All posts by Terrel

Artist Statement

My process of making is like hip-hop: I sample my life, family and friends; I remix visual references from history, pop culture, and diasporic cultures; I rap about the different facets of identity and experience. In black vernacular “doing the most” means someone is behaving in a way exceeding what is necessary; as a maker I embody this. By obscuring text, invoking esoteric imagery, and working abstractly, I force the viewer to investigate and question my work, and hopefully their assumptions about identity politics. As such, presentation, representation and performance are critical sites of investigation. Continue reading Artist Statement

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Be open. Be soft. Be squishy.

I have to be honest with myself: I have been using the Internet and social media as a crutch. The world is scary. No, I’m not talking about the impending nuclear assault, or the men finally being held accountable for their actions after years of inaction. No, I’m talking about interpersonal relationships. I’ve been avoiding connections with people in real life; preferring the distance facebook and instagram put between us. What I’m talking about the V word we try so hard to avoid: “vulnerability”. I have been trying to write this blog post for at leas two weeks now; every time I sit down to write I am scared about the truth I know inside my soul. I’m not walking the walk, and quite frankly, if I talk the talk, I’ll force myself to be accountable. Continue reading Be open. Be soft. Be squishy.

Colored

I have always had an interesting relationship to color and pattern, it’s almost impossible for me to think of one without the other; as someone who has always been interested in art and fashion this isn’t very shocking. I think the reason I love color so much is that it has so much power. As human beings, we love color. Our obsession with color has led to much advancement in the arenas of science, technology, apparel and beyond. One of the phenomena I’ve noticed is that people are intimidated by color in their wardrobe more often than not. I’m not sure if the fear comes from not being able to mix and match color, or if people genuinely dislike color. I personally have been trying to add more color, exploring complex color and pattern combinations in my own wardrobe however the affinity for black, navy, brown and grey within our culture has made it hard for my plus sized body to find the interesting garments I crave. Continue reading Colored

Just Like Your Friends: Terrel in conversation with Bryan Patrick

This week we’re back in conversation with another of the bloggers on this site, Bryan Patrick. Two weeks ago, Bryan Patrick came out as queer on the site and we have a great conversation about the development of that post and the aftermath of such a personal revelation:

T: Well, it’s part interview, part discussion so we will talk about things we have in common, I definitely want to hear a bit about before during and after releasing your first post which I purposely (read accidentally) scheduled for national coming out day.

BP: okay! So yeah, where should we start? I can talk about sorta how I came to realize I was queer or like my “queer role models” you being one of them or the reaction I got afterwards. I got thoughts on all of em. Continue reading Just Like Your Friends: Terrel in conversation with Bryan Patrick

A Manifesto

There is no beauty for beauty’s sake

Beauty can be found in every thing on this earth, however beauty must not be worshiped for its own sake.

Books hold knowledge beyond what we can encounter through happenstance

Reading books expands your mind and aids in the development of empathy. Read books which contribute to your growth rather than simply entertain you. Continue reading A Manifesto

Developing Accomplices – Leaving Allies Behind

A few weeks ago as my two friends tied the knot, negative emotions began to percolate within me. I am admittedly on the fence about marriage, leaning toward having very little interest in the system, and I am always suspicious of cishet people. Being a marginalized individual can often make you suspicious of the people and traditions that fit within the mainstream. I have to admit that within my antiestablishment vigor, I have developed a streak of pessimism. This isn’t a post about bashing white/cis/heterosexual/conservative people; in fact it’s quite the opposite. Continue reading Developing Accomplices – Leaving Allies Behind

My Body, My Choice

I think as a culture we have a problem with autonomy; we cherish the charisma and machismo of the lone ranger, the white cishet man to save us all, or provide the standalone archetype for each of us to ascend to. However, in terms of letting people make decisions for themselves, decisions that often have little to no impact on other people, we are often hard pressed to “let people live” or “let them be great”. While most of the conversation about personal choice has be surrounding women’s reproductive rights, my reference to the phrase “my body, my choice” extends beyond the basic rights women should have when making decisions about their bodies. Quite obviously, people’s bodies are their own; the choices they make with them should be their own as well. Continue reading My Body, My Choice