Natural born feminist, gang queen and bad ass lover of bad ass men.

Click here to read the rumors of her life.

Famous (and notorious) while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered.  It can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Bernini, and Rembrandt, and artists in the following generation heavily under his influence were called the “Caravaggisti” or “Caravagesques”, as well as Tenebrists or “Tenebrosi” (“shadowists”).

Andre Berne-Joffroy, Paul Valéry‘s secretary, said of him: “What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting.”[3]

Caravaggio fled Milan for Rome in mid-1592 after “certain quarrels” and the wounding of a police officer. He arrived in Rome “naked and extremely needy … without fixed address and without provision … short of money.”[7] Already evident was the intense realism or naturalism for which Caravaggio is now famous. He preferred to paint his subjects as the eye sees them, with all their natural flaws and defects instead of as idealised creations.

The Grooms’ Madonna, also known as Madonna dei palafrenieri, painted for a small altar in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, remained there for just two days, and was then taken off. A cardinal’s secretary wrote: “In this painting there are but vulgarity, sacrilege, impiousness and disgust…One would say it is a work made by a painter that can paint well, but of a dark spirit, and who has been for a lot of time far from God, from His adoration, and from any good thought…”

Caravaggio led a tumultuous life. He was notorious for brawling, even in a time and place when such behavior was commonplace, and the transcripts of his police records and trial proceedings fill several pages. On 29 May 1606, he killed, possibly unintentionally, a young man named Ranuccio Tomassoni.[20] Previously his high-placed patrons had protected him from the consequences of his escapades, but this time they could do nothing. Caravaggio, outlawed, fled to Naples. There, outside the jurisdiction of the Roman authorities and protected by the Colonna family, the most famous painter in Rome became the most famous in Naples. His connections with the Colonnas led to a stream of important church commissions, including the The Seven Works of Mercy.[21]

Most of Caravaggio’s religious subjects emphasize sadness, suffering and death. In 1609 he dealt with the triumph of life and in doing so created the most visionary picture of his career (The Raising of Lazarus).  The old story that Caravaggio had a freshly-buried body exhumed for this painting is “probably apocryphal, but not beyond the bounds of possibility” (John Gash). Contemporary reports depict a man whose behaviour was becoming increasingly bizarre, sleeping fully armed and in his clothes, ripping up a painting at a slight word of criticism, mocking the local painters.[25]

In Naples an attempt was made on his life, by persons unknown. At first it was reported in Rome that the “famous artist” Caravaggio was dead, but then it was learned that he was alive, but seriously disfigured in the face. He painted a Salome with the Head of John the Baptist (Madrid), showing his own head on a platter, and sent it to de Wignacourt as a plea for forgiveness. 

In the summer of 1610 he took a boat northwards to receive the pardon, which seemed imminent thanks to his powerful Roman friends. With him were three last paintings, gifts for Cardinal Scipione.[28] What happened next is the subject of much confusion and conjecture. The bare facts are that on 28 July an anonymous avviso (private newsletter) from Rome to the ducal court of Urbino reported that Caravaggio was dead. Three days later another avviso said that he had died of fever. These were the earliest, brief accounts of his death, which later underwent much elaboration. No body was found.[29

Click here for the full round up of the life and works of Caravaggio

“I can barely comprehend what I am seeing. It is worse than any movie scene I have ever watched and far beyond anything I could imagine.”

Read Christina Boye’s wrenching reort in the Daily News

Wyclef Jean’s foundation has set up an easy way to donate to the Haiti earthquake victims through texting “YELE” to 501501.  A $5 donation will go to Haiti’s earthquake, the donation will be listed on your cell phone bill.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) — Haiti’s capital awoke to increasing desperation Thursday morning, a day and a half after a devastating earthquake, with covered bodies piling up along streets and modern aspects of life, such as electricity, mostly missing.

The streets of Port-au-Prince resembled grainy black-and-white newsreels from World War II that showed the rubble of bombed-out houses in Berlin and London. The devastation was wide and often horrific.

A one-hour drive from the airport to a walled-in hotel where the CNN contingent is staying revealed the widespread destruction from Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

Flattened and severely damaged houses were found on every block, and the streets were choked with pedestrians and residents. They set up overnight camps and slept by the thousands in dark and crowded parks and on sidewalks, for fear of being inside if another powerful quake hit.

Numerous aftershocks have rattled the capital.

Sporadic gunfire was heard Wednesday night outside the hotel where CNN is lodged.

Sirens could be heard at times, but the predominant sounds in the pre-dawn darkness were the shouts and screams from the thousands of people who spent the night in a dark park across the street. A rooster’s crowing could sometimes be heard above the din.

After electricity in the hotel was shut off at 1 a.m., CNN technicians worked on satellite equipment by flashlight.

The hotel resembles a compound, with razor wire topping eight-foot walls and a gated parking lot, guarded by a man wielding an old shotgun. And although the hotel’s residents seemed safe, and street violence had not been seen, there was a feeling of apprehension.

As dawn broke, residents wandered slowly through the streets, their destination unknown in a city with seemingly nowhere to go.

– Click to read more on CNN and walk the streets of Port-au-Prince

R.I.P Jay Reatard

January 13, 2010

Very, very sad news: It has been confirmed that Jay Reatard has died. He was 29 years old. More details are forthcoming.

Goner records writes, “It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our good friend Jay Reatard. Jay died in his sleep last night. We will pass along information about funeral arrangements when they are made public.” The Memphis Commercial Apeal reports that Reatard was found in his home at 3:30 am this morning.

Reatard, born Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., was a staple of the Memphis garage rock scene for years before bursting on the national scene with 2006’s Blood Visions and subsequently signing to Matador. His most recent album, Watch Me Fall, came out last year.

A statement from Matador reads, “Jay was as full of life as anyone we’ve ever met, and responsible for so many memorable moments as a person and artist. We’re honored to have known and worked with him, and we will miss him terribly.”

Pitchfork.tv captured Jay Reatard and his band many times over the years. Below, find a couple of clips in tribute, from an October 2007 set at New York City’s Cake Shop and an October 2009 performance on A>D>D:

– Pitchfork

Click here for a song

DethJunkie

January 4, 2010

dethjunkie.tumblr.com A collection of images found by the creator and a random button. Instant inspiration.