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May Spotlight: Zac Posen

May Spotlight: Zac Posen

May 14 / 18

Hello and good afternoon…Monday is here and that means it’s a new week. This week will be plenty busy, plenty busy. First up, designer Zac Posen is this month’s Shadow Spotlight.

This name should be familiar. Posen has been around for a decade and continues to work his craft through sheer determination. I remember when he first stepped into the fashion spotlight. From Noami Campbell, Claire Danes, Natalie Portman, and many more, who wore his creations, Posen has created quite a portfolio.

You could say that designing clothes was in his DNA. He interned with Nicole Miller while he was a sophomore, at 16 he enrolled in a pre-college program at Parsons The New School of Design. After graduating from Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, Posen was mentored by curator Richard Martin at The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for three years. By 18, he was accepted into  London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design at the University of the Arts London for their womenswear degree program. By 2000, Zac’s work caught the attention of fashion insiders when he created a dress for Naomi Campbell. The rest is fashion history. Here is Zac talking about his documentary film, “House of Z“.

 

Here is the trailer for House of Z…

You can now see it on Netflix. I loved it. So much so that I’ve watched it twice. I might just watch it again! The film not only shows how he rose and fell but throughout the process, Zac has maintained his commitment to his work. He didn’t quite fall, but just got caught up in the overwhelming pressures of what a designer goes through. Zac got back and brushed himself up. He continues to make great and incredible designs. Doesn’t matter what career you have, but one thing I learned from this is that no matter where we go, we all stumble, but we get up and keep going no matter what life throws at us.

Again check the documentary film on Netflix.

 

Image source: College Fashion
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Shadow Spotlight: Lion Babe

Shadow Spotlight: Lion Babe

April 16 / 18

Hello! I wasn’t sure who I wanted to shine the spotlight on, but I lightning bolt hit my brain: Lion Babe.

Lion Babe is an alternative r&b/neo-soul group from New York City. The duo comprises of Jillian Hervey, daughter of actress, singer and former Miss America Vanessa Williams and Lucas Goodman.

The duo met through a mutual friend at a party, after that, they didn’t stay connected. That changed when they followed each other on MySpace. Hervey moved to New York to attend New York College. She was doing a dance piece for the school and that’s when she contacted Goodman. Hervey was in school to take up dance, but she wanted to be a singer, Goodman encouraged her to do so. Soon the duo became Lion Babe, due to the fact that Goodman is a Leo and Hervey’s big hairstyle.

In December 2012, they released “Treat Me Like Fire“. In 2013 they were the opening act for Childish Gambino at the SXSW Festival. He would later be featured on their second single, “Jump Hi“. After the festival, the duo got a US record deal with Interscope and a UK deal with Polydor. After their single “Jump Hi” was released from their self-titled debut extended play which was digitally released on December 15, 2014. The album received positive reviews. The duo was featured on Disclosure‘s single “Hourglass” in 2015. The same year the group began recording their debut album, Begin, which was released on February 5, 2016. The songs released on the album, “Treat Me Like Fire”, “Jump Hi” featuring Childish Gambino, “Wonder Woman”, “Impossible” and “Where Do We Go”.

By 2017, they released non-album songs such as “Endless Summer”, “She’s a Lady”, and “Rockets” featuring Moe Moks. Just recently, the duo released their new single, “Honeydew”. With their infectious beats, Ms. Hervey’s vocals, reminiscent of Erykah Badu, and performance, it’s no wonder that this group is flying high.

Now they have just performed at this years Coachella, I have a feeling Lion Babe will be around for a good long while.

You find them on iTunes, Spotify, and probably Soundcloud. Enjoy your Monday, be blessed!

 

 

Image source: Rolling Stone

 

Shadow Spotlight: Women Filmmakers

Shadow Spotlight: Women Filmmakers

March 20 / 18

Hey! The weekend came and went by. Time to start a new week and this week is pretty busy. I’m continuing with women who are making creativity in every art form since this is Women’s History Month. Today’s Spotlight focuses on women in the film industry. With these directors, screenwriters, and producers like Patty Jenkins, Ava DuVernay, and newcomers like Reed Morano, Hollywood is trying to make room for women behind the camera.

Ava DuVernay – 

This Long Beach, California native is already having a great year for 2018. She started in film publicity, by 2006, DuVernay directed a short film, Saturday Night Life. A few years later she directed documentaries like This is the Life (2008) and My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women in Hip Hop (2010). In 2010, DuVernay made her debut not only as a director but also a screenwriter for I Will FollowIt was this film that people started to take notice.

In 2012, her second feature film, Middle of Nowhere, the film earned her a Sundance Film Award for director, making her the first African-American woman to do so. From then on DuVernay directed films such as Selma (2014), which she rewrote the script, and she became the first African-American woman to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director for the historical drama, the documentary 13th, and the recently released fantasy film, A Wrinkle in Time. DuVernay is now tapped to direct DC’s New Gods. She’s also the creator, executive producer, and director of the television series, Queen Sugar. Yes, Ms. DuVernay is making big waves!

 

 

 

 

Patty Jenkins –

If you don’t recognize this lady here, you really must be living under a rock. Jenkins received her undergraduate degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1993 and in 2000 she attended the American Film Insitute’s AFI Conservatory for her masters in directing. She made the 2001 short film, Velocity Rules. In 2003, Jenkins directed Monster, about the serial killer and former prostitute Aileen Wuornos. Jenkins won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for Monster, received the Franklin J. Schaffner medal from the American Film Institute and an Emmy nomination for her work in The Killing. She spent the next several years directing television episodes of Arrested Development, Entourage, and The Killing. She was supposed to direct the second Thor film, but due to creative differences, the deal fell through. In 2015, Jenkins signed on to direct Wonder Woman, which was released in June 2017, giving the film the biggest domestic opening of all-time for a female director. She’s now ready to direct Wonder Woman 2 and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for our Amazonian hero.

 

 

 

Sofia Coppola – 

You should be familiar with the last name. Her father is none other than Francis Ford Coppola, director of such films as The Godfather trilogies, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and The Outsiders. Sophia starting acting when she was a baby. Her first role was in The Godfather as baby Michael Francis Rizzi. Coppola has appeared in The Outsiders and Peggy Sue Got Married, but it was her performance in The Godfather III that drew harsh criticism.

Afterward, Coppola has followed in the footsteps of her father to direct, write, and produce films such as The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, Marie Antionette, and The Bling Ring. Coppola’s efforts paid off with nominations for an Academy Award, BAFTA, and several others. She did win Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation. She made history to become the first American and youngest woman with her nomination for Best Director. She was the second woman (and first American) to win Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for The Beguiled. It was reported that Coppola will be making her debut as an opera director. She has built a successful path but on her own terms.

Kathryn Bigelow-

She has been around the Hollywood radar for a long time. Bigelow acted in a few films during the 1980s like Born in Flames, modeled for an advertisement for Gap. This California native is no stranger to working not only behind the camera but also writing and producing. With films such as Near Dark, Blue Steel, and Point Break, Bigelow is pretty much a veteran Hollywood insider. It was the 2008 film The Hurt Locker that catapulted Bigelow’s career into high gear. The film won numerous awards. Bigelow earned a Golden Globe nomination, a British Academy Film Awards for Best Director, became the first woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Director, making her the fourth woman in history to be nominated for the award, and only the second woman.

The same goes for Zero Dark Thirty (2012). Bigelow won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director for the film, which she won twice, which makes her the first woman to reach that feat. She was also the first woman to win the National Board of Review Award for Best Director for Zero Dark Thirty. Bigelow’s next film was Detroit, which was set during riots of Detroit in 1967. Bigelow shows no signs of slowing down, she still has some more stories to tell.

 

 

Stella Meghie –

A newbie to the film industry, but Canadian Stella Meghie will soon be a name you won’t forget. Meghie started as a public relations in the fashion industry in New York City. She received her degree in screenwriting. In 2016, her debut film Jean of the Jones premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, which received Two Canadian Screen Award nominations, one was Best Original Screenplay. In 2017, she directed romantic drama Everything, Everything, which was an adaptation of the novel Everything, Everything. Hope to see more of Meghie in the future.

 

 

Reed Morano –

Morano is master behind the camera not only as a director, but a skilled cinematographer to boot. She is a graduate of  Tisch School of the Arts. Her cinematography in television and film work includes Off the Grid: Life on the Messa, Frozen River, Kill Your Darlings, an episode of Halt and Catch Fire, and The Handmaid’s Tale, which she’s also executive producer.

She directed Beyonce’s Sandcastles and did work in commercials for Apple, Citibank, and 1800Contacts. In 2013, Morano became the youngest member of the American Society of Cinematographers. She was featured in Ioncinema.com’s “American New Wave 25″.  Morano has won awards such as Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and a Directors Guild of American award for directing for the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale and several others. Quite a feat isn’t it?

There are more women in who are making their moves in film and they have many stories to tell. Enjoy your day be blessed!

 

 

Image source: Makers, Well+Good, Indiewire, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Hollywood's Black Renaissance, and Reed Morano shot by Celeste Sloman in NY on July 28 2017 for Variety EE 080917

 

 

Shadow Spotlight: Three Black Contemporary Artists Already Rising

Shadow Spotlight: Three Black Contemporary Artists Already Rising

February 12 / 18

Hey! Hope everyone had a great weekend. A new week is beginning so let’s start off with Shadow Spotlight. Black History Month is here and this month we are going to be putting the spotlight on Black Contemporary Artists that have been on the rise. Again, I rather let the work do the talking…


 

Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Here is a guy that went through a lot, but that didn’t stop him to achieve the goals he wanted to reach in life. In this interview below, Quinn talks about how his family abandoned him and how he was able to accomplish success in his art career. The works you see reflect that. There is another part of this interview. To see more of his work, go to www.artsy.net/artist/nathaniel-mary-quinn.

 

 

 

 

Shantell Martin

Shantell Martin, with her artwork.

Known for her whimsical stream of consciousness drawing and light perfections, this British artist has already made a mark in the art world.  She’s been plenty busy with projects all around the world. I’ve featured her on this blog site a few years ago and it’s really good to see where she is today. Go to shantellmartin.art for more of her work.

 

 

Rahiem Milton

Rahiem Milton

I first became acquainted with this man’s work through Instagram. Let me say that he’s already becoming a creative force in the black community. His works have the ability to grab your attention. With the use of light, darkness, or color, Milton has created a wide set of portraits that have beauty, strength, vulnerability, and power. Want to see more? Go www.facebook.com/RahiemMiton.

 

Hope you enjoyed this spotlight today. We’ll be celebrating more Black History through creativity. Enjoy your Monday, be blessed!

 

 

 

 

Image source: Chicago Magazine, Wikipedia.com,

Shadow Spotlight: The Untitled Space

Shadow Spotlight: The Untitled Space

January 16 / 18

Hello everyone! Hope everybody enjoyed their three-day weekend in the U.S. This week will be plenty busy, plenty busy. When I do a Shadow Spotlight post, it takes time and research to put together a great piece. It can be a person, group, or a place. So this month’s spotlight focuses on a place. There are many go places to go for great art. The Untitled Space in New York City is one. If this place seems familiar, I’ve posted last week about an exhibition that is taking place this week. What is Untitled Space? I’ll let them tell you…

 

Photo was taken by Dustin Wayne Harris.

The Untitled Space art gallery, located in Tribeca, New York, was founded by artist Indira Cesarine in 2014. The gallery specializes in emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary-pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The Untitled Space is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of “Women in Art,” as well as special events aligned with our creative vision.

Recent exhibitions include “SHE INSPIRES” a group show honoring inspirational women curated by Indira Cesarine, “UPRISE/ ANGRY WOMEN” a group show of 80 female artists benefitting the ERA Coalition, “LIFEFORCE” a group show of 23 female artists curated by Kelsey and Remy Bennett, and “In The Raw: The Female Gaze On The Nude”. Special events include “Project Literacy” and “SciConvo” a TEDX talk on Science and Culture.

Here are two videos from two exhibitions from last year.

 

Exhibition Title: SHE INSPIRES / Exhibition Dates: MAY 2 – 20, 2017

 

Exhibition Title: SECRET GARDEN // The Female Gaze on Erotica / Exhibition Dates: June 27– July 30, 2017

The Untitled Space is part of the TRIBECA ART DISTRICT.

I love it when you go to a gallery that can explore all aspects of life, especially with what’s going on now. Speaking of that the next exhibition will be held today, ONE YEAR OF RESISTANCE, January 16, which is open reception. Preview, by invitation 4pm till 6pm. The exhibit dates are January 17 – February 4, 2018. 

For more information on future exhibitions and how to get your artwork displayed, please go to untitled-space.com for details.

The Untitled Space / 45 Lispenard St #1w, New York, NY 10013

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, be blessed always!

 

 

Image source: venues | ArtSlant & Dustin Wayne Harris

Top Three Shadow Spotlights for 2017

Top Three Shadow Spotlights for 2017

December 11 / 17

This week I’m pulling out some favorite posts for 2017. Let’s start with Shadow Spotlight. I’ve looked at the spotlights for the past eleven months and here are the top three spotlights that are my favorites.

 

COCO CHANEL

 

 

CHANCE THE RAPPER

 

 

PAT MCGRATH

 

There is more Best of 2017 all this week. Enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed!

 

 

Image source: Clipart Library

Shadow Spotlight: Cardi B.

Shadow Spotlight: Cardi B.

November 13 / 17

A new wave of hip-hop artists has come and put their collective stamp in the music industry. Some have managed to swim, while others have drowned. Belcalis Almanzar or Cardi B. is one of those who is swimming right along the sharp waves with aplomb. According to Billboard, she is now the first female rapper to chart her very first three entries in the top 10 positions of the list, simultaneously, on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. You may remember her from the sixth season of  VH1 reality tv series, Love & Hip-Hop: New York.

Raised in the Highbridge neighborhood in the South Bronx section of New York City, Cardi B. became an exotic dancer at the age of 19. By 2013, her videos became viral on social media through Vine and Instaram. Cut to 2015, when Cardi B. made her musical debut on Shaggy‘s remix to his single ‘Boom Boom‘, with Popcaan. That same year, she made her music video debut, ‘Cheap Ass Weave’, her rendition of Lady Leshurr’s ‘Queen’s Speech 4’. Cardi B. released a mixtape titled Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 March 2016. In September 2016, her single, ‘What a Girl Likes’ was part of a collaborative album released by KSR Group titled, Underestimated: The Album. 

“a raw and aggressive rapper in the style of Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown.”

-David Jeffries, AllMusic

 “unapologetic does not begin to describe the totally unfiltered and sheer Cardi B-ness of Cardi B’s personality. She’s a hood chick who’s not afraid to be hood no matter the setting. Cardi B is Cardi B 24/7, 365, this is why she resonates with people, and that same energy comes out in her music.”

-Complex

 

By January, she released her second mixtape, the second installment of Gangsta Bitch Music series. Cardi B signed her first major deal with the recording label with Atlantic in February this year. This past summer ‘Bodak Yellow‘ was released, which became a  hit. The single reached the top two of the of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart also becoming number one on the Hot Rap Songs chart and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Bodak Yellow was certified gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). In September of this year, Cardi B bagged the top spot of the Hot 100 chart with Bodak Yellow, making her the first solo female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Adding another diamond to her crown, she became the first female artist to land her first three entries in the top 10 of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Not only is Cardi B making waves in music, but also in fashion. Earlier this year she partnered with M.A.C. and Rio Uribe’s Gypsy Sport for an event during New York Fashion Week. She played Mercedes in BET’s Being Mary Jane and she was a guest on the celebrity show Hip Hop Squares. As I said before, some swim, some drown, but Miss Cardi B is swimming and enjoying the ride.

 

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed!

 

Image source: Miami.com, Dazed, & karencivil.com

 

Shadow Spotlight: Lee Pace

Shadow Spotlight: Lee Pace

October 9 / 17

Hey everyone. Hope every one of you guys enjoyed your weekend, even though it was short for some of us. Lee Pace is this month’s Shadow Spotlight. Now, if you don’t recognize the name or face, you should remember him as Ned the Piemaker in ABC’s Pushing Daisies.

Lee Pace…Pushing Daisies.

Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, Pace has graced the big and small screen for the past fifteen years. His breakout role was in the 2003 film Soldier’s Girl as Calpernia Addams, a transgender showgirl. He won a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor and was nominated for several other awards, including a Golden Globe Award.

In 2004, Pace was in the short-lived television series, Wonderfalls, as Aaron Tyler. The show was co-created by Bryan Fuller. Fuller cast Pace in the lead role in the fantasy television series Pushing Daisies as Ned, which debuts in October 2007 till June 2009. Pace was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy, and a few others.

He also has appeared in films such as Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Possession, When In Rome, The Good Shepherd, Ceremony, Lincoln, among others. He was also in 2006 film, The Fall, directed by Tarsem Singh, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt 2 as the sexy nomadic vampire Garrett, and as Thranduil in The Hobbit film series. Pace was also in 2014 Marvel studio film Guardians of the Galaxy as Ronan the Accuser. His recent work includes The Keeping Hours and The Book of Henry.

He will appear in the sci-fi film Revolt. You can catch him as Joe MacMillan in AMC’s tech drama Halt and Catch Fire.

Here is a video that a fan created. Just to get familiar with Lee. Hope you like it.

 

 

In his downtime, Lee is an avid reader and is part of Conservation International, who are dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment. To know more about this nonprofit organization please go to www.conservation.org.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed.

 

 

Image source: emaze, twilight saga wiki fandom, screenrush, and dvdbash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source: Collider