Just John – “NOISE”: Behind the Scenes

Photos by: Elizabeth Barrera & Ziyaad Haniff

The lighting illuminates the hall with various hues of purple, pink, and blue; the mood is reminiscent of 70’s Harlem, which Just John and his team have revived at the Gladstone for their ‘Noise’ video shoot. You can hover over the snack table if you’re a bit shy, or maybe make small talk with the extras waiting excitedly for directions, but one thing for sure is you’ll never feel like an outsider. The room is full of artists and their energy is contagious. It’s like being part of a wonderful puzzle in which everyone fits together so perfectly, a community fueled by continuous support and good vibes.

John sits himself on the small steps leading up to the stage. Humble yet commanding, he begins by thanking everyone for attending and explains what we’re here to do: To have fun, and most importantly, to celebrate what black excellence brings to the art community. Having struggled with the closing and reopening of his art space, Blank Canvas, Just John pushes back (and pushes hard) with ‘Noise’, a reminder to authorities that no matter how many complaints are filed, their love and passion for creating will persevere.

Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Taken by Elizabeth Barrera
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Just John - NOISE: Behind The Scenes. Taken by Ziyaad Haniff
Taken by Ziyaad Haniff

What do you think of the video? Would you like to see more artists celebrating the eras that inspired them? Respond to the tweet below and join the conversation: