los angeles – David Hemmings Bird Photography http://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 17:58:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2021-06-25T155134.587.png los angeles – David Hemmings Bird Photography http://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/ 32 32 Beyond Beyoncé fame, Awol Erizku expands what black art can be https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/beyond-beyonce-fame-awol-erizku-expands-what-black-art-can-be/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 17:36:00 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/beyond-beyonce-fame-awol-erizku-expands-what-black-art-can-be/ LOS ANGELES — Admittedly, Awol Erizku is perhaps best known for his smug photo of a pregnant Beyoncé, which in 2017 was the most liked post in Instagram history. And Erizku has taken many other memorable celebrity images, including young groundbreaking poet Amanda Gorman for the cover of Time and “Black Panther” actor Michael B. […]]]>

LOS ANGELES — Admittedly, Awol Erizku is perhaps best known for his smug photo of a pregnant Beyoncé, which in 2017 was the most liked post in Instagram history. And Erizku has taken many other memorable celebrity images, including young groundbreaking poet Amanda Gorman for the cover of Time and “Black Panther” actor Michael B. Jordan for GQ.

But in a recent interview at his sprawling studio in downtown Los Angeles, Erizku, 33 – wearing Dr Martens on his feet and a floppy hat over his dreadlocks, as Ethiopian pianist Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou played on the high -speakers – said he considers himself an artist first, one who also works in painting, sculpture and video installation.

“It’s something I’m adamant about,” he said. “I am not a photographer for hire.”

The desire to bring Erizku’s work to the attention of the wider art world is part of what fueled Gagosian director and curator Antwaun Sargent’s desire to give him the Park Avenue space. of the gallery for an exhibition on March 10.

“Awol is one of the black avant-garde photographers who says that limits don’t apply to the realities or the conditions in which we make images,” Sargent said. “It’s a refreshing perspective to have, especially when it comes to photography’s overwhelmingly white history.”

“How are we as an art world to ignore this?” Sargent continued. “You have photographers in Lagos, London, Johannesburg, New York and Los Angeles who create images that defy easy categorization and emphasize black desire, black beauty and black community. For me, it is significant. »

Erizku’s exhibition, ‘Memories of a Lost Sphinx’, features six photographs of light boxes in a black-painted interior with a mixed-media sculpture that reimagines the Great Sphinx of Giza as an amalgamation of Egyptian, Greek, and Egyptian influences. and Asians. There’s also a golden disco ball, “Nefertiti” – Miles Davis, in the form of the Egyptian queen.

“I deconstruct the mythological components that make up the Sphinx,” Erizku said. “It’s important to me to create confident, powerful and downright regal images of black people.”

Sargent has known Erizku since interviewing him for Complex magazine about his “The Only Way Is Up” exhibit in 2014. Erizku said he felt an immediate comfort with him, feeling “for the first times, I didn’t have to explain the work”.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in the South Bronx – Erizku describes himself as “projects” – he got into trouble in middle school and said, “Art was the only way out for me”.

A draftsman and doodler, he went to the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan, started out doing medical illustrations and took a camera to Cooper Union, where in 2010 he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts.

During her third year at Cooper Union, Erizku riffed on Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” creating the “Girl With a Bamboo Earring” photograph, featuring a black woman in a large shaped earring. of Hearts, which caught the public eye (one edition sold at Phillips Auction House in 2017 for $52,500).

From there he went to Yale, where he studied with photographer Gregory Crewdson and earned his MFA in 2014. Erizku was particularly inspired by the work of artists like Richard Prince, Jeff Wall, Roe Ethridge, Marcel Duchamp and David Hammons – “the ones who worked outside the margins,” he said.

But early on, he mastered the world of social media by treating Instagram like his gallery, selectively opening his feed to the public at set times.

In 2012, he took part in a collective exhibition at the Flag Art Foundation and then had two personal exhibitions at the now closed Hasted Kraeutler gallery in Chelsea before joining Ben Brown in London and Hong Kong and then the Night Gallery in Los Angeles. He is currently unrepresented in the United States, although he remains with Brown overseas.

“The artwork has aesthetic appeal – you want to look at it,” said collector Glenn Fuhrman, Flag founder and longtime supporter of Erizku’s artwork. “But there’s always a lot more going on below the surface.”

Some members of the art world have already noticed this. Public Art Fund, in 2017, showed Erizku’s work on Wi-Fi kiosks in the five boroughs as part of the “Commercial Break” exhibition.

In 2019, curator Allison M. Glenn included Erizku on her “Small Talk” show at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. “The power of her practice is that she has multi-point accessibility for many different people,” Glenn mentioned. “It takes recognizable symbols and moves them around. It is the history of art. That was the paint job.

Last year, Public Art Fund featured 13 of Erizku’s photographs on bus shelters across New York and Chicago in an exhibition called “New Visions for Iris” which included a still life dealing with mass incarceration and a portrait by Michael Brown Sr.

“It’s part of a conversation about art history,” said Daniel S. Palmer, curator of the fund, “from Old Masters to contemporary imagery of our current moment.”

The Gagosian exhibit is significant, Sargent said, in part because it expands the notion of what black art can be at a time when black portraiture has become the rage of the market.

“The art world has flattened the ways Blackness works,” Sargent said. “Doing exhibitions like this helps expand beyond an overemphasis on figurative painting,” though he noted that figurative work is valid.

He added that it was a way to carry on a conversation “beyond some of the fashionable black-figure notions.”

Sargent pointed to the long-awaited recognition of black photographers such as Anthony Barboza as well as Ming Smith and the 1960s band Kamoinge, recently featured at the Whitney. “We have to use every strategy to make sure our images are seen and appreciated,” he said, “because frankly the art world didn’t care.”

Presenting Erizku in the Gagosian Park & ​​75 space — a storefront visible from the street — gives the exhibition significant accessibility. “With more black artists than ever, there is still a problem with museums and galleries attracting these audiences to see the work of members of their community,” he said. “There are a lot of barriers to getting into the art world.”

Erizku often incorporates wildlife into his images – he has photographed hip-hop star Nipsey Hussle with a horse, Michael B. Jordan with a hawk and a wolf; Gorman with a bird (now chirping in a cage near Erizku’s studio window). He said he was inspired early on by Joseph Beuys’ radical 1974 performance – ‘I love America and America loves me’ – in which the German artist spent a week in his dealer’s gallery , fenced with a live coyote.

Erizku’s labor costs are low for a major gallery owner like Gagosian, with pieces selling for between $40,000 and $60,000. But Sargent said it was essential for top-notch galleries to showcase fresh perspectives. “If we are honest in saying that we want to ensure that all voices are represented in the art world, we seriously need to provide platforms for artists who think in ways that deviate from traditional notions around the art world. creating images,” Sargent said.

To some extent, Erizku has bypassed the Guardians, given that he’s been presenting his own shows on social media for years. His main interest, said the artist, is to be able to communicate and elevate black images, whether it’s actress Viola Davis, African masks, nail salon hands, Ethiopian sex workers or basketball player Kevin Durant.

“I want to be remembered for black imagination,” Erizku said, “for pushing the boundaries of black art.”


Awol Erizku: Memories of a Lost Sphinx

March 10-April 16, Gagosian Park & ​​75, 821 Park Avenue, Manhattan. 212-796-1228; gagosian.com.

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FREE Workshop ‘Dealing with a Money Crisis’, March 22 – Royal Examiner https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/free-workshop-dealing-with-a-money-crisis-march-22-royal-examiner/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 17:02:49 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/free-workshop-dealing-with-a-money-crisis-march-22-royal-examiner/ The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® has a knack for recognizing and showcasing emerging country music talent and the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party, presented by the Q102 lineup, will once again delight fans. Over the years, the Festival has welcomed artists like Blake Shelton and Billy Currington in 2004, Parmalee in 2018, Jimmie Allen in […]]]>

The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® has a knack for recognizing and showcasing emerging country music talent and the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party, presented by the Q102 lineup, will once again delight fans. Over the years, the Festival has welcomed artists like Blake Shelton and Billy Currington in 2004, Parmalee in 2018, Jimmie Allen in 2019 and many more to our stage as they established their name in the music industry. country music. For 2022, we are pleased to announce that Sam Grow will be headlining the show with special guest Ryan Jewel from 8:00 p.m. to midnight on Saturday evening, April 30 at the Tolley Dental Zone at James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University. Tickets cost $35.00 and are available at www.thebloom.com.

sam grow up

We can all remember moments that changed our lives and hopefully the lives of those we love.

Ask Sam Grow and he’ll tell you he’s had maybe three. The first came in high school, when his father agreed to buy Sam the guitar he desperately wanted – but only on one fateful condition. The next day came the day he held his newborn daughter for the first time, a moment that prompted him to make a special wish that he has kept ever since. And the third involved his decision to pass up several tempting opportunities until the perfect one presented itself – signing with Average Joes Entertainment.

Since signing with the Nashville-based label in 2019, Grow has amassed over 40 million streams across all digital service platforms, been named to Billboard’s coveted “7 Countries to Watch” list, and was recently ranked by Music Row magazine as “On Board for Strong Offers for Future Stardom.” Her 2020 hit single, “Song About You,” from her EP, Me And Mine, was listed as one of Spotify’s “Best Country Songs of 2020-Wrapped,” and her 2019 album, “Love and Whiskey”, debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart.

sam grow up

“Love and Whiskey” was a self-portrait that spoke to listeners as if they had written those songs themselves. Add his insight as a singer, his ability to convey loneliness, love and laughter with equal eloquence, and you have an album that represents the best of modern country.

Grow began his journey in Mechanicsville, Maryland, where his father JR worked on power lines by day and loved to sing and listen to music at home at night. Sam started showing signs of talent at an early age – so early that at the age of 5, after his family moved to Winfield, Kansas, he made his debut singing “Amazing Grace” at the local Baptist church. Winfield also hosts the annual Walnut Valley Festival, which features many of the top bluegrass singers and players. This, too, opened Grow’s eyes and ears.

At 10, he started writing songs. By the time his parents divorced, Grow realized that music could be more than a hobby or a distraction. “I saw a lot of things that 12 or 13 year olds shouldn’t see,” he recalls. “I felt I had something to say about those moments. That’s why I started writing about them. Eventually, music became my escape, a way to get away from everything that was bad.

Grow and his father moved back to Maryland, where their close bond grew even stronger. That brings us to that first milestone in Sam’s life. When he begged Dad to buy him a guitar, JR agreed with one stipulation: Sam was to promise to use it to develop his own music – specifically, he wouldn’t use it. wouldn’t use to imitate Green Day and other bands that were on the radio. at this moment.

Sam agreed to these terms. It wasn’t until several years later that he discovered his father had spent $500 on the instrument by maxing out his credit card. Sam learned more from it than music. “That’s why I say dad was my biggest influence,” he explains. “And not just in music. He tried to excel in everything he did. Seeing him always striving to be the best he can be has definitely inspired me to try not to turn anything into something.

And he still owns that guitar.

When he was 15, Sam went with his father to Nashville. JR was there on business, but he found time to introduce his son to Robert’s Western Wear, the classic Music City honky-tonk. Just a year later, Sam was playing gigs and leading his own band. Eventually he enrolled at the College of Southern Maryland as a music major, but quit after a while and returned to making music. He knew then and knows now that he really had no other choice, and it was all because of that second step.

When he first held his infant daughter, he said, “I realized I was his first example of what a man is. I didn’t want to be the kind of man who said, ‘I had a dream of playing music but then I got you and put it away.’ It’s the worst thing you can say to a child. Watching her, I wanted her to grow up knowing that I was chasing my dreams. I wanted her to believe, like me, that the world is limitless.

So Grow has dedicated himself full-time to acting, performing and writing. He recorded an independent album, Ignition, in 2009 and began touring beyond Maryland territory, with shows booked in Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver and other faraway destinations. When he landed a gig at the Nashville Underground, he impulsively texted producer Matt McClure, even though they had never met, inviting him to come see a set or two. Impressed, McClure began pitching Grow to major publishers. Offers were offered immediately. Grow moved to Nashville in 2013 and began releasing their own music, starting with a self-titled EP in 2014, followed by The Blame in 2017 and A Little Like Me in 2018.

One last step remained. When Grow was booked to open for Colt Ford, the iconic country rapper invited him on his bus to write a song with him and mutual friend Taylor Phillips. “We wrote a song,” notes Grow. “Then we wrote another song. Then Colt said, “I want more people to hear your music.” Will you please come and sign with Average Joes? “

This leads directly into Love And Whiskey, with Grow’s band providing the music as promised and Jacob Rice producing. Ironically, the first two singles were the only cuts he didn’t co-write. However, “Boots” and “History” seem to have been adapted to its history. The “boots,” in particular, came to him at exactly the right time, just weeks after his father passed away. Josh Thompson’s words hit on something in Grow, whose memories of JR include the favorite pair of boots he wore throughout his life.

“Every time I play ‘Boots’ and get hooked, people who have followed respond and personally because they know how it connects to my feelings about my dad,” Grow insists. “But it also hits home when I sing it for a new audience, like I did recently on the Tyler Farr tour, because it speaks to his audience and to mine: hard-working, blue-collar workers. who wake up every morning, strap them on, put on your boots and get to work.

Ryan Jewel

Ryan Jewel

Like many artists, Ryan Jewel was drawn to music from an early age. When he got his first guitar, there was no looking back. In high school, Ryan started performing with the idea of ​​becoming a professional musician. During his sophomore year at Clemson University, Ryan and his teammate, Andrew Beam, were burning down every bar, club, sorority, and frat party they could throw. They were called Beam & Jewel and played 3 nights a week for the rest of Ryan’s college career.

Hailing from Front Royal, Virginia, the country music singer-songwriter released his debut EP “Up on the Drive” in 2016. This EP helped him gain momentum with his music career in his hometown. , the Shenandoah Valley, and beyond. Alongside his EP, Ryan was a finalist in the 2015 Texaco Country Showdown, a nationwide talent search, which reinforced Ryan’s call for a music career. Ryan has had the privilege of opening for some great country artists such as Marty Stuart and Lauren Alaina. He also shared the stage with fellow Nashville performers and Clemson pals Cody Webb and Doug McCormick.

Ryan’s rich baritone voice, coupled with his authentic songwriting, which reflects his own life experiences, has helped him build a strong fan base who appreciate Ryan’s style of shows and “what you see is what you get”.

When Ryan moved to Nashville in 2017, he got off to a flying start; signing a management deal with Harmony Music Group Mgt just two weeks after moving to town. “If we hadn’t signed him, someone would have jumped on him as soon as he opened his mouth in town and started singing” – (Fred Conley) He started singing demos for many established writers in town and soon after began writing with several of those same writers.

Ryan recently released his second studio EP “Heads, I’m Yours…” on all digital platforms and is currently selling hard copies as well as new merchandise at all of his shows.


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Augusta University Artist to Exhibit Work in Venice – Jagwire https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/augusta-university-artist-to-exhibit-work-in-venice-jagwire/ Wed, 02 Mar 2022 18:00:32 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/augusta-university-artist-to-exhibit-work-in-venice-jagwire/ When talking about art, all the big names can come to mind – Monet, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and the list goes on. But modern art is a little less familiar and not at all traditional, especially the medium used to create it. For Marianna Williams, assistant professor of new media at the Pamplin College of […]]]>

When talking about art, all the big names can come to mind – Monet, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and the list goes on. But modern art is a little less familiar and not at all traditional, especially the medium used to create it. For Marianna Williams, assistant professor of new media at the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, it’s her specialty.

This summer, one of Williams’ exhibits is on display at what she calls the “Art World’s Super Bowl,” the 59th Venice Biennale. This is something that has been in the works for a few years.

“It’s a multi-year process. People from the European Cultural Center in Venice contacted me in 2019 to participate in a group exhibition and the Art Biennale,” said Williams. “This project was the biggest exhibit I’ve ever done in my career and raised over $40,000 in grants to fund, produce and ship it, and it was a major labor of love. .”

The pandemic actually delayed the exhibit, but Williams said that might have helped because she’s been working with curators for a few years to get everything in place. The exhibition opens on April 23 and will be visible until November 6.

The exhibit she sent includes large-format drawings that have been cut out of aluminum, a video that includes environmental images overlaid on paintings that create multimedia animation, and a powder-coated steel basin that will be filled of water. The pool initially looks like a big black cube, but spectators walking past will make the surface of the water resonate.

While she is excited about the exhibit, she is also looking to the future.

“I just want to keep doing work and approaching any opportunity to build a project. Funding supports my ability to source materials, coordinate shipping, and maintain my studio’s process. Continually looking towards completing the next project and keeping the ball rolling is good for me. I didn’t really celebrate because I worked a lot,” Williams said.

Being selected for this exhibition motivates her even more.

“I don’t think it’s good to get comfortable, especially as a visual artist. My job is to interpret the world, translate it and spit it out. So if I get too comfortable, I won’t have any tension that I need to make art.

Williams grew up in Augusta and went to school at Augusta Prep. There are several artists, musicians and makers in his family. She went to the Rhode Island School of Design and took classes at Brown University. She then went to the University of Pennsylvania for her graduate studies.

It was at a young age that she became addicted to art.

“The South is a storytelling culture, at least in my family. They told many stories growing up. I see art as a way of looking at those stories that are metaphors for how we live our lives. From an early age, I thought maybe there was just a bigger picture that went beyond the image of a thing. This is what led me to become interested in art and in particular new media art, because art is a language to represent our lives.

Marianna Williams flies a kite with a camera attached from a boat in the Arctic Circle.

Williams is a world traveler and was a member of the Arctic Circle Residency program. During her residency, she sought to broaden her artistic practice by developing video and sound works to document the world north of everything, while telling a story.

Not only did she want to see new things, but she also wanted to hear them in a different way. She placed a microphone on a glacier to hear what it sounded like inside and used hydrophones to document underwater features. She even installed cameras on kites to navigate around buildings and on the mast of the ship while experimenting with new media.

Williams had an installation in Los Angeles that involved a large-format video card on a 20-foot-tall hand-built structure.

“I use a lot of different materials in my practice, but I think that’s because every time I look at the same issues, I look at the environmental impacts and I look at how our personal lives relate to these larger systems. I’m interested in storytelling and the journeys we take to find each other,” Williams said.

She is big on interaction with her work. In 2019, she participated in the Westobou Festival in Augusta and had her painted on the wall of a van truck. In the corner was an infrared sensor that scanned a person’s body movements into a computer program that Williams had written. Then he would redraw the person on the painting wall.

Williams dispels the “artist” stereotype with every chance she can get.

“I write computer software myself and I know a lot of young contemporary artists who are super good at it,” she said.

She uses a sports analogy with her students to show that modern art is not limited to the final creation.

“I try to tell my students that we can have fun and be expressive, but I think successful art practice is really disciplined and almost like playing sports. You have to practice so much that when you go play the game , it seems effortless. But behind the scenes, you’re probably on the phone a lot, applying for stuff, writing stuff, making sure the studio budget is working.

At 31, Williams’ career is on a fast track and she credits Augusta University for believing in her, especially for the Venice project.

“I had so much support from the University of Augusta. They really trusted me to do this work and they supported this really experimental project and I think if AU hadn’t really been there, this project would not have been possible.

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Desert Artist Explores Black Settler Life in the Mojave – Press Enterprise https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/desert-artist-explores-black-settler-life-in-the-mojave-press-enterprise/ Sun, 20 Feb 2022 00:18:02 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/desert-artist-explores-black-settler-life-in-the-mojave-press-enterprise/ As an artist living in Palm Springs, Barbara Gothard was curious if there were other black women like her who had made art in the Mojave Desert. She went online and her search took her to an unexpected place. She found a history article from that same news organization about pioneering black settlers in the […]]]>

As an artist living in Palm Springs, Barbara Gothard was curious if there were other black women like her who had made art in the Mojave Desert. She went online and her search took her to an unexpected place.

She found a history article from that same news organization about pioneering black settlers in the Mojave in the early 20th century. His illustration was a 1910 advertisement looking for men to farm and farm near Nevada with the catchy title: “An Appeal to Colored Men.”

Gothard, fascinated, undertook research on the subject. It wasn’t in his wheelhouse. In fact, she describes herself as a surrealist inspired by Georgia O’Keefe, Hieronymus Bosch and Rene Magritte. And yet, she was looking for a new subject and a new direction, and it turned out to be this little-known aspect of black history.

The result is “Contradictions – Moving the Past Forward”, an exhibit at the San Bernardino County Museum on Gotthard’s work.

The exhibit is dedicated to the 23 out of 83 black homesteaders who formed a small mixed-race community in the Lanfair Valley, in the desert near the Nevada border and the hamlet of Goffs. Lanfair was established in 1910 and was almost gone by the early 1930s. Today, all that remains is to lay the foundations.

I met Gothard at the Redlands Museum on Wednesday morning, curious to see the work and hear how it came about.

Because there are few or no photos of Lanfair and its people, and Gothard is not a figurative painter, she said she had to ask herself, “How can I, as an artist , interpret their stories?

Each homesteader is the subject of a poster card with known biographical facts in a timeline. Next to it is a Gotthard artwork, printed on linen and hanging on the wall like a scroll.

The art depicts the state flower of the resident’s home state and indicates the number on the Lanfair lane map of the resident’s property. These are lined up along the wall of the circular showroom.

The floor is also part of the art. Gothard mapped out the lanes with tape, red for black residents, blue for others. This adds context to individual displays. “The red boxes are sort of clustered together,” she noted.

It’s an imaginative use of bureaucratic records. I imagine the audience for the show might include art enthusiasts from the county assessor’s office.

A showcase includes some Lanfair objects unearthed by archaeologists in the Mojave National Preserve: a spit, a flask, a fork, a cast iron pot. A lid from a can of vegetarian cooking oil is telling. Several families were Seventh-day Adventists and therefore ate little meat.

Gothard has done her art and much of the research during the pandemic, some during an artist residency at BoxoPROJECTS in Joshua Tree, where she was able to work without distraction.

She made her art on an iPad, using the ProCreate program, and chose linen as the material because its color and feel seemed to reflect the desert.

How would the pieces hang if they weren’t framed? Gothard bought a sewing machine to do the hemming, then some dowels and cords from Joann’s Fabrics. The effect is ancient, almost biblical.

The exhibit, which opened Feb. 8 when the museum reopened to the public, is on view until April 21. A chance to meet Gothard takes place on March 5 during an open day for the exhibition from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with a talk and a guided tour. at 2 p.m. After its museum run, the show will travel to the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley.

Homesteaders largely moved from Los Angeles County for the chance to own property, if they could establish their rights after three years of residency, and to escape prejudice. The price they paid was a hard life in the extremes of the desert, trying to farm in a place with little rainfall.

“As the rain dried up and the drought arrived, it became almost impossible to live there and be self-sufficient,” Gothard said. Most homesteaders have walked away.

A native of Springfield, Illinois, Gothard said his ancestors on both sides of the family farmed there, where everything grows, a stark contrast to farming in the Mojave.

“It must have taken a lot of perseverance and resilience,” Gothard said. She is particularly intrigued by the seven women who braved the desert to live there independently.

Gothard, who has lived in places as disparate as San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, DC and South Africa, has been a resident of Palm Springs since 2012.

“The desert for me is freedom,” Gothard said, his eyes shining. “I think it’s the expanse of the desert and the stability of the mountains. That’s what they mean to me. The mountains are harsh. The desert can seem soft with the sands. It’s like a constant light show.

This is where the “contradictions” of the title of the exhibition come in: the difference between his life and that of the homesteaders. “These people lived in 1910 and here we are in 2022, creating artwork on an iPad,” Gothard said with a smile.

The original article that piqued his interest was a 2017 history column by Joe Blackstock of this news agency, titled “The Untold Story: African-American Farmers Once Farmed the Mojave Desert.”

Joe, who likes to explore, told me the other day that he got his hands on a Friends of the Mojave Road guidebook, saw a reference to a black settlement in the Lanfair Valley and, curious, started his research.

This included driving to Goffs, home to a history center founded by Dennis Casebier, and reading an oral history by a man who was a child when his family moved to Lanfair.

Gothard corresponded with Casebier before his death in February 2021 and has not yet been to Goffs. She plans to continue her research and follow others’ research on Lanfair, either for another project or just out of curiosity.

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The friendship between 50-year-old artists takes center stage in a new exhibition in Los Angeles – ARTnews.com https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/the-friendship-between-50-year-old-artists-takes-center-stage-in-a-new-exhibition-in-los-angeles-artnews-com/ Wed, 16 Feb 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/the-friendship-between-50-year-old-artists-takes-center-stage-in-a-new-exhibition-in-los-angeles-artnews-com/ In 1969, three artists, all mothers and divorcees, met at the University of California, Irvine, where they had enrolled in the school’s new MFA program. Their introduction to each other would prove transformative. The artists, Barbara T. Smith, Marcia Hafif and Nancy Buchanan, were all graduates of West Coast colleges and had each previously demonstrated […]]]>

In 1969, three artists, all mothers and divorcees, met at the University of California, Irvine, where they had enrolled in the school’s new MFA program. Their introduction to each other would prove transformative. The artists, Barbara T. Smith, Marcia Hafif and Nancy Buchanan, were all graduates of West Coast colleges and had each previously demonstrated a penchant for creating unconventional art. At a time when Abstract Expressionism was still favored in institutions, UC Irvine’s MFA students and faculty—among them Robert Irwin and Larry Bell—went against the grain, often using their bodies as vehicles in performances and creating increasingly political installations. .

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At UC Irvine, two of the artists created an alternative co-op called F-Space in a nearby warehouse with ten of their classmates, including Chris Burden. There they could experiment without too much supervision from the school administration. “Irvine was different,” Buchanan said in an interview. “Everyone was interested in what the other was doing. There was this solidarity.

It was at F-Space that Burden staged his famous radical performance Shoot and Smith her bare frieze, both in 1971. In the first, Burden instructed a friend to shoot him at close range; in the latter, Smith orchestrated nude models to stick on gallery walls, creating a human frieze. As Smith explained, the gallery was “a kind of sanctuary for the investigation of ideas that was not available in other arenas” or simply a “politically safe space”.

Video art installation in the gallery

Installation view, “How we are in time and space.”
Ian Byers-Gamber

Both Smith and Buchanan became involved with the LA Woman’s Building in the 1970s, a flagship of the Southern California feminist art scene that became a hotbed of experimental artistic creation. Hafif, who died in 2018 at age 88, took a slightly different path. She moved to New York shortly after completing her MFA, living there for nearly 30 years before returning to the Los Angeles area. She was recognized for her conceptually-minded monochrome paintings, mainly in Europe. And now the three are the subject of an exhibit that taps into their 50-year relationship, titled ‘How We Are in Time and Space,’ on view through June 12, at the Armory Art Center. from Pasadena.

“They all made such disparate works and were really experimenting,” said Michael Ned Holte, the exhibit’s curator. With this exhibition, Holte wants to reassess the production of these three artists through the prism of their long-standing friendship and understudied relationships. He continues: “It’s really by dint of spending a lot of time with them and thinking about the points of intersection”, that he draws in the three main themes of the exhibition, areas where their practices converge: the body, communication and living. “This is my version of Nancy, Marcia and Barbara, and not necessarily their versions of each other,” he added.

The art scene around UC Irvine students in the 60s and 70s has already been the subject of a major exhibition: “Best Kept Secret”, curated by Grace Kook-Anderson at the Laguna Art Museum in 2011 as part of of the Getty Foundation’s first exhibition. Pacific Standard Time Initiative. But Holte wanted to take a different approach to analyzing that era.

“In a way, it’s about the social milieu,” Holte said of her show. “There’s a kind of call-and-response aspect to their work,” adding that he’s taken creative license to “make explicit connections that are somewhat implicit” between the three artists.

One of the centerpieces of the showcase is the only collaborative work ever made by Buchanan and Smith. The black and white video installation With love from A to B (1975) is a one-shot performance that shows the artists’ two hands resting on a table. In a dramatic score, their hands mirror each other, beginning to gesture as they act out a scene of unrequited love. Two versions are featured in the exhibit: one showing Smith splitting his finger with a metal razor blade and drawing blood, the other showing Smith sparing his finger. In Notes and Bob and Nancy (1970-1977), Buchanan and his classmate Bob Walker appear in a series of edited Super-8 films shot by Hafif, who narrates the film as if it were a scripted film, pondering relationships to both authentic and interpreted.

Video image with a woman wrapped in an American flag

Nancy Buchanan, The end of all our dreams1982.
Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles

Other works question ideas about lived space. Holte sees two works using scale house models as showing a common thread between Buchanan and Hafif, who had both left behind their middle-class marriages when they met. In the work, the two examine the demands of their previous domestic lives. At Buchanan’s American Dream #7 (The price is wrong), 1975, a sculpture of an intricate living room interior plays a small-scale video about real estate speculation from the Reagan era to the late 1980s. In the video, Michael Zinzun, a Pasadena-based activist and former Black Panther who made himself known for fighting against police brutality in Los Angeles, begins by repeating the saying of Walter Benjamin: “I am here to remind you that no document of culture is at the same time a document of barbarism. Holte positions this in the same section as Hafif oval houses (2002), a miniature sculpture of an ultra-minimalist dwelling, which he describes as “austere and highly utopian”. As Buchanan examines the conspicuous consumption that manifested itself during the Los Angeles housing crisis decades ago, Hafif imagines what the minimum conditions are for existence. “They both work in a similar idiom, but formally it couldn’t be more different,” Holte said.

In another Buchanan video, The end of all our dreams (1982), the artist focuses on the anxieties linked to armed violence and the threat of nuclear war through a montage of archival images and documentary footage. Buchanan’s personal ties seep into the film: text and images echo his father’s concerns about the war. Chief scientist of the US Air Force in the 1950s, he advocated for nuclear weapons to remain out of government control. In much of her work, through drawings and videos, Buchanan says, she is particularly concerned with holding the viewer’s attention. “If you have to get close to something, then the work is in your personal space, and maybe it bypasses some of the conceptualizing that people do when they look at art – they take a step back,” said she declared. “I wanted people to lean forward.”

The staff figures prominently in many of the works on display. Some address primary themes related to motherhood and death. At Smith’s Kiss a forbidden placefrom 1975, the artist leads an hour-long live performance inspired by an incident four years earlier in which she nearly drowned. At that time, she was in the process of separating from her husband, who forbade her to see their children. While walking in a local ocean inlet in California, Smith contemplated letting the water rush in – not swimming to safety as the tide grew stronger. She wondered, was there a reason to live? “The answer was yes,” she concluded. “You must stay alive for your children.”

Black and white photo of a man and a woman eating together

Barbara T.Smith, A week in the life of… 1975.
Courtesy of the artist and The Box, Los Angeles.

In the first act of Kiss a forbidden place, which Smith performed in front of an audience of spectators, she recreates this experience in a Las Vegas swimming pool that serves as a substitute for the ocean waters in which she nearly died. Here, an audio recording of Smith describing her familiarity with the ocean plays, as she swims to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a cross. In the second act, she takes the audience to a nearby desert where she discovers a cup-shaped “oasis” filled with water. It ends with her fleeing with an unnamed man, leaving the mob to find her way back, to which Smith concludes, “I’m well.”

Smith is good at pulling off complex performances, often sacrificing both bodily autonomy and personal time. In A week in the life Of… (1975), Smith held an auction to raise money for a local artists’ co-operative space that was in danger of closing. Artist Allan Kaprow was a runner up for the auction, with other art world figures, like Paul McCarthy, in the crowd. The bidders, including peers and friends, competed for blocks of one-on-one time with Barbara. It took her a year to complete the 36 time-lots she had sold, documenting the encounter in journal entries and letters. One of the winning bidders was a writer who managed to buy a full week, using the time to study Smith for a performance art book. “I spent a week living in his space,” she recently recalled. “It was very risky. It was more risky for a woman.

The only work in the exhibition that connects the three artists is sympathetic magic (1972), a work of mail art initiated by Buchanan. For its chosen participants, including Hafif and Smith, are tasked with sending a personal item — a photo of a grandmother or a letter from an ex-boyfriend — to someone they didn’t know. Like the others in the showcase, the works were based on a collective of artists disrupting the social status quo, whose roots were laid during their brief time together at UC Irvine. “It’s not typical,” Smith said of their decades-long friendship. “The connection of our experience” overshadowed all other connections to the art world, Smith added. “I had other artistic friendships, none of them had this longevity. It’s totally unique.

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Why this photographer has been on a mission for decades to take a portrait of all animal species in captivity https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/why-this-photographer-has-been-on-a-mission-for-decades-to-take-a-portrait-of-all-animal-species-in-captivity/ Fri, 04 Feb 2022 22:34:26 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/why-this-photographer-has-been-on-a-mission-for-decades-to-take-a-portrait-of-all-animal-species-in-captivity/ Joel Sartore is excited to come to Calgary this weekend — to see a bird. The National Geographic The photographer says the Calgary Zoo is the only place where the greater sage-grouse, an iconic bird of western North America, is cared for by humans, thanks to a breeding program established in 2016. He wants to […]]]>

Joel Sartore is excited to come to Calgary this weekend — to see a bird.

The National Geographic The photographer says the Calgary Zoo is the only place where the greater sage-grouse, an iconic bird of western North America, is cared for by humans, thanks to a breeding program established in 2016. He wants to document it.

For 12 years, Sartore has made it his mission to photograph all animal species in captivity, “from ants to elephants”. It’s part of a project called Photo Ark that aims to raise awareness about the extinction crisis.

There are approximately 20,000 animal species in zoos, aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries around the world. So far, Sartore has photographed around 12,000, all on black or white backgrounds.

Two golden snub-nosed monkeys in Ocean Park Hong Kong. All of Sartore’s animal portraits for the Photo Ark are done on solid black or white backgrounds. (© Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark)

“We all do them so people can really see these animals, look them in the eye,” Sartore told listeners. The last straight line Thursday. “People can just see that there is great intelligence out there and these creatures are worth saving.”

In Canada, populations of endangered animals face threats including pollution, loss of biodiversity, overexploitation of commercial species and loss of habitat, all potentially exacerbated by climate change.

Worldwide, more than 40,000 plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

Sartore knows there are criticisms of wildlife being kept in captivity, but thinks zoos can help raise awareness.

A pair of red wolves at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD (© Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark)

“I don’t think anyone likes a bad zoo, but good zoos where there’s abundant attention and care, they educate the public. They keep us connected to nature,” he said.

Sartore says zoos are also helping by restoring destroyed habitat and establishing captive breeding programs, such as efforts by zoos across Canada to save the Vancouver Island marmot from certain extinction. .

“This animal isn’t quite out of the woods yet, but at least it’s stable. That’s a big deal.”

Tricks of the trade

So how does Sartore capture his animal portraits?

He says he photographs more dangerous animals, like lions, tigers and bears, through a wire or mesh barrier.

A banded iguana from the Fiji Islands at the Los Angeles Zoo. (© Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark)

For smaller, faster-moving creatures, like frogs or bumblebees, “it’s more about containment.” The animal enters a small white fabric tent, and only Sartore’s camera lens goes inside.

After a few minutes, the animal returns to its enclosure.

Having photographed more than half of the animal species in captivity, Sartore says it will take 10 to 15 years to wrap up the Photo Ark project. He hopes people will continue to be inspired by his portraits and take action to protect species at risk.

A US Federally Endangered Florida Panther at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. (© Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark)

“If we think we can drive half of all species to extinction in the next 50, 60 years, but people will be fine, it won’t work that way. It just won’t work,” did he declare.

Sartore will talk more about his experience building the Photo Ark at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary on February 6-7. The event is sold out, but people can join the waitlist here.


With files from The Homestretch

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Camera focal length is the reason you don’t look the same in your selfies https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/camera-focal-length-is-the-reason-you-dont-look-the-same-in-your-selfies/ Tue, 18 Jan 2022 23:18:30 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/camera-focal-length-is-the-reason-you-dont-look-the-same-in-your-selfies/ It was a scorching day, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of excited kids. “You don’t have anything illegal there – droids or anything?” asks the Stormtrooper, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing a colorful backpack to a […]]]>

It was a scorching day, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of excited kids. “You don’t have anything illegal there – droids or anything?” asks the Stormtrooper, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the suit is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people through small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of the first four recipients of the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best in humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving away $100,000 to changemakers around the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. By the end of 2021, each accepted person or organization will receive $500 for an existing GoFundMe and shoutout to Upworthy.

Discover the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to make dance accessible to everyone in the Sacramento, CA area. Fundraising manager Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop and ballet. Libra started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facilities. The Kindness Fund’s $500 contribution moved Libra closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school professor James Pike introduces his students to the field of robotics via a Lego construction team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to fund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school vs. school match that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help covering half the cost of the expensive $4,000 robotics kit. With help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team surpassed their original fundraising goal.


Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team Video Update

Youtube

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few black tattoo artists. To solve the problem, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support black tattoo artists. While the Brooklyn organization is open to anyone black, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to form in a space of affirmation among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved to a larger studio with a third position for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that exclusively supports the organization, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part by a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is raising money for a holiday trip to spread joy to those in need in all fifty states.

Along with his collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will distribute gifts to children, adults and animals dressed as Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool and other Star Wars movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will visit disabled or seriously ill children, bring leashes and toys to animal shelters for people bringing home a new pet, and spread blessings to those without. housing, all in superhero costume. This will be the third time that Yuri and his non-profit organization have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero launched a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of freebies as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund donated $500 to this worthy cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you bring kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please see our FAQs and Kindness Toolkit on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

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Automotive Photographer – The Rower https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/automotive-photographer-the-rower/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 23:12:13 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/automotive-photographer-the-rower/ Start your engines… Ready, Set… Click on! Senior Nikky Lewis may not drive cars, but he takes pictures of some of the most high-profile guys. Lewis specializes in European and exotic cars, his favorites being the McLaren P1 GTR and the Pagani Zonda 760. The eldest has a two-step process he does with each client, […]]]>

Start your engines…

Ready, Set…

Click on!

Senior Nikky Lewis may not drive cars, but he takes pictures of some of the most high-profile guys.

Lewis specializes in European and exotic cars, his favorites being the McLaren P1 GTR and the Pagani Zonda 760.

The eldest has a two-step process he does with each client, using Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom to enhance his photos.

“Another really important thing that’s overlooked in photography is my technological side,” Lewis said. “I take suggestions of what my clients envision in my work and try to make it a reality.”

Lewis shares his work via Instagram, where most of his clientele owns specialty automobiles.

He has had an interest in cars since childhood, when his father sparked his interest after taking him to the Los Angeles Auto Show. Lewis decided to take his love for cars to another level by becoming a photographer.

He had the opportunity to take photos of cars across the country and meet many people in the industry. “It gave me a greater perspective of the world. Meeting so many interesting people and going to so many interesting places that if I hadn’t been in those circumstances, I wouldn’t have gone there,” said he declared.

Lewis’ experiences and time in the industry helped motivate him to become his best self. He has ties to people in the industry and direct ties to automotive companies.

“One thing I find so great about photography and art is that you just have to take your imagination as far as it goes, so I never say there’s a limit to the opportunities.”

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The Supreme Court takes up a case, brought by Ted Cruz, which could legalize corruption https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/the-supreme-court-takes-up-a-case-brought-by-ted-cruz-which-could-legalize-corruption/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 13:00:00 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/the-supreme-court-takes-up-a-case-brought-by-ted-cruz-which-could-legalize-corruption/ Details of Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for the Senate, a case that the Supreme Court will hear next Wednesday, reads more like a paranoid fantasy imagined by leftists than like a real trial. The case concerns federal campaign finance laws and, in particular, the ability of candidates to lend money to their campaigns. […]]]>

Details of Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for the Senate, a case that the Supreme Court will hear next Wednesday, reads more like a paranoid fantasy imagined by leftists than like a real trial.

The case concerns federal campaign finance laws and, in particular, the ability of candidates to lend money to their campaigns. Candidates can do it – but in 2001 Congress enacted a provision that helps prevent such loans from becoming a means of bribing candidates who will become elected officials. Under this provision, a campaign that receives such a loan cannot repay more than $ 250,000 of the loan using funds raised after the election.

When a campaign receives a pre-election donation, this donation is generally subject to strict rules preventing it from being spent to enrich the candidate. After the election, however, donors who donate money to help pay off a candidate’s loan effectively funnel that money directly to the candidate – who at this point could be a powerful elected official.

A legislator with sufficiently skilled accountants could moreover effectively structure such a loan to allow lobbyists and other donors to help the legislator to benefit directly from it. According to the Los Angeles Times, for example, in 1998 Representative Grace Napolitano (D-CA) granted a loan of $ 150,000 to her campaign at an interest rate of 18% (although she subsequently reduces this interest rate to 10%). In 2009, Napolitano reportedly raised $ 221,780 to repay this loan, of which $ 158,000 was classified as “interest”.

Thus, in 11 years, the loan would have brought Napolitano nearly $ 72,000 in profits.

And that brings us back to Ted Cruz for the Senate trial. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants the Supreme Court to abolish the limit on loan repayments to federal candidates. The move could potentially allow any lawmaker to grant a high-rate, high-interest loan to their campaign, and then use that loan as a vehicle to funnel donations straight into their pocket. (The pre-2001 FEC rulings allowed candidates to grant loans to their campaign at “a ‘commercially reasonable interest rate'”, but this apparently did not prevent Napolitano from granting a loan at a low rate. two-digit interest.)

And while lawmakers don’t get rich by giving their campaign high-interest loans, the fact remains that every dollar a campaign donor gives to help a campaign pay off a candidate’s loan goes straight in the pocket of this candidate. As the Ministry of Justice states in its defense against Cruz’s trial, “a contribution which is added to the personal property of a candidate (and which can therefore be used for personal ends) constitutes a threat of corruption far greater than a payment that only adds to the results of a campaign. cash (and therefore can only be used for campaign purposes).

Cruz asserts that allowing such contributions is necessary to protect “the rights of candidates and their campaign committees to make constitutionally protected decisions about when and how much to speak in an election.”

While a decision in Cruz’s favor could effectively allow wealthy donors to bribe lawmakers, Cruz has a very good chance of winning in a Supreme Court where Republicans control six of the nine seats on the court.

Although current precedents theoretically allow Congress to enact campaign finance laws to prevent “corruption and the appearance of corruption,” the court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC (2010) defined the word “corruption” so narrowly that it basically makes no sense. And the current court is significantly more conservative than the one that made United citizens a dozen years ago.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, for example, suggested in a 2002 email he wrote while a White House official that there are “some constitutional issues” with laws capping how much a donor individual can give a candidate – something that even decisions like United citizens allowed.

Likewise, last July, the Supreme Court voted in favor of a party to block a California rule requiring the disclosure of certain political donors, and it did so despite the fact that United citizens explicitly asserted that disclosure laws have a solid constitutional foundation.

There is a very real chance, in other words, that a Supreme Court hostile to campaign finance regulation will join Cruz’s crusade. And if the court does, it could effectively make bribery of many members of Congress legal.

Ted Cruz fabricated a fake dispute to file this lawsuit

Cruz admits that he designed this lawsuit specifically to be able to challenge the restriction on loan repayments.

According to the Justice Department, on the eve of the 2018 election, Cruz loaned his campaign $ 260,000, which is $ 10,000 more than the amount that can be legally repaid from post-election funds. Additionally, while a federal regulation allows Cruz’s campaign to repay all that money using funds raised before the election, as long as it does so no later than 20 days after the election, the campaign has WHEREAS this deadline has passed to reimburse $ 250,000 of the loan of $ 260,000.

And, just in case there is any doubt as to why Cruz and his campaign made this unusual arrangement, Cruz and his campaign do not dispute that “the sole and exclusive motivation behind the actions of Senator Cruz in granting the 2018 loan and the committee’s actions pending repayment was to establish the factual basis for this challenge. Cruz was basically willing to risk $ 10,000 of his own money for the opportunity to bring down a federal anti-corruption law.

The Justice Department, for what it’s worth, argues that these machinations should doom his trial, citing Supreme Court cases establishing that plaintiffs cannot use federal courts to repair “self-inflicted injuries” – although, as Cruz’s attorneys note in their brief, it is common for civil rights claimants to use similar tactics to organize lawsuits challenging racial discrimination, and the court has permitted such tactics in the past. It is therefore far from clear that Cruz is not authorized to carry out this pursuit.

And even if the court were to dismiss Cruz’s action, it’s likely that another candidate would make a legitimate loan to their campaign and then take a similar lawsuit.

So, in other words, even if the court decided to avoid the problems presented by this case and dismiss Cruz’s action, that decision would likely only delay the inevitable.

Supreme Court Allows Corruption By Narrowly Defining The Word “Corruption”

The Supreme Court established in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) that lawmakers can enact campaign finance regulations that mitigate “the danger of corruption and the appearance of corruption”. Yet while United citizens supposed to leave this aspect of Buckley in place, it has dramatically reduced the government’s ability to fight “corruption” by defining the word very narrowly.

Specifically, United citizens argued that federal and state campaign finance laws can only target “quid pro quo” deals, where money is offered in exchange for “political favors.” After United citizens, Congress can still prohibit donors from explicitly promising to write a check to a lawmaker if that lawmaker changes its vote on a pending bill. But other forms of corruption are protected by the interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court.

Indeed, the opinion of Kennedy J. in United citizens framed influence buying by donors as a positive good:

Favoritism and influence are not. . . avoidable in representative politics. It is in the nature of an elected official to favor certain policies and, as a necessary corollary, to favor the voters and contributors who support these policies. Of course, a substantial and legitimate reason, if not the only one, to vote for one candidate or to contribute to another is that the candidate will respond by producing the political results that the supporter favors. Democracy is based on responsiveness.

If you accept the legitimacy of this reasoning, then Cruz has strong arguments. Of course, lifting restrictions on candidate loan repayments would allow lobbyists and wealthy donors to put money straight into the pockets of lawmakers. But, according to the definition of “corruption” put forward by United citizens, it’s not entirely clear why lawmakers cannot charge lobbyists $ 1,000 an hour for their time – until lawmakers and the lobbyist come to an explicit matching deal on a political issue. before Congress.

If the Court wants to establish that elected officials cannot rely on United citizens get rich personally, Ted Cruz for the Senate gives the Court a perfect opportunity to do so. The Justice Department argues that the court should maintain the loan repayment provision that Cruz challenged, as it allows for personal donations to lawmakers of a different nature than those envisioned by the court’s previous campaign fundraising cases.

“When a campaign uses a contribution to finance routine campaign activities, the contribution helps the candidate by slightly improving his chances of winning, but it does not add to the personal wealth of the candidate,” says the Department of Justice in his brief. “But when a campaign uses a contribution to pay off the candidate’s loan, every dollar donated by the contributor ultimately goes into the candidate’s pocket.”

The Justice Department also cites a list of existing ethical rules, including a rule of Congress that prohibits members of the House and Senate from accepting gifts over $ 50, which prevents federal officials from using their office to get rich. And he notes that the Constitution itself recognizes the danger of federal officials accepting personal gifts, prohibiting them from accepting “any gift, emolument, office or title, of any kind, from any king, prince or foreign state ”. (Although, in fairness, the courts did not exactly apply this provision with any rigor when Donald Trump was president.)

So far, however, the Roberts Court has been reluctant to restrict the power of wealthy donors to shape elections – or spend money to maximize their influence over lawmakers. Perhaps the Court will decide in Ted Cruz for the Senate that putting money straight into a congressman’s pocket is going too far.

But, given the court file, I wouldn’t bet on that.

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Police seek perpetrator who fatally stabbed Drakeo the Ruler at concert https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/police-seek-perpetrator-who-fatally-stabbed-drakeo-the-ruler-at-concert/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 11:21:07 +0000 https://davidhemmingsbirdphotography.com/police-seek-perpetrator-who-fatally-stabbed-drakeo-the-ruler-at-concert/ Hip-hop artist Drakeo the Ruler was fatally stabbed during the Once Upon a Time in LA concert at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday night, a source told The Times. Paramedics responded to a report of a stabbing in Exhibition Park stadium around 8:40 p.m., said Margaret Stewart, the Los Angeles Fire Department’s information officer. […]]]>


Hip-hop artist Drakeo the Ruler was fatally stabbed during the Once Upon a Time in LA concert at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday night, a source told The Times.

Paramedics responded to a report of a stabbing in Exhibition Park stadium around 8:40 p.m., said Margaret Stewart, the Los Angeles Fire Department’s information officer. One person was taken to hospital in critical condition, she said.

The individual has not been identified, but a person with direct knowledge of the incident told The Times that Drakeo the Sovereign was attacked by a group of people.

The rapper was scheduled to perform at the concert, which included lineup consisting of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and 50 Cent.

The rapper, real name Darrell Caldwell, later died of his injuries, according to the source, who requested anonymity to frankly discuss the case.

A source said the video of the stabbing showed people rushing to the stage and security guards trying to end a fight.

Caldwell, 28, was backstage when an argument broke out between several people and he was stabbed, according to the source.

No arrests had been made on Sunday morning, said officer Luis Garcia, spokesperson for the LAPD. “Detectives are still trying to figure things out,” he said.

The California Highway Patrol said it was handling the investigation and asked anyone with information to call the South Division Investigative Services Unit at (323) 644-9550.

Shortly after the stabbing, organizers put an end to the event as patrons moved to exit. The Los Angeles Police Department said on Twitter that an “incident” had occurred but did not provide details. “The festival ended early. LAPD will be in the area to help [California Highway Patrol] with the investigation, ”the agency said.

The music festival was late. Snoop Dogg was scheduled to perform at 8:30 am, but a DJ on the main stage had been playing for about 45 minutes.

Snoop Dogg said in a declaration that he heard about the incident while in his dressing room and chose to leave the festival grounds immediately.

“My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Drakeo the Sovereign,” he wrote. “Nothing negative about it and as one of the many artists I was there to spread positive vibes only in my hometown of LA.”

At around 9:20 a.m., the backstage entrance appeared to be blocked by the police. At least 20 police gathered behind the main stage, where yellow police tape was taped.

At 9:30 p.m., there had been no announcements from the festival organizers.

Police backstage at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday.

(Mikael Wood / Los Angeles Times)

Shortly before midnight, Live Nation released a statement: “There was a backstage altercation on the pavement. Out of respect for those involved and in coordination with local authorities, the artists and organizers decided not to move forward with the remaining sets, so the festival ended an hour earlier.

Photographer Bridget Arias said she was working behind the scenes at the event, watching George Clinton perform around 8pm, when she heard someone say, “Drakeo was stabbed. Then another person confirmed it and then it was kind of like the monkey game where everyone was rehearsing a version of what was going on.

Soon after, festival security ordered her and others to leave, she said, although in confusion they were still stuck in their car hours later.

Caldwell, from LA, released 10 mixtapes and released his debut studio album earlier this year. He recorded the mixtape “Thank You for Using GTL”, a reference to the prison communications company Global Tel Link, with verses recorded over the phone while being held at the Central Men’s Prison awaiting trial. in connection with the 2016 murder of a 24-year-old man.

Caldwell was acquitted of murder and attempted murder charges, but LA County prosecutors sought to retry him on charges of conspiring to murder. The second case was ultimately resolved by a plea deal and Caldwell was released in November 2020.

Friends and colleagues of the rapper mourned his death on Sunday.

“We spent the most difficult two years together fighting for his freedom, in the face of life, before releasing a free man a little over a year ago,” wrote attorney John Hamasaki, who defended Drakeo against criminal charges. “Thanks to that, we became friends, then like family. I don’t even know how to start dealing with this.

“He was special, a rightful genius and a kind and caring friend,” journalist Jeff Weiss tweeted. “There are no words to express sorrow.”



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