September 4 - 20, 2015


The Chimney NYC is pleased to host the screening of Rashaad Newsome's FIVE (The Drawing Center). Staged at The Drawing Centre in 2014, this unique multimedia performance combines Vogue dance performances and computer technology that interprets the performers’ maneuvers into line drawings in real time. 

Vogue or Voguing is a highly stylized, modern house dance that evolved out of the Harlem ballroom scene in the 1980s. It gained mainstream exposure when it was co-opted by Madonna and featured in her song and video "Vogue" (1990), and when showcased in the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning.   

Newsome's project FIVE is inspired by two very specific styles of Vogue. New Way, which is characterized by rigid movements coupled with clicks and arms control. The second Vogue Femme, fluidity at its most extreme with exaggerated feminine movements influenced by ballet and modern dance. There are five elements of vogue femme: hand performance, catwalk, duck walk, floor performance and spins-dips. Newsome sought out vogue performers who were very proficient in one of each of the five elements.  Using a software tracking the motion of color in real time, the performers’ gestures are transformed into drawings. The dancers act as Newsome’s pens, and echo the legacy of action painting and abstract expressionism. 

Influenced by Merce Cunningham and John Cage’s chance performances, Newsome has created a rhythmic structure rooted in vogue drumbeat. He worked in parallel with 5 musicians that played instruments that mirrored what the dancers were doing visually, as well as the frenetic and improvisational nature of Vogue. To further engage the audience sonically and to play with notions of "high" and "low" art, Newsome worked with two vocalists, one opera singer and one Vogue commentator. A Vogue commentator like a typical commentator delivers a commentary of what’s happening, but does so in a way that is akin to the scat or a hip-hop MC. As the dancers perform the vocalist battle it out for their space within the composition. 


organised by Rashaad Newsome

September 20, 2015
Livestream public & The Chimney NYC

On Sunday September 20th, The Chimney NYC will broadcast live Rashaad Newsome's King of Arms Art Ball III, staged for the first time in Bushwick at Livestream Public. 

As a veteran member of the contemporary art world and the NYC Ballroom scene New York based artist Rashaad Newsome uses The King of Arms Art Ball to bring these seemingly unrelated communities together in a new and exciting way. The King of Arms Art Ball is a social practice piece in which Newsome stages a vogue ball where all the categories are based on an artist’s work or a particular movement within art history. This year, the Ball will also be addressing the recent acts of Police violence against 'Black' people in America.

Livestream Public will be turned into a scene from one of Rashaad Newsome’s visually baroque videos, young performers battle it out for trophies and cash prizes before a judges panel of vogue scene legends and prominent entertainers, contemporary artists, curators, fashion designers, writers and activists. A Rashaad Newsome designed ABSOLUT Vodka bar will propose unique King Of Arms cocktails.

- Rashaad Newsome, Artist
- Mickalene Thomas, Artist
- Neil Barclay, Director of the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans
- Amanda Hunt, Assistant curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem
- Antwaun Sargent, Culture writer (Vogue, Complex, Vice)
- Karlo Steel, Creative Director, Stylist & Founder of New York boutique Atelier
- Michaela Angela Davis, Writer on black style, race, gender and hip-hop
- Mcdebra Mikli, Ballroom Commentator and Entertainer
- Crystal Caines, Producer, Rapper and Singer
- Leiomy Maldonado First year winner of the King Of Arms Art Ball
- Katrina Draya Ghalichi, Model, Actress, and Entertainer.
- Lola Mizrahi, Model, Actress, Entrepreneur
- Tyra A. Ross, Model
- Erica Kane Lanvin, Vogue Performer
- Hurricane Katrina Ebony, Vogue Performer
- Dawn Ebony, Vogue Performer

[1] RUNWAY: "Gravity and Grace”.  Inspired by El Anatsui or Nick Cave
[2] FACE/HAIR AFFAIR: Lorna Simpson vs. The Bronner Brothers
[4] COMMENTATOR vs COMMENTATOR: Verses & Bars - Legends, Statements, & Stars
[5] PERFORMANCE: "Vogue Afrique" 

About Rashaad Newsome:
Rashaad Newsome’s work examines the visual language of power and status, juxtaposing high and low references to challenge perceived notions of social protocol and hierarchy. Sampling heavily from hip-hop and Pop culture, he selects and appropriates a disparate array of visual components, restructuring them into recognizable statements and symbols. In so doing, Rashaad challenges established ideas of cultural ownership, and illustrates an acutely contemporary understanding of the way socially specific signifiers convey meaning.

Newsome, (b. 1979, New Orleans) graduated with a BFA from Tulane University. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions, including L.S.S (2014) and Herald (2011) at Marlborough Gallery, New York; Rashaad Newsome: King of Arms at The New Orleans Museum of Art (2013); FIVE (2014) and SEVEN (2011) at The Drawing Center, New York. His work has been exhibited worldwide and throughout the United States. Notable group exhibitions include the Venice Biennale (2011); the Whitney Biennial (2010); Killer Heels at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2014); The Concept of Baroque in Contemporary Art at the Gallerie Henrik Springmann, Berlin (2013); Stage Presence: Theatricality in Art and Media at the SFMoMA, San Francisco (2012); It’s Time to Dance Now at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2012); The Bearden Project at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2012); Free at The New Museum, New York (2010), and Greater New York at MoMA PSA, New York (2010). Newsome’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum and the Brooklyn Museum. 


T - The New York Times Style Magazine When Contemporary Art Meets Ballroom Culture

Artnet News Rashaad Newsome Takes on Voguing Legends at King of Arms Art Ball