lady & the tramp (spaghetti dinner in the valley) is inspired by the recent increase in strippers as subject matter for new hip-hop and pop culture in general. Strippers are the new black due in major part to the release of several new stripper anthems from young artists like Drake and Frank Ocean. However a tune that trumps the youthful exaltation of new millionaires is Juicy J’s Bands a Make Her Dance. A delivery of such that has since resulted in its paramount status as THE stripper song of the year (2012). An even greater popularity generated in the DC metropolitan area for having been recorded here.
Cognizant of the specific historicity of strippers and the cultural affection for them, this work instead is specific to my own interest for this new phenomena. Loosely a self-portrait, a personal identification is made with the subject of the stripper. Discovering my own attraction to this cultural figure by identifying parallels between me and her; parallels concerning the struggle, glamour, performance and the overall conflict between attraction and judgment. The work objectifies the female figure in a similar fashion to the current objectification of the same figure. This partly due to a personal appreciation for political-incorrectness resulting in the choice to not amend this genre of expression and instead mirror it.
As a homosexual my attraction is likely to differ from the appeal experienced by these major Hip-Hop star but a sexual attraction nonetheless. I consider the melancholy with which these stars express their love. These anthems are ambiguous and revelatory of what I can only conclude as an Oedipal fascination for the icon of the stripper resulting in both the dismissal of her as an equal while concurrently worshiping of her as greater and necessary to conquer. My affinity for the heterosexual consumption of their female counterpart is channeled in this piece. Establishing a discourse surrounding the male portrayal of a female; the male gaze but more importantly the male artist. My work is directly about stripper culture and a mainstream fascination for it but my action in the work involves the rendering and manipulation of a female image, an action no different than the trending expression. This futility in narrative and stance is signature to most of my work but also important when reflecting upon the futility of the subject matter and inspiration of origin.