I just spent several hours running down a Pinterest spiral of random fuckery ranging from memes to educational natural phenomena to inspirational art and wondering why it took me so long to find this magical world of visual pleasure. I found humour, education and an artistic skill that made me both ashamed of my own and inspired at the same time. I guess I always known it to be dumb pics about about boring recipes, but scraping the unconventional underbelly turned up things I enjoy. The art I found has me inspired. I’m kind of giddy right now and aspire to do more with mine. Anyway fuck you goodnight
Rebecca believes that if we end the stigma surrounding child sex trafficking, we can truly change the world.
Rebecca started a major billboard campaign in her city, spreading messages of awareness. “Being a prostituted teen isn’t a choice — it’s slavery,” read the billboard. “Teens sold for sex aren’t prostitutes — they’re rape victims,” read another.
“We need to love our children. We need them to understand that we love them. And not just your own children, but all children in this country,” she says. She also details different types of “pimps” — guerrilla and romeo — who target young women.
“We need to show women of color and empower them and have them know that they don’t need to allow their bodies be there for the sexual exploitation of men,” she says. “The greatest impact we can have is in our own communities. Sometimes we just need to dig our feet into the soul of the Earth…because we can make the greatest impact right here at home.”
Rebecca Dharmapalan is a 19-year-old artist. She had a friend in high school whose boyfriend used to pimp her out in order to pay his cell phone bills. When she finally refused, he beat her so badly that Rebecca never saw her friend again.
“I was on a mission to change the way people saw child sex trafficking in America. That it was a real, tangible thing. So what I did was make film…I realized that art was extremely powerful,” she says.
Oakland, California is one of the most diverse cities in the country, but as any city, “with diversity comes this harsh underbelly of violence.” So, Rebecca used art to change a major city problem.
“100,000 children are trafficked in the United States. And hundreds of thousands more are at risk of having their bodies sold,” she says. 12 is the average age of entry. “Girls were being sold ten to fifteen times a day…these are girls in the United States of America. In our own backyards. In our communities. This is right in front of us.”
Above image via thejogging.tumblr.com
Everybody knows and loves the fake Ghostface Killah blog where the author annually lists the “Top Ten Softest Rappers in the Game.” While the rap game is certainly tough, it pales in comparison to the dark underbelly of the internet art community. When net artists leave the safety of the web, they get drunk, take copious amounts of drugs, get into fights, and fuck each others’ girlfriends and boyfriends like it’s a Bret Easton Ellis novel. So, to pay tribute to whoever writes that brilliant Ghostface blog, and to illuminate some of the politics of the net art world to the general public (who likes paintings and/or ceramics), I present to you:
Top Ten Softest Net Artists in the Game
Image via thejogging.tumblr.com 10.Jogging
The Jogging’s Tumblr is like some indoor kid’s delusional projection fantasy about what sports probably feel like. Besides that, it’s filled with images of zebras wearing pizzas, Crocs, houseplants, and mirrors. Even its name is like the softest exercise that somebody can do besides a 3K Fun Run/Walk. The people who run it have names that look like the guest list for a screening of The Graduate on Tommy Fucking Hilfiger’s yacht: Artie and Brad and Haley and Jesse and Joshua and Lauren and Norm and Rachel and Spencer.
Image via bmruernpnhay.com/09. Brenna Murphy
Murphy’s also in this batshit crazy noise project called MSHR with Birch Cooper, and that shit isn’t soft at all, which is why she’s only at #9. Her weird three-dimensional digital collages and shit are totally psychedelic, but they still feel like a book of my aunt’s wallpaper samples fed through a seapunk filter that I’m checking out while trying to get laid in Second Life. I do like to look at her work because it makes me feel like I’m on drugs, but it’s like I’m on drugs that make me soft (weed, psychedelics) not drugs that make me hard (coke, Beezin’).
Image via Andrew Birk’s Facebook account 08.Andrew Birk + Debora Delmar Corp
I don’t even think these two motherfuckers count as net artists because Birk paints and Delmar is a corporation, but it’s like I look at Facebook for about two seconds and suddenly I’m the third in their relationship. Do they live in Mexico City? Paris? Brussels? Nobody fucking knows because it’s just an unending slideshow of travel pics which are 100% the softest kind of pics that exist. The hardest pics are obviously selfies, doge, and that stoner alpaca.
Image via Opening Ceremony 07.Jeanette Hayes
If there’s anything softer than Anime, it’s art history. In Hayes’ work, these two ostensibly disparate worlds collide and it’s even less brutal than that Powerman 5000 song (I’m saying that they’re not a very tough heavy metal band). Don’t get me wrong, I like Jeanette Hayes personally. But if I were in a burning building on the tenth floor and had to leap out of the window, I’d pray to the heavens that there was a pile of her paintings to land on in the street below (I’m saying that her paintings are soft and I’d be safer if I landed on them).
Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a wonderful day so far. After drawing the picture of Alter, I got back into flight rising, and found a beautiful baby on the auction house that I had the intense desire to both buy and draw! He still needs a name, but he’s looking stunning!
Also! If you haven’t noticed, my commissions are open! There are only three slots open, so grab them while you can! I can draw anything you’d like, as long as it’s PG13.(no nudity, excessive gore, or sexual themes) Check out my commissions post over here- >>X
Art in the Underbelly is closing. Over the last two years the space has hit capacity in numbers and temperature as people clamoured to get a first look at the shows, stand sweat swappingly close to the bands, find just enough space to dance to our DJ’s and snap up one of our exclusive free giveaways.
Some of the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with are now doing great things. Alec Cumming, recently had his first British Council showcase in India, Dan Tombs has been working with the likes of Gold Panda, Factory Floor and Four Tet, we even had a secret performance by Luke Abbott who shook the walls of the Underbelly and the bar upstairs with his tunes. Our walls have seen work displayed by artists from around the UK and as far afield as India and the USA. AITU has squashed in performances by the likes of Death of Death of Discotheque and Inlay and DJ’s like Penny Arcade, Tom L, The Anthropologist and DJ 78.
Peel back the plaster on the walls and you’ll unearth remnants of TXLW & AsOne’s street art characters, Alec Cumming’s abstract paintings, Phil Cooper’s wheat pastes and the faintest glimpses of all the holes that have been drilled into the walls to hang the 100’s of works we have displayed. Sadly, this is the end for AITU. I want to thank everyone who worked with us and took a leap of faith with me on working in a very unusual space. To Dan and Katie, thank you for trusting me and for asking me to take it on in the first place. It’s been an honour, the last three years have been an incredible ride.
We’ll be having a big send off on the 19th of February, with a chance to see Andy Reeve’s exhibition, hear some twisted, bleepy sounds from poppa and some ace DJ’s. Plus, Jo Stafford of Stew Print Rooms is producing a one off limited edition run of commemorative t-shirts. Each one will be individually numbered and we’ll be giving them out on the night, FOR FREE.
So from me and Art in the Underbelly, it’s thank you and goodbye. See you on the 19th.
Luke Emery – Art in the Underbelly Curator and Manager