Fabulous and heart-stopping news! That is what I would call it when Curator Suzanne Ramljak told me that they were using a photo (left) of the my Black Plastic Gyre Necklace Boa for the cover of the catalog "Uneasy Beauty" (shown above).
How did Suzanne know about this image? Because Suzanne discovered it on an ASK Harriete blog post Photography -- Mannequin Needed! Rent, Buy, or Borrow? Basic or Stylized? The post covered several of the mannequin shots taken on one of the photo shoot days. Maybe, out of 50 mannequin shots, Philip Cohen and I had winnowed them down to five images. An exceptionally painful irony was that I usually only buy a few photos of each genre and had not purchased that one image, neither was it sent it to Suzanne Ramljak at an earlier deadline.....so back to my photographer Philip Cohen to buy another image.
Being featured on the cover of the catalog is good fortune but also at least partially a result of two approaches that any artist can take for their own art or craft.
The first one is diving deep into an idea without reservation or hesitation. Going all out. Making an artwork for an exhibition without compromise is not the same as art or craft made for your customers. I believe it is necessary to put blinder's on and ignore market influences. Consumer tastes can be superficial, trendy, or financially motivated. In contrast, speaking purely from your own artist's voice amplifies the potential to stretch into uncharted waters. Magnify a vision far beyond "average." Fabricate your dream. Whether this work will sell or not is irrelevant to the artist's vision.
When Suzanne Ramljak and I were discussing work for this show I showed her a bracelet (right) made from black plastic waste. I told her that I had dreamed of making a much larger version. She encouraged this direction, pursue that dream and I proceeded to make a Black Plastic Necklace Boa that was 26 feet long with my entire force of nature, full blast every available second of the day or night for two months. My family and I had to survive the two months of craziness. I took the deadlines seriously.
The other approach is planning the photography. Documentation and vision of the photos, while the artwork is in progress, can really help create a successful photographic image. The quote from Louis Pasteur always comes to mind for me, "Chance favors the prepared mind." What are the possible uses for the photo? Can a close-up, full view, plain white paper background, model or experiment capture the artist's intent? One photographic approach may be appropriate for a specific situation, and the model shot takes the photography in another direction.
It is super exciting to have my work on the cover of the catalog. Super thanks to Suzanne Ramjlak who had confidence in my work to invite me to make something unknown for the show. She had unbridled optimism for the artist's vision without restriction.
The Black Plastic Gyre Necklace Boa will also be on the entry wall of the exhibition (I've been told) but will have to see for myself at the Fuller Craft Museum opening. If you live near by or will be visiting Boston, I hope you will be able to see this exhibition.
At the Fuller Craft Museum, there will be a related exhibition in another gallery by MassArt students: Discomfort Zone: Fashion and Adornment from MassArt. During the opening evening, there will be a live model presentation of some of the student works during the event.
The festivities begin at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13, with a not-to-be-missed Curatorial Lecture by Suzanne Ramljak! Who doesn't want to peer into the mind of the curator? I for one can't wait!!! I am traveling 3,000 miles so I can get there really early. Look for me there.
More Information about the Black Plastic Gyre Necklace can be found on my website.
Previous Posts in this series about photographing the Black Plastic Gyre Necklace Boa: