The Circuitous Journey of an Outsider
Who I am.
A meandering contradiction, a sprinting paradox.
A dyslexic intellectualizer. A steakhouse-loving vegetarian.
A calming neurotic. An affirmation-seeking feminist.
A confessional professional. A compassionate critic.
An existentialist Buddhist. A skeptical aesthete.
A tryer-on for size of suits that don’t fit me.
A mod and a rocker. A middle-aged kid.
Jewish/Moslem. A pugilism-loving pacifist.
An urban-grit-needing naturalist.
A social creature with social anxiety.
Formally educated/self-taught outsider.
A New Yorker living in Los Angeles.
A perfect imperfection.
What I’ve done/what I do.
I take pictures. I draw. I paint. I write. I communicate in color, composition, visual metaphor, both conceptual and intuitive. There is a natural fluidity to my artistic process, mixing media, or shifting gears from one form to the next. I try not to get in the way and just allow the art to translate my subjective sense of being into the objective world.
I’ve got a BA in modern dance (choreography) from Bard College, and an MFA in poetry from Antioch University, LA. One unexpected inspiration for my visual art has been my writing. Over the last few years, I began “seeing” old poems and essays as visual-narrative, or poetic compositions, and I followed the impulse to recreate old, textually-derived imagery into sketches, then “finished” paintings or drawings. During this process, I seem to find a center, where preconceived ideas serve as a foundation for the thrill of chance, when the piece I’m working on starts to tell me what it wants to be.
Photography has always been a more spontaneous act for me. I'm drawn to angles and textures, both abstract and figurative. Digital editing is clearly a modern-day addiction. It taunts my imperfect perfectionism, and I indulge it. I might spend hours on one shot, but when it becomes clear to me that I have done all I can to fulfill the “will” of whatever project, there is a sense of completion and then, I let it be. It’s another balancing act of pleasure and pain.
Hands on, literally.
As a massage therapist of 25 years, I have helped to promote healing and wellness for countless recipients. Both a trade and a calling, I have found that the tactile and kinesthetic experiences of working with the body have deeply imprinted how I perceive the world, and this awareness cannot be isolated from my art.
And, as working with the body has informed my various means of expression, they have all streamed into each other, as well. The dance choreography of my college days has informed my writing which has informed my painting, drawing, and photography in subject and composition. It’s like a torch has been passed, navigating the route of my process. Cause and effect of sensorial input, igniting output in the world of being, and becoming.
How I got here.
I was born in Manhattan on a balmy August afternoon, a fair amount of moons ago. I grew up around and in the city. My mom was an eccentric native New Yorker with a passion for the finer things of her day; gourmet food, music, theatre and midcentury modern art and design. As a mom, she instilled in us liberal values and modeled extreme generosity, and a touch of chaos. My father was a former pro soccer player, portrait artist, opera and show tunes-loving, economics professor from Turkey, who arrived to New York on a freighter ship in 1959 with fifty bucks in his pocket…one of those true stories. He was the epitome of sweetness.
So, here I am, a Turkish and Domestic Blend. I was born into a home of cultural contrasts and brought up as an Ethical Humanist, free-agent. My parents divorced when I was 9, but remained friends. They never lost their basic appreciation for, as my mom put it, “the essence of the being” in each other. Their hearts were huge.
Publications / Affiliations
I've had several poems, and some photos, published in ezines and in print. One of my poems "That Hunger" was nominated for a Pushcart prize a while back, and I've been a finalist in some literary contests. I was a proud mentor for several years at Writegirl, here in Los Angeles. writegirl.org, #writegirl
Some of my photos have recently been published in author James Campion's newly released book, 'Accidentally Like a Martyr - The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon. (Backbeat Books, 2018) #accidentallylikeamartyr #jamescampion