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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Zion y Lennox Motivando

 

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Image: turbo98.com

Originally published in the April 2015 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Eddie Olmo

Pioneers from the explosion of Reggaetón into the international scene, Zion y Lennox have been motivating the urban youth to dance to their music all over the world. They have released hits like “Hay Algo En Ti,” “Yo Voy” and “Doncella” that have had people dancing to this exotic music without degrading women. Zion Y Lennox have enjoyed a great deal of success, but at the same time they have had to deal with obstacles that have left these two artists to release their new album independently. “Motivando” is the latest sequel to their discography, adding the fusion of all the latest melodies and features to make this one of their most comprehensive albums yet.

Why did you decide to split up and then come back together as a duo?

We separated for a short time to work on individual projects. Zion came out with “Perfect Melody” and was working with Arcangel and De La Ghetto and I worked on an album titled “Los Mero Mero,” which never surfaced. I also started a clothing line, but everyone wanted us to get back together so we did it for our fans. After Zion and Lennox’ contract with Pina Record expired, there was a clause that gave Zion and Lennox the option to stay with Pina or to exit the label. Zion and Lennox hired auditors to check the books before they exited the company, and they concluded that Pina Records owed Zion and Lennox more money than they had been paid. Zion y Lennox sued Pina Record for $2.6 million. This aggravated producer Pina to the extent that in a presentation of Pina artists in Florida, Raphy punched Zion twice onstage, leaving him unconscious for a few minutes.

What is the end result in the dispute between Zion and Raphy Pina?

After that incident, Raphy asked Zion for forgiveness and Zion forgave him. We actually left Pina Records and we are working on our own independent label Baby Records.

How’s life after Pina? Is it a lot harder as independent artist?

There’s a lot more work. It’s a lot harder but it’s going good for us. We did our first concert as independent artists at the Puerto Rican Coliseum José Miguel Agrelot. We had two sold-out shows.

Tell us about your new project.

Yes, we are promoting our new album “Motivando,” which is like a sequel to “Motivando a la Yal,” which was our debut album.

Why has Zion y Lennox lasted so long in the industry?

Because we are consistent. We have changed with the times. We are always 100% with then ew styles. We are not jealous; we collaborate with everyone. We don’t let our ego get to us.

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.

Glad Marc Anthony Does Not Suffer From Gamophobia

Gamophobia (pronounced ‘ga-me-PHO-bia’) is the fear of getting married, being in a relationship, or commitment. We can gladly say that Marc Anthony is not suffering from that.

Marc Anthony‘s first wife was former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres. The two wed in 2000 and had two boys, Cristian Anthony Muñiz (5 February 2001) and Ryan Anthony Muñiz (16 August 2003). Their rocky relationship was very public and their divorce was finalized on June 1, 2004.

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Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony had undeniable chemistry on and off stage. They wed on June 2004 and later had adorable twins Emme Maribel Muñiz and Maximillian David Muñiz. Surprisingly they announced their separation in July 2011 and Anthony filed for divorce on April 9, 2012. Their divorce was finalized on June 18, 2014.

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It’s been reported that Shannon De Lima started dating Anthony in early 2012, roughly five months after he and J.Lo called it quits. As soon as the divorce of wife #2 was finalized he married De Lima on November 11, 2014 in the Dominican Republic.

Marc Anthony, Shannon De Lima

We hope the third time is a charm and wish him a long lasting marriage with his gorgeous new wife.

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.

Not Your Typical Art Work Display

the_arts_right_bannerNew York City is known for seeing anything and everything no matter where you look. Anytime during the day, there can be something out of the ordinary happening, and one way or another, word gets out to the public and people are intrigued.

Arts program are being emphasized in many schools these days in order for kids to think creatively. Artists have a way of interpreting people, places, and things that draws the person into the piece of artwork. These two artists, Hector Orellana and Andy Scott, are among the amazing talent that is popping up around New York City and beyond. Some related artists include Lieutenant Colonel Robert Sanábria and Fernando Botero.

Artist Hector Orellana created a 13.5 foot long by 5.5 foot tall pink elephant. This elephant can be found in the Dumbo area of Brooklyn on a platform near Peal and Water Streets. It was featured in the Figment Festival which celebrates creativity and passion. It also challenges the artists and the community to find new ways to create, share, think and dream. Creatively structured, it is bound together by wood and screws, but weighs enormously and could be given away to anyone who could somehow move it from its structure. If not, it would be destroyed. Yet whatever happens, if anything, to this elephant, the artist made a sculpture for people to talk about and that is one of the goals of being an artist.

Scottish artist Andy Scott is also creative in his own way by using creative narratives and places within urban developments, as inspiration. His latest piece is about horse heads and will be displayed at Bryant Park from March 21 to April 22. The inspiration from creating these 15 foot tall sculptors is to represent the history of working horses. At some point, they will be the way to get around Scotland. The horses face two different ways in order to create tension with one being passive and at rest, while the other one is livelier.

Introducing: Gina Chavez

Gina Chavez at Joe's Pub on 08.21.13

Gina Chavez at Joe’s Pub on 08.21.13

Plucking her custom-built charango, Gina Chavez sets the mood for lyrical scenery, but it’s the folkloric “Embrujo” of her voice that sears the memory. With a vocal punch strong enough to back The Kills on their 10-year anniversary tour and striking enough to make her one of National Public Radio’s eight “New Latin Artists Playing SXSW,” Chavez is building toward the Fall 2013 release of her sophomore album, up.rooted, produced by Michael Ramos.

Following appearances with Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Grupo Fantasma, and Del Castillo, Chavez was asked to represent the City of Austin on tour twice in Japan as the official Music Ambassador, and was voted The Austin Chronicle’s Best Latin Traditional artist of 2012-13.

She is back from eight months of mission work in El Salvador and established a college scholarship fund for girls she lived with in a gang-dominated part of San Salvador. Southern Living and Olay named Chavez one of 11 “southern iconic women who have left a beautiful footprint across the South.”

Gina Chavez

Chavez’ new album up.rooted is coming this Fall

For music samples and tour dates, visit: www.ginachavez.com
The college fund Chavez helped start can be found at”
www.ninarriba.wordpress.com
www.twitter.com/ginachavez
www.facebook.com/ginachavezmusic

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.

Featuring: Artist Adriana M. Garcia

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LatinTRENDS featured Adriana M. Garcia, the winner of The Jose Cuervo Traditional Mural Project for our Artist Spotlight page and now we sit with her for an interview.

LT: When did you realize you were an artist?

AG: I’ve always felt like I was an artist. I mean when people would ask me when I was a little girl what I wanted to be when I grew up I’d always answer, “I want to be an artist.” I remember seeing my uncle Diamond paint and I thought it was amazing and whenever he finished a painting the whole family went over to go see—it was an event. I thought that is what I want to do.

It wasn’t until the first time I sold a painting for $2000 dollars to University of San Antonio Texas did I feel “okay maybe people like what I do and perhaps I’m good at this.”

But above all the moment I felt like I could call myself an artist or more importantly a muralist was when the organization San Anto Cultural Arts asked me to lead a 2000 sq ft mural on the facade of a mental health clinic on the west-side of San Antonio, Texas, in the neighborhood I grew up in a block away from my grandfathers old house.

In 2006 I got involved with the organization, San Anto Cultural Arts Center. Here was an organization dedicated to creating murals for the beautification and betterment of the West Side of San Antonio. I was asked to participate in a mural that was lead by Valerie Aranda, to paint my Uncle Diamond who was one of the founding members of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, who had recently past away. My grandfather had recently passed as well and I took the opportunity to honor their memory. Sitting on the scaffold 15ft from the ground baking in the sun painting the likeness of my ancestry I found a peace a love a calling.

San Anto Cultural Arts then asked me to be lead artist on a mural that was to be on the 2000sq ft facade of a mental health clinic in the west side on Zarzamora St. a block away from the house we’d visit my grandfather when he was alive. I quit my job and spent the next 8 months interviewing mental health professional’s clients, friends and family anybody willing and wanting to express and talk about their experiences with mental health. I drew compositions, took pictures, redrew compositions, had community meetings, met artist willing to volunteer time to paint, and encouraged youth to participate in the mural’s creation. I worked closely to widely talented artistas like the mural coordinator of San Anto at the time, Geraldo Garcia and Cardee Garcia. In the end “Brighter Days” was erected and I was reborn a muralist. Thank you San Anto Cultural Arts.

LT: Where did you learn to paint?

AG: From my heart it’s what beats and incites me to act to make real these floating images in my head.

I could say that I learned how to paint when I was part of a mural program in high school that was lead by Jackie Von Honts. She taught us to think big and to use the grid system to enlarge images. She taught us about the golden mean the “secret geometry” of great artist. She introduced me to the los tres grandes muralist of Mexico Diego Rivera, Siqueros, Orozco. But how to paint? No. Composition is what I learned from her. That and black is not a color.

I could also say that I learned to paint while in college. While an art student at Carnegie Mellon University we were exposed to so many wonderful museums and artist and resources—oh the resources. The students were posed with so many questions. Why are you painting? What is its purpose? Why not use other materials or nothing at all? But how to paint? No. Concept is what I learned at school. And they gave us the space to conceptualize.

I can’t remember anyone telling me to “mix this paint with that one” or to “apply it like that” or “hold your brush like this.” I learned to paint cause I kept playing with anything that would make color until I liked the result.

What taught me to paint was opportunity and will. Once there was an opportunity to show my work somewhere or to paint a wall or help someone paint then there was no choice in the matter. If I wanted to create it I’d had to find a way of making it look like I wanted it to. It was part will and part experimentation.

But now that I think about it was probably Bob Ross’s “happy trees” and Bill Cosby magic marker.

LT: What materials do you use when creating art?

AG: Whatever is around. I mostly use acrylic paint with a lot of medium. And I will plaster that on anything that has a surface. But it really depends on the project. I create sets for theater and help build floats so you tend to use what ever is at hand.

I’ve painted on clothes, on bodies, on books, on floors, on sides of buildings, on doors on windows as well as on trash. I love to paint I feel its my go to thing but I will always be willing to explore other mediums like wood or clay or bronze. I’d like more opportunity to create sculpture. I like working with other artist to see what we collectively come up with.

LT: Where do you find inspiration to create art?

AG: I find inspiration from so many places. From the emotions I’m feeling to the wonderment I experience when investigating the shedding skin of a locus and from the faces of all the people I know.

I draw inspiration from my ancestry and history of my city. My heritage is rooted in activism and art and theater. I remember block walking with my mom to gather signatures to pave the street we lived on. My parents would come home telling stories of injustice and how they tried to help weather it was giving medical aid or directing gente to services. I also loved hearing the stories of “los carperos” from my grandfather, “el gran comico, el bato suave, un applauso para DON FITO de La Carpa Hermanos Garcia!” I sat in wonderment listening to how his whole family traveled along the border following the migrant workers erecting “la carpa” and performing acrobatics, skits, parodies, dance, and much more.

I draw inspiration from the streets of San Anto. There are these murals at the Cassiano courts in my neighborhood. They were created in the late 70’s and early 80’s and are amazing! The community came together to paint their history on the walls where they live to take pride from where we come from. I draw influences from the great Mexican muralist and of course from Frida Kahlo but also the muralist from California like Judy Baca.

But more importantly draw my inspiration from the thriving art and activist scene in San Antonio from the local artist in my community. I remember see artwork from Alex Rubio (a mentor), Agosto Cuellar, Terri Ibanez, Debra Vazquez, Agosto Cuellar, and Vincent Valdez. Theirs was an arte with a certain flavor and heart so sincere I haven’t seen anywhere else.

I also draw inspiration from Carl Sagan, and PBS and NOVA, Stephen Hawkins, from Copernicus, and teachings from Krishna consciousness.

But most of all I draw inspiration from the people I meet and their stories mainly from the incredibly strong fierce women whom I call friends and family. It amazes me how many stories we tell each other in secret ones that aren’t meant to be heard but instead felt. It is that which I try to honor and paint, that journey inward that leads outward to liberation.

@PrinceRoyce a Coach on La Voz Kids

Prince Royce

Bachatero Prince Royce has been added to ‘La Voz Kids’ list of coaches. The show is a singing competition for kids 7-14 that will air this Spring on the Telemundo Network. “Prince Royce represents the new Latin artist generation with Hispanic roots, born and raised in this country,” said Daniel Cubillo, VP of content development, non-scripted, at Telemundo Media.

“He has an incredible ability to mix cultures, languages and musical genres that make him a great reference point for the kids and represent the future of Latino music in our country.”

Prince said in a statement “It is a chance to help develop and encourage young developing artists, not unlike the youngster I used to be. I am committed to being the very best coach for the kids and for the competition.”

“La Voz Kids” will be the first Spanish-language version of the “Voice” to air in the U.S. “La Voz Mexico,” “La Voz Argentina” and “La Voz Colombia” has aired to good numbers in Latin America.