Grammys 2014: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Royals for a Night

Grammys 2014: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Royals for a Night

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Seattle duo that has spent the last year upending the rules about how hip-hop interacts with mainstream pop, won four Grammys on Sunday night, for best new artist and in three rap categories: best performance and best song for Thrift Shop and best album for The Heist.

Of all the moments that have startled awards-show viewers over the years, none matches the mass marriage on Sunday night’s Grammys. No others made anything close to this bold a statement on an issue that has been engaging so much of the world in an emotional, political and theological debate. By including same-gender couples in this ceremony, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences declared that marriage is marriage, regardless of gender.

The night’s most cathartic moment was the group marriage: Queen Latifah married 33 straight and same-sex couples during a performance of Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, along with singers Mary Lambert and iconic pop-star Madonna.

A full list of winners at the 56th annual Grammy Awards can be found in The New York Times here.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, feat. Mary Lambert: “Same Love”

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, Queen Latifah and Madonna: “Same Love”

David LaChapelle: The Fellini of Photography Returns to Fine Art

David LaChapelle: Flowers, Early Fall

David LaChapelle: Pieta With Courtney Love, 2006

David LaChapelle: Christina Aguilera

David LaChapelle: Eminem

David LaChapelle: Amanda Lepore, Breast-Feeding

David LaChapelle: Madonna

David LaChapelle: David Beckham

David LaChapelle: The Fellini of Photography Returns to Fine Art

During the course of his artistic career, David LaChapelle was hired by Andy Warhol, fired by Madonna, photographed Pamela Anderson, Lady Gaga, and Hillary Clinton, and made a star of the transgender personality Amanda Lepore. He earned millions and spent much of that on his self-financed movie about an urban dance form created in the rough neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles. When the film, Rize, failed to attract a large audience, the weary LaChapelle packed up his career and disappeared.

Now, LaChapelle is back in New York briefly, overseeing his one-man show at a Madison Avenue art gallery and a separate commissioned installation that is opening in the lobby of the Lever House on Park Avenue. With their erotic gloss, their sizzling aesthetics and their slick production values, the photographs at Michelman Fine Art are recognizably the work of a man who in his editorial work for Vanity Fair, Interview, Rolling Stone and others photographed David Duchovny dressed in Lycra bondage trousers, Kanye West as Black Jesus, a turbaned Elizabeth Taylor looking like a $5 fortune teller, Eminem naked but for a well-placed prop and other stars like Tupac Shakur (wearing soap bubbles), Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga baring their souls for the camera, along with a good deal more.

At the Lever House, however, the artist has returned to techniques he employed when, at the very beginning of his career, long before he became the go-to video director for pop music divas, he used naïve, childlike forms like linked paper chains to make his work. In the space that in the past has presented exhibitions of works by artists such as Barbara Kruger and Damien Hirst, Mr. LaChapelle has hung the chains from walls and ceiling in looping festoons. At first glance, the stapled links only look like colorful decorations for a children’s party, but when viewed more closely they reveal images of naked bodies, as an allegory for human connection.

Viewers can read more about David LaChapelle’s return to the art scene in The New York Times here.

David LaChapelle: Elton John/Candle in the Wind (Marilyn)

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/12216162 w=720&h=460]

David LaChapelle: Elton John/Philadelphia Freedom

Photo-Gallery: David LaChapelle/The Fellini of Photography Returns to Fine Art

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On the Street: The Annals of Outrageous Self-Invention, 1980-1990

Madonna, St. Mark’s Place, 1983; Lesbian couple, 8th Street, 1981

Alan and Charles Rosenberg, Central Park, 1985; Fingernail Extensions, 23rd Street and 8th Avenue, 1988

Pia Guccione, 8th Street and University Place, 1988; Phoebe Lègére Accordion, 10th Street and Avenue B, 1987

Tongues Down, Rafael Araujo, 7th Street and 2nd Avenue, c. 1987-88; Jenny Gift-Wrapped, 59th Street, 1982

Susanne Bartsch, Houston Street and West Broadway, 1987; Miranda Pennell, Columbus Avenue, 1984

Jan Long, Cooper Union Square, 1982; Julio Q, Broome Street, 1985

On the Street: The Annals of Outrageous Self-Invention, 1980-1990

Photography by: Amy Arbus

On the Street is a collection of photographs by Amy Arbus, which were selected from Arbus’s photo-column that ran in The Village Voice between 1980 and 1990, a page that documented New York City’s downtown area’s most vibrant, creative dressers and personalities (many of the photographs were also published in a book).  Amy Arbus has been photographing professionally for more than 25 years.  She has been a contributing photographer to the New York Magazine theater section, and her photographs have appeared in over one hundred periodicals, including The New Yorker, Aperture, People Magazine, ESPN, and The New York Times Magazine.  She is the daughter of the late photographer Diane Arbus.

Now that Manhattan is only habitable for the rich, many New Yorkers love to reminiscently look back to the mad and crazy ‘80s, when the Bowery could be quite dangerous and apartments were still affordable.  Nostalgia presently stalks the five boroughs, whether for acid-washed rap-fashion, Mudd Club art parties or coke in sleazy bars.  But back in the original 1980s-1990s, Amy Arbus found the subjects for her extremely unique photographs mostly by just wandering around the Village, looking for people who were wearing visually creative and unusual outfits, a lot of polka dots, or stripes, or everyone wearing hats in the summertime.  At the time, there was nothing else like it.  Now there are a lot of similar things, but back at the original time there hadn’t been any kind of record of the East Village scene when it was comprised of this particularly promising, hopeful group of talented, interesting people.

Describing her pictures from this 1980s-1990s collection, Arbus stated, “In terms of the clothes, I think they were fantastic and funny and outrageous and silly….There was no kind of judgment going on at the time.  Everyone wanted to be noticed, no matter what it was for.  That’s completely gone.  Being noticed is irrelevant now.  You have to make such waves to be a success at things now that dressing differently may make an impression, but it’s not going to get you a career.”

Included here are a number of Arbus’s vintage photographs, a video from  her documentary film On the Street, a full-screen high-resolution slide show and an additional audio-slide show of Arbus’s photography.

The Clash, Broadway, 1981

Slide Show: On the Street/ The Annals of Outrageous Self-Invention, 1980-1990

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Amy Arbus: A Documentary of On the Street, 1980-1990


Audio Slide Show: Amy Arbus’s On the Street/ Annals of Self-Invention

(Please Click on Image to View Audio Slide Show)

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Photo of the Day: The Sexy Black Motorcycle Madonnas

Photo of the Day: The Sexy Black Motorcycle Madonnas

Photography by:  Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

Bob Dylan: Gates of Eden

The motorcycle black madonna
Two-wheeled gypsy queen
And her silver-studded phantom…

Music: Bob Dylan/Gates of Eden

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Photo of the Day: The Virgin in the Window

Photo of the Day: The Virgin in the Window

Photography by: Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

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