This year at Dance Africa, I found so many great things I want to share with you guys. As you know, Dance Africa is an annual event that happens every memorial weekend at BAM where Brooklyn locals celebrate Africa in all its glory through performances, amazing food and vendors. This year I bought so much cool stuff that I’m so excited about:
Tribal Print Dress
Besides the beautiful tribal print, what I love about this dress is the pockets and the racer back. It’s such a well made dress and I never want to take it off. Price: $20
I’ve wanted Fulani earrings since 2011. Finally I found these rare finds from the country of Mali and put them on as soon as I bought them. They’re a dream come true. Price: $20
Shea Butter & Black Soap
These two necessities speak for itself. I haven’t used Shea Butter in my hair since 2014, so this is a real treat and my hair loves it. As for the black soap, I am hoping it performs miracles on my dark spots. ($3-$5)
A lot of people may not know this about me, but I collect post cards. I know it sounds weird, but I do. It all started when I went to a Jean Michel Basquiat exhibit and wanted to take a keep sake of his artwork with me to cherish forever, so I bought it in the form of post card. My collection has grown tremendously since then and include people like Nina Simone, Josephine Baker, and Langston Hughes .
Most recently I purchased this beautiful representation of Black Girl Magic entitled Cornrows, Afro Puffs & Joy by Delphine Fawundu. It’s the perfect image of love, light, and sisterhood.
Click the link below to head over to Delphine’s Etsy shop where you can purchase this card and so much more:
Black Masculinity and the socialization of black men in America were themes in some of the popular exhibits of the night. First Saturdays is when a large majority of Brooklyn locals flock to the Brooklyn Museum for a night of entertainment and culture since it’s free admission to all exhibits. I’ve been hearing rave reviews about Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic so I decided to go.
I discovered Basquiat’s Notebooks before heading to Kehinde Wiley. I am so happy this happened, the exhibit just opened the day before and it was very high profile. Everyone wanted to get a glimpse into the mind of Basquiat. As you walk in you are graced with a video of Basquiat working in his element of street art and graffiti. I became entranced as I watched this video of a young artist spray painting words that obviously had deeper meaning behind it- THE WHOLE LIVERY LINE BOW LIKE THIS WITH THE BIG MONEY… He had on a long trench coat and wild natural hair. He looked modern, like someone I would meet in the Lower East Side, which seemed to be his stomping grounds back in the day.
I walked into the exhibit and noticed that, as the name details, this exhibit would be a display of his notebooks throughout the years. I rubbed my head trying to figure out the depth behind his words. Was it to be analyzed or were his notes just like any other person jotting down things he viewed in the world. How was his notebooks art? His words were simple, some were poetic. He obviously appreciated his African American heritage and wanted blacks to be the focal point of his art–the heros. He also wanted us to pay attention to the words he crossed out. According to him,“I cross out words, so you will see them more. The fact that they are obscure makes you want to read them.”
Continue reading “A Lesson in Culture and Black Masculinity”
Honestly, I only wanted to go to the Koon’s exhibit to get an amazing picture in front of Balloon Dog. I’ve only heard of Jeff Koon’s work once in my life while researching Asian culture. I have to admit, I may be the superficial American Koons is poking fun at with his art. This exhibit was no Kara Walker and Balloon Dog was not remotely as deep as Mammy Sphinx, but I was still very intrigued because I love avant garde art. I pre-purchased my ticket to avoid waiting on the long line and invited 2-friends to experience this sort of cult-of-koons also known as Retrospective at the Whitney Museum.
We started at the top floor and worked our way down. The first exhibit we visited was called Antiquity which showcased artwork from the ancient world infused with 1950’s pinups girls. We eventually made our way to Popeye and Hulk Elvis before discovering the “nirvana” of the exhibit also known as Balloon Dog and the Play dough structure. I was intrigued by his artwork but to be honest I didn’t understand it. What was the deeper meaning behind his sculptures?
We proceeded to The inflatables, Gazing Ball, and Banality. I enjoyed these exhibits the least. For one, I am not a fan of readymade art. I understand the sexual undertones of the inflatables but it lacked substance. Equilibrium was pretty cool, how he got the basketball to stay afloat in that water was beyond me. Luxury and Degradation was funny. All hail to the Hennessy piece.
Overall, I enjoyed a great night out with my girls. There is something so cool about going to a museum at 1AM. I felt so Sex in the City when Carrie was dating Aleksandr Petrovsky. We eventually found out the Retrospective was in a sense mocking and/or highlighting the tangible things that we value so much in our culture including: sex, athletes, celebrities, alcohol, and play dough among others. Tis’ was a night to remember.