Saturday, December 21, 2013

Fish and Chips Pt. 1

peace all, been a long time since blogging about things going on, but felt this one had to land on my blog. This year's been very interesting for me and my art. What looked like a great first half of the year came to a halt, beginning with being laid off from a contract because of complaints. What were the complaints? Wasn't told to me nor the agency, but one look at me and my beard and what I represent, and there is no need for more questions. Discrimination is rearing it's ugly head, or should I say becoming more obvious is this colorblind, multicultural society of different beliefs, ethnicities, and other walks of life...I can't believe I actually said such a thing without getting sick.

 I took a long hiatus from a lot of things, especially art, until I decided to come back stronger than before, I created a couple of pieces and submitted them to a juried art exhibit that I felt was liberal and open to ideas and subjects, especially since they feigned interest in showing my last work, Portrait of My Hood, which depicted the marginalization of inner city residents, neglecting their needs for a decent quaility of life, and setting them up for gentrification, among other heinous crimes of humanity, but I guess being Black or people of color in general is still not a real concern for America, huh? This gallery, which moved to another location in North Dallas, held another exhibit in which they entitled CONTAINED, and claimed that they didn't mind loose interpretations of containment. Well, seeing that they seemed to love my work, I hit 'em with two blows to the head, entitled Complex I and Ghetto Ingredients, the latter can be seen on my website as a featured piece by clicking HERE.

Complex I deals with inferiority complexes among African Americans, and it's manifestations of self-hatred , which is a by product of institutionalized racism from all aspects of American society, and to cap it off, in the background is the symbol from the controversial bestseller The Bell Curve, which I won't go into it's own critique at this momemt. Recently I have discovered that some people have attempted to give it the name Colorism, because it deals within the African American race. However when one fully researches the issue, it appears to be a misnomer, placing the blame solely on African Americans, omitting the root cause of the problem, which is racism, supplying misleading information by mentioning slavery as the root cause, and giving a false impression that slavery is over, and therefore the lingering "colorism" that is displayed in African Americans is another form of proof of Blacks' supposed "intellectual inferiority" and lack of reasoning. I wanna take this time out to thank Oprah Winfrey and others who propogate this nonsense in an effort to stay away from truly holding those person/s/entities responsible for the pathological brainwashing of people of color.

Well any, back to the subject at hand...I received a letter of rejection from the gallery, which put it so lovely that while they enjoyed my work, it just didn't make the cut...oh ducky... I kinda figured that since this gallery was moving to another area inside of a mall which renovated it's second floor and rented many floors to artists as "studios" the subject matter would be mainly escapism, which is the word of the day in the art world. Unfortunately this would be the same word for African American artists too, as I have also discovered in my travails this year into the art world. But I take it all in stride...God(Allah) is still in control....Part 2 later...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message

Who can say these artists' aren't relevant?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Madness Video 1 - Fort Worth, TX

BLACK EYE FRIDAY IS IN FULL EFFECT!!!  Check out this video...This is near my hometown...Peace out y'all...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Shutdowns, Breakdowns and Meltdowns (Part 2)

peace all, I was contemplating whether or not to continue this blog over the weekend, however things happen that sorta leave you in a state of getting it out there sooner than later. Faced with constant letdowns(which probably should be included in my blog title), it looks like another letdown is coming up soon, as events and exhibits keep coming thru with opportunities to exhibit my work, yet due to a lack of funds to pay for entry fees, looks like I'll be out of these exhibits, which seemed to be promising to say the least. The theme of one such event was Thinking INSIDE the box, rather than outside the box, which defined the theme as anything that contains, holds, or traps and so on...What an excellent opportunity to showcase my work, especially my ongoing Lifestyles of the Ignored Series, or so I thought...Looks like I'm not going to meet the deadline for that exhibit nor the TVAA Exhibit in November, which the theme is collage, something I'm really getting into, plus I has a piece entitled Blood, Sweat and Mostly Tears that I wanted to present there, seeing that it's a big hit over in my area, focusing on events surrounding the community, where the poor(like me) are faced with ever-fading job opportunities to take care of themselves in a decent fashion, yet finding the most ridiculous advertisments in the so-called Employment guides calling for people with mental illnesses and domestic issues to offer themselves up for research, and being compensated(or so they say) for their participation. Oh well...
So here I sit in front of my computer, listening to some beats I made and checking the employment ads again to see who can I send my resume to, so they can call and feign interest in my services, until the next discrepancy shows up on my resume, like the lack of employment in the last 3 years...Uhh ruh, if nobody hires you, what do you do?
Which leads me to another subject I wanted to touch on, this crap about the government shutting down over issues like Obamacare, or I'm sorry, Affordable Health Care....People are up in arms about this, but I gotta question...If you have no money, or not enough to cover your basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter, how does supposed affordable health care help you? You gotta take your hat off to these corporations who continually find a way to trick people, and we continue to suck it all up. Now I'm being hit with mailers from this insurance group and that insurance group, as if I can AFFORD affordable health care...oh poor folks knew what this shutdown was about to begin with, along with the supposed clinics and doctors shutting down their operations...Poor people and especially people of color have always been a pain in the side for most of the medical industry...seems to them like our color of our skin and/or social status is a clear indication of our supposed inferiority....y'all remember that book entitled "The Bell Curve"? Saw a billboard last week stating TEXAS LAW REQUIRES college students to take a meningitis vaccine...It never ends does it? The Lifestyles of the Ignored continues... until next time.....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Shutdowns, Breakdowns and Meltdowns (Part 1)

Peace all, Writing this blog from a personal standpoint can be therapeutic at times, and sometimes it can become more of a hindrance than good. It really depends on the mood that I'm in, which has been shifting constantly in the past few months. What started out as good and promising has turned completely upside down, and my mood changes have become more obvious than ever, and so has my language. Obviously something is not the same with me. Right now I'm sitting on the floor of the library, which has now become a familiar spot with me, multitasking as usual, not being able to get a single task done. I used to think that my lack of concentration or lack of focusing on getting one task done was due to my scatterbug nature. That was until a couple of weeks ago I was looking up an issue on the interest regarding depression and anxiety. Once I read the symptoms, I stopped wondering about the other person and started looking at myself. It's no secret that I've suffered from depression, especially when one reads previous posts I've written in the past, especially in regards to some of the escapades I've experienced in the high stress call center environment, however I did not realize what I was doing was due to a depressing state. I thought I had it managed pretty well ya know? Whenever I became depressed I would find myself walking throughout the neighborhood, sometimes equipped with my headphones and MP3 player and sometimes not, only to come back home somewhat refreshed, but it's reached epic proportions now. It came to a head this past July while doing contract work for a company. I was helping to move computers and networking hardware, not harming anyone at anytime, thinking that after working a couple of weeks here I could earn a nice amount of money to hold me down until something more permanent or more lasting comes along. Things didn't look so promising after the first couple of days as the two men who headed the project were behind in their duties, leaving the contractors with very little to do the first couple of days, so we were made to leave early. On the following Wednesday, I received word that my services would no longer be needed, as I was told that a couple of people complained about me, but he would not go into detail about the nature of the complaint. In reality he didn't have to, I've been discriminated and profiled against too many times to act like I don't know the reasons why I'm being treated in such fashion. The funny thing was although I was told some people complained against me, the agency I worked for was not told such things, only don't send me back to the site. I immediatedly told the recruiter what I feel was the issue, and I explained that I'm Muslim and I do have a full beard, but that in no way has been or will be a detriment to my work ethic or my reputation as a honest, law abiding citizen. Being African American and Muslim has given me the upclose opportunity to see first hand how ignorance and racism has and will continue to pull this country down, while it's citizens point fingers everywhere except the right places to hold the right people accountable, meanwhile people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds continue to suffer at the hands of someone else's stupidity. It hasn't stopped there. This discrimination has taken on new forms, such as an agency calling me a couple of weeks inquiring, or should I say profiling me about a position I had applied for. The recruiter seemed pleased with my resume, and then came the questions. NOPE, no felonies, no default on a college loan(although I fail to see how this should affect my status as one who is capable of troubleshooting computer equipment in the first place), no bad credit, except in the area of having a car repossessed three years ago, as a result of losing my job, making me unable to continue to pay on my poverty becomes a punishment now huh? So now poverty is a character flaw instead of a socio-economic issue huh? One that renders the person into a caste of those who can't cut it? So much for the land of opportunity, huh? And they wonder why people go illegal? Matter of fact, I don't even think they even wonder about that, especially when conditions are created by these scavengers and parasites that leave those on the outskirts of society, scrappin' and scrapin' just trying to break even...They just feign concern...they don't really care... I'll continue this later....Peace

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Things Done Changed...Or Have They?

Peace all,

Had a few things to blog about on tap, including my thoughts on such events as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and all of the hoopla behind it, as well as the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and the impending war on Syria. These things have a profound effect on me, being African-American and Muslim, and recently experiencing discrimination once again which left me with a lot of questions about life in general. But I won't go into specifics now, as usual I like to wait until the hullabaloo dies down, and then dig right into it, seeing that when people are in an emotional frenzy, rationale usually goes out the door. But I've found a few gems I felt I wanted to share. Hope to hit y'all up later...Peace

Saturday, July 13, 2013

...seasons change

Peace all,

Summer's kicked off, and where am I you may ask? Well I'm up north, but only for a couple of days though. But it is a different atmosphere than in Dallas, especially with it being the month of Ramadhan, the holy month of fasting for the Muslims. When I got here I figured that I would not fast during my brief stay due to the travelling, but felt that well, maybe I would try Saturday, since it would be a full day. The biggest difference is that here sunrise begins around 3:30 AM!!!! So that's like an hour and a half difference as opposed to Dallas were it begins after 5AM. With that said, I missed my pre-fasting meal, and with the lack of sleep preparing for this trip, I decided that I will resume after I get back. I wish I could stay much longer,  I saw some excellent shots that I could've used, but my batteries needed recharging. waaah waah waaaaaaah.... Hopefully I'll be able to take some shots before I leave, but I have priorities back home...Maybe sometimes soon.

But before I left, I completed a display at my local library containing a few piece I'd finished, plus an additional piece I finished a day before leaving. The entire display is entitled Portraits of My Neighborhood, depicting the scenes that I see and wish to talk about in my area in Southeastern Dallas.

 The piece on the upper left hand is part of my Complex series, dealing with inferiority complexes in the African American communities, especially among color and class. Usually these talks are taboo in our neck of the woods, but somebody's gotta open up the discussions. It's touchy, but very needed that we get an honest discussion about internal issues as well, that is IF we want to grow and progress. Too many times people fall into the old mode of blaming those who did not follow the footsteps of the civil rights movement as the reason why Blacks are still behind in the social structures of America, but fail to look at the WHOLE picture.
 This was the first piece I did, I entitled it specifically Portrait of My Hood, which I exhibited in June's Uncensored exhibit at the Art Hotel, which resided in Downtown Dallas before their recent move to the Gallery at Midtown, in Valley View Mall. This piece has a collage on the sides, which depicted the many aspects in my area, from the lottery tickets, to condom boxes, cigar wrappers, and what have you. The collage on the bottom was my thinking, to give display a little ambience. I was a little hesitant you know, seeing that I was exhibiting things of a more mature theme, but after you see how the youth are behaving, I thought of it as a necessity to point out a few things. The other picture on the right was done in late 2012, where I used sgraffito with oil pastels. Came out nice, I think.

This piece on the right I finished it shortly before Thursday, as a complement to the other portrait, however I was unable to add any collage to it, due to the texture that I constructed on the piece, which didn't allow the pieces to stick consistently, so I just left it as it was.

So overall it's been a very interesting weekend, and it's looking up. On the downside one of my biggest and best supporters from the Highland Hills Library branch will be leaving, she'll be reassigned to another library, where she's making connections to have my work exhibited there as well. At least she'll be present for my project with the youth on July 27th. Ms. Almetta Russell has been very instrumental with my progression as a community artist, along with Ms. Letissa Milburn. They have both been in the trenches as far as the Dallas library branch is concerned, trying to get my work exposed through those channels. It's not easy being from my area, trying to break into certain arenas and bring a voice from the other side. But they've supported me, and I support my area to the fullest....This is just the beginning....

Reporting Live From Edgeville......PEACE OUT!!!

Good Night all....

UPDATE: This blog was finished a few hours before the unsurprising verdict of George Zimmerman was handed down. My heart goes out to the Martin family or any family for that matter, but this was not a surprise in the least. At least for me it wasn't. I won't go into a long drawn out tangible over something that didn't surprise me in the least. If you've followed my blog you will know that I have put out articles from Democracy Now about the murders of the Sikhs in their temple, along with Kenneth Chamberlain, and the injustice he received, so it's no surprise that racism rears its' ugly head again, and reason goes out the window. I'm just surprised that a nation who continues to brag and boast about its intellectual prowess can't seem to figure out what type of crash course it's headed towards....oh well...some people gotta learn the hard way....peace out and THINK! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sum-ma Sum-ma Summahtime!!! (Scenes from the Uncensored Exhibit)

Had a great time at the Art Hotel's Uncensored Exhibit in Downtown Dallas on June 15th. Saw some amazing work, also received news that the gallery is moving from its Downtown location and heading up north to the Gallery at Midtown at Valley View Mall. Kinda saddened in a way, but happy for them, especially because there will be more space for them(and me too!) to exhibit their work, and plus being in the mall will give them a bigger presence, especially since the Gallery at Midtown holds an artwalk every third Saturday of the month.  I tried submitting my work to the gallery about a month ago, but ran into some difficulties. Hope this move will work out for them.
Some people(like me) took a lot of shots that night, although for viewer discretion, I didn't include any of the mature themes in this blog. Guess you had to be there to see it. The piece on the wall was done by Sharon Neal Bagley, one of the co-ops at the gallery. Couldn't take separate pics of the piece, so I got it all in one shot. Please excuse the lady taking

This is another interesting piece by Rita Barnard, entitled Ball of Confusion, a piece that also contained a book made by her describing the inspiration behind the piece. She had a lot of questions, especially after her only sister died of cancer. This made her question a lot of things in life, and she also offered viewers to add their own questions.

Artist Samantha McNulty created these two exciting pieces called Escape. They were done with screenprint and other mediums. This gave me some ideas about some things I am working on, especially with the screenprint.

This was a nice piece about Bob Dylan. I can't remember who the artist is who created it, but they also included some 3D glasses, to give it a certain feel when you look at it. I didn't try it out though.

This is my piece Hardwired 101, which is a look into addiction. I want to get the people to start looking at addiction in an emphathetic way, instead of casting judgement on people for either becoming addicted or not rehabilitating as quick as we would like for them to.  I'm pleased with the outcome, but I want to do more, and increase the scale.

Another patron looking at my second entry entitled Portrait of My Hood. This piece gathered alot of attention and compliments for the theme and styling. The sides of the canvas have collage ranging from lotto tickets to condom boxes, depicting scenes and thoughts about the area I live.

I enjoyed this piece as well, although the name and the artist escapes me. My sincerest apologies to the artist.

This is one of the funniest and best pieces there. It's an assemblage entitled The Nut Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree. It's filled with some of the most peculiar statements that former President George W. Bush made while in office. The one that got me was the statement that he wanted to shake the hand of the brave Iraqi who had his hands cut off. I'm still tripping over that one.

Overall is was a great event, and what a way to cap off a great first half of the year artwise for the Q. I was blessed to participate in 4 shows, two at the TVAA Gallery earlier in the year, the TVAA New Members and the Wildness of Nature exhibits, and two with the Art Hotel Collective's exhibits The Whole Enchilada and Uncensored. Not bad for someone who basic is not known in the art scene. I had hoped that my work would be considered for the New Texas Talent show at the Craighead Green Gallery, but that looks bleak. Am I down? Honestly, yes, but not too down.  I've enjoyed the openings I've crashed at the Continental Gin Studios, Waleed Arshad, Jamaal Stafford, Kijana Martin, Janice Thacker, Jerome Bolden, and others that I've had the privilege to meet and greet and share infomation. I may take a break from it all, especially in getting ready for Ramadhan, the Islamic month of fasting, which should start in July, but I do have a community program in late July, where I will be helping the youth in creating collages.  Hopefully I can resurface in late August, when the Art Hotel Collective opens up at the Gallery in Midtown...who knows? Take care all...


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yeah...I'm Here....(Hardwired 101)

peace all....Been a while but I've been busy, that's all I can say at the moment...LOL....Anyway I want to briefly mention a show this upcoming Saturday in Downtown Dallas that I'm exhibiting two pieces in...the name of the exhibit is UNCENSORED...oooooooh....that's all I can say on that note.

This gives me a chance to touch up on some issues that's been kicking my head around, and I finally found an avenue to let it all loose...Now that's not saying that I don't feel comfortable with the TVAA Gallery in Downtown Dallas, but as I stated in an earlier post that you do have to know your audience when you venture into certain galleries, for everyone has different tastes, along with different limits, and I have no problem at all with that. While submitting my pieces at the gallery, I got a glimpse at a couple of pieces from other artists...I began to wonder if I should even participate because of some of the subject matter that were present. Truth is although the exhibit is uncensored, I do keep a personal censorship in what I present, for reasons I won't go into detail here. But after thinking about what I could represent here, I wanted to be there even more. My work which comes from personal/firsthand accounts, along with other things I've read or was told, is more geared with the struggles of the common human, especially from my neck of the woods, which I call Edgeville. At any time in my area I can be hit up for anything from food, money, even bus passes. One on the weirdest incidents came from a person who asked me for money for gas for his car. He's in a car, I'm walking, but he's asking me for gas money. Then he gets mad when I explain I don't have money. Beginning to think this consistent begging for things is more psychological than anything. I mean I believe that many people who panhandle are doing so out of panic of the mere mentioning of a KRMNL economy. But I guess if you're trained to think that these people had your best interest in heart, I can understand why the sudden panic when it becomes apparent that they can care less....

This is an excerpt of a work that will be presented at the exhibit entitled Hardwired 101...It's an introductory look at addiction of all sorts. It's a 20 x 20 piece that I can say I loved working on, but after looking at it, I wanted to increase the size...God Willing I will be looking into making an even larger piece. I can't get all that I wanted into the piece, so it encourages me to make more pieces centering around this topic. Hence the 101...This is just the beginning, God Willing...

There's another piece entitled Portrait of My Hood, but I don't think pictures will even justify that one...I may post it though...

It's going to be interesting though...that's all I can say....Yeah...I'm Here....Deal with it....

Salaams and Good Evening....

Brother Ali - Work Everyday

Friday, May 24, 2013

Act ONE!!!!

Peace all!!! Working on this blog thingy again...took a lot of pictures of several exhibits I went to, but since this iiiiiissssss myyyyy blog, why not start off with a shameless plug?

This past weekend I participated in a showing at the Art Hotel Collective in Downtown Dallas. The name of the exhibit was entitled The Whole Enchilada, which allowed artists to submit up to two pieces of work not having any particular theme or subject matter in mind, just let it fly. SOOO, being the opportunist that I am, I took advantage to introduce another section of Downtown Dallas to the skillset. The two pieces I submitted were actually shown at the TVAA Gallery earlier this year, entitled Waiting and This Feeling, but that was to a different crowd. Having to understand who frequents what particular galleries is very essential when choosing which work you wish to exhibit.

It seemed to have really caught on here at the Art Hotel, where many artists as well as enthusiasts were gazing at the work, especially the one entitled This Feeling, which is made from oil pastels and Micaceous Iron Oxide, which helped give the canvas that dark, gritty texture.

When I entered I noticed people were looking at the work, and I wanted to see their natural reactions, which is best, so I went in incognito, but I was informed that I had to wear a tag, since I was one of the participating artists....DRATS!  

All in all, the results and the comments were very positing and I look forward to tomorrow's second showing....

More later....Take care!

Thursday, May 16, 2013 all comes together....

Peace all,

Busy month...all I can say...but hoping I can get back into the swing of things online reeeeeeeel soooon.

But I have been making treks and inroads on the local scene, which has been taking up most of my time, along with researching things from art to politics and art and politricks and....oh my...forget the dog, a library is my best friend! Recently I've checked out a few DVD's regarding modern art, and starting to get the hang of it...but that Coalaca piece don't work for me. For those that don't know Coalaca is a Spanish word(if my memory is working) meaning "toilet". This artist makes this sculpture out of washers and sinks, and it's rigged to actually take the food sent into the drain to come out as excrement...Yeah, real live crap! What's more people are pricing and collecting CRAP!!! People sure can test the waters can they?

Anyway, all in all I got some good insight on these videos, and now with a little money(heh heh) I can really get some things cooking!

...Gotta show some work to a fellow artist who works at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center tomorrow...working on an exhibit hopefully next year...Keep ya posted!

Then I have a couple of pieces showing at the Art Hotel in Downtown's a group showing...hope to have more pics on hand for that one! Lemme get outta here because I'm hungry! Peace out!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Onto The Next Adventure

Peace all...

Been having mucho problems with internet, even in the library. Can't upload pictures like I wanted to for some strange reason....Anyway....

The Wildness of Nature Exhibit at the TVAA Gallery is over, and I've picked up my pieces, only to find that my local library wanted to exhibit a couple of my pictures. Hey, no problemo...

So two of the pieces, Butterfly and Taken For Granted are now showing at the Highland Hills Library, and now the library wants to show any other pictures that gives a "springlike" vibe, so I'm in the process of concocting a couple more pieces. I'm very grateful for their support, and I'm praying to get the chance to do another exhibit there SOON!!! I'm working on a subject matter, I'm just praying that I can get some space to get to work, because now the scale of my pieces are increasing, which I wanted to do in the first place. I love the small pieces, but it's time to enlarge my work.

Don't get me wrong, I love doing nature works, and want to do some still life pics in the near future, but right now I'm chomping at the bits to get back to my long standing work. It helps me stay grounded.

I love the Texas Visual Artists Association gallery because they change up themes monthly, and that keeps me on my toes, and gives me a chance to expand. But I have no works to show in the next two months at the gallery, one reason was the April exhibit had an expiration date in February that I overlooked, and the May exhibit is a private that gives me two months to wreak havoc around the art districts. I'm targeting the Deep Ellum Arts Festival this weekend, God Willing...

Until next time, take care....oh by the way, check out the new website WWW.QARTWORKS.COM!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Q crashes da gallery!

Peace all...had a great weekend crashing the South Dallas Cultural Center's opening. This opening featured two amazing women artists, Janice Thacker and Kijana Martin, who lives in the DFW area. This being women's month we were served with a double dose of thought provoking art. Janice Thacker, whom I met a couple of years ago, has some of the most amazing acrylic paintings, where the people are outlined in markers, as she described to me in the first meeting. She also has some great work with poetry included about the struggles and tribulations from slavery. I hope to go back and photograph some of those pics asap.

I met Kijana Martin at the reception, and the picture that caught my attention is a two piece presentation centering around the death of Cicely Bolden, a young lady who lived in my area who was murdered last year after telling her lover after having sex with him that she had the AIDS virus. She leaves behind two small children, and this tragedy has a lot of twists and turns included, however Ms. Martin wanted to touch on the subject of tragedy, but also learning the lessons, accountability of one's own actions, and making choices that maybe can prevent future tragedies from occurring. The second part is entitled Shattered, giving the viewer an opportunity to look at a broken mirror, which shows how making the wrong choices can destroy dreams and lives. I went home thinking about this piece especially, and hopefully in the near future, I'm going to find a way to present it in maybe a joint exhibit, or whatever. The most important part of thought provoking art is to get it out there and start dialogue.

Originally I intended to crash two openings that weekend, but sometimes things get in the way. I found myself talking both of these artists' ears off, and with the St. Patricks' weekend jamming up downtown and traffic, I settled with just this one opening this time. But I have no regrets.

Take care...Q has just started...

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