Puppeteers practice an ingenious breed of artistry that blends playfulness, resourcefulness and beauty to practical ends. That's a fancy way of saying "Puppeteers are my favorite." Michael McCormick is a native New Mexican who's built puppets, masks and props for The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi. He'll show his personal and commercial work and reconstruct part of his studio space at the William Platz Gallery in the Art Center Design College (5000 Marble NE). The exhibit will be on display through Friday, April 17, and the gallery is open on Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m., Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
When nine-months pregnant M.I.A. performed at the Grammy Awards a few weeks ago, it seemed a real possibility that she could have her baby on stage while Jay-Z, Kanye West, T.I. and Lil Wayne danced around the afterbirth. And while the big-bellied Sri Lankan/British artist sang vocals on “Swagga Like Us,” with a riff from her 2008 hit “Paper Planes,” it felt like it could happen. I wanted it to happen.
The friend who gave my wife a copy of M.I.A.’s 2005 Arular called the album the next big thing; everyone was talking about it. At first listen, what clawed through the synth arrangements was the mix of world music and retro beats and a lyrical sense that fell somewhere between teen angst and child soldier. It’s like her words were flowing straight out of the sexiest, danciest war zone ever.
Community is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the art world—how art brings community together, how community fashions dialogue, etc. It gets so much play that its meaning can be lost or rendered redundant. But the thing is, ArtStreet is really, really about community.