If you are an artist, listen the fuck up.
If you have ever held a paint brush and felt the possibility of creating a window to a world that only you have ever seen
If you have ever seen colours that haven’t been named yet
If you have ever had the privilege of exploring photography,
Of being able to hold the tangible likeness of a loved one in your hand
If you’ve ever taken a picture of a flower bloom, a crinoline, or a pretty girl
(and you all have, so don’t lie)
If you’ve ever held a sculpture in your hands, rippled it’s skin and smoothed it out,
Just because you thought it would look better that way
Then you listen too.
I’m urging you to be ugly.
I’m asking you to look at the things you create, these tangible, useless, objects
That have no greater purpose than to reflect our whims and fancies
And then end up at the bottom of a donation bin with other discarded items, purposeless
Unless you, the artist, give them purpose.
I’m asking you to give yourself acne with Photoshop. To let underwear lines be seen. To allow thighs to rub together. I’m asking you to stare at bellies that hang out. Let stretch marks shine in sunlight like the shimmer of translucent water. Let hair grow and be seen. I’m asking you to embrace wrinkles and cellulite like they are the direct result of laughing, and talking, and loving too much, because they are. Have scars, because they tell your stories better than you can ever say with words. Have bags under your eyes, because they show that there is no time to sleep in a world of people lacking love.
God, I’m begging you to be ugly too.
I’m pleading with you to remove this burden of perfection that you’ve saddled us with
This task at which you knew we’d all fail.
I’m begging you, because of the transgendered goddess in Chicago
Who I knew as a powerful goddess of the internet, ruling over her blog without apology
Who lived her life like a beautiful contradictory blemish upon the Earth
Who took their own life because we artists only make spaces for beautiful things
Beautiful, marketable, things.
Own a body that bleeds, sheds, shits and dies.
Artists, we have the privilege of being seen and heard
And we have the responsibility to speak words which are true.
Ugly is the word we have saddled upon truth
Like a cosmetic application of lipstick
In a garish green hue.