Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Random Moment with Terry Castro

Castro, jewelry designer, creator of dreams

He scored points simply for being at my favorite restaurant, 2 years ago. Once I struck up conversation, I noticed the bear claw around his neck; he told me about his jewelry, I told him about my "dirty" writing, we discussed race. Since then there were run-ins in SoHo and the LES when he wasn't in Europe or Asia racking up buyers or in Paris (le sigh) for Fashion Week. A few blocks away from the Art For Change Gallery, we met at his studio for this interview.

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My name is Castro, like Fidel Castro, like Cuba. I’m a creator, a creator of dreams. At this point in my dreams I’m creating jewelry, leather accessories—whatever comes to my mind. Before that, I did clothing, women’s clothing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Random Moment with Damali Abrams

Damali Abrams, interdisciplinary artist

We met at the opening reception of her exhibit at A.I.R. Gallery in DUMBO. In person she was quiet and humble, on the video screens we viewed 365 of her characters. Summer of 2011, I watched a video she exhibited addressing the hot button issue at that time - unattractive Black women destined for lifelong singlehood - at an event at Bluestockings book store organized by her sister, Abiola Abrams. On July 18, Columbus Circle was under the deluge of a summer thunderstorm storm so we took refuge in the Time Warner Center for this interview.

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My name is Damali Abrams. I’m an interdisciplinary artist but I work mostly right now in video and performance but I also do collage and mixed media.

How long have you been involved in the arts?

Well, I’ve pretty much been involved in the arts all my life; I studied dance growing up, I’ve written poetry since I was a little girl and then I started getting into more visual art as I got older.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Random Moment with Robin Glasser

Robin Glasser, author

We were both on the bill for a literary reading event in 2010. She enjoyed my excerpt on fellatio, I was sucked into her excerpt on being seduced in Paris. She informed me about Word Up bookshop the opportunity to have copies of my book sold there and we later shared the stage at an event she organized. Then along came a nude young man and my camera. On a sultry Saturday, we met in Chinatown while passersby listening in on our conversation.

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My name is Robin Glasser, like Batman and Robin, R-O-B-I-N, I’m not fancy, and I’m a writer. I’m an author. I have one book called Men At Work, which is fully illustrated and it actually comes with a guarantee to put twinkles in your eyes and sparkles in your pants. Somebody gave me a video camera to make little movies and I put them on YouTube and the very first poem they have now taken off so I’m at war with YouTube. My other book is My Life as a Concubine which is actually a roman à clef—I lived in Paris for 3 years—I changed the names to protect the guilty. Besides a love story, there’s recipes, there’s tips of France and great places to visit. I’ve just finished my third book, The Brain Exchange, which I call a "Sex-Fi" and the punchline is, “If you could walk in someone else’s shoes, would they fit?” It takes place in the not-too-distant future and the latest thing is instead of taking a vacation to an exotic land you can actually exchange brains and take a vacation in someone else’s body. And the whole plot revolves around a bodybuilder and a super plus size woman and what ensues.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Random Moment with Mecca Woods

Mecca Woods, writer, filmmaker, astrologer

We met at A Monthly Bondfire in 2009 during the annual Ladies Night Event. She rocked the mic with powerful poetry about life and love. That same night she announced she was making a short film. Sure enough, it came to fruition. I attended a screening of the film, lived vicariously through her as she touched down on French soil and recently she read my natal chart keeping me on the right path. This past Friday, the 13th, despite Mercury Retrograde energy looming, we met in SoHo for Batidas and lots of laughter.

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My name is Mecca Woods AKA The Meccanism. I am a writer, filmmaker and astrologer.

How long have you been a writer?

I wanna say it’s one of the things that has been with me all of my life. It’s funny ‘cause my Dad actually has laminated stories that I wrote back when I was like 7 years old. People would always ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up and at that time I would tell them I wanna be an author, that was my big word for it. As time went on, it was one of the things that stuck with me no matter what I did. There was a brief time when I thought I wanted to go into science but I suck at math so I ended up going back to what I always knew best and that was writing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Random Moment with Michael Cinquino

Michael Cinquino, photographer

Within minutes of meeting one another, we were naked. He's the photographer for the upcoming book, Asana Exposed by ISIS Phoenix. I love the images we created, and it was only a test shoot -- that's saying a lot. I appreciate his feedback on the development of my male nude series, we've shared self-portraits and are overdue for a Hapkido class. It was hot and humid day and thankfully his Williamsburg studio was air-conditioned when we got together on Friday.

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I’m Michael Cinquino, I’m a photographer here in New York. I live in Brooklyn. I shoot just about anything with people. The frequency I would say is headshots first, then fashion, portraits and then also events and weddings. I work mostly in the consumer market. I’ve started to move more towards editorial and publications in the last 6 months to a year.

How many years have you been doing this?

It’ll be 3 years July 7 or something like that.

Do you have an image that you’ve captured or one that you saw that let you know,  "I want to be a photographer"?

I don’t know if there was a single image. I will say though that I’m most attracted to the face. I love doing actor headshots. Even with models or whomever, I’m most attracted to the face because there’s so much to it. I like to make and like to see compelling images; images that I look at and I instantly have some sort of visceral response to.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Random Moment with StarPower

StarPower, hip hop artist

I had a crush on him in 7th grade. He was a bad boy with too much brainpower for his own good. A few years ago when I reconnected with many old junior high school friends, I learned he stuck with hip hop and was also a teacher. I went to a few of his shows and was sold on his in-your-face lyrics. I added him to my "Men of May" UrbanErotika lineup. Now he's taking those skills to teach in Qatar. We fueled up with burgers and soccer at Bill's Bar and Burger then headed over to The High Line to discuss.

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Introduce yourself and tell us about art, your discipline.

Rod, R-O-D. I always spell it out because I went to a workshop one time and the guy told me I don’t enunciate well enough he said, “It sounds like you’re saying ‘Roz’” so I always say, Rod – R-O-D. Yeah, Rod AKA StarPower. My art is hip hop – writing and performing. My discipline is discipline; discipline’s changed my life, discipline has made me the person I am ‘cause I had none of it and now it’s an addiction. So yeah, that’s me.

So, you’re a hip hop artist. Is there a message to your music?

Yeah, definitely. The message is to be an individual. A lot of hip hop used to be dangerous, it used to be about “I don’t give a fuck” but it was not give a fuck for a reason. Now they’re not even trying to not give a fuck anymore so I’m not gonna give a fuck for all of us. My message is you’re here once, don’t leave anything on the table, don’t regret anything. There’s a million things that you could be rapping about but they don’t do it. And if you’re in a position, like in my position, I’m just a no-name rapper somewhere, I can say what the hell I want and I’m gonna rap about it. My message is just you’re beautiful, the world is beautiful, it’s also ugly and disgusting and you need to speak about all of it, in detail, that’s how I feel.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Random Moment with Davi Russo

Davi Russo, photographer and director

"I'm usually the one asking the questions," I said at some point during our conversation at the bar. After exchanging a comment about the song that was playing and commiserating over both being a dying breednative New Yorkerswe drank and talked about art, photography, sex and beauty ideals. We saw each other again at his exhibit and book release, "Turns" at Munch Gallery. Returning to the restaurant where we first met, it was my turn to ask the questions.

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I’m Davi Russo and I work as a photographer and director and I make pictures. I guess I like to think of myself as someone that is a maker of things.

How long have you been a photographer?

Well, my mother gave me photography but in like a natural way. When I was 7 years old, she gave me my first camera – she gave me actually 2 cameras – she gave me an old Kodak 110 camera, the film looks like a little telephone, and she gave me a Polaroid 600 series camera. My job was to kinda be the family photographer because my father was incarcerated around that time and so my mother realized that we’d be sending photographs to him through the mail. I think she was very smart about understanding that if she gave me this assigned role it was probably an ego boost for me as a young man, you know, and it gave me something good to do. I’m sure that my father adored having those pictures sent … so that’s how I was introduced to photography. It wasn’t like I studied it or something like that.

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