May 19, 2013
The trees stand without leaves, gathered close and deep. Their branches bare, shake, forsaken and angered. The wind whips through their spidery limbs like a lash coming down hard against the penitent’s back. The winds warn of the coming storm, howling in the night as they rush along. Hovering impossibly low, the clouds begin to mourn and a wail of torment sounds as the trees nod and groan. Small branches snap under pressure and are suddenly sailing free through the gales with no destination at hand, no thought or concern to where they may land.
Nino looks to the sky and sees nothing there as an eerie silence stills the air. His fists clench at his side, fingernails biting into his palms, as his jaw grinds forth, jutting out in determination. Taking one step forth, his boot casts upon a fallen limb and as his weight shifts, the twig splits angrily. He feels the earth give way under his foot as a bellow sounds. Slow. Low. Uncomfortable. His hands are damp and his throat begins to close.
It is cold, the kind of cold that is felt far below, deep inside the hollow of bone. It is the kind of cold that rattles and roars and sobs and moans. Nino begins to shiver until the shiver becomes a shake and then it is like the tremors of withdrawal. THe ait carries a woman’s laugh as the wind rumbles into a thunderous rage. Frozen in place, he is unable to escape as he feels something prickly brush against his face.
His hands tremble, agitated and afraid as he feels something within him start to break. It is deep in his chest, buried below the ribs, inside the center of his being that pumps life into his body. It is here in the seat of his heart that his body and soul finally split apart. He can feel the tearing of organ, the breaking of bone, the ripping of flesh as his spirit leaves his body, flees even.
A flash of white light strikes, illuminating a silhouette. Ling black hair sails through the air, spreading wide like a net. The net expands into a web, stick and sweet, and at the center of this trap is a woman he knows, the woman he hates. She is young and slim, almost starved, and her scarlet eyes feast upon Nino’s tremulous form. Ven aqui. Come to me, she calls softly, her voice as seductive as the sirens of The Odyssey.
A wave of desire sweeps through Nino’s spirit, suffusing him with warmth and where the sky was dark and foreboding, it becomes something succulent and soft, and he can taste this craving on his tongue and it tastes like a life that was never his. She calls to him again, this time silently, speaking the words he has longed to hear. He feels his spirit relax and release as she summons him forth, and he moves faster and faster now, flying to her side at once.
He lands in the web with deeply beating heart and he looks at her and she looks at him and he sees her eyes are voracious and dark. The sweet scent of innocence fills her with an excitement she can barely contain. Her mouth is wet, so wet that she can taste his flesh and as her pink lips spread slowly they reveal teeth of jagged edge.
She smiles in delight as Nino’s eyes widen in horror and she moves closer to him, closer and closer. She reaches for a little hand, a pale and delicate paw with sharp red talons on the end of each fingertip, talons sharp as claws as saws all the better to cut you in half and she carefully draws her nail across the side of his face.
A trickle of blood rises to the surface as a torrent of fear washes over him and in an instant it is over just as quickly as it began. His spirit is driven back into the body it had left behind, returning to the womb of his heart and crawling all the way inside. There is a pain, a kind of pain he knows too well and though he normally pushes it back down, this time, it is too much and he has lost control.
His mouth opens wide and a strangled gasp breaks from his lips and it is in this moment that a shadow rushes out of his chest. It is a small shadow, dark but not opaque, and it knows not except it must return to the universe from whence it first came. And as the shadow disappears in the darkness of light, Nino is empty and exhausted, wavering in the wind.
Stand! he commands, knees locking in place as his feet sink deeper into the earth. He feels himself sinking and looks down to discover his boots are submerged in a thick and viscous substance. The more he pulls against it, the tighter it hold until he realizes what is happening. He is standing in quicksand and it’s only a matter of time. If he could release himself from the boots that hold his feet… If he could just grab that branch over there and pull himself to safety… If there were someone, anyone, nearby who would hear his scream… But there is nothing, no one, not even She.
A panic rises in Nino’s chest as he realizes that not even he can help himself. He is now knee deep in the cold and clammy muck and he realizes that time, time is all he has left and time is running out. He looks to the sky and sees nothing there. The storm as passed and silence fills the air.
Nino feels himself sinking as the world rises up. Resolute, he knows the truth. He is trapped, held captive, abandoned and alone. Failure burns his flesh, his aching bones. His cheeks are aflame, ashamed, debased once more. Rage boils and bubbles and foams on his tongue. With the venom of the Furies, he cries out—
(this passage, since deleted, once began my novel)
The Kingdom of Eternal Night
May 7, 2013
Summer is just about here. I know this because as soon as I publish this post, I’m going to hit tar beach, lay out in the sun, and soak up that good old Vitamin D. I’ve been thinking of summer as the full flush of rebirth, of a kind of freedom that comes from the completion of a cycle when it hits its heights. It is a time when we can be most alive, as Nature and the Universe intend us to be. It is a an energy that we feel when open the window and let the sun shine in. I was reminded of all of this as I perused Angela Boatwright’s website, newly relaunched and conceptualized as chapters from the pages of her life.
Miss Boatwright has graciously agreed to vibe with me on the work she has created for the pages of Summer, a few photographs featured here—and you best believe there is more where this came from!
Summer. It’s the season of full bloom, of when life is at its most alive, and the re is a freedom we feel to live out loud. Please talk about what summer means to you, about how it makes you feel…
I love the ability to go anywhere without a jacket, honestly. When I lived in NYC it would get so incredibly humid – you would go outside and see people barely wearing anything at all. I loved it. And everyone from everywhere would come to NYC in the summertime to visit. New York is the absolute best in the summer. The best.
Your Summer series is captivating. There is a feeling of energy, a vibrancy, a luxuriousness that I cannot fully articulate. Please talk about your inspiration to shoot this series. Where did it come from? What moves you to pursue it as a subject? How do you articulate this with these images?
The images were taken over a period of about 3 years. During that time I was honestly just hellbent on hanging out with my friends. I was working a lot but my friends were my priority, hands down. I would follow them around and do whatever they did, it was almost co-dependent. I absolutely adore every single person in those images. And we partied quite a bit and then at some point I quit drinking so the camera became my vice.
Miss Rosen: Where and when were these images shot? How does the time and place speak to your idea of Summer itself ?
Angela Boatwright: They were photographed between 2005 and 2008, mostly. A few shots were taken in 2011 and 2012. As for locations, I’ll flip through them right now – let’s see… ahh, there’s a lot of NYC/ Brooklyn and Rhode Island. There’s also Los Angeles, Connecticut, Albany and one shot taken in Orlando, Florida.
Summer to me is fairly obvious – swimming, camping, hanging out. Beer, too. Cigarettes and weed for some. I went to Rhode Island so, so many times during those years. And all those Rhode Island kids, they’re water babies so there was a lot of swimming and cliff jumping. And skateboarders are always free-spirited, photographing them is just so easy and fun. I can dissect it all in hindsight but again at the time I was just following my friends. I used the camera as a way to get to know them better. Everyone I photographed – I thought they were so incredibly cool in one way or another. I still do.
The photographs in this series appear to be of teens and young adults, those who have perhaps the greatest freedom of summer—two months off ! Please speak to this age, about how you were drawn to it, and how do you think it, itself, is a manifestation of Summer’s energy.
I didn’t come up with the idea to photograph summertime beforehand. It was simply what I was doing at the time. When I was putting together images for my website I came up with the title ‘Summer’ to showcase all of that particular work. And it’s very appropriate!
If I were to analyze it now I would say that I desperately needed to understand the concept of ‘freedom’ and was therefore attracted to the people in my life that could afford it. I was having a hard time un-crossing all the live wires left over from my adolescence. And while I was photographing the ‘Summer’ series I was also documenting heavy metal bands on tour, all over the world. It’s only in the past year or so that I’ve started to settle down, so to speak.
I love talking about photography, about the ephemeral made eternal, about three dimensions flattened into two, about how we are becoming an increasingly visually literate society. Please talk about the way in which the photograph preserves the moment, perhaps not only preserving it but translating it into something that is at once a mirror of the world and a new means to consider it.
Personally, it’s hard for me to actively think about my work while I’m creating it, it’s probably that way for many artists, so I need to trust my gut. Preparation is key but once I begin I get completely k-holed into my experience. You do need perspective and a general understanding of what’s happening around you. If you can combine raw emotion with that perspective and a basic understanding of your surroundings then you’re really onto something.
Visit ANGELA BOATWRIGHT
May 6, 2013
It was two summers ago: 2011, to be exact, when I first saw the photograph. It was an image of an older woman laying in bed, her hand reaching forward and clasping the hand of the photographer.
With one hand he managed to take the photograph while being in part of the image itself. The intensity of the image, the skill it took, to the power that transcends the moment, it drew me close. I could feel her hand clasping my own and somehow I was drawn into the photograph like Alice through the looking glass.
And so it began. But I did not know. Where it would go, for the circle has no beginning or no end once we set forth. The photograph remained in my memory. It’s effect could not be forgotten, undone. Months later that I re-approached photographer Eric Johnson about writing a story about his grandmother, Mrs. Idell Marshall, for Le Journal de la Photographie.
I didn’t know what or why; I just needed to know more. My curiosity can be insatiable and journalism is nothing if not a license to ask questions that polite society might otherwise ignore. To ask questions is to express interest. To listen and to learn and to consider from where the fascination stems and what truths can be discerned.
And so it was that we began to talk, and as we spoke, stories began to surface. From the depths, they came alive. Little by little, from memories that had receded into the distance, things untold. Justice to be served. Truth to be spoke. It began in death, as so many things do, only this was not death as I had thought death was, but a revolution too.
The completion of a circle as it spins round, the snake eating its tail, no beginning and no ending but it is here that I entered and I—
—saw it. Heard it. And I knew.
“Pull up a chair and sit down,” the voice told me as I looked through the doorway at the kitchen table. I was inside the photograph, here, in this space. I was returning to from whence I came: Books. That’s all it has ever been.
It had been years, long enough to forget. Long enough to remember that I never thought of making a book again. Never thought of it until it called to me: “Pull up a chair and sit down.”
“Eric! This is a book!” I gasped through a hazy glow of rose.
Eric is cool. He smiled and said, “Okay.”
And so it began.
Just like that. In his grandmother’s last days, Eric stood before her with a camera. She, who never liked being photographed, became so powerful she transcended the planes of reality. Three dimensions into two and then back into three. Through time and space, she called to me. Maybe not to me, specifically, but I cannot help but listen when I hear things.
It began a year ago. Photographs and stories and stories and photographs were like puzzle pieces without a cover image. It began because it never ended and there was work to be done. And there was no intention, except love and respect, patience and trust. Patience as I have never known. Trust in being able to not know, being able to listen.. to the space in between the words.. so that I could begin to write them down. And, now, one year later, the circle turns once more.
We come to this. By way of faith. By way of belief. By way of an understanding for which there are no words but in the photograph, the spirit remains. Forever eternal. Forevermore. Grandmother Power. Power as the dictionary defines it first and foremost: the ability to act or to produce an effect.
Transcendence is beyond the rational, as well it should be. Transcendence is not a thing of the mind but the connection to a higher plane. It speaks through the soul, and it is heard in the heart, and finally, ohh finally, it reverberates in words that give it physical form. But it is not physical, nor rational; it is beyond our ability to comprehend through logic. It is meaning without reason and it calls to me and to it I answer and dedicate my life to it.
To this. To something I cannot full express. But it begins with gratitude for each and every breath. For the darkness that has brought me into the light. For Eric Johnson, Mrs. Idell Marshall, and the entire clan.
And for Paola Gianturco whose commitment to the magnificence of the female spirit I honor with these words. Grandmother Power. I thank you.
Read Eric Johnson’s Story at
Le Journal de la Photographie
More about Grandmother Power,
the inspiration for this post
May 3, 2013
A month ago I was asked to write a small piece, a tribute to the great Gigi Giannuzzi on the occasion of the forthcoming publication of TROLLEYOLOGY, a ten year retrospective of one of the greatest illustrated book publishing houses to ever exist. I won’t look back, I won’t re-read what I wrote. I shall begin again, speaking from my heart.
Gigi is dead. Long live Gigi. His spirit is eternal. I knew this, as I know so many things that are without words and yet I am charged to find a way to express the ineffable. Gigi is (not was) a force of Nature, a triumph of the will, a prince among men. He walks the earth with the express purpose of bringing light into the dark.
He does this, as only he can. He produces books, book unlike anything the world has seen before. Books that take on some of the most difficult stories to tell, the beautiful dreams and horrific nightmares that cannot be erased when we close our eyes. We cannot and will not look away. Gigi understands the photograph, the heart of the photographer, the witness who bears evidence, proof, and testimony of the ephemeral made eternal. Gigi makes us look. He makes us understand. We are all complicit in the damnation of the world, and we are all charged with its salvation.
Though Gigi has passed from the mortal plane into the spirit world, he is still here and his legacy carries forth, not only in what he has achieved but in how we carry on. And it is here the opportunity arrives to show heart. TROLLEYOLOGY is on Kickstarter. It doesn’t ask for much, just for each one of us to do our part. And what that is, you may discover when you step into a world, a world that lies right outside your door, when you open your eyes and see it anew.
May 3, 2013
The body as landscape, object, sculpture, and form, as costume, architecture, or anything else you could imagine it to become in all of its glory. It is both positive and negative, being and nothingness. It is present and absent, past and future, paradoxes intertwined and connected as one. In a state of simultaneity that is impossible to recognize fully but at the same time it is the thing in which we are forever traveling, consciously and unconsciously.
The body is both object and symbol of the object itself, and the female form most of all assumes the passive role of being that which we act upon, as we exalt its beingness into an abstract meditation on life itself. It is a thing of beauty to behold and perhaps no one does it quite like Bill Brandt whose female nudes have been collected in two volumes twice in his lifetime. The first in Perspective of Nudes (1961) and again in Bill Brandt: Nudes 1945–1980. Now, the oeuvre is brought together in a single volume, Brandt Nudes (Thames & Hudson), which includes a preface by Lawrence Durrell and commentaries by Mark Haworth-Booth. It is here, in Brandt Nudes, that we can consider Brandt’s relationship to the female form throughout the course of his esteemed career.
As Brandt recalls in quoted text from a piece first published in 1933, “It was after the war, when I was busy photographing London celebrities for English and American magazines, that I began to feel irritated by the limitations imposed by such jobs. I was taking portraits of politicians, artists writers, actors, in their own surrounding, but there was never enough time for me to do what I wanted. My sitters were always in a hurry. Their rooms were rarely inspiring backgrounds, and I felt the need for exciting backgrounds to make pictures of the portraits. I wanted more say in the pictures; I wanted rooms of my own choice. And so I came to the nudes. Nudes, at that time, were photographed in studios. I thought of photographing them in real rooms…”
Read the Full Story at
Le Journal de la Photographie
April 3, 2013
It’s been a long time… I shouldn’t have left you. Not that you’d know it since I’ve been posting on the regular here for four years but—
Four years is a long time to be lost. Lost and found and back to the beginning that never ended and the end that never began as the ouroburo spins like Dead or Alive, round and round.
I ramble, I often do. I’ll make it short and sweet, cause I gotta go. Today I am pleased to announce the re-launch of my website, MissRosen.us
I created the site when I set forth on my own back in summer 2009, thinking I knew which end was up. I didn’t, but you couldn’t tell me ishh. I was no longer listening. I had long since gone deaf.
But, the Universe being what it is, made sure I got my come-uppance and undoubtedly, yes. It was a mess—chaos in it’s most glorious sense. The other day, Mr. Brown mentioned The Sublime. Then DJ Disco Wiz tweeted, “Know how sublime a thing it is To suffer and be strong..”
That’s how it went down. And down it went. Now I’m on the upswing and I begin where I am, starting fresh. I re-launch, remix, rebrand, release, refresh, renew, regenerate, do-re-mi e.t.c.
I thank each and every one who has stood by me through .. this (smile). The clouds are gone. Let the sun shine again.
April 1, 2013
The Chinese bamboo tree is unlike any other tree on the face of this earth. During the first four years, there is no sign of growth. All the growth is hidden underground. In the fifth year, an amazing thing happens—the tree begins to grow at an astonishing rate. In a short period of time, sometimes just five weeks, a Chinese bamboo tree can reach a height of ninety feet. —Joanne Guidoccio
March 28, 2013
Please welcome Adriana Teresa,
my dear friend and colleague,
as she introduces Visura Magazine: Special Issue
In 2008, my life changed when I married my husband Graham. Together, we began to grow our own garden of dreams. Our first seed was Visura Magazine, which features personal projects by individuals worldwide, mostly photographers. Visura became a product of love at a time when the world was facing an economic crash and a war. As a result, we received hundreds of emails from students, alumni, and emerging photographers and individuals from all professions, who were just like us, seeking inspiration, opportunity, and a sign of hope.
These messages motivated us to plant our second seed, FotoVisura.com—a self publishing community and resource center for art and documentary photography; a platform for those who believe in being a part of and supporting the power of the visual voice. In two years, our dreams of creating a family without cultural boundaries became a reality. During this time, our work was our life and life was our work. And we were very happy.
Then one day, like any spirits in search of an ever evolving and changing life that could lead to fulfillment, or a least a sense of belonging in this world, Graham and I realized that there was a missing piece to our lives. This missing piece had nothing to do with what we had built. We realized that we really wanted to become parents.
Art has been a canvas to materialize our ideas, values, vision and dreams with the hope that we could share them with others. And we have done so with millions of unique individuals worldwide, most of whom we have never met and will never meet in person.
The reality is, this online phenomenon only furthers my need for human warmth and interaction. In the same way, these stories that all of you contributors have shared about life enrich me intellectually, they inspire me to be a better and more honest human being. You inspire me to live with purpose and to keep moving forward.
This experience has filled our life with so much love, that it has given us wings. FotoVisura is a big part of my life—I wake up every morning to work with enthusiasm; I want to fight with and for it, regardless of any obstacles around me. To be completely honest, in the past two years, as we struggled to have a child of our own, it was you—the photographers, editors, and readers—who many times gave me strength when I was down.
As I witness injustice, inequalities, separation, divisions, and hideous acts in this world, this is the shelter, the source, this is an extended family that I turn to find courage and strength. I do not give up on FotoVisura because you have not given up on me. And for that I am so grateful.
Recently, my father reminded me of something he once told me during my rebellious years: exclusion is the main reason for error. Feeling left out is the main reason why many of us live with pain, and the best way to heal and move forward is to create something you truly believe in, where you can include others. This is what FotoVisura represents to us: a model where people can join and contribute on their own terms. In January 15, 2009, Graham and I launched our first issue of Visura Magazine, a few months after we co-founded FotoVisura Inc, a company we truly believe in. On January 19, 2013—4 years and 4 days later—Graham and I learned that we were expecting our first child.
So, I decided to publish a special issue to celebrate family, connection, unity, inclusion, and rebirth. I dedicate this issue to all of you who believe in love above all else.
To my father, thank you for never giving up on me; and, to my co-mom, Laura, thank you for loving me and treating me as an equal. I love you.
Poco a poco y sin nada de alboroto.
March 21, 2013
I been meaning to write this story but I neva did cause the phrase Bow Down always sounds wrong, no matter how you try to say it. So over the top, soo too much, so fascist and thas not the look I’m trying to effect but how can it be that things happen no matter what you intend?
It all began way back when I was sixteen reading Jackie Collins on summer break, lounging in my chaise chair slowly getting gold in the afternoon rays and I’m on page two and Jackie talkinn about this panther prowling through the Vegas airport named Lucky Santangelo and she’s walking like she owns it and—
Thas all it took to get me hooked. My first real addiction. Ownership. My body, my world, my dominion over which I can do unto as I wish. Own it. Own everything, every last drip drop. It went straight to my head like Dinah Washington said, ohh lawdamercy on the earth that stood beneath my hips when I set them to work. I started and I neva stopped. Even when I’m not doing it people notice, especially men. Men. Yes. I didn’t get this was about them but of course it is, that’s what the scene in the airport was about. First impressions are everything.
Now this is my point, cause I do go on. It’s like this. I started walking when I was sixteen, seventeen, eighteen years old. I started doing it, and by twenty one I was up in heels, traipsing across town in hours after and kept going forth til I was daytime doing up and down Fifth Avenue for miles at a time in these roachkillers aint no one trying to rock without a ride.
And by the time I’m twenty-three, twenty-four I’m noticing that people drop their heads when they see me, like they don’t even know they are doing it until after it’s been done and they were like What the fuck just happened. Awwwkward. I see people fight the feeling, heads flailing in indignation to the side, or even that woman on Grove that time who tossed her nose so hard into the sky I swear I felt the whiplash lock. Soo not a good look, when I’m not trying like that.
No doubt there are times when I let it all go and I swear I am Rihanna because if not she, who else. Who else feels alla that, in all this FTW way? In all this glory of 2013 to just Be Free, like right and wrong don’t even matter none. And when I’m in there, I am nowhere else, and people around me exist but it’s none of my business cause I am just passing through, soaking up all the sun, air, water, and earth as I sway back and forth across the Brooklyn Bridge.
But yea back to the beginning, full circle we come. I wouldn’t write Bow Down except Beyonce be talking about it. But my point is, It’s a happening. It’s not a demand or a command or even an exaltation. Really, it’s humbling and not so flattering so much as it is imperious. I’m not saying, Don’t be imperious. I’m saying The Imperial don’t really talk about it.
Sometimes I feel sad, like I feel people’s fear of me, or something lesser in themselves because they don’t own every last inch of their being. But I believe we’re all Lucky, if we want to be. Lucky is not my idea, She is an attitude, an aspiration, an affect. She is not a thirst or hunger or desire even. She is openness, a channel, a vessel, to a power that makes the walk feel so good. She is Me when I am One with the Universe.
March 9, 2013
The Kingdom of Eternal Night, the first novel by former art book publisher Miss Rosen, has just been published on a blog of the same name, serialized in thirty nine parts, reminiscent of nineteenth-century authors such as Charles Dickens who established themselves by first publishing serialized novels in monthly magazines and newsprint.
A gripping portrait of decadence at the end of the second millennium, The Kingdom of Eternal Night mixes drugs, sex, violence, and degradation with the spoils of a lost generation. The Kingdom of Eternal Night is the story of unlove, of what happens to abused children when they become young adults.
At the age of 25, Jade Fontaine has a Master’s Degree and no marketable skills, a mortgage she does not pay, a drug problem, and an unfinished novel inspired by Oscar Wilde’s last play, Salome. Hell bent for leather, Jade crosses path with Nino DiNapoli—an ex-con, gay prostitute, junkie, and stick-up kid who is swinging from the bottom rung of the ladder just trying to stay alive. He was sexually abused and debased, then abandoned by his mother and raised in juvenile halls and jails since the age of fourteen. Now in his early 20s, Nico is lost and alone. No one ever taught him anything except that love can destroy your life.
Set over the course of three days in New York City during the summer of 1998, the novel moves at a fast pace, with the history of the characters unfolding on each page. It is the fusion of dramatic action, dream sequences, and flashbacks that provide an intense sequence of seemingly unrelated events that culminate in the tragic but inevitable demise of one of the protagonists.
Serialized into 39 parts, each chapter of the novel is illustrated by a photograph as it begins. The photograph is essential, not just to breaking the monotony of the text on the screen but to the energy of the story itself. Many of the gems selected for The Kingdom of Eternal Night came from the treasure troves of artists including Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Erwin Blumenfeld, Rene Burri, Jean-Claude Claeys, Bruce Davidson, Sergio Larrain, Daido Moriyama, William Mortensen, Nadar, and Francis Wolff, as well as photographers close to Miss Rosen including Jianai Jenny Chen, Eric Johnson, Colleen Plumb, Ruby Ray, and Lilla Szasz.
Miss Rosen notes, “When I began The Kingdom of Eternal Night, I dreamed of it as a finished book, an object that could be held by the hand, page turned in rhythm with the scene as it unfolds. But necessity dictated otherwise. Intervention became innovation in the creation of the Internet Novel. It is not an e-book. It is not for sale. It is free to be read by anyone fluent in English. What’s more, the form allows for changes to be made, should I be so inclined. ‘Art is never finished,’ as Da Vinci said.”
Miss Rosen is a writer, editor, curator, event producer, and publicist based in New York. Currently the features writer and book reviewer for Le Journal de la Photographie, Miss Rosen has previously contributed stories to Code (Netherlands), Staf (Spain), Swindle, Telegraph (UK), L’Uomo Vogue, and Whitewall magazines.
From 2000–2009, Miss Rosen was Senior Vice President of Marketing & Publicity for powerHouse Books, a photography and illustrated book publisher now based in Brooklyn. In 2005 she launched Miss Rosen Editions, her own imprint focusing on contemporary urban culture. She published 15 art, photography, memoir, and fiction titles with authors including Boogie, Martha Cooper, and Charlie Ahearn.
As curator, Miss Rosen has organized several exhibitions including the Lucie Awards’ “Best of Show” (2009); “Nature of a City” launching the Timberland store in New York (2009); “That 70s Show” (2007) and “No Sleep ‘til Brooklyn” (2006), both at powerHouse Arena, Brooklyn; “Ricky Powell: Public Access” (2005) and “Peter Sutherland: Autograf” (2004), both at colette, Paris, and at the former powerHouse Gallery, New York.
In conjunction with the exhibitions that she curated for the Arena, Miss Rosen launched powerHouse magazine (2006–2009), a twice-yearly publication organized around a single theme, which was in equal parts a provocative cultural investigation, innovative exhibition catalogue, and sophisticated product brochure.
As Vice President of Marketing & Publicity, Miss Rosen conceptualized and executed campaigns for some 45 books annually. Her career highlights include the Vandal Squad panel discussion at the powerHouse Arena, (2009); “We B*Girlz: A 25th Anniversary Breakin’ Event at Lincoln Center Out of Doors” (2006); the graffiti episode of NBC’s “The Apprentice” (2005); and the Hilhaven Lodge party at Robert Evans’ Beverly Hills estate (2003).
March 9, 2013
For the first time in my life, I had the dream of being naked in public. I dreamed I was jogging through Central Park, wearing pink panties. At some point, I grabbed my breasts, partly to cover them, partly to stop them from bouncing up and down.
I remember in the dream, finally having the courage to look at other people. When I did, I realized most of them were undressed as well, though all of them were wearing more clothes than me. Strange thing was, no one even glanced my way.
I realized, as self conscious as I felt, maybe I was also an exhibitionist; after all, I left the house in this skimpy little outfit. I remember feeling proud of my body and ashamed at the same time, fascinated by how emotions are not mutually exclusive. And so it was then that I understood the real risk I took—
What the hell was I doing jogging through Central Park without any shoes on?
When I saw Erykah Badu’s video for Window Seat, all those emotions came back vividly. My fear. My pride. And the realization inside: The world cannot see what is stripped bare right before its eyes.
February 21, 2013
tha smella weed is in my hair and my skin and my very being. It smells like early mornings with the window open and the sky turning violet blue lilac pink bliss, like late lunches or brunches with ice coffee and cigarettes, like fun afternoons with mixed drinks maybe mojitos made by hand and dinner parties, dinners made in the kitchen while bottles of wine go upside down into glass decanters that pour through lips over and over again, like cocktails after work (work) (what is work), like sunsets never seen and stars blocked by the haze of New York at night and it’s after midnight, afterhours, after all we are alone in this.
it smells like ten o clock in the garden of nineteenth and dinner is on the table, a spread for kings and queens and me I don’t eat meat and still I am living for this is life and me, I am in the presence of so many people I would never otherwise know were not for that which seems random but maybe thas not so. Ju know what I’m talkinn bout, I’m sitting in the garden on a chair of wrought iron with a plate fulls goodness and the spliff’s cominn this way and I’m sure to be drinking white wine, eternally frozen in this moment, and I’m inhaling and I’m holding and exhaling and inhaling and I feel this thing and it takes over me so slowly like I’m swimming through a cloud and wow I like this cause I’m not goinn anywhere everywhere at the same time and I am lost then found then nothing at all, evaporated and all that remains is this, a puff of smoke coming out my mouth and floating through the world until it smells like nothing so much as heaven and I am here, dirty and pure.
And I’m in the garden with the snake —what up— talkinn about munchies and I have to stop eating because you can’t have it all because less is more and the laws of style always apply. I’m thinking apple, something big and shiny and red and it gleams like my eyes, like your blood upon my lips. what. Yes. I’m thinking I don’t crave blood even tho I am Transylvanian. But I don’t crave anything except —shit—I crave it all— give me the apple & I will learn.
Weed smells like weed smells like did I just say that twice. Yea I love to hear words as rhythms and tones and flows until they stop making sense and that’s Talking Heads, THC, did I eva tell you bout the time I saw David Byrne? Neva mind me, HE was wearing seersucker and his hair was perfectly white and it’s lush, a pompadour of historic heights. And that’s what happens to me, words become brushstrokes only I am using my fingers to paint and sometimes I’m not listening to the words, just the sound of the keys on the board going la di da di everybody just hey hello how you doinn like somethinn is happeninn here if it’s only me goinn one two one two ~*~
February 20, 2013
I’m on the town, cobblestones under the Manhattan Bridge. Four after noon and a glass of Malbec. I sit at the bar with my notebook but I ignore it for my phone so I can type these words ::
We connect across lifetimes.
We are souls that flow through the ether,
time collapses even if
we haven’t seen each other since 2000 BC.
Fruit loops truuu but thas me.
“It’s on the house,” bartender tells me. “Our floor manager finds you .. fetching .. ” he continues, brushing over that awkward pause casually. And I’m thinking, Ohh, I’m pulling women again.
It’s gotten—well. Tonite, I pulled a daddy. Real papa bear. Had his cub with him and he smiles and says, Hello. Just like that. And I smile bright and say G’nite or some such some yeaa. So odd it is to me, these men on the street. Gentlemen. Even the thugs. Be on their Prince Charming when they see me. I gotta give it up. God’s showing me Love ~*~
February 12, 2013
The sun was dipping down, all kindsa low, low like a limbo, how low can you go. The sky was thick with soot and clouds and dreams and, me, I was wasted and I was feeling things, all kindsa things. I settled into a lawn chair of red and white stripes, my slipper covered feet treading through the Astroturf. In my hand was a glass of rose that wafted about like a min-tsunami before it hit my mouth. Some of it made it in, some of it made it out, some of it I wore like Chanel No. 5 parfum.
I grabbed by pen and paper, and slid into the seat, and I sat before Mr. Johnson with unbridled thirst. I didn’t know how to do what I was doing so I reverted to habit. I would simply take down every word he said and figure it out later. Notes. I was good at notes. Something happens when I set my hand to page, something happens when I am listening and writing and reading at the same time, when my brain uses sound and sight and touch in the service of the Word.
And as I sat there with my pen poised, we began to talk, and as we talked I soon discovered, it would not work as I thought. I did not control, could not control, I did not own. It was not mine to have and to hold, but mine to watch patiently, silently, allow it to unfold. I had to listen, and listen with my whole being. I had to let the words in, let them wash over me, let them wash me of my preconceptions not only of who and where and why and what but of the how itself, of the how it is the story gets told.
Mr. Johnson continued to speak, as he often does, leading me to ideas without spoon feeding them to me. Because these ideas are not his, and they are not mine, but they are what exists in the space between us and it was this night, this night that I listened and then I heard something I never knew. Meaning is found in the space between the words.
Negative space. It is what holds everything together. It is always what you cannot see that creates a presence. It is the space around the letter than holds its form, and it is the space in between the words that allowed Guttenberg to typeset the very first printed book on earth.
Of course it would come to pass that I have begun meditating on the very idea of the written word, of how aberrant it is in the course of human history, about how illiteracy has always been and remains status quo for most people born. About how the written word has accelerated “progress” to the point that we are at odds with Nature herself, about how the written word is perhaps the problem, the cause of all horrors we never speak, do not understand, refuse to acknowledge. About how the written word is a curse and a blessing and my métier. The Word is my cross to bear. It is what I do, what I must do, why I am here, why I have suffered, why pain is real.
But more than this, the Word reminds me there is a way out. That permanency is an illusion and all I have is this moment. That even if, even if, even if, or even if—none of that matters. All I have is what I am and how I manifest so long as this flame burns.
Day One: What is your greatest strength as a writer?
Listening. To the voices that guide me. To the space in between the words. To that which is beyond our understanding but demands that we acknowledge it on our own terms. Listening to the unspoken, the untold, the unsaid. Listening to the pitches and the frequencies the human ear can’t hear. Listening to the laughter and the screams and the sobs. Listening with my heart and mind, body and soul.