Chicago I love you. With that said, this piece is a little something I created on my way to Chicago on the Greyhound bus at around 3 in the morning. It's for a project called Change for Art and they are having local artists take old parking meters from the city to make them pretty and I was asked to do that by a Ms. Robbie Morgan.
It's going to be a vinyl transfer onto the meter I get, and I absolutely cannot wait. I worked on it for a while and then gave up for a while because I got frustrated with it all, until 3 in the morning today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Today I did a photo shoot of one of my dear friends James. He has always had an amazing outlook on life and I enjoy looking to elders when it comes to things like planning things for my future. It's not something I used to do, however I do believe now that it's much more beneficial to learn about others' experience with coming of age, relationships, and other things.
James was recently diagnosed with cancer, and although I would be completely freaking out right now, his outlook is completely positive. He has always been such a bright light with such a great presence, but now with new things happening in his life, he sees it as a time for refocusing.
We spoke for a bit about when he 'came out' for the first time, which also ended up being his first time at the Bar Complex. I have learned that 'coming out' is a fairly new term. Homosexuals didn't really 'come out' of the closet in the '70's and '80's, it was more of a kind of hush hush thing because of the way society worked at the time. But as the American idea of individuality and identity becomes more of an issue in our country more than others, 'coming out' and identifying yourself on a sexual plane and otherwise seems imperative.
James and I also spoke together about the role of HIV and AIDS in the gay community. He says that things have changed since the epidemic of the disease ravaged the community in the late '70s and '80s. There are more options for people now, and the medicine is much more effective, whereas he recounted his experiences losing several friends to the virus in the '80s. Unfortunately this isn't anything uncommon for many homosexuals and heterosexuals who were 'out and about' during that time.
He is the youngest of 5 siblings, and lost his mother to cancer when he was 14. He told me about how he used to pray to God to take him instead while cancer had its way with her. Although it's a grim story to think about, it is challenges like this that seem to make him stronger. He always has a jolly chortle to offer along with a toast and a friendly smile. His friends are what are important to him now. Life is always too short to live for the future when it's not always guaranteed, but when you have great friends around you and a smile on your face, who cares about tomorrow if it's not yours or mine anyway?
It's lessons like these that I learn from my elders, because although they are from all different walks of life, regardless of where they come from, I can always learn to appreciate things I have in my life and although I may feel old at times, there is so much more to do, but it is what I do now that is the most important.
so apparently when i get bored and don't take pictures of other people, i do self portraits. Here is another of the sort. Self portraits are kind of like mirrors in that with digital photography i can take pictures and see them instantly, but what makes them more fun than just regular mirrors is that others can look at it at when i wasn't looking...
and goodness the sun has fried me. i heard recently that some women in kentucky rub themselves down in motor oil when they lay out to get a tan.