With self-love comes freedom,
and with freedom comes peace
I bet that at one point in your life, you've felt a sense of fear or shame when thinking about sex. Growing up queer in the Latino community, I've felt it too. My artwork seeks to destigmatize sex and instead celebrate it as the physical expression of love and connection.
I believe that only when you're open and honest with yourself can you truly connect to others. You must find it within yourself to accept your nature as a sexual being; loving and accepting yourself fully. With self-love comes freedom, and with freedom comes peace.
I want you to live a life full of joy, pleasure and self-actualization. I hope my artwork can inspire you to be true to yourself.
( ( ( ♥ ) ) )
Patron Saint of Pleasure & Love
In the process of healing from religious trauma—I adopted the practice of self-acceptance. Being stripped of my duties in the church as a worship minister in my teens was devastating. The Christian church that my family attended didn’t make room for a queer human like me in their congregation.
Though I left the Christian faith many years ago, my quest to understand the divine within has remained alive and well. So much of my healing has centered on unlearning all the ways in which I was taught to hate myself for being gay. I aspire to be a living example of love and to show that queerness and sacredness are interwoven and can co-exist.
Though my story is that of a queer person, I think that people in general have fallen out of connection with nature. In America and in other parts of the world, there are many double and false standards when it comes to sex. To live authentically is to embrace all that we are. My hope is to help all people, regardless of sexual preference or gender identity, find their path through our innate ability to draw power from nature, as opposed to external pressures.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve been giving more thought to the legacy that I am leaving behind. I yearn to be a free being and hope to inspire others to do the same. We came forth into this world to manifest our dreams and to lead the evolution of the human species toward unity and love consciousness. Saint Manifest is what I aspire to be — the fullest expression of love, my higher self in the here and now.
I am a seeker and my spiritual practice is love of self, others and nature. Both music and art are expressions that allow me to connect within. It is almost a way to really see the world and myself—I feel my way through it. Through my art, I am having a simultaneous dialogue both with the world and myself, sharing experiences and wisdom.
In a society plagued by depression, repression and low self-esteem, I want to show others that we can create validation for ourselves by listening to and living our truth. Sometimes you need a little reminder that you hold capacities for love, joy and pleasure, and I’d like my artwork to be that for people.
I draw inspiration from mediation, nature and from my everyday occurrences with the physical world. When thinking of nature, the element of water has been a huge influence on my work. Specifically, the personification of water via the deity Yemaya—the salt seawater mermaid—as it is told through the Yoruba tradition. For this reason, I adopted the trident as my mark to pay homage to the power and wisdom of water.
Keith Haring is one of my major influences. In his work, I see the intersection of gayness, sex, joy, commerce, art and activism. His sexually charged images are universal, joyful and thought provoking. I find his ability to express meaning and themes through his simple line drawings both fascinating and potent. His take and influence on Pop Art still feels fresh and relevant.
I’m also very much inspired by his original iconography system and hope that my visual work continues moving the dialogue of love, freedom and liberation forward. Humans have always been fascinated with symbols and iconography. I want to create art that speaks to the heart. I want to imbue everything that I make with love for the sake of enjoyment and pleasure.
portraits & product photography - Kate Raines, Plate3 Photography