Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Elitism in Art Fashion Music Sex
Language and Cultural Expansion

Kofi Fosu Forson

Language has always belonged to the elite. Now that the world is expanding... Elitism is a self defeatist proposition.

F Scott Fitzgerald for me was a passage way into the future. It brought an awareness in literature much the way bebop did for music. Our world experienced a transatlantic interaction based on conscience. Intellectual light traveled faster based on the populace seeking knowledge and diversity in these works of literature. There was a stark honesty and beauty that fell from these pages into their minds. 

The carry over was quite amazing as American authors of this time encouraged such a brilliant use of language as seen in novels by Hemingway and Faulkner. 

Those who followed whether Henry Miller, Norman Mailer or William Burroughs and The Beat Generation were driven by their egos. This had a lot to do with marketing of pop culture idols and Hollywood marquee stars. Works of literature at this time was also influenced by sex and drugs.

Marketing of poets such as Allen Gingsburg Robert Lowell and Wallace Stevens brought a sense of human experience to  literature. Time when a cause and concern was more revolutionary. Therefore these words written were academic but took on a tone of lessons from the human condition. 

They became exemplary in what followed from photography to music fashion art and sex. Life on the street influenced much of what was being said in boardrooms offices and art galleries. 

As far as women and photography there was Diane Arbus and later with Nan Goldin. The energy driven from these works of art were examples of a street conscience which became the hip hop culture and late 70's to 80's cable porn where pornographers like Al Goldstein and UGLY GEORGE more so than Larry Flynt were encouraging the word "smut."

The 90's as a HOT Decade brought a sense of disillusionment much of this perhaps was taken from rediscovery of heroin as a recreational drug, post AIDS orgiastic euphoria, gangsta violence, death of celebrated artists as author Kathy Acker and rocker Kurt Cobain. This decade also provided us with a post feminist movement in writers like Camille Paglia Naomi Wolfe. 

Jenny Shimizu spearheaded the androgyny/lesbian model movement which changed the world. Fetish photography was big at this point. Transcended the element of high fashion with an underground sense of sexual behavior relating back to Masoch's Venus in Furs. This for the most part was pre internet porn.

Internet porn was a combustion which still to this day doesn't make sense. But culturally it gives the people what they want. 

Elitism and academia was a form of abstraction. Keep cultures confined. Through time we have experienced an expansion. How do we safeguard intellect from brutality. 

The 90's were about a heightened conscience which paved way for technology.

We don't think for ourselves it seems.

We just react.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The New Now
Why and What if People Never Made Art

Kofi Fosu Forson

Art has been a part of my ideology and lineage seeing that my mother's side of the family The Telfers are extraordinary in their talent from music to theater and painting to the culinary arts. My father a well served journalist met my mother while she was a corporate writer. Certainly my writing ability stems from my mother and father.

Displacement is a word I have had to keep close to my conscience although I became aware of it and its relevance when I collaborated with Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney artist and philosopher from England on a project called Gender Space Art and Architecture where I worked in a virtual setting with another displaced artist living in England while I resided in New York.

This enduring process helped me understand much about my lineage and yes displacement from Accra,  Ghana as my mother moved me and my brothers here to New York when I was ten. I have memories of Ghana but I don't own any center or relevance to the country in terms of philosophy or politics of language.
The project includes a video recording where I talk about this deficiency. Overall the project helped me come to an understanding that I am not rooted in many things central to what many do. Yes there are many displaced artists from different places around the world. Seemingly our experiences are similar. The differences becomes the innateness of my background reaching further into my Dutch lineage, thereby making it clear to me my virtual interaction with Miss Sweeney which dealt with many of this a subject makes a person unique given his or her relevance to others in life art, sex and politics.

Circumstantially I was never well received by the African Americans when I first moved to New York. Their immediate reaction was that I was different. They continued to pick on this fact. Those who were kind enough to express a friendship were Puerto Ricans, Whites and Black Americans who liked me for who I seemed to be. Further on in life Black Americans never became true friends of mine. Our relationships were artificial. Memories of highschool where I started a friendship with a black girl embarrassed myself one afternoon when I walked by too nervous to talk as her friends taunted me. At this point in my life my classmates were listening to early rap I listened to New Wave so there was always a division.

Post Basquiat the art world music as well was culturally and politically different. Blacks who were knowing of Basquiat did so for artificial reasons just as Warhol brought an artificial element to art. I have seen some of these black artists recently and from the past decade or so. Clear to me many of them are in it for the fame but on a neutral ground the attention amount of money and attraction from women. Many of them approach it as make art get money get laid. It is not clear to me what levels of philosophy these black artists bring to their art. Well understood that they are educated and articulate cleverly, it always comes across to me or at least they give off an impression of having had a street cultural background. The word "street" quote/unquote.

Interesting in this Obama second term to come art world how we see the privileged bandy about from galleries to parties without a clever or particular conscience of who they are and what they are doing. Seemingly the cult or persona of the person seems to be lost. It is not clear to me why people make art if not for making appearances.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Me with Brooklyn raised New York City artist Dianne Bowen.

 Film Still : Steven Lane

Please click on the following link for my interview with New York City, Queens raised muralist, painter, and writer Gregory de la Haba.