Artist Inspiration – Laura Albert and The JT Leroy Story

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Uncategorized

I am highly interested in the story of Laura Albert, who spent her professional life writing as her avatar, JT Leroy. She employed different personalities in order to cope with darkened areas of her own, and began to write and express herself as them. These writings, under the pseudonym JT Leroy, was supposedly semi-autobiographical fiction about the life of the son of a young truck stop prostitute. These writings proved hugely popular, and as such demand for JT Leroy to make a physical appearance grew and grew, meaning JT Leroy the avatar needed a body. As such, Albert asked her sister-in-law to take on the role of JT Leroy in public, and she dressed up in a wig with sunglasses, hiding the most of her face. As such, Albert was able to live her life as the avatar JT Leroy through another body’s experience of the character, and her wishes were fulfilled through these recounting of what it was like to physically employ the avatar of JT Leroy in the flesh. I am highly inspired by this story, and the life of Laura Albert, as she has used many avatars to connect with her feelings, and live out realities which she could never do alone. I am also inspired by the way she used other people to act as the body of the avatar, and how this disconnect between the brain and body could affect the personality of the avatar. In my own work, I would like to explore these themes of avatarism, and multiple personalities to explore the full extent of the human psyche, when your body is not fully your own but filled with avatars.

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