Rihanna – Harpers Bazaar Shoot – Cultural Approriation or Creative Inspiration

Rihanna has appeared in what has turned out to be a rather contentious photo shoot in Harper’s Bazaar China. Featuring on the cover and appearing in the issue wearing what is distinctly oriental inspired fashion, the photos are gorgeous, lush and beautiful.

However the aesthetic is causing some to cry foul and accuse her of cultural appropriation. it seems like many are thinking ‘How dare she try to look oriental or wear clothing which is of a different culture than hers.’

This is utter nonsense, Cultural Appropriation or is it Creative Inspiration. The Shoot Credits are as follows:
Photography: Chen Man.
Visual Direction: Xiaomu Fan
Styling: Wei Tian
Publisher: Simona Sha
No doubts there are more not credited…

It isn’t strange that there isn’t a westerner amongst them, as the publication is based in China. So, I ask you, where is the theft (read Appropriation)?

Grow up people, Rihanna is the Model, whom no doubt the creative team wanted to do something creative and interesting with. Well, they’ve succeeded. For a long time now our global environment has been getting smaller and smaller, and we and our creative precursors have drawn their influences from all over the world.

This so-called appropriation lies at the very heart of creativity, read up on Chinoiserie, Japonism, Orientalism, Modern Classicism and any art style inspired by other cultures and period styles.

Japan has whole subcultures which are inspired and influenced by western culture, just look at the Tokyo Rockabilliy Subculture. Are they guilty of Cultural Appropriation? Who cares… Grow up and stop being so sensitive.

watch the video of the shoot in youtube

Sandman is confirmed as TV Series by Netflix

Sandman Illustration by Roger Cruz

Sandman Illustration by Roger Cruz

For those of you who are fans of The Sandman, Good News. It appears that Netflix have given the go-ahead on a TV series. The Sandman is a character from the Vertigo/DC comic series of the same name. The comic series written by Neil Gaiman is one oft he best to come out of the Vertigo Imprint and also gave birth to memorable characters like Death, another fan fave. The Sandman also know as Dream or Morpheus, along with a myriad other names. Sandman is also one of 7 siblings who form the Endless: Death, Destiny, Dream, Destruction. Desire, Delirium and Despair

The Endless - Art by Frank Quitely

The Endless – Art by Frank Quitely

The TV Series is said to be comprised of an initial run of 11 episodes. Other articles have quoted Vice President of Originals at Netflix, Channing Dungey, saying “We’re thrilled to partner with the brilliant team that is Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and Allan Heinberg to finally bring Neil’s iconic comic book series, The Sandman, to life onscreen. From its rich characters and storylines to its intricately built-out worlds, we’re excited to create an epic original series that dives deep into this multi-layered universe beloved by fans around the world.”

The Cover Art for Death: The Time of Your Life - Deluxe Edition

The Cover Art for Death: The Time of Your Life – Deluxe Edition

As a big fan of the comic series, I am looking forward to this as the comics were some of the most intelligent and personally enjoyable stories that I have read to date. The artwork that accompanied these stories was also some of my favourite with several brilliant artists, including Dave McKean and Mike Dringenberg, adding their visions of the Endless to the excellent stories from Neil Gaiman.

Cover of Sandman Issue 1 by Dave McKean

Cover of Sandman Issue 1 by Dave McKean

Sandman and the Endless especially spoke to people with alternative lifestyles, Goths,Punks, Heavy Metal fans and people who felt and lived outside of the mainstream. These individuals found a love for these stories and art. Many drew inspiration and some affirmation from seeing their lifestyles and their identities represented in the media inan intelligent way.

The Artists who drew these stories often based their renditions on the people and friends they had around them. When Mike Dringenberg showed Neil Gaiman his sketch of Death, the drawing was based on a friend of his called Cinamon Hadley who was a Fashion Designer and Punk Rocker.

Cinamon Hadley, The Girl Who Was Death

Cinamon Hadley, The Girl Who Was Death

“Death is the only major character whose visuals didn’t spring from me; that credit goes to Mike Dringenberg. In my original Sandman outline, I suggested Death look like rock star Nico in 1968, with the perfect cheekbones and perfect face she has on the cover of her Chelsea Girl album.But Mike Dringenberg had his own ideas, so he sent me a drawing based on a woman he knew named Cinamon Hadley — the drawing that was later printed in Sandman 11 — and I looked at it and had the immediate reaction of, “Wow. That’s really cool.” Later that day, Dave McKean and I went to dinner in Chelsea at the My Old Dutch Pancake House and the waitress who served us was a kind of vision. She was American, had long black hair, was dressed entirely in black — black jeans, T-shirt, etc. — and wore a big silver ankh on a silver necklace. And she looked exactly like Mike Dringenberg’s drawing of Death.””

— Neil Gaiman quoted from Postpunk.com



The Illustration used to head this story was created by Roger Cruz, an Artist who enjoys creating comic art, whether it be mainstream or off the beaten track. you can find more of his work at his website and on deviantart.

Things That Make You Tick

Cosmic Things That Make You Tick

That Make You Tick

What is it about the passions that drive us? What makes us get up in the mornings and look forward to the day. What makes us do the work we do, especially when we love it. This blog is about passions, love, inspiration and the things that make you tick…