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"That's called gas..."

Finally figured out how to approach the work. The spray paint is now my base coat. I'll then go back in and paint over the work I've done. I think I may be able to finish about 5-10 for my final critique. Working with two mediums has really made me miss straight photography and so I look forward to working on a few projects when I get home. I've had so many ideas this semester and I'm really excited to pursuit them all at some point.

The most recent came when I was having a conversation with Steph about a project I've been wanting to produce for a while. Back in Chicago I encountered an alarming number of young black men who had recently become infected with HIV. Since then I've wanted to document that culture but haven't really been sure about how to do so. I think my facination with gay black culture stems from my lack of exposure to it when I first came out. My parents are middle class African-Americans who choose to send me to private school from K-12, which meant other than my family, I was not exposed to many other people I could identify with racially or culturally. When I came out to my white best friend who was also gay there was no one to guide us in the way of "gay". And unfortunately there exists a divide, at least in Chicago, between gay white men and gay black men. All of these feelings about racism, self-hate, blackness, social and gender stereotypes are why I produce the work I do. I began wanting to learn more about who I was and what it means to accept that and exist among everyone else. 

I wonder though, what will happen a few years down the line? What kind of work will I be making and what will it be about?

Ervin Johnson1 Comment