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VOLUME 45 | ISSUE 6 | MARCH 2013
Caroline Nelson Editor-in-Chief Fernanda DeSouza Sarah Dill Deputy Editors Megan Venere Executive Editor Richard Gilmartin Miriam Lustig Dianna Mazzone Senior Editors Keely-Shea Smith Managing Editor w27newspaper.com Mollie Yarsike Community Manager
Advertisting Kimberly Ferguson Advertising Promotions Manager
ART Christina Garcia Art Director Freddy Rodriguez Fashion Editor
Letter from the Editor
Emily Bennett Contributing Stylist Jacquelyn Clifford Jessica Farkas Photographers
Art is something we find all around us in New York City and, needless to say, at FIT. From the street art you see on your commute to campus to the paintings hanging in the Met and the Dubinsky Center’s fifth floor lounge, there is no shortage of creative inspiration in our environment.
Francesca Beltran Jonathan Guzi Dana Heyward Caroline Johnson Arushi Khosla Dave Morrissey Marissa Mule Ashley Mungo Desiree Perez Giovanna Spica Contributors
Inspired by the art we see everyday, the W27 team wanted to offer an issue where we could better showcase student work (pp. 6–7), highlight cool new exhibitions and plays to check out on the warmer March weekends (pp. 16–17), and expose students of all majors to interesting professional artists, Skullphone and Kelsey Brookes who
John Simone Editorial Faculty Advisor
have found success and fulfilment in such a competitive industry (pp. 14–15). But our issue isn’t limited to painting with a brush, or at least one from Winsor & Newton. We also have an exclusive interview with Robin Black, the makeup artist and photographer behind the blog Beauty is Boring (p. 11), and some fun tips from Fernanda DeSouza on how to paint with words and sharpen your writing skills (p. 21). So if the the visual stimulation of the city isn’t enough, you’re sure to find some something new to consider in these pages. Until next month,
Albert Romano Advertising Faculty Advisor
A FITSA PUBLICATION
ON THE COVER: W27 is PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER. PLEASE RECYCLE YOUR COPY AFTER READING.
Photographer Jacquelyn Clifford and stylist Emily Bennett were whisked to Williamsburg this month to capture the spirit of Spring amidst Brooklyn’s best street art.
TABLE OF CONTENTS on the block 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7
Faculty Spotlight: Frank Lord Welcome to the Boardroom What the Health? Your Body is a Work of Art Future Mode: Eric Torres "Walk the Chalk": The Fight Against Bullying We Should All Be Babyface(d)! Former FIT Artist Highlight: Christian Moncada
Dear Industry 8 9 10 10 11 12
In Coversation With: Sara Zucker Internships: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly When Marketing Goes Rogue: Artistic License in Advertising From Canvas to Career: Turning Your Fine Arts Degree Into a Job Beauty Buzz Pop Art Fashion Editorial
Feature 14 15
Skullphone Kelsey Brookes
Haute Culture 16 16 17 17 18 19 20
Gallery Review: Jean-Michel Basquiat Exhibition Review: Fortun Y Madrazo: An Artistic Legacy Tibet House 23rd Annual Benefit Concert Theater Review: The Drawer Boy Film Review: Oz the Great and Powerful Outside Your Borough: Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill Month in Review
FIT Speaks 21 22 22
The Art of Writing Bye Bye Benny Keepin’ Your Creative
Style on 27
GET INVOLVED WITH W27 ART W27 is looking for junior designers to contribute to the paper starting with the April 2013 issue. Interested students can contact art director Christina Garcia by e-mailing w27art@gmail. com. We’d love to hear from you and welcome you to the team!
ON THE BLOCK Faculty Spotlight:
Frank Lord by Richard Gilmartin
Native New Yorker and FIT Professor, Frank Lord, Esq. doesn’t just teach law, he lives it. When not in the classroom he spends his time dealing with celebrity clients and volunteering for humanitarian work with organizations such as PETA. W27 was lucky enough to sit down and talk with Professor Lord about his career as a lawyer. Richard Gilmartin: Did you always plan on going into law? Frank Lord: Originally I was going to be a veterinarian. I was pre-med because it was the same program; I decided it was going to take too much time, too many years. So I thought I’d go to business school, accounting. Then I got my master’s and then I went into law school. RG: Where did you go to school? FL: Seton Hall. Four fun-filled years, in downtown Newark at night! …Why I
always recommend law school is because it’s one type of degree that you can always pursue later in life. It’s not easy to do at night, I did it at night. I worked full time, and I would take the PATH over to Newark. RG: How did teaching come about? FL: Originally my friend was a chair for marketing, which has now been included within the FMM department which offers my class, Intro to Business Law BL 343, and they needed a substitute. There was a very positive response to my teaching and I was offered a position as an adjunct. I love teaching law at FIT because in the classroom you don’t have to teach someone who is worried about putting an Esq. [Esquire] after their name, and they don’t have to take the BAR exam. Though I have had students who have gone on to law school, but it’s not the same. And you can teach it at a level where the students understand it. And I can allow more creativity and more flexibility. I see a lot of creativity, it’s a creative college, but I'm actually seeing more students geared towards business because of the economic situation and the difficulty
of finding employment upon graduation, including the repayment of student loans. You know that I always say that why my class is useful is because you never know when you’re going to be involved in a legal case today. I always recommend a basic course in business law which gives students an understanding of their legal rights, how to bring a case to court, and how to protect yourself in the unlikely event you need to sue, or worse, you are being sued. RG: You know I was looking online at bloggers who have been sued for copyright infringement. People just put stuff up on the internet today and they don’t even think about it. FL: I always recommend that you "think" before you post (or sign!) anything because once it's out there, it is always there for everyone to see, now and in the future. I had students post on the Internet, (they think they are joking objectively, but it is actually subjectively), and it becomes an issue when read. If my last statement has anyone thinking, then it is time to take my class!
Welcome to the Boardroom by Megan Venere
As the saying goes, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” This can surely be said about FITSA—they began the month of March with election plans underway, and will leave it with new Executive and Planning Boards. Ana Swarup, FITSA president, shares how election season is going and what FITSA has planned for the coming months.
MV: Are you pleased with the number of applicants FITSA received?
Megan Venere: Elections are in full swing now—what has that process been like since we last spoke?
MV: Last time we spoke about the strategic planning board and what that consisted of. Can you go into detail about what has been happening on the Board?
Ana Swarup: So far it’s been a wonderful experience! We have a great group of candidates this year. Like I mentioned last time, we had a meet and greet recently with the current FITSA Board along with the candidates, which went really well. Something new we did was giving each candidate a packet with information on the position they’re running for. MV: How many candidates are running this year? AS: I’m not sure of the exact number [currently 22]. We’ve had a lot of applications coming into the office.
AS: Yes! What’s been great about this year’s candidates is that not only are there many new faces, but also some great leaders from other clubs who are now running for FITSA positions. But every year is a different and unique group.
AS: Right now we have been working on our “branding of FIT” and how we are going to market FIT. We’ve been working on our definition of FIT, what does it stand for, and what message we want to send to those outside of our community. MV: What events can students look forward to for March? AS: We have some great events lined up for March. Of course there are the elections; voting starts on March 11th. We have Miss FIT coming up, along with our Blood Drive. The VP of Athletics has
been working on a March Madness event as well. Stress Relief Week is also coming up, which is perfect for combating the stress of midterms and projects before spring break. The other clubs on campus have exciting events too, like PRSSA’s Speed Dating event [which took place on March 7]. We also have some awesome movies lined up, some of which were Oscar nominees. At FITSA, we’ve been working on refining our system and procedures. We’ve also been working hard on our FIT Link, making it more user-friendly. We want to make it a sort of social network for FIT students, a way for students to find the answers and information they need about FIT and the campus. Instead of having it linked through the “FIT This Week” e-mails, we have now made it a tab on the MYFIT Portal.
WHAT THE HEALTH?
Green and Feeling Lean by Sarah Dill
“Green,” today, has come to represent all sorts of things: a symbol for “go,” a slang word for money, being oh-so-hipster “ecofriendly” chic and even luck (at least if you’re Irish). Alas, It’s not so easy being green. Well, for Kermit it isn’t, but in the foodie world it may be simpler than it seems. Eating green is not only better for the environment but it can help keep your waistline trim and your stomach feeling healthy and refreshed. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a green diet is a steady stream of salad, salad and, oh yeah: more salad. Greens are mainly a power boosting add-in to any diet, providing a carb free, low calorie, antioxidantrich and high-fiber vegetable. Ditch the green stereotype and look into other green power foods that are easy to throw into traditional meals or grab for a new snack between meals. Chow down on this March madness color for a bit of energy and luck to get you through that long day of classes.
Kale Named one of the healthiest and hippest vegetables to eat, this form of cabbage is packed with five different essential vitamins and cancer reducing abilities, and can help prevent oxidative stress. Spray olive oil over this leafy nutrient with a dash of sea salt and put it in the oven for a delicious and guilt free “potato chip.” You can also steam it and serve with oil and vinegar for a salad to accompany any lean meat or soup.
Spinach Enriched with vitamin C, this superfood can help you make a big step towards a greener and healthier meal. Spinach leaves not only help your bones and immune system, but they also pack a powerful punch in antioxidants and reduce high blood pressure (something Popeye can probably attest to). Throw the leaves in a juicer for a super-nutrient before working out or steam them in a pot for a perfect side dish.
Avocados Higher in fat but still low in calories, avocados have become the salad add-on of the decade. They are packed with fiber and vitamin K. Moreover, avocado eaters tend to have lower body mass indexes than non eaters. When ripe and ready, scoop this veggie out in your own DIY Mexican fajita or cut it up to top your turkey breast sandwich.
Artichokes Although potentially frightening, dense to look at and confusing to cook, this vegetable can aid your digestion, reduce your cholesterol and help prevent cancer. To enjoy as a snack on the go or as a side dish for dinner, boil the artichokes in a large pot and snip off the ends of the leaves first so that when it they are cooked and tender you can pull through the delicious portion of each petal with your teeth. Dip them in tzatziki sauce or melted light butter and enjoy.
Brussels sprouts These sprouts have made a bad reputation for themselves, being the odd man out in all of the produce sections. Although they are not the most popular of vegetables, brussels sprouts are a source of vitamins and antioxidants, and serve as antiinflammatory support systems. Steam them and then cut them in half before putting them back into a pan with olive oil, pepper and salt for a healthy seasoned treat.
Dorm Dish Recipe:
Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls What would St.Patrick’s day be without a spot of corned beef and cabbage? Try this updated and slimmed down version for an Irish treat you won’t feel guilty about. *** Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine ***
ΩΩ Cut 2 slices rye bread into strips
Directions: ΩΩ Cook 6 Savoy cabbage leaves in boiling water, about 2 minutes ΩΩ Rinse under cold water and pat dry; slice in half
Cucumbers As one of the world’s most cultivated vegetables, the cucumber contains phytonutrients to help prevent cancer. Cucumbers can be served sliced with a veggie dip for guests, eaten by themselves or diced as an added refresher in many dishes. A perfect warmer weather snack to toss in your bag and gnaw on in class, since cucumbers are light and watery in taste.
the cabbage leaves
ΩΩ Mix 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and chopped parsley and/or dill; spread on
ΩΩ Slice 1/2 pound corned beef into strips and toss with a spoonful of wholegrain mustard ΩΩ Top the cabbage leaves with a few strips each of the bread and corned beef ΩΩ Roll up and slice in half
Your Body is a Work of Art by Jonathan Guzi
Okay, so you may not always feel like a Michelangelo sculpture sprung to life, but at the end of the day this is the kind of attitude you should have about your physical self image. What does that mean, exactly? It means recognizing your body type and learning to make the best of it and even love it. Most body types fall into three general categories (this is true for both men and women): ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs. Ectomorph types are the super skinny, can-eat-whatever-they-want type with the really fast metabolisms. They somehow manage to defy conventional laws of
physics and never get fat, even after eating a double quarter pounder with extra fries every day. Try not to hate them too much because they can be just as unhealthy as anyone else. Next is the mesomorph, which most people consider to be the ideal body type. They're usually athletic, naturally lean towards an ideal body weight and find it easy to convert fat into muscle. Lucky bastards. Lastly, the endomorph type puts on weight easily and sometimes has a heavier bone structure as well. These guys could gain weight just by eating a peanut.
Just as with most other things, no one falls into purely one category. Most people tend to have traits from two different body types, hence the “skinny-fat” look. Now obviously you can't really change how big your bones are or the length of your legs. The secret, though, is that every body type can achieve its ideally beautiful form if one is conscientious about exercising regularly and eating healthily. Don't try to fight your natural body shape. If you're naturally curvy like Kim Kardashian (I know, I hate that I made a Kardashian reference too) don't try to be waifish like Kate Moss. Alternatively
for men, if you have a lean Brad Pitt body (he used to be skinnier) it might not be the best idea to aspire to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's not entirely impossible to completely transform your body type, but most times you'll find that you feel healthier, and even look better when you're working with your body instead of against it. All you really have to do is keep your body active, stay away from junk food and appreciate what you have. One day when you look in the mirror you might be surprised to discover a work of art looking right back at you.
ON THE BLOCK
[Future Mode] Eric Torres
“Walk the Chalk”: the Fight Against Bullying
by Marissa Mule by Caroline Johnson Photos courtesy of Eric Torres
ET: Well, I began making art around four years old, but I started creating art in a more professional manner around 15 or 16. MM: Who/what are your motivations? ET: Video games, martial arts, philosophy, The Bible, family members and people’s problems in life. Largely, in my artwork depicts people’s mental issues, life problems and ideas that are kind of depressing. MM: Was FIT your first college choice? ET: No, it was my second choice. My first choice was Cooper Union, but I’m happy that I didn’t go and ended up at FIT. MM: Do you have a favorite medium? ET: Yes. I like to use oil paint in my work. Eventually, I’ll probably experiment by adding other things in it like food, spices, or other things that expand creativity. For now though, I just like oil paint.
On Thursday, February 21 the campus PRSSA chapter held an event called “Walk the Chalk,” which aimed to encourage students to end bullying. The event was part of an anti-bullying campaign called Kind Over Matter, created by the Bateman Case Study Competition team of PRSSA members: Jaimie Caiazzo, Alyssa Carfi, Magan Felitto, Sarita Nauth, and Victoria Sanders. “Walk The Chalk” invited students to chalk kind thoughts and positive phrases along the breezeway outside of FIT. Kind Over Matter started a social media interaction a few weeks ago between FIT students and the New York City community. The campaign asked people to take a stand against bullying through different social media platforms. It promoted positivity and compassion towards everyone on Facebook, Twitter, and its own website. Kind Over Matter has created anti-bullying PSA videos and uplifting images of community members stating their pledge.
MM: What is your opinion on scale? ET: Well, it depends on the idea that you’re wanting to express, so it really doesn’t matter to me. I find it more difficult to work on a huge scale because a slight mess up on a curve, a brush stroke, or a detail on a sculpture stands out more. It becomes really noticeable and obvious. MM: Do you work large or small?
Inspired by a variety gaming, comics, music, martial arts and much more, Eric Torres is a Fine Arts major who is making a name for himself —despite his shyness— through his willingness to explore different types of paintings. Marissa Mule: Who/what are your inspirations? Eric Torres: I would say Itachi from Naruto, Gambit from X-Men and Dante from Devil May Cry, but that’s all fake. I’m inspired mainly by video games, comics, music, martial arts, and artists from the Baroque and Enlightenment eras as well as outsider and Pop Art. Goya is my favorite artist because every piece of art is extremely interesting in subject matter and the style of painting at the time. The kind of gritty darkness he has in them is something that I try to achieve. Other artists that influence me are Andy Warhol, Diego Velásquez, Roy Lichtenstein, Todd McFarlane, Jenny Saville, Howard Finster and Michael Turner. Other influences on my art include Bruce Lee, Masaaki Hatsumi, Toshitsugu Takamatsu and much more. MM: What are your strengths and weaknesses? ET: Speaking is my greatest weakness. It’s just something, I guess, that I’m incapable of doing when it comes to
explaining myself or my art. Sculpture is another weakness of mine. In art, my strength is painting and printmaking. I’ve been able to express myself more efficiently through these skills and enjoy making these art forms the most. MM:What is your dream job? ET: My dream job would be to create video games using fine art and to create many paintings while teaching martial arts. For me, each of these fit well with each other and they compliment one another. MM:What is your favorite thing about FIT? ET: Probably the range of classes FIT offers in any major because it opens everyone up to different things. For Fine Arts, you have to take normal painting, abstract, source, sculpture, printmaking, computer design and a variety of liberal arts classes.
ET: I work small, and kind of large. A five by six foot painting is pretty big to me, so I think I work both large and small. MM: Do you have a concentration plan? ET: In the last year of studying Fine Arts at FIT, I’m mainly going to be focusing on painting and, if I can, printmaking. However, the main focus will still be painting. MM: Can you describe your artistic style? ET: To be honest, I don’t really know. I think, for many artists, we try not to focus on one specific style. For a few years, one could be doing contour drawings/ paintings and then all of a sudden pull off paintings similar to Cézanne. It depends on what style I feel like painting in. For the past few months, I seem to be painting in a narrative folk/comic detailed style. However, I aim for deeper meanings in my painting and drawings. MM: What do you believe makes art, well, art?
MM:Any shows coming up? ET: No, and probably not for a bit. MM: Did you grow up loving art? ET: Yes. Whether it was in kindergarten, middle school or high school, it always grabbed at my attention to make art. When I was young, I practiced a lot to compete with my older brother in drawing. After that, I just constantly created art. MM: At what age did you begin making art?
ET: I consider art to be expressing an idea or emotion in any type of medium. There are many different types of art that aren’t considered fine art. Art can use most of your senses, for example dancing or martial arts. Dancing in particular expresses ideas through movement. Video games make you use your senses as well. It is considered interactive art. During the pop art era in fine arts a lot of these ideas are expressed by the independent group. For one of their art shows, they used the idea of smell to try to make the viewer interact with their art.
The team behind Kind Over Matter planned this event thoroughly in order to get the FIT community involved in the anti-bullying movement and to build awareness about how terrible bullying is. “Walk the Chalk” had a sizeable turnout of 300 people according to Jaimie Caiazzo, Vice President of PRSSA and co-creator of Kind Over Matter, and people really enjoyed themselves. Refreshments, a DJ and a photo booth livened up the atmosphere and created a place where everyone had fun. Caiazzo, was ecstatic about the event. “We wanted to create unity among the campus and spread the word of anti-bullying. The event turned out to be more successful than I imagined…I'm proud to be part of such a supportive school community.”
We Should All Be Babyface(d)! by Marissa Mule
Photos courtesy of artist. To view more visit thebbyfc.tumblr.com.
When thinking of our generation many intangibles come to mind such as debt, liberalism, Occupy Wall Street, social media and the Jersey Shore. Although these examples are reflective of our time, they also feed into the stereotype that many people (including a handful of my professors, coworkers and my father) believe to be true: "Millennials are self indulgent brats who cannot form an opinion." First of all, I hate the word “millennial” and secondly, they are wrong. I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet many visionaries my own age. Every generation has a struggle; the difference between “ours” (circa 18–30 year olds) and "theirs" is that this time, it’s about the individual. In a time where
everyone gets a say and major pop icons like Justin Bieber spawn from YouTube, we are all magically direct contributors to the overall expression of Our Voice. This is the beginning of an era, and a new wave of Art is emerging. This movement is coming full speed ahead and busting through the doors loudly. With that said, I would like to introduce FIT graphic design student and artist, Nick Rocco. Nick is the creator of Babyface, a logo and ideology which he describes as “thinking in its purest form, as a cognitive being that makes little to no associations with society as we know it.”
and loyalty to his True self. All three of these men share their integrity with the world and are unafraid to be themselves. They all color outside societal boundaries and are imbued with a childlike enthusiasm. The world is their playground, much like it is for Rocco. Because the streets of New York are fair game for us all, Rocco found them to be the perfect location to share his message, whether it be on a gargantuan mural or miniature stencil. The art of Babyface serves a higher purpose than just being something cool that you’d post on your Instagram: it is the Icon of our
Babyface is the anti-brand’s brand. It is far more than a stenciled baby’s face that you find around Manhattan: it is the face behind Socratic Ignorance. Like Oscar Wilde once said, “We are not young enough to know everything.” For some people, this idea of “growing up” in order to understand the world around you is not exactly true. Just as we change/evolve and mature, so does the world, therefore making it constantly different. Rocco understands this notion and reflects it in his work.
generation. Babyface is meant to remind us all of our metaphysical duty to dream and accept, to remain porous and willing to share our truths without fear as children do. A Babyface asks questions and stares at everything surrounding the piece, as if it were the first time his or her eyes have ever been opened. When a baby is born, it first sees light. We all have the power to be that light, to be infinite. We all have a Babyface inside of us.
Babyface came about thanks to influences such as Banksy and Shepard Ferry. Their in-your-face approach to street art is something that resonated with Rocco. Basquiat, too, is influential in his respect
The check out more of Rocco’s work as Babyface visit, thebbyfc.tumblr.com.
Former FIT Artist Highlight:
Christian Moncada by Dave Morrissey
It’s Thursday night in Chelsea, which means that, as any typical New York City art student knows, it’s gallery night. Aside from the free wine, beer and liquor, many people are drawn to the area to check out the up-andcoming visual artists. One of these artists, featured not too long ago, was an FIT student, Christian Moncada, 19. A New York native, Christian has drawn almost his entire life, as many other FIT students have. “The best way to get the public eye is by being original, hardworking and a tad humble,” says Moncada, as he starts hanging up his prints and setting up his business cards. “You also have to learn how to represent yourself as a business, not just a person.”
This is not Christian’s first gallery opening. Last semester, after submitting his work to an online competition, his work was specially chosen by industry professionals. Christian’s artwork was featured in a small group show at the Empire Hotel’s rooftop, across the street from Lincoln Center. Christian describes his work as a composition of lines that create infinite space and value. “I picked Fine Arts as my major because sculpture, painting and life drawing are my structure. These three act as one when I draw,” he says. Christian recently arrived at a common crossroad for aspiring artists: continue with school or to jump into the professional world? Christian chose the latter. “The environment at FIT is what you make it out to be. Personally I love Chelsea.” Christian says, “But my personal opinion is I feel like FIT needs to reevaluate half of their teachers in that
department. The professors who are assured a job seem to lose their sensibility to other’s opinions involving art.” Christian stated that he felt some of the professors didn’t like the fact that he was doing his own original work. “I remember one of the painting teachers told me my work looked like I did it on Adderall,” he exclaims. “Funny, because I felt the same way about her personality.” Christian officially withdrew from classes on March 4th of this year. What now? “I see myself traveling the world over the next five years, doing tattoos and selling my prints,” says the artist. When asked if he had any regrets, he replied, “Not increasing the size of my pieces.”
join us e-mail joinwfit@ gmail.com
DEAR INDUSTRY In Conversation With:
Sara Zucker by Arushi Khosla
As fashion students, we have clearly chosen a specialization early on in our soon-to-be careers. An industry as specific as this one also encompasses various departments that are even more specific, making moving from say, editorial to sales, no easy feat. Sara Zucker, a digital media analyst at NARS Cosmetics and an always hilarious voice behind various social media channels, is one of those rare fashion savants who can do it all. And do it well. W27 sat down to chat with Zucker about her career path and what she sees as the future of fashion and digital. Photo courtesy of Sarah Zucker
Arushi Khosla: You started out interning and assisting in fairly diverse areas, from ad sales at Condé Nast and the New York Observer to library and records management at Marvel Comics. How did you eventually find your way to fashion and digital? Sara Zucker: Someone read my LinkedIn profile! I ended up in fashion by choice but digital by luck. After creating my fashion blog on Tumblr in early 2008, I networked and made friends in the burgeoning tech media crowd at the time, who recommended me for one-off freelance writing jobs on the topic of retail and branding. From there, I took a full-time position in e-mail marketing. The opportunity at Glamour was an experimental one that I couldn't pass up when it was offered and when my contract ended, I moved to NARS. The takeaway is that regardless of my job at the time, I've maintained my blog and educated myself on as many things digital that my brain can soak up each day. AK: What were some of the challenges associated with transferring from doing social media for a magazine to doing social media for a beauty brand? SZ: The challenges associated with social media tend to be the same everywhere, regardless of the industry: that of corporate understanding, whether the brand in control of said social media comprehends its implications and requirements for success. To work in social, it is imperative to be aware of the goal, ideal voice, and overall demographic of your brand and reflect it in an accessible manner through the appropriate channels, whether that be Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and so on. Ironically enough, fashion and beauty tend to be the slowest-moving, digitally, so
take care to stay informed on all forwardfacing industries from hospitality to transportation. AK: What are the top three social media platforms on which every student hoping to work in digital should be well versed and maintain a presence? SZ: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr—it's where all the brands are and have proven their worth for a brand in multiple ways (audience, sales). And it isn't just about signing up. Be sure to delve into the community and see what their trends are, how they interact with each other and brands, as well as successes and failures. AK: Where do you see burgeoning areas like mobile commerce going? SZ: I see it going! And going and going. We are on our phones—and, soon, tablets—more than ever, so it seems only natural that our most-beloved time consumers like shopping become accessible on-the-go. Many retailers have already hopped aboard the m-commerce train, but there are still many kinks to be worked out, so I don't anticipate it being without flaws for some time. AK: Which are some new social apps you’re most excited about? SZ: Call me boring, but I am psyched about the fact that I can make my iPhone pictures gallery-worthy. Take that, Ansel Adams! Just kidding, but really: Snapseed, PicShop Lite, Overgram, PicFrame. Gimme all dem photo apps. AK: What do you look for in an intern or an entry level professional you’re looking to hire? SZ: I need a potential intern to not just be
involved with social media, but to think strategically. I've been taught by mentors to always think about the big picture, so I don't just want to know that you have an account on a platform, but what you do on it, what others do, why, etc. We need to look outside of our own box to be champions in our field and I am attracted to those who realize that. AK: What is a piece of advice for an intern or entry level professional that you wish someone had given you? SZ: Don't get cocky. What you think you know now is merely a small bit of what you need to know to become successful; never stop learning, always be flexible and willing to lend a hand and take advice from anyone willing to give it because even if 98% of it is bull, that 2% could save your tuchus later on. AK: Do you think moving from publishing/editorial to digital is a relatively seamless transition? What are your thoughts on switching around in the fashion industry? SZ: It isn't so much moving from one industry to another that is the challenge, more like whether what you've experienced along the way has sunk in. Can you roll with the punches? Have you learned how to troubleshoot, or multitask or deal with different personalities? I never officially worked in a "print" environment as a digital professional, but many challenges are similar across the board, so the takeaways should help regardless of the office. AK: Would you recommend getting experience in several different areas or focusing on the one part of the industry you think you want to work in?
SZ: Unfortunately, we often hear stories of colleagues being boxed into a specific department—for example, it could be knitwear in fashion design. To avoid this, I encourage students to experiment in a variety of fields allowing themselves the opportunity to be more certain before choosing a career. (You should only see the pre-résumé of my résumé, which displays almost a dozen internships in nearly a dozen different industries.) AK: What is your favorite/the most challenging part of your job? SZ: Nearly every day is different in the interactions I have with fans of the brand I work for. I love that about what I do; that I instantly know exactly how people feel about our products, campaigns, level of artistry. It can also be one of the most challenging parts since I'm not G-d and I can't make everyone happy. You will never be able to please everyone. AK: What is a typical day in your life? SZ: My day starts by tackling my inbox and seeing if any online publications or bloggers need any digital assets like hi-res images or additional information about recent products. I check my content calendar (created about eight months in advance) to see if any platforms need an update and respond to any customer service-based inquiries. Meetings, meetings, scarf down something edible, check platforms again, respond to e-mails, another meeting. I also check my analytics dashboards monthly to gauge success or where ongoing/new features need work and why. (FYI: The more comfortable I feel in a position, the more I'm moving and looking to try new things and—typically—feeling like a chicken with my head cut off.) Time for a cocktail, eh?
Internships: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Miriam Lustig
Most FIT students are required to complete a credit bearing internship prior to graduating. These internships are generally unpaid, aside from the occasional comped office lunch or subsidized MetroCard. Every day on the job is an opportunity for the student to build their skill-set and their professional network, which completely offsets any need for monetary compensation...or so the rationale goes. Theoretically, the work-experience tradeoff is a win-win for all involved: the interns gain valuable professional experience in their chosen field while the firm gains an eager, hard-working office hand for a limited amount of time. Additionally, internships are a great way to start or supplement a resume (a blank resume will most definitely not impress prospective employers). These are the benefits of the existing credit-bearing internship system. It’s not all good though—there are some big drawbacks to the system. Most are to the disadvantage of students. The most obvious opportunity cost is, of course, the lack of pay. Instead of working at a money earning job that yields sufficient funds to cover your living expenses, you’re working hard to earn two to four college credits.
Hopefully, one day soon, your accumulated credits will amount to a degree that will translate into a lucrative career in a field you love. Right now, however, you’re a student and your landlord probably doesn’t accept college credit or IOUs in lieu of rent. Unpaid internships are simply not a practical model for most students, especially those living in New York City. The reality is that while the Kanyes and Conrads of the world may have become the face of the unpaid intern, at least according to MTV, the majority of interns are not in a position where they can afford to work for nothing. But neither can these students opt out of the system entirely—interns need the industry experience and references that come with the position, not to mention the two to four credits required to graduate. It’s a pretty rough catch-22. You would think that lack of monetary compensation would be bad enough by itself, but the bad doesn’t stop there. Another issue is the way interns may be viewed and treated while on the job. Unpaid interns, especially those in fashion and design related fields, are sometimes perceived as spoiled, entitled and incapable. Student interns have an uphill
battle proving their ability to make worthwhile contributions to a company. Additionally, because these interns are unpaid, they are often undervalued. Because there is no salary assigned to the interns, and since the interns will only be around for a short while anyways, firms don’t become particularly invested in the development of the intern, potentially compromising the work experience accorded to them. There is a huge difference between an intern who fetches coffee and counts paperclips, and one who is given an opportunity to contribute in meaningful ways. Despite these considerable drawbacks, vying for internships can be fiercely competitive—especially here in NYC—which, in itself, is a drawback. The number of students far outnumber available internship spots, depending on the field. As a result, companies are able to be extremely selective in their “hiring.” Students now need experience prior to interning in order to gain experience. Catch-22 much? The competition for unpaid or entry level work has only escalated since the Great Recession of 2008. Capable workers desperate for employment or looking to
transition into greener professional pastures are willing to take on the work typically done by interns in exchange for low salaries. These seasoned employees are far less of a risk than the untried students looking to gain experience. This creates an employment squeeze where students seeking unpaid work need to jump through even more hoops in order to even get a chance at a shot. Now we segue into the ugly: because internships are so competitive, it is not uncommon for interns to be exploited. They are expected to work long hours and often produce exemplary work, all without prior experience or even a paycheck to provide the proverbial motivational carrot. The slightest misstep may lead to early termination of the internship, which means that the student will have to repeat the competitive recruiting process during a subsequent semester, all without the advantage of a positive recommendation. This is the internship system. The good is very good, internships are a great way to enhance your education and your professional network. The bad, however, can be pretty overwhelming for college students. Opt-in or opt-out, either way you’re stuck with a pretty raw deal.
When Marketing Goes Rogue: Artistic License in Advertising by Miriam lustig
When it comes down to it, there are really only two ways to be happy: either improve the level of your experience, or lower your expectations. Advertisers, marketers and mass media, however, will try to convince you differently. Their job is to sell consumers anything that anyone can put a pricetag on, which is most things these days. Even happiness and love can be neatly packaged and marketed for public consumption (here’s looking at you, Hallmark). As any business major at FIT knows, at the core of marketing is the inexact science of persuasion. With so many products jockeying for a place in public favor, it can be tempting to make overgenerous claims regarding the benefits of the brands you represent. In such cases, there can be a precariously fine line between persuasion and deception. False or deceptive claims made by individuals or businesses is actionable under
the Lanham Act. Section 43(a) of the Act states: “(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which—...(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activities, shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.” (15 U.S.C. § 1125) This law establishes federal cause of action for instigating a civil suit against a group or individual who has intentionally set out to deceive consumers through false advertising. If the claimant is able to
prove that a false claim was made in commerce and that the claim could reasonably have lead to the claimant’s harm, then the plaintiff may be able to collect monetary remedies. Another federal safeguard against unscrupulous advertising, among other things, is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If the FTC determines an ad to be in violation of the law, then the FTC has a Congressional mandate to intervene. There are a variety of measures that the FTC can use when challenging unethical advertising practices including issuing cease and desist orders, bringing a civil suit against the offenders, seeking court injunctions to stop the false advertisements and requiring that the business or individual issue corrective advertisements. In addition to these federal deterrents against brand or product misrepresentation, all 50 states have laws that prohibit
fraudulent business practices. Many states have supplemental laws that specifically counter false advertising. All of the majors at FIT offer a comprehensive education that encompasses both design and business (skewed more towards one or the other depending on the major). In time, we’ll all hopefully have graduated and will be working in our selected field. It is important that, as professionals, we represent ourselves and our brands honestly. Remember, there’s artistic license, and then there’s just lying. Be careful not to cross that line. Just think, if Philip Morris could have gotten away with calling cigarettes a cancer cure, they certainly would have. Then where would we all be? Have an art or design related legal question? Email it to W27newspaper@gmail.com with the word “legal” in the subject line and it may become the topic of a future W27 legal column!
From Canvas to Career: Turning your Fine Arts Degree into a Job by Marissa mule
It's often said that “one must suffer for one's art,” and for graduating aspiring artists, this rings true. Studies show that 10.7% of 2008 fine arts graduates were unemployed after leaving their respective universities. Fine arts programs are ideal for creative individuals with a strong interest in art and design and in the visual arts. Fine arts graduates often specialize in a particular form of art such as painting, drawing, installations, sculpture or printmaking, but finding regular work or a permanent job as an artist is not easy. However, there's a plot twist. Data also shows that fine arts graduates splinter off into a broad variety of career fields, from teaching to management, to media and advertising, allowing artists to create their own artwork on the side. Fine arts students may become professional artists or use their talent and knowledge to further a career in a more business-oriented environment. The opportunities are limited only by the creativity and determination of the individual. The creative art sector has much more to offer besides the typical art school specializations. Aspiring artists can play a role as an artist in galleries, museums, theater, art therapy, writing as an art critic, working as an art buyer, as a creative director
at an advertising agency, museum curator, or as an artistic director or independent multi-media artist. In fact, this area of study can even lead to music-related fields. These socially and educationally focused careers provide an alternate to the fickle art world. Just as there are many different types of artists working in the fine arts, there are as many salary categories. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the following median annual wages for some fine arts careers in 2009: • Art directors: $78,580 • Craft artists: $28,960 • Multimedia artists and animators: $58,250 • Fine artists: $44,160 However, in order to gain a career in the art world, it is important to start building a portfolio of work while you are still an undergraduate. This should contain your resume, business cards, previous exhibition acceptance letters and/or postcards. You should make sure to display examples of your own ideas and artwork and organize them in a binder. In addition, enter
as many competitions and exhibitions as possible to begin to get your work known. In today's society, networking is key. Making contacts who may be able to offer (or help you secure) commissions is important as well. Social media, which has an increasing influence on the art world and contemporary galleries, includes web-based and mobile based technologies to turn communication into active dialogue. Social media technologies take on many different forms, including social networking sites, magazines and blogs. Almost every aspiring graduating artist should have an online forum or website detailing their artist profile, and of course, upcoming shows. In recent years, the combination of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have helped artists’ fan-bases grow, as they can create whole pages based on photos and statuses of their artwork. Twitter alone has processed more than 1 billion tweets, and averages almost 40 million tweets per day. As crazy as it may sound, the art world will to continue to grow as fast as this form of social media does. If friends or family ask you to produce work for them, this can be included in your portfolio and in the list of
commissions on your CV. Voluntary, donation-based work can be as valuable as selling a piece of work. This too allows your art to become known. You may also be able to find paid art-related employment while studying through projects at summer camps and activity centers for young people. Here, it is true that for creative professionals, a fine arts degree from a reputable school can open the doors to a world of opportunity. “Fine art is not a career, it’s a way of life. If finding a job is more important than doing something I love, I may as well just find a 9–5,” stated, junior Fine Arts major Hamoi Floyd. More than half of fine art graduates are employed full time six months after graduation. This includes those who become self-employed or who take unrelated jobs. Permanent jobs as a fine artist are limited and you may need to take on several different art-related jobs for the first few years in order to support your creative work.
Beauty Buzz: Beauty Is... by Diana Mazzone
If you're an avid reader of "Beauty Buzz," you've heard W27 characterize beauty in countless ways: from ecofriendly to luxurious, modest to extravagant. But makeup artist and photographer Robin Black has dared to describe beauty in a word that would make most editors shudder: boring. Yet even a quick perusal of her aptly named blog, BEAUTY IS BORING, leaves readers with a vision of beauty that is anything but. Black, whose artistry has graced the pages of Vogue, ELLE, Harper's Bazaar and countless other publications, began the project on a whim in April 2012. Almost a year later, this bi coastal beauty expert continues to update regularly, posting sophisticated, visually stunning images shot using a surprisingly unsophisticated camera: a Polaroid. With talented artists like Black on the scene, beauty isn't so boring after all... Dianna Mazzone: Your film and video work has been featured in art museums, and fittingly, the is the Art Issue of W27. How do art (specifically your photography) and beauty coexist for you? Robin Black: There is a natural conspiracy between the two and although I often try to rebel against it, that sensibility seems to be built into my psyche. DM: Of course I have to ask—how did you come up with the name BEAUTY IS BORING and when and why did you decide to start documenting your work in this more personal way? RB: Beauty, at least the way it is presented to us these days, is boring. Pop culture is saturated with a terribly mundane version of beauty—commercially viable and socially safe. Boring! The name popped into my head when I very first thought of doing the blog and it just stuck. Beauty Is Boring was born shortly after my first shoot with this particular camera. The gorgeous Charlotte Carey happened by for a visit just as I was testing out some film. An hour later, after a quick makeup look and some experimental focus attempts in my kitchen, I had taken the first image for this project. Of course it wasn't till a few days later, while scanning the Polaroids, that the idea of publishing them in blog format came about. I didn't really think it through. I didn't have any particular goal or direction and I still don't. It's really more of an experiment or perhaps more accurately, an obsession. DM: All the images on the site are shot with a Polaroid camera yet look so modern and striking! Did you always intend to post only Polaroids when you began, or did that evolve along with the site? RB: Ever since I was a teenager I've had a love affair with Polaroids. Over the years, I've shot everything from the 600 and the Spectra to very old Land Models. When I finally got my hands on the Big Shot, I couldn't put it down. The secret is the magicubes—an extinct type of flashcube made especially for this camera. They are rare, expensive and often don't work. The camera is incredibly difficult to focus and the film often jams. It's a totally ridiculous medium to shoot a beauty blog in.
DM: BEAUTY IS BORING is somewhere between a photo essay and a blog—do you think it leans toward being more like one or the other? RB: I think of it as a photo essay in the form of a blog. I really enjoy the blog format, it is a modern version of Xerox zines. DM: You not only feature models, but friends and everyday people on your site—how does the experience of working with them differ? RB: Models are professional image makers which is both a good and a bad thing. On the up side, you know that with a great model you will always get the shot. However, I love the unexpected quality that comes from working with friends and strangers. I am fascinated by that certain vulnerability and tension in the face of people who don't typically find themselves in front of the lens.
DM: What's one beauty product you couldn't live without? RB: I am often bare faced but I rarely leave the house without fragrance.
DM: What's the next product you're itching to try out or a new favorite you've recently been introduced to? RB: I am currently working my way through boxes of Chanel, Tom Ford, Serge Lutens and Dior's latest colors. I adore cult products from Japan and Ellis Faas makes a lipstick exactly the color of blood. Exactly! And rosewater spray, I always have that on hand. Photos courtesy of Robin Black
Get ready to pop this Spring with bright clothing amidst a sea of New Yorkers in their favorite color: black. Bring your own artistic twist to the city streets with color blocking, graphic prints and unique accessories. When New York is your canvas, anything is possible.
Photographer: Jacquelyn Clifford Stylist: Emily Bennett Model: Lauren McKechnie
printed dress: Iris von Armin / earrings: style shop / sunglasses: Quay opposite page > striped sweater: John & Jenn / jeans: Blank NYC / purse: style shop / sunglasses: Quay / necklace: Robyn Brooks on the cover > Denim Vest: nanette lepore / green dress: nanette lepore / shoes (worn throughout): nanette lepore / bangle: style shop / sunglasses: stylistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own
ART Sweater: Line / Jacket: Nanette Lepore / Pants: Nanette Lepore / sunglasses: stylists own / earrings: style shop
s ku llp h o n e by Fernanda DeSouza
Photography by Fernanda DeSouza
FD: Has social media impacted street art in a positive or negative way and has it posed as a threat in keeping your identity a secret? S: Well I’m not concerned about keeping my identity a secret really. It’s a choice I made 15 years ago as cellphones and Internet became prevalent—working against it, behind the scenes, as an art form. This overall model challenges common practice as an artist since artist characters are celebrated far more than any singular art piece. I’m not completely dodging the bullet though since I use a recognizable moniker. @skullphone likes social media. FD: I got to help you at your studio when I was in LA two months ago. Has the idea of the “artist studio” changed and how do you distinguish the difference between your actual studio and the streets as your studio per say?
Street art is a lot of things. However we choose to classify it—illegal, not serious art, or a revolutionary art movement—it’s stands alone in its own niche. Starting with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “SAMO” on the walls of downtown Manhattan, Keith Haring’s active figures plastered on murals around the world and so on, we progress to Skullphone, an L.A.based street artist who’s taking this niche to another level. His signature identifier, a skull talking on the phone, is a reminder of how street art has evolved since its creation. He is manipulating the essence of advertisement, religion, the Digital Age—every day things—and throwing it back in our faces to for our interpretation. So pick up. Skullphone is calling. Fernanda DeSouza: Was there a piece of art that you encountered that made you stop and say “Wow! This is what I need to be doing?” Skullphone: When I moved back to Los Angeles in 1999 I was inspired by the size of hand painted advertisements circulating monthly on buildings. Los Angeles has a 50 year history of impressive large murals but the large graphic advertisements of the time inspired me most. Now the ads are even larger and more disposable—digital prints on mesh or plastic and wrapped around anything. As an art form, I like the idea of weaving in and out of indoor and outdoor spaces and not being limited to preconceptions of art or advertisement. This sensibility was somewhat unique in 1999 but is quite adulterated now. FD: Do you feel that the art scene has drastically changed since becoming a part of it? S: Of course. It’s constantly changing – specifically with the context of “street
art” being defined in our current mass culture. I’ve also become more aware of the art business gears which are a bit of a turnoff really. It’s quite an unregulated corrupt industry, but it has supposedly always been. The thing changing most is my understanding of it – which determines what I’m buying into and what I’m creating.
S: My studio has been a work in progress for 10 years and I just closed a chapter of working within the solitude of my studio for five years. The urgency of the street art movement is over. Anyone who has been part of it knows the feeling of rushing to get it done. This is why it is called a “movement,” right? I’m not saying that street art itself is over, but there is a refocusing—now what? This hit me in 2008 and I decided to create a formal body of work that anyone could appreciate without a “street art” narrative. The spirit of my work is the same, and it is a linear progression, but you could literally drop acid and love the show, or bring your grandparents in. The work encourages varied interpretations conceptually and visually without any footnotes. FD: Street art is still illegal and it will probably stay that way for a while. Does the illegality of it make your job more exhilarating? S: Technically street art is illegal when it’s on uncommissioned outdoor spaces. So much of what we see now is a grand endorsement from the corporate and privatized business world at large. Street artists generally spend large amounts of time and money getting up on walls
that then get buffed, so we’d prefer to work on walls with green lights from the owners. So there is a new sick business model where we are offered or request legit walls with our own production cost. It takes advantage of the artists under a normal capitalist umbrella since normally a “muralist” would be paid for supplies and time. But within the street art bubble it make sense. Anyway, legal walls aside, yes, I still practice uncommissioned outdoor art with my own rationalizations, which is essentially why I haven’t emerged from a cake. FD: Do you notice a lot of different styles between East and West Coast street art or do you see the same influences behind the works to be about the same? S: I notice blank spaces more than anything else. And, in L.A., who’s claiming the four blocks of my hood. FD: Your artwork touches upon things we do/see/use in our day to day lives— billboard ads, religion, the Digital Age. Can you say you pull inspiration from average day life and how are you trying to get your message across from the work you produce? S: I’ve described my art as painting a mirage. FD: As a street artist, how do you define “success?” S: Well I don’t work in a vacuum, nor am I fed with a silver spoon. I partially define success by the amount of cold hard cash in my pocket, and the amount of checks I cut with “gift,” “donation,” or “studio assisting” written on the notes line. I don’t think anyone can ever clearly grasp their reach into the world. It’s ever changing. But the balance I have is as artist and as art business. It’s quite a balance if one cares. Otherwise you’re a puppeteering puppet, going through the motions alone. FD: Define “Skullphone” in one sentence (what is the essence of Skullphone?). S: Open 24 hours.
FD: You had a very bad injury during your trip to London last summer for your show. Can you explain how you overcame that and how it affected your creative process and ability to put out work? S: Yes I broke both of my feet in London in July. I’d been working with casts of my feet during the prior 6 months— working toward the New York show in May and London show in July. I jumped off a wall and broke my feet two nights prior to the London opening. As artists, we each follow some sort of creative emergency which is only truly understood by ourselves until it is all said and done. I’ve entered 2013 with a renewed intuition trust.
Ideal Standard, Look Left, 2012 60.96 cm x 121.92 cm x 2.54 cm Urethane Base, Polyurethane clearcoat and Enamel on Aluminum Panel Courtesy of the artist
ke l s e y b ro o ke s by Francesca beltran
A San Diego based artist, Kelsey Brookes radically changed his life by switching his career from biochemist to full-time artist. His scientific background, however, has not been altogether abandoned; it has served as inspiration for many of his pieces, which combine sex, comedy and nature with an exploration of molecular structures. His work may be found at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and on the cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers new record release. W27 learned more about this cutting-edge artist.
Francesca Beltran: As a former biochemist, how was the transition from being a scientist to starting a career in art? Was it something you had been doing on the side all along, or something you suddenly discovered and decided to pursue? Kelsey Brookes: The transition was a fun adventure. I had to completely rearrange my life but I was ready for that. Art was something I was always interested in but not ready to pursue until I was about 25 years old. FB: What made you make up your mind? When did you decide to take that step and change your life? KB: It was a slow process of mounting interest in art and a growing disinterest with my occupation as a research scientist. One day I just decided that I wanted to make the change and that the sooner the better. So I made an appointment to talk to my supervisor and just told her. I was a little nervous but then again I’m always a little nervous.
molecular structures; is there a particular kind of molecular structure that interest you? KB: Neurotransmitters and the molecules that mimic those neurotransmitters interest me. These molecules create and facilitate our experiences of consciousness. Without these molecules there would be no awareness. FB: Besides your background in science, what other factors inspire your art? KB: Surfing, philosophy, meditation, love, wonder, hallucination. FB: How do you manage to convey a message through your pieces? Photos courtesy of the artist
KB: By manipulating color and line width, I try to create a visual experience similar to the experience created by those neurotransmitters. FB: And what experience is that one? Could you please give an example in which you relate the neurotransmitters experience with one of your pieces? KB: LSD is a molecule that structurally mimics the neurotransmitter serotonin. The paintings I made based on LSD are made with lots of intersecting and overlapping colored lines that when perceived, have a disorientation and dizzying effect on the visual system. In addition, the explosion of colors in the painting are an often reported effect of LSD on the human visual system. Looking at the painting is not the same as taking LSD, rather the effect of LSD informs the way I depict it. FB: What role, if any, does symbolism play in your pieces and how is it represented?
KB: All the colorways are inspired by the sunsets I see while surfing here in California. Surfers get an unaltered, front row seat to every sunset here on the West Coast. We are all very lucky. FB: Sounds amazing—what about the black and white piece? Why did you include it? What does that one represent? KB: I had originally conceived of this print as a black on black print but I was lucky enough to get to work very closely with the printer on this piece. It took months of work getting to know the press, the inks and all the variables, and after all that time we found that the black and white print just came out the most interesting aesthetically. So we made the majority of this print black and white. FB: You went from biochemistry to art, is there something else you’d like to explore next? Any new projects in sight? KB: I want to make food.
FB: Did you ever get an education in fine arts? Taken any kind of class or had any kind of artistic background? KB: No. I tried though. I applied to the "Intro to Drawing" class at my university every semester I was there but was never allowed in because I was a science major. FB: What aspects of your scientific background most influence your work as an artist and which make it more difficult? KB: The sense of wonder and curiosity about the world is the foundation of both art and science. That stays the same, it’s just the method of discovery that changes. FB: You sometimes take scientific drawings and expand them into colored and monochromatic paintings that explore
KB: Symbols can sometimes provide a jumping off point for a painting. The smiley face, for example, is a ubiquitous caricature that is also a bit ambiguous. I think a smile can mean so many different things. So it is an interesting symbol to manipulate. FB: In terms of your new print Triple Happiness, what is the inspiration behind this piece? What does it represent? KB: A smile can say so many things but here its all about pure stoke and happiness times three. FB: Do you have a personal preference among the six color variations? Is there one in particular that is somehow more meaningful?
FB: You mean professionally? Owning a restaurant? Becoming a chef? KB: I do all the cooking at home and love it. It’s really similar to painting. Manipulating subtle variables to achieve something surprising and fun. I love getting a big pile of ingredients together and trying to come up with an edible meal out of it. Improvisation. I don’t really know how I want to do it in the future, I just know I love to cook and want to pursue it in the future. FB: Would you be interested in one day going back to biochemistry? KB: Not now. I love keeping up with what is happening in the field and my
understanding of biology really helps me in making my work. But I’m having too much fun right now! FB: Did you find the process of working with bands [such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers] on their cover artwork somehow limiting as an artist? Is this something you would like to keep pursuing, collaborating with other musicians? KB: Not limiting at all, expansive and rad! I have never had to take any direction or been asked to do anything specific. The bands just find something I have made in the past that they like and if the project makes sense then I go for it. It’s great! FB: You mean you give them pieces you’ve already created or you use those pieces as a starting point to make the new ones for the band? KB: It’s gone both ways, but mostly they just find something existing that I have done and just use that. FB: What have you found most challenging about pursuing a career in art and in being an artist itself? KB: Being completely consumed by the pursuit of passion has its costs but they are well worth it. It’s a great life. I am beyond lucky. No complaints at all—pure stoke and happiness times three! Kelsey Brookes’ new print Triple Happiness is available exclusively from Quint Contemporary Art. The print measures 14x18 inches and it is available in 6 color variations. Visit quintgallery.com for more information.
HAUTE CULTURE Gallery Review
Courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery
by Dana Heyward
The New York based artist Jean-Michel Basquiat began his craft at the age of 16 when he left home and began tagging his signature “SAMO” on walls in Lower Manhattan. By the 1980s, Basquiat had made a mark in the Neo-Expressionist movement with his vivid combination of painting and graffiti. With an effortless charisma and connections to Warhol and Madonna, Basquiat was quickly revered as a rock-star in the art scene during the 1980s. Although short-lived (Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988), his life and work has still maintained a following, as he was a true innovator in his own right. The Gagosian Gallery’s West 24th Street location commemorates Basquiat’s work as it contains a carefully curated selection of his paintings. The exhibit is based on the artist’s own saying “It’s about 80% anger.” The 59 works from both private and public collections pay full homage to the artist’s skill of combining graffiti and fine art. Many of Basquiat’s works were
fueled by his personal political and social stances and often commented on race and urban life. But despite some critics’ efforts, not all of Basquiat’s works were definable and some were truly based off of spontaneity. Only Basquiat could really describe (if willing) their true meaning. Basquiat's exuberant personality often shined through his work since he focused frequently on texture and thick brushstrokes that can emit a great deal of emotion. His signature aesthetic is most blatant in his Untitled (Two Heads on Gold) piece, which shows his fluent mix of mediums and common cartoonish figures. One can argue that admirers can actually feel the artistic energy just from personally viewing one of Basquiat’s pieces. The Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit is on view at the Gagosian Gallery at 555 West 24th Street until April 6th, 2013.
Fortuny y Madrazo: An Artistic Legacy by Desiree Perez
Inspired by his father and the foreign cultures of Morocco and Greece, Spanish textile designer Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo created garments that were worn by fashion icons such as Lauren Bacall. Until March 30, the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, located at 684 Park Ave, will feature an exhibit, curated with Oscar de la Renta, showcasing various garments and paintings by Fortuny y Madrazo and his family. Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, Peplos (detail), 1910–1920 Courtesy of the Museo del Traje, Madrid
Upon entering the institute, you stop dead in your tracks by Fortuny's work; two large doors covered in blue and gray textiles designed by the artist himself. It soon becomes obvious that Fortuny was enamored by Arabic djellabas made of silk satin and silk velvet with Venetian glass beads on the edges. Some garments are accompanied by colorful silk turbans.
Others look worn out and old, but it was Fortuny's intent to make them appear that way. The pleating technique, inspired by the Greek statue known as the Charioteer of Delphi, is consistently found in his famous Delphos gowns. Like Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel, Fortuny opposed the cinched waist and it showed through most of his garments; they were loose fitting with no trace of a womanly silhouette. However, there was the exception of two dresses that were loosely cinched by a thin rope. Besides the intricate gowns, you can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Fortuny's silk fabric swatches along with his used tubes of Italian paint. A couple of nude photos of women hang on the walls to show you that he practiced photography as
well. Fortuny believed photography aided him in designing well fitted garments for women. Photographs of Henriette Negrin, the wife of Fortuny, are also on display. Being a dressmaker herself, Negrin served as an influence to Fortuny throughout his career. The Madrazo name was known for the family's history of artistic talents in Spain. Along with Negrin were the Madrazo family who set the path for Fortuny from a small age. You will also find a family tree and oil paintings by his mother's grandfather Jose Madrazo. Fortuny y Madrazo: An Artistic Legacy is on view at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute until March 30, 2013.
Tibet House 23rd Annual
The Drawer Boy
Benefit Concert by Francesca beltran
by Megan Venere
Almost 15 years after its original premiere in 1999, The Drawer Boy comes to New York City’s June Havoc Theatre at The Abingdon Theatre Complex, performed by the Oberon Theatre Ensemble. The Drawer Boy, a play set in early 1970’s Ontario, tells the story of two bachelor farmers, Angus and Morgan, best friends and World War II veterans. The normal pattern of their lives is disrupted when Miles, a young actor from Toronto, comes to live with them to observe their lifestyle for his theater troupe’s next play. As Miles learns the basics of farm life, he begins to notice the oddities in the farmers’ lives, including Angus’s shortterm memory loss due to an injury from the war. Miles overhears Morgan telling Angus their story one night, the story of “the drawer boy and the farmer boy.” Miles finds the story riveting and uses it without Morgan’s permission for his play. Hearing the story performed live sparks Angus’s memory and heals him momentarily. It is soon discovered, as Angus’s memory improves, that the story Morgan has been telling Angus for almost thirty years is fiction, and that the real course of events is more painful. This snowballs into a series of events that uproot the peaceful lives of the two friends and dramatically alters their friendship.
This year, the 23rd annual Tibet House Benefit Concert curated by composer Philip Glass, took place on February 21 at NYC’s Carnegie Hall. The ensemble of talented artists included Tenzin Choegyal, Ira Glass, Rahzel, Tune-Yards, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Ariel Pink and Patti Smith and Her Band, all accompanied at times by the Scorchio String Quartet. The night began with a chant blessing (dirge-like moaning) performed by six monks from the Drepung Gomang Monasteries, to commemorate the Tibetan New Year –“Water Snake Losar.” Tune-Yards followed and, after some technical difficulties (her drums weren’t plugged in), played a very strong cover of Yoko Ono’s “Warrior Woman.” The eccentric Ariel Pink came next with an impeccable performance of Haunted Graffiti’s “Grey Sunset.” For the next two hours, artists came and went, all collaborating with each other on stage. Most outstanding moments included Rahzel’s impressive beatboxing, Jim James’s hilarious radio skit accompanied by two coordinated dancers, Jim James’s presentation as a solo artist and Patti Smith’s interpretation of Allen Ginsberg’s poem "Wichita Vortex Sutra," supported by Glass on piano. On the other hand, not-so-great moments
included the risky attempt to combine the monastic choir with a rock performance from the House Band, which resulted in the monks’ chants being horribly muffled. Not only did one have nothing to do with the other, but at some point the monks clearly seemed sadly out of place. The night ended with Patti Smith and her Band performing three songs, including “Ghost Dance,” and “People Have the Power.” This last one had every artist but Pink joining her on stage, and the audience dancing and clapping to the beats, marking for a very appropriate finale. The combination of all these eclectic performances and their engagement with the audience resulted in an enjoyable show that successfully combined music, homage and humor. Considering the precarious situation in which Tibet still finds itself, this blend of solemn moments with comedy and optimism were very suiting and well received. Tibet House U.S. was founded in 1987 at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Honorary in order to preserve Tibet’s living culture. Proceeds from the concert this year will also support the Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation. Honorary chairs for the event included Uma Thurman and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Photo courtesy of Tracy Ketcher
The Drawer Boy explores the power of storytelling and the role it plays in our lives, how fictitious stories may be used to ease our pain or how the truth can mend our wounds. The play also explores the themes of friendship and love, and what lengths a person would go to protect those he loves. The Oberon Theatre Ensemble perfectly executes these themes and ideas in a compelling and simple manner: almost the entire play takes place in the kitchen of the farmhouse. Instead of the focus being on spectacle, the focus is on the story and the actors, as it should be. Each gives an incredible and truthful performance. William Lancy’s Angus is not a stereotypical performance of a mentally ill person, which is a fine line to tread these days; he shines in the role. Alex Fast as Miles and Brad Fryman as Morgan also give compelling performances. This story can resonate with anyone, as it deals with human nature and the human experience. The Drawer Boy is now playing at the June Havoc Theatre at The Abingdon Theatre Complex at 312 W. 36th Street.
Oz the Great and Powerful by Fernanda DeSouza
What you will find down the Yellow Brick Road in Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful are fantastical beasts, a star-studded cast and that cherry on top, lessonlearned-feel-good moral that lies behind every Disney film. We follow Oscar Diggs, a fraud circus man who aspires to be the next Harry Houdini and Thomas Edison Photos courtesy of Disney
all wrapped into one. Unsatisfied with his dismal Kansas life, it takes one all-tooexpected natural disaster to take Oscar over the rainbow and into the enchanted Land of Oz. Sam Raimi, director of cheap 1970s horror films and the Spider-Man trilogy, transports us to his interpretation of Oz. He overdoes it, as we’ve seen the same set designs before—think King Kong and Avatar: sprawling mountains, roaring waterfalls and a Cinderella castle smack in the middle of rolling, green hills. Raimi, unlike many directors, masters the art of 3D effects. Worried that this technique would fail, it was a pleasant surprise to have flying hats, baboons, fireballs, and a haggard, shrieking witch thrown at our faces—effectively—leaving even me a little frightened at times (perhaps Raimi tapping into his horror movie past?). He manipulates his camera angles tactfully so as we get an entire scope of the magical land, shooting at angles we would not have seen 74 years ago. Needless to say, James Cameron should consider calling Raimi and get the 101 on creating a proper 3D movie. What Oz lacks in the geographical category so to speak, Raimi makes up for by resurrecting elements from the 1939 classic into his piece. The opening minutes of the film find us in the old-time sepia toned screen proportion of Dust Bowl Kansas we find in its predecessor. We are introduced to the companions Oscar will later meet in Oz: Zach Braff as his neglected stage assistant/humorous talking monkey in a bellboy suit, Joey King, a handicapped girl in a wheelchair/a vivacious yet delicate china doll and Michelle Williams as Annie, a past love interest of Oscar’s and the alter ego of Glinda the Good Witch of the South (didn’t see that one coming!). It is safe to say that Oz does not linger on singsongs such as the 1939 version or its Broadway cousin, Wicked.
The score, composed by Danny Elfman, echoes the booming, majestic tunes that we expect from a fantastical land somewhere far beyond the rainbow. The big slip-up of this film lies in the casting. Whereas the lead in the first tale of L. Frank Baum is Judy Garland with her sugarcoated vibrato, the 2013 version features a cheeky James Franco, swept away in a twister from his Freaks and Geeks days and morphed into a turn-of-the-centuryconman. Franco is a handsome womanizer (or should I say “witchanizer”), wooing the three witches with his little boy smile, crow’s feet, and sweet talk. But let’s be real—did it cross your mind that Franco would be playing the balding man behind the curtain? At this point, Franco will inhabit any role thrown his way and we will accept him for whomever he portrays. But no matter how versatile Franco’s resume may look on paper, he does not embody that charlatan sneak as hoped and instead comes off as phony and over the top. Michelle Williams’s character is innocent and charming, enough to fill Glinda’s shoes but does not leave an impression behind. It seems that Mila Kunis’s character (and acting) only sparks our interest as she sheds that naïve façade and transforms into a heart-broken, vengeful diabolist. Rachel Weisz on the other hand, drips with glamour and power as she portrays the sneaky and conniving Emerald City advisor, seeming to be the only perfect fit in the entire cast. James Franco is dreamy and we may learn a lesson or two that leaves us going “Aww!” and nodding in agreement. But perhaps going into Oz the Great and Powerful with a child’s mindset will prove best in distracting audiences from swallowing the cold hard truth that remakes of classics are flops. This is not Oz the Great and Powerful but Oz the Good Enough.
Outside Your Borough: Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill by Fernanda DeSouza
with its glass bottles filled with feathers hanging from the ceiling. Looking for affordable nouveau-vintage clothing? Lucia is a chic, modern-day Brooklyn boutique clad in Barbie-pink curtains and wallpaper. Delicate pieces with generous price tags—or at least more generous than your local vintage store. Think Zara but a little less business and a pinch of sweetness. Looking for not so affordable quality clothing? Smith & Butler is Lana-Del Rey’s-“Ride”-meetsSteve-McQueen, all in one. I couldn’t figure out what to appreciate more: the clothing or the décor, which is motorcycle-woodsy-Americana to say the least. A small women’s selection sits in the front but the store is mostly for men looking for a great pair of patterned socks and that lumberjack-greaser look. Photography by Fernanda DeSouza
It’s safe to assume that Brooklyn has dug itself deep into my heart. It started with Williamsburg, then Bushwick for its superb rooftop parties. But away from all the hipsters and rave warehouses, these residential and laid-back neighborhoods of Brooklyn found themselves on my radar, so I put my Rosie the Riveter bandana (reserved for Williamsburg nightlife) back in its drawer and kicked back in the quiet crevices of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. First stop, Smith Canteen. To get away from the snow that was pelting us, we ran over to this small coffee shop located on the corner of Smith and 1st Streets. Large windows allow for great amounts of natural light in this modern café. There’s nothing cozy about Smith Canteen, unless you count the wooden benches that hug the windows around the shop. Tile floors, mahogany accented walls, large mirrors and to juxtapose them, miniscule marble tables sum up the interior of this café. Typical hipster barista guys who are willing to flirt with you in between transactions float nearby and there’s music found on a Fleetwood Mac Pandora station—not too shabby. We plopped down and warmed up with their
signature turkey, bacon, lettuce and sage mayo sandwich served on a poppy/sesame seed covered croissant ($9). Number of napkins necessary to eat this? Six. It’s flaky but delicious. Make sure to use those mirrors to check your teeth post eating. Two things to be cautious of: there’s no WiFi. If you’re willing to be unplugged for an hour or so, Smith Canteen is your go-to. And, because it sits across the street from an elementary school, expect rowdy children tricking their parents into buying them chocolate cookies. Up the street is the gem of a store By Brooklyn—“fine goods” made in Brooklyn for those of you who support Americanmade products. Although the store seemed a little empty for the amount of space, you will find yourself touching every knicknack on the shelves. Denim bound journals and wine tote bags with BROOKLYN spelled out on the front were some of the few things to consider. Come here to find some unique gift ideas. But beware—the merchandise found here isn’t the cheapest. Don’t forget you are paying for good quality American products and that costs a pretty penny. If you can’t afford any of these artisan pieces, stand outside and appreciate the window,
In desperate search of a warm place to dry my boots, I came upon Bien Cuit. Entering this bakery was like entering a steaming nightclub. The heavy heat of the baked goods and frothing coffees pervades the air. You will find more than just whole wheat loaves of bread. The menu ranges from sourdough and challah to the Portuguese broa de milho. If you’re not interested in the breads, indulge in the sweets! The pistachio roulade (Saigon cinnamon and toasted pistachio) and apple cardamom Danish (puréed apple and cardamom streusel) were our picks. And the good news: WiFi! Get off of Amazon.com and support your local bookstore. Go around the corner from Bien Cuit to browse through a wide selection of literature in one of my new favorite bookstores, Book Court. For an independent bookstore, the space is extensive. With a basement and the back area used for readings and book discussions, Book Court is filled with the classics, the new bestsellers, great customer service, and a vibe that says, “Hey, we’re cooler than Barnes & Noble and Amazon!” Check out their calendar online, as Book Court is host to multiple events throughout the week—for free. Book Court: 1, Barnes & Noble/Amazon: 0.
If you find yourself wanting to relive your Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom fetish, or just want to feel like a Boy Scout for the night, wind down in the wooden shack at Camp. Expect this bar to be exactly what the name suggests. Low-lit candles, a kayak and moosehead hanging on the wall and cozy couches spread throughout. Oh, and everything’s made out of wood. Camp is an ideal place to go on a first date—or second, or fifth. Order a whiskey sour and pretend to be Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop. All you’re missing is a vinyl copy of Françoise Hardy’s “Les Temps de L’amour” playing in the background. It’s safe to say that gentrification swept through and wiped away any stereotypes we’ve had of the old Brooklyn. What’s left are breathtaking brownstones, families (lots of ‘em!), and an array of daytime activities and quaint nightlife. It’s far enough away that as so you’re not stifled by the hipster kingdom of Williamsburg and close enough to that homey feeling we sometimes lack in Manhattan.
MONTH IN REVIEW by Ashley Mungo
North Korea Conducts Third, Most Powerful Nuclear TesT
Courtesy of Al Jazeera
In February, a relatively silent and isolated North Korea confirmed that it had conducted its third nuclear test, edging closer to becoming a nuclear state. The KCNA, Korean Central News Agency, issued a statement saying that the government used a “miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously,” while also stating that the test “did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding geological environment.” Neighboring countries detected the seismic activity near the same location that the 2006 and 2009 tests took place. Estimates suggest that the test was far larger than the previous two conducted by North Korea, but still less powerful than the first bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Just a few weeks prior to the test, North Korea issued a blunt threat to the U.S., stating that it would use weapons to “target” the United States, and forecasted that it would proceed with another nuclear test. The nuclear test that took place not only poses diplomatic problems for President Barack Obama, but also for the international community as well. The United Nations condemns all nuclear activity in North Korea and Kim Jong-un illustrated to the world that he is following
in the footsteps of his autocratic father. Pushing the nuclear weapons program through without support from anyone in the international community, especially its biggest ally China, further isolates the nation-state from any relationship with surrounding countries. The idea that North Korea could potentially become a full-fledged nuclear state is frightening, not only to South Korea, but also to any country that it is in the range of the missiles it swears it possesses. The Obama administration has continually threatened to take additional action to penalize the country, but few sanctions are left, as cutting off oil and aid from China are the last penalties that would actually hurt the country. While this sanction might have the greatest effect on the unpredictable country, China has stated that communication rather than sanctions are a preferable method to persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. It will be weeks before the U.S. can determine if the test was actually successful or not. Until then, the international community will have to wait to see if there is an actual threat brewing in the North, and if so, how to handle the country that so vehemently isolates itself from everyone else.
New Pope Elected After Pope Benedict XVI Resigns Amid Old Age and Scandals The successor of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected on March 13 and took the name Francis, becoming the first South American, pope, the first Jesuit pope and the first pope to take that name. The 76-year-old who has a reputation of championing social outreach, will have to contend with practical challenges such as a shortage of priests and nuns around the world and the sex abuse crisis, while also trying to promote the ideologies of the church to the ever-growing youth in Europe and around the world. Courtesy of Wbur.org
The path to his election began when, in a surprise announcement to the world and the one billion-plus members of the Catholic church, Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement stating that as of February 28th, he would resign—the first pope to do so in six centuries. Marred by scandals that rocked the church such as the sexual abuse crisis, Pope Benedict XVI stated that he examined his conscience “before God” and felt that he was not up to challenge of leading the church any longer. Illustrating that this had to do with his “advanced age,” the pope, 85, will live out his remaining years in the Monastery Mater Ecclesia in the Vatican Gardens.
While the news was shocking to the Catholic community, even more troublesome was the idea of finding a new successor who could lead the Catholic Church out of its recent scandals and into the more liberal 21st century. Pope Benedict XVI, while a highly respected pope, was of a conservative nature, condemning the use of condoms in an effort to prevent AIDS and continuing to disallow the ordination of women. It has been speculated that the next pontiff will have to deal more openly with these issues in the hope of appealing to an increasingly secular Europe and the spread of Protestant Evangelical movements.
FIT SPEAKS The Art of Writing by Fernanda DeSouza
I’m a little ticked off. No, actually, I’m very pissed off. I’m big into texting and I can’t deny that I prefer texting as a mode of communication than listening to a person’s voice on the other line (how antisocial of me). I am also not a big fan of abbreviations—other than an occasional “OMG.” Deciphering Facebook statuses and Twitter updates spelled in hieroglyphics makes me feel like the social media Indiana Jones, without the whip. At times, we express ourselves using Emojis—the heart, the smiley faces and the grinning poop: what the hell does that mean? You love pooping and just had a good dump so you’re ecstatic about it? But being an avid texter and social media abuser, I maintain a sense of dignity and prefer to use correct grammar and punctuation within each text message or update. And it gets me thinking, if technology is at fault here—has technology changed the art of writing? I’ll be the first—but not last—to admit that yes, technology has changed and, in a sense, ruined the art of writing. Writing letters has become cumbersome, owning a dictionary is archaic and passing notes to your friend sitting next to you in class takes too much effort. I will confess that the red squiggly line word processors provide us has become addicting and I can no longer survive without its help. But I find myself stumbling over the spelling of words when writing in my notebook. There is no SpellCheck button to press. Simple words make you second guess yourself, “Wait, is that how you spell that?” You don’t know. Your hands start to sweat, your heart is beating fast. You hope nobody is looking as you sink with shame in your chair because you cannot spell the word definitely correctly. Clearly you didn’t pay enough attention in seventh grade English. And then, there is the time where you are reading an article, a story or a novel. And you see that word. The word you can’t even pronounce or spell. Your mouth does all these funny motions as it struggles to form a semi-comprehensible pronunciation but you end up looking idiotic and move on to the next word. We’ve all been there and done that (remember how you’d
skip them in middle school when reading out loud and wait for the teacher to fill in the blank?). My biggest fear is that we’ve become so dependant on technology that real writing becomes this burden. Writing an essay in class—oh, forget it! Your hand will be throbbing and you’ll wince and complain and then tweet about it, with the hashtag #firstworldpain. And although I wrote this piece on a laptop, I much prefer to get my fingers dirty with pen and ink and build that coarse callous on my middle finger than getting carpal tunnel and staring into a screen until I’m blind. So, FIT, I am asking you to take the Writing Challenge (sorry for the lack of creativity in challenge titles). Try a few of these things to get that callous (and writing) stronger: ΩΩ First and foremost, go out and treat yourself to a nice journal and pen. I’m a Moleskine/Varsity fountain pen girl but if nice to you means a yellow legal pad and BIC pen, then it will suffice. Introduce yourselves, become friends and start commuting together to and from campus and begin to write down the little things you see on the train, on the street (even if it’s about a weave you saw laying on the sidewalk). This is not necessarily a journal per se but more of an observations book. If writing a whole sentence is asking too much, write one word, pat yourself on the back and call it a day. At least you’re writing! ΩΩ Can’t stand that bitch that stole the last sewing machine in the lab? Instead of attacking her with your abnormally large rulers, write it out! Verbal venting just stirs you up even more. Opt for a quick session of pen to paper to get all that frustration out, then rip it up and chuck it. You will feel relieved and hopefully by the time you finish this vent-writing session, she got up for a bathroom break, thus giving you a chance to steal the machine for yourself. ΩΩ Join W27! Hey, we love new contributors! But if you can’t handle a little critique from us editors, then get
a diary instead. ΩΩ BRAIN DUMP is a technique I picked up from an English professor here on campus. And it means exactly how it sounds. Don’t formulate things in your head, just WRITE. “God, I get such bad wedgies wearing these leggings.” “This guy in my class walks in heels better than me, WTF is wrong with the world!?” “There’s this enormous booger in my nose and I can’t go to the bathroom right now because if I leave, someone will take that sewing machine I need.” “I don’t have anything to write so I’m writing this sentence instead.” That’s Brain Dump. ΩΩ Writing prompts are probably the easiest way to jumpstart your writing. I’m not going to list them here, Google them yourself. Pick a new writing prompt every day and write a minimum of a paragraph that correlates to that prompt. It could spark a short story, a memory, or an inspiration for a new painting or jewelry piece. ΩΩ Writing down your dreams when you wake up is a fun way to begin your day and will help you keep track of your subconscious (that sneaky bastard). Then go interpret them on Dream Moods to see just how messed up you really are. ΩΩ For all you Faulkner wannabes out there, push your writing ability a step further by joining 750words.com. This website allows you log in 750 words each day for the duration of a month, then allows you to start fresh the first day of the next month. Create an account and start penning your next novel or collection of [very] short stories. So enough with the poop Emojis. Just text me saying, “Hey, Fernanda! I had the best dump just now. (insert poop Emoji here to add emphasis)” and I’ll gladly refrain from judging your ability to write. But until next issue—c u l8er!
Bye Bye Benny by Richard Gilmartin
church’s youth group. There they tried to teach us about good morals and build a sense of community. When I first joined, I only went because I was forced to do so by my parents. The strange part was that the people who ran this group seemed to be extremely selective about the people they chose to be included in the core of it. There was definitely an in crowd. Being included in this group to me was better than being considered popular in high school. It meant that not only was I well liked, but I was also a good person. Photo courtesy of Richard Gilmartin
Last month the pope announced that he would be, in fact, retiring. The world is in an uproar, who will replace him? Are we going to have two popes at once? Is this even allowed? Where will this new pope come from? Too many questions. I don’t care about the pope. I haven’t always been this way, in fact I used to be very religious. I attended mass every Sunday and was a part of my
I walked into the situation, green and inexperienced. Who knew that just because the holy symbol that so many worshiped was pure and righteous, didn’t mean that its followers were. Many of these people were flawed. Extremely flawed. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen much worse, and it was nowhere near the creepiness that is the Westboro Baptist Church. I was simply young and eager to please them. To be accepted, even if it was by truly terrible people. Now, a lot of them weren’t terrible and truly did have good intentions. Many of the teens in the group were perfectly normal and I am still friends with them today. It was the leaders who were manipulative. They were
extremely cruel towards kids they didn’t want in the group, the ones who probably needed the most guidance. They only wanted the “good” kids. My religious experience met a plateau at what is known as World Youth Day. I had fundraised thousands of dollars to get sponsored to travel all the way to join with other Catholics from all over the world for a two day event led by the pope. The 2008 World Youth Day took place in Sydney, Australia. I couldn’t believe it; I would be spending two whole weeks in sunny Sydney at the ripe age of 16. The touristy parts were simply blissful. When it came down to the religious aspect, I realized that I simply didn’t care. I didn’t care to walk ten miles with a backpack and pretty much all my belongings, to a giant field with two million people. I didn’t care to sleep in the open field that was absolutely freezing. I didn’t care for the pre-packed meals that they had provided us. On the second day the pope arrived. I thought that maybe, If I could just see him that it would be a truly awesome moment; maybe even make it all worth it. People had been crying tears of joy for days thinking about it. Many of
these people I now deem to be crazy. The big moment arrived, the pope was in his bullet proof popemobile. We rushed the gate that blocked us from his pathway. People were cheering and taking photos and again, tears were shed. Pressed against the gate, I just sat there. Emotionless. I felt nothing, “none of this means anything to me. I need to go home now,” I thought to myself. To this day I still feel weary of religion. It seems nothing more than a cult that gives people a sense of fulfillment, like their lives mean something. These churches though, they are not God. I believe that God is good, but your relationship with God should come from within. If you look up to a man who doesn’t believe in basic equality, yet holds a mass blessing for 45 Formula 1 Ferrari race cars, there’s a problem. So I ask you, do you feel personally affected by the pope? Do you care about the current on-goings of the church? It’s a conclusion we all must come to on our own. Everyone has a different answer and each can be backed up by a different reason.
Keepin’ Your Creative by Giovanna Spica
Writing this month’s article was difficult in that for the first time, I had lost my creative spirit. I had nothing. I recently attended a wake, which was awful, and all I could do was be angry, stressed and write “writer’s block” over and over again in my journal. Luckily somewhere between writing my twenty-fifth and sixtieth line I had fallen asleep. It seems that all of my questions diffused and were answered in my dreams. I found Heaven. In my dream I was greeted by a blinding light and Angelina Jolie. Just kidding, there was no light. Anyway, as I entered The Gates I saw all my favorite poets; Williams, Herrick, Dickinson, O’Hara, Neruda all singing their eternal songs. Their faces were blank yet I knew exactly who they were and their melodies melted into complete harmony. As I walked on, I saw the Painters composing the sky with the light of the stars. Schiele created silhouettes of Greek Heroes with the ink of Black Holes, while Bacon filled them in with the crimson colors of the Red, Yellow, and Blue Dwarfs. The Sculptors worked side by side, molding the clouds.
Rodin asked me to pose for him but I was too preoccupied walking towards the Musicians who lay in a field blowing on blades of grass. They played to the sound of the Wind and everything seemed to melt and feed into each other in synchronized perfection. I did not want to leave. It was in that moment of my Dream, when I was encircled by all these Artists in the subconscious of my mind that I became conscious of Life. I awoke fulfilled and artistic. Anyway, back to the point. In short, the moral-slash-topic of this month’s article is, regardless of your religious and/or spiritual beliefs, my suggestion is to pick your Heaven and create from It. If you find yourself in an imaginative and poetic rut, you should close your eyes, listen to Explosions in the Sky and picture Heaven. Draw the best picture of paradise you possibly can, the more outrageous and out of this world, the better, then bring It to life. I hope this piece of advice helps you as much as it helped me, if not check out next month’s article. Stay Gold.
Ashley Mendez, Graphic Design, 6th semester, Dali
Brittany Keener, Fashion Design, 3rd year, Degas
Gloria Ahh, Illustration, 2nd semester, Egon Schiele
style on 27 Photography by Jessica Farkas
When the rain whips down 27th Street, FIT students still shlush through puddles in style with colorful rain boots, classic trench coats and cozy scarves to combat the late winter chill. Their approaches to wet weather dressing are just as unique as their favorite artists which we asked them to name this month. Angelica Bamundo, Illustration, 2nd semester, Tomer Hanuka
Corinne Pulicay, Continuing Education, Nick KnightHanuka
Cameron Chamblee, AMC, 1st year, Tom Ford
Krystal Paniagua, Fashion Design, 1st year, Rodarte (she made the black and white hounds tooth sweater she is wearing, her blog is, www.krystalpaniagua.blogspot.com)