On January 9, 2012 my family was dealt a somewhat unexpected blow. My maternal grandmother died due to complications from cancer. I say “somewhat” unexpected because she fought and defeated so many illnesses through the years. My family sat on the sidelines watching, in full confidence that cancer would fall prey to Arizone Lowe’s cagey defense against all illnesses. Little did we know that she made the decision that this would be her last fight. Hercontract with life at its end, she signed a far more lucrative contract with the afterlife. Very soon after her infinite retirement I learned a bit of news about my grandmother. She had a superpower. No, she couldn’t fly or bend metal with her mind, though the jury is still out on super-strength. Grandmomma could talk the fire out. I listened to first hand account about her amazing ability to speak softly to a burned body part which would instantly be soothed by her words. Upon hearing the news that this superpower could be shared, I wanted it.
Unfortunately for the men of the family, this superpower could only be performed by women. The women in my family were never trained to harness their superpower, therefore it rests with my grandmother. The revelation that I am a descendant from a line of women with superpowers helps me organize another of my life’s puzzle pieces. Over the past five years I have dealt with issues of life, death, and aging satirically in my work. The news of my grandmother’s superpower only intensifies my resolve to find out what my life is really about through art. By picking fun at my own mental and physical weaknesses I am finding my strengths. In essence, I am harnessing my own SUPERPOWER.
Thanks Big Chief.
See Dunson’s new work on exhibit at The Rymer Gallery, August 8-25.