Read my exclusive interview with artist JeanPaul Mallozzi for art & entertainment magazine Scene360.
Somewhere between male and female the soul lives unstirred by the memory of childhood. Somewhere between the Destroyer of Obstacles and the Goddess of Fortune the soul lives in a state of constant hip hop guided by a white flashlight. Somewhere between now and now the soul lives possessed by the certainty that it is always in transition and will always live in between the present and the present. Somewhere between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 the soul lives in a million humans who will pass through life in the third person. Somewhere between the Real Shiva and the Statue of Shiva on display at the Art Institute of Chicago the soul lives in every person. In between the clowns and grapefruits. In between the yellow bus driver and the happy waiter. In between the zoo and the opera house. Between life and death. The soul lives light as a father. Or feather.
Ma says this is a woman collapsing into a woman collapsing into a background of elegant brushstrokes divined by some god or goddess possessed by a deep love for Jupiter. For real. This is what ma said between sips of gin.
When ma saw the Chagall windows, she shut the fuck up. She bent down on one knee like she was a knight in shiny pink lipstick and prayed. She prayed for the advent of sun. She prayed for the blue and the blues. She lifted her head up as if she were a marionette pulled by an almost invisible string. Blue, she said, belongs to god and windows.
Between us, ma and I understood the power of art and factless wonders like love and Alzheimer’s. We went down to the lover level because the lower level is a level we hope to never return. True love, ma said, is subterranean and foundational. It’s what stabilizes the whole wide world. It’s what normalizes the logic of sequined pants and the smile of a long loved friend.
The white-crowned sparrow is afraid of 3D. Time is a grain of sand with angel wings and each angle of the wing is shaped by grains of sand stuck together with a microscopic drop of Crazy Glue. We iron our hands out of desperation as the glue begins to dry. A new energy form emerges from the palm of the hand. A bird. Blob. Broken bicycle. Bra.
The invisible shapes are spacecrafts made visible through the process of observation. And patience. And loving-kindness. The eyes are impatient beasts and we brace ourselves against the white wall to brace ourselves against what we can’t see coming. The cerebral cortex is an emotional beast in a bathing suit. Thought rockets are invisible weather systems that are compulsive liars. Across the white space, a network of neo-neurons splinter across a selfish map of space + time, a map of ever-changelings.
The fractured and forgotten dreams of sparrows are thumb-tacked to the white wall. Neruda whispers azul, amor, alma as the birds whisper adieu. The world is blue and kept afloat by the real energy of sparrow wings. Each wing contains a billion possible hammocks containing a photograph of Einstein hammocking in a billion different universes. Electromagnetic interactions are dimensionless. The constant blue iron contains enough H2O to save the world from the catastrophe of poets, but the man wearing the baseball cap says blanco is problematic. Then he irons a poem of maps made of Silly Putty.
Are you a cat? Have you ever wanted to be a cat? Have you ever wanted to be a cat in drag? Dress up in ladies clothes as a cat? Well, if you have, or simply have nothing better to do, check out my BFF Squinny’s blog post on Feline Fashion Dos & Donts because there is absolutely nothing worse than going out on the kitty litter hunt in last year’s fashions. Duh! Y’all don’t want to look like an unfashionable, unhip cat freak, do you? Hell, no! Check out this Jean Paul Gaultier inspired one piece on a bald cat. It’s divi(no)!
1. Ma says if you haven’t seen Florence + the Machine perform live then you’re not living or alive and you certainly don’t have the love. That is her opinion. But I kind of guarantee her point.
2. Last night ma and I saw Florence + the Machine perform at the Hardrock at Universal Studios and we got the love and her angel wings. We stashed them beneath our skirts so security couldn’t seize them from us–the rightful heirs of her angel wings.
3. Ma and I cried so much poetry during the concert, because we love Florence so much, we had to take a water taxi home. Florence said she loves us so much too. At least that is what she said at 10:49 PM. Ma and I floated home on the notes Florence left for us because she offered them to us like precious stones or the breath of a new-born baby angel.
4. Ma and I wore our best J.C. Penny rendition of a floral printed Laura Ashley dress with cream colored strappy sandals. My dress was white with islets and islands of chunky embroidered daisies. The center of each daisy looked like an egg yolk. Ma’s dress was white too, yet egg yokeless, but ma didn’t look as chunky as I suspected she would be wearing her Chuckie. Ma and I wore the halos we made for the show which we had strung together out of the artificial white daisies we borrowed from Target.
5. Actually, the daisies were real. The white was artificial. Officially.
6. When Florence appeared on stage, everything turned blue and disappeared except for the blue and Florence’s angel wings. Even the sound of her voice sounded like the bluest bluebird on Earth. The first song she sang was “My Boy Builds a Coffin” and that’s when I knew I would go home a different human and somewhat more better than I was before the concert began just like ma went home the same person she has always been, but sweatier.
I’m not sure Florence cured my grammar issues though. Thoughts?
7. Is it realistic to ask if god exists after witnessing Florence’s light?
8. When Florence said to raise it up, we did, and the whole world did too–at least the world contained within the blue blue room. We were momentarily and eternally blinded by a white light–Florence’s light. In that moment of blindness, we embraced each other as brother and sister. I thought I had seen a ghost but it turned out to be ma’s butt hurtling through space and timelessness. She had just performed a spontaneous asymmetrically designed cart-wheel. The crowed cheered for ma, and Florence did too. I’m just not sure if they were cheering for ma’s safe landing or her departure to the lady’s room where ma rearranged her thong and halo.
9. Sometimes when we raise our hands I get the sense there is a god or goddess (or a light of goodness) up there hovering about and laughing at us–laughing at the way we love and love to dance uncontrollably contained within the light shell of our bodies in the womb of the Hardrock’s Ballroom.
10. With my hands raised as high as my four feet can go, I’m not that tall, I grabbed on to that deity’s orange light and held on until he or she or they came down and danced with us.
11. “You’ve got the love,” I told the light. In manufactured silence, the light concentrated on the un-staged performance on stage.
12. “Watch this, ” ma shouted. And I watched ma fly through and into the light, the orange glow reflecting the pieces of me I see in her off of her face.
13. We were standing in the shadow of her heart and I took the stars from ma’s eyes and made a map. It looks like this:
15. A halo. Surrounded by cosmic hearts of light.
Support the arts and donate to Kristina Wong’s new project, Cat Lady. Save this girl from eating cat food. She’s a disgrace and full of grace and lost in space and the Muppet police are after her.
Support the Wongsta. Support the arts.
According to Kristina Wong, “CAT LADY (view the promo) is an interdisciplinary performance blending the parallel worlds of two pathetically lonely personas living at the margins of gender and society—musty cat ladies and fast-talking male pick-up artists. This multi-media theater piece incorporates the psychology behind hoarding (both of animals and humans), pick-up artist techniques, anecdotes from unmarried women who live alone with cats (“cat ladies”), and my attempts to simultaneously end racism and get my cat to stop spraying. CAT LADY premieres in March 2011 in Houston, TX in Diverseworks and later in November 2011 at ODC Theater in San Francisco. Finishing support is needed for rehearsals and final production costs so that this work can premiere at the highest caliber possible and can continue to tour beyond the premiere.”
Celeste Rapone was born on May 1, 1985 and raised in Wayne, New Jersey. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design concentrating in Illustration, and received her BFA degree in 2007. Among many things, Celeste is interested in a child’s understanding of Catholicism, and the effects that understanding Continue reading “Celeste Rapone: Understanding Catholicism”
Ma got a goat stoned at Art Basel which, I guess, is better than her being stoned by a wild goat. Ma packed lunch before we left. Marijuana cigarettes, 6 Red Bulls, and a bag of magic mushrooms. She packed a 1/2 dozen powdered munchkins for me.
If I were Alice, ma would be Wonderland. No matter how hard ma tries, she’ll never be Alice. I told ma this and she told me I’m a fat blob green monster with fangs and a screwed-up thigh tail. I told ma that I’m just a reflection of her anti-interior. She didn’t get it. That’s what it means when she rolls her eyes into Hello Kitties.
I swear we’re just as American as
Continue reading “Almost Dorothy Does Art Basel Again”
Art Basel 2010 was cosmic and better than hot dogs. Ma and I spent the afternoon in the Wynwood Arts District and checked out Miami’s largest open air graffiti mural museum curated and culled by Primary Flight. We harassed all the graffiti artists and asked them silly questions like ‘are you an artist’ and ‘did you know you missed a spot’. Some laughed. Another told us to bug off but we told him we put OFF on before we came so we weren’t being bugged by bugs. He said he was from England and didn’t understand our English. Oh, well, we said and offered him a biscuit.
Ma shot the hamburger in the head and she won a poster. I shot the poster in the head and I won a stuffed hamburger.
Needless to gay, we were very hungry and went to get some gnosh or gosh or knosh at the GastroPOD and accidentally stole