Common Reveals Hip Hop’s Lost Soul

The beautifully close cropped faces staring into the camera for Common’s latest video for Black America Again dare the viewer to look each subject directly in the eye.  Their gaze is strong,  inquisitive and evocative;  you quickly get the sense that their gaze is knowingly somehow directed at you, challenging you to see them as complex individuals with unique stories, … Continue reading Common Reveals Hip Hop’s Lost Soul

Camilo Jose Vergara’s “Old New York”

Camilo Jose Vergara’s work takes a historical photographic look at the dramatic evolution and dissolution of New York’s neighborhoods over decades. I really love his early early 1970’s work.  For me, the most captivating series is “Old New York”, a body of photos that exposed the neglected, desolated, apocalyptic cultural landscape existing in the South Bronx. In these pictures you … Continue reading Camilo Jose Vergara’s “Old New York”

Behind the Walls: The Art of the Favelas

After Rio’s shiny, spectacular Opening Ceremony on Friday I came across this sobering picture that quickly brought me back to reality and filtered my view of the Olympic games. Brazil’s honest portrayal of the slave trade and the upbeat, energetic favela portion of the ceremony obscured some of the horrific present day realities behind the historical and … Continue reading Behind the Walls: The Art of the Favelas

Mural Buffings Confirm Fears of Runaway Development in DTLA’s Arts District

Early on in my career I was given a small piece of advice that dictated how I presented myself professionally: “Dress for the job you want.” In the intersecting space between gentrification and street art, developers have applied that age old career advice to the neighborhoods they invest in.  When it comes to street art, … Continue reading Mural Buffings Confirm Fears of Runaway Development in DTLA’s Arts District

Artist a Day Challenge 2016-28: Shinique Smith

When I started Culture Shock Art in 2010, my goal was to explore street art and graffiti in Los Angeles, after I stumbled upon street artist JR’s work completely by accident.  The process of discovery through investigating the origins of one of his murals led me to his 2010 TED talk after which I purchased one of his lithographs.  That … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge 2016-28: Shinique Smith

Artist a Day Challenge 2016-9: Brandan Odums & Noirlinians Usher in New Wave of Art in NOLA

Laissez le bon temps rouler! I’ve got New Orleans on my mind, so I thought I’d use today’s post to shine a light on the art that’s being made in the Crescent City today. Steeped in tradition, plagued by disaster and portrayed as a crown jewel of urban renewal, New Orleans is a multifaceted and deeply … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge 2016-9: Brandan Odums & Noirlinians Usher in New Wave of Art in NOLA