February 6, 2012
LaToya Ruby Frazier. Wow. I have a lot of thoughts about this one actually. First of all, the photographs of Braddock were all too familiar. Northeast Ohio, the place I call home, also was hit by the decline of steel mills. Cleveland was once one of the biggest cities in the nation and prosperous at that. Now it’s not even the biggest city in the state. Granted, Cleveland has started to built itself up again—the University Circle sector is quite nice—but just an hour to the southeast, Warren is still in shambles. Without industry, Warren is dead and it actually depresses me to go through it. Their situation is pretty comparable to Braddock, except the greater Cleveland area really benefits from the superb Cleveland healthcare systems. ANYWAY Frazier’s message really hit home for these reasons.
Secondly, I loved how real she was. She describes Braddock as having gritty realism, but I find that she has it in herself just as much. I love the dark side of history and I’m glad she’s bold enough to stand up and expose it. The rawness of her statement really appeals to me, which is saying something because I usually don’t gravitate toward art that is created simply to make a statement. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I like some art that makes a statement, but I don’t like to create art that makes a statement.