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Snob Art

If you fair snob readers have noticed, my Blogger profile photo features part of a panel of a cartoon strip.** And if you’ve wandered over to my BlackPlanet page then you already know that The Snob is a part-time broke artist who famously dropped out of art school.

The Snob still loves art, but the art does not love her. I wanted to be an illustrator, a commercial artist, but I couldn’t survive all the abstract, let’s make a giant paper maché vagina and say it stands for the western world’s view of women’s sexuality as a commodity bull shit. All I wanted to do was draw portraits, the human figure and cartoons. I tried to go halfsies and draw sexually charged cartoons, but I was still too bourgeois (re: square) to create “good,” interesting art.

I know this disappointed some of the others in my class as I was one of two blacks in the program and black people are supposed to be “edgy.” I was supposed to create art about my Dickensian struggle out of the streets of St. Louis, dodging bullets to get to school and getting knifed up that one time on the bi-state bus to get to my job at the wing house. Watching my mother slap her veins so she could get doped up while my father was out impregnating other women who were not my smack-addled mother. Seeing my brother Pookie Bear get shot up by Kaydee and O-Dog in a drive-by while Radio Rahem did the pop-n-lock to “Fight the Power.”

Black people are supposed to be broke and fucked up. How dare I be some county brownie from Hazelwood whose parents had the gall to get married long before I was born. How dare my life have comfort and stability. Why, I wasn’t poor at all! The nerve. I was one of those Negroes. Those perfect English speaking, book reading, natty dressing, smooth talking, long-haired, educated charlatans who made them confront their bigoted world view that all black folks were a hot ghetto mess waiting on Michelle Pfieffer to come along and tell us we have beautiful, dangerous minds.

How dare I rob them of their Coolio moments!

Yeah, I’m bitter. So what.

Anyway, this was an excuse for me to share some of my not-very-snobby art. Primarily some tasteful, yet still slutty illustrations of Lil’ Kim, one of my favorite subjects because she’s so grotesque. Back in 2003 I decided to take a more subdued route with her. She was originally to be part of larger satirical piece on the commercialization of hip hop entitled “Clothes and Liquor” that I still have not finished. The “Electric Kim” is from a MAC cosmetics ad I combined with a Courvoisier that featured a pair of Gucci-like “Courvoisier” CV brand boots.

I might create a blog (someday) for my more risque cartoons and art, but … hmmm … I’ll have to think about that one.

**The profile drawing is from a comic book I still haven’t finished called “Inside Joke.” It was created as a going away gift for my friend The M-Tizzle. The inside joke in that panel is about how I am fake sisters with The M-Tizzle and Lady Vance-A-Lot, who both happen to be red-headed and part Irish. People always assumed Tizzle and Vance-A-Lot were sisters (they’re not) but no one would ever ask me if I were related to them (obviously). So I would often refer to myself as being black Irish. I don’t think I actually have any Irish in me, but considering I’m a black American, God only knows.

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6 thoughts on “Snob Art

  1. Not bad Snob. I recognized “Her Smallness” immediately. I didn’t grow up dodging bullets either and have no cousins named Pookie.When did the lives of Black Folk become one long rap video? However, I did grow up “poor” and I am also college educated.

  2. Danielle: Many, many people suffer from Negro fetishist delusions, obsessed with a perversion and exoticism of black culture that’s existed since the <A HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saartjie_Baartman“ REL=”nofollow”>Hottentot Venus.I knew countless white kids in high school with me (and in some cases, teachers) that found the hip hop narrative of dangerous black life seductive and romanticized the violence and grotesque sexuality.Black people (and white people) tend to do the same thing with Asian culture. And traditionally Americans have been caught up hot Latin Lover stereotypes but all the tension over immigration has caused a rapid cool down on any “Antonio Banderas-esque, sexy Colombian drug lord as hero” fantasies.But people do like to paint anyone different from them with a broad brush.

  3. Snob – I knew about the historic fetish of Ms. Baartman. It sickens me.I didn’t grow up around alot of white folks, so thanks for educating me.As for the Latin Lover, that is SO true. I’ve often wondered if Latin folks ever grew sick of that fake portrayal.

  4. Some suburban white kids were funny. It was like the movie “Office Space” where one of the secondary characters likes hip hop music but is afraid of black people.Or that seen when they try to get the one black guy who comes to their door to sell magazines to hook them up with some criminals.So it was hilarious to see someone excited over the new Ice Cube album but not wanting me to notice.

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