Prud’hon preferred to draw with powdery applications of black and white chalk on blue or gray paper. Instead of using line, he created contours through stumping and built form through gradations of light.
Head of a Woman: Study for “The Happy Mother," 1810, Pierre-Paul Prud"hon. J. Paul Getty Museum.
Typewriter Series #710 by Tyler Knott Gregson
Text for Tired Eyes:
There’s a gift I can give to you even though you’re not the gift loving type.
It’s a small offering a single contribution a wrapper-free and bow-less box
filled with something you never asked for but maybe you’ve always needed.
This is my gift to you:
I’ll be the eyes to see what you don’t and I’ll be the voice that fills the ears
deaf to those things for too many nights and too many days that followed.
This is my tribute to all you don’t see, to the parentheses around your smile
and the way laughter slithers from your lips and curls the corners of your mouth
like they’re tied to hidden kites flying in hidden skies.
Open your eyes.
This is to how your feet throw heat and warm mine and how the sensation of calm
can literally travel from your fingertip to my fingertips and up my arms
into my chest. How the sight of you catching sight of me is enough to set
my heart sprinting. To the sheer volume of that heart’s beating and the way
it fills the room with noise like the sound of flags flapping in the wind,
or broken songs beating through broken speakers, this is to all you don’t see,
Open your eyes.
This is to the sound of my name in your mouth the way it dances off your tongue
and leapfrogs through the air to find me again. To the whispers and the screams,
and the muted mumblings of your tired morning voice and the words
you don’t remember saying and the ones you do. This is to the heart
that’s too big for your body and to your body that’s too small to hold
all your dreams. To the ballet of beauty that fills the empty moments of your
sleeping and the sunlight that paints your face to pull you from it.
Open your eyes.
I’ll be the eyes to see what you can’t the constellations of freckles
and beauty marks and the forgotten scars from forgotten wounds.
The hair that hangs like curtains over the windows of your eyes and the light
that streams in from behind them from some other place better than here
the beckons me to follow. To the pace of your breath and the warmth of it
on my cheeks and to the tracing of fingers on the valleys of my back.
This is my gift to you, and you’re not the gift loving type.
A tribute to the details you forget to notice and picture they create.
This is to you, all of you and what you are to all of me to the we to the
me you help create and shape and heal and change for all the right reasons
at all the right times.
Open your eyes.
Tyler Knott Gregson
When students learn about slavery in school, a lot of them often ask this question: “Why didn’t they fight back?” It’s a question that often remains unanswered because lesson plans don’t always address the grittier elements of history, particularly the slave trade.
But they did fight back. And one of them, Gaspar Yanga, changed history forever.
Often referred to as the “first liberator of the Americas,” Yanga was a leader of a slave rebellion in Mexico during the early period of Spanish colonial rule around 1570. By the year 1609, the large number of escaped slaves had reduced much of rural Mexico to desperation, especially in the mountains in the state of Veracruz.
Taking refuge in the difficult terrain of the highlands, Yanga and his people built a small maroon colony, or “Palenque”—a community of runaway slaves living on mountaintops. The colony grew for more than 30 years, partially surviving by capturing caravans bringing goods to Veracruz. In 1609, the Spanish colonial government decided to try to regain control of the territory.
Spanish troops, numbering around 550, set out from Puebla in January 1609. The maroons facing them were an irregular force of 100 fighters with some type of firearm and 400 more with primitive weapons such as stones, machetes, and bows and arrows. These maroon troops were led by Francisco de la Matosa, an Angolan. Yanga—who was quite old by this time—decided to use his troops’ superior knowledge of the terrain to resist the Spaniards. His goal was to cause the Spaniards enough pain to draw them to the negotiating table.
Upon the approach of the Spanish troops, Yanga sent terms of peace, including an area of self-rule. The Spaniards refused the terms and the two groups fought a battle that lasted for many years. Finally, unable to win indefinitely, the Spaniards agreed to give Yanga’s followers their freedom in exchange for ending the constant raids in the area and gain their help in tracking down other escaped slaves.
Additional conditions were also met, including:
1. Upon surrender, Yanga and his people would receive a farm as well as the right of self-government;
2. Only Franciscan priests would tend to the people; and
3. Yanga’s family would be granted the right of rule.
In 1618, the treaty was signed, and by 1630, the town of San Lorenzo de los Negros de Cerralvo was established. The town name of “San Lorenzo de los Negros” was officially changed to Yanga, Veracruz in 1956. This town of more than 20,000 people remains under the name of Yanga today.
» Contributed by Raymond Ward, DuSable Museum of African American History.
Bad Things – “Caught Inside”
Pairs Well With…Imagine Dragons, The Script, Foster the People
Bad Things are coming out the gate with a huge sound, understanding the power of a hook-perfect chorus and modern rock drive. It’s the bridging of radio-friendly pop-rock and more inventive tones that make Bad Things stand out, especially coming from a debut. 2013’s self-titled LP has legs, loaded with lovable tunes that catch the ear immediately. Strong production brings out the best in Bad Things, smartly putting Rob Schnapf at the helm to help Bad Things find that precise and fetching mix. Oh, and Bad Things has snowboarder Shaun White as their guitarist, so if that’s your thing, there you go.