All posts filed under: Culture

MAD NYC, What Have We Done, The Catastrophe of Homelessness

— An exclusive photo editorial piece by photographer Alberto Alcocer. Words by Maya Amoah. Images below were shot in New York City and Madrid.  It’s 2 AM and the lights of Time Square brilliantly shine like no other place in the world. Pixelated images in every direction flash before the eyes of both tourists and New Yorkers alike and if this doesn’t keep them transfixed, the juggling street busker who breathes fire surely does. On a sunny day in hot July, children eagerly lap up melting sundaes and chow on some Coney Island chili fries, strolling the sand dusted boardwalk with mama and old Pops. “Isn’t life grand, dear?” Mom whispers into dad’s ear as she sweetly kisses his head. Indeed it is, for those who can afford it. Nestled under the steps of a merry go round just meters from the Coney Island boardwalk lives an invisible man. His decrepit figure and hapless fortune has deemed him unseen to society, yet he is just 1 of over 60,000 New Yorkers who hold membership to this impoverished underworld. “It wasn’t …

The World’s Happiest President, José Mujica

It was almost a year ago when former Uruguayan leader José Mujica humbly stepped down and passed the presidential torch to Tabaré Vázquez after 5 faithful years in head of state. As sad as fans across the globe were to see him go, there is no doubt that he had a good run. José “Pepe” Mujica is many things. In the sixties he was a guerilla fighter and one of the leaders in Marxist group Tupamaro, inspired by the Cuban Revolution and opposing Uruguay’s ongoing military dictatorship. Then, he was a prisoner who spent 13 years of his life in solitary confinement, locked away under a well where he would share his crumbs with rats and talk to ants biding time. Mujica was released in 1985 when constitutional democracy was restored in the country and he vowed to change things once and for all. He was the Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries until 2008 and then won the presidential election in 2009. Despite his remarkable story and international fame, above all Mujica is a …

Mirror for the Middle Class: Duane Hanson in Retrospect

Winning over the general public isn’t always a good thing in the art market, where popularity with the middle class frequently translates to poor sales among wealthy patrons and art collectors. So it’s fitting that the late sculptor Duane Hanson’s body of work is seeing a resurgence of interest just as the middle class — the subject of his life’s work — slowly erodes in the face of technological innovation and industrial automation. Brushed aside by the tastemakers of the seventies, Hanson’s startlingly life-like portrayals of average Americans have been called “achingly beautiful” by The Guardian, drawing comparisons to Edward Hopper and other classic realists. Editorial attention tends to play up the time-traveling effect the works have on the viewer. The appeal is part fashion tourism, part self-recognition. While the clothing choices are garish and the moments captured depressingly banal, the imortalization of seemingly meaningless moments is bound to resonate with the selfie generation (or the older generations trapped in it with us). Pieces like “Young Shopper” and “Tourists II” have a certain voyeuristic appeal, …

About Jaden Smith As The New Face Of Louis Vuitton And Gender-Bending Fashion

In a piece of topsy-turvy fashion news, the new face of Louis Vuitton’s womenswear line is not a woman. This turn of events speaks to the legendary designer’s forward-looking fashion sense as much as the androgynous charm of Vuitton’s new model, Jaden Smith. The photographs from iconic fashion photographer Bruce Weber debuted last week on the Instagram account of Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière. The photo shows Smith decked out in an embroided skirt, fringe top, and moto jacket that debuted during Paris Fashion Week. Although gender-bending is nothing new on fashion or pop culture, Ghesquière’s collection is the most recent example of gender-bending fashion design to hit mainstream media attention. Gucci’s F/W 2015 men’s collection featured waifish men appearing beside boyish women, both wearing silhouettes, fabrics, and items of clothing traditionally associated with women’s fashion. Gucci’s new designer Alessandro Michele collection saw men and women alike wearing pussycat bow blouses, midriff jackets, and low-riding, wide-legged trousers. Male and female models alike sported matching make-up, with loose, flowing, unbound hair. This approach is working …