Topics: Pride, Gee's Bend Quilts, Brutalism & 100 Years of Yellow Cabs
Illustrations by Greg Chinn at The Local Brand Co.
June 2020 was a different kind of Pride month. The parades and spectacle we’ve grown accustomed to was replaced with online celebration and deeply personal moments. The pandemic and this political moment gave us all an opportunity to reflect and to remember the importance of Stonewall in the history of social justice and public uprising. For us, Pride is a 365-day festival (or 366 days this year). Love each other, and never forget those who came before you.
With its massive, blocky forms and ungainly sillhouettes, Brutalism is an architectural style we love at the Beat (Greg is a fan of Le Corbusier, while Clay has a soft spot for Moshe Safdie). The Breuer Building in this week’s illustration is a New York landmark, home to the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1966 to 2014. It was designed by Bauhaus-trained architect Marcel Breuer and is bold, elemental, gorgeously simple example of the often maligned, and always controversial Brutalist aesthetic.
Gee’s Bend Quilts
A quilt is a piece of living, practical art. A quilt is a historical document. A quilt is tradition you can touch. The women of Gee’s Bend, a small Black community in Alabama, have been making quilt masterpieces since the 19th Century. These quilts originated in slavery, made from scraps to provide warmth. The women of Gee’s Bend transformed it into a sublime art that not only endures, but thrives.
100 years of the Yellow Cab
In 1920, John D. Hertz, founded the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company to build cars for his Yellow Cab Company. It kicked off a cab war in Chicago … quite literally. They were used as tanks in street battles between rival cab companies. It also began the era of the iconic cab in the iconic color. Hertz’s yellow cab wasn’t the first or last taxi of that color, but it was the most iconic. The story goes that he read a University of Chicago study that found yellow to be the most visible color at greater distances. It’s certainly visible on a rainy night… as it goes speeding past.