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If These Beautiful Ornaments Could Speak

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“The Clamor of Ornament,” a dazzling new exhibition at the Drawing Center, gathers nearly 200 drawings, etchings, photographs, tunics and weavings to tell a complicated story, one that spans five centuries, about cultural exchange and appropriation.

The curators define ornament as “embellishment, surface or structural, that can be lifted from its context, reworked, reproduced, and redeployed.” This wide-open description gives them space to include nearly anything, and they do: There are Albrecht Dürer woodcuts from the early 1500s, a bark painting by an anonymous Papua New Guinean artist, a series of black-and-white cakes and pastries that the illustrator Tom Hovey drew for a coloring book version of “The Great British Bake Off.”

An ingenious exhibition design lets you imagine these squiggles and frills leaping around the world as if totally weightless. One of the Dürers, a lacy roundel inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of an Ottoman design, hangs next to a 1968 poster of Bob Dylan with a similar circle on his forehead; elsewhere, in a series of 19th-century watercolors and woodblock prints, textile patterns ricochet between India, Europe and Japan.

There’s nothing wrong with the roundel on Dylan’s forehead, of course, or with the other circles that the designer Martin Sharp used to depict the musician’s hair. But in the 19th century, when such patterns were all the rage in Western Europe, they were associated with racist notions of “the Orient” — a fantasy constructed to romanticize the very people those Europeans were conquering and robbing.

You can see the romance in Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey’s beguiling silver daguerreotype of an Egyptian mosque or in a drawing, attributed to the Persian court architect Mirza Akbar, of the kind of intricate tile work that inspired the English architect Owen Jones to write a prescriptive book-length study of artistic and architectural ornamentation. (Jones’s book “The Grammar of Ornament,” published in 1856, is the inspiration for the exhibition’s title.)

“Clamor of Ornament” offers evidence, too, of the ruthlessness of industrialization as well as of colonialism — at least as it showed up in art. There’s the drawing of “the Red Fort, Delhi, Furnished According to English Taste”; the stylized Kashmiri mango ripped off by textile mills in the Scottish town of Paisley; the American flag included in a Navajo weaving made after the Navajo had been confined to a reservation where they had to import wool. (In her erudite catalog essay, Emily King, a co-curator of the exhibition, quotes the economic historian Kazuo Kobayashi as saying that cottons manufactured in India “were the most important trades in exchange for African slaves.”)

You see people using appropriation to push back against oppression and cultural erasure, too. But none of these exchanges are simple. The Harlem designer Dapper Dan, appearing here via several photographs, pioneered a new vision of Black style that borrowed corporate and fashion logos — an innovation that was itself later appropriated by those very corporations. The artist Wendy Red Star annotates historical photos of Crow diplomats, restoring significance to feathers and hair bows that contemporaneous white Americans belittled and misunderstood. But that significance comes with a kind of violence of its own. One hair bow, she writes, represents “physically overcoming an enemy and slitting his throat.”

In the end, the exhibition doesn’t make any one argument so much as it presents a whole host of them — a conceptual clamor that deepens and amplifies the already overwhelming visual experience. On the one hand, as arguments about cultural appropriation grow ever more heated and lose ever more nuance, we desperately need reminders like this of how difficult it still is to disentangle the realities. On the other hand, as a visitor to the exhibition, I ended up engaging in some decontextualizing of my own, tuning out the snazzy but informative wall labels, designed by Studio Frith, and focusing instead on the sheer sensual pleasures of an air-conditioned gallery filled with an extraordinary collection of beautiful objects.

Some people may be drawn to the bold colors of Emma Pettway’s Gee’s Bend quilt (2021), Toyohara Kunichika’s 1864 woodblock series “Flowers of Edo: Five Young Men,” or the temporary wall covered in an 18th-century French pattern called “Reveillon Arabesque 810.” But I found myself gravitating toward the simpler, monochrome certainties of John Maeda’s trippy typographical posters; of a zigzagged “Tapa Cloth Fragment” from Oceania; or of a specimen of 19th-century scrimshaw. Barely six inches long, the engraved bone shows a densely crosshatched whale surrounded by distressed sailors as it destroys their whaler. It was heady to consider that the entire little scene, packed with drama and pathos, might be just another patch of free-floating ornament.

The Clamor of Ornament: Exchange, Power, and Joy From the Fifteenth Century to the Present

Through Sept. 18 at the Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, Manhattan; (212) 219-2166, drawingcenter.org.

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Deals and Steals! Shop the 21 Best Cyber Week Finds Under $35

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Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.

The most wonderful time of year is finally here — and we don’t just mean the holidays! Cyber Week is a dream come true for bargain hunters everywhere. While temperature are dropping outside, prices are dropping online. It really is a winter wonderland!

With all of the deals on Black Friday and beyond, it’s overwhelming to narrow down the options. So, we went through the sales and selected our 21 top picks under $35, from fashion to furnishings. Save up to 79% off on these everyday essentials from some of your favorite retailers! Score these marked-down must-haves as a treat for yourself or as a gift for a loved one. Happy shopping!

1. Sweet dreams! Get your best beauty sleep with this super soft microfiber sheet set — up to 79% off!

2. Eyes on the prize! This creamy avocado eye treatment from Kiehl’s has been a regular in my skincare routine for years — up to 50% off!

3. Made from organic cotton, this waffle-print Henley shirt from Everlane is our go-to top for winter weather — up to 50% off!

4. Built to take you from running errands to running cardio, this comfy Perform Legging from Everlane is a must-have for gals on the go — up to 50% off!

5. With over 2,000 reviews on Nordstrom, this popular plush throw blanket is a cozy crowd-pleaser — up to 31% off!

6. It’s in the bag! This top-rated tumbled leather clutch from Madewell features interior pockets for extra organization — up to 43% off!

7. Cut a rug with this vintage-inspired patterned rug! The subtle pop of color blends into any space — up to 53% off!

8. Mad for plaid! This set of two decorative pillow covers is perfect for the holidays — up to 27% off!

9. Effortlessly cool in an oversized fit, this crew tee from Everlane is a closet staple — up to 30% off!

10. These gold under-eye patches are truly worth their weight in gold! Infused with collagen, these eye masks will give your puffy eyes a pick-me-up — up to 17% off!

11. Treat yourself to some self-care with these aromatherapy Shower Steamers that provide major stress relief — up to 46% off!

12. This Echo Dot smart speaker connects to Alexa so you can play music, check the news and set alarms from any room of your house — up to 63% off!

13. Get a good night’s sleep with these luxurious satin pillowcases! They’re the no. 1 bestseller in bed pillowcases on Amazon — up to 17% off!

14. The no. 1 bestseller in women’s down jackets and parkas on Amazon, this water-resistant hooded puffer coat will keep you warm and dry all winter — up to 45% off!

15. Lightweight and comfortable, this full-length waffle robe is wonderful for lounging around the house — up to 39% off!

16. Crafted with 100% cotton, this crewneck sweater is cozy and flattering — up to 45% off!

17. Reviewers rave that these terry cotton joggers are super soft and comfortable. Plus, they come with pockets — up to 45% off!

18. Sparkle and shine this holiday season with this cubic zirconia necklace that looks like a real diamond — up to 15% off!

19. And it was all yellow! These gold-plated topaz earrings will brighten your day — up to 15% off!

20. Earn your stripes in this trendy striped half-zip sweater — up to 45% off!

21. These fleece-lined house slippers feature an embroidered print that is perfect for winter — up to 42% off!

Looking for additional deals? Check out more picks below:

This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as wedding-guest outfits, purses, plus-size swimsuits, women’s sneakers, bridal shapewear, and perfect gift ideas for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.

The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping!

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Atlantic Denies Using Bots to Juice Don Toliver, Other Artists’ Videos

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Mariah Carey Loves Christmas, Spoiling Her Kids After ‘Messed-Up’ Childhood

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Not always a Christmas queen. While Mariah Carey’s name has become synonymous with the festive holiday, her childhood wasn’t regal.

“I know a lot of the time people are like, ‘Oh, yay! Look at her! She’s, like, so festive and such a Christmas girl,’ or whatever. But, really, Christmas makes me happy. People think I had this princess-style life or whatever, a kind of fairy-tale existence where I just emerged, like, ‘Here I am!’ And that is not what it is,” Carey, 52 told magazine in a profile published on Friday, November 25.

She continued: “But when you grow up with a messed-up life and then you’re able to have this transformation where you can make your life what you want it to be? That is joy for me. That’s why I want my kids to have everything they can have. I want them to be able to understand that they can be anything they want to be.”

The “Without You” songstress became a mother in April 2011, welcoming twins Monroe and Moroccan with ex-husband Nick Cannon. (The Masked Singer host, 42, is also father to 9 other kids and is currently expecting baby No. 12, his second with Alyssa Scott.) As Carey and Cannon continue to coparent their twins, the Grammy Award winner goes all out for the holiday season.

“I create my own Christmas moment. I mean, Santa Claus visits us. He comes with his reindeer. I am not exaggerating — this is the truth,” the New York native told W. “By the way, before my kids were born, I did all the same types of things. That’s just how it is with me and Santa and the reindeer.”

She added: “I love giving them gifts because the act of opening up a ton of presents is something I wasn’t able to do as a child.”

The Meaning of Mariah Carey author kicked off her 2022 festivities with a rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 24. As Carey crooned her hit song, the 11-year-olds made surprise cameos as they popped out of present boxes to dance alongside their mama.

“Happy Thanksgiving!!!🍁,” the Christmas Princess author wrote via Instagram on Thursday, sharing footage from the NBC broadcast. “Grateful and so proud of my beautiful kids Roc and Roe, grateful for the lambily and for the precious moments in life. ❤️❤️❤️ Now it’s reaaaallly time!!! 🎄🎅🏼.”

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