I recently interviewed artist Young Sam Kim on his new series “A World in the City.” For the series, the artist used “hyper-collage,” a technique in which various pieces of digital photography are layered and superimposed upon one another. Through the use of this technique, Kim seemingly created a world of his own; a multidimensional space in which each time you view one of his pieces, you notice something you did not see the first time.
When observing a work of art, the mind naturally tends to piece a narrative together, not only from the associations it brings to the work, but from the work itself (as it inevitably does while viewing Kim’s artwork). After my interview with Kim I realized that even the the most creative mind’s conjecture could not breach the depth of Kim’s commentary of “A World in the City.” And through a little knowledge of the artist himself, the layers of his work deepen to a whole other dimension: Kim is hearing and vocally impaired. Continue reading
I inhabit a virtual universe called Second Life where you create a very life-like avatar, own land, create art, go to concerts, meet people from all over the world and have love affairs. I have been on the site since 2006. I feel like I really do have a Second Life. What’s strange is I can feel just as lonely in Second Life as I do in my First Life. Tonight when I came home I missed my deceased boyfriend, looked at my bleak email and facebook lists and then went on the website Second Life and had the same feelings.
My boyfriend and I used to each have avatars in Second Life. His avatar had marijuana wings and Jamaican dreadlock hair. He never really had the imagination to play as much as I do in Second Life, but we had some fun times together there and he met some of my friends there. He even met one of my boyfriends from Second Life in real life when he came to San Diego in his plane and we met him for lunch at the little airport near our house. My boyfriend used to be a pilot too.
The connections in cyberspace can make life feel less lonely too. It enables me to live alone and be creative and still have contact with other people in a quiet non intrusive way. People in real life tend to me messy and loud. It is nice to have friends in the computer who are there when you need them and quiet when you don’t.
The emotional attachments to other people’s avatars can be very real and intense. Meeting someone at a bar in Second Life or through online friends is just as exhilarating there as it is in real life. The sexual attraction to someone can be instantaneous or build over time. There is any kind of sensual pleasure you can imagine in Second Life. Some people choose to have avatars who are beautiful tigers that lay around in a pack and talk to each other, snooze and preen. I know lairs of dragons and clubs of Shemales. In Second Life there is an adult section, a teen part and a general part, but when I joined in 2006 everything was blended together.
Back in 2006, when I started, casinos were legal in Second Life and so many people were at those sites they would crash the sims. There are still plenty of game areas and there are simulated warrior battles too. There is a strong vampire community in Second Life and many Gorean based groups. The Steampunkers are an imaginative bunch and I love to play with the mermaids and explore their underwater sites.
I’m Quitting Writing to Become a Stripper
Yeah, right. However, not long ago a male acquaintance suggested I do just that. This really blows my mind because he was the second person to do this in the last year. I am and have always been fairly conservative, kept to myself and not any type of exhibitionist so what is it that makes them say such things?
Well the first time this was suggested to me, I was still doing okay writing but not in the eyes of my friend’s boyfriend who said it. “You should become a stripper. You have the body for it.” I got mad at him. He didn’t understand why. He thought it was a compliment. I guess as a concerned friend, he thought it could really help pay my bills…
The second time it was said to me by a person who’s formal education exceeds my own. He is obviously a moron, though. Money nor degrees can do anything about that… ” You should become a stripper and write about it.”
If you haven’t yet seen it, please check out my article on HuffPost about Thomas Kinkade,
Painter of Light, Dead at 54 on The Huffington Post.
On Friday April 6th, famous “painter of light” Thomas Kinkade died. Kinkade is known not only for his beautifully cheerful paintings but his strong faith and belief in Christianity. Within many of his paintings, he hid the names of his family members as well as Christian messages and symbolism such as the fish that he painted under his every signature. His nickname, “painter of light,” is likely a reference to the Renaissance; the era where the techniques of point of view and specifically light and shadow depiction were technically developed and perfected. In this era, the technique chiaroscuro was born. Chiaroscuro is a technique that utilizes light and dark shades and shadows to create realistic depth through usage of these various contrasting tonalities. The discovery of this way of painting light and shadow was drastic in comparison to the Byzantine style used throughout the middle ages.
Most artists in this country are greatly under-appreciated. When I refer to most artists, I am not talking about the musicians and actors who are bringing home multimillion dollar paychecks each year. No. I’m talking about the artists who are barely getting by and if they’re lucky, still living in their parent’s basements. These artists are hanging onto their last thread of identity, uselessly dragging their fingernails through the sand as the undertow of conformity threatens to pull them in at any moment. They are almost drowning, almost. They are tired. Tired of rejection, tired of trying, and most of all tired of fighting the culture of conformity; an entity that berates their life’s choices at every opportunity. Most give up, some drown, but a small percentage hang in there, hoping that each new day might be the day that they get their big break.
The pressure to conform is immense. It does not just come from “well-meaning” friends and family who think the solution to the artist’s problems is to get a regular 9-to-5 like everybody else. These people do not understand the call the artist is pursuing to begin with. What they’ve noticed is that the artist in their life is struggling; that they don’t have health insurance and barely enough money to pay for gas. In their eyes, these dilemmas are reason enough for the artist to give up on their unrealistic pursuit, their dream, and get a real job. And they view the artistic pursuit as just that: a dream. To them, the artist’s goal of sharing their art with the world is an unattainable fantasy.
“Look, I want to be honest and real with you because you deserve it sweetie… I am attracted to you and yes I want you to be mine one day if God is willing, babygirl. My wife and I would love to get to know you sweetie… You are a beautiful woman and getting to know you would be a pleasure. We, as a married couple, are seeking to have a committed serious relationship that could lead to family and children one day. We want to be upfront and real with a fine sexy beautiful goddess like yourself, sweetie, and by the way, we are new to this also, so hit us up when you have a chance ok. Take care babygirl!”
This is by far one of the oddest messages I have received via my online dating profile. Through the years, however, I have encountered many swingers. For a long time I was a waitress at a sushi bar and during that time I saw some of the craziest stuff and met some of the craziest people- these people, of course, included swingers. There was the nude photographer who offered me $50 an hour to sell my soul (aka to pose nude for his smut photography). “Well, you’re just a waitress,” he assumed, “I’m sure you could use the extra money.” As if! This self-proclaimed “photographer” was a married man and often visited the restaurant accompanied by two other couples and his wife. They invited me to join in their “after dinner festivities” several times. I flirted with them to up my tip, but would never ever participate in an orgy (and if I did, they would certainly be my last choice of partners).
This recent message from the married couple online, wouldn’t be the first message I’ve received from a couple on the dating site that inquired about some type of group sex/ relationship arrangement. The first was from a guy who had a girlfriend but was seeking a threesome. The first time he messaged me he was upfront. The second time he messaged me, his profile no longer mentioned that he was in a relationship. I envisioned that he still was with the girl and that meeting up with him would inevitably get me jumped and possibly murdered by them both. I promptly ignored his message just like I am going to ignore the one from the married couple who wants to make their couple into a triple (that could possibly lead to “a committed serious relationship that could lead to family and children one day”).
This reminds me of the time I almost joined a commune. When I lived in Arizona, one of my best friends, who also happens to be a mega-Christian sorority girl, brought me to a place called Arcosanti. Because of my friend’s extremely conservative background, I never suspected that anything at Arcosanti was awry, being a devout Christian, she would die before she went against her Bible-given principles.
Arcosanti is an art commune of sorts that focuses on building an Earth friendly society with urban planning that focuses on sustainability (architecture that goes along with the grain of the terrain rather than dominate it). From what I gather, it is an independent community that self-governs and self-regulates (such as the Vatican). The place is gorgeous and built within the desert in a way that doesn’t seem to alter the land as it reaches towards Arcosanti’s goal of a sustainable environment.
Arcosanti Panoramic View
There are some who might say that I have had way too many sexual partners in my life. I have been tested and do not have any STD’s, yet I know I have taken chances. I think it has been a rather normal progression of people in my life and I like to think I have played it safe. I look back at the journals I wrote during those times and I wonder what I was thinking. I know I was imagining that this was the way to love. My journey and documenting the stops continue to this day and I feel close to some personal truths. My path is not for everyone but I don’t regret my life.
I had been divorced after twenty five years because the sex was terrible. That really was the bottom line in addition to religious, personality and astrological differences. So when I was free I went looking. I actually found an affair while I was still married. The Internet swept me into a world that still intrigues me. Bruce was my first fellow and he gave me the kisses I was missing. My ex is still a fine friend but I needed more. I found it and never looked back.
Filed under Addiction, Art, Dating, Destiny, Dreams, Heart, Love, Passion, relationships, Sex, Uncategorized, Writing
Note: This is an article I am writing for a fellow blogger, Sharon Nesbit-Davis’ blog. She works and blogs for the Rockford Arts Council of Rockford, Illinois.
I had only been on Etsy for a little while when I decided I was going to delete my site- demolish it, actually, like a wrecking ball to a dilapidated building. You see, I’d been on there for almost 3 months and hadn’t sold anything. Etsy is an online marketplace where artists can sell their goods. With sites like Etsy, long gone are the days where artists and artisans had to lend their goods out to shops and galleries on consignment to make a sale; a sale which sometimes costs the artist up to 50% of their sales revenue per item sold.
My family and I visited Salem, Massachusetts a lot when I was younger. There was this store on the corner of the main street that I always admired. Not only did it sell paintings and photography but a variety of colorful and unique home goods, really cool dishes, and a lot of handmade stuff. When the store was quiet, you could see the owner putting craft projects together and working on paintings at a little workstation in the center of the room. Sometimes she even had her baby with her cooing in the baby carrier slung across her back. I thought it was the coolest thing ever: to be able to do what you love in that capacity.
I wanted to one day have a store like this, a store where I could showcase and sell all my jewelry and paintings; things that otherwise sat untouched in boxes in my bedroom. I always wondered though, how would I ever be able to pay for such a thing. Rent wasn’t cheap especially for commercial space. Again with places like Etsy, what used to be a necessary overhead costs were now almost gone. No more overhead- well not no more overhead, but certainly no more overhead at those prices.
Emmanuel, Mary, Artstrong 2012
Emmanuel Fremin doesn’t leave things up to chance, he doesn’t believe in it. Hard work and vision are the principles that have brought both him and his partner, Mary Nguyen, success. Emmanuel and Mary are the owners of the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in Chelsea New York but they haven’t stopped there.
Current exhibition at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, Giuseppe Mastromatteo's "Indepensense"
Starting out small, they sold art from Emmanuel’s apartment, but the business quickly expanded, and as a result, they needed to find an appropriate gallery space to conduct their work. Dealing art wasn’t such a big jump for them; they were already working in creative fields. Emmanuel began his career posing for artist Michel Giliberti and then became an Elite model. Mary started her career as a chef and continued her innovative creations by perfecting her Vietnamese spicy peanut sauce, Saigoniste, the “Official Food of the Art World,” which has since been showcased in events such as Red Dot and Art Asia.