Photography & Art

The Street Art Phenomenon Sweeps Paris

Carol Berens

About three short blocks from place Fréhel, an empty lot on rue Ramponeau is surrounded by a former factory that contains artist studios and is now known as La Forge or La Kommune. The surrounding walls are constantly changing canvases whose styles and images cacophonously overlap. Upon close viewing, however, individual talents and messages emerge. The “Belleville Zoo” consists of an overlapping montage of images each vying to be on top. At first, the wall appears to be a mass of color, but individual characters shine through.

Brooklyn Artist Keith Pavia Breaks Through the Boundaries of ‘Outsider Art’

Kristin Sancken

As the art market grows and in turn splinters into a plurality of labels, styles, and movements, artists are faced with a decision – is it better to adhere to definition and face certain limitations in the public reception of their work, or shirk association and push forward into new and possibly little understood territory? Brooklyn-based artist, Keith Pavia has wrestled with this dilemma of late, as he attempts to break through the boundaries of Outsider Art, a label that has undoubtedly helped foster his career.

On Filming John Leguizamo: An Interview With Benjamin De Jesus

Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

As part of the PBS Arts Summer Festival, Tales From a Ghetto Klown documents comedian and actor John Leguizamo’s return to the stage after a nine-year hiatus and his attempts to get his show, Ghetto Klown, to Broadway. Filmmaker Ben De Jesus spent three years following Leguizamo from the time he started writing until the show’s Broadway debut in March 2011. De Jesus spoke with Highbrow Magazine by email about his experiences with Leguizamo and his making of the documentary.


Summer Solstice in Seattle: A Psychedelic Ride of Color and Frivolity

Snapper S. Ploen

Opening its arms to the summer season and warmer weather, the eclectic Fremont Arts Council in the Seattle neighborhood of Fremont hosts its annual Summer Solstice Parade and Festival in mid-June. Originally designed as an event to bring the community together through arts and creativity, the festival and parade have since become some of the premiere summer events in the entire city of Seattle, drawing thousands of tourists and natives alike. Infamously known in the city for its flood of nude bicyclists in highly creative body paint, the event  has become somewhat of a cherished tradition. 

John Howard Sanden and the Lost Art of Portraiture

Eric Russ

Even today, within a culture that is entrenched so fully in the lessons of modernism, it feels appropriate to commission a realist painter to render the presidential portrait. On May 31, the White House held an unveiling ceremony for the latest addition to its time-honored tradition of oil portraits – George W. Bush. The 43rd president, who has been conspicuously absent from the public eye since finishing his second term, was in good spirits for the festivities. 

Artist Lara Favaretto Celebrates the Absurd and Existentially Tragic at MoMA PS1

Eric Russ

Located somewhere in the vast landscape of human emotion is the intersection of playfulness and sadness, a crossroads at which Italian artist Lara Favaretto has set up shop to ply her trade. Over the past 15 years, she has amassed a body of work that explores and celebrates the absurd and the existentially tragic. In the first-ever survey of her work, Lara Favaretto: Just Knocked Out, MoMA PS1 has given over several of its galleries to the display of her most important works to date, including a site-specific installation in the museum’s atrium and another throughout the exhibition.

Paying Homage to Groundbreaking Mexican Cartoonists and Their Political Message

Arturo Conde

While the simple lines, wit, and humor of Rius, Feggo, and El Fisgón do not evoke the larger-than-life epics of the Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman universes, there is something heroic about the way that these cartoonists use their art to expose hidden truths about society, sometimes even risking their own lives.


Jean Paul Gaultier: Celebrating the Genius of Fashion’s Enfant Terrible

Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

No other haute-couture designer has been as closely associated with popular culture as Jean Paul Gaultier. Where contemporaries such as Alexander McQueen imbued his designs with a dark, 19th-century romanticism, and Miuccia Prada became known for marrying clean lines to an effortless, luxurious elegance, Gaultier has always been heavily influenced by the street. 

The Art of Will Winton

Will Winton

I was originally trained as an architect, but abandoned the career to pursue other interests. Architecture school, however, provided sound training in the fundamentals of drawing and design, which have served me well as I pursue an artistic career. Shunning the current tired artistic trend of re-tread conceptualism, I seek to simply create unique works of beauty. 

Photographer Rian Dundon Explores a Different Side of China

Peter Schurmann

There’s a restlessness to Rian Dundon that defines much of his work. Sitting over coffee, the 31-year-old photographer checks his phone, then his watch. He looks past the window, capturing mental images of the world outside. Then he returns. It’s that same nervous energy -- a sort of daring uncertainty - that animates the subjects of his forthcoming book on the Chinese city of Changsha, a one-time stronghold for Mao Zedong’s incipient Communist Party. 


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