Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Kiss Back

Thank You Marlene Dumas

A few weeks ago at the MOCA downtown, I saw the Marlene Dumas exhibit, ‘Measuring Your Own Grave.’ I had not heard of her prior to seeing the show. I happened to see an image on the front page of the calendar section of the Los Angeles Times; the image was of her painting called “The Kiss.” Immediately I was drawn to the image and her use of color. Two days later and after much ‘googling’, I was heading downtown.

Immediately upon entering the exhibit and seeing the first few images up on the walls, I was taken aback. For a moment, I stood still before taking a first step, as if preparing myself for what was to come. I felt like I was seeing a ‘real’ exhibit for the first time; I was hooked. I felt drawn to everything. I felt connected in a way that I had not imagined.

As I stood in front of “The Teacher,” I felt a deep sense of gratitude for her and her work and for having brought these images to life. I felt moved and greatly inspired. Quietly, under my breath, I said, “Thank You.” Even as I write now, I feel a lack of words that express the emotions I felt wandering through the place.

Later that day and rambling with inspiration, I worked on my own pieces, I read and flipped through her book, I sat and thought about my own work and came to realize, for the first time in my life, that every Little Girl was a very real reflection of me, my thoughts, how I live, and see our world. Even though I have always felt a great connection to my Little Girls, I had not seen them as a real reflection of me. After 10 years of painting them, I was surprised to suddenly be feeling all of this. I felt inspired to take them to a greater level of reflection. I felt inspired to dig deeper within myself, to pull out everything from inside me and to bring it all to life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Amanda More Lip More

Amanda Nose More

Amanda Lepore Inspiration

I heard somewhere that when David La Chappelle came across Amanda Lepore it was like seeing the image that he had dreamt about his entire life come to life before him. (Please excuse me if I have misquoted the words). A few years after starting Little Girls, I also felt a similar feeling. I came to realize that the image of the first 'Little Girl" In Red Light District was my version of Amanda Lepore. I have been inspired by her courage to be herself, her courage to explore boundaries and to not be limited by definitions or stereotypes.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Billie's Ghost Sings the Blues

Billie Holiday CD

A few days ago I came to realize that for the past 10 years of painting ‘Little Girls’, I had been listening to only one CD; it is Billie Holidays’ The Billie Holiday Songbook. One early morning as I placed the CD into the stereo, something triggered in me and I came to the realization. Somehow listening to her and this CD inspired me in ways I don’t truly understand and don’t attempt to now. I’ll let it be.

The following morning after seeing Diana Ross at the Hollywood Bowl, I walked over to Amoeba Records and I purchased a few CD’s 2 from Miss Ross and another from Billie. Seeing Ms. Ross in concert inspired me in many ways. It inspired me to paint the forest series, a few new images for little Ms. Ross’, and after listening to her perform ‘More than Yesterday,” I was touched and teary eyed as I thought of my Mama. I thought of her as I listened to the words, “I love you more today than yesterday, but not more than tomorrow.” I loved Mama incredibly and felt grateful for all the love she opened up in me.

And so with some new music to listen to, I am excited about new inspirations, new openings, and many more new little girls.