Today I finally got somewhat caught up on the ol’ blog here. This is of course its third incarnation since 2007 and I finally got some of the backlogged articles from the other versions onto this one. I am now as far back as 2008 and I hope to get it all the way back to the beginning one of these days. I’ll get that done right after I finally add in the 300 or so links I have to put up on my website. Mañana compadre.
On a side note I have also been catching up in the darkroom the past couple of months and making new work. That is correct and your eyes are working fine – I did say darkroom. I have been working in black and white over the past year or so and developing my own film for a project I have been working on. Now why many of you may ask “Why the fuck would you waste your time in the darkroom?” I also think many of you know the answer. Digital, while it is a speedy and useful tool for cranking out a plethora of images, is not how I generally work when I am immersed in a project. I am slow and methodical.
I have also been working quite a bit in large format. Setting up the camera gives me the time to think about what I am doing and especially useful for portraits. It gives me the time to chat with the subject and get them comfortable in front of the camera. After 20 minutes or so, most people settle into the experience and become completely different people in front of the camera. One of my favorite images of all time was made because my camera lens was malfunctioning and after an hour of fiddling with it and talking to the subject we had this amazing final moment when the shutter clicked. You can see in the photo of Ralph below what I am talking about. He started out completely nervous and fidgety, but after he read me some poetry he had been working on and told me about having rickets as a child we were on a completely different level. Ralph was almost in tears when I brought him a framed copy about a month later. His exact word were – “This is me”
For those of you in the New Mexico area… go see this show. Quite a few great artists in this one.
Superheroes: Icons of Good, Evil & Everything in Between
Superheroes is a multi-media, group exhibition about heroes, villains and other less-definable examples of human possibility. It explores the way we absorb these archetypes, and for good or ill, use them to inspire, author and rationalize our behavior. The exhibition features heroic representations of humanity’s light side, dark side and all shades in between. It is informed by pop culture notions of “Super” – both hero and villain – and examines the ways in which the Superhero and Supervillain archetypes are integrated into our culture, informing ideas of morality, civil responsibility and human achievement.
The exhibition is curated by 516 ARTS with Neilie Johnson, and also features a looped program of short films titled It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane… curated by Bryan Konefsky.
|Esteban Bojorquez (Santa Fe, NM)
Boneface (Liverpool, England)
Aaron Campbell (Albuquerque, NM)
David Cudney (Albuquerque, NM)
Lawrence Getubig (Washington D.C.)
David Gremard Romero (San Francisco, CA)
Ben Johnsen (Albuquerque, NM)
Joel Jonientz (Grand Forks, ND)
| Mark Newport (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Aaron Noble (Los Angeles, CA)
Marc Ouellette (Albuquerque, NM)
Min Kim Park (Chicago, IL)
Dulce Pinzón (Mexico City)
Cullen Washington, Jr. (Boston, MA)
Jolene Yazzie (Santa Fe, NM)
As some of you may well know I have been back at the books at VCU working on my Master in Art Education. The program has been a fantastic experience so far and I have really enjoyed having access to the VCU (number one public school art program!) art department as well. While their photo program was not exactly the pride of the department in the past, Brian Ulrich has been hired as a new professor and I am sure the program will likely be on the ups.
While at VCU I began volunteering at the Carver Promise program at GW Carver Elementary. Carver Elementary is in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Richmond. The average family income for the students at Carver is around $10,000. The kids there have a harder go of it than most of us do and the Carver Promise program has made a huge difference in the lives of these kids. Most of them now graduate from high school and most go on to college.
I spend an hour or so a week working with students from the program helping with their homework and creating art. It has been an amazing and eye-opening experience. Last year I wrote a grant for the program to get some new computers into the mentoring room. Needless to say the grant was not approved. The grant had tons of applicants and very little money to give out with the economy in the toilet.
I was disappointed and to top it off, our department at VCU announced we were going to be getting all new computers to replace our 2 1/2 year old IMacs. It made me feel even worse that while the kids at Carver can’t get anything newer than an 11 year old PC we get brand new IMacs every three years. I guess my feeling must have been felt throughout the department as I recieved an email from the head of the department asking if the Carver Promise would like some of our old computers. I delivered five IMacs loaded with Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, and tons of other great programs to Carver yesterday and it made their day.
Being involved in this program, even just an hour or two a week, has made a huge difference in my life and hopefully has meant something to the kids I have worked with. I encourage those of you who have the time to help out wherever you can. It really does make a difference.