Photo credit: MikeSweetman
“Music is an escape and a shelter. During treatments, music brought beauty in my life, where everything was so ugly and painful. It helped me to disconnect from my reality and to connect with my emotions. Playing gave me the chance to express my darkest feelings, but also by letting myself be carried away by more soothing and joyful pieces.”
Are we at the cusp of greater societal upheaval? Only time will tell. The collective events of the last year have made it palpable - what divides us is a sickness that runs much deeper than what is seen on screens. If there is a remedy to be had to heal this country and bridge the chasm among its citizens, from the picture that these photos paint, one is only left to assume that time is running out.
Patriots or rioters? Loyalists or terrorists?
They said they were fighting for their children and grandchildren. They said they were prepared to die that day for their country, and some did.
They Chanted, USA! They called to let the Proud Boys get through to the front line as they hurled weapons and debris at the capitol building while succeeding at scaling its walls. They broke barricades, windows, and doors and entered by the hundreds.
Journalists were beaten and stripped of their equipment, attendees of the riot were trampled and stomped upon.
Lawmakers ran from the senate floor to safety. The stark amount of capitol police officers present stood guard with guns drawn to protect cabinet members and democracy itself.
The photos below were taken by the brave photojournalists who were on the ground that day and one undercover law enforcement officer who was willing to share a few shots that he took while on duty. The photos are being shared by permission through Lummoxi’s head of photography.
Photo by Michael Ade
Photo by JasonAndrew/NYT
Photo by Erin Shafer
Photo by Julio Cortez / AP
"Only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our souls" - RFK
This short speech by Robert Kennedy from 1968 echoes into modern times, powerful and as relevant as ever. In it, RFK joins in words with Abraham Lincoln to remind us that appeals to violence, mobs of rioters, can never win. And those who make such an appeal will pay the cost.
However, the storming of mobs and rioters is rarely ever about pure anarchy. RFK's words are deafening as he implores us to look upon another kind of violence; the violence of institutions, inaction, decay, and the "slow destruction" of hopelessness, inequality, injustice, racism, and despair. This is the violence the leads the hopeless to hatred, intolerance, conspiracy, and insurrection. This is the violence that must be quelled before peace will prevail.
Now Serving Bacon
With a Side of Sacrilegious Kink Behind the Facepaint of an Impious Clown
The Bacons are a UK based counter-culture couple who seek out defunct abandoned haunts where the subject of their urbex photo shoots are often sexually irreverent, downright creepy, and totally intriguing.
Domestic Tensions Rise as We Learn to Live and Work From Home
Musicians creating music, artists trying to achieve their flow state, professionals on Zoom calls, or students in the books - in a situation where families are working from home - all are now fighting for prime real estate, specifically the quietest areas of the home.
photo by Bella Juliana Imperioli
n a curious string of events, Emmy-award winning actor, Michael Imperioli, puts down the piece and picks up an axe as frontman for the band, Zopa. Read their story and listen to the long-awaited debut album, 'La Dolce Vita'.
photo by Mike Sweetman
The Work of Mark Tennant:
An Ode in Oil to Rebel Youth
All rights to images in this post held by Mark Tennant, shared with permission.
Tennant masterfully paints across time and culture to thread together a contrasted ode in oil to the rebellion of youth, girlhood, and Americana.
Mr. Tennant is a master of movement and the human form in the context of space and time. Much of the artist’s recent work thrills in his ability to freeze a moment in time using all the properties of photographic imagery. Though much of what he captures on canvas carries the quality of motion halted in the flash of a camera...the oil scenes swing, hop, and dance with the exquisite motion of memories being recalled - a testament to the mastery of the painter. Tennant is able to pull off, not only the motion of a subject in a snap-shot but also the energy and flow of the greater context wherein the subject exists.
Corianna Klepac Artist/Painter
Mike Sweetman Photography
his year has been challenging for a variety of reasons. The uncertainty we're feeling over our health, perhaps; the economy, our children, unrest on the streets. It can overwhelm even the steadiest hands among us.
But, if there is any kind of a silver lining in a year that has only been adorned with chaos, it's that for a few months many of us suddenly had plenty of time to hit the pause button and do some serious introspection. Many thousands, including myself, have made the determination that the things we were doing before the coronavirus
enveloped the globe; things that have left us feeling unhappy and unfulfilled will no longer do. This is a time for remembering the lost things; the things that got left behind in exchange for the rat-race, the 9 to 5, the needs of the kids.
For many of us, that thing is art.
Hence, in the spirit of a renewed zeal to do the work of honing our artistic craft, or getting started with learning how to draw, we've compiled the top ten step-by-step drawing tutorials on YouTube.
Pick up your pencil, dust off your notebooks, read on. We have work to do.
hone your craft
Top Ten Step-by-Step Drawing Tutorials on YouTube
Racism & art: A painful history still nips at our heels
Candace Harding Medel | Updated 7.5.20
On May 17th, 1954, the US Supreme Court handed down a unanimous ruling on the Brown v. Board of Education case declaring the segregation of schools on the basis of race was “inherently unequal” thus violating the Equal Protection Claus of the 14th amendment.
Three months later, Ruby Bridges was born. At the age of 6, under the protections granted by the 14th amendment and on the guard of four US Marshals, Ruby became the first African American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana.
Famed American artist, Norman Rockwell, immortalized the moment in his 1964 painting, The Problem We All Live With.
Norman Rockwell, 'The Problem We All Live With', 1963
Ruby Bridges Escorted To & From School by US Marshals
The painting makes vivid an ugly time in American history. Some may take comfort in the notion that the ugliness of that racist time, when citizens where violently offended at the idea of children with dark skin sharing a classroom with their own white children, is far removed from us now; a terrible thing that happened long ago.
But it should be startling to consider that today, Ruby Bridges is just 66 years old. It wasn't that long ago. Generations of Black Americans still feel this painful history nipping at their heels.
It may be comforting for some to see this painful legacy as something that happened long ago, in a distant time, but it's necessary to understand that for millions, it's not far removed, it's not a distant thing, it's not unfelt and unseen. For Ruby Bridges and millions of other Americans, it is lived experience. Racism may have been beaten back at the fringes and in legal frameworks, but it's never been more evident - racism lives. The work of creating a better, more equal, more perfect union is as urgent today, as it was on May 17th, 1954.
Video courtesy of Video Blast Live | Ruby Bridges at 66 years old
The Future of Art, economy, & Humanity in the age of ALGORITHMS
by Abe M DeSantos | July 2 | 8 Min
When algorithms broadly outperform humans in the things humans do for work, art and small business will be the last sanctuary for humanity.
What is art?
25 Quotes by Famous Artists & Writers on Art & Culture
“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” – Jerzy Kosinski
“Art is meant to disturb, science reassures.”
– Georges Braque
“Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.”
– Leon Trotsky
Lummoxi is here to bring art to bear on a culture in upheaval; this is a platform for artists to come together to "disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed". If we can elevate the arts in society, we'll elevate our Humanity.
in Creative Writing
“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white-hot, on paper.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD
What was just last summer may now be vintage. People gathered on a warm summer day in the city square. Exchanging goods and ideas, breathing deeply the humid air filled with the scent of excitement.
Music plays, children laugh, no one wears masks to protect themselves from the invisible monster. No one is afraid they will get sick from hugging a friend.
Cheers to the day we get closer to this. Hold on to the lessons we have learned and the progress we will make. Remember those who were lost and let their exit not be in vain.
A Storm Comes
It all started on a limb
in a tree
where I clung
to watch the coming storm.
She clapped and cried as
she watched me change
while a sea of
black and grey horses
trampled the horizons
and thundered forth
on lightening and fury.
I tumbled to the Earth
from the branch
only to be caught up by the swirling
winds of revolution and war.
One by one, we laid the hills ahead
to rest, filled the valleys,
and I prayed for rain.
Hearts of Men
by Mike M. Misevicious
Enjoy a sample of the debut novel, Hearts of Men.
unlight pours through the windowpane of Charlie's breakfast nook. It saturates a thick stack of plain white paper, leaving it luminescent within its bright hazes there atop the table. The placement for having the first-and-most-important meal of the day is, in fact, rarely used for this purpose. But instead for housing laptops, printers, ink-cartridges, notebooks, manila envelopes, and just about anything else when would use to methodically put one's imagination to glorious use; for partaking in the unforgiving pursuit of indication. Charlie even has a small pile of publishing self-help books to aid in his tireless efforts. This space is utilized to bring some of Charlie's fantasies to life. Where he can obsessively unpack just a fraction of the imprisoned scenarios that whirl around up in his over-active, complex mind and attach them together into stories.
Outside his cluttered little home, it is a gorgeous Tampa morning. Various birds fly up and down, chasing and swooping as they play. Charlie stands, arms crossed, with a cup of steaming coffee in his left hand. The young man is of average height and weight with mid-length hair, arranged in a side-parted hair cut and his eyes are dark, not only their particular shade of brown, but the accompanying bags underneath. He wears beige khakis and a white, long-sleeved undershirt. He squints as he looks through the bright uncovered window of the nook. He winces through the sunshine, watching the swallows fly sporadically from the blue sky above and into the green shelter of a nearby red cedar tree. He ponders his main character's destiny and how he will align with it. Charlie has been working for some time on what to write and what not to write. In fact, he has been pondering all spring. Stockpiling ideas and angles. He's written seven books of fiction, four full-length novels, one novella, and two novelettes. He doesn't count his short stories within his total sum, but he should.
Now, he's gone back to his first story, his very first. It consists of fifty-thousand words, roughly, and after being read by trusted friends and knocked around the publishing industry -- where it has been pushed into the slush-pile, lost, dropped, kicked, stepped on, picked up, wiped off, flipped through, read, and returned--for 4 years, he has finally revisited it. No matter how long he watches the birds or fills his cup or even how many times light shines through his window, Charlie is perplexed. Is it the wrong timing? Bad luck? It had been a few years since he had read through it. Perhaps his growth as a writer should be applied. He isn't certain, but he questions himself about the only issue there could possibly be. Can a story really be that flawed structurally? He can think of no other reason why it is overlooked time and again and intense to fix it.
In the years that followed his first piece, he noticed something, something significant, when he wrote. He couldn't see it in the first book...somewhere within his second one...the structure began to build itself...naturally. The proper grammar simply came. Run-on sentences dispelled and so did his overly descriptive style, without sacrificing depth. Charlie was growing all the time, and he knew it.
In his backyard, he notices a red piece of material or...something. It's about twenty-five yards away in front of a row of well-manicured bushes. The ones at the back of his lot, below a line of trees.
He sits down, picks up a pencil, and stares at the blank page in front of him. He stares for one minute, then two. His eyes seem to burn. He writes ‘FUCK!’ Charlie rises abruptly from the table, cheeks filled to capacity with oxygen, and exhales steadily and methodically. "Fuuuuck," he whispers, as he lets the air out. “What is that?” One of the many troubles of being over-analytical is that you can allow a piece of foreign, red material to just lie there in your otherwise perfect little backyard uninspected, before discarding it and its allocated recycling bin.
If it were last autumn, the ‘red menace; in his yard wouldn't have bothered him. He’d had enough to keep him busy, but that was before the ‘breakup’. He had her to occupy him and wouldn't have noticed a red thing on his lawn, let alone cared.
Charlie has rewritten about ninety percent of a beautiful book about a group of brothers thrown into conflict with unrelenting evil. He’d thought of this story years ago; writing it in his head over and over and researching until finally putting his story to hard copy and now he's back to it and almost finished, he tries in vain to resist distraction, but looks at a picture set on his table. A child, himself at seven years old, if that. He then looks at a couple of piles of his most favorite books. On top of the nearest pile, lies ‘The Shack’ by W.M.Paul Young and ‘The Road’ by Cormack McCarthy is underneath it. He looks outside again to the red fleck and then over to another pile and to a pair of old beloved classics. One is much thinner than the other. He glances at the short story ‘A Tell-Tale Heart’ by Edgar Allen Poe and then at the epic ‘Alice's Adventures In Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll.
“Alright, what is it?” says Charlie. He crosses the kitchen to the side deck, where he jogs down the steps and around to his backyard.
Charlie is young and fit. He looks more at home outdoors than writing at a jumbled, make-shift desk indoors.
He thinks about his nearly completed re-write as he goes. His mind is aggravated as the distance between he and his work station widens and is less interested in the red thing outside now that he is on his way to it and no longer inside where he belongs to be. He approaches the mystery. As charlie picks it up, he realizes that it's a small Nazi German flag.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he asks the flag. He examines its pitch-black lines, bright white circles, and blood-red backdrop. Before turning to head back inside flag in hand, he scans the endless green landscapes beyond his backyard. Nothing but old wooden, split rail fencing separating vast, open fields. Suddenly, he hears a series of snaps from the large bushes behind him.
Before he can spin around to uncover the source of the disturbance, he feels a blunt, heavy impact on the top of his head. He falls to the ground. A sharp pain travels through his body. Charlie has entered dreamland.
For more on this debut novel by Mike M. Misevicius, visit our Creative Writing Page.
Dominic Chianese Jr.
Photography by Mike Sweetman
nown to most as a generous friend and devoted father. He was born and raised in Brooklyn New York and in every way, he personifies that city. From its classic appeal and mysterious alleyways, to the soft glow of the city lights that dance on the river at night. In all aspects, he is New York.
His writing is bold and speaks his truth loudly, yet Dominick himself is quite softspoken. Friendly and kind to all who shout their hello’s, and many do.
At first glance, he appears a bit rough around the edges. Cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, a skeptical look in his eye like he’s evaluating all who come close, and chances are...that’s exactly what he’s doing. For one to survive in the city as long as he has, they must always hold onto a bit of skepticism. It comes with the territory I suppose and is what causes the slight darkness in his eyes.
Catch him on a day he is accompanied by his raven-haired son and that is when the darkness fades, and his eyes are full of light. Like most fathers, whatever life was before a child is long gone and the most important role is, Dad.