In my last piece, I gave a brief overview of the history between art/visual propaganda and politics, and why saying that artists shouldn’t express their politics is short-sighted. I’d like to delve a little deeper into that relationship but to do that, we have to do a little time traveling. The Allies (France, Great Britain, Russia, and later, the United States) realized the value that the arts had in furthering their agenda during World War I, with the use of stamps that proclaimed “nothing German”, and posters that warned against the havoc the Axis Powers would reap if the Allies…


The political climate in the United States right now is fraught to say the least. With the country on the brink of kissing our democracy (however flawed it might be) goodbye, a lot of people are finding ways to express their fear, frustration, and anger. Some are committed to sharing voting information. Others are volunteering, getting voters registered and signing up to work the polls. Writers are doing their best to document this unsettling time in history. Artists are putting their talents to use, creating pieces that convey pertinent information, or to memorialize the people and the ideals that have…


A lot of people know who Frida Kahlo is. Rightly so — her art and the story of her life are inspiring and tragic all at the same time. Kahlo has become so iconic, in fact, it might be easy for non-art lovers to overlook the other female painters that came before and after her, including Remedios Varo. As one of the few female surrealists of her day, Varo’s work is uniquely fantastical, intriguing, and terrifying. But in the years since her death, her work has been overshadowed by her contemporaries, including the most famous surrealist of all, Salvador Dali.


The story of Nevada’s history is comprised of some interesting characters. Take Bugsy Siegel, the mobster with a bad temper that is responsible for the Las Vegas Strip. Or Sherriff Ralph Lamb, the man that modernized the Las Vegas Police Department but also had some questionable interrogation tactics, especially by today’s standards. Or his brother, Senator Floyd Lamb, the man who pushed for land conservation but who also punched one of his fellow senators. And then there’s Pat McCarran.

Pat McCarran, a former Democratic senator to Nevada, is one of two people that represent Nevada in the U.S. Capitol Statuary…


“I paint life as I would like it to be.”

There are few things that are quintessentially “American”: apple pie, baseball, rock n’ roll, and Norman Rockwell. His name might not garner the recognition it once did (unless you’re a fan of Lana Del Rey), but his work has been regarded as the visual definition American dream. His presidential portraits and covers for The Saturday Evening Post glorified an era of America that we look on back with nostalgia. …


Love has been a source of inspiration to artists and writers and musicians since…forever. No joke: one of the first known depictions of a couple in an embrace is a carving that is dated somewhere around 10,000 B.C. known as the Ain Sakhri Lovers. But it doesn’t matter the kind of love — love between couples, love between friends, or love between family — love is something that is celebrated in the world of art.

But then there’s times isn’t.

Take the kiss. The depiction of such an innocent gesture can inspire violence or passion, depending on who is doing…


Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, Pablo Picasso once said. It is a manufactured, exaggerated medium, created in the hopes that its audience will take away a deeper meaning, one perhaps they wouldn’t be receptive to in other settings, under different circumstances. Art allows us to glorify the beautiful and condemn that which isn’t with a measure of distance, distance that permits objectivity and, if the artist is skilled enough, empathy.

Picasso’s Guernica is a foremost example of anti-war art. Completed in 1937, this larger-than-life painting is currently on display in the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid…


These days, the name Diego Rivera may not be recognizable to the general public. Those that do know him likely connect him to his wife, the late painter Frida Kahlo. But during his life, Rivera was a giant in the art world. Known as one of “Los Tres Grandes”, he was a pivotal figure in the Mexican muralism movement. His work, Man at the Crossroads, was a seminal piece in his body of work, one that still raises questions about censorship and artistic integrity.

Rivera knew he was going to be an artist from an early age. Picking up a…


When someone does word-association with a city like Las Vegas, there’s probably a brief list that comes to mind: drinking, gambling, partying, The Strip, and beautiful women. These days, it’s club hostesses, dancers, and cocktail waitresses that fill the latter role up and down the Strip. Before that, in the days of the Rat Pack and Elvis, you could find the most beautiful women of all on the stages of Folie’s Bergere and Jubilee!

Showgirls and Las Vegas go together like peanut butter and jelly. The showgirl first came to Las Vegas in the form of chorus girls at the…


Not too many things in Las Vegas stand the test of time. Hotels, shows, and people come and go like the ocean tide, but the Flamingo has proven to be an exception. Open since 1946, it is the oldest operational hotel in Las Vegas. As the first luxury resort of the city, the Flamingo established a culture and a service industry that would sustain the city’s economy and come to define hospitality. The man responsible for the Flamingo, and arguably the Las Vegas Strip, is Bugsy Siegel. …

Lauryn Ellis

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