Monday, July 2, 2012

Kay's inspirations: Andy and Josephine

For nearly six years now I have been a huge fan of Andy Warhol. I can remember the day I first stumbled upon him. I was 15 on Hollywood Boulevard with my parents, when I saw a tote bag that was created based on some of his work and quotes. I was puzzled and enticed by the bag. My dad came up behind me and said, "Huh, never thought I'd see Andy Warhol on a bag." I was intrigued. I went home that night in the hotel and googled my heart's content out till I couldn't keep my eyes open. When we returned from the trip I went out and bought a book on him and before long, I was hooked! Whenever people ask me what about him registers with me so strongly I never say the same thing. But, after giving it a lot of thought I think it's more or less how he led his life and allowed his passions, no matter how superficial they may have appeared to some people, direct and guide him. His world gives me the courage to be myself. In discovering Andy I also discovered a love for Pop and Modern Art.

"I'm afraid if you look a thing long enough, it loses all of it's meaning." -Andy Warhol

The iconic Josephine Baker led a very exciting, inspiring, and moving life. Growing up I struggled with my racial identity and my confidence as a whole. In my own self discovery I discovered Josephine's story in dealing with racial identity and self confidence. She was able to overcome it all and in doing so led one of the greatest lives for young black women, and young women in general, to admire. I was moved to learn that she was one of the first black international superstars, a dancer, a singer, a fashionista, and an adoptive mother of twelve children. Like Andy Warhol, her passions also become her source of strength. She was a major activist for civil rights, women's rights, and became an expatriate in France in order to free herself from the racial discrimination she suffered under in the United States. I try my best to channel her confidence and her drive with everything I do. 

"I improvised, crazed by the music... Even my teeth and eyes burned with fever. Each time I leaped I seemed to touch the sky and when I regained earth it seemed to be mine alone." -Josephine Baker


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