art: alfie ljuljdjuraj

i kissed the boy with the ponytail on chryste street

just because he looked like james franco

and not because i could barely understand his accent

the people downstairs were swinging each other into oblivion 

but i followed the stupid disco ball towards a toilet

we walked around the lower east side through a maze of people

barking compliments at us

An emt asked for the crust off my 1 dollar pizza and i said no

 we made it to the L train and none of the NYU students talked to us again

taking another epic trip to europe in a few months.  my life is pretty fun.  

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https://ello.co/alfiealfie

there are a lot of good things happening at once.  I’m moving to manhattan this month until (my family) i buy my place in brooklyn.  my paintings for europe are starting to get together.  dating is good.  and i finally found my burberry trench coat.  

Don’t call me a feminist

Broadly the definition of Feminism emphasizes equality between the two genders.

It over simplifies a very complex epidemic.  Previous generations would argue that woman today are fighting a war they have already won.  There is one thing that gets left out when discussing feminism.  And that is that it is as much about men as it is about women.  Parents started to tell their sons that it was ok to be emotive.  But I do not think that they explained how.  That can cause all types of internal conflict.  But once again that is an over simplification.  Because not all boys or all girls are raised with the same sets of morals, and sociological backgrounds.  In my opinion feminism today is also about how men have adapted to women reaching equality culturally, socioeconomically, ect.  

I have noticed that in the public eye and also among peers that a woman who doesn’t want to be labeled a feminist is ostracized by other women.  If feminism is about equality, it seems contradictory to criticize someone for making their own choices and having their own opinions. And following the same logic shouldn’t a person who is a feminist be treated the same as someone who is not? Of course I agree that males and females should have the same rights.  I am not ignorant to the injustices that women have faced.  The double standards, the gender bias, and objectification are all very frustrating.  They are also very prominent in pop culture so what I wonder is, why do people buy into low culture entertainment and exploitation of other people to begin with?  Is it some sort of human flaw that most people possess? Or is it lack of exposure to other view points.

Feminism has been criticized  for appealing only to white upper middle class women.  Thus the  reasoning for other branches of feminism that have developed.  I can’t speak from experience because I am a white woman.  I was raised in a very conservative and patriarchal environment.  I was born in former Yugoslavia and came to New York when I was just an infant.  When I hear about other women complaining about things such as being called emotional by their male coworkers I almost feel angry.  Of course statements like those are irritating.  Then I think of my upbringing.  Women in my eastern european family have faced a lot of oppression, and still do to this very day.  Sons are cherished, while the girls in the family are always simply an after thought.  They are brought up to clean and cook and be like everyone else involved in the culture.  Girls are not allowed out with friends, or to date any one of a different ethnicity.  Boys in the culture I was raised  could do anything they wanted.  Since I can remember I was told to wait on people.  I was told to not let boys “use my body”.  I was ordered to only marry someone of the same ethnicity as mine.  Walking into any house with my family I had to first let the men enter.  If there wasn’t enough room at a dining table the women would stand.  After waiting on the men, cooking all the food and washing the dishes. I witnessed many times women needing to ask their husbands permission just to leave the house. Of course I did not follow any of the rules.  Eventually my parents broke and gave me a large amount of freedom. Because I did what I did My younger sister could do all the things that a little girl is supposed to do.  Ive talked with others who were brought up the same way I was I received plenty of positive reinforcement.  I am no one special because I ignored my parents wishes growing up.  But hopefully my actions might help other women and young girls who sense that there is something incredibly wrong with the way they are being brought up.

Ever since I can remember I was told I was Albanian and that was the most important thing, I was a girl so I had to be coy and have no opinions.  I wasn’t raised to be a human first.  I was also labeled by my last name, because I came from prominent families.  Early marriage was pushed on me.  (another thing I ignored)  So being labeled as a feminist?  Well, I have been up to my ears in labels.  Ive come to learn that instead of aligning myself with  groups of women who are united but lack individuality.  I would rather stand alone in this area.  Because my reality has been far different.  

Side note:  My thoughts on feminism are not intended insults to feminists.  This essay is just my opinion.  Although strict while growing up my parents are wonderful people.  They grew up in a world that no longer exists.  I imagine that to be a difficult thing to overcome.  And lastly this essay isn’t intended to belittle other women’s experiences. It is just a way to give a different point of view considering many points of view come from americans.  also i do not claim that all families from my background are the same as mine.

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instagram name: alfiealfie

hi new followers.  thanks for joining. heres some random things. visually i prefer people who inspire fashion instead of following it.  I’m still stuck working on my paintings for overseas. i had a boyfriend who let go of my hand during an important time on a brooklyn street.  i broke up with him not long after.  someone  told me my favorite book was ms dalloway. (admittedly important to me but i do not have a favorite book)  i knew then she didn’t really know me at all.  i haven’t been too involved in the internet lately.  I’m going to try and force myself to scan some prints and sketchbook pages soon.  I’ve been working on some creative non fiction writing.  when i get it just right i might post it.  i like my dog more than most people.  i think i am in love with jonathan franzen.  i take notes on most books i read.  i think i might be spending a great deal of next year in europe.  sometimes i don’t look at my phone for days.  my inbox only has 200 emails

i hope your weekends are as good as your weekdays.

thoughts on depression

Today I was at the grocery store.  I was bombarded by stories about the recent death of Robin Williams.  The media tends to exploit the deaths of celebrities making them some sort of spectacle.  Admittedly when it comes to publicized deaths, or deaths of celebrities I find myself taking on the role of a non violant sociopath.  That may sound insensitive but I can not possibly grieve or even care about every death I hear about.

However after hearing of Robin Williams death it saddened me a bit.  When I was younger I must have watched Ms. Doubtfire dozens of times with my family.  His death also got me thinking about how mental illness is treated in  todays society.

It infuriates me how it is still something that is stigmatized.  I know that other scientists regard psychciatry  as a soft science.   Compared to other areas,  There is not as much empirical data. I personally do not find psychoanalysis to yield promising or if any results.  Freud has been largely discredited.  Though I  can say that his ideas when applied to theories of critical thinking can help better understand things like art in different context.   

kinsey had great success in understanding parts of the human condition.  He managed to show how fluid human sexuality could be, and that not all people are merely straight or gay.  Then there were the experiments done by stanely milligram.  He conducted experiments on how to people respond to authority figures. I am guessing however, that those experiments done today would have yielded much different results because people do not respond to authority figures the way they used to.  

There is proof that medication does work for most people suffering from depression.  There are a new school of people that advocate homeopathic remedies.  They demonize doctors that prescribe anti depressants and other such drugs.   I am well aware these kinds of drugs are overly prescribed.   But someone suffering from anxiety and depression is not going to feel better if they take valerian root and ginkgo biloba.  I do not say this ignorantly because I have tried nearly all of them.  Most often i find myself judged by these kinds of people.  Ive people told things like “man i don’t know how you take that stuff its poison”.  Ive been told to “get over it”.  or my personal favorite “a lot of people have it a lot worse you, you’re   lucky”.

Ive suffered from depression so great that I was incapable of rational thought.   My sleep was nearly non existent. My memory was awful.  overwhelming anhedonia was one of the worst.  But of all the symptoms the most unusual to me is that every time i tried to eat anything it would taste rotten,  even though i eat mostly fresh organic foods.  I know because of that state people I thought were my friends stopped talking to me.  I never really talked about my depression though, I know its a subject people do not particularly want to discuss these things.  Also there is not much a person can say to make someone truly depressed feel better.  So for a long time i avoided social interaction all together.  I could tell it was something that people could see on my face.  And I can be read like a book.  Thus causing me to lose even more friendships.

Depression isn’t a weakness and it is certainly not something one can snap out of.  It is a hole that gets deeper the longer you stay there.  It is a disease.  No person wakes up in the morning and says to themselves “oh i think i will be miserable and hate myself for a while”.   Back in my teens when i read elizabeth wurtzel she sounded whiney to me.  But i fully understand now what a physical and emotional pain it really is.  

Anti depressants have helped me a great deal, and I am no longer ashamed of anything.  I also understand that as a whole much of humanity lacks compassion.

*note this is just a personal essay and not based on any researched data 

whenever I’ve been sad my mother has always bought me a black calvin klein dress. my whole closet is black.  i don’t even remember everything i have. and that goes for all the things in my life.  i got a kitchen table.  a nice one thats not from ikea.  maybe that means i am an adult.   my eyes are blurry when i read now.  i thought about how ill always be madame bovary although, for a time i was like ms dalloway in many aspects.  i do not understand why anyone wouldn’t read david foster wallace.  i can not seem to get paint out of my nail beds and my etching this morning is disappointing.  i got an invite to a free sky ferreria show. publicist friends are fantastic sometimes.  i should go to that.  i also got an invite to a factory themed party.  but i have never been too fond of andy warhol and can’t imagine what i would wear.  i sound like an asshole.  (new york problems)

my painting is staring at me

bye

dont mention me
watercolor on paper
2014
new york
alfie ljuljdjuraj
60

sometimes things are like a thoreau book, i am ok with it all being like walden for now

sorry for the lack of updates.  i can’t post what I’ve been working on for london on the internet until next year.  i will post some sketches and unrelated works soon.

xx

alfie

I’ve been busy lately working on paintings that I’m going to be exhibiting in london, that is occupying my entire existence at the moment.  i don’t have more details at the moment but I’m excited to be a part of the balkan artists guild.  i should maybe worry about how much i enjoy my own company.  

ill update with sketches soon!

andthanksforreading asked:
Hello Elle, this is rather crude I realize, I hope you forgive me. I saw you took some gorgeous photographs of yourself and Patrick Cleandenim. Do you have anyway of getting in touch with him as I have been trying to for a few years now. If you need to acquire his permission then please do, and I would be deeply indebted to you. Adam.

hey this is not ellens tumblr I’m her friend alfie ellen took those pictures of me though.  I’m sure if you just google ellen or patrick you’ll be able to find them