Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Being Gothic is so last generation

I think it may still be "in vogue" with younger people but I grew up in the era where black hair, clothes and lipstick was popular and were what is now called "emo". Teens and young adults alike were attracted to the dark side where death was considered glamorous, or at least to look dead was. I wore black to hide my fat - plain and simple. I am sure there were very real reasons why this fashion statement/trend became so popular and for those that took the statement to the bitter end, I feel remorse. Some of these people actually did hang out in cemeteries, catching what they might think was a glimpse of what death truly was, even if there wasn't much to understand there.

I fear dying. I try hard not to envision the coffin, my funeral...just the thought of not being here anymore frightens me.

I have experienced people dying my whole life. As one of the youngest in my family, the older relatives died when I was fairly young. I was at my grandparents' funerals when I was 13 and 16 years old respectively. Coming from an Italian-Catholic background, we had the open-casket-lay-them-out-for-3-days thing which didn't make things any easier but to this day, when I look at a body in a coffin, it's almost surreal. How can these events not stay with me?

This last year has been more difficult. 2 deaths, much illness and the constant feeling of waiting for the next person to die has consumed me. Even when I was hearing about celebrity deaths, which we hear about all the time, was affecting me.

As a matter of fact, September is the anniversary of my father's death and since then, I can't seem to stop being consumed by it all. The "Angels" series I started work on, as well as other photographs of me in cemeteries seems to be coming so naturally.

Oddly enough, those holy grounds don't scare me at all. People laid to rest surrounded by beautiful representations of angels and saints is good. "Becoming one" with the angels in my work comforts me.

So is my work considered "Gothic" for lack of better terms? I don't think so. I just see it as a real expression of experiences I am trying to deal with. That those experiences happen to be about death and the spiritual is just the topic at hand. It's something I have seen many an artist deal with in their work.

I do, however, see fans of my work in the long black corset dresses feeling a sense of distance from others and feeling misunderstood. I can relate to that.

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