A Day In The Life: Bradley Theodore

In order to get to Bradley Theodore’s Sunday spot, you have to walk passed a set of bouncers checking for Id’s and go up the rugged stairs, into another entrance, on another floor, and passed the small entry way into a rooftop scenery. Hotel Chantelle, NYC’s number one brunch spot, is an exclusive room that is more dense than many Manhattan rooftops; maintaining a side room with a ceiling, a bathroom, several tables carefully placed, and a band interpreting early 20th century entertainment. There are black and white hexagon shaped tiles all the way up to the bar filled with people from all walks of life. Each seat holds a new group of conversation: bouncing off of the graffiti inspired art, trembling trombones, and waiters dressed in mustard yellow and indigo. The very people sitting in the aisles are the same people who are fans of Theodore’s murals and street art; commissioned pieces; outlines, and sketches. Outside, his skeletal mural of fashion giant, Nick Wooster, looks childlike, elegant, and removed from any social mask. The connection between Chantelle’s aesthetic and clientele is the kind of connection most of us have trouble finding throughout our lives.

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Standing behind one of the bar’s tables in the middle of the crowd, Theodore chats with one of the restaurant’s higher ups. He smiles, takes off his shades, and calls my photographer and I over. In this place everyone knows Mr. Theodore by Bradley, and for good reason (the week before he was moon-walking through the rooftop’s aisles.)

Here, photographers, waiters, promoters, and owners acknowledge him as a celebrity and so, subsequently, a table is quickly arranged for us. After suggesting food from the menu, Theodore quickly begins to classify the culture for our interview, a day in a life rather than a Q&A; and the mess of his spontaneous, but planned up rise in the vast world of art – an industry that usually shuns most African Americans. Few artists succeed in the way Theodore has, who takes trips around the world to showcase his work. He has stories to tell of almost every country worth visiting – who he saw, and how he felt. The artist will reflect those records on gallery walls in France in just a few months. As one can tell by the speed at which Theodore works, the art is more than just a way of making a living; its a survival in itself.

Each time we meet for conversation, a fan or employee breaks us off again, however, Theodore remains warm and inviting. He is so seasoned as a communicator that strangers talk to him in the street, waiters and hostesses in restaurants want to do things for him.

Theodore and his family, coming from the Caribbean, says that some of his first memories in America are traumatic ones in the ghettos of Miami. His art is made by a soul, whose determined to support his family, and make a name for himself in the city he fell in love with at 17. When Theodore explains the true sign of transcendence as the ability to communicate with any and everyone – I am tempted for a moment to ask if he is putting on a front for me, but I don’t want to blur or complicate the image of him.

“NYC is the greatest drug in the world, once you go there, you can’t go back.”

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Eventually, there came a moment in time when two FIT graduates entered the conversation, and, by the times end, both Theodore and I were on each side preaching the concept of fighting on for the dreams you believe in. If that wasn’t enough – Theodore’s magnetism lured in another loyal fan – this time an advertisement graphic designer torn by the pulls of doing what drew in the money and what ideas he actually believed in. This is when Theodore said: “Look, do this… you work for a year straight. You sacrifice. You save, you build, You lose friends if you have to, but in the end, you work and save. And when that year is done, you invest in what you believe in.” This is when I realized how wise this artist was.

As a 24 year old who grew up in the middle of America’s anime influx with shows like Dragon Ball Z, the concept of preserving oneself, in order to build oneself up was a thought and process I held an affinity for. As time went on, in that small corner on a NYC rooftop, surrounded by four mesmerized fans, where no one knew each other for more than 20 minutes, the only common denominator here was the need for more. A terrifying hunger for livelier lives drawn by the hand of our creative side; and a few glasses of champagne. If I’ve learned anything in life, its that what brings people together most, is when they have something in common to complain about. This table, however, was not centered on the complaint, but rather the solution, and Theodore was, and continues to be, the center of that conversation – especially for NYC artists in the downtown LES area.

If you walk down Ludlow, a hot spot for NYC night life, you can see Theodore’s work everywhere. He has been compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat as a black artist and for his unmistakable style maintained on the district’s walls. As proven, Theodore’s work not only draws attention, but also revenue.

“One of my friends owned a restaurant, and was like, you know what, just go ahead. Paint the walls. Next thing I know, about a week after I complete the work – he calls me and says – yo, people actually stop and take pictures of this thing. I was like, ‘I know.’ He had no idea.”


IMG_0052Theodore’s story is exactly that – a style, stripped, hallowed, evaluated, terminated of materialism, and shining through only essence. And yet, Bradley in no way hides the fact that he has seen traumatic experiences in the ghettos of America and that it wasn’t until that year of starving and saving that he got to travel the world and broaden his horizons. Overall, The paradox of Theodore, and his art, is mostly in preserving street genetics with that of his adopted aristocratic lifestyle.

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A metaphor that came from Theodore’s wisdom-filled moments came in an analogy when speaking on America’s tendency to exclude the immigrant, but bank off  their culture, mass produce their innovations, and exploit their creations in their inability to do so because of limited resources.

“Its like this,” he went “if a man on an island has coconuts growing in his backyard, I may go to him and say, let me buy some coconuts off of you – you’re not doing anything with it. Then, if that works, I’ll come back and buy more, and, eventually, if he does nothing,  I’ll take the land… That’s what America has done with the culture of the immigrant in this country.”

I could not help but associate this analogy with that of cultural appropriation, where one’s culture – style of dress, language, dance, and art can be taken in the blink of an eye and sold for profit in elite markets, whereas those responsible for the culture cannot, due in part to limited resources and limited education. If those people lacking resources and education knew the worth of his land (style of dress, language, dance, and art) and the capabilities of its potential, then he too, would be a millionaire. However, he does not. And this is the point that I believe Bradley was making. It was not until he traveled the world, exposed himself to new people, lands, and cultures, that he realized how his world and thinking had been so limited.

There was an abundance of tequila shots served as the night proceeded, and more stories to go around.

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The story for his Karl Lagerfeld painting goes: he was in Paris when he approached the entrance to an exclusive party. After being denied at the door, profiled as a black man, and threatened to be forced out – he made some phone calls, where he soon found himself in the cluttered party where he saw Lagerfeld, bopping his body and his head, at his age, to the contemporary music in a corner. From that day on, though it did not happen until months later, he knew he would paint the fashion icon. Interesting enough, I  heard Theodore tell the story on two occasions to two different people, the same way, having the same effects. I was quickly realizing the kind of guy Theodore was – an entertainer always. Surrounded by aristocrats on a NYC rooftop, where a New Jersey resident, like myself, could only dream of being accepted, let alone feel welcomed – was a peak into the world of a painter on the cusp of international recognition. The following day after our time together, Theodore would work on a very important corporation’s commission – Moe’t.

His paintings of fashion icons, remind us that beneath every $5000 suit is a man with bones and insecurities, like anyone else; and that if you looked long enough, you could see the same bones of greatness in oneself.

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Bradley’s work is the culmination of a generation’s infatuation with celebrities and its dying need to maintain it’s individualism. His work tethers that middle ground of comfort and misery, new and old, comfort and distress; measuring the balance of a world unknown to immigrants and minorities, while maintaining its identity in sharing its culture.

Behind the hair, the glasses, and the pants with the paint still on them, was another human from a disturbed past, suppressed into the image he gives the world today. The most beautiful thing in the process is that Theodore may just as well be one of the greatest acting painters I have met; however, whether right or wrong about that presumption, one thing is clear – he gives all of himself in his paintings, and when you walk away from a street corner with a Bradley Theodore’s, you just walked away with a part of the man they call the next Basquiat, the guy Chantelle’s calls Brad, while others, whom I’ve met, call idol.

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Hurtjohn

Photo Credit:

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Bradley Theodores IG Page

Light Bodies 2 (NYC) Art, Health, Meditation Movement

 High on a rooftop – models, hipsters, and artists lined up outside the DL hoping to get a chance into the hottest event in NYC.

 

 

It was the second installment of Light Bodies two Art Health Meditation Movement – a night dedicated to transcendence – this time in conjunction with Collage NYC, a weekly hotspot for collaborating artists in the NYC circuit. Led by brainchild  EyeOccupyNYC, artists from all over came together to unite, perform, and network.

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Black cushioned seats surrounded the back area while the cities sky scrapers overlooked the busy Delancey traffic underneath the matching heavy pacing of the room. Overlooking the space was a transparent rooftop with assorted branches and neon light bulbs above an 8 piece screen projecting the nights theme: Amy Winehouse – in the way we’d like to remember her – entertaining thousands of fans, alive and well.

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Artists of all kinds united, and painted alongside the exterior of the DL’s rooftop under dimly  lit light bulbs to compensate for the rooms party atmosphere. With a crowd combining models, emerging artists, and NYC bystanders looking for a peak into the scene, Light Bodies 2 fulfilled and pulled through in attendance; following up a successful launch event spearheaded by artist EyeOcuppyNYC. The artist, model, and cultural leader debut two mixed media pieces.

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Quiana Parks contributed her dj’ing talents to the night alongside sponsors: Radha Beauty, live Your Life Gear, Hurtjohn,  Reebok, Yoga Works Soho, Dj for A Cure, and Season Whishpers. The nights important participants were highlighted by the nights floor as  they adorned newly and unreleased Reebok’s throughout the night, marking the floor with vibrant life, like the cool kids in the cafeteria, thanks to EyeOccupyNYC and Reebok.

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Artist Hurtjohn hosted and opened the night’s showcase alongside artists Kamsie and Bridgette Perez seguing into the closing statements made by collaborating directors Mini People and El Savior. Other artists involved were Tyler Gold Flower, Rebekah Letch, and Joshua Peters

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Photo credit: Shawnsolophotography

Overall it was a great night.

A Dialogue With Artist Rong English

Traveling to Ron English’s home and studio in Beacon, NY is a lot like going to see the Michael Jackson of Art in his natural element.
Ron English’s art, though colorful, and full of life, like the King of Pop himself, does not detail his everyday life. The same way Jackson was privileged to carry fans of a depleting Motown generation, English experienced the tail end of the Warhol era, which helped him gain the momentum necessary to become a world-renown figure. Unlike Jackson’s fans, however, Ron’s have accepted the transcendence of his work later in life, from political commentary to pop-surrealism. From the well-to-do aristocrat to the cultured hipster, and from Bangkok to New York City, Ron has left his mark on the hearts and minds of the masses.
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English’s home is an oasis of art – a hub for all the great and quirky art pieces we associate with his career. Rainbow colored deer peek from behind weeds on his lawn, while eye catching, brightly colored sun chairs lay out on the deck. A Teletubby or two surround the living room and plenty of Marilyn Monroe’s with Mickey Mouse headed titties sit atop tall glass cases overlooking his sanctuary.

 

And when it comes to art, English has done it all. He’s travelled the world, worked on vinyl toys with guitar legend Slash — partnered with Chris Brown on the infamous Fame album cover, and is currently taking his turn on the legendary Houston Bowery Wall, where the Greats like Keith Haring have painted before him, with his “Temper Tot” mural capturing the attention of all who pass.

 

His books such as Status Factory show his collection of works commenting on the establishment, poking fun at religion, consumerism, and blind obedience to popular culture. Among his work one will see reinterpretations of familiar characters like Ronald McDonald, otherwise known as MC Super Sized (as seen on the cover of Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me documentary) Mickey Mouse, three-eyed rabbits, the Flintstones amid prehistoric Cold Wars, grinning skulls, and much more.

 

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From humble Texas beginnings, English has gone on to experience differences in culture throughout the world and as a result, has become enlightened on the issues seen within media outlets — the inconsistencies and one sidedness that most news sources partake in. In speaking to Ron, it was clear that art may be the only true middle ground – with dialog free from censorship.

 

After failing art history three times, English began recreating the Masters’works in order channel their insights, eventually putting his own twists on the works of Pablo Picasso and Leonardo Davinci. This became his process. “Picasso danced when he felt a groove,” English mimicked the movements of a child as he channeled the essence of the artist. And with a childlike sparkle in his eye, it was clear that in due time, if not already, artists would soon look to Ron English to find their own process

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Our conversation at his home and studio was less of an interview, and more of two artists discussing the ins and outs of the industry. From politics to the power of the artist to some of the industry’s giants like Andy Warhol.  “He was a fan boy,” said English. “Warhol was an obsessed student of celebrities who eventually went on to rule the very world he obsessed over as a boy. He was an image and a master at monetizing his gifts.”
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What was it like working with Chris Brown?

 

Chris Brown was the first real famous young person I ever hung out with. Iknow older people at that level, like Slash but I’ve never seen people treat him weirdly. He was at my opening and people were like “Hey Slash, what’s up?” but they really didn’t lose it or anything. I guess his fans are older, more reserved you know? With Chris, it was like block after block after block of kids had lined up to get their toys signed– mostly girls. About thirty fans at a time were brought into Toy Tokyo where we were signing, so when they were let into the room where Chris and I were, they got their first glimpse of Chris. As they got closer in line they seemed to be getting more nervous. By the time their turn came up they were hyperventilating, and when they got to Chris they passed out, like one after another. I mean they didn’t even meet Chris, they just fainted and Chris’ crew caught them and took them outside.  It must be really weird for people to react to you that way.

 

Do you follow politics?

 

Yeah – do you mean like for entertainment,  like Donald Trump running?

 

Do you think the people will vote for Trump?

 

I think the thing with him is that people know he inherited his wealth. He’s just a privileged guy who made a second fortune. Being able to game the system doesn’t make you a great leader. Different skill set. I think the appeal with Obama was that he wasn’t from upper class and that he made his way up for a large part on his own volition. He was into the idea of community, he knew what people were really up against.  There are problems that the elites are just not conscious of. Because they’re not exposed to it. Its just something on paper. There is no emotion or connectedness to that problem.The population is just something to exploit.

 

When you were making those billboards, did you feel they were important? Did you feel that it was your political voice?

 

Not at first. At first  I just wanted to do it. I thought if everyone dissipated from the planet, I would still paint billboards. I just loved painting big, it was like freedom. Later when I went to graduate school, my roommates were all political activists. They knew I was taking over all these billboards with my art which they thought was pretty cool, but they also thought there should be some higher purpose. Some of them were in Earth First so I added their agenda to my billboards. It was a powerful thing. I didn’t feel like a criminal anymore. I felt like the opposite of a criminal.

 

I think what you did was extremely important for opening people’s eyes to advertising and how it influences their lives, interests, and concerns. What purpose does art serve to you?

 

Art is very cathartic. But the part that people don’t play around with is what do you do with the art? And where do you put the art , how does the art get used? I suppose you either go into advertising or you make art for galleries. Product. But you know art can be a lot more than that. When I was in college I would stay up all night painting with these three artists. They were as obsessed with art as much as me. So I put one of the artists in a show, and the paintings, they’re these primitive paintings of these horrifying scenes, these women being split up the side and these weird babies coming out of them. People were mortified. They wanted this misogynistic asshole tossed out of the show. I explained that the artist was actually a woman who was a nurse who dealt with births gone terribly wrong, you know, like the baby is born without a ribcage. These paintings were probably her therapy. Then people liked them. They thought they were important, and they were because they were cathartic for her and for others. Art also works pretty well for selling products.

 

People buy the artist and not the art.

 

If I showed you a painting you might think it’s pretty cool. You’d probably think that same painting was a great if  I told you Picasso painted it. If you buy stock in a company the actual certificate probably looks about the same as a stock share from another company. But the value isn’t measured by the esthetic appeal of that piece of paper, it’s connected to the importance of the larger organization. A work of art may have a certain visual appeal independent of the historic importance of the artist but the monetary value is more associated with the stature of the artist. Collectors really are buying stock in the artist, the certificate just happens to look better on the wall.

 

What can people take away from the work of Ron English?

 

I think artists have a lot of power. And I don’t think they realize how much power they have. If you look at a lot of other countries, like in Iran, that one artist Farghadani, she received a twelve year sentence for making fun of the Parliament in Iran. Why would they punish her so harshly unless there was  power in her work? I’m not saying that artists are obligated to be political,but if they should choose to use their talents in that way, well, more power to them.

 

What made you choose Billboard locations?

 

When I was putting art on billboards, you know, when I was using billboards to showcase my art — I went to poor neighborhoods — where I thought art wasn’t a part of their life. Like my neighborhood where there was barely any art, I would go to those kind of places — but then when my art got more political — I went to the most visible billboards.

 

What do you believe were the contributions of having your art in those areas that did not have them before?

 

Art makes you smarter.

 

How so?

 

It just does.

 

Even when they first came out with computers, they were trying to find people who were capable of working with the new technology, and because it was such a new thing, people could not yet intuitively figure it out, because they had a regimented way of approaching everything; But when they tried recruiting artists they discover the artists adapted very well.  They are more intuitive.

 

The first test I ever got in art school was this puzzle: ok, you’re in this room — with all concrete and no doors or windows — and there’s a lead pipesticking up 20 inches out of the concrete in the middle of the room. A ping pong ball that just barely fits into the pipe has been put into the pipe and has slid down to the bottom. Your task is to remove that ping pong ball. You are given four items to assist you: a box of corn flakes, a hammer, a box knife and a magnifying glass. How do you remove the ball? All the art students are coming up with scenarios, you know, maybe you cut the box holding the cereal, flatten it, then curl it and jam it into the pipe? No matter what they come up with the teacher says no, won’t work. Then he looks at me, “you’re not saying anything Ron, how would you solve the problem?” I said, “I would use the box knife to slit my wrists and let my blood fill the pipe. The ball would float out.” Then everyone got quiet and stared at me. I was wishing I’d never opened my mouth. Then the teacher said, “wow, that would work. The answer was that you urinate into the pipe, but that would work too.” The point of the test was that the only way to solve the problem was by doing something a person would be uncomfortable proposing to a group, or an idea you would be too self-conscious to have in the first place. So if you’re going to be an artist, you can’t  have restrictions on your thought process. You’re going to have to be a free thinker.

 

As such a free thinker, how do you think the artists will use the internet for their own creations in asking why?

 

Well, I think if we don’t pay attention — and fight for the internet — the internet won’t be anything more than a corporate tool. But I think if we fight for the internet, it will be the greatest form of democracy the world has ever known. Its a leveler. It gives everybody a fair chance. And when something is that powerful, people tend to want to own it, and chop it up. And when something is that powerful, people, and their companies, tend to want to own it all….

 

The way things tend to work, like with giving permits for billboards, you know, originally the deal with the billboard companies was that 15 percent of them needed to be public service announcements. If we are going to let you put these eyesores up, then you need to give something back. So at first the billboard companies complied, you know, 15 percent of billboards were PSAs. Then they start putting the PSAs in obscure places, low traffic areas. Later they pretty much dropped the idea. Nobody remembers. Like the public airways, companies think they own them. They don’t. They’re a public trust. I mean you can’t just have one self-serving corporation dominating our collective forum.

 

You think that’s happening right now?

 

Yes, the rules against media consolidation were relaxed in the 1990’s, the telecommunications act, and more so in the passing years. So a media company is probably going to share a political agenda with their partners in government, the republicans, who got the laws fixed for them. So if you want to rent a billboard to express some more liberal idea, well, they aren’t going for that. I mean it’s not censorship because it’s not the government, it’s a private company that happens to own all the billboards. So I constantly try to do things the right way, but if I get a no, “no that is not going on one of our billboards for any amount of money” well then, good, I’ll give it to you for free. I’m just going to do it. They know that but they don’t come after me. I mean I’m not Banksy you know, I’m in the phone book. It’s not in their interest. Do they really need to put a spotlight on the fact that they control the content on their media outlets in service of a narrow political agenda?

 

What outlets do you go to get your information?

 

Fox News when I want to get up to speed on the current ”fauxlosopy”. Outside of that books are great. Long form articles, real people, real places, real life.

 

Hurtjohn

 

Hold Them Back And They Come Stronger: The Truth Of The Puerto Rican Day Parade

The Puerto Rican day parade is an act of patriotism, honor and symbol for Puerto Rican pride, but it wasn’t always an act of diplomacy and neither was it always legal.

In the book entitled War Against Puerto Ricans Revolution and Terror in Americas Colony, author Nelson Denis tells the inception of America’s largest public event, The Puerto Rican Day Parade and explains how the Puerto Rican flag was once an entry way to jail.

In order to suppress Pedro Albizu Campos and the Nationalist movement in Puerto Rico, a law was passed in Puerto Rico. It was called Public Law 53, also known as the Gag Law and La Ley de la Mordaza. This law made it a felony to utter a word, sing a song, whistle a tune, or say anything against the US government, or in favor of Puerto Rican independence. This included singing La Borinqueña, or owning a Puerto Rican flag.”

Anyone who dared to disobey the law was sentenced to ten years in jail. Public Law 53 was passed in 1948. Even though it violated the US constitution, it took nine years to repeal it in 1957. The next year, the first Puerto Rican Day Parade was held in New York City, according to Denis. holding back the Puerto rican pride was actually the reason for its cultural symbolism and honor which all Puerto Ricans unknowingly hold for the poled ideal. It was a symbol of freedom and the closest thing to rebellion without finding oneself in jail.

To most Americans today this unspoken piece of history goes against the parades 90,000 marchers, 2 million spectators and a horde of corporate sponsors. Today however, the very success of the parade as Nelson shows is because of a time when it was illegal to be proud.

Denis notes, “The flags and celebration were everywhere. The passion was astonishing. New York had never seen anything like it.”

And as proven in this year’s annual Puerto Rican Day parade…this still stands true today.

– Hurtjohn

Source Latino | Interview With ‘Shadowshaper’ Author, Daniel José Older

Latino author Daniel José Older explains how his fiction stories are politically, culturally, and socially relevant to our word today.   Continue reading Source Latino | Interview With ‘Shadowshaper’ Author, Daniel José Older

Light Bodys Health Movement with India (EyeOccupy)

We sat down with model and artist India at The Light Body Movement

 

It was a tense New York City evening in June. Voices of scattered priorities, fumbled conversations of after work politics, basketball predictions, and more filled the hectic city streets. However, despite the hustle and bustle, there was one place of tranquility that could ease the mind. Located near Times Square at 13 W 38th St.,The Light Body’s Health Movement – a pop up event fusing two art expressions: painting and yoga, celebrated an enterprising model’s life and vision.
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Passed the glass doors of Bene Rialto and up two flights of stairs came music from DJ Quiana Parks; DJ, cancer survivor, and creator of DJ For A Cure, an organization bringing together the art of DJ’ing in order to raise proceeds for finding a cure for cancer patients- a portion of the nights proceeds would be donated. Two more flights of stairs, and the artist herself awaited her honorary guests.
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India is an interesting person. She is a model, an artist, and the epitome of the New York City dream – a child with big ideas journeying to unfamiliar territory; reinventing herself in the process while never losing her childlike curiosity. India – the culmination of Grace Jones and Betsey Johnson – knows exactly what she wants. Minutes before show time, she conducts a symphony of art curators, headed by Mini People, New York City socialite and former manager of MMG’s, Stalley. Her stylist, Farruchii, hangs behind in Prada ensuring her outfit remains intact.
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India, painting under the moniker, Eyeoccupy, created a series reflecting her personality: bright, bold, and straight forward. Using different mediums, such as: oil, crayons, magazine pictures, and graphic design, made the climate of the room feel fresh, innovative, and clean, just like the sponsors of the event: Boxed Water and Reebok.
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At 8:30, the crowd was instructed onto the second floor where music by Quiana Parks was now replaced by Celeste and Newesha, two Yoga instructors part of the collective PopUpYogaNYC. After an introduction, the room was instructed to sit on the ground where, surprisingly, the room deflated down to the ground like a tumbling avalanche of energy. The room was instructed to close their eyes and so they did; when it was over, the room was hazy, and light; beautiful and serene; dizzy but conscious; just like the overall night.
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All in all Light Bodies was organized, well received, and inviting. It was a transcending experience in a health driven environment, using the arts and yoga to tell one woman’s story.
1) The Source: Where are you from? At what age did you come to NYC?
India: I was born upstate. Lived in my grandparent’s farm for a bit then moved to the DMV. I’ve been in NYC for a while now, since I was 19.
2) The Source: How did you get into the modeling industry?
India: The modeling industry… came to me. When my mom would push me to model… I rejected it… many people… would tell me the same thing, so I left basketball and started to walk runway and take pictures. Then I started getting paid for it.
3) The Source: How does modeling and the art world correlate, and how do they differ?
Fashion and art go hand in hand. Fashion is art. Art is fashion. They live together. They are best friends. But fashion is that friend that sometimes gets on your nerves and talks too much.
4) The Source:  How did you come to choose Bene Rialto as the location for your event?
India: Bene Rialto is a community of up and coming artists and they always have open arms to talent. I am very thankful for the space.
5) The Source: You mentioned you sometimes can be a prophet – what is one prophecy you saw come true?
India: Well, often I dream about the end times… things just getting out of control in this world. One reason why I’m vegan and meditate is to stay conscious. Often I just see manipulation through media and brain washing through food and water… simple pleasures turning ordeal. I want to be the change, I want to see in the world… facts.
6) The Source: As a model, is art a source of letting others see your soul opposed to just aesthetic?
India: Yes. Often I am judged or misrepresented because of my looks. But I’m not only a hanger, I am a light body. A model without chains or limitations. I want the world to see my soul, but it’s cool that I have a face people can get comfortable with to let me in… the real organic me.
7) The Source: Your outfit for the night was pretty legendary, who were your designers? 
 My outfit  was from a wonderful designer from Paris (@letsgetflash) … Styled by the amazing Farruchii (@eatwatyoukill)
8) The Source: What I got from Light Body’s was – this was a world you created as a reflection of your lifestyle – how much of this is so – whats a day in the life of India like?
My life can be pretty hectic. My days are never the same, except keeping the goal the same: get higher… and higher and higher – and not on drugs, but on life. With all the hustle and bustle in NYC, one must mediate and I do so through yoga (vinyasa/ hot yoga) and self reflection. Without this, I would be very unfocused and uncentered.
9) The Source: How has art actualized the India we see today?
Art is recording my life. Press play!
10) The Source: In your down time, how do you pass time?
I love to play with my kitten. Yoga of course. Friends and food is fav. Traveling. Loving. Helping others. Did I say eating already?
11) The Source: What did you learn about yourself when completing this series of art pieces? How much time do you dedicate to your art work?
I’ve learned that you should expect the unexpected. At first I was going to gear my art more towards the wellness and yogi aspect, drawing gurus in praying stance and lotus flowers, but I wanted to also capture what you need meditation from and depict a darker center as well. Light is nothing without darkness. Not saying my pieces are dark, but they aren’t landscapes.
12) The Source: What’s a piece of advice you would give others wanting to enter this sphere?
Confidence is key. Do you boo! *flicks wrist*
13) The Source: What were the names of those involved with meditation/yoga practice?
India: PopUpYogaNYC, Newesha (@rockinyogi), Celeste (@thenaughtyyogini)
14) The Source: What can we expect in the future? What are your future goals?
India: Dropping more t shirts on the website… European/British tour this August with graffiti and pop up shop… Also SXSW this Feb. Keep watch!

 – Hurtjohn

photo credit: Vicky Good

India’s stylist: Farruchii & Miranda

 

Massive rally planned at Valdosta State University over flag trampling

All classes have been canceled for Friday at Valdosta State University, in anticipation of large crowds at a rally to support the American flag.

It’s a response to an incident one week earlier when veteran, Michelle Manhart, disrupted a group of students who were walking on an American flag during a protest. In the video below Manhart was seen on video taking the flag from protestors and refusing to return it. Manhart was eventually detained by university police and given a warning. She was then banned from the campus.

Since the initial demonstration school alumni, parents of future students, and financial supporters have threatened to withdraw support for the universities support of the protest.

 

In the video below we can see more details of that initial protest

 

Cuba to Be Removed From Terrorist List

After decades of hostility, The White House announced on Tuesday that President Obama intends to remove Cuba from the American government’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism. Continue reading Cuba to Be Removed From Terrorist List

U.S. Poll Says Cubans Want Better Relations With America

Separated by 90 miles of water, waves of distrust, and a history of political warfare, it seems there is change on the horizon between U.S. and Cuban relations. Continue reading U.S. Poll Says Cubans Want Better Relations With America