Saturday, 7 December 2013

Black Jesus

Black Jesus by GothicNarcissusBlack, black, black, black.
Black, black, black, black.
Black, black, black, black.

Jesus is the new black,
Jesus is the new black,
Jesus is the new black,
Jesus is the new black, ow!

I grew up in New York City,
Since I was born on Broadway, baby.
Moved downtown when I was just nineteen
To start a new life on the New York scene.
There’s no way I could be stopped,
Was taking my best shot,
I had a better plan.
There’s no way I could be stopped,
Was coming for your spot,
I met better men.

Amen on the runway,
Dressed in his best.
Amen fashion on the runway,
Work it, Black Jesus.
Amen on the runway,
Dressed in his best.
Amen fashion on the runway,
Work it, Black Jesus.

[ Black Jesus † Amen Fashion – Lady Gaga ]

I don’t really know how to consider this photo in relation to Amen Fashion – if it’s a sequel, a prequel, if they are related at all or go on their own, but here it is. Taking two separate photos for the Black Jesus and Amen Fashion halves of the title was my plan from the beginning, and I can say the two photos turned out two polar opposites: monochrome vs colour, indoors vs outdoors, dark vs light, long-pondered concept vs sudden gust of inspiration… maybe this is what well make them go along eventually.
There is a bit of an inside joke on this photo, because once I was out spotting a rather neglected beard, but was dressed quite well as usual. On a bus, a little girl was staring at me, then all of sudden asked her mother: “Mom, is that boy Jesus?”. I don’t know what kept me from replying: “No, sweetheart, I’m too well-dressed. I’d rather be the Antichrist.”, but that’s basically how I got the idea of a fashionable Black Jesus with a bramble brooch on the beret instead of the crown of thorns. And here we go: the brooch was the hardest thing to come by for the shooting, but at least it’s done now. I had a lot of fun both thinking and actually doing it because, for some reasons, I bloody enjoy twisting christian imagery. Maybe because it’s so morbid and perverted on its own and appeals to my murkiest side.

I really wish I could speed up this project, but for some reasons it turned out to be slower than I expected. I guess that’s because many songs are about couples, which are scarce to find (especially couples where both partners are photogenic), and a lot because I feel more committed to my other projects. Besides, I have most of Born This Way and the whole The Fame Monster mapped out, am working easily on Artpop, but most of The Fame songs just stay silent. I just have no chemistry with most of that album. So, I guess I will take one step at a time without trying to rush this project out. I don’t know, let’s see.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Aura

Aura by GothicNarcissusI killed my former and
Left her in the trunk on Highway Ten.
Put the knife under the hood;
If you find it, send it straight to Hollywood.

Aura-ah-ah,
Aura-ah-ah,
Aura-ah-ah,
Aura-ah-ah,
Aura-ah-ah,
Aura-ah-ah.

I’m not a wandering slave, I am a woman of choice.
My veil is protection for the gorgeousness of my face.
You want to pity me ‘cause was arranged one man to love,
But in the bedroom, the size of him’s more than enough.

Enigma pop star is fun, she wear burqa for fashion:
It’s not a statement as much as just a move of passion.
I may not walk on your street or shoot a gun on your soil.
I hear you screaming: is it because of pleasure or toil?

Dance.
Sex.
Art.
Pop.
Tech.

Do you wanna see me naked, lover?
Do you wanna peek underneath the cover?
Do you wanna see the girl who lives behind the aura,
Behind the aura?
Do you wanna touch me cosmic, lover?
Do you wanna peek underneath the cover?
Do you wanna see the girl who lives behind the aura,
Behind the aura, behind the curtain, behind the burqa?
Oh!

Artpop!

[ Aura – Lady Gaga ]

Here we go: Artpop has been around for a month now, and I couldn’t miss to draw some inspiration from it to go on with my Lady Gaga-inspired series. Despite my initial less-than-warm reaction to the album, with a few listens I started to get into it and discover the magic of most of its songs, with the result that I’m already full of ideas for related photos.
On the other hand, as I mentioned on Facebook, I’ve decided that whenever I feel too depressed I’m going to take some self-portrait to raise my mood. I started this week, and I decided to shoot Aura first.
Now, the problem with many of Artpop’s songs is they’re very specific about Gaga and leave little space for personalisation and re-interpretation. I can still relate to many of them, but not to the level I did Born This Way or The Fame Monster. Well, Aura is somewhere in-between too personal and relatable. Despite being written about a woman (well, about Gaga herself), I can still see myself in its lyrics. Let’s just say I know well the whole idea of hiding behind a mask (even a negative one as a burka) to protect myself. If we wanted to twist the key-line I used as a starting point for my photo, “my bitchness is protection for the gorgeousness of my heart”. So, here I am modelling for this photo.
Of course, given the feminine subtext of the song, I opted to go back to looking as androgynous as I haven’t in ages – the last time I wore sharp eyeliner must have been around 2011 – but I decided to keep my beard on because, well, I’m not a woman after all. And because I wanted to point out how songs written from a feminine point of view can apply to men as well.
On a side note, at first, I had thought of quoting some famous painting too, which I’m going to do in some other Artpop photos, but I eventually scrapped the idea and just turned Aura on full volume and let it inspire me there and then. I find the result very satisfying and I’m glad this is how I’m opening Gaga’s new era, photography-wise.