Introducing wet dreams & 200 Little deaths

“Wet Dreams” is my love letter to black womxn.

The series “Wet Dreams” will feature 200 pieces to be displayed as the installation, “200 Little Deaths.”

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The titles of the series and installation “Wet Dreams” and “200 Little Deaths” allude to the overarching theme connecting the work:

Black womxn claiming autonomy over their bodies and lives. There has never been anything as policed, disrespected, feared, and lusted after as the black femme body.

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The the title of the installation, “200 Little Deaths”, is derived from the French term, “Le Petit Mort” or “the little death”, referring to orgasm.

This term itself is a strange conflation of violence and pleasure, sexuality and death. Both are lenses in which society continues to view and engage black female-presenting bodies.

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In “Wet Dreams”, I confront the collective societal acceptance of the Madonna-Whore Paradigm, religious expectations of patriarchal purity, and the hyper-sexualization of black femme bodies.

—but what does she mean??—

My quick examples of those three:

  • madonna whore paradigm: “you can’t turn a hoe into a house wife.”

  • patriarchal purity/religious expectations: in Christianity, womxn are taught to be modest to keep the man from lusting.

  • hypersexualization: “black girls are wild in bed”, “you have DSLs (dick sucking lips)”, etc.

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In the “200 Little Deaths” installation, each piece is suspended from the ceiling, at once delicately floating within reach and life-size—ready to confront the viewer.

Suspended by a transparent wire, the womxn float in and out of view, fading further into their own blackness as they rotate between this reality and the next.

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The color black is the unifying element in the installation, serving both as a backdrop that stages this reclamation of agency, as well as the source of strength and confidence that is found in returning to and becoming part of the collective blackness in the African Diaspora.

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More to come.

Aesthetically yours,

Christina Nicola

After New York and The Now

Hello! It's been a month since the amazing whirlwind that was Superfine!. 

Here's a quick break down of what happened there and what's happened here since then: I got sick twice, sold eight pieces, met many people, stalked them on Instagram... and can't wait to go back to NYC soon :) :) :) 

Since then I've been focusing on various money-making activities...working with doggos, freelance writing and pitter-pattering between fine art and commercial art, experimentally...
To answer one of my most frequently asked questions...mostly by friends and family, (I don't have -fans- hitting me up on IG so don't get that idea)

"When are you showing again and where?"

NEVER! I'm done. 

But in reality i want to take a break from....shows for now? Just for now. Not a break from art of course. Here's the deal- I want to spend time really digging into my new body of work...understanding it and understanding me. To do that, I need to spend a lot of intensely focused time not exposing myself to the art community. Ya feel me?

When I show I get all these questions, why is this here, why is that there why are you doing this?! And I love that! I welcome that, but you know, I need to tell myself why too. 

So it may be sooner rather than later, but that's really the answer if you were wondering. 
Follow me on Instagram though, that's where I post the most. 

Yeah the point of the blog was really to get me to post more frequently. I write like 2000 words on a regular basis and can't seem to write a blog about my work/self/art? how strange. Anyway, the future looks bright and commercial and full of fine art and glitter and blood and confetti and paintings of Beyonce. :) I'll write a bit more about my new series soon. 

Aesthetically and enigmatically yours, 

Christina 

Finishing work

This is me being honest with you here.

One of the things I HATE to hear about my art is, "well it's just not finished". 

Do I strive to make work that is unfinished? Do I only fall in love with beginnings? 

These are questions I ask myself as I have to pull my own teeth when working on a series. Why is making a series so hard for me? Do I have AADD- Artistic Attention Deficit Disorder??

There's something beautiful and intoxicating about fresh marks on a page. I love the raw energy that is felt in the first stages of creation. What I hate is when a  painting begins to lose it's passion, it gets overworked, or looks "too finished". I don't necessarily strive to create an unfinished look-- I just get bored sometimes! What i've realized is after the initial marks and the first few hours of a piece, I have to fall in love with it again; I have to find new thing to get excited about again. 

This process of mine is itself a work in progress, but so am I. The more I make, the more I grow, the more I realize what finishing my work means to me. So maybe I do have creative commitment issues-- but I promise to keep things fresh, for better or worse, til death do I art. 

Aesthetically Yours,

Christina Nicola

I Can Be Both! #ArtistEdition

I always find it curious to ask people about Picasso. 

Non-artists will say "Well he was alright, but I like Van Gogh a lot better-- sure he cut off his ear but he wasn't an asshole."

And art enthusiasts will say, "he was great until he got to that cubist shit, what was that about?!"

Me- I love the man. Picasso is the perfect example of the artists' spirit I subscribe to: He was a master of multiple styles. Many people only associate him with cubism as he was one of its founding fathers but anyone that ventures beyond his cubist era will see the sheer beauty and genius of the man.  As the legend goes, he learned to draw before he could write and the last minutes of his life were spent drawing. 

This idea of being a multifaceted artist is sort of ingrained in me, and I started to think of it in new terms when the "I can be both!" campaign surfaced on social media. This movement popularized the idea that women can be both (A.) professional, well dressed people while in the same breath (B.) be cleavage baring, provacative women and still be just the same quality of human that they were before-- no better and no less. 

Quite similarly, this is true for artists. Throughout the multiple styles of art making, an artist "can be both"! An artist that I follow on Instagram posts a lot of quick sketches, but one day posted a smoother, fully realized painting. He mentioned that he posted it because people think that he is only capable of drawing sketchy, messy pictures and are surprised that he "really can paint" or is "actually really good at drawing". Sure an artist MAY only paint one thing but that doesn't mean they CAN ONLY paint that one thing. The beauty of art is that anything is possible. The beauty of the artist is that we are capable of anything!

I aspire to be like Picasso in being capable of mastering any style. This desire allows for growth if nothing else. I always giggle when people look at my art and say "your art is this way and we're looking for something a little more ____" (insert incredibly niche word here). The idea of a commission is to take my capabilities and marry it to what you envision. Granted we all have our own unique way to make art, but I am capable of anything. 

So-- I can be both, I can be all and I can do anything-- you still may not like my brand of impressionism, realism, minimalism or whatever it is you're looking for, but that's fine. I may not be that good at a particular style but that just allows me more room for growth! Art is limitless and I would like my visions and reality to be as well.

Aesthetically Yours,

Christina Nicola


 

The Best Advice I've Ever Heard

The best advice I’ve ever heard would have to be the following:

Instead of feeling your way to an action
act your way to a feeling.


You see, I want to feel passion in my art, but am I acting passionately? 

My artistic process is somewhat of a cycle. A period of furious creation preceded by paralyzing fear.  

I still seek validation as an artist/as a person, and I question if I’m doing things right- as we all do.
Often times, I’ll refrain from creating, simply because

“I feel sad, or don’t feel like it”.

What helps me work through this is realizing that emotions are fleeting little things. 
When my art is on display, my sadness is not an excuse for why the best of ME is not there. 
 

So you want passion? Stop actively feeling lethargic. 
Your next piece is your best piece.
You have a lot more than you think have.
You know a lot more than you think you do.
And if you act the way you want to feel, you’ll get there.

I’ve found that if you work out of passion and determination, instead of current emotions, energy and fascination will have no choice but to concede to your desires.

Aesthetically Yours, 

Christina Nicola