Pinup: Coco Bond
Where are you from? What is your background?
I am born and raised in Montreal North, Canada. By blood, I am Canadian and Haitian. When I was 14 years old, I got unofficially adopted by a Salvadorian family. I needed a place to stay and they took me in no questions asked and never asked for a single dollar to my birth parents. I feel grateful and blessed to have been raised with and by Latin people from different backgrounds (Dominicans, Salvadorians and Peruvians) that always took care of as if I was from their own blood. Eventually, I had the chance to live with my Haitian godmother and my cousins. I was always close to them but living with Haitian family helped me connect with my roots and understand myself better. I was also lucky enough to live in the Bahamas and in Dominican Republic for a bit. As I often say, I am proud to be Canadian, but my heart is forever dancing somewhere in the Caribbeans !
What inspired you to become get into burlesque?
When I was in high school, my history teacher asked us to do a short video impersonating an historical character that spoke to us chosen from a list he provided. Although I would not have mind impersonating a Caucasian character, I kindly asked my teacher if he had any colored person in mind that I could better identify myself to. He suggested Josephine Baker. It was the first time I heard of burlesque and I knew from that moment that I would have to be part of the universe somehow, someday. With time, I got shy and confused. I forgot along the way that stripping clothes did not mean stripping intelligence. Then, my best friend, Kyky de la Vega, started doing burlesque. She is one the human I look up to the most, she is brilliant and fierce. She was the kick in the butt I needed to dare glowing in the art. Ever since, I fall in love with the community and the art of burlesque over and over again.
What about modeling? What inspired you to do Pinup?
It just came with burlesque. I never thought I would model or strike a pose in front of a professional photographer. But, since I must promote myself as an artist, I started taking pictures. Although, I do not consider myself as a Pinup, I can say that burlesque photography are good therapy and amazing self-love sessions.
What’s the best thing about being a modeling burlesque, and what’s the worst?
The best thing to me is the awareness and relationship I am building with my body and how I inhabited it in the present moment. If that makes sense ha ha! Weather sessions are planned or shots taken during a performance, it nourishes the need to live the present moment to the fullest. I love that. The worst thing is the fear of being judged by other that inevitably pops in my mind every now and then.
What performer or artist/writer inspires you the most?
That is a though one. I cannot pick one only. Of course, the women that thought me burlesque were all exceptional inspiring and beings: Sugar Vixen, Roxy Torpedo and the iconic Frenchy Jones. They really put me together. There is also Loulou la Duchesse de Rière she is fierce, talented, political and I am amazed by the way her mind works. She is impressive not only on stage, but also as a human. I am a huge fan of Foxy Lexxi Brown she takes my breath away. I have seen her live, but I probably watched her videos as much as I saw Hitch (which means A LOT !). Malinka Molotov gives me the chills every time I see her perform. She does not only perform, she makes a statement and educates. Honey Dynamite’s creavity never stop astonishing me, I mean, lighting matches with yours nipples! I look up a lot to HoneyTree EvilEye, although I never saw her live, I think she is brilliant and I am so grateful human like her exists. And of course, my best friend Kyky De La Vega, because I know her deeply and to do all she does and still manage to perform the way she does makes me emotional.
What other areas of art are you involved in?
I am a poet. Never published, but writing is like breathing to me. I also like to paint.
Do you think your environment, where you live, has an effect on type of art you create?
Definitely, for example, I can’t function in a messy environment. If the room is organized so will my mind be. I also create better in a warm environment. I need sun, heat.
What long term goals do you have?
I would like to perform burlesque as long as physically can. Eventually, maybe host retreats by a beach for artist to recharge their batteries and brainstorm…
What do you think the popular culture will be like in ten years?
I hope that it will be more relaxed, even more open minded, that work will become secondary. I hope that it will bloom away from screens so that we can get back in the now and enjoy real life. I also hope that food, art and culture will be at the center of people’s expanses and concern instead of material stuff.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to do in your profession?
Fortunately, I only had positive and safe experiences with burlesque. But out of context some of the things we are asked when showing a choreography for feedback can be quite funny. Like : could you fucked the floor harder ? Or to give all the ass in the world haha!
What projects are you working on now?
I am finishing a postgraduate degree in Food Studies, my thesis is taking a lot of my time. Since the food matter is very important to me, I am working on an act to raise awareness on monocropping. Merge the two.