I compliment artists in two ways. There’s the post-art school high culture compliment: ‘Congratulations your art has manifested itself and reconfigured a painful or awkward past in order to rewrite your own metanarrative.’ And the Basic AF version ‘Wow, you are hustling.’
I always mean both.
I gave the former to flommist Lexy Nicole regarding her latest venture. She’s competing for Miss Jetset Mag 2018. It’s an opportunity to be on their cover and follow in the footsteps of A-list celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, and Jennifer Lopez. Oh yeah, and there’s this $50,000 prize she’s in the running for.
Lexy is second in her district at the moment, you can help her place first here.
She’s also raising money and awareness for a charitable cause, The Front Street Animal Shelter.
Please vote and donate if you can, there are only 11 days left. You can vote once per day.
Earlier today, I talked to her about her work and prospects:
10 FEBRUARY 2018
5:47 P.M. PT
LOUIS What is the nature of this competition? You’re doing well in your section, was this a surprise?
I am in 2nd place now and it is a modeling competition to earn a spot on the cover of Jetset Magazine. I really want to try to win. It could help a lot with my work.
LOUIS What would you do with the prize money?
I would use the money to pay off my student loans and create more art. I also plan to commission local artists for artwork and donate a portion to The Front Street Animal Shelter.
LOUIS Your work is so artfully shot. You collaborate with some amazing photographers. Where did theme shoots originate from?
I’m nothing without my photographers. Some of these themes are from the minds of collaborators but most are my own creation.
LOUIS You also act as your own creative dept. I hear you do costumes and composition, what else?
I do a majority of the wardrobe, makeup, hair, some prop work, headdresses, and all the small details that bring a look together.
LOUIS As a model, are you art?
To a degree. I’m more an outlet for art.
LOUIS How long have you been modeling and why is this your chosen medium?
Five years. My work is about being able to express myself and to show that no matter what other people say or think of you, it’s possible to accomplish anything if you work hard.
LOUIS Is using your body in this way more personal than other art forms?
Yes. I was bullied for my physical appearance growing up. I’m doing this to fully immerse myself in my artwork.
LOUIS You were bullied?
Middle school is when bullying started. I was bullied to the point where I confronted ideas of self-harm. I was quiet about it for a long time. I’ve grown from it.
LOUIS It’s said that every artist is motivated from a well of sadness. Is this why your photos have ethereal elements like fairies, smoke, mermaids, the circus, and nature?
I’ve always been drawn to nature. When I was really depressed I’d escape to the blossom filled orchards of my home town to wander endlessly. It gave me a sense of calm. Hearing the bees, smelling the sweet blossoms and watching them fall gently so full of grace to the ground. I know even without me here, those things still happen. That silent beautiful happening. I want to channel that same essence into what I do.
LOUIS Heidegger postulated that art and models of art redefine reality and personal histories. You’ve used your modeling as a way to reframe your experiences with bullying. It’s a romantic notion.
I feel I have. We are given two choices in life. To take our experiences and let them destroy us or to let the experiences shape us into better people, the type of person who strives for greatness.
LOUIS Do you strive for greatness? What does that look like to you?
Trying. Trying to build something.
Flommist Louis Herdandez is obsessed with going Bauhaus and becoming The Machine. Preferably a drill press. Copyright © 2018 Louis Hernandez. Photographers: Pamela Montini, Tronel’s Photography, Sara Loc, Jenna Bryant, Randy Deloviar, Edward Vincent, Kayla Rae Hennesey, VR Fine Art Images, and personal.
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