Late Nights at the Whitney
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My name is Emiliano. I am sixteen years old and attend the Bronx High School of Science. I have lived in New York City my entire life. I am Chilean and Italian, as well as Hungarian. My interests include cooking, dancing, reading, writing, and making artwork.
As far back as I can remember, I have always been interested in the arts. Ever since I was little, I used to draw city landscapes on restaurant napkins when my parents would go to dinner with their friends and take me along. Since then, I have continued my pursuit of the arts through drawing, painting, printing, and more recently sculpture, fashion, and the performing arts. The arts play an extremely important role in my life. Just as a musician writes a song or a composer composes a symphony, I have always used the arts as my way to express myself. I believe that as humans, we all need a way to communicate our complex emotions and our experiences so we can understand how they affect our lives. Some may do this by writing a song or composing a symphony, and others may do this by writing a diary entry or playing a part in a play. For me, my artwork is my way to express my emotions and experiences so that I can understand them.
The most important things that inspire me are the city I live in, my parents, my two brothers, and my friends. All of these people have inspired me throughout my life, because they have shaped who I am as a person. They have had an impact on my morals and ideals and have been there with me throughout my life experiences. New York City is one of my biggest inspirations because just like all the people in my life, this city has shaped who I am. The fact that I grew up in New York City and have walked these streets up and down has made me strong, courageous, and ambitious, but it has also given me the opportunities that show me I can be whoever I want to be. There are one million and one things I would love to learn and do, from being a clockmaker, a director, or maybe a zookeeper. What I do know is that I will end up loving whatever I do.
YI Artists worked with artist in residence LaToya Ruby Frazier to create photographs that documented their changing neighborhoods, selves, and a variety of public spaces in New York City. They examined the effects of advertising on society and the ways that individuals make every day choices. Teens also watched and discussed excerpts from the documentaries Century of the Self and the British series 7 UP to further understand the links between propaganda, advertising, and the ways in which social class affect an individual’s future.
The media has become a part of my daily life. I use technology for a good chunk of the day. I turn to advertisements when I am bored on the train, and I will admit that I do feel rather unconnected if I do not know what is going on is Hollywood. While the media does define the significance of race, gender, and class in society, I am a strong believer that it does not have to define how my race, gender, and class affect my success in life. In other words, the media does not have to define the individual. I am not defined by being white, Hispanic, male, and upper middle class. I am defined by what makes me comfortable, what makes me uncomfortable, where I live, where I would like to live, and most importantly how I see myself: not how the media sees me. All those things are a lot more unique to each individual than something so commonly shared as gender. Let these pictures be an honest representation of myself.
Picture of shoes: I figure the best possible self-portrait would have to be one of my shoes. My shoes go with me everywhere I go and experience every single step. Of everything in my life, my shoes probably know me best.
Graveyard: There is something extremely comforting about a cemetery. Most people would feel uncomfortable in a place where we bury the dead. However, I find that there is something magical and wonderful about walking up and down the gravestones and wondering who each person was, how they lived their life, and in allowing each one to tell you a story (even if all you have is a name and two very significant dates).
Midtown architecture: At first, I took this picture because I found the architecture quite interesting. However, after a while, I realized that the picture represented a place in which I was not comfortable. The building in the picture is just one of the many angular, grey, impersonal, cold buildings in midtown Manhattan. Yes, the architecture is quite interesting, but it also represents one of the few places in which I feel uncomfortable in New York. This is probably because midtown is a very poor representation of the culture and uniqueness of New York.