The Internet thrives on really, really smart stuff, or really, really dumb stuff. The middle not so much.
Links contained in my most recent essay, “On the Constant Moment,” in the order in which they appear:
yet again, i see something in you that inspires. as a kid, i wanted to go to art school, i wanted to create. i had a good eye for color, and i enjoyed putting visual elements together. it calmed me. my mother did not nourish this creativity, and absolutely shunned the idea of me ever going to art school with the intention of making things. to my mother, and to many people in general, art was a hobby. art was not something people did to make a living, and she was poor enough as it was. she worked hard, lived with a man who i did see make much effort to help, and seemed unhappy. i thought about escaping a lot. but the belief was ingrained in my head, that i would never be able to make art, go to art school, etc.
the fact that you went so far as to have the motivation, the encouragement, to enter an art competition [and win!] as a kid is really cool. and having the determination to still create beautiful things, despite not having money to go to art school, is inspiring. i wish i’d had the strength and foresight to do likewise.
i’m making small steps. thank you for inspiring.
This is for the poor kids. The misfits. The neglected dreamers.
Bad commercial art is an artist’s rendering of a middleman’s retelling of a client’s interpretation of a focus group’s misunderstanding.
People think nothing of paying $3 for a cup of coffee they’ll piss out, but paying for art they “love” requires a trip to the accountant.
Having a camera makes you a photographer in the same way that having a microwave makes you a chef.
I’m an intimate, relational artist. My personal work takes “personal” to new levels, and I have some form of a relationship with each of my subjects. In fact, I can’t really do what I do without one. All of my photographs are collaborations in intimacy with my subjects, and I care deeply not just about what the work means to me, but what it means to them. This is why I’ve linked to the personal accounts of Hysterical Literature sessionists Stoya, Danielle, and Solé, I think seeing their perspective makes the art richer.
So as a follow-up on my “Thoughts on Neogender” (link warning: graphic, NSFW) piece, here’s the email I received from the subject after she saw it in 2007. I’m still friends with her, and she consented to its publication now:
Male to female transsexual. This is a manufactured vagina. A neovagina.
This is genital origami, the penis cut open, carved and folded, crafted by techniques with names like Penile Inversion, the Suporn Technique, and the Wilson Method. The head of the penis morphs into the neoclit. In some methods the scrotal skin becomes the neovaginal canal.
I don’t know which methods were used in the creation of this particular neovagina, but surely this is art of the highest caliber. Sculpture in flesh tissue and nerve bundles.
Is it subtractive sculpture, like Michelangelo’s Pieta, or David? Is the surgeon removing and reshaping a raw outer form crudely delivered by nature, slowly, painfully revealing the inner form of his patient’s mind’s eye? No, both inner and outer forms were delivered by nature, nested possibilities contradicting each other. Which should be considered natural? As in fetal development, male nested inside of female, female morphing into male. We all start out the same.
Perhaps this is a third sex. The concept of a third sex is one that’s been around for centuries in Indian and Thai cultures, and has come in and out of popularity in the Western world in modern times. Do we need to have a binary view of gender? Is it either/or?
She’s had her Adam’s Apple shaved off through an incision in her throat. She’s had breasts created. She floods her body with hormones. After her vaginoplasty she ruptured and almost bled to death.
She almost died to become who she was meant to be. This is being born again as no religion could ever conceive of. When asked what the most important possession in the world was to her, she simply presented a small white plastic object, two by three inches.
Her health insurance card.
Click to view (warning: graphic, NSFW)
There is transgender. Is there transracial?