Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Labyrinth of Stories

by Gregg Chadwick
From the Giardini
Tiziano Scarpa’s “Venice Is a Fish: A Sensual Guide” provides a unique, almost magical, means of exploring the canals and alleyways of Venice. Be warned, this is not another guidebook that will lead you on a shopping excursion from Piazza San Marco to the Rialto Bridge, but instead Scarpa’s volume is almost a book of spells that will enchant you and subsequently haunt you. Scarpa grew up in Venice and the ghosts of his past flicker in and out of our view as he leads us through the labyrinth of stories that is Venezia. We embody the feet, legs, hearts, hands, faces, ears, mouths, noses, and eyes of those who have come before us. Their senses conjured by Scarpa summon us to a dance of time. We meet Casanova and Vivaldi, Titian and Veronese, Ruskin and Maupassant.
Venetian Water
Scarpa reminds us that for centuries, each viewpoint in Venice has been recorded in verse, paint, and song. The weight of beauty as much as the high water (alte acqua) threatens to sink this illustrious city. Scarpa’s splendid volume acts as a literary life raft to lift us and carry us through the Venice of memory, dreams, and decay.

*photos by Gregg Chadwick

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Powerful New Yorker Cover References Charleston Shooting

New New Yorker cover by Barry Blitt titled 'Nine'

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Getty Acquires Bernini Sculpture

The Getty Museum snaps up a Bernini bust, adding heft to L.A.'s Baroque holdings

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Congrats to the Golden State Warriors!

Bay Area Celebrates as Warriors win first NBA championship since 1975

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Festa della Repubblica Italiana 2015!

Monday, May 11, 2015

David Bowie's - Joe The Lion - Homage to Chris Burden

The track is in part a tribute to performance artist Chris Burden. RIP Chris.

Picasso's "Women of Algiers" sells for $179 Million

Picasso's "Women of Algiers" sells for $179,365,000 = most expensive painting to sell at auction

A human who could have given $179 million to an art museum, a food bank or a library chose to spend it on a luxury item for themselves.
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Happy Birthday Salvador Dali!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Manifest Justice Exhibition

Thursday, May 07, 2015

#BlackSpring in “BALTIMORE" from the forthcoming Nina Simone tribute album

In the 1970’s the legendary artist and civil rights activist, Nina Simone released a song entitled "BALTIMORE." It spoke to the challenges of urban living, particularly for people of color. 

Earlier this year, a group of recording artists, including Nina’s daughter Lisa Simone, Mary J Blige, Common, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Gregory Porter, Alice Smith and Andra Day amongst others, gathered to pay homage to Nina by covering many of her songs for a Tribute album to accompany the first ever comprehensive documentary on the enigmatic singers life entitled “What Happened, Miss Simone”. Available on Netflix June 26.

Philadelphia native Jazmine Sullivan recorded a chilling rendition of “BALTIMORE".

No one could have predicted the current events leading up to the untimely death of Freddie Gray, an event that lead to civil unrest, riots, widespread protest and the city of Baltimore literally being brought to its knees. 

2015 looks a lot like 1968. Another black man dead in police custody….Another family grieving…Another city in turmoil.

Prince in Baltimore on Sunday, May 10, 2015 for Freddie Gray

Prince. Baltimore. Sunday, May 10th.

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Yoko Ono at MOMA

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Powerful New Time Magazine Cover

Powerful new Magazine cover - photo by 26 year old West Baltimore resident, Devin Allen -

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Requiem for Eddie Gray - The Blue Line in Charm City

by Gregg Chadwick

 From Birth - Baltimore April 2015
Photo by Lara Davidson*

"Schoolteachers, Johns Hopkins employees, film crew people, kids, retirees, everybody went to the city jail. If you think I’m exaggerating, look it up. " - David Simon on Baltimore's anguish. 

"Are you going to tell me the story of my life, or am I going to tell you yours."

- Baltimore Resident to me in a coffee shop near City Recreation Pier in the Fells Point neighborhood in Baltimore in the late 1990's. Homicide: Life on the Street's police department scenes were all shot there.

Eddie Gray's death at the hands of the Baltimore Police Department is sadly not an isolated event. To understand the current situation in Baltimore, it pays to read the thoughts of David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish: Freddie Gray, the drug war, and the decline of “real policing” in The Marshall Project. David Simon's history with Charm City is long and nuanced. The groundbreaking 1990's television drama, Homicide: Life on the Street was inspired by Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, a non-fiction book written by Simon when he was a Baltimore Sun reporter. Simon went on to create HBO's powerful Baltimore based police drama The Wire. Simon's experience following a Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit as a journalist and a dramatic screenwriter lends credence to his deep discussion of the systematic failures of the Baltimore Police Department in its decades long "war on drugs." Simon writes:
" In these drug-saturated neighborhoods, they weren’t policing their post anymore, they weren’t policing real estate that they were protecting from crime. They weren’t nurturing informants, or learning how to properly investigate anything. There’s a real skill set to good police work. But no, they were just dragging the sidewalks, hunting stats, and these inner-city neighborhoods — which were indeed drug-saturated because that's the only industry left — become just hunting grounds. They weren’t protecting anything. They weren’t serving anyone. They were collecting bodies, treating corner folk and citizens alike as an Israeli patrol would treat Gaza, or as the Afrikaners would have treated Soweto back in the day. They’re an army of occupation. And once it’s that, then everybody’s the enemy. The police aren’t looking to make friends, or informants, or learning how to write clean warrants or how to testify in court without perjuring themselves unnecessarily. There's no incentive to get better as investigators, as cops. There’s no reason to solve crime."
Baltimore's brutalization of its black community has deep and ugly roots and as Jesse Williams wrote on Twitter: 
Maryland governor just said "The violence began yesterday at 3pm." This sums it up: Violence against Black people does not count.

The violence and unjust incarcerations of people of color in Baltimore have ramifications that are just beginning to play out. Simon explains - Why Now? What has changed?:
"Because the documented litany of police violence is now out in the open. There’s an actual theme here that’s being made evident by the digital revolution. It used to be our word against yours. It used to be said — correctly — that the patrolman on the beat on any American police force was the last perfect tyranny. Absent a herd of reliable witnesses, there were things he could do to deny you your freedom or kick your ass that were between him, you, and the street. The smartphone with its small, digital camera, is a revolution in civil liberties." - 
As I write this on April 29, 2015, Baltimore has woken up from a weekend of peaceful protests, punctuated by acts of rage against the Baltimore Police and the city that doesn't seem to hear the voices of its citizens. Last night on David Letterman, the Baltimore based band Future Islands played an emotional version of their new song "The Chase." Lead singer Samuel Herring expressed,"This song is gonna go out to the people in Baltimore. Let us not discount their voices — or the voices of all the people in the cities that we live and love." 

Today, members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra gathered in front of Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to give a free concert "in support of our community." The musicians, who donated their services, invited "friends, BSO family and all who love the great City of Baltimore" to the event. On Sunday - May 3, 2015 - a long-scheduled performance of Brahms' German Requiem, will be played at Towson United Methodist Church in Baltimore at 4 pm in memory of Freddie Gray. The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance reports that the concert will include "a plea for peace and reconciliation." 

Crowd forms for impromptu lunchtime concert by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
April 29, 2015

Scott Malone 

*From a poignant group of photos taken by MICA Professor Nate Larson and a group of photography students who took to the Baltimore streets near MICA on Tuesday, April 28 to document and help with the clean up efforts. Please visit BMore Art for more on art and activism in Baltimore:


 Mural by NETHER in Baltimore, Maryland
photo courtesy XXIST

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