Monday, February 26, 2007

Black Market Kokoschka
Kofi Fosu Forson

If the urban male were a painting, what would he be?

It’s not enough for a pugilist to spend twenty four hours in the gym (boxing ring)…he would still find it in himself to plug a woman, buy some shirts, read the headlines, have a drink, take the subway, hail a cab, talk sports, women, politics… He doesn’t if he’s employed. He then has to make money at something before he makes the refrain towards skiing, gambling or the beach.

The urban male is in love with himself. There are enough products on the market to keep him honest.

It is not women who profess to be ballsy. They could care less. All they need to do is look pretty. Most men would prefer a beautiful woman to a thinking woman. The wish to have both intellect and looks in a woman is an ongoing fantasy in men which precludes the constant need to be with the so called “easy girl.”

Intellect per average in a man borders information acquired from the media and the need to expound. There are those who went to school and are in order with the ability to intellectualize. As for the order of the day, the urban male will always have an opinion from the televised games from the night before to the woman walking by.

The urban male’s choice of vernacular is heavy in machismo. There’s the common insertion of profanity to the cocksure demeanor. All in all, everything is dependent upon the weight of the balls and cock and the secured peculiar intelligence about things most women would find uninteresting.

The common man in any major city is a very interesting animal. He has a unique sense of fashion, whether it’s acquired from men’s magazine or to what he would personally deem attractive to himself. Men dress for themselves. Unlike women, they don’t pay any particular attention to what the opposing gender thinks.

There’s the eighties cool blazer, tee-shirt, jeans and sneakers look. The shirt collar over lapping the blazer is usually featured at night by men who are or want to appear sophisticated. A tee-shirt and jeans is an everyday thing. A full-fledged suit is the mark of success. A hat, cowboy or cap, leather, belt, shoes…are all accessories pertinent to each man.

Health is important to the urban male. He usually works out, jogs or walks. In the modern age, he is careful about intake of fat, cholesterol and sugar. He drinks…everything from whiskey, beer to coffee and water, bubbly or plain.

As an urban male, he has a taste for the finer things in life, from restaurants to exclusive clubs but also the urban male seeks out pleasure in dance clubs and dining facilities in outer boroughs. He reads…newspapers, novels, text books, personal diaries… He’s very much an informed person.

What differentiates the urban male from the men in high society is that the mustard stain on the suit of the man with the seven figure salary could be auctioned off as a piece of art. An urban male with a mustard stain on his suit is running, helplessly running to the Laundromat.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cabeza de Gorila
Postmodern African Male

Kofi Fosu Forson

Head of a Gorilla is a mask, figuratively, worn by the African in the postmodern world.

The African has come from the post colonialist world, from Nkrumah to Annan. Conscientiously, he is no longer fetching water with a pail. Given the plight of third world countries governed by policies that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, the African will be confronted with certainties pertaining to the overall perception of Africa as a troubled continent.

In the Western World, the African is a fashion designer, novelist, fashion model and a host of professionals in the world of business, medicine and journalism. How does this translate to the establishing of the African in the postmodern world when people still think of Africa as only war torn, diseased and poor?

Therefore what is the language that links the African to the postmodern, ridding himself of torture and turbulence? Language not in the native tongue but as in philosophy will imbibe all that is culture, education and universal love, bringing together the African with the international means of self-involvement, political awareness and overall intelligence.

By what means is the African postmodern? Wole Soyinka has won the Noble Peace Prize for literature. Kofi Annan has followed suit as a recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize.

These the children of Nkrumah have established what was then and is now the reckoning of the African as an individual capable of channeling his ideas within international borders through art and politics.

As a postmodern individual, the common strain the African will find himself accepting is the duel between art and politics, business and medicine. It is accepted that the child of African parents is almost always forced into business and medicine. What art and politics become is an awareness of a different means of expression. That language as a profound idea helps define the African as a thinker, a philosopher of sorts, capable of uniting the minds of a people, broadened by the ability to manifest, from the civil gentleman to a pioneer.

How does the African manifest to postmodernist status? The postmodern is a means of articulation through a philosophical language. This form of language allows for interpretation, evaluation, conceptualization or any thought process that gives weight to the idea and not the “thing” that which is being analyzed.

Given the diversity of culture in the Western World, the African is prone to certain philosophies. At times there’s confusion. Identity singularly becomes a problem. It’s not a matter of race but philosophy. It starts with a generalized form of education. Once lifestyle and a continuance in accepting new philosophies are applied, the African is forced to become something other than who he is.

It’s then important for the African to form a foundation. This is governed by an understanding of heritage and identity pertaining to place of birth or relevance to parentage.

The African, given a place of birth and inclusion of a foreign identity, never loses the connection with his culture of origin if he continues to fuel the basics. This includes the vernacular which defines his people and respect for the origin of his lineage. Africans are defined by their spirit. It’s very recognizable, rooted in a combination of freedom, victory and an incessant sorrowful peace.

The African male as postmodernist, given his influence due to education and an introduction to foreign philosophies and culture, is still able to maintain his roots in his country of origin. Despite the influx of different ideas that permeate the psyche, the African male clues in on his innate conscience.

He’s at once American but in truth, he’s African. This is an example of a person who identifies with many cultures but one form of existence is truly internalized and defines them wholesomely.

Cabeza de Gorila is a mask the African Male wears, figuratively, to distinguish him as black in a world of European and white American influences.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Celibacy or Death

Kofi Fosu Forson

Who is to suppose the slave from the master? By definition, squatting on all fours to receive begets the role of the victim. Is the slave then always subservient? Does he/she possess prowess of any kind?

A rope or chain around the neck, bound to a chair, whip to flesh would suggest forms of sadomasochism. How then as language is it played out in the professional arena, be it with relevance to an employer and an employee, an artist and a muse, a director and an actress or a painter and a model.

Can the employer of a business ever be considered an SM mistress? The language of SM needs the master and the slave. In a room of many only two will speak that very particular language. Given the role of the employer, the employee will round off the game, set and match.

At first glance, they are mere sub forms of an existence. The employer looks at the employee with hunger. It is however expressed by the wetness of the eyes, the dryness of the mouth, pinching of their very own skin or undecided coughing. The employee remains sturdy like a mattress or mannequin. In saying good-bye, there’s either an official handshake or a desperate smile. This is not a matter of sexual harassment. It’s a matter of conviction.

How and when does she attack? Is it a form of reproachfulness or seduction? Is it clear by the threads bare that she is willing? He is aware but chooses not to come forth. She stands before him ready and willing. Does he claim this woman as his own or is she a wanton mistress? Clearly she wants to be manhandled. What chances does he have of maintaining his role as an employee and satisfying her innermost desires?

Their roles are never the same. The employer with her dominance replete with language formulated in choice of clothing, (less is more) cleavage, derriere, should find it in herself to feast on the impartial victory of an employee who preferred innocence on a day when he had to choose between the future and immediate sexual satisfaction.

Celibacy is a shield. Chastity is meant to cleanse the mind, body and spirit. Those who engage in it are at an arm’s length away from disappointing themselves. To them, those who are men, there isn’t a clear and logical path to take with women. What then is the conclusion when one is heterosexual?

Why death? It’s more so dependent on the circumstances one finds himself in. Karma and the psyche are very much involved. If a person is to say he attracts the very same kind of illicit women then it might be understood why he chooses celibacy. It isn’t permanent. It’s evaluated as temporary, if at that. Somehow, celibacy is an element lived in the moment. People aren’t celibate for life or are they?

Celibacy or death…Death isn’t what he desires but alarmingly it strengthens his opinion on celibacy and the liberal method with which men approach women. Celibacy or death is a political statement. More so, it’s a reaction to a current society where unscrupulous behavior is warranted. Sex to him is a philosophy. Fornication is a means to an end. Celibacy isn’t the end all be all. Certainly death is not equated.

There’s an overwhelming belief that in this the modern age, some women exist above the parameters of what is viewed as modern. Money and sex is power, leaving room for the postmodern, intellect and love.

Using the set up of a situation involving the slave and master in this circumstance presupposes the kind of subtext found in the postmodernist game of love. That it isn’t the subtext, rather it’s the decision made in the moment and time.

Does an artist seduce a muse after he has been seduced by her? How does a director carry on after he is made subservient by an actress who teaches him a brand new philosophy? Can an artist paint a model who is bent on conjuring her sexual stigma each time they meet?

In the art game one plays a lesser role. The artist is victimless unless he opens himself up to the general public. Then he subjects himself/herself to the wondrous elements of pricing the art, agents, critics and the mass media. One supposes the role of a master and a slave, teacher and student, mentor and protégé. When these roles interchange, it presents a problem. Does one bite the hand that feeds? Accounting for celibacy helps reform whatever ills remain prevalent, at first sexual but then moral.

If an artist seduces a muse, the notion must be that there is some sense of mutuality. Perhaps not, when she reveals a weakness, an illness, a disease…

Celibacy is a crown which doesn’t foresee a life-long relevance. It’s in the existence, hovering over any involvement with sex and morality. To give in to fornication isn’t the sin, more so one’s interpretation. Judging by the women one attracts it becomes a sense of morality.

To have sex or not..? That is the supposition.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Model: Grainne Coen

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Model:
Ambition versus Neurosis
Kofi Fosu Forson

If foundation forms a balance between the body and one’s existence, what then is the circumstance that defines the model?

The model is a figure, a solid human form that allows many artists to aspire in the creation of sculptures, paintings and photographs. It is not without a syndrome. Models are people. They have lives which border family, friends…the future. In this case, their physicality is their main asset.

In the world of art, models vary in sizes. They stretch from a Lucien Freud model, overweight with girth to the average bodies of both men and women in contemporary nudes. Fashion models tend to be thin. This serves as a relevance to the mannequin. These models promote a sale. In the contemporary world of modeling, they have been given a personality. Some have gone as far to be known as “super models.”

Certain artists are known for their particular use of models, Stieglitz and O’keefe, Beecroft and her study of the model as subtly pornographic, not to evoke flesh tempestuously but to combine images of the flesh with fashion, definable as high and low art. Mapplethorpe showcased a seemingly homo-erotic nature. Richard Kern favors the common, everyday model given an erotic touch.

Models when photographed are definable by a pose. This is applicable to the language shared between the photographer and the model.

What is the model’s ultimate ambition? There are models who become actors, performers, singers… Rosie Vela was known as a model from the 1980’s. She promptly recorded an album titled “Zazu.” Paris Hilton, a personality in the modern age has done the very same thing. Models are quick to realize that modeling is a short life span.

Modeling also comes with a form of neurosis. Is it beauty the general public seeks? Are they, the models, worth more than just their body and flesh? How does one deal with addiction to drugs? Can the model ever prove her intelligence beyond taking her clothes off?

The neurosis that defines most models is the balance between ambition and perfection. What the model struggles with is her continuous attempt to be perfect.