Dominican Designer EMILIO SOSA Reimagines Rockettes Costumes For New Era

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Originally published in the June 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS magazine

By Christine Stoddard

When Emilio Sosa was three years old, his family made the great pilgrimage from Santo Domingo to The Bronx—and stayed. Their exodus was, as Sosa puts it, an effort to chase after the “American Dream.”“But we struggled,” he told LatinTRENDS at a recent press event.

Now Sosa, 43, who you may recognize from Season 7 of “Project Runway,” is designing for the iconic Rockettes—or,as he tells it, achieving that American Dream.Despite his early struggles,the young Dominican-American began studying art early and eventually become a TONY Award-nominated costume and fashion designer.

“My mother, bless her,never let me  go without,” he said. “I always had art supplies.” Sosa added that though it wasn’t easy for his father to accept this artistic dreams, he did.This year, the Rockettes New York Spectacular will open June 15 and run through August 7. In 2015, the show sold nearly 300,000 tickets over the course of its eight-week run. Previously,the show was called the New York Spring Spectacular, but has been rescheduled for the summer to accommodate the tourists that flock to the city then.

During the summer months, New York City sees a significant increase in tourism and shifting the production will provide an opportunity for even more people to experience this dazzling musical celebration starring the Rockettes,” said David O’Connor, president and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company, in a press release.Sosa joins a long legacy of costume designers and other theatre artists whose work has made the Rockettes an American stage classic.But even though the precision dance company has performed at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan since 1932, nothing about the show feels old.The Rockettes have gotten a major makeover. The show has been modernized for a contemporary American audience that loves today’s pop music and threads from a fashion-forward thinker.But Sosa isn’t giving anything away about the new looks.

“Come to Manhattan,” he said. “You have to see this show.”

Order your tickets at http://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/radiocitymusichall/theater.php.

 

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→See for more of this story in this month’s issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine.

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DESTACADA PARTICIPACION DE ARTISTAS PLASTICOS DOMINICANOS EN ARTEXPO 2015

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Los pintores Pablo Palasso y Oscar Abreu posan junto a un miembro de la directiva de ARTexpo

Este pasado fin de semana se celebró en Nueva york la feria de arte más grande del mundo: ARTexpo. La feria se llevó a cabo desde el 23 al 26 de Abril en el pier 94 en Manhattan. ARTexpo 2015 tuvo la participación de más de 1,000 artistas, 400 exhibiciones y una concurrida audiencia que sobrepaso las 25,000 personas.

En medio de las más innovadoras propuestas y los más grandes expositores del arte pictórico de todos los continentes, se destacó la participación de dos reconocidos artistas dominicanos: Oscar Abreu y Pablo Palasso, dos talentosos exponentes artísticos que presentaron una serie de pinturas, dibujos y esculturas en lo que se manifestaron el arte abstracto, el cubismo y los colores caribeños.

Ambos artistas se mostraron orgullosos de representar su arte y su país en un evento de esta magnitud e importancia

 

El pintor Oscar Abreu junto a una de sus esculturas

El pintor Oscar Abreu junto a una de sus esculturas

OSCAR ABREU
Nació en San Juan de La Maguana, Rep. Dominicana en 1978. Recibió instrucciones artísticas desde niño en privado y luego en la escuela de Bellas Artes. Posteriormente en España en 1990, mas tarde en Estados Unidos donde realizo estudios de arte en el Art Institute Of Chicago.

 

Como te Inicias en el arte?
Como todos los niños haciendo garabatos, pero ya a los 16 años estaba en Chicago en un programa para estudiantes talentosos logrando tener a esa edad mi primera exposición individual.
En que se enfoca tu arte?
Yo estudio desde muy joven el fenómeno de la memoria, el desarrollo de la personalidad y sus resultados y ya he tenido varias exposiciones dentro de esa misma corriente.
Cómo definirías lo que proyectas en tus obras?
Me impacta mucho el fenómeno de la naturaleza humana, la lucha interna que vive el hombre moderno, las experiencias y como las enfrentamos.
Que exhibes en esta exposición?
Esculturas en hierro, pinturas y dibujos.
Que significa para ti ser parte de este importante evento?
Mucha competencia. Es un reto, pero eso precisamente es lo que puede generar grandes oportunidades para ser conocido internacionalmente.
Que consejos les das a los nuevos artistas?
Que trabajen en su obra y que sigan el fenómeno de sus sueños

 

 

 

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PABLO PALASSO
Es un artista autodidacta nacido en Santo Domingo en 1954. Su historia incluye decenas de bienales, más de 25 exposiciones individuales y alrededor de 50 colectivas a través del mundo.

 

Háblanos de tu trayectoria en el arte?
Tengo una trayectoria de aproximadamente 30 años, soy autodidacta y me he perfeccionado en el proceso.
Como ha llegado tan lejos sin una educación artística formal?
A pintar se aprende pintando.
Que técnicas utilizas en tus pinturas?
Acrílica y el arte abstracto
Que colores y materiales predominan en tu trabajo?
Colores caribeños con una segmentación de cubismo, pero sobre todo trabajo con el subconsciente. Mi arte es un arte de creatividad
El que observa tu trabajo, podría identificar las pinceladas de un caribeño?
Puede ser, pero Picasso no era caribeño y tenía colores fuertes. El manejo del color es universal
Que significa exponer tu trabajo en un evento como este?
Un evento como este es muy importante para un artista. Llegar a estos escenarios no es tan fácil, se adquiere a través de experiencia y codazos.
Cual es el precio de tus obras?
Hemos subastados obras a US$20,000, estamos pujando para ver si podemos alcanzar US$40,000 o US$50,000 por algunos de nuestros trabajos.
Que mensajes les das a los artistas autodidactas como tú?
Tratar de conectarse con el universo de la gente.

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VH1 + SCOPE Announce a Partnership with Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic

Mestrovic to Create the Longest Continuous Hand-Painting to be Exhibted at this Year’s Art Basel.

 

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VH1 + SCOPE announce an interactive art component with artist and calligrapher, Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic, for their third annual event during Art Basel in Miami Beach on Friday, December 5th 2014. Each year, VH1 + SCOPE bring art and music to life by collaborating with an artist and live music performer.

At this year’s VH1 + SCOPE event during Art Basel week, artist Mestrovic will present an ambitious piece by combining his style of calligraphy with audio and video projections. The custom multimedia installation, “NOESIS,” is set to transform the space into a dynamic expression of vision and movement, where writing calligraphy meets digitization. The installation will meditate on the distortion and reflection of movement through time.

Selected by SCOPE Art Show, Mestrovic will hand-paint onto hundreds of feet of Japanese synthetic paper, which will position the installation as the longest continuous painting to be shown during this year’s Art Basel event. Mestrovic will combine the innovative digital processes and ethereal ink painting for the installation. “NOESIS” refers to the perception of the mind, and will take art viewers on a journey through creative flow and energy. The hand painted paper will drape throughout the venue, beginning at its entrance and culminating in a truss tower of the event’s main rotunda space.

 

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After being awarded the See.Me Year in Review Grand Prize at SCOPE New York this year, I was ecstatic at the opportunity to continue working with SCOPE and now VH1 for their Miami Beach event,” says Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic.

I’m creating what will be the largest continuous hand-made painting of this year’s Miami Art Basel events and inviting the attendees to step into one of my Living Paintings and be immersed in an evening of ART + MUSIC.

The Argentine artist is known for his renowned and most recent installation at the MOMA, Living Paintings, which debuted earlier this year. Mestrovic lived in Tokyo and studied calligraphy for years. He often uses ancient texts and his knowledge of lettering in his artwork. In addition, the artist brings this event’s concept to life through his past experiences in art and pop culture by collaborating with Kanye West, CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), NIKE, MTV Japan, KENZO and many more.

Tattooing on Heads?

Rob Ferrel TattooWhy is art such a mysterious thing that only the artist can understand? Because they express themselves for what they see and not what the naked eye sees. They see something in a plain format, which is then translated into a sculptor, painting or some other effect.

This idea is parallel to a writer’s way of thinking where they start with a blank sheet of paper and begin to form words that are not only poetic, but take you into a different word and as a result, authors are created.

Take tattooing for example. It is a form of art created on the body where the object or in this case, a portrait, is inked on a person’s body.

In Texas, artist Rob Ferrel, also known as “Rob the Original”, from Los Angeles is a barber and stylist. As a hairstylist, you not only have to keep up you reputation, but also come up with new styles. In Ferrel’s case, he makes portraits on the customers head.

Ferrel had a passion for art and hair because when he was younger, he used to cut his own hair. By combining the two passions, he was able to create these portraits. One of his very first portraits was on his brother and it was of the rapper Tupac Shakur.

Additionally, the types of portraits that he does are of music artists and San Antonio Spurs players and now with the World Cup playing, inspiration has gone to now soccer players.

The process of making the portrait starts with a picture of the person off of his phone. Then, he uses trimmer, straight razors, non-toxic eyeliner, and lip liner pencils to fill in the details and complete the drawing. Afterwards, he uses hair spray as a protective layer over the tattoo.

In addition to this tattooing, there are also 3D tattoos and on the down side, there is a law that is banning the tattooing of animals.

The Loisaida Fest Transformed the Lower East Side!

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Memorial Day Weekend oozed Puerto Rican and Latino with the 2014 Loisaida Festival edition that transformed the Lower East Side’s Loisaida into a celebration of art, culture, and community. From May 23rd to May 25th, #LoisaidaFest celebrated Latino historical and contemporary contributions to downtown, bridging cultural and generational divides.

Friday, May 23, kicked off the three days of celebrations with Performing Loisaida: A Poets’ Jam in the Spirit of the New Rican Village at City Lore, 56 E 1st Street. The evening brought together six virtuosos of Downtown poetry, Urayoán Noel, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, David Henderson, Sandra María Esteves, Jesús “Papoleto” Meléndes, and Edwin Torres in the spirit of the lesser known conceptual space, the New Rican Village, which catalyzed many community-centered fusions with a utopian sensibility. Latin Jazz master Bobby Sanabria accompanied the poets with his precise, elegant sounds. The dynamic, raw and successful literary evening captured the neighborhood’s ethos.

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On Saturday, May 24, The Production of Nabe: Loisaida’s land-use and environmental activism, past and present took place at the New Loisaida Center, 710 E 9th Street. The afternoon opened with a screening of three vintage documentaries about Loisaida’s sweat equity, community garden and environmental initiatives in the 70s followed by the oral narratives of old-time activists and players from Loisaida’s urban appropriation movement. The event concluded with a presentation of the Festival’s resident artists—Papel Machete—on their work with Loisaida residents in the creation of a music, visual art and narrative piece about the stories of community struggle and resistance in the neighborhood. Throughout, the day made clear that the DIY spirit the Lower East Side has come to be known for can be traced back to Loisaida, its people and their struggles.

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On Sunday, May 25th, Loisaida Inc. celebrated the 27th Annual Loisaida Festival, held from 6th to 12th Streets in the Avenue C commercial corridor from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. Puerto Rican and Latino cultures came to life on this day through music, cuisine and arts. Emceed by Ismael Cruz Córdova of the “The Good Wife” and “Sesame Street,” and Nicole Betancourt of Steven Soderbergh’s “The Argentine,” the Festival’s Main Stage offered a diverse musical lineup: The Afro-Caribbean-meets New York City bomba and plena rhythms of Los Pleneros de La 21, the nostalgic big band revival of Rafael Hernandez’ greatest hits by Teatro Sea’s Romance, the alternative Latino-Jamaican grooves of award winning Puerto Rican singer Mimi Maura, and the jazzy and baroque arrangements of Flor de Toloache, the first all-woman mariachi in NYC, and the old-school salsa brava of the legendary Henry Fiol, a Loisaida neighbor for the first time performing on its stage.

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The Festival also re-instated the Loisaida Awards to recognize those who’ve left their mark on Loisaida. This year’s awards went to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito; Council Member Rosie Mendez; Street Artist, Antonio “Chico” Garcia; Owner and Chef of Loisaida’s iconic Casa Adela, Adela, and a posthumous recognition to foundational Nuyorrican poet and community organizer Tato Laviera.

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The Street Level experience brought a mix of high human energy and “low-tech” artistry that displayed cultural traditions. Diverse workshops in movement, performance, folklore, arts and crafts showcased the work of independent artists and artisans that represent diverse ethnic groups and nationalities. Capoeira demonstrations coexisted with a ‘Pimp my Piragua’ urban performance by artist Miguel Luciano at Loisiada.

As part of the programming, Papel Machete debuted its finished piece at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden, located at 9th Street and Avenue C, where Loisaida Inc. produced its first Theater Lab hosted by Yarani del Valle with some of the city’s cutting-edge Latino theater companies that included Pregones Theater/ Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, One-Eighth Theater, Caborca Theater, and Teatro SEA.

The Festival featured a revamped culinary experience with an array of delicious home-made ethnic cuisines that included Puerto Rican and Latino staples and incorporated local businesses joining the festival for the first time such as El Castillo de Jagua, Rayuela, Macondo, and Pushcart Coffee, amongst many others.

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The three day Loisaida Fest curated by urban anthropologist Libertad Guerra marked the beginning of a new and transformed festival committed to building and fostering culture, channeling the resilience and character of the neighborhood in a contemporary way.

 

Where Fashion and Music Combine Right in New York City: Where else?

Narco Fashion RepresentedIs it art or is it something else? That is the beauty of fashion and New York City where anything really can be a work of art.

Artists look at objects and see them from a different point of view. The photographers capture moments in a single flash. The sculptors get the most precise angles of the object that a normal eye would not see. The painters take words and turn them into what they see and how they interpret them. Art is all around us and this feature is about Narco fashion, influenced by music and fashion at one time.

The Fashion

Narco fashion is “the classic look associated with Mexican drug lords – the bejeweled, sombrero-wearing cowboy with boots and an open shirt”. Additionally, during the 80s and 90s, Narcomoda fashion was golden watches and thick chains that showed an image. Instead, like many artists do, they borrow ideas off of each other and thus, Édgar Valdez Villareal, came out with a more sober and glamorous trend in 2010.

Presently, in New York City, the “narco culture” typically follows a more traditional look that consists of wearing cowboy books with a golden tooth. It is interesting to see how one style can be interpreted for many years and that each decade can make the style fit into what is trending.

The Music

Naturally, teenagers and young adults, set trends for which music and style is popular. In this case, the narcocorrido, a subgenre of norteña music, fans feel that the drug lords are the heroes. In fact, Jesús Malverde and the Santa Muerte (Saint Death) are considered the saints of the drug cartels.

This kind of fashion has become popular in the Latino community among Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx with each of them having items that are in demand. Fashion and music are works of art because it takes time to develop and follow what the people want. Narco fashion is not something new, yet it is something that is passed down from generation to generation.

Below are some pictures of Narco Fashion. Also, check out this article to read more.

Latino Culture: “Art is Life and Life is Art” Exhibit 1/21

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Come celebrate “Art is Life and Life is Art” with artists and art lovers supporting the Joy Wai Center for The Arts and Arts Olympus.

Tuesday, January 21
9pm – 12am

 

This will be a great chance to see Aldara Ortega’s underwater photography and purchase small prints.

Joy Wai Gallery will host the party at Toshi Living Room @ Flatiron Hotel

9 West 26th St. (Entrance on Broadway)
New York, NY

 

Aldara Ortega was featured in our January/February issue: Artist Spotlight available now!

Exhibition: ‘Frida’s New York’ by Felipe Galindo

Girl Talk, still from "Frida's New York" animationSmall gallery, but big imagination centered around Felipe Galindo’s grand opening exhibit, Frida’s New York: A Sequential Art Exhibit at Word Up Bookstore in Washington Heights, New York.

His exhibition was inspired by Frida Kahlo, who visited New York back in the 1930s and 1940s. He thought about what Frida would be doing in New York and created the stories for the animation. The five sequences displayed were “Rite of Spring”, Frida with flowers in her hair because she was commonly known for it; in “Taking Liberties” she visits the Statue of Liberty and give her advice; putting on makeup and doing a “Self-Portrait”; “Bad Hair Day” is Frida in the city buying a hot pretzel and putting it her hair as an accessory; and finally, a Central Park scene with reference to the Princess and the Frog story. What made the exhibition unique were not only the animation, but that the story was told without dialogue, just images.

Galindo did not stop at just the exhibition, his ongoing project and book titled Manhatitlan: Mexican and American Cultures Intertwined were also discussed as well as another ongoing project called Poetry in Motion. This poetry you may see in several subway cars throughout the city and one of Galindo’s images accompanies a poem titled ‘To the Reader Tonight’.

The exhibition can be viewed at Word Up Community Bookshop and Arts Space, located at 2113 Amsterdam Avenue at 165th Street. The gallery hours are: Tue – Fri: 3-9pm; Sat: 12-9pm; Sun: 12-6pm and the cost is free and open to the public.

You can view more about Felipe Galindo on his website.

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Andrea Arroyo Exhibits “Presencia” A Series of Works That Celebrate Women’s Courage

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month Andrea Arroyo will be exhibiting “Presencia” at the historical site of the first Women’s Rights Convention, held in 1848, in Seneca Falls, NY.

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“Presencia” features twenty artworks that celebrate women’s strength and honor the female body. While commemorating the stories of extraordinary historical figures, the artist also celebrates the role of women in contemporary society and brings attention to issues of gender justice.

Works in the exhibit include “The Dancer – Homage to Gabriela Mistral (Chile 1889-1957 ),” featured in the invitation card, “Eliza’s Garden – Homage to Eliza Jumel (US, 1775-1865,)” and “Blue Mayahuel – Aztec Goddess of Agave,” all works inspired by powerful female characters from a variety of world cultures.

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Andrea Arroyo is an award-winning artist with an extensive trajectory. Her artwork is exhibited, published, reviewed and collected internationally.

Ms. Arroyo’s numerous honors include: Global Citizen Award Artist selected by President Bill Clinton; 21 Leaders for the 21st Century; Groundbreaking Latina in the Arts; Official Artist of the Latin Grammys; Outstanding Latina of the Year; Woman of the Week, Women in the World Foundation; and the New York City Council Citation Award for Achievement in Art. She has received awards from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, the Puffin Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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Ms. Arroyo’s work has been published extensively, including The New Yorker, The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune and has been the subject of over 150 features in the national and international media.

For more information please visit: www.andreaarroyo.com
For more information about the exhibit: www.nps.gov/wori/parknews/womens-rights-national-historical-park-celebrates-national-hispanic-heritage-month-with-artwork-exhibition-by-andrea-arroyo.htm

Exhibition dates: September 15 – October 15, 2013.
Gallery Talk and Artist Reception: Saturday, September 21st, 1-4pm.
Gallery Hours: Daily 9am-5pm.
Women’s Rights National Historical Park. 136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY 13148.
Free and open to the public

Art Truly Mimics Life for New Age Artist Sashalyn Medina

Written By: Carmen Ledesma

Sashalyn FIT Alumni is an eclectic, funky, new age Latina artist who is making her way into the art shows of Manhattan. Inspired by news, life and on site, events, research experiences, and sightings; her work continues to grow more progressively. Born on February 14th, the playful Sashalyn is working her way up into stardom. Her illustration hung on the wall at El Barrio: La Casa Azul Bookstore Gallery Show on April 12th, 2013.

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Aside from the 2013 El Barrio: La Casa Azul Bookstore Art Show, past events like the 2012 Art for the Cure/OVC Fundraiser Art Show with eight other artists, that night the artists raised $2611 and donated for Ovarian Cancer Research. The 2010 Illustration Futuro at Illustration House, the 2009 Fashion Forward Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the 2009 Illustration vs. Fine Arts F.I.T. were shows, which featured Sashalyn’s Illustration.

Sashalyn Medina born in Manhattan, the proud Hispanic New Yorker is now a Freelance Illustrator who likes working with pen and ink and all types of print making techniques from woodcut to screen-printing. She has done storyboarding for independent films; clients continue to commission her for different projects.

Sasha believes her art is intricate, “convoluted in a way, you can judge it by many extremities. It can look complicated and it can look easy; there are simple lines. But when you learn the lesson it takes so much more than that. Pen and ink are about making decisions that are going to stay! That’s the beauty of the field, illustration is that but not limited to animation, storyboarding, hand drawn and digital animation, comics, fashion, and children’s books.”

Upcoming plans for Sashalyn Illustration is adding a celebrity section to her artwork, famous portraits, her first piece is on Obama – She plans to branch out more for more versatility.

You can Google Sashalyn Medina and you will find her everywhere on the Internet. Take the time to check out her artwork and style, get to know her because she is a rising star reaching new heights. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr by Sashalyn Illustration and @Sashalynillo.