I was first introduced to Mari Naomi's art through my good friend, Rio, who was curating a show a few years back at SomArts Cultural Center in San Francisco. Mari's art stood out immediately. They were large water color images of sumo wrestling clowns, softly painted with bright colors and simple white backgrounds. Beautiful paintings with such whimsy and humor, depicting the clowns throwing up (..and farting?) a rainbow assortment of balloons! I remember wishing I had money to buy every single painting of hers on the wall that night. I truly admired her vision so much and it stuck with me.
Some time later, I got to connect with her on the social networking extravaganza known as Facebook. I would check out a drawing of hers every now and then, and left a comment about this one here...
|Copyright MariNaomi 2010|
I think I told her that this was my favorite image of hers, and to make a long story shorter, we ended up making an old fashioned art trade (her watercolor, for one of my photos). I was so excited when I got it in the mail, along with one of her zines! I finally got to hang it in my former apartment. Thanks Mari!
|See it on the wall, to my right?! :)|
I recently ended up cruising her website and found out that she currently has a graphic novel published. It's called "Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume Ages 0 to 22". This is what inspired me to write this post about her and about the relationships (romantic or otherwise) we come across in our daily lives. Before I reconnected with my man, Jeaux, I had an assortment of tales to tell about my dating trials and tribulations. The good, the bad, and the oh, so ugly. I always wanted to write about these experiences, but never knew how to start. A year ago, I finally created a small zine about my last break up, which was both cathartic and liberating. In order to truly move on, I had to jot down my feelings, like the pages from my diaries. I felt exposed, but it was alright because these are experiences we all go through. I have yet to pick up Mari's memoir, but it details her dating history up until her early 20s. From those first loves, to scandalous rendezvous, to heart breaks.....
I always admired artists who can laugh at themselves and add humor to their creations. I also respect when life imitates art. I am a huge fan of non-fiction. When artist's tell stories from their own lives, whether its through writing, or visual art. Lately, I've been getting into Bukowski. I know he was the cliche, alcoholic, & womanizing writer, but there is something so pure and refreshing about his honesty. Believe me, there were times when I would read something from his novel, "Women", and had to put the book down because it was so blunt and outright misogynistic. Though I can respect that, and commend his late ability to put it all out there.
I love this kind of honesty, good or bad, it's relatable. How people come in and out of our lives. Losing and gaining connections. It's so inspiring.
Thanks Mari, for giving us a woman's point of view and for being so awesome!
I can't wait to see your memoir!
Check out her site at www.marinaomi.com