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Two Tones

Photography, Tesla Kawakami

I wish to speak in two tones that vibrate the world so violently

I cause a magnitude-six earthquake in new york

And when I'd whisper I rumble your bones into place, finish your unfulfilled plans

fill the space between your top and bottom lip

and send you to bed


As a multimedia artist, Tesla Kawakami’s primary studio practice focuses on oil painting. With this medium, they create contemporary landscapes with a focus on environmental disaster, the angst of growing up, and the interaction between humans and nature. Tesla also uses memoir-style prose, illustration, and photography to explore these same themes as well as others such as sexuality and transness. Their work draws from a variety of visual sources and techniques that create buzzing visual cues about memory, nostalgia, age, destruction, ruin, and intimations of transformation.


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