Is this a hate message? Please read and have your say on the subject -
So I just received this note to my inbox here on DA:
"David you are a blessed young man with TREMENDOUS talent ppl can only hope to aspire to but a spirit that has been hurt by so many ppl over "who you are". If u trusted and believed God like u say you do then trust Him when He says youre sexuality is not okay. u get scared because you dont know howw to"get rid of it" but its a spirit, i garuntee you. A member of a local church i know of had been delivered from that homosexual spirit that plauged Him for years!!! You may think it cant be done but if you believe in Jesus Christ and have accepted Him then there is NOTHING He can't do!!I say this with all the Love in my heart. God wants to bless you and turn you into a message for lost souls all around too^^"
How lovely it is to see that people hid their true thoughts behind compliments and smiley faces...
At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words.
It seems like this the exact reason for why I took on the INRI photo-shoot and the message behind it.
I know my work can be counted for instigating by some, pushing it a step too far - but this what art supposed to be in my eyes. Take thoughts into actions and in the process share the artists truth and point of views, sometimes ones that can't find an outlet in any other way.
What scares me the most in this message I received just now, is the notion that we all need to be the same, in the aspect of not celebrating our uniqueness and individuality.
Now I'm a firm believer that people can change - people can work hard on themselves to change the negative aspect about them: selfishness, intolerance, anger, greediness, lies and all sorts of egocentric action can be changed if we'll work hard on it. But there's another kind change, more in the likes of brain washing. Here, the person who sent the message told me that not only I can change my sexuality but I NEED to change it!
So here's what I think about it - what if there was an option for people to change the colour of their skin in small process and then someone representing a religion of some sort would come and tell you "Hey, I know you are black, but you weren't meant to be that way! Jesus was white and there's a way for you get rid of the colour of your skin, for it is only a bad demon that put you through this... you can change it!"
Do you see how far a state of mind can get to? A few decades ago a ruler in Germany wanted to do the same thing, create a world where everyone is THE SAME!
This thought process is so distorted! For everyone who believes in Jesus, and especially that person who sent me that message, I want you to read this -
Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves!
If you knew anything about the bible, you'd know that each word was carefully chosen to represent it's truth. The word 'neighbors' is used to signify the ones who are not you, who are different then you! If you'll create a world where everyone is like you, you won't look at your neighbors anymore, but your duplications, your reflections!
It's about time people will realize we are all DIFFERENT and THIS IS WHAT MAKES ALL THE SAME ALREADY!
Stop try changing others - change yourself.
GOD BLESS -
- INRI -
I've always had faith and believed in something that is greater then our physical existence upon this earth. I always wondered how some people talk about God being here and there, yet if you want to worship God, there's a one place for that - A church, a synagogue, a mosque. I felt as if God was put into a box no matter how beautiful in interior of the box is, it's architecture or grand scale - God was still trapped inside it's walls, owned. In my perspective, no one owns God! No one owns our right to pray, to believe, or disbelieve. No one has a hold on our mind and soul. I see God in the world around me, in the people I interact with, in my friends, in my inspiration and here I wanted to try and portray what is conceived as the iconography of God, of Jesus Christ, or faith, and eventually the common thread of them all - love. The world is full people who use that love as a weapon. Sometimes it feels like I'm being attacked for who I am, for heaving my strong faith, for my sexuality. People don't know how to label me, even with my art - "You should stick with drawing", "draw more girls", "so you're a photographer now, what's next, music?", "You've ruined my childhood", "You're crossing the lines" and what not... I guess that puts fear of the 'unknown' into the minds of some people and they start lashing you up. My only way to fight back is by expressing myself artistically! My art is my freedom to show who I am and what I believe in. It's my freedom to be, to share, to connect to something that is grater then me. This photoshoot took place last year at a studio in the upper-side of Manhattan. While I was doing it didn't know of the things I'll have to face with today, the tests God will put me through.
In a statement released by Madonna regarding her ArtForFreedom project, she wrote the following: "I can not separate the rights of an artist with the rights of a Human Being". In the passed months my artistic rights were violated in ways I can not even begin to describe, and at that moment I felt the exact same pain and hurt as if my basic human rights were taking away from me! Seeing your own art, your own creation, being put on display in manors you did not approve of, in associations to people you do not support or agree with, heaving your own name taken off of it - is just like heaving your own voice taken away from you! Your very soul. You feel castrated out of your own creation, expression, FREEDOM!
This photoshoot speaks about that. It features the beauty that is surfaces deep and the beauty that is hidden deep inside. What attracts us physically and what attracts us spiritually.
Art is always at it's best when it's a collaborative effort. while creating the concept arts for this project, I can across the amazing works of fashion designer Nick Stryker and I knew I must feature his creations on this one. We've had a great meeting in his Brooklyn based apartment and got things going. In between I had to look for some strong artistic individuals who'll be able to bring my vision to life, and I was lucky enough to connect with 3 amazing NY models - Derek, Norb and Steven - each brought a different character to life. And of course no one can go about anything in life without the help of a few friends as well, and I was so blessed to have my talented friend Keenon to be of support and help with the project all the way through.
I thank each and everyone of you who helped me bringing my vision to life, and hope all of you, my followers and watchers will enjoy it, and might even get inspired to believe, to love, and to fight for your artistic freedom!
All clothing were designed and hand made by Nick Stryker
Check out his official website for more: www.nickstryker.com
PHOTOGRAPHY - David Kawena
FASHION - Nick Stryker
STYLING AND ACCESSORIES - David Kawena/Nick Stryker
MAKE UP AND HAIR - David Kawena
LIGHTS - David Kawena/Keenon Ferrell
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT/PRODUCTION COORDINATOR - Slic Arts
ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE - KEVIN ATKINS
MODELS - Steven Trumon Gray / Derek Keene / Norb Peti
Please check the new article on "Beautiful Magazine" featuring the 'INRI' photo-shoot, the meaning and story behind it in the following link:
and feel free to comment on it (page is NSFW)
A Daily Deviation! I'm so excited!
It's been... umm, years since I've got my last Daily Deviation.
I'm very happy and grateful to have one of the pictures from this photoshot
to receive this statues! Thanks a lot to DistortedSmile for this.