As the late great Martin Luther King Jr. would have explained at one point, “riots are the language of the unheard;” and it seems a growing number of Americans seem to connect with this message as leadership fails. Young artist Malo BRIGADE uses his voice to express his connection to that language. “NOTHING GOOD then we gon’ make it bad, make you crack. Make it worse, worse, than you every had,” the chorus itself communicates that frustration, that feeling that nothing else can be done, when power is increasingly being endowed to the greedy. In its accompanying video NOTHING GOOD, you even get the visual counterpart of these intense actions and emotions, represented by images of violence, riots, and rebellious action.
Malo BRIGADE splits his NOTHING GOOD music video like a 3 act play, either intentionally or not, it keeps you drawn in. At the intro you get civil rights commentary Chicago Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton during riots regarding civility, layered over imagery of the same and recent riots that spread across the US since 2020, setting the tone for the song and video. Then you get the main body of the track, “Fight for the basic human rights, but you know the deny it. Ironic how bodies is lying, while they ass is lying,” chants Malo, clad in black among his brigade. Then the beat takes takes a pause, slows it down for an outro, bringing a whole different much darker energy, emphasis on the lyrics. Altogether a dope project in response to the social issues being focused on today, with more music on the way as he announces on social media! Follow at the links below.
Back in the middle of summer, Queen Mars had gone through some creative angst brought upon early lockdown orders, that was only cured through song and visual expression. She freed herself with the release of B!TCH, and its accompanying music video that she created with just a phone and strobe light. An artistically racy video that drew attention from censures and challenges, but was ultimately won over with support and admiration of a large audience at 11k views! That first B!TCH was a riot, but this second B!TCH is a boss!
With a new music video to top and remake the summer hit, Queen Mars turns on that boss B!TCH energy in this hyper artistic visual. With abstract visual symbolism at ever turn, Queen Mars goes from a confident, empowered woman to Picasso in just two videos. Starting at admiring herself in the mirror, to stoically sitting at a table like a center piece, laying next to a goldfish tied to floating balloons, to a favorite: fashionably posing like a Queen glowing in the sun, on a small platform fit just for her. All pointing to the fact that she is the one in control, she is that B!TCH. Whether she is creating her own music video, making abstract symbolic visual art, or just singing with that flawless and powerful voice. Join the 16k viewers in this experiencing this masterpiece!
Visual artistry has many different genres, just like music, and has been becoming more and more relevent in music itself as well. Fashion and style always been a part of music culture, and that is where you will see the photographer. As music videos become more frequent, more creative, you will find your video-graphers putting in work; on camera and in the editing process. Here is where you will find creatives like Candice Alise, who does a bit of it all and then some. She is a force to be connected with!
Currently stationed in Chicago, she did a lot of work overseas, significantly in Austria. Aside from painting, photography and videography, Candice is also an arts and event curator. Founder of Art After Dark with teams in Tunisia in North Africa and Vienna predominantly. With over 50 events curated between the two, she has began to expand her operation into the states, with Art After Dark Chicago and LA, connecting American and European local artists. Dragged to the states by opportunity and romance, she works close with Ever Evolved and other artists around the city.
Within regard to Ever Evolved, Candice offers her talents with marketing events, to taking photos of the artists in our studio and shooting video recaps for events as well. Offering similar services to other artists and creatives in the city, she will take it a step further (as soon as lockdowns are lifted), and take artists overseas to Europe, to a larger audience and vice versa. In the meantime she will be giving hip hop artists a platform online with Cyphers After Dark, a new cypher series collaboration, with artist and romantic partner Wilhelm Duke, showcasing lyrical ability of Chicago’s finest local hip hop talent. Episode 1, Directed and edited by Candice, out now on Youtube with RhymSter, WRDS, Radcliff Music, Wilhelm Duke, RapCrush and Azmattic.
Maalik Falsetto is a Chicago filmmaker, photographer and producer with his own production company, Maalik Falsetto Productions. He started this company in 2016 to cater to creatives and help them see their film and photography projects come to life. Maalik recently won the My World Is Yours competition for creatives hosted by Art After Dark. Maalik was picked after submitting a beautiful urban photo set.
Recent projects produced by Maalik Falsetto include MUSE, a short film about “Two college students meet at a party, realizing that they may need to rely on each other more than they know.“THE OTHER FOOT, an alternative history piece about slavery, and AMBROSIAL a story about overcoming the grief of a brother slain by police. Congratulations to Maalik Falsetto on his recent contest win and continuing to help creatives produce quality visual content.
Quite an active artist, CSharee is a creative in more ways than one. Breaking spotlight with modeling, on the runway and in photoshoots, she quickly got comfortable behind the camera. Also a very talented dancer, she has recently begun releasing choreography videos, solo and in group, incorporating her fashion from modeling. Choosing her favorite songs and showing off her style and talent through movement. CSharee does not stop there either, she takes it a step further with music releases as well, with her first release and music videoMAN, WE THROUGH back in November. Unafraid to experiment with her creativity and expand her talents for the world to see, it should be exciting to see where her energy takes her next, she has only just started.
Imagine that Salvador Dali and Frida Khalo have a brain child and the personification of that image is a Chicago native, Isabel Bravo. Currently a student at Harold Washington College, Isabel is a multifaceted artist with experience in animation, photography, performing and visual arts. If you can name it, she’s probably done it. At age 20, she has already been director of art festivals and has had her art exhibited in the Flatiron Art Center in Wicker Park. The majority of her visual arts work has been by commission, however as of recent months she’s been taking those first steps, to present her own unique ideas and style to the masses.
Although she started creating art as a child, her pursuit of a degree in art therapy and her art career both began at the same time. Isabel self discovered the positive effects of art therapy as a method of coping with her depression, which she also attributes to her start as a serious artist. It was during a month long stay in a hospital during her 16th year. What started as a way to combat the boredom that comes prepackaged with hospital stays, became a therapeutic yet challenging leap into a world, where she was forced to confront her self and her perception of herself through art. It was this month that helped produce the expressive surrealism that is heavily present in Isabel’s personal artwork.
With self portraits making up the majority of her non-commissioned art, it makes sense that the main influences on her style comes from Peter PaulRuben, a renowned portrait artist of his time. The goal of her art is to present and share an idea, message or story that draws the viewer into the visuals and cause them to ponder; who they are, what they’re here for, even where they’ve been? Hers is an increasingly successful attempt to represent those hidden emotions we often dismiss, through artistic mediums. Are you up to the challenge her artwork presents?
“Every piece of art displays a story”. But what is Mark Naren’s story? Well, Mark is the owner ofThe Black Couch Studio and Gallery. The Black Couch is a place where creativity has no limits. Offering everything from open mic nights, to group art and music lessons, the community can actively be involved in the arts. He has over 70 pieces of his own on the walls of the studio and has done thousands of others which have been featured in numerous art shows and sold for both residential and commercial use. His style of art has darkness and mystery. People who buy his art don’t solemnly come back to just visit Mark (even though that should be enough reason on its own since he is an excellent conversator). They come back for more of his art because each one of his pieces tell a story people want to hear more of. Mark does a great job along with Suzanne , his wife, at keeping art and creativity alive.
Suzanne is Mark’s gatekeeper the core of everything The Black Couch is created on. He even wears a key around his neck to symbolize her importance. He is the key-holder and she is the gatekeeper. She organizes every meeting, and records every single person who has entered the studio. She is the brain of this operation. Mark met his soulmate and business partner at the beginning of his art career . Mark was creating centerpieces for Suzann’s son’s Bar Mitzvah. When he saw her he knew he was “f**ked” as said by Mark, “If i was to create my dream woman on a computer it would be Suzann.”
Mark and Suzanne have used their talents to create something bigger than art. They created after school programs to help kids with their creative freedom. They believe if you start kids off early, releasing their creative expressions, you will build their confidence and it creates a certainty that they will be able to figure out who they are wor who they want to be. They have a need to let parents know what it means to be creative. It is an ongoing goal to get money put back in school art programs, because without art, kids will won’t be able to express themselves individually anymore. They recognize where power is and they want to fuel the littles ones early. Mark and Suzanne don’t stop there though. In just helping out, they have a philanthropy. They always give a percentage back to different community organizations and charities. Along as well with believing in feminism, another point that Mark made was how he wants this to be “women strong”. This past year, around 85% of the artists Mark has worked with have been women. It has inspired his creative movement is just powering the creative. “People need to know more about how creative Chicago is. They don’t know about our musicians as much as they do in other places”
Mark finds encouragement and inspiration through music. The Black Couch welcomed Ever Evolved and now work side by side. One upcoming event is Misfit In Me. The objective of this project is “to bring light to the hyper-creative, that have an incredible strong belief in their own belief system”. An event we can’t miss with live production, performances and art. Misfit in me is something that Mark has been dreaming about having, and is ecstatic to see it come to life. It exemplifies all of his motives and shows everything he has been working towards for so many years. Another project he has collabed on with EverEvolved is Art Cases and smart laces. Partnering up with Mike Booth (One of Ever Evolved’s MCs), their mission is to create art on phone cases and shoes. Everyone loves to stand out so , it’s going to be done with uniqueness of two products people use and wear everyday. They paint or mark up shoes and cases, each handmade with individual design, one will never look the same as another. Rhymster, another Ever Evolved artist, just started MC Boot camp. It is an all-around interactive course for all ages interested in expanding their skills on the mic. Its goal is to teach people to release their creative minds and unwind. It is to help develop skills in poetry, spoken word, and MC-ing. It also let’s you enjoy other’s art, and bounce ideas off one another, getting a really good creative flow going.
If you’re looking for unique art pieces, Mark is definitely the guy to see. If you want to meet him and see some of his art displays at a show, come out to Bang! Salon (1425 W ashland ave, Chicago IL) this friday at 7pm!
Feel free to stop by The Black Couch Gallery & Studio:Where: 4200 W Diversey Call: 847-321-5681