It’s the most wonderful time of the year: The New Fall TV Season. And surprise, surprise visual art once again has its place in the pantheon. Last season, a lot of talk was dedicated to the abundance of Kehinde Wiley and Basquiat work showcased on Empire. But the Lyons family isn’t the only hip hop obsessed family with an eye for art. It turns out Fresh Off the Boat has also been making it’s own statements. Both season one and season two features American art classics reimagined with the Asian American cast for the promos.
The first season channeled American Gothic.
Season 2’s art work is a bit more modern and takes on Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, painted in 1942.
Because Nighthawks is so accessible it has been used in pop culture often, in everything from The Simpsons to The Tick. Fresh off the Boat’s take is unique because of the explicitness and details of the characters: a multigenerational Asian American family. While I love this take on the painting, I have to admit my favorite version has always been Gottfried Helnwein’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Perhaps it was being able to easily identify characters that I did not identify with that allowed me to connect with this pop culture infusion of the work.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Helnwein, 1984 Source: Pinterest
Thanks Hopper for the gift of art that keeps on giving.
A new play about Seneca Village, a black community that once existed in the modern day Central Park area, has been garnering attention. For one, intellectual America is having a national moment about all things Civil War related. Seneca Village, a community that was vibrant between 1825 and 1867, before being torn down for the Vaux and Olmsted meh park, definitely falls into the category of kind of sort of part of the nation’s forming at the time of the War. Also, New York is definitely going through a moment with confronting ideas about gentrification and displacement.
Earlier this year, Creative Time along with the Central Park Conservancy presented Drifting in Daylight. They too took time to recognize Seneca Village. Karen Olivier’s piece, HERE AND NOW/GLACIER, SHARD, ROCK was a billboard that made the view contemplate the changes in time with artifacts from Seneca Village and imagery of the current site. The billboard changed as you walked pass, and I was able to capture really cool video. Unfortunately people’s private conversation about spirituality was also captured, so you get my stills. Also, check out Creative Time’s site on the installation here.
The People Before the Park by Keith Josef Adkins; directed by John J. Wooten. 1856 is playing until September 20th at the Kean Theater in New Jersey. More information is available on their website.