Tag Archives: ART

Get Familiar! Jenny Saville

Just a little video interview of my favorite modern painter Jenny Saville.

Love Ty




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3 Word Review: Beyonce’


Greetings beautiful people

I know I swore off reviews for all art forms, but that’s mostly because I was busy and didn’t have time to dedicate to an in depth critique of any artist material.  Yet I found myself having strong opinions about the music and art world as a whole, but just didn’t have the time to dedicate to any in depth written interrogation of these works, since I was busy being an artist myself.

So since so many of my Detroit visual arts peers are abstract artist, I’ve decided to abstract my review writing.  Let’s say, that I am simplifying it.  With that I give you Mr. Sawyer’s” Three Word Review” !  It’s straight to the point, sometimes confusing, but always truthful.

So with that said…Here is my Three Word Review” on Beyonce’s new self titled album “Beyonce’




Until next time beautiful people

Yo brotha



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M. Saffell Gardner & Tylonn J. Sawyer “New Work”: Exhibition opening reception Saturday January 14, 2012 7pm-10pm


Greetings beautiful people

Happy New Year!  Join me this Saturday January 14, 2012 7pm-10pm for the opening of a two man exhibition of “New Work” by M. Saffell Gardner and yours truly Tylonn J. Sawyer.

Cass Cafe Gallery

4620 Cass Ave,

Detroit MI 48201

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The End of the World as We know it!: Annual Year in Review

Greetings beautiful people

For myself this year has been one of many downs and some ups, but yo brotha has made it through!  I know some of you have moments good and bad, and we all know, that’s the way life goes.  Here we are again for my annual “The End of the World as We know it” blog.

The Occupy Movement:

I would narrow this one down strictly to the Wall St. protest, but that may lead to a large group of people attempting to occupy the courtyard of my apartment complex with vague demands such as…..Ty should be more P.C……….. “When I’m really a Mac b*tches!”

Now mind you, I was excited to see that Americans had finally had it up to Kris Humphries’ balls with the corruption that has infested our political and social economic system.

The movement on Wall St spread through out the land like Erykah Badu’s legs when a hip hop star comes around.  Oakland, Detroit, Canada all stood up and let the government know that they are some douche bags.  Now that I think about it…the Occupy movement didn’t really stand up for anything, but rather sat their asses down!  Ha!

These protestors sat and refused to go.  They turned Wall St, Oakland, Detroit, and Canada into neolithic shanty towns.  The movement spread.  It attracted the likes of Angela Davis and Cornell West (who was jailed twice by the way).

They held mock trials and decided that executives of Freddie Mac were guilty of crimes against humanity.  They screamed.  They sang.  They ran the streets topless, made out, and made rich people pissed!…and for what?  I have no idea!

I mean their demands were not clear.  Did the Occupy movement really want rich people to stop being greedy, corrupt, and be nice people?  Epic fail!

Trust me!  When I become rich and corrupt….. no topless neo hippie living in Cadillac square is going to stop me from getting that paper!  I’d be thinking about pepper spraying yawl “peaceful” yet “annoying” protest.  Yet, that’s if I was rich and corrupt.  For now, I’m poor and good hearted.  I’m part of the 99% I’ve felt the weight of a this broken system on my back and literally fell on one knee crying trying to hold it up.

I hope that rich people get it (but they won’t).  I hope the U.S. becomes the greatest country in the world again (but it won’t).  Instead of the age of reason, I’d say we live in the age of excuses.  We make up excuses for why we do such terrible things to each other.  The mortgage crisis is just one of the main things that disturbed the sleep of Americans since the 1930’s.  I want some peace to occupy this land. I want  some “reality” to occupy this land.  I need some love to occupy this land.

The Royal Wedding:

Ask me how many f*cks I gave about this wedding.  Go ahead, ask.  NONE! Not one!  I mean really?  I live in the United States; a country that was founded on being anti monarchy.  Yet this Spring, the media went ape sh*t over William and Kate (or as I like to call her…the diet version of every pretty James Bond girl!)  She’s aiight!

It was an affair to remember.  The people lined the streets of Britain waiting to see two people get married.  Not two super powered people.  Not two magic people.  It was just a balding dude and a brunette, getting married.

I get it.  People are always trying to create a fairytale.  We want fantasy made reality.  We need to see the majesty.  Yet rather than stay up to 4 in the morning watching the wedding or record it via DVR, I spent my time sleeping, like most living species do.  I’m glad people got married.  It was the first of 3 weddings that happened this year for me.  That almost assured that I will no longer attend anymore weddings!  It’s not that I don’t think people should get married.  I just don’t want to have to get dressed up, buy a gift, and sit through seeing them say long speeches, empty traditions, and the wedding dress…OH GOD!  What a terrible dress!

By the way, I am not anti monarchy.  I love the “idea” of a king and queen.

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami :

This Spring I witnessed some of the most disturbing images I had ever seen in my life!  The tsunami caused by an earthquake overtaking the land in Japan, looked like something from a Michael Bay movie.  The water and debris that swept across the land and footage of a man on the beach being overtaken by water as beyond tragic.  These people went through a horrific experience.  The chaos.  The aftershocks.  More floods.  Finally after, what seemed like a watery punishment from God himself, there came a fiery one.  The Japanese had to deal with post tsunami nuclear fallout.  The local power plants started to have a melt down!  Epic misery.

As with all things tragic to the human race, the entertainment community in the U.S. took it upon themselves to put on glitter and shine lights to raise money for the cause.  They donated throw away tracks as part of compilation albums to buy rations for the “poor” Japanese people.

Wait! “Poor?”

I thought Japan was one of the richest nations on the planet.  They have so many people; I think collectively they can accomplish anything!

Now I’m not saying they didn’t need help, but in the grand scheme of things, I still think, despite the collateral damage Japan experienced, we here in the U.S. still need all the help we can get!  We need to get our sh*t together!  Stars need to be performing constantly to raise money for the poor and disenfranchised here!

Yet as with all tragedies anywhere else in the world, it seems to me, that Unites States always looks to help others fix their problems, rather than fix the ones we have here.

Death of Lucian Freud, Amy Winehouse, Steve Jobs, David Blair:

Viva la vida!  This was a year of heart break and loss.  The great ones just seem to have had enough with this world and decided to leave, but not without leaving an artistic legacy that will influence generations to come.   Some of them were here long before my birth and some were born during years I can remember.

Lucian Frued

Lucian is one of the greatest artists to ever walk this planet.  He looked at the human figure with the scrutiny of god creating a universe.  Freud carved flesh out of paint, and let us have a view of his melancholy toned world.

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse was the one we saw coming, but wished it wouldn’t have happened.  That little white woman would wail in such a cool idiosyncratic way, Billie Holiday would have given her a nod.  Yet beyond her singing ability was her talent for song writing.  Winehouse was a poet who would interpret heartbreak from the smoke at the end of a cigarette or the bottom of an empty whisky glass.  Lyrically she could rip a concept apart. Maybe that’s why she detached herself from it, when she sang.  She was my emotional hero.  She was someone who saw love the way I see it.  The big difference is, that she handled it in such a destructive way.

Steve Jobs

Me and friends once argued, as to who had more power, Oprah Whinfrey or Steve Jobs?  I went with the latter.
Steve jobs upgraded humanity.  Remember back in the 80’s when we all had this idealistic vision of what the year 2000 would be like?  We thought about flying cars, robots, wireless phones, and communication monitors.  Well jobs took the later part of the 90’s and all of this millennium and started to make that fantasy come true.   When you set standards in technology, you set standards in human evolution.  You’ve heard the statement, “Were not reinventing the wheel.”  Well Jobs did everything in his power to reinvent the wheel.  Will ya give him props?  I-wheel….get it? I-wheel…ha!

David Blair

David Blair isn’t as known as the rest of the celebrites I’ve listed, but he was as great.  He was a man so tragically human that it baffles me as to how he was made without a mold.  Blair was a poet, singer, songwriter , producer, friend, brother, activists, and above all else…an artist.  He travelled the world and shared his idea of love and perspective.  He touched souls everywhere.  His passing during the blazing heat of this Summer, here in Detroit, chilled our very souls.  He came from dirty Jersey, but was cemented here in Detroit!  David Blair is a legend of this city.  He is the word and the melody.  He is the chord and the note.  He is loved and missed.

Birth of  Felix, Marcus, Kendal, Fabrice,  and Xavier:

Now to parallel the former topic, let’s raise of glass to all the cute babies that were born this year!  I am the biggest advocate for aesthetically pleasing people getting together and making even more aesthetically pleasing people.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, well I often think that’s wrong…. unless the beholder is really beautiful.  2011 brought about some of the most beautiful babies in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Congratulations to one of my best buds, Julius Gadjos and his partner Rachel on the birth of their son, Felix Gadjos!  I call little mixed babies “Tomorrow People”. See (Shameless: Season 1. for reference) .  Judging by who his parents are, he’ll probably be one of the smartest most talented people of his generation.

Congratulations to Dara Brown and her husband Blair on the birth of her 4th child; a beautiful baby girl named Fabrice Brown.   Dara is managing to build an army of cute, intelligent, and artistic children while maintaining her pop star like figure……ladies step ya fitness game up!

Congratulations my Brown Sugar counter parts Kyle and Janica Smith on the birth of their beautiful baby girl Kendall L. Smith.  Thank God someone keeps having little chocolate babies!  Gorgeous!

Congratulations to my cousin Shanelle on the birth of her son Marcus H. Moore Jr..  He is one of the happiest babies I’ve ever seen in my life.  The bi product of his joy just happens to be that he is one of the loudest babies I’ve seen in my life. Lol.  Well the laughter of children can be the sweetest sound!  Praise God!

Finally congratulations to Carmelita and Shibu Samuel on the birth of the son Xavier Samuel!  Once again a “Tomorrow People”!  You guys know to have some good genes!

Jay –Z & Kanye West “Watch the Throne”:

While I don’t believe this is the best work from either one of these artists, I do enjoy this album.  It took me a minute to dig “Otis”, but once I got my swagger back, it was all good.  It became the kind of self indulgent mantra I love to say over and over again when faced with the abominable hoards of stupidity.  Which happens more often than you think.  “N*ggas in Paris” was awesome!  I mean, I didn’t know what it meant, but it was provocative!  It got me moving like a music fan who enjoys the song way too much on an NYC subway. (see viral video reference).

I’ve read mixed reviews about the project and heard some music heads completely dismissing this project, and calling it garbage.  I disagree.  I feel this was a work, that had no real direction save for making a collection of songs for song sake.  It’s obvious that Jay-Z and Kanye both enjoy making music.  You can hear it in every line and see it when they perform.  These songs weren’t meant to be some hip hop changing defining moment.  It’s just two rich ass MC’s spitting   in a Louis Vuitton cypher.  Poof!

Lady Gaga “Born this Way”:

Love this woman!  “Born this Way” is, conceptually, her most consistent album to date.  Just about every song on the project spoke about identity, empowerment, and rebirth.  The soundscape was 80’s power pop, mixed with industrial and rock.  On the song “Born this Way” she sings to the heavens (or hell knowing her) about sexual orientation and equality.  Sonically it reminds me of Madonna, just sung way better and a 1000 times more amp.  “You and I” is an amazing power ballet that is equal parts Billy Joel, Elton John, and Gaga.  “Edge of Glory” and “Marry the Night” are my dance joints.  They make me forget about the horrors of this world for at least 4 minutes.  At least.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings “Soul Time!”:

I just coped this earlier this week and what a great late entry into my favorites for this year!  Sharon is a force of nature who doesn’t give a f*ck about these young half a singers.  Sharon Jones and her band the Dap Kings, who provided the music for Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album, create that good ol get down!  I mean get down!  It’s so vintage and so good, that I believe somehow they are from the 50’s or 60’s and have a time machine that they use to travel to right now to give us good music.  This is the real nostalgia ultra!

The Bad:

Charlie Sheen:

Winning! Charlie Sheen, get yo ass off of my television screen!

Tiger blood, strippers, deals falling through, losing the kids, viral rants, and almost getting a beat down in Detroit for talking sh*t to the wrong city, just was too much.  I get it!  We as the public, love drama and Mr.Sheen gave us all that and then some.  Yet in reality, this is another privileged rich white man, who isn’t in any kind of danger of falling from grace.  We as the public have no reason to care about his drug addiction and sexual innuendoes.  Charlie Sheen has millions of dollars, which he brags about quite often, so ease your minds fellow robots.  He doesn’t need help or medication.  He just needs to black and poor for 3 hours and that’ll fix all that self destructive, abuse of position madness.


“4” best sung album of the year. “4” one of the worst albums of the year.

“Girs: We run the world”, really?  Really Beyonce?  Yes the video was bananas, but the song was an epic failure.  Just about every decision concerning this project was a bad one.  I think it’s because she got rid of her father as a manager and makes all these choices herself.  Terrible.  I’m all for independent women doing big things and making it happen.  Yet for some people that might not be the best thing.  Now I’m not saying she should go back to her dad (even though his results when it came to the advancement of her career can’t be disputed) but she needs someone to get her back on track.   The best decision Beyonce has made this year was to get pregnant.  A baby is a great weapon of mass distraction from that horrible album.

Black and Yellow hair:

I won’t say much about this except, if you dyed your hair black and yellow then you should be executed.

Mr.Sawyer’s predictions for 2012:

Adele is going to smash them at the Grammy’s

Lauryn Hill will not release an album

There will some kind of natural disaster during the Spring or early Summer.

Barack will be re elected

Brad Pitt and Angelina will break up

This is the final blog for this year beautiful people.  I hope that you have a happy new year, and only good things come to you.  Be blessed and be easy.  Be beautiful!

Yo brotha


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I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Thank you Natasha “Theory” Jackson for posting this on facebook.

Yo brotha


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Jenny Saville Documentary 3 parts

Greetings beautiful people

Found this three-part documentary of my favorite painter in the whole world on YouTube! It goes back to the late 90’s to the early part of the millenium, yet it doesn’t matter. She was a beast at 24 and continues to be one to this day.

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Review: Full Disclosure: Neco Redd

Artist: Neco Redd

Album: Full Discloser

Style: R & B, Urban Alternative, Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, Spoken Work, Nu Wave

This artist could go on tour with: Erykah Badu, Joi, Res, Outkast, N.E.R.D, Cee Lo Green, Gnarls Barkley, Janelle Monae’

Greetings beautiful people

I’ve been reviewing more music this month than I have in recent years, but maybe that’s because people are releasing music that I can actually dig. This is a rare occurrence in light of the minimal productivity of artists like Lauryn Hill and Outkast. I find myself looking to the underground for something special. I look to the hustlers of their craft and those with the facility to move my weary soul. So it gives me pleasure to give my third album review this month of the lovely and talented Neco Redd’s mix-tape “Full Disclosure”.

This album has been in rotation for the last week on my I pod and is showing no signs of loosing momentum. Neco Redd has presented us with a 15 track tapestry, that shows this urban alternative artist at her creative best. The project opens with the song “Angel” which samples the stirring key stroke and then full beat from Kanye West’s “Runaway”, on which Redd gives us obviously better sounding harmonies, as she sings, “How wonderful would it be, if you realized your no better than me?” The track is probably the most subdued on the entire project, but will bang the glass out of your car.

From here the album rocks out in a nu wave fantasy party that I’ve been dying to go to. Her melodies and harmonies are funked out mantras “Out of my League” and her vocals are pure love on “Love Somebody”. My personal favorite is “(Hate on Me) Rock Star”. It is a heaven wailing opus to self empowerment for both men and women. Neco begins the song with a screech that evokes Axel Rose’s intro to “Welcome to the Jungle” right before she states, “Keep my name out yo muthf*cking mouth!” She champions for the little man/woman and tells them they are a rock star! Lord knows I need to be told this occasionally, and now I have it on mp3! Ain’t life grand?

This project ranges from poetic breaks over jazz moments “Queen Heroin” to down south juke joint blues drenched in hip hop soul “Caved in….”
Let me be Ty for a second….Frank can’t speak for me. There isn’t a song here I don’t like! This is the standard I think contemporary soul/ urban alternative should be at.

I would say buy this album, but she’s giving it away for “Free 99!” That’s right, goto her website: http://necoredd.bandcamp.com/ and download the mix tape for free.

Well that’s my time beautiful people. Please leave comments and spread word to others about the blog.

Till next time

Yo brotha


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Jenny Saville @ Gagosian Gallery 2011

Greetings beautiful people

She draws and paints so well it just makes me mad!  Damn it Jenny!  For those who don’t know this is my favorite artist!


I don’t know what it is about this image of this young girls’ head that keeps attracting Jenny to it, but she’s painted it numerous times over the past several years.  I think this is gorgeous.  The brush strokes, the flesh tones, and how wet & volumetric she made the lips.  Winning!


These drawings/paintings are beyond amazing.  They’re influenced by Leonardo Divinci’s nativity scenes.  Especially “Virgin of the Rocks”.  One of the greatest drawings in art history….get familiar!






Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to leave comments or links to things you think might interest the rest of the cool kids!

Until next time

Yo brotha


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Album Review: Inohs Sivad “No Goodbyes”

Artist: Inohs Sivad

Album: No Goodbyes

Style: R & B, Jazz, Pop, Hip Hop soul, Euro-soul

This artist could tour with:  Kem, Brenda Russell, Randy Crawford, Maysa,

Greetings beautiful people

“No Goodbyes” is the 3rd full length LP from Detroit soul artist Inohs Sivad, scheduled for release 10/22/2011 on Sound Thought Recordings. Let me just say, this project was one of the biggest surprises for me this year. As someone who is familiar with “the formula” of soul music, and someone who is familiar with this artist; I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised (and I hate surprises).

Rather than create just a collection of love and social conscious songs, which I was expecting, what Inohs Sivad has managed to do is create an understated concept album. If Kandinsky created paintings of what he though music looked like in color and stroke, then Sivad has created music in what she feels color and form feels like in painting.

The album reads conceptually as a, unconventional requiem to Inohs’ late mother Deborah Ann. It’s not so much as a tribute, but rather evokes who and what Debra Ann was. I admit, I never had the pleasure of meeting her (Deborah Ann), but one listen to “Metamorphosis” and I get the impression she was a woman of God, love, music, and magic. All the previous adjectives are exactly what this song is.

Each chord, boom, bit, snare, strum, and key stroke evokes the appropriate emotion for all 12 tracks. At times I want to nod my head and smoke an “L”….(which I don’t do by the way). Other times, I want to cry, and other times, I want to dance.

“With Me” is the kind of classic song, one loves to hear. Here lies an amazing pop song, with a lovely melody, poignant lyrics, and just a piano & stings accompaniment. While her version of pop lives in the realm of soul, this is the kind of song that was meant to be covered and is just an amazing moment on this project. Oh yeah, and just wait to you hear the high note she hits! She’s given me so much!

“Gotta be Good” is great mood music. It makes me feel happy in the same way that Groove Theory use to make me feel back in 97.

I mean I can dissect the album song by song, but this review would be 10 pages of me pointing out wonderful elements of this painting. The music, song writing, arrangements, sentiment, the color, the shapes, composition, the hue, etc. It’s fine art. The woman has the voice of an angel and the soul of an artist. She’s still winning!…. (Charlie Sheen reference)

Until next time

Yo brotha


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Album Review: LaShaun Phoenix Moore “The Space Between the Rain”

Artist: LaShaun Phoenix Moore

Album: The Space Between the Rain

Style: R & B, Jazz

This artist could tour with:  Anita Baker, Kem, Maysa, Cassandra Wilson

Greetings beautiful people

I am of the firm belief that  most things in the world should be viewed with a liberal, democratic, and an open minded sensibility.  We should go beyond tolerance, to understanding and then acceptance.  We as people should never discriminate against anyone or anything because of our own narrow minded ideologies……except for art.

It is here, that I believe the few elite (such as myself) should judge and discriminate against that which is good and that which is abysmal!

Today as a member of the poor elite I examine the debut musical work of La Shaun Phoenix Moore “The Space Between the Rain”.  Set to be released 10/22/2011 on Sound Thought Recordings.   The LP is a collection of 10 superbly articulated love songs richly drenched in a soulful musical pool of R & B, Jazz, and British Soul.

What I enjoy about this album is that it breaks the monotony of young black soul singers all creating their own diet version of neo soul.  I mean, if I hear one more bad Erykah Badu / Jill Scott wannabe try to evoke some spirit within me, I’m gonna put a gun to head and pull the trigger!

…but I digress…………Here, Ms. Moore gives us solid soul (no neo necessary).  On “Bathe in My Love”  La Shaun eloquently yet soulfully moves from the confusion of loves’ turmoil to taking a stand as a woman who loves her man.

The albums overall musicality is some of the best I’ve heard in years.  The rim shots, baselines, and dramatic chord progressions, take me there!  The opening guitar on “Night Cap”  just makes you scrunch your face, because it’s so funky, as Phoenix’s vocals follow suite, letting some lucky guy know, he ain’t got nothing to do tomorrow and that he should come up for a “night cap”……swag on a million!

The albums’ most glorious moment is the song is “Sunshine Funny Face”.  Here we have a new jazz standard in the vain of “My Funny Valentine”, “Windmills”, or “Summertime”.  Melodically it is classic and vocally extraordinary.  It is a period piece crafted and cemented in beauty.  I’ve listened to it to like 100 times already.

Other gems that stand out are “Afterglow”, which has a disturbingly dope vocal arrangement.

“Can’t Stop It”  borrows it’s melody from Michael Jackson, but holds it’s on without being an obvious cover, but rather a clever interpolation, and love letter to the art of poetry.

The albums title track “The Space Between the Rain”, I believe unconsciously does something Ms. Moore didn’t realize.  It fuses together every mood and range of music, on the album,  into one simple yet brilliant ballet.

The rest the album grooves and floats at just the right place in that soulful musical pool I spoke of earlier.  This is an album for grown folks (not adults)….there is a difference.  This is the type of album that requires some kind stiff drink that came covered in a purple velvet bag. Brown liquor music if you will.

As a high ranking member of the poor elite I will say honestly this isn’t typically the kind of music I ordinarily go for, but the album is so well sung, written, produced and arranged, I can’t stop it.  This is fine art, and I look forward to hearing more, and so will you.  Mr. Sawyer endorses this album.

Until next time

Yo brotha


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