renee stephens


Tag: Life


I am constantly confused. I know, I know, this is vague… except, it isn’t. My brain never stops; even in my sleep I am not at rest. Pondering, wondering, imagining; these are only a few of the verbs that describe my grounds for confusion. We are constantly getting thrown so many images and concepts at us every day that the human body cannot possibly register them all. How are we supposed to cope with this overwhelming stress? Some like to drown out the pain with a glass of wine, or 5… others a bit of pot to ease the mind before bed. Regardless, we are all functioning under a system that needs a release. Sleep is just not enough anymore. It’s mad in a sense however there is no changing it. As history knows, there is never any turning back time; we can’t go back to ‘simpler’ times because arguably the technological advances of today is supposed to make our lives ‘simpler’. Irony? 


Opinions on Things: Freud and Self-Awareness

Recently, I have found out that all of the people of whom are the closest to my heart have been deceiving towards me. This was a shock. It hurt my feelings. I don’t really know what to do with myself. I don’t know who I can turn to. I feel betrayed, misled, and lied to. People have been saying one thing to my face and then doing the opposite behind my back. This might sound cliche, but I weed out the ‘bad’ friends, the untrustworthy friends, and really I thought I had a good batch of close friends who I could trust without second-guessing (this also applies to family). 

Since this newfound distrust I have in my close ‘friends’, I am correlating it with Jerry Saltz idea of the ‘New Uncanny’. Which involves the theory that by Freud inventing psychoanalysis, we have become so self-aware and self-involved, that we see ourselves as God-like. As humans we instinctively live for ourselves. Although, with the New Uncanny, we see are inherently aware of this selfish behaviour. Rather than changing it, we embrace it. Saltz relates this idea directly to Kanye West’s ‘Bound 2′ music video (see article below for link). 

The idea of this ‘New Uncanny’ is shown within people of today’s society. All people live for is themselves, but they are so self aware that the hurtful acts towards others do not phase them. They are more accepting of betraying others in order to gain something for themselves. It is almost as if trust and friendship doesn’t exist. We are all using each other for our own purposes. I admit, I have done such things. I am not saying I am an angel. It is simply the way that people are being raised. By being so influenced by pop culture and the idolization of celebrities, we try to become like them: self-involved, ‘perfect’, rich, famous, and important to the public eye. This obsession has created a shift in personalities where people are accepting to throw others under the bus in order to gain a spot on said hypothetical bus. If we are all fighting for a spot on this bus, only the most selfish people will progress and prosper, and that is what society has been feeding into our complex brains for many, many years. 

Fine Art Degree? Not So Bad After All

Fine Art Degree? Not So Bad After All

Fine art degrees seem to be not so bad after all after a study shows that they are not only the happiest but the unemployment rate of fine arts majors is dramatically decreasing. 

(click on link for the article via. The Wall Street Journal)


Banksy’s Identity

It has occurred to me that I admire street-artist Banksy’s choice to be unidentified. I too, wish this upon myself some days. The silence, solitude, and calm it would feel to be unknown. We all wish we had that choice, don’t we? To just slip out of society and remain unknown. The fresh feeling of having no worries, no nagging bosses, no school work to attend to. To just vanish from society for a while under a cloak of invisibility. Wouldn’t that be nice?

However, the longer I think about it, the more I feel bad for Banksy. He must not envy the secretive life as much as I would like it from time to time. For instance, he is in New York right now where the police force have made it clear that he is a wanted man for graffiti and defacing property charges. That is the moment when secret identity becomes your only choice. I’m sure he would love to say, “HEY, it’s me! I am the face behind this wonderful street art,” but he can’t. If he does, he must face the consequences of living that alternative lifestyle. The longer that he remains unknown, the more and more felonies the police chalk up waiting for him to turn in his identity. The idea of a unknown identity becomes his only way to produce artwork that is meaningful to him. It is for the art, not the man behind it. I admire that message.

People often debate about art and how it has turned into this capitalist role of production and what-not. Artists arguably make art to sell it now, not simply to make it. Artists like Banksy are interesting because he still does sell some of his artwork. However, most of his pieces that make serious statements cannot be bought or sold. They’re considered graffiti, and chances are they will be removed or painted over, or eventually destroyed in some way.

So the next time you think about why you would possibly want to slip under societies radar because you’re stressed or overloaded with responsibiltiy, think of people like Banksy who don’t have a choice. In order to do the thing he loves, he must remain underground and off the map. Talk about a stressful life.