Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Art for Art's Sake: The Best of MoMA

After participating in Pride, I hopped on over to one of my favorite museums in New York City: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It's one amazing museum, and I hope these photos give you enough of a reason to see and know why! These aren't the best in quality (they were taken on my cheap and super-old phone). Unless otherwise told not to (there are some pieces where they're very strict about NOT taking pics), every pic I've taken was allowed as long as it wasn't flash photography. These arts are my personal favorites, representing some of MoMA's best (in no particular order):

MoMA is home of Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans and his other works:

Note: This isn't a permanent fixture at the museum. This Warhol exhibit ends in mid-October, but I'm pretty sure that Warhol's works always makes a comeback at MoMA frequently. 



Henri Rousseau, La Bohémienne endormie (The Sleeping Gypsy), 1897.



Belgian Ensor's Masks Mocking Death, 1888. 



Paul Gauguin's The Seed of the Areoi, 1892.



Henri Matisse's The Dance I, 1909.


Henri Rousseau's The Dream, 1910.


Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory, 1931.

(This one is much smaller in person!)


Roy Lichtenstein's Drowning Girl, 1963.

( "I don't care! I'd rather sink than call Brad for help!" ) 


Roy Lichtenstein's Girl With Ball, 1961.


Paul Klee's Cat and Bird, 1928.


Pablo Picasso's Girl Before A Mirror, 1932.


Frida Kahlo's Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair, 1940.


Gustav Klimt's Hope II, 1907-1908.

(This one is unique and rare because seldom are there art works that depict pregnant women/pregnancy)


Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World, 1948.


René Magritte's The False Mirror, 1928.


And MoMA's most famous/popular painting (a permanent fixture):

Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, 1889.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Wins Today

When I woke up this morning, never did I think that I'd wake up to THIS:


My heart's full. We are all so lucky and blessed to be alive to see change sweeping America as beautifully and dramatically as this. This is more than about marriage equality. This is bigger than that. Think about all the children and families who are now EQUAL in the eyes of this country. And also think about all the LGBT allies who fought the LONG fight with us, swearing that they'd NEVER get married until gays get married, and now, they can, and it's their victory too. Today, history was made. America has evolved. And we can be very proud that it has finally happened. There are still many issues that LGBT people and this country will face in general, but today, we can rest. We can toast, we can hug our families and children, couples can kiss and make love, and everyone will be safe, happy, and well. Truly a beautiful day. Love has won. Love is king and queen.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Björk Marathon: The (Limited Edition) LP Collection

I have a new love in my life, and that's my turntable and my growing LP collection. It was only just recently that I've started to really be deeper into the orgasmic experience that is to have an LP player and playing vinyls - admiring its magic, that distinctive "tinny" warm sound, and the charm of watching that vinyl spin round and round like the music that pours out from the speakers. I only purchase LP's of albums that have truly touched me and in some cases saved my life. Basically, every record of Björk's has been a soundtrack of my life - and a life saver in general. In celebration of her current career retrospective (at MoMA), One Little Indian reissued her entire back catalog (her 8 solo albums) in limited edition color, where the color of each vinyl represents the mood/character of the album. Luckily, I saved enough money to purchase them all in their wonderful, exquisite glory!




It's so cool to see the progression of an artist from just the album covers alone - the evolution! They are a work of art in and of itself - and each album is truly a character of their own kind. 

I'm going to keep each review of each LP short and sweet:

Debut


Björk describes Debut as: shy beginner humility virgin beige silver mohair the messenger

Admittedly, the quality of the sleeve is pretty...disappointing. It's made from cheap cardboard and almost looks bootleg; the back of the cover, the print looks blurry, and sadly the lyrics aren't posted anywhere which is pretty unusual since most LP's have them somewhere. To add insult to injury, the LP is stored in a paper-thin sleeve. The beige color looks kind of...sickly. The quality of presentation could have been so much better (it's a real shame that it's this bad), but Debut on LP is so worth it. 

Post


Björk describes Post as: greedy euphoric absorb promiscuity urban pink

The quality of this is much better. The sleeve is still basic, made of cardboard, but thicker cardboard this time, so it doesn't feel so cheap. It doesn't have that counterfeit look to it. And the sleeve that the LP is in is much thicker as well, and it also has the lyrics of all the songs on it too. The pink vinyl just pops. Isn't it loud, pretty, and fun? It perfectly sums up the mood, theme, and sound of Post. 

Homogenic 


Björk describes Homogenic as: icelandic/cosmopolitan contrast patriotic warrior confrontational green volcanic beats icelandic octet active  

Like Debut, the quality of the sleeve is basic, made from that flimsy cardboard again, but like Post, the sleeve where the vinyl is stored in is thicker cardboard with lyrics, album credits, etc. I adore the electric-like neon-green color of the LP. It is almost alien-like, like the sound of Homogenic

Vespertine

Björk describes Vespertine as: frozen winter world celestial whispered vocals passive loyal swans   paradise laptops harps glockenspiels music boxes micro beats white orchestra choir disney salvation

You can tell how much Björk takes more pride in her later works based on how much longer her album descriptions are and by the quality of this LP - and all the others to follow - alone. Gone is the cardboard and paper thin sleeves. This double LP Vespertine has a thick, shiny, and glossy gatefold sleeve that opens like a book, taking the breath away. And the sleeves where the LP's are contained are also thick and absolutely gorgeous. I even had to take pictures of it so you can see what I mean!


It comes to no surprise that white was chosen to represent the mood of this album. The quality of this from the exquisite sound/audio, to the LP sleeves, and the album art work is just top notch, as an album of this caliber should be. 

Medúlla


Björk describes Medúlla as: primordial motherhood humour family around campfire breastfeeding   black braided hair bones caves marrow goth pagan archeology pre-civilisation folk dark brown  family passive  

This is in the same excellent quality as Vespertine (hence is why I took more pics!). Thick, shiny, gatefold sleeve, gorgeous artwork that pops, and the vinyl sleeves sturdy, as artsy too.


If there's one thing that I love the most about Medúlla is the vinyl color - it almost reminds me of dark blood, like the kind you'd find in a bone marrow. And to make this even better is the sound quality of this LP. Something about this album on LP sounds more...eerie, haunting, and hypnotic. 

Volta




Björk describes Volta as: wanderlust  activist shaman feminist justice confrontational reactable brass tribal beats red neon green flags trumpets fire anthropology tribes boats bombastic
  

The sleeve for Volta is pretty simple and basic, but the quality isn't cheap, cardboard, and paper-thin, but at the same time it's not nearly as amazing in quality and presentation as Vespertine and Medúlla. But what makes this stand out and differ from the past LP's is that this one has two colors: red and neon green. These colors pop, and are pretty fun. Volta may not be her best album (in my opinion it's her only album that really disappoints), but owning this on LP is still worth it. 

Biophilia


Björk describes Biophilia as: equilibrium kofi annan synchronising opposites pacifist solutions   pedagogic uniting choir copper electric blue galaxies atom no human scale element table cosmic   nature/technology not narrative  

I'd say that of them all, Biophilia on LP is the best. It's not only the best in quality, but it is even inspiring. It transports you into the character and the music from the cover and gatefold sleeve alone. This is the only LP in this collection where the vinyl sleeves is exactly as thick, glossy, and shiny as the gatefold. Isn't it gorgeous? And a bonus to this are the colors of the LP's, the first one being orange-y and the second one being electric blue. Like Medúlla, this sounds even better on LP. 

Vulnicura 



This one may not be in color, but what makes it "deluxe edition" is the shiny cover sleeve and its acetate artwork. Remove the sleeve, and there you have Björk rising from the ugliness of her pain and emerging as a warrior-woman triumphantly bearing her wounds, shrouded in light. This has a gatefold sleeve; when you open it, the lyrics really pop and seem to demand more attention than all the LP's in this collection. There's also something 3D like about the art work. I love this edition of this album, from back to front, inside and out. Vulnicura is painfully stunning, inside and out, and the quality of this double LP set definitely proves that loud and clear that there's beauty and strength, even in heartache. 


Every LP here includes an MP3 code, so you get even more bang for your buck! Whether in color or only in black, hardcore fan or not, each album here is so worth getting in the LP format, truly. 

As far as the other vinyls that I have in my collection, and the ones that I borrow from my local library, if you follow me on my author page and Twitter, I often post pictures of the vinyl I'm listening to throughout the day, and even sometimes at night. Feel free to express the LP love! 


(Photo/logo credit: Love Vinyl

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1st In Review

Already, it's just the first day of June, and already, I have to look at it in review! Yes, it has been that wonderful of a day.

So, I woke up today with news that some of you know that I've been waiting half a year for:

The Man on Top of the World, that bisexual M/M glam rock romance novel that I haven't spoken about in a good while, has...found a new home! Which publisher/home it is...I'll announce later ;).

I will say this, though, that it's a respected, award-winning, and highly professional LGBTQI publisher, indie but mainstream-ish with a name well known enough that it has its own Wikipedia page. I'm shocked, and honored, that they want this book, truly.

Someone is having the best day ever (no, it's not only me, lol). It's..Caitlyn Jenner!


Beautiful. This is huge. And also record breaking, like, literally. In only 4 hours, Caitlyn made the most followers than any other person in history, beating even President Obama. The support has been overwhelmingly positive. Of course there are "haters," but they don't matter, not now, and not ever.

Welcome to the world, Caitlyn! No matter what, you are loved, and you are blessed.


Caitlyn has not only done something so amazing for herself, but for the trans community at large. We're proud. I'm very proud. We've come a long way. It doesn't end with her. A whole lot begins.

Not as major as the first two things on this review, but it's Marilyn Monroe's birthday today! Still the idol, one of my favorites for reasons that don't really need any explaining ;).


And lastly, America has a new Drag Superstar, and she's...


VIOLET CHACHKI!


She wasn't the one I was rooting for originally, BUT...this queen is very talented, has got the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, she's HOT, I love her BDSM meets glamour aesthetic, and she's so shamelessly bitchy, and she is NOT sorry about it. ConDRAGulations, Violet!

Oh, what a day, what a day, that feels so right.