Art Of The Year (2018)

by | Dec 25, 2018 | Life

Quote

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Thomas Merton

Summary

A brief recap of the most impactful art and entertainment I’ve consumed over the past year.

 

Introduction

 
A lot of people do traditional end of the year posts—either recapping their achievements, making new year resolutions, or some combination thereof.
 
I’ve never been the type of person to do either, so I figured I’d take the unconventional route and go over the coolest art I’ve experienced throughout 2018.
 
By art, I don’t only mean paintings or sculptures, I also am referring to music and writing.
 
I also don’t mean that all this art was created in 2018, only that it first came to my attention during this year.
 
Let’s dive straight in to it.
 

Paintings/Sculptures

 
Tullio Crali was my favorite discovery of 2018. As Wikipedia puts it, he was a self-taught Italian painter that was part of the Futurist movement.
 
I learned about the Futurist movement in one of my junior year classes, entitled Cultures & Context: Italy. A Cultures & Context class is required for our core curriculum, and I selected the Italy class purely out of the professor’s positive reviews.
 
I’m glad I chose the class however, as the history of Italy is pretty fascinating.
 
Let’s hope Professor Forgacs is reading this so he knows that I was paying attention: the Futurist movement was a social movement in the 1910-30s that embraced war and industrialism.
 
Simply put, moving fast and breaking things was supposed to be the antidote for all of the world’s problems. Speed, violence, technology, and youth were glorified.
 
The movement was largely confined to Italy, and influenced some of Mussolini’s thinkings.
 
Here are a few my favorite pieces from Tullio Crali:
 
 
 
 
Before the Parachute Opens, 1939
 
 
 
Nose Dive on the City, 1932
 
 
 
Forces of Curve, 1930
 
In my six months in D.C., I made frequent trips to the many Smithsonian Museums that are spread out on the Mall.
 
My favorite museum to visit was the National Gallery of Art, where I caught a glimpse of The Ponte Salario by Hubert Robert.
 
 
 
 
The digital rendition does not do the image justice. In person, my good friend José and I spent a solid 10 minutes captivated by this image. Something about the central lighting underneath the bridge is particularly breathtaking.
 
It also vaguely reminded me of the loading screens for multiplayer maps in FPS games.
 
Unfortunately, I don’t have the name for the next few pieces of art. If anyone knows them, definitely let me know.
 
 
 
The emotion on this one is astounding. Not only is the sculpture huge, but his facial expression and posture are so lifelike.
 
 
 
These two sculptures I saw with my friend Ignacio at the Hishhorn Museum in July.
 
 
 
 
This one I saw in the Orlando Museum of Art in August. I think you can tell by now that I enjoy images of war.
 
And for the last piece, which I saw in the National Gallery of Art in September.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Two Women in a Window, Bartolome Murillo
 
I kid you not, I turned my head to look at this painting and was caught off guard by how realistic it looked. I genuinely felt like these girls were standing there mocking me from their window.
 

Music

Over the past year and a half, I’ve really come to love Latin music, thanks to my many Latin friends in college.
 
So it’s no surprise that three of my favorite albums this year come from the hottest Latin artists.
 
 
Vibras by J Balvin
 
 

F.A.M.E. by Maluma

 
AURA by Ozuna
 
For me to put these three albums on here with little explanation means I believe they’re extremely solid all the way through. I’ve listened to all of them many times over, and there are few tracks I skip throughout.
 
Even though I haven’t re-listened to the album often, the same way I re-listen to his old catalog, Ye was still a standout piece of art for me.
 
“I Thought About Killing You,” and “All Mine” were my personal favorites.
 
 
I used to strongly dislike Post Malone, but Beerbongs & Bentleys changed my view on him 180 degrees. “92 Explorer” is up there in my all time favorite songs.
 
 
The first time I heard Astroworld, I thought it was straight garbage. It wasn’t until about six weeks later that I gave it another chance and now I rank it just behind Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, in Travis’ discography.
 

“Houstonfornication” is my personal favorite on the album. “YOSEMITE” is another classic, along with “Stop Trying to be God.”

 
Trippie Redd is another artist who I wasn’t the biggest fan of, until I heard Life’s a Trip all the way through. Now he’s definitely one of the younger artists I enjoy the most.
 
Check out “Shake It Up,” “Talking a Walk,” and “Bird Shit.”
 
 
 
YNW Melly is someone I was completely unaware of until mid September, but I Am You reminds me of Young Thug’s early days, and I constantly have “Murder on My Mind” and “Virtual (Blue Balenciagas)” on repeat.
 
 
Meek Mill has been a favorite of mine ever since I discovered his Mr. Philadelphia series on Datpiff like 9 years ago. I hadn’t heard something from him in a while, and Championships did not disappoint.
 
“Wit the Shits,” “On Me,” and “Going Bad” were the best cuts.
 
 
Not much has to be said about 6ix9ine that hasn’t already been said. DUMMY BOY was a great project to me, despite what the reviews say.
 
Tory Lanez’ hook on “KIKA” is a top five hook of the year for me.
 
 
 
The same goes for XXXTentacion. ? was certainly better than SKINS.
 
“SAD!” and “Moonlight” are tracks I keep in my heavy rotation to this day.
 
 
 
Lil Baby had a monster year, and my album list would not be complete without Harder Than Ever.
 
“Life Goes On” has the best Gunna verse I’ve heard to date (so good they run it back at the end of the song. “Exotic” is also super catchy.
 
 
 
  
Now moving on to individual songs I really enjoyed.
 
 
Cruzin by Snakehips feat. St Rulez
 
 
 
No Brainer by DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo
 
 
 
Sauce All on Me by Coco Vango
 
 
 
Talk To Me by Tory Lanez feat. Rich the Kid
 
 
 
Birthday by Usher
 
Buscarte by Jerry Di
 
 
  
Space Cadet by Gunna & Metro Boomin
 
Estamos Bien by Bad Bunny
 
 
 
FUNCTION by Jazz Cartier
 
 
Popular by Jhay Cortez
 
 
Quiere Beber by Anuel AA
 
 
Sin by Young Thug feat. Jaden Smith
 
 
 
Permanent Scar by Youngboy Never Broke Again feat. Young Thug and Quando Rondo
 
Related image
You For You by Anders
 
 
Love No More by Loud Luxury & Anders
 
 
Champion by NAV feat. Travis Scott
 
 
 
Friends Again by LVTHER feat. Claire Ridgely
 
 
I Could Be Wrong by Lucas & Steve feat. Brandy
 
 
Is It Really Love by Joe Stone vs. CR3ON
 
 
 
Heavy Camp by Blac Youngsta feat. Travis Scott
 
 
 
Chanel (Go Get It) by Young Thug feat. Gunna and Lil Baby
 
 
Top Off by Gunna
 

Writing

 
I won’t spend too much time on this section, as my previous post What I’ve Been Reading expands on most of these titles.
 
 
 
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
 
I recommend this book to everyone and anyone. Each page is filled with actionable advice accompanied by detailed historical examples. You can already guess the nature of the advice, and how valuable it can be to your life.
 
 
 
 
 
The Master of the Senate by Robert Caro
 
If you’re a political junkie, you’ll absolutely adore this book. Caro meticulously details LBJ’s ruthless and brilliant tactics in running the Senate (and the country) at his whim. I actually read The 48 Laws of Power right after this book, and the two are highly complementary.
 
 
 
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
 
Most startup books are disappointingly vague and regurgitate the same principles over and over again. This book is absolutely not like that. Given that it is in interview format, and the founders are resoundingly candid, I learned a great deal of realistic advice from successful entrepreneurs with clear examples.
 
 
 
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
 
Alright, I’m technically not done with this book (it’s a one thousand page behemoth), but it’s been my main read for the final two months of 2018 and I’m 3/4 of the way to the end.
 
This book has its fair share of criticisms, but as a young and impressionable man, I’ve been fully blown away by Rand’s idealism. No doubt this coincides with my career interest move away from politics towards tech and entrepreneurship. This book has moved me much closer towards becoming a Republican.
 

Movies/Shows

 

I kid you not, this list did not require any paring down. I’m not a big movie or TV show person, because I’m not big on committing a large amount of time to anything. That being said, almost all the things I chose to watch this year were well worth it.
 
 
The Century of the Self by Adam Curtis
 
The Century of the Self  (full link on YouTube)is an almost four hour long BBC documentary about one of the most influential (but unknown) men of the past 100 years.
 
Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays was instrumental in developing the earliest marketing and PR strategies that are still in to effect this day. He preyed on the insecurities and fears of the American ego, and ushered in the age of commercialism. If you watch the series, you’ll be amazed the man’s genius and intuition.
 
 
 
 
Silicon Valley
 
I’d had this show recommended to me several times by several friends, and finally got around to giving it a go.
 
I killed the show in a month, and am really looking forward to the next season. Again, I’m sure I especially enjoyed this given my personal interest in the industry, but it is a hilarious (if predictable) comedy.
 
 

Wall Street

If you can look past some of the cheesy 80s tropes, this film is a must see for ambitious people. I’m not saying you should be inspired by Gordon Gekko’s actions, but his mentality is magnetic.
 
 
 
 

Bohemian Rhapsody

I was never a huge Queen fan prior to watching this film, but after being captivated by the performances in the movie, I’m deeply appreciative of their catalog. I’m genuinely surprised by the lukewarm reviews, as I thought the entire piece was stellar, from the acting, to the script, and so on.

Video Games

I played a good amount of video games from middle school through high school, and then took a break for the first two years of college.

Even when I picked up the PS4, I mainly played sports games with friends, and a few other casual FPS games (and GTA IV of course).

This year my gaming has been largely dominated by two games.
 
 
 

Fortnite

Pretty much everybody was obsessed with this game for the first half of 2018 and I was no different. No lie, for the entire spring semester, I would religiously play Fortnite for 2-3 hours almost every evening with friends.

It was so bad at one point that Fortnite would regularly become part of pre-games. I remember leaving one friend’s apartment where we had a Fortnite tournament, to go to a party where another friend had Fortnite on two TVs in the living room. A lot of the girls were even getting in to it.
 
 

Black Ops 4

My Fortnite craze tapered off a bit in the summer, and so did my gaming as I enjoyed my time at home before moving to D.C. for my internship. Even in the late summer/early fall I didn’t game much as I was getting accustomed to living on my own and working a full time job.

Black Ops 4 was what brought me back in to the fray. The last Call of Duty game I owned and played was Black Ops 2, so I was skeptical of jumping back in to the series. I saw a few positive reviews and gameplays early on, and gave it a shot. I do not regret it one bit. It’s the most fun I’ve had with an FPS since Titanfall 2.

Happy New Year!
 

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