10/27/2012 09:54 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Week In Arts & Culture: Nude Men, Wives In Water And A Schooling In Hip Hop (PHOTOS)

This week at HuffPost Arts & Culture we explored the taboo realm of nude men, got excited for Halloween decorations and wished we had husbands who would photograph us in water... maybe.

week in art

Twenty-five thousand years ago a voluptuous female rock named Venus of Willendorf jumped on the budding trend of the artistic female nude, a trend which, little did she know, never died. The artistic male nudes, however, have been a bit more prudish, until now. The Leopold Museum's current exhibition, "Nude Men," acknowledges that art history has been not quite fair to the so-called "fairer sex," and is ready to even the score. Three hundred works by 100 artists will give the public an art historical journey through the male pubic region.

diego fazio

Currently when you google the phrase "Diego Koi," the majority of the links thrown back have to do with koi ponds in San Diego. That situation is surely not long for this world (wide web). Self-taught Italian artist Diego Fazio, who goes by DiegoKoi on his Deviant Art page, is racking up major Google points as we speak. Why? Because with only a pencil and paper, he can do that.


We all enjoy taking photos of our loved ones, but Fred Clark's fascination runs deeper than mere snapshots for the family album. The loving husband sets up photographs of his wife, Valerie, fully clothed and submerged in water.

Clark's photographs are featured in the latest installment of Erik Kessel's long running book series of found photography, entitled, "in almost every picture." Kessel finds photographs (via flea markets, found photo albums and the Internet) and compiles a book from these archives. In an interview with Dazed Magazine, the publisher states that his found photographs are never intended to be arranged as a narrative, meaning that "they have a certain naive, unforced quality."

At this point, draping one's house in LED strands timed to blink along with the year's most ubiquitous song is neither a new American holiday ritual nor necessarily a great one. But it's ours. This year, the Leesburg, Va. house/attraction owned by YouTube user Edwards Landing Lights is studded in 8,500 bulbs synched with "Gangnam Style."

rick ross
"Commercial rapper" Rick Ross

My last piece covered how negativity, (most notably criminality, misogyny, and materialism), has a stranglehold on popular hip hop today. Response was varied. There was agreement that it is a horrific dilemma. There was suspicion that I am merely jealous because it's not my music dominating the airwaves. Blame was assigned to everyone from rappers to listeners to labels. Amidst this can of worms one common response stood out to me as particularly puzzling; "it's what sells."

The notion that hip hop consumers have an insatiable thirst for negativity is widely accepted and regularly circulated. In today's society where the bottom line reigns supreme, generation of revenue is seen less as an excuse, and more as an reasonable explanation, for immoral and socially irresponsible behavior. One commenter went as far as to assert that rappers who play into redundant stereotypes are "being good capitalists."

I don't like this argument for two reasons. The first is that It suggests that it's acceptable for integrity to take a backseat to lucrative business opportunity.

The second is that, it's not even true...

-Homeboy Sandman

Read the rest of Homeboy Sandman's blog post on commercial rap here and join the conversation.