“America is not like a blanket — one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size. America is more like a quilt — many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread.”
— Jesse Jackson, 1984 Democratic National Convention
Tristan Detwiler (b. 1997) began reworking antique quilts into garments in 2018. A chance encounter with 80-year old quilt maker Claire McKarns introduced Detwiler to the Bumann Quilters of Olivenhain, California. After becoming a member, he applied the groups shared knowledge to his autumn/winter 2021-22 collection.
While Dr. Martin Luther King’s actual birthday was January 15th, the US honors and remembers him on the third Monday in January for a Federal Holiday known as Martin Luther King Day. It is the only such holiday that honors an Africa-American. We need to change that. Please celebrate the work of Dr. King today by being kind to your neighbor, whatever that means to you. One of MLK‘s best known quotes was projected on an apartment building at 14th Street and First Avenue over the past week and I stopped to take this photograph so that I could share it here.
The late Supreme Court Justice and champion of women’s rights, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has been honored with a gorgeous collage mural depicting her face among vibrantly-colored, iconic images that reflect her wildly-accomplished career. Created by street artist Elle over a period of about ten-days in the first two weeks of November, the mural’s location at the southwest corner of First Avenue and 11th Street was formerly home to this mural by Shepard Fairey, which was completed in October of 2016. With the way this year has been going, we needed a fresh and inspiring new artwork in this space, and Ellereally delivered.
The mural is close enough to my home that I was able to visit the site at various stages of completion; my very first sighting occurring on November 13th, during one of my twilight-time walks. What luck to also capture this very colorful graffiti box truck, which was parked on First Avenue at the time.
See More Photos of Elle’s RBG Memorial Mural After The Jump!
For true pop music devotees — and particularly for those who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s — 2016 delivered a year of The Day The Music Died-level emotional trauma on a monthly basis. Like some kind of Plague Upon the Rock Stars, 2016 wiped out an entire lifetimes’ worth of legends, including David Bowie in early January, then Keith Emerson in March, Prince in April, Leonard Cohen in November and, as the year’s final fuck you — on Christmas day no less — we lost George Michael. Continue reading The George Michael Collection at Christie’s→
Over the course of a career that stretched from the 1920s to the 1980s, Alice Neel painted portraits of hundreds of friends, family members, lovers, artists art historians, writers, and political activists, believing that “people are the greatest and profoundest key to an era.” Seeking to express psychology above absolute physical likeness, she often used exaggerated colors and expressive brushstrokes and eliminated extraneous details in order to capture the inner lives of her subjects.
Neel was a longtime supporter of leftist causes. In the painting of Pat Whalen (1935), she depicts the Communist activist and union organizer for the longshoremen of Baltimore as a paragon of social justice. Whalen’s creased face and expression — along with a copy of the Daily Worker, the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA, resting beneath his large, clenched — suggest both a noble archetype of the blue-collar worker and an all-consuming commitment to the working man’s cause.