selin is an artist living in los angeles, california. paint on canvas. ink on flesh. she finds herself touching on all mediums available, never counting anything out entirely. I didn't even know she tattooed until 10/27/22 at the final ever sleezehog show where she was part of the vendor lineup. and before then, my first introduction to her art + general existence was on 9/7/21 when I went to her old place, the walton, to take photos of zoe for the series (now archived).
I don't recall the exact pieces that were out in the living room/converted art space, but I do remember being in awe. they were so good. of course you don't ever wanna ask questions about someone you aren't there for, that's just rude to whoever is in your company! I didn't fret though. I knew we'd eventually share the same room.
we did in the end. 1/4/24. I walked up steps I'd undoubtedly kill myself going up (or down) if I were blackout drunk—adorning the left wall of the stairs was a banner of babies made by scuffedleg. the living room had a couch with a papa smurf pillow that selin brought back from turkey. she'd tell me about going back often to see her family, bringing luggage filled with (quality) american things then coming back to the states with luggage filled with (quality) turkish things. there were far more intricate and beautiful things from turkey decorating her room, but I have to say that papa smurf took the cake for me. nothing like american iconography taking on new life in different cultures. you ever see looney tunes in mexico? fuck yeah you have, and you know exactly what the fuck I'm on about.
an idea I had for the shoot that I knew I wouldn't be able to execute was having selin give a tat. there's this level of ridiculousness when you attempt to pose what would normally be candid/documentarian. it adds a level of absurdity that often gets mistaken for the ignorance/obnoxiousness of social-media era vapidness. we're not doing it because we have the need to share all our life moments, we're doing it because it's stupid fun.
sadly there was no flesh. doubly sad was selin had a halloween skeleton stolen from her balcony that we could have used. we've decided to blame the usc frat boys. damn them. first they sexually assault their peers and have daddy pay off administration (allegedly), now they're stealing fake human remains? one can only hope they never get a will ferrell dj set ever again.
human connection is catharsis. selin has an original painting she created, above her bed. a mosh pit. a shit ton of people crashing into each other. running around. punching. kicking. shoving. you could feel your sinuses clearing up from the shot of adrenaline that kind of human contact gives you. it's supposed to be fight or flight but it goes beyond that, you seek convergence in that moment. to become part.
I seek it. with weak knees and a back that goes out every so often, I can't mosh much. this series gives me that human connection less violently, for the better. there's a conversation. there's an admiration of the little knick-knacks and the work the person produces—a song, a painting, a sculpture, clothes. there's an understanding that who we are in this moment will no longer exist after we say goodbye. we shed our skin and become new people, meeting fresh versions of ourselves in the future.
I'm grateful we shared these hours. I'm grateful to have documented the short hours this selin existed in. I'm grateful to have the chance to see the selin she's become later.