Contact: Leanne Stella
Art In FLUX Harlem presents SOUL & VIBE
Opens November 6, 6-9pm at Scratch DJ Academy
New York, NY – October 17, 2013 – The seven artists in SOUL & VIBE -- Margaret Rose Vendryes, Walter Lobyn Hamilton, Linus Coriaggio, Ruben Natal San Miguel, Anthony J. Thomas, Daren Chambers & Lance Johnson -- use music, vibrations, and textures to depict the energy each feels from very personal emotions connecting to bigger socio-political struggles. SOUL & VIBE opens on November 6, 6-9pm, at Scratch DJ Academy, 32 Cooper Square, 2nd floor, NYC.
the energy of life existing in all beings
a distinctive emotional atmosphere; sensed intuitively
The commonalities between these artists are texturally apparent at first glance, with likeness in both their composition and visual kinetic energy. These artists share an unavoidable responsibility, to bestow on the observer, their perspectives, initiatives, and beliefs; prompting discussions about politics, social behaviors, and societal dilemmas. Employing mediums and hues to melodically build their expression, it is not surprising that most of them have chosen musical figures as part of their several muses. These works provoke visual empathy of social plight, with an energetic strength.
Margaret Rose Vendryes addresses the question of “what is female beauty as it pertains to black women?” She struggled with how to make an object that is beautiful but still a reflection of black female beauty and find a way to connect that to Africa. Each large square canvas in “The African Diva Project” series is modeled after a 12" LP cover featuring a full- figure portrait of a popular black female soloist. Each diva wears an African mask chosen for its character and/or aesthetic compatibility to her image, painted on paper, and applied to the canvas in the place of her face. In Africa, masks often depicting powerful female deities are worn almost exclusively by men. The feeling in Africa is that a woman could not carry the weight of these powerful deities. Margaret returns the power to the women by giving the mask back to these dynamic female performers. The mask transforms them and makes them extremely powerful figures. Songs... messages that once rose out of vinyl channels, like black magic, are inscribed in the space that surrounds them.
Like Margaret, Walter Lobyn Hamilton also draws directly from the vinyl record but uses it as a crucial element to resurrect both political activists and musical icons he grew up listening to, who share similar perspectives with each other. “There is an unspoken bond between the record and vinyl owner. From the smell of the cover on the LP to the gentle needle setting on the groove, playing vinyl is quite sacred and ritualistic.” A statement of serenity from an artist who discovered his medium after smashing some of his prized LPs on the floor in a moment of despair. Walter transitioned from DJ to visual artist and the vinyl comes alive in a new way.
“I’d like to weld a hundred missiles into a ferris wheel,” says Linus Coraggio. A renegade and rebel, in the 80’s Linus galvanized a sculpture group known as the "Rivington School" that created massive junk sculpture installations on the Lower East Side from 1985 to 1997. Linus prefers to contradict all conventional use of materials, construction and display creating a new urban landscape. One of his unconventional installations can be seen around the corner from the DJ Academy at Barbiere Fine Grooming Salon, 246 E. 5th Street.
Ruben Natal San Miguel photographs upper Manhattan saving small swatches of the community that are slipping away. He feels an obligation to immortalize people and places that need saving. But the fear of losing iconic spaces like Lenox Lounge or drummers being chased off the street is shocking to this artist who hails from Arecibo, Puerto Rico and adopted Harlem, an international community in its own right, as his home over 12 years ago. “I explore the understanding of life itself and my participation in it” states Ruben. “Converting transient moments of profound meaning into abiding beings exalts my spirit mightily, getting me closer to contemplate the justification of the whole cosmos.”
Each element of the deeply textural painting by Anthony J. Thomas from his “AfricaInAmerica” series significantly represents the soul of the African-American male, the character that carries him from day to day. Thomas speaks on the composition and the materials used as testimonies of crisis. The eleven stripes represent eleven impoverished, dangerous and predominantly African-American cities in the US, researched during the artist's study in 2012: Detroit, New Orleans, Missouri, Memphis, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C, New York, Pittsburgh, Houston and Montgomery. Each of these cities in the 1920's were predominately known for innovations in jazz, textile and industry prompting the use of the mediums chosen.
Daren Chambers and Lance Johnson, two young artists who coincidentally both grew up in the Bronx each have their own style of texturizing and layering and both incorporate music, politics, and the rhythm of every day life to create urban landscapes that surge with energy and depict street culture and musical nostalgia. These two artists sort of mirror each other in the frenetic composition of their work.
WHAT: SOUL & VIBE, pop-up art exhibit and sale
WHO Featured Artists: Margaret Rose Vendryes, Walter Lobyn Hamilton, Anthony J. Thomas, Ruben Natal San Miguel, Linus Corriagio, Daren Chambers & Lance Johnson
OPENING: Reception sponsored by Papi Wines on NOV. 6, 6:00 to 9:00pm
RSVP: 646-340-3479 or
WHEN: November 6, 2013 through January 3, 2014 by appointment
WHERE: SCRATCH DJ Academy, 32 Cooper Square, 2nd FLR, NYC
Scratch DJ Academy, co-founded in 2002 by Rob Principe and the late Jam Master Jay of the legendary group Run DMC, teaches over 50,000 people annually from all 50 states and 35 countries at its four flagship locations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. With its affordable copyrighted curriculum, affordable prices and flexible schedules, Scratch DJ Academy is the worldwide leader in DJ and Music Production education.
Art In FLUX Harlem is a movement of artists appearing in Pop-Up art galleries featuring special events and creative collaborations with theatre, film, music, and fashion industries. FLUX highlights and creates opportunity for artists living and/or working in Harlem, brings art into public spaces, creates a positive use for vacant retail locations and other underutilized spaces, stimulating a vibrant neighborhood merging art, commerce and community