I’ve got a friend named Lina who often gets naked and posts artful photos on Instagram, digitally censoring whatever IG says she has to censor, and while they’re provocative by merit of her being naked, they aren’t the least bit…lascivious. If that’s the right word. It’s easy to imagine them hanging in a gallery, or on the wall of a hall in an upscale pub.
But, nonetheless, it’s a young woman taking naked photos and posting them where everyone can see; naturally some friends and relatives are gonna reach out with words of caution, gentle discouragement, not-so-gentle, etc. They’re worried that this kinda thing might come back to haunt her somehow.
Maybe it will.
But she goes through with the photos anyway and I just sent her a message saying that lately, as I’ve started blogging more often and airing some personal stuff, I tend to freeze up cuz I’m afraid that people not only don’t wanna read this but that they’re uncomfortable by even just seeing that it’s there.
But whenever I see one of her nudes roll past my dashboard, edgy but artful, I feel like she’s raising a fist in solidarity. That she’s a role model in this respect.
We’ve talked about intimate stuff before when it comes to relationships and creating stuff and she wrote back in the same comfortable groove of those old conversations to say what I hoped she would: do your thing, be true to yourself, honesty needs no audience, essentially.
Writing personal posts since the breakup has been cathartic but it’s making me wonder too if this is all some kind of juvenile impersonation of other artists I admire who’ve made their name by oversharing.
The two major role models for this have been Kevin Smith and Henry Miller (pictured above) — and also Orson Welles, but in a different way.
Focus on Miller and Smith and you see two great storytellers who also consume huge amounts of art, whose brilliance and allure seems to stem largely from their ability to digest that art quickly, consider their own reaction to it, and then articulate that reaction within the larger context of their understanding of themselves. So we don’t necessarily watch a thirty-minute video of Kevin Smith breaking down the latest Star Wars or Marvel movie becuase he’s so articulate or funny (though he’s both of those things, in my opinion); rather, we watch it because he’s approaching these works of art as a fan, somebody who appreciates how these things have shaped him, and he’s given enough deep serious consideration to his own life and personality and dreams and behavior that he can now articulate, with quickness and clarity, what these things mean to him — and, by extension, we can listen to his very clearheaded explanation of why he’s responding the way he’s responding and, in turn, it helps us to understand our own reactions, our own feelings and beliefs.
What I’m not sure about is whether I’m taking a page outta their books, and then doing it my way, or is this one of so many author impersonations I’ll look back on and cringe about.