I AM…

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I’ve been doing some research and there are many religious and spiritual connections to ‘I am’. It is such a powerful self declaration. So I figured instead of battling what we are not, let’s start to declare what we are and look at the complexities and simplicity of what we are. This is a participatory piece. In the form of posters and post cards. I’ve been sprinkling them along my recent travels through the southern U.S. and Central America. If you would like to receive some here’s a link.

Bible/Torah Use: I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ehyeh ašer ehyeh [ehˈje aˈʃer ehˈje]) is the common English translation  of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Mosesasked for his name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means “existed” or “was” in Hebrew; “ehyeh” is the first person singular imperfect form and is usually translated in English Bibles as “I will be” (or “I shall be”), for example, at Exodus 3:14. Ehyeh asher ehyeh literally translates as “I Will Be What I Will Be”, with attendant theological and mystical implications in Jewish tradition. However, in most English Bibles, in particular the King James Version, the phrase is rendered as I am that I am.

So Hum Mantra: So Hum is an ancient Sanskrit mantra meaning “I am that,” which represents the connectedness of all beings. It is a powerful mantra used in meditation on the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. So HumYoga was created with the intention for the practitioner to gain mind and body awareness of him or herself.

Civil Rights Use: Historically, in countries such as the U.S. and South Africa, the term “boy” was used as a pejorative racist insult towards men of color and slaves, indicating their subservient social status of being less than men. In response, Am I Not A Man And A Brother? became a catchphrase used by British and American abolitionists. In 1787, Josiah Wedgwood designed a medallion for the British anti-slavery campaign. He copied the original design from the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade as a cameo in black-and-white. It was widely reproduced and became a popular fashion statement promoting justice, humanity and freedom

Rastafarian: I and I (also spelled I&I, InI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: “I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. ‘I and I’ as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we’re one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men. The bond of Ras Tafari is the bond of God, of man.” The term is often used in place of “you and I” or “we” among Rastafari, implying that both persons are united under the love of Jah. Also in the Twi language (in which patois uses a lot of Twi loan words) of Ghana, Me ne me is also said, which literally translate to “I and I”.

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What they don’t tell you about Cruises

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They sneak gratuity…pull you way out of cell and WiFi region then auto charge your credit card for gratuity…after you have been cash tipping the whole time…fail

“Washy washy”. There are over enthusiast folks eager to spray you with hand sanitizer everywhere and they say ‘Washy washy’

The cruise director makes random announcements across the ship’s pa system. It feels like you are a participant in the hunger games or in 1984. Our cruise director’s name was Dave ‘Dingo’ he had an Australian accent and was always enthusiastically announcing things like the 20 minute dance party on deck 7 or that deck 4 has sprinkles.

You will not receive an accurate map nor information about your next port unless it relates to booking an overpriced activity or excursion. And Internet service is $30 per day. Best bet is to check your emails when you arrive at your docking destinations most of the restaurants had free wifi…and negotiate when you get places. There is tons to get into.

And all the restaurants on the ship serve the same food. They just arrange it differently.

There are lots of shuffle board courts on decks perfect for socializing and getting the scoop on cruises from fellow cruisers .

The elevators take forever and are always full. Take the stairs, you probably ate 3 plates worth of food for dinner so you should probably take the stairs anyway.

The towels folded as animals and surprisingly very impressive.

Water… bring your own bottled water. The ship’s water taste sketchy and half of the water dispensers are out of order at any given time.

Everyone is super friendly, the workers the passengers…it’s pretty cool. One thing I notices is that the staff don’t get much time off. One of the fitness instructors said that he had been working for 2 weeks straight and within that time had only had 4 hours off…sounds exploitative, but they did seem happy and I don’t know the full details of their working arrangements.

Mind your head if you are sleeping on the bottom bunk

Being vegetarian/vegan, gluten free or pretty much having any kind of “dietary restriction” better yet, if you aren’t into eating heavy salt sugar and starchy meals it’s challenging to eat balanced. The folks on the ship never want to exclude, I guess it’s part of the hospitality so you’ll find yourself asking about 3 people for every dish if it’s dairy free, vegetarian etc. and most likely it won’t be dairy free (gluten free etc.) and if it doesn’t contain dairy (or whatever else you are attempting to stay away from to stay clean) it will be ridiculous salty or sweet. The part that makes it super rough is that you are pretty much trapped on the boat for the majority of the trip. And you are not allowed to bring food from your ports back on the ship.

It’s a great way to visit many places. I’m Belizean on my mom’s side and it was honestly the least expensive way to get there. While I was there I discovered that you can catch a bus up north to Playa Del Carmen Mexico, right outside of Cancun, for about $9 then catch an inexpensive flight back to the U.S. I even ended up meeting folks who jumped ship at certain spots along the cruise…don’t think you are suppose to do that but hey it’s your life

Overall it’s a dope experience, mostly because my folks are dope and central America is dope. Glad to roll with @Kennebrew the 2M2X crew and Tough Dumplin on my first communal yachting experience aka cruise.

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New Space renovation Win/Fail

THE FAIL: The internet lies. You have been warned. Over the holiday season my dad (@kennebrew) and I took a stab at building a wood and pipe table. It was a fail and I ended doing an ikea hack. I’m not gonna lie when I moved into this place I was pretty determined not to fill it up with ikea shit, but unfortunately it’s looking a lot like dude from fight club’s crib. The table, that’s the last big thing….okay? ok.
THE WIN: I’m super excited about this new space. So excited that I decided to give the bathroom a complete makeover including laying a penny floor…oh and that dragon jumper is my new work uniform.
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SHOP IN PERSON MAY 31st.

If you find your self in the NYC on May 31st, be sure to come visit me at the Ladies Love pop Up shop, from Noon-8p Located at
273 Bowery @ Houston st, NY, NY. I’ll be there all day with the new collection along some of the most innovative inspiring makers that I know.

P.S. Most of the new stuff including the pants are unisexed sized, for all my fave dudes and Junk Princes.

The following is the press release for the event.

PRESENTS:
SPRING 2014 POP-UP SHOP!

Shopping Event Showcases the Freshest Fashion, Homemade Decor, Independent Artists, Local Flavors + more at the Houston Street Center!

 

NEW YORK, NY April 11, 2014 — On Saturday, May 31st, 2014, the LADIES LOVE PROJECT presents its seventh POP-UP SHOP! – to be held at Houston Street Center from 12pm – 8pm.

 

At the intersection of LES museums, storefronts, schools and busy sidewalks – LLP is ecstatic to once again bring its 2014 Spring POP-UP Art Market to the masses! We invite you to come out, welcome the new season with our favorite taste-makers and new up + coming artistans – all ready to meet your life’s style needs!

 

The Ladies Love Project, a brainchild of renowned street artist TOOFLY, sound sensation Circa95’ duo,  Patty Dukes & Rephstar and creative non-profit aficionado A.Mari, brings NYC’s most creative underground artists and designers right to YOU.  Our one-day-only events allow for an intimate, yet energetic market shopping experience – designed to familiarize consumers, media representatives and trendsetters with artists currently celebrating prominence.

 

LLP promises that this springs art menu will please folks from all walks of life – whether you’re new to the shop or not! Into the environment like BESOS NOT BOMBS who specialize in recycled gear; love staying/being young with toys by MARKA 27; want to peep new styles from EDWIN SOTO for you or your boo; or, want to pull up a chair and relax while EL SALONSITO touches up your nails? We got you covered!

 

Remember your favorite bracelet, canvas or tee from our last shop and want more? We can’t wait to see you and neither can our vet vendors like VANILLA MEDALLIONS, JUNKPRINTS, LIl EGO / LIL DIVA and  WONDER LEE – among others!

 

Worried about being hungry or thirsty? Don’t sweat it! Cupcakes by Jenny Kinns, Martha’s Kitchen & LLP will have plenty of sweet, savory and palate satisfying treats for you, fam and friends all day!

Circa ’95’s RephStar, DJ Enygma, and DJ Polarity will tag team on the 1’s and 2’s for non stop jams all day. A live broadcast of the event will be streamed at www.Circa95.com and will feature a performance showcase by Aurora Barnes – NYC based singer/songwriter/actress siren whose debut EP ‘Fair Game,’ is about to drop – and Rhyme Factory – the grassroots MC cypher that’s all about spreading Hip Hop.

 

From start to end, our official event photographer, Samantha Morales, will be sure not to miss taking the best candids of all our amazing market-goers, so get ready to put that hot selfie face on! We’d love to see you, so before you end your SHOP experiencer, definitely stop by the LLP Fam Table for LOVEswag and enter a chance to win an official LLP Tote with surprise SHOP gifts from a variety of our vendors!

 

Our LLP spring event venue, Houston Street Center at 273 Bowery, is a community arts and culture event space, plays host to the eclectic mix of talent. LLP is honored to again be partnering with this NYC cultural cornerstone, as the shop prides itself in exposing both new and established artists.

 

Art on canvas, handmade goods, jewelry, t-shirts, graffiti, live music—you name it— the LADIES LOVE PROJECT SPRING POP-UP SHOP doesn’t get any more New York than this! We want to rock with YOU – so join us at the SHOP on 5/31/14!!

 

“Having the LADIES LOVE PROJECT POP-UP SHOP in the heart of the lower east side is a perfect fit,” says Patty Dukes and Rephstar of Circa 95’. “All of the vendors have styles that honor old New York, yet each demonstrates a unique progression with great, must-have niche items.”

 

“This shop is going to be our best edition of the shop yet! We are thrilled to be back at HSC and are ready to bring in springtime with artists we know & love and newcomers we can’t wait to bring to you!”    – A.Mari

LLP SPRING POP UP 2014!

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WOMEN’S WORK opening this friday

In celebration of Women’s History Month and beyond, The LeRoy Neiman Art Center presents WOMEN’S WORK – an exhibition highlighting the work of ten New York artists:

Amber Doe, Beatrice Lebreton, Chanel Kennebrew, Kathleen Granados, Monique Schubert, Myrah Brown Green, Nancy Elsamanoudi, Valerie Deas, Wilhemina Grant and Xia Gordon.

Their backgrounds, experiences and media vary widely; they are emerging, mid-career and established; they are self-taught and academic, and; their perspectives on the world around them are many. Each, through her art, however, has a personal message to share and WOMEN’S WORK brings these imaginative stories, and distinct personalities, together to convey the breadth of their experiences and perspectives on life.

Key dates include:
• Opening Reception: Friday, March 14, 2014 | 6-9pm
• Artist Talk: Saturday, March 29, 2014 | 4-6pm
• Exhibition Dates: March 11, 2014 – April 26, 2014

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Black Artstory Month 2014: Native Sons and Daughters Opening Reception Feb. 1st 8p-10p,

Black Artstory Month 2014: Native Sons and Daughters Feb. 1st-28th

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Opening Reception Feb. 1st 8p-10p, The Emerson  561 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, NY
Black Artstory month celebrates the enduring influences and contributions made by African Americans within the visual and performing arts world. I am honored to have works included in two locations for this exhibition.
The Emerson   561 Myrtle Avenue

Dee and Rickys 503 Myrtle Ave

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Black Future Month Exhibition Feb. 1st

BLACK FUTURE MONTH 3014 at Feb. 1st-28th
The 1st of its kind in Toronto, its a Group Art Exhibition centered around Afrofuturism. Several artist taking a creative look into our distant future.

future_monthCheck out the opening:

BLACK FUTURE MONTH 3014 at Feb. 1st-28th
Opening Reception Feb. 1st 6p-11p, Daniels Spectrum: 585 Dundas St East, Toronto, ON

Fore More info check out the facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/events/379094675570534/

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The NYC Future Project!

I’m thrilled to announce a new project I’m working on. It’s called the NYC Future project. It’s a mobile photobooth project. I’m shooting a series of portraits and asking folks to write down one word that they feel embodies NYC 25 Years into the future. Here’s a sneak peak into what I have so far. This is an ongoing project be sure to follow me on twitter//instagram//facebook//tumblr for updates of where I’ll be shooting across NYC.#nycfutureproject

The project site is live but in a beta stage. Here’s  link

#nycfutureproject
#nycfutureproject
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WHERE THE HELL IS THE NEW JUNK

Remember when I use to post a new item everyday? I do. It was crazy. I had this loft bed that I would work under. Coming up with designs on a daily, making like a crazy person. I miss making that way and am looking forward to creating with that type of vigor. Just so you know that loft bed has since been cut down (i no longer need a ladder o go to sleep) and the operation has moved from under it. The last year has been a bit of a grown folks bootcamp. I turned thirty years old and was was like, ‘WTF I need to get my shit together, I haven’t traveled the world, stabilized my biz nor figured out if I believe in money or not” Believe it or not within that confusion I discovered that I’m a pretty nifty soft goods stylists and have been working  for People stylewatch, Elle, Moda Operadi and PVH, Calvin Klein.

It’s been a long time since I’ve listed new junk and shot pictures, I’ve been on the crazy grind and most of my time and energy has been spent doing editorial product styling, my name is floating on your local newsstands but my ‘junk ideas, concepts, political commentary and sillyness’ has been pretty much stuck in my head. The creative process is a funny one, if you don’t get the ideas out you get mind constipation. That’s what I’m dealing with right now. A dusty studio space and straight up mind constipation.

Don’t get me wrong, taking some time off has been a good thing for the following:

  • It made me realize that I run junkprints as an outlet for the stuff I make. I don’t make stuff for junkprints. Basically, the business follows the art, not the other way around, stuff gets real fowl when it goes the wrong way. Some of you hard core entrepreneur number crunching business folks may think that’s crazy talk, but frankly my dear, I just don’t give a damn. It’s important that I create work that is valuable, if it’s profitable then that’s a plus. It’s important to me that junkprints is driven by value. I’ve tried the profit model and the reality is that there are waaaaay better ways too make money then making stuff and  for me, that’s a hard reality to come to. Writing it sounds so simple, guess that’s how lessons go.
  • Got real with monies, and answered some questions like where do you REALLY see yourself in 5 years.
  • Visited New Orleans for the first time
  • Took my dad to Costa Rica,
  • I took a real estate course, (just so I could see how things work, I’m this close to getting that building),
  • Had my lil sister move in (and have been gently kicking her in the butt, yay she’s in college and will not be in debt),
  • Severed some ties with some close folks in my life and have also sent some really valuable time with some other close folks
  • Taking hot yoga hard core consistently for over a year (thx @sacred).
  • Sandy happened, what a mess
  • Trayvon had his right to live taken from him, and a case made clear that the US court supports the notion that  Black male Americans are threatening and it’s ok to shoot them (and I don’t want to talk about it on facebook).
  • Been watching most of my friends breed like rabbits, babies everywhere! Amazing and strange
  • Also, I’ve been graveling with social networks, personally, I don’t really like them as ‘social networks’, but I love them for inspiration and as outlets for stuff created.
  • All in all, I’ve been breathing, and being private

Finally, I’ve had a chance to let some of this creativity out, this is just a weee bit, a very very cotton candy soft launch but here it is. I was a bit nervous shooting this time around. It’s been a year and within that time I’ve managed to amass some insecurities and garner some new super powers.
Either way. Thanks for the support on this journey and enjoy the new junk, it’s so well made it’s ridiculous.

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DETROIT AN OUTSIDERS PERSPECTIVE

Let’s chat about Detroit. The first (and last time) time that I ever visited Detroit was for a family reunion. I was 14 years old and went with my paternal grandmother. She and my grandfather grew up there and moved to southern california before the idea of me, other grandchildren and great grandchildren ever existed. That place was the most depressing place that I had ever seen in my life. This was the 90’s, Southern cali was gang land and wearing certain colors could get you rough up or killed, but Cali wasn’t hopeless. It was tense. There’s a quite a difference and that is what I learned as a 14 year old. I had never been to a city that had weeds the sizes of trees growing out of the freeways. It felt like no one cared about this place. They didn’t even care enough to be angry.  Maybe folks use to care about the place, but no one cares about it now. This was the first time that I had ever seen a 7-11 that one could not go in, and was made of bullet proof glass, put the money in the bullet proof plexi turny thing at the counter and then the clerk slides around your change and request. I visited the ‘great’ Motown museum that looked as though it was falling apart at the seams. I had the opportunity to meet my relatives and see my grandmother be frustrated and annoyed. She’s quite a composed lady so this was very rare form for her, but it was something I appreciated. It made her seem like a more dynamic person and I understood that she had made quite a concerted effort not to be in Detroit. This is the same woman who lived in NY and worked as a nurse and at one point even lived in Alaska. That’s a different story though. Let’s get back to Detroit.

Detroit felt like it use to be amazing, a long time ago, and folks kept reminding others that it use to be amazing as the the city is slowly falling apart. It was like showing up to a party 20 years too late. Since that trip I’ve been facsinated with Detroit…from a distance. It’s amazing and bazaar that a place that I have always felt represents many if not most American cities. Industry comes, folks work and live, industry leaves and the folks are stuck. Eventually trains stop rolling through, flights become few and far between, those that can leave do those that can’t or won’t stay and become forgotten. This seems like it can happen to just about any city in America. I’ve always felt that If there is a revival for the Motor City it will be spearheaded by artists and DIY folks, both insiders and outsiders. A few years ago when I first caught wind that one could buy a house in in Detroit for the cost of one months NYC rent. My ears perked up a bit and I mentioned to a few friends that we should but a few places near each other and set up shop…but  I wondered if I had enough optimism to actually live in Detroit or if the hopelessness would swallow me.  Well, I guess I decided that the hopelessness would swallow me and decided that it’s not my journey right now.

In the nature of artists creating awareness I recently saw to documentaries that addressed Detroit…in two different ways.

The first one is Searching for Sugar Man. It’s a Swedish/British documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul. It is about is an American folk musician Sixto Díaz Rodríguez based in Detroit, Michigan. His career initially proved short-lived with two little-sold albums in the early 1970s and some brief touring in Australia. Unbeknownst to him, however, his work proved extremely successful and influential in South Africa, although he was mistakenly rumoured in that country to have committed suicide. In the 1990s, determined South African fans managed to seek out and contact him, leading to an unexpected revival of his musical career. Their story is told in, Searching for Sugar Man, which has also helped give Rodríguez a measure of fame in the U.S. I enjoyed that Rodríguez continued to live out the themes and views addressed in his music even though his music carreer was pretty much non existant for most of his life. He worked from the inside out and is a bit of a reminder that, it’s not a race. It’s not linear. It’s life and that’s all. One more thing…he makes Bob Dylan’s music seem like elevator music. A portion of it was shot with an iphone proving that many of us have all the tools we need to create in our pockets…pretty powerful.

I saw Detroitopia and was happy to see a documentary that tackled many perspectives on the city of Detroit. Detroitopia focused mainly on the economy and was directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. ‘The three Detroiters who are profiled are video blogger Crystal Starr, nightclub owner Tommy Stephens, and United Auto Workers local President George McGregor, each of whom reflect on their own experiences and share their observations about the city, its problems, and its opportunities. Also featured are portions of Mayor Dave Bing’s discussions with city officials and residents about the possibility of geographically consolidating Detroit residents as a cost-saving measure. A group of artists, mostly newcomers to Detroit, are shown as well, particularly Steve and Dorota Coy. The Coys, who are performance artists, are featured on the poster and DVD cover for the film.’ (info courtesy of wikipedia) The artists they showed kinda annoyed me. I have issues with outsiders being too large of a representative for problem solving. I wish they were working more with the local community (or if that was shown, if they are). That’s my own issue though, and overall I was happy to see that the city was thoughtfully and sensitively documented.

Detroit may still have a bit of magic left. What are your thoughts?

 

 

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