Photos by Larry Hirshowitz
My bedroom is changing all the time. It's a reflection of what I do. I'm a teacher, and I get a lot of ideas from the kids. I'm also influenced a lot by folk art. I think I have a childlike attitude, although it's changed over the years. I'm now a little more selective about what I put in — things I really like, things that really mean something to me, things that make me comfortable. I have a lot of things in my room that I've made — like in my teaching, I do a lot of crafty things. I found this table in the trash. I bought these plastic cheap jewels by the bagful in the garment district and used 'em to cover the table, finishing it with resin. I started jeweling everything I could find. Color and fun guide me. I like not to be completely serious in my living space. I like to smile, so I have a lot of toys. I'm usually very monotone in my dress, so I like color all around me. The large Fertile La Toyah Jackson painting represents a big period in my life. Fertile La Toyah Jackson was a character I did in a group called the Afro Sisters in the 1980s. It was a performance-art troupe that made statements on the conditions of society, and minorities in society — very pertinent to what was going on at that time and today. At an Afro Sisters show that we played with a certain well-known new-wave group, I had a little too much to drink. I got it into my head that I wanted a disco ball, so I decided that I was going to take one. I proceeded to put a small sweater over a disco ball to try to hide it. I carried the disco ball out into the parking lot, but I clumsily dropped it, and it rolled from one end of the lot to the other. And there I was, stumbling after it, shouting, “My disco ball, my disco ball!” I finally grabbed it, put my little sweater back over it and ran with it to the car. It's been in my bedroom ever since.