As long as we’ve got the arts, we’ll always be free. We’ll always be united. Two things are for certain: life and death. Everything else is open for our intellectual interpretation. And as Democritus put it: “The only things that exist are atoms and empty space. Everything else is just opinion.” Life, death, atoms, empty space, opinions, the arts. Entertain us…

These extra special pieces entertained us in 2011 so much that they deserve another look. Unless you’ve been living under a crack rock for the last year, in which case, they deserve a first look. Check it:

Artist Profile: Afro-Futurism With Hebru Brantley

Back in March, Chicago art superstar Hebru Brantley unveiled Afro-Futurism: Impossible View in Bridgeport. Our Mr. Mark Corece caught up with the man himself, and they talked about what it means to mix hip hop with indubitable Black and Brown images, why we should “whup our kids” and not ignore our elders and why being 6’8”/250 prevents folks from telling him if they don’t like his work. Hebru’s a beast. Enjoy…

Artist Profile: Brazil’s One & Only KOBRA

I spoke with one of Brazil’s most prolific and awe-inspiring street artists fresh off his appearance at Miami’s Art Basel in December. KOBRA instills in his work a sense of history, wonder and colorful beauty. His murals remarkably portray meaning and force the viewer to think (and rethink) about what street art stands for in a world struggling to comprehend the genre.

Review: Southside Ignoramus Quartet

David Pintor’s southside phenomenon that is SIQ captures all the imagination and magic of comedy in Pilsen’s backyard tent scene.

Interview: Rodrigo “Solo RM” Mireles

Abraham sits down with Solo RM for one of the most mellow interviews you’ll see this year where they talk about graffiti, sneaker culture, On The Daily and this sort of hybrid style Solo RM has become known for over the years. If you came out to our Dia de los Muertos party in November and saw the flier for it, this is the man responsible for that indelible image.

Pablo Serrano at Prospectus Gallery

Lenny DeFranco visited Pilsen’s first formal gallery to check out Connections from Pablo Serrano where the artist visited and evoked the essential human emotions of happiness and sadness in one sensational swoop. He laces the present with the future, connecting the viewer to something greater.

Chicago Latino Film Festival: 27 Years and Counting

Melissa Nunez-Mangold jumpstarted our in depth coverage of the Chicago Latino Film Festival with this brief history and overview of the event. We reviewed so many of the fest’s top films, interviewed integral individuals who make the event happen and had a fantastic time in the process.

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