On the heels of his buzzing debut album, FORWARD, R&B standout Jordan Ward unleashes the funk-influenced banger, “FAMJAM4000.” The song, named one of Rolling Stone’s “Songs You Need to Know,” evokes that classic 1970s R&B sound but adds a fresh contemporary feel courtesy of the track’s top-tier producers, Lido, Nascent, and Zach Ezzy. The carefree vibe translates to the song’s music video, featuring Jordan reveling in his Black boy joy in his hometown of St. Louis.
Keeping the momentum going, Jordan Ward also proudly announces his first headlining tour, The FORWARD Tour. The trek begins May 3 in Atlanta and includes shows in some of the biggest music markets, including Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles and his native St. Louis. Fans will also have many more chances to catch Jordan on the road this spring. He’s currently supporting JID and Smino on their Luv Is 4Ever Tour, which wraps March 29. Days later, he’ll take the stage at the legendary Dreamville Festival in North Carolina (April 2) on an all-star lineup featuring J. Cole, Drake, Summer Walker, Burna Boy and more.
The new announcements cap a milestone week for Jordan Ward and FORWARD, which has earned widespread acclaim. Okayplayercelebrated the album’s “refreshing” sound and highlighted Jordan’s “knack for unique sounds is also showcased on this well-produced compilation,” while Vibe praised, “the newcomer asserts himself as a force to reckon with.” Billboard called the album cut “PRICETAG/BEVERLYWOOD” the “Freshest Find” of the week as the No. 1 most exciting track among the newest R&B and hip-hop releases.
FORWARD delivers on the promise that has made Jordan Ward one of the most encouraging and anticipated breakthrough acts of 2023. Drawing influences ranging from old-school funk, alternative rock and hip-hop, FORWARD sees Jordan Ward elevate and expand the genre and all its potential. Album highlights include the Joony collaboration “IDC,” hailed as an “utterly relatable funky anthem,” “WHITE CROCS,” with rising rapper and fellow St. Louis native Ryan Trey and the flirtatious “CHERIMOYA,” which Complex spotlighted and acclaimed, “Bringing words to life through music is a special talent, which is why you should be paying attention to Ward.” The 14-track album is executive produced by Lido, whose credits include collaborations with Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey, Chance the Rapper, Ella Mai, Halsey, Smino and more.
FORWARD, too, holds layers of significance for its creator. “FORWARD, not only pushing our sound and creativity, but pushing to evolve and break cycles” Jordan says of his album’s name. “FOR WARD, a dedication to my family and our future. FOUR-WARD, my fourth project, but also a FOREWORD in my story being the debut album!”
ZEITZ MOCAA ANNOUNCES FULL ARTIST LINE-UP FOR HIGHLY ANTICIPATED EXHIBITION
WHEN WE SEE US: A CENTURY OF BLACK FIGURATION IN PAINTING
The survey exhibition features nearly 200 artworks from 154 artists
The exhibition, supported by Gucci, opens on 20 November 2022
This weekend, Zeitz MOCAA will be a flurry of activity as it not only presents its fundraising Gala, sponsored by Gucci, but also unveils a new survey exhibition that has been years in the making. Titled When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting, the exhibition places a focus on painting, specifically works produced from the 1920s to the present.
“Over the last decade, figurative painting by Black artists has risen to a new prominence in contemporary art,” says Koyo Kouoh, Executive Director and Chief Curator at Zeitz MOCAA. “There is no better time for an exhibition of this nature, one that connects these practices and reveals the deeper historic contexts and networks of complex and underrepresented artistic genealogies that stem from African and Black modernities; an exhibition that demonstrates how multiple generations of such artists have revelled and critically engaged in projecting various notions of Blackness and Africanity.”
When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting comprises an exhibition, publication and discursive programming that explores Black self-representation and celebrates global Black subjectivities and Black consciousness from pan-African and pan-diasporic perspectives. It boldly brings together artworks from the last 100 years, by Black artists working globally, into dialogue with leading Black thinkers, writers and poets who are active today.
The exhibition furthermore celebrates how artists from Africa and its diaspora have imagined, positioned, memorialised and asserted African and African-descent experiences. It contributes to critical discourse on African and Black liberation, intellectual and philosophical movements. The title of the exhibition is inspired by Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, a 2019 miniseries. Flipping ‘they’ to ‘we’ allows for a dialectical shift that centres the conversation in a differential perspective of self-writing as theorised by Professor Achille Mbembe.
The exhibition, designed by Wolff Architects, features nearly 200 works of art by 154 artists from 28 countries, with the artworks loaned from 73 institutional and private lenders located in 26 countries. When We See Us celebrates the resilience, essence and political charge of Black joy. The exhibition is organised around six themes — The Everyday, Joy and Revelry, Repose, Sensuality, Spirituality, and Triumph and Emancipation. It is furthermore accompanied by a sonic translation, compiled by South African composer and sound artist Neo Muyanga.
Tandazani Dhlakama, the exhibition’s co-curator and Assistant Curator at Zeitz MOCAA, says: “This exhibition is a true reflection of the historic contexts of African and Black existence, with the oldest artist in the exhibition born in 1886 and the youngest in 1999. It amplifies a historical continuum of self-representation while highlighting important contributions towards a previously understated canon. Most importantly, it explores a broad range of artistic lineages, art schools and movements — and brings together a myriad of artists and their practice in dialogue for the first time (see full list of artists below).”
Published to coincide with the exhibition is a hardcover poetic catalogue by Thames and Hudson, in collaboration with Zeitz MOCAA, and edited by Koyo Kouoh. Richly illustrated with all the works selected for the exhibition, it includes a contextual essay by Dhlakama and four specially commissioned texts by acclaimed female writers Ken Bugul (Senegal), Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia), Robin Coste Lewis (United States) and Bill Kouelany (Republic of Congo). In addition to the publication, on sale from 18 November at Zeitz MOCAA Shop and shop.zeitzmocaa.museum, the curatorial team have collaborated with the museum’s retail partner on a limited range of exhibition-related items, including T-shirts, tote bags and more.
Conceived in collaboration with the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), a parallel discursive programme provides theoretical framings of the project and is presented as a year-long, multi-vocal webinar series. The series brings together thought leaders from the continent and its thriving diaspora to address topics around global Black subjectivity and Black representation from the premise of artistic production and into the topical considerations relevant today.
Coordinated by Zeitz MOCAA Assistant Curator Thato Mogotsi, previous discussion topics included The Poetics of Black Figuration, Defining the ‘We’ & the ‘Us’, A Century of Black Figuration as Representation of Self and Black is Beautiful: Pan-Africanism & the Afropolitan Impulse in Contemporary Art, amongst others. Previous participants have included Prof Huey Copeland, Kimberly Drew, Keyna Eleison, Thelma Golden, Dr Felwine Sarr and Athi Mongozeleli Joja. The webinars are archived on the museum’s YouTube channel, with the next one taking place on Tuesday, 29 November.
The opening of the exhibition is preceded by the 2022 Zeitz MOCAA Gala Dinner + Party, supported by Gucci, acting as a catalyst and inspiration for the Gala’s theme of Art & Opulence. The Gala is Zeitz MOCAA’s largest development event of the year and its proceeds yield approximately 30% of the museum’s annual exhibitions and education budget. The event is essential to the institution’s mission of promoting art education and community engagement, and is further supported by the V&A Waterfront, Radisson Hotel Group, the Mail & Guardian, YourLuxury Africa, Terre Paisable, Pernod Ricard and Hidden Valley Wines, with BMW South Africa as the official vehicle partner.
The exhibition and accompanying publication have been made possible through the generous support of our presenting sponsor, Gucci.
When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting will open to the public on Sunday, 20 November 2022. The Zeitz MOCAA Gala Dinner + Party, supported by Gucci and themed Art + Opulence, takes place on Saturday, 19 November 2022. For more information on the Gala and to purchase tickets, visit zeitzmocaa.museum or click here.
Zeitz MOCAA’s curatorial and exhibition programming is proudly supported by Gucci. All proceeds from the annual fundraising event go towards supporting curatorial research and education programming at Zeitz MOCAA.
Please find further media materials for When We See Ushere and here.
About Zeitz MOCAA
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit institution that collects, preserves, researches and exhibits contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora; conceives and hosts international exhibitions; develops supporting educational, discursive and enrichment programmes; encourages intercultural understanding; and strives towards access for all. The museum’s galleries feature rotating temporary exhibitions with a dedicated space for the permanent collection. The institution also includes the Centre for Art Education, the Centre for the Moving Image and The Atelier, a museum residency programme for artists living and working in Cape Town.
Zeitz MOCAA is situated at the Silo District, South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. zeitzmocaa.museum
Founded in Florence, Italy, in 1921, Gucci is one of the world’s leading luxury brands, led by President and CEO Marco Bizzarri and Creative Director Alessandro Michele. Following the House’s centenary, Gucci forges ahead into the next hundred years, continuing to redefine luxury while celebrating the creativity, craftsmanship and innovation at the core of its values.
Gucci is part of the global luxury group, Kering, which manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in fashion, leather goods, jewelry and watches.
Michelle C. Smith is an actress, stuntwoman, speaker, educator, and professional badass. She was born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Since she was 5 years old, she has been training to create and develop a level of Mastery around unique and valuable Prop Spinning / Manipulation skills. When she turned 11, she began competing at the World Championship level and trained 8 hours a day, 7 days a week during competition. Michelle competed in this sport’s world championships for eight years, winning several medals. ”I won a bronze medal and 3 silver medals,” she mentions.
Physical activity is essential to achieve emotional and physical well-being, but it can become something negative if it is done under a lot of pressure. In these circumstances, it can cause trauma and other problems. ”My biggest trauma is overtraining and the pressure that myself and the adults in my back environments put on me as if I’m not good enough,” she stresses.
As an International Baton Twirler Champion turned martial artist and professional specialist, she has seen the immense benefits that 30 years of training with different tools and movements have brought her. With these intricate and coordinated paths, Michelle has created choreographies and learned three specific skills that have come to her achievement: Confidence, speed, and ease. “Because of these intricate and highly specific abilities, I CAN DO ANYTHING!” says Michelle. “And so can you!”
Michelle’s passion to share her skills led to the creation of Freestyle Staff Spinning, a tool and weapon-based practice that combines the best technical material from Baton Twirling with Acrobatics and Martial Arts. This combination of sports “is so special that I really love that it’s athletic and artistic,” she adds.
The purpose of Freestyle Staff is to create and win an open and accessible space for all kinds of people to learn and fall in love with everything that Staff Spinning, Weapons Spinning and Baton Twirling have to offer. Michelle and her community of Freestyle Staff Spinners can be found on the official Freestyle Staff Academy website.
Michelle moved to Vancouver to pursue a career in dance. Through dance, she met people who worked with the Underground Circus (a professional circus group). This was her first taste of life as a working artist, as her company booked large corporate events for her to perform at.
From there, Michelle began taking martial arts classes, specifically Filipino Martial Arts and Muay Thai. She became popular in the industry for her ability to teach, train and explain the movement to the actors she doubled for or worked with on set, allowing them to feel confident and at ease with all of her physical movements. In 2014, she started doing tricks and baton and bo staff videos on her social media.
Michelle is an active person who is always eager to learn new things. She is a huge advocate for awareness of mental health, fitness, and training in general. Michelle’s dream is to create a world where creativity, authenticity, and bravery reign by empowering people to embrace their Own Inner Ass.
“The Spirit of Ecstasy continues to be our muse for the ongoing pursuit of excellence. She embodies what we as the House of Rolls-Royce stand for: strive for perfection, attention to detail and timeless beauty. It is fascinating to see our icon being transformed into these three very unique expressions, pushing technical and conceptual boundaries. I would like to thank Bi Rongrong, Ghizlane Sahli and Scarlett Yang for their extraordinary masterpieces celebrating a different dimension of our iconic figurine, manifesting the exciting future of textile design.”
Muse,the Rolls-Royce Arts Programme celebrates the global debut of the artworks created by the winners of the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge. These three unique pieces are being exhibited at Cromwell Place, London, from 5 – 8 October 2022, before embarking on an international tour.
The Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge is a new biennial initiative that invites emerging artists from a range of disciplines to create artworks inspired the Rolls-Royce icon – the beautiful figurine that has adorned the bonnet of every motor car created by the marque since 1911. Each edition of the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge will focus on a different medium, challenging participants to push technical and conceptual boundaries. The inaugural 2022 edition explores the potential of textiles, inviting artists to create textile-based artwork.
The winners – Bi Rongrong, Ghizlane Sahli and Scarlett Yang – developed three unique interpretations of the Rolls-Royce symbol. As part of the creative process, the artists met Rolls-Royce’s master craftspeople to exchange experiences before bringing their ideas and innovative creations to life.
Stitched Urban Skin (2022) is inspired by the multi-layered landscape of cities and their mesmerising reflections on the glossy surface of the Spirit of Ecstasy. Old and new are woven together: the artwork consists of three suspended layers of two-dimensional sheets made from specially treated metal, an animated LED light sheet and a Perspex sheet incorporating a material created using a traditional Chinese crochet technique. The use of metal in the work is inspired by the Rolls-Royce car surface and pays homage to the exceptional craftsmanship at The Home of Rolls-Royce. The piece draws on Bi’s encyclopaedic archive of urban imagery, utilising both ancient craftsmanship and innovative technologies, interlacing different locations and histories.
“This piece wasn’t inspired by a singular thing, it’s a blend of patterns connected to cities and nature – the way they grow is very similar. People see only what’s on the surface – the architecture and the trees – but underneath are hidden interwinding roots”, said Bi. She continued: “The Rolls-Royce team gave me full artistic freedom, encouraging me to try new things and be truly brave. I experimented and changed the whole piece many times, which eventually made it even more captivating. This experience has presented me with new possibilities and opened up a different perspective which I will bring into my future work”.
Resembling two triumphant wings about to take flight, Sahli’s artwork Nissa’s Rina(Woman’s Song) (2022) is a joyous celebration of femininity and freedom. The artwork explores the beauty of metamorphose and is composed almost entirely of salvaged materials: plastic bottles, plastic tubes, caps, covered with white silk and gold thread purchased from the artisans in Marrakech’s Medina and copper embellished with gold leaf. For Nissa’s Rina(Woman’s Song), Sahli adopts her signature technique of wrapping cut bottles in thread, the “Alveoli”, and building up each element into wing-like structures evocative of the Spirit of Ecstasy.
“The Spirit of Ecstasy – that elegant, free woman who crowns the most prestigious car in the world. A symbol of power, she opens her wings to take flight, and rules the world. What a synchronicity for me! She embodies everything that I would like to express in my life today”, – said Sahli. “Nissa’s Rina, Woman’s song, aims to express the elegance, the femininity, and the freedom of the Spirit of Ecstasy”.
Scarlett Yang’s Transient Materiality (2022)is ahybrid work that consists of a physical and digital piece. The 1-metre-high sculpture is made of intertwining ribbons of synthetic biopolymer produced with liquid particles collected from the ocean and bound with algae photosynthetic organisms. The sculpture’s form, surface and colour all reflect the natural world: its unique texture was inspired the subtle intricacy of animal skin patterns and the structural resilience of translucent dragonfly wings. Made by pouring the liquid bio-polymer into a 3D-fabricated mould, while the ribbons’ green and purple hues were created through experiments with spirulina and other natural components.
Suspended in the air, the piece mesmerizes with its shimmering, iridescent qualities – an ethereal expression of elegance, reminiscent of the flying gown of the Spirit of Ecstasy. The accompanying digital element is a video documentation of the creative process as well as digital renderings of the sculpture, set to a futuristic soundscape.
“My work consists in exploring the physical properties that nature gracefully offers and enhancing them through a conscious and circular use of technology. The piece ‘Transient Materiality” is ultimately meant to embellish the human body whilst serving a truly positive approach for the future of design”, – commented Scarlett Yang.
The artists, invited to create their proposals for the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge, were nominated by an international expert committee. Their submissions were reviewed by a renowned jury consisting of Anders Warming, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Yoon Ahn, Creative Director of AMBUSH and Director of Jewellery at Dior Men; Tim Marlow, Chief Executive and Director at the Design Museum, London; and Sumayya Vally, Founder and Principal at Counterspace Studio, Johannesburg. In April 2022 Muse announced the three winners who were chosen to bring their concept to life with the Rolls-Royce support.
The Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge is the second commissioning initiative of Muse. While the Dream Commission supports artists working with moving-image art, the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge celebrating the endless creativity within the world of materials and craftsmanship. Every two years, the Challenge will be repeated, each time exploring the limitless possibilities of a different medium key to Rolls-Royce craftsmanship, with the Spirit of Ecstasy serving as a point of inspiration.
Anders Warming, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
About Muse, the Rolls-Royce Arts Programme
Muse is the Rolls-Royce Arts Programme, designed to foster and inspire creativity through collaboration with artists who share the marque’s passion for pushing technical and conceptual boundaries. Consisting of two ongoing biennial initiatives, Muse partners with some of the most respected and prestigious institutions in the world, such as Foundation Beyeler, Basel and Serpentine, London. Muse will provide selected artists with time and resource to produce art conceived, and to be experienced, without compromise.
Muse marks a new direction for the Rolls-Royce Arts Programme, which has, since its inception in 2014, invited Rolls-Royce patrons into the world of contemporary art. To date, leading artists Sondra Perry, Refik Anadol, Tomas Saráceno, Asad Raza, Dan Holdsworth, Isaac Julien, Yang Fudong, and Ugo Rondinone have collaborated with the Arts Programme.
About Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group and is a completely separate company from Rolls-Royce plc, the manufacturer of aircraft engines and propulsion systems. Over 2000 skilled men and women are employed at the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ head office and manufacturing plant at Goodwood, West Sussex, the only place in the world where the company’s super-luxury motor cars are hand-built.
WARNER MUSIC LATINA JOINS FORCES WITH THE LIONZ COLLECTIVE TO BRING THE EXPLOSIVE TALENT OF BARRANQUILLA TO THE WORLD
There is no doubt that Colombia has played an important role in Latin music’s historical and global expansion in the 21st century. While in recent years the focus has been on the talent emerging from Medellin, the hometown of global superstars like J Balvin, Maluma, and Karol G, attention is now shifting to Barranquilla, Colombia’s golden gate, which has seen a boom with his new move. In an exciting new development for Latin music, today, Warner Music Latina and Lionz, LLC (as part of The Lionz Collective, a collective that combines music, artist development, and creativity), announced their joint initiative to turn Latin the emerging stars of Barranquilla into artists known to all.
The innovative project is being led by Warner Music Latina and directed by experienced LIONZ songwriter, producer and executive Humberto “Humby” Viana, veteran Latin and American record industry creative and executive Brian Harrison Alvarez and Darío José. “DJ Dari” Insignares, one of the creative minds behind the Barranquilla sound.
“We are excited about this new partnership with The Lionz Collective that will help develop and export the Barranquilla sound and talent throughout the Latin American region and beyond.” – Hector Ruben Rivera, SVP/Head of A&R at Warner Music Latina.
“It is proven that Colombia is a country full of talent and an exporter of music to the whole world. This alliance with Lionz means a lot to us and to be the pioneers in officially opening an artistic development cluster on the Atlantic coast.” – Maria Montejo, General Marketing Manager of Warner Music Colombia.
“If there’s one thing I know after more than 20 years in music at the highest levels, it’s that when you hear something undeniable that advances art instead of chasing it, you go all out and fast. That’s how movements become tides and that’s how legends are born.” – Brian Harrison Alvarez, Founder, LIONZ.
“He carried Barranquilla in his blood. Very happy for the city and the globalization of its sound. For those who paved the way, thank you. Now is our time.” – Humberto “Humby” Viana, Founder, LIONZ.
The Lionz Collective brings together artists, creatives and tastemakers from the US and Latin America with a mission to innovate pop culture. The Lionz Collective is made up of a group of companies that includes LIONZ, a full-service record label; THE ROAR OF THE LION, music publisher and manager; and THE LIONZ DEN, an artist management, production and art incubator company.
With a diversified roster of eight unique artists starting in the streets of Barranquilla (Lou, Dante Damage, Piri Blackboy) and embracing a fresh and innovative take on pop (Jean Pi, Diana K), seasoned artists ready for international exposure (VAECH ), to gaining the credibility needed for an acquisition (MC Killer and the Caribbean Cartel) and having a rising superstar of their own (Darho), Lionz and Warner have made their best bet yet: transform Barranquilla art into the musical legends of tomorrow.
Robots have been given the gift of human creativity.
Artist Agnieszka Pilat is currently out West at the headquarters of Agility Robotics, where she has made a new friend with the humanoid robot DIGIT, and started a series of paintings with him that will be included in her upcoming show, ROBOTa.
“This is the era of the new, intelligent machine,” says Agnieszka.“The works created by DIGIT are full of mistakes. This innocence in mark-making gives them a sense of spontaneity, like children playing with crayons.”
Agnieszka is no stranger to painting with robots. She has worked closely with Boston Dynamics‘ SPOT, selling one piece created by the robot canine for $40,000 during a fundraiser to benefit Ukrainian refugees. The pieces with DIGIT and SPOT will be featured in Agnieszka‘s upcoming fall show at the gallery Modernism in San Francisco.
Agnieszka’s Talking Points:
This is the era of the new, intelligent machine. This is not a printer – an enhancement of a human hand, or a camera lens – an amplified human eye. The new machine is close to man’s nature – interested in the sublime, the essence of what it means to be human. It’s slow and curious and playful. Unlike clean, perfect classical machine esthetics, new machine esthetics are fraud with errors and imperfections.
If a human is the ideal – then robots strive to imitate their human creators. We are the parents to the machine – and intelligent machines like proper children believe in their naivete, that they can someday surpass their creators.
The new machine is close to man’s nature – interested in the sublime, the essence of what it means to be human. It’s slow and curious and playful. Unlike clean, perfect classical machine esthetics, new machine esthetics are fraud with errors and imperfections.
Agnieszka Pilat Bio:
Polish born artist, Agnieszka Pilat studied painting and illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. She is an award-winning artist and her works can be found in public and private collections in the United States, Poland, and Canada. Pilat currently lives and maintains a full time studio in San Francisco and is represented by numerous galleries throughout the United States and has exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Next month, Krakoa braces itself for war when mutantkind is targeted by the Eternals! Do the Avengers stand a chance at preventing an apocalyptic conflict from erupting across the Marvel Universe? Find out in A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY, the latest Marvel Comics crossover event launching this summer. Written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Valerio Schiti, the epic saga will deliver thrilling payoffs to recent events in AVENGERS, X-MEN, and ETERNALS titles. Fans got their first glimpse in this year’s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: JUDGMENT DAY and can get the full scope of the Eternals’ destructive plan in A.X.E.: EVE OF JUDGMENT, a special prelude issue by Gillen and Pasqual Ferry.
Eternals know that the mutants have conquered death. But what are they going to do about it? The oldest immortals on Earth size up the newest, and the doomsday clock starts to tick toward Judgment Day…
“The Eternals are the aggressors here,” Gillen explained to Popverse in a recent interview. “This is the Eternals about to go to war. You get to see the prime Eternals building their armories, working out how they’re going to kill people, various plans and kidnappings, and the good Eternals perhaps being a bit more lost. It’s preparation for war. That’s what it is. I think that’s the best way of describing it, as well as being also a really good restatement of what’s going on in the Eternals. Because if you haven’t read issues one to 12, this is like, ‘OK, I don’t know anything about Eternals. I don’t know, why would [they] be going to war? Who are they even?’ It’s that as well. This is the preparation of the war happening and everything you need to know going in.”
Check out a teaser from the issue below and witness the opening moves of A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY when A.X.E.: EVE OF JUDGMENT arrives on July 13. For more information, visit HERE.
Retailers, don’t forget to order your copies of A.X.E.: EVE OF JUDGMENT #1 by Monday, June 13!
• Presented by Mobil 1 and in partnership with Walmart and Dickies, the world’s largest traveling car show returns to Houston on Saturday, May 14 • One Houston fan car could be the next Hot Wheels die-cast sold around the world – submit your entry now! • This family-friendly event will take place at Walmart in Spring, Texas from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CDT
The Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour returns to the Lone Star State on Saturday, May 14 for an epic day of custom car competition at the Houston-area Walmart Supercenter in Spring, Texas. Featuring fan-built art cars, slabs, Texas muscle, imports and everything in between, this family-friendly event is set to showcase the best of Houston’s custom car culture, Hot Wheels, Garage of Legends life-size vehicles, local automotive legends and H-Town celebrities, along with collectables available exclusively on the Tour.
“I always enjoy coming back home to Houston, which has long been a famous hub for custom car culture,” said Ted Wu, Vice President, Global Head of Design for Vehicles, Mattel. “The Houston art car, slab and muscle scenes always surprise us with some of the most outrageous and colorful contenders in the entire competition. We are sure to find the perfect match for this year’s Global Grand Finale.”
The select panel of judges consists of Hot Wheels designers and local car afficionados, who will be on the hunt for the custom build that best showcases creativity, authenticity and garage spirit. Judges for this stop include: Houston rapper and philanthropist Trae tha Truth; Smithy Customs owner and head designer Justin Smith; Recoil Racing owner Jerry Dellaportas; president of West Houston Muscle and founder of Nerdtropolis Sean Tajipour; paint and bodywork specialist Veronica Ramos, along with Ted Wu and Phil Riehlman from the HotWheels design team.
Spanning 15 countries and 5 continents, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour is now in its fifth year, giving builders around the world a platform to showcase their passion projects. The winner of the May 14 stop in Houston will move on to compete in the Global Grand Finale later this year, where the champion will have their custom build immortalized as an official Hot Wheels 1:64 die-cast and inducted as a permanent fixture into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends.
Additional North American stops include: • June 4: In-Person Event at Walmart in Northwest Arkansas • June 18: In-Person Event at Walmart in Atlanta, Georgia • July 9: In-Person Event at Walmart in Detroit, Michigan • July 16: In-Person Event at Walmart in Windsor, Canada • July 30: In-Person Event in El Segundo, California • September 10: In-Person Event at Walmart in Phoenix, Arizona • September 24: In-Person Event at Walmart in Dallas, Texas • October 8: In-Person Event at Walmart in Los Angeles, California • Date TBC: Virtual Livestream • November 1: Global Semi Final (Livestream only) • November: Global Grand Finale (Livestream only)
Dickies, the global leader in workwear, is once again proud to join the Hot Wheels Legends Tour and celebrate the brand’s do-it-yourself personality. The Legends tour exemplifies “Built not Bought” and this falls right in line with Dickies, which is proud to be present at each of the tour stops providing Dickies wear for judges and staff. In addition, select commemorative Dickies apparel will be available to consumers at each Walmart stop with proof of Dickies purchase from inside the store. Visit the Dickies booth at the event for more details.
To learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, visit HERE.
About Hot Wheels As a 54-year-old brand more relevant today than ever before, Hot Wheels is the world’s leading vehicle franchise which represents and unites all segments of car culture. For decades Hot Wheels has proven its influence in automotive and pop culture with legendary design and epic performance. Through unparalleled collaborations with global leaders in streetwear, fashion, luxury, entertainment, action sports and motorsports, Hot Wheels is the #1 selling toy in the world with over 8 billion vehicles sold. The brand engages fans of every generation through immersive live events, global competitions, theme park attractions, world-class digital gaming, consumer products and film and television content.
About Mattel Mattel is a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends™, UNO® and MEGA®, as well as other popular intellectual properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 35 locations and our products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and e-commerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.
About Mobil 1 Mobil 1™ motor oil is the world’s leading brand of synthetic motor oil. Our advanced technology allows Mobil 1 motor oils to meet or exceed some of the industry’s toughest standards and to provide exceptional protection under even extreme driving conditions. Mobil 1 motor oil is designed to help protect critical engine parts, maximize engine performance, and extend engine life. For more information, visit HERE or and follow @Mobil1 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Contacts Scott Shaffstall Mattel Global Communications firstname.lastname@example.org 310-252-3610 Michael Haas Extension PR email@example.com
Up and coming pop singer-songwriter Ashley Kutcher just announced her first live tour dates in both Los Angeles and New York City. The upcoming two-night tour is set to begin in March 2022 and will feature performances of Ashley’s debut EP One Eighty. For a sneak peek at what is to come from the tour, watch Ashley’s live performance of “The Night You Left”HERE. Tickets for the tour are available on January 14, 2022, at 10AM PST.
One Eighty includes Ashley’s first song that went viral with a total of 58M audio streams, “Love You From a Distance.” After the success of “Love You From a Distance,” Ashley landed a deal with Darkroom/Interscope Records. The EP symbolizes Ashley’s rising success collected in the past year that accumulated millions of streams. When considering the EP, Ashley says, “One Eighty is a collection of songs I wrote as my life took a complete turn. It’s a project of discovering who I am as an artist. Together these songs tell my story and I could not be more excited to share it.” One Eighty is available HERE.
About Ashley Kutcher
Ashley Kutcher is a 23-year-old rising singer, songwriter and artist originally from Baltimore, Maryland. Ashley originally went on to chase a nursing degree at Towson University after high school. During her time at school, a local bar discovered a video of her singing online and asked her to perform on their stage. This single opportunity opened Ashley up to the world of music and songwriting, as she quit her waitressing job and began playing sets at the bar, playing for around four hours per each night. When Ashley’s senior year came, she began posting her singing talents on TikTok. Ashley posted a demo of “Lust,” which captivated the attention of over thousands of people. Continuing off this momentum, Ashley soon after posted another demo “Hands to Myself” to streaming platforms, with the song accumulating over 1 million streams on Spotify.
While continuing to grow her emerging fanbase, Ashley noticed a tweet from blackbear that stated, “hit me up if you don’t like me.” Ashley took inspiration from this tweet, and formulated her own song called “HMU if U Don’t Like Me,” similar to the tweet by blackbear. The song rapidly gained another million streams, and Ashley realized the true talent that she possessed. Ashley, again, took to TikTok with another one of her songs “Love You From A Distance,” produced by Eric Taft. The song surpassed 9.5 million Spotify streams while she signed to Darkroom/Interscope Records (with now over 58 million audio streams). Ashley’s creative and sincere point of view attracted her audience, leading to the success of her debut EP One Eighty. Ashley now is getting ready to perform her music for the first time in Los Angeles and New York.
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE hosted its inaugural holiday window display to honor and rejuvenate imagination and creativity in New York City. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE holiday windows gain inspiration from the traditional 5th Avenue holiday window displays while serving a greater purpose. The intention of the displays is to revive the creativity that has been deprived of downtown Manhattan since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Brooklyn-based Shavanté Royster is a graphic designer and illustrator, working in the creative industry since 2009. Growing up in a military family, often having to travel during her life motivated Shavanté’s innovation. Through her art, Shavanté often takes inspiration from travel, expressing this through shapes and rich colors. Shavanté’s work is comprised of digital illustration, painting and mixed media.
Romeo Hunte New York is a lifestyle apparel brand designed in NYC for consumers who appreciate sophisticated details. The edgy aesthetic that the collection radiates mixes both feminine and masculine characteristics. Romeo Hunte pieces blend lavish outerwear with contemporary apparel. The Romeo Hunte woman and man can be described as a “dynamic duo” that appreciates the arts and pop culture with a modern flare.
Nicole von Arx
Nicole von Arx (NVA) studied Ballet, Contemporary and Hip Hop in Geneva, Switzerland at Dance Area, shortly after traveling to New York in 2008 to attend school at the Alvin Ailey School, graduating in 2011. Currently based among NYC and Geneva, NVA is a dancer and choreographer in both dance scenes. NVA has collaborated with the most notable choreographers in New York as a creator, dancer and teacher. Continuing her career, NVA has also worked independently as a choreographer with musicians, film directors and photographers.
The visionaries that were created through the course of the display aimed to fill the empty storefronts with avant-garde ‘windows of art.’ The pandemic has transformed the lives of creatives, small businesses and retail in New York and all over the world. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE worked to ensure that the artistic society would be celebrated and uplifted this holiday season with their holiday displays.
Each window highlighted a winter dreamscape created by artist Shavanté Royster. Both Shavanté and Romeo Hunte’s creative point-of-views joined forces to emulate the holiday magic of 5th avenue. Live models were seen wearing Romeo’s winter apparel upon Shavanté’s backdrops, with performances by NYC dancers.
Romeo’s devoted window showcased people draped in his designs that were created personally for the display. Romeo set the scene of a holiday celebration before a show over cocktails. The garments were designed with inspiration from Shavanté, with the backdrop and fashion coinciding throughout the display.
Romeo spoke on the experience of designing for the holiday displays, stating, “It’s been a joy to work on BOMBAY SAPPHIRE’s Holiday Storefront Series which pays homage to exciting young creative talents everywhere and the tenacity of New York City coming back after the pandemic. It was refreshing to collaborate with artist Shavanté Royster and the dancers as mixed media has always been an important part of my work, so it was cool to build and see the narrative of the holiday windows come to life with them through different facets, such as the dancers wearing some of my designs. I hope everyone can leave the windows feeling a burst of creativity and inspiration for the holidays, and hope for the year ahead!”
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