There are times when am highly aware that I live a charmed life. Today was one of them. It began with a trip to the Aldridge Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, CT and culminated with a visit to the Wonder Woman Museum. Peter (shown below) and his daughter, are the son and granddaughter of William Moulton Martson, the creator of Wonder Woman and the lie detector test. I am happily a Wonder Woman junkie, having been christened with a pair of Wonder Woman Underoos(c) at my 5th birthday party. It was an absolute pleasure to explore the wacky world of all things Diana Prince, both the bootleg and the sublime. Please enjoy the pics below.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
“I’m very much an artist who gets a lot from things. I really love the world of stuff. I’m constantly out there buying things, going to flea markets and yard sales and junk stores. And I like to surround myself with things that are inspirational. Some artists paint, some sculpt, some take photographs and I shop.”
- Mark Didon, ART21
Friday, July 27, 2012
"When I get up in the morning and get out of bed - I look in the mirror and I shake my pretty head - I am conceited and that's no lie - I'll be a conceited AKA until the day I die - But we don't die - we just intense, intense, intense, intense, intensify!"
I am teaching an action workshop to 9th and 10th graders this summer. This experience was originally publicized as a 'performance art workshop', but the term feels too restrictive as an accurate descriptor. My students and I are being challenged to re-think our mundane actions into opportunities for evolution, while contemplating the impact of our movements in the physical realm. Okay, I got a little deep there, but that's where the path leads... Today we were speaking about notions of beauty and I looked around at my students cobbling together messages, that they are practically force-fed, into costumes of coolness, of personal celebrity, of color and of gender. I hurt a little bit when I saw the hap hazard weave of one, the impossible eye color of another, as evidence of the earnest yearning to fit their black and brown bodies into a prescribed mold. I remember these efforts. I still have to extract my own self concept from its clutches to feel beautiful. But then I think about the performance of being beautiful and how it can actually nurture a healthy self esteem. I recall my line sisters. I am an unlikely sorority girl. I still get a kick out of revealing my AKAtude to new friends. It's like a wade through water, throwing off would be trackers, attempting to locate my personal history. But of course it's much more than that. Being with these women, and still being with them 15 years later, albeit in a different fashion, as life and responsibility hurls us farther from the convenience of proximity, I acknowledge one of the wonderful gifts we've managed to give each other - a haughty arrogance of our physical selves. And, by default, our feminine powers. It was like I didn't have to shoulder the responsibility of feeling pretty all alone (my mother doesn't count - she was obligated). I now had 12 other young accomplished women who agreed, or at least proclaimed in unison, when the occasion warranted, that we were pretty, elegant, sophisticated, conceited and intense(!). Even in the morning, after waking up, we're pretty, and of course, a veritable magnet to the opposite sex. Now I am sure that you don't need to pledge a sorority to engage in this manner of performance, but it doesn't negate the value of a collective support system of self esteem. This kind of posturing still feels necessary as a Photoshopped ideal is increasingly distributed as the real.
Alpha Kappa A-L-P-H-A
We are the elegant ladies of AKA
We are so pretty, so cute and oh so fly!
(Sorors, repeat. Much love to Spring '97 | 13 Triumphs at The Twelfth Hour)
Thursday, July 26, 2012
It's just one of the things I'm thinking about these days...
As a native Floridian my familiarity with pest control techniques is fairly extensive. Ants, yellow jackets, spiders, walking sticks, mosquitoes, moths and roaches are just a few of the creepy crawlies that routinely make an appearance in my childhood memory. But my most dreaded opponent was the fly. I was certainly terrified of flying roaches (!) and spiders - I believe I was in my teens before could wrench myself out of fear paralysis at the sight of these eight legged beasts - but the flies were just plain nasty. I imagined their existence as evidence of the all together 'yucky' and the tissue tap of their bodies on a window still makes me a little nauseous. This general revulsion of these feet tasters (they, along with butterflies, have taste receptors on their feet) have turned me into a mercenary with a swatter. I show no mercy. And, when a swatter is unavailable, I cause carnage with a rolled up piece of newspaper, which I recently found out was the go-to device before patent No. 640,790. One of my classmates related the wonderful story about her grandpa and his own personal vendetta against flies. He used a stealthy technique of lighting fast strikes and expert peripheral vision. I can't imagine were all this fly-swat-talk will lead, but it's obvious I'm walking down the path...
Monday, July 23, 2012
I've found that writing things down is a surefire way to get closer to your goals. In keeping with this realization, I'm publishing a wish list to get the ball rolling. Feel free to send any contributions to Kenya (Robinson) c/o Yale School of Art | 1156 Chapel Street | New Haven, CT 06511 <3
- GOLD WIRE
- TAP BELL
- A PHOTOCOPY MACHINE (Manufactured by XEROX only.)
- LEATHER WRISTBANDS
- ROLLING/FREESTANDING CHALKBOARD
- BUBBLE MACHINES (10 COUNT)
- LIQUID WATERCOLORS
- CONTACT MICROPHONES
- BLONDE SYNTHETIC HAIR
- NYLON CROCHET THREAD
- CONDUIT BENDER
- CONDUIT PIPE
- WIRE CUTTER
- PORTABLE AMPS
- BIC LIGHTERS
- ANTIQUE CASH REGISTER
- SMALL ROUND SPEAKERS
- APPLE BOX SET
- AIR MOVER
- PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
- ROTARY TOOL
- MODEL TREES
- MODEL FASTENERS
- VINTAGE MILK BOTTLES
- GROSGRAIN RIBBON
My taste in television has always spiraled wildly - from low brow sitcoms, steeped in stereotypes, to intellectual dramas brought to life by the best in the business. But it's reality TV that manages to fit all of my guilty pleasures into a 40 minute package. My latest obsession? HOLLYWOOD EXES (oh, and BIG ANG, but that's another post...). It's like watching a group of fabulous aunties at a perpetual slumber party. They all seem to be navigating the next stages in their lives with humor, honesty and style - all of which I hope to grow and maintain as I gain confidence in my own womanhood. The ladies enjoy a trip to Napa, sans table flipping, and openly discuss the challenges of parenting, along with striving for harmony with their eponymous exes. Fortunately, I've been reared with the contributions of an Auntie Team and have recently find myself joining their ranks. After your 35th birthday you are officially a member, permanently on-call for questions ranging from sex to college entrance, along with many an adolescent crisis in between. If my own Auntie Team is any indication, you may be called upon to sponsor lunches at mid-tier restaurants, act as a fashion stylist for cotillions, purchase gifts unconnected to birthdays or major holidays and offer babysitting services for much needed date nights. It's a right of passage that I am happy to engage in, with or without a biological link.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Okay, real talk, I do imagine myself as pot-stirrer. Chalk it up to the fact that my father is a light-skinned revolutionary (aka The Blackest Man on The Planet). But I usually find that most of my tirades/manifestos/shit-talking diatribes about race/economics/class/art/history go unnoticed, or at the very least, seldom inspire a response from 'others'.
This summer has been the best of my recent memory. I was informed by Cecile Chong that the space between the first and second year of an art graduate program is something very special. How was I to know the predictive nature of this statement, other than to experience it first hand? I received my first house-sitting assignment (ever!) and recognize this as a kind of right of passage into middleclasshood. I figure it's an opportunity to test waters of what it feels like to have stability, a place where you can actually keep your books instead of dispersing your library when moving to another apartment. The blazing heat has been similarly cooperative, baking me to a very attractive COCOACHiC and providing a number of opportunities to show some skin (#iheartbeingagirl). Anyway, I've been indulging in another pastime this summer, that has been a bit neglected. Where I'm from we call it "instigating", but in artspeak, it's a "critical dialogue". I have the good fortune of a spectacular platform to share my views (or instigate) and it's likely that I will continue to dig deeper (under the skin) to encourage an open conversation questioning the whys and hows of creative practice. I was speaking to a new friend and colleague, who at 70 years old, broke it all the way down when he said "Artists have a responsibility to their community. It's the least we can do for having the rare freedom do what we want with our time - we're kind of like sophisticated bums". My family would certainly agree about the bum part, as my begging for cash seems never-ending... "But, because I am a snazzy dresser, and err on the side of volume when constructing my coiffures, I tend to attract amazing cocktail conversations. This is helpful, especially since these rapid dialogues often secure a studio visit or an invitation to the next cocktail party." MORE
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
As you might imagine the pressure is on for each of the candidates on this week's installment of Design Star. As usual, I learn something about my own practice watching the designers contend with limited resources, time management and 'change-o-plan' scenarios...
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I don't know if I've read enough books to be called a feminist, but I do think that women, in general, are pretty great. They remain the primary group responsible for care-giving (infants, children, elderly), education (teachers, counselors), and service (waitstaff, housekeeping, cooking). I believe all of that practice, working with every manner of humanity, informs a collective feminine consciousness. Or, it all could be a load of hooey. Whatever your thoughts are on the subject of a collective feminine consciousness, I thought I would contemplate and share the lessons that I've learned from men. Kind of a libation for the masculine aspect of my creative life. Usually the lessons aren't explicit, rather the message is gleaned through a careful review of the situation. But some men have managed to break it down quite directly, which I can also appreciate. And so, Some Things I Learned From Men:
- Always, tell the truth.
- Avoid falling in love with an individual who loves drama or money more than people.
- Over prepare, then go with the flow.
- Don't base your budget on your salary.
- Be confident.
- When there's confusion, a lie is not far behind.
- It's a C-O-N-spiracy
- Dresses are a wonderful invention.
- Emails can be one word.
- Embrace the power of "No".
- Wear a belt.
- There are other fish in the sea.
- Women ARE better.
- Take care of your mother.
- Save some for later.
- Slow down.
- Take care of your body.
- It's not the answer, but the question that's most important.
- Keep your composure.
- It's not all about you.
- When getting to know someone, daytime dates are your best bet.
- At night, all cats are gray.
- Charm is secondary to compassion.
- You don't owe anyone, anything.
- It's a man's world, but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl.