By Lisa M. Burwell
This issue is bursting at the seams with creative and provocative substance—so much so that I feel my thoughts and words will fall short of what the amazing content deserves. We have curated thought-provoking stories of art muses, fashion gurus, and the cultural mores of our day in this Art & Culture Issue. Fashion, art, music, and photography are always great communicators, reflecting the topics of the day. If you watch and listen to these indicators, you can learn so much more about the current state of our culture than by following agenda-skewed news programming.
No longer are the teachers and the preachers locked solely within the confines of learning institutions or religious sanctuaries. They have been liberated by technology and social marketing platforms, making the world both smaller and bigger; smaller in that the once-remote places have become more readily accessible physically and electronically; bigger in that the world stage has been populated by new voices that would otherwise never have been heard.
Lately there seems to be a wave of isolationism swelling around the world; isolationism is antithetical to liberation and acceptance, which are inherent parts of creativity. This philosophy is born from a supposed logic of social and financial mindfulness, but it is also rooted in exclusion and self-importance. And when the world is stripped of acceptance and modesty, humanity quickly descends a slippery slope toward incivility and separatism. This is one of the very reasons why this issue is so important—there is much to be learned through the tolerance and humility of art and creativity.
Immediately following the horrific assault on our nation at Ground Zero, famed New York City–based photographer Joel Meyerowitz skillfully captured and chronicled the painful images of the devastating destruction up close. The effect of the gruesome experience was life changing for Joel, and he now pursues a simpler way of life in Siena, Italy. “Finding Joel Meyerowitz” by Anthea Gerrie is an unforgettably visual and mesmerizing read.
The presence of social marketing channels like Facebook, Instagram, and others during the past decade has challenged individuals and businesses alike to master these platforms to cultivate brand identities. These platforms have become enormously powerful communication mediums. While scrolling through Instagram recently, my attention was caught by the Instagram account of New York City–based artist Vin Servillon. Scrolling deep into his treasure trove of paintings that feature women with elegantly elongated necks and overly exaggerated facial expressions made me smile. Vin’s ability to paint deep expressions in a surreal and hauntingly beautiful style echoes the expertise of an Expressionist master. He opens up about personal struggles with mental health and how life as an artist was the catalyst in the healing process. Please read the curiously beautiful account “The Beauty of Imperfection” by Tori Phelps.
Gracing this issue’s cover is Beyoncé’s famed stylist, Ty Hunter—one of the most loving, rad, and talented people I have ever known. Ty is a beautiful man, both inside and out. His inspirational Instagram messages (@tytryone) are bold, truthful, inspirational, godly, and filled with wisdom beyond his years. After seventeen years as Queen Bey’s stylist, he has amassed a sizeable following, traveled the world, and dressed the best of the best. We are honored to have Ty on the cover for so many reasons—one being his message and platform for good. Please read this issue’s feature story, “My Brother’s Keeper,” cowritten by our managing editor Jordan Staggs and me.
As time goes by and the world evolves at an ever-increasing pace, there are so many things that feel different, yet there is one that will never change—people will always have a need for other people. Having love for our fellow humankind is still all that matters!
— V —