This week's Culture Vultures recommend: | Culture Vultures | Chicago Reader

This week's Culture Vultures recommend: 

Science Is Culture, Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo, and work by artist Antonio Martorell

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Tempestt Hazel, Sixty Inches From Center cofounder and curator, is eavesdropping on:

Science Is Culture: Conversations at the New Intersection of Science + Society I revel in the experience of listening in on the meeting of brilliant minds. Whether it is an impromptu musical session between friends or candid conversations between art historians and legendary artists, there is something beautiful that happens during these exchanges. They never fail to leave me inspired and a little closer to understanding myself, my affinity to art, and my connection to other people.

When I came across the book Science Is Culture: Conversations at the New Intersection of Science + Society, edited by Adam Bly, it not only nourished my love of being a silent witness to fascinating discussions, but it also played to my interest in the space where art and science feed off of one another. It is a series of 22 conversations between creative thinkers of the 21st century. "On Dreams," the one between filmmaker Michel Gondry and psychologist Robert Stickgold, is a personal favorite. But there are so many others worth reading.

If only I could find a book of conversations between people like James Baldwin and Nina Simone, Octavia Butler and Noah Purifoy, or David Hammons and perhaps Maurizio Cattelan—then I'd really be in heaven!

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Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo, stand-up comedy duo Dominizuelen, are emotionally invested in:

Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo The Tall One: First, the movie got me. Salma Hayek at her best. I was enraptured by this artist wrapped in enigma, Frida Kahlo. I still listen to the soundtrack, which transports me right into the center of the movie, sporting my unibrow, my Mexican garb, in love with a fat man twice my age. But just wait until you dive into Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera. If you haven't read it and find yourself intrigued by her, you will discover a side of Frida you never knew. Her letters to her first love, her illnesses, and the truth of a very tumultuous, at times torturous life—I am fascinated by her life and work. And Hayden Herrera does a phenomenal job of making you feel like you are walking on Frida's path with her, discovering life with her. I stalled reading the end for weeks because I didn't want her life to end. I'm seriously getting emotional right now.

The Short One: As Lori handed the book off to me, I told her to wipe her sweet Latina tears. "Please. What could I not already know about Frida?" Next thing you know, I was in tears myself. What I found so intriguing about Frida is how her fierce loyalty to Diego, her illness, her relationship to her family, it's all within her paintings. Ever since the book, my daydreams are filled with self-portraits and unibrows.

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Bibiana Suárez, visual artist and professor of art at DePaul University, was impressed with:

"Un Año de Martorell" Chicagoans should not miss a series of large-scale prints by prominent Puerto Rican artist Antonio Martorell that are showing until June 8 at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Humboldt Park. These exquisite woodcuts, in series titled "Gestuario 1" and "Gestuario 2" (Gestures 1 and Gestures 2), hang from the ceiling, depicting life-scale figures performing gestures that signal the usage of body language among Puerto Ricans, young and old, that signify changes in social attitudes between generations. The installation guides you to move in between the prints, engaging your own body as it travels through this space of culture in a way that you cannot help but empathize with the characters represented. As a student and later apprentice to master graphic artist Lorenzo Homar, Martorell's prints give continuation to a beautiful and socially engaged printmaking tradition in the island.

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