Category Archives: Art

FDA: The Dead Ringer

Shot by @Lifeisart_Films

The night was electric to say the least. The gallery was in a location that felt like a raw atmosphere. One of those lawless anything goes kind of vibes. The wandering of Jays in and out of the exhibit intensified the night even further and set a familiar unpredictable tone I can appreciate.

Shot by @LifeisArt_Fims

The artist that I was teamed up with was Jessica Hill.  Jessica found inspiration in a photograph that was taken during a acknowledgement ceremony. She turned the photo into a elaborate detailed designed fabric. This is Jessica’s Grandma explaining to me the process of creating the fabric utilizing wood carving as a transfer medium after painting (photo above).

Shot by @Lifeisart_films

I still don’t quite understand how she did it but I’m going to link up with her later down the line and collaborate on a video project because this style of art interest me and I really would like to know how it is developed. It was great finally meeting Jessica and her family was real cool and laid back as well. Definitely was pleasure being able to take part in the show having some of work being displayed.

A late but stunning entrance was made by this artist!  I was not expecting to see a lady fully body painted walking through the gallery but the art that was on the wall made much more sense once she walked in front of it. I liked their vibe they brought a real fun Gotham villan type of feel but in a good way.  It seems like the best moments I catch of Shon is when she is pouring her heart out telling people what she goes through making the art work.  I’m assuming this is what she says because im never close enough to actually hear it but it seems to be so passionate. She could be talking about how strawberries taste for all I know though.

Young Shon flexxin and Mother of Shon!
@ablackstateofmind keeping it real with black love as always.

Her collaboration with Miya Bailey came out great. There will be more of that in the video. Check out her work and support her next film/journey For The love of the Black Man:  GHANA 

Miya Bailey Searching
IG @Awake.AF
Cool dude and takes some pretty awesome Landscape shots. His girlfriend is always the life of the party at the shows! Check out his work @jahi._
@jahi._ A great capture of a lighthouse that seems to be abandoned 
Out of everyone I personally invited I was really happy to see  Shanti Gumboooo. Right before this moment I was looking around like … i .. dont . … see… anyone I … told/asked … to … lol then walaaa so thank you Alia and Isislove for showing support I appreciate it.
The Ring Pops were in full effect last night …. Why Im not quite sure.
This guy was realllllly excited about seeing himself become apart of the art. The appreciate was all over his smile and joyous celebration!
Sometimes Peace and Water is all you really need.
Finally caught a shot that i think is okay of @kayashoots … Photographers know how to hide from the camera best. I know I do atleast.. So Im glad I could finally catch a shot of her that doesn’t include the back of her locs!
@byrdeyeviews breaking down the inspiration behind is work or thinking of whats next… who knows.
It would’nt be an art show if it weren’t a 80+ degree room full of dope inspirational art. The heat was real but the air conditioning kept the spot at a tolerable environment.


Allen (Lifeisart_Films) came through and grabbed a few shots as well check those out below!

Shot by @Lifeisart_Films
Shot by @Lifeisart_Films
Jessica Hill Shot by @Lifeisart_Films
Shot by @Lifeisart_Films
Shot by @Lifeisart_Films
Shot by @Lifeisart_Films 

Shout out to Bri.Simpson for making my life so much easier with these prints. I was anti print for the longest but now with the help of Bri  and Allen showing me footage of Wak breaking down the print business I think its time to redirect my focus and put both hands in that market.

@Bri.Simpson x @Lifeisart_Films

All of the artist that were apart of the show can be found with the links below. I will be chopping up the videos and tagging everyone that was captured. It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to being apart of more shows in the future as an alive artist! with the Future Dead fam. 

Artist x Photographer
@keefcross + @omegaruthimagery
@byrdeyeviews + @kayashoots
@soulfulvoyage + @jahi._
@miyabailey + @ablackstateofmind
@goldigold45 + @reeswa
@occasionalsuperstar + @jolinoire
@cfluxsing + @phyllis.iller
@jbarberstudio + @artemusjenkins
@chillyolovesyou + @thunderass_clap
@deltatangomike + @tresfloresss
@eric_nine + @blctxt
@jemireese + @eyefocus

Additional Photography by  @Lifeisart_Films 


God as a Black Woman


“The Creation of Adam” is one of the most famous works of art ever created — and one of the most copied, remixed and parodied. But a Chicago artist’s reimagining of Michelangelo’s masterpiece has ruffled some feathers.

Harmonia Rosales’ new work, “The Creation of God,” riffs on Michelangelo’s portrayal of God’s creation of Earth’s first human, Adam. But her version depicts the deity not as a white-haired white man, but as a black woman, reaching out to touch another, younger black woman.

The painting has garnered more than 7,000 likes since it was posted on Instagram three weeks ago. But as website Blavity reports, certain people on Twitter aren’t happy about it.

Modal Trigger
The original: Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam,” painted circa 1508-1512.Wikipedia

Those critics have decried Rosales’ artwork as a “disgrace,” “disgusting” and “cultural appropriation.”

The uproar over this particular interpretation of “The Creation of God” is odd: Literally thousands of versions of the painting exist, from sincere homages to jokey parodies. “The Simpsons” has spoofed the iconic image at least five times, while “Arrested Development” used the work of art as a hilarious set piece, with its “Adam” clad in cutoff denim shorts. You can even buy a sticker or throw pillow depicting the scene as re-created by 1990s cult cartoon characters Beavis and Butthead.

Plus, “The Creation of God” is part of a long and very serious tradition of artists reinterpreting or remixing classic works of art in order to make a cultural, social or political statement. Andy Warhol combined religious and commercial iconography in his 60 versions of Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Contemporary artist Sherrie Levine questions the idea of authorship by copying artists like photographer Walker Evans and Marcel Duchamp (who himself gave the “Mona Lisa” a mustache in the name of the Dada movement). Painter Kehinde Wiley has reimagined several aggrandizing European portraits — such as one of Napoleon on a horse — by replacing their white protagonists with urban black youths.

So what makes Rosales’ black Goddess so offensive to these detractors? Easy: racism.

Some critics argue that it’s a desecration of an artistic masterpiece — but you’d think such art lovers would have stepped into a museum at some point in their lives and spotted at least one reinterpretation of a classic, from Dali’s mystical “The Sacrament of the Last Supper” to Lichtenstein’s pop version of Van Gogh’s “Bedroom at Arles.”

Hell, even the Vatican — where “The Creation of Adam” adorns the Sistine Chapel — has various examples of this. Do these same people take to Twitter every time they walk into a bar that displays that tacky version of “The Last Supper” with Jim Morrison?

The other big argument is that the painting depicts a religious subject. Yet, since the Garden of Eden was likely somewhere in the Middle East, and Michelangelo’s Adam is an alabaster-skinned European dude, it seems ridiculous to champion his work as the definitive depiction of this Bible story.

Rosales didn’t create her painting as a joke or gag, but as a serious work of art, which — even if you don’t like the result — does show a certain reverence for the material. But it seems like a bunch of people would rather see God depicted as Beavis than as a black woman.

Mayan Ear Flares

Ear flares have been part of human expression and body modification throughout time and across cultures. The flare’s physical purpose was to stretch the skin of the earlobe into an elongated circular shape; depending on each culture’s standards, this modification could meet physical standards of beauty, represent traits of character, or reflect a combination of the two. The material used to make the ear flare also played a large role in the owner’s social prestige. In the Mayan world, an ear flare derived from jade, a mineral more precious than gold to the Mayan people, was a display of wealth and power by the elite of the society. Due to the slow nature of ear stretching, it also was a sign of patience and discipline; children would have their ears pierced at ages four through seven beginning with small flares, and would gain progressively wider ear flares as they went through their life milestones. The ear flare was also seen as a physical extension of the human ear, and a way to further the connection to other subject’s speech and song, acting as a mediator (Hutson, 125). Besides the use of an ear flare to display these traits, there was a much deeper religious meaning associated with jade and the design of the ear flare as a spiritual conductor.

The initial design of the ear flare stems from the nocturnal flower of Ceiba pentandra, the Ceiba tree, believed by the Mayans to be the tree of life ( The flare was not just the rounded piece of jade itself. Typically, a disc would be inserted into the hollowed middle; this held a cylindrical bead with a smaller, rounded bead on its end. Often times, there would be pieces having stranded beads or thread protruding from the front. A bead in the back, acting as a counterweight, was used to keep the intricate and heavy design in the earlobe. As shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2, the flower design was implemented by the round disc of the flare acting as the calyx (outermost collection of sepals), and the bead on the end of the cylindrical bead acting as the pistil (the collective parts from the ovary to the stigma of the flower).

Figure 1

Figure 2

Even more essential to the meaning of the ear flare was its crafting from jade. A mineral harder than steel, a hole would have been demandingly drilled in a jade ear flare using a hollow bird bone filled with a wet abrasive ( The main source of jade came from the Motagua Valley of Guatemala, making it prized and rare to obtain ( The Mayans loved resplendent shades of green (Helferich, 2011), as it represented the color of life; it was the same color as the corn plant, the sacred crop of which they believed themselves to be made of, formed by the mixture of corn flour and the blood of the gods ( A quote used by Karl Taube explains, “Jade is the stone with life that gives life, because it is identified with the sun, water, blood, sacrifice, sustenance.” It was also revered for its beauty and ancient tradition, and as a living material, could connect the living to the dead (Taube, 47). Furthermore, kings were seen as intermediates between the gods and their people ( Quoting the late expert on Mayan epigraphy and iconography Linda Schele, and Mayan archaeologist David Freidel, in his book Stone of Kings: in Search of the Lost Jade of the Maya, author Gerard Helferich explains, “’These kingly jewels assert[ed] the inherent superiority of their wearer within the community of human beings, transforming a person of merely noble rank into a being who can test and control the divine forces of the world.” (Helferich, Chapter three). Mayans had an animistic view of the world, believing that every object, living or inanimate, possessed a spirit. Jade had the qualities of an eternal spirit which was very strong, as it was rare, did not burn, and was very hard ( It makes sense that a Mayan king, seen as a god in the eyes of his people, would want to harness these particular qualities.

Jade was also physically representative of the soft wind which brought rain, and the rejuvenating breath soul (Taube, 23). When cold, jade will condense vapor on its surface (i.e., a person’s breath), and when it becomes hot from the sun, the condensation will evaporate and appear as vapor ( Consequently, this symbolized that jade had the power to retain the soul (breath spirit) of an individual, and the power to release it. Ear flares were the decorative item most connected to this breath and wind symbolism (Taube, 32). The projecting jade bar and bead from this disc of the ear flare was a physical representation of moist breath. This is an important concept, as ear flares were thought to be sources and channels for the passing of the breath spirit, and the aforementioned jade bar and bead symbolized the serpent itself (Taube, 23). The Mayan death phrase och b’ih, meaning “enters the road,” directly refers to the ear flare as a passage way. In iconography, the “och” syllable is represented by a rattlesnake’s tail, and immediately after an ear flare represents the syllable “b’ih.” These both phonetically and literally represent the serpent passing through the road provided by the ear flare (Taube, 39, 40). In Mayan art, when gods are shown coming from the mouth of a serpent passing through an ear flare, it means they are being conjured (Belli, 95). This continues to Late Classic iconography, where serpents are still used to depict the symbol of breath, and can even be found in the Dresden Codex (Taube, 34).

Ear flares were not always worn on the ear or depicted as being in the ear in art. Some of them were very large; for example, the flare I studied weighed 19.22 grams without the additional bar, bead, and counterweight. This may have possibly been too heavy for the delicate, stretched skin of an earlobe. Some ear flares were made specifically for burial and ritual practices, still in representation of breath and wind, and there is no physically possible way they could have been worn. A great of example of this is the Pomona flare of Figure 3, from the small site of Pomona in coastal Belize. It is an incredible piece from the late Preclassic measuring seven inches across, with a hollow hole of three inches in diameter. Additionally, large ear flares could have been added to belts and used as beads for stranded neckwear (

Figure 3

Read the full article at Onetribe.Nu


DEAD RINGER l Bridging the gap between inspiration and recognition.

@jemireese + @eyefocus
Group Exhibition
12 painters + 12 photographers
Saturday 06.03.17 l 7-11pm
100 Broad St SW, Atlanta
Wonder what they’ll produce together? We’ll see, can’t wait.


Cloud House

CLOUD HOUSE is a unique rain harvesting system that creatively reuses the rainwater it collects to provide a deeper look into the natural systems that give us the food we eat. It is a sensory experience that amplifies the connection between our existence and the natural world.


On rainy days, a gutter system collects rain that hits the roof and directs it to a storage tank underneath the house. Sitting in the rocking chairs triggers a pump that brings the collected rainwater up into the ‘cloud’ to drop onto the roof, producing that warm pleasant sound of rain on a tin roof. At the same time, rainwater drops from the tops of the windows onto the edible plants growing in the windowsills.
Designed to collect and store rainwater for the ‘cloud’ to rain, this display of the water cycle illustrates our dependence on the fragile natural systems that grow the food we eat: at points throughout the year when there is low rainfall, the ‘cloud’ will not rain on the roof because it is simply out of water.

CLOUD HOUSE is clad with barn wood and tin reclaimed from a nearby abandoned farm by a group of Amish builders. With rocking chairs on a barn wood floor, the sound of rain on a tin roof, and rain drops bringing the necessary elements for plants growing in the window sills, the look and feel of CLOUD HOUSE are the epitome of a rural farm experience from simpler times and offer a space to reflect on the natural processes of food production.

Located at Springfield, MO’s largest farmers’ market, CLOUD HOUSE is a poetic countterpoint to the busy market, inviting visitors to a meditative space in which they can slow down, enjoy the fresh edible plants, and listen to rain on a tin roof.

“For years, grocery stores have provided food that relies on large agro-conglomerates with unsustainable farming practices, international food distributors, and chemical companies. Many people have demanded that we have another relationship with our food that focuses on personal health, the health of the planet, and supporting local community. Farmer’s markets, like the one at Farmers Park, give the option to know by whom and how our food is made. However, the changing climate has brought a new threat of increased instability to our food systems by creating unpredictable weather patterns, which we are seeing as more drought in some locations and more floods in other locations. This makes it harder and harder to grow food. It is becoming increasingly important that we have a clear understanding of how closely we are tied to ecological systems like the water cycle. CLOUD HOUSE offers a moment to sit in a rocking chair and listen to the rain on the tin roof to reflect upon the fragile dance we are in with nature and our own survival.”

Matt O’Reilly at Green Circle Projects – Developer | Patricia Lea Watts – Project Manager | Jeff Broekhoven – Artistic Advising | Sujin Lim – Cloud Design | Ben Jennings -Structural Engineer | Sue Evans and Kenny Underwood at Elemoose – Cloud Construction | Omar Galal and John Walker at Rain Reserve -Water System | Aaron Sampson at SamCo Construction LLC – Barn Wood Siding and Tin Roof Steve | Wilson at Wilson Creek Rustic Furniture – ootings/Piers | Richard Thompson at CHR Metals – Steel Framing | Bryan Simmons at A Cut Above – Landscaping Jeff Shelton Outdoor Lawn Service, Gravel | Pam Bachus at Picky Sisters, Rocking Chairs and Table | Tim Hawley – Photography

High-Res and Low-Res Images of CLOUD HOUSE:

For More of Matthew Mazzotta’s work —

John Coltrane: An Artistic Spiritual System of Music

Physicist and saxophonist Stephon Alexander has argued in his many public lectures and his book The Jazz of Physics that Albert Einstein and John Coltrane had quite a lot in common. Alexander in particular draws our attention to the so-called “Coltrane circle,” which resembles what any musician will recognize as the “Circle of Fifths,” but incorporates Coltrane’s own innovations. Coltrane gave the drawing to saxophonist and professor Yusef Lateef in 1967, who included it in his seminal text, Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns. Where Lateef, as he writes in his autobiography, sees Coltrane’s music as a “spiritual journey” that “embraced the concerns of a rich tradition of autophysiopsychic music,” Alexander sees “the same geometric principle that motivated Einstein’s” quantum theory.

Neither description seems out of place. Musician and blogger Roel Hollander notes, “Thelonious Monk once said ‘All musicans are subconsciously mathematicians.’ Musicians like John Coltrane though have been very much aware of the mathematics of music and consciously applied it to his works.”

Coltrane was also very much aware of Einstein’s work and liked to talk about it frequently. Musican David Amram remembers the Giant Steps genius telling him he “was trying to do something like that in music.”

Hollander carefully dissects Coltrane’s mathematics in two theory-heavy essays, one generally on Coltrane’s “Music & Geometry” and one specifically on his “Tone Circle.” Coltrane himself had little to say publically about the intensive theoretical work behind his most famous compositions, probably because he’d rather they speak for themselves. He preferred to express himself philosophically and mystically, drawing equally on his fascination with science and with spiritual traditions of all kinds. Coltrane’s poetic way of speaking has left his musical interpreters with a wide variety of ways to look at his Circle, as jazz musician Corey Mwamba discovered when he informally polled several other players on Facebook. Clarinetist Arun Ghosh, for example, saw in Coltrane’s “mathematical principles” a “musical system that connected with The Divine.” It’s a system, he opined, that “feels quite Islamic to me.

Lateef agreed, and there may be few who understood Coltrane’s method better than he did. He studied closely with Coltrane for years, and has been remembered since his death in 2013 as a peer and even a mentor, especially in his ecumenical embrace of theory and music from around the world. Lateef even argued that Coltrane’s late-in-life masterpiece A Love Supreme might have been titled “Allah Supreme” were it not for fear of “political backlash.” Some may find the claim tendentious, but what we see in the wide range of responses to Coltrane’s musical theory, so well encapsulated in the drawing above, is that his recognition, as Lateef writes, of the “structures of music” was as much for him about scientific discovery as it was religious experience. Both for him were intuitive processes that “came into existence,” writes Lateef, “in the mind of the musican through abstraction from experience.”

Source – OpenCulture