Are You Afraid Of Being Stolen? I Love You, Tom Edwards.
I have managed to collect many drafts behind this blog over the course of a few months. Every prose piece written is so full of doubt. They tower like a badly constructed robot in need of a billon repairs. I must let them leave my nest.
I am currently reading "The Wolves" By Sarah DeLappe. Ten days ago, I went to Nashville, Tennessee to visit my older brother and his wife, Sarah, for ten days. It is hard to love and hate Nashville for Nashville, for me, has become devoid of its identity as a city and have become more of a settlement for home and family. Writing this, I am nostalgic of my visit and miss the warmth of the two cats that accompanied me to bed every night, who somehow had the ability to turn on the magnificent television at an odd time, who are named after two pretty amazing women artists: Sharmeed Obaid Chinoy and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi.
During this visit, I exhibited some of newer work to my family and realized how Bennington had built in me a switch where I went from human to a blabbering presenter. Yet, I realized, I have always been more accustomed as a public sharer than I am as a personal and it was a good change to share a big significant part of my daily living with my family instead of first online. I am not sure when it occurred but Sarah asked me a vital question. She asked if I was afraid of having my work stolen. I had an incident where something like that had occurred and it had made me unhealthily anxious and paranoid about showcasing my work to anyone ever. Yet, I realized the fear that held me back earlier in the last year had now vanished. It is a common occurrence for a writer and an artist to have their work copied or stolen from at least to some degree in their lifetime. It is hard to sit and create in secret in this technologically abundant world where sharing is a way of being a part of a community that sometimes can drive it.
In one of the art spaces in Nashville, I encountered Tom Edwards' ceramics. Tom Edwards' work involves around a strong colloquialism and plays on a kind of silly that is unconventionally abundant: it resembles children's drawings and (I love it) involves text that can be pretty r-rated and radical. It was nice seeing his work in person, feeling the bowls and the mugs in my hands, and asking myself the usual question I ask myself whenever I encounter any art: how is it made?! HOW DID THEY DO IT?! and mulling over the many possibilities of the work's creation.
I realized I found out about Edward's work through the controversy involving the evil giant of our world: Elon Musk. Musk had stolen Edward's famous 'unicorn farting into a car to fuel it' drawing and had used it shamelessly for branding the Tesla products. Upon some serious social media heat, Musk decline to pay Edward for his work to a degree that he refused to acknowledge that Edward was the creator of the work at all. On top of it all, Musk used his extreme intelligence by using the word 'lame' in twitter public to make his defense. He used the word 'lame' to an artist asking for compensation for his stolen work.
Powerful men who have been pioneers of something or the other and have been spoilt terrible by the attention of the world, don't like to be proven wrong. Yet, here is a classic act of plagiarism where a powerful rich man who can afford to but refuses to compensate for art. There is a lot of artists in the world who are known to their immediate communities instead of the global world. Yet, how can we just stop in creating and sharing with the world in fear of always being stolen? Even though being stolen fills us with a daunting feeling of utter loss, a gnawing horror that eats away our dignity and leaves us with an exposed vulnerability, to crawl into a hole and never emerge can not be the answer. It is important to always put some kind of hefty fight.
Once I was stolen from too and I sat in my room for a good day just mulling over my next step for I knew the action I would take might turn me into the ultimate enemy in my immediate world. What I did was imagine the worst and accept it. To overcome fear and muster bravery is to sit and visualize the worst outcome of a radical action one might take and be ok with it. Standing up for yourself and others is the only way to protect the ones without much voice.
I am back in New York City. Everything is turning colder and colder outside. Hope this New Year, the last of the teens, is gentle yet occurring for all of us.
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