At All Costs

 
 

A blank page always terrified me as a kid: I would cut, paint, and draw over magazine pages instead. Before long, I was at University of the Arts in Philadelphia majoring in Illustration, but I was struggling and even failing one of my classes. I just had no connection to any of the drawing from life assignments. After bringing in some of my extracurricular art, I had a few teachers who were patient and kind enough to help me develop my collage style. Making something out of nothing had never worked for me, but using other images to tell my story is sometimes the only way I can explain to others (and even myself) how I feel about certain things. The majority of my work is autobiographical, and primarily focuses on women and sex, so innocence wasn’t a huge leap. Or so I thought.

When I tried to tackle innocence, I was startled by my inability to remember what it felt like - I grew up pretty fast. To me, innocence is fleeting and it is only an attractive trait so long as it can be manipulated. I could only depict it as an inevitable progression: from naiveté to dangerous willingness, and then to a misguided confidence in newfound experiences.

Perhaps I remember what it felt like more than I thought.

Cat Kocses

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