INSIGHT Magazine | Volume III | Issue 2

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Founded in the summer of 2003 by Alma Davila-Toro and Atiba T. Edwards, F.O.K.U.S. support artists and audiences through events such as workshops, concerts, art shows and our magazine, INSIGHT. F.O.K.U.S. creates a continuously growing community where the arts strive as we believe the arts enable people to rise above barriers in society. F.O.K.U.S. expands the view on what is considered an art and raises awareness to the beneďŹ ts and need of creativity.


Volume III | Issue 2 02 03 04 06 08 20 22 24 32 33 34 38 40 42

Letter From the Editor Street Style Emotional Mash Vanity’s Compromise Rick vs. rick Ego trips (we know exactly why) challenges rorschachs of mickey factz tick tock tomorrow panoramics and people bk’s son Infinite Playlist Cover art: The Game

Street Style


articles / Q&A




Infinite Playlist


Atiba is a perpetual visionary that likes to do art in the dark since it is easier to see the true light.


Allison is an Assistant Director of a preschool in downtown Brooklyn and she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health. “Children are the world’s greatest artists, our primary colors—our foundation to creativity and imagination”


Jeff is a creative type whose favorite questions are Why? and What if...? In that order.

CONTRIBUTORS / RYAN CHAPPELL / ATIBA T. EDWARDS / CARLA FERNÁNDEZ / ANDREW FOLSTER / ADENIKE HUGGINS / ANDREW JIMENEZ / MALIK JONES-ROBINSON / JAMIE KILLEN / CEASIA KING / RICK MIDLER / ARIANA PROEHL / JOHN TEBEAU / LEVESTER WILLIAMS Questions and comments can be directed to Submission inquiries can be sent to All advertising inquiries can be directed to INSIGHT is published by F.O.K.U.S. Inc.

All rights reserved on entire contents. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of F.O.K.U.S. or INSIGHT.


We’ve made some changes. Before I start my pen pal letter, I want to thank Maya Pope-Chappell for her work as Editor-In-Chief over the past 5 issues. She helped INSIGHT continue its rise. Due to conflicts of interest at her full-time gig she had to step away from the magazine. Thank you for the priceless work you’ve done. So I had to step outta the carriage and grab the reins again. Let me take a moment to reintroduce my team, a triangle offense that would make Phil Jackson proud. Jeff Albert is the designer extraordinaire that lays out the visual eye candy you are about to devour. Allison Lasky helps with the editing of pieces submitted by folks just like you. Yup, three people will now make each issue come together. We do this in the midst of other jobs, love lives, extracurriculars and many other things. Add in INSIGHT and you’ve got what makes for a dope life. With that said, let’s begin the INSIGHT re-up. INSIGHT Volume III | Issue 2 features the eye-catching work of Emmyaward winning artist, Rick Midler (who also designed this issue’s cover). Midler sits down with himself to give you an insight into his mind. We also feature very personal artwork from fellow University of Michigan Wolverine, John Tebeau. Levester Williams provides two creations that will cause you to think about the life you live. Adenike Huggins worked with Bronx MC Mickey Factz to have him do a freestyled response to artwork from Basquiat, Kahlo, Kandinsky, Shephard Fairey and several others. Factz stated his inkblot-esque first response to each piece. We also feature several unique poems: Ceasia King and Ariana Proehl go line-for-line; Andrew Folster introspects on life; Ryan Chappell emotes; and Andrew Jimenez talks about compromise. Our F.O.K.U.S. Cru section continues with Jamie Killen’s Brooklyn sun photos and Michael Malik Jones-Robinson’s pictures from his trip to Africa.


Atiba T. Edwards

Street Style: “This is my feel good, life is

Photo by Atiba T. Edwards in front of The Brooklyn Circus shop

good, travel outfit. This is my American dream look.”

Ouiji Theodore The Brooklyn Circus

emotional mash John Tebeau 1978 (Right, top)

1978 demonstrates the evolution of what I call a collage mash-up painting. I chose 1987, a childhood year I recall especially well, as my subject. I made an extensive list of things I really remembered from that year—things that made it special. Things like Steve Martin all the way to Belushi, etc. I culled images from the internet and messed with them in Photoshop ’til I decided upon a crude mock-up of the layout I would follow for the final painting “1978.”

BLUE BIRD (Right, bottom) Blue Bird is about transforming negative personal emotional into (hopefully) positive art. I was down, REALLY down, the day I drew this one. I was hating being in the city, around all the ugly urban infrastructure. I had planned to make a really upbeat painting that day (a colorful peacock) for my “bird-a-day” series I was 4 | INSIGHT

doing in December of last year. Instead, I drew what I felt: a seriously bummed-out bluebird of unhappiness, surrounded by typical urban junk; in this case, a caricature of a power line and all its hideous accoutrements, including the old shoe in the wire chestnut. That bird should be out in the woods, not in the city. That’s how I felt that day. But making the drawing—and really exaggerating the grimness of the situation— helped me work through the mood. I felt better after this. Not really great, by any means, but better. And wouldn’t you know it? Someone bought it within a couple hours of my posting it on my Etsy site. She framed it, and now uses it as a benchmark for her daily moods each morning. “How do I feel compared to that seriously down bird?” Usually the answer is: “not too bad!” See the portfolio: Buy the art: Read the blog:

1978, 48" x 36", Acrylic on canvas, 2009 (Available) BlueBird, 5" x 7", Ink and acrylic on illustration board, 2009 (Sold)

Vanity’s Compromise Andrew Jimenez You feel like change is in order— but what? Scan the pages of CraigsList for a new apartment, join a dating site. Look up a new bar in a nearby neighborhood. You open the windows for the first time since fall and notice how similarly it smells to spring. The inbetween seasons. The open-window seasons. The wandering heart 6 | INSIGHT

searching for a reason to curl like a cat between the comforting pattern of your lungs, fall asleep there purring and contented, and never wake up. But instead, your heart is a housecat at the window, pacing on the sill, measuring life by patterns of shadows on the buildings. Kids are playing stickball in the street, hide-and-seek and your stoop is homebase. Ollie-ollie oxen, free! Cries your heart, but still, the knock at your door

Andrew Jimenez

is only the ConEd man here to read the meter. You put your own hand to your chest because your heart’s meter cannot be read with numbers—though you have considered counting cigarettes, empty beer cans, the play count of the saddest songs in your iTunes library. Then you realize: this is the change that will be leftover from your spent life; these are the throwaway legacies of your hardwork lounge of an existence. Your life amounts to memories that will be replaced, cans that will be recycled, and brown-edged rolls of paper with scraps of your DNA in ink and spit. When future anthropologists study us, all they’ll have to dig through is our browser histories. How, then, should they construct a life made of Google searches for “human connection” and “free porn?” You believe people never talk about what they truly mean; they talk in concrete sidewalks, but never go into the buildings. They walk the cliches

of safe neighborhoods, hailing a cab with retread tires of tired excuses back home after the bars last-call the final round of two-dollar cans of laughter. You think that art was once what people used to explicitly state their hearts’ desires in their most beautiful form. But why dress it up in a gown and take it to the prom when you can Google the subtext? If Da Vinci were alive today, what would his MySpace page look like? What would Shakespeare Twitter? All you know is: Einstein would definitely prefer Facebook. Why spend years holed up in a room, trying to sublimate the base in hopes of winning the heart of someone for whom you'll forever have to keep up the charade, when—in that same room—the internet will let you have it for what it is, instantly, 24 hours-a-day? The cat hops down from the window, setting itself down in your lap as you split the difference and peruse “Casual Encounters” posts. Andrew Jimenez is a writer and musician living in Brooklyn. Email him at andrew@andrewjimenez. com, especially if you know good jokes. INSIGHT | 7

Rick vs. rick An interview with rick midler by rick midler On March 9th, 2010, Rick Midler sat down with himself in his Brooklyn apartment to discuss his work at depth. RICK MIDLER: The first thing that hits me when I look at your work is the bright palette. You seem to be able to use every color in your paint box and make them work together. rick midler: Thanks. It’s something I’ve been working on. How colors can share the same space without getting too busy or muddy. The use of primary colors is not only intentional, it’s important. On the outset, I wanted these pieces to appear as if a child created them with a box of Crayolas. I definitely feel like a kid with adult angst as I paint. Creating art should feel like playing. It’s very easy for me to see the color in things. And if I don’t, I look for it. 8 | INSIGHT

RM: What’s The Game about? rm: There’s a lot going on in my work, but there’s always a central theme—usually about a war within my head. The Game is about our choices and how we play them—about the randomness of taking sides—sometimes you’re X’s, sometimes you're O’s. It explores control versus destiny. RM: Tell me about the eyeball critters in the vase. rm: Ah, yes, those guys. They represent the voyeurs and judges inside me—you know, the introspective, worrisome, analytical me. I am very aware about how I look at the world and myself. When I fall or become sad, it’s interesting to me that I notice it, much like the eyeball in the lower right corner who seems shocked that he fell—or is thinking about how he fell. The vase’s pattern of both X’s and O’s mimics my disinterest in taking one

The Game 36" x 36" Oil on canvas 2009

Rick Midler

side or the other. I grew up as a middle child, thus I see all sides— I’m an excellent diplomat. This, however, leaves both the piece and me questionable, because if you don’t have conviction, you come across as a clown. I happen to like clowns and see myself as one, but there’s this pull to always be serious, to choose a side, to move forward and be “successful.” RM: Is he [the clown] crying or bleeding? rm: The eye is crying into the pool of blood in the background. Even the white flower petals turn into tears. For representation’s sake, the red as fire and the white droplets as water offer something to think about. RM: Why is he stepping on the flower stem? rm: The nature in this piece pushes the connectivity of internal and external experiences. If he didn’t chose a side, he’d still be in the game—remaining an active participant in the world—and he’d also still be hurting himself by harsh self-judgement. So in effect, he is stepping on himself. Funny, it seems to be too easy to hurt ourselves. RM: Okay, let’s talk about the blue tree. rm: He’s the center target of this frivolous game—hands are

outstretched, exclaiming, “Here I am!” Positioned on and wearing a target on his chest adds, “Come and get me,” to his manner. Above him, a red explosion, and from there, you can follow the colors and images around the canvas—a little journey, leaving you quickly forgetting it all began with a bang. Life works in this way—something big happens which pushes you in another direction, leaving a void in memory as to where you started, or how you were pushed in the first place. So maybe there’s a reason for these explosions, fights, outbursts. Maybe there’s a reason for our problems. Coming back to that blue tree, he seems heroic, like he knew what he was doing all along. And even though he exploded, he still stands strong. RM: What are the symbols on the colored balls? rm: In my work, balls represent a lot of different things. Balls are the first thing you learn to shade. They sometimes begin as place holders for an idea. Then I realized that they give me something to think about, which is fun, so I don’t try to refine them or turn them into specific things. In this case I see them as bombs, the stems and fuses. So, when our googly-eyed vaseman steps on one, he is actually snuffing it out, attempting to save himself from having to face another explosion. INSIGHT | 11

Rick Midler

The symbols are a number “3,” an infinity symbol, an “m.” Somewhat random, but happenings in groupings of three show up a lot—I think subconsciously they are close to the Sanskrit “ohm” which mystically embodies the essence of the universe. It’s a number I draw “automatically” without thinking, so I figure it has to mean something to me. I trust that it does, so I don’t need to think any further about it. That’s one of the principals of [my] surrealism. RM: Tell me about the explosions? rm: I chose to paint the two explosions with yellow and black outlines, in pure cartoon fashion. This was to remind myself that the explosions—the repercussions— are not real. These battles going on inside us all the time are just games we play with ourselves. The path of destruction is a red carpet—there is fame involved here complete with success and notoriety, the misconception being that you have to “win” to achieve it. The explosion also creates a division between the green-topped trees and blue-topped trees—strangers who, for some random reason, are against your point of view, but stand on a target just like we do. RM: That’s you seeing yourself as both sides again. rm: (laughs) Right. I can’t help it. I relate to all the characters on

the canvas. I especially like the mountain—he’s got eyes but he can’t see. It represents the earth and universe watching us live within him. No judgment, just smiles and a laid back aura—a stoner maybe. People think I must be smoking something when I paint but I can’t do that. Salvador Dali said it best: “I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.” RM: The mountain seems to wear a target on his shoulder. rm: I wanted the targets to follow a path, as everything does in the piece. Having them go over the mountain’s shoulder was a fun choice. It made him appear a bit like a general soldier. RM: He also wears an X on his head. I guess X marks the spot. What about the box in the lower left corner. It has an X on it too. rm: He’s got a hollow head. He’s just a box. And I like that there’s two blue people watching him from a safe distance—Adam and Eve, the dichotomy of humanity. If you look behind the vase-man to the right you’ll see his mirror image. He has an O on his box-head. The X and the O—who’s right, who’s wrong? Who’s good, who’s bad? It’s random. It could be just where you happen to be standing at the given moment. For example, the man on the left, with the X, has a target above his head—round, like a halo. But the one on the INSIGHT | 13

Rick Midler

right, with the X-head, is under red droplet devils horns. See what I’m getting at? Sometimes it’s just circumstance. RM: Isn’t it just a veiled representation of an angel and devil? rm: Of course. Those bits were entirely intentional. But if you look at them, they are standing back, not getting into the thick of the fight. Just watching. Like everyone in the piece. RM: So who are the bad guys? rm: There are no real bad guys. But surprises throw us off course. We think we’re so smart. We think that we know what’s going to happen next because we planned everything so carefully. We worked so hard to make life go according to plan. We fall into our routines—when we’re going to what Starbucks for what sized coffee. But when something throws us off course, that’s when we get upset. So, I set up a rhythm with the black and purple raindrops on the top of the canvas. Those represent things that happen. Just things, life happenings. But then, if you follow left to right, there is break in the pattern—a red one. Okay, just let it pass, think nothing of it. Then a yellow one. Hmm. That’s a sign. Look down at the yellow flower growing out of the thorny vine ladder. Yellow drops 14 | INSIGHT

turn into a swarm of bees. Are they attacking? Did they cause the explosion? Nothing says they’re bad, but showcase how thought can attack. RM: There seems to be a lot to say about this piece. Anything that you want to mention before we close the door on this conversation? rm: You see that blue O in the upper quarter of the piece, dead center? It seems to be hanging from a black string. It’s just another X or O, right? But if you pull this O-ring, you can pull down the curtain on the whole picture. I figured, I could think about the game some more, or give myself a break and pull the curtain down. The black pull string was the last line I painted. Some people ask me when I know I’m done with a piece. This one was easy—I created a way to close the curtain. RM: Thanks for spending some time with me on this lovely day. Now if you’ll show me where the bathroom is… rm: You know where the bathroom is. (sighs) First door on the right. Rick Midler is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer and Emmy-Award winning creative director. The Game 36" x 36" Oil on canvas 2009


(Above) Run Along Home Oil on canvas 36" x 36" 2009

(Right) The Dude and I Oil on canvas 36" x 60" 2009

(Page 16) Bee Warned Oil on canvas 20" x 20" 2009

(Page 17) Entering Neverwhere Oil on canvas 48" x 48" 2009

Ego Trips (We know exactly why) ceasia king & ariana proehl A: What you all about? C: I am more than my face More than the marks that invade my skin I am nothing like the sidewalk or your usual walk down the pavement I am the hope that never made it to the dream I am unseen, shades of colors spill all over my face My expressions speak to you My silence pushes through the knots in your heart From my hair to my body I am more than one that you can just erase I am not your usual egocentric bitch But rather the savage who lit the fire I have no truths My soul reveals more than what matters I am what dives into the white wall My eyes tell you a story I am the distorted image that never left the page I am better than my kind I appear with the sincerity of a goddess With a mixture of moods and colors That say I’m more than comfortable with myself I dive into written words I am so far in that no one can save me I am ineffable A rare description of who you want to become A hazard to your life I’m so smooth I’m the reason your hands never could touch the surface 20 | INSIGHT

Ceasia King & Ariana Proehl

I’m the energy that keeps the electricity flowing I’m the states that united your America Lived your dream and made you see reality My attitude wrestles with your conscience Speaking to you I dictate your certainty I am the identity that managed to fade away Came back to haunt you and accomplished it all in one day C: How you livin’? A: I’m livin’ large? C: How large? A: I’m living so large I gave birth to the universe and breastfed it the milky way King Kong is about the size of my thumb My smile out shines the light of the sun In fact my energy is so intense The sun retires daily to rest from being in the strength of my presence Plus the moon and stars get jealous and miss me Shooting stars to get my attention Eclipsing the sun from time to time in battles for my affection It’s sweet, really I send spaceships into outer space just by blowing a kiss I blink 90 mile an hour winds The Saharan desert was my sandbox as a kid Have fond memories of playing building blocks with the pyramids But cringe remembering when I accidentally dropped the Sphinx and broke off its nose My bad So I created six other wonders of the world to make up for it Because that’s just How I do Oh yes, I am too fly I make air traffic controllers work overtime Ceasia King is a graduating senior in high school who will be studying writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University in the fall. Ariana Proehl is a speaker and writer on topics of self-empowerment with a background in youth leadership development, and her blog Dream Variations ( launches in June. Together they are a mentor pair through the organization Girls Write Now ( INSIGHT | 21

challenges Levester Williams Life of a black seed, (Right, top)

Clay and steel, 2010

This artwork focuses on Blacks’ limited access to resources, such as education, jobs, etc., due to racial barriers surrounding them.

impending danger (Right, bottom) Matches, 2010

Piece embodies people’s urge to dominate over one another. Levester is a 3rd year art and design student at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor where he works as a freelance artist and a student manager. 22 | INSIGHT

rorschachs of mickey factz Adenike Huggins The set up: The witty wordsmith, Mickey Factz, is known for his arrogant and incisive punch lines and smooth flow. His new mixtape, The Dark Phoenix Alpha, offers dark themes and provides mood music for a time when people are 24 | INSIGHT

grappling with change and what it really means. An avid art lover, Mickey breaks down some equally dark and emotionally heavy pieces of art in a freestyle fashion. I showed him a selection of works by famous artists, and he responded in a no-holds-barred-first-thingthat-comes-to-mind style.

Diego Rivera – El Vendedor de Alcatraces

Rivera (Above)

Kahlo (Right)

Mickey Factz: It looks like a woman of Mexican or Spanish descent. Usually mothers or women of that culture carry baskets of water to the children to nourish them. This one, however, is a woman carrying flowers. When I see a basket full of flowers carried by a woman, it just seems like she’s bringing joy, love, and peace to the world. I’m kind of a little thrown off by the feet that are in the background, because they don’t look they would be hers, but it does kind of look like somebody else’s. Love and peace is all about helping one another, so it seems like somebody else is helping her to bring this love, joy, and peace!

MF: Wow, this is a beautiful painting! What are those tacks? Does she have a mustache?! The unibrow is ridiculous. It is mad thick and the mustache is kind of faint, and then she even got under-thelip hair. She’s crying as well. She’s probably crying because she got that unibrow! Overall what I’m seeing from it, is a woman who is going through a lot. The column represents her backbone which is being chipped away. I would like to think that somebody put these tacks on her as well as these straps to kind of hold herself up to continue on this journey that she’s on. ’Cuz if you look at the background, it has a desert kind


Kahlo – Broken Column

of background. The straps are really holding her together. Despite what she went through in her life, she can still make it…as long as everything stays intact.

Kandinsky (Page 26) MF: Oh, abstract art! I actually like Kandinsky. Me personally, I’ve never been a real big fan of abstract art, I can’t really get into it, and there are so many different meanings to it. But when I look at this, what I see is a vast universe, placed together. I see a planet in the left corner that kind of looks like Saturn. And then I see something on the right that kind of resembles Jupiter because it has a lot of different chemicals…everything is so out of place. Kind of beautiful. I

even see a black hole. Whenever I see abstract art, I get that it’s somebody who has a lot on their mind and they’re just releasing what they feel on the canvas, and what they see on the canvas, because this is pretty intense. Adenike Huggins: Since abstract art is just getting out what’s inside of you, how would you relate it to a freestyle? True freestyles are typically done off the head. Everything that you feel, anything that comes across in your mind, whatever you are feeling. And I kind of get that with abstract art sometimes. Freestyling can be random—kind of like dreams. If you are not skilled, it’s just random. There are so many different images INSIGHT | 27

Wassily Kandinsky – Transverse Line

here. You see geometry, you see trigonometry, planets, you see lines. So it’s all placed together to mean something, but it all depends on what it means to the person that’s looking at it. It’s dope!

Basquiat (Right) MF: You gotta love Basquiat. He is just a freak! This Mona Lisa is totally different from Da Vinci’s. The first thing you notice is the way the dollar bill is attached to it. Instead of George Washington on the dollar bill, you have Mona Lisa. Maybe this is the American version of Mona Lisa. Then when you look at it closer there are drawings on the cheek and chin. It kind of resembles a male. If you look at it 28 | INSIGHT

from a distance you wouldn’t think it was the Mona Lisa. But when you come a little closer you, because of the other artwork attached to her dress and arms, you say, “Oh okay, this is the Mona Lisa.” The dollar bill is not even green, it’s kind of reddish and then her face is still reddish. It kind of looks like the devil. Look at the eyes, the eyes are red. Even over the right eye, there’s like a little mark there, like it’s a horn. I’m looking at it like America and the American dollar is the devil. And being that the Da Vinci code mentions Mona Lisa and Jesus and that connection, this could be the opposite of it. It definitely gives me an aura of some type of devilish imagery. It’s red, it’s not green, it’s red-orangey. Even though fire is

Jean-Michel Basquiat – Mona Lisa

AH: Got it. Mona Lisa is a one dollar ho!

I feel like they are looking at the American flag. And they are looking at the progression of what Martin Luther King’s dream was. Which was walking hand-in-hand, armin-arm, making it happen. If you look at the black gentleman in the painting, he’s holding a knife.

MF: I like it!

AH: Yeah what’s up with the knife?

Ringgold (Page 28)

MF: He’s holding a knife because I think the war on peace and love is still going on, but for now everything is all good. A lot of people died for this word called freedom and that’s what the stains underneath the stripes are. I feel like the war is still going on for total equality. Racism is gone, but for right now this is where we stand. That was really easy, I did my thing.

not red, it’s orange; a lot of people think that fire is red, it’s not red, it’s orange. And because of how our government is, it kind of makes sense. Got it?

MF: This was actually the first thing I looked at. I didn’t look at anything else. It’s just the one picture that I looked at “The Flag Bleeding.” Here’s exactly what I see from it, I see three people, arm in arm, one man holding his hand over his heart as they look at the American flag. They are not in the American flag,


Faith Ringgold – The Flag Bleeding

Fairey (Right) MF: Oh see this is some Illuminati stuff right here. Yes, you got an eye with a star in the middle. My question is can you really believe what you are told or believe what you see? You are supposed to believe what you believe in, period. Whether it is off faith or what you see, what you hear. The eye here is showing, hmm…you gotta see deeper than what you see, because of what it says: “Never trust your own eyes.” So, even though you see something, you kind of have to research it and dig deeper than what you are told. So you have to listen as well as see. It’s pretty vague. AH: What’s the tone? Do you think 30 | INSIGHT

it’s necessarily negative or demonic, I mean it is red… MF: When you look at it, you kind of get an illuminati feel to it with the star inside of the cornea, then there’s the geometrics inside of the iris there as well. But my theory is believe what you see, believe what you are told and come to your own conclusion of what you are supposed to believe. Boom! Adenike is a Brooklyn girl who loves conversation and despises time; her goal is to be limitless.

Shapard Fairey – Obey Eye

Tick Tock Andrew Folster Day by day, our world crumbles away. We all play while we say, We will change some day. Treating your mother with disrespect Is never beneficial, It’s official. We are far gone. Check mate. You can’t kill a King with a pawn. This is our fate, now we just wait. I’m sure mother nature has something coming. No not the second coming. So many think a higher power will save us. Well that’s a fuss. Why don’t we actually change? 32 | INSIGHT

Rearrange this deranged game, Instead of staying the same. Who’s to blame? Years and years of capitalist indoctrination, Creates a wasteful nation. Patiently waiting for our demise. That’s why I despise the wise. They realize our gloom, Yet they sit back and watch the gloom. Well, Boom! It’s all over now. Somehow she will rebuild, But the earth won’t be filled with our kind. We are too blind... Andrew has always been on the fortunate side of the fence thinking about how the people on the other side of the fence feel, and he wants to break down that fence.

Tomorrow Ryan Chappell I thought about you today The embers and flooding waters came roaring back A stifled past I reflect on One filled with empathic sorrow and hurts of tomorrow I felt it The pain of one scorned embedded in mystery You must let go beyond your misery Look deep inside for the phoenix Rise from the ashes and live beyond what lies beneath it Your special, gods vision of love Don’t disappoint for his compassion trumps all above I though i hated you for reasons have choices

Even many are beyond our avoidance They have been made clear fade beyond tears as they fight to disappear with no escape I pray there’s still love there for the both of us can bear A vision so similar that sands of time wont beg to differ Just remember I am your extended light and sun One day future days will bring sorrows undone Ryan Chappell is an Oakland, CA native residing in Houston, TX. He writes and travels in his spare time and is a creative entrepreneur. INSIGHT | 33

panoramics and people Malik Jones-Robinson Untitled (Right, top) This was taken a couple hours outside of Durban on our way to the national game reserve.

Village Women

(Right, bottom)

This was taken in the village of the woman who worked at the bed and breakfast we stayed in during our trip. She was kind enough to 34 | INSIGHT

take us to her small town/village a few hours outside of Durban. This picture is of some of the elder women in the village sitting on a bench against the outside of a clay building while the men put on a little show.

Untitled (Pages 34–35) This was also taken a couple hours outside of Durban. Malik is a 26 year old public school teacher born and raised in New York City. Malik is an avid traveller and amateur photographer.

BK’s son Jamie Killen Last Train Leaving

(Right, top)

After having an amazing day visiting Coney Island for the first time, I snapped this picture with my Canon Powershot point-and-shoot camera on the Q train right as the sun was setting and another train was blowing by in the opposite direction. It was perfect timing. Acting as a filter, I used a pair of $5 dollar chinatown sunglasses (Chinatown Optometry, as I like to call it) to cover the lens of the camera, which allowed me to point it almost directly into the sun. When I took this photo, I hadn’t yet moved to Brooklyn and was just visiting friends for a week during the summer of 2008, but it was this experience that solidified my decision to move to New York City, to try to find this train, so I could ride it to the center of the sun. 38 | INSIGHT

From Rust to Dusk

(Right, bottom)

I took this picture from the roof of my brownstone in Bed-Stuy. It was during the winter in January 2009. No matter how cold it was, I would sit up there for hours, bundled head to toe, looking up and out, trying to become attuned with Brooklyn, my new surroundings—the real place where the wild things are. Finally, when that cold sun set, I snapped this picture of the skyline. For me, it was a moment of solitude when all the madness of my neighborhood had retired momentarily, where that call of the wild style had became a gentle whisper, and I knew that I had found my new home. Jamie Killen is a student studying Spanish and media at CUNY Brooklyn College in Flatbush. He can often be found riding the B44 bus down Nostrand Ave., sipping bodega brew coffee, and snapping pics of the world as he goes by. He can be reached at

Infinite Playlist: Chapter 4 Cloud 9—Limited Vacancy

Cloud 9—there’s a map to find this utopian place but once you go to list out directions you suddenly suffer from a quick spat of amnesia. You look to the sky and paint what your Cloud 9 will be like when you reach it. Cloud 9 isn’t a place where it is all gravy though. Instead, the bad is greatly outweighed by the good. A goal/dream/desire has been reached and you check into Cloud 9. You sit from your perch and realize you have accomplished the proverbial “IT.” With all things good, Cloud 9 is a temporary state that requires you to keep working rather than get comfortable. Comfort abates laziness, which will make you fall right through Cloud 9 and onto your head serving as a wake up call. Stay on your grind. Stay fokused! B.o.B – Airplanes feat. Hayley from Paramore (The Adventures of Bobby Ray) “I could use a dream or a genie or a wish / To go back to a place much simpler than this / ’Cause after all the partying and smashing and crashing / And all the glitz and glam and the fashion / And all the pandemonium and all the madness / There comes a time when you fade to the blackness / And you staring at that phone in your lap / And you hoping but those people never call you back / But that just how the story unfolds / You get another hand soon after you fold” Dl Patio – Watagatapitusberry feat. Pitbull, Sensato & Lil’ Jon Seriously... 40 | INSIGHT

Photo by Carla Fernández

Curated by Atiba T. Edwards

Kevin Rudolf – I made it feat. Birdman, Jay Sean, and Lil’ Wayne (To the Sky) “I look up to the sky and all the world is mine / I’ve known it all my life / I’ve made it / I used to dream about the life I’m living now / I know that there’s no doubt / I made it” Liam Lynch – This is My United States of Whatever (Fake Songs) “’Cause this is my United States of Whatever!” Drake - Say What’s Real (So Far Gone) “Why do I feel so alone / Like everybody passing through the studio is in character as if he acting out a movie role / Talking bullshit as if it was for you to know / I don’t have the heart to give these bitch niggas the cue to go / So they stick around kicking out feedback / And I entertain it as if I need that” Notorious B.I.G. – Sky’s the Limit feat. 112 (Life After Death) “Stay far from timid / Only make moves when ya heart’s in it / And live the phrase sky’s the limit / Motherfucker / See you chumps on top” Nas – Thugz Mansion feat. Tupac and J. Phoenix (God’s Son) “I’m capable of anything, my imagination can give me wings / To fly like doves over the streets watchin’ many things” GIST – Young, Gifted and Black “The throne is chair / You warming up my seat / Warm enough to reach hearts / Just with the speech / Don’t worry I’m not a retard / Though the spit leaks / Through the speaker / The fight of an old leader/ Huey P with the soul of Simone Nina” Lil’ Wayne – Gossip (The Leak 2) “Don’t believe in me / Don’t believe me / I’ve graduated from hungry to greedy” Moby – In This World (18) “Lordy don’t leave me / All by myself / Whoa, in this world / Lordy don’t leave me / All by myself” Big Boi – Outro (Big Boi Presents Got Purp Vol. 2) “I wanna live like I made it happen / Don’t want no good luck / Don’t want no handouts / All I wanna do is work for mine / Don’t want no favor / I don’t even want a lot” INSIGHT | 41

COVER ART: The Game Volume III | Issue 2

meanings of symbols.

Rick Midler From the series titled “Entering Neverywhere,” 2009–2010 This work provokes thoughts about right and wrong, good and bad, us and them. It’s about having ideals, but being able to challenge your belief system. It deals with the consequences of action. It’s meant to examine self-reflection, like a mirror reflecting another mirror. Hopefully the viewer will ask themselves why they believe what they believe. At the very least, I hope people follow the patterns and understand that everything is connected, that everything is one. I want them to feel the energy of repeated objects and colors and re-interpret the 42 | INSIGHT

I’m aware of the energy between seemingly unrelated objects. I feel people’s emotions like little explosions. Since painting this series I’ve been hyper aware of colors. I just don’t recall colors being as vibrant to me as they are now. I feel lucky to be able to paint what I feel, to be able to put things on canvas or paper before I actually know what they mean. I intend to say certain things and follow that pattern of thought down the rabbit hole. It makes for a much more exciting journey than if I planned every step of the way. I’d like to thank all the people who made this journey possible: my family and close friends, who judge me far less than I do myself; as well as the “seemingly” random people on subways and park benches who have felt the impact of my work while secretly watching me draw in my sketchbooks and approached me with such moving and thoughtprovoking sentiments.