Tag Archives: art

Scream Silent

Two months without a post, I feel like thats the longest I’ve ever gone. I have been shooting a lot of photographs over the last two months, compiling a body of work for this new direction  I fell into, sort of by accident, which does not surprise me. I’ve fallen into a lot of things, seemingly by accident in my life. I will begin posting the images I’ve been shooting after I complete this post. I have been absolutely loving it. I am ready to take the work to the next step, and I plan on telling you all about it.

Despite my connection to the new body of work, I have felt an immense disconnection to the world in which I inhabit. The state of affairs is frightening and maddening at the same time. It’s devastating and absurd. I want to reach out to fellow human beings and say, “Why are you so fucking angry?” all the while I sit here biting my fingers and furrowing my brow, in disgust at the motivation behind such atrocities. The ignorance behind it all, the willful ignorance is enough to make me vomit. My heart has broke many times as of late. I wake up, and scream silently into my pillow, in hopes to meet catharsis for breakfast, before I go about my day.

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Trying To Fit In

What is this life we live? Consume, throw away, repeat. Stripes are in, spots are out. This lipstick, that haircut. Eyebrow trends are actually real. For what? What is the reward of being so vain and desperately needing to project our best selves into the world, cause god forbid we show our real selves… Then everyone would see the flaws we work so hard to cover up. So, we just try to fit in. Conform to the idea of who we are supposed to be, based on what someone or something else said. That same someone or something, has no reference to who we are personally. Something like a magazine, or the media. Someone like the person who writes for them. And we listen like lambs, being led to slaughter.

This is me trying to fit in.

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The Feeling of Solitude

Greetings fellow fans and readers, I know I know, its been forever. I’ve had quite the adventure since my last post. Since then, I left LA and moved back to Chicago. The drive was lovely, it was mine and mine alone. I spent three days in the car, with nothing but jams and quiet thoughts. I regret not stopping and taking more photographs, but I was under a deadline. I have not shared with you all the work I made while in LA. Some great work has yet to be posted! I have a pretty demanding job these days, which has affected my ability to post on the regular. I hope to find a balance and be able to make time for my work again (for my own sanity) With that said. I share an image I made in my brother’s yard in Glassell Park, a lovely neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles.

I feel more connected to the narrative of this piece now, then ever before. I have spent more time feeling disconnected to the things that have always ignited me. This bubble of work and sleep is like an out of body experience, as if I am floating high above the artistic burner in me, looking down at someone that I used to know well. The solitude doesn’t bother me, its how its spent that does.

For those of you who don’t know, my botanical portraits invoke the narrative of everyday human emotion and the human condition.

This is my feeling of solitude.

 

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Rocket

There is this Sylvia Plath quote from her book; The Bell Jar, that has resonated with me ever since I read The Bell Jar in high school. I adore Sylvia Plath, I feel it is the most tortured women that have the courage to reach deep down inside of themselves and transform real pain into true genius. Sylvia was one of them, along with Virginia Woolf, Francesca Woodman, perhaps even Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman, yet they remain among the living. Having that said, the quote that I have carried around with me in my pocket, as my mantra and philosophy for so many years goes like this.

“The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Forth of July rocket.”

I have sprung from all directions in life, some have been treacherous and some have been magnificent. Not a single experience would I trade in hindsight. If it were not for all the living I have done, who would I be? If one event in my life were altered, who would I be? I believe so faithfully that every experience we encounter makes us who we are. If one were different, our entire being, along with our destiny could be drastically different. Therefore, I don’t believe in regret. I think regret is a waste of time. I prefer to learn from my mistakes, not regret them. In regret, there is no growth, no room to become something more. If I had a dollar for every time I was the Phoenix rising up from the ashes, covered with soot and sweat, blood and tears. Crying and laughing as I fly by… I’d be a wealthy woman.

My father always told me that, I preferred learning things the hard way. He was right. I don’t remember many things my father told me, our living relationship was not the strongest. I do, however, remember that. Simply because it remains true. I need visceral life experience in order to get anything out of it. I am easily bored, so I make a mess or run carelessly into the eye of the storm bashing around for a bit, only to be reborn sometime later on. Its exhausting, and I shed a lot of pain at times, but I become strong where I was once broken. It’s a beautiful thing.

This is my rocket. This is me exploding.

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Breaking the Spell

Stand the fuck up and dust yourself off.

The goddesses are still working hard.

Open your eyes and relearn to see,

you’ve been asleep for far too long.

There is a great big world

waiting

for you to make your presence known.

Get down to business, girl

after all

you only get one.

Shake off the spell thats been cast on your soul.

Peel back the layers of skin;

reemerge from the ashes and flames.

Dance again

Let the wind take you higher than ever before.

This is life,

after all,

this is living.

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Things He Said

There once was a girl, who once loved a man.

She gave and she gave, with very little given back.

She saw through glasses made of roses,

while washing the world with good intentions.

One winter evening at a party with friends,

her world fell apart with the things that he said.

“I tell you I love you, but I don’t love you,”

He said.

She sat staring

Her eyes glazed

Her face contorted

In confusion

“I think you’re stupid; I think you’re the devil,”

He said.

She staggered to her feet

Failures complete

Her body felt heavy

Her head was dizzy

“There is nothing for you here, girl.”

He said.

“Just big dark love, girl.”

She felt lost and alone,

with nothing to do but run.

There is hope for the flowers,

in this great big world.

There is lots more living to do,

for this caterpillar girl.

She built her cocoon and is ready for change.

It’s only a matter of time

Til she emerges as a butterfly.

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She Waits

Imagine living in a box,

wanting to so desperately to break free.

Imagine waiting so patiently,

for something founded on fantasy.

If only she could destroy reality,

by washing her hands clean.

“Remember to breathe,” she said,

“when you break all the locks.

Pry open the source of this madness.

The bathroom mirror does not lie.

Find solace in this sadness,

allow yourself to be free.”

She said

She Waits

 

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Completely Me

I recently went to my very first burn. LOF 2015. It was such a transformative experience, that I decided to stop shaving my armpits and stop wearing deodorant. Something shifted within and I embraced my true self. Animal instincts, flaws, awesomeness and everything else that makes me, me.

I began contemplating the concept of gender. The more I tried to decipher the difference between men and women (for mere observational reasons) the more the differences seemed to disappear. Simply, we are all human, both animalistic and intelligent beings alike. We have hair in “unwanted” places and repress some of our most basic instincts to keep up appearances with society. Where is the freedom in that? Nina Simone recently taught me that, “to be truly free is to live without fear.” It doesn’t seem to get more real than that. It also takes guts, to push the boundaries of what society says is acceptable and unacceptable.

Furthermore, gender roles are learned behavior, we are taught what “being a lady” is supposed to look like, what “being a man” means. I’m here to tell you, its all bullshit. All babies begin as female, for lack of a better term, men have nipples because they develop faster in the womb than the rest of our sexual organs.

So this begs the question, what really separates us, if anything at all?

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Loving Cup

After staying up all night, the evening of July 4th, in the early morning hours I took this image. It was slightly accidental, yet it was the best photo I took the whole trip. It is excessively feminine, as it reminds me of female genitalia… Does it not? The color red just adds a fiery intensity that works exceptionally well, in my opinion. Very Georgia O’Keeffe, which I’m ecstatic about, as she is one of my many heroes. I respect all women quite a bit, however, there are a few select women in history, that have a very special place in my heart. Georgia O’Keeffe is one of them. I used to be in a somewhat “teacher/pupil”  intimate relationship with one of my old friends and mentor a few years ago. The intimacy ended up ruining the friendship in the end, and during that time I struggled with losing both my mentor and my friend; while also preparing for a show in New York. It was an odd polarization to be experiencing. At a bar one night, a friend of mine reminded me, “You outgrew your mentor. Even Georgia O’Keeffe outgrew her mentor.” As a photographer, I was and am aware of the love affair and mentorship that happened between Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. Alfred was a photographer, he photographed Georgia often. But, eventually she did outgrow him, and went on to make some of her best work, on her own. I respect her fiercely for this very reason. Whenever I struggle with letting go, I think about her.  

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Self

I took this last summer, right after I shaved my head. In January of 2014, I turned 30. It was a milestone for me, I kicked my 20’s out the door like a bad habit. I felt ready. Ready to take on whatever came my way. And… things came. Things I am not willing to discuss publicly, but things that will be embedded in my final piece of this project and gifted to you as my viewer. When those things seemed to fall apart, I made the executive decision to shave my head. I have had some rendition of a pixie haircut since 2008 and have been very connected to my androgynous side for many years. When I shaved my head it was for no one but myself. I didn’t donate my hair to Locks of Love or shave my head for St. Baldricks, there is nothing wrong with charity, in fact I am a big fan, however, there was something about it being just for me that was truly special. At that time, I did it to maintain my own sanity. As drastic as that sounds, its the truth. In shedding this piece of my physical identity, it allowed me the clean slate to reinvent who I was, cause at that time, I wasn’t exactly sure anymore.

I surprised myself in feeling more FEMININE as opposed to feeling more MASCULINE or ANDROGYNOUS. I found myself wearing a lot more sun dresses and earrings became my best friend. I suddenly saw my face, without any hair to frame it. My eyes got bigger, my cheekbones much more pronounced. I was the snake that shed its own skin in order to grow new skin in its place.

What have I become?

My sweetest friend

Everyone I know

Goes away in the end

Hurt by NIN resonated in my ears during that time, and I did what I only know how… Shoot. So I began my journey exploring who I am, with the only weapon I have. My camera. And this is what came out. Again. Unfinished, but here is the first layer of the onion.

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