//SURVIVING IN AMERICA//
We were expecting a new hipster anthem, and instead we got an eleven-minute meditation on race, the Charleston shootings, and pop culture attitudes towards people of color. Dev Hynes of Blood Orange released a new track this week entitled “Do You See My Skin Through The Flames,” via Soundcloud. He noted in the song description that the track will not be part of Blood Orange’s upcoming album, rather, it’s a way to divulge some things that have been on his mind. The song is synth-y, piano-ridden, and most of all, heartfelt. Check out the track here.
//CONCEAL CLOAKS //
Years after France banned veils, a ruling that very clearly targeted the country’s five million Muslims, Uniqlo has surprised everyone by being the first major company to create a line of fashionable religious headwear and scarves. The line will be sold primarily in Asia, but will be available online throughout the world. Despite the fact that many high fashion designers cover models’ faces and heads during runway shows, very few have broached religious wear. Get it, Uniqlo.
//NOT AFRAID TO MAX IT//
"Bitch Better Have My Money," or BBHMM for those who don't have time to stop stackin' cheddar in order to utter complete words, has been released. The music video features Riri kidnapping and brutalizing a wealthy woman, implicitly killing and/or torturing Mads Mikkelsen, smoking pot, drinking booze, and chillin' out in a leather chest--nude, bloody, and covered in money. And for those whose interest wasn't already piqued by the glut of reptilian-brain-sensor-alert words listed in the previous sentence, it should also be noted that Rihanna herself is naked in this video. Check it here.
//NOT SO BAD BLOOD//
With the recent victory of marriage equality in the United States billowing, Jordan Eagles continues to fight the good fight with his sculpture "Blood Mirror." Until 2014, men who had sex with other men were banned from donating blood. Last year the FDA announced a recommendation allowing these men to do so only after a year of celibacy. The sculpture, consisting of a two-way mirror filled with the blood of queer men, calls for the end of the blood ban. "Blood Mirror" will be on view September 12 through October 18 at the American University Museum’s Katzen Center in Washington, D.C.
//NOSTALGIA IS MY NOURISHMENT//
For those of us whose dad’s didn’t drag them to a Rolling Stones reunion tour in the early aughts, you can now catch the next best thing. Saatchi Gallery in London has announced that it is launching a new exhibition on The Stones, titled Exhibitionism. The huge compilation of over 500 pieces of rare band memorabilia, artwork, and collaborations, will all be arranged within nine thematic galleries covering Saatchi Gallery’s two floors. Watch the band talk about the exhibition here. “Exhibitionism” will open to the public April 6th of next year, but tickets go on sale next week, July 10.
//I'LL TAKE THE HONEYMOON SUITE//
If popping out of a larger-than-life birthday cake while surrounded by rotting shrimp and salami isn't sexy, then we don't know what is. London-based artist Juno Calypso has proven herself capable of creating some extremely steamy scenes indeed: "Imaginary bedrooms in which [she performs] critical studies into modern rites of seduction and beauty" as the artist herself calls them. These visions are a little more perverse than they might immediately appear however; objects including Hannibal Lecter-esque beauty masks and tins of SPAM have taken a turn away from the innovative and nutritious reputations of their heyday to become joyless and oppressive objects in Calypso's series of emotive portraits. Shot in various retro 'love hotels' around America, the works will be on show this weekend as part of a group exhibition following the Artist of the Day 2015 sequence this week at the Flowers Gallery in London.
The Germans, for all their precision, have room for a bit of artistic chaos. For their summer festival, The City is the Star, currently underway in city of Karlsruhe, has given rise to an attention-grabbing new installation by Argentinian Artist Leandro Urlich. Revealed as this year's most notable contribution, the construction site that is home to Urlich's Pulled by the Roots features an entire home teetering, suspended by a crane, over the Karlsruhe marketplace with tree roots protruding from its undersurface. The annual project, curated by ZKM Centre for Art and Media, fosters intrigue around the city centre whereby forgettable sites are brought to life by imposing oversized sculptures, performances and interventions from a bevy of international artists. Needless to say, they've succeeded here. The pieces will remain in place till September 27th.
//SO SIMPLE IT’S COMPLEX//
Guerrilla art usually consists of graffitied walls, but structures befitting 19th century Japan, not so much. On Monday, a teahouse sprang up in the middle of LA’s Griffith Park. The structure was erected overnight, and the following morning housed an invitation-only tea party. Currently, the teahouse has a sign on the front which reads “Starbucks Coming Soon.” We can all dream.
Now that's a rainbow I'd like to taste; Christian Louboutin’s skin colored collection of the iconic red-soled shoes is now available in a wider range of skin tones. Louboutin will offer its Nude Collection in a palette of seven tones, which range from fair to chestnut, in order to take a step forward for racial diversity in the fashion industry. The revamped collection will be available in stores this August.
Conrad Shawcross’ exhibit, Inverted Spires and Descendent Folds utilizes geometric casts of steel and bronze to create a body of work that explores the “four-sided tetrahedron as a tessellating form” and “the dynamic visual potential of harmonics in [Shawcross’] Manifold works.” The sculptural field of geometric figures and negative space evokes a connection between architecture and nature. Shawcross’ body of work will continue to be exhibited at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London throughout the month of July.
//HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR EGGS?//
For a long time, papel dictum has made the business of wrapping one’s lunch meat a contentious affair. It’s therefore not that surprising that Shorewood artist Niki Johnson took to creating a portrait of the notoriously opinionated ex-Pope Benedict using latex as her medium in “Eggs Benedict,” an oeuvre recently acquired by the Milwaukee Art Museum. Inciting a suitably disappointed backlash from the Catholic community, the work will be put on show in the fall when the museum reopens its permanent collection.
//LIFE OF LUCHA//
The portly Jack Black did well to relegate our perception of Lucha Libre to the realm of the ridiculous, but acclaimed portrait photographer Katinka Herber is here to reassert the glory of these real life spandex-laden superheroes. Exploring a more personal side behind the iconic sport/art form that lives on in Mexico, Herber has gone about documenting the men and women behind the mask, or rather their lives outside of the arena, in her coffeetable book SLAM. The photographic prints featured in the tome will be exhibited from July 9-12 at Studio 2, in London.
//A POT OF GOLD//
From playgrounds to film: art collective FriendsWithYou is branching into an entirely new medium. The LA-based duo and ex-Hello Kitty collaborators, Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, are producing a children’s Netflix show entitled True & the Rainbow. The show centers around a female protagonist named True, who works as a fixer in the Rainbow Kingdom. The show, which premiers in 2017, will last for ten 22-minute episodes, and is already slated to have a second season.
Edited by Elaina Ransford and Madeline Saxton-Beer
Contributors include: Matthew Hart, Michael Esguerra, and Alberto Gonzalez