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Artist Decoded

"I started this series as a means for exploration, an exploration of self, and an exploration of the perspectives of other artists. This series is an unabridged documentation of conversations between artists. It’s a series dedicated to breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds. I want to inspire future creatives to have the courage to explore and experiment. This is about making dreams a reality and not about letting our dreams fall to the wayside. My intention is to give my audience a sense of real human connection, something that feels rich and organic. When I was thinking of a title I thought of the word “movement”. In relation to the Renaissance period in art, my goal for this program is to signify a rebirth of consciousness towards the way we look at contemporary art." - Yoshino (@yoshinostudios)
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Now displaying: June, 2021
Jun 28, 2021

For the first episode of AD’s Movie Club, Justin will be discussing Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 2008 Film Tokyo Sonata with three of his close friends.

First, we are joined by photographer and podcast host, Yoshino.

Yoshino uses his photography to draw out deep lingering emotions while seeking to unveil a psychological truth embedded within all of us. He attempts to create a dichotomy and a confluence between his observations, molding them together between varying ideas and disparate elements. With these images, he invites the viewer to enter his world and to give space for the contemplation of their own personal framework and reality.

Yoshino is also the host of the Artist Decoded podcast.

Amirtha Kidambi is a composer, performer, and professor currently living in New York City.

Kidambi earned an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Columbia University, an M.M. in Voice and Musicology at CUNY Brooklyn College, and a B.A. in Voice from Loyola Marymount University. She currently serves on the faculty for the New School, teaching music history courses and heading a large-scale curriculum development project. She has also served on the faculty at Brooklyn College.

Ru Storey (They/Them)is a Los Angeles-based queer skater, graphic designer, and editor.
Ru and Justin are currently working on a short film to be premiered this summer.

Justin Daashuur Hopkins is an internationally exhibited artist and award-winning director.

Show Notes:

  • 00:01:47 - Tokyo Sonata’s plot
  • 00:04:39 - First reactions/thoughts on the patriarchy
  • 00:09:03 - The historical context of duty and shame
  • 00:14:00 - Structural issues of society and power dynamics
  • 00:24:00 - Questioning your reality and moving towards self-actualization
  • 00:35:38 - Reflections on the conversation
  • 00:39:04 - Elements of a sonata
  • 00:50:12 - Relinquishing of authoritarian control
  • 01:00:58 - Wrap up

www.artistdecoded.com

www.mubi.com/artistdecoded

Jun 22, 2021

Jan Hopkins is a master at creating sculptural vessels and figurative sculptures from unusual natural materials such as citrus, melon and pomegranate peels, lotus pods, fish skin, leaves, and seed pods. Each piece is a marriage of deep sensitivity and reverence to materials with a heavy emphasis on concept and innovation.

Jan studied basketry with indigenous and contemporary artists, learning the art of meticulous construction, the basics of how to gather and prepare materials, and understanding new concepts in design beyond traditional construction. In the early 90s, challenged with the depletion and unavailability of many of the natural basketry materials, she began experimenting and innovating new ways of processing organic materials that she successfully uses in her work today. Her initial aspiration was to preserve the beauty of the materials she began to by constructing vessel forms. Jan’s work evolved to more figurative work with narratives sewn into each intricately designed piece.

Jan and her husband Chris have also embarked on a deeply personal collaborative project about a part of her family’s history, The Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Piece by piece, Jan is puzzling together family stories that are both heartbreaking and inspiring. Jan states, “This project has changed the essence of my work and has challenged me to innovate new ways of construction and storytelling.” Their two-person show was exhibited at the Schack Art Center, Everett, WA in 2018. A future exhibit is scheduled to open at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art on Bainbridge Island in 2022, The timing of this exhibit marks the 80th Remembrance anniversary of the first Japanese Americans taken away from their homes on Bainbridge Island and sent to Manzanar Concentration Camp.

An award-winning artist, Jan has exhibited across the United States and featured 8 years at SOFA International Expos, held annually in New York, Chicago, and Santa Fe. Her work is included in museum permanent collections across the country including the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA, Museum of Art and Design in New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI.

Show Notes:

  • 00:04:27 - Jan’s experience being a part of a family of artists
  • 00:10:48 - Jan’s journey towards artistry
  • 00:17:12 - Great ideas finding us
  • 00:20:15 - Results-oriented thinking, taking you away from the process
  • 00:22:23 - Intuition and spirituality
  • 00:26:34 - The elements and materials that guide Jan’s art practice
  • 00:31:27 - Jan's focus on narrative artwork
  • 00:39:15 - The inspiration behind Jan’s exhibit “Americans Interned”
  • 00:58:56 - The power of cultural art
  • 01:03:27 - Wrap Up

www.artistdecoded.com

www.janhopkinsart.blogspot.com

www.instagram.com/janhopkinsart

Jun 14, 2021

Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult. He is among the few occult writers whose work touches the bases of academic scholarship, national journalism, and subculture cred. Mitch is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, and a PEN Award-winning historian whose books include Occult America; One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; and The Miracle Club.

The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.”

He has discussed alternative spirituality across the national media and is collaborating with Emmy-nominated director Ronni Thomas on a feature documentary about the occult classic The Kybalion, shot on location in Egypt. Mitch received the Walden Award for Interfaith/Intercultural Understanding. The Chinese government has censored his work.

Show Notes:

  • 00:05:50 - Mitch’s approach towards his craft
  • 00:09:52 - The origins of thoughts and ideas
  • 00:17:17 - The brain within the metaphysical
  • 00:20:57 - Tapping into an imaginal realm with art
  • 00:29:35 - Being honest with your desires
  • 00:36:10 - Artists going unrecognized
  • 00:42:42 - Being uncompromising in our desires
  • 00:50:06 - Depression and anxiety
  • 00:59:58 - Navigating dark energy
  • 01:06:43 - Free will
  • 01:10:52 - Hypnagogic state
  • 01:18:47 - The pathos of death
  • 01:29:46 - Wrap Up

www.artistdecoded.com

www.instagram.com/mitchhorowitz23

https://www.mitchhorowitz.com/

Jun 4, 2021

Damon Davis is a post-disciplinary artist based in St. Louis, Missouri. His work spans across a spectrum of creative mediums to tell stories exploring how identity is informed by power and mythology. He is well known for his body of work, Darker Gods, which explores Afro-surrealist manifestations of Black culture. Davis is a Firelight Media, Sundance Labs, TED, and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. He is the founder and creative director of St. Louis-based music label/ artist collective FarFetched and his work is featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Show Notes:

  • 00:03:18 - Reflections on George Floyd and 2020
  • 00:09:55 - Power dynamics in American society
  • 00:14:35 - The soulful impact of art
  • 00:17:40 - America’s amnesia & the complexities of blackness
  • 00:20:49 - Value systems
  • 00:29:56 - Damon’s intention with the mythology he created for “Darker Gods”
  • 00:33:39 - Power, wisdom, and empathy
  • 00:39:15 -The desensitization and fetishization of death
  • 00:45:07 - Critical thinking 
  • 00:49:46 - Wrap up

www.artistdecoded.com

www.heartacheandpaint.com

www.instagram.com/damondavis

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