by Nik De Dominic
Inevitably when someone comes into New Orleans to visit, I have to roll them by the Banksys. But usually when I drag people into a larger conversation about street art, Banksy seems to be the limit of their familiarity. Because of this, I wanted to put together a brief introduction to seven other contemporary street artists you should know.
by Nik De Dominic
I spent most of yesterday putting together notes to write a defense of James Franco and his work. In 2002, before his life became the huge performance piece it is now, I had a run-in with Franco at a Warhol retrospective in Los Angeles. He was there alone, on a slow day, and seemed to be earnestly enjoying the work. These larger, hip retrospectives in LA are wont to become scenes – places to be seen as opposed to places to see, and it was clear he was there for the latter. That moment and this recent appearance on the Colbert Report endeared him to me. Franco’s a smart dude, and of course, it makes sense. His parents are the Keatons for god’s sake. The mother is a poet and an editor, and his father runs a non-profit; they met at Stanford. We should be lucky he didn’t go the way of Alex P. and isn’t Rick Santorum’s right hand. If you were to strip the celebrity from him, his academic endeavors make sense. Almost.
by Nik de Dominic
I teach developmental composition in the Westbank of New Orleans, over the bridge from my home. If you were to keep on driving out there, away from New Orleans, you would be in the area on the map that looks like it’s breaking apart into the sea. If you followed any of the spill (spill always feels like the wrong word, let’s call it THE FUCKING EARTH HEMMORAGE) that occurred recently, you’re familiar with some of these areas: Plaquemines Parish, Lafitte, Barataria. I’m from California; I ride my bike most days; my father was an artist; and my mother was responsible for negotiating minority contracts for the City of Los Angeles during the 80s. It’s easy to say that if I lean, I fall over left. For me, indentifying the enemy here is easy – oil.