Al Young title

GIANT STEPS: 17 of the World’s Most Beautiful Steps & Stairs (Bored Panda)


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STAIRS | ValparaĂ­so, Chile

Street art is gradually coming to be accepted as a legitimate and wonderful art form by more and more people, but that doesn’t mean that street artists can rest on their laurels – they continue exploring with new ways to exploit public surfaces and cover them in beautiful art. This post is all about street artists and regular people who have decorated something that most of us probably wouldn’t think of decorating – public outdoor steps.  more

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L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling to girlfriend on tape: ‘Don’t bring blacks to my games’ (TMZ Sports)


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Donald Sterling & GF
Courtesy | The Root

38px-Speaker_Icon.svgClippers owner Donald Sterling caught on audio, telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring black people to his games, including Magic Johnson.

38px-Speaker_Icon.svg Extended 15-minute version of this audio (from Deadspin)

Live’ NBA Press Conference
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver under pressure
to confront Clippers owner Donald Sterling


Hate. Basketball and the NAACP
James Kenyon
April 27. 2014


SILVER POCKETS FULL (The 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays of August 2014)


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This is the only time you will see this phenomenon in your lifetime.

Calendar August 2014

August, this year, will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens only once every 823 years. The Chinese call it ‘Silver Pockets Full.’


Al Young’s SITTING PRETTY: A buried classic novel


“A novel you’ll want to go on forever about a charmer who can outfox Redd Foxx — at making life and making love ‘a pleasure.'”
— The New York Times

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SITTING PRETTY cvr Signet 1977

The Signet mass paperback (1977)
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Full-page announcement, Variety, 1976, from First Artists/Universal Pictures

Editorial Reviews


As Sit tells it, his life in and around San Francisco is based on a simple philosophy: “Play all the possibilities and stagger your bets.” Al Young deserves high marks for his novel that makes one think twice about success and failure in life. — Paul Obluda, The San Francisco ExaminerSitting Pretty is long-time poet and novelist Al Young’s novel from the mid-70s that has been reissued in 1986. Spoken, for it seems more grounded in the oral than the written tradition, by SidneyJ. Prettymon, a. k. a. Sitting Pretty, this novel set in the San Francisco Bay Area is rich in local color, authentic, and thoroughly enjoyable. The surface of the book is bright and clear, written as it is in the black idiom, with underpinnings rich in emotional tones. Sitting Pretty covers one year in the life of the narrator. The book opens with Sitting Pretty living in the Blue Jay Hotel in Palo Alto, a place that caters to those down on their luck, such as Miz Duchess, a tough but lovable Cherokee woman who dines on Alpo; Willie G., who goes from working in the junk yard to fashionable security guard at a modem art museum back to the junk yard; Broadway, a flashy young man who ends up busted for cocaine; and the silent and intuitive Professor. The exploits of these secondary characters pate, however, in comparison to those of the narrator, who fights the battle of the bottle, not always winning, but always fighting with humor; who goes to jail for unpaid parking tickets and gets bailed out by his lawyer son; who establishes contact with his wife after years of neglect only to discover that she has developed cancer; who is offered a job pitching T.V. and radio shows and becomes famous in the process; who has a tryst with the enigmatic Marguerite of exclusive Atherton, a black woman who passes for white; and who ends up hanging out at Jo Jo’s Let’s Get It On Club where he begins to cultivate an interest inJoJo, the proprietor as well as expose himself to some young, hip, radical black poetry. The action keeps the book going along at a fast clip, but the value of Sitting Pretty is in the narrator’s “philosophizin.” His insights are grounded in the experience of black America, yet they are universal enough to make this a novel of wide appeal. — From Independent Publisher –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Al Young is the award-winning author of several screenplays and more than 22 books of poetry, non-fiction and fiction including the novel and the musical memoirs, Seduction by Light, and Drowning in the Sea of Love. He travels extensively, lecturing and reading from his work, which has been widely translated. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


BEAUTY: A Short Video by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro (Vimeo)


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L’enigma della Bellezza

«Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;»
(W. Shakespeare, Sonnet no. 19)

Sulla bellezza da sempre aleggiano le nubi del destino e del tempo divoratore. La bellezza è cantata, raffigurata e descritta fin dall’antichità come l’attimo fuggente della felicità e della pienezza della vita inesauribile, fin dall’inizio destinata ad un epilogo tragico e salvifico.

In questa interpretazione di Rino Stefano Tagliafierro la bellezza è riportata alla forza espressiva di un gesto che egli scaturisce dall’immobilità del quadro, animando un sentimento sottraendolo alla fissità museale. Come se in quelle immagini che la storia dell’arte ci ha consegnato fosse congelato un movimento che l’oggi può rivitalizzare grazie al fuoco dell’inventiva digitale.

Una serie ben congegnata di immagini della più bella tradizione pittorica (dal rinascimento al simbolismo di fine ottocento, passando per il manierismo, il paesaggismo, il romanticismo e il neoclassicismo) sono accostate secondo un’intenzione che rintraccia il sentimento sotto il velo delle apparenze. Un’ispirazione che ci restituisce il senso di una caducità e della brevità esistenziale che l’autore interpreta con la dignità tragica di uno sguardo disincantato, capace di cogliere il senso profondo di un’immagine.
La bellezza in questa interpretazione è la compagna silenziosa della vita che inesorabilmente procede dal sorriso del bambino, attraverso l’estasi erotica, verso la smorfia di dolore che chiude un ciclo destinato a ripetersi all’infinito.

Significativi, da questo punto di vista, sono l’incipit di un’alba romantica nel cui cielo volano grossi uccelli neri e il finale del tramonto romantico con rovine gotiche che compie l’opera del tempo che fugge.

Giuliano Corti



The Enigma of Beauty

«Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;»
(W. Shakespeare, Sonnet no. 19)

Over Beauty there has always hung the cloud of destiny and all-devouring time. Beauty has been invoked, re-figured and described since antiquity as a fleeting moment of happiness and the inexhaustible fullness of life, doomed from the start to a redemptive yet tragic end.

In this interpretation by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, this beauty is brought back to the expressive force of gestures that he springs from the immobility of canvas, animating a sentiment lost to the fixedness masterpieces.

It is as though these images which the history of art has consigned to us as frozen movement can today come back to life thanks to the fire of digital invention. A series of well selected images from the tradition of pictorial beauty are appropriated, (from the renaissance to the symbolism of the late 1800s, through Mannerism, Pastoralism, Romanticism and Neo-classicism) with the intention of retracing the sentiment beneath the veil of appearance.

An inspiration that returns to us the sense of one fallen, and the existential brevity that the author interprets as tragic dignity, with an unenchanted eye able to capture the profoundest sense of the image.

Beauty in this interpretation is the silent companion of Life , inexorably leading from the smile of the baby, through erotic ecstasies to the grimaces of pain that close a cycle destined to repeat ad infinitum.

They are, from the inception of a romantic sunrise in which big black birds fly to the final sunset beyond gothic ruins that complete the piece, a work of fleeting time.

Giuliano Corti
(English translation: Thomas McEvoy)

© Rino Stefano Tagliaferro

Rino Stefano Tagliafierro (1980) is an Italian experimental animator and director based in Milan. His output includes music videos (for artists such as Four Tet, Stumbleine, Digitalism, Mobbing, M+A and ORAX) and fashion videos (Antonio Marras, Kenzo). In addition to collaborating with teams and video artists creating interactive video projections for exhibitions, museums and special events, he has participated in many festivals and competitions, and has received numerous international awards in recognition of his work.