Corrine Jasmin is an up-and-coming artist based in Pittsburgh. I’ve been following Corrine for quite some time now, and what I find most compelling about Corrine and her art work is that they command attention – they demand to be felt. Her topics are very personal and it shows in her visual pieces, mixed media, and writing. Corrine’s work continues to grow and develop; it’s exciting to see how far she’s come and where she’s going.
Interview as told to and edited by Maggie Tarasovitch.
- Tell us about your work.
I mainly work with photo, video, and film for visual art as well as some mixed media – I’m working on more mixed media pieces now as well as live performance art. As far as visual art, I’d like to create pieces that incorporate social commentary or might incite progression in regards to social change or awareness. As far as writing, right now it’s primarily poetry that touches on race, femininity, sexuality, the empowerment of women, equality, my own mental illness, etc. I try not to have boundaries with my writing. I try to write with a purpose.
I tend to produce work that is a reflection of myself, as well as the world around me.
- Tell us more about your photography series “…For a Black Girl (II)” ?
…For a Black Girl (II) is something I worked on out of the genuine frustration of microagressions I’ve experienced throughout my life. I wanted to create something out of my frustrations of what the standard idea for women may be as a whole, but more specifically, who gets to decide when a Black girl is beautiful. Beauty and race…touchy subjects, but very necessary to call upon for questioning.
I think [beauty and race] need to be spoken about until it doesn’t need to be spoken about; the series was my way of speaking, though I’m nowhere near done with talking about it.
The photographs include myself, my mother, and my grandmother, serving as a multigenerational piece. The reason I wanted to include them was to put emphasis on the fact that this isn’t just something that happens to me. Micgroagressions or discrimination can touch women at all ages.
“….For a Black Girl (II)” was a two month long exhibition held in Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Main branch. Above, some of Corrine’s artwork featured at the exhibition.
- What’s something exciting you’ve been working on?
I’m working on a book, writing an abundance of poetry, wrapping up video projects, working on one secret project (that should be out within a couple month), and trying to learn to meditate. I’m content with staying busy!
I also recently created a photo series entitled, “Sheer Curtain.” The aim is to bring awareness to Bisexual/Pansexual erasure. It puts emphasis on the discrimination individuals with fluid sexualities face both in the LGBQT and heterosexual community. These individuals, myself including, are often silenced and invalidated.Featured above: A sampling of Corrine’s work, “Sheer Curtain.”I do identify as queer (falling under bisexual), so I do feel a natural urge to create something that might bring awareness to a topic that might not cross certain individuals minds. I find being open with yourself more encourages others to be open with themselves, ultimately allowing for some freedom. In this sense being openly queer and painting a pictures as to what many go through globally. It’s not, by any means, my last queer project or the last time I will touch on the topic of bi/pan erasure.
- What is it about your art that makes you so passionate? What motivates you to keep pushing?
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to express myself, and often to be able to express myself organically. I fear if I didn’t have a way to express myself I would have trouble wiggling into my own shoes. Expression keeps me comfortable. It’s how I get to know Corrine. What motivates me is my happiness. To continue to be able to do what I love, while in turn becoming happier and more comfortable with myself. It’s not necessarily an easy road, but I’m more honest with myself and my work every day. I also hope that the things I create, whether written or visual, can inspire and influence others to express themselves or become comfortable with themselves.
Ideally, I’d like to encourage others to challenge things, challenge themselves, challenge societal norms. Make a change in themselves as well as the world around them. Generally, I think everyone deserves to feel good.
- What setbacks have you encountered so far?
Self-doubt. Getting over the hump and getting over myself. Taking action upon goals.
- What advice would you give someone who is anxious to start on their own?
If it terrifies you, you’re probably on the right path. Let that fear well up in you and ultimately give you strength. If it doesn’t scare you, maybe it’s not that important to you. Find something that’s important to you and let it override you with fear that transforms into passion. Dip your feet in the liberation pool, you got it. Boogie time. I realize I am incredibly young, I reasoned with myself quite some time ago that I ought to take action upon something that inspires me while I’m young so I don’t grow into an older bitter woman with regrets.
- And, of course we have to ask. Are you UpByFive?
Uhhhh…I’m up by 8!
Find Jasmin on Instagram @corrinewho
View her collection at www.CorrineJasmin.com