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09.09.2016
THE SAXSMITH... MARCUS STRICKLAND
Sounds of Summer Madness
Features

The Power Forwards…

What You Seek Is Seeking You

by TAoN

In this age of artificial narcissism and ego death,  exists a true state of talent and recognition that is humbling and admired by all who get caught in the jet stream.  The honor and humility of natural magic still exists, if one can only believe in it’s power.  Not the bunny popping out of a hat kind of magic, or Frodo Baggins’ reluctancy to possess the ring.  Instead, I’m speaking of the sort of magic that comes with preservation, dignity, respect and love of self, without the self-interest to please others.   With the dawn of the new age and the transition of our iconic cultural heroes transcending into the afterlife emitting angel dust from the heavens, we have to remember that life is a journey best served free.  And with that freedom comes tremendous responsibility and an obligation to achieve excellence, not fraudulent hypocrisy and thirst for significance.  But, shhhh please, don’t tell the creators and lifestyle experts of social media this, or you just might upset the set-up.

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In this issue, we touch upon that natural mystic that brings life and energy to the smallest noise, but making the loudest impact.

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The title “Power Couple” is a familiar one of our lifetime, and is associated with those who share the limelight, mostly inclusive of celebrities and notable types.  Fortunately for us, we have been blessed to witness and experience the power and influence of these couples.  From the beautiful fortification and political prowess of President Barak and Michelle Obama, to the poignant, interstellar wonders of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, and back around to the social and artistic legacies of couples such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, they all have one thing in common, authenticity.

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So, with that insight and forefront, the term “Power Forward” is much more appropriate.  Normally a term used in basketball, the power forward is a large player who lives in the low post, but typically has amazing rebound skills, working around the basket, scoring points with lay-ups, instead of aggressive dribbling or tricks to dazzle or thrill the opponent or audience.

Borrowing the term “power forward” speaks to the inner couple and the vision of oneness satisfying the unification of purpose and using communication as an art to stay together.  In that instance, we point the lens at particular couples who transcend the idea of power via art and culture, giving it new meaning and circumstance in this new, brave world.

Maurice Evans and Grace Kisa represent that dynamic couple in Atlanta, Georgia.  As often as possible, we here at TAoN invite the curiosity to be explored.

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Maurice Evans and Grace Kisa – photo by Al Shaw Ki

TAoN

How do you manage to maintain a sense of independence and artistic integrity while also nurturing a strong relationship?

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photo by Al Shaw Ki at TAoN Studios, Atlanta

MAURICE

Well, if you’re speaking about art, art is very much a part of who we are.   She was an artist before I met her.  I was an artist before I met her. It’s just a part of our DNA.  We had that thirst, that urge to create.  We actually met in art school.  I actually would see her work in what we called the showcase.  Artists who did well would have their work presented in the showcase in the hallway.  I would always peep to see who the artists were in the showcase.  Her work would always show up.  So, I was like, who is this Grace Kisa?  So I already respected her work.  I knew she was a great artist.  Then, much later, we would come together and merge our creative energy.  We still do our things separately, but we would also come together to work on a project specifically.

Grace Kisa's Ogun costume

 

GRACE

We’ve had a long relationship as far as collaborating together and always pushing each other.  So, sometimes he would want to do some wood cutting, print making, or silk screening and that inspires me to do my own silk screen. Or, I’ll help him pull prints – he’ll cut them and I’ll help him dry… lay them out them out until they dry.  They’d be laid out all over the house and gather them up when they’re done.  We have a press, so we do that.

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I work in sculpture now, and he wants to go into that vein, so he will start researching and playing around with how he wants to express his 3D ideas.  The same thing goes with two-dimensional work and paintings.  Sometimes I may not be in the mood to paint, so I’ll watch him paint and that’ll feed my creative juices, and then I’d feel like painting.

The Crowning Series by Maurice Evans

And sometimes, it’s not the even same thing because we have different things that will fuel one thing.  I may be sewing something, then he’ll make some bengals out of wood.  Then he’ll go to the next phase and make them out of resin.  So, we feed off of each other.  I always use the analogy of steel sharpening steel.  You know, the only way it gets better, is after it is rubbed against itself.  So, living in the environment with Maurice challenges me and pushes me to always create and continue to create.

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TAoN

So, its like you are each other’s muse?

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GRACE

I guess so-

MAURICE

Well, no, I don’t know if I would say muse.  It’s more inspiration.

GRACE

Right, it’s an engine.  An engine that keeps that creativity going.  I don’t do music but I love audio.  He’s a musician and producer and sometimes that will feed or inspire something else.

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Whatever the secret is to nourishing a creative and loving relationship needs to be bottled and sold.  Maybe we can all learn a thing or two about a thing or two from Grace and Maurice.  Keep on keeping on my brothers and sisters!  Power to the people and keep hope alive!

by ASK

 

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