The Let Down: Netflix’s Ambitious Take on the Birth of Hip Hop Falls Flat

The 2015 Netflix trailer for the Get Down gave us glimpse of 1970’s New York and the birth of hip hop with the fire and drama you would expect from a Baz Luhrmann production.  When the show launched August 12, they managed to deliver on lush cinematography, stunning style and familiar hip hop samples, but well after an hour into … Continue reading The Let Down: Netflix’s Ambitious Take on the Birth of Hip Hop Falls Flat

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 2016-12: Lakwena

  The Friday before a long weekend holds so much promise.  I’m counting down the minutes until 5:00, so until then I am living for the work of Lakwena Maciver.  Her work combines the bold, geometric lines found in Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings with the colorful graphics of 8 bit video games. Lakwena’s energetic paintings are punctuated with woodblock … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge 2016-12: Lakwena