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Submitted on
October 2, 2013


57,347 (6 today)
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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.

Aemn, אמן.

- 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!


Full Credits -
All clothing were designed and hand made by Nick Stryker
Check out his official website for more: ;

PHOTOGRAPHY - David Kawena

FASHION - Nick Stryker
STYLING AND ACCESSORIES - David Kawena/Nick Stryker
MAKE UP AND HAIR - David Kawena
LIGHTS - David Kawena/Keenon Ferrell
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!

INRI 19 - by David Kawena by davidkawena
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.

INRI 01 - by David Kawena by davidkawena
INRI 02 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 03 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 04 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 05 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 06 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 07 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 08 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 09 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 10 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 11 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 12 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 13 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 14 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 15 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 16 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 17 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 18 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 19 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 20 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 21 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 22 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 23 - by David Kawena by davidkawena INRI 24 - by David Kawena by davidkawena
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lovlinessisme Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Totally agree with you David. But you know how the Bible literally says "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them."? Does that not totally counter " Love thy neighbor"? How are we supposed to believe in a book that counters what it says? And of course this message will not sit well with everyone and I don't expect it to as this is my opinion. However, a lot of people totally ignore bits and parts of it. They pick and choose what they want to read. The Bible says if there is a homosexual in your area you should stone him or her, or that if a girl is raped it is her fault and she has to marry the guy that raped her. How is that logical? A person isn't just "turned" gay because they have a "demon" inside of them, they were born that way, and there isn't anything wrong with it. And if you think homosexuality is wrong, then to be quite blunt, you are delusional. Sorry if this offends anybody, but I'm not going to answer you if you send me hate mail, so don't even try wasting away your precious time ya haters.
JeoJo Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014
Dear DavidKawena,
I love your work! You, my friend, are truly an extraordinary artist! I believe that you should go on doing what you do best, and ignore all the others who oppose you. There is nothing wrong with your sexuality. You are a human with free will and your own beliefs. I don't think it was necessary for this person to go out of there way to push their opinion on you while at the same time covering it compliments, telling you that your sexuality is "wrong". People all have their own beliefs and they like to stick to it. Sometimes they go to lengths that are far beyond where they need to go to prove themselves "right and just". Its a terrible tendency we are prown to. Don't hold it against this person. Remember Karmas a bitch! :)   
RoamingFirefly Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Professional Filmographer
A bit late to the party, just wandered in because your Disney Heroes collection was being passed around the office the other day. But wow~ I don't know what's scarier: if this person truly believed what they were saying and believed that they were doing a GOOD thing for you by writing this, or if this person is a master of passive-aggressive manipulation and knew exactly what they were doing by writing this. But I just want to say that you are an extremely talented artist, I love your work, and not just because of the sexiness, though the sexiness is awesome too ;) And your art is much appreciated by my coworkers as well :D I know it is hard sometimes to ignore negative comments and messages, but this one is clearly written by a nut-bar and not worth your time and energy. There are many more people in this world, who couldn't care less what anyone's sexuality is, and appreciate you for the person and the artist you are.
FlickeringShadow Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013
I don't think it is a hate message as much as someone who just does not understand that you are who you are and there is nothing wrong with that. If it were truly a hate message I believe that there would be some differences in what they were saying, but still I don't believe that they should have sent you that. It is none of their business and you are wonderful just the way you are.
icyhugs Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Give me a break, I don't think God cares about WHO or WHAT u love, instead He takes so much concern if we have choose love over hate, or the worse: cold ignorance. I adore ur talent David and I am so certain that God loves you for who u r, what u r :) Thank you for the INRI collection :DMystic Rose Stain Glass by icyhugs  
WarriorNGoddess Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Professional Writer
Your work is gorgeous, your are talented, and your love for men helped lead you to be so incredibly talented with what I, as a straight woman, and several gay men, can all enjoy and drool upon- Lovely, glorious mancandy.
Any loving god, if there is one (and I'm anti-theist, so you need not read anything into this other than what I'm saying)- I repeat, and LOVING god, would not look down on you for loving as you chose, so long as you chose to love.
It's not hard to surmise that this person is from a fundamental, judgmental and obviously unrealistic church/faith.  Unfortunately, when people can be led to extremes (read: you're a homosexual because you have a spirit (demon) inside of you and god is the only way to get it out.  Not just god, but MY god, and MY church), it's very easy to control and manipulate them, get them to give you lots and lots of money.  That kind of mindless following that will believe without questioning...  I'm guessing that's where this person came from.  And though they may mean well, it's his/her own shortcoming that leads to this kind of behavior.

Anyway, I saw your Disney mancandy on the internet and, after wiping off my keyboard, I had to find you.  Mmm... I wish I could do what you do.  I shall have to put you on watch and see if I can learn anything from you.  If you have time, at some point, I'd absolutely love it if you took a bit to look through my dA.  And I'm sure you're far above anything I can afford, but I'd love to see you draw a drow male or two.  Mmm....

Thank you for reading my gibberish.  <3
bsamneh Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Hey Dave!

well no honestly i dont think its a hate message.
 but as you mentioned earlier art is a way of expression and taking a step further. however not everyone can understand that step taken at the moment (maybe later on in the future they can understand the artwork more, who knows)..but i cld feel the sincerity in the message and there is no hate or anything in it. it's just what the person believes (true or not true), and i guess in his/her opinion trying to lend a helping hand. 
We shld always take everything in the positive sense, whether we think they have a point or not. so wtv.
but nah i dont think its a hate mail.
i miss ur hot princes btw!

Robert-Clell-Asher Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh David!
My Friend, I am so glad you know who you are :hug: and We are all so lucky to have you in our world!
You are firstly an amazing, bright, intelligent human being that has the ability to see beauty where most folk never think to look and pass that beauty on so we can all see it. You share your talent so widely and freely with those folk that will take the time to look. Thank you for that, Thank you for sharing what you see, I think if you, and people with gifts and talents similar to your gifts and talent  didn't do that, we would forget how to look for beauty on our own. I love your art. It speaks to me on every level. Thank you.
I think you are where you are supposed to be in this great wide world. You're on the right row, it may be kinda tough to hoe sometimes with small thinking rocks in the way, but you will always be able to move forward, pen and paper are amazing tools and can get you where you need to be!
Love ya guy, Please don't change!
flesheatingmermaid Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love your work, you know how to capture the sexual essence of men.  

As for this person, they are sadly ignorant.  If this person continues to leave more uncomfortable messages like this, let DA know.  Because this person shouldn't be doing that to you, or any other human being. 

Keep the great work coming!
Poseidonsky Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
of course its not hate lol
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