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Kenya (Robinson)
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Kenya (Robinson) is a community-taught artist from Gainesville, Florida. An aficionado of all things blonde, she is a past resident of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's WorkSpace Program (2009-2010) and the 2010 Triangle Arts Workshop. Her sculptural work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Aljira and the 60 Wall Street Gallery of Deutsche Bank. In addition, her performances have been featured at Rush Arts Gallery, MoMA PS1, The DUMBO Arts Festival, The Kitchen, The Museum of Modern Art (NYC) as well as the Home Section of the New York Times.

An avid blogger, tumblr-er, and mischievous contributor to the Arts & Culture Section of the Huffington Post, she is also the inaugural resident for Recess Activities' online residency ANALOG and a recent MFA graduate from the School of Art at Yale University.

Entries by Kenya (Robinson)

Ass, et al.

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 6:05 PM

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Because I am an "emerging" artist, I can say whatever I want. I am mercifully un-tethered to a gallery or institution (save for the Brooklyn Children's Museum, and there I can plead the 5th-year-old). This allows a great deal of freedom, especially (spellcheck:...

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Romantical

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 2:05 PM

I am a romantic.

There, I said it. Well suppose I wrote it, but the sentiment is intimately valid. Even though my critical mind has identified that romantic love, at least in the American Capitalist Context, is a product for sale, I simply cannot help this overwhelming desire for companionship. Months ago I went to a talk featuring the veneable Tim Gunn. He is even more pristine and endearing and impeccably postured than he appears on television -- unflappable and stylish (obvs), he shared that his most insightful failure was that of a relationship.

The boo cheated and after years of sharing a life together informed Tim that he no longer loved him - a light switch flip of emotion. And so Mr. Gunn has maintained singlehood over coupledom ever since. I desperately wanted to move as surely as he -- unfettered by the drama of romantic entanglements. But this quickly gave way to daydreams of a tender snuggle bunny, tantric sex sessions and a partner compassionate towards my general goofiness, fluctuating conservatism and free spiritedness.

Maybe it's the only-child thing. One of my most treasured moments in any given relationship are the times, when at opposite ends of the house/apartment, I pad to my partner, offer a kiss-hug, and, wonderfully satisfied, return to my perch of doing, making, watching, writing, researching, contemplating... Yep. That's the shit right there. Or especially when I consider their needs before my own in small and substantial ways, a rediscovered reflex that makes me feel all warm and helpful and understanding and a part of a team.

I am experienced enough to trust my own instincts, so I feel like an unlikely target of physical and/or emotional abuse. But with these kinds of important realizations, my dating pool has necessarily diminished. This hard won knowledge has my bullshit meter on a 100 million -- unimpressed by Tinder texts that begin yawnfully with "hey" (app deleted for the third time) or men, being that I am of a certain age, who berate their ex-wives as crazy (despite having full custody of the children) only to follow up with a booty call (its very contemplation made possible by the fact that they don't have the kids). Or even those forty somethings who don't have a hamper (TMI in the form of exposed laundry) and have a generous sprinkling of hair clippings in the bathroom sink, a definite throwback from my college years. It was pretty gross then, it's even more off-putting now.

Make no mistake, I am similarly critical of the off-puts I bring to the table -- an "emerging artist" slash studio squatter and maker of less than 700 dollars every two weeks. Oh and a-hanger-outer-with-20-somethings who actually have savings, full time employment, rental leases, occasional hangovers and musical tastes that volley between Radiohead and Murder INC. They also have my confidence and respect. Yet even in the confines of this fiscal coonbox I am able to create occasions to pamper myself and others with thoughtfully selected experiences, often in the form of artisanal preserves and non-digital conversation. My friend tip is thorough. I am spoiled by my platonics, a reciprocal exchange of encouragement, care, professional advice and general dopeness, which according to Kanye is the point of this whole life thing. Well, as subordinate to love.

Real talk, I get a little shook thinking that maybe my path is one of solitude (loneliness a nonissue) but I can't help but continue to believe in the fecundity of my journey and its connection to another person. A person who builds with compassion and woos with finesse. Whose dream is similarly concentrated on the spiritual practice of love and commitment and mind blowingly fun secks. Or, as one of my 20-something friends said, "someone to be cute with" (he and she with an imminent long-distance cookie date).

As a romantic, I can't help but revel in the cuteness of others. Admittedly I'm a bit too self-absorbed to be envious (go figure), so I will continue to light a pink candle -- spreading love Brooklyn-style, like artisanal preserve on toast.

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 11:08 AM

Title: Vessel

Media: Fiberglass, spray paint and nylon crochet thread

Year: 2013

I wanted to use a poem I wrote called The Platinum Eaters as a narrative thread for making sculpture. These objects are artifacts from this mythological world.

“A noble pedigree, they are born from thought, their flaxen headdresses,...

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Practically Magic

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 7:33 PM

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Recently, I've been keeping a whitemaninmypocket. It's for protection of course, a charm for the rapidly gentrified, since there's no stopping whitefolks and their artisanal tastes, designer strollers or cultural appropriation. I rub it to secure my bearings in...

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 12:08 PM

Title: Documentation of A Study For Staircase, No. 111012
Media: Monoprints on paper
Year: 2012

I am mostly classified as a Performance Artist, albeit kicking and screaming, so I am thinking a lot about how these actions live after the performance is complete. To me,...

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 5:50 PM

Documentation of Welcome to Walmart No. 2371
Media: Crushed blue velvet, double ended zippers, and hydrogen peroxide
Year: 2013

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 7:40 PM

Welcome to Walmart No. 2371 (before)
Media: Performance installation
Year: 2013

Welcome To Walmart is an interactive sculpture that posits the largest retailer in the world as a fine art location. It is meant to extend the performance of shopping...

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 6:49 PM

Title: “Ask about me”
Media: JPEG and/or stencil on canvas
Year: 2013

I am a Jay-Z fan. I often use his lyrics as philosophical koans and, apparently, as inspiration for creative production.

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 6:44 PM

Title: MONDAY NIGHT (or Black Body Radiation, No. 1)
Media: Video still
Year: 2012

In the age of smart phones I am challenged towards more layered forms of performance documentation. Jasper Johns is an inspiration: “Do something, do something to that, and then...

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Crap: A Philosophy of Sh*t

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 1:14 PM

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On high authority I've been informed that my work is shit. Mostly I've been desensitized to such proclamations -- I can thank the Art School Critique framework for that -- but its ill-timed delivery, six days before graduation, left me shaken and...

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 11:45 AM

MONDAY NIGHT
Media: Photo documentation of performance
Year: 2012

My obsession with blondeness continues, but since I won’t risk my lovely Afro with peroxide, I thought I’d experiment with performers as proxy. I think of this performance as an absurd public service...

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2013 | 9:03 AM

Title: Vortex
Media: Inkjet print on spray-painted paper
Year: 2011

When I have access to a television I love watching the drama of Monday Night Football. And when I don’t catch the televised coverage I review the weekly photographs on NFL.com. What I found curious...

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 11:29 AM

Like a Girl Being Pretty, No.1
Wooden scrub brush modified with synthetic hair
2011

Even as my performance practice evolves, I find that enjoy the making of objects, especially when they serve as a mechanism for action. Like a Girl Being Pretty...

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Blue for Black

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 10:40 AM

I went to the Whitney Museum of Art to partake in one of their latest offerings, Blues For Smoke, a saucy gumbo of Walker, Hammons, Whitten, O'Grady, among many others. The exhibition serves a mostly-brown stew, bubbling over with work tucked into nearly every corner, belying the "state...

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Shorty Wanna Be a Thug

(3) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 10:56 PM

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons


I love some 'ignorant ass music.' A term of endearment, 'ignorant ass music,' or I-AM, is a rallying cry. A chest thumping exercise that requires no actual chest thumping -- a logistical issue for some -- needing only, the thump...

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Kenya Robinson on the ImageBlog

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2013 | 11:42 AM

Title: Blonde Anemone
Media: Plastic combs, nuts, bolts, cable ties, nylon crochet thread, and synthetic hair
Year: 2010

I consider blondness as material for a kind of sympathetic magic, an incantation of a commoditized standard of beauty. Blonde Anemone is an example of...

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Black Love: Off The Chain

(7) Comments | Posted December 30, 2012 | 2:14 PM

Counting myself among the $15,011,121 dollars that saw Django Unchained on its opening Weekday, I was blown away by a renewed sense of movie-going. Even with paying the dreaded regular ticket price (no student discounts on this go 'round), I was more than satisfied by 168 minutes of...

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Is That a Rectangle in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 2:50 PM

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I suppose it happens to anyone attempting to have a more thoughtful relationship with fine art. It's a kind of rite-of-passage discovery that serves as a touchstone for deeper dialogues. It's the moment when you realize the secular geometry of the rectangle....

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Soul Seasoning

(3) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 6:34 PM

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E'rybody in the Othered Art World is harrumphing over the review of "Now Dig This" in the New York Times. Asses firmly on...

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The Box Marked 'Other'

(3) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 5:32 PM

Because I am a snazzy dresser, and err on the side of volume when constructing my coiffures, I tend to attract amazing cocktail conversations. This is helpful, especially since these rapid dialogues often secure a studio visit or an invitation to the next cocktail party. One's ability to...

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