition, another conservative commentator called Doritos a “gateway snack” designed to introduce children to homosexuality.

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Ezekiel Elliott Nails His Red Carpet Look

Ezekiel Elliott set the red carpet on fire Thursday night, revealing beach-ready abs and a smile that could stop you in your tracks from a mile away.

The 20-year-old showed up to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre wearing a dress shirt he had transformed into his signature crop top. The former Ohio State running back capped off the gorgeous checkered top with a powder blue coat, a pink bowtie and white slacks.

Elliott and his midsection created a frenzy in 2014 when he started tucking his football jersey into his pads, exposing his chiseled midriff. The look helped him and his team win a national championship. The NCAA banned the style the following year.

But as Elliott proved at a work function Thursday night, looks that good cannot be suppressed.

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Theater: “Psycho” Not So Killer; Sweet “Waitress”

AMERICAN PSYCHO ** out of ****
WAITRESS ** 1/2 out of ****

AMERICAN PSYCHO ** out of ****
GERALD SCHOENFELD THEATRE

It’s almost quaint to remember the furor that greeted Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho when it was first published. Though clearly a brand-name stuffed satire, its violent imagery was seen as misogynistic in the extreme. Now it’s on Broadway with hard bodies and blood splatters on full display, with dismemberment following depictions of all sorts of sexual combinations and while older audiences may not be quite ready for it, they certainly won’t be shocked or surprised.

Like the admired film starring Christian Bale, this musical elevates the one-note satire of the novel into something more ambitious and daring. Especially in the music, it aims high. The show misses the tone entirely that might have pulled this off, but there’s no question everyone is trying.

The story is simple, in a way. Patrick Bateman (embodied by Benjamin Walker) is a Wall Street young gun during the go-go days of the late 1980s. He seems to have it all, including a rail-thin girlfriend, big salary, glossy lifestyle, razor sharp good looks and the adoration and envy of all. But Bateman himself is wracked with envy, always worried about having the right business card, the right table at the right restaurant and perhaps just a teensy bit concerned about the violent thoughts that overwhelm him eighteen times an hour.

He glides through work and play, avoiding commitment to anyone or anything, buying the proper skin care products, maintaining his body and slowly graduating from thinking violent thoughts to bruising prostitutes to stabbing homeless people no one will miss and finally to offing coworkers who are competition for the best clients. Or is he? Bateman may be doing all of this or he may just be fantasizing about it. Does anyone really care if he’s a monster? I mean, he looks so good….

Many things go wrong in telling this story, not least the fact that it simply may not be suited to the stage. In any case, this Bateman seems far more of a pushover than the Bale version from the film. He seems vulnerable and a little pathetic, crumpling at the sight of a better business card, rather than keeping those feelings tamped down tight. Obviously, we’re glimpsing his inner struggles but it’s more compelling to sense those struggles rather than see them played out. When he’s demonstrably wigged out by nothing or nerdy or just plain pathetic, it makes our would-be serial killer far less threatening.

Another bad choice was the broad comedy performances of Bateman’s girlfriend (Helene York) and best friend (played by Theo Stockman, not that Bates really has friends). They’re both quite funny in the parts but this aggressive farcical style makes the whole show a bit of a joke, which also declaws the bubbling violence of Patrick Bateman. Since he inhabits such a fake world of shtick, his tearing it apart holds no danger for us.

The sleek look, the 80s choreography on a bad trip of Lynne Page and especially the songs and score of Duncan Sheik are more on point. Sheik combines original songs done in a style that echoes and slowly transmutes the pop sound of that era into something closer to the theatrical form. Intriguingly, he also takes specific pop songs and gives them new settings and arrangements. This works a charm early on, with Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” New Order’s “True Faith” and the Phil Collins hit “In The Air Tonight” all given new resonance when the specific lyrics Sheik uses are placed in this context. Then he doubles down by simply using the actual recording of Huey Lewis and the News singing “Hip To Be Square” in the climax of the first act.

All this works so interestingly, one can’t help thinking perhaps the entire score should have been constructed this way. (I say that as an ardent fan of Sheik’s work both on Spring Awakening and on other theatrical works he’s composed and his numerous excellent pop albums.) In fairness, I look forward to absorbing the score after repeated listens. But the truth is that the restructuring of those pop tunes is dropped for most of act two, the originals don’t at first blush cut so deep and the use of Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” at the climax is disastrous. The lyrics have no impact and make no sense in this context, really. It’s jarring and ineffective just when the show needs genuine emotion more than ever.

Intellectually, I appreciated what Sheik was going for. But emotionally, I felt little despite a game cast. Walker was key to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and he surely has the matinee idol good looks that are almost too perfect which works for our protagonist. If he feels a little…bland, I’m assuming that’s the empty shell of a man that is Patrick Bateman and wait to see Walker given a chance to play someone with flesh and blood rather than a caricature. Alice Ripley is simply wasted in various roles. But in smaller parts that are played more seriously (and thus are funnier and more effective), I found Drew Moerlien as bete noir Paul Owen and Dave Thomas Brown as hanger-on David Van Patten very compelling. Similarly, Jennifer Damiano plays an honest to goodness actual person as Bateman’s secretary and that too makes her immediately more interesting than the cartoon targets usually on display.

The book of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa lets Sheik down. It’s too jokey, too broad, too faithful in its way to the book and movie without reimagining how the work might play onstage. One problem: Patrick Bateman holds the stage too much. Addressing the audience and rattling off name brand products just isn’t very compelling. We should be wondering what he’s really thinking under that sleek surface, not feeling bored as he unloads his emotional baggage every five minutes.

It’s useful to note some of the few scenes that actually do work. In the show’s most memorable moment of tension and emotion, Bateman is alone with his secretary, a woman who pines for him. (God knows why but she thinks he’s sweet, which makes us doubt her taste in men rather than seeing Bateman in a new light.) They’re in his apartment and his homicidal feelings are bubbling up and while he wrestles with whether to open himself up emotionally or open her up literally there’s actually something at stake. In another lighter scene, Bateman and his friends are sunning themselves and debating the merits of various forms of bottled water. This exchange is intentionally banal and amusingly specific, like so much of Ellis’s novel. Somehow, with a group of people bantering with one another, their vapidity and the sting of the novel comes across far better than having Bateman alone and holding forth in a vacuum. Even monsters need friends, apparently, and are more interesting for it.

WAITRESS ** 1/2 out of ****
BROOKS ATKINSON THEATRE

Somehow, I never saw the much admired indie film written by Adrienne Shelly that this new musical is based on. However, I imagine it had a more consistent tone than this unfocused show which begins with the rat-a-tat rhythms of an episode of the sitcom Alice, veers into more adult territory and then u-turns into a wish fulfillment fantasy at the end with an oddly un-empowering twist for our heroine. Thanks to a game cast, the immense appeal of Tony winner Jessie Mueller and some good songs by Sara Bareilles, it manages to sate your hunger for a new musical even as it doesn’t quite succeed as well as it should.

The story is simple. Jenna (Mueller) is a waitress in a small town. She’s got a hateful husband named Earl (Nick Cordero) and an unhappy life. Despite the constant urging of her friends, Jenna is too scared to leave him and start a new life. But boy can she bake pies! Maybe, just maybe, a big pie baking competition with a juicy big chunk of cash for the winner can be her way out.

Along the way, she’ll get pregnant, have an affair with the affable new doctor in town (Drew Gehling) and see both her fellow waitresses find their own solace in the arms of others. But will she find the strength to break free? You’d certainly expect so in a show led by an all female creative team led by director Diane Paulus and composer and lyricist Sara Bareilles. The deflating truth is that they sort of let Jenna down.

As mentioned, the story begins with one-liner after another, usually dished up by the big-boned gal Becky (Keala Settle) and served to the short order cook Cal (Eric Anderson). And no points for figuring out what might be happening between the two people who argue the most, folks. But the story gets darker as we realize Jenna’s husband isn’t just controlling but genuinely abusive. Happily, the cliche of a baby changing everything comes into play since Jenna is scared by the coming responsibility but also sees her pregnancy as a kick in the pants. If she can’t be brave for herself, maybe she can be brave for the child to be.

I was really looking forward to this show. The Sara Bareilles album containing some songs she wrote for Waitress was one of my favorites of 2015. The simple recurring lyric of ingredients (“sugar…butter…flour”) has been in my head for ages. The tunes really defined characters or seemed to push a storyline further. When a show has a good score, you’re halfway there. However, I think Bareilles made a mistake in doing the orchestrations herself. (Arrangements are by Nadia DiGiallonardo.) Despite my strong familiarity with many of the songs, I had a lot of trouble understanding the lyrics. (My guest had that problem, times ten.) It’s something I rarely encounter in a Broadway show. I think it’s a combination of Bareilles not typically writing for other voices, not doing orchestrations, the particular demands of a pop song recorded on an album versus lyrics that must be understood right away in a show, the presence of the band onstage and the sound design of Jonathan Deans. Simply not being able to hear the lyrics properly is an almost insurmountable stumbling block and it reached a climax with the show’s eleven o’clock number “She Used To Be Mine.” I literally couldn’t follow what Jenna was singing about or what Bareilles was trying to illuminate or get across. I’ve become a fan of Bareilles thanks to the Waitress album she recorded and believe she has the makings of a musical composer. But all these factors conspired against showing the songs off at their best.

That’s far from the only problem. The choreography of Lorin Latarro is undistinguished and the set design of Scott Pask is serviceable but never more (though the backdrops create a disarming realism that’s right for this story). The choice of having the band onstage is unsatisfying. They just seem in the way. Not to get all John Doyle on them, but having more of a sense of the band being the customers might have been a better way to go.

But the main problem after the inability to actually hear the songs is the book of Jessie Nelson. About halfway through the show they find the right tone: a more adult take on romance and lost opportunities. Various characters are having sex and it’s not necessarily with their one true love. They’re unapologetically finding solace in sex, not romance. It’s a rather more mature and nuanced take than we expected from the jokey start, but a valid one for people trapped in unsatisfying circumstances. That seems truest to the story of a woman abused by her husband and struggling to break free. Yet Waitress rarely stays on this level.

Rather disappointingly, Waitress doesn’t even dare to imagine a realistic awakening for Jenna. We expect to watch a woman blossom into a positive self image thanks to a new passion or be inspired by the responsibilities of motherhood or even simply gain confidence thanks to her genuine talent with baking. Instead, she’s rescued by a fairy godfather of a sort.

And yet. And yet, Waitress does have some very appealing tunes. And it can boast a very talented cast. Cordero (of A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway) lets the hateful Cal be a real lowlife rather than a broad caricature and he’s all the scarier and sadder for it. Settle may be handed two-bit one-liners but she zings them as best she can. And out of nowhere the romances gain momentum. Dawn (Kimiko Glenn) is a shy wallflower but she blossoms when finding her soulmate online, a man named Ogie. Christopher Fitzgerald stops the show as that nerdy, history buff with a poetic heart determined not to let Dawn get away from him. It’s no surprise that the talented Dakin Matthews nails his smaller turn as the grumpy customer Joe with charm and wit. Toss in appealing chemistry between Jenna and Dr. Pomatter and you’ve got a lot of fun on tap.

So why did they (presumably) stick so close to the film that Dr. Pomatter is also cheating on his wife? We know Jenna has good reason but his cheating feels like a bridge too far, especially since it ultimately seems so unjustified. And why couldn’t Jenna grow a little bit scene by scene rather than switching from doormat to triumphant winner all in the blink of an eye? And will someone apologize to Charity Angél Dawson for being saddled with a horribly cliched role of a tut-tutting, mumbling, sassy nurse? She does what she can with the part but shouldn’t we have moved past them by now?

Thank goodness for Jessie Mueller. She’s so appealing you’re with her from the first scene. Even when you can’t quite make out the lyrics, her emotional intensity and vulnerability make you feel the intent of the song anyway. You buy her as a waitress. You understand a little better perhaps how someone can be smart and capable and yet trapped in an abusive relationship without blaming them or considering them weak or at fault. You believe her as a real person even when Waitress settles for a magical ending that’s far less enjoyable than the one Jenna could have and should have earned on her own.

THEATER OF 2016

Employee Of The Year (Under The Radar at Public) ***
Germinal (Under The Radar At Public) *** 1/2
Fiddler On The Roof 2015 Broadway revival with Danny Burstein ** 1/2
Skeleton Crew ***
Noises Off (2016 Broadway revival) ** but *** if you’ve never seen it before
The Grand Paradise ***
Our Mother’s Brief Affair * 1/2
Something Rotten ***
Sense & Sensibility (Bedlam revival) *** 1/2
Broadway & The Bard * 1/2
Prodigal Son **
A Bronx Tale: The Musical **
Buried Child (2016 revival w Ed Harris) **
Nice Fish ***
Broadway By The Year: The 1930s at Town Hall ***
Hughie **
Pericles (w Christian Camargo) * 1/2
Straight ** 1/2
Eclipsed ***
Red Speedo ***
The Royale ** 1/2
Boy ****
The Robber Bridegroom ***
Hold On To Me, Darling ***
Blackbird ** 1/2
Disaster! *
The Effect ** 1/2
Dry Powder ** 1/2
Head Of Passes ** 1/2
Broadway By The Year: The 1950s *** 1/2
The Crucible (w Ben Whishaw) ***
Bright Star **
She Loves Me (w Laura Benanti) ***
Antlia Pneumatica ** 1/2
RSC at BAM: Richard II (w David Tennant) ** 1/2
RSC at BAM: Henry IV Part I and II (w Antony Sher) ***
RSC at BAM Henry V (w Alex Hassell) ** 1/2
Nathan The Wise ** 1/2
The Father **
American Psycho **
Waitress ** 1/2
Fully Committed ** 1/2

_____________

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. Trying to decide what to read next? Head to BookFilter! Need a smart and easy gift? Head to BookFilter? Wondering what new titles came out this week in your favorite categories, like cookbooks and mystery and more? Head to BookFilter! It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free tickets to shows with the understanding that he will be writing a review. All productions are in New York City unless otherwise indicated.

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The Sensory Overload of James Stanford

James Stanford understands the allure of Las Vegas, the glamour, the dizziness, and the ecstasy of it all. He has crystallized the sensory overload that the city’s glitz creates in the mind. His abstract kaleidoscope compositions deliver the sensuous pulse of sin city. The artist performs an almost alchemical feat – he simplifies the visual language of Las Vegas and yet simultaneously amplifies it.

2016-04-28-1461826624-5935183-Alladin_900x600.jpg
Alladin

This feat is not an endeavor anyone else has particularly mastered. Stanford starts with the subject of Vegas. First he must find the sources that epitomize the subject in order to capture the essence. There is so much to choose from in this diverse, pulsating city. Think of all the icons, think of all the slogans. Showgirls used to be a signifier of the city. Slot machines, too. But time marches on. Sure “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is memorable, but it only encompasses part of the city’s allure. Because visual art can go beyond the literal, it must. James Stanford knows this and started out with two simple, related things that visually herald Las Vegas: the artificially colored light and the contrasts it makes.

2016-04-28-1461826669-7218378-CircusCircus_900x600.jpg
Circus Circus

The artist bravely chooses to reduce the city and the experience of tens of millions of tourists a year into the contours of one simple element among the varied visual possibilities. This comes at great risk to the project. Throwing out so much of what we know, what we enjoy and what we seek is a denial of so much of the experience. And yet, great art reduces. The Mona Lisa isn’t smiling for any specific, acknowledged reason. By reducing the experience, Da Vinci opened up the possibilities for what might be. As such, choosing the thing to be arrived at after reducing down the elements is only the first part of the process.

2016-04-28-1461826722-5232746-DelMar_900x600.jpg
Del Mar

Those lights, that multicolored orgy for the eyes – and always contrasted against stark backdrops, landscapes and architecture everywhere you look. Jame Stanford has reduced the experience of Las Vegas to just this, but now he finds a way to avoid the infinite number of ways to depict this subject. He creates a vision that is his own, but one that amplifies the simplicity of the elements with which he is working. The symbol of Vegas might be the light and design of the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. But an artist must go beyond the pizzazz of good design. An artist must deliver the experience of the essay, the dizziness and the power of the feeling of the infinite that Las Vegas delivers to a plurality of its visitors.

2016-04-28-1461826763-1259293-FlamingoHilton_900x600.jpg
Flamingo Hilton

It is in the eternal nature of the multiple reflection that this artist has delivered the ultimate rendering of the Vegas experience without resorting to dated design motifs. By having the light and texture of Vegas composed in a mirror image, we get the timelessness of living the dream. There is no font or date or lock us in to (or out of) an era; no, we float with all that has come before and will occur ever after on The Strip. The blissful moment of conquering that town is crystallized in these sleek masterpieces. The vision of this artist is the never ending thrill that only one city in the world can bring.

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Mike Doughty Digs Up Bonus Track for ‘Haughty Melodic’ Reissue: Exclusive Premiere

In celebration of its 15-year anniversary, ATO Records is putting out a series of reissues, including signee Mike Doughty's solo album …
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Velcro and Color-Coding: How to Make a Met Gala–Worthy Seating Chart

met gala seating chart

“We’re very thoughtful about where we place people,” says Sylvana Ward Durrett, Vogue’s Director of Special Projects, who oversees the Met Gala each year. And when it comes to this event, that seems to be putting it rather lightly. For the annual ball, Ward Durrett and her team have turned seating charts into a rarefied art form. Hours of thought go into who should sit with whom, and charts from previous years are consulted to avoid repeat placements. But the main goal is to look out for common interests. “We kind of pride ourselves that in this room, there are all these new connections made,” Ward Durrett says. “There’s a lot of networking that goes on, and you hear all these stories that come out of the Met, like so-and-so is now doing a fragrance with Marc Jacobs because they met at the [event].”

Your dinner party next Saturday night may not prove so fruitful, but how are scenarios such as this facilitated in the first place? For the Vogue tables at the Met Ball, a specific host is assigned—a trick that Ward Durrett recommends for multi-table dinner parties at home as well. “I think the worst thing that happens at these parties is you go to your table and you have no idea who you’re seated with or why you’ve been [placed] there,” she says. “[But] once you introduce a host to the table . . . you sort of get a better sense of why you are [there]—and it’s easier for you to enjoy yourself.”

 

 

A harmonious arrangement is one thing, but executing the task without losing your mind is quite another. “There have been many iterations of the seating chart,” Ward Durrett says with a laugh, speaking of the craft’s technical aspect. “When I first started, we had just little stickies, and it was a nightmare—things were falling off, we were losing people and rewriting names a million times a day.” Post-it notes littering the office floor brings to mind an infuriating, and somewhat farcical, scenario, but luckily a new system has long since been devised. For the names of guests, Ward Durrett does printouts and uses Velcro for easy rearrangement.

For those entertaining at home, though, an industrial-size foam-core board and easel would most likely be overkill. “I always tell people if they’re having any kind of a dinner party, just draw out a table chart, laminate it, get some stickies, and try to do girl-boy-girl-boy, because it’s more interesting that way,” Ward Durrett advises. Color-coding helps visualize the gender aspect, as well as different types of tables for an event like the Met Gala. But there is one caveat in terms of alternating male and female attendees. “Never seat spouses next to each other,” Ward Durrett warns. “The whole point of these things is to meet new people, and to be interested in what others are doing.” She adds, “What’s the point if you come here to hang out with your husband?” Touché. When it comes to the Met Ball, or even your friend’s small gathering, it’s best to rehash your respective conversations during the car ride home.

Looking for more Met Gala party-planning tips? Here, Sylvana Ward Durrett shares everything from making her to-do list to coming up with the right icebreakers.

The post Velcro and Color-Coding: How to Make a Met Gala–Worthy Seating Chart appeared first on Vogue.

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7 Sins of The (Bad) Wedding Photographer

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Bridechilla Club loves wedding photographers.

We appreciate the depth of their experience and love the raw emotion they capture in their photos, the art and their legacy. So it’s made us sad to see quite a few wedding photographer horror stories hitting social media lately. We feel that they cast a shadow over the amazing service and experience that the majority of professional wedding photographers provide to their couples.

But there is no escaping the sense of loss a newlywed couple feels when the wedding professional, they trusted their photographic memories and hard earned money with, fucks it up. And not just in a ‘people make mistakes’ way. It’s the ‘I’m above society’s norms/I don’t subscribe to basic courtesy/what are you going to do about it anyway’ kind of attitude that really gets us fired up.

But what can be done about it and how can you avoid hiring a dodgy photographer? What an excellent (and sexy) question.

We’ve pulled together a roundup of some urban myths and second-hand stories we have heard recently and what you can learn from them. We hope it will help you to open a dialogue with your photographer about your expectations and give you the confidence to work with them towards an awesome wedding experience and photos that evoke wonderful memories for many years to come.

Sin #1 – When they’ve gone MIA

A wedding couple contacted a Bridechilla Club photographer friend on the Friday before their Saturday wedding because they had had no contact with the photographer they hired and were not even sure that they were going to rock up.

Takeaway: When you are looking into booking your photographer, be sure to ask questions about their business practices, their workflow (i.e. will you be having meetings/calls/an engagement shoot prior to the wedding and how many weeks/months can you expect to wait before you see a preview of your photos) and how and when they will be contacting you. Open and honest communication is a must.

Sin #2 – When they act more like a guest, than a supplier..

There is a popular photographer who is renowned for drinking a little too much red wine during wedding receptions and in some cases, has had to be rolled out of the venue.

Takeaway: There is a fine line between a supplier enjoying the high-energy atmosphere of a wedding and giving the impression that they would rather be partying than doing the job that they have been paid for. When arranging meals for your suppliers, it is generally accepted that alcohol will not be included, but it is worth double checking that expectation, just to make sure that everyone knows where you stand.

Sin #3 – When you’re not in the same book, let alone on the same page..

A conservative christian couple asked a Bridechilla Club photographer friend what the usual process for wedding photography is. After going over a standard timeline it seemed that the couple were still a little uneasy, so she asked them to be more specific.

They said that they had met with another photographer who, after showing them a standard wedding album, said ‘now here is the after-party shoot’ where they were shown an album of the bride and groom ‘enjoying’ their first night as husband and wife.

Takeaway: Ask lots of questions to find out if your photographer has a similar outlook to you and your fiancé and ensure that you are comfortable with exactly what type of images they will be taking on the day.

Sin #4 – Holier than thou..

During a church wedding, the photographer thought that he would be able to get a better shot if he climbed onto the altar.

Takeaway: There is a degree of humility and discretion that is essential in a good photographer. Check your potential photographer’s reviews and ask for recommendations from other wedding industry professionals.

Sin #5 – When they’re just mean spirited..

A photographer attended a wedding as a guest and was bemused when the official wedding photographer, while snapping some ‘getting ready’ shots, felt it necessary to shut the door in his face.

Takeaway: Dear photographer, you haven’t discovered a cure for the common cold, so don’t be a bastard. For couples: don’t hire a bastard.

Sin # 6 – When the photography is more important than the experience of getting married..

During the ring exchange, the photographer decided that she would stand between the couple and their guests. And, at the moment the groom was putting the bride’s ring on her finger, leaned in and asked him to swap the hands he was using so she could get a better photo.

Takeaway: Umm, the discretion thing again.

Sin #7 – When a deal is not a deal..

A couple hired their photographer who was advertising an ‘amazing wedding photography deal’ for upwards of $ 4000. The couple liked her work and booked her. She was 1.5 hours late to the wedding with no explanation. Five weeks after the wedding, the photographer contacted them saying that she had deleted all of their wedding and engagement photos without explanation and refused to give a refund or reshoot the wedding without further payment.

Takeaway: Again, checking a photographer’s reviews and social media feed will tell you a lot about their attitude and commitment to (or lack of) client satisfaction. But also remember that taking a wedding photo, does not a professional wedding photographer make. If your photographer doesn’t have the experience and agreements or business practices in place to troubleshoot these types of problems, they are also unable to provide the degree of service a couple deserve.

Have you got any tips to share on how to select the best photographer for your needs? Let us know in the comments.

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Sanders: Large Corporations Are Destroying America’s Complimentary Hotel Breakfasts

WEST VIRGINIA – Despite four primary losses Tuesday and a near impossible path to the Democratic nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders continued his campaign’s push through West Virginia early Wednesday, with a speaking stop in the breakfast lounge/ multi-purpose space of a Huntington, West Virginia Days Inn.

“For too long we have allowed large corporations to ruin our discount hotels’ complimentary breakfasts” said Sanders, speaking to several bleary-eyed latex salesmen. “Take these muffins. Look at them, they’re tiny. I for one remember when American muffins were huge, maybe 2, 3, or even 4 times this size. Now Secretary Clinton will tell you ‘well, you know, those are mini muffins’. I think it is inexcusable that in this country while hedge fund managers eat regular-sized muffins or maybe croissants, our nurses and truck drivers and latex salesmen are told to be happy with their mini muffins.

“Nobody who works 40 hours a week should be forced to eat mini muffins, or baby carrots for that matter.”

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The senator closed on one of his more central platform points, his plan for raising the federal minimum wage. “We live in a country where the government works for the millionaires and billionaires but has forgotten about the middle class,” said Sanders as a hotel guest quietly jammed a bagel into one of the hotel’s featherweight toasters. “That is why I am proposing raising the minimum wage to $ 15/hr, so that American workers can not only afford a complete breakfast each morning, but also occasionally a nice brunch, with a mimosa or perhaps a Bloody Mary.”

Sanders moves on Thursday to a rally outside an Indiana IHOP, where he is expected to reiterate his pledge to repeal the multilateral trade deals that he says have all-but decimated the market for American pancakes.

(L&B)

This post first appeared on Steve Kenning’s website, lineandbreak.com

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All 5 Costumes Beyonce Wore To Kick Off Her Formation World Tour

Beyoncé kicked off her highly anticipated Formation World Tour in Miami Wednesday night and as expected, she suited up appropriately (and literally).

The queen slayed in exclusively bodysuits that matched her backup dancers. Her five looks included playful prints, latex, sky high boots, a regal custom costume by Roberto Cavalli, one huge hat and more. This particularly intricate, lacy white number merged two fashion powerhouses, Bey and Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing: 

“The Balmain army becomes the Beyoncé army. I love it when my couture meets music,” he told WWD.

Much speculation has surrounded all aspects of the tour since it was announced in February, and fans were certainly not disappointed. 

The two-hour show included songs from her much buzzed-about new album “Lemonade,” as well as the classics. Bey even brought two of the luckiest people on earth fans on stage to help her perform “Single Ladies.”

But aside from the sheer entertainment value, Bey really knocked it out of the park in her costume changes. We haven’t been this excited about her outfits since, well, Saturday, seeing that yellow dress from “Lemonade.”

Case in point: this red, ruffled latex number.

Not to mention the hat to end all hats: 

Here’s to many more months of Beyoncé, bodysuits and Balmain. 

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Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons Bromance in The Man Who Knew Infinity

For some, even the talk of math inspires a mind freeze. The actor Dev Patel who plays a real life math genius from Madras claimed to be one of those last night at the premiere of his new movie, The Man Who Knew Infinity. As Srinivasa Ramanujan, his emphasis was the relationship, not the one with the lovely Devika Bhise who plays his wife Janaki, also attending the special night at Elyx House, but with G. H. Hardy, a perfect and prim Jeremy Irons in the role. Amazed by his facility with figures, Hardy invited Ramanujan to Cambridge, England where he faced racism, cold, and culture shock, and still managed to move mathematics forward much the way Sir Isaac Newton advanced the laws of physics, finding a formula for partitions that others thought was impossible. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society.

Director Mira Nair, whose next film, Queen of Katwe, about a spunky girl from the streets of Uganda who becomes a chess champion, will premiere at the coming Toronto Film Festival in the fall, confirmed Ramanujan was a big deal in her home country of India, taught at schools, and considered a national treasure. Gay Talese, Richard and Lisa Perry, Lauren Hutton, Simon Curtis, Pat Birch, Laura Michelle Kelly, and Griffin Dunne were among the many guests, as was Cindy Lawrence, executive director of the National Museum of Mathematics, which just happens to have a back door facing the Museum of Sex. Inviting us to come and ride on a square wheeled bicycle, she admitted that she doesn’t do math either.

Producer Ed Pressman introduced everyone to Matt Brown, who wrote and directed this film, beautifully shot by longtime Kubrick collaborator Larry Smith. As Jeremy Irons said to this crowd, “When you find a man who has a passion, hang onto him because you know it’s going to be an interesting ride.”

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.

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New Book Shows The ‘Advanced Style’ Of The Older And Wiser

SPECIAL FROM Next Avenue

By Amy Knapp

The fashion world is youth-obsessed. You don’t see smile lines on the faces of the models on runways in Paris, New York, London or Milan; you see beauty equated with youth. But Ari Seth Cohen believes something is wrong with that picture. The street photographer turned author/blogger is on a mission to show that glamour has no age limit. In his new book Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, splashy images of fabulous people are paired with first-person essays that challenge ageist beauty ideals.

A Little Older, a Little Wiser

The book is a follow-up to Advanced Style, which Cohen published after the death of his fashion-forward grandmother. It created a stir. Cohen told CNN that casting agents approached him wanting to hire women he photographed for his book.

“What happened after the first book was there was sort of an explosion in the media where a lot of the women I was photographing, and then a lot of other older women, were finally being recognized in the worlds of lifestyle and fashion media.” Cohen says.

When people ask me about age, I tell them to look at all the trees. They may look as if they’re dying at the moment, but they’re not; they’re recycling themselves.

— Tao Porchon-Lynch, Master yoga teacher

At New York Fashion Week last fall, the idea that style is ageless was personified when model Maye Musk, 67, walked for designer Malan Breton’s show after the designer discovered her on Facebook.

Cohen’s first book and blog led to the documentary Advanced Style . Filmed by Linda Plioplyte, it profiles seven women who have appeared both on Cohen’s blog and in his first book.

One thing led to another as Cohen found more people with stories to tell. “I was able to continue to meet these really, really wonderful extraordinary older people who had incredible stories to tell and so along this journey I was gathering photos and having people write essays and not really knowing what the next project would be,” Cohen says.  It turned out to be “a deeper look into the world of advanced style and kind of the things that have happened to the women along the way.”

Cohen’s subjects come from all over the world (from Montenegro to Sydney), but he found many of them while roaming the streets of New York City looking for interesting characters who “will inspire people to look at aging differently.”

Here are a few excerpts from the book:

Tao Porchon-Lynch, 97

In my head, I’m still in my 20’s, and I have no intention of ever growing up. When people ask me about age, I tell them to look at all the trees around them. They’re hundreds of years old. They may look as if they’re dying at the moment, but they’re not; they’re recycling themselves. In a couple of months, they’re going to be reborn again. I believe we can recycle ourselves with each breath we take.

I live every day with style. I like color and I always wear high heels. Although I am considered a yoga master and have certified over 1,600 yoga teachers, I love wine and chocolate. What I was 87, I started competitive ballroom dancing and I have since won over 721 first-place awards. It’s never too late to follow your heart. When I get up in the morning, I say to myself, ‘This is going to be the best day of my life,’ and then it is. Just know that there is nothing you cannot do, for you’re not the doer, you’re the instrument. You have the power inside to do everything you set your mind to!

Lyn Slater, 62

I have always believed that life is performed. We can write original stories or we can accept the scripts that others have written for us. I came up in a generation that refused to accept the status quo, the roles and the life that our mothers and grandmothers had before us. We decided to rewrite the narrative and we burned bras, experienced ‘free love,’ participated in demonstrations and had important careers and families. So why people would think we would accept and enact somebody else’s scripts of invisibility, ‘retirement,’ ‘age appropriate dress’ and dismissal simply because we got older is rather astounding.

Valerie Von Sobel, 74

In some cultures, life is partitioned into distinct stages: the first part is for the acquisition of knowledge; the second, they call the ‘householder’ years. Those are the noisy ones — creating and tending to family. And the third, most magical, belongs to you. It makes perfect sense — you have earned it, you just need to claim it. This is when you get to act out: you can sit in a lotus position for days reaching for Nirvana, you get to play all the games you never had time for, you can mentor or study a new subject. This fits perfectly with the western notion that we are always in a state of learning, earning or returning. Personally, I am blessed to be in a state of returning; expressing and sharing my given talent through gifts of art and beauty, and the having the privilege of being involved in what, to me, is the most meaningful philanthropy.

Read more from Next Avenue:

These dream vacations let you follow your dreams

How your ethnic background affects your health

Tips for fall-proofing your home

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Drake’s VIP Tour Swag Packages Include 6 God Candles, Foam Fingers & Car Fresheners

You can be sure that Drake and Future will turn their swag on for their anticipated Summer Sixteen joint tour. The superstar pairing is already sure…
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Introducing the New Vogue App: 4 Reasons to Download, According to Anna Wintour

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It’s official: Today marks the launch of the new Vogue app, bringing the world of fashion to your iPhone-wielding fingertips. And we mean you. Upon opening the app, you’ll find a daily selection of eight new stories that have been tailored to your interests. If that’s not enough to satisfy your app-etite, fret not: You can scroll through and read all of the latest stories from Vogue.com, whether you’re craving style, beauty, culture, or living content. We’ll be publishing articles, photos, and videos by the minute, so you can enjoy all things new, no matter what the hour. Or, if you’re strapped for time, save what you want to read later, on- or off-line. Kicking the convenience factor up a notch, you can get notifications when your new stories are ready and when fashion news breaks, plus save and share these right from your lock screen.

The Vogue app is also your front row seat to the Met Gala on May 2. See all of your favorite stars—and what they’re wearing—as soon as they step on the red carpet, then go behind the scenes with our exclusive coverage from inside the party of the year (and the after-parties!). There is no better way to experience the event from every angle—ball gown optional.

In the meantime, take a video tour of the app above, courtesy of Vogue’s Anna Wintour, and head to the app store now to download.

The post Introducing the New Vogue App: 4 Reasons to Download, According to Anna Wintour appeared first on Vogue.

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The 11 Most Important Phrases In A Marriage

Happy couples regularly say “I love you,” but those three little words alone aren’t enough to keep the spark alive through the ups and downs of a long marriage. 

To that end, we asked relationship experts to tell us the most important phrases husbands and wives can say to each other. Read them below:

1. “I am so lucky I married you.”

“We all need affirmation and appreciation. We want to know that our spouse is in love with us and that they’re happy they made the decision to be with us for a lifetime. We like to think that they’re thinking about the marriage from time to time. And when this phrase gets blurted out every now and then, it makes a partner feel very loved.” — Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology and certified sexologist

2. “How can I help you?” 

“People married for a half-century or more tell us to avoid the temptation to step in and try to solve your partner’s problems. Stop thinking of yourself as the ‘white knight’ who can fix everything. The key is to really listen to your partner and learn if he or she wants help – or just to be listened to. ‘I’m there for you’ is more effective than ‘Here’s what you should do.’” – Karl Andrew Pillemer, family sociologist and author of 30 Lessons for Loving

3. “I want you.” 

“Letting your spouse know you desire them in every way, including sexually, makes them feel seen and alive and keeps the flame burning between you.” – Celeste Hirschman, sex therapist and relationship coach

4. “What do you think?” 

“This simple little phrase is surprisingly powerful, especially when talking about heated issues. I think of it as an invitation, setting the stage for an open-minded dialogue. ‘What do you think?’ says, ‘I’m curious. Your point of view matters as much as mine.’” – Winifred Reilly, licensed marriage and family therapist

5.What would I do without you?” 

“When you are sad or doubtful about events in your life, delivering this phrase to your partner is one of the most loving gifts you can give in a marriage. You are telling the person to whom you vowed to be with ’till death do we part’ that you meant what you said — that he or she is a necessary force that helps you feel happy and whole.” – Iris Krasnow, best-selling author of The Secret Lives of Wives

6. “You are so beautiful/handsome.” 

“Even though we do not want to be wanted only for our looks, we still want to be admired and sexually attractive to our spouse. Even if it’s something like, ‘I love when you wear that dress’ or ‘You look so handsome in that color,’ a little remark like that can send a shiver through your partner even after many years of marriage.” – Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology and certified sexologist

7. “I’m sorry.”

“When was the last time you heard someone say that to you? ‘Sorry’ has become a word we rarely hear today. Too many people are so protective of their image that acknowledging a mistake is impossible for them. Healthy marriages are built when two imperfect people are admitting and accepting of the mistakes we all make.” – Kurt Smith, therapist who specializes in counseling for men

8. “Tell me all about it.” 

“If your partner has had an interesting experience, or gone on a trip, let him or her talk about it without interruption. Show genuine interest in that great conference she attended, his fishing trip with college buddies, or whatever it may be. Let your partner really tell the story – we all love being listened to!” – Karl Andrew Pillemer, family sociologist and author of 30 Lessons for Loving 

9. “I was wrong. You were right.”

“This phrase is always successful in making your partner feel better about whatever conflict has just transpired. I use this phrase a lot — even when I know my husband was wrong and I was right!” — Iris Krasnow, best-selling author of The Secret Lives of Wives

10. “I accept you as you are.”
“So often we see couples who think marriage is about changing your partner into the person you want them to be. Yet the most sustainable relationships are actually built on acceptance. It is only when you accept your partner for who they are that they feel safe enough to blossom. Plus, acceptance breeds honest, open communication and deeper intimacy.” – Danielle Harel, sex therapist and relationship coach
 

11. “I forgive you.”

“Pretty regularly I hear partners in marriage counseling say their partner can recall every wrong they’ve ever made. When you can recite such a list, forgiveness hasn’t happened. Forgiveness doesn’t mean having no memory, but it does mean letting go of the hurt and the need to cite the wrong again and again.” – Kurt Smith, therapist who specializes in counseling for men

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Grampa’s Religion

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Kaley Cuoco Trades Her Lob For Long Hair With New Extensions

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Chris Hemsworth Doing Pull-Ups While Dissing ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Is Mesmerizing

Chris Hemsworth is a lot of things: a father, a brother, a successful actor and Thor (OK, we know he’s not really the superhero/Norse god, but those muscles don’t lie.)

In a video posted by The Russo Brothers on Facebook Wednesday, we see Hemsworth working on his fitness at the gym, as he gets a few things off his (huge) chest.

Doing pull-ups — eventually one-handed — throughout the clip, Hemsworth says, “It’s funny, everyone keeps asking me: Are you Team Cap? Are you Team Iron Man?” 

“Who cares?” he adds, before joking about the new “Captain America” movie. “I mean, where was the invite for me and Hulk? You just left the two biggest, strongest Avengers out of this one, did ya? [...] Let us know when you’re done messing around, then the big boys will step in.”

After a moment of contemplation about his worthiness, Hemsworth picks up Thor’s hammer, which flies into his hand from mid-air, assuring himself that he’s “still got it.”

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James Arthur Ray, Disgraced Self-Help Guru, Still Hopes To ‘Enlighten Us’

In 2011, James Arthur Ray went to prison wondering what he’d done to deserve it. As he arrived in shackles, inmates familiar with his public downfall hurled expletives and death threats at him. He spent time in solitary confinement and a psych ward — both, he says, for his protection. By the time Ray’s two years behind bars ended, his “arrogance and ignorance and bullshit started to peel away.” 

Today, Ray promises he is a “better man” for having risen to the top and then plummeted. But how does someone of his notoriety — someone who, in a sense, is a casualty of the aggrandized American dream — rebuild his legacy?

“If all I knew about me was what has been put in the press, I wouldn’t like me very much,” the 58-year-old Ray said. “I just wouldn’t.”

After dipping in and out of poverty throughout his Oklahoma childhood, Ray got rich off the pop spirituality that has prospered as organized religion has declined. Oprah brought it to television, The Secret turned it into a best-seller, and Tony Robbins’ retreats made it a flesh-and-blood ritual. For Ray, his teachings were a calling. To those who burned through his books, attended the workshops he led and subscribed to his proselytizing about “harmonic wealth” and “spiritual warriors,” they were a lifestyle. 

But Ray’s habits — featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and in the 2006 movie based on The Secret — weren’t so highly effective when his empire came crashing down in 2009. At $ 10,000 a pop, Ray’s multi-day retreats aimed to help participants overcome adversity by challenging their comfort zones. The agenda included fasting, intense meditation and limit-testing physical activities. That October, two people died of heatstroke during a chaotic, two-hour endurance test that Ray conducted inside a sweat lodge in an Arizona desert. A third died of organ failure about a week later. Ray was acquitted of manslaughter charges but sentenced to two years in prison on counts of negligent homicide. His business, worth $ 10 million, perished overnight. 

Last week, Ray’s effort to mount a renaissance began. “Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray,” a CNN Films documentary directed by Jenny Carchman, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Carchman, who co-directed HBO’s “One Nation Under Dog,” pitched the movie to Ray as he began his second year in prison. As he tells it, she wanted to depict Ray’s “comeback.”

“Enlighten Us” tracks Ray’s professional origins as an AT&T ladder-climber delivering motivational talks based on Stephen Covey’s popular 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He devoured spiritual teachings — quantum physics, Joseph Campbell, Hindu mysticism — and apparently found his purpose during a 10-day trek through the Sinai desert. That calling became James Ray International.

For those who bought into them, Ray’s charismatic, sometimes aggressive lectures about self-fulfillment could inspire proverbial religious experiences. Like any good businessman, he upsold audiences at the end of presentations, creating a small legion of disciples to whom he became a guru — a word that many media outlets adopted when reporting on the sweat-lodge deaths. 

As these American dreams go, Ray’s net worth eventually stretched into the “multiple millions,” as he told The Huffington Post during a lengthy interview ahead of the “Enlighten Us” premiere. As for the “guru” narrative? Ray won’t buy it. 

It’s been 20 months since Ray left jail, and he has accepted fault for the fatalities that occurred on his watch. Once his operations expanded, Ray was traveling some 200 days a year for speaking engagements. His staff grew, and he admitted to become increasingly reliant on aides.

“I could have done a better job of being In touch with the details and knowing the nuances and the ins and outs of all my events and activities,” he said while reflecting on what led to the deaths. “I hired great people and trusted those people, and they are still great. It’s on me because at the end of the day it’s my responsibility. Could we have had better safeguards, and could I have been more knowledgeable? You bet. I wish I would have.” 

Ray did have knowledge of injuries at his previous retreats, however. In 2005, a New Jersey woman shattered her hand after she felt pressured to participate in a board-breaking exercise. (Ray settled a negligence lawsuit as a result.) That same year, a man became “irrational and violent” after four hours in one of Ray’s sweat lodges. (Ray reportedly refused to call 911.) In 2009, three months before the sweat-lodge disaster, a Minnesota woman committed suicide while participants were instructed to simulate homelessness — an incident that “Enlighten Us” does not address. 

Ray’s stature rose in spite of these controversies. In other words, he accrued more devotees. (A Toronto retreat that attracted a head count of 17,000 felt like a new rush of success.) And yes, he knew there had been injuries — but only a “handful” among the “hundreds of thousands of people” he’d worked with. Plus, he said the 56 individuals who followed his leadership over the course of the five-day workshop that culminated in the sweat-lodge deaths had signed waivers outlining the risks in significant detail.

“I was very clear during this,” Ray promised. “If you saw the release form, it said you might die.” 

What it probably didn’t say was that New Age spiritualism, for all its wisdom and wonders, is a slippery slope. Subscribing to the philosophy of Deepak Chopra is one thing. Submitting to a guided getaway during which one’s agency is essentially stripped in honor of self-improvement is another. It is human nature to seek a higher power, and even if Ray himself is not one, the inspiration he can provide easily becomes a temporary substitute. Yet, contrition aside, Ray maintained during our conversation that everyone who entered that sweat lodge should have known he actively encouraged clients to question his teachings.

“Why do people skydive?” he asked. “Why do they bungee jump?” Because they want to experience a thrill that elevates their courage. But skydivers and bungee jumpers come prepared with a mental image of what they will experience, and they do so within a fixed environment. In Ray’s eyes, the idea that the 56 people who entered the sweat lodge — and many others beyond them — would see him as a guru “makes no sense.” If anything, he was a mere “guide.” But disputing labels would have been irrelevant the moment the first person fainted. (Ray said it “doesn’t matter” whether he believes he was wronged legally in the sentencing. “I’ve paid my dues.” He is seen in the movie saying, “An accident occurred, and it was prosecuted as a crime.”)

“These people were pursuing their own conscious awakening,” he said. “They were on a heroic quest, in my opinion. I’d encourage anyone to watch the movie and make your own decision.”

“Enlighten Us” — to which Ray said he relinquished all creative control, as any documentary subject should — doesn’t feature on-camera interviews with the victims’ families. “The film is well-done — it just doesn’t tell the full story,” Ginny Brown, a social worker whose daughter Kirby died in the sweat lodge, said. Brown has since created an organization called SEEK Safely to “educate, empower and promote the public about the unregulated self-help industry.” During a phone conversation with HuffPost, she pointed out that Ray was untrained in traditional Native American sweat-lodge practices and therefore unqualified to lead the ritual, especially as he neglected to tend promptly to the many who passed out, hallucinated or vomited throughout — a fact that was reported in 2009 but isn’t probed in the documentary. 

Brown, who contacted the movie’s director and had lunch with her upon first learning of the project, distributed literature about the organization outside of the Tribeca premiere where Ray walked the red carpet. She said she does not wish ill upon Ray. She simply wants pop-spirituality seekers to be more discerning.

“I lost three friends on my watch,” Ray said. “They weren’t just clients, because I’d spent a great amount of time over a five-day period with these folks. It’s painful.” He also lost, simultaneously, his “life savings,” “reputation” and “liberty.” So what exactly did Ray learn from his stint in prison?

“I was really doing a pity party,” he said. “I was mad at God. I was basically being like, ‘Fuck you, God, this is it. I’ve spent my life doing all these things and trying to help people, and this is what I get for it?’ And the thought came to me, ‘Wait a second. If you did all those things to be rewarded or protected, that’s not the right reason.’ It was a real awakening for me, and I really started to breathe differently. I shifted.” 

What will come of Ray’s career is yet to be seen, but the shelf life of “Enlighten Us” has already been determined. Whereas many movies premiere at festivals in hopes of attracting a distribution deal with a studio, the documentary was already a CNN entity when Tribeca announced its lineup in March. It will air later this year. (Coincidentally, a doc about Tony Robbins is slated to hit Netflix in July.) That gives Ray an audience of home viewers who will absorb the comeback potential that “Enlighten Us” promotes. He’d be foolish not to see the potential business gain.

But for Ray, who has said the sweat-lodge deaths happened so he could “learn and grow,” his teachings manifest in the form of this movie.

“I had another reporter ask me just last year, ‘Why did you come back to this industry?’” Ray said. “I said, ‘Three words: clarity of purpose.’ I don’t have a choice. I mean, theoretically I do. But to be my authentic self, this is who I am. I can convey that through the movie, and [I hope] people can watch that and come away and go, ‘Well, shit. He went through all that and he still continues. Maybe I can get through foreclosure.’ Foreclosure? Been there. Bankruptcy? Been there. Loss of friends? Been there.”

Today, Ray supports himself by “coaching” entrepreneurs, both one-on-one and in groups. He said he has no plans to lead “fire walks, board breaks, arrow breaks or ropes courses” anytime soon. He certainly won’t conduct another sweat-lodge ceremony. And Ray is “not even close” to the riches he once enjoyed. 

“Very few people have all that happening at the same time. ‘If he can do that, then maybe I can do this,’” Ray said. That’s what he wants us to say after seeing the documentary. “That was my decision in doing the film.”

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Jake Bugg Premieres Live In-Studio Version of ‘Gimme the Love’: Exclusive

Just a few months before the release of On My One, Jake Bugg has recorded a live in-studio version of single "Gimme the Love" off of…
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In Time for Mother’s Day, Viktoria Is an Unsentimental Look at Mother-Daughter Strife

Viktoria

Mother’s Day is still more than a week away, but if you’re looking to get into the spirit early, this weekend there’s Viktoria, which opens theatrically in New York on Friday (national rollout to follow). It’s the nine-years-in-the-making, Sundance-acclaimed debut feature from the Bulgarian director Maya Vitkova, a technically ambitious, visually striking, semiautobiographical portrait of three generations of mothers and daughters, set against the backdrop of the waning years of Bulgarian communism. As Vitkova told Filmmaker Magazine back in 2014, when her movie was making the festival rounds: “Viktoria is dedicated to my mother, and if some viewers give a call to their own mothers after seeing this film, I will know that we did well.”

I didn’t call my own mother, but I did spend plenty of time pondering the intricacies of the parental-filial bond. When we meet Boryana, played by the stunning Bulgarian actress Irmena Chichikova (like a dark-haired, bedroom-eyed Kate Moss), she’s not exactly living her best life. The year is 1979, and communism is in full swing. Boryana shares a tiny apartment with her cheerful doctor husband, Ivan (Dimo Dimov), and her dour, party line–drawing mother (Mariana Krumova). But she spends her days dreaming of the West: She hangs a poster of New York on her wall, lights her cigarettes with a lighter shaped like the Statue of Liberty, and chugs Coca-Cola as if each empty brings her one step closer to American citizenship.

Ivan would like a baby; Boryana insists they wait until they’ve escaped the Eastern Bloc. But Viktoria opens with an act of ill-fated sex. Boryana gets pregnant, and no amount of jumping up and down, douching, or chain-smoking will dislodge the fetus that’s invaded her womb.

In the film’s first minutes, discussing their plans to flee, Ivan asks Boryana what they’ll do about her mother. “This is a party member, not a mother,” she replies stoically. You can’t choose your parents, but you can’t choose your children, either. When Viktoria is born, she’s sans umbilical cord, a birth defect that Ivan attributes to his wife’s abominable prenatal choices.

The Bulgarian Communist Party sees it differently: They claim Viktoria as socialist Bulgaria’s Baby of the Decade, a child whose physical estrangement from her actual mother makes her the ideal daughter of the state. It’s a relationship epitomized by the special red phone installed in her bedroom, a direct line to President Todor Zhivkov (Georgi Spasov) and a symbolic umbilical cord to the motherland. “Viktoria fuels our hope for a better future,” declares Zhivkov, addressing the nation soon after her birth. “For a new kind of man, stronger, harmonious, detached from the past, while in touch with the future.”

viktoria

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Irmena Chichikova and Daria Vitkova in Viktoria

Photo: Courtesy of Big World Pictures

An unwanted baby is a trap. And for Boryana, Viktoria is that and more. Her conception derails her parents’ planned escape to Venice, Italy. “We’ll leave after you give birth,” says Ivan. Once born, their baby’s special status affords them a new car and a new “airy Socialist apartment.” But, as the keepers of a national treasure, they can no longer slip away unnoticed. Boryana has become not only the mother she never wanted to be, she’s become the mother of the symbol of the future of a country that she despises.

At least until communism falls, which it does when Viktoria (played in this incarnation by Daria Vitkova) is 10. We flash-forward to a time that’s as tragic and disorienting for daughter as it is exhilarating and affirming for mother. Vitkova shows us footage of the toppling of the Berlin Wall. But the opening of national borders does nothing to dismantle the barricades in Boryana’s heart. Ivan suggests they finally leave. “You’re a little late” is his wife’s reply.

It’s a reminder that timing is everything. And that’s never more true than in the relationship between mother and child. How can Viktoria relate to her mother’s sense of imprisonment until she, too, longs to leave her homeland? How can Boryana understand her mother’s coldness until she’s inflicted the same on a daughter she didn’t choose? The life experiences that will eventually link the three transpire cruelly out of sync, with only the viewer to connect the dots. It’s a revelation that Vitkova highlights visually: When her characters fantasize about different lives—for Boryana it’s an imaginary miscarriage as she soaks in the bath; for Viktoria it’s an umbilical cord that grows out of her abdomen like a snake as she lies in bed—the camera regards them from above, a bird’s-eye view that mirrors the omniscience of the audience, a reminder that these atomized people are connected across time and space.

If this is beginning to sound painfully dreary, I’ve misled you. Viktoria is absurd, often funny, surreal, and beautifully shot. Tonally, thematically, and stylistically it reminds me of Paolo Sorrentino’s recent film Youth. But where Sorrentino’s vision was derailed by an overly talky, sometimes trite script, Vitkova keeps the dialogue to a minimum. Viktoria is largely a visual experience, and it’s a beautiful one.

Fittingly, when we get resolution, it’s mostly visual. Toward the end of her more than two-and-a-half-hour movie, Vitkova gives us a scene that reunites Boryana, her mother, and her daughter. But she’s wise not to attempt too neat a resolution; life, Viktoria reminds us over and over, is messy.

Still, act three, which takes place when the titular character is a teenager (played by Kalina Vitkova) betrays a certain optimism. I won’t give it away, except to quote the leader of the Bulgarian Communist Party: Viktoria fuels hope for a better future.

 

The post In Time for Mother’s Day, Viktoria Is an Unsentimental Look at Mother-Daughter Strife appeared first on Vogue.

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Beyoncé Dedicates Song To Her ‘Beautiful Husband’ During Tour Kickoff

Queen Bey set the world ablaze when she released her visual album “Lemonade” over the weekend, igniting a firestorm of rumors that Jay Z cheated on her with a figurative girl named “Becky.” 

Beyoncé and Jay Z quietly put the gossip to rest when they were spotted together in Miami on Tuesday before the first night of her “Formation” World Tour. The “Sorry” singer also made sure to thank her husband during the opening night of her tour. 

“I want to dedicate this song to my family, thank you guys for supporting me. I want to dedicate this song to my beautiful husband, I love you so much,” Beyoncé said as the crowd cheered louder. “Blue, I love you so much.”

We’re sure Jay enjoyed hearing Bey thank him publicly after seemingly calling him out for his alleged infidelities, but he probably got a little uncomfortable while listening to her sing “Sorry.”

With lyrics like “Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home/ Today I regret the night I put that ring on” and “He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair,” Jay probably felt like the Beyhive was going to come after him immediately. 

After Beyoncé released “Lemonade,” the hive set out on an Internet witch hunt to find the elusive “Becky.” Many pointed the finger at Rachel Roy and Rita Ora after suspicious online activity, but both ladies denied that they were involved with the rapper.

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20 Hilarious Comics That Show You Just Can’t Win While Parenting

When cartoonist Chelsea Carr was pregnant with her now 17-month-old son, one of her friends had a negative reaction to the baby news. 

“He responded by telling me my art would suffer, and I would damage my chances of doing anything interesting with my life,” the mom told The Huffington Post. To prove him wrong, and to show herself she could continue to make art as a mother, Carr created Mom Comic, a series of spot-on cartoons about parenting. 

“I’ve found doing the comic has been a cathartic way to get through the first year of raising a baby,” the mom said. “I hope I make comics other parents can relate to and laugh at. Parenting is hard, but having a good sense of humor helps.”

Keep scrolling to see a sample of Carr’s hilarious comics. 

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The Moment One Mom Realized ‘Life Is Not About A Number On A Scale’

Numbers on a scale are nothing. 

That is what Australian blogger Constance Hall, who runs the blog Queens of Constance, discovered after a health scare. On Wednesday, the mother of four — who admitted her “least favourite part of being a mum was losing the baby weight” — shared a very personal story about finding a lump on her breast a few years ago. 

Luckily, the lump was a cyst and not cancer. While the moment was frightening, Hall got something very important out it. 

I grabbed my kids so tightly and we all went out for a huge lunch with loads of food and hugs and laughter. I was embarrassed for placing so much importance on my weight for so many years. Now I realise that not losing your baby weight isn’t a sign of letting go, it’s a sign that this Queen has evolved, she’s realised that life is not about a number on a scale, happiness is about gratitude and love and the privilege that is life.

 

Hall uses her blog to write about motherhood and self-image, offering words of support for others. Last month, she recreated Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. 

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Prince Reportedly Had Opioid Medication On Him At Time Of Death

Authorities investigating the death of Prince found prescription opioid medication on him, according to various news outlets on Wednesday, the same day court records showed a judge appointed a bank to safeguard the music legend’s estate.

CNN reported that the pain-killing substance was found on Prince while the Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported that prescription pills were found where the musician died at the age of 57 last week at his home in suburban Minneapolis.

Both reports were based on unidentified law enforcement sources. Reuters could not independently confirm the reports and local law enforcement officials were not immediately available for comment.

Various news outlets including CNN also reported that local enforcement has requested the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to assist in the investigation.

Police have said they found no signs of suicide or obvious trauma in the death of Prince and that it could take weeks before autopsy results reveal how the groundbreaking performer died.

The Star Tribune said that authorities are trying to determine what, if any, role opioids may have played in Prince’s death whether the drugs found at the scene were prescribed to him.

The intensely private musician, whose hits included “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry,” was found dead in an elevator at his home in suburban Minneapolis last Thursday, shocking millions of fans around the world and prompting glowing tributes by fellow musicians.

Also on Wednesday, a judge in Carver County, Minnesota, acting on a request from Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, named Bremer Trust, National Association as special administrator to handle his estate, which is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.

Prince’s sister asked for the bank to be appointed, saying it dealt with the singer’s affairs for years.

A probate hearing in the case was scheduled for May 2, according to state court documents and a court spokesman.

The Bremer Trust now has the authority to manage and supervise the late music legend’s assets and determine the identity of his heirs, the court documents said.

Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, was married and divorced twice. Nelson on Tuesday listed herself and five half siblings as his heirs.

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Mental Health Struggles Feel Realer Than Real In This Touching Novel

“What do you fear when you fear everything?” reflects Michael, a man consumed by an anxiety disorder he seems to have been born with. “Time passing and not passing. Death and life.”

It’s an almost uncomfortably bald description of his emotional state, but then, that’s Michael: he’s wildly smart, inventive and attached to a handful of loved ones, on whom he depends for support. There’s Margaret, his doting and traditional mother, Celia, his practical sister who tends toward serial monogamy, Alec, his theatrical younger brother who’s driven by his fear for his unstable journalism career. And then there’s John, his equally troubled father, whose absence is as painful as his presence once was. 

Adam Haslett’s latest novel Imagine Me Gone is narrated by this cast, as each describes attempts to move away from their family’s tragic past, forming individual lives of their own. For Alec, escape was found in words, and in sex — he comes out at 17, and proceeds to hook up with strangers, not risking intimacy, until he meets Seth, a young man who’s as forward emotionally as Alec is physically. For Margaret, facilitating daily activities with coworkers at the library where she works helps bridge the long periods separating visits from her children. For Celia, building a solid foundation upheld by a steady job and a lasting romantic partnership grants her peace. And for Michael, who grapples with generalized anxiety, talking about his fears with his loved ones helps quiet them, at least temporarily. 

Haslett is at his strongest — that is, most inventive, and most moving — when bringing Michael’s neuroses to life. As a preteen, his reeling mind constructs fictional scenes of escalating absurdity in a series of letters to his aunt, meant to describe the family’s cruise-bound move from the Northeast to London. Later, after a doctor prescribes him Klonopin and he’s seeking to up the dosage, he fills out a standard office form with wending self-analyses, revealing his failed romances, the reprieve he finds when listening to disco, and his academic interest in the suffering of black Americans. 

The latter theme, woven throughout the book, is tricky. Haslett uses Michael’s fixation on what he calls “transgenerational haunting” as a lens through which to examine both the character’s liberal guilt and his reckoning with his family’s own sordid history. It’s an effective metaphor in parts, but on the whole can feel like appropriation of a specific cultural problem for the purpose of a neat storyline — which is precisely something Michael himself would chastise.

Michael writes that stories about suffering make him feel understood. But, when discussing victims of the slave trade, he adds, “The comparison of my dread to theirs would be grotesque.” Why, then, does the author make such a comparison? Haslett’s thesis — that communities, especially nuclear families, both bolster and wreck the individuals involved in them — is made clear enough by the book’s touching final pages.

The bottom line:

An ambitious book about music, anxiety, and a family determined to stick together after fracturing loss, Imagine Me Gone is proof that realistic stories have immense power.

What other reviewers think:

Publishers Weekly: “This is a book that tenderly and luminously deals with mental illness and with the life of the mind.”

Kirkus: “As vivid and moving as the novel is, it’s not because Haslett strives to surprise but because he’s so mindful and expressive of how much precious life there is in both normalcy and anguish.”

Who wrote it?

Adam Haslett is the author of Union Atlantic and You Are Not a Stranger Here, a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist.

Who will read it?

Anyone interested in familial dramas, realistic stories and mental health.

Opening lines:

“As I stepped out of the cabin, whiteness blinded me. The snow-covered yard glistened under the full sun. Icicles lining the roof of the shed dripped with meltwater.”

Notable passage:

“I have the passing terror that it isn’t so simple, that in these ultimate matters time is collapsed into a single moment in which you are forever in danger of having the knife tilt the other way, as though, if I am not careful between here and the parking lot, I might go astray and she will be canceled, stolen back by not-being, like a thief grabbing her through an open window. But we make it to the car, and she tosses her bag over her shoulder into the backseat and puts her feet up on the dashboard.”

Imagine Me Gone
By Adam Haslett
May 3, 2016
Little, Brown $ 26.00

The Bottom Line is a weekly review combining plot description and analysis with fun tidbits about the book.

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Country Radio Programmers Debate Surplus of Slow Songs For Spring

As warm spring weather arrives in most of the states, country radio fans might be tuning in expecting to hear more of the uptempo fare that typically…
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On-Site Sustainable Farms, Coffee Plantations, and Foraging: 5 Luxe Hotels for Foodies

foodie hotels

For those of us whose travel plans are often inspired by food, it’s not enough to eat at fancy restaurants—we need more immersive experiences, starting with the hotels we select. For a gourmand, the right hotel offers a stay that orbits around food, whether it’s through farm tours, foraging excursions, or even capturing our own meals. Below, five properties that will satisfy every culinary craving.

 

foodie hotels

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Photo: Courtesy of Belcampo Belize

Belcampo Belize
In the middle of a 15,000-acre rain forest preserve, Belcampo Belize surprises with a balance of private indulgence (there are only 16  units for guests to book) and active adventure (there’s mountain biking, reef-diving, hikes, and more). But gourmands are taken care of, too. Belcampo Belize sits on 3,000 acres of sustainable farmland, which supports the property’s culinary needs. As a guest, you can sign up for hands-on classes on many of the foodstuffs the resort produces—including coffee, chocolate, jam, rum, and spices—at the on-site Farm Center. Further afield, join the chef on snorkel runs in the Gulf of Honduras to catch seafood, from conch to lionfish, all of which can be grilled when you’re back on board.

 

foodie hotels

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Photo: Courtesy of Hacienda de San Antonio

Hacienda de San Antonio
This 19th-century, pale-pink hacienda is one of Mexico’s lesser-known travel gems and isn’t particularly easy to reach unless you arrive on the property’s airstrip via a private jet. Located at the foot of an active volcano (there’s mild action every day), the Hacienda’s 5,000-acre farm, ranch, and plantation have plenty to offer those who take on the challenge of getting there. Learning about the cheese production (from sharp queso fresco to creamy burrata), touring the coffee plantation, and visiting the organic farm can be paired with tennis lessons, horseback riding under a canopy of bamboo, and lazing around a pool while gazing at the smoking Volcán de Fuego de Colima. And when meals roll around, the staff will try to make sure no dinner is served in the same place twice: It can be on the restaurant patio one night, then alfresco on the rooftop the following night.

 

foodie hotels

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Photo: Courtesy of Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren
This stunning farm hotel in South Africa’s winelands offers the kind of immersive foodie stay that will satisfy all of your senses. Its eight-acre garden is home to more than 300 plants that are either edible or medicinal. A farm tour is offered every single day, but to take things to the next level, Babylonstoren organizes frequent expert-led workshops. Olive oil master Linda Costa can teach you how to harvest olives; succulent aficionado Ernst van Jaarsveld can break down the basics of growing aloe; and a bee and honey primer from Mike Allsopp (of South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council) will add an agricultural cachet to any trip.

 

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Photo: Courtesy of L’air du Temps

L’air du Temps
Tucked away in the countryside of Wallonia (the French-speaking region of Belgium), L’air du Temps is made up of three parts: a two Michelin–starred restaurant manned by Korea-born chef Sang-hoon Degeimbre; a pristine, seven-acre vegetable garden that provides for the kitchen’s ambitions (there’s also a greenhouse for growing things like tomatoes); and five brightly decorated guestrooms. The restaurant serves tasting menus, and if you’ve snagged one of the rooms in the adjacent building, it’s much easier to commit to the eight-course feast when you know you have only a few steps to walk once it’s all over. In the morning, stroll around the garden to get better acquainted with your meal, and then settle in for the indulgent breakfast.

 

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Photo: Courtesy of The Lodge at Glendorn

The Lodge at Glendorn
In rural Pennsylvania, this Relais & Châteaux hotel is inspired by the family camps of yesteryear but outfitted with all of today’s luxury amenities. Guests who are interested in being totally involved in how their meals are not only prepared but also sourced can join chef Joe Schafer on fly-fishing, foraging, and even hunting excursions. Nearby Glendorn’s Fuller Brook is perfect for catching trout (brown, rainbow, et cetera) for that night’s meal, while an all-day upland bird-hunting can yield pheasant, grouse, and more. For something truly unforgettable, request to have dinner atop the Allegheny Plateau. The crystal clear night sky is perfect for stargazing—if you’re lucky, you can even see the Milky Way.

 

The post On-Site Sustainable Farms, Coffee Plantations, and Foraging: 5 Luxe Hotels for Foodies appeared first on Vogue.

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‘My Husband Does Nothing In This Marriage And I Do Everything’

Reader Fed Up writes,

I have been married for 20 years and had on-going issues with my husband that are, to me, related to our roles and responsibilities. It has affected our sex life for a long time because I feel stressed, resentful and overwhelmed a lot. My low libido and lack of desire, according to my husband, are the reasons for our troubled marriage. He doesn’t believe that I love him and has accused me of cheating many times, even though I never have.

I have always worked full time, and put myself through school to obtain my master’s degree. I like my job, but would have worked part time at any point to have more time for my two kids. (Some time for myself would be nice too.) I have never been able to work part-time because we can’t afford for me to do so. My husband has been through many jobs, and had his own business for a decade, which didn’t make much money. In fact it cost us money quite often. But I have tried to be supportive and encouraged him to pursue his passions.

In addition to working full-time,   I have had the bulk of the domestic responsibilities too. He will do bigger projects that I really can’t do (he’s physically strong and quite handy), but often those projects take forever or are left incomplete. Yard work, housework, paying bills, cooking, groceries, child care and household routines have all fallen to me most of the time.

I ask for help, thank him when he does help, don’t complain about how anything is done, make lists to help him remember, ask what he would like to do, etc but nothing sticks. He either doesn’t see what needs to be done, has a reason why he can’t help, or is distracted so he forgets or ignores me. I end up nagging or doing it all and feeling angry. In spite of this and what he thinks, I still love him, still find him attractive, want our marriage to survive and I want us both to be happy.

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD 15 years ago, during treatment for a serious bout of depression (he was suicidal, hospitalized and received ECT). He has not been to counselling since but we both saw his psychiatrist during that time.

We haven’t had counseling as a couple even though I have asked many times. I have been a few times for myself and feel I have looked at my part in our dynamic closely. I have a helping personality, want to please others and tend to take on too much – then I get frustrated when it is not reciprocated. 

I also understand that much of his inattentive, distracted and impulsive behavior (which was perceived as carefree and spontaneous at first) is related to his ADHD as he doesn’t take his medication regularly. When he does take it, we fight less and he is much more attentive and focused. But it doesn’t last because he forgets to renew his prescription, or says it doesn’t make a difference because I still don’t desire him like I did when we were first together. (Yes, I have told him about monotogamy.)

We have had good times over the past 20 years and have two amazing kids who need both of us. I am worried about what we are teaching them about how respectful relationships work. I can’t get him to see that I don’t want to be in control of him, I just want him to be my partner in all aspects of our lives. The good, the bad and the mundane. I don’t want to be a martyr, or a care-taker any more. I am exhausted. If he won’t go to counseling and won’t manage his ADHD, am I just prolonging a doomed relationship by trying so hard?

 

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Dear FU (thought the moniker initials I gave you could help you vent some of your anger at your husband),

First of all, your situation and feelings are very common in spouses of individuals with ADHD.  You are not alone (my husband has ADHD too actually, though not this severe), and I highly recommend The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps to help you see that your feelings are shared by many others.  The upshot of this book is that it is really important for the ADHD partner to own his part in the problem and take medications as necessary.  Couples counseling is also essential for dealing with this, and here is something I wrote on how to convince your partner to go to couples counseling.

The number one thing that makes a difference with ADHD is medication, as you said yourself.  But if he won’t take the meds, his behavior is fairly normal for ADHD, unfortunately for you and all spouses of individuals with ADHD.  Forgetting tasks, procrastinating, defensiveness, and blame are all par for the course with untreated ADHD.  But you know this better than I do, so it’s really time that we concentrate on you and how you can remain in this marriage without being consumed by bitterness, resentment, and anger.

There are some ways I can think of to ease your burden with household responsibilities.  I am sure from what you’ve said that you tend to save money for your kids and just for your own piece of mind.  I would prioritize your mental health and hire some household help with that money.  Even if it’s a bimonthly cleaning and yard service.  

If your kids would rather you spend this money on them and their activities, then the housework and yard work can fall to them as chores.  I hereby command you not to ever again do 100% of the housework in an entire week.  That is just ridiculous and unfair. You work full time, so you definitely need help with these things, and your husband cannot be relied upon.

I know you and other readers may think this sounds absurd, but honestly, how is it different than where you’re at now?  Without counseling or an epiphany of some sort, your husband has about zero chance of doing any house or yard work in a timely fashion, at least without you nagging him.  

So it’s really this choice: do you want to have him do nothing and fight about it, or do you want to have him do nothing and accept it and not fight about it?  Also in this latter case, you actually get stuff done, because you hire people to do it.  I think it’s a no brainer.  What it’s really called is acceptance, and I’ll get to more about that in a bit.

I would recommend that you seek individual intensive counseling to address your tendency to take on too much and then be angry when it’s not reciprocated.  When did this same pattern crop up in your childhood?  Why does it feel familiar to you to give and give and get nothing in return?  Was there a parent or sibling with whom you had this same dynamic, where you gave them whatever they needed and got very little back, and were always disappointed?  I would imagine this is the case, or else you would not have stayed in this marriage for 20 years.

The idea behind imago therapy (read Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples for more on this) is that you are attracted to a partner because, unconsciously, they have both the positive and negative traits of one of your caregivers. At first (and this is particularly true for ADHD partners because of their wonderful courtship phase when they are hyperfocused on you) you only see the positive traits, but subconsciously, you’re seeing the negative ones too, and that’s what hooks you in and makes you feel “in love.”  Then, your fantasy is to change this person into the caregiver you always wanted and never got.

In your case, I would assume you had a caregiver that could be charming, loving, and carefree but also could be self centered, unreliable, and irresponsible.  The fantasy as a child would be to have a more reliable and emotionally present caregiver, but a child cannot change their parent in this way.  

So you grew up and were attracted to a man that embodied all of these traits, the good and the bad, and then made it your life’s work to make him more reliable, responsible, and giving.  There are multiple problems with this.  First of all, it doesn’t work, as you have experienced. Second of all, your husband is always feeling (correctly!) that you want to change him and that you don’t love him as he is.  So he becomes even more recalcitrant and digs in his heels even more, not wanting to lose his dignity by changing for a woman that doesn’t even seem to accept and love him in the first place.

Moreover, I believe it is highly possible that you witnessed this caregiver/martyr/enabler and irresponsible spouse dynamic in your own home growing up.  Was one parent always making excuses for the other, enabling them to be irresponsible and not do their share of the work around the home and family?  

It is essential to explore why this martyr role is familiar to you, going back before you even met your husband. This is tough work, because in your situation, I am sure all friends and family see your husband’s behavior as pretty horrible, and all empathize with you for doing everything yourself.  

So you’ll have to take a step back and reflect on what about you makes you drawn to this dynamic, and what you need to work on personally (giving too much is one thing that you said; what about also liking to be “the good one”?  Did you experience this dynamic ever, possibly with a sibling?  Were you the oldest or the most responsible?)

After all of this reading, introspection, and therapy, what else can lead you out of this conundrum?  If your husband refuses to go to couples work, you can do the following.  First, accept that he is who he is (the outsourcing of the house and yard stuff is part and parcel of this idea).  

Next, love him in the way he needs to be loved.  You say you love him now, but he says he doesn’t feel it.  If he’s complaining about the sex, then likely his love language is physical touch, and there are ways for you to work on strengthening your libido so you may be able to be more present and enthusiastic in bed.

Also, make a conscious decision to be happy. Look, you could be a single mom and have to do all the same housework you are doing now, without the small help of whatever money he does make and whatever effort he does put in around the house.  And if you were in that position, would you definitely say, “Oh yes, I should certainly be unhappy and feel martyred”?  No, you would try to look on the bright side, and you would accept what you had to do and do it.  So don’t let his presence in your life make you unhappy.  

I know this is hard to do, but you must take ownership for your own actions and happiness. Nobody can make you feel unhappy in the long run.  Sure, people can offend and hurt you a few times, but after that, you are choosing to remain in the situation and therefore you ought to try and make the best of it.  (More on if this is impossible in a bit.)

Do NOT do these things, any of them, with the secret hope that he is going to change in response to you changing.  Yes, this would be nice, but it cannot be your goal, because then everything you do will be done from a disingenuous tit-for-tat emotional place, and not out of genuine love and the desire to make the marriage work.  He will sense it, and he will be suspicious, rightly so.  You have to unconditionally love and accept him, and see if this changes your outlook. It may.

Your next step is to communicate to him everything I am advising you to do.  Openly tell him,

“Look, I really wish we could go to marriage counseling, but I’m working on accepting that you don’t want to go.  So instead, I am working on being more accepting, loving, and present in this marriage.  That is why I am hiring some people to help with housework; not to be passive aggressive and hope that you’ll be spurred into doing stuff if you see them here (note: make sure this is true!) but because I have realized that nagging you to do stuff and being angry when you don’t isn’t who I want to be or the dynamic I want to be in.  I am also going to try to love you the way that you need, like in bed, because I have realized I may not be walking the walk when I want you to do stuff that makes me feel loved but then I don’t do stuff that makes you feel loved, like being into sex with you.  Hopefully, the changes I make will have a positive effect on us and I will feel less overwhelmed, less angry, and more loving, and you will too.”

Now let’s say you do everything I say for a good length of time, like six months, and he still acts rude, forgetful, blaming, and so forth.  You have accepted that he is who he is, you love it, you’re having sex, you’re in counseling, and the whole nine yards.  And you’re still unhappy, angry, resentful, and secretly wanting him to change and being mad when he doesn’t.  Well, then it is time to answer this question: Can you ever feel truly whole, happy, loved, and loving in this partnership?  If not, you will have some tough decisions to make about whether to stay.  But you will know that you did your best, and your best involved listening to me, the best advice giver on the internet.

Good luck and I hope you notice that I gave you a really thoughtful and detailed answer because I really feel for you and I also sense that you’re a person who has the capacity to introspect and make your situation more tenable and happier (I think it’s pretty classy to point out how awesome my own answer is).  I have faith in you and I think you’ll be at a different and better place in a few months. Till we meet again, I remain, Your Devoted Blogapist Who Says, Seriously, Read Up On ADHD.

This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family.

This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.

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34 Tweets Nail Being A Grown-Ass Woman With A Job

“Work, work, work, work, work, work.” – Rihanna… and you, every damn day.

If you are a woman with a job, you know that the struggle is real on many levels: figuring out effective communication, navigating the line of appropriateness with coworkers, dealing with subtle sexism, amassing a collection of “professional” clothing and, of course, deciding what constitutes a proper coffee intake.

Below are 34 tweets from women who just *get* it:

 

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How to Find the Right Beard for Your Personal Style

Does your choice of beard reflect your personal style, or is it a total mismatch?

You can find plenty of articles on “the best beards for your face shape” or “hottest looks to try now.” But the right beard for you isn’t just the one that flatters your jawline or follows the trends – it’s the one that matches your features, lifestyle, and overall vibe you want to project.

When you’re building your personal style, it’s important to consider all these aspects so that each piece works together. Otherwise, people will be confused by the incongruence and you’ll seem like you’re not comfortable expressing yourself.

Let’s take a look at the different types of beards that go with different styles and characteristics. Whether you’re thinking about growing a beard or you already have one, you will learn how to find the beard that works best with your overall look.

The Rugged Rebel

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Body type: Broad-shouldered
Facial features: Square and imposing
Vibe: Mysterious and metropolitan
Examples: Javier Bardem, Hugh Jackman

The rugged rebel is the classic mysterious, handsome stranger.

He’s the metropolitan version of the wild explorer (below) – a little more suited to city living, but no less rough around the edges.

You’ll look best when you play up your unrefined good looks.

Your perfect outfit is a solid t-shirt and dark wash jeans topped off with a leather jacket.

Accessorize with a rope or leather piece of jewelry, such as a copper plate bracelet, or if you’re a bit more daring, a colorful tattoo.

Try keeping your hair a bit long and don’t try to tame your wild look into submission.

The same goes for your beard: some stubble is a must, and you can pull off a full beard if you want to.

Your ideal beard: medium to long stubble.

The Wild Explorer

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Body type: Broad-shouldered
Facial features: Square and imposing
Vibe: Athletic and outdoorsy
Examples: Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, Liam Hemsworth

The wild explorer is the rugged rebel’s country cousin. He’s a bit more athletic and often dressed like he’s ready for a hike, rather than a motorcycle ride.

Again, this style works best if you have a square jaw, broad bone structure, and deep-set eyes, but you’re slightly less dark and mysterious-looking, perhaps with younger-looking facial features like Hemsworth’s, or intense blue eyes like Cooper’s.

Your perfect outfit is both comfortable and practical: a windbreaker, canvas backpack, plain jeans and sneakers in earthy, neutral colors like olive green and khaki.

You can also pull off the lumberjack look without looking like the now-unfashionable “lumbersexual” – on you, it just looks natural, as long as you keep it simple (meaning no suspenders or patterned socks).

Likewise, you can wear a full beard and it will probably look better on you than on any other type of man.

Your ideal beard: the full beard. Length can range from just past medium stubble to however long you can grow it.

The Dapper Youth

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Body type: Lithe and agile
Facial features: Youthful and friendly
Vibe: Fun and quirky
Examples: Pharrell Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake

The dapper youth likes to explore the trends, but he always puts his own spin on them. Even if he’s dressed up in a tailored suit and a fancy hat, he always looks fun, not stuffy.

Some of the most stylish men fall into this category because they’re the ones who can pull off any combination of colors and prints.

Regardless of your age, this style works for you if you have a boyish face and a mischievous grin.

Your perfect outfit is crisp and structured, but with unexpected details in the form of bright colors or patterned accessories. You could wear a checked button-down shirt over colored jeans (with the cuffs rolled up to show off polka-dot socks), and tie the whole look together with an unbuttoned, solid navy blazer.

For a less formal outfit, try a sailor-striped t-shirt and bright shorts, and accessorize with a gentlemanly hat and beaded bracelets.

Since you’re so fresh and youthful-looking, too much beard will just seem odd.

Your ideal beard: short and immaculately maintained. You can try to keep your mustache a bit longer and keep your beard very trim, but as a general rule, a shorter beard that has nicely defined cheek- and necklines will be your best bet

The Refined Artist

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Source

Body type: Lithe and agile
Facial features: Youthful and expressive
Vibe: Creative and subtly luxurious
Examples: Patrick Dempsey, Orlando Bloom

The refined artist is similar to the dapper youth – they both like classic styles in fancy fabrics and interesting combinations.

However, the refined artist is a little more grown up and serious.

His looks are softly understated in their rich colors and luxurious materials, rather than eye-poppingly bright.

This look works if you have the same perpetually boyish features, but with something mature and soulful about your eyes.

Your ideal outfit is a richly colored cashmere sweater (such as light blue, forest green, or maroon) over a crisp white shirt, paired with dark pants or jeans and a classic trench coat or tweed blazer.

This softly textured look, and your expressive features, need a tousled face-framing hairstyle and slightly scruffy facial hair to match.

Your ideal beard: the Van Dyke – a straight mustache that’s unconnected to a narrow, chin-only goatee. Keep it medium length.

The Classic Debonair

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Body type: average and proportionate
Facial features: average and proportionate
Vibe: sophisticated yet laid-back
Examples: Idris Elba, Christian Bale, George Clooney

The classic debonair is the old-Hollywood archetype, a model of sophisticated masculinity.

His clothes might look boring on the hanger, but on him they seem just right. This style works for you if your features are neither harsh nor soft – for instance, your jaw is defined but not too square, and your eyes are deep but not too youthful.

Your ideal outfit is a traditional suit, or if you’re being casual, a light crewneck sweater and tailored pants, all in shades of blue, white, grey, or black. Your clothes may not stand out from the crowd because of their colors or fabrics, but anyone who takes a second look will find they’re high quality and fit perfectly.

Like everything you wear, your beard should seem traditional rather than trendy, but kept in a cool, modern style.

Your ideal beard: the classic full beard. Kept short to medium in length, it is well groomed to add to, rather than detract from, your dashing, understated appearance.

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Thank You, Prince

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I was 11 years old when a cassette tape changed my life. Nine songs spanning nearly 40 minutes of soul, pop, R&B, rock and roll and more, exploding my ears and imploding my soul. My best friend and I shut ourselves in her bedroom for hours on end, imbibing every syllable like an elixir – accompanied by the now forgotten sound of tape rewinding and stopping repeatedly until we memorized each lyric and note. From there we moved on to choreography. Our very literal interpretation of “When Doves Cry” was indeed something to behold. And something I still remember to this day, much to the future chagrin of my children.

Purple Rain awakened something deep within the girl who was taller than anyone else in class, clumsy, skinny with huge glasses, teeth and a terrible haircut. Who had just survived her parents’ divorce and subsequent move, evaporating the life she’d known into mist. Who belonged nowhere and couldn’t fathom belonging anywhere, especially in her own skin. But when Prince sang, she was beautiful, free, fluid and fancy, if only as long as the track lasted. Within those rhymes of respite, self-worth and love took seed, relinquishing the pain of isolation, angst and longing, enabling this tween Texan to start claiming herself, body and spirit.

Now he is gone. And I weep. For the world, that will miss him. And for the young boys and girls who would never be the adults we are today without his influence.

And yet, my life has been filled with more dancing and joy since his passing than recent history remembers, as his music once again fills my home and heart. I’ve danced with my babies, serenaded them with amended “Darling Nikki” lyrics, and felt his presence so profoundly it might as well be 1984 again. I am once more grateful and renewed. Somehow, I think he’d like that.

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The New MIMA Museum in Brussels: ‘City Lights.’ Urban Art And More

What is it about Brooklyn street art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York street art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.

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MOMO. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably.

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MOMO. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Rather than recreating the slap-dash chaos of street clash, and aside from the aforementioned drips and splatters in geometric neon hues by Hayuk, the museum setting is contained and crisply defined. Perhaps because of the cross-disciplines hinted at and welcomed, the overall effect is more contemporary than urban.

Hayuk’s space, with its raised ceilings and stained glass window treatment is a hand-hewn modern chapel, borrowing a holy inflection and spreading it across to the urban art faithful who will make the pilgrimage to this new hallowed space.

On opening day (which was delayed by weeks because of the recent airport and transit bombing here) the crowd who queued on an overcast day down the block along the Canal in Molenbeek was undaunted by the wait and expectant. Housed in a former beer factory, the greater collection includes large installations by the marquee namesin the main spaces and smaller pieces ranging from Stephen Powers and Todd James to Piet Parra and Cleon Patterson in galleries evoking whitebox galleries.

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MOMO. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

In precisely the ex-industrial part of town that is usually slaughtered with graffiti you can still see a variety of throwies and bubble tags floating above murky waters along the canal walls from the terrace of the 1300 square meter, 4 story MIMA. It’s an oddly storied juxtaposition perhaps, yet somehow perfectly natural and modern.

If the popular imagination of “museum plus Street Art” conjures anything for you, it may present some kind of overture toward the continuation of the street into the formal space and vice-versa. Faile’s two-color stencils and slaughtering of walls inside clearly connect to ones they have done over the last 15 years and that are currently on New York streets. Their huge prayer wheel assembled here was actually shown in the center of Times Square last fall with tens of thousands of tourists climbing it, sitting upon it, posing for selfies with it and spinning it, so the continuum is very much intact in that respect.

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MOMO. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Similarly Swoon’s wheat-pasted family of figures and her hand-cut paper patterns on mottled walls in the basement recall her work on street walls in Red Hook Brooklyn at this moment – as well as her periodic takeovers/installations inside choice areas of abandoned urban neglect through the years. To complete the dialogue at MIMA her hand-painted linotype prints are also wheat-pasted outside on Brussels walls near the museum, not slapped but placed with her customary consideration of context and proportion.

Ever the developer of new methodologies for painting, MOMO piled long strips of fabric in an overlapping circular pattern upon layered patches of color and unveiled the new work by gathering the invited artists and museum founders to watch as Faile’s Patrick McNeil slowly pulled the “rope” outward, breaking sealed layers and revealing a heretofore non existent composition. To share and remember the birth process he leaves the tools of revelation in a pile before it. In this way MOMO recalls his street practice of conjuring and developing new tool-making and art-making techniques when bringing work into the public sphere.

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MOMO. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © MOMO – MIMA MUSEUM)

Aside from each evolving from the subcultures of the street in some capacity, the nature of the works transcend the partitioning that can define exhibitions, allowing the various practices to become the language of the culture. MIMA appears to have the physical space, as well as the psychological and philosophical space, to contemplate the multiplicity of voices that are flooding the streets and the Internet; forming subcultures and ultimately culture.

The City Lights in this case are as much on the various dialogues of the street as the street itself.

MIMA is the creation of four co-founders; Florence and Michel Delaunoit, Alice van den Abeele, and Raphaël Cruyt. The inaugural show is curated by van den Abeele and Cruyt and many of the artists shown in the extended collection here have a history and special meaning to the two through their venture the ALICE Gallery, which has as its strength a focus on art collaborations and exhibition with sculpture and installations.

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SWOON. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

We spoke with Alice van den Abeele about the selection of these four artists for the opening, the intersection of Internet with museum curation, and the changing nature of our perceptions of culture. Here is an excerpt from our conversation

In your initial descriptions of the museum a focus is made on the uprooting of culture as it pertains to geography by way of the Internet during the last decade and a half. How do these artists represent this free-travelling cultural reality?

This cultural reality is easy to feel when you are in the CITY LIGHTS exhibition. The installations by Swoon, Maya Hayuk, FAILE and MOMO immerse you in different artistic worlds but share an extroverted language that is direct and playful. It is a language acquired with the street and with travel – a mixture you may call a “world citizen.”

2016-04-27-1461720735-4930138-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web9.jpg

SWOON. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

The museum addresses a range of subcultures that are directly or tangentially related to the street art scene during the last decades. Why is it important for us to consider these contributors?

Because of our history. With the communication revolution and the relative low cost of Internet connectivity, the beginning of the millennium brought changes to our perception of the world. A feeling of being a citizen of the world is developing in the West – by which I mean to say there is a cosmopolitan attitude that makes us more empathetic, collaborative, and cross-cultural.

For artists this means there is a greater mobility between creative fields. The artist can easily be a skateboarder, a designer, a musician, a graffiti artist and they can also exhibit in a gallery or a museum. He or she adapts to different creative contexts and their identities are many – not limited to being a ‘street artist” or “a musician”. The subcultures mix easily together. Lust look at the New York art scene at the time of the Alleged Gallery for example.

On the other hand, society moves it through the prism of the Internet today and selects artists that reflect a new thinking. The values ​​that define the artist’s behavior in the street are close to those that define our behavior on the Internet: Empathy, the right of access rather than ownership, a collaborative spirit, authenticity, and a cross/hybrid culture.

Somehow, the street work embodied physically very early this paradigm shift that was occuring in our society, this new way of perceiving the world. That’s the story the MIMA wants to tell through the exhibitions and the works in the permanent collection. We are living through a revolution that is slowly rewriting the history of art “bottom up” – which may have a thousand faces.

2016-04-27-1461720780-9622281-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web16.jpg

SWOON. An assistant helps with a large wheat paste. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo ©Alice van den Abeele)

Is it important to examine these subcultures separately or is it more relevant to see what their combined influences are producing for the world as aesthetic movements, social movements?

Cultures are not compartmentalized. They mix to reinvent themselves. Besides, don’t they all become mainstream? In a world of continuous flow of information we should beware of categories and labels – which are often more commercial than artistic. As I said earlier, subcultures today are of great interest to society because they can inspire in us a common ideal – better than our politicians.

2016-04-27-1461720870-7153923-brooklynstreetartSWOON_THEPICKLESMIMAMUSEUL2016web.jpg

SWOON. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA MUSEUM)

As a group, these inaugural artists have an association in our minds with early-mid 2000s New York street art culture. Can you talk about the significance in broad terms of your choice of these artists for your initial exhibition?

Initially, when we visited the MIMA building in ruins, we immediately imagined an intervention by Maya Hayuk in the room called The Chapel. We know Maya really well because we have had the pleasure of working with her for such a long time. With that first intention, we thought that it would be great to have artists who know and appreciate each other, share a common history, and to create a synergy between them!

This combination of talent and affection has produced a unique exhibition, full of spirituality. More generally, the New York scene of this period is particularly rich for us and it was a good matrix to introduce the vision of the MIMA to the public!

2016-04-27-1461720914-3603761-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web10.jpg

FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

What sort of artists or influences do you envision for near future exhibitions?

It is certain that we will continue to work with artists in the same vein as those that are present in the permanent collection. At the same time we want to leave the door open to the future for the unknown and to surprise ourselves for the fun of it.

2016-04-27-1461720953-9625160-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web13.jpg

FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461720990-7648456-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web15.jpg

FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721029-5187335-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web17.jpg

FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721068-9841754-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web8.jpg

FAILE. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721116-8045667-brooklynstreetartFAILE_PascalineBrischouxMIMAMUSEUM_2016web.jpg

FAILE. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Pascaline Brishcoux – MIMA Museum)

2016-04-27-1461721156-6581223-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web14.jpg

Maya Hayuk. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721226-3971577-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web3.jpg

Maya Hayuk. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721288-2917454-brooklynstreetartMAYAHAYUK_THEPICKLESMIMAMUSEUM.EU_2016web.jpg

Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)

2016-04-27-1461721348-1091724-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web12.jpg

The artists with curators. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721390-4917366-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web1.jpg

Maya Hayuk talks with Patrick Miller in the foreground and Patrick McNeil chats with MOMO in the background in Maya’s installation. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

The MIMA Museum “City Lights” inaugural exhibition in Brussels, Belgium is currently open to the general public and will run until August 28, 2016. Click HERE to learn more about MIMA.

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The New MIMA Museum in Brussels: ‘City Lights.’ Urban Art And More

What is it about Brooklyn street art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York street art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.

2016-04-27-1461720382-8063856-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web4.jpg

MOMO. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably.

2016-04-27-1461720420-5480055-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web11.jpg

MOMO. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Rather than recreating the slap-dash chaos of street clash, and aside from the aforementioned drips and splatters in geometric neon hues by Hayuk, the museum setting is contained and crisply defined. Perhaps because of the cross-disciplines hinted at and welcomed, the overall effect is more contemporary than urban.

Hayuk’s space, with its raised ceilings and stained glass window treatment is a hand-hewn modern chapel, borrowing a holy inflection and spreading it across to the urban art faithful who will make the pilgrimage to this new hallowed space.

On opening day (which was delayed by weeks because of the recent airport and transit bombing here) the crowd who queued on an overcast day down the block along the Canal in Molenbeek was undaunted by the wait and expectant. Housed in a former beer factory, the greater collection includes large installations by the marquee namesin the main spaces and smaller pieces ranging from Stephen Powers and Todd James to Piet Parra and Cleon Patterson in galleries evoking whitebox galleries.

2016-04-27-1461720511-4303187-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web6.jpg

MOMO. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

In precisely the ex-industrial part of town that is usually slaughtered with graffiti you can still see a variety of throwies and bubble tags floating above murky waters along the canal walls from the terrace of the 1300 square meter, 4 story MIMA. It’s an oddly storied juxtaposition perhaps, yet somehow perfectly natural and modern.

If the popular imagination of “museum plus Street Art” conjures anything for you, it may present some kind of overture toward the continuation of the street into the formal space and vice-versa. Faile’s two-color stencils and slaughtering of walls inside clearly connect to ones they have done over the last 15 years and that are currently on New York streets. Their huge prayer wheel assembled here was actually shown in the center of Times Square last fall with tens of thousands of tourists climbing it, sitting upon it, posing for selfies with it and spinning it, so the continuum is very much intact in that respect.

2016-04-27-1461720597-1113084-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web2.jpg

MOMO. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Similarly Swoon’s wheat-pasted family of figures and her hand-cut paper patterns on mottled walls in the basement recall her work on street walls in Red Hook Brooklyn at this moment – as well as her periodic takeovers/installations inside choice areas of abandoned urban neglect through the years. To complete the dialogue at MIMA her hand-painted linotype prints are also wheat-pasted outside on Brussels walls near the museum, not slapped but placed with her customary consideration of context and proportion.

Ever the developer of new methodologies for painting, MOMO piled long strips of fabric in an overlapping circular pattern upon layered patches of color and unveiled the new work by gathering the invited artists and museum founders to watch as Faile’s Patrick McNeil slowly pulled the “rope” outward, breaking sealed layers and revealing a heretofore non existent composition. To share and remember the birth process he leaves the tools of revelation in a pile before it. In this way MOMO recalls his street practice of conjuring and developing new tool-making and art-making techniques when bringing work into the public sphere.

2016-04-27-1461720640-3659793-brooklynstreetartMOMOMIMA_2016web.jpg

MOMO. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © MOMO – MIMA MUSEUM)

Aside from each evolving from the subcultures of the street in some capacity, the nature of the works transcend the partitioning that can define exhibitions, allowing the various practices to become the language of the culture. MIMA appears to have the physical space, as well as the psychological and philosophical space, to contemplate the multiplicity of voices that are flooding the streets and the Internet; forming subcultures and ultimately culture.

The City Lights in this case are as much on the various dialogues of the street as the street itself.

MIMA is the creation of four co-founders; Florence and Michel Delaunoit, Alice van den Abeele, and Raphaël Cruyt. The inaugural show is curated by van den Abeele and Cruyt and many of the artists shown in the extended collection here have a history and special meaning to the two through their venture the ALICE Gallery, which has as its strength a focus on art collaborations and exhibition with sculpture and installations.

2016-04-27-1461720689-6496885-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web7.jpg

SWOON. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

We spoke with Alice van den Abeele about the selection of these four artists for the opening, the intersection of Internet with museum curation, and the changing nature of our perceptions of culture. Here is an excerpt from our conversation

In your initial descriptions of the museum a focus is made on the uprooting of culture as it pertains to geography by way of the Internet during the last decade and a half. How do these artists represent this free-travelling cultural reality?

This cultural reality is easy to feel when you are in the CITY LIGHTS exhibition. The installations by Swoon, Maya Hayuk, FAILE and MOMO immerse you in different artistic worlds but share an extroverted language that is direct and playful. It is a language acquired with the street and with travel – a mixture you may call a “world citizen.”

2016-04-27-1461720735-4930138-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web9.jpg

SWOON. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

The museum addresses a range of subcultures that are directly or tangentially related to the street art scene during the last decades. Why is it important for us to consider these contributors?

Because of our history. With the communication revolution and the relative low cost of Internet connectivity, the beginning of the millennium brought changes to our perception of the world. A feeling of being a citizen of the world is developing in the West – by which I mean to say there is a cosmopolitan attitude that makes us more empathetic, collaborative, and cross-cultural.

For artists this means there is a greater mobility between creative fields. The artist can easily be a skateboarder, a designer, a musician, a graffiti artist and they can also exhibit in a gallery or a museum. He or she adapts to different creative contexts and their identities are many – not limited to being a ‘street artist” or “a musician”. The subcultures mix easily together. Lust look at the New York art scene at the time of the Alleged Gallery for example.

On the other hand, society moves it through the prism of the Internet today and selects artists that reflect a new thinking. The values ​​that define the artist’s behavior in the street are close to those that define our behavior on the Internet: Empathy, the right of access rather than ownership, a collaborative spirit, authenticity, and a cross/hybrid culture.

Somehow, the street work embodied physically very early this paradigm shift that was occuring in our society, this new way of perceiving the world. That’s the story the MIMA wants to tell through the exhibitions and the works in the permanent collection. We are living through a revolution that is slowly rewriting the history of art “bottom up” – which may have a thousand faces.

2016-04-27-1461720780-9622281-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web16.jpg

SWOON. An assistant helps with a large wheat paste. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo ©Alice van den Abeele)

Is it important to examine these subcultures separately or is it more relevant to see what their combined influences are producing for the world as aesthetic movements, social movements?

Cultures are not compartmentalized. They mix to reinvent themselves. Besides, don’t they all become mainstream? In a world of continuous flow of information we should beware of categories and labels – which are often more commercial than artistic. As I said earlier, subcultures today are of great interest to society because they can inspire in us a common ideal – better than our politicians.

2016-04-27-1461720870-7153923-brooklynstreetartSWOON_THEPICKLESMIMAMUSEUL2016web.jpg

SWOON. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA MUSEUM)

As a group, these inaugural artists have an association in our minds with early-mid 2000s New York street art culture. Can you talk about the significance in broad terms of your choice of these artists for your initial exhibition?

Initially, when we visited the MIMA building in ruins, we immediately imagined an intervention by Maya Hayuk in the room called The Chapel. We know Maya really well because we have had the pleasure of working with her for such a long time. With that first intention, we thought that it would be great to have artists who know and appreciate each other, share a common history, and to create a synergy between them!

This combination of talent and affection has produced a unique exhibition, full of spirituality. More generally, the New York scene of this period is particularly rich for us and it was a good matrix to introduce the vision of the MIMA to the public!

2016-04-27-1461720914-3603761-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web10.jpg

FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

What sort of artists or influences do you envision for near future exhibitions?

It is certain that we will continue to work with artists in the same vein as those that are present in the permanent collection. At the same time we want to leave the door open to the future for the unknown and to surprise ourselves for the fun of it.

2016-04-27-1461720953-9625160-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web13.jpg

FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461720990-7648456-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web15.jpg

FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721029-5187335-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web17.jpg

FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721068-9841754-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web8.jpg

FAILE. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721116-8045667-brooklynstreetartFAILE_PascalineBrischouxMIMAMUSEUM_2016web.jpg

FAILE. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Pascaline Brishcoux – MIMA Museum)

2016-04-27-1461721156-6581223-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web14.jpg

Maya Hayuk. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721226-3971577-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web3.jpg

Maya Hayuk. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721288-2917454-brooklynstreetartMAYAHAYUK_THEPICKLESMIMAMUSEUM.EU_2016web.jpg

Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)

2016-04-27-1461721348-1091724-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web12.jpg

The artists with curators. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

2016-04-27-1461721390-4917366-brooklynstreetartmimaAlicevandenAbeelebrussels0416web1.jpg

Maya Hayuk talks with Patrick Miller in the foreground and Patrick McNeil chats with MOMO in the background in Maya’s installation. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

The MIMA Museum “City Lights” inaugural exhibition in Brussels, Belgium is currently open to the general public and will run until August 28, 2016. Click HERE to learn more about MIMA.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also posted on Brooklyn Street Art.

Read all posts by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo on The Huffington Post HERE.

See new photos and read scintillating interviews every day on BrooklynStreetArt.com

Follow us on Instagram @bkstreetart

See our TUMBLR page

Follow us on TWITTER @bkstreetart

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International Confederation of Publishers to Honor Midem

The third Ralph Peer II Award for Outstanding Contribution to Global Music Publishing will be presented to Midem, the International Confederation of…
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International Confederation of Publishers to Honor Midem

The third Ralph Peer II Award for Outstanding Contribution to Global Music Publishing will be presented to Midem, the International Confederation of…
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Need those hard to get tickets?
Call Now: 877-516-9953

Cameron Dallas’s First Calvin Klein Campaign Is Teen Girl Catnip

cameron dallas calvin klein

Ever since his legions of fans shut down the busy streets outside Calvin Klein’s Fall menswear show in Milan, a Cameron Dallas for CK campaign has felt inevitable. The Internet It boy’s combination of teen heartthrob status and unrivaled follower count makes him an automatic draw for advertisers, and his existing relationship with the brand—he’s been all over the label’s Instagram and Snapchat feeds in recent months—served to foreshadow his move from online sensation to full-on Calvin model. Dallas’s first official CK spots arrive today, and they’re exactly what one would expect.

Rather than go the controversial route, Dallas’s debut focuses on his boy-next-door appeal. Shot by Jack Pierson on the beaches of Malibu, the images of a shirtless Dallas frolicking with model Stella Lucia are really rather wholesome—especially when compared with some of CK’s racier campaigns—and right in step with Dallas’s sweetly goofy and decidedly unthreatening appeal. Given that the ads are designed to promote a limited-edition capsule collection of CK Jeans, Dallas seems like exactly the right man for the job. Take a first look at Dallas’s turn in the beachy, upbeat campaign here.

 

Model prankster Cameron Dallas takes New York:

 

The post Cameron Dallas’s First Calvin Klein Campaign Is Teen Girl Catnip appeared first on Vogue.

Vogue
BEAUTY TIPS & UPDATES BY GABBY LOVE! -Get free shipping everyday on orders $ 35+ at Beauty.com plus earn 5% back!
Gabby Loves Avon #2-
Avon

Cameron Dallas’s First Calvin Klein Campaign Is Teen Girl Catnip

cameron dallas calvin klein

Ever since his legions of fans shut down the busy streets outside Calvin Klein’s Fall menswear show in Milan, a Cameron Dallas for CK campaign has felt inevitable. The Internet It boy’s combination of teen heartthrob status and unrivaled follower count makes him an automatic draw for advertisers, and his existing relationship with the brand—he’s been all over the label’s Instagram and Snapchat feeds in recent months—served to foreshadow his move from online sensation to full-on Calvin model. Dallas’s first official CK spots arrive today, and they’re exactly what one would expect.

Rather than go the controversial route, Dallas’s debut focuses on his boy-next-door appeal. Shot by Jack Pierson on the beaches of Malibu, the images of a shirtless Dallas frolicking with model Stella Lucia are really rather wholesome—especially when compared with some of CK’s racier campaigns—and right in step with Dallas’s sweetly goofy and decidedly unthreatening appeal. Given that the ads are designed to promote a limited-edition capsule collection of CK Jeans, Dallas seems like exactly the right man for the job. Take a first look at Dallas’s turn in the beachy, upbeat campaign here.

 

Model prankster Cameron Dallas takes New York:

 

The post Cameron Dallas’s First Calvin Klein Campaign Is Teen Girl Catnip appeared first on Vogue.

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BEAUTY TIPS & UPDATES BY GABBY LOVE! -Get free shipping everyday on orders $ 35+ at Beauty.com plus earn 5% back!
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How A Mastectomy Improved My Sex Life

When I booked in for a mastectomy, I assumed our sex life was over. Even though the surgeon promised his reconstruction job would have me looking better than new, my reservations were almost overwhelming.

Transferring fat from my belly to create a new right breast would leave me with a permanent scar the shape of a gruesome smile, from one hip to the other.

Assuming the cancer was successfully removed, my new breast would be created in two stages. If the seven-hour fat graft operation went well, I’d go back a couple of months later to acquire a nipple. Meantime, I’d have a patch the size of a small helicopter pad where my new nipple would eventually be.

On top of which, I’d never have sensation in my right breast again. I was frightened; not just of the pain and uncertainty, but of how Philip was going to react to my surgical patchwork body.

He’d already been daft enough to marry a woman eight years older with two kids in tow. In a world that worships gym-honed perfection, he’d soon have every reason to turn away.

One of the consolations of being a novelist is you can let your characters live out your fears. The protagonist of my new book TUMBLEDOWN MANOR (Kensington) is in a similar situation, except she decides not to go with reconstruction. Soon after her surgery, Lisa’s husband runs off with a younger woman. She’s convinced no man will want to touch her again — until she find the courage to expose her scars to a kind-hearted stranger.

The most interesting side effects of cancer surgery didn’t happen to my body, but inside my head. Confronting the possibility of death made me seize the life force. Flowers smell stronger, the breeze is fresher — and the curves of a human body seem more vulnerable and precious than before.

Once my stitches and bandages were removed, a new tenderness flourished between us. Our bedroom walls resonate not with “harder, faster, deeper” but with gentle smiles, mutual forgiveness, and heartfelt gratitude.

www.helenbrown.com

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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FASHION NEWS-Visit Shoe Deals Online-Fashion News today for the hottest deals online!

How A Mastectomy Improved My Sex Life

When I booked in for a mastectomy, I assumed our sex life was over. Even though the surgeon promised his reconstruction job would have me looking better than new, my reservations were almost overwhelming.

Transferring fat from my belly to create a new right breast would leave me with a permanent scar the shape of a gruesome smile, from one hip to the other.

Assuming the cancer was successfully removed, my new breast would be created in two stages. If the seven-hour fat graft operation went well, I’d go back a couple of months later to acquire a nipple. Meantime, I’d have a patch the size of a small helicopter pad where my new nipple would eventually be.

On top of which, I’d never have sensation in my right breast again. I was frightened; not just of the pain and uncertainty, but of how Philip was going to react to my surgical patchwork body.

He’d already been daft enough to marry a woman eight years older with two kids in tow. In a world that worships gym-honed perfection, he’d soon have every reason to turn away.

One of the consolations of being a novelist is you can let your characters live out your fears. The protagonist of my new book TUMBLEDOWN MANOR (Kensington) is in a similar situation, except she decides not to go with reconstruction. Soon after her surgery, Lisa’s husband runs off with a younger woman. She’s convinced no man will want to touch her again — until she find the courage to expose her scars to a kind-hearted stranger.

The most interesting side effects of cancer surgery didn’t happen to my body, but inside my head. Confronting the possibility of death made me seize the life force. Flowers smell stronger, the breeze is fresher — and the curves of a human body seem more vulnerable and precious than before.

Once my stitches and bandages were removed, a new tenderness flourished between us. Our bedroom walls resonate not with “harder, faster, deeper” but with gentle smiles, mutual forgiveness, and heartfelt gratitude.

www.helenbrown.com

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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Multitasking While the Titanic Sinks

I wish to apologize to the development team at Four Funnels Entertainment for being such an impatient, easily distracted oaf. This past weekend I learned I am utterly incapable of watching history unfold, particularly if my phone is nearby.

I had planned to watch a two-hour-and-40-minute, computer animated YouTube video showing the doomed ship Titanic sinking in real time. Created to promote the upcoming video game release, Titanic: Honor and Glory, the video entices viewers to stare at a screen for the same amount of time it takes to fly from Chicago to Orlando, only without beverage service. As I write this, the video has garnered more than 6 million views.

Judging by the “comments” section, most viewers admittedly couldn’t keep themselves from pausing the video repeatedly or multitasking while a 52,000-ton ship plunged to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The remarks ranged from the humorous — “They should make a movie about this!”– to the macabre — “Watching 2,000 people dying. Looks great!”– to comments posted by armchair ship captains — “They should have turned towards (sic) the iceberg and hit it head on letting the bow take the damage.”

Beware the vicious, early 20th century Internet troll.

I decided I would attempt to view the video uninterrupted. For two reasons: Pay homage to the creators, who obviously took great pains to animate such a lengthy project, and determine whether I could avoid succumbing to distractions for 160 minutes. I set my cell phone to vibrate, closed all browser windows, save for YouTube, and shut my office door, informing my wife I did not want to be disturbed because I was “watching something on the computer.” Probably not the best choice of words.

I clicked “play.” One minute and seven seconds later, the Titanic struck the iceberg. I expected to see a flurry of activity immediately thereafter. Instead, for nine and a half minutes, I saw nothing. Just a ship that, to my untrained nautical eye, looked perfectly capable of hosting a midnight buffet on the Seabreeze deck while a Bob Marley cover band continuously played “One Love”. (Yes, I’ve taken a Caribbean cruise). Of course, that wasn’t true; I know from watching various History Channel documentaries and repeated viewings of the James Cameron movie that water was pouring into the ship’s hull, Captain Edward Smith was assessing the woefully inadequate lifeboat supply and Kate Winslet was the proud owner of a naked self-portrait.

My dog whimpered, signaling her need to go out. “Not now,” I said, as if I expected her to be aware of my goal. She persisted and I relented. Rather than pause the video, I let it play and walked her to our neighborhood park, a 10-minute round trip jaunt. “What could possibly happen in 10 minutes?” I asked myself.

The answer? Nothing. When I returned to my PC, it was if I had never left. The ship was still floating upright. Pangs of boredom began to dot my brain. Just then, my phone buzzed. A text from an old friend.

“What are you doing?”

“Watching the Titanic sink. But it’s boring.” I typed back.

“Just scroll to the end,” came the reply.

“No, I’m watching it in real time. Goodbye,” I typed, before putting the phone in a drawer.

At 38:16 I was informed, through on-screen text, that Titanic was “taking on a starboard list.” I barely noticed for I was reading and responding to an email from a business colleague. THIS was important, starboard list be damned.

By the time I had finished the exchange, Titanic was clearly in trouble but I had grown too impatient to scroll back. I took my friend’s advice and moved the time slider to 2:39:27, the moment the ship splits in two. I zoomed past beautifully rendered images of the ship’s Grand Staircase succumbing to sea water and smokestacks tumbling into the ocean. Again, Four Funnels, I’m sorry. Your work is impeccable but, sadly, still no match for that number one distraction: the iPhone. More than 6 million viewers probably agree.

I just wanted you to be aware before you decide to recreate the Hundred Years’ War and upload it to YouTube.

NOTE: For those with busy schedules, watch the Titanic sink in 30 seconds.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Multitasking While the Titanic Sinks

I wish to apologize to the development team at Four Funnels Entertainment for being such an impatient, easily distracted oaf. This past weekend I learned I am utterly incapable of watching history unfold, particularly if my phone is nearby.

I had planned to watch a two-hour-and-40-minute, computer animated YouTube video showing the doomed ship Titanic sinking in real time. Created to promote the upcoming video game release, Titanic: Honor and Glory, the video entices viewers to stare at a screen for the same amount of time it takes to fly from Chicago to Orlando, only without beverage service. As I write this, the video has garnered more than 6 million views.

Judging by the “comments” section, most viewers admittedly couldn’t keep themselves from pausing the video repeatedly or multitasking while a 52,000-ton ship plunged to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The remarks ranged from the humorous — “They should make a movie about this!”– to the macabre — “Watching 2,000 people dying. Looks great!”– to comments posted by armchair ship captains — “They should have turned towards (sic) the iceberg and hit it head on letting the bow take the damage.”

Beware the vicious, early 20th century Internet troll.

I decided I would attempt to view the video uninterrupted. For two reasons: Pay homage to the creators, who obviously took great pains to animate such a lengthy project, and determine whether I could avoid succumbing to distractions for 160 minutes. I set my cell phone to vibrate, closed all browser windows, save for YouTube, and shut my office door, informing my wife I did not want to be disturbed because I was “watching something on the computer.” Probably not the best choice of words.

I clicked “play.” One minute and seven seconds later, the Titanic struck the iceberg. I expected to see a flurry of activity immediately thereafter. Instead, for nine and a half minutes, I saw nothing. Just a ship that, to my untrained nautical eye, looked perfectly capable of hosting a midnight buffet on the Seabreeze deck while a Bob Marley cover band continuously played “One Love”. (Yes, I’ve taken a Caribbean cruise). Of course, that wasn’t true; I know from watching various History Channel documentaries and repeated viewings of the James Cameron movie that water was pouring into the ship’s hull, Captain Edward Smith was assessing the woefully inadequate lifeboat supply and Kate Winslet was the proud owner of a naked self-portrait.

My dog whimpered, signaling her need to go out. “Not now,” I said, as if I expected her to be aware of my goal. She persisted and I relented. Rather than pause the video, I let it play and walked her to our neighborhood park, a 10-minute round trip jaunt. “What could possibly happen in 10 minutes?” I asked myself.

The answer? Nothing. When I returned to my PC, it was if I had never left. The ship was still floating upright. Pangs of boredom began to dot my brain. Just then, my phone buzzed. A text from an old friend.

“What are you doing?”

“Watching the Titanic sink. But it’s boring.” I typed back.

“Just scroll to the end,” came the reply.

“No, I’m watching it in real time. Goodbye,” I typed, before putting the phone in a drawer.

At 38:16 I was informed, through on-screen text, that Titanic was “taking on a starboard list.” I barely noticed for I was reading and responding to an email from a business colleague. THIS was important, starboard list be damned.

By the time I had finished the exchange, Titanic was clearly in trouble but I had grown too impatient to scroll back. I took my friend’s advice and moved the time slider to 2:39:27, the moment the ship splits in two. I zoomed past beautifully rendered images of the ship’s Grand Staircase succumbing to sea water and smokestacks tumbling into the ocean. Again, Four Funnels, I’m sorry. Your work is impeccable but, sadly, still no match for that number one distraction: the iPhone. More than 6 million viewers probably agree.

I just wanted you to be aware before you decide to recreate the Hundred Years’ War and upload it to YouTube.

NOTE: For those with busy schedules, watch the Titanic sink in 30 seconds.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Why The Kardashians’ Hair Stylist Is Working With Vacuum Brand Dyson

Chances are you associate Dyson, a company widely known for its innovative line of vacuum cleaners, with making your home look good. Now, it wants to help make you look good, too.

The brand announced an unexpected new partnership Wednesday with celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin for the launch of its newest product, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Four years and a whopping $ 71 million investment went into creating the product, the company says. The Dyson Supersonic claims speedy drying time, less damage to hair through the use of “intelligent heat technology” and controlled air flow. The downright cool-looking dryer also comes with three different attachments: a smoothing nozzle, styling concentrator and diffuser. 

Atkin, who serves as brand ambassador of the product, recently launched her own line of hair products and is trusted by some of the most famous heads of hair on Snapchat. In a statement given to HuffPost, she explained why the partnership seemed a good fit.

“Dyson is such a trustworthy brand, I know that anything they create will be a game changer, so before I even knew anything about it, I knew this dryer would be great. Plus the aesthetic is so gorgeous. $ 71 million in innovation is enough for me,” she said.

But before you throw away all your current hair products in pursuit of this magical looking tool, be forewarned, it will cost you. The regular version of the dryer sells for $ 399.99, with a special edition option priced at $ 449.99. (The latter comes with a hand-finished leather box, if that helps.)

Still, the technology, the promised shortened dry time and the fact that every celebrity will likely soon have one are tempting enough reasons to start saving up for the dryer, which will launch exclusively at Sephora and on Dyson.com. Though pre-sales are currently on at Dyson.com, the product won’t ship until September 2016. 

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Why The Kardashians’ Hair Stylist Is Working With Vacuum Brand Dyson

Chances are you associate Dyson, a company widely known for its innovative line of vacuum cleaners, with making your home look good. Now, it wants to help make you look good, too.

The brand announced an unexpected new partnership Wednesday with celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin for the launch of its newest product, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Four years and a whopping $ 71 million investment went into creating the product, the company says. The Dyson Supersonic claims speedy drying time, less damage to hair through the use of “intelligent heat technology” and controlled air flow. The downright cool-looking dryer also comes with three different attachments: a smoothing nozzle, styling concentrator and diffuser. 

Atkin, who serves as brand ambassador of the product, recently launched her own line of hair products and is trusted by some of the most famous heads of hair on Snapchat. In a statement given to HuffPost, she explained why the partnership seemed a good fit.

“Dyson is such a trustworthy brand, I know that anything they create will be a game changer, so before I even knew anything about it, I knew this dryer would be great. Plus the aesthetic is so gorgeous. $ 71 million in innovation is enough for me,” she said.

But before you throw away all your current hair products in pursuit of this magical looking tool, be forewarned, it will cost you. The regular version of the dryer sells for $ 399.99, with a special edition option priced at $ 449.99. (The latter comes with a hand-finished leather box, if that helps.)

Still, the technology, the promised shortened dry time and the fact that every celebrity will likely soon have one are tempting enough reasons to start saving up for the dryer, which will launch exclusively at Sephora and on Dyson.com. Though pre-sales are currently on at Dyson.com, the product won’t ship until September 2016. 

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Man Says Stranger Sucker-Punched Him For Looking Like Shia LaBeouf

How’s this for celebrity treatment?

A New York City man says he was sucker-punched by a total stranger as he was exiting a subway – because he looks like Shia LaBeouf.

Mario Licato, 26, was climbing the stairs out of a Lower East Side station around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when he says out of nowhere he was pummeled to the ground.

“While I was falling down the stairs, all I hear was, ‘This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf,’” he recalled to Gothamist.

Licato, who indeed resembles the 29-year-old “Transformers” star, said he was briefly knocked out cold. When he came to, his assailant was nowhere to be seen and he was left covered in blood.

“I opened my eyes and people were hovering over me. They were like, ‘Did you know him?’” he recalled to the New York Daily News.

Licato says witnesses told him the man was 6-feet tall and in his mid-20s, and resembled a resembling a “white frat boy.”

Adding insult to injury, Licato said that when first responders arrived to treat him, the first EMT greeted his wounds with a salty: “Welcome to New York, buddy.”

“I’m born and raised here,’” he told Gothamist. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re standing in front of somebody who’s bleeding out of their face and that’s your first response?’”

An Instagram photo later shared by Licato showed him sporting a purple shiner and a bandaid over the left side of his face.

“I wanna thank the guy who randomly decided he needed to hit me last night,” he captioned the shot. “‘This happened bc you look exactly like Shia labeouf,’” he quoted his attacker. “Well sir you boosted my self esteem bc he’s p hot.”

You might want to watch your back on the New York City subways, Shia.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Man Says Stranger Sucker-Punched Him For Looking Like Shia LaBeouf

How’s this for celebrity treatment?

A New York City man says he was sucker-punched by a total stranger as he was exiting a subway – because he looks like Shia LaBeouf.

Mario Licato, 26, was climbing the stairs out of a Lower East Side station around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when he says out of nowhere he was pummeled to the ground.

“While I was falling down the stairs, all I hear was, ‘This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf,’” he recalled to Gothamist.

Licato, who indeed resembles the 29-year-old “Transformers” star, said he was briefly knocked out cold. When he came to, his assailant was nowhere to be seen and he was left covered in blood.

“I opened my eyes and people were hovering over me. They were like, ‘Did you know him?’” he recalled to the New York Daily News.

Licato says witnesses told him the man was 6-feet tall and in his mid-20s, and resembled a resembling a “white frat boy.”

Adding insult to injury, Licato said that when first responders arrived to treat him, the first EMT greeted his wounds with a salty: “Welcome to New York, buddy.”

“I’m born and raised here,’” he told Gothamist. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re standing in front of somebody who’s bleeding out of their face and that’s your first response?’”

An Instagram photo later shared by Licato showed him sporting a purple shiner and a bandaid over the left side of his face.

“I wanna thank the guy who randomly decided he needed to hit me last night,” he captioned the shot. “‘This happened bc you look exactly like Shia labeouf,’” he quoted his attacker. “Well sir you boosted my self esteem bc he’s p hot.”

You might want to watch your back on the New York City subways, Shia.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Poetry Book Fights Isolation in Immigration Detention

2016-04-25-1461602776-5516316-HuffPo.jpg

Isolation is the key component of oppression. Throughout history, the voices of those who have been colonized, exploited, and marginalized are rarely heard because those who are in power develop systems of isolation. These systems have taken many forms, such as Nazi concentration camps, Japanese internment camps, South African apartheid, and Jim Crow segregation laws. But we must not make the mistake and assume that this is merely history. Structures of isolation, oppression, and racism are as alive today as they were 100 years ago.

In fact, twenty years ago this week, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, ushering in an era of mass detention and deportation of immigrants. Over the last two decades, the immigration detention population has increased fourfold to approximately 34,000 people per day, making the United States the largest immigration detention regime in the world. The current U.S. immigration detention system is designed to isolate us from one another, but poetry and art can remind us of our shared humanity.

Today, Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is releasing Call Me Libertad: Poems Between Borders, the first book to combine the voices of people in immigration detention with their family members and allies to design a new narrative and give unprecedented insight into one of our country’s modern systems of isolation, immigration detention. The book features writers, such as Alexandra–a journalist, poet, and musician–who was detained 444 days at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona. These are Alexandra’s words beyond walls:

“I started to write in immigration detention because I did not have many things to do, and I needed to express my feelings. Being interminably watched, one is not able to demonstrate one’s grief or anxiety, but these emotions demand expression. So, at first, I wrote only in Russian, but later, I took shaky and unsteady steps as a child does in English. When I felt scared, I wrote “Ambiance.” When I felt sarcastic, I composed “Silly Rhymes,” perhaps not valuable as fine literature, but my rhymes gave me a few moments to breathe in the fresh air of opportunity and greet a new day with hope. The second poem below, “One Frank Poem” is exactly one of those poems, designed to conjure a reader’s smile. The first poem below, “Hotel ‘Mil Estrellas,’” is more wistful and melancholic; it depicts the moments of utter loneliness that sometimes invaded my soul while in U.S. immigration detention. I have a lot of stories to tell, and I hope you will listen. But maybe I should tell these stories, if only for the sake of their heroes–my fellow immigrants in detention, still waiting for their freedom to come.

Hotel ‘Mil Estrellas’

Where I am going there will be nobody to take care of me.
Where I am going I will live in the Hotel of Thousand Stars.
They all will be mine. Their flight, unstoppable,
Will be as a notice of heavenly court -
They will mark the time of my sentence.

Where I am going I will be alone.
I will dwell on proverbial streets and under proverbial bridges.
And I’ll count myself happy enough
to remember the meaning of home.

I will feed my old poems to warm my old hands,
And my face will be wrinkled and full of contempt,
And I will curse the passers-by in all known tongues -
For they are more lucky than me -
In the Hotel of Thousand Stars.

Where I am going you’ll wait for me in silence.
With your arms wide open and your smile welcoming,
With your heart pumping your tricky blood.
But I can, even now, see the rusty bars
Of the cage you already prepared for me -
In the Hotel of Thousand Stars.

All those premonitions are gnawing at me,
Forging soul into stone, unbreakable.
I fight hard to awake that late warrior,
Who had started this way in the past.

I feel chill expanding under my ribs,
Where God has His secret shrine.
I am tossing away promises and beliefs.
I try hard to define what’s mine.

If I manage to reduce myself to emptiness…
If I freeze this growling unease…
Then I maybe’ll be able
to collect enough strength
And to make my step back to life.

It looks like I’ve been just put in storage.
Before, I had the courage to go into light;
Before, I’d raise my hand, wave at you,
And surrender to your embrace…

So now I take a deep breath -
And I finally go ahead
To the place unknown, to the words unsaid,
To the Thousand Stars.

One Frank Poem

What should I say being in here?
What, can I cry out of this place?
Should I behave as I am sincere
Or act like heroes of classic plays?

Would it be helpful
To be pathetic?
Would it be useful
To be myself?
I can shed real tears -
Or I can fake it;
I can make promises -
And be saved.

I thought a lot
What I will publish:
Which things to share,
Which poses to take…
Should I pretend to be a pile of rubbish?
Should I encourage like a piece of cake?

Should I describe to you all daily routine
To make you feel like you were inside?
Tell about people, their stories looting,
And push so hard, reader might have cried?

Could I persuade you, I’m kind and generous,
Caring and talented, full of faith?
I thought a lot and I found no answers.
So do your job -
and decide yourself.”

Alexandra is the eighth writer in CIVIC’s series of blog posts called “Words Beyond Walls.” Check back in for more posts in this series in the coming months, and get your copy of CIVIC’s new book of poetry and art, Call Me Libertad: Poems Between Borders today! Alexandra was released from the Eloy Detention Center on April 21, 2016, after 444 days in detention with the support of Mariposas Sin Fronteras, Casa Mariposa, and Casa Libre en la Solana in Tucson, Arizona, who raised funds for her $ 5,000 bond. Over 50 people, many of whom are writers themselves, contributed to her campaign, including poet Franciszka Voeltz who wrote custom-made “Poems-to-Go” for contributors. Alexandra is now free, and just two days out of detention, she made her inaugural performance of her poetry at the Casa Libre Fair Weather Reading Series.

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Neal Schon on Reunited Santana: ‘It’s like the Force Has Risen Again’

Neal Schon is hoping that the strong chart debut for the new Santana IV album — No. 5 on the Billboard 200 — will be the impetus for some more…
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Meet the New Cool-Girl Uniform, Just in Time for Spring

sneakers

There is something to be said for the ultimate vintage (or vintage-inspired) dress score. The way a delicate, micro-floral­-print silk floats across the room or a bold geo pattern instantly grabs your attention is a fashion feeling pretty hard to beat. We can wax just as poetic about our love for sneakers, which have basically become de rigueur in the office, in the streets, and about anywhere that your legs will carry you. When you put these two together? Well, that’s just a match made in sartorial heaven.

While high heels may indeed be making a comeback, breaking our sneaker addiction has proven nearly impossible. (Trust us, we’ve tried.) But for those who couldn’t possibly fathom sporting sneakers with a dress, look no further than the ultimate cool girl, Veronika Heilbrunner, whose ability to transform a flowing frock from gushing romanticism to street style–worthy has become her signature. Combating the over-the-top sweetness of a picnic-check shift sitting primly on your figure requires little more than a pair of luxe, high-tech kicks. Sure, that ladylike chiffon may be swishing with every step you take, but a flash of metallic gold on your feet or a peek of the iconic Nike swoosh is just what you need for a dose of alternative edge.

Above, seven vintage-inspired dresses paired with their companion kicks for the ultimate cool girl uniform this spring.

 

The post Meet the New Cool-Girl Uniform, Just in Time for Spring appeared first on Vogue.

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If You Look Closely At These Rings, You’ll See The Couples That Wear Them

Within the world of wedding photography, professionals are constantly innovating — think dronesGIFs and smoke bombs. Self-taught Australian photographer Peter Adams-Shawn is doing just that with wedding band reflection photos he calls “ringscapes.”

“Ringscapes” consist of a wedding scene captured in the reflection of the bride or groom’s wedding band.

“It wasn’t really a case of deciding to do them,” Adams-Shawn told The Huffington Post. “It was a case of seeing a shot and taking it. Then seeing something similar again and shooting that, too.”

Adams-Shawn, of Memories Of Tomorrow Photography, first began capturing reflections of wedding moments in 2011, when he noticed a bride reflecting in a flower girl’s eye. He calls those “eyescapes.”

“The first ‘eyescape’ came as a result of taking a shot of a flower girl having her makeup done,” Adams-Shawn said. “I saw a reflection of the bride in her eye and took the shot.”

The idea for ring reflections came just as organically. In 2012, Adams-Shawn had grabbed a bride and groom’s rings to get a photo, when he noticed a reflection.

“I placed the rings on the railing in a gazebo whilst the bride and groom were cuddling to stay warm behind me,” Adams-Shawn said. “When I set the rings down, I saw the reflection. I quickly grabbed a flash and took the shot. After that I was always on the lookout for opportunities with rings.”

Getting a simple reflection shot isn’t particularly complicated, Adams-Shawn said. 

“Getting a reflection is relatively easy. Getting a meaningful one that tells a story is for me, at least, where the real magic lies,” he said.

But how does he do it?

“I see a reflection, I photograph it,” Adams-Shawn said. “I don’t fully understand the intricacies or technicalities of what is going on, but quite frankly I don’t really care. Wedding photography is about the pictures — the memories.”

Check out more ringscapes below:

H/T PetaPixel  

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Ark-Building Creationist Explains Why It Was Totally Cool For God To Kill Almost Everyone

Ken Ham, the creationist behind the giant Noah’s Ark replica nearing completion in Kentucky, received some pointed questions on Twitter from those who have a problem with the central message in the biblical story. 

The Noah tale, which is in the Genesis, involves a massive global flood that wipes out the entire human race save for eight people — and that doesn’t sit right with some: 

Ham, who debated evolution with Bill Nye the Science Guy in 2013, engaged in what seemed like a debate with all of Twitter over the issue. 

He fired off a series of tweets explaining not only why God killed off much of the world’s population, but also how it’s not his fault he had to wipe out everyone. 

It was ours. Here’s a sampling: 

Many responded to Ham as he sent out his tweets — with some mocking the ark and the very unbiblical way in which it’s being built:

The Ark Encounter is set to open this summer in Williamstown, Kentucky.

In other ark news, a second massive replica is expected to sail across the Atlantic this summer

 

(h/t Mediaite)

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Kelly Ripa Says Wedding Dress Was The ‘Best $199 I Ever Spent’

Kelly Ripa returned to her post on “Live With Kelly and Michael” Tuesday morning equipped with a well-executed statement about the drama surrounding the show over the past few weeks, a loving message for soon-to-be ex co-host Michael Strahan and most importantly, vacation photos. 

The host and former soap opera star shared a photo from a vacation she took with husband Mark Conseuelos and some friends (that she assured everyone was planned before Strahan announced he was leaving the show last week).

#KellyRipa & #MarkConsuelos celebrated their 20th #wedding anniversary! (Kelly in her original wedding dress) #KellyandMichael

A photo posted by LIVE with Kelly and Michael (@kellyandmichael) on

The couple went away to celebrate their 20th anniversary in the Caribbean, and Ripa wore a pretty fitting outfit for the occasion.

“See that dress? That’s my wedding dress. And guess what? It still fits,” she gushed to the audience.

She continued: “I bought it at the Barneys Warehouse Sale, and the dress is actually 25 years old. My marriage is 20 years old. I didn’t buy it as a wedding dress. I just bought it because it was really pretty and I wanted to buy something from the Barney’s Warehouse Sale. I was working on the soap, I wasn’t making a lot of money, it was $ 199 on final clearance sale and I was like, ‘Do I eat this week or do I get this dress’ Literally that was the thought process. And I said to myself, ‘I bet if I buy this, maybe it will be an investment piece. Maybe I’ll wear it more than once.’”

Consuelos and Ripa met in 1995 on the set of “All My Children” and eloped in Las Vegas just one year later. The lovely dress was a far departure from the elaborate gown her character Hayley wore to marry Consuelos’ character Mateo on the show they co-starred in at the time. 

Apparently her real-life wedding dress, which she says she now wears as a beach cover-up “constantly,” paid off.

“It was the best $ 199 I ever spent in my life,” she said.

h/t People StyleWatch

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Prince’s $10 Million Paisley Park Estate To Be Turned Into The ‘Next Graceland,’ His Family Confirms

Paisley Park, Prince’s sprawling $ 10 million home, is going to be transformed into the “next Graceland,” according to people close to the late musician.

His brother-in-law Maurice Phillips told The Sun this week that the 65,000 sq.ft. compound, located in Chanhassen, Minnesota, will be turned into “a museum in Prince’s memory.”

“It would be for the fans. He was all about the fans — this would remember his music, which is his legacy,” Phillips said. “Prince was always private but would have wanted his music remembered.”

Prince’s longtime collaborator, Sheila E., confirmed the plan in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

“We’re hoping to make Paisley what [Prince wanted] it to be. [He] was working on it being a museum,” she told ET. “He’s been gathering memorabilia and stuff from all the tours, like my drums and his motorcycle.” 

Built in 1987, Paisley Park was more than just a home for Prince, who died in the compound on April 21 at the age of 57. He created most of his music and entertained both friends and fans on the site.

According to Fortune magazine, Neil Young, Barry Manilow and the Muppets were among those who rehearsed at Paisley Park. On the Saturday before his death, Prince hosted a party on the grounds.

“Prince wanted to have a place where he could do all his music and make films and do his tour rehearsals and to dance, choreography and everything under one roof, which back 25 years ago was quite progressive,” the complex’s architect Bret Thoeny told CBS NewYork. 

Paisley Park reportedly has a recording studio, a private nightclub and a meditation space called the Galaxy Room. There’s also said to be “a lot of purple,” yet there’s much about the estate that remains a mystery.

Although the musician hosted events in Paisley Park’s public areas, “Prince was notoriously private and only his inner circle was granted access into the inner sanctum” of the estate, Fortune reported.

It’s unclear when Paisley Park will be converted into a museum, and how long it will take before doors open to the public. (Graceland was opened five years after Elvis Presley’s death.) 

It’s also unknown who will inherit the property, along with Prince’s estimated $ 300 million estate. Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson claimed this week that her brother did not leave a will. If true, his estate will likely be equally divided among Nelson and his five half-siblings. 

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