Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I can't empower anyone, but myself.
As a traditional artist, I did a show at the Apache Cafe & Lounge with another photographer a couple of years ago. I titled my series of pastel works "Real Beauty Has Curves" and it was a companion set with the photographers images. On the night of the opening show, curvaceous models, representing the aesthetic of the show posed for the artists and photographers that attended and during the course of the evening we hosted an Artist's Talk about the works and it was quite provocative.
During the course of the discussion, the photographer made the statement that one of the reasons he produced his work was to empower the women whom he had focused his work on. And the question I had was 'who are we to empower anyone BUT ourselves?'
I didn't confront him on this. He did the work he did with the motivations that moved him and a confrontation doesn't change that. My motivations for my works were, in part, an act of homage; paying respect for alternative images of beauty. I wanted to create images that were based on what had inspired me, seduced me, taught me, shared with me and lived with me. And I continue to create works as an homage to this aesthetic, today.
But I believe empowerment comes from within. You can't give it to me and vice versa. Here in the Garden, I think we should know that. But I can...we can... pay homage; cultivate a space where the innate beauty of the Earth Sista, empowered, can be artfully, sensuously, romantically displayed and this alternative choice of beauty can be appreciated.
Are you empowered? Do you empower you?