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Meet Destinee Forbes, Storytelling Fellow

Destinee Forbes joined our team as our Storytelling Fellow in September 2018. Get to know more about her!

 

What attracted you to The LP?

What attracted me most to The LP is the fact that it is an organization that not only believes in nurturing creativity as a means of expression and change, but also that art–as a form of work– has not only the capacity to represent or document political or social change, but also the capacity to be the catalyst for that change. As someone with an art historical background, this idea is truly profound because it means that art is not a passive object that is produced as a result of change, but rather that it can also be an active agent and maker of it.

 

What are you most excited about as you begin your time at The LP?

I am so excited to be working at The LP because it fits in line with my desire to make art accessible to all, and also it relates to my personal desire to work in a profession that aims to make the voices and stories of the artists and their work seen and heard.The opportunity to work at The LP is not only a tremendous opportunity to meet and learn from leaders in the art world, but relates to my professional goal of making artists’ voices heard.

 

What is your favorite… film?

Funny Girl (1968), Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995) , The Prince of Egypt (1998), and Call Me by Your Name (2017)

…album?

Daniel Caesar’s “Freudian”

…food?

Arroz con pollo and tostones with mojo–all cooked by my mother of course 🙂

Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?

I’ve fallen in love with art multiple times in my life, and each time it happens differently. I normally get quite overwhelmed when asked the question of what inspires you about art, or why do you love it (because how do you choose your favorite love story?!). However, I normally recount the very first time art ever inspired me, or rather demanded that I bear witness to it. As a child, my parents had an 8’x6′ framed print of Paul Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women” (1899) that hung prominently in our living room. The painting made me and my siblings uncomfortable most obviously because we did not know how to handle the nudity of the women depicted, but also because I did not know how to make sense of their piercing gaze and why it felt they were constantly staring at me. In retrospect, the print made me aware of my desire to look, and the agency that can be wrapped up in the politics of looking. Flash-forward 14 years, to when I had more language to express myself, and took several art history classes learning about how problematic Gauguin’s “Tahitian period” was in that it engages in the colonialist discourse of other-ing, “primitivizing”, objectifying the female body through the male gaze etc…the list goes on. Yet, it remains one artwork that continues to inspire me, because it reminds me of my desire to question. It reminds me to not only think about the formalist approach of the process and method of creating an artwork, but asking about what kind of narrative is it trying to convey through the figures and environment. While, I cannot say I have a favorite artist or artwork, the image describes my personal relation to art, in that it stands as the first art object that made me aware of my position as an individual who is curious to interrogate what she sees–and that awareness inspires and informs my art practice daily.

 

In what neighborhood do you currently live in?

Upper West Side

In your opinion, why does art matter?

Art matters because it is a testament to the human capacity to endure!

 

Destinee Forbes is a recent history of art MA graduate of The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She specialized in modern and contemporary art with a focus on identity and representation of the black body. She has worked with artists like Laolu Senbanjo. Her experience on branding, marketing, community engagement, public relations, and communications make her an amazing addition to our team. You can follow her at @destino94.

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