The New York Times’ T Magazine takes a look inside of today’s most popular artists, showing how their personal art collections connections with their personality.
KAWS’ lonely “Companion” figure is informed by the absurd, folksy drawings of R. Crumb and the mystic, psychedelic illustrations of Tadanori Yokoo. “I’m like a cat lady, but with drawings and paintings,” says Brian Donnelly, the 39-year-old artist known as KAWS.
Jeff Koons’ large balloon-esque steel sculptures work may seem innately childish, yet are somehow based in more sexual work by Picasso and Magritte. “I think art is about transcendence and consciousness, making connections to things in the world,” Koons says.
IM WATCHING THIS AND I UNDERSTAND WHAT MAINO IS SAYING BUT !! NEW YORK DIDN’T BECOME WHAT IT WAS THROUGH JUST MUSIC,IT USE TO BE THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THAT CITY,THAT FELT LIKE IF I MISSED IT, I WAS HINDERING MY CAREAR.THE BELIEF IN THEIR ON FRESH IS WHATS MISSING TO ME .I FEEL I CAN SPEAK ON THIS BECAUSE,I BEEN THERE THROUGH ALL OF THIS,BACK WHEN I SIGNED THIS ARTIST NAMED JASON FOXX HIS SONG WAS CALLED “AUNT JACKIE”HARLEM HAD STARTED RECREATING NEW YORK DOING NEW YORK,I SAW IT AND WANTED TO BE A PART OF IT, THE DIFFERENCE HERE AND ATL IS THAT SINCE IT WAS THE YOUNGINS DOING IT,THE OLDER MORE LYRICAL GUYS WERE’NT FUCKING WITH IT, AROUND THIS TIME IS WHEN LIL MOMMA GOT HOT,WEBSTAR WAS KILLING IT WITH “CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP” AND RON BROWZ WAS DOING BASICALLY THE SAME THING DJ MUSTARD IS DOING ON THE WEST,THE ONLY SMART PERSON THAT JUMPED ON THIS WAVE,WAS JIMMY AND HE GOT A BIG HIT!! “POP CHAMPAIGN” BECAME BIGGER THAN THE RECORDS THAT STARTED THE MOVEMENT,
ME PERSONALLY I DONT THINK NEW YORK HAS EVER HAD ONE SOUND,ITS ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT PEOPLE BELIEVING IN THEIR FRESH,WHEN JAH WAS SMOKING, JAY-Z AND ROCAFELLA STUCK TO WHAT THEY WERE DOING,THESE YOUNGER GUYS GOTTA START IT AND PUSH IT, WITH EVERYTHING THEY GOT AND NOT PAY ATTENTION TO WHATS GOING ON IN ATL OR MIAMI UNTIL THEY GET THEIR SURROUNDINGS RIGHT
By Phil Gallo, Los Angeles
Culturally resonant singles received their due in the nominations for the 56th annual Grammy Awards as songs and artists that dominated radio airplay, streaming and social media were represented in the four major categories.
In selecting Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” (2.9 million sold), Lorde’s “Royals” (3.8 million) and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (6.3 million) as record of the year candidates, the Recording Academy’s nominations revealed a newfound love of not just pop music, but the pinnacle of popular pop music. Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” heavily licensed for advertising and video games prior to becoming a single 13 months ago, was as ubiquitous as the other tracks, selling 5.25 million this year, the third highest figure in 2013. All sales figures, compiled by Soundscan, are through Dec. 1.
Song of the year is equally full of significant sellers as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love” is the only nominee not in the Soundscan top 10 of sales for the year. It stands out as the Academy’s bravest choice in the four general categories, the selection of an anthem that pushes for equality and understanding in sexual orientation over a track that celebrates buying used clothing. (The duo performed “Thrift Shop” at the nominations concert on Dec. 6; it is nominated for rap performance).
After a few years of the top four categories looking like mandated genre diversity, the 56th edition of the awards has taken a breather from that tendency. Kendrick Lamar and Sara Bareilles are surprise nominees in the album category – pundits projected Justin Timberlake’s “20/20 Experience” as a shoo-in – and for some they represent a step away from the mainstream represented in the song and record categories. Still, their records and Taylor Swift’s “Red” are as geared toward the pop marketplace as “Blurred Lines” or Katy Perry. After several years of slipping country stars into the general categories, the Academy passed on honoring the acts that defined the year out of Nashville, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Blake Shelton.
Diversity does still exist among the candidates in the big four categories, but it’s more career path than genre. On one side are those who have worked wholly within the label system and are reaping the benefits a major can provide –Imagine Dragons, Swift, Mars, Perry and Thicke. On the other side are those who followed the now-metaphorical “sell the records out of the trunk of your car” path – Lamar, Macklemore and best new artist nominee Kacey Musgraves. There is less of a middle ground than ever before, perhaps owing to the lack of an elder statesman or an artist with a substantial history but few hit singles. (Last year that would have been the Black Keys and Jack White).
It’s a rare year that the list of artists with the most nominations is dominated with people who work in a single area. With Jay Z (tops with nine nominations), Lamar, Macklemore, Lewis, Pharrell Williams, Timberlake and Drake topping the leader board, it appears the Academy is declaring this a strong year for commercial hip-hop and R&B. Daft Punk, with four, and Black Sabbath with three skew the male side of things older.
It gets creakier in the rock categories where the nominations suggest that only AARP-eligible artists could qualify. And it’s not that rock music is no longer being done well by younger acts — the alternative music album category is a superb reflection of the last year in edgy rock music, with albums by acts likely to appear in numerous critics polls (Vampire Weekend, the National, Neko Case).
The top females — Lorde, Musgraves and Swift – have four each. Collectively, they represent youth in a way that the male artists do not; each made an album that challenged notions and expectations about genres and gender, creating worksthat stimulate anticipation for their follow-ups. The Grammy nominations suggest those three artists are peerless at this point in time, nominating them for songwriting, performances and albums. None of them have bulked-up stats from guest appearances.
Grammy nominations are always greeted with carping and it’s likely to be focused on the Timberlake omission in the general categories. That’s overlooking the fact that Timberlake is actually being honored in a way that’s unique – his seven nominations are spread across the pop, R&B, rap and music video fields, a sign that he is a superstar with a broader reach than just about anyone else making music today. That alone is a rare achievement, one that deserves celebration on its own.
Getting better doesn’t stop because it’s getting colder. The best athletes don’t just overcome the elements, they embrace them with Nike Hyperwarm.
Ghostface Killah is the latest rapper to join a season of VH1′s reality series, Couples Therapy.