“Messy lives are the interesting lives”
- Great Lives Podcast on Eunice Kathleen Wayman, aka Nina Simone
This woman was bad.ass.
Don’t tell Nina that being a woman and being black and poor and rejected as a classical pianist because of her race is going to stop her from doing ANYTHING. As a 12 year old, she refused to play at a church until the white people let her parents sit up front. In her later performances in bars and lounges she refused to play if the audience was anything but totally silent. She shot at some people who wouldn’t pay her. She opens up in ways that are deep and sexy and heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time (Wild Is The Wind, My Man's Gone Now, Since I Fell for You, I'll Stick Around - my favorites). She was brave and adventurous and overworked and complex and beautiful and difficult and passionate, and an activist (The King of Love Is Dead, Mississippi Goddamn!) which just makes sense. I watch the Netflix documentary whenever I need a north star.
To me she is God(dess).
18" x 18" oil on canvas