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Black and Blue

2 Mar

March 2, 2021 —When I saw these two people heading towards each other while driving in Riverdale a week or so ago, I stopped at the stop sign for more than the usual instant to grab my phone and take several photos. The intensely different way each walker was protecting themselves from the wet snow speaks for itself, and what you can, and cannot, see of them does the same. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

Bronx Activist Karen Washington in The Times’ … Style Magazine!

1 Mar

March 1, 2021 — Karen Washington, a retired physical therapist, deserves coverage across the planet for her dedication to urban farming, healthy eating, social justice, and all the other work she has done in the Bronx and beyond.

But it was a surprise — a tad odd, but very cool nonetheless — that Washington (at left in photo below) and two other women, securing healthy food for all and fighting exploitation, were featured in the New York Times’ Style Magazine a couple of weeks ago. (Click below to read the article). I know Karen: wonderful, caring person, who is on the board of the Mary Mitchell Center in the Crotona section of the Bronx, the neighborhood where she also lives. In addition to the article below, you can read more about her here, here and here.

Leonardo’s Work at Bronx Museum Ignites Focus, Thought, and Hopefully … Action

26 Feb

Feb. 26, 2021 — The Bronx Museum of the Arts was almost empty when I was there on Wednesday, but the message of its Shaun Leonardo exhibit, “The Breath of Empty Space,” was full … and forceful. 

The reflections from the glass covering of each large piece make you walk up close and wonder why the heck the curator didn’t see the reflections when they were installed. When I walked up to the piec, I didn’t understand what I was looking at. I saw various clothed body sections but I didn’t understand the action being taken. There were even cutouts from the charcoal drawing.

All this had purpose. 

Though the head of a person was non-existent, that empty half-body-like section was filled with parts of me. No, I was not killed, nor did I kill, but the message I interpreted for myself is that I have some role in the tale, even if I was in bed, or at Starbucks or on a bike ride for the seven minutes that Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck. Anti-racism doesn’t mean not killing or not saying racist things. It means acting, speaking, showing up — against racism. There were other pieces created with related messages, some a little harder to interpret, for me at least, which is why I need to, and look forward to, returning to the exhibit to look, and think more. And read more about racism in general. And learn. And act. 

In a video on the museum’s site, Leonardo shares his message briefly but in these minimal, intense words he offers more than any art critique can provide. 

[It took me a few minutes (and I think my friend, Larry, pointed it out) to see that that the emptiness in this piece with my, and the exhibit’s, reflection in center, was the absence of George Floyd. What’s more powerful than that?]

“And if you experience something lodged in your body, some guttural, visceral impression, then I wish for you to stay with that for a moment, to sit with the hurt,” he said, “so that you may leave this exhibition questioning the ways that we perceive. And at the end of this experience, we may discover ways to move differently in the world and to breathe life into this history of violence.”

The show is on until May 30. Attendance is free but you must make a reservation which is rather easy. Go if you can!

Kingsbridge Armory’s Endless Stall

18 Oct

It drives me a little nuts, everytime I walk or run by the Kingsbridge Armory. 

I first wrote about it in 1993; community organizers and activists with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition got involved soon thereafter; and after many starts and stops and Mayor Bloomberg’s heavily defeated proposal to make a mall out of the giant joint (more than 500,000 square feet!) without  a promise of a fair wage for workers, a group that adhered to a fair-wage deal finally got a plan saluted and signed by all sides. Named the Kingsbridge National Ice Center was going to be nine ice skating rinks for pro-hockey, and locals too. But the last word I found was in 2017 here and here. It’s been six years since there was a “deal” in 2014. Argh!!!!

Kingsbrige Armory. Where is it headed? Photo by Jordan Moss

Bronx Documentary Center Hosts Discussion with 2 Latin American Photographers

5 Aug

On Instagram, this Friday, Bronx Documentary Center is hosting discussions with two exhibiting photographers, Adriana Loureiro Fernández and César Rodríguez. Details here.

The Red I Found in Kingsbridge (Bronx)

3 Aug

8.3.20 — Asked as a kid what my favorite color was, I’d always say purple. But if you look at my art (IG: @jordanmossart), begun at age 48, there’s a ton more red. It’s me, but not a me I’ve gotten to understand too well. Why did it dominate my work so far? Dunno.

I took a bunch of shots at this one fire alarm on Godwin Terrace, a street, believe it or not, I’ve never walked or run on until today. I was headed in that direction from a run in Marble Hill, which despite my decade-and-a-half life in Kingsbridge Heights, I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve walked or run through it. Anyway, the reds, pinks, oranges in here blow me away. To me, this is a kind of art I could never, or should never, create. Yes, I will use/steal aspects of its textures and colors and take photos of it galore, choosing the parts I like and even editing its color (didn’t here). But it’s not any kind of message coming through me; it’s beauty and intensity I ran into. It is, I guess, an ongoing focus of my photography. (I took a ton more shots today but this is the one I like most.)

Photo by Jordan Moss

Speaking of my red artwork, here’s a recent piece of my mixed media abstract work that I began a good while ago at the Art Students League and completed over the summer.

“Keep Going” 2020. 27 in. x 16 in. Acrylic, cardboard, plywood, sand. By Jordan Moss

As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged in months, and not consistently in the last few years. I am no longer a journalist, but I reboot my blog here to focus on art, my art, Bronx art, local issues of all kinds and creativity in general. We’ll all see where I head with it. Your input, ideas and thoughts are welcome. The Bronx matters.

A Diner/Restaurant at Former Van Cortlandt Library Site? (Bronx)

6 Dec

OK, people don’t complain to me about this. I never hear anyone say, “Oh, I wish we had a good restaurant on Sedgwick Avenue.” But I think of it every darn time I walk on the block and I’ve got a vibe that many locals reading this will agree, or have their own suggestions for what we need on the block (it literally is just about a block, maybe even less).

The thing I think about most is that there are many elderly residents in this area. Yet, aside from a pizza place, there isn’t a single restaurant they can easily walk to and have breakfast, lunch or dinner. And if there were a diner, or some good breakfast/lunch joint, that would benefit everybody.

Here’s where it could be … where the Van Cortland Library used to be (they’ve moved to a beautiful new building on Cannon Place).

IMG_2181

Whether you agree with this or not, I think we all agree that we need something good and useful here, and we should try to figure out what is most wanted by Van Cortlandt Village and Kingsbridge Heights neighbors. So, what do you think? Just comment below and I’ll repost what you’d like to see. Thanks!

-Jordan Moss

Eastern Bloc Artists’ Exhibit at Derfner Judaica Museum at Hebrew Home (in Riverdale/Bronx)

13 May

Fremund

Richard Fremund (Czech, 1928–1969), Easter Landscape (Velikonocni Krajina), 1963, oil on canvas, 35 x 45 1/2 inches.

If you love art, you should get to know, if you haven’t already, the Derfner Judaica Museum, based at the Hebrew Home, in Riverdale. It’s free and wonderful to see. Here’s info on the exciting exhibit and opening on May 19 to check out …

“Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale is pleased to announce its latest exhibition, From the Eastern Bloc to the Bronx: Early Acquisitions from The Art Collection, on view in the Derfner Judaica Museum from May 5–August 25, 2019. A reception and curator’s talk will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019, from 1:30–3 p.m. in the Museum, located at 5901 Palisade Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. This event is free and open to the public. R.S.V.P. 718.581.1596 or art@hebrewhome.org. Photo I.D. required for entry at all times. 

“The exhibition is part of the Derfner Judaica Museum’s 10th Anniversary celebration, which will include several events and activities throughout the summer.” More info here

 

Rabin

Oscar Rabin (Russian, 1928–2018), Cats Under Crescent Moon, 1963, oil on canvas, 35 ½ x 43 ½ inches

love art, you should get to know, if you haven’t already, the Derfner Judaica Museum, based at the Hebrew Home,  in Riverdale. (It’s free and wonderful to see.) Here