Thursday, February 28, 2013

Self-Portraits: Getting Real on Cherokee Street

  I think the idea of a self-portrait has taken on a 4th dimension in this series.  I drive around this city and I see aspects of myself all over it.  Each city block represents a different relationship or adventure I have encountered with some of my best friends who I have met along the way. In the next few weeks I am going to be exploring those various areas in this series.

I told my friend, Marissa, last weekend that sometimes I feel like I am little bit hippie, a little bit rock and roll, and a little bit hip-hop culture appreciator. Cherokee Street encompasses all three of those aspects inside of me.  It is a place that is unapologetic for who it is.  You see the visual funk and flair of the artists and galleries that inhabit the residence of the streets, but you also see the reality of a neighborhood that is trying to connect its bleaker past with the colorful new pastel buildings painted by the artists. There is evidence of socio-economic struggle mixed with a growing night club and art scene in the neighborhood.  That part of it doesn't hide. It blends in with the color of the street, creating this visual narrative of hope, grace, and truth on one city block.

It reminds me of the messiest and most beautiful parts of myself.  The mess wants to go hide in the shadows just as Cherokee Street's darker past would want you to do. Instead, when I start to make sense of the messiest parts through the process of creating, sharing artwork, and letting trusted people into the mess, my life starts to feel more like the pastel colors of the buildings and street art on Cherokee Street: evidence of the mess, but inspired by its roots and growth.

1 comment:

Mary Sauer said...

I am in love with the picture of the alley with the bath tub! Gorgeous!