I’m From New York, NY – Featured Artist

by Kisha Batista

I’m From New York, NY – Featured Artist

Growing up, cooking and baseball were my two great loves. All my life I thought sweets were the way to winning a woman’s heart. Whenever I had a crush I’d give her candy and assume she’d know I liked her. In high school I tried out for the softball team because it was the closest thing to baseball. Even though by then I was already “out,” I was always an extremely private person.

At some point I realized I’d developed an attraction to my coach.

Ms. A had jet black hair, green eyes, and freckles that appeared ever so slightly whenever she was tanned. She had the most beautiful smile and very delicate feminine way of coaching even though she was sort of a tomboy. To top it off, she was a lesbian as well. Over time my fondness for my coach grew, and I think she took a liking to me as well. I would hear little rumors, gossip from the seniors on the team about the coach, and how at every game an aggressive-looking woman would roll up in a sporty red Corvette, who was very supportive of my coach and the game…

The girls started to tease me that she liked me too. Eventually I started to think that the rumors could possibly be facts. I couldn’t help but feel like, “Hey it’s not so far-fetched to imagine… I mean, the fact that she’s like me is the easy part, right?” And I guess when you have a crush depending on how hard you’re crushing you’d eventually do or say something to brake the ice.

Now, me being a teenager I’m thinking maybe it’s time I graduate from candy to something more substantial, especially considering she’s 13 years my senior. Not that I really expected my crush to go anywhere but a charming gesture expressing my admiration would relieve this weight on my heart, no matter how good the intensity of it felt.



I decided I’d talk to her and try and find out what some of her favorite sweets were. Alas, she loved pecan pie! Pecan pie was to be my golden ticket. Food Management was my major so it wasn’t hard to find or come up a recipe that was sure to stop her heart. A few days later, I made the pie and gave it to her; she thanked me and it felt great! I mean, better than great!

After lunch, my Food Management teacher asked to speak to me in private. I was nervous–I didn’t know what I had done or what kind of trouble I was in. We stepped out and he said, “I didn’t know you baked so great!” He complimented me from the crust down to the texture of the pie. I couldn’t believe I made a pie with so much of me and she just shared it with all the teachers at lunch. How could she share my pie that was made just for her?! But I was happy she enjoyed it and realized my new love for baking sweets.

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Kisha Batista was born on July 26, 1978 in The Bronx, New York. She is the oldest daughter of a family of four, first-generation Americans who trace their roots to both Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic. She’s had a passion and love for the arts from the young age of 10 and has been painting, sculpting, drawing and working with any other materials she can get her hands on. She also has had special  passion for the sky. In 1999 she won the Knicks “It’s up to you” contest where she professed her love for the arts and acknowledged if it wasn’t for school she wouldn’t have realized her talent. She then went on to paint murals for the board of education and winning awards for her art and was even accepted to Cooper Unions special summer arts program while in high school. She left her single-parent home at the young age of fifteen determined to establish her independence and free-spirit. Still in high school, she got a part-time job and her own apartment but maintained a close relationship with her mother and siblings. For many, this alone would have been accomplishment enough, for Kisha it was only a foreshadowing of better things to come…

While working as a street messenger in the unforgiving urban jungle of Manhattan, she was discovered by a casting director for fashion and soon found herself in the equally vexing and often cut-throat world of modeling. With the support of a top NYC model management firm, coupled with Kisha’s unique beauty and refreshingly bold personality, she scooped up ultra-cool campaigns for companies like Benetton, Stussy and Nike. A veritable media blitz of editorial features followed as Kisha’s Nefertiti-like visage graced the pages of Jane, Vibe, Japanese Vogue, The Fader, Trace, Vogue Homme International, The Source, Honey, V, and many other high-end magazines. She has been shot by style gurus Terry Richardson, Jamel Shabazz, Ellen von Unwerth and she even peppers the pages of both Ben Watts’ and Marc Baptiste’s latest coffee-table photographic tomes, Big Ups and Beautiful, respectively. In her first few seasons on the modeling circuit she stormed the runways for Miguel Adrover, Catherine Malandrino, and soon strutted alongside hip-hop icons Eve and M.C. Lyte on MTV’s Fashionably Loud Award’s Show.

After accomplishing official legendary status in the fickle world of high fashion, Kisha sparked the intrigue of auteur director, Spike Lee. Not only did Mr. Lee treat her to professional training with longtime acting coach Susan Batson, but also cast her in his recent film She Hate Me. Kisha also stars in The Aggressives, a feature-length documentary to debut at Sundance in January 2005 and has had speaking roles and guest appearances since. Her fairy-tale story takes her from street messenger to runway regular and its sometimes dizzying effect on her day-to-day life.

ID magazine, the British style Bible, Russell Simmon’s Oneworld and even The New York Post all recently deemed Kisha as a rising talent. From her humble beginnings in the Latin enclave of the the South Bronx, to her meteoric rise into the world’s most coveted glossies, Kisha Batista’s future seems destined for the bright light of stardom. You can reach Kisha on her Facebook page.


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