Tall Ships” was a painting created after Vincent Farrell made a trip to New York City in 1984 during the first Fleet Week. Inspired and fascinated by the ships grandeur and magnificent displays he created many paintings and drawings of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard active duty ships which dock in the Hudson River.

As New York celebrates Fleet Week I would like to personally thank our United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard for their dedication and service!

To view photos of this years New York City Fleet week you may click on these links : The U.K. Daily Mail , The New Haven Register’s New York City Fleet Week Photo Slide Show.

In honor of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum has joined the celebrations in New York City for the 25th annual Fleet Week for more information on the festivities, which run from May 23 – 29 ,  click on this link : Intrepid Museum Fleet Week program for all the information regarding the visiting ships which come from all around the world to dock in New York Harbor, Pier displays, movie night, performances and so much more!

Click here : for the official Fleet Week NYC website

The Difficult Journey Is Half The Fun, Even When You Don’t Know It

For all you dream chasers out there who feel as if you will never achieve what your heart desires, don’t worry! We have no control of what twists and turns life gives us. Do not ever compare yourself to the perceived success of others…most of the time those folks are lying about how wonderfully happy they truly are . Just do the best you are able to do even in the worst circumstances, in the kindest way possible.

Francis Bacon, Sui Generis

Sui generis , is Latin for ‘of its own kind’ and that best describes the art of Francis Bacon. Standing alone, with no predecessors to derive from, Bacon was a master draftsman and painter , he could draw the human form and then turn it inside out by super-imposing multiple images which all had everything and nothing to do with each other. A lone and rare painter who was deeply sensitive, who was fortunate to receive accolades in his life time and at the very same time extremely unfortunate because those recognitions came at a very dear price. Sotheby’s has created a short film about the artist and the link :

Francis Bacon Sale Highlight will tell the story.

Vincent Farrell Post-Impressionist Artist Extraordinaire by Susan Van Brackle

Susan Van Brackle , editor of Home and Hearth Magazine wrote a lovely article about the art of Vincent Farrell. In addition to this new article Susan wrote, I had an amazing experience working with her on the online gallery exhibition which ran on Home and Hearth Magazine from April 20th-28th, 2012. The painting “Floral with View From El Moro” was featured in the online exhibition among other works created by artist Vincent Farrell . To read Susan’s article please click here.

For all of you I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Floral Still Life with a View of El Moro Bay

Adam Yauch, MCA, 4EVER

MCA 4EVER, Beastie Boy’s Adam Yauch

A person whom I hold as a dear friend, Adam Yauch 1964-2012, of the hip hop group the Beastie Boys passed away on May 4, 2012 due to cancer. Known as MCA to Beastie Boy fans across the globe, he was one of the people , including Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, who were instrumental in helping me become a photographer when they gave me the privilege to photograph them for my first magazine cover in November of 2004. The photos in this post come from that cover story in People In Groove Magazine which was published in February 2005.

Adam Yauch ; self-taught Kung-fu master, filmmaker, poet, philanthropist as expressed in the Tibetan Freedom concert series and co-creator of the Milarepa Fund, a musician, was an all around artistic critical thinker. MCA became inspired by the art work of  the American expressionist painter Leroy Neiman, the ember which sparked his idea for the Beastie Boys Video, “Shadrach” .

In the summer of 1992, I had the privilege to sit down and have lunch with Adam in Milan,  Italy and we spoke at length about the video project. The Beastie Boys were on a small venue  and amphitheater tour across Europe in support of their 1992 release , “Check Your Head” it was the band’s third studio album and they were working hard on this tour with band and crew crammed into the same tour bus. The stories from the “Check Your Head” tour were hilarious and numerous but I will save them for another time. This particular day, the rest of the band and crew were headed out on a long over night drive to their next tour dates with Beastie Boy tour manager Bill Rahmy. Yauch, had decided to stay behind to spend the day in Milan and then he would travel to Switzerland to visit his family. Therefore, it is true, Adam Yauch does have Swiss family roots!

MCA took an art book of Leroy Neiman’s to the indie animation company Klasky Csupo in Los Angeles and they facilitated the colorful animation idea Yauch wanted for the video which was an actual moving fine art painting of film imagery . Having a unique artistic vision, which never was congruent with anything having to do with the status quo, MCA went into detail that day how “Shadrach” was shot on film and hand colored, frame by frame, in homage to Leroy Neiman. Every concept of how the film project would be executed originated with Yauch’s passion to make the video how he visualized it in accordance with his band mates.

The film footage of the band was shot at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood, California.  MCA, Mike D and AdRoc were performing the song, live, on stage in front of an audience, with Wendell Fite known as DJ Hurricane spinning records. The concert footage was converted by the actual application of color onto the film itself, which made the film footage of the band appear to be animated. Visual transitions from a concert reality of the Beastie Boys on stage performing then morphed into animated images of  the band and then transitioning to a surreal fiercely toothed bear, to a winged lion emerging from the sea, with moments of subjective artistic imagery intwined . Each frame was like a painting with in itself. “Shadrach” was a master piece of fine art and was the first video of its kind to be played on MTV. All of these concepts were spawned from the imagination of Adam Yauch.

Adam explained “Shadrach” was a monumental challenge, an ambitious film project. The experience on this film motivated Yauch to have all future Beastie Boy videos made in an independent environment, he wanted production to be controlled by the band themselves. A Beastie Boy precedence was set  in the music industry and it was  the very same conviction which laid the future foundation for his independent film and production studio Oscilloscope Studios.

It is not everyday one may say  a creative genre of filmmaking is born by way of a hip hop band during the end of the 20th century. However, Adam Yauch, together with Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, did for music video and filmmaking what George Braque and Pablo Picasso did when they created the art genre of Cubism. the Beastie Boys put unique story lines with strong visuals into movement and used ‘flowin’ prose’,  smokin’ grooves, rockin’ beats and humor spear-launched at the establishment to do so. No one had been successful enough to convey a visual message and have such a profound effect on so many people in the music video world  like the Beasties Boys. They poked fun at society’s sanctioned hypocrisy in terms of proper social conduct, The Beasties liked to ‘stick it to the man’ in a non threatening way by means of creative expression, wild imagination, humor and a lot of costumes, wigs and removable facial hair. MCA’s knowledge of art, his strong belief in his directorial concepts started with “Shadrach”  and the beginning of the Beastie Boys visual statement which changed the world’s perception of hip hop music videos .

This post is in tribute to the opportunities, respect and friendship given to me by the Beastie Boys and Adam Yauch. I send my sincere condolences to Dechen Wangdu his beautiful wife and his lovely daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch and their entire family. It is so hard to let the thought of him go because of everything he and the band did for me but I wish MCA a peaceful journey into the light.

vanessa forbes

Beastie Boys- Left Adam Yauch, Mike Diamond center, Adam Horowitz right