It’s a self eeeee self world.

Some self portraits taken a few months ago that I recently edited to look like candy.

I’m really interested in ultra-femme power imagery, and an esthetic quality so beautiful it shatters all traditional understandings of what ’empowered women’, femininity, female sexuality and/or ‘beauty standards’ can look like. I also quite literally believe that ‘selfies’ are a revolutionary movement, and that aided by the internet, they can change the worlds perception of women, and women’s perception of themselves, in a really profound way.

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Artist Statement Draft #3:

Madeleine Black is younger than the number of her sexual partners would suggest.

She is presently a student in, ‘How to change the World with Beauty and Non Violent Protests of the Heart’, at Concordia University in Montreal.

She drove a boat for the first time yesterday and isn’t afraid of the dark.

Notes: taken in my first year of Art School

I never write down anything like dates or whatever because I’m too easily bored by stuff like that and the profs usually post all of the power points online for us anyways. (For this reason, I also haven’t included any quotes or ideas brought up about/by any specific artists because I’m more interested in the unscripted comments in the everyday.) Most of my notes from school are just long lists of artists, projects, and techniques that I should research, mixed in with quotes from profs and little snippets or ideas talked about that I think are interesting/important, here are my favorites from notebook #1:

(AKA you can know everything I’ve learned. Like, basically)

– Prof on University: “practice play and hang out with kindred spirits.”
– “It’s best to wait as long as possible before making money from your art because it’s kind of awful.” – prof
– Ultra Marine Blue. Vandyke Brown. Hint of Cadmium Red. (makes Black) (watercolor)
– pure pigment vibrating.
– “I couldn’t help it, the colors made me sick.” – puked on paintings
– “I don’t really care about grades, I just wanna teach you skillz.” – prof
– The death of painting. – rumors
– “Painting is often dead from time to time.” – prof
– “If anyone ever tells you that painting is dead, and you’re dead set on being a painter, just ignore them cause painting will be stop being dead about 3 years after that.” – prof
– “I’m not a poet, I’m just drunk.” “That’s the same thing.” – overheard
– “Art forces us to live within a grey zone.” – prof
– Move away from abstraction and recognize the importance of specificity.
– “We’re kind of at this moment where ‘Queerness’ is a sensibility.”
– Dye lace with beets and blood.
– Try on skin before.
– “The identification of the body as a place to define us.” – prof
– “There’s no gender on the internet.” – unknown
– “The face is a point of contact with infinity.” – who said this? -> defined ‘the other’ -> the objectification.
– The rhythms of childhood.
– Relationship between social structure and the experience of being a person.
– Everyday choreography.
– Thinking about the body as a floating signifier.
– Hybrid Body -> a body that stages trauma through inscription.
– Mutable, malleable, performative -> explodes
– Looks at depression as an esthetic quality/sensibility.
– “Tropes of Darkness.” – can’t remember who/what/where
– “How is this esthetic excess framed?” – prof
– Lyrical film making.
– Coming to terms with mental illness and living with it in the home.
– Critically unpack the stereotype.
– “It’s an argument that you have a true identity.” – prof
– *The subject, you the person, is just an invention.*
– Feel like I’m getting a degree in how to be a revolutionary.
– “Male and Female is breaking down before our eyes.” – prof
– Come back to penetration during this.
– “Our glorious leader, who will lead us to heaven or whatever.” – prof
– Connection between ‘Plato’ and platonic relationships?
– “When you see color, you’re experiencing the atoms on your body.” – unknown
– “The revolution here is not the work of art, you become the work of art.” – unknown
– Performativity -> not performing -> we are it.
– Be critical -> of femininity.
– ‘Normally’ <- why you want this kind of normal?
– *Marriage set up as a structural false sense of choice -> Conform or Die.
– “Society as we know it is detrimental to our well being, so we would be better to dismantle it.” – unknown
– “He caused a complete scandal, and today we say, ah well, that’s what artists do.” – prof
– “We don’t learn anything, we just do it.” – prof
– “In this kind of work, boredom is perfect.” – unknown
– “Art History has a hold on how we see things -> they have institutional control.” – prof(s)
– Why do pigs have penises shaped like corkscrews?
– Maybe any, maybe not?
– To be ‘crazy enough’.
– When silent, people don’t perceive you as human.
– “There are more winters in the world than the other seasons, because there are more dark people.” – unknown
– Being a perfectionist about your personality.
– Self consciousness starts to perform itself.
– Esthetic in a critical way -> you make who you are, identity is not natural -> this is the nature of creativity.
– Having, ‘Pretty Guilt’.
– “She always exhibits herself, never anyone else.” – prof,
– “She wanted to touch on the things that men wouldn’t be bothered with…” – prof
– *Put her hot dog vid in my sketchbook.
– “In the absence of clearly defined goals we become enslaved by the day to day.” – prof
– “Love is that condition where another persons happiness is essential to your own.” – unknown
– “In any kind of erotic attraction your expectations aren’t realistic.” – prof
– Hair shadows, over pages of books, your face, peoples faces, walls.
– “It’s all Madonna’s fault, all of it.” – prof
– “There’s always going to be someone who pushes it over the edge, and that person should be you.” – prof

Another Artist Statement Draft:

Madeleine Black grew up in the prairies (Regina),
chasing bad boys and sunsets.

Now based in Montreal,
she’s chasing her highly unrealistic and foolishly girly dreams of being
an interdisciplinary artist, with a truly fulfilling and richly creative life.

(making art about the (beauty in) fooling around and girlyness).

She can most often be found trying to remember where she scattered
all of the pieces of herself, and/or crying about gender barriers and/or
re-applying her lipstick without a mirror on the bus.

Colors break her heart everyday.

Artist Statement Draft:

Madeleine Black is a girl with all strings and no strings at once.

She is a marionette on fire.
A firefly in a mason jar.
A discontinued edition of mock barbie dolls,
accidentally equipped with hearts for brains and vice versa.

Colors break her heart everyday.
And probably, so do you.

She wrote this drunk sitting on the floor of some dark basement (dungeon) show.

Skin hues & the beginning of the world.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been going through all of my photographs, putting together some options for an upcoming school project to make a ‘graphic novel/visual narrative/book’. I don’t want to give too much away/it’s still in the planning/research  stages so will likely evolve considerably throughout it’s creation, but I’m working with the themes of skin, specifically my own skin and psoriasis (which is a chronic auto immune disease that causes my skin cells to multiply too quickly, and covers over 70% of my body in scab like, red circular patterns), as well as imagery & ideas I relate or attach to it. Like:

flowers, dust, crystals, blood, the nervous system, cells, wounds, scar tissue, the female body as public space, toxins, stars, solar systems, leopard print, patterns (in design and metaphorically), paint, fungus, fish, lace, chalk, femininity, fragility, (re-defining) beauty, ect.

Mostly I’ve been scanning, cropping and editing for hours while drinking cocktails and feeling strangely inspired by just tinting a bunch of forgotten photo’s pink. ‘skin hues’.

Right now I’m almost as far back as exactly a year ago and I just love the way this one from my road trip across the USA last April, taken at the Grand Canyon, turned out.

(I liked it so much it’s also my new header photo!)

Also, last night I was hanging out with a dear old friend, Mattew Donnelly, who I’ve known for… maybe since I was a pre-teen? We couldn’t remember when we met exactly but it was definitely pre-2005 (the year I turned 14), he later made my high school grad dress! (which was also the same year he graduated from his BFA) He’s a fashion designer and now living in NYC, we were having a blast at his studio till super late, as in almost 5am (this is where I was photo editing with the help of cocktails, and cupcakes, and Cher remixes).

Afterwards we took a cab, my first NYC cab even! The text on the photo is from one of the many lovely things our cab driver said. Another favorite, which he said a few minutes after this initial beautiful phrase, was,

“New York City, always 24 hours. Someone is always getting up to go to work. Someone is always going to bed.”

To which I responded, “It’s always the beginning of the world.” And we laughed.