In the article “Race in the Present Day: NBA Employees Sound Off on Race and Racism,” authors Agyemang and Singer counter the notion that American society is post-racial by interviewing employees of the NBA franchise, in order to get their perspectives on race and racism in American sport, as well as society as a whole, and how it affects athletes. …


Popular culture is all about representation, and despite scientific studies and academic research, it seems that in the U.S. we more often turn to popular culture icons and trends to help us form definitions and solutions for who we are as people. Author Richard Dyer (as cited in Cserno, 2006) explains that “the study of representations is more limited than the study of reality and yet it is also the study of one of the prime means by which we have any knowledge of reality” (p. 68). In that respect, it seems that, in the study of race and racism in popular culture, the concept of representation is a critical element that must be understood. It can be easily recognized that, as with any artistic rendition, there is value lost in the replica; it is a plagiarized knock-off. Because representations in popular culture “contribute to the dissemination and creation of belief systems, identity formats, and social structures” (Cserno, 2006. p. …


In Professor Shawn Michelle Smith’s Guest Editor’s Introduction of the , she discusses the intersection of visual culture studies and critical studies of race in the United States, and presents the idea that, through the lens of the “white gaze,” and considering sight as itself a social practice, historical depictions of Black people in our culture not only racialize Black people, but also produce racialized viewers (Smith, 2014, p. 2). A particularly divisive way in which popular culture through the white lens often depicts Black characters is by utilizing Black stereotypes. …


Earlier last week, a fake flyer began circulating around Twitter, warning that, on the evening of Friday, July 31, 2020, an “antifa/Anarchist group” were planning to bring down a cross located on the property of New Hope Christian College in Eugene, OR. It is suspected that the flyer was created by a local right-wing white supremacist group in order to incite fear in the community and skew opinions against the current protesting for Black Lives Matter taking place in the area, and across the country. This is a common strategy, and seems a logical theory, as there has been much discord in that area the past week. Local police have been allowing white supremacist group members to assist them in violently dispersing protests. One woman in neighboring Springfield, OR went live on Facebook as she chased down protesters, while formulating plans with members of the local police. There is also footage of a violent interaction between a group of protesters and police. Police battled a huge crowd, beating on people, in order to drag out a Black man who is the leader of a group called Black Unity. …


Image for post
Image for post
Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Chair Caning, 1912, oil on oil-cloth over canvas edged with rope, 29 x 37 cm (Musée Picasso)

In the early 1900s, a revolutionary avant-garde art movement called Cubism was pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Cubism served to dismantle the notion of illusionism, not only in the way in which figures and elements were broken down and reconstructed, but in the way it challenged the pre-established idea of how paintings offer a window through which we view our reality. Picasso’s exemplifies many of the features of cubism’s innovations.

Previously, artists devoted much time and energy into developing techniques in order to create images from a single vantage point and moment in time, such as linear perspective. Picasso, however, defies these concepts by offering many views of the elements in this artwork, such as the way he has disconfigured the pipe and the wine glass and illustrated their components from varying angles. By doing this, Picasso, in a genius way, creates different levels of reality by capturing the illusion of time in a still life painting, which almost makes no sense, at least until one considers how we actually experience the world around us — each moment fleeting and from a different, even if slight, perspective. …


Having scarcely eluded the mid-to-late 16th century wave of iconoclasm, is one of less than thirty paintings by Jacob Cornelisz Van Oostsanen still in existence. Measuring 43 inches high by 23 ¾ inches wide, it is a vertically oriented narrative painting that was created using oil paints and fabric mounted on a wood panel. It is framed in an ornate, stained wooden frame, and is currently in the collection of the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. …


A hidden treasure within the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, the Portland Japanese Gardens offer visitors a tranquil retreat where one can immerse themself in the unobtrusive and elegant nature of the authentic Zen garden experience. …


The Lan Su Chinese Garden, which occupies a city block in Portland, Oregon, is an authentic Ming Dynasty scholar’s garden. The name Lan Su combines sounds from the names of the cities Portland and Suzhou. Suzhou, Portland’s Chinese sister city, is well-known for its beautiful gardens. , being the Chinese word for ‘orchid’, and being the Chinese word for ‘arise’ or ‘awaken’, united together is poetically understood as “Garden of Awakening Orchids”. …


“It’s not Pop, It’s not Op — It’s Marisol,” reads the title of art critic, Grace Clueck’s March 7, 1965 article. Whilst the art world was exploding with bold, simple, everyday imagery, artist Maria Sol Escobar, known simply as Marisol, was taking the mimetic practice of other artists of the time to another level.

Born in Paris, May 22, 1930, to wealthy Venezuelan parents, Marisol lived a nomadic and turbulent childhood. At the tender age of eleven, Marisol’s mother committed suicide. Not soon after, her father sent her away to a boarding school for a year. The tragic and traumatic events of her still very young life led Marisol to cope with her emotions in extreme ways, utilizing religious practices of self harm and endurance such as walking on her knees until they bled, wearing tightly constrictive ropes around her waist, and keeping silent for extended periods of time. …

About

Diane Irby

artist. art educator. art critic.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store