In honor of Black History Month, here’s a short film that shows a rare glimpse of the black NYC art scene of the 1930s. During a time when most blacks worked tirelessly janitors, construction workers, elevator operators and other blue collar-type work, they took their off time to express themselves creatively through art. This 15 minute silent video shows three black artists, sculptor artist Richmond Barthe, photographer James Latimer Allen, and sculptor Augusta Savage. Although the video is less like a documentary and more like an archival collection of footage, it’s still an intriguing look into an art scene that most people have never seen on film.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Friday, February 19th, 2016||No Comments »|
Everybody knows that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were soulmates—and in this vintage interview footage of them from 1966, it’s pretty clear to see. Just listen to the way they adoringly support each other during the footage, not only verbally but physically as well. At one point Taylor blurts out, ”Well we love each other. Our occupation has nothing to do with our emotions.” And at another, you can actually see Burton dabbing her with a handkerchief before dabbing himself. It’s short, it’s simple, but it holds all the emotions of a love meant to last a lifetime. Watching this interview feels like you’re looking right into the souls of both Taylor and Burton, because that’s just how transparent their love appeared.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Wednesday, July 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
Marilyn Monroe is always entrancing to listen to, but even more so in this 1960 audio clip of a rare interview with Marie Claire. Somewhat haunting in its content, Monroe is asked if she feels happy in life.
Monroe responds by stating that she’s most happy when she “fulfills a scene truthfully,” which isn’t too shocking knowing that she was extremely devoted to her acting work during her lifetime. Aside from those moments of bliss, she states that she’s “not just generally happy,” and even more disheartening, that “if [she's] generally anything, [she guesses she's] generally miserable.”
Though Monroe often played the classic blonde airhead in many of her films, her interviews tend to argue that she was anything but a dumb blonde. Well-worded, sensitive, and thoughtful, she was a young woman who knew a lot more about the world around her than many of her peers at the time. If you don’t believe me, hit play, and settle in for some wise words from a wise woman.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Friday, June 5th, 2015||No Comments »|
Andy Warhol is a household name, but for someone who was so mysterious and ahead of his time, it’s almost more intriguing to examine his muse. Edie Sedgwick’s silent screen test for Warhol is one of undeniable beauty, capturing a rare moment of calmness in what was seemingly an ever-changing and concerning life.
This video, in retrospect, carries an eerie quality to it that only manages to hit harder knowing the fate of the beloved woman who fills the center of the frame. However, one thing is as alive and apparent as ever in these 90 short seconds — an icon’s ability to charm the camera, even without speaking a single word.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Friday, March 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, expect a plethora of “romantic-themed” everything–from top ten gift ideas to romantic playlists curated by Buzzfeed. But art project This Is Not a Love Song is a bit more cynical than that–and cynicism happens to be what I’m all about. The project combines two of my favorite things (art and music) and shoves it into another of my favorite things (retro stuff). That’s right, we’re talking custom illustrated cassette tape cases. Each cassette tape is illustrated by an artist who picks a song as a blueprint for their cassette design. Some cassette designs feature lyrics written out comic book style, while others feature surrealist illustrations that are open to interpretation. The reason these aren’t love songs is because the songs “seek a truth more intimate and elusive than a love song,” according to their About page.
From Jay Z’s “99 Problems” to The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood,” the project combines the emotional feeling of connecting with music with the visual feeling of seeing the song manifested. According to their About page, they intentionally chose cassette tapes because of the new trend of young people being fascinated with analog music. However, my love for cassette tape art is a bit more superficial: I just find them really cute. As for the music featured in each “box” (because the cassette cases don’t actually feature cassettes–not like you have anything to play them on anyway), you can check out all the music in a compilation album being sold via Bandcamp.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, February 11th, 2015||No Comments »|