The power and potential of memory is on full display in Alfonso Cuaron’s current film ROMA — my personal choice for Best Film this year. Perhaps it was finally having the opportunity to see that film this week that led me today in the #maproom towards some Light Reflection.
Reflecting is also a path to understanding, acknowledging, learning from and adapting those influences that have been encountered along the way into one’s own work. Certainly reading the review in yesterday’s NYTimes regarding the upcoming Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum took me back further to something I’d learned from the outstanding 2002 film FRIDA directed by Julie Taymor with a brilliant performance by Salma Hayek about the trailblazing artist: rather than be overcome by circumstances, she conquered them by such acts as treating her plaster torso corsets (necessary after a near-fatal bus crash) as canvases for beautiful art. This along with studying the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat taught me this: anything and EVERYthing can be a canvas. This approach has been influencing my process and approach in my recent personal projects, especially the collaborative work with my distant relative from Mississippi, who I’ve yet to even physically meet, R. A. Smith (more on R. A. at a later time).
A nod must also be made to the influence of a little book I read, STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST, by the ever interesting Austin Kleon