Archive for February, 2009

Art Master: Black Light by Kehinde Wiley

Anyone who knows me knows Kehinde Wiley is one of my favorite artist, he even inspired the designs of my first collection created via fashion CAD. (It was my first time using a computer to design clothes so the designs weren’t that impressive, but I was still pretty proud.) When I got word that he would be releasing a new book of his art I was beyond excited, and a friend sent me a preview document of it.

The book, Black Light, is Wiley’s first photographic series and I must say it’s genius, he is absolutely inspiring, and I’m still wondering why he hasn’t ended up on Oprah yet, lol.

Here’s an excerpt:

For his first photographic series, the artist invited young black men to pose for him in his studio, where he basked them in a bright and luminous light. His studio was especially equipped for the Black Light series with visual technologies that “blasted out,” as Wiley describes it, “a super rapturous light,” reminiscent of the dazzling shine of Hype Williams’ Hip Hop music videos. The resultant photographic prints present viewers with young black men in a brilliant light that appears to burnish their brown skins and to highlight their facial features. Light, in particular, draws viewers to their eyes, which emit a halo of white light and reflect the source of their illumination.

(another excerpt…. )
Wiley is not the first artist to explore the representational possibilities of “black light.” In the 1960s and 70s, poets, photographers, and painters associated with the Black Arts Movement sought to represent black light and in doing so, to reorient philosophies of aesthetics and beauty more generally.3 Some artists at this time gave black light visual form by attempting to extract whiteness from the idea of and representation of light. This is evident in artist and activist Faith Ringgold’s Black Light series of paintings exhibited in 1970.

Buy the book from powerHouse. This would be a great gift, source of inspiration, or addition to your library. I feel everyone should own atleast one Kehinde Wiley book- and this would be a great first.

Title: Black Light
Photographs by: Kehinde Wiley
Essay by: Brian Keith Jackson, Krista A. Thompson

And here’s an Urban Gentleman sneak peak at Wiley’s soon to be released photobook, Black Light.

Sharrod Hosten
After Sir Joshua Reynolds’
Portrait of Doctor Samuel Johnson

Jerry Valdes
After Titian’s (Tiziano Vecellio)
Repentant Mary Magdalene

Keyshawn Wamer
After Giovanni Bellini’s
St. Francis in the Desert

Kofi Graham
After El Greco’s (Doménikos Theotokópoulos)
The Annunciation

Alston Sajery
After Hans Holbein the Younger’s
Portrait of Simon George

Jonathan Swinton
After John Singer Sargent’s
The Countess of Rocksavage
(he’s the cool dude who hangs with Dee and Ricky)

Algorna Crawford
After Sir Joshua Reynolds’
Miss Susanna Gale

Mark Shavers
After Sir Anthony van Dyck’s
Triple Portrait of Charles I

Abiel McIntosh (left) Mark Shavers (right)
After Pontormo’s
Two Men with a Passage from Cicero’s “On Friendship”

pre-order Black Light for a discounted price here.

Urban Gentleman: Q&A

I’m going to start sharing the questions I’ve received from Urban Gents around the world, I get so many repeat questions that I figured why not.

Today’s Q&A is for athletic guys who have a problem finding jeans to fit

QUESTION:

Hi
I have a unique problem and have searched a lot of websites and blogs for a good answer. Hopefully you can help. I am 5’6 and happen to do powerlifting. The end result I have a large chest and back as well as a very large lower torso primarily quads and butt more than anything but the my limbs are short. I have been trying to change my style a bit and lose the “Timberland and jean” look or at least make it more streamlined. I am having issues with finding jeans with a nice length. I can’t really do slim cuts because my quads are so big . What do you advise is good inseam for my jeans or just a good spot to clothing that fits?

ANSWER:

You do have a unique problem- but my ex boyfriend also did alot of powerlifting and was a college linebacker and he has large back, chest, etc etc and faced some difficulties with clothing (the only difference is that he’s about 6’2). What we had to do was go into the store and just try on a bunch of different cuts and fits- it’s time consuming, but helpful…. just get a salesperson to help you. I would try Express first- they have proven to be one of the best stores for uniquely shaped guys in my experience (specifically athletic guys). (Oh and at Express they’re usually on a hourly wage, so you shouldn’t feel or be pressured- b/c they don’t get paid for your sale). I would go on a none busy day, like a Tuesday or Wednesday and if possible go at a none busy time like 2pm and you should be able to get a ton of help- b/c they’re usually bored and really want to just do something, lol…

As far as cuts, I would try a relaxed fit jean.. they’re streamlined, but not too slim and not baggy. Because your quads/butt are bigger then you may have to buy a size that fits that area well then get the length and waist tailored. There is no mainstream jean that is made to perfectly fit guys like you- even though there is an obvious need for it. Basically you’ll have to do alot of trial and error in the dressing room. If you would prefer to buy the jeans and get them tailored under one roof then visit Nordstrom- they have some of the best tailors and they’ll continue to “fix” the jeans until they fit how you want them to. But keep in mind that jeans at Nordstrom usually start at around $109 and go up (sometimes way up)… but it’s worth it to have atleast one pair of quality perfectly fitting jeans. If there is no Nordstrom in your area then just visit any of your local high end major retail stores.

You can also just go to your favorite stores and do the “trial and error jean fitting” in the dressing room.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I found this funny, and wanted to post it.

Happy Valentine’s Day Guys!

If you don’t have a Valentine don’t sweat it- just take your mom or sister or best female friend out. Or just do whatever you normally do on a Saturday night. If you do have a Valentine’s good luck! Remember to be extra nice and turn the volume up on your gentleman behavior. And please be sure to bring her flowers- that’s a must, never forget flowers on Valentine’s Day.

Perfect Attire: The 40th Annual NAACP Image Awards Photos

It’s unusual for every guy who hits the red carpet to look almost flawless… but somehow they did. (well, most of them anyway)

40th Annual NAACP Image Awards
at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles February 12, 2009.
Blair Underwood
Very Nice… A well fitted 3 piece black suit can never go wrong

Danny Glover

Top Model Eva Marcille and actor Lance Gross
An very attractive couple. Now guys, THIS is how you wear black and white. And again, we see the polka dot trend, but this time solely used in his pocket square.

Tyler Williams and KeKe Palmer
For all the young Urban Gent’s looking for prom advice
this is a nice look by Tyler and actually… this would be a nice look for your date as well

Brian White
Simple, but nice.

Seal
I wish his tie was straight, but this a clean simple look-
all black (like many guys on the red carpet these days), but instead of a black tie he opted for a skinny tie that compliments his skin tone.

Tyler Perry and Halle Berry

Muhammad Ali and wife Yolanda Williams
receiving the President Awards

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and Rosario Dawson

Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, and Jennifer Hudson
They all look flawless.

Aww don’t they look adorable.
Russell Simmons receiving the Vanguard Award with his daughters Aoki and Ming Lee

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Danny Glover

Sean “Diddy” Combs
I’m starting to notice that this is his typical black-tie wardrobe
(but as they say “if its not broken, don’t fix it”…
meaning he looks good every time he wears this look)
Hill Harper


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