#throwbackthursday – Cultivating Culture http://www.cultivatingculture.com Thinking and writing about culture around the world Sat, 13 Jan 2018 00:08:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 50009989 #TBT The Complicated, Cultural Whirlwind that was Art Basel Miami Beach http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/12/04/tbt-complicated-cultural-whirlwind-art-basel-miami-beach/ Thu, 04 Dec 2014 20:07:57 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=3758 It’s that time of year again; artists, collectors, and critics from around the world are flocking to Florida for Art Basel Miami Beach 2014. Last year we wrote about the complicated, highly exclusive side of the renowned arts fair, and in honor of its return, we are recalling the artists that wowed Miami Beach in 2013. […]

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art basel miami beach 2014

It’s that time of year again; artists, collectors, and critics from around the world are flocking to Florida for Art Basel Miami Beach 2014. Last year we wrote about the complicated, highly exclusive side of the renowned arts fair, and in honor of its return, we are recalling the artists that wowed Miami Beach in 2013. For the who’s who in Miami in 2014, be sure to check out The Huffington Post’s 25 Events You Simply Can’t Miss

Original post from Dec. 10, 2013:

By now, you’ve probably caught wind of THE cultural experience that is Art Basel Miami Beach. Founded in 1970, Art Basel presents the world’s premiere contemporary art shows annually in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami, where it recently wrapped its massive, four-day event. The international Art Basel shows have evolved and attracted more and more people over time, and this year’s Miami fair was no exception. The growth in popularity has sparked criticism, however, and many argue that the event is solely designed for the most distinguished (and privileged) of the art world.

Even the fair’s director, Marc Spiegler, has admitted how “There’s an argument that Art Basel Miami Beach is the closest thing America has to the Cannes Film Festival,” which includes the socialites, members of the cultural elite, and Hollywood attendees that such events attract. Writer and socialite Sarah Nicole Prickett wrote about her experience at Art Basel Miami Beach this year, explaining how “To those who make culture for a living, Art Basel is the playground of class war,” discussing the vast divide between wealthy “hipster” types and socialites who flock to the event to see and be seen, versus the “serious” art collectors shelling out millions in private showrooms. Prickett herself admittedly falls somewhere in between.

art basel miami beach 2014Regardless of the complicated social factors that seem to envelope Art Basel, at its core, it is still an arts fair, an expansive, diverse and energetic display of contemporary works from all around the world. This year’s Miami fair proved to be the most expansive yet, making room for more multimedia arts and affordable art prints in some galleries. Art in America was pleased to find a greater representation of film installations; The New York Times details the newly minted “Edition” section of the event, where galleries concentrating on prints and multiples could sell works at lower prices.

Priscilla Frank, Art and Culture Editor for The Huffington Post says that “The main fair, a labyrinth of Blue Chip artworks and overpriced snacks, was full of the usual suspects, whose names often adorn gallery pamphlets and auction listings outside of Miami,” but despite wading through the expected, Frank was pleased to find many new artists that stood out from the pack. Juan Genoves is one of these artists, whose paintings such as “Trayecta” attracted many crowds. Represented by the Marlborough Gallery, Genoves’ intriguing works depict humanity in a surprising, need-to-take-a-closer-look kind of way.

Other works that stood out include the multimedia sculptures of Isa Genzken, considered an “artist to watch” by Frank and others, as well as those eerie, devilish works by Thomas Houseago. Sanya Kantarovsky’s paintings received acclaim, as did the film The Water that You Touch Is the Last of What Has Passed and the First of that which Comes (2013) presented by Colombian gallery La Central and described by Art in America as “serene and disturbing” all at once.

Certainly, Art Basel Miami Beach is an event in which one can see and be seen, but it’s also an event where one can see art, and lots of it. What do you think of Frank’s picks for the fair’s “hottest artists” and of Art Basel in general?

Images: via Instagram.

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#TBT The Slow Death of the Handwritten Word http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/09/11/tbt-slow-death-handwritten-word/ Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:45:03 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=3651 Lately we’ve been writing a lot about the intersection of technology into the world of art, as well as its place in culture at large. Has technology made art easier to access, yet harder to experience in an authentic way? Has it brought people closer together, but eliminated more intimate forms of contact? Tom Hanks […]

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handwritten letters

Lately we’ve been writing a lot about the intersection of technology into the world of art, as well as its place in culture at large. Has technology made art easier to access, yet harder to experience in an authentic way? Has it brought people closer together, but eliminated more intimate forms of contact? Tom Hanks recently turned his love of typewriting into an app that pays homage to the (mostly) outdated classic typewriter. Other acclaimed artists such as David Hockney, and rising visual artists like Victoria Siemer have either used technology to create art, or have made art to create conversations about technology. For this #ThrowbackThursday, here’s a post that explores the art of letter writing, in which we examine how the handwritten word could be soon entirely extinct. 

“A letter is always better than a phone call. People write things in letters they would never say in person. They permit themselves to write down feelings and observations using emotional syntax far more intimate and powerful than speech will allow.” – Author Alice Steinbach

When was the last time you received a handwritten letter? When was the last time you wrote one? Most people could go for months without receiving a note or letter that was written by hand – two months in fact, according to the United States Post Office, which says the average American home receives only one personal letter every couple of months.

We’ve written before about the ongoing transition from printed literature to digital, and even about how the printed book world has adopted newer, more artistic approaches to keep up with their digital competition. But we don’t really talk about writing things down by hand anymore, about sending letters, rather than emails or texts. Have we traveled too far down a technological path to even consider writing letters by hand? Will writing letters, something that many people still consider an art form, soon face the threat of extinction in the same way that printed books have?

supporting local artists by writing to them

Similarly, the handwritten signature is experiencing a slow demise, as an astounding 75% of business and professional markets have transitioned into using electronic signature, or e-signature programs. The wildly popular app DocuSign is changing the way that companies and startups do business, making it easier than ever to complete quick, paper-free transactions. Keith Krach, CEO of DocuSign says the e-signature trend is “One of the biggest markets [he’s] ever seen.” In a recent, aptly named segment called The Death of the Handwritten Signature, Krach notes that “Paper and pen is our biggest competitor,” but it still significantly outweighed by people who prefer the digital option.

Author and journalist Alice Steinbach said, “A letter is always better than a phone call.” If she were alive today, she would probably express the same sentiment in regards to emails, texts, and tweets. There’s nothing quite so lovely as receiving a handwritten letter, a love poem scribbled on a stray piece of paper, a note composed of swooping, curling cursive letters. Perhaps these things seem more romantic because we so rarely see them nowadays. While printed literature remains resilient amid an e-book revolution, it seems as though handwritten letters and documents are dwindling.

What do you think about handwritten letters? Are they an old-fashioned novelty or a dying breed of art?

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#TBT Rabbit Island Is An Artist Colony Unlike Any Other http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/04/24/tbt-rabbit-island-artist-colony-unlike/ Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:29:10 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=3247 Now that the snow and ice is finally melting away from the parts of the country most affected by this winter’s Polar Vortex, it’s nice to be reminded once again of art initiatives that are inspired by the natural beauty that is unfurling once again. We wrote about Rabbit Island last summer, deeming it “an […]

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rabbit island

Rabbit Island is an artist colony unlike any other.
Image: via rabbitisland.org

Now that the snow and ice is finally melting away from the parts of the country most affected by this winter’s Polar Vortex, it’s nice to be reminded once again of art initiatives that are inspired by the natural beauty that is unfurling once again. We wrote about Rabbit Island last summer, deeming it “an artist colony like you’ve never seen before.” This description is still incredibly accurate, as Rabbit Island continues to invite artists to its shores, to stay, and create, and work cooperatively.

The Rabbit Island website explains, “This was an epic winter for a lot of us in the Northeastern U.S. but the Keweenaw Peninsula deserves special mention for withstanding such relentless snowstorms and unusually cold weather,” and also notes that winter there was both foreboding and hopeful. It seems that Rabbit Island’s artistic directors are eager to begin another season of creative collaborations. Learn more about how Rabbit Island as it is today was formed by reading our original article below:

Artists of all mediums have long gathered to share ideas and work collectively, separating themselves from the normalcy of daily life to hone their craft. In recent years, an ideal reprieve from society where artists can live with other artists has emerged, and it’s located on a remote, privately owned island off the coast of Michigan.

Rabbit Island Lake Superior

Rabbit Island is located off the coast of Lake Superior.
Image: Shutterstock

You might be asking yourself, how did a group of artist-types raise enough funds to purchase their own island? Well, they didn’t – but a man named Rob Gorski did, and in 2009, after months of negotiations and $140,000 later, Rabbit Island was his. On paper, Gorski is an unlikely candidate to head a program that invites artists from all backgrounds to his island. He’s an emergency room doctor living in Manhattan, an urbanite who grew up spending time with his grandfather in the Keweenaw, a semi-wilderness area in Michigan on the coast of Lake Superior, the same body of water that holds Rabbit Island.

When Gorski saw an advertisement for purchase of the island on Craigslist (of all places), the history he had with the area and a vision for what that land could be repurposed for sparked an intense interest in him. After initially purchasing Rabbit Island, Gorski worked with a local land trust to ensure that the property would be regarded as a conservation, and soon after collaborated with friend and artist Andrew Ranville to start an artists’ colony there. The rest is history, and less than five years after his purchase, the island has become a remarkable, and much coveted destination for artists.

Rabbit Island

A satellite view of Rabbit Island.
Image: via rabbitisland.org

Gorksi and Ranville have organized “Artist in Residence” programs that invite applicants to come and explore, create, and live on the island for extended periods during the summer. These residencies are as much a survivalist camping trip as they are a chance to cohabitate an island with other artists and create artistic installations. Rabbit Island is almost completely untouched, save for a small lean-to with minimal supplies constructed by Gorski at the “main camp.”  The artist residency programs have attracted everyone from painters, to photographers, to foragers, cooks, rock climbers, writers, and everything in between.

The vision that Gorksi has for the island is still evolving, but he says “It was never about being a bunch of hipsters coming out to high-five each other on an island.” Instead, he has provided an incredible opportunity for those who want to marry a love of the outdoors with a remarkable setting to explore and create. Gorski wants Rabbit Island to be a platform for “science, art, preservation, and recreation,” and thus far, has truly succeeded.

For more information about the programs Rabbit Island offers, or how to apply, visit Rabbit Island’s official website.

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#TBT The Intricate, Abstract Collages of Melinda Tidwell http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/04/10/tbt-intricate-abstract-collages-melinda-tidwell/ Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:33:04 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=3171 Last fall, we featured an article about the incredible work of collage artist Melinda Tidwell. It seems somewhat appropriate, in this layered, collage-like transition from winter to spring, to recall her intricate works and abstract, yet controlled artistic sensibility. To learn more about the artist and her work, continue reading below. In a day and […]

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Melinda Tidwell collages

Janet. Aphasia., 2014

Last fall, we featured an article about the incredible work of collage artist Melinda Tidwell. It seems somewhat appropriate, in this layered, collage-like transition from winter to spring, to recall her intricate works and abstract, yet controlled artistic sensibility. To learn more about the artist and her work, continue reading below.

In a day and age where so much art has been digitized, where so many works are utilizing technology to be realized, it is refreshing to find an artist who still enjoys working with their hands.

Multimedia artist Melinda Tidwell has actually done both. After pursuing mathematics in college, she was drawn to a career in computer graphics, which proved to be a balance between visual creativity and mathematical exactness. Tidwell soon departed from this position in favor of something more artistic, however, a decision that eventually led her to work in collage as her primary medium.

Tidwell explains that her “lifelong interest in abstraction and visual language” is what allows her to find harmony in her career as a fine artist. Her works are certainly evocative of a person who employs immense precision and care into every facet of the collage. Using the pages of found books, as well as techniques that utilize acrylic paints, stitch work, and drawing, Tidwell’s collages are abstract yet showcase an impressive amount of restraint and control.

Melinda Tidwell collages

Guide For Storytellers, 2014

Her art is clever and witty; pages with fragmented words are often implemented and even become the namesake for some pieces. Taking words out of their original context allows for the creation of abstract voices that are unified by the other artistic techniques she employs. Her use of color is also expertly demonstrated; many of the works rely on the muted tones of old book pages, but splashes of color and layering of shades in the same palate allow for great amounts of texture to emerge, which in turn inform the viewer about a deeper meaning embedded in the work.

Tidwell explains, “My work begins with the formal aspects of design and a fascination with the balance of visual elements in composition. Using simple geometric shapes and rectilinear alignments, I focus on the coherence and juxtaposition of color, pattern, placement and size,” of her scrupulously detailed collage designs. Of the abstract nature that many of the collages embody she says, “The peculiar sensation of a world slightly askew gives me no end of delight.” This speaks to the playfulness and lightness evoked by her collections, a fantastical element that is often featured in collage work.

Melinda Tidwell is represented by the San Francisco-based Andrea Schwartz Gallery, but her works can also be found online at her official website.

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#TBT The Importance of Cultural Heritage http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/03/06/tbt-importance-cultural-heritage/ Thu, 06 Mar 2014 19:10:40 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=2646 *For this week’s #TBT, we wanted to take a look back at an article we shared about cultural heritage. February marked the annual recognition of Black History Month, and March holds St. Patrick’s Day, another cultural celebration. What better time to reflect upon your own cultural heritage and what it means to you than now? […]

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Flags of many nations

Understanding our cultural heritage can give a sense of personal identity.
Image: Garry Wilmore via Flickr CC

*For this week’s #TBT, we wanted to take a look back at an article we shared about cultural heritage. February marked the annual recognition of Black History Month, and March holds St. Patrick’s Day, another cultural celebration. What better time to reflect upon your own cultural heritage and what it means to you than now?

Not everyone feels a connection with their cultural heritage, but many people do. What is it about cultural heritage that draws these people to it? Some may think traditions are archaic and no longer relevant, and that they are unnecessary during these modern times. Perhaps for some, they aren’t; but for others, exploring cultural heritage offers a robust variety of benefits.

Culture can give people a connection to certain social values, beliefs, religions and customs. It allows them to identify with others of similar mindsets and backgrounds. Cultural heritage can provide an automatic sense of unity and belonging within a group and allows us to better understand previous generations and the history of where we come from.

In large cities especially, it can be easy to feel lost and alone among so many other cultures and backgrounds. New York City, for example, is a huge melting pot of people from all over the country and the world. There are large communities based around certain cultural heritages, including Irish, Italian, Asian, and others.

An infographic of the Heritage Cycle.

A graphic of the Heritage Cycle originally developed by cultureindevelopment.nl.

Cultural heritage is made up of many things large and small. We can see it in the buildings, townscapes, and even in archaeological remains. Culture can be perceived through natural sources as well: the agriculture and landscapes associated with it. It is preserved through books, artifacts, objects, pictures, photographs, art, and oral tradition. Cultural heritage is in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the religions we follow, and the skills we learn. Sometimes we can touch and see what makes up a culture; other times it is intangible.

The Heritage Cycle from Simon Thurley helps explain the process of finding and incorporating culture into our lives, if we wish to do so. It begins with understanding the culture. Only then may we begin to value it. From there, we can learn to care for a culture and eventually enjoy it. With more enjoyment, we will want to learn and understand more—and so the circle goes.

*Psssst! If you liked this article, check out Honoring the Cultural Heritage of Voodoo.

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#TBT Eve Ensler and The Vagina Monologues http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/02/13/tbt-eve-ensler-vagina-monologues/ http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/02/13/tbt-eve-ensler-vagina-monologues/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:30:17 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=2529 Valentine’s Day is upon us, and while many love to abhor the Hallmark Holiday to end all Hallmark Holidays, February 14th also marks the anniversary of a groundbreaking play called The Vagina Monologues. The Vagina Monologues is a collection of monologues written by playwright Eve Ensler, and inspired by the stories of real women. Organized […]

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Photo Credit: Brigitte Lacombe via V-Day press photos

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and while many love to abhor the Hallmark Holiday to end all Hallmark Holidays, February 14th also marks the anniversary of a groundbreaking play called The Vagina Monologues.

The Vagina Monologues is a collection of monologues written by playwright Eve Ensler, and inspired by the stories of real women. Organized as an episodic play, The Vagina Monologues was first performed in 1996 in NYC, and has since evolved into a massive movement to raise awareness about global violence against women. Ensler’s artistic approach to addressing women’s issues inspired countless women to come forward to share their stories; the play remains a work of art, but also acts as a catalyst for global activism. For this week’s #ThrowbackThursday, we’re taking a look back at our full profile of activist, author, and playwright Eve Ensler, the woman behind The Vagina Monologues. Click to learn more about the global work she has done, both in activism and the arts, to end violence against women.

vdayutvs_webAccording to V-Day, the organization that emerged after the success of The Vagina Monologues, efforts made by Ensler and a growing number of activists have helped reach “billions of people through performances, word of mouth, media, internet, and the dedication of people around the world.” The Vagina Monologues has been performed thousands of times since 1996, and now serves as a benefit show that simultaneously raises awareness about women’s issues, and raises vital funds to affect real change. According to the United Nations, “one of every three women it the world will personally experience physical or sexual violence.” Ensler hopes to change this, as do the participants of The Vagina Monologues, and other V-Day campaigns.

Dozens of colleges, women’s organizations, and theater groups across the country are presenting The Vagina Monologues this month, to coincide with the original V-Day performance. The Cupcake Theater in Los Angeles will be putting on their rendition of the play on February 16th, as will the Pittsburg W.H.I.P.S. (Women Helping Investigate Pittsburg Sexuality). Simmons College in Boston will be presenting The Vagina Monologues, and so will the New York University School of Law. All proceeds will go towards V-Day’s initiatives to end violence against women. Find an event near you by visiting the V-Spot event tracker.

Happy V-Day!

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#TBT ‘Men Under the Influence’: A Gender-Bending Portrait Series http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/01/30/tbt-men-influence-gender-bending-portrait-series/ Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:23:30 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=2459 For this week’s #TBT, we wanted to take another look at Spanish photographer Jon Uriarte’s portrait series, “The Men Under The Influence.” This gender-bending photography project is a creative examination of gender roles and bodily objectification. Art that has the ability to make a statement or observation about social issues is always worth considering critically. What […]

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Jon Uriarte

Santi wearing a red coat, cardigan, and skinny jeans.
Image: Jon Uriarte

For this week’s #TBT, we wanted to take another look at Spanish photographer Jon Uriarte’s portrait series, “The Men Under The Influence.” This gender-bending photography project is a creative examination of gender roles and bodily objectification. Art that has the ability to make a statement or observation about social issues is always worth considering critically. What do you think Uriarte is trying to convey in “Men Under the Influence?”

Spanish artist Jon Uriarte’s portrait series, “The Men Under The Influence,” features photographs of men, under the influence of their girlfriends’ wardrobes.

This provocative photo series seeks to spark a conversation about the changing roles of men and women in heterosexual relationships, using clothing as a marker for fluidity within those roles. The men are photographed in their homes and workspaces, sitting or standing and looking almost completely normal, except for the fact that they are donning ill-fitting clothes made for women. There is no suggestion that these men are in relationships at all, unless you are familiar with the context of the images.

Jon Uriarte

Jose poses in high heels and short shorts.
Image: Jon Uriarte

According to the artist, The men under the influence’ addresses the recent change in roles in heterosexual relationships from the relationships of our predecessors and how those changes have affected men in particular. the photos attempt to capture men’s sense of loss reference, now that women have taken a step forward and have finally come into their own as equal partners. The project consists of full-length portraits of men wearing the clothes of their girlfriends or wives, taken in the space shared by the couple.” The portraits are really beautiful, and rouse a bit of intrigue, which is certainly what Uriarte was hoping to achieve.

In the photographs you will find men of various body types staring thoughtfully into the lens of the camera, wearing skirts, dresses, shirts, leggings, and pants belonging to their female significant others. They have even tried cramming their feet into women’s shoes, their heels peeking out from the backs of the high-heeled or flat footwear.

What do you make of these images, and the artist’s interesting social commentary using real couples as a tool? Take a look at the photo series at artist Jon Uriarte’s website.

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#TBT “Portraitlandia” Is Portraits of Portlanders Doing Portland Things http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/01/23/tbt-portraitlandia-portraits-portlanders-portland-things/ Thu, 23 Jan 2014 22:34:29 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=2437 This week, we wanted to take a look back at “Portraitlandia,” photographer Kirk Crippens’ incredibly interesting series of photographs of Portland residents. Hopefully these quirky, compelling portraits will help take your mind off how cold and confining winter can be. They may even spark daydreams about summertime, which is when this article was originally posted. […]

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Portlandia

Portlandia parodies the lives of Portlanders.
Image: IFC

This week, we wanted to take a look back at “Portraitlandia,” photographer Kirk Crippens’ incredibly interesting series of photographs of Portland residents. Hopefully these quirky, compelling portraits will help take your mind off how cold and confining winter can be. They may even spark daydreams about summertime, which is when this article was originally posted. Enjoy!

Ever since comedians Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein created a show that parodied the lives of Portlanders, viewers and PDX residents alike have cringed and delighted in the show’s portrayal of Portland life. Portlandia has garnered quite a following through its hilarious sketches that feature the incredibly hip, alternative and quirky Pacific Northwestern city, and the antics that ensue in Armisen and Brownstein’s character portrayals beg the question: Is Portland really like that?

Harajuke Girl, Kirk Crippens

“Harajuke Girl” by Kirk Crippens
Photo used with permission from Kirk Crippens (one time use only)

Some locals can find humor in the show’s over the top portrayal of PDX residents. Feminist bookshop owner Amber Rowland told the New York Times, “I’m part of what it’s making fun of as well. There’s a kernel of truth in it, and it’s O.K. to roll with it,” she said, explaining that for some, it’s best to embrace Portlandia’s hilarious scenes rather than to criticize the creators’ intent. However, other Portlanders aren’t so sure.

Artist Kirk Crippens recently decided to challenge Portlandia’s portrayal of the city and its locals, by embarking on a portrait project. To this end, he captured intimate photographs of “real” Portland residents in order to prove that the city is more than a “crunchy,” indie paradise, according to the Huffington Post. Ironically, with many of the photographs featuring images of tattoo-clad, costume wearing, bearded, and pierced folks, Crippens’ project serves to prove that Portlandia may be a spot-on portrayal of Portland’s residents.

The photographer’s project is entitled “Portraitlandia,” an obvious play off of Armisen and Brownstein’s hilarious, somewhat accurate version of Portland, Oregon. It features beautiful photographs of a diverse and alternative-looking collection of people, of which there is a clown, a nun, a roller-derby player, an elephant, and even mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, among many others. See for yourself if Crippens’ photo-series feeds into stereotypes about Portland’s quirky residents in his “Portraitlandia” gallery.

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#TBT When Picture Books and Adult Literature Collide… http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/01/16/tbt-picture-books-adult-literature-collide/ Thu, 16 Jan 2014 22:46:44 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=2402 For this week’s #TBT, it seemed appropriate to recall a piece we published back in June about the growing trend of creating books for adults in a style typically geared towards children. More and more, we’re seeing the way that art and literature is merging; we recently discussed the first-ever 3D book cover and how […]

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HungryCaterpillar

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

For this week’s #TBT, it seemed appropriate to recall a piece we published back in June about the growing trend of creating books for adults in a style typically geared towards children. More and more, we’re seeing the way that art and literature is merging; we recently discussed the first-ever 3D book cover and how it’s changing the way that people perceive and experience print books. Here, we touched on some of the biggest writers of literature for “grown-ups” and how they’re playing around with picture-book formats…

Lovers of books know that there have always been many forms of literature. From science fiction novels, to romance stories, anthologies of poetry, young adult dramas, to classic fiction aimed towards an adult reader, the possibility of genres are infinite. Though less common, the intersection of picture books, typically intended for young readers, and grown up content, is becoming a trend in literature, and is changing the way that people read books.

What happens when an author who normally writes for adults wants to create a book for both children and their parents? Should we assume that picture books with fewer words than lengthy novels are less rich with meaning? This risky assumption literally provokes the old adage: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

B is for Beer by Tom Robbins

“B is for Beer” by Tom Robbins

More and more frequently, books with adult themes are being presented in a classic, picture book format. One example of this is Tom Robbins’ B is for Beer, with the subtitle: A Children’s Book for Grown-ups, A Grown-up Book for Children. The book, published by Harper Collins, is as subversive as it is comedic, and is intended for adults as well as children. Another picture book for children and adults is The Very Hungry Zombie, by Michael Teitelbaum, a parody of the classic illustrated story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by children’s author and legendary illustrator Eric Carle. Other parodies of classic picture books include Ann Droyd’s Goodnight ipad, and Dan Ewen’s The Talking Tree.

Despite recent trends in “adult picture books,” not all of them are parodies of classics. Some authors, famous for their intellectual literary contributions, have crossed over into the realm of children’s literature, creating original picture books that are teeming with complicated stylistic elements. For instance, famous American author Mark Twain once wrote Advice to Little Girls, an obscure children’s book that challenges young readers to understand his comedic, satirical style. Another author, known for his avant-garde poetry and novels in the early twentieth century, is James Joyce, who also published a little-known children’s book titled, The Cat and the Devil. These are just two of many authors of “adult” literature who have crossed over into genres typically enjoyed by children.

Remember, don’t judge a book by its cover, because in contemporary literature, stories for adults are being bound in surprising ways.

Here are a few more obscure children’s books by adult authors to check out!

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#TBT ‘Girls’ Creator Lena Dunham is a Cultivator of Culture http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2014/01/09/tbt-girls-creator-lena-dunham-is-a-cultivator-of-culture/ Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:17:08 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=2372 Lena Dunham is unquestionably one of Hollywood’s “it” girls, with an edge. The actress, director, producer, and writer has taken the entertainment industry by storm over the last few years; her quiet entry into filmmaking amazed fans with independent movies like 2010’s Tiny Furniture, and now she’s a full-blown star with hit show Girls soon […]

The post #TBT ‘Girls’ Creator Lena Dunham is a Cultivator of Culture appeared first on Cultivating Culture.

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Will you tune in to the season 3 premiere of ‘Girls’ on January 12th?
Image: girlshbo via Instagram

Lena Dunham is unquestionably one of Hollywood’s “it” girls, with an edge.

The actress, director, producer, and writer has taken the entertainment industry by storm over the last few years; her quiet entry into filmmaking amazed fans with independent movies like 2010’s Tiny Furniture, and now she’s a full-blown star with hit show Girls soon to enter its highly anticipated third season on HBO.

Armed with a unique point of view, lack of vanity, major attitude, and unabashed honesty about what life, sometimes, is really like, Lena Dunham is garnering critical acclaim (and criticism) throughout the entertainment industry.

Back in July, we wrote about Dunham’s long list of artistic and feminist achievements. With the third season of Girls returning to HBO on January 12th, what better time to recall what we love most about Dunham than now?

Check out our full profile of the multi-talented Lena Dunham.

The post #TBT ‘Girls’ Creator Lena Dunham is a Cultivator of Culture appeared first on Cultivating Culture.

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