In a cathartic act of voyeuristic self-exposure, artist Ziggy Black (real name Michael Cole) has turned the lens on himself, his friends, and also, his addiction. His blog, entitled Hoodpunk (now defunct) shares portraits of vacant stares from blood shot eyes, the effects of narcotics, moments of isolation punctuated by short bursts of laughter and happiness—both chemically induced and genuine. In one image, a girl is pulled into loving embrace. In another, a man receives oral sex from a girl. A Facebook debate later reveals Black can’t remember if it was real or for the camera.

‘Degenerate Generation by Michael Cole’

‘Hoodpunk’ is a strange, absorbing blog that sits somewhere between art, documentary, and the over-sharing of a lost youth, dealing with intimate issues in a public space. Facebook updates are the raw, honest emotions of someone struggling with a sense of self worth informed by social media. In May, Cole posted following two days spent in psychiatric care, in January he temporarily closed his Facebook account for not getting enough likes on a status.

More recently, he confessed his blog as a way of exposing a life he is ashamed of, one laced with drugs and depression, and one he hopes to free himself from. Yet underneath this soul baring act is a need for validation, for reward, a longing for acceptance that makes the images more powerful still. His status ends with a final, telling proclamation “I’m tired of putting out quality content and not getting the acknowledgement or respect for it. So my blog will be taken down pretty soon. So if you haven’t seen it.. http://hoodpunk.tumblr.com/”


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