Monday, November 29, 2010

Artist of the Month: Chi Modu

I was walking around the LES today and decided to pop into this hat shop called Still Life on Orchard Street. While shopping, I noticed amazing photos of iconic hip hop artists displayed all throughout the store, artists ranging from Snoop Dog to Eazy E. Being a hardcore hip hop fan and well as a huge proponent of photography, I was naturally drawn to these photos. The photos were by the photographer Chi Modu.

Modu worked at the famous hip hop magazine The Source for many years. A magazine I used to read from cover to cover. My interest in Modu was heightened after I visited his website and noticed that he photographed many things that are close to my heart. My father is 7th generation Yemenese and Modu has a series on his travels to Yemen. In addition to this, I am from Singapore and hold a strong connection to Indonesia and again, Modu has a series on his travels to Indonesia. His work is beautifully shot and a viewer can easily grasp what Modu is trying to get across in his pictures. I find his hip hop photos especially endearing as we see some of the most prolific rap artists of our time in their youth. The sense of "newcomer" comes across and for me, a hip hop enthusiast, I can almost feel the "freshness" of these photos. In these early photographs of hip hop icons such as Biggie, Snoop and 2 Pac, a sense of youth comes through the lense and although these artist are considered hard and prolific, the viewer can sense a sort of softness in their character: they become real people in his photos.

Here is a wonderful video on a presentation that Modu gave on his work:

Photos from his hip hop era:

From his Yemen Series:

Other Photos:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Museum Day!! - September 25, 2010


Free admission to most of the museums in the United States!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tomorrow is a new beginning

On September 24, 2009 I wrote this:

New Horizons..
So on September 4, 2009 I quit my job as an assistant in the finance industry to pursue my dreams of going to grad school for museum studies or art history. I, a level-headed 26 years old woman with a decent paying job, quit for an unpaid internship at a local museum. Crazy to some, I know, but after one week of interning and volunteering, I know in my heart it was for the best. :)
Taking a risk is very daunting, but when it is the right one, it all makes sense.
Now I just hope I get into grad school?....
Almost exactly a year later, I met most of my goals and tomorrow... I begin grad school! I will be commencing a Masters of Arts in Modern Art, Connoisseurship and the History of the Art Market at Christie's Education.

It's weird to think that tomorrow I start a completely new chapter in my life. I am scared, excited, and nervous all at the same time. I can only hope and pray that things will go well. I guess we will shall see soon enough.

I just hope my room will not look like this after two years...O.O

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Artist of the Week: Saul Leiter

Sign Painter, 1954

Saul Leiter was an American photographer who was associated the New York School. I am a huge fan of his work as well as his other peers from this time in the art world. Although I am a fan of his early works from the 1940s and 1950s, I am most interested in his color photographs from the late 1950s and 60s. He shows his viewers how to see beauty from a different perspective - not in the sense of Diane Arbus but in the sense that one can find beauty even on what some would find a daily activity or even just an "ugly" day. He draws the eye of the viewer into his work by focusing on subjects that seem so simple, mundane and ugly but at the same time are so beautiful. This beauty if emphasized by the way Leiter presents his subjects and is key to his artwork. A great example of this are the two following photos:

Snow, 1960

Through Boards, 1957

I find Saul's work to be painterly like and his work often brings a smile to my face. He initially became famous for his black and whites in the 1940s and early 1950s and thus here is an example.

Joanna, 1947

You can find several great monographs on Saul Leiter's work at

Friday, August 27, 2010

fashion can be art

dear proenza schouler - you are one of the reasons why i work so hard to do well in life.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Artist of the Week: Bae Joon Sung

The Costume of a Painter, 2008

I was first introduced to Bae Joon Sung's work when I saw him in an exhibit during a trip to Seoul, Korea in December of 2008. I was reminded of him recently when I visited the Saatchi Gallery in London last month. His work is very interesting. Although you cannot see it in the above photo, the images of people in this photo are actually holograms, so as you walk by the painting the individuals in this painting go from clothed to naked, or clothed in one outfit to another outfit. I find his use of holograms to be genius and very entertaining. The holograms add depth to his otherwise somewhat 2 dimensional paintings and increases the level of excitement associated with his work. I am sad to say there is not much information on Bae Joon Sung on the internet but you can find his work and of many other talented Korean artists in this book that gives great incite into modern day Korean art.

The Costume of a Painter, 2008

In the above image, you can kind of get the feeling of how Bae Joon Sung's holograms work.

The Costume of a Painter, 2006

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"What cannot be taught is the feeling for is how light lies on the face that you as an artist must capture. Nor can one be taught how to grasp the personality of the sitter." - Felix Nadar

A wonderful quote on photography by one of the world's earliest successful photographers.. Felix Nadar..

Below is a photo taken by Nadar of the amazing Gustave Courbet, a man who changed the world of art by pushing the limits and inspiring others.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Artist of the Week: Gerhard Richter

Heiner Friedrich, 1970

Gerhard Richter makes me smile. This German artist is a primary example of why I chose to study art history. He combines two of my great artistic passions: photography and painting, in many of his works. He is most famous for his over-painted photographs as well as his abstract paintings. I recently visited the Tate Modern and was overwhelmed with joy when I entered a room entirely full of Gerhard Richter paintings. His paintings may seem "typical" but in person they really move you. You feel the artist's motives and you truly are able to spend a great length of time taking in his paintings. You can find out more about Gerhard Richter here.

Cage 6, 2006

18.4.93, 1993

Sänger/Singer, 1965

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

my all-time 90s hip hop playlist!

Ice Cube - "Amerikkka's Most Wanted"
Outkast - "ATliens"
ATCQ - "Award Tour"
Mos Def - " B-boy Document '99"
Puff Daddy - "Been Around the World"
ATCQ - "Bonita Applebum"
Smif-N-Wessun - "Bucktown"
Wu-Tang - "C.R.E.A.M."
Souls of Mischief- "Cabfare"
Jay-Z- "Can't Knock the Hustle"
Jay-Z - "Can I Get A..."
ATCQ- "Can I Kick it?"
ATCQ- "Check the Rhime"
McLyte - "Cold Rock the Party"
Lil'Kim- "Crush On You"
Jay-Z - "Dead Presidents II"
Black Star - "Definition"
Lord Tariq&Peter Guns "Deja Vu"
Paperboy - "Ditty"
The Roots - "Do you want more??"
Eric B. & Rakim - "Don't Sweat the Technique"
Gangstarr - "DWYCK"
Big L - "Ebonics"
ATCQ - "Electric Relaxation"
Lauryn Hill - "Everything is Everything"
Bone Thugs - "First of the Month"
The Fugees - "Fu-Geela"
Da Brat - "Funkdafied"
Snoop Dogg - "Gin & Juice"
Mobb Deep - "Hell on Earth"
Dead Prez - "Hip hop"
Mos Def - "Hip hop"
Nautghy by Nature - "Hip Hop Hooray"
Cypress Hill - "Hits from the Bong"
Cypress Hill - "How I could Just kill a Man"
Biggie - "Hypnotize"
Luniz - "I got Five on it"
Positive K - "I got a Man"
Grand Puba - "I Like it"
Common - "I used to love H.E.R."
Raekwon - "Ice cream"
Nas - "If I Ruled the World"
Cypress Hill - "Insane in the Brain"
Beastie Boys - "Intergalactic"
Puff Daddy - "It's all about the Benjamins"
Biggie - "Juicy"
Gangstarr - "Just to get a rep"
2Pac - "Keep Ya Head Up"
Dr. Dre - "Let Me Ride"
LL Cool J - "Mama Said Knock You Out"
Mos Def - "Mathematics"
Gangstarr - "The Militia"
Biggie - "Mo Money Mo Problems"
Arrested Development- "Mr. Wendal"
Mos Def - "Ms. Fat Booty"
Big L - "MVP"
Naughty by Nature - "OPP"
Dr. Dre/Snoop - "Nuthin' But a G Thang"
Biggie - "One More Chance"
Biggie - "Only You"
Pharcyde - "Passing Me By"
Arrested Development- "People Everyday"
Junior M.A.F.I.A. - "Players Anthem"
Wu - Tang - "Protect Ya Neck"
Missy Elliot - "The Rain"
The Fugees - "Ready or Not"
Digable Planets - "Rebirth of Slick"
Warren G - "Regulate"
Method Man - "Release Yo' Delf"
Nas - "Represent"
Outkast - "Rosa Parks"
ATCQ - "Scenario"
PM Dawn - "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss"
Mobb Deep - "Shooked Ones II"
Onyx - "Slam"
Brand Nubian - "Slow Down"
Nice & Smooth - "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow"
Showbiz & AG - "Soul Clap"
Big Pun - "Still Not a Player"
Nas - "Street Dreams"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "They Reminisce Over You"
Das EFX - "They Want EFX"
Black Sheep - "This or That"
Bone Thugs - "Thuggish Ruggish Bone"
2Pac - "To Live & Die in LA"
Redman - "Tonight's Da Night"
Wu-Tang - "Triumph"
Queen Latifah - "U.N.I.T.Y."
Snoop Dogg - "What's my name?"
The Roots - "What they do"
Gangstarr - "Work"
Wu - Tang - "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit"
Method Man/ Mary J- "You're all I need to get by"
The Roots - "You Got Me"
Gangstarr - "You Know My Steez"
Hieroglyphics - "You Never Know"
Mase - "What You Want"
2Pac/Snoop - "2 of Amerika'z Most Wanted"
Gza - "4th Chamber"
Souls of Mischief - "93' Til Infinity"