Over 35 Black Artists and Their Works to Be Featured at 2015 Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale has taken progressive steps in regards to diversity, appointing its first African director, Okwui Enwezor, in December 2013. Now the annual contemporary art exhibition is set to take further steps forward by including more than 35 Black artists in the 56th annual Venice Biennale (May 9 to Nov. 22, 2015). Enwezor (also the director of the Haus der Kunst museum in Munich, Germany) states, “No event or exhibition of contemporary art has continuously existed at the confluence of so many historical changes across the fields of art, politics, technology, and economics, like la Biennale di Venezia,” and the inclusion of so many black artists is reflective of that. Featured artists include Kerry James Marshall (work pictured), Wangechi Mutu, Chris Ofili and Steve McQueen.




This post is courtesy of AFROPUNK. To read more from Alexander Aplerk visit afropunk.com

This Simple Tech Has the Potential to Change the Way Music Is Created

Those looking to learn the piano have a new option in the form of Keys, a smart keyboard you can connect to your phone to pick up new songs or to your computer to make your own. Keys offers 24 keys in an aluminum body about the size of a 13-inch laptop.

Connecting the keyboard to your iPhone lets you use the Keys app, which teaches you to play with an interface resembling Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Kyle Russell takes a look at Keys the Keyboard and midi controller that anyone can play.

Source: Techcrunch

A Breakdown of The Latest ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Trailer

“Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They’re all just spokes on a wheel. This one’s on top, then that one’s on top and on and on it spins. Crushing those on the ground. I’m not going to stop the wheel. I’m going to break the wheel.”

And just like that, Daenerys enters the Game of Thrones monologue hall of fame. Let’s be clear, Dem Thrones is the most interesting TV show on, period. You wanna battle out for that “Best” title? Go ‘head, homie. I’ll be over here enjoying some Arbor Gold in the brothel that Petyr Baelish left behind in King’s Landing while you’re working out those semantics. Don’t worry about the fact that half of the most compelling characters we started with are dead now, season 5 expands the world even more on top of a world you needed a TI-86 calculator to keep track of anyway.

Now, my fellow Senators, I’ll direct you to the gentleman from New York, Mr. Calhoun, who is less than optimistic about Thrones moving forward because of the quality drop-off of the books in the series. I would counter that the goodwill that David Benioff and Dan Weiss (the showrunners) have built over the first four seasons and the problems with the source (Books 4: “Feast for Crows” and 5: “Dance of Dragons”) give these cats a lot more license to go way left and improve upon the mythology. These dudes are prime to go off script. Think of this as every time Kanye West shows up at an awards show without the white tears and 40 think pieces the next day.

As I’ve written before, your boy is still pretty excited for what is coming this season because Westeros and Essos are still the best vacation spots every spring; as long as you don’t actually have to visit there and can people watch from your couch.

0:20 – I know he’s like, 14, but Tommen is probably a terrible kisser. Him getting the greenlight with Margery Tyrell is like being born with a silver spoon in your mouth while kissing one of the most beautiful women on TV before you’re 15th Nameday.

0:30 – Tyrion sees a dragon flying overhead and is in equal awe that HBO expanded its CG budget.

0:36 – Pretty sure the dragon getting his Smaug in (pre Desolation) is Drogon, the one that Daenerys named after her late husband Khal Drogo. You know, the big black one that is perceived as the most dangerous and unruly of the dragons. Gotdamnit George. Really? Sigh.

0:49 – Brienne…in the snow…ok.

1:08 – Yo Chess Game!

1:16 – If you don’t read the books, you may not know them yet, but the Sons of the Harpy got no chill whatsoever. They’re like the Guilty Remnant from The Leftovers with swords and birthright.

Source: Read more from William Evans at Black Nerd Problems

‘The Untamed’: Comic Book Series Review

“The Untamed” is a graphic novel comprised of seven comic books. In the prologue, a character known as the Stranger makes a deal with his wife that allows him to rise up from the pit of hell. Armed with his burning hatred and the knowledge that he can’t be killed by mortal means, Stranger is resolved to make good on his promise.

The Stranger is given an ultimatum: Escape hell for seven days for the price of seven guilty souls or a chance for revenge. A chance for vengeance. The Stranger finds out they’re the same in the end.

Ten years ago, in the town of Oasis, Stranger ruled with wretched wickedness; his only hope of salvation was his wife and young daughter. But when Stranger was betrayed by one of his followers, he and his family were murdered. Now, Stranger’s only objective is to end those who ended him and finally reunite with his family.

Along the way, Stranger meets Niobe Ayutami, an innocent child who reminds him of his daughter, reunites with his young con-man apprentice Stutters and squares off more than once with his brother, Phylax. He and Phylax both love a woman named Lariel, a master manipulator who complicates Stranger’s mission all the more. Each day, Stranger is faced with any number of obstacles – from supernatural creatures such as Silver Elves and Morkai (children of the moon) to human foes like the new mayor of Oasis and his guards. These enemies require every ounce of his intelligence, hatred and knowledge of his city to overcome. Will Stranger be cunning and ruthless enough to deliver on his promise of seven guilty souls in seven days?

Darrell May and Peter Bergting drew most of the gorgeous artwork for “The Untamed,” and the duo had many other contributing artists submitting stunning character designs along the way for warrior-like Silver Elves and a menacing skeletal priest among other creatures. Notably, the character of Niobe is based on Amandla Stenberg (Rue from The Hunger Games). With her long braids, striking face, along with one intense blue eye and one brilliant brown eye, it’s nearly impossible to forget why she represents purity and Stranger’s morality.

Throughout the series, the colors literally jump off the page, thanks to the artists’ consistency in choosing certain colors for certain scenarios. For example, with the exception of a few kills, every time a murder is committed, the page is drawn in ethereal colors: deep grays, cloudy blues and jet blacks. This makes the brilliant red of the blood spatter stand out on the page so that readers’ eyes are drawn to it and invariably linger a moment or two.

Read more from guest blogger Diondra Powers at Black Girl Nerds

The Victoria and Albert Museum Explores the History of Black British Culture

For the last seven years, the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London has been working with Black Cultural Archives to compile a collection of photographs that document the lives of Black people in Britain. Now with a collection of 118 works by 17 artists, the museum is currently displaying the collection in an exhibition titled “Staying Power” until May 24 at V&A Museum. (A concurrent exhibit runs until June 30 at the Black Cultural Archives in London.) It aims to “raise awareness of the contribution of black Britons to British culture and society, as well as to the art of photography.”


Al Vandenberg, “High Street Kensington,” 1976, from the series “On a Good Day.” Museum no. E.432-2010. © The Estate of Al Vandenberg / Victoria and Albert Museum, London.



Armet Francis, “Self-Portrait in Mirror,” London, 1964, gelatin silver print © Armet Francis / Victoria and Albert, London


Normski, “African Homeboy – Brixton,” London, 1987, printed 2011, c-type print. © Normski / Victoria and Albert, London

This post is courtesy of AFROPUNK. To read more from Alexander Aplerk visit afropunk.com

New Graphic Novel ‘The Legend of Wale Williams’ Set to Be Released Later This Year

‘EXO’ (Wale Williams)

Check out “EXO: The Legend of Wale Williams,” a graphic novel set to be released later this year – created by Nigerian-born Roye Okupe (owner/creative director at YouNeek Studios). Set in the year 2025, in the fictional Nigerian city of Lagoon (modeled after the Nigerian city Lagos), a young man named Wale Williams inherits a suit with superpowers after his father goes missing and uses the suit to battle against the terror attacks of a sociopathic extremist. Regarding the project, Okupe says: “From the first day I laid my eyes on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons in the ’80s, I’ve been hooked on superheroes. Since then, I’ve watched, played and read every single superhero-related title I could lay my hands on: movies, comics, manga, anime, graphic novels, animated movies/series, video games, etc. And then in 2008, after noticing there wasn’t a lot of diversity in the genre, I decided to tell a story about a hero from Nigeria. Hopefully, ‘EXO’ fulfills my goal of adding something unique to the industry.” Check out some images below, plus a trailer (based on early animation tests) for the upcoming graphic novel.

This post is courtesy of AFROPUNK. To read more from Alexander Aplerku visit afropunk.com