The Black Hole

The Black hole




You again.

Like a bell that rings,

I salivate and carry on to my cage.

In a daze for days.

Like an animal that lays,



This phase of this phrase

Which craves a comma to allow for a coma,

A pause to cocoon my way into these words.


A rug of rhythm,

Where my head can braid all these bits,

All these pits that I gnawed my way to with my wits.

And here in my cage,

It all sits.

Lately, Frida Kahlo has been following me or perhaps I am following her, but either way we are hot on each other's trails. As she kept appearing, I kept listening for the reason. In one passage of a book that made it's way to my hands, she explained why self portraiture was so prominent in her work. It was because the subject she knew best, was herself.  It made me pause. It's as if her infinite access to herself gave her the ability to bring those less accessible parts to the surface. Those deep dark parts, uncomfortable parts, and the parts in between that sometimes feel vacant causing us to question how to live with still air around our bones. 

As I was reading her words and tracing her work with my fingers, I was reminded of a self portrait series that I photographed on March 3, 2012 in Brooklyn, New York. I was 28 years old and in a deep pit. I called the series 'The Black Hole.' The poem to the left was written a few days before I decided I needed a little more than words to illustrate what was happening in my head.

As Frida kept appearing and this series kept sitting in my head, I was reminded of one thing: vulnerability. Self portraiture is also something that has been part of my work and it's usually because I'm trying to work through something. For this series I was trying to make beautiful something that was deeply painful. Recycle the parts of me that felt scared, wounded, or unsure and turn them into something that felt powerful because the emotions I was feeling were just that. The struggle in these photos is real, the pain is real, but what's more important is that the release is real. The hardness softens as the frames move forward and it's the letting go that makes all the fear disappear.

Where there is fear, there is freedom.

"I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration." –Frida Kahlo