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Artist Feature: Maryanne Ventrice

Maryanne Ventrice is a Brooklyn native and resident photographer. She focuses her work on live music events throughout the city featuring a range of styles and sounds. In our dialogue, she discusses goals of documenting and representing the world through the arts, along with how she uses her lens to capture the energetic and emotional feel of a live show. Her words are accompanied by many examples of her dope photos. Peep the entry below!

Maryanne Ventrice | Photo by Jessica Amaya

Maryanne Ventrice | Photo by Jessica Amaya

We strive to represent our world though an artistic medium – trying to give meaning to the world around us, interpreting what we see into what we feel.

– Maryanne Ventrice

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MV: I’m a photographer from New York City – born and raised in Brooklyn – still live there. New York is an amazing place. I have always been surrounded by the faces and voices of people from all over the world.  Sometimes it’s hard to be on top of all of these people but the pros outweigh the cons.

I shoot live music events, mostly. I began by photographing friends in bands and then moved on to shooting for various music blogs.

I never studied photography formally, I studied History. For me, documenting has a lot of potential. I hope that when someone looks back on [my] body of work they will be able to get a good feeling of the time and place of the NYC indie music scene.

In 2012, I curated my first show. It was a group show of 13 female concert photographers entitled 120dB. I’ve gone on to curate several more exhibits and look forward to continuing to showcase the work of other artists.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MV: Reflection can be about anything — people, places, objects. We strive to represent our world though an artistic medium – trying to give meaning to the world around us, interpreting what we see into what we feel. Photography easily lends itself to this idea. The live music photos reflect the energy of the band and audience at a particular show. For my curatorial projects, I usually spend some time reflecting on images of artists’ work first and then develop a concept in response to join the work and title a show so that it represents that concept to the viewer.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

MV: I mainly photograph live music events. I’ve been shooting the Kidrockers music series since 2007. It’s my favorite live event. Bands come and play their regular set for children. My friends Beth and Morton founded this as a way for parents to have access to new bands since it’s hard to get out once you have kids. I believe that we are creating a future audience for live music. It’s a real labor of love and I hope we never stop.

Maryanne Ventrice - DIIV Kidrockers (Brooklyn Bowl)

Maryanne Ventrice – DIIV, Kidrockers (Brooklyn Bowl)

Maryanne Ventrice - Kidrockers (The Rock Shop)

Maryanne Ventrice – Kidrockers (The Rock Shop)

Maryanne Ventrice - Jesse Malin Kidrockers (The Rock Shop)

Maryanne Ventrice – Jesse Malin, Kidrockers (The Rock Shop)

Maryanne Ventrice - Twin Shadow, Kidrockers (Winter's Eve)

Maryanne Ventrice – Twin Shadow, Kidrockers (Winter’s Eve Festival)

The [following] images come from my first exhibit, More Guitar in the Monitor, which a friend of mine asked me to put together. I feel that these images capture the mood of the performances.

Maryanne Ventrice - The National (Bowery Ballroom)

Maryanne Ventrice – The National (Bowery Ballroom)

Maryanne Ventrice - Drink Up Buttercup (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

Maryanne Ventrice – Drink Up Buttercup (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

Maryanne Ventrice - Pet Shop Boys (Hammerstein Ballroom)

Maryanne Ventrice – Pet Shop Boys (Hammerstein Ballroom)

Delineate was a project that’s process based. I was testing some new equipment on myself and made a photo that I thought was pretty interesting. I convinced 11 others to let me shine a bright white light inches from their faces and make these portraits:

Maryanne Ventrice - Kristin Martinez (Delineate)

Maryanne Ventrice – Kristin Martinez (Daughter)

Maryanne Ventrice - Simon Henderson (Delineate)

Maryanne Ventrice – Simon Henderson (Music Industry Professional)

Maryanne Ventrice - Jen Hirano (Delineate)

Maryanne Ventrice – Jen Hirano (Friend)

Maryanne Ventrice - Elon James White (Delineate)

Maryanne Ventrice – Elon James White (Political Pundit, Entrepreneur)

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

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Talk of the Town: The Boundaries of Freedom? Part II

A few weeks back, Samuel and Vicken began a 2-part Talk of the Town called The Boundaries of Freedom? with an introductory look at Kanye West’s “Hell of a Life”. Today we have Part 2 of this discussion, which will open up the floor for analysis and dialogue in the comments section!

“Have you lost your mind? / Tell me when you think we crossed the line”

Considering the lyrical content of Kanye West’s track, “Hell of a Life,” what themes or practices does the artist call into question/critique? What is he saying about the constructed “boundaries” of freedom?

“How could you say they live they life wrong?”

From what lens is the track developed and is there an overall message?

– S & V

Reflection and Response.

The Talk of the Town series opens up dialogue motivated by questions, observations, and analysis that any person would like to bring to the Collective. ANYone who wants to craft a space for discussion on ANY topic can email us at the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com. One question will be posted every other week, with dialogue following in the comments section below. Thank you and we look forward to building and expanding the Collective!!! – P & V

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Talk of the Town: The Boundaries of Freedom?

This week’s Talk of the Town is Part 1 of a 2-session dialogue titled The Boundaries of Freedom? brought to the table by Samuel and Vicken…

We want to open up a dialogue based on the lyrics, symbolism, and concepts in Kanye West’s “Hell of a Life” – Track 10 from his 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Because we feel like this is one of the “under the radar” cuts on this album that many people may have dismissed or listened to only a few times, we wanted to kick off our discussion by inviting yall to take an extended look at this expressive track. In a couple weeks we’ll come together again for Part 2 of this Talk of the Town and create a dialogue around the topic highlighted in our title, The Boundaries of Freedom?

– S & V

Reflection and Response.

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Talk of the Town: The End of Local?

In a recent interview with HipHopDX legendary leader Chuck D of Public Enemy states:

“(Y)ou have somebody who comes up in a local [scene], at least they should be heard on local radio. But corporate radio and corporations have dominated over that existence, wiping out that foundation [for fairness]. And therefore the little business can’t even start up right, unless it’s corrupt and just totally, violently opposed to what the community is evolved from. So you gotta be national to even make it locally, where you should be local to make it locally.”

Do you have to “be national to even make it locally,”? What is your experience with current local scenes?

-Reflection and Response

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Talk of the Town: Craft and Craftspeople

Welcome to another installment of the LIFESTYLE’s Talk of the Town series. This series consists of a platform for discussion. We strive for The Lifestyle to be a venue and we appreciate the love we get on this series, the Snapshots From the Collective series, and the Feature series.

When observing or experiencing crafts do we/ should we ignore the personality of the craftsperson? Collective member Megan sent this article in the Huffington Post that discusses painter Paul Gauguin’s exhibit on work from a period in Polynesia. The article cites a criticism that focuses on Gauguin’s activity during this period and how that can effect how some viewers see his work.

Excerpt:

“Decisions like impregnating a thirteen year old and giving her syphilis surely cast Gauguin in an unflattering light. And yet the artist’s unethical and perhaps delusional escape to paradise led to one of the most revolutionary shifts in the visual vocabulary of all time”

Can we ignore the craftsperson when experiencing craft? Should we ignore artists when looking at art?

We look forward to your responses below in the thoughts box!

-Reflection and Response

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Talk of the Town: What’s OUR California?

Our second Talk of the Town session begins with a question from the LIFESTYLEfam member Megan Branch:

For the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath and for many during that time their future was California. What’s OUR California? #RR

Quick catch-up: Talk of the Town consists of Discussion Questions focusing on any topics interesting to any viewer that feels like it can spark dialogue. Anybody can email us questions to throw out to the Collective, and we’ll post one every other Friday, with dialogue following up in the comments section below! Thanks to Fran’s question two weeks ago and Megan this week for getting this series off the ground!!

Reflection and Response.

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Talk of the Town: Haters Gonna Hate

Kicking off our Talk of the Town series…Our first question comes from Collective Member Fran living in Madrid, Spain. Fran Asks:

Why do people that are involved within one musical style “hate on” other musical styles or put out negative energy within that same style. If music is used to confront frustrations through Reflection and Response, why should people have prejudices against others who use this medium for the same thing?

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Feature: The Know Nothings

It’s Feature time again here at the LIFESTYLE!!!! We are proud to present The Know Nothings, an acoustic duo made up of the homies Andrea Woodard and David Adams from our hometown of Berkeley, CA. The group is making moves in the Bay and continues to write and record great original music. We are extremely excited to showcase their new tune Sweet Pea.

(Original art by Max Nelson)

Check out the track and get to know more about the Know Nothings with an exclusive interview.

Sweet Pea

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

DA: Berkeley, then Santa Cruz, then Oakland, now Berkeley, soon Oakland.

AW: Local girl born in SF and raised in Berkeley. Now living in San Francisco.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

DA: Think then talk… preferably more thinking than talking.

AW: It means to take that extra moment, extra time, to stop and to think about what something means to  you. Then to take those emotions and understandings you have reached and actively react to them.

How does ‘Sweet Pea’ fit in with that definition?

DA: I don’t know how to answer this question. Am I addressing this song as a response to life and experience, or am I addressing the potential to reflect and respond to this song? In the first case, I think all songs and all art, are ways of pinning down and making concrete, our otherwise mercurial reflections on the state of our lives and the world as a whole.

AW: I am not quite sure if you mean one of our pieces or a piece of art for example. But in keeping with the theme of our interview as a band I will go ahead and pick the egotistical response :). The best I can do is equate it to our song writing process. While I credit David with almost all of our awesome lyrics, there are of course some collaborative efforts. It is tempting to make something just rhyme or to put in fillers,  but we take a step back, think about what we are trying to express or say through the song, or even that one line, and then react to that and put it in words. Corny? Little bit I guess.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

DA: We are just working on recording songs one by one, and mastering the recording process, which is for sure an uphill battle.

AW: Bandwise, working on writing more songs and looking to perform more. Lifewise, working on living the city life with great friends, and looking to work for my nursing degree.

Who or what inspires you?

DA: I get inspired by slow motion football highlights played with classical music in the background.

AW: I would have to say my bandmate David. He has an unwavering dedication to pursuing something that is important to him, no matter what (for example performing and playing music). I would also have  to say that generally speaking the friends and family in my life inspire me, and not necessarily direct though what they do, but by exhibiting incredible support in everything. It keeps me pursuing the best for  me, whether that is finding an awesome music playing hobby, or furthering my career and life ambitions.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

DA: Come to our next gig at the Firehouse Art Collective Gallery North on Oct 14th at 7 P.M.

AW: That graduating college seemed like the most daunting, unappealing prospect, and it’s been so fun to  discover that this part of our lives is just as fun in different (and sometimes similar ways). I’m having a blast with everything and reconnecting to old friends!

Shout out to…?

DA: Peter and Vicken for following their dreams and putting this together. I remember when Vicken and  I forced some middle school kids into a rap battle, then hid in his dad’s car when the kids ran to their parents. And I remember Peter throwing his skateboard on the ground vowing never to skate again, over  and over and over again.

AW: All of our awesome friends and family for supporting us instead of laughing at us (it was a crapshoot).

Check the group out on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Reflection and Response

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