Barbie’s Missed Connection Encounter

by | Aug 12, 2009 | PHOTO

Casey Longyear conducted an interview with Kevin Faison, a Senior VCU Photography Student from Blackstone, VA.

Casey Longyear conducted an interview with Kevin Faison, a Senior VCU Photography Student from Blackstone, VA.

Casey Longyear: What is your 1st art experience that you can remember?

Kevin Faison: I was about 7 years old when I had my first piece of art in a show. It was a hilariously anatomically incorrect white paper mache’ cat. I still have it.

What are your experiences with collaboration, art related or not?

I love collaborating in art and sharing/bouncing ideas of of like-minded people. My current project with the Barbies is all a continuation of my concept of “Plastic people with Perfect lives/Perfect People with Plastic Lives.” My friend Janissa Hamilton, who is also an amazing photographer, has been a great help to me in working out ideas and subgenres within that concept. We have a sort of yin and yang thing that works really well for us.

Have your parents supported the idea of you being an artist?

Yes, more than I ever could have imagined possible. I tell myself everyday how blessed I am to have such understanding and caring parents. I’ve been interested in art from the time I could physically pick up a pencil, so I think they had a good amount of time to prepare themselves for the fabulous future I was dreaming up!

Tell me about your most inspiring friend.

More than anything I believe I make an effort to surround myself with people that inspire me daily. I have a really close-knit group of fabulous weridos that I could not live without! Whenever we’re all together its just as though our auras have a huge orgy and we just get wild and loud and its amazing. However I will say that my best girlfriend, Jennifer, throughout my life has been a huge inspiration to me. She is such a strong, courageous little bombshell and doesn’t even realize how awesome she is half of the time.

What was your first impression of richmond, and how has your opinion evolved?

Oh man! I’m from Blackstone, VA — which for anyone who doesn’t know, its a beautiful little town if you’re retired and don’t have a very exciting life, but I was always a country boy with big city dreams. I remember coming up to hang out with my random ass friends that I had known for years online and how mystical and amazing it seemed at the age of like 16. All of the streetlights seemed to have that technicolor glow, and the dirty streets were full of a butterfly-in-my-stomach-excitement that I was totally not used to. I loved it, and I still love Richmond although now its become extremely familiar and my illusions of grandeur have warped more into logically thinking I don’t have enough money to go to the bar because I have bills to pay. Richmond is a home to me, its where I came to finally be able to be myself after graduating from a pretty conservative high school and community. I’ll always be proud to say I lived here because of all of the amazing people I’ve met in such a short time.

Art versus the recession…is it a blessing or a curse?

Any way that you look at it, I don’t think you can have one without the other. I feel like no one has the money to waste on bullshit these days, so if I see some really amazing art that I know must have taken hundreds or thousands of dollars to pull off successfully I think theres a definite appreciation that I can tell this person must be SO passionate about what they’ve done and that no obstacle would have been high enough to keep them from completing it. That kind of determination is way admirable.

What do you like to collect? Other than Barbies of course.

I get really OCD about having sets of things, or something in every color. Just to name a few things — I love elephants, especially pink ones, my entire kitchen-ware is covered in cherries, and sequins, lame fabrics, and make-up are probably my most dangerous collections.

Where were you when Kurt Cobain died? Did you care?

Let’s see, that was back in ’94 so I was definitely still listening to Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton about to graduate from kindergarten.

What did you want to be when you were 10?

Hmmm, if I could have articulated my thoughts at that age, I probably would have answered this question by saying I want to be a free spirit. I was very much into drawing and illustrations when I was younger. (Somewhere between there and now I’ve lost a lot of patience for it.) Photography didnt come around for me until high school, though come to think of it I have always been a collector of old cameras I could find at sales and flea markets. Everything comes full-circle.

What is your favorite item of clothing you didn’t pay for?

Oh shit! You know its my new couture Versace shirt I traded for with you. I love bartering and I love RUMORS. And Lindsay Lohan, but that has nothing to do with this question.

Tell me something true.

I want to be a cat in another life. I know it might sound crazy but I have such a strange connection with them emotionally. We understand each other, and I’ve yet to experience a love between 2 beings that was more pure and unconditional than the innocence of feline fierceness.

R. Anthony Harris

R. Anthony Harris

I created Richmond, Virginia’s culture publication RVA Magazine and brought the first Richmond Mural Project to town. Designed the first brand for the Richmond’s First Fridays Artwalk and promoted the citywide “RVA” brand before the city adopted it as the official moniker. I threw a bunch of parties. Printed a lot of magazines. Met so many fantastic people in the process. Professional work:

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