Sometimes a name can be prophetic. In which case it seems only fitting that the name of renowned artist Keba Armand Konte literally translates to “Father Storyteller” in the Manding language of Western Africa. For a man who is paving the way for a new generation of artistic visionaries, the celebrated Bay Area based photomontage craftsman relishes in creating signature timeless pieces with the technical skill of an assemblage artist and the narrator elegance of a griot. His photographic works of art consist of an amalgam of protests and portraits, street moments and political movements, dignitaries and ditch diggers, hip-hop heads and mothers, continents and cultures as well as freaks, friends and family members. Konte’s work as a mixed-media artist decodes and conveys messages about life experiences, as he imposes and allows the viewer to imagine the story behind the work of art. His artistry is about remembrance - collective, personal, and community. He layers memory and metaphor as he inscribes social conditions, emphasizing love, vulnerability, decay and loss. This vision allows viewers to share the honesty and fearlessness he has found in his subjects trekking the world (Japan, Africa, Cuba, Jamaica and Europe) and within his own community in Northern California.
How does a decorated soldier of art and design remain influential in his craft, and what does it mean to be called a Creative Crusader? D.L. Warfield asks himself these questions occasionally, while focusing intensely upon his continuing battle for personal artistic accomplishment of the highest order and dedicating himself to his craft of creative excellence. With an impressive range of abilities that include graphic design, fine art, fashion and furniture design and merchandising, it is easy to recognize that as suggested by the name of his company, GOLDFINGER C.S., D.L. Warfield has the Midas touch. Citing his inspirations as Miles Davis, Muhammad Ali, No 2. Pencils, Afrika Bambaata, Pablo Picasso, Bruce Lee, Ben Franklin, anything black, blank paper, Turbo & Shabadoo, Portuguese Love, lava lamps, The Jetsons, Salma Hayek, comic books, SUV’s, Christopher Walken, James Bond, Langston Hughes, Quentin Tarantino, Kool-Aid, Fed Ex, Ginseng, traffic, low interest rates, Don Cheadle, Darwin, moonwalking, Madonna, banana peels, Steve Jobs, Hype Williams, Tim Burton, Andy Warhol, shark week, graffiti and gel deodorant, his eclectic taste of colorful fighters, musicians, authors, muses, filmmakers and overnight delivery services have lent themselves at one point or another to his creative career trajectory. Having designed everything artistic for artists including Usher, TLC, Keri Hilson, Monica, T.I, Jeezy and Toni Braxton, D.L.¹s relentless drive for higher creative ground has empowered him with tremendous experience and outstanding credentials, placing his signature style of creative service on an entirely different level than most of his would-be competitors. More importantly, D.L also created this lovely website that you're now on
Nick was taking an art class around the time his mother’s mom passed away, and was just learning the intricacies of working with ceramics. He remembers that during the class’s winter break project, the assignment was to depict or express feelings of ‘empathy’ with the medium of clay. Whatever snapped in his head was enough to spark a creative riptide. His sculpture? Hands, which represented family, a grave which represented the loss of life, and himself – sculpted after a model of one of his favorite Hip Hop groups, Da Bush Babees. Currently working on sculptures of Ludacris, Nelly and Chingy, he’s also been commissioned to create pieces for superstar producer Timbaland and rapper/actor Ice-T, and will soon have completed busts of hip hop pioneers like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambataa. Respect for the architects is something that is more than just a way of thinking, it is embedded in Nick’s DNA – his father Jim Gates has the immense honor of being the recognized as the first DJ to spin a Hip Hop record on the radio.
Most great artists of their time were denied this type of recognition at such an early stage in their careers; yet he is already in the company of Leonardo Di Vinci, Donatello, Ernie Barns and Pablo Picasso. He is a young genius with the world as his canvas, creating personal interpretations that have the power to virtually speak for themselves.
Ann Kaneko is a filmmaker and artist committed to exploring and presenting the diverse experiences of people outside the radar of the mainstream. Fluent in English, Japanese, and Spanish, she has worked independently as well as with artists, other filmmakers, labor unions, and museums on projects in such places as Los Angeles, Tokyo, Lima and Kabul. Kaneko recently completed the documentary Against the Grain: An Artist's Survival Guide to Perú. Supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, this documentary highlights the life and work of four Peruvian political artists. For the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women, Kaneko wrote and directed 100% Human Hair, a zany musical set in a Korean-owned Los Angeles wig shop. Her feature-length documentary Overstay, about foreign workers in Japan and funded by the Japan Foundation and Hoso Bunka Foundation, has been presented extensively at museums and universities. Her short films have also screened and been broadcast domestically and abroad.
Kaneko has produced media installations for the Skirball Cultural Center, the Japanese American National Museum, the Getty Center and the California Endowment. She has produced educational videos for the University of Southern California's Institute for Multimedia Literacy and organizing videos for SEIU and UNITEHERE Local 11.As a documentary cinematographer, Kaneko has worked with filmmakers David Zeiger, Loni Ding, Renee Tajima-Peña, Meena Nanji, Jeff Adachi, Gary Weimberg, Robert Nakamura and Shonali Bose. She has collaborated with performers Nurit Siegel, Elia Arce, los abandoned and Cid Pearlman’s Nesting Dolls Dance Company for presentations at the Getty Center, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) and the Highways Performance Space. She received a Lester Horton Dance Award for set design with Nesting Dolls.
Kaneko is an active writer and accomplished still photographer. She contributed to the anthology, Feminism and Documentary (eds. Diane Waldman and Janet Walker), and her reviews have appeared in Afterimage, International Documentary and The Daily Yomiuri, a major Tokyo newspaper. Kaneko received an M.F.A. in film directing from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in photography and international relations from Bennington College.