Loading...
 
(Cached)

Poets Madmen Large Photo


Poets, Artists & Madmen

Throw a SweetWater 420 bottle cap any given Thursday night, and it’ll ricochet off multiple buzzy art openings. Robust dance and comedy scenes are fostering a new generation of talent. When Miya Bailey decided to expand City of Ink’s artistic mission, he set up Notch 8 Gallery in SWATS as a sanctuary for otherground artists and fans. Bailey and co-owner/-director/-curator Sharon Dennehy push a left-leaning, hip-hop-fed ethos through their gallery shows.

The Lucky Penny’s Work Room provides affordable space for dancers to stretch and hone their craft. Relapse Theatre shook off three years’ worth of dust to step back up as the comedy community’s quote-unquote church, immediately stacking lineups with local and touring talent, including promising young comic Ismael Loutfi. And each week, ATLiens count on the 1AM Secret Show at Smith’s Olde Bar to reel in the laughs and an über-celebrated surprise guest comic. Artist Peter Ferrari and other Forward Warrior disciples (below) took to Wylie Street again this summer to keep the geolocated ’grams colorful.

The last year found Atlanta’s arts community more blazing than ever. Such striving can be exhausting and inspire quite the sweat. Which can make you wonder, maybe that loathsome nickname Hotlanta wasn’t born of our tropical climate. Perhaps it’s meant to reflect our city’s visionaries: hot and on fire.

— Beca Grimm

Best art for everyday neurotics BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Sarah Hobbs
Artist SARAH HOBBS explored human neuroses in Perspectives of the Unexpected, a February show at Chastain Arts Center that also featured Atlanta artist Susie Winton. Hobbs’ large-scale chromogenic prints focused on modern anxieties ranging from the everyday, such as the homesickness that comes withmore...
Artist SARAH HOBBS explored human neuroses in Perspectives of the Unexpected, a February show at Chastain Arts Center that also featured Atlanta artist Susie Winton. Hobbs’ large-scale chromogenic prints focused on modern anxieties ranging from the everyday, such as the homesickness that comes with frequent travel, to OCD issues rivaling “Girls’” Hannah Horvath on a bad day. Hobbs chose homey suburban spaces to distort and humanize with clever installations, which she then photographed. In “Avoidance,” swaths of aluminum foil covered the windows and door of a neutral entryway. Post-It notes filled with tiny handwriting loomed over mismatched vintage floral-and-white bedding in “(untitled) insomnia.” Hundreds of vibrantly colored and black dreamcatchers overwhelmed the otherwise spartan bedroom of “untitled (voluntary mental facility).” Hobbs’ work questioned the idea of “normal” and how our inner states contrast with the curated masks we show the world. Her work drilled past social stigmas and expectations to portray day-to-day fears, look at what’s really going on inside, and make the viewer feel less alone. www.sarahhobbs.net. less...

Best artistic thought-provoker BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Fahamu Pecou
Much like hip-hop influenced artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Hebru Brantley, FAHAMU PECOU’s work celebrates blackness and is often strongly tied to street culture. It resonates on a cerebral, spiritual, and basic human level, which makes Pecou’s art relatable regardless of ethnicity. Pecou’s piecesmore...
Much like hip-hop influenced artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Hebru Brantley, FAHAMU PECOU’s work celebrates blackness and is often strongly tied to street culture. It resonates on a cerebral, spiritual, and basic human level, which makes Pecou’s art relatable regardless of ethnicity. Pecou’s pieces often portray the resilience, glory, and brilliance of black people and take the establishment to task. His painting “Word.Life.” from his exhibit Talking Drum at the Center for Civil and Human Rights earlier this year, features Ruby Bridges — the first black girl to desegregate schools — carrying a boombox instead of a briefcase. In August, his solo exhibit DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance opened at the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and uses West African spirituality to elevate black bodies in opposition to the deathly imagery of state-sponsored violence against unarmed victims. As a scholar and thought-provoker, Pecou has taken his perspective into both academia and mainstream media. In a piece for NBC News following Kendrick Lamar’s profound performance in shackles at the 2016 Grammy’s, Pecou offered critiques on the commodification of blackness. He’s had similar discussions as a guest lecturer at Princeton and Morehouse. As always, Pecou’s thoughts on the intersection of art and hip-hop and how that informs perceptions of blackness are explored regularly on his Tumblr, Scholarshit. www.fahamupecouart.com. less...

Best Atlanta theater tradition in the making BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Let Nothing You Dismay
Topher Payne’s holiday play LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY has the potential to become an Atlanta holiday tradition. The screwball comedy follows a couple awaiting the birth of their first child via surrogate, and features eight actors in 22 roles. When the birth mama wanders off, the couple’s well-meaningmore...
Topher Payne’s holiday play LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY has the potential to become an Atlanta holiday tradition. The screwball comedy follows a couple awaiting the birth of their first child via surrogate, and features eight actors in 22 roles. When the birth mama wanders off, the couple’s well-meaning but uninvited family members are desperate to find her. The show moves at breakneck speed — one actor pops offstage and reappears only three lines later as a totally different character. With Payne continuing to find success as a writer around the country, it’s nice to see him staying true to his roots and produce new work here in Atlanta. A truly funny show by a local writer and featuring local talent like Amanda Cucher and Gina Rickicki, who slips in and out of a Botox-induced facial paralysis at warp speed, is worth celebrating. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road. 770-396-1726. www.stagedoorplayers.net. less...