biography-of-me

i honestly love walking into anywhere with a remotely gay atmosphere i love museums because i know so many artists have been gay and have expressed things they couldnt say explicitly in art like i joke about how “~is he gay or did he just appreciate the human form~” but there really is merit to that and everywhere i look weve just made our weaknesses into our strengths and how fucking cool is that

Diane Arbus: Historical Lynchpin

And then there were the exhibitions I didn’t see in NYC with my daughter. Painful, really. But I will return soon with an artxploration agenda, because Diane Arbus! Nan Goldin! And dozens more on my list.

A few weeks ago, I was reading some reviews of a MoMA exhibition in 2011 called Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography. The concept was to show the strength of female photographers and how you can tell the history of the medium through images exclusively by women. Collector Daily did a great job of writing a walk-through commentary of the exhibition, highlighting the strengths of the works, where he would have made different choices, and where there seemed to be gaps.  

Today I came across a long article about Diane Arbus in New York Magazine (because of the exhibition I didn’t see at the Met Breuer and a new biography published), and it reminded me of this excerpt from the Collector Daily article about the women exhibition:

“What I found most memorable about this show was the perhaps obvious idea that in the early 1970s we saw an explosion of innovation by women photographers, a flowering of self-examination that is still occurring and reverberating decades later. I also came away with the tentative conclusion that Diane Arbus was even more of a historical linchpin than I had given her credit for; given what I saw in this show, she emerges out of a long dry spell to create groundbreaking and iconic pictures. It appears there really was no other woman of her stature at that time until Cindy Sherman arrives on the scene several years later.”

I know Arbus was a great in the history of the medium, and I know her work relatively well, but I hadn’t given much thought to how dramatically original she was - she didn’t take an existing trend and push it forward. She built it.

The title of the New York Magazine article reads Was Diane Arbus the Most Radical Photographer of the 20th Century?  She married young and became a fashion photographer with her husband. She began to develop her own relationship to photography and craved a more intimate, less staged practice, so she quit fashion and stepped onto the street.

From the article: 

“On one assignment that spring, after a day spent posing little girls on a swing set for Vogue, Diane stepped back. Raising her voice only slightly, she made an announcement: “I can’t do it anymore. I’m not going to do it anymore.” She was done with the contained environment of the studio; she needed to move out into the world.

Diane committed herself to wandering New York City with her 35mm Nikon, following strangers down the street or lying in wait in doorways until she saw someone she felt compelled to photograph. This was the onset of a lifelong addiction to experience, which would feed her and consume her in equal measure. Around this time, she asked her husband to develop a roll of film, and she labeled the negatives’ glassine sleeve with a fine black marker: “#1.”

Most of us just go and do and later look back and realize roughly when this or that began. But to truly begin and mark that beginning as the definitive start - I bow down to this, yes, radical woman. She pushed herself constantly. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say she threw herself forward, because this article (which references the new biography) does not give the impression that Arbus came from a centered place. She craved experience in an unsatisfiable way. “She was propelled forward by pure appetite and invention.” This kind of intensity does not make for a happy or content life (she committed suicide at 48), but she made some exceptional and ground-breaking images. You don’t create that kind of genius from being tentative. You have to be a badass. 

Shame resilience is the ability to say, ‘This hurts. This is disappointing, maybe even devastating. But success and recognition and approval are not the values that drive me. My value is courage and I was just courageous. You can move on, shame.’
—  Brené Brown, Daring Greatly
( biography ⚔ ) ; how to get away with murder.

SUMMARY

NAME: Spencer Jill Hastings
ALLEGIANCE: Keating Six
AFFILIATION: Middleton University, Law Office of Annalise Keating, Hastings Criminal Law
FAMILY:

  • Father: Peter Hastings -  founder and lead defense attorney of Hastings Criminal Law
  • Mother: Veronica Hastings -  founder and lead defense attorney of Hastings Criminal Law
  • Older sister: Melissa Hastings - assistant district attorney for Rosewood, PA area; five years Spencer’s senior
  • Older half-brother: Jason DiLaurentis - son of Peter and Jessica DiLaurentis; a few months younger than Melissa.
  • Younger half-sister: Alison DiLaurentis - daughter of Peter and Jessica DiLaurentis; a few months younger than Spencer. Missing since the summer before high school.

HISTORY

The Hastings began grooming their daughters from an early age, expectant that they would join the family’s firm in Rosewood, PA. For as long as she can remember, Spencer has known TWO THINGS: that she would fulfill the footsteps l a i d  o u t for her, and that Annalise Keating is the competition.  She and Asher Millstone ran in the same circles, country clubs and galas and champagne on New Year’s Eve, though she was never able to be quite so vapidly c h a r m i n g .

But years of preparation couldn’t have prepared her for her stumbling block; Spencer was arrested in her senior year of high school in connection with the disappearance of her “best friend,” Alison DiLaurentis, and the murder of Bethany Young, a girl found buried in the DiLaurentis back yard. Eventually, all charges were D R O P P E D , but there are murmurs that the dismissal might have had more to do with her family than her innocence.

Much to everyone’s surprise ( especially her own ) , Spencer signed up for Annalise’s “How to Get Away With Murder” course when she began at Middleton University - and, even more surprisingly, Spencer was subsequently chosen as one of the Keating Six.

Why the daughter of prominent attorneys in a n e i g h b o r i n g  t o w n was chosen for the group, not even Spencer knows, but it’s been stated Annalise might be looking for an inside way to destroy the Hastings’ firm. That, and after Spencer becomes entwined in the murder of Sam Keating with the others, it begins to grow apparent that her criminal history would make for an excellent f a l l  g i r l for the bodies piling up around the them.

How I become utterly obsessed with ANY given character:

  1. I will think/feel nothing of them at first, they’re just another character
  2. One random, completely innocuous thing will happen in their series that gets me suddenly interested in them. It could be a lack of them appearing for a while which will inexplicably lead me to wanting to see them more, or it could be a sudden addition to their lore, something in their backstory, etc
  3. Find myself randomly looking up their TVTropes and Wiki pages and drowning myself in their entire biography
  4. Congrats, me, you are now completely, hopelessly obsessed with this character
  5. Now go saturate your art tag with drawings of them.
Nikolay Tsiskaridze really pushed me to improve. He’s a terrific teacher, pays a lot of attention to his students, and comes to classes himself. He taught us musicality: how to move in harmony with the music. As a dancer, that gives you incredible strength. Tsiskaridze taught us a great deal, of course, but what I remember most were our classes in musicality.
—  Adrian Blake Mitchell. Vaganova Ballet Academy graduate. 
Stocking Stuffer for Minticetea!

Nosty made a show of licking the orange and chocolate coating off a third Jaffa cake before cramming it in his mouth. “If you’re dead set on writing my life story why bother taking the piss with me at all? Call it a regular fucking biography and leave me out of it. You can find all the pertinent details on my wikipedia page.” He paused to make an exaggerated hand gesture, “You can embroider the rest. A posh hen like you, I’m sure you’re familiar enough with fairytales.” He was certain that final barb hit its mark, cream colored skin was going crimson and her eyes had turned into blue flames. It was a shame to alienate such a beauty so quickly, but it was best that the little princess learn not to come too near a bridge troll- even if she had been ushered in to meet him as he was sipping tea in a fancy fucking room with a gold star on the door.

(A wee teaser for Minty Monday, I hope you like where this is headed @minticetea! Lots of love, @mintyssummersanta)

When I die and the make a biography of me I want to be played by owen Wilson as lightning McQueen just make my autobiography about the Cars Movie Franxhise and everyone I know and love is a fucking car meanwhile John Lasseter is also a car and voices my dad who is supportive and proud of my dreams of being the fastest race car