Morley is the antithesis of street artists in Los Angeles. Where traditional taggers obscure their name in scrawled script only readable to their own, Morley prints big messages with his large bold lettering. Where most find it cool to be cryptic, Morley shares his wit in complete sentences. Where many street artists prefer anonymity or an empowered alter-ego, Morley includes a plain drawing of his unglamorous self writing each ironic aphorism. His humor veers from self-deprecating to sly, his insight ranges from soul searching to silly.
Morley is so un-street art, he walks around in broad daylight plastering his posters up in the busiest intersections. It was a privilege to document the artist at work, if only to be able to capture the meta moments of the artist putting up art of himself putting up his art. Read More
International street artist Lush opened his show in downtown Los Angeles with as much fanfare and contempt imaginable. Making bold, often savage commentaries on the commodity of street art culture, Lush uses text and stark images on barren canvas for maximum disaffected impact. The exhibit Lush Sells Out in LA was an assault on the mythology surrounding Banksy, as well as those who would feign his work. Through painted pieces and installation sets, Lush set the stage for his world of ‘real street’ as opposed to ‘celebrated street-ified art.’ On the real street, as we know, people get harmed, anger can be in your face. This context, combined with brutal humor and knowing self-satire, was the vision assembled for the crowd who waited over an hour for a personalized Lush T-shirt as the exhibit’s first guests.
The shirts they got were flippant, funny, and at times vulgar. Indeed, even without the spread-eagle stripper, this was an NSFW show that was checking IDs at the door. (Further coverage of certain unprintable details can be found at venerable street art blog Melrose & Fairfax.) Lush had one canvas of Mr. Brainwash’s original cameraman self-portrait with his head being blown away. Lush went so far as to kill Banksy, metaphorically of course, through a hood-ied corpse face down with a knife in him. Upstaging this was Lush himself, featuring his own murdered likeliness in the storefront window of the Hold Up Art Gallery in Little Tokyo. Read More
In their testimony before the House of Commons yesterday, Rupert and James Murdoch insisted on their ignorance about the phone hacking and bribery scandal that engulfed their publication News of the World and led to the resignation of top editors and police officials.
In their shaky recriminations against the people who worked for their people, it’s a wonder the Murdochs would know much of anything that goes on in their newspapers. For NOTW editor and Murdoch confidante Rebekah Brooks to not know the genesis of thousands of stories she was in meetings deciding upon defies plausibility. For NOTW staff members to organize a conspiracy to pay off cops for leads and hack into over 4,000 voicemails — without their supervising editor knowing where so much money was coming from and to — those are some very proactive, amazingly clandestine tabloid journalists breaking a myriad of laws at great personal risk.
If Rupert Murdoch is to be believed, as he would desperately like to be, then his loyal staff let him down by not doing the right thing, and coming to tell him about the massive hacking and bribery thingy that they happened to find out about and also knew was wrong. If he is not to be believed, the conclusion to be drawn is the same nonetheless: real government oversight is needed because so many laws are being broken, the idea of “corporate responsibility” is an oxymoron. Read More
A diverse city with a rich history from both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Charlotte, North Carolina, is getting back on its feet from the financial and housing meltdowns.
With an economy centered upon Bank of America and Wachovia, Charlotte was hit hard in 2008 in the banking crisis as Bank of America weathered scandals and Wachovia imploded in debt and mismanagement, later acquired by Wells Fargo.
“I think people are starting to recover from it, it was a traumatic event, “ explains Rick Rothacker, reporter for the Charlotte Observer and author of Banktown. “The banks are such powerhouses in town, whether it’s giving to arts, every other person in your neighborhood works for the banks, between the two of them they employ more than 35,000 people…There is some hope, Charlotte has a lot going for it, but I think it’s still a major makeover that’s in the works.”
While recent job figures show steady improvement, Charlotte business owners had hoped the upcoming Democratic National Convention would boost the local economy. But after the host committee asked vendors to sign a right to first refusal agreement, many of the bookings never materialized. Local business owner Gus Georgoulias said he was “frustrated and disappointed” by the process: “It’s kind of like a joke, or something.” Moreover, personal donations that were expected to make up for the DNC’s pledge of a “No Corporate Cash Convention” are lagging.
Housing sales are up as the summer begins, but still way down from 2007. As more homes went under water following the housing bubble burst, NC Attorney General Roy Cooper stepped in to protect homeowners. Working with the Justice Department and the big banks for over a year, Cooper recently reached a settlement that will bring $338 million to the state, more than half of which will go toward struggling homeowners. As home owners are able to stabilize and remain in Charlotte, the outlook for job growth improves. But Democrats will have to make the case to Charlotte, and the country, that they can help this economy serve not only the richest Americans.
Trek Life’s album title Everything Changed Nothing refers to the awakening he experienced through the birth of his daughter. While he grasped the miraculous role we play in life, he recognized how much of the world goes on oblivious to everyday wonders like a beautiful baby girl.
A remix album makes sense then, as the entire world of music is replaced, but the core message and distinct vocals remain.
Trek Life stands out as a diverse rapper who is a teacher of history, an adoring father, and an adamantly independent artist who has still seen his music used on “The Hills,” “Breaking Bad,” and the NBA Finals. Eschewing major labels, Trek Like is not afraid to define himself as an artist first and foremost, building his rep as a smart writer. Read More
Much of today’s street art is reflective of Andy Warhol’s signature style of celebrity iconography, stenciled composites, and above all, repetition of imagery. It is no wonder Warhol’s ideas, Sixties images, and commercial success have inspired young artists to take to the streets. So it is both intuitively astute and perfectly logical to see Andy Warhol’s stenciled visage appear across Los Angeles over the past year signed simply “Thank You, X.” Read More
While the Supreme Court started its summer recess last week, watchdog group Common Cause is keeping the heat on Justice Clarence Thomas. In two separate actions on Thursday, July 7, Common Cause has drawn further scrutiny to an already embattled judge. Sitting in a lifetime appointment on the highest court of the land, the controversial behavior of Clarence Thomas is drawing increased calls for the Supreme Court to be held to the same code of conduct as all federal judges.
In the wake of a New York Times article chronicling Justice Thomas’s relationship with billionaire Harlan Crow, Common Cause filed a Freedom Of Information Act request to the U.S. Marshals Service for details of jet and yacht travel that Harlan Crow has provided Justice Thomas, as well as other gifts. Read More