Holly Knox Rhame dinner party

Artists Give It Better

When I think about what sustains me as an artist I’ve realized that other artists are probably my primary source of encouragement.  Visiting other artists’ studios, picking one another’s brains for the answer (because surely ONE of us has it right?), the maaaaaegik of seeing a finally realized exhibit/performance/book, and exchanging the “banner day: three rejections received and not even 11am!” email.

And the strange talismans that we give one another.  My life is filled with these objects and I find that I use them as energy touchstones as I move through the studio.

Last week I was delighted to receive “Holly The Horrible” comics from Holly Knox Rhame.  (A stroll through her website does not disappoint; each series deviates from the one prior in a way that I find very intriguing as she is obviously following an intuitive path.  Working intuitively is an ongoing challenge for me, I try to remain very conscious not to shy away from my real intent…)

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A performance from the incomparable Sands Murray-Wassink:

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Sands once offered me this fantastic text painting that reads “I CAN NOT ACCEPT MY LIFE.”  I am still beyond honored by that moment and think of it often but there are some things, like one’s life, that instinctively cannot be accepted.  The piece just felt too momentous and somehow too…valuable.

Last month George Spencer sent all sort of tremendous boxer swag which I find is very prettily offset by Victorian framing. Gives the impression that I patiently await the day that my boxer man will return home from the war.

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Thomas Allen Harris is always an inspiration. (And incidentally his brother, Lyle Ashton Harris, is no slouch either.  Irritatingly good creative genes seem to run through that family…)


Always remember that Rick McIntire can rework a book cover better than you can.  I started collaborating with Rick thirteen (oy vey) years ago, we worked on both the Projection Project and Yamabushi together.  I think he’s been my single strongest artistic influence.

Books, books, books from Rick, here’s just a few:

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And when you’re done with that remember that Rick can also rework a CD cover better than you can.

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And of course Dr. Annie Sprinkle always brings perspective.  Along with this instructional she also sent me an amazing certificate commemorating all the sexual work I’ve done within the community.  I (wisely) had it framed and then (perhaps unwisely) left it in the Miami storage unit where Kevin and I have stashed all of the art that we are afraid the Caribbean will destroy.  I’m rethinking this decision.  It’s possible that one should always leave Miami but never leave art there.

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About the author: Kharis Kennedy