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Entries in Nicole Fiorentino (2)

Monday
Oct012012

Pimp My Artwork 070: Deer Woman

She was the myth slipped down through dreamtime. The promise of feast we all knew was coming. The deer who crossed through knots of a curse to find us. She was no slouch, and neither were we, watching.

— from "Deer Dancer" by Joy Harjo

This work came by music, by a melody, lingering and swirling.  I've often talked about the song "Don't Come Back" by O'death and the importance of it to my work. Sometimes you find a band and the music just gets you and you get them, and somehow each of you has received a key to the others mind.

I had been walking around Roosevelt Island again.  I like to call it Blackwell these days as the name seems to fit. I had been thinking of creating a new piece but was unsure of the direction, as my mind shuffled through thoughts so did my ipod. "Don't Come Back" had eased it's way through the headphone and into the locked parts of my subconcious.  Slowly the images came, one by one, like being haunted by small ghosts of time.

 . . .but I imagined her like this, not a stained red dress with tape on her heels but the deer who entered our dream in white dawn, breathed mist into pine trees, her fawn a blessing of meat, the ancestors who never left. - from "Deer Dancer" by Joy Harjo

I had been deer haunted. Images of antlers, pulling animal cards, seeing them on the California highway, and jewelry with antlers showing up at my door. Everywhere deer, and here this song, putting the images together. As a totem deer means gentleness, as a myth she is a power being, part deer, part woman luring men too lustful to their graves. But none of these stories particularly pertained to this deer woman that day. She came as an image, a poster, a sunrise, and connection to a melody.  She was born through music and when I showed the drummer of that band he basically said the same.

There is a common Southeastern story that teaches us of our origins: that we were born of ancestors who came from the stars and mated with the people born from the earth, from the Mounds that still exist in the southeast today. We are descendant of earth and stars, and being born from the earth and sky we are on a relentless move westward, to the land of sunset. We chase the Sun, who is female and whose power is regenerative and creative. As we move westward, away from our traditional ancestral homelands, removed by force and by will, we are taught that the stories move with us. - Paula Gunn Allen in her collection of stories Grandmothers of the Light (Beacon Press, 1991)

And within the last couple of days "Deer Woman" has found a new home with much adored friend Nicole Fiorentino of Smashing Pumpkins. The moment she told me she loved it was the moment it slipped away from my fingers and out into the ether. I couldn't be happier.

Don\'t Come Back by O'Death on Grooveshark

 

Sunday
Oct092011

Pimp My Artwork 053: The Princess of Coins

Out of everyone I've painted, I've known Nicole the longest.  I want to say we met in preschool and probably shared a hopper ball and some milk and cookies.  I still remember her first address because it's the same number as our favorite radio station growing up. I remember a lot of odd tidbits from my friends growing up and I think that's the wonderful thing about knowing someone for a long time.  You get to see them grow even if you're not always in contact. 

We used to sit together in the mornings in Junior High.  I had started to wear fishnet stockings as my everyday wear and was just learning tarot.  We would do our homework in the morning and discuss music.  The new sound in music was being coined "Alternative".  Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, REM, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Veruca Salt were a few. We'd decorate our paper bag school book covers with bands names and started dressing grunge.  We discussed starting zines. 

I left the town school system in High School but kept in touch with some people from town.  Nicole had started a band with two mutual friends, Angela and Bre.  They were called Sweet Sixteen, they opened for the Lunachicks a few times.  I was impressed.  Nicole called me after they played a show at Pearl Street in Northampton.  "We have video of the show," she said. "You're in the first row smiling the whole time."  She loved Patty Schemel and I could see why.  Patty was a role model to a lot of us, for many reasons.

She was with me when I bought my first spiked collar, something I lost over time.  And then we lost touch, well until myspace that is.  It seems at that time if you lost track of anyone you could find them via the internet.  She was in LA and doing quite well.  Radio Vago was getting a lot of attention and then big news.  She had joined Veruca Salt and I remembered so vividly listening to them as my Dad drove me to school.  I was really happy for her.

Time went on and we all switched to facebook and the news came again.  This time much bigger, Nicole had joined Smashing Pumpkins.  And all at once,I thought about all of these memories, because nothing jogs a memory more than exciting news. 

When I emailed Nicole about being in the deck she wrote back quickly telling me that what I was working on and what she was working on were syncing.  It felt like a good omen.  It took some time but I finally found the right card for her.  The Princess of Coins is the card of the dreamer and also of one who wants to turn those dreams into a reality.  She offers growth and unlocks the path to success.  I chose Nicole because I remember her learning to play bass and how her desire and enthusiasm for it was what pushed her to go further.  This is the card of goals and drive.  She teaches you to be clear on what skills and resources you will require in order to make these goals a reality.  The honeysuckle in the image denotes devoted love, the hepatica although they are spring flowers sometimes appear through the snow in winter, their enthusiasm to bloom and shine is no match for the winter frost.  Asteroides are vigorous flowers and work hard to take over a space.  And of course then there is the blackberry flower with 5 radially-symmetrical petals symbolizing the 4 elements and spirit.  The acorns represent strength, power, love, and luck.  A last the hummingbird, one of my favorite birds of all.  This little bird is symbolic of self love and always finding beauty in life. 

hepatica by Jim Shirey

Blackberry by Jim Shirey

Honeysuckle by Jim Shirey

Asteroides by Jim Shirey