There’s a heat wave burning up the streets these past few weeks, and I’m not talking about the temperature. I’m speaking of the global phenomenon Pokemon Go, which has gamers flocking to the great outdoors in the hopes that they’ll “Catch ’em all.” This month Crixeo takes a look at this megahit.
Speaking of megahits, our lead artist Arturo Delgado has been working hard on the Star Wars Biker Scout Helmet Project, which benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If you’re a fan of The Force, you’ll love the brilliant designs shown in this month’s issue.
Those aren’t the only designs worth seeing either. Fans of the esoteric and the deep mystery and history of the tarot deck will love Michael M. Hughes’ in-depth look at the rich, evocative imagery of ancient decks in tarot card readings.
And get ready for one of the most honest and raw interviews from WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. In part two of this riveting six-part series, his firstborn son, Brandon, joins in the conversation and sheds light on what it was like growing up with a pro-wrestling dad.
As always, there’s so much more to sink your teeth into in this month’s issue of Crixeo. So get comfortable, start scrolling and invite your friends to join you at the intersection of life and art.
Niantic Labs’ Pokemon Go is an overnight phenomenon. Last month my town had a festival themed around logging — because I live in the real-world version of Twin Peaks, apparently. The mayor challenged a local restaurant mascot, a pirate, to a log-rolling competition. The mayor won, thank goodness. But the moment everyone’s focus was released from witnessing a man in a tailored suit outpace a man with a plastic hook for a hand on a half-submerged oak, everyone drew out their smartphones — either to check the time, find the next place to grab a beer or a hot dog or, in many cases, to see what Pokemon were lurking in the vicinity. Alexander Koerner / Stringer / Getty Images I did both: grabbed the beer and joined the hunt. Seated near the sidewalk at my favorite watering hole in the balmy Midwestern heat, I people-watched as they moved past the bar …read more
When you give an artist a blank scout trooper helmet and total freedom, the results are brilliant. It was a dream assignment for Tom Spina, owner of Tom Spina Designs in New York. The owner of a company known for restoring original movie props, among other things, received an unfinished scout trooper helmet. You know, the one from Star Wars? He was told to decorate it any way he wanted, no boundaries. “The instructions were to come up with something that would bring in a lot of bidders,” Spina says, and he says the person who requested this “didn’t put any real limitations on it.” This was thanks to Simon Graham, who created a charity project in London called the Biker Scout Helmet Project. He contacted 35 artists and sent them all identical unfinished scout trooper helmets. Then he waited to see what would happen. The results of their work …read more
Home improvement design tips for your kitchen from The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home by Kelly Edwards. I once heard that people are judged on two areas of their home: their bathroom and their kitchen. With that said, I believe the kitchen is the heart of the home and should be given extra attention to be at its best. It’s the room we gravitate toward and end up spending the most time in. Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a killer peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich maker, having a great kitchen just makes everything taste better. Think about how you’d like your kitchen to function. What do you need most? Maybe it is storage, better lighting or a paint refresher. Even on a budget, you can give your kitchen the face-lift it needs. Do your research and figure out what’s realistic. Look through books and magazines and find styles and colors that speak …read more
In the second of a six-part series examining the private life of wrestling star Booker T, the WWE legend and his son offer a raw, unflinching look at their struggle to remain a family — and the crime that drove them apart. Emerging from an adolescence marked by poverty, drugs and jail time, Booker T went on to become one of the biggest stars in sports entertainment. But even as his career in the ring flourished, his journey as a father to his oldest son, Brandon Terrell Huffman, was characterized by clashes between the two headstrong men. As Brandon grew older and his actions grew more serious, the bond between the two would stretch to its breaking point — and well beyond. Here, in their own words, is an unvarnished look at their tumultuous relationship, from Booker’s attempts to warn Brandon off a life of crime to Brandon’s longstanding resentments …read more
Grounds For Sculpture invites visitors into a sprawling garden and contemporary art museum. In a nondescript section of Hamilton, New Jersey, deep within an industrial park, is an extraordinary cultural oasis that makes adults feel like children and fills children with an appreciation for the beauty that artists can create. Grounds For Sculpture is a park of 42 acres filled with history, fantasy and vision, founded in 1992 by John Seward Johnson II to promote contemporary sculpture. It is now home to works from well-known and emerging artists covering every medium and possibility of design. Housed on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds, the land at Grounds For Sculpture has been transformed into a green — in more ways than one. It’s an example of harmony between man and nature. Looking at its carefully planned landscaping, with trees and plantings offering the perfect backdrop for the artwork, …read more
This easy chicken recipe is my favorite. Why? Because (1) when I’m hungry, I’m hungry, (2) patience is not my strong suit, and (3) despite my faults, I try to eat healthy, balanced meals. Use mad science to make this recipe your favorite. Therefore... My Favorite Dinner A satisfying easy chicken recipe. 2 chicken thighs (I like them with bones and skin) 4 tablespoons flour Oil to brown thighs 2 tablespoons tomato paste Splash (or splashes) of brandy Chicken stock 1 potato cut into bite-size pieces 2 carrots cut into bite-size pieces 1 rib of celery cut into bite-size pieces Salt and pepper Onion powder Garlic powder Coat chicken in flour. Season to taste with salt and pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Brown in cooking oil. Set aside. Add more oil if necessary and cook veggies until they start to soften. Deglaze pan with brandy, add tomato paste and mix. …read more
Apichatpong Weerasethakul invites the world to dream of a better future for Thailand. Apichatpong Weerasethakul is an artist who speaks plainly about both the political and the personal. The Thai filmmaker has received international accolades for his work and is in high demand. Despite winning the coveted Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has often admitted his surprise at the film’s success. While the work was a very personal piece for the filmmaker, in the wider cinematic world it spoke to something much greater, revealing for one of the first times on the big screen what it means to be Thai. In the wake of Uncle Boonmee, Apichatpong Weerasethakul seemed to fall off the radar, but now he’s in the middle of a resurgence and the art world is watching. Characters dream in Uncle Boonmee Who Can …read more
Women’s fashion on TV is as varied as the female characters portrayed. It used to be that if you were a woman in a TV show, you were probably either a casually dressed homemaker or a businessperson in a work-appropriate power suit — sometimes both. There wasn’t much variation in women’s fashion, from mom jeans to pantsuits, because they represented the miniature boxes that female characters were put in. Now, however, if you flick through channels or hop around on Netflix for a bit, you can see a huge range of women’s fashion on TV — and glean something about each character from a glance at her wardrobe. Women in current shows range from aimless stoners and twentysomethings to powerful boss ladies in expensive suits, women who are successful professionals but dress like slobs, and women who are successful professionals but dress like children. Broad City, Comedy Central Let’s talk …read more
Crixeo lead artist Arturo Delgado journals his San Diego Comic-Con experience. After eight years of missing San Diego Comic-Con, it was time to go again. I normally come to conventions with costumes, but this time I wanted to enjoy the convention as a noncostumed fan. Trying to experience it like it was my first time, I had everything I needed: camera on my phone, badge, water, walking shoes and a messenger bag to carry free goodies. Before I hit the airport, I needed my liquid sent from heaven: Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Then I was off to spend five days with my nerdy and geeky friends and hopefully meet new ones. When I got to San Diego, it was time to bust out my walking shoes. And then it was time to act like a professional. (Do I really have to?) Wednesday was day one. Pro tip: If someone ever asks …read more
From Freaks and Geeks to Weezer, we’ve finally arrived in the wonder years of geek chic. In an episode of the tech-comedy Silicon Valley, Richard says, “For thousands of years, guys like us have gotten the shit kicked out of us. But now, for the first time, we’re living in an era when we can be in charge.” The “guys like us” are tech geeks and nerds, and it wasn’t that long ago that a reference to this type of entertainment would sneak under the radar, only reaching a segment of the population that personally identifies with the word geek. But today, in the era of geek chic, most of us are engaging in the consumption of nerd media and enjoying it. Times change. That’s completely obvious and probably doesn’t even need to be stated. In some respects, interests are passed down from birth, encouraged in some instances. Unfortunately, broad societal …read more
Can tragedy as a genre point the way to peace? “‘Man Killed by Falling Tree’ is not a tragedy,” explains Frank to Rita, in Willy Russel’s appropriately titled play Educating Rita (1980) — probably one of the better stories about mansplaining written in the 20th century. Frank, who is played by Michael Caine in the 1983 film version, alongside Julie Andrews as Rita, is attempting to illuminate the differences between a tragic event and tragedy, the genre. “Yes, it’s tragic. It’s absolutely tragic,” he goes on, “but it’s not a tragedy in the way that Macbeth is a tragedy. Tragedy in dramatic terms is inevitable, preordained.” (That’s preordained, not preordered. Macbeth is a play, not a McDonald’s sandwich. I checked.) Educating Rita, Acorn Pictures Many great thinkers have offered their 10 cents on what counts as tragedy — what its features are and why it’s worth our time — but …read more
For nearly 120 years, stop-motion artists have brought entertainment to the screen one click at a time. Stop-motion animation has been around about as long as film. It used to be if a movie was going to include a dinosaur, a giant crab or an army of reanimated skeletons, stop-motion was the only way such a sight could be achieved. Now with CG, stop-motion is seldom used outside of niche films because of the time and effort required, but some are holding on to stop-motion tradition to breathe life into some of the most endearing animated creations ever seen. Here we’ll cover some of the originators of the process as well as the filmmakers today keeping the technique alive — one tweak of a model and a click of the camera at a time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqvtRPFnEMo Originating in the late 1800s, the first use of stop-motion animation was in The Humpty …read more
Composer Dale North takes us inside the creative process of video game music scoring. You couldn’t escape it even if you wanted to. It crawls inside your head. Takes up residence. Music is arguably an essential ingredient to our daily lives. Video game music encompasses the fabric of the game player’s life. No matter what generation of gaming you hail from, those iconic video game themes — past, present and future — enhance the gaming experience. It can inspire courage, rage and even fear. Good video game music, whether you’re playing on a console, portable system, or your cellphone, is supposed to do those things to you. It’s supposed to take you deeper into the world it explores. What would Super Mario Bros. be without that jaunty theme? What would Grand Theft Auto be without the myriad radio stations punctuating the thrill of cruising the San Andreas streets? Music is as …read more
Clark Little puts himself into the ‘heaviest, sickest, gnarliest part of a wave’ to capture these stunning images. In one of the most famous surfing beaches in the world where the big waves can reach 30 to 40 feet high before barreling onto the shore, one photographer has made his mark, capturing the instant where water and earth, beauty and danger collide. That’s where Clark Little does his best work — he’s the master of shorebreak photography. “Shorebreak boom is like my shot of adrenaline,” says Clark Little. “I don’t mind getting sucked over the falls and getting smacked into the sand. I actually feed off of that and I feel comfortable in large shorebreak,” he says in Behind the Scenes of the Making of ‘I Am Different.’ Little has spent years of his life in the water, first on a board riding the waves and now in the waves, …read more
Avant-garde designers are rewriting the rules and making the world their art gallery. To make your way into the art world, you have to work within the “white cube.” Getting into the art gallery scene can be as easy or as difficult as your nearest connection. Those who’ve made it can attest that who they know has been as important as what they’ve created. Emerging artists, however, are starting to shake things up. For so long the art world has been based on exclusivity and close-knit circles, but it’s undergoing one of the biggest developments in recent years. In a bid to change the elitism of art gallery openings, a number of out-of-the box artists are expanding the reach of the cultural space. Building careers via unorthodox channels is very much en vogue today. Whether you’re looking at installation, videography, fashion design or street art, a huge range of unusual …read more
The internet is a gallery of contemporary Dadaism. Memes. The inexplicable internet phenomenon that gets better every time a fresh crop of Photoshopped pictures, gifs and Vines pop up on your screen. Thanks to the internet we can fully enjoy modern visual culture. Modern artists, such as Bill Domonkos, are using the internet to create their own digital art. The threshold to create art is lower than it has ever been and more people are expressing themselves online through contemporary Dadaism. https://vimeo.com/120899890 The internet reveals a wide variety of content. The most enticing part is the intersection between digital art and memes. Whether it’s Tumblr, Instagram or Twitter, you’ll regularly find outrageous user-generated content — photos, gifs or text. From the crying Jordan meme, pettiness with Disney’s Skai Jackson, Mr. Krabs blur meme, the various Drake meme-ifications from the best dancing gifs to a tiny Drake who’s randomly placed on …read more
A conversation with comic book creator and innovator of black superheroes, Arvell Jones. When the Marvel Netflix TV series Luke Cage goes live on September 30, viewers will be treated to another, hopefully riveting Marvel Universe narrative, but this one will be a little different — it’ll focus on a black superhero. Luke Cage in Jessica Jones, ABC Television Studio The title character, Luke Cage, has indestructible skin and Marvel.com describes him as superhumanly strong. He was last seen on the Marvel Netflix series Jessica Jones. His first appearance in comics was in 1972 in a book called Hero for Hire issue #1. Black superheroes, if they appeared at all in those days, were always men. It took a kid from Detroit named Arvell Jones to dream up another black superhero who happened to be a woman. He called her Misty Knight. Marvel in the ’70s The mid-’70s were a time …read more
In praise of the rich, evocative imagery of ancient decks in tarot card reading. If you read tarot cards and live in the US or England, or if you’ve had a tarot card reading outside of continental Europe, chances are the cards laid down in front of you were from the ubiquitous Rider-Waite deck or one of its many variants and clones. Occasionally, you might run into a reader who uses the Aleister Crowley–designed Thoth tarot. But the majority of readers use the Rider-Waite and its imitators. Three of Swords from the Rider-Waite (left) and CBD Tarot de Marseille (right). Part of the reason is the ease of use. The Rider-Waite (sometimes called the Rider-Waite-Smith, or RWS, to honor the artist, Pamela Colman Smith), unlike older tarots, has pictorial scenes on every card — a revolution when it was introduced in 1909. In pre-20th-century decks, all of which came out …read more