Tuesday, January 27, 2009

11 Days

Intermidio: a kiss to the Universe

The intermedio or intermezzo in the Italian Renaissance, was a theatrical performance or spectacle with music and often dance which was performed between the acts of a play to celebrate special occasions in the Italian court.

Enjoying the snow, cold, crisp tail end of a ice storm in OKC...
even as I do my thang here (Uptown United)
I'm thinking of Chicago
... and what calls me there,...

"hey, Amina... can I see you in the first two weeks of February?"
Gotta git back to my girl, Chi... as I come to a greater sense,
a broader vision of where home really is.
I'm missing the creative intelligence of CHLEE,
the quiet strength of Arthur and the spirit that is
Aiesha Wright telling a story,
making it up as she goes.. See ya'll soon.

Coming in touch with The Flowmasta...Itsa bout time!
Thank ya..
The warmth of gratitude for today
and worship with guitar
doin' the best i can ,
with the few chords i got.

a kiss upon the cheek of the universe
in the middle of the day.

namaste. bless.

Adam Emmanuel handles the camera.

The First Seven Days of Zen

"I told ya'll, I didn't come here
to play!...Sweet Jesus!, I'm tryin' to get sum' shit done 'round here!"
Well, that's not exactly a quote..
but it's what I would be telling
both the Republicans and Dems at this point.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Prince of Pamona, Puccini, and the Tijuana Tornado

Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini
1858-1924 Capricorn. Italian composer whose operas, including La boheme, Tosca, and Madame Butterfly are among the Greatest Hits of the standard repertoire. I wish I had his name, "Giacomo"..that's smooth!

Antonio Paoli 1871-1946 Ares. Known at the height of his fame as "The Tenor of Kings". A crossover Superstar long before JLo and Marc Anthony, Paoli is considered the first Puerto Rican to reach international fame in the musical arts. Paoli would eventually lose a 2 million dollar fortune in bad investments and turned to professional boxing to make a living.

Teatro alla Scala Milan, Italy : One of the world's great opera houses.
The season traditionally opens December 7, St. Ambrose's Day. La Scala is to Opera,
what the Apollo and The Grand Ole Opry are to Blues, R&B, Gospel and Country
...What Madison Square Garden used to be for Boxing.

c'erano molti spettatori i conoscitori

conoscenti Signore Stallone i Signore Schwarzenegger

WBA Championship Prizefight
Shane (Sugar) Mosley vs. Antonio (The Tijuana Tornado) Margarito.

Mosley, the former champ from Pamona, California was considered too old at 37 to have a solid shot at winning.
He was 4-1 underdog, dogged by doping accusations and leading up to the fight, he was hit with divorce papers by his wife.
Margarito was the reigning Champ and the meteoric rising Mexican upstart who clocked Cotto to win the title.

Did it ever occur to Giacomo Puccini to write an opera based on boxing?

Mosley was strong from the beginning. All night the left jab set up everything he wanted to do.
He fired his punches at will, landing head shots, bodyshots, crosses, solid rights,

Margarito would just grin after Mosley landed a particularly wicked punch. But the blows and the points scored after these exchanges were going Sugar's way. By the ninth round it was just a matter of minutes before the beginning of the end.


"...uno!,..due!,..tre!,..quattro!,..cinque!,..sei!... e' tutto finito!"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Uptown United LiveArt REMIX w/Skipfolio & Sean Valli

"...everybody going Uptown,
that's where i wanna be
set your mind free
Got my body hot
Get down,
I don't wanna stop, no!
As soon as we got there
Good times
were rolling
White, Black,
Puerto Rican
Everybody just a-freakin.."

in fact the mood was more subdued when I walked in about 9:45 from the cold front sweeping across OKC, for the Live Action Art gig at Uptown United. It would be better to say specifically that the energy was down-tempo chill with a acute sense of the promise of a good time this evening. The ambient mix was smooth droopy and straight loopy, as guests milled about talking in groups with drinks and iPhone in hand. The DJ and the tech guys were running final checks of the lights,the audio and video equipment...and Sean Valli had already been at work on the mural rendering his signature sub-atomic-organic Tree of Life.

Below: Chad Mount (tribalbot) of Uptown United with artist Sean Valli

As the crowd began streaming in, my task was going for a pure jazz,hip-hop improv.

Something edgy,raw and love desperate like doodles in a heartbroken poet's notebook.I blocked in the large black iconic and ironic figure as a visual stabilizer for the image plane. In a nod to the film 'Beautiful Losers', I scrawl in the name "Sonny Liston", the mob-owned heavyweight champ who lost his title to a young Cassius Clay. I begin filling in the negative space with loose marks, signifyin' snarky text, curly arabesques, prime numbers, Japanese kanji and Spanish slang. Big-AfroSoul Sista geishas float laconic about the garden of random graphics and text like ghetto angels at Golgotha, and the Sistine Chapel

After a while I manage to tap into the Flowmasta, channeling a lifetime of visual prompts, impressions, the intuitive, but informed,.. Past the thought uncensored and grammatically challenged 'wordz'..Dopamine(?),
With a Salt N' Pepa remix trip-hoppin' through the speakers, I'm running with this line of fluid ink, like a child with sharp scissors.
The night unfolds,the creative process emerges and builds to a crescendo of handmade flourishes, "Looks good, Skip, I think you done, man...", the tag of my autograph and the flashing of cameras brings the last 3 hours of alchemy to an end.

Post project: Sean,Chad,Sam and Skipfolio

Live Art REMIX @ Uptown United: featuring Artists Skiphill and Sean Valli.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

611 Creative & Uptown United LIVE ART REMIX

A full house
of artlovers,
tattooed geeks
and beautiful freaks
at 611 Creative
for an exhibiton
of paintings,
and drawings
by Ruth Borum,
Fernando Cassilas
and David Bruehl

The crowd.
talking with photographer Terry LaFrance about his upcoming show. He is also developing a series of images shot while serving in Iraq.

Shout out to DeShan
living and creatin art
down under in Australia.

Artist Fernado Casillas
with Jeri Wensel and
Tony Lacy who aquired
an original watercolor
for his collection.

A Tattoo artist by day,
Fernando with "Flying Tiger"

Ruth Ann Borum's painting is sick..and I mean that as a fan of this talented young artist

Her paintings calls to mind some
darkly lyrical alterpieces
found in the temple
of some obscure Scandinavian tribe
with Pre-Columbian roots.
These new work reach
another level in skill, quality,
scale and price.
"I just draw a line
down the middle
of the canvas and
star drawing and painting
whatever comes out."

"This is one
of the best nights
they have
ever had here."

Up Broadway @Uptown United

Thursday night in The 405 7ish p.m.

In coordination with the screening of the film Beautiful Losers at OCMOA, the crew at Uptown United invited me to collaborate with emerging artist Sean Valli to produce an Art Action mural during the after-party in their space. As we create, paint, draw, pour, drip, collage and develop the project in real time, our process will be videotaped, and the footage will be filtered, manipulated and projected on a large screen to the beats of DJ Ben of the group Esthing. Sean and I agreed to meet tonight and lay down a base coat and some foundations of color on the walls we'll be working on Friday night starting about 10. You always hear people say "there ain't shit to do in OKC, no culture, nothing jumping off round here!..." Well, I called "bullshit" on that and decided to jump in with a group of young, educated, creative, well traveled, tech-saavy indidviduals who have returned to OKC with the benefit of their skills, experiences and outlook,to bring a whole new, positive energy to NorthernDowntown (NoDo)and the developing MidTown district.

Ben is mixing it up on the Korg ES-X, dipping into Prefuse 73 from itunes
"my goal over
the next couple
of years is to have
12,000 MP3 mixes
on the internet.
That should get
me the world record."

"I'm so digging this, man.
The music,
the space,
the energy,
I'm gettin' to paint!

Sean Valli creates a scrim of texture and color, keeping the process wet!

Skip Hill connecting
with artist Jose
aka "Perilous Joe"
with the money quote..
"Man, I checked
out your work,
stepped in here
and thought,
'I've always
known this brother.

Live Art Remix @ Uptown United
24 W. Park Place
Up the alley from Iquana Mexican Grill
Friday night after the screening of the film Beautiful Losers at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Day...It's about time

Haven't got too caught up in the daily twists and turns leading up to this day.

I have said repeatedly that Barack Obama isn't president of the United States until he takes the oath and speaks the words confirming it to be.

Since Obama's clinching of the election, I've been on an extended media diet, except for brief forays to http://huffingtonpost.com/ I've been reading and writing instead, organizing projects, trying to get back in the studio and making the conscious effort to take a break from the brilliant satire of The Daily Show with John Steward http://thedailyshow.com as well as the info-carpet bombing bullshit that passes for fair and balanced (sorry, no links) journalism at this precarious moment so early into the 21st century. Still, at heightened moments, I'm rushed by the electric magnitude of what has shifted in this country with Obama's dramatic, historic, election. At other times, I realize that one mulatto's ascendancy to the Oval Office ain't gonna change the statistics that plague the Black community, neither tomorrow, or the day after. I have felt the post-election hangover and awoke wondering if I haven't been a bit player in some Ocean's Eleven orchestrated political opera that has enraptured us, jacked us, and played us for the opportunity to maintain the game just as it has always been played. But beyond any personal doubts that might arise and linger, I just as quickly repent and recognize the terrific opportunity, the incredible reality of this American moment, this global moment.

So, no...I haven't been following the transition as acutely as I expect to follow the Administration after today. I have to say, I do shake my head at all of the Clinton appointees stocking the new administration of Change and Hope, but like most Americans, I'm giving President Obama time, patience, my trust and my prayers, if they'll make any positive difference.

The week before Christmas I spent a bone-chilling week visiting Chicago and Hyde Park when Obama was in town. Snow was on the ground, windchill well below zero. Sky crisp and clear.
As I crossed the boulevard at South Drexel and East 51st, the Chicago P.D. were posted up at the northwest corner of the wide perimeter secured around the Obama neighborhood. I felt the energy, pride and inspiration of a city for its' adopted son and senator, above and beyond the Blago distraction.

In a few minutes the day has arrived, when he will speak those words and make his promise to a purpose that calls for the greatness, not just of a man, but of a people..and I pray the sun to maketh shine on thee and us, as we embrace the new day by faith, hope, and with a sober awareness of the destructive costs of the last eight years of the imperial presidency.
And I wonder... are we willing to wrap ourselves around the challenges and costs for today and tomorrow? Can we truly make a change? Yes,......... if we are so inspired.
Congratulations with Best Regards,
and Blessings, President Barack Hussein Obama

"I might not get there with ya'..

It would be my sin and shame, if I didn't acknowledge the day, the life, the profound legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as give honor to those unknown people behind the fame, who helped paved the way for his journey; heroes like Bayard Rustin, standing here in glasses behind Dr. King. Rustin was one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Because of Bayard Rustin's sexual orientation and despite King's support, NAACP chairman Roy Wilkins did not allow Rustin to receive any public recognition for his role in planning the march that propelled a bookish, Baptist preacher from Atlanta onto the world stage.

Transcend: Behind the Scene

Posting images and thoughts from last weekend's filming of the documentary,
Transcend: The Face of Contemporary African-American Art in Oklahoma.

Saturday, January, 17, 2009


Staging the set in the studio of Nathan Lee.

Brenna King (left) prepares for her recorded interview with the artist, as lights are strategically arranged.

Ms. King is a multi-racial woman of Caribbean descent. She's a mother, a Marine Corp veteran, an accomplished photographer, singer-songwriter, AfroFemi-Ninja and hopeful romantic. As personal friends, the two were able to discuss living and making art in Oklahoma, Black folk issues, White patronage and openly address Lee's interracial relationship with an older Hungarian woman. Finally, the two discuss his ever present challenge of living a productive life as artist/activist with narcolepsy, or Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), a neurological condition that causes Lee to fall asleep at any moment.

Director j.leigh brantly of Vox Populi Productions has worked in film in both Hollywood and New York. This year she will complete a film project based in Africa. With the Transcend project, her process is to establish a solid frame of focus, but allow the collaborative energy of the assembled artists to channel the film's production organically. Of course they in turn respect her authority as the last voice in any creative decision and final vision.

The art of Nathan Lee. The human form. meditative. voluptuous, zaftig. Mayan?, Africa?
The Feminine Id and universal emotion. The work of a man's hand and vision.

Loading the camera is Melissa Sue Lopez, writer producer of several film projects including "Masquerade" and "Emociones". Shooting begins shortly on her latest feature Shuttermind". She brings serious film skills, pure positive energy, enthusiasm, and love to the Transcend project. http://www.moonsueproductions.com/

Artist/Curator Nathan Lee and Transcend director j. leigh Brantly

The Magic that is Tatayana, age 5, daughter of Brenna King. Loves smoothies, Yoga, saris, and all things India.

Skipfolio: too little sleep, head cold, draining sinuses, sneezing and watery eyes. A large cup of coffee.
I'm in bliss.

In the green room, trying to keep her quiet enough to not interfere with the taping beyond the curtains. Foto by Nathan Lee
Transcend: The Face of Contemporary African-American Art in Oklahoma
Curated by Nathan Lee

February 6 through 19, 2009 at Living Arts in Tulsa, Oklahoma