dusty divas & the devil’s cornbread
Nick Centore x Tatyana Grechina x Danielle Slocki
A collaboration that began in 2016 with a trip to the desert, the Great American West. At the moment, this collection comprises over 400 collages, 1 short video, at least 30 files of untouched video footage, and a script. The baby is growing.
Tatyana Grechina x Alex Black x Abigail Halcyon
Styled by Alex and shot by Abigail, all images were printed and hand-cut. This was about scouting a random group of people and pulling together a team, then seeing how far I could take that experience visually through layers of image manipulation both digitally by Abigail and analogue with my x-acto blade.
portals. prisms. light bodies.
My Ego x My Shadow
These collages were created from the collective leftovers of a 3 year creative directing passion project- Dusty Divas & the Devil’s Cornbread. They are the breadcrumbs.
The goddess project
Having struggled with feeling like I am not enough as an artist in a post-art school world, I would constantly compare myself to artists who looked like they had it together on social media- specifically women. It caused a lot of unnecessary inner turmoil as I spent my energy feeling sorry for myself, and ultimately my art wasn’t getting better.
Then one day I saw a photo of a coworker’s sixteen year old daughter and thought, “Wow, she looks so much older than her age.” This spurred the idea that I wanted to photograph her two daughters sans smokey makeup and perfect contour. I wanted to show them as the true, soil to summer baby goddesses of youth that they were (Original story chronicled here). Seeing them at that stage of life surrounded by brightly colored flowers that translated into a photographic painting world, I was overwhelmed with the urge to photograph more people like this. I reached out to women artists that I either knew from growing up or through the local creative Instagram community, and asked if they would participate in my goddess project. I wanted everybody to see themselves like this. Though it did not completely silence my destructive little inner voice, it was a turning point in my journey as an artist. Suddenly I had a project I was passionate about -celebrating others, celebrating our truth, healing. It was my way of dealing with a lot of information and organizing it in the most beautiful way I could.
After receiving my BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, I spent a year not knowing what to do with my life in Philly before moving home to South Carolina to try to figure it out. “Figuring it out” quickly became spending the subsequent year and a half between Greenville (where I worked restaurant or coffee shop jobs to pay for my student loans and save as much as I could) and wherever overseas I could get my hands on. Once I was out of the country, I just kept buying cheap plane and bus tickets- initially to meet friends, eventually just for the rush of the click of the mouse that just sealed the deal on where I’d be that day - whatever city or country it was.
I had never allowed myself to travel like this, and it felt like a magical, continuously self-manifesting cycle that year. From Envision’s spiritual and childlike installations in the heart of the jungle in Costa Rica to the volcanoes of Nicaragua, to Prague where I met one of my best friends and Vienna where I met so many incredible artists and got to see countless shows and performances as a part of the Vienna Biennale, the Vienna Parallel and by assisting Elena Mildner, gallerist of Burgasse 21 in translating and editing the marketing copy for her first ever Speed-Arting event. Vienna was the first place I truly felt I could be in the room full of artists I’ve always wanted to be in - like it wasn’t some secret tucked away members-only space. One of the most interesting artists that I met through Elena was Alf Poier, a painter/sculptor/ musician/comedian who showed me his incredibly colorful home and studio, and spoke to me at great lengths about art, his career, the psychology of performance, and listened to me tell him about the play I’ve been wanting to write. It was completely surreal. It was the first time I’d truly experienced this whole world of artists outside of my small world -my art school, or even my country- and it was completely invigorating. I felt like I could do anything. It was the first time I had ever just allowed myself to completely trust the universe and receive the things that I was asking for, and I ended that year in Israel on Birthright standing before the Western Wall in Jerusalem on December 31st.
Throughout the year, I kept a series of sketchbooks. Recording thoughts and notes through words and images has always been very important to me. The degree of actual drawing to writing varies book to book, but throughout my travels that year, I was incredibly inspired to draw everything I saw.