Tag Archives: Painting

Artist Feature: Basilia Guadalupe

Basilia Guadalupe

Creo que el arte, la pintura en este caso, es una forma de entablar un diálogo no sólo con uno mismo sino también con la vida misma. Es un diálogo para mí ya que no podría afirmar que uno puede dar una respuesta cerrada haciendo arte, es más bien un diálogo eterno.

I believe that art and painting, in this case, is a way to initiate dialogue, not just within oneself but also with life itself. This is an ongoing dialogue, and I would say that one cannot really give a closed (or final) answer concerning art.

– Basilia Guadalupe

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicas, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

BG: Vengo de una provincia del nordeste Argentino que se llama Corrientes. Nací ahí pero a los pocos días de nacer nos fuimos a vivir con mi familia a España. Mis primeros cinco años fueron allí y luego volví a vivir a Corrientes. Hace cinco años vivo en Buenos Aires y Ahora estoy en el Sillón de mi casa en el barrio San Isidro.

BG: I’m from a province in the northwest of Argentina called Corrientes. I was born there and shortly after I moved with my family to Spain. I spent my first 5 years of life there and then moved back to Corrientes. I returned to Buenos Aires 5 years ago where I’m currently sitting on the sofa in my house in San Isidro.

Que quieren decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para ti?

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

BG: Quiere decir dar una respuesta desde el lugar en el mundo donde uno se para y encara la vida. Una respuesta desde la visión del mundo que uno tiene.

BG: This means to give a response from the place one stops and faces the world. A response from one’s point of view of the world.

Basilia Guadalupe

Cómo se mete tu arte en esta definición?

How does your art fit into that definition?

BG: Creo que el arte, la pintura en este caso, es una forma de entablar un diálogo no sólo con uno mismo sino también con la vida misma. Es un diálogo para mí ya que no podría afirmar que uno puede dar una respuesta cerrada haciendo arte, es más bien un diálogo eterno. Kandinsky decía “Cada cuadro encierra misteriosamente toda una vida, toda una vida de muchos sufrimientos, dudas, horas de entusiasmo y de luz”. Yo creo que el arte que verdaderamente vale la pena mirar es aquel nos muestra casi sin querer toda esa energía de vida, toda la maravillosa complejidad de ser humanos. Creo que si en algún lado se cuela en mi arte la definición de reflexión y respuesta que dí es simplemente en el hecho de entrar en ese espacio de conexión donde se genera una reflexión sobre el mundo que quizás parezca que dura unos segundos pero continúa eternamente cuadro tras cuadro mientras intento dilucidar una respuesta.

BG: I believe that art and painting, in this case, is a way to initiate dialogue, not just within oneself but also with life itself. This is an ongoing dialogue, and I would say that one cannot really give a closed (or final) answer concerning art. As Kandisky said, “In every painting a whole is mysteriously enclosed, a whole life of tortures, doubts, of hours of enthusiasm and inspiration.” I believe that art that is really worth experiencing effortlessly depicts all that energy of life, all the complexity of human beings. If people hang up my art somewhere then my Reflection and Response is simply the fact that I’ve entered into that space of connection; (a place) where reflection about the world that seems to only last a few seconds but in reality continues forever (through) painting after painting (through which) I try to elucidate a response.

Basilia Guadalupe

Que más estás haciendo actualmente? Que proyectos estás pensando trabajar próximamente?

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Alivia Schaffer

Alivia Schaffer | Photo by Cheryl Mann

Alivia Schaffer | Photo by Cheryl Mann

I actually would prefer to use these words in their verb tense- reflect and respond, because of their less passive nature. When I see these words as action, I take more responsibility for creating a response versus responding how the masses may or in a way that is expected of me. With each of my reflections or responses, I am able to create another layer of connection between my work and the work of others, or between myself and the world around me.

– Alivia Schaffer

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AS: I grew up just Northwest of Chicago in Algonquin, IL. Now, I am living in Chicago and working with DanceWorks Chicago.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AS: Reflection and Response are two important parts of my everyday life. The two concepts really are what making work is all about. They are the process of taking the dry technique of an art form from mindless regurgitation, to a robust and personalized statement. The art I put out is always my reflection or response to something. I see others’ work and I shape opinions about it as my reflection, and then I notice what things I found successful or intriguing, compared with which parts I was put off by. From there I create my own work as my response, using my reflection from what I experienced. As an artist, I feel like the world has become my studio and space for constant reflection and response. I often just see everything around me as information. Yet, the information does me no good until it is responded to or reflected upon. I actually would prefer to use these words in their verb tense- reflect and respond, because of their less passive nature. When I see these words as action, I take more responsibility for creating a response versus responding how the masses may or in a way that is expected of me. With each of my reflections or responses, I am able to create another layer of connection between my work and the work of others, or between myself and the world around me. When I am genuinely utilizing reflection and response, I have no longer been simply going through the motions of life, but instead I am truly being present and listening to what’s around me and making a choice of how to propel forward from there.

Alivia Schaffer | colored pencil

Alivia Schaffer | colored pencil

Alivia Schaffer | colored pencil

Alivia Schaffer | colored pencil

  How does your work fit in with that definition?

AS: I prefer never to make work that is a narrative of my own life, but instead I aim to create work that acts as a platform or framework for dancers to find themselves in. In this method, my work asks dancers to do the reflecting and responding themselves. Thus leading them to connect with their fellow dancers, myself, their audience, and the world. My choreographic process feels much more like a conversation and constant exchange of responses between myself and the dancers, versus me as the hierarchy handing out instructions.

 What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

AS: I am proud to say that I just finished my first season working as a professional dancer with DanceWorks Chicago! We recently returned from performing at Spring to Dance, a dance festival in St. Louis. Next up for me will be choreographing a quartet for Dance in the Parks Chicago. This summer, I will also be teaching dance and visual arts classes at the Auditorium Theater’s Heart to Art Camp; a camp providing art outlets for children who are coping with the loss of one or both of their parents.

Alivia Schaffer | oil pastel

Alivia Schaffer | oil pastel

Alivia Schaffer | oil pastel

Alivia Schaffer | oil pastel

 Who or what inspires you?

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Artist Feature: Allison Spence

Allison Spence

What interested me most in those frames was how the video–the digital eye–reproduced them. A machine doesn’t have the same preconceived notions of what a body looks like. It doesn’t see it the same way we do, where in a confusion of limbs we always pick out what is intelligible to us.

– Allison Spence

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AS: I grew up in South Florida, but I very recently moved to Los Angeles, via San Diego where I attended graduate school. I swung from palm tree to palm tree.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AS: To me, Reflection refers to a kind of information processing; whether it is a mental reflection (memory) or the reflection on a surface of an image or group of images, say with a mirror. Either way, Reflection is affected by its medium—by the perception of that medium. One’s memory of an event, for instance, is influenced by their position (physical/emotional/political/etc.) within that event. Or, if you think of fun-house mirrors, the same applies. We laugh at the reflections in a fun-house mirror, or they disturb us, because they do not conform to the views we already hold of our own bodies. But I think all of these reflections hold a kind of truth, even if they are sometimes considered just pale imitations of what they reference. Who is to really say for sure, though?

I think Response fits snugly into Reflection in that it is born out of a similar type of processing. But Response comes from the sum of a number of reflections, or experiences. In other words, there’s math involved. But because of all the different variables, it is easier to think of Response as a closer measure of the subject than Reflection. Like this interview versus the picture of me it starts out with.

Allison Spence - mass 6

Allison Spence – mass 6

How does your work fit in with that definition?

AS: Well, a lot of the work that is pictured here is from a recent series of paintings, which used as its subject split-second frames from highly compressed Youtube videos. They’re bodies, groups of bodies. The specifics of who they are or what they are doing don’t really matter in the long run. What interested me most in those frames was how the video–the digital eye–reproduced them. A machine doesn’t have the same preconceived notions of what a body looks like. It doesn’t see it the same way we do, where in a confusion of limbs we always pick out what is intelligible to us. We will always see the arms, the legs. Machines don’t always do this, and instead they’ll reproduce the limited information that they are given, like colors, values…there’s less separation, the boundaries blur, become masses. I like to think that maybe the machine sees something that we cannot, that this kind of collapse happens sometimes. The idea fascinates me.

Allison Spence - Big Mass

Allison Spence – Big Mass

Then, of course, I reproduce these moments in paint, and I bring with it all of my own baggage, all of those painterly considerations, color theory, all that junk. It becomes twice removed from its source. I’m responding to a reflection, in a sense.

Allison Spence - mass 4

Allison Spence – mass 4

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Sydwox

Sydwox

Like “Indra’s Net” or a spider’s web full of dew drops, each dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops, in a game of infinite reflection, we are all connected. Response is the act that we’ve chosen, (whether physical, mental, or verbal) to communicate with one another.

– Sydwox

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

S: I go by my undocumented moniker Sydwox, but most of my artist friends call me Wox. I was raised on the central coast of California in a small surfer beach town called Los Osos. I currently reside in San Francisco, and have been in love with the Bay Area ever since I moved here in 2004. After studying visual effects for film at Gnomon (a Hollywood based private school), I turned my back on the digital world to pursue my true passion of painting surrealism and graffiti. Although I am constantly influenced by my technical background, there’s nothing better than getting your hands dirty and the fresh smell of tiny aerosol paint molecules colliding with the wall without permission. 🙂

Sydwox - Over Creation

Sydwox – Over Creation

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

S: Reflection for me means looking within oneself to find that we are all just one reflection of each other, beneath the surface differences, one organism revolving through space on this craft called Earth. Like “Indra’s Net” or a spider’s web full of dew drops, each dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops, in a game of infinite reflection, we are all connected. Response for me is the act that we’ve chosen, (whether physical, mental, or verbal) to communicate with one another. Using all our senses we perceive what exists outside ourselves and depending on how a particular vibration resonates within us we choose a way to answer to our perceptions.

Sydwox - DaVine Apprehension

Sydwox – DaVine Apprehension

How does your piece “DaVine Apprehension” fit in with that definition?

S: In “Davine Apprehension” a vandal barely escapes injury or arrest when his artistic depiction of nature comes alive and constrains the institutional enforcer trying to stop him. This piece for me was a fun way to reflect on several experiences I had dealing with the authorities for the way I chose to respond to social issues through public self expression or “street art.” The creation of this painting helped me release a lot of anger while making light of the age old game of cat & mouse.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

S: I just started working on my first canvas after a two year break where I focused entirely on murals and wheat pasting. I didn’t plan on taking this long of a break from my paint brush but I’m very excited to see what results from two years of built-up inspiration and life experience. Looking ahead, I’m working on a series painted entirely on rusted found objects and I am in the process of lining up several live-painting sessions at various venues in SF as well as a few music festivals in 2015.

Sydwox - SF Hands

Sydwox – SF Hands

Who or what inspires you?

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Artist Feature: Andréa Harris

Andréa Harris is a visual artist based in Seattle, Washington, who has also spent time in Washington State, Boston, Florida, and France – each of which has naturally impacted her artistic practice in different ways. Andrea describes Reflection and Response as an interaction between the artist and their work — with each entity active in the dialogue. Her work is a result of this ongoing conversation and she uses various mediums such as painting, photography, collage, digital video, and sculpture. Along with her words, Andréa presents specific pieces from her incredible collage and sculpture projects EXPERIENCING THE CENTURY and OUR EYES THAT ARE EVER MORE MY OWN. Peep the dialogue below and stay tuned for more exciting projects from her workshop!

Andréa Harris

Making work turns into a conversation between reflection and response — sometimes the artist is the one responding in the work, but other times the work talks back and makes its own demands to be heard.

– Andréa Harris

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AH: I am from the Pacific Northwest, and grew up in several towns near Tacoma, WA.

There is something to be said of place and creative work. Everywhere I’ve lived has had a specific head-space to it. It’s been easy to make work in some places, but nearly impossible in others. Having lived in Seattle, Boston, Sarasota (Florida), and three summers in South-West France, I have experienced a variety. However, I have yet to find the place I work best with.

Right now I’m in Seattle, WA. It’s the city I consider home. I have a feeling there are some explorations ahead of me though.

Andréa Harris - Experiencing Century 12

Andréa Harris – Experiencing The Century 12

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AH: As an artist and general introvert, the majority of my time is spent in reflection. Reflection isn’t a place of comfort. It is a place of unstable ground and a catalyst for change. Reflection is the foundation of Response, but the creation of work contains both. Making work turns into a conversation between reflection and response — sometimes the artist is the one responding in the work, but other times the work talks back and makes its own demands to be heard.

Andréa Harris - Experiencing Century 10

Andréa Harris – Experiencing The Century 10

How does your work fit in with that definition?

AH: The overarching concept I find myself fixated on is the idea that reality is malleable, fluid, and constantly created. I explore the flexibility of reality through: the relational boundaries between the body, consciousness, psychological states, ideologies, and perceptions of the self, the other, and the transcendental. My work operates in a space of questioning experiences and concepts. It is the product of reflection and response, the push and pull between the two. I enjoy working across disciplines, letting the concepts I’m working through dictate or have influence on whether I use painting, photography, collage, digital video, sculpture, etc.

Andréa Harris - Experiencing Century 01

Andréa Harris – Experiencing The Century 01

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

 

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Artist Feature: Elena Rosillo

Elena Rosillo muestra que el poder de los medios de comunicación nuevos se puede utilizar para dar a conocer los que tienen algo para decir. En su propio blog, The Rosillo’s Rover, ha escrito sobre el ocio Madrileño que le interesa y le parece que debe recibir más atención.  También aprende más sobre el oficio de investigación como parte del equipo que produce el diario Madrileño La Guía del Ocio mientras quiere seguir con su carrera universitaria con un doctorado. En la entrevista debajo aprendemos sobre el cruce del Reflexión y Respuesta y investigación, el mundo de creativos en que vive y escribe esta periodista Madrileña, y varios temas más.

Elena Rosillo demonstrates how the power of new communication technologies can be used to share and promote those who have something to say. In her personal blog The Rosillo’s Rover, Elena has written about events and nightlife in Madrid that are both interesting and deserving of more attention. She also continues to learn more about the craft of journalism as part of the Madrid-based lifestyle journal La Guía del Ocio while seeking to further her education with a PhD in the field. In the interview below we learn about the intersection of Reflection and Response, the world of creatives in which Elena lives and writes about, and several other topics.

Elena Rosillo

Mi reflexión acerca de aquello que me rodea y donde vivo es lo que me ha llevado, como respuesta, a hacer lo que hago y actuar como actúo. Se trata de un feedback con tus propias circunstancias e intereses, que también afecta a aquellos que me rodean.

My reflection involves things that happen around me, and where I live this has brought me, as a response, to do what I do and act how I act. [Reflection] serves as a “feedback loop” including one’s own circumstances and interests which, in turn, affects what surrounds them.

– Elena Rosillo

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicas, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

ER: Vengo de ese pedazo de la España en que nací, cuna del requiebro y del chotis. De Madrid, mi ciudad y la ciudad de mis padres y abuelos, y de aquellos con los que convivo y a los que retrato con mi trabajo.

ER: I come from this part of Spain, where I was born, [which is also] the birthplace of “requiebro y chotis”. From Madrid – my city, the city of my parents and grandparents, and of those with whom I live and those who I feature in my work.

Que quiere decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para ti?

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

ER: La reflexión forma una parte muy estrecha de mi personalidad. Todos mis amigos me dicen que pienso demasiado, aunque no creo que eso sea necesariamente algo malo. La respuesta es aquello que se consigue con la reflexión. Mi reflexión acerca de aquello que me rodea y donde vivo es lo que me ha llevado, como respuesta, a hacer lo que hago y actuar como actúo. Se trata de un feedback con tus propias circunstancias e intereses, que también afecta a aquellos que me rodean.

ER: Reflection forms a small part of my personality. All of my friends tell me that I think too much, although I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Response is what you achieve along with reflection. My reflection involves things that happen around me, and where I live this has brought me, as a response, to do what I do and act how I act. [Reflection] serves as a “feedback loop” including one’s own circumstances and interests which, in turn, affects what surrounds them.

Cómo se mete tu trabajo del blog en esta definición?

How does your work with your blog fit in with that definition?

ER: The Rosillo´s Rover es un blog de cultura y ocio alternativo en Madrid (y lo que surja, claro). Decidí crearlo a raíz de mi primera visita al famoso open mic de la Triskel Tavern (en Tribunal). Allí conocí a muchas personas que trabajaban y compartían su talento. Gran parte de esas personas jamás llegarán a ser retratadas en un medio de comunicación generalista. Pero eso no significa que carezcan de talento, ni que sean menos válidas que aquellas que sí aparecen en estos mismos medios. Más bien al contrario, en aquella ocasión creí ver una fuente de talento e ilusión (y amistad) que me hizo desear dar a conocer al mundo a estas personas.

ER: The Rosillo’s Rover is a blog about culture and alternative entertainment in Madrid (and whatever else might come up along with that, of course). I decided to start this blog as a result of my first visit to the famous Open Mic at Triskel Tavern (in Tribunal, Madrid). There I met a lot of people who were working and sharing their talent. Most of these people will never been featured in mainstream media, but that doesn’t mean that they lack talent, nor that they’re less valid than those that are in the media. On the contrary, they’re often much better, and at the time I believed I saw a wealth of talent and excitement (and friendship) that made me want to share these people [and their work] with the world.

ER: Esa fue mi reflexión, y mi respuesta vino con la creación del blog, con el objetivo de dar a conocer esa circunstancia, ese open mic. Tampoco quiero aparentar lo que no soy; mi blog es, simplemente, otra ventana más abierta al mundo a través de internet. Pero me gustaría pensar que esta pequeña ventana sirve para que alguien que previamente no conociera el trabajo de estos artistas anónimos, de repente sepa de su existencia. Que lea sus nombres y vea sus caras, y escuche su música, o vea sus cuadros, o lea sus libros, o se anime a acudir a sus actuaciones. Me parece una forma humilde y modesta de reivindicar el talento que se esconde, precisamente, en las calles de esta ciudad que tanto me fascina.

ER: That was my reflection, and my response came with creating my blog, with the objective of sharing this circumstance, that open mic. I don’t want to seem like something I’m not; [so] my blog is, simply, another open window to the world through the internet. But I’d like to think that this small window serves a purpose such that someone who didn’t know about these anonymous artists previously, suddenly knows about their existence. That they read their names, see their faces, listen to their music, look at their paintings, read their books, or get inspired to attend their performances. To me it seems like a humble and modest form of reclaiming the talent that’s concealed, precisely, in the streets of this city that fascinates me so.

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Artist Feature: Damjana Jokic

Damjana is an artist whose explorations come from various places including her hometown of Vojvodina, Serbia and her current location in Madrid, Spain. Her art is tied into questioning the world around us and uses visual mediums to reflect on and respond to human nature, challenging accepted beliefs. We welcome the words and ideas of Damjana to the LIFESTYLE Collective with our dialogue below and samples of her work!

Damjana

What are the problems of the world that we live in that are affecting us as artists and towards which we cannot be indifferent?

– Damjana Jokic

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

DJ: I’m from Serbia, and have  been living in Madrid for the last nine years.

I just finished my Art Manifest, where I invite all “The Makers of Reality” to join and gather around the idea, and that is an indefinite love towards the art, the strength of a human spirit and the creative force. For the Makers of reality  it’s important to be brave, the truth when we create and we are moved by cosmic force and intuition.

We want to finish with the fake, superficial, banal and decorative art that is offered by the galleries.

Damjana Jokic - Bitter Mud of Experience (2005)

Damjana Jokic – Bitter Mud of Experience (2005)

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

DJ: The world is a picture that is inspiring me. My observations, reactions and my emotions towards it, are leading me to my projects. The projects are the response of my reflections. 

How does “Living in between of everyday life” fit in with that definition?

DJ: My project is called “Living in between of everyday life”. We live in between of everyday life, in the metaphysical space, marginalized. I see that as a problem of the crisis of our spirit, consciousness, and values. The concretizing the problem would be showing the intoxication that we are exposed. The essence is that everything that is surrounding us is something that is constantly making us stupid. The absurd of our existence I see in our own impotence to change something that is obvious. Should the artists be more radical, devoted and sharper in their critic?

Damjana Jokic - Living In Between of Everyday Life (2005)

Damjana Jokic – Living In Between of Everyday Life (2005)

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

DJ: I am interested in the new generations, where are they going in life and in art? I have  been painting and making graphic prints, videos.

I would like to make an art movement on a bigger scale. 

Who or what inspires you?

DJ: The new generations live in the world that is a picture that inspires the search for an answer to the question: Where are we going? The need for the truth and understanding the world that I live in, revealing the human nature.

What are the problems of the world that we live in that are affecting us as artists and towards which we cannot be indifferent? We live the consequences of the capitalism that is pushing us towards neo fascism, slavery and ignorance. That is making us vulnerable taking away our dignity little by little. How is that affecting art and artists? 

Damjana Jokic - Arrival (2005)

Damjana Jokic – Arrival (2005)

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

DJ: I think that  art today needs to get back to the traditional values meaning to perfect the form, technique and the spiritual essence of an artist. Also needs to have a clear moral message, meaning to discover the floods of a contemporary social ethic and to offer a  new esthetic. If the art doesn’t have those elements then its kitsch!

Makers of the Reality are also pursuing the Little happiness!

What is the personal happiness?

The possibility to question our own life, when we know who are we and why we exist!!!

www.damjanajokic.com

Damjana Jokic - Mud (2005)

Damjana Jokic – Mud (2005)

Reflection and Response.

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Feature: Frances Bradley

We’re proud to welcome Brooklyn-based artist Frances Bradley to the Collective. Honoring the charge of art as she shines light on a dark topic and speaks about expression so honest it has life of its own—Frances eloquently tells us about her work, including her current project entitled Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt?. Another humbling feature, undeniably powerful and sincerely purposed.

Frances Bradley

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

 FB: I am from Flint, Michigan and I am currently in Brooklyn, NY.

 What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

 FB: To me reflection means recalling past memories and events and response is simply addressing and reacting to those events.

How does your project Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt? fit in with that definition?

 FB: The artwork of Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt? are perfect examples of reflection and response.

Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt? is a 12-piece autobiographical art series that illustrates my experience as a victim and survivor of sexual violence. The series was conceptualized during therapy and each piece is a portrayal of what I was feeling while I was being raped and the experiences that followed. Every piece requires reflection.

Only four out of 12 pieces have been completed, titled Broken, Zip, Unzip and Transformation. The life-size artwork is painted with traditional mediums such as oil on stretched canvas and features collaged poetry taken directly from my therapy journal.

"Broken" - Acrylic, Oil, and Collage on Stretched Canvas, 5' x 5'

“Broken” – Acrylic, Oil, and Collage on Stretched Canvas, 5′ x 5′

Broken is an illustration of when I was sexually violated. It’s titled Broken because I was a virgin when it happened – thus being physically, mentally and emotionally Broken.

"Zip" - Oil on Stretched Canvas, 5' x 6'

“Zip” – Oil on Stretched Canvas, 5′ x 6′

Zip portrays my feelings of isolation and fear of telling someone about being violated due to shame and the potential of being further victimized.

"Unzip" - Oil on Stretched Canvas, 3' x 6'

“Unzip” – Oil on Stretched Canvas, 3′ x 6′

Unzip depicts what happened when I decided to speak up and shows the collective response from my family members.

"Transformation" - Oil on Stretched Canvas, 5' x 6'

“Transformation” – Oil on Stretched Canvas, 5′ x 6′

The last piece of the series, Transformation, portrays the pieces of me that were shed as a direct result of my healing and the new person that has emerged from this experience.

This project is so important because it is my personal response to a traumatic experience and creating it is a part of my healing process. And now, I am using it as a tool to empower other victims who have suffered from similar experiences and who also need to find a way to heal. I truly believe artistic expression is a means to heal and I am working to promote the Art of Healing with Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt?.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

FB: I have experienced so many emotions – including sympathy for Trayvon Martin’s family, sadness, hurt, pain and surprise – following his murder and George Zimmerman’s acquittal. My natural reaction as an artist is to express my emotions through art.

So, I’m currently working on a piece that conveys my feelings about Trayvon’s murder. This piece will actually be a part of a developing mixed media series that addresses social injustices that have been “justified” by America’s “justice system.”

"Oscar Grant" - Mixed Media on Stretched Canvas, 3' x 6'

“Oscar Grant” – Mixed Media on Stretched Canvas, 3′ x 6′

I’ve already created a piece titled, “Oscar Grant” that addresses the murder of Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day in 2009. The first time I watched that murder on YouTube I was moved to tears and, much like Trayvon’s murder, an outpouring of emotion turned into a palate for expression.

"Bang Bang" - Mixed Media on Stretched Canvas, 18" x 24"

“Bang Bang” – Mixed Media on Stretched Canvas, 18″ x 24″

The second piece is titled, “Bang-Bang” and was created during last year’s national protest that took place all in the name of Trayvon Martin. It’s a mixed media piece that not only touches on the injustice of Martin’s death, but also illustrates the fatally repetitious acts of racism and devaluation of the lives of melanated people in America.

"I Am A Man" - Mixed Media on Stretched Canvas, 24" x 48"

“I Am A Man” – Mixed Media on Stretched Canvas, 24″ x 48″

There is also a commissioned work titled, “I Am A Man” that speaks to the value of the lives of melanated men.

As far as what’s next for me, I plan to tap into the film world and release a few short documentaries that I’ve been working on. So please stay tuned.

Who or what inspires you?

FB: I’m inspired by life, the struggle, politics, history, spirituality, culture and the world. I find inspiration from people of all walks of life. I think living in Brooklyn, New York and being raised in Flint, Michigan has helped me to understand what struggle really is and I’ve witnessed first-hand, poverty on many levels. I’m so inspired by life’s lessons, and it drives me to use my gifts to empower, educate and instill hope and strength.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

FB: I am currently raising $25,000 to complete the Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt? series. The purpose of this work is to create conversations about sexual violence, its impact on victims and to promote healing through the arts. This is my experience but its every victim’s story and it needs to be told through the universal language of art.

I invite the Collective to learn more about the Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt? project by visiting www.womanhoodorwomanshurt.com, contribute to the campaign at www.gofundme.com/womanhoodorwomanshurt and Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/womanhoodorwomanshurt. If you’re interested in viewing my other artwork please visit www.nielahstudios.com. All of my art is available for purchase at www.etsy.com/shop/nielahstudios.

I welcome your thoughts so please feel free to contact me at booknielahstudios@gmail.com

Shout out to…?

FB: The Lifestyle for being interested in my work and providing me with the opportunity to share it with others. Thanks to all the victims and survivors of sexual violence who have shared their stories with me. This work is for YOU. Special thanks to my creative team, Tanya Jackson (videographer/editor) and LaToya English (public relations representative) for their dedication and for believing in my project enough to have sacrificed long hours to see this project come to fruition. THANK YOU. Thank you to my friends, family and supporters who continue to support my dreams and have contributed to my campaign, and to those who have helped me spread the word. I appreciate all of your positive responses and support. Thank you.

Reflection and Response.

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