Takashi Murakami with “Polyrhythm” (1992) Photographed by Ithaka Darin Pappas at Galerie Mars in Shibuya-Ku
At the beginning of his career, Murakami appeared to be content with the lot of most successful contemporary artists: to create work that is admired by critics and desired by wealthy collectors but leaves the general public baffled or hostile. He was constructing conceptual pieces similar to the art being made in the West. Among those early works, which began attracting attention in the early 90’s, was “Polyrhythm”, a seven-foot-high slab of yellow resin, minimalist in form, on which many toy United States infantry soldiers climb.
Read Full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/03/magazine/the-murakami-method.html
Takashi Murakami photographed with “Polyrhythm” by Ithaka Darin Pappas
in Tokyo Los Angeles (1992)
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In the new short subject non-dialogue mini documentary, “Murakami Yawn At Mars” Californian photographer Ithaka Darin Pappas reexamines images he made in 1992 of a relatively unknown twenty-nine year old artist, Takashi Murakami, at Mars Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. The very same artist who would later go on to conquer the entire global art world.
Among the twelve images featured appears, “The Yawn” a picture of the apparently bored artist yawning profusely.
”Escape From The City Of Angels” is a hip hop song recorded in 1995 by Californian-born lyricist and vocalist, Ithaka (featuring Marta Dias) which, in 1997, appeared in Columbia Pictures’ feature film release The Replacement Killers starring Mira Sorvino, Chow Yun-fat, Clifton Collins Jr. and was directed by Antoine Fuqua, recipient of the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Director. The song has also appeared in the television series Good Girls Don’t (which was shown on Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen Channel) during its June 18, 2004 episode entitled, ”Addicted to Love”.
The song was first included on Ithaka’s debut album, Flowers And The Color Of Paint in 1995.
Although Ithaka is from Southern California, the track and entire album were recorded at Namouche Studios in Lisbon, Portugal where the artist had lived from 1992 until 1998 and both song and album are often included in a genre of music known as Hip hop tuga, or Portuguese hip hop.
Most of the self-reflective lyrics for Escape From the City Of Angels were written by Ithaka Darin Pappas over the flight required to arrive from Los Angeles to Lisbon. A destination where, it is said, he arrived with a one-way ticket and less than a hundred dollars to his name, yet remained over six years.
Produced by Joe Fossard (engineer) and DJ Grizzly, the song included backing vocals by São Tomean Portuguese singer Marta Dias – and also featured bass guitar by Francisco Rebelo, tenor saxophone by Paulo Muiños and trumpet by Nuno Reis (all members of the Portuguese band, Cool Hipnoise.
The original pressing of Flowers And The Color Of Paint was fifteen-hundred copies and although Escape from The City Of Angels appeared in a main stream Hollywood movie scene with three Oscar-nominated actors, (resulting in upwards of 600,000 downloads in China alone) there was never an official soundtrack released other than the classical score by Gregory Harrison which excluded Escape From The City Of Angels and also other film tracks by The Crystal Method, Talvin Singh, Tricky,
Death In Vegas, Hed PE and Brad.
On January 30th 2020, in a review of the exhibit Contact High at the International Center for Photography, the New York Times published a very rare photograph of Eazy E skateboarding in Venice Beach, California entitled “Skate Outta Compton” by Ithaka Darin Pappas.
“The Miracle Mile Shot” is an experimental, non-dialogue short-subject documentary film by Greek-American artist-photographer Ithaka Darin Pappas. This is the third in his series of hip-hop Photomentaries almost entirely relying on his own archival imagery of West Coast rap artists.
Ithaka cites legendary documentary film-maker, Ken Burns as a motivating influence to begin this type of film work.
“I begin seeing these incredible documentaries randomly at different times and places around the world, on planes, at friends houses etc. And it took me a minute to realize that all of this compelling story-telling; Jazz, The Civil War, and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea were coming from the same source, Ken Burns. His projects can tell an entire story with only still photographs if necessary, it’s amazing.
I realized that I was the creator of much of the kind of raw still photographic material that Mr. Burns uses for his projects, and it has inspired me to begin to edit and present these images in a film format to tell a story. The Miracle Mile Shot is my third short-subject film festival project. I have already completed earlier this year Eazy E & Venice Locals (A Historic Day in the Brotherhood of Hip Hop and Skateboarding
I call these projects Photomentaries, meaning at this point I am only using still photographs in movement, with sound and text to vocal communicate ideas. I am not sure I will ever incorporate narration, I am enjoying the closed-mouth communication direction of it all and think I’d like to take it to the next level and even try a much longer project, of up to an hour.
“The Miracle Mile Shot” has also appeared at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and has already been submitted to several other short film festivals around the world.
In this short subject non-dialogue documentary, photographer Ithaka Darin Pappas reexamines “The Miracle Mile Shot”, a picture he took of N.W.A. in 1988, that through the decades has become the defining image of N.W.A. in its prime. The photograph examined in the short, entitled “The Miracle Mile Shot”, was made on November 11th 1988 and features Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy E, DJ Yella and MC Ren. The image began its existence being used as the official press image for NWA’s triple-Platinum album, Straight Outta Compton (Priority Records). “The Miracle Mile Shot” is an individual photo from a series of pictures made that day (at the photographer’s home apartment studio at 6516 1/2 Orange Street – Los Angeles) using a Hasselblad 500 CE camera with an 80mm lens and Norman lighting equipment. Throughout the decades, the image’s relevance has continued to grow, being one of the only photos in existence clearly showing the faces of all members of the short-lived but highly influential group
Source IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10519540/