The cloud

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The Brooklyn Museum has unbound eight notebooks penned by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, from 1980 to 1987 (through August 23). 

Some 160 pages freed from these notebooks are spread out along the walls, as well as around 30 visual artworks demonstrating Basquiat’s translation of language into painting. 

It’s not entirely clear if we are to treat the writings as keys to understanding Basquiat’s output, or, alternatively, as unscripted artifacts from his life. 

Read It Here

Summer Art Fridays: Photographer Eddy Vallante

It’s the end of the summer, and thus our last selection for our Summer Fridays blog. To finish up on an excellent note, we chose the work of 30-year-old Brooklyn photographer Eddy Vallante, whose portraits of musicians make his Tumblr a must-see. This shot, however, is of a puppy, gazing longingly out the window at something just out of reach. It’s how we all feel looking out at the last warm days of August.

Describe the piece you submitted to Summer Fridays.

This is a photo of Elly. I was watching her one afternoon in Crown Heights for friends of mine who had just gotten married. I was tossing a toy around with her when something outside demanded her immediate attention. She just ran over and sat down. I don’t know what it is, but I love when dogs sit and stare like this. It’s hilarious.

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The ARTInfo staff decided to put their own spin on the traditional “hand turkey” created by grade-school children by re-imagining them in the style of various famous artists - can you figure out who each hand turkey is “by?” We’ve put the “artists” in the captions if you need a little help!

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone on the Slow Art Day team!

Medievalpoc in the Media

I’ve been very glad to see that the word’s been getting out about what I’m doing here with my research. What started out as a little project that I assumed would just just one more art blog in the sea of tumblr, turned out to be a much-needed resource in not only online activism and student-oriented academia, but in the larger face of popular culture misconceptions about race, media, representation, and what it means to be “historically accurate”.

After some active threads on popular blog sloggers like Metafilter and features on art-related sites like Hyperallergic and ArtInfo, I noticed that a lot of other sites were using medievalpoc as a source for materials on other topics as well. Clutch Magazine used some of the information I’ve gathered here to respond to Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly’s assertion of the “historically verifiable” whiteness of Santa Claus, and did a brief writeup on medievalpoc for their news feed. I also did a round table interview with Gene Demby for NPR’s Code Switch blog, along with two art history professors/authors, as well as a current graduate student of art history.

What I do here is an attempt to bridge the gap between popular/social media and the dusty vaults of academia. I want to shine a light on the way in which our culture is shaped by media we consume that claims to show events from history, but declines to reflect the diversity of its audience or that of its own sources.

More than anything, I want to make these concepts accessible and tangible for all people, whether they’re interested in military history, contemporary art, fantasy books and shows, science fiction, intersectional social justice, or just plain like to see beautiful art that features familiar styles with unfamiliar faces. I want to have in-depth discussions with the people affected by the political, social, and financial forces that shape the way we, as Americans, are educated about our history and how that affects our current circumstances.

Something difficult for “pure” historians to understand is that, while the intent of the artists and the historical contexts in which these works were created is relevant, it is not the main goal of this blog to teach or talk about that. It is about bringing these works into our current context, and ask ourselves why they seem anachronistic to so many people. It is about analyzing our responses to these works, and to show whether they adhere to or refute the narratives we are told during our educational journey in the United States.

To see this conversation reaching an ever-increasing audience gives me more hope for our future, as Americans who have been marginalized within our culture, than I have had for a long time. Although some historians believe that this blog is merely reflecting a “trend” in academia, ushered in by exhibits like Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe, and Black is Beautiful: Rubens to Dumas, I believe that a more overarching analysis that includes Critical Race Theory is something that can be the most relevant for young people moving in the belly of the academic beast today.

Social media has ushered in platforms where interdisciplinary research can be liveblogged and read by as many people as are interested in the topic. Anyone can give their opinion (for good or ill), and sometimes, the most valuable starting points are ignited by the misconceptions spawned by popular films, fantasy novels, Renaissance Faires, Disney animated epics, and the question of why we spend so much time thinking about, writing about, and poring over the minutiae of Medieval Europe in the United States.

In many ways, the future of academia in the U.S. is happening on social media. Voices, topics, and people who have gone without or been denied funding, acceptance, or have faced insurmountable institutional or financial barriers have found a place to explore some of the most cutting-edge topics at a high level of integrity. The increased accessibility of academic journals through digitization as well as the pooling of knowledge through communication technology has given birth to an entirely new breed of academics. Although sourcing is often omitted and plagiarism by freelance writers for online magazines is rampant, I believe we are changing the face of public discourse through our very existence.

So, I raise my metaphorical glass to all of you who continue to delight and astound me with your passionate contributions, questions, reflections, and readership.

Here’s to you, readers.


For his sixth outing with Anton Kern Gallery in New York, David Shrigley has put aside his most recognizable format (small-scale ink sketches) in favor of large acrylic-on-paper paintings. These are joined by two sculptures of common objects — a telephone and a calculator — enlarged to uncomfortable dimensions. 

The Scottish artist is best known for a prolific body of drawings that are alternately absurd, morbid, death-obsessed, confessional, and scatological. 

Read Full Article Here

Introducing Summer Art Fridays

For our first weekly highlight from our Summer Fridays collaboration with ARTINFO, we chose the work of Pat Falco, an illustrator whose art combines a dry sense of humor with quirky, empathy-inspiring sketches. Falco submitted the sketch above, and we asked him to answer a few questions about the piece and his work as a whole.

Describe the piece you submitted to Summer Fridays.

“Note to Self” is part of series of notes I did, mostly poking fun at myself (and anyone that relates to me). It was a pretty simple idea just based around over-thinking the most instinctive motions because there are intimidating people around – in this case, pretty girls.

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WBK #beyonce

Part of the #crocheting
Digital Media 2015

#artnews #artinfo#artist_sharing #worldofartists #dibujo #instagood
#pixel#8bit #analogue #popart #art_spotlight #crochet
#haken#crochetaddict #crochetblanket #crochetallthethings#ilovecrochet
#craft #crafty #instacraft #instacrochet#stylecraft #crochetsquare

Summer Art Fridays: Photographer Cynthia Henebry

For our latest highlight from our Summer Art Fridays collaboration with ARTINFO, we chose the work of photographer Cynthia Henebry, a Virginia-based artist whose sensitive, emotional images often explores themes of childhood and growth. Henebry’s photos reflect a deep sense of place and a joy for the things that make summer great: the season’s abundance of light, the presence of family, and the sense of freedom that floats in the air.

Describe the piece you submitted to Summer Fridays.

This is a picture of two girls who I frequently photograph, Eloise and Sophia. They are friends, not sisters, by the way. Our families were at the pool together, and when I saw them hanging out under the tree in that light, I knew the shot that I wanted right away.

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Matta’s “Montre qui montre le montreur”, 1997, oil on canvas © Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris, Courtesy The Pace Gallery

ARTINFO suggests you “See Matta’s Surrealist Masterworks (and Lesser-Known Late Paintings) at the Pace Gallery" and we couldn’t agree more!  Matta: A Centennial Celebration is located at 534 West 25th Street and on view until January 28, 2012. You can view the slideshow here.

WBK #snoopdogg Part of the #crocheting it real series. Digital Media 2015


#californiaroll #3stripelife #420
#shizzle #nizzle #artnews #calvinbroadus #artinfo#artist_sharing #deathrow #snooplion #crochetblanket #crochetallthethings#ilovecrochet
#craft #crafty #instacraft #instacrochet#stylecraft


“The fluidity and indeterminacy of Grosse’s work, both in shape and color, make it an extremely potent and pliable piece of public art, capable of transmitting any number of different meanings to every person who encounters it… ” -  read more about what artinfo has to say about our newest shown in downtown Brooklyn, Just Two of Us

photos: Benjamin Sutton 

Summer Art Fridays: Artist James Zdaniewski

For our fifth weekly highlight in our Summer Fridays collaboration with ArtInfo, we chose the work of James Zdaniewski, whose drawing immediately reminded us of what it felt like to spring off a diving board and be suspended momentarily in the air. After checking in with Zdaniewski for the interview below, we found out that it was just that experience that inspired him to create the sketch, which will be turned into a mixed media collage.

Describe the piece you submitted to Summer Fridays.

I submitted the piece titled Six and Seven, a charcoal drawing. This is part of my next series of works inspired by the hype of the supposed Apocalypse coming in December 2012. Based on the idea of the seven seals that bring on the apocalypse, “Six and Seven” shows two children falling freely from the sky. From this drawing I will create a silkscreen to print the work on top of a base layer of acrylic and spray paint, currently in production, to finish the concept.

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