Have you ever looked at yourself naked? Like really looked? Examined how your weight falls with no clothes. Tried to find where all the Oreos rest. Someone ever look at you and it feel like they're looking straight to your soul?
I feel that with certain artist. Their work seems like I'm seeing past their nakedness all the way to their core, to the hurts, joys, pains , aspirations and brokenness. I’m attracted to it. I get it. I stand there gaping at their bare soul. I am completely ok with their imperfections and their expression. I stop my hand short from tracing the scars,wanting to feel the depth of their expression.
This weeks Artist Shinique Smith is one of those artist for me. I had the opportunity to see her art exhibit last year. I stood there gaping. Her usage of color, trash (literally), and used clothing, I found amazing. Staring, I couldn’t find a literal bone on her body but saw the literal statements her pieces made.
As an artist she’s not constrained to one medium or way of expression. The gallery was littered with different forms of her life, her perspective. I couldn't believe I connected with clothes knotted together bound by rope.
I left inspired. She’d given herself permission to let her vision come even if through a used coffee lid. When asked when she felt her best; she replied when she feels her most vulnerable, which is when she’s creating. That resonated with me deeply.
Yesterday, I was looking for memories to hold on to as someone dealing with grief might. (read more about that here) I came across a file of my poetry from one of my college classes. I couldn’t believe my own fearlessness, that I heard in my written expression, my clarity, my bravery. You could hear the heart wrenching soul work being done. Soul work I’d done alone but gave breath through art. I imagine that iteration of me, streaked through the hollowed college halls. Unashamed. Unafraid. Completely lost in the art. Life changes us. We loose pieces of ourselves. “More honest”….. sometimes people change us. We….Me…. I… want to continue to give myself permission to hold on to the dreams of the child inside of me, continue seeing the world through her eyes and approach it with her heart. Perhaps there in lies, the way to my life’s greatest work.
Do you relate to art this way? Does it draw you into a place of introspection? Do you fight your greatest fears head on to get to your better self? Let me know in the comments! You Lovers inspire me!
Love you Lovers!
As always you are Unbelievably Human, So Please be Unbelievably You!
Ps. Trying something new with the photo layout let me know what you think!
Pss.Most defiantly check out MY FRIEND COURT and How art inspired her look this week!
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*please excuse typo on first photo: Philippines*
More about the Artist and Other sources:
In works made from the class of objects we call ‘belongings,’ Smith collides the intractable hard geometry and hard thinking that defines urban existence—what Paul D. Miller called “cubes of consciousness” in a 2010 catalogue essay—with the softening, emotionally steeped influence of the worn-down, nostalgic or forgotten. She describes a way of living and looking that is fueled by a flow of relationships between opposites: discrete displaced parts are transformed, becoming one, when grouped or bound together by her hand through a ritual of process. The resulting configurations often straddle the line between chaos and restraint.
Ascribing equal value to both cherished and discarded objects, Smith reinterprets the connections on which we build our personal myths and examines the relationships that contemporary societies establish with the inanimate and the intimate. What is valuable to an individual, culture or society, and why is it valuable? Through her efforts, a new spirit emerges. Reference
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