On our minds

Milan celebrates the genius of Leonardo da Vinci

Rendering of multimedial projection    Project by Culturanuova s.r.l. - Massimo Chimenti

Rendering of multimedial projection

Project by Culturanuova s.r.l. - Massimo Chimenti

Article by Chiara Isabella Spagnoli Gabardi

Milan is the city where Leonardo da Vinci stayed the longest, arriving in 1482 to work at the court of Duke Ludovico Sforza. The polymath’s presence permanently marked the history and artistic production of the city and the entire region of Lombardy. This is the reason why Milano celebrates 500 years from Leonardo’s death, with a series of events that will take place until January 2020, and will have the Sforza Castle as main hub.

The reopening of the Sala delle Asse, core of "Milan and Leonardo 500,” took place on  May 15th, presenting a rich and dynamic program of exhibitions and related initiatives. The restoration that began in 2013 has now come to completion, revealing a mulberry pergola, designed as a giant trompe l'oeil to turn the large room at the base of the Falconiera Tower into a representative hall for the Duke. It further portrays the mighty roots, known as the ‘Monochrome,’ named after its chiaroscuro painting technique. It is a remarkable graphic and pictorial depiction of the magnificent pergola made up of sixteen mulberry trees, characterized by detailed knotty trunks, landscapes, branches and leaves that keep resurfacing, thus changing the room’s perception.

Nature for Leonardo represented the subject of direct observation, investigations and the privileged topic of theoretical writings, paintings and drawings. This is why the natural environment is the prevailing theme in the Sala Delle Asse. Here, Leonardo painted a giant arboreal pavilion; with the mulberry tree — Morus in Latin — alluding to the nickname of Duke Ludovico Maria Sforza, who was given the epithet of Moro (Moor) by Francesco Guicciardini (one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance), because of his dark complexion.

The exhibition in Sala delle Asse, tributes the genius of Leonardo, catapulting it in the digital era, emphasizing how forward-thinking he was in terms of technology. Visitors begin their experience through the spectacular multimedia installation, "Sotto l'ombra del Moro. La Sala delle Asse,” (Under the Moro’s Shadow). Curated and conceived by Massimo Chimenti’s Culturanuova with the scientific collaboration of Francesca Tasso and Michela Palazzo, guests are immersed into a better understanding of the entire room and how it came into being. Projections and videos fill the vault and side walls, reconstructing Leonardo’s history with the ruler of Milan, allowing visitors to learn about the city’s history and the painter’s imitation of nature.

Rendering of multimedial projection    Project by Culturanuova s.r.l. - Massimo Chimenti

Rendering of multimedial projection

Project by Culturanuova s.r.l. - Massimo Chimenti

In these regards, Leonardo’s drawings are incredibly enlightening. For instance, the rooms of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan also host two other projects dedicated to Leonardo. In the Sala dei Ducali, the exhibition "Intorno alla Sala delle Asse. Leonardo tra Natura, Arte e Scienza" (Leonardo betwixt Art & Science), curated by Claudio Salsi, is a selection of original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and other Renaissance masters showing iconographic and stylistic relations to the naturalistic and landscape decoration details found under multiple layers of limes in the Sala delle Asse. This scientifically and culturally significant exhibition was conceived by the Castle’s Direction in collaboration with some leading international museums, thanks to the loans from Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, and the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence.

The indoor exhibit concludes with a multimedia tour, installed in the Sala delle Armi, designed by Culturanuova, with the scientific collaboration of Edoardo Rossetti and Ilaria De Palma: "Leonardo a Milano” (Leonardo in Milan). This show guides visitors through a virtual a tour of Milan, as Leonardo experienced it from 1482 to 1512. The itinerary features a geo-referenced visual map of what is still left of these places, both in the city and within local museums, churches and buildings: urban spaces, aristocratic mansions and churches, such as the Church of San Francesco Grande, Borgo delle Grazie, Castello Sforzesco, the ancient Porta Vercellina, Corso Nirone, and the thoroughfare of current Corso Magenta-contrada dei Meravigli- Cordusio.

The celebration of Leonardo da Vinci continues also outdoors in the courtyard of the Castello Sforzesco, with a real mulberry tree pergola in the Cortile delle Armi. This live reproduction of what Leonardo portrayed inside the Sala delle Asse, is a real architecture made of plants, designed and created together with Orticola di Lombardia. The aim is for it to grow through the seasons, as a permanent reminder of the polymath’s work, so that the millions of visitors who walk across the Castle courts every year can enjoy a different, and botanical point of view.

Jazz Film 'Bolden' Mixes Fact And Fiction To Capture A Legendary Bandleader

Photo: Bolden Where The Music Began

Photo: Bolden
Where The Music Began

Dan Pritzker's new film tells the story of Charles "Buddy" Bolden, a mythic jazz hero who burned so bright he burned himself out. Though striking and stylish, Bolden loses its grip in the final act.

Transcript (National Public Radio):


This is FRESH AIR. The new film "Bolden" tells the story of the legendary early jazz band leader Buddy Bolden. He's portrayed by Gary Carr, whose other roles include playing a mildly jazzy singer on "Downton Abbey" and a menacing pimp on HBO's "The Deuce." Our jazz critic, Kevin Whitehead, keeps a close eye on jazz movies and has this review.

KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: Charles Buddy Bolden was the original jazz hero. A New Orleans cornet player at the turn of the last century, the African American Bolden was famous for playing loud and earthy blues, his shirt open to expose a red flannel undershirt.

Some called him King Bolden. He captivated women and eventually cracked up, spending the last 24 years of his life in a mental hospital. Bolden was jazz's first mythic figure, who burned so bright he burned himself out. Decades later, jazz researchers heard a lot of hearsay about him, which they duly repeated as fact, including stories later discredited. He hadn't, for example, parachuted out of a hot air balloon as a promotional stunt.

Director Dan Pritzker's film "Bolden" freely mixes fact and myth. In the movie, Buddy does jump from that balloon, and it makes up still more stuff. The framed story leaves plenty of room for riffing on the bare facts. In 1931, an older and adult Buddy thinks back on and tries to piece together his old glory days. It's a life scene in fragments, shifting back and forth between Buddy's dark present and brilliant past. Within 1931, it shifts between Buddy's gloomy hospital ward and a bright New Orleans ballroom. There, Louis Armstrong is doing a live broadcast, which Bolden overhears on a nurse's radio. Louis is well-impersonated by Reno Wilson. His growl is one more ghostly voice in Buddy's head.

Read the full review here.

Ishmael Reed's new Play "The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda" Opens at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Ishmael Reed's new play "The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda" will premiere at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in May, after four sold-out readings and coverage from the New York Times, New Yorker magazine, the Observer, the Paris Review and more. Like theater in the time of Bertolt Brecht or the WPA, Reed's new work (under the direction of multiple AUDELCO winner Rome Neal) challenges the narrative of commercial theater and mainstream historical accounts. According to historian Ron Chernow and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alexander Hamilton was an abolitionist, even though the real Hamilton was involved in the slave trade in a variety of ways.His policy toward Native-Americans was "extirpation." Reed's play brings to the forefront those characters who are absent from “Hamilton, The Revolution": slaves, Native Americans, indentured servants and Harriet Tubman. Witness this David vs Goliath moment, as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Reed and Neal speak truth to power via "The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda

Click here for tickets.

Advance Tickets:$25

Door Tickets (If available): $30/$20 w/ Student ID

Ishmael was mentioned on the daytime talk show "The View"

Video: Historians: “Hamilton” Whitewashes History | The View
Ishmael was mentioned on the daytime talk show "The View" discussing this fabulous play he wrote.

Celine Dion, at the Met Gala, Is No One’s Paper Doll

Photo: Celine Dion (Karsten Moran for The New York Times)

Photo: Celine Dion (Karsten Moran for The New York Times)

Hidden in plain sight for decades, the megastar steps out in eye-popping style for the Met Gala, reveling in her turn as a new favorite of fashion. “I’m never going to take it off,” Celine Dion said. Mugging for a reporter’s iPhone camera with a voice you might associate with Dalmatian coats and Cruella De Vil, she repeated herself. “I’m never going to take it off,” she said, head lowered, tone rising. “It’s mine! All mine!” The subject wasn’t what she was wearing at the moment — a green metallic silk jumpsuit from Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang ankle boots — but an outfit by Oscar de la Renta, the one she will have on when the paparazzi go berserk on the Met Gala red carpet on Monday night. It is a creation that would seem as if designed specifically to test the internet’s breaking point.

Read the full articule here.

'Everything's fine' - Celine Dion speaks about her recent weight loss

Photo: Celine Dion Photo Credit/Source: Today (article by Drew Weisholtz)

Photo: Celine Dion
Photo Credit/Source: Today (article by Drew Weisholtz)

Celine Dion wants all the people who think she’s lost too much weight to know she’s doing just fine. The singer, 51, who recently became the latest spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris, admits she’s dropped a few pounds but adds she is healthy. “It’s true that I’m a little thinner. Everything’s fine, nothing’s wrong,” she told ABC News. The Grammy winner, who’s had her own residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for the last eight years, has taken up ballet, which she credits with giving her such a svelte figure. “I do this four times a week,” she told People. “People say, ‘She’s a lot thinner,’ but I’m working hard. I like to move and (weight loss) comes with it.”

Read the full article here.

Queer Liberation March and Rally - June 30th, 2019

Photo: ReclaimPrideNYC.org

Photo: ReclaimPrideNYC.org

The Queer Liberation March is a people’s political march - no corporate floats, and no police in our march. Our 2019 March is a truly grassroots action that will mobilize the community to address the many social and political battles that continue to be fought locally, nationally, and globally.

The March recognizes the powerful legacy of the Stonewall Rebellion by highlighting the most marginalized members of our community, as we commit to addressing the ongoing struggles that we face.

The Queer Liberation March kicks off June 30th at 10 a.m. from the Stonewall Inn and proceeds up Sixth Avenue to Central Park for a community-focused Rally on the Great Lawn.

Read the full article here.

Olivia Kearney: "Pursuit of an Archetype" Debut Solo Exhibition


PURSUIT OF AN ARCHETYPE: Emerging Artist Hosts Debut Solo Exhibition on the Lower East Side

In her debut solo show “Pursuit of an Archetype”, Olivia Kearney invites the viewer in on a reflection of self-discovery through her art. Her pop-up show is open to the public on Saturday, May 18th from 1pm-5pm at 198 Allen Street, New York 10002.

The artist describes her creative journey as a tool she uses to learn who she is as an individual and to connect with her community.

Olivia is a rising NYC artist whose style is a marriage between pop art and street art.  Her paintings and illustrations represent the domestic urban narrative with a focus on commercial content and fine art skill.  She is deeply passionate about inclusion and equality and her work has a definitive female forward voice.

The street level pop up gallery space at 198 Allen Street on the Lower East Side compliments the show’s downtown style with its stark white industrial interior and garage door front that brings the outside in.

This young artist’s previous works have been featured in the SingleFare4 group exhibition sponsored by the New York Academy of Art. Charitable contributions to creative organizations include donated work to the NYC Experience Camp’s Annual Gala, as well as volunteered time at: 8-Ball, a non-profit creative collective; Snug Harbor Fence Show, an annual outdoor show featuring local artists; Art Lab, a creative teaching facility.

More on the artist can be found on her website: https://www.oliviakearneyart.com/

Contact Info:



Gathering of the Tribes Author Has New Orleans Book Signing

Melanie Maria Goodreaux - Singing Book.png

Get your copy of Black Jelly at the New Orleans Poetry Festival this Saturday (April 20th, 2019). Melanie Maria Goodreaux (Author of Black Jelly) will be signing them at the Small Press Book Fair from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM at the Healing Center on St. Claude! (View Map).

Painting the Beyond by Susan Tallman

Moderna Museet, Stockholm - A notebook page showing a watercolor version of one of Hilma af Klint’s  Paintings for the Temple , circa 1914–1915; from Christine Burgin’s  Hilma af Klint: Notes and Methods

Moderna Museet, Stockholm - A notebook page showing a watercolor version of one of Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Temple, circa 1914–1915; from Christine Burgin’s Hilma af Klint: Notes and Methods

Born in 1862 to a prominent Swedish family (her great-grandfather had been ennobled for services as a naval officer), Hilma af Klint was a skilled painter of portraits and landscapes who in the first decades of the twentieth century began making hundreds of strange pictures articulating the fluid relations between spirit and matter. Many have no basis in the visible world, and their early dates—in some cases years before such benchmark abstract paintings 

Af Klint was one of many artists (including Kandinsky and Malevich) drawn to the esoteric philosophies that flourished in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—Spiritualism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, and the like. But af Klint’s engagement went deeper than most, and she was tenacious in her pursuit of personal spiritual contact. Her greatest work, the series of 193 Paintings for the Temple, was made by channeling spirit-masters who she claimed moved her hand and planted images in her mind. She spent the rest of her life mulling over what they gave her.

When af Klint died in 1944, she left more than 1,200 paintings, 134 notebooks and sketchbooks, and more than 26,000 manuscript pages to her nephew, a vice-admiral in the Swedish navy. She also gave instructions that her work not be shown for twenty years after her death. She was lucky in her relations: the family not only adhered to the moratorium, they established a foundation to ensure that the paintings and documentation stayed together.

Read the full article here.

An Artist Rises, and Brings a Generation With Him - Patricia Leigh Brown


Mr. Kaphar, 42, has a profound connection to the forgotten, from the slaves owned by the founding fathers to the ubiquity of African-Americans in the criminal justice system, including his own father. The recipient of a recent MacArthur “genius” award, the artist is challenging racism in a body of strong work that has entered the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery, and was recently featured at the National Portrait Gallery. Mr. Kaphar is known for appropriating images from American and European art in order to subvert them, cutting them into his canvases to pull back the velvet curtain of history. He wields materials like tar, wire, gold leaf and nails to unearth the past’s inconvenient truths, and to shine a restorative light on those residing in the shadows.

Read the full article here.

Just What The Doctor Ordered

“ New York State gerrymandered a map to qualify Hudson Yards for $1.6 billion in financing meant for low-income areas—by threading it to public housing in Harlem. (@CityLab obtained the map info through FOIA.) http://bit.ly/2U9uGit '‘
@Kristoncapps on Twitter


Twenty Class Tobacco Suits 1998 Interview with Anthony Murrell by John Farris & Steve Cannon

The interview with Anthony Murrell by John Farris & Steve Cannon is organized from left to right and it continues on the next row.

Part 3 & 4 of the interview (shown below).

Part 5 & 6 of the interview (shown below).

Darkness Visible, Finally: Astronomers Capture First Ever Image of a Black Hole

The first image of a black hole, from the galaxy Messier 87.CreditCredit Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, via National Science Foundation

The first image of a black hole, from the galaxy Messier 87.CreditCredit
Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, via National Science Foundation

Astronomers announced on Wednesday that at last they had captured an image of the unobservable: a black hole, a cosmic abyss so deep and dense that not even light can escape it. For years, and for all the mounting scientific evidence, black holes have remained marooned in the imaginations of artists and the algorithms of splashy computer models of the kind used in Christopher Nolan's outer-space epic “Interstellar.” Now they are more real than ever.

“We have seen what we thought was unseeable,” said Shep Doeleman, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and director of the effort to capture the image, during a Wednesday news conference in Washington, D.C. The image, of a lopsided ring of light surrounding a dark circle deep in the heart of a galaxy known as Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away from Earth, resembled the Eye of Sauron, a reminder yet again of the implacable power of nature. It is a smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity.

Read the full article here.

David Hammons Will Stage Show at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles

Photo: David Hammons Courtesy Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Photo: David Hammons
Courtesy Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Influential and elusive contemporary artist David Hammons is having his first Los Angeles solo show in 45 years at Hauser & Wirth‘s giant gallery space which will run from May 18 through August 10, 2019.

Read the full article here.