Fashion Review: At Chanel and Dior, the Incredible Intimacy of What You Can’t Buy Online

Karl Lagerfeld crafts an ode to the underneath and Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrates an atelier of her own.
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‘Atlanta’ Explores The Unshakeable Intimacy Between A Man And His Barber

Black men don’t really have images that reflect the beauty of their hair on mainstream TV.
Culture and Arts
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‘Intimacy Art Show’ Will Make You Want To Get Close To Somebody

“Intimate”: It’s one of those loaded words that can imply everything from meaningless sex to a revealing, heartfelt conversation. It can sound warm and inviting, but it can also awaken unsettling fears of risk and vulnerability.

Artists Aaron Tsuru and Kate Sweeney, in an August 22 pop-up show they’ve curated at Rabbithole Studio in Brooklyn, NY, lean in to the saccharine and the sharp-edged implications of the term. “Intimacy Art Show,” a first-time curation collaboration from the two artists, who have been friends and collaborators in other forms for several years, captures their shared fascination with the human urge for closeness. “It may mean something a little different for everyone, but we’ve all experienced it in some way or another,” Sweeney told The Huffington Post via email.

The show features photography by both Tsuru and Sweeney, which reveal the poignancy and risk inherent in getting intimate with someone else. But the curators also admitted that they were overwhelmed by the unexpected and revealing submissions they received from other artists.

“‘Jewels from the Hinterland’ … addresses questions of place, belonging, and perceived cultural identity within the African Diaspora,” said Sweeney of a photo series by Naima Green. “There is such a beautiful, deep sense of intimacy with nature.” In her artist’s statement, Green pointed out, “There is a dominant narrative that situates brown bodies in green spaces for work, never for leisure.” Her photographs subvert this, showing black and brown people relaxing and connecting with their natural surroundings.

Tsuru commented on a rather shocking photograph, by Molly Broxton, of herself with her late dog’s fur. “It was just so beautiful and touching and exactly the kind of atypical thinking I was hoping to see,” Tsuru told HuffPost. “Intimacy is many things, it’s letting people or other beings or things into our lives in a deeper more personal way.” 

Intimacy seems like a self-evidently desirable experience, as the loving smiles and tender embraces in many of these works suggest. But it’s also a fraught process for many people, one that invites the possibility of heartbreak, loss and betrayal. At best, intimacy can be weird, occasionally intrusive, exclusionary to those on the outside. Tsuru told HuffPost they want viewers to confront the more difficult aspects of intimacy as well. “We’d love if some of the viewers even felt a little uncomfortable, in a good way, like feeling a bit broken open.”

“In a good way,” of course, is still the operative phrase. “We hope people walk away from the show with more of an open mind about being intimate,” Tsuru added. “The risk is worth the experience.

View more selections from “Intimacy Art Show” below, and if you’re near NYC, head to Brooklyn to enjoy the one-night-only show Saturday, August 22 at Rabbithole Studio. For more from Aaron Tsuru and Kate Sweeney, check out their personal websites.

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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Does Humor Build or Destroy Intimacy?

Expanding on the work of Voltaire, Immanuel Kant wrote in his Critique of Judgment that there are three things that humans can use to counter balance life’s troubles: hope, sleep and laughter.

With the latter of Kant’s threesome in mind, I emailed seven young people I’m mentoring, asking them to write about a funny story from their life. The exercise was part of a larger storytelling workshop I’m running with the Stuttering Association for the Young. I was asking them to find some element of humor in the situations that their stutter can create.

Some of them wrote to tell me how difficult the assignment was, how many troubles they were battling in their lives. I worried that they felt my exercise was making light of their difficulties. I worried that I was asking them to trivialize the experiences that meant so much to them. I was nervous that their writing would stray from the hard won insights they had gleaned so far.

Still they persisted, all of them, and they sent in their most hope-filled stories. They wrote specific, and often surprising, stories that showed them as the confident people they are. They got to reinvent their narratives and I got to laugh alongside them for a moment, to feel like all our sorrows were relieved.

I was, I am, enormously proud of them. Many of them wrote their most gripping stories so far. And yet, I saw that humor could also put up a wall. It could become something to hide behind.

I should have realized. It had, at times, been that way in my own life. Make the joke first, preempt it so it can’t hurt you. Laugh the loudest. Tell the most jokes so people will like you. In spite of it. Stand on the outside and observe, so as not to be in the messy, intimate fray of conversation.

As Beth Kephart writes in Handling the Truth, “Funny lives in the overestimated, the caricature, the stretch.” All the magnification and hyperbole that we use to make other people laugh does not always square with the quiet creation of true connections.

I can see the truth of Kephart’s words in my own life, and yet there is in another truth that sits alongside it. The people I feel closest to are the ones I can laugh with, the ones who have a taste for both the tragic and the comic. It is just as difficult to spend our time around those who wallow in the difficulties of their life, as it is to feel close to a person who makes a joke out of anything and everything.

According to the research of psychologist William Hampes, having a sense of humor can generate intimacy and trust. Others are drawn to our playfulness and our jokes put them at ease. It connects us and liberates us. It allows us to see our struggles, for a moment, in a more optimistic light. It invites others to do the same.

I am suspicious of people who never laugh, and I am suspicious of people who laugh too much. I feel closest to those who see the absurdity in awful situations and who laugh as easily as they cry. And so humor becomes a kind of litmus test. Giggling together becomes the start of intimacy, the beginning of something deeper.

What about you? Do you think humor builds, or ruins, intimacy?
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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