Eric Lacombe personifies death.

A childhood interest in decay and death created a lengthy career in art for the French graphic designer turned self-taught painter. His talent for drawing began at a young age before eventually losing interest, then taking up his old hobby after becoming a graphic designer. To the online community, Eric Lacombe is also known as “Monstror,” meaning evil omen or monster in Latin. This artist represents intersectionality of death and silence through his infamous paintings of animal/human hybrids. Acrylic on canvas, ink on paper and oil pens are his weapons of choice. He focuses on the manifestation of the obliteration and the briefness of mortality through these various mediums. Lacombe’s pieces are unconventionally ethereal. His paintings and sculptures focus on tortured entities while still maintaining light, airy characteristics. Lacombe’s fascination with the juxtaposition of calamity and chaos with beautiful creations and peacefulness manifests itself in breathtaking portraits of desolation.

Whether he was decked out in a pink and yellow suit or mix and matched polka dots with plaid, Craig Sager lived a colorful, exciting life. Known for his unconventional style, sense of humor and lively attitude. Sager was a sports journalist who pioneered side-line reporting covering baseball, football, basketball and Olympic sporting events. Sager knew how to speak to people and made anybody feel special; he knew how to say the right words at the right time. Former Detroit Pistons star, Dennis Rodman was contemplating suicide in 1993 and says in a tweet, “Craig Sager thanks for saving my life when I was in dire need of help in Detroit back in 1993.” Rodman went AWOL in 1993 and Sager tracked him down and talked him out of committing suicide; right words, right time.

It was once said that Santa Claus was going straight to the ghetto. Along the way he put it on a couple of guys’ hearts to close the year out with some thought provoking music. With all due respect, I am not talking about the R. Kelly Christmas album. I’m talking about J. Cole and TDE’s Ab-Soul. Here at VA Mag we’ve discussed Cole’s album in conversations surrounding the best album of the year, yes, already. While Ab-Soul’s project may not be the top album, I think it should definitely be mentioned among the top 10 hip-hop albums of 2016.

If you look at a painting, you might be able to tell what the artist is feeling, but  you wouldn’t be able to tell me if the artist is deaf,  autistic, or if they are a paraplegic. If you were to accept that dare, your odds of success would be grim.  Of all the difficulties those living with disabilities face in life, some things simply can’t be hindered by a disability, and one of those things is art.

Still fresh in our minds is J. Cole’s last album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, which is famous for being the first album in 25 years to go platinum with no features. The album was officially certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). But, of course you already knew that, since the internet memes won’t let us forget it. That album dropped exactly two years ago, so the artist’s newest gem, 4 Your Eyez Only was highly anticipated up until its December 9th release. It’s different, but in a good way.

Street art has always been a huge part of urban culture across the world. The once taboo art form has transformed into one of society’s most unique and influential sub genres in the art world. One of the more common displays of street art is the large murals that are often placed on the sides of large buildings, train cars, and even some places that one wouldn’t think to look, like on stacks of hay. The mainstream acceptance of these pieces has made life easier for the artists. One of the best in the business is Spain’s very own, Gonzalo Borondo.