I began this work as a way to capture the vibrant artists who have inspired me. I have met so many creatives in my life, artists from around the world: writers, painters, musicians, and activists. Their creations change the way we see our world. I initiated my culture mapping ideas while working on my master's degree at New York University. In fact, I left NYU briefly to work on an independent project with an artist in former Bosnia, documenting his work, telling his story, and trying to understand how he unpacked history, experience, and consequences of war.
For the next several months, I will be painting pictures of artists who have inspired me. Everyday, they change the world around them, creating a map for a new way to live, understand, and experience the world around us. This painting is based on a musician and a creative cohort. I started with the Filastine painting because of all the political nonsense going on in the world. At twenty-two, the nation’s problems became clear to me. Grey wore a bandana, and it meant something different than what the news teaches us to believe: that when we cover our faces or hide our identity it’s to create fear. Instead, we hide our identities because of the repercussions of having an opinion. This is not a terror campaign. Activists should not have to fear being hauled in front of a court, considered a terrorist or have tactics used to undermine the individual in society just for having an opposing opinion. Today, they can be wailed on the presidential Twitter account.
Nearly 20 years ago, many of us participated in the WTO protest in Seattle. I was encouraged to engage and to get involved, to care and to know why. The first time I met Grey was at The Bed of Sound, an art opening at the Henry Art Museum in Seattle. He was the first to teach me about the history of my maiden name: Medina. We shared several encounters when he visited New York— dinners, grocery carts, megaphones, art exhibitions, intersections in the world, travelings, and teachings from the road. I have been inspired. Grey woke me, as so many friends have awaken me. It is an honor to paint this for you.
Filastine & Nova bio:
Are a multimedia duo working to undermine borders. Their music collides electronic beat production with dense layers of voice, concréte sounds, analogue synths and strings. Spin magazine calls it “bass music for crumbling urban futures,” and Pitchfork says “they sound less like `world’ music and more like music from another world.” Another world is exactly what they aim to create, using sound, video design, and dance to express a radically different vision of the possible. Together they create unique and fearless interventions: an official mixtape for The Act of Killing documentary, a sound swarm at the Paris Climate Summit, a performance in the Calais Jungle migrant camp. Their latest effort, Abandon, is a video series profiling dances of emancipation from work, filmed in locations from coal mines in Borneo to office cubicles in America. The songs of Abandon and a grip of other new tracks will come out this year on the duo’s first full album together, Drapetomania, colliding psychedelic trap, tropical post-folk and a punk ethos into a compelling audio thesis. This is the current website:http://www.filastine.com/
(painting by Maria Schechter)