Suzanne Mallouk interview in White Hot Magazine:
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Emancipation of Pussitraction
Kofi Fosu Forson
Emancipation of “pussitraction” (Live Skull, an NYC band reference) hadn’t been made official in anyway possible but it can be said rock and roll detonated any notion of the nuclear family and that when Marilyn Monroe in her white chiffon dress stood above the heating vent, feeling the air blow about her dress, doing everything to prevent the world from seeing her underwear or pubic curl, sex was reclassified.
Rock and roll, a Negro pronouncement for a sexual romp, evolved from the libidinal and adrenaline drive meant for occasions when the human condition is overcome by a sensation.
In modern terms this was influenced by liquor, drugs or rabblerousing. Mostly categorized by white men lynching blacks, Negroes at a juke joint…which later was translated into performances by people like Joe Turner, Little Richards and later Bill Haley and Elvis Presley, rock and roll was predominantly identified with masculinity.
Early girl groups provided a reprieve from male dominance in rock and roll. Women like Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Janis Joplin exuded the feminine example of rock and roll. A decade later found a new groove in disco music which alerted the public to the idea of free sex and drugs. Meanwhile, women such as Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Carol King gave a human alternative to the promiscuity and hedonism.
The corporate world fueled by power and dominance gave way to power and sexuality. In doing so, AIDS brought it all to a crash. And in a sense it was the unofficially last time casual sex was indeed casual. Safer sex resulted in the use of condoms and led to the discussion of condom brands and which one truly gave a sense of pleasure.
Much of this evolution has been chronicled in movies such as Blackboard Jungle, Porkies, The Last American Virgin and American Pie. Music therefore has served as a basis for this tradition and in doing so; rock and roll has undergone derivatives as punk, new wave and electronica.
Madonna set out to change the world and she did. Her brand of sexuality is a form of precociousness. It was never an outright damnation of virtuousness as was made livid by performers like Diamanda Galas and Lydia Lunch.
Gossip has always been in circulation since the beginning of time. It carried over to the lives of those in government and popular culture. In doing so images of illicit behavior, Rob Lowe’s video tape and Bill Clinton’s proclivities were made public. This in a sense was ironically the beginning of the evolution of the modern female.
Britney Spears was the voice of a new generation. There had always been women who were the faces of a movement…Angela Davis, Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, Lita Ford, Erikah Badu… What these women established was a sense of the new. It has carried over into how society views the celebrity.
The management of one’s sexuality has never been purified within four walls. Globally, manifestation and development of one’s sexual ego revolves around politics, pop culture and how the media procures it.
In this day and age virtual reality and life’s circumstance as in survival has inspired another way to interpret the act of coitus. The act itself forever will remain understandable as in that need to rock and roll.
Overtly, women have come from under and all fours to assume an empowered stance which infectiously has permeated their existences like opiate causing them to balance what then was masculine as ultimately fervency. This then refers to a feel for the conscience which can then be exploited in the physical and virtual aspect of sex.
In the modern anointment of sex, art and politics, there is however a new language. It calls for tolerance, inventiveness and maneuverability. Certainly much of this exists existentially. Embracing it as a matter of fact is to realize between both genders women illusively are in search of the tantric orgasm and that men are able and willing to serve.
As in the dwelling of the cave man, the act of sex once again is simply an act. What surrounds it is the fervor of love, money and fame.
think about the love thing
think about the sex thing
Monday, April 14, 2008
Artist as Celebrity
“Le Roi est Mort”
Kofi Fosu Forson
Warhol, le roi du sublime, master of self-promotion!
Before Diddy discovered Mary J. Andy reinvented The Velvet Underground. Some call it Chutzpah! Some brand it as cheeese! Warhol singularly changed the world.
Systematically, the programming of modern day entertainment has paid homage to his prediction of fame and celebrity. That indeed everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. This is the very sentiment branded those with integrity to others who have none.
Andy Warhol is known to many as an artist, way before his role as an entrepreneur. His manner of governing stemmed from his will to command and control the operation of art which for most people was separated between art as business and fanfare.
Artists have never been given an accredited role in self-marketing. They mostly depended on others, agents, who had more power and influential roles. This can be found in all sources of entertainment.
Art, in all its obscure interpretations, makes it difficult to propel a commercial evaluation and therefore be grounded as saleable. Andy Warhol minimized that strain by using a language best defined as pompous, clever, charming and sophisticated to win over a circle of those who followed him and helped establish a new form of promoting the individual as the work of art.
He predicted that the artist would become rock star. Seemingly, this had happened with David Bowie’s emergence as Ziggy Stardust. However in the 1980’s given the notion of diversification among the classes with the two most prominent circumstances being the establishing of the yuppie along with the cultural movement in the East Village of New York, the artist both as writer and painter, filmmaker, fashion designer… saw a heightened success in people like Jean Michel Basquiat, Jay Maclnerny, Susan Sidelman among others.
Those who followed in a form of imitation like Michael Ricardo Andreev and Vincent Gallo were prone to the hustle, name dropping and the occasional photo op. Where as these artists have made their way through the art world having gained popularity and respectful success, they haven’t gained the level of rock star Andy Warhol had predicted.
Generations later found Damian Hirsch making the most for his art among any living artist. Chris Ofili confessed to his use of dung in the creative process, setting off a discussion as to what is art. And TAFA, a local Ghanaian artist made an attempt to catch lightning in a bucket with his painting “Binladin as Christ.” It was an example how through the decades past works of art like “Piss Christ” set off a trend.
In the modern day art market, the artist finds a knack for promotion through a personal website, myspace or Youtube. Overall the internet affords the artist a way to entice the general public. Unfortunately this comes with a banality as to who is king or crucified.
Unofficially, the king is dead.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Kofi Fosu Forson
Love in stereo meets the demand of transcendence. As a plural text it lends itself to constant interpretation within what is philosophical, hyper- and virtual.
Medium of music is by far representative as a means where construct and scheme come together at the great divide best expressed when two lovers meet. King Pleasure singing Moody’s Mood for Love is a clear example.
In a love song the literal text supposes a condition made familiar in lyrics. The aforementioned song is an example of utter deliriousness due to throes of love. Ecstatic feeling of love is also found in sensations due to use of illegal drugs. Somehow pleasure from lovemaking is irreplaceable.
Umberto Eco’s claim that “lovemaking for all its pleasures alone is stupid…” is somewhat misguided. Lovemaking is the most complete form of language between two partners. If conducted at its most heightened probability it accentuates all that is definitive between both lovers, made understandable as text.
Hence it is not lovemaking and its pleasures that is stupid. Fucking would suggest a more animalistic approach making it free from the communicative label found in lovemaking. The distinction between the two would present a different supposition within the language used in Eco’s statement.
In this our dramatic age of fanaticism, not much is left up to the imagination. There is a balancing among those who favor vehemence and others who approach life with an illimitable conscience.
The sexual conscience therefore enables a variety of plural texts rendered in hyper-reality as video, fantasy or photographs.
In virtual reality one comes upon a series of photographs of a lovely Romanian woman wearing a black dress at times standing almost on her toes and often reclining, enjoying her very own beauty and reveling in the velvetiness of the room.
After several exchanges of text on the theories of chiromantic and axiomatic art and with time elapsing, unexpectedly the conscience is awakened to visions of this woman, retelling in a caption of photographs her history as that woman in black dress lounging about a velvet room.
Virtual reality allows for that continuous path on which the mind concurs with reality the truth as it manifests as collection of images from memory. In fantasy, subjects of interest carry over as film which runs unedited up until a natural conclusion.
Miraculously, dialogue within is effortless, not cliché as pornographic, rather of circumstance and non-parody. Incorporating the act of sex is a matter of cut, edit and slow-motion. Otherwise as a source of Technicolor, one is able to fall into play with this as an afternoon matinee or late show.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
whitehot April 2007, National Black Fine Arts Show
The National Black Fine Arts Show, an annual event, showcasing art work by African-American and African artists opened at The Puck Building on February 14 to 17 in Soho, New York. In 1997, Josh Wainwright, founder and producer, launched the first National Black Fine Art Show.
National Black Fine Arts Show
Commodity / Anomaly
By Kofi Forson
Art fairs in general promote a decidedly understandable conclusion which is to make money from varying displays of art work. In doing so, the greatest calculation isn’t in accentuating art as philosophy or establishing semiotic relevance made applicable throughout art history.
The National Black Fine Arts Show, an annual event, showcasing art work by African-American and African artists opened at The Puck Building on February 14 – 17 in Soho, New York. In 1997, Josh Wainwright, founder and producer, launched the first National Black Fine Art Show.
The distinction made here is the qualifying of this show as “black fine art.” Much criticism has befallen this art fair for decidedly calling itself “black.” What is the greater message? Black art has seen an upsurge in artists like Kara Walker, female black artist best known for exploring intersection of race, gender and sexuality through her silhouetted figures. This then differentiates language made definitive between what is perceptively “black art” and art made by black artists.
National Black Fine Arts Show is therefore not responsible for claiming an influence on the fluctuation of black art outside of the gallery system and the marketing of those who are today’s or tomorrow’s black artists as heroes. However, its ultimate purpose is to educate the general public on translation of black history into fine art. Much of this was achieved with dedication and respect. The overall experience was worth a lesson and outright education.
The purpose once again was not in evaluating black art as current and modern. What is black art? Is it the assertion of art with particular attention given to images from black history, experience or culture? Knowingly a black artist who makes art can be viewed as black artist but the posting of “black art” has no merit.
In defining these works of art as commodity, it is representational to market them as black. Some galleries featured here were managed by white business men, Seth Taffae Fine Art and Dolan Maxwell Fine Art among them. They have indeed realized the profit made from selling what once again is “black art.”
Overall, art as business was truly the purpose of the show.It is accepted that in such a white realm of existence, art is territory claimed by mostly white men and women. For the black artist to succeed, he or she had to work up the ladder of influential dealers and galleries. Majority of galleries in the show were managed by blacks. It neither speaks on their proverbial role as curators and organizers in the gallery business nor does it exclude them overall as gallery owners.
These galleries represent their artists and their art professionally. National Black Fine Arts Show is a chance for them to introduce the art and artist. Hearne Fine Art, Little Rock, Arkansas, represents TAFA, a Ghanaian artist. He uses a technique whereby he applies color onto surface with palette knife. It gives off brilliant texture with sensational colors as in the paintings, “To Each an Inner Light” and “Freedom Drums.”
Labeling these works of art “black” fails to redeem experiences of artists who cultivate their craft through means recognized among those considered international. Dianne Smith is an abstract artist whose work has acquired a minimalist approach, unlike the majority of work assembled at the show which mostly impressed with multiplicity of colors.
Within an overwhelming space structured to include art works made primarily by black artists, National Black Fine Arts Show gave an insight to black culture, made discernible by intensely defined works of art, paintings, photographs and sculptures.
Indeed it was a celebration of black history. To then have made profit benefited both the galleries and artists respectively. The art-going public would define for itself the experience as shopping for art or marking a transcendental occasion among what simply serves as an art fair.
Kofi Forson is a writer in New York Citymailto:firstname.lastname@example.org