A NEW BEGINNING

If you had told me a year ago, that creatively, I would be in the place I am now, chances are I wouldn’t have believed you. That being said, I owe a lot of my creative freedom and direction, to this blog. This blog has allowed me to create freely and encourage myself to do things that scare me, to take risks, and completely put myself out there. Which is why as I write this post, I am a little saddened. I am formally announcing that WILDLAND will no longer be active, FOR NOW.

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Photo by me

As I have so focused on my photography, I now have a portfolio website dedicated to showcasing my work. On that website there is a blog page in which I will be posting the occasional blog post or ‘zine. I think it’s a little funny how sad I am to be taking this break from Wildlands (ma10ia.com), because the platform I’ve had on here has given me the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most amazing people. It has creatively charged me entirely and I am so grateful. The blog will not be deleted, but any new posts will be on my new official site. This is not to say I won’t be back to my beloved WordPress site in the future, but it’s also important for me to grow as an artist and as a person. A huge thank you to all of you who have supported me from the beginning. www.photobymatenia.com is here, and I hope you love it as much as I do.

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What Patti Smith Taught me About Love.

**This post is not simply about one topic, it’s a little all over the place, but read I recommend reading  it anyway :)**

When I picked up a copy of “Just Kids”, I had no idea of the journey I would embark on. When I was younger, I always had this vision of what moving to New York and drowning myself in art would look like. I envisioned tiny apartments filled with people, paint covered sheets, rolls of film sprawled out on every open space. When I opened Patti Smith’s novel, I saw my own dreams sprawled on this pages. While it wasn’t all beautiful or happy, it was all real. It was authentic and I think that’s what I’ve been missing.

At this point in time I had a pretty bleak view on love. I think everyone goes through this at some point. Something happens and you swear up and down that love is fake or a myth. It’s not because you want to be cynical, it’s because you’re scared. To love someone is to be vulnerable and no one really likes being vulnerable.  You build walls around you as a way to protect yourself.

I really wanted to, but I didn’t  know if I believed in love (which is something I wouldn’t typically reveal because some would think it was strange). I remember reading about how Patti and  Robert Mapplethorpe met and how their relationship blossomed. There is nothing more beautiful than being introduced to someone by the person who loves them. I learned all about their escapades in Washington Square park or the fact that they exchanged art for housing at the Chelsea Hotel. I learned about their travels, together and separate. And how they both managed to live through their art no matter their financial situation or relationship status. I clung to their conversations, I underlined, highlighted, annotated, I scribbled in the margins, I fell in love.

I fell in love with their love and that was when I realized authenticity and love go hand in hand. Without authenticity, love is simply an illusion. It lacks a certain substance. Without love, life is dull–boring even. This realization has helped me to understand what is really important in my daily life and what I desire for the future. Because after all, life is about growth, complacency is dangerous.

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This was a short post, I know, but there a few things I’d like to encourage you to do.

  1. Find something that you love and make it a point to do it everyday.
    This could be writing, working out, running, taking pictures, drawing, anything in the world. Find what makes you happy. Hold on to that.
  2. Surround yourself with people who make you happy.
    I’m not going to go into detail, but this is very self-explanatory. Surround yourself with good people, who care about you. Who encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Tell them you love and appreciate them often.
  3. Love yourself, Love others, Be Kind.
    In the words of Yoko Ono, “Remember love. Remember our hearts are one. Even when we are fighting with each other, our hearts are beating in unison. I love you.”

Thank you for reading this rather messy blog post. Also, thank you to Patti Smith for being incredible and inspiring.(even though she’ll never read this)

All my love,
Matenia

**PHOTO NOT MINE**

“YOUTH” PREVIEW

Hello friends, long time no talk. I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t posted in a almost a whole month! This is because I have now started interning.

Recently, I have been piecing together the beginning of my new series, “YOUTH”.

This is a photo/interview series I created which began with one simple question, “Does youth really end?” This is about showcasing youth as it really is, exciting, painful, beautiful, ugly, and everything in between. The following video is just a few of the photos I have collected for this project.

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(the song is Garden by SZA)

I can’t wait to share all the photos and interviews with you!

all my love,

matenia

MANHATTAN / BROOKLYN 6.26.17

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I currently have 63$ in my bank account. Well, had, because naturally when I saw the number I walked over to strand bookstore and proceeded to purchase a 55$ book of photos by my favorite photographer at the moment, Ryan Mcginley. Now, you may call this poor impulse control, I call it a necessity for inspiration…and poor impulse control.

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I got on the L train from Union square, luckily it was a pretty empty subway car so I found myself a seat, pulled out a disposable and took pictures when we emerged above ground. I rode the train all the way to halsey street and decided to walk around bedstuy, disposable in hand, headphones in ears.

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I walked around the rows of townhouses, through clusters of cafes and vintage stores, around a park and a garden. I stopped for something to eat, but realized I only had 2 dollars in cash, so black coffee had to suffice. I sat and pulled out my copy of “the kids were alright” and studied the arrays of polaroids and film photos. It reminded me of the reason I started taking photos to begin with, to capture a raw image of what youth is, of what time is like now, for myself and those around me.

Sometimes I need days like this. I think everyone needs days like this. To re-inspire them, to remind them of why they love something and where their passion resides.

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my heart n soul,

matenia

IS THE GRASS REALLY GREENER?

In times of confusion, panic, and insecurity, I write.

I’m sitting in my tiny apartment in the heart of the village, finally in a city I’ve dreamed about since I was 8, but all I can think about are all the places that I still want to explore. After breaking a leg (don’t skateboard without shoes on) and having a surgery that left me literally laying on my ass all day, my mind was a whirlwind of places and faces and things to see.FullSizeRender.jpg.jpeg

I made lists and lists of places to visit. I reached out to friends who live around the globe securing places to stay. I looked at Airbnbs all around. This earth is full of beautiful architecture, people, fashion, etc. that I haven’t seen.FullSizeRender.jpg-1 2.jpeg

Am I missing it? Should I have signed a 12 month lease?

Does permanence mean comfortability?

 

 

 

 

 

I think it’s funny, I’m finally in a city I’ve dreamed of my whole life and I’m questioning it. I’m questioning if this is where I really belong. This makes me wonder if I’ll ever be completely content with where I am. Is there ever true bliss? Or is life always a “grass is greener situation”?

 

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Thank you for reading a bit of my mind.

all my love,

matenia

 

LOVE LETTERS pt. 5 Jake

I have turned writing love letters into a therapeutic way of coming to some sort of terms with different situations, finding closure to seemingly unanswerable questions, or inviting new things or people into my life.That is what this series is about.

The following letter was written by a friend of mine.

His letter was written to one of the most mysterious concepts in the world, love.

“Dear Love,

I have been asked to write a letter of you, but I have been pressed to speak to you, and so I am taking initiative. A person who is considered intelligent in this society is a person who finds patterns and makes good use of them. We measure some output as the effect of some causal input, and with enough tedium and time and rigor, we develop a strong theory concerning the goings on of the stages in between. We have managed to do this with the tangible and the intangible, the qualitative and the quantitative, the auditory and the visual and practically all sensory data that we are consciously aware of. With that track record in successful patterning understood, how is it that you, Love, remain as unpredictable and powerful to us as the weather once was to ancient humans? To be clear, you are not the only thing this universe knows that bounds all beings to a level playing field. There exists an entire spectrum of emotion which is an evolutionary tool – something that, although often warped by society, is innate in all of us who breathe and strive. Like those emotions, your general presence can be explained swiftly and thoroughly by evolutionary development. You are, however, undoubtedly the exception. The ruler, perhaps, of the emotional spectrum, you evoke fellow emotions as an inextricable part of you, attached in the sense that whatever additional emotion it may be, it would not exist in consciousness without you.

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For most humans, you make your presence known for the first time well before birth. A mother’s mind and body go to extraordinary lengths to ensure a safe and nurturing environment for the developing baby, and you are abundantly present through every step and hurdle along the way. This sort of interaction does not give me pause at all – it is pure and biological, logically patterned and emotionally fulfilling. What I need to ask you about, Love, is your more wicked and complex nature. Why have millions of people, touched by your grace, died from an immense love of their god, or of their nation? Why have millions more than that, also touched by your grace, died having not been able to feel your touch? Why does giving you to someone fulfill our deepest human longing, but devastate us when it is not received? I have never understood you and I haven’t yet decided upon my feelings for you. If I was asked, I would probably say that you are the most important thing in life, something to pursue, and something to abide by. But if I wasn’t asked, and I was able to wonder, I would try to uncover your pattern. If, in fact, I found that you ultimately lead to death, I would ask myself if that is an inherently bad path to wander. And if, when I look in the eyes of a beautiful woman, I feel your presence accompanied, as it often is, by fear and self-doubt, I will wonder if it is truly you that I feel and not an imposter. Because I want to believe in your good nature, Love. More abstractly than that, I want to respect you as intentional and intelligent, a force who understands its power but does not seek to expand it.

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I have been in love before, I think. I know that I have felt grief as a result of love. I know that I have felt pain and sorrow and elation and jubilation and pain and fear and guilt and pain and excitement as a result of loving some one, or some thing, or some place. I don’t know how to recognize you beyond a reasonable doubt, though, and I wish that I did. I wish I knew what you looked like and how you walked and spoke and breathed, and I wish that I could pinpoint your distinct smell and taste and code of fashion and code of morality. If I knew these things I would introduce myself to you, and I would be able to inquire and hope that you would help me understand. A person who is considered intelligent in this society is a person who finds patterns and makes good use of them. But you – elusive and labyrinthian in nature – take too many forms and walk too many paths to be simulated forward or backward. Maybe your most dangerously powerful notion of all is to force us to abandon our intellect in favor of your guidance. Before turning my back, though, and blindly encouraging others to seek your refuge – who are you Love? Who are you?

Thanks,

Jake”

photos not mine!

my heart n soul,

matenia