ARIEL ERU

 DETROIT

ARIEL :  “ I don’t know if I should say this..do you remember Border’s Books? When I was fourteen I used to shoplift from them a ton…all kinds of books, all kinds of CDs, anything under the sun, I would steal all the media…I guess it doesn’t matter now since they aren’t in business anymore.

 

I think it was the 1997 hardcover Fruits Magazine, you know Harajuku street fashion; I remember thinking wow, these girls, they’re so beautiful, they’re not conventional, they’re taking commonplace objects and repurposing them in a way that is so genius. I was inspired by Japanese culture in general; their views on morality and uniformity within society, all of it. That’s how the fashion part came into play for me.

 

I’m the type of individual who is distinguished even if I don’t say anything because I dress outlandishly sometimes. I get respect that way. I look a little different and this shows people that you can create anything, present it and receive positive feedback. I think anyone can do whatever they choose, it's just a matter of collaging yourself and your ideas and fusing it into one thing. I think the amount of space is boundless, there’s no capacity.

 

I’m Native, but when I was a kid my family went to Catholic church. At that time my mother was commenting on how I was wearing so many rings and how I couldn’t wear them anymore and this is around the same time I started growing facial hair. I knew in this one moment, when I was twelve, that there wasn’t a God because I couldn’t express my identity and theocracy is bullshit.

 

Um, so I started creating art and that was a way for me to try and transcend my physical form and address the suffering from not being connected with one conception of your body…fast forward to nineteen years old and I started making visuals for different parties of a certain circuit.

 

I was always interested in disco culture so I started making these visuals with provocative imagery and psychedelic images…and that was the way I started empowering myself with what I was dealt at birth.

 

My pieces are my response to not being able to get the surgeries I want, immediately, or they are empowering myself to transform other people’s bizarre behavior towards me into something that is more productive than self-loathing.

I can create my own reality and inspire others to do the same.

It's kind of self-therapy. ”