Friday, December 20, 2013
Black Cat in a White Cage
I began this blog talking about gender and sexual politics. I was in affiliation with Liverpool and the project Transvoyeur, a cultural initiative in liaison with Liverpool and New York. The early 2000's had given way to that very subject matter given the time before when Camille Paglia and Naomi Wolfe were on the forefront. Women were at an advantage. They made their convictions felt in politics and pop culture. The artist and the muse took on a different meaning. The artist became a pornographer and the muse a sex muse. The transformation brought in question the body of the female, whether it was an object the artist drew from (literally and figuratively) or a canvas the artist was free to manipulate. Women were empowered. There was a great proclamation in fashion and the sex industry. The business of sex grew to a fascination on the internet. What began as girl power became woman domination.
Somewhat compelled, I took on the drive to define myself politically as a man, lover and artist. My thoughts revolved around perceptions in the art world, topical issues and how I responded to them. The animal that was the artist lived and breathed in me. Circumstances surrounding my living situations gave way to my critiques. I inhabited an area in New York known as Washington Heights, a place that subjected itself to criminal behavior and drug culture. These circumstances made their way into my home. I lived with ruthless roommates who were into that type of behavior. And so I was on the edge most of the time. It fed into my artist concept, more or less the tortured artist.
Transvoyeur met its end with our Gender, Space, Art and Architecture project. I had discovered Facebook which took my attention away from keeping this blog. The internal struggle was great, dealing with street culture and maintaining a philosophical blog. Indeed more or less having a home and a place to live was the quagmire. That was my problem and these were the people who shared apartments with me. Given the hellish moments and time spent I secured my talent as writer. Through Facebook I discovered Whitehot magazine which allowed me to do articles and interviews on some of the most interesting subjects in avant garde art and music and fashion.
I later moved to the East Village where I got a greater sense of art, the hipster culture and at the time a growing sense of entitlement among the youth living in the neighborhood. My living situation was the same. I couldn't afford an apartment of my own. So lived with the same crew of people. Those who barely managed and were streetwise and drug abusers. That was always the difference that separated me from the art crowd, the strain and edge in my life, the struggle to have inner peace, the stress at home. I was identifiable in this crowd as unique, perhaps strange abut likable. People were fond of me which lead to a relationship with a Brooklyn artist after many years of being chaste. This circle changed when I moved to Inwood, Upper Manhattan, due to the storm Sandy.
Currently living in Harlem, I am faced with black politics and black culture. In a way the streets reflect my internal world having lived the way I did for nine years. What makes me unique is that I have an acceptance of a white upbringing and fatefully brought into a black culture. As a black person I am currently confronting my black persona after decades of Euro/American philosophy and sexuality, a complex which makes me different from most because I absorbed what I learned through white circles but had the courage to confront myself as a black person.
It's an ongoing process where I'm less the animal of an artist but a thinker and writer recovering from years of torment, shook up and made to feel free now, accepting my past as an experience but willing to move on with my new persona, which is made up of experiences in a white world, currently I live in a black society.