"Short, engaging and wise beyond the context of video art, this should be required viewing in high schools as instruction for ethical conduct within intimate relationships—at the absolute least, they would have the great sex scene, gratuitous swearing and a masterful intro song about “nuts” to keep the interest high." -
Jessica Slaven, Time Out New York, 2009.
First, thanks for the recommendations, I know to be 100% out of your kindness and good nature. And for time spent looking at my portfolio. I am taking your suggestions and insights with high regards and value.
I love the "green light" paintings, -genius. I appreciate the progression of your vocabulary and the development of new objects. The subtle shifts in palette, the black, yellow/gold and green on white paper is attractive. I am not sure how to respond about the cut out pieces other than I think they are interesting and if you work with such an idea long enough it may lead to an alternative unforeseen path. I don’t suggest you totally abandon anything.
I also find it interesting how the theme of the 2007 club scenes, tipsy cups, cascades into a 2009 greenlight theme, referencing Obama’s YES WE CAN (to stretch/take it there). I remember in conversations with Jacolby that Bush’s conservative anti gay marriage position plays a great deal in backing the archetype of gay promiscuity in the culture. I just recently recall that your character, Taiwan, out of confusion and stress brought upon by such issues regarding family, church, marriage, gender and sexual orientation, -fell into “heat”. With this arrived insight to your work I am in anticipation. I wonder how such a narrative will play out in 2009 with an “Obama” anchored zeitgeist? Did you know, in Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father, I read when he was in Indonesia his Indonesian soon to be stepfather, at the time, had a male cook that cross dressed as a woman on weekends and nights off? I find that interesting.
Second, I found the above quote, from Time Out New York, to strongly address what I too observed and sensed on a deep level. It touched on what I was attempting to articulate during my first encounter with you -in person, and when viewing your works for the first time online, and then in question format during your post-screening talk. That night was my first, true, encounter with your videos in their entirety. I found the moral to most of the stories to be as rewarding as the madness, drama and unconventionality of some of your characters and the life that surrounds them. I can now say I truly get it; or do I?
When first introduced to your work online, I felt that it was its educational and social desire to
structure a moral position through the re-workings and re-depicting of glamorized cultural divas, antisocial ills and self-destructive behaviors. These layers peaked my interest which led me to contacting you. I appreciated the reality, life given to your characters that at times exist outside the constructions of their built personae. To be honest, I was not too sure what your work was truly about at first, but I could see and tie in the need for community and family that addresses a just social morality of inclusion in the life of your characters. Sometimes when I would reference you and your work and its complexity, during a cultural perspective course, it would result in an uncomfortable and insulting simplification of discourse pinning the work to a concrete position regarding black male masculinity, which neglects and overlooks the subtleties, creativity, inventiveness, and overlapping theories regarding enfreakment,
social monsters, politics of character development and society.
Kalup, you are our MADONNA of 2009. Your process and new album has the complexity and
understanding of Confessions on a Dance floor.