“Women are supposed to be the ones on the balcony, not the ones down below professing their love. We don’t think the female romantic is romantic. We think she is a predator. We think she is desperate, unstable—Fatal Attraction, the cougar, the spinster, the troublemaker. But deep emotion in this age is a radical act.”
— Masha Tupitsyn in this Bitch interview on Love Dog
Kehinde Wiley’s paintings often blur the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation. Rendered in a realistic mode–while making references to specific Old Master paintings–Wiley creates a fusion of period styles, ranging from French Rococo, Islamic architecture and West African textile design to urban hip hop and the “Sea Foam Green” of a Martha Stewart Interiors color swatch. Wiley’s slightly larger than life size figures are depicted in a heroic manner, as their poses connote power and spiritual awakening. Wiley’s portrayal of masculinity is filtered through these poses of power and spirituality.
The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down 17 years ago. But if he hadn’t taken a bullet, pollution and disease might have done the job instead.
The skull-shaped Snapdragon Flower Dragon (Antirrhinum majus) seed pod. The Antirrhinum, commonly known as the snapdragon, has been a popular garden plant for many years. Also known as the dragon flower, its common name derives from the resemblance of the flower to a dragon’s head.Yet once the flower has died, leaving behind the seed pod, something a little more macabre appears. The dragon – just a visual metaphor after all – appears to have a skull.
"What would it mean for young Black girls to grow up in a world where they didn’t need to speak the Queen’s English or afford designer clothes to be considered ladylike? What if we met young Black girls’ trends with adoration instead of labeling their aesthetic exploration ratchet (until it’s appropriated by more palatable white bodies)? What if we centered Black trans girls and affirmed their femininity from the moment they first express it? What if Black femininity could also validate Black bodies whose femininity is more complicated than our binaries recognize? Black femininity has always disregarded others’ boundaries—imagine what’s possible if we also dreamt beyond our own."
Ben Aronson, Coffee Break, 1997
I allow myself
the luxury of breakfast
(I am no nun, for Christ’s sake).
Charmed as I am
by the sputter of bacon,
and the eye-opening properties
it’s the coffee
that’s really sacramental.
In the old days,
I spread fires and floods and pestilence
on my toast.
Nowadays, I’m more selective,
I only read my horoscope
by the quiet glow of the marmalade.
— Dorothea Grossman,”I Allow Myself”