Keith Haring’s Legacy Lives On Through Sister Kay’s Memory (BlackBook Exclusive)

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Photo Courtesy of Kay Haring

In the age of self-made celebrities whose fame and fortune can be accredited to their Instagram followings, few artists endure like Keith Haring. A protégé of Andy Warhol, his work was part of a movement he might never have imagined, paving the way and inspiring many more to come. From public murals to t-shirts, his iconic vision lives on today.

27 years after his life was cut short, a crowd of influencers, art enthusiasts, and long-time fans flocked to the Whitney Museum of American Art in Lower Manhattan. It was the launch of Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing, a children’s book about the artist’s life, written by none other than the artist’s sister, Kay Haring. Joined by her daughters and granddaughter, the whole family wore t-shirts of their late brother and uncle’s art, as did the line of his fans that stretched to the door of the museum for the signing.

“I’ve always known for the last 27 years that his legacy lives on,” Kay told us beforehand. “And it’s all sort of bubbling up again, how people didn’t just like his work, they loved him. It’s been a reminder about how much they really loved him as a person.”

It was this fond affection from the public for her brother that pushed her to write the book. With the help of social media, she’s stayed in touch with many of his fans who reached out to tell their own stories of how Keith inspired them.

Excerpts from Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing

With such a life of work that covered many serious and taboo topics, it’s difficult to find someone in the art world not affected by him. He touched on subjects of war, AIDS, and drugs. Although this is what many remember of him, for Kay, his legacy is rooted in his persistence to chase his dreams.

“I just took a piece of what I wanted to talk about for Keith and emphasized that,” she said. “I really just wanted to start when he was a young boy and how he really just kept drawing and he continued to follow what he wanted to do, and that led him to where he wanted to end up. And it seemed to be a really good way to reach children”

The stories in the book consist of those that have remained in the family, some of which she passed on to her own children. From when he sold his bike to pay for art supplies to when he gave away his first painting instead of selling it in order to share his art, it paints a beautiful picture of the life he lived.

In remembering her brother, Kay recalls him as the typical irritating older brother. But most of her memories are that of him drawing. It was something that kept him going, even until the end.

“It was right when he knew he had AIDS, and it was a terrible time,” she said. “He knew he was gonna die, and he had this amazing view like, ‘I’m gonna work as hard as I can and as long as I can. It’s inevitable, I have to accept this. I just have to do all the good I can do for other people.’”

Written by Kay Haring and illustrated by Robert Neubecker, Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing is now available at Penguin Random House.

In Bed With Netflix and Armond White

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

Foreplay: The Five Heartbeats (1991) 

Just in time for Black History Month, this backstage musical tells the story of a fictional R&B group that sings and dances a lot like The Temptations and The Four Tops. There’s 1960s nostalgia and a lot of hokey soap opera amidst the ghetto intrigue, personal drama and civil rights struggling. Director Robert Townsend also plays one of the Heartbeats (along with Tico Wells, Harry Lennix, Michael Wright and the actor known simply as Leon but most famous for Madonna’s Like a Prayer music video).  The film is a tribute to the trials and triumphs of black pop music. It’s based on history but really is just a medley of imagination and wish fulfillment, just like the movie Dreamgirls but a whole lot better. (Showbiz veterans Diahann Carroll and Harold Nicholas make cameo appearances.)

Press Play: The Girl From Chicago (1932) 

Also in time for Black History Month is this rarely shown film by pioneering black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. This is one of his most entertaining of his strange specialty films. Micheaux’s regular storytelling genre was melodrama—usually crime stories and romances—which means he was the Douglas Sirk of Harlem. In this one, a government agent (Carl Mahon) in Mississippi falls in love with a local girl (Grace Smith), they move to Harlem and get involved with a racketeer (the great Juano Hernandez who went on to a dignified acting career in Hollywood). Micheaux intersperses the plot with entertainment breaks—musical acts and dances that push this film toward the avant-garde while it documents the era’s black cultural trends. 

Playtime: Finding Dory (2016) 

Fish Lives Matter—that’s the theme that makes this latest Pixar movie also a contribution to Black History Month. Ellen Degeneres voices the Blue Tang title fish bringing-in her TV specialty of representing diversity and political correctness and insufferable cuteness. Dory’s short-term memory loss as she goes through the predictable Pixar plot of leaving home and returning home can be looked at this month as an allegory for the African American slave experience and the desperate search for ancestral homelands. Is that a stretch? Pixar can use a stretch from its usually unimaginative formulaic product. Otherwise this is just a sequel cashing in on the once-was-enough children’s hitFinding Nemo.

Amy Winehouse’s Childhood Remembered in London Exhibit

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Photo: Karen Blue via Flickr

Legendary singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse’s life was cut tragically short, though her legacy lives on in the hearts and ears of fans around the world – and now, her past will further be cemented in history with the creation of a new exhibit opening at the Camden Jewish Museum.

The exhibition will document Winehouse’s early life, with photos of her at Shabbat dinners as a child, displays of her early possessions and treasures, and background on her family history. It will expand on the previously held “Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait,” which, as one might expect, more closely examined the artists relatives.

An art trail featuring artists including Captain Kris, Mr Cenz, Philth, and Amara Por Dios will accompany the exhibit, with street art pieces inspired by Amy. The final piece in the trail is by Pegasus and titled “Love is a Losing Game.”

“Aside from being an immensely talented, iconic and inspirational singer, Amy was also a Jewish girl from North London,” Abigail Morris, the Jewish Museum London’s director, explained in Nylon’report. “It is fitting that the Jewish Museum in her beloved Camden Town should be the place to tell her story.”

The exhibit will be on display starting March 16 at the Jewish Museum, with the art trail running March 15 to June 4.

Palomo Spain and Molly Goddard Among LVMH Prize Finalists

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

Palomo Spain, our favorite show at New York Men’s Week, is garnering attention from more than just us – they’ve been announced as one of 21 finalists for the presitigous LVMH Prize for new designers, presented by the fashion behemoth LVMH since 2014.

Just a refresher:

All about @pol.roig vol.3

A post shared by Alejandro Gómez Palomo (@palomospain) on

Other finalists announced include British womenswear designer Molly Goddard:

A post shared by Molly Goddard (@mollymgoddard) on

and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, the club-kid inspired designer responsible for such amazing looks as this:

The winner of the award will be announced June 16 in Paris by a judging committee that includes fashion legends like Karl Lagerfeld, Maria Grazia Chiuri, J.W. Anderson.

The full list of 21 finalists:

ABASI ROSBOROUGH by Greg Rosborough (American designer based in New York). Menswear, showing in New York.

AMBUSH by Yoon Ahn (American designer based in Tokyo). Unisex collections, showing in New York.

ANGUS CHIANG by Angus Chiang (Taiwanese designer based in Taiwan). Menswear, showing in Tokyo.

ATLEIN by Antonin Tron (French designer based in Paris). Womenswear, showing in Paris.

BLINDNESS by JiSun Park (Korean designer based in Seoul). Menswear, showing in Paris.

CECILIE BAHNSEN by Cecilie Rosted Bahnsen (Danish designer based in Copenhagen). Womenswear, showing in Copenhagen.

CHARLES JEFFREY LOVERBOY by Charles Jeffrey (British designer based in London). Menswear, showing in London.

DANIEL W. FLETCHER by Daniel Fletcher (British designer based in London). Menswear, showing in London.

DILARA FINDIKOGLU by Dilara Findikoglu (Turkish designer based in London). Womenswear, showing in London.

GMBH by Serhat Isik (German collective based in Berlin). Unisex collections, showing in Berlin.

JAHNKOY by Maria Kazakova (Russian designer based in New York). Menswear, showing in New York.

KATHERINE MAVRIDIS by Katherine Mavridis (Australian designer based in New York). Womenswear, showing in New York.

KOZABURO by Kozaburo Akasaka (Japanese designer based in Tokyo). Menswear, showing in Tokyo.

MAGGIE MARILYN by Maggie Hewitt (New Zealand designer based in Auckland). Womenswear, showing in Paris.

MARINE SERRE by Marine Serre (French designer based in Paris). Womenswear, showing in Paris.

MARTINE ROSE STUDIOS LIMITED by Martine Rose (British designer based in London). Menswear, showing in London.

MOLLY GODDARD by Molly Goddard (British designer based in London). Womenswear, showing in London.

NABIL NAYAL by Nabil el Nayal (British designer based in London). Womenswear, showing in London.

PALOMO SPAIN by Alejandro Gomez Palomo (Spanish designer based in Cordoba). Menswear, showing in New York.

RICHARD MALONE by Richard Malone (Irish designer based in London). Womenswear, showing in London.

SULVAM by Teppei Fujita (Japanese designer based in Tokyo). Menswear, showing in Tokyo.


Rihanna to be Named Harvard’s ‘Humanitarian of the Year’

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This year’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award from Harvard University will go to none other than Rihanna, whose activism and philanthropy this year have truly been above and beyond.

“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” explained Harvard Foundation Director S. Allen Counter in The Harvard Gazette.

He continued: “She has also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program [named for her grandparents] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, a multiyear campaign that will provide children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.”

In addition to the various foundations she’s founded and supported, Rihanna actively helps countries in need through her travels – here’s a photo of her trip to Malawi as a Global Citizen Ambassador:

met the bravest, most humble kids and young women this week! I can’t wait to share more! #CLF #GC #GPE

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

While she certainly didn’t get the Grammy love she deserved, this recognition, plus the news of her record-breaking 30th top ten single on the Billboard charts, ought to be turning her February around.

Seth Meyers Goes for Gold in ‘Oscar Bait’ Parody Trailer

Oscar Bait
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As another Academy Awards quickly approaches, we’ve become familiar with what makes an Oscar-worthy film. There’s usually an unhappy couple, some kind of racial tension, homosexual undertones, and a whole lot of crying.

Seth Meyers has perfected this formula in his latest parody clip for Late Night. The talk show host compiled all the components of an Academy Award contender for the fake trailer of Oscar Bait. It includes all the expectable tropes and a scene that was literally just ripped straight from Carol.

Oscar Bait will be in theaters never, we hope. Watch the trailer below:

Nick Knight Dedicates Art Exhibit Entirely to Paintings, Films, and Gifs of Kate Moss

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Image via @ButtonFruit on Instagram

Nick Knight is organizing an entire art exhibit dedicated to the looks and life of style titan Kate Moss.

Knight said, i-D reports, “I asked 30 of the world’s best fashion illustrators to draw Kate’s most iconic catwalk looks, all chosen specially by her, for the amazing designers she has worked with including McQueen, Galliano and Westwood. The result is a uniquely beautiful exhibition that shows the many exciting ways each artists sees the model who has come to symbolize what fashion means for a whole generation.”

Those illustrators include some of our personal Instagram faves, such as @UnskilledWorker, who share this incredible portrait of Moss which will be included in the exhibition:

Also contributing, @ButtonFruit (Gill Button):

And this one from @KellyMarieBeeman (Kelly Beeman):

The exhibit will also include gifs and special projects on Kate from Knight, as well as fashion films. It will be on view at SHOWstudio through April 20.

“It was such a pleasure to have the chance to look back on the incredible clothes I have worn on the catwalks and to see how these have inspired SHOWstudio’s amazing selection of fashion illustrators,” Moss said in i’D’s report. “It brings back many memories and feels like a fitting tribute to the wonderful designers I have worked with.”

Your Alternative Guide to the Oscars, With the Awards You Really Care About

21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals
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Film’s biggest night will take place this Sunday, of course, and Oscar prediction lists are popping up everywhere. But what about the awards that won’t be announced at the main event? The ones you really care about?

And so it is that we’ve put together a celebration of moments in cinema this year sadly overlooked by the Academy – The Alternative Oscars 2016-2017.. Feel free to bust out your ball gown and grab yourself a date before reading.

Best Snot goes to… Viola Davis, Fences!

Let’s face it, if Viola doesn’t take home Best Supporting Actress this year we’re done watching the Oscars. But, let’s not forget about Fences’ other big supporting star: Viola’s iconic snot.

Best Eyeballs goes to…. Emma Stone, La La Land!

We’re big fans of Emma and all she did this year, and we sincerely think she’s deserving of a Best Actress golden statue. But that’s mostly because her eyes pierced our souls throughout Damien Chazelle’s film – they were so big, so controlled, and so breathtakingly bulbous.

Best Scene goes to… J.J. Totah, Other People!

Chris Kelly’s Other People flew somewhat under the radar this Oscar season, but it was a truly fantastic film, and J.J. Totah’s dance scene halfway through was the funniest, most powerful, inspired performance of the year in our opinion.

Best Style Onscreen goes to… Tilda Swinton, A Bigger Splash!

While we thought the film was self-indulgent and, frankly, boring, Tilda’s fashion in every scene was legendary, architectural, and, in true Swinton form, weirdly angular.

Best Hero goes to… Felicity Jones, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!

Star Wars is really impressing us with its production of a super successful spinoff film – and that’s in large part thanks to the funny, complex, troubled, and valiant Felicity Jones.

Best Character goes to… Alex Hibbert/ Ashton Sanders/ Trevante Rhodes as Little/ Chiron/ Black, Moonlight!

Moonlight absolutely needs to win Best Picture this year, and that’s thanks to the incredibly thoughtful, complex, and daring writing of the film’s main character, portrayed over three time periods by three incredible actors.

Best Tween Heartthrobs in a Life or Death Situation goes to… Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, Nerve!

Don’t judge – Nerve was honestly kind of fun to watch. And both its leads were silly and sensational.

Best Cast goes to… Zootopia!

Zootopia was really good. No further questions at this time.

Best Appearance of Natalie Portman goes to… Natalie Portman, Jackie!

Natalie really wows us every time, and so here is her annual award.

Best Person Not in a Film This Year goes to… Rihanna!

She’s just so cool. And ANTI deserved way more Grammys love.


There you have it! The real winners this year. Tune in to the Oscars this Sunday at 7 PM EST for less prestigious categories.


Landeros New York Spills on the Intersection of Fashion, Gender, and Politics (Interview)

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Photo by Eric White

Among the NYFW standout shows this season was Landeros New York’s Fall ’17 Ready-to-Weat presentation, which was a refreshingly daring, genderless collection unafraid to shirk traditional binary silhouettes entirely in favor of a chic, architectural, sexually charged androgynous line made up of beautiful leathers, wools, and furs. We sat down with head designer Andre Landeros Michel to talk about the collection and his swift rise to the forefront of boundary-pushing fashion.

What prompted the journey from accessory designer for Ladyfag’s popup to designing your own fully fledged collection?

From the inception of the house, my ambition has been to create a full collection and to show during New York Fashion Week. Accessories seemed like a great place to start and what better place than POPSOUK with its New York underground nightlife roots? Nightlife and the underground have been a formative part of my life for years. In short, LadyFag’s PopSouk has been — and continues to be — a great platform for the collection.

What’s the inspo behind the collection? I’m seeing French club kid-meets-Mapplethorpe-meets-The Matrix vibes.

For this collection, I took inspiration from a multitude of musical and cinematic referents, including the underground New Wave and goth/punk music scenes from the 1980s, as well as the film Rosemary’s Baby. I was also inspired by the occult — and early 20th-century séances. As far as muses, the late front man Pete Burns of the band Dead or Alive figures heavily in this collection, as does Siouxsie of Siouxsie & The Banshees.
Photo: Eric White

Fashion as it fits into politics and the current climate?

Certainly, politics figure into fashion — as we witnessed throughout the collections at this year’s New York Fashion Week A/W 17. My preference, however, is to offer an escape, and, thereby, to enable the collection to transcend a particular situation.  I like to imagine the collection as a kind of reverie or dream-state that drifts above the quotidian.

How does fashion work as an expression of gender to you?

Personally, I don’t believe that a skirted man is necessarily less masculine than a man in pants. For example, most of us don’t regard a woman in a three-piece suit as masculine. Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo, which has traditionally been male attire, looks tremendously sexual. For Landeros New York, we’ve adopted silhouettes that, historically, have been labeled male or female — and, instead, we’ve given both of them a level playing field. Gender stems from within; we like to present the entire sartorial spectrum without limitations.
Photo by Eric White

Fabrics used?

Leather, PVC, metallic wool, double-faced cashmeres, silk organza, silver fox.