"There’s a great desire for people to alter themselves, but it’s also the art of transformation. "I want a bigger butt, I want bigger boobs." The artifice interests me—how we’re capable of altering ourselves. There’s a creative element that’s very intriguing. Black women, for hundreds of years, have had to confront the idea "beauty" and "what it means to be beautiful.""–Mickalene Thomas

Happy birthday Mickalene Thomas!

Images: Installation view Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe on view September 28, 2012–January 20, 2013 at Brooklyn Museum, New York. Photo: Brooklyn Museum

Two Ex-Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty Of Rape

After just three hours of deliberations Tuesday afternoon, a jury found two former Vanderbilt University football players guilty of raping a 21-year-old student in an on-campus dormitory in 2013. Corey Batey, a 21-year-old former wide receiver, was found guilty on seven total charges, while tight end Brandon Vandenburg, also 21, was found guilty on nine.

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Actors Margot Robbie and Miles Teller will host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 7, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. They will present 21 awards to 58 individual recipients during the evening.

“We’re very excited to have Margot and Miles hosting this year’s Sci-Tech Awards,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Both are fresh voices in our industry and will be a welcome addition to the night where we honor our colleagues’ technical achievements.”

"Margot and Miles represent some of the best of the next generation of rising stars and it is only fitting that they host an evening saluting the film innovations and innovators who will inform the future,” said Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Robbie gave a breakout performance in the Oscar®-nominated feature “The Wolf of Wall Street” in 2013. Her most recent credits include starring roles in “Z for Zachariah” and “Focus,” which is due out next month. In the summer of 2016, Robbie will be seen starring in “Tarzan” and the highly anticipated “Suicide Squad.”

Teller stars in the current Best Picture nominee “Whiplash.” Later this year, he will appear in the feature “Bleed for This,” as well as “The Fantastic Four” and “Insurgent,” the sequel to “Divergent.” Teller also appeared in the 2013 film “The Spectacular Now.”

Portions of the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be included in the Oscar telecast.

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by Zadan and Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


The ‘Rent Is Too Damn High’ Guy Says He’s Being Evicted Because He’s Black

Fans of spectacle and outlandish facial hair were crestfallen when Jimmy McMillan, founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High party, lost to Bill de Blasio in the 2013 New York City mayoral election. But with Monday’s unfortunate news that he’s undergoing an eviction from his Manhattan apartment, Jimmy is back in the press.

According to the New York Daily News, this particular rent-controlled unit wasn’t being used as a primary residence, which violates the terms of staying in a rent-controlled apartment. McMillan disputes the claim, and isn’t taking it lying down. He’s seemingly ready to turn this personal problem into yet another battle for the hearts and minds of New Yorkers.

When I asked him if the eviction was tied to the issue of rents being too damn high, he said his eviction “is about a nigger, living on a piece of property owned by a rich guy, who doesn’t want a nigger living on his property.”