"My mission is simple...to maintain the integrity of the pursuit of ART." KASHA
My name is KASHA. I am a Canadian multimedia Artist. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of being an Artist most of my life. In high school the art class was a joke amongst my peers. Similarly, shop class was for losers who usually smoked outside of school and dressed like headbangers. Aaahhh the 80's...these impressionable years were confusing. Even though I was aware of my abilities in the 'arts', I was embarrassed to accept the awards for them. Had I known how impactful a simple choice could be, or how my entire future of choices would be.
The expectation for high school graduates at this time was to compete for placements at the most popular, best universities. I choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts at Guelph university, a smaller, less novel location known for it's agriculture curriculum. At Guelph University, the art students dressed in black and spent their extra time at coffee shops, smoking. I didn't understand all the sitting around trying to look 'cool'. When my art professor opened with a monologue about 'being an Artist' one morning in first year, she emphasized, 'prepare to be rejected, poor and suffer for your art.' This announcement hurled me into an endless spin of oblivion for a fear years. I was even more confused at eighteen than I was at fifteen.
Being LOST in time without focus or ambition simplified life's basics because my pride refused to move back home. So I learned how to waitress, bartend and make fast friends. You don't learn how to find an apartment, pay bills, or navigate around uncomfortable even dangerous situations in school. School does not teach you how to survive. Luckily, the friends I did make were good influences. Working in the nightlife business helped me see from a safe distance how sex, drugs and alcohol easily
ruined people's lives. When I fell in love with photography, it saved me from that demise. Photography became the light on my fateful path towards where I am now, but not without a few more years of fearless abandon.
Life was a gorgeous mystery leading me 'to know thyself'. The challenge was to discover what it meant to be a photographer, what kind of photographer, and where did I 'fit in' the industry, plus pay the bills. This was the renaissance of my career. Toronto was an incredible adventure. I dove into many creative outlets. From experimenting with 35mm, medium format film, digital video, digital stills, music, performance art, modeling, acting and literature. I embraced being an ARTIST, thriving in the underground with other artists in the shadows of the night. It was easy. It was fun.
When I landed in South Beach Florida in 1996 for a tattoo convention, I found a porthole to another gorgeous universe. AAahhhhh the 90's in South Beach was pure magic to me. Life in south Beach made me shine. I was spoiled by its natural magnificence and inspired by all the other international photographers shooting on location. This was the first time I knew how it felt to be truly free, uninhibited and beautiful. Opportunity presented itself with photography projects and exhibitions. This was a time of rising into a local celebrity in my career. As quickly as I rose, I fell.
Because I am impulsive, spontaneous and love a great adventure, saving memorabilia wasn't much of a priority. I never felt the need to keep mementos to prove my worth. In fact I rarely put much actual value in anything. I never owned a tv, a car, a condo or much jewelry until I married at the age of forty two. The paths I have taken have been those less travelled and I would never trade for what could have been. By 'industry standards' I am still largely unknown after twenty seven years. Largely due to my distaste for the commercial photography business, and the art business as a whole. I have learned that being true to thyself comes with hard choices. The choices that may not mesh well with the status quo of life.
It is my oppinion that the importance of ART in our world is paramount. Artists throughout the ages have always been barometers of civilization, mirrors of human nature and proof of our fleeting existence. Society needs to see itself in the physical expressions of art as reminders and check points ib history. Therefore, an Artist must be acknowledged, supported, and encouraged to develop their craft. It is the Artist who provokes us, persuades us, and pleases us at our core. And so, it is the Artist who remains diligent to preserve basic human elements through the pursuit of art.
Since I ran scared from those wise words of what it would be like to be an ARTIST, I admit running was useless. Being an ARTIST in this life includes rejection, poverty, and all the dangers of self doubt and bending to mediocrity. It is the Artist's collective disposition to be authentic, creative, enthusiastic, industrious, and expressive. It is mandatory to produce works of art to maintain the sense of self and purpose in society. Therefore, being a LIVING ARTIST is a life long commitment of which I am resolved to always chose to suffer for it.
KASHA, 2021, Palm Beach Art/ Design Showroom, 500 North Dixie HWY, Lake Worth Fl. 3346
Conceptual Photograph, 1/1 by KASHA