News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Towards the end of his life, Lucian Freud attended the 80th birthday party of a friend, where a little girl was told not to touch him. “I’m not an object,” he protested. Perhaps she’d mistaken him for one of his portraits, because over the previous decades no artist had been better at manipulating canvas and paint to give the illusion of real human bodies, stilled lives. Everything about a self-portrait like Reflection (1985), from its intent pink-rimmed eyes to the shiny patch on its forehead, makes it look as if it is not a painting but a person, who is on the verge of leaning out of the frame to touch the viewer—though whether to kiss them or headbutt them it is hard to say.

All portraits are more than simple objects. A portrait is the representation of one body that has been created by the touch of another; it is a silent duet, a stationary pas de deux. That is why, in Freud’s view, not everyone was a suitable subject to be painted by him. It is also why, according to William Feaver in the superb second volume of this eye-opening biography, Freud’s quest for people to be persuaded or seduced into sitting for him never ceased. Actually there usually wasn’t much sitting involved once Freud had managed to get you into his studio. Most models were expected to remove their clothes and splay themselves on a bed or a pile of rags, often holding uncomfortable poses for hours at a time. And if they were young and female Freud didn’t restrict himself to touching up their portraits. Sometimes he would come close and fondle their bones and muscles like “a trainer in a racing stable running a hand idly over brisket and withers.” At other times he went further still. “To sit was to serve, more often than not in more than one capacity,” Feaver writes, evenly.

Read the rest of this article at: Prospect

News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Compton was an infant when St. Lucia declared independence from Britain, on February 22, 1979, after centuries of colonial rule. That day, her father, already the island’s leader, was sworn in as its first Prime Minister. John Compton, born on a tiny island in the Grenadines and educated in St. Lucia for secondary school, had studied law at the London School of Economics. Upon his return to the islands, he became involved in St. Lucia’s anti-colonial movement. John was a charismatic speaker with a flair for dramatic gestures—early in his career, he’d made his name by drawing a gun on a white sugar-factory owner who had refused to recognize an employee union. By the time he came to govern the island, in 1964 (before independence, he held the titles of chief minister and premier), he was the face of the conservative establishment, which he headed until his death, in 2007. For almost all of Compton’s upbringing, she was a First Daughter of a young nation.

“I had the best childhood, I really did,” Compton told me. Alongside his political career, John was a prosperous banana and coconut farmer, and the family’s large house, called Moulin-a-Vent, after an old windmill on the property, was set on a hillside, with a sunset view over Rodney Bay. One of Compton’s most indelible memories, she said, was of her father squeezing fresh juice each morning, for the family’s breakfast. Another was afternoons spent at the beach, where her parents would slice mangoes picked from the family’s trees, and Compton and her siblings would race into the ocean to dunk the sticky fruit in saltwater before eating it.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker


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Why is Boseman the go-to actor to play icons like Black Panther or Jackie Robinson? The director Brian Helgeland says, “You just have that feeling that you’re around a strong person.”

LOS ANGELES — Here’s an underrated perk of being Chadwick Boseman. One day, you’re out on a date at a jazz concert with your lady. It’s at one of those pastoral Californian sites: summertime, dragonflies. The sun is setting, pink and orange and spectacular, rivaled in charm only by the swell of the music, which is as shimmering and soulful as the surface of a lake.

It’s a near perfect moment. Perfect, that is, except for the view. A couple of yards ahead, partly obstructing your sightline, you notice a man with far-too-low jeans and AWOL underwear. A man whose fleshy hind-cleavage is putting on an impromptu show of its own.

If you were anyone else, you might crack a joke (ahem), avert your gaze and hope for the best. A funny footnote on an otherwise scrapbook evening.

But you’re Chadwick Boseman. One of the most bankable actors of your generation. Conjurer of heroic icons real and imagined, a ludicrous personal pantheon that so far includes Jackie Robinson (“42,” 2013), James Brown (“Get On Up,” 2014), Thurgood Marshall (“Marshall,” 2017) and, His Majesty of Wakanda himself, Black Panther.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The battle of 1214 Dean Street commenced on a warm afternoon in early July. Angie Martinez, a 24-year-old Brooklyn native and barista, returned home to the Crown Heights rowhouse she shared with eight roommates to find her landlords, Gennaro Brooks-Church and his ex-partner, Loretta Gendville, crowding the front door with their three children, two dogs, two handymen, and a mattress. Martinez had been paying them $865 a month via Venmo for a room with one window, no heat, and no working fire alarm. The run-down four-story structure, classified as a single-family home by the City of New York, had been illegally converted and rented out by the room. In March, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, several tenants, including Martinez, had lost their jobs, and in April, many in the house had stopped paying rent.

Now, Brooks-Church and Gendville seemed to be moving in. As Martinez approached 1214 from the street, she saw a few of her fellow tenants huddled on the steps outside. Gendville, a wiry blonde in her 40s, screamed at them, calling them squatters. Once inside, she roamed through the house, tenants say, with Brooks-Church close behind. One tenant told Gothamist that Gendville had grabbed her by the wrist as she was getting dressed in her room, ordering her to “get the fuck out.” Martinez called 911. Another tenant discovered Gendville’s two sons, ages 8 and 12, eating Popsicles in the kitchen. “It’s so nice to be home,” one of them said. When the handymen started to change the locks, several tenants decided it was better to leave, grabbing what they could and putting their belongings on the street.

After a while, the police arrived. When Martinez identified herself as a tenant, the cops said they were responding to a call from Gendville and Brooks-Church, who had also apparently dialed 911. They told Martinez that the landlords said they had nowhere else to go. Since it was their house, police said, they couldn’t make the owners leave. They told Martinez to think of the family as her new roommates. At the same time, Gendville and Brooks-Church could not legally remove the tenants on their own: Not only was a moratorium on evictions in place during the pandemic, but the law requires evictions to be carried out by a sheriff armed with a court order.

Returning to her room, Martinez discovered that her mail had been spread out on her bed next to someone’s discarded sun hat. Gendville and the kids eventually left, but Brooks-Church planted himself in the living room. “He was sitting on my chair,” Martinez says. “Just sitting there, all night.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

News 08.31.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

An ex-boyfriend’s run-ins with the law entangled her even as she tried to move on. Interviews, documents and jailhouse recordings help explain how she landed in the middle of a deadly drug raid.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Breonna Taylor had just done four overnight shifts at the hospital where she worked as an emergency room technician. To let off some steam, she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, planned a date night: dinner at a steakhouse, followed by a movie in bed.

Usually, they headed to his apartment, where he lived alone and she had left a toothbrush and a flat iron. But that night, they went to the small unit she shared with her younger sister, who was away on a trip. It was dark when the couple pulled into the parking lot, then closed the door to Apartment 4 behind them.

This was the year of big plans for the 26-year-old: Her home was brimming with the Post-it notes and envelopes on which she wrote her goals. She had just bought a new car. Next on the list: buying her own home. And trying to have a baby with Mr. Walker. They had already chosen a name.

She fell asleep next to him just after midnight on March 13, the movie still playing. “The last thing she said was, ‘Turn off the TV,’” he said in an interview.

From the parking lot, undercover officers surveilling Ms. Taylor’s apartment before a drug raid saw only the blue glow of the television.

When they punched in the door with a battering ram, Mr. Walker, fearing an intruder, reached for his gun and let off one shot, wounding an officer. He and another officer returned fire, while a third began blindly shooting through Ms. Taylor’s window and patio door. Bullets ripped through nearly every room in her apartment, then into two adjoining ones. They sliced through a soap dish, a chair and a table and shattered a sliding-glass door.

Ms. Taylor, struck five times, bled out on the floor.

Breonna Taylor has since become an icon, her silhouette a symbol of police violence and racial injustice. Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris spoke her name during their speeches at the Democratic convention. Oprah Winfrey ceded the cover of her magazine for the first time to feature the young Black woman, and paid for billboards with her image across Louisville. Beyoncé called for the three white officers who opened fire to be criminally charged. N.B.A. stars including LeBron James devoted postgame interviews to keeping her name in the news.

In Louisville, demonstrators have led nightly protests downtown, where most government buildings and many businesses are now boarded up. As outrage mounted, the city fired one of the officers, pushed out the police chief and passed “Breonna’s Law,” banning “no-knock” warrants, which allow the police to burst into people’s homes without warning. Protesters say that is not enough.

Nearly six months after Ms. Taylor’s killing, the story of what happened that night — and what came before and after — remains largely untold. Unlike the death of George Floyd, which was captured on video as a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck, Ms. Taylor’s final moments remain in shadow because no such footage exists.

But a clearer picture of Ms. Taylor’s death and life, of the person behind the cause, emerged from dozens of interviews with public officials and people who knew her, as well as a review of over 1,500 pages of police records, including evidence logs, transcripts of jailhouse recordings and surveillance photos. The Louisville Metro Police Department, citing a pending investigation, declined to answer simple questions about the case or make anyone available for interviews.

The daughter of a teenage mother and a man who has been incarcerated since she was a child, Ms. Taylor attended college, trained as an E.M.T. and hoped to become a nurse. But along the way, she developed a yearslong relationship with a twice-convicted drug dealer whose trail led the police to her door that fateful night.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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