Teen born without a jaw finds his voice, achieves dream of creating music

Published: Sunday, March 19, 2017 @ 5:59 AM

Headphones on a mixing desk (Photo credit: Image Source / DigitalVision / Getty Images)
Image Source/Getty Images
Headphones on a mixing desk (Photo credit: Image Source / DigitalVision / Getty Images)(Image Source/Getty Images)

A teen born without a jaw is beating the odds again, launching a music career and helping other along the way.

When Isaiah Acosta was born, the odds were stacked against him. He’s now 17 years old and thriving in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Though he’s considered mute and will never have the ability to speak, Isaiah is now launching his music career.

“We knew we had a great story but we didn’t know it was going to explode like it did,” Tarah Acosta, Isaiah’s mother, told KNXV.

Last week, Isaiah’s hip-hop song “Oxygen to Fly” debuted. He partnered with Arizona rapper Trap House and a short documentary featuring his story was shared online. In just a few days, his story racked up more than 4 million views.

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“I don’t even think Isaiah thought this was possible. You know he is mute and we and a lot of people have told us they haven’t seen anything like this,” said Tarah.

You can listen to Isaiah’s song by clicking here. All proceeds from the song will go to the Children’s Miracle Network.

>> Watch a video about Isaiah here

He may not be able to talk ...

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, March 9, 2017

Basquiat painting breaks record at Sotheby’s auction

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 2:09 AM

Basquiat Painting Breaks Record At Sotheby’s Auction

A 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a record $110.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art Thursday night.

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Sotheby’s said the sale of “Untitled” was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction, USA Today reported. Sotheby’s said it was the highest paid price at auction for any artwork created after 1980.

The painting, which has a graffiti-like look, shows a face in the shape of a skull.

Five of Basquiat’s works sold Thursday night, pulling in $129.3 million total, Sotheby’s said.

“Untitled” was bought by Japanese collector and e-commerce entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war.

“When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art,” said Maezawa, who said he plans to display the painting in his museum in Chiba, Japan. 

“Untitled” was an unknown work before Sotheby’s unveiled it weeks ago, USA Today reported.

The previous auction record for a Basquiat work was set last May when “Untitled, 1982” was bought by Maezawa for $57.3 million, The Associated Press reported.

Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at age 27.

Young ballet dancers meet idol Misty Copeland

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 4:43 AM

Misty Copeland gave some young ballerinas a thrill of a lifetime.
NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Misty Copeland gave some young ballerinas a thrill of a lifetime.(NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A group of young ballerinas from a Chicago dance troupe received a thrill of a lifetime when they appeared on Steve Harvey’s talk show Friday, the Huffington Post reported.

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The ballerinas from the Mayfair Performance Company on Chicago’s south side were surprised and delighted when Harvey introduced the dancers to their role model — ballet star Misty Copeland.

Copeland has broken barriers in ballet, becoming the only black dancer with the American Ballet Theatre in New York. Copeland, 34, joined the group when she was 17.

In 2015, Copeland broke another barrier as she was declared a principal in the American Ballet Theatre, becoming the first becoming the first black female principal in its 75-year history, the Huffington Post reported. Copeland has written a children’s book and memoir and has spoken extensively about her mission to diversify the ballet landscape for future generations. 

“You know one day, if you study this long enough,” Harvey told the Mayfair dancers during his show, “one day you could meet her. One day you could be her. Wouldn’t that be exciting?”

He then asked the ballet dancers to turn around, and they screamed when Copeland entered the stage, the Huffington Post reported.

The Mayfair girls then showed Copeland their own skills on the show, performing a dance routine.

Seattle company designs invisible art revealed in rain

Published: Tuesday, December 29, 2016 @ 10:32 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 29, 2016 @ 2:56 PM

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A Seattle startup said it is hoping to make rainy days a little brighter for everyone after designing a product that makes rain-activated art on sidewalks and other surfaces.

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The art is made with a stencil and a superhydrophobic coating spray that keeps water from soaking into surfaces, creating different shades of color.

>> Photos: Seattle invisible art revealed in rain

The product can be used on absorbent surfaces, including concrete, wood, stone, cardboard and fabric, and is invisible on a dry and sunny day.

The idea came from Peregrine Church, who considers himself part artist, part engineer and part inventor.

Last April, he and his business partner made a video for a Kickstarter campaign and it went viral.

The product is called Rainworks, and with 690 backers and $50,000 from the Kickstarter campaign, they've been filling numerous orders via their website

For $29, customers get a bottle of “invisible spray” that covers roughly 15 square feet, a stencil to make their own Rainwork and video instructions.

“My priority isn't making money. My priority is helping people make the world a better place. So once we're off the ground and flying, it'll be a lot of fun,” said Church.

The designs generally last about four to five weeks, depending on conditions. Since it’s temporary, it’s not considered graffiti in public areas.      

Rainworks is not only making art around the city, but is also putting messages and inspirational words in public areas, such as bus stops and parks.

The company is also creating online maps of Rainworks designs the company and others have done so that people can visit and see the designs.

Misty Copeland re-creates famous Edgar Degas paintings

Published: Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 3:57 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 5:04 AM

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Misty Copeland, who became the first African-American woman to be named a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre last year, has already established herself as a legend.

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Now the 33-year-old is re-creating the beauty of ballet in another art form. The March issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine will feature the ballerina in photos reminiscent of works of 19th century French artist Edgar Degas.   

In high-end fashions by designers like Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen, Copeland posed to capture scenes from Degas' famous portraits and sculptures like "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen," "The Star" and "Green Dancer."

"I definitely feel like I can see myself in that sculpture—she just seems content but also reserved," Copeland told Harper's Bazaar about posing for "Little Dancer." "I was really shy and introverted at that age. I don't even have an image in my head of what I remember a ballerina being or existing before I took a ballet class. Ballet was just the one thing that brought me to life."

The photo shoot celebrates "Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty," an exhibition that will debut at the New York Museum of Modern Art in March. 

Read more here.