Interview with New Yorker


Jodi

http://jodiverse.com/

Jodi is a sexy, vivacious, and sassy New Yorker. As an original bona fide inhabitant of Manhattan, and the epitome of everything that is so progressive, so right, and so bravura about being a woman, Jodi makes us all wish out loud,regardless of any of our distorted identity confusion, that we might be lucky enough to call her our friend - simply because she is Jodi. Jodi not only does New York Art, Jodi IS New York Art.

Q

I wanted to say firstly that I am an outright admirer of your creation,‘Because I Say So!’ on your site, Jodi Verse.com - How would you explain the mystery, complexity and magic that is Jodi?

A

I wouldn't explain it even if I could. I have no idea what makes me tick or tock and try not to analyse it because it would make my head explode even more than it probably already has just pondering this question. As a nod toward a cliché, I have always marched to my own drummer, and that drummer beats on that drum not with drumsticks but with one flaming bowling pin in one hand and a dinosaur bone in the other one day, and the next day some other ephemera crosses his palms and the whole shebang starts again with a different beat created with different drumsticks and you never know what you're going to get, but it's guaranteed to make you say, "Now, what the hell was that all about? And do I really want to know?" So, to make a convoluted answer short,I don't know. I just "work" here.

Q

What were the inspirations or motivations that led you to take on this artistic and creative initiative?

A

I started a "blog" (that word must always be contained within quotation marks) in late December 2001 after clicking through a bunch of others that I found by chance while aimlessly tiptoeing through the Internet. I had been interested in airing some of my thoughts online but had no idea how to do it, so these blogs, which were kind of like online diaries,spoke to me, and I thought, "Maybe? Is this it? Could I do this?" and then my memory is fuzzy and I wound up with a Blogspot blog that I called "Jodiverse" because, in keeping with what blogs seemed to be then, mine would revolve around me in my Jodi universe, and, so, well,um, yeah, I came up with the brilliant "Jodiverse". I don't know where "Because I Say So" came from, but it may have been an offshoot of a phrase I was quite fond of back then, "Don't question me," stolen from Patsy Stone from Ab Fab.

I guess I felt I had stuff I wanted people to hear, rather than ranting to the brick walls of my groovy apartment who, although a lovely audience in their own right, were kind of getting sick of having to shoulder the burden of my musings.

Q

One of my favourite original pieces of your Art work is “Neighborhood Splotch.” Did you struggle with any worries or concerns about other people’s perceptions about it and if so, what made you decide to just do it anyway?

A

I am someone who says, "I don't care what other people think" while simultaneously caring deeply what other people think, so of course I struggled with worries and concerns. Also, I am a New York Jew, so worry and concern are as much a part of me as my flailing arms. But for Neighborhood Splotch, I just forged ahead and did it and posted it to Instagram and Facebook and people seemed to dig it. I was (am) new to drawing and painting and thought, "My execution is going to suck. I have no real idea what I'm doing. People go to school for this stuff. Who the hell am I to grip a pen in my hand and put marks on paper and show this nonsense to the world?" And then I punched myself in the throat, said, "Get over yourself," drew some stuff, posted it, and cringed while holding my breath until the first few "likes" (or whatever it's called on Instagram) came in and I was like, "Oh, good. This must be okay then." But really, I quite liked what I had come up with even before anyone officially approved of it.

Q

I thought your piece “Real Women”; a part of your 2003 written collection, was intelligent and thought-provoking. What do you think may obstruct women from forming supportive and considerate female friendships?

A

Women obstruct themselves from forming supportive and considerate female friendships by being competitive with each other and being mean to each other like the girls in "Mean Girls". I don't understand women in the least, even though I am supposedly one myself. I don't want to get into any sort of feminist-tinged dialogue because frankly,that sort of thing makes me want to punch people in the tits and disappear under a blanket while hate-bingeing on GIRLS.

Q

In, “I am, apparently, “it””, one of your earlier written pieces in 2008, you mention you don’t read women’s magazines. Is that still true in 2017 and what has, or has not, influenced your particular stance on this topic?

A

It's even more true in 2017 than it was in 2008. Kurt Vonnegut was a huge influence on my stance on this topic. I can't remember the quote verbatim, but paraphrased he said, "Women's magazines will make you feel ugly. Stop reading them." I had always read those magazines with an enormous grain a salt (which I suppose doesn't make it a grain anymore, does it?), my right eyebrow arched so high that even Joan Crawford would be impressed, thinking, "Who are these people who are telling me what I should be?" and pretty much giving them all the finger. But still, when I'd read that poppycock, it would still sink in and tickle my brain a bit and I'd find myself trying to answer the Cosmo quizzes in a way to elicit the "score" that would correspond with a version of myself that I thought was the most desirable. And then I'd punch myself in the throat, say, "Oh my god, who the fuck CARES?" and realize, again, that this was all a mechanism to get me to think a certain way to satisfy the needs of someone other than myself, like, say, advertisers who told me that, gee, my hair needed to smell terrific. These days, I don't and won't even read any of the online articles directed at women, even if they hold themselves out to be more counterculture (whatever that means). Because I still don't want anyone telling me how to think.

Q

What creative artistic projects have you been working on in 2017?

A

I have not been as productive in 2017 as I'd like. I need to resume Neighborhood Splotch and would like to do something with the 100- word stories/vignettes I have been writing every day for the past 15 years. Perhaps combine the two "disciplines". I am a huge fan of flash fiction, and I like to think of mine as "snack stories" which may or may not be true so I can't call them fiction.

Q

As an independent woman of extraordinary perception and a powerful voice in the city of New York, what would you say is the difference between the East side and the West side of Manhattan to a non-New Yorker?

A

Sadly, all of Manhattan seems to be morphing into a massive mall with less and less distinction between its different parts/neighborhoods. Still, I feel like the Upper East Side is still more posh and stuffy than the Upper West Side. It's still got the Park Avenue panache, and I feel like the women over there are wearing more expensive shoes than those over here on the Upper West Side. I'm pretty sure they're also still loyal to the ubiquitous Louis Vuitton handbags.

The Upper East Side is still home to the fancy designer stores, none of which I have any desire to enter or patronize, even if I had the means to do so, which of course I don't. I barely even go into stores on this side of the city, either.

The West Village has lost most of its grit, and while there is still some "funk" in the East Village and Lower East Side, they too are losing a lot of their flavor, the grit and guts and heart replaced with more crap to appeal to tourists who think they're getting a real New York Experience just because their feet are walking on The Bowery, when really even that is so squeaky now as well.

Q

What advice would you give to people who are feeling stuck or uninspired in their lives and desiring to progress forwards?

A

I have absolutely no advice to give, given that I often feel stuck and uninspired. I'd be talking out of my ass if I pretended otherwise.

Thank-you so very incredibly much Jodi for agreeing to be interviewed by me for PIZAZZ NEWS and I will keep following and adoring your artistic expressive work near, far, wherever you are!

Pic of New York: Android Authority