Los Yesterdays (2021)

I was just a puppet on your string, until you cut me down.

Los Yesterdays is a “Souldies” project featuring Gabe Rowland, Vic Benavides, Gabe Roth, and Tommy Brenneck.

Founded by producer/drummer, Gabriel Rowland and singer/songwriter, Victor Benavides in Pasadena, CA in 2017, Los Yesterdays wanted to create music that recalled their childhood days as young chicanos. “Souldies” is how they describe their contemporary take on the deep soul tracks they modeled their sound after. R & B greats such as Little Anthony, Gene Chandler, and James & Bobby Purify to name a few. After writing and recording a few tracks, the songs eventually ended up in the hands of acclaimed producer/guitarist, Tom Brenneck who was working with the late Charles Bradley amongst other projects. Tommy was a fan of the songs but finding out Los Yesterdays were only a duo, he decided to see if his friend Gabe Roth would be interested in starting a project. Roth, being best known as producer/bass player/bandleader for the late Sharon Jones, as well as the co-founder of Daptone Records. After a few barbecues and meetings with Roth and Tommy, they decided to have a jam session and, in the summer of 2018, a band was formed. And so, we give you, Los Yesterdays

Pete Beard (2020)

This video takes a look at the life and work of British illustrator and author Mervyn Peake.
He was one of the most unusual and distinctive 20th century British illustrators, and although he could be considered more of an acquired taste than others I’ve featured I hope this will create some new enthusiasts among those who’ve never heard of him.

Mervyn Peake was an English writer, artist, poet, and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books. The three works were part of what Peake conceived as a lengthy cycle, the completion of which was prevented by his death.

Nigel Finch (1978)

BBC program Omnibus features Nigel Finch’s 50-minute 1978 documentary of Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman, with cameos by John Dean, Brian Doyle, Bill Murray, Ray Romano, and more.

Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood, also known as Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision, is a documentary film produced by BBC Omnibus in 1978 on the subject of Hunter S. Thompson, directed by Nigel Finch. The road trip/film pairs Thompson with Finch’s fellow Briton and illustrator Ralph Steadman. The party travel to Hollywood via Death Valley and Barstow from Las Vegas, scene of the pair’s 1971 collaboration. It contains interviews with Thompson and Steadman, as well as some short excerpts from some of his work.

Richard Gilbert (1964)

On Canada’s Pacific coast this film finds a young Haida artist, Robert Davidson, shaping miniature totems from argillite, a jet-like stone. The film follows the artist to the island where he finds the stone, and then shows how he carves it in the manner of his grandfather, who taught him the craft.

Haida are an Indigenous group who have traditionally occupied Haida Gwaii, an archipelago just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada for at least 12,500 years. The Haida are known for their craftsmanship, trading skills, and seamanship. They are thought to have been warlike and to practice slavery. Anthropologist Diamond Jenness has compared the Haida to Vikings while Haida have replied saying that Vikings are like Haida.

Christopher Noey (2011)

Wow! This is amazing.

In 2011, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, which house the Museum’s renowned collection of Islamic art. A vital part of the installation was the Patti Cadby Birch Court, a Moroccan court built by a team of experts—from curators and historians to designers and craftsmen—over many months. Complementing the works on view, which span the past fourteen hundred years, the Moroccan Court provides an experience of space and architecture while demonstrating artistic traditions that still thrive in the Islamic world.

This video documents a marvelous journey from Fez to New York, and the creation of a twenty-first-century court using traditional fifteenth-century methods.

The court was made possible by the Patti and Everett B. Birch Foundation.

Jordana Moore Saggese & Héloïse Dorsan Rachet (2019)

Learn about the life of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, from his start as part of graffiti duo SAMO to his rise as an internationally renowned painter.

Like Beat writers who composed their work by shredding and reassembling scraps of writing, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat used similar techniques to remix his materials. Pulling in splintered anatomy, reimagined historical scenes and skulls, he repurposed present day experiences and art history into an inventive visual language. Jordana Moore Saggese explores the chaotic and prolific art of Basquiat.

SAMO was a graffiti tag which started as an inside joke when Jean-Michel Basquiat and a few of his friends were still teenagers. They tagged funny, thought-provoking lines all over New York City from 1977 to 1980. It accompanied short phrases, in turns poetic and sarcastic, mainly painted on the streets of downtown Manhattan.

Ken Jacobs (1960)

A film in four parts. In In the Room, a man and a woman in outlandish garb are sitting in a claw-foot bathtub smoking, while the man abuses a doll in various ways. In They Stopped to Think, the filmmaker focuses on a woman trying to position a stool upon which to sit next to a wall. The filmmaker talks in voice-over about filming the scene, and his current relationship with the people shown in the film. The scene shifts to a pier where a man and woman are filmed, playing to the camera. In It Began to Drizzle, a man and woman are lounging in a street-side patio. The scene then shifts to a man and some children doing chalk drawings on the sidewalk, and how others respond to what they are doing. In The Spirit of Listlessness, a man lounging on an urban rooftop is playing with balloons while he plays to the camera.

Outrageous yet tender, the film begins with the skip of a cracked 78 rpm record and a handmade title festooned with streamers and lettered in dripping red. In vignettes continuing in this vein, characters occasionally stumble on glimmers of beauty in their bleak existence: a view from the roof and kids drawing on the sidewalk. The scenes are unsettling in their immediacy. Jacobs embraces the New York City streets as his stage and improvises props and costumes from castoffs. The characters, including Jack Smith and Jerry Sims, are completely at ease with the camera. They cavort, they pose, they affront, and they demand our attention. Like it or not, we are made part of the scene.

For many years Jacobs played 78s at screenings, again transforming poverty into a live-performance asset. A grant from Jerome Hill facilitated by Jonas Mekas enabled Jacobs to add voice-over to the middle section and create a sound print. By this time, his relationship with Smith had soured, and he had lost touch with most of those pictured. Jacob’s narration, presented self-consciously as anything to distract you from talking to each other, acts as a remembrance of things past. The closing vignette, shot on a New York rooftop on a crystalline day, shows Smith clowning with a balloon to the tune of Happy Bird. In Little Stabs at Happiness, moments in the sun do not last.

Ken Jacobs is an experimental filmmaker, who, along with Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Maya Deren and others, helped spearhead the American avant-garde film movement. His impressive filmography spans more than 60 years and 45 films, utilizing just about every experimental technique imaginable. In the ’60s, he helped redefine the notion of domestic (home) movies, and along with it, domestic space—pioneering work that expanded the parameters of art cinema, and also, coincidentally, the gender expectations of male artists. Jacobs has also experimented with found footage, creating such memorable works as Star Spangled to Death, a nearly seven-hour epic charting an alternative U.S. history. Most recently, he has been reformatting, reworking, and altering silent films to give illusions of depth, creating experimental, heavily stroboscopic abstract cinema, and 3D. At every stage of his career, Jacobs has sought to push the technology as far as it can go and to challenge his audiences to think about politics, gender, class, race, documentary, and movies differently. This series provides a rare opportunity to see the work of one of the greatest living American filmmakers.

Hobo Moon

The hands that once pointed in every direction
Have failed to move since she gave it away,
And though the band is much to tight,
He still wears it every day.
It helps him to remember that moonless night.
That night he tried to make her stay.
Losing himself in his own reflection,
He remembers the words that she used to say,
The sweet reverberation,
Trembling from her lips in exasperation.
Eyes lost in a distant fading memory,
Like fog dissipating with the arrival of the day,
He stares at his watch,
Waiting,
For those hands
Hoping,
To continue
Stuck in the past,
Their ritualistic dance.
Those hands.
Salvador Dalí’s painting Persistence of Memory, 1931.

Katy Papineau (2020)

Follow this step-by-step guide to pastel drawing with artist Katy Papineau.
For further tips and details about this activity, visit our website at https://bit.ly/2zoWj2q.
Please note, filming took place before the UK’s lockdown measures were introduced.

You will need:

– A drawing board

– An easel

– Pastel paper

– Hard pastels

– Soft pastels

– Conte pencils

– White liquitex gesso

– Black or dark grey acrylic paint

– A wide paintbrush

– Fixative

– Masking tape

– A selection of props

All of the materials are available online or at your local art supply shop.

“I think that if you do pictures, they’re about what’s inside you as much as what’s outside you.”

Paula Rego

Artist Paula Rego, is known for her paintings and drawings based on folk tales. Her work often reshapes traditional stories to reflect personal experiences, and focuses on female roles within the family.

In 1994, she began to experiment with pastels and has continued to use them ever since. She describes working in pastels ‘like painting with your fingers’. The scenes in her drawings almost always take place in domestic settings and are filled with mystery.

“As you are drawing something, it very often turns into something else, and you can go with it. It develops in a completely different way. It’s organic and it’s done with the hand.”

Paula Rego

David Hockney (2019)

In this short and uplifting video, the influential British painter David Hockney talks about looking and painting for more than 60 years – and shares a story that made him reflect on our time.

In the video, you also get to experience the world premiere of an animation technique, which Hockney himself calls “time-based brush painting.”

David Hockney is a British painter, printmaker, photographer and stage designer, who is considered among the most influential and versatile British artists of the 20th century. Hockney is a notable contributor to the pop art movement in Britain, both in its foundation and growth, beginning with his participation in an annual exhibition called ‘Young Contemporaries’ in 1960, which also marked the start of his recognition in the art world. Hockney is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Praemium Imperiale for Painting (1989), and the Lifetime of Artistic Excellence Award (Pratt Institute) in 2018. His work can be found in numerous collections worldwide, including National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, National Portrait Gallery and Tate Gallery in London, Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, De Young Museum in San Francisco, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.

David Hockney was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at his home in France in March 2019.

Many thanks to David Hockney for providing the works and the animation shown in the video.

Richard Curson Smith (2017)

Francis Bacon was the loudest, rudest, drunkest, most sought-after British artist of the 20th century. Twenty-five years after his death, his canvases regularly exceed £40million at auction. Bacon’s appeal is rooted in his notoriety – a candid image he presented of himself as Roaring Boy, Lord of Misrule and Conveyor of Artistic Violence. This was true enough, but only part of the truth. He carefully cultivated the facade, protecting the complex and haunted man behind the myth. In this unique, compelling film, those who knew him speak freely, some for the first time, to reveal the many mysteries of Francis Bacon.

Kasper Bech Dyg (2017)

George Condo was part of the 1980s wild art scene in New York. In this video, recorded in his New York-studio, the iconic artist shares his life-long love of drawing and thoughts on his artistic expression, which he describes as “artificial realism.”

”I kind of draw like you’re walking through the forest, where you don’t really know where you’re going, and you just start from some point and randomly travel through the paper until you get to a place where you finally reach your destination.” Condo studied music theory at college, but soon realised that it was too formal and rigid for him, and that he needed an art form that would give him more freedom. However, he still approaches his art like a musician, working fast and following the rhythm of the drawing or painting without “missing any of the notes.” The tempo, he feels, is very important when it comes to art.

Condo wants his work to contain clear references to the different artists – from Picasso to Velasquez – they’re inspired by, but with a twist. His painting or drawings are about finding a way in which one can capture a person’s humanity through a portrait – capturing not just the outside but also the inside. Moreover, Condo aims to “turn negatives into positives”, portraying “the ordinary characters that make up our lives, whether it’s the janitor or the bus driver or the school teacher or the principal or the mailman or the truck driver. These are not the glamorous people that you see on the cover of Vogue Magazine, but they are what the world is composed of. And to give them a spot in the world is what I always admired about Rembrandt to a certain degree.”

“I love drawing as much as painting, so why not make your paintings from your drawings, but literally have there be no defined sort of hierarchy between the two mediums?” Condo started making “drawing-paintings”, where you can’t distinguish paint from pastel, or a line made with a paintbrush or a line drawn in from and thus making the two mediums equal: “There’s no real difference between figurative painting or abstract painting, ‘cause it’s all painting to begin with. You don’t have to follow any rules as a painter. If you’re making an abstract painting it doesn’t mean eventually it can’t morph into a figurative one.”

When a famous art historian asked Condo what he called the form of work he did, Condo thought of the description “artificial realism”. Artificial realism gives the painter the opportunity to go back and paint something in a realistic way while still portraying all that which is artificial in our world. In continuation of this, he finds that now everything seems to be “artificial realism” with the fake news that is all around us: “Art is the truth, and everything else is a lie.”

George Condo is an American contemporary visual artist working in the mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking. Condo mixes input from art history’s masters – such as Velasquez, Manet, and Picasso – with elements of American Pop Art. He distorts and renews this material so that it stands out and becomes his own: a kind of strange hybrid that blurs boundaries between the comic and the tragic, the grotesque and the beautiful, the classic and the innovative. As part of the wild art scene in New York in the early 1980s, Condo was close to painters such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and worked for Andy Warhol’s Factory, applying diamond dust to silkscreen. Condo’s work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Whitney Museum, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, Tate Gallery in London, Centre George Pompidou in Paris and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, among others. He is the recipient of an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1999) and the Francis J. Greenberger Award (2005). Condo lives and works in New York City.

George Condo was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at his studio in Soho, New York City in September 2017.