Carlton M Davis

The Bipolar Coaster

Carlotta Returns

Carlotta Pizzotta reappears at opening of art exhibition after a 25 year absence

Posted Dec 02, 2016

Carlotta Pizzotta is my female alter ego. She was a “bitch on wheels,” very much a character, who would be at home in William S. Burroughs’ “The Naked Lunch;” and was a product of my years of addiction and cross-dressing. When I overcame my cocaine addiction and got the right kind of help for my bipolar disorder, Carlotta went away. She had not been seen for 16 years.

I brought her back for a one-time only reappearance at the opening of my one - man art exhibition “The Past Retooled, The Present Rebooted,” in April of 2015. I did this for two reasons. First I don’t disavow Carlotta. I liked her. Being her was performance art. Strong opinionated women have always attracted me. In my family, the men were wimps. My grandmother, a woman of extreme prejudices, who disliked all other races and ethnic groups, dominated the Davis family. My mother, an Irish part American Indian nightclub singer with a decidedly fiery temper, was anathema to my grandmother. They warred it out and my grandmother won. My father divorced my mother, and she ran off with my father’s best friend. Thus to this day I like women with a strong personality. My wife is this way. Our conflicts are struggles of dominate beings.

Second I have a new project, which is about 33 self-portraits I have drawn over the years from 1973, with a written piece about the year of creation. Several of them are Carlotta, dressed, as she preferred in black with a studded collar and orange hair. Since so many years have past without her around, I decided to bring her back as a grown-up woman of substance. In her 70s, Carlotta is an elegant lady with long auburn hair, a survivor with a sense of humor.  I went to an English woman, who has a specialty of transforming men into women. She gave Carlotta her new look that is featured in the video of “Carlotta Returns.” Thus on a Friday evening in April 2015, Carlotta with much fanfare arrived at my opening. It was a great frolicking success. My art photographer recorded Carlotta’s interaction with all the guests.

These photographs are integrated into the short documentary with video segments of me, Carlton Davis, on another day, explaining the artwork in the show. The exhibition was a retrospective of my work including pieces that were done during the time Carlotta was my other self in female guise.  The making the video was great fun. The Walt Disney producer, Don Hahn, who produced both the “Lion King,” and "Beauty and the Beast," assisted me. He took all the various art opening photos of Carlotta Pizzotta, the woman with a lot of pizazz, inserted them in and edited them, then cut the raw video into single short documentary. The video is appropriate closure for Carlotta’s bizarre life. She has gone away for good. “Carlotta Returns,” is proof you can be crazier than a loon, come back from bipolar disorder, and have a lot of fun with your life.

Carlotta Pizzotta drawn by Carl Davis, photograph by Ed Glendinning
Carlotta Pizzotta drawn by Carl Davis, photograph by Ed Glendinning
Source: Carlotta Pizzotta drawn by Carl Davis, photograph by Ed Glendinning