Egon Schiele.

04 Aug 2020

Egon Schiele was one of the most popular – and controversial – artists of his time. That time being the period of the Spanish Flu in 1918. His mentor Gustav Klimt died of the flu. Then Egon’s wife Edith got it. He drew this portrait of her as she lay dying. After she passed, he started feeling sick and died 3 days later.

An entire generation of artists – and art – faded away with Egon Schiele. The Spanish Flu changed everything, including the direction of the art movement.

Egon Schiele was 28 years old.

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30 Jul 2020

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30 Jul 2020

I have this dream
Where I feel like
I’m falling
into the sky

So I hold fast
to the earth

stubborn
and
scared

like my hands
through the clay
the crying branches
through my limbs

in my heart
in my mind
in my heart
in my mind

I know that Life
starts
and
ends, but

I don’t know
how to deal
with
forever

—X—

26 Jul 2020

It is much easier to believe a conspiracy theory than to admit that life can be chaos. Our brains are hardwired to search for narratives and reasons, but sometimes there is only entropy and disorder. It was always this way and we’ve always done the best we could. But, self-deception, spinning lies, and fabricating grandiose stories because they’re more comfortable is detrimental.

—X—

24 Jul 2020

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On Education in the Pandemic

14 Jul 2020

To parents, educators, students, and anyone else who understands that figuring out our schooling situation should be paramount right now:

There are many issues associated with the pandemic. My two biggest concerns (besides public health and the economy) have to do with domestic abuse and education, and they kinda go hand in hand. We need kids back in school for a number of reasons. They need the structure. They need to be mentally stimulated and to grow intellectually. They need to learn how to build relationships. They also need a place to escape violence if there is abuse at home, and a way to signal for help. Finally, we need kids in school so that parents can get to work.

However, students also need to be kept safe from contracting COVID-19 or transmitting it on to their community. The ideal scenario, therefore, is that kids stay home as long as they receive some type of distanced education that will equip them for the next step in life. If a student has access to a computer and an Internet connection, we need a standardized digital curriculum for every grade level set in place by experts and educators at the national, state, and local level. Their teachers can reinforce this framework through bite-sized Zoom sessions and add supplementary teachings that jibe with their personal approach. Parents or guardians should be expected to contribute 30 min – 1 hour a day to assist their child through the lessons, acting as a pro tempore teacher’s aide.

Some form of this already exists with home schooling, but most parents and students know how boring online-learning can get and how quickly Zoom Gloom can set in. We’ve stripped all the fun parts of school attendance (the incentives have always been recess, lunchtime, and hanging out with friends). Therefore, we need Hollywood studio-level programming interwoven in the school curriculum to keep young people socialized, entertained and engaged. If my children are eager to communicate with their friends over Fortnite, veg out on YouTube, and marvel at TikTok personalities all day long, they should theoretically be willing to sit in a digital classroom that follows the same playbook. I’m thinking Bill Nye meets School House Rock for 2020, but re-imagined as fun courses led by The Rock, Yara Shahidi, Addison Rae, or Naomi Osaka. Learning can be gamified, paired with popular music, and hosted intermittently by recognizable personalities, especially those who can teach a skillset (think MasterClass for the kids – How do Draw by Takashi Murakami. Coding with the FaZe Clan). When I was growing up, we had educational shows like Channel One and Sesame Street. In the age of streaming and content creation, we should be supporting and funding more “TV” like this for the next generation, especially in an isolated year. And – along with the oversight of education departments and teachers, this should be a united effort across studios and networks, game companies, the music industry, social media platforms, and sports leagues.

This begs the question of how to accommodate families who don’t have access to computers or the Internet. Since there are less students in physical schools, we can take advantage of wide open playgrounds and parking lots to set up tents and have students gather outside in properly spaced seating arrangements. This would be especially effective now while it’s still warm during the summer. They can view and learn from the same material that’s broadcasted online for the rest of the students.

I’m sure I’m missing a lot of important things here. I admit, I know nothing about schools, I am not an educator, I design clothing and write for a living – I am entirely naïve and think this is a simpler fix than it is. So, I will apologize for any ignorance. At the very least, I think we need to pump more money into education than ever. Many of our societal ills can be attributed to the poor education in this country, especially for underprivileged and marginalized youth. Also, in addressing the coronavirus’ strain on our economy, most parents can’t focus on their jobs until they trust someone to focus on their children. So, what will keep the children focused? And how do we prepare them for success?

—X—

02 Jul 2020

Read here.

—X—

02 Jul 2020

You gotta know the rules before you break the rules.

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Women in Music Pt. III

27 Jun 2020

HAIM released a new album yesterday.

I’ve always had a soft spot for these Valley sisters since we discovered them at SXSW in 2013.

What struck me about their sound – at the time – was it flowed somewhere between Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, and Wilson Phillips. They were packaged almost too succinctly for the Coachella era, the Snapchat filters, Lena Dunham’s GIRLS… The hair, the irreverence, the mysterious middle sister Danielle who abstains from Instagram. Upstairs, I ran into Pharrell who said he was also keeping an eye on the trio. All the record execs were there that afternoon, salivating. HAIM was going to be big. Like Taylor Swift big.

But, not really.

I’ll admit that it’s felt a bit awkward since – like, they were dragged by the world’s momentum instead of their own. Maybe they got ahead of themselves. There were just too many people watching – an unfair amount of anticipation. And in that room, people tend to imagine their own paths to what success and stardom look like. Everyone had an idea as to what HAIM should be and play. But there’s one piece that was missing – it couldn’t be bought or bestowed. It was Time.

I think the band just needed time. They needed distance – to outrun that first explosive record. And now it sounds like they’re beginning once more, this time full and complete and settled… At their own pace. There is no hurry or haste.

I am so happy that I love this album. It really helps right now.

(Here are some more photos I shot of HAIM later that year at The Glass House in Pomona).

—X—

27 Jun 2020

“Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. ”

– George Orwell, 1984

—X—

PROTEST ART

20 Jun 2020

Some free protest art for you to download: HERE

—X—

I fell in love this weekend.

14 Jun 2020

a love that I knew so well.

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Scary and unpredictable and unknown

12 Jun 2020

Scary and unpredictable and unknown

is also how

I describe my favorite theme park rides.

Scary and unpredictable and unknown

is how the first paragraph of every coming-of-age story begins.

Scary and unpredictable and unknown

is another way of saying

Exciting, different, change

but best of all

Scary and unpredictable and unknown

means anything is possible

Including you

You are scary and unpredictable and unknown too.

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THE OLD NORMAL

12 Jun 2020

The more I think about it, there really wasn’t much normal about it at all.

We just edited it that way.

—X—

8:46

12 Jun 2020

Been thinking why Chappelle’s “8:46” special was so powerful. I loved the way he pins the cultural narrative around George Floyd’s murder back to his own personal life. It makes a nonsensical, far-out storyline feel up-close, human, and painfully intimate. This is why Chappelle’s style works. He cuts through the fourth wall, he brings you right into the room.

Also, it was a performance but not performative. It was raw and honest and I believe every word he says. Such a marked contrast from those ensemble celeb videos, where you can tell the actors’ sentiments are scripted and rehearsed like they don’t know where their make-believe profession ends and reality begins. You just know that deep in their phones, there are hundreds of throwaway takes alongside their second-rate selfies. No, this is very much non-fiction and it’s happening all around us now. Dave Chappelle can be problematic, but you can always count on him to give you his unbridled opinion. And that’s what we need more of now, because it’s all too real.

More truthfulness. Even if it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant. We’ve been living under darkness and self-deception for so long…

Wake up.

—X—

One week later.

07 Jun 2020

A decade in a week.

A generation in a night.

A lifetime in a moment.

Fairfax and Rosewood, 2020.

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