Down in The Dumps? A Few Things to Do to Feel Better Immediately

Cook a good meal, go for a walk, these are some familiar tips to improve one’s mood instantly. It’s been a challenging 2020 for me, the upside of this is that I have some nice tips to share with you, being forced to be creative in keeping afloat mentally. Everyone should feel okay to admit that, there’s no need to pretend everything is wonderful when it’s not. The bar for feeling a little better can be set as low as is manageable. With Covid-19 and its consequences still governing a lot of our lives, what can be done to lift the spirits?

Close Some Darn Browser Tabs on Your Computer

This is really me talking to myself here. I will have 5 internet browser windows open at any given time, with a million tabs. Is it a typical thing to do for a Gemini? I would say yes, just from my own experience. Going through my tabs to close or bookmark them (in now organized bookmark folders) only takes a moment but yields a high reward. Some days are really just not that great and will not go down in history, but having a bad day turn into simply an unremarkable, boring average day should be seen as the accomplishment it is. I also have the bad habit of never shutting down my computer, with applications running slow, so that will be my future task to do more often.

Hit Unsubscribe on That Email Inbox

The satisfaction is instant. Anytime I went to unsubscribe from shop spam and newsletters I don’t read, I felt instantly refreshed. Of course, keep whatever you want to keep receiving. It’s great because now I can notice the interesting newsletters and actually read them because the clutter of the other emails is gone. This is not a one-time action, but nice to do everyone once in a while.

Also, consider unfollowing people on social media who make you anxious or who don’t add value to your browsing. If the newsfeed on Facebook is overwhelming, why not install the internet browser extension ‘newsfeed eradicator’, also available for phones. In the past I’ve deleted Instagram for a while because I found it hard to manage, it’s designed to make you spend an endless amount of time on it, not even remembering what I was doing on it.

Change Bed Sheets

Life can get complicated, but something as simple as changing your bed sheets can leave you feeling refreshed. Some people do this all the time already, to which I say, well done, as well as each morning tidying up their bed and opening up the curtains. Taking a shower, going for a little walk, putting on an outfit that aren’t pajamas, getting a little plant to nurture, these little things can have a positive impact. Cooking a decent meal, bringing away the recycled goods, calling a friend.. try to think about what small action could lift you up.

Start a Good Things Jar

Practicing gratitude is proven to increase happiness, I’m not making this up, but also, I can attest to it. Keep a daily diary and at the end of the day, write down 3 things which you are grateful for that day. When I was feeling low in confidence, my therapist suggested I write down three things I was proud of that day. This resulted in me being excited while I was doing difficult things, because I could write them down at the end of the day. Something small like that can go a long way. During the first Corona lockdown in March 2020, I started a ‘Good Things Jar’. Anytime something good happened, I wrote it on a little colored sticky note and folded it into the jar. At the time of writing, I haven’t opened the jar. By now, I don’t know what I wrote down months ago but I’m excited to open it with someone and share. Also fun to start doing simultaneously with a friend!

Do a Little Something for Someone

It is proven that doing something nice for a fellow human increases feelings of happiness. It is a good cure for feeling schlumpy. Within reason, of course, don’t become someone’s chore slave, although.. for some people that’s a legitimate turn-on and I’m not here to judge. 

I like to send postcards every once in a while, it’s never not a satisfying feeling to push those cards into the mailbox and imagine they are making their way to their unsuspecting receivers. Doing a little something for someone can be done entirely in a way that suits the giver. It can’t be said enough, everyone is different. I like cooking, and whenever I make something nice, it gives me joy when someone enjoys my food.

Or how about doing volunteer work? The key here, I think, is to use one’s own talents in a way that feels right. I myself help out on the media team of independent housing cooperative de Nieuwe Meent by writing blogs and translating . During these times of self-isolation, it’s been grand to be connected, albeit online, to a larger group of people and to contribute something meaningful.

Start An Online Dance Club

Another fact, exercise is good for the mind. It can give the brain a break or actually lead to new ideas. But there’s no one-size-fits-all fitness approach, not everyone enjoys running outside in all seasons, so don’t punish yourself for not doing that. One of my favorite ways of moving my body is dancing. No club needed for that! But it is nice to dance with friends all at the same time, now is a good time for online dance parties. There’s a fun website, Watch2gether, that allows for watching YouTube videos together, without commercials. Load a YouTube playlist into it or add videos with a group together Live. Schedule a Zoom meeting and then share the Watch2gether link when starting the meeting. 

I admit, it takes a specific person to get excited about these online dance meetups (me!), but of course everyone should find out what works best for them in terms of getting their move on. I do a tiny amount of yoga, which is mostly a bit of stretching through sun salutations, but really my main motivation there is to refresh my mind and to get a break from my special talent: overthinking absolutely everything.

In Conclusion

While corona and its consequences keep stretching out in time, we need to try and remember our strengths. Little actions can help us feel better to build on those strengths, it’s important to know what those are for ourselves. However, therapy is always an option. I know that it has given me tools to better deal with mental loops in 2020 and to feel better. And oh, feel free to find the evidence behind mentioned facts, it shouldn’t be too hard. Or, just try for yourself.

Painting with Truffles Workshop Report

In December 2020 I organised a trial workshop painting with truffles, for friends who feel limited in their creative expression or who feel like whatever they paint is ugly. How did it go?

There is a certain age, maybe around 9 years old, when people start being aware of their ego and overthink like crazy during a creative process. When you look at drawings from young children, you can tell they are not yet self-inhibited in their creative freedom. They don’t worry about their drawing being ugly. Most people then, when passing a certain age, give up on creative expression and lose the joy in creating, and put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves when it comes to the result. 

So sad they miss out on the joys of creativity and self-expression!

A low dose of truffles can loosen up the ego into a place where participants end up being proud of what they lovingly put their love and careful attention into. It allows for getting slightly lost into our creations, as well as a sense of connection and occasional hilarity. The emphasis was on finding the joy in creation, and participants ended up with a sense of pride in their results.

What Was The Set-up of The Afternoon?

The ideal time for my painting with truffles workshop is during the day, with an amount of daylight and nighttime coming as a natural ending to the whole process. So my un-creative friends who were the trial participants, gathered at my apartment around 1pm and my roommate, who is a photographer joined our bunch as well. My living room is covered in my art, a good place to start.

We share some tea at the table set up with art supplies. Chocolate is provided for chewing the truffles, an option in the future will be to have them with bouillon, to distract from the flavor when chewing the truffles.

‘But I’m not creative’ – is the perfect person to participate in this workshop

There is no direction from my side for what to start painting. I put out some blank postcards as well, that we could decorate if we wanted to. It takes about a half hour for the truffles to start working. The choice for the low dosage is to just get to the level of a slightly altered perception, this will allow us to immerse ourselves into our paintings while still being able to hold a brush and paint without issue. After a while, the abstract blue lines seem to form a river, and vague shapes become a figure holding all other shapes on paper together, under a skyline of the universe. 

After putting on a song on YouTube, we let YouTube surprise us in its autoplay, which leads to funny and beautiful music, such as Plantasia.

We take inspiration from each other, which turns hilarious sometimes, because aren’t those round balls she painted planets in space? We figure out, again, that painting faces while on truffles can result in creepy figures FAST! But it’s never too late to paint on some make-up and jewellery on the figure and turn it all around to a friendly green giant. On another paper a cat with wings emerges, next to a dream home with a tree. When tired of what we are currently painting, we grab a new piece of paper and come back later to the previous painting.

After a few hours of painting we go outside to take a walk during the winter sunset, around to the playground and the park nearby. One workshop participant notices the architecture particularly well, which she had never before, while we all rejoice in the plentiful cats sitting in windows of homes in the neighbourhood, and the pink colors of the sunset delight us as we see it reflected in the glass of the windows. 

A walk is always an excellent part of a painting truffle session we find out, and so I decide I’ll keep it in for future sessions. We return to the house and continue painting some more, we already have numerous works we are proud of. After some more painting we order some delicious Thai food, sip on a glass of wine, and we are simmering down after a successful day experiencing the joy of creative expression through painting and friendly giddiness.

In Conclusion

The trial workshop painting with truffles with Reinilde was a success according to all participants. The joy in painting was felt by all, we concentrated and immersed ourselves into playful creativity. Participants were proud of their results and were excited to share them with friends, and above all, wanted to return to a new session of painting with truffles SOON!


Interested in joining a Painting with Truffles Workshop with Reinilde? The first sessions will be held at a cost-only price, for more information contact reinilde@yahoo.com

Remarkable Womxn Artists who Made Modern Art History – But Do You Know Them?

Image illustrating how womxn artists have had and still have trouble being taken seriously. There is no doubt that Frida Kahlo is nowadays more famous than her husband at the time, Diego Rivera.

Can’t name many womxn artists? You’re not alone. One of the reasons is that female artists have failed to be recognised by the public and critics, often not taken very seriously. Frida Kahlo for example has been painted off as the artist’s wife ’who was ‘gleefully dabbling in art’ as if it were an innocent hobby next to catering to her famous husband.

Read more about the use of the word Womxn on my About page.

Finding Womxn Artists in Modern Art

Unfortunately it can still be hard to find a lot of images on the internet of works by acclaimed womxn artists from Modern Art history. Museums are catching up, often post-humously hosting big shows dedicated to one womxn artist. After a big show there are often many more images of these works available online.

So let’s hope this trend will continue so that many more people will have access to womxn’s art from modern history.

“Abstract art is only important if it is the endless rhythm where the very ancient and the distant future meet.” -Sonia Delaunay

What is interesting to note when looking at womxn’s modern art is, that multidisciplinary art is not a thing only of today. Sonia Delaunay, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Alexandra Exter were all involved in many different media at once such as textile, painting, print, architecture and costume design.

It is sometimes expected of artists to stick to one recognizable ‘thing’ and medium, but the boundaries are only really present in our minds. Though it might be easy on Instagram, having one repetitive spiel to promote on a daily basis is not a classical way of working per sé.

Womxn can perceive more color than men, this is interesting to keep in mind when coming across womxn’s art.

Check out the contributions of these womxn to modern art.

Dora Maar

Henriette Theodora Markovitch, known as Dora Maar, was a French photographer, painter, and poet. She has been most known for being a muse to Pablo Picasso, but has actually been the one to teach him photography techniques such as the cliché verre technique – a complex method combining photography and printmaking

According to ArtNet, Picasso badly abused Dora Maar both physically and mentally. After this she underwent illegal electroshock therapy with controversial psychiatrist Jacques Lacan.

Now in 2020 there was a chance to catch her work and catalogue in a seemingly grand exhibition at the Tate Modern in London. Her works are surreal and experimental, radically playing with sharp shadows and contrasts. Dora Maar was a true innovator in her days, whose work still looks modern.

Ana Mendieta

Mendieta was born in Cuba and was sent to the USA in exile by her parents at 12 years old. An active artist in the 70s and 80s both in the USA and Cuba. She died an untimely death at 36 years old, falling out of a 34th floor window allegedly pushed by modern artist Carl Andre.

Best known for her earth-body artwork, Mendieta made video-art, performance art, paintings and sculptures, inspired by the nature of her homeland and indigenous cultures and their myths and magic ‘santeria’. 

She was uncomfortable with white middle-class feminism at the time and wanted to be seen as an artist in her own right, also outside of just the Latin Art category. Let’s hope for big Ana Mendieta show in Europe so we can see more.

Sonia Delaunay

Design and art once, also called ‘Simultane’, Sonia Delaunay was very forward-looking in the early 20th century.

“Colour is the skin of the world.” – Sonia Delaunay

Until recently it seems, her famous art husband Robert Delaunay, who was gay, was better known than her. This was not for lack of talent, drive or accomplishments. 

Sonia Delaunay was an extremely prolific artist working in color abstractions with references to Russain folk-craft.

Tamara de Lempicka

Fleeing the Russian revolution with her husband, Tamara de Lempicka lived in 1920s Paris. She was famous for wild parties and charming many men and women, garnering a ‘scandalous’ reputation. Sounds like a fun biography to read!

Shunning impressionism, Lempicka painted art-deco portraits and later many paintings of the rich and famous, including Hollywood stars.

Conclusion

The lives and works of these womxn artists remain forever interesting and sometimes shocking. 

Other historical womxn artists from modern art are Judy Chicago, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Bourgeois, Natalia Goncharova, Cindy Sherman, Lee Krasner, Hilma af Klint, Carolee Schneemann, Maya Deren, Berenice Abbott.

Let us know your favorite modern art womxn artists. Click here to read about Remarkable Womxn: 21st century Artists.

Curious about my art? Surf to www.reinilde.com

Remarkable Femxle Street Artists You Need to Know

Image/ painting by Reinilde Jonkhout

How many femxle street artists can you name? After reading this article, maybe a few more.

The massive MaestraPeace Mural on the Women’s Building in San Francisco was a collaborative 1994 work between the Bay Area muralists Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez. With this mural, the community center outwardly reflects the courageous contributions of womxn through time and around the world.

While street art is sensitive to destruction, the MaestraPeace Mural was restored in 2012. The upside is that street art is accessible, both literally and figuratively. It is freely available in public space, and the art of the well-known street artist Banksy is also lauded by people who otherwise might not be attracted or have access to more traditional art forms. Street artist Bambi is compared to Banksy. Hopefully there will be a day when the roles are reversed.

Read more about the use of the word Womxn on my About page.

Talented womxn muralists 

Mural arts may be used for gentrification and raising property prices in certain neighborhoods, and street art has also been co-opted by brands to sell their wares. Besides what it might or might not be good for, does street art have a masculine connotation traditionally? This article shows femxle muralists who often have a strong connection to visual art.

Maya Hayuk

http://www.mayahayuk.com

One of Maya Hayuk’s inspirations are traditional Ukrainian crafts. Her murals often seem to weave together colors organically and she has a recognizable signature style. Aside from street murals and exhibiting in museums she has also created art for musicians suchs as Devandra Banhart, The Beastie Boys and Seun Kuti. In 2015 Maya Hayuk unsuccessfully sued Starbucks for appropriation of her work.

Ashley Joon

http://www.ashleyjoon.com/

The abstract impressionist florals of Denver based artist Ashley Joon are uniquely her own, offering a dreamy and light reprieve from concrete realities. Having left a corporate career far behind her, let’s hope that Ashley Joon adorns the world with many more murals.

Panmela Castro

https://panmelacastro.com/

Brazilian artist Panmela Castro was one of the first women to climb buildings in Brazil and leave her graffiti tags on them. After her dad went bankrupt when she was 15, she lived in a slum and was drawing portraits on the street for cash. Panmela Castro’s work is often personal or advocating for human rights, she started making her murals after having experienced domestic violence. This Miami mural depicting police violence was unfortunately painted over the day after it was painted because officers took offense.

Queen Andrea

https://www.superfreshdesign.com/

Queen Andrea is a graphic designer with a passion for letter design. Her murals are attractive and are often commissioned by cities and corporations.

Swoon

https://swoonstudio.org/

Using the wheat paste technique, Swoon attacked the streets with feminine magical realism paper art works from 1999 on.

Nicole Mueller

https://www.nicolemariemueller.com/

San Francisco visual artist Nicole Mueller doesn’t just bring a little color into the world. Watch the video above to witness the process (and the end, sadly) of her making the mural. It’s great to see her combine techniques, using what seems to be diluted paint in combination with airbrushing. Be sure to check out Nicole Mueller’s paintings and use of collage and transparent colored materials as well.

Abusa Crew

https://abusacrew.tumblr.com/

Anis and Wend are Chilean street artists Abusa Crew. They battle it out against machismo in their vivacious art often depicting feminine figures. 

Clare Rojas 

https://www.streetartsf.com/clare-rojas/

Clare Rojas seems to challenge herself to tell stories via minimal abstraction, and works on canvas a lot, but more wall art would be welcome. How stunning is this mosaic bird?

@clarerojasart on Instagram

What else is there to say?

If art that is considered offensive will be taken off the street, or are not given space in institutions, it understandably leaves womxn artists no other choice than to go about it illegally. Also, it would be better if funding also allowed for more long-lasting outdoor mural projects in the realm of visual art, rather than merely being a temporary pretty band-aid. In any case, I’m looking forward to this documentary about femxle street artists and so should you!

Who are your favourite womxn street artists?

Curious about my art? Surf to www.reinilde.com

Loud and Proud: Remarkable Womxn Comedians

Image by 272447 from Pixabay featuring comedienne, singer, theatre and film actress Fanny Brice

Comedians of the world, which came on Netflix early 2019, featured many many femxle comedians. Who were your favorites? And who else is out there?

Being funny in front of an audience is a craft that seems to often be underestimated. What is a fact is that it can be done without punching down. as the following hilarious people prove. This means doing stand-up that doesn’t make jokes at the expense of people in more vulnerable communities or positions in society. It is different to ‘punch up’ and make fun of those in power.

Seeing women act all kinds of ways is liberating, like seeing Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes in Seinfeld with her physical comedy. Or when laughing at Anjelah Johnson’s funny faces when she is reliving her wedding dress diarrhea moments on stage. 

Read more about the use of the word Womxn on my About page.

Nicole Byer

Outrageous, loud and unapologetic Nicole Byer asserts herself in her commanding stage presence. Not very subtle and with a hint of Miss Divine, powerhouse Nicole Byer has her toes dipped many a career pool. 

She famously presents Nailed it! On Netflix and has a podcast called Why Won’t You Date me. In the first episodes, she asks people she dated why they stopped dating, in each episode she talks with different guest each time about sex and relationships.

Hopefully us Europeans will be lucky enough to have her tour in Europe, before her stand-up can be seen on the Netflix stand-up series Comedians of the World.

Tig Notaro

Truly one of the funniest things in the whole entire universe. Friends, I know, shared it a 1000 times already.

Known for her deadpan comedy style, Tig Notaro managed to make her breast cancer and otherwise very difficult year very funny, at stand-up show turned Grammy-nominated comedy album called LIVE. I would recommend checking that out first and then see her fiction TV show One Mississippi, after which watch the documentary TIG. Your heart will be fully warmed, I promise.

Ali Wong

Deliciously raunchy, honest about motherhood, there’s a power in Ali Wong sharing whatever she wants on her terms.

With two Netflix comedy specials, Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, plus two more on the way in 2020 Ali Wong is doing very well.

Next to doing stand-up she was writing for the TV show Fresh off the boat. 

What’s more, she was the lead in the movie Always Be My Maybe directed by Nahnatchka Khan, Ali Wong produced and wrote the movie together with co-star Randall Park. She also voiced the character Bertie in the Netflix animation series Tuca & Bertie.

Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes is a comedy veteran with a comedy special on Netflix called Not Normal. She produces, acts and writes and won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1999 for writing on the Chris Rock show. Edgy and sharp, she is famous for bluntly telling it like it is. Sykes named Moms Mabley as one of her inspirations, having watched her on the Ed Sullivan show.

Maria Bamford

New show with Maria Bamford interviewing people about mental health on streaming service Topic

Probably perceived as the looniest of tunes on this list, Maria Bamford will switch in an instant from persona to persona in her stand-up. Her Netflix fiction series was even more absurd and out-there. Maria Bamford’s ingenious comedy also deals with her depression and anxiety which is unique and admirable, but no less funny. Groundbreaking and hilarious.

Soundos El Ahmadi

Featured in Comedians of the world and representing the Netherlands, it was a gift to see Soundos El Ahmadi do stand-up even for Dutch audiences as upcoming comedians get little opportunities on Dutch television. 

She demonstrates the power that lies in vulnerability by sharing personal stories and she speaks up loudly about her experiences with racism and sexism. While some people still seem to retaliate against women with strong opinions, for Soundos El Ahmadi the only way is forward.

Soundos El Ahmadi is also a TV presenter and an actress. She performs her comedy live in the Netherlands, hopefully she will perform in Amsterdam again soon.

Marc Maron

And now for our token bro Marc Maron! Unlike many comedians, Marc Maron doesn’t simply go through a list of jokes on stage. With many decades of experience, he goes on stage without a plan and works on material in front of people and it is a pleasure to witness. 

Marc Maron is well known for his influential podcast WTF with Marc Maron in which he interviews comedians, actors, directors, writers, authors, musicians and folks from all walks of life to his garage for amazingly revealing conversations. Many women in comedy have passed the stage there, that I hadn’t heard of, providing incredible insights and heartfelt moments. For example, take a listen to Maria Bamford as a guest.

In Conclusion

Not only active in stand-up, these established comedians are making their mark on culture in many other ways, also working behind the scenes as writers or producers. An article about womxn who made comedy history is also in the making so stay tuned.

You already know: Amy Schumer, Joan Rivers, Ellen deGeneres, Hannah Gadsby

Who are your favorite Remarkable comedians?

Curious about my art? Surf to www.reinilde.com

Remarkable: Goddesses from Mythology that Inspired Midwinter Deity Cindy Claus

My film The Coming of Cindy Claus introduces a new mid-winter tradition, with honouring the new mid winter Goddess Cindy Claus at its center. Who helped inspire her?

First, a little history about Santa Claus, aka Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was the saint of sea-farers. The men of the sea were surrounded by sex-workers when they came back to port, and so Saint Nich was also the saint of the sex-workers. So Saint Nich was surrounded by sex-workers, who he transformed into maidens that could get married again. Because being unmarried in the past, was considered the same as being a sex-worker.

Looking at it from only a slightly different light, perhaps a red-colored light, Saint Nich was a pimp. And so hardly a saint at all, just someone with a clever cover-up backed by the Church. Well now, who are the real heroes?

In The Coming of Cindy Claus, it is instead the womxn that make Saint Nich surrender to a transformative experience, and he chooses a feminized transformation of his appearance.

In origin stories outside of Christianity, there are often holy people and figures that walk the line of good and bad, and thus have a more human feel. Even Gods and Goddesses have moods. There are also plenty of female figures and Goddesses, some of whom have been transformed into figures in the Bible such as the holy Maria as a fertility symbol in Catholicism.

Hel

Image by www.reinilde.com | Zina Berlin as Cindy Claus

Hel was not a Goddess as such, but in Norse mythology she is the guardian of the underworld. Her appearance is described as half very beautiful woman, and half decaying corpse. So Hel is at the same time intimidating and attractive. The underworld is where people who died of sickness would go, otherwise said, those who didn’t die as heroes. Those who died as heroes in combat would go to Walhalla, waiting for the final battle to be fought. As many other figures in Norse mythology, she isn’t all good or bad. She does the good job of cleaning diseased areas.

Iris

Cindy Claus, played by Zina Berlin. Costumes by Tanya Kuznetsova. Bodypaint by Jess Graham

In Greek mythology, Iris was a messenger Goddess, depicted with rainbows in the sky, or even being the personification of a rainbow. In Spanish, the word for rainbow is ‘arco iris’ or the arch of Iris. 

Freya

Zina Berlin as Cindy Claus. Body paint and costumes by Jess Graham

In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of fertility, love and beauty, and she rides through the sky in a carriage pulled by cats. 

It is possible that the day of the week Friday is named after Freya, but it could have been named after the mother Goddess Frigg as well.

Final Notes

While we are not always educated about goddesses and interesting women from mythology, it’s never too late to be inspired.

The Coming of Cindy Claus is available online at Reelhouse: https://www.reelhouse.org/cindyclaus/thecoming104

Tell us about your favourite Goddesses in the comments.

Curious about my art? Surf to www.reinilde.com

Remarkable: Instagram Accounts that Make Fun of Instagram

Instagram is a landmark in today’s pop-culture landscape and like anything popular it too has been satirised. And now that Instagram is getting notorious for helping to turn taste and style into the same boring, uniform thing, some users go about it totally differently.

From AirSpace to Instagram Face

Has everything and everyone started looking the same since Instagram? Trendy cafés look eerily the same across the globe, having earned the name AirSpace. There is even a surprisingly hard quiz on this Dutch news website to test if you can tell where a coffee place is situated. 

Beauty trends existed before Instagram, but with image retouching apps on phones, the desired version of yourself is now just a tap away, turning Instagram into a stage with performances well orchestrated, the most looked for Instagram Face being young and possibly poreless Bella Hadid. 

Instagram has changed its algorithms and annoys its users having become more like Facebook (after Facebook took over). Instagram was a great platform for creatives to share. Now it has tons of terrible advertising and has let go of its quintessential textless square format. Anyone want to create a new creative sharing app that remains among the people?

And is everyone sharing the same type of photos all the time? Shots of cappuccinos, and food that restaurants carefully style to get repped on Instagram, instead of focusing on taste. Check out these accounts for something different.

The Parallel Lives of Barbie on Instagram

Instagram has become a place where accounts with many followers are paid to casually promote merchandise, services or restaurants. These influencers are not necessarily even real, living people anymore. Sometimes they are digitally created and animated with companies making the profit and without having to deal with any controversy over dubious endorsements personally. Whoever was following any of these following Barbie accounts might have seen this development coming though, as a plastic doll is brought to ‘life’ in these various Instagram accounts. 

@barbiestyle is an official Barbie account that puts a lot of care in bringing its doll to life by letting it ‘do’ typical Instagram style things such as wearing a (tiny!) oversized, trendy bomber jacket on top of a roof. If ‘authentic living’ sounds like it fits your millennial needs, check out @socalitybarbie for fun cliché outdoorsy shots. The account @barbiesavior takes it a step further and pokes fun at girls taking selfies with shelter babies during volunteer vacations abroad. 

Celeste Barber

Hot, young models posing very seriously in impossible-to-recreate ways: @CelesteBarber goes ahead and recreates these model shots with hilarious results, and forces us to consider the reality behind these photos that Instagram models put online. Celeste Barber’s account has gotten so popular on Instagram that she ended up on the cover of Vogue magazine and has walked fashion shows. For Celeste Barber content beyond Instagram and YouTube, check out her book or podcast.

Bros Being Basic

On the @brosbeingbasic account there’s photos of guys doing ‘basic’ things that girls normally do on Instagram. Think the fitness model ass pose, chill bathrobe and hair towel shots, sexy beach poses with friends. All the togetherness and guys sharing intimate moments is also heartwarming though, prepare to smile.

BAD LIL BADDIE

Having wrinkles is very much not considered Instagram Face. So anyone who goes against the face of that is a rebel indeed. @Baddiewinkle is an exception as having become a (life)style icon at the age of 85, sporting outfits very different from the formal dressing expected of people of age. People that aren’t young are often rendered invisible in our society, but BAD LIL BADDIE is very much visible. Dressing very colorfully and casually, Instagram fame commenced when her great granddaughter took a picture of Baddiewinkle’s favorite summer outfit: tie-dye rainbow butterfly shirt with jean cut-offs and socks with a weed leaves pattern.

Boyfriends of Insta

So who is taking all those perfect casual shots for the girls posing on the beach? Well, a lot of boyfriends go to great lengths to be at service to their ladies in pursuit of perfect and flattering photos. See for yourself at @boyfriendsofinsta for some hilarious artistry and cameraman fails.

Carrie Dragshaw

When pop-culture is released into the world, it takes on a life of its own with fun and fascinating results. Inspired by the HBO series Sex and the City, @Dan_Clay creatively recreates column writer Carrie Bradshaw outfits as Carrie Dragshaw. 

It all started one Halloween… Not only does he recreate these outfits, he has great writing in the captions inspired by the diary-style musings of Carrie Bradshaw ‘and then I wondered..’.  You can also check out the cute advice column: https://www.carriedragshaw.com/dear-carrie

In Conclusion

Some of these accounts have outgrown Instagram and have burst into the rest of the media landscape. The funny commentary, satire, originality of these accounts is very welcome in what has the danger of becoming a boring, homogenous selfie arena in a virtual world of curated lives styled to perfection. Now let’s see which platform to migrate to as creatives on social media.

How do you find artists online? What are you favorite original, funny or subversive Instagram accounts?

Curious about my art? Surf to www.reinilde.com

Remarkable TV: Womxn in Comedy and Comedy-Drama Series

It is my belief that pop culture matters, reality follows fiction. Sometimes it can take a little digging to find TV shows that tell interesting womxn’s stories. But look no further and check out these great comedy and comedy-drama shows.

TV shows from even the not all that distant 90s and early 2000s can feel dated and terrible in their underlying points of view (Friends anyone?). Netflix and Youtube and other streaming platforms have created new opportunities in our age, what does this offer us?

One Mississippi

Comedian Tig Notaro plays a version of herself as Tig Bavaro in this semi-autobiographical TV show on Amazon from 2015. Bavaro is forced to stay with her family in America’s South when her mother lands into a coma and will be taken off life support. How does she deal, being so close to family after a long time and what is it like to be queer and in the South? You know there will be funny notes because of, well, Tig Notaro but One Mississippi is also a drama and will warm your heart for sure.

After watching One Mississippi, do also watch the documentary Tig and find out what matches up with Notaro’s real life. Best watched in that order!

GLOW

The comedy-drama series GLOW created in 2017 is loosely based on the late 80s competitive female wrestling show the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. A group of women come to a casting call and expect to be acting but instead have to audition for GLOW without having a background in wrestling. A wildly different group of women get selected, learn to wrestle and end up competing in all sorts of stereotypical alter egos such as Soviet villain Zoya the Destroya competing against America’s sweetheart next door Liberty Belle. Watch this show for the amazing 80s leotards and hideous-fabulous outfits, and heartwarming camaraderie.

Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch are the creators of GLOW, and the show is co-executive produced by Jenji Kohan who created the shows Orange Is the New Black and Weeds. Marc Maron, who plays the director of the show in GLOW has featured many actors and creatives of the series on his podcast. Lynn Shelton, a filmmaker who directed five episodes of GLOW, sadly passed away recently. Shelton and Maron were in a relationship together. Shelton also directed the new series Little Fires Everywhere starring Reese Witherspoon. Which brings us to..

Big Little Lies

Based on the book of the same name by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies is a 2017 HBO drama series with comical notes set in the beautiful and wealthy Monterey, California. Reese Witherspoon read the book and decided to turn it into a TV show. She also acts in it, together with stellar performances by Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley.

After a young girl in school says a boy in her class was strangling her, the perfect façades of four women’s lives start falling apart, enemy lines are formed and new friendships are created. Is that the cause of the murder shown in the beginning of Big Little Lies? The book was written as a satire and the series includes the most ridiculous birthday party for a kid to be portrayed on TV. However the show is much more as it shows a convincing multi-faceted story of domestic violence.

A new Liane Moriarty adaption is in the making, based on Nine Perfect Strangers. It sets actors Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy as characters in search for enlightenment at a secluded wellness resort.

Idiot Sitter

Created in 2014 by, and starring Jillian Bell Comedy Central’s Idiot Sitter reflects on modern America as Harvard grad Billie (Charlotte Newhouse) answers a babysitting ad in desperate need for cash. Arriving to a wealthy mansion, Billie soon learns she actually has to train woman-child Gene (Jillian Bell) for a school exam who is under house arrest after misbehaving. If Gene succeeds for the exam, she doesn’t have to go to prison. Gene however has no interest in achieving anything at all and just wants to misbehave some more, dragging Billie into impossible situations. 

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

The success and appeal of the Youtube comedy series Awkward Black Girl created in 2011 by Issa Rae was such that Pharell Williams got involved and after season 2 she created the HBO show Insecure. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is situated in an office where Issa Rae’s character J has to deal with the strangest (and funniest) of co-workers in awkward situations dealing with life and love. The humor is an out loud laughing-even-by-yourself kind. Awkward Black Girl will not lead to too much procrastination as episodes are a few minutes long. So don’t wait!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Put off watching this because you’ve been put off by the name? Reconsider! What a unique show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is, being a musical comedy drama show with original songs! People often name Glee as a TV musical series, but it doesn’t have original songs! Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does! And they are great songs! 

When main character Rebecca Bunch gives up on having romantic relationships, there’s a song where she is planning to get ‘a buttload of cats’.

With the first season starting in 2015, the show was created by and starring Rachel Bloom, who plays Rebecca, a lawyer who moves from New York City to West Covina, California to pursue her high school boyfriend. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is interesting in how it very naturally deals with mental health amongst all other drama subjects such as love and relationships, and so pioneers in that way as well.

Crashing (US)

Created by and starring Pete Holmes, Crashing is the ‘token bro’ pick on this list and first aired on HBO in 2017.

Ever wonder what it’s like to be broke, single and trying to make it in comedy in New York City? Sounds like a series of crazy, tough and hilarious adventures. And that’s exactly what Crashing is. Sleeping in cars and crashing on couches, main character Pete starts off having to hand out flyers to comedy gigs in order to get stage time. 

Aside from that, he is not your average male comedian: he doesn’t use swear words, having had aspirations to be a youth pastor and he looks very clean-cut. This adds a great extra dimension in Peter having to find his way in the business of stand-up.

In Conclusion

Looking at this list, it appears to be that shows that creators also star in yield interesting results. In any case there’s plenty of shows to check out created or about women, and let’s hope for many more. Where possible support favorite web shows with your dollars!

Here’s a random assumption, you probably know these: Fleabag, Killing Eve, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, VEEP, Broad City, Don’t Trust The B**** In Apartment 23, Orange Is the New Black, Weeds.

And if you’re wondering what my issue is with the Friends TV series, conduct yourself a little DuckDuckGo internet search.

Heart-warming comedies are my favorite kind of show, but please suggest womxn TV favorites in the comments.

Curious about my art? Surf to www.reinilde.com

Remarkable Womxn: 21st century Artists

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Can we, in the 21st century, let go of the idea that art that is colourful can’t be serious art? And can we introduce the idea that emotions don’t live only outside of art? With the recent challenge of #5womenartists can we take it a step further and name 5 contemporary womxn artists?

Ayako Rokkaku https://ayakorokkaku.com/

Read more about the use of the word Womxn on my About page.

Nature and the spiritual, the femxle gaze, pop culture inspiration, mesmerizing immersive installations, these are some words that come to mind with the follwing artists. Now that Instagram is hiding posts from artists and has the most obnoxious of advertisements, how to find new artists? Here are a few.

Sarah Cain

Images from http://www.sarahcainstudio.com/

Based in LA, Sarah Cain expands the art of painting beyond the canvas, but also on canvas. While her style remains consistent, she makes bold new moves in different works. 

Hein Koh

Images from http://www.heinkoh.com/

Brooklyn-based artist Hein Koh makes poppy art that has at once a sense of vulnerability and sense of sterility, and a sense of humor. 

Alex Nuñez

Images from www.alexnunez.net

Alex Nuñez is based in Miami and includes all sorts of materials in her dynamic and explosive paintings, whatever she happens to come across in her studio. Her work also often starts from a picture from popular media.

Phaan Howng

Image from https://www.phaan.com/

Phaan Howng combines interesting and overwhelming colorful aesthetics with a strong backstory in installation art. What does it mean to be hysterical?

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir aka Shoplifter

Shoplifter / Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir

Representing Iceland in the prestigious 2019 Venice Biennale exhibition with Chromo Sapiens, Shoplifter created an immersive and very colorful plush installation with sound. In her work Ghostbeast (in the video above) at the Day for Night visual and music festival in Houston she worked with projection and light, which look amazing to be at.

Andrea Mary Marshall

https://andreamarymarshall.com

Having femxle perspectives in art also means having femxle approaches in art to sexuality and the femxle body. Andrea Mary Marshall often takes selfies for her art and asks what is sexual freedom and when is it an image forced upon women they should comply with. Painting over pop-culture with her ‘Vague’ covers, with images of womxn from art history and more, the work Toxic Women comments with flair and humor on what is expected of womxn.

Jennifer Sullivan

https://www.jennifersullivan.org/

Embracing a naïve painting style, Jennifer Sullivan boldly has entered the art world, often portraying femxle figures.

Sara Cwynar

http://saracwynar.com/

Color, pop-culture, and the over abundance of images and stuff we are faced with today come together in the thoughtful work of multi-media artist Sara Cwynar.

Melanie Bonajo

Melanie Bonajo will be representing the Netherlands at the next Venice Biënnale. Psychedelic, spiritual, curious, performative, colorful: these words only begin to describe her art so go see it. Find more information on YouTube or this gallery website: https://akinci.nl/artists/melanie-bonajo/ 

Mickalene Thomas

‘Mickalene Thomas (lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) makes paintings, collages, photography, video, and installations that draw on art history and popular culture to create a contemporary vision of female sexuality, beauty, and power. Blurring the distinction between object and subject, concrete and abstract, real and imaginary, Thomas constructs complex portraits, landscapes, and interiors in order to examine how identity, gender, and sense-of-self are informed by the ways women (and “feminine” spaces) are represented in art and popular culture.’

Text from:

https://www.mickalenethomas.com

Baseera Khan

https://www.baseerakhanstudios.com/

Baseera Khan is based in New York. Her work on the left is an art installation with a rock-climbing wall made from 99 unique poured dyed resin casts of the corners of the artist’s body.

On the right, an art installation featuring a custom lounge unit with eight unique seating panels made from pleather, artist’s underwear, and mass produced prayer rugs lined with LED lighting. Let’s hope Baseera Khan will have shows in Europe.

In Conclusion

These are just a few 21st century femxle artists working professionally, who suit my personal taste in art. Go on your own quest and let me know your favorite womxn artists.

More femxle art contemporaries: Field Kallop, Nina Chanel, Judy Pfaff, Yasmine Diaz art.

Read about Remarkable Womxn Who Made Modern Art History here

Curious about my art? Surf to www.reinilde.com

Orchestras of Angels: Remarkable Womxn Musicians of Today

The first time Björk came to my attention was as a teenager in 2001 when she was famously scolded by the fashion police for wearing her swan dress at the Oscars. Little did I know or remember that she was nominated for best original song for Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark film and performed it that night. Who are some other remarkable womxn musicians? Check out the playlist at the end of the article!

Björk was also the lead actor in Dancer in the Dark by Lars von Trier. He is known for being a pain to work with. While not calling him by name, in 2017 Björk shared her experiences of harassment from ‘a Danish director’ while filming ‘a movie’.

Read more about the use of the word Womxn on my About page.

Finding new music in an age concerned with nostalgia

People over the age of 30 are worse at keeping up with new music releases. When it comes to finding music of femxle musicians, well it can be challenging to find cool new music to listen to anyway. But it’s not for a lack of new music releases!

One way to find new music to listen to is through soundtracks of favorite TV shows or films. I’ve listened to the soundtracks of Big Little Lies and One Mississippi a lot. Another great way to find music the low-effort way is to listen to Spotify playlists of music festivals such as SXSW or Le Guess Who and Into The Great Wide Open in the Netherlands. Or to check the playlists of music magazines Pitchfork, Stereogum and Birp.fm.

Keep in mind that your dollars can make the difference in keeping struggling musicians going to make excellent new music. It seems musicians of our current time face the challenge of competing with endless revival concert tours of bands that haven’t made any of their most important work in the 21st century. The audience pays hefty fees for these golden oldies, while some have probably already amassed a fortune. Besides, do you really want to finance someone’s 15th lamborghini? 

Here are some personal favorites, and be sure to check out the Spotify playlist as well which features many more artists.

Lucinda Williams

A life-long Americana, Folk Rock and Alternative Country legend, Lucinda Williams grew up in America’s South. She is the daughter of poet and literature professor Miller Williams and amateur pianist Lucille Fern Day. 

Lucinda Williams has been awarded Grammys in the categories Best Country Song for ‘Can’t let go’, Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best female rock vocal performance. Check out her amazing new album.

Fun fact: The song (title) 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten was graffiti inscripted on a wall Lucinda Williams came across. Check out the song for some truly original songwriting.

Want to get closer to the artist? Lucinda Williams has been interviewed on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast.

Jessica Pratt

The folk musician Jessica Pratt brings a new and unique sound and is often associated with ‘freak folk’. According to Pitchfork ‘Jessica Pratt spins fantasy worlds bound to bewitch, dreamscapes that spiral towards the surreal, psychedelic spirituals that nourish.’ I’ve had the pleasure to see her live in a church in Utrecht at Le Guess Who in 2018.

Hatchie

Keep things a bit light but no less tight with the dreamy pop of the Australian Hatchie, featuring 90s pop culture nostalgia even visualized in their video ‘Sure’.

Hatchie was planning to tour in 2020.

The Internet

Entering The Internet in a Google search bar feels funny, but they do bring a 21st century electronic sound into their R&B soul tracks. The band’s 2015 album Ego Death was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album. In 2017 singer Syd released a solo album ‘Fin’ and different band members have released or are working on solo albums at the moment.

Xenia Rubinos

Coming from a Puerto Rican family with a dad who loves classical music, growing up in Connecticut in the USA, having studied Jazz, it all adds up to the musical style of vocalist and musician Xenia Rubinos that ventures into hip-hop and R&B. But her music is hard to classify.

Just now in November 2019 Xenia Rubinos has released new singles “Diosa” and “Bugeisha” – the latter meaning female warrior in Japanese. In 2019 Xenia Rubinos appeared on a double single by the Battles, “They Played It Twice”

Read More: Battles share double single ft. Xenia Rubinos (listen) |

Eefje de Visser

In the category of dreamy synths comes the music of Eefje de Visser, with vocals in Dutch it actually manages to transcend language barriers and in 2020 her tour includes the countries Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark and Poland. Because of Corona she has been working on a special Video Tour and online release.

Izaline Calister

Secretly attending music school while also studying Economics when she moved to the Netherlands at 18 from Curaçao, Izaline Calister brought us jazzy interpretations of Curaçaoan songs ever since. 

Her repertoire also includes original Afro-CaribbeanCalypso songs in the Papiamento language. Izaline Calister famously performs barefoot and she has collaborated with many a jazz musician. See her live sometime!

Mayra Andrade

A Cape-Verdian singer living and working in Lisbon, Portugal, Mayra Andrade lends a new interpretation to morna, which is traditional Cape Verdian music. Her first album came out in 2006 and ever since she remains active and up to date with current music. Her latest album is from 2019.

Mayra Andrade was planning to tour Europe early 2020 with many dates in France.

Flor de Toloache

An all femxle Mariachi band, this group has been awarded Grammy 2017 Latin Grammy Winner for Best Ranchero Album, ‘Las Caras Lindas’.

Flor de Toloache was planning to tour the US in 2020 and will hopefully also come to Europe sometime.

More: 

H.E.R., Cowboy Junkies, PJ Harvey, Zoe Kravitz, Janelle Monae, Florence and the machine, Geneva Jacuzzi, Pip Blom, FKA Twigs, 

Check out the Spotify playlist if you haven’t yet, open Spotify to shuffle:



In Conclusion

There is no need to finance the 15th lamborghini of yesteryear’s artists when there are plenty of talented womxn working hard to earn recognition and a living. If these artists are not tuned to your personal tastes, then get out there and find out which current musicians are!

Please comment with your favorite womxn musicians! There will be another article with womxn musicians who made a statement in music history.