Sunday, February 14, 2016

Me, Myself, and Her

Got an email recently from the good folks over at Artsy who are putting together a collection of Cindy Sherman's work. From their description,
"Our Cindy Sherman page provides visitors with Sherman's bio, over 65 of her works, exclusive articles, as well as up-to-date Sherman exhibition listings. The page even includes related artist & category tags, plus suggested contemporary artists, allowing viewers to continue exploring art beyond our Sherman page." 
They invited me to check out the page and I thought I would share it with you.

For those of you who don't know, Cindy Sherman has been a big influence on my work. Her exploration of self, her ability to redefine herself and play with her own self image has not only made her a titan on the photographic stage but has left quite an impression on artists both currently working and for many decades to come. The notion that an artist can play or experiment with one's own self image makes for compelling artwork. If you don't believe me, you can ask countless artists who cite Sherman as an influence, probably most recently Madonna and Lady Gaga, although there have been many others. The notion that a woman can redefine herself, can change not just her appearance but her role in society, that she can play up or experiment with facets of herself is probably most directly attributed to Sherman more than any other contemporary artist. It really makes for compelling artwork, this notion that we all have facets of ourselves. The modern notion that a woman can change from this to that, can explore who she is and actually play with or present certain facets of herself is very empowering as well.

This image is from a series I did, inspired in part by Sherman's work, called "Pieces of Me" where I insert myself into previously photographed images and rephotograph the images, each of which plays up a facet of how I see myself. It was a great project to work on, challenging at times, but most rewarding.

I would encourage you to go and check out Sherman's work if you have not seen it already. It's worth a second look and that artsy page is a wonderful collection for you to explore.

Until next time...

This image from the archives, previous series "Pieces of Me" it's called "The Horrified."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Vote for Me Please: art prints - Pointed Iceberg at Minted.com

Asking for Some Help with This - Please Vote for Me


Vote for my
design on minted.
Smoke Over Earth
see more from Carol Schiraldi
vote for me!
Check out my competition in Christmas cards and birth announcements at Minted.

I seldom ask for help. Heck, I don't even often ask you to buy things or pimp my work all that much. Today, however, I am asking for your help.

Some of my work is up for voting as part of the Minted/West Elm challenge and I would like to ask that you vote for me. It won't cost you anything, it's totally free, and your vote could really help me out. Voting like this is a great way to support the arts without it costing you anything in terms of cold hard cash so, please vote if you are so inclined. Vote early and vote often, if you would, as it would really help me out.

I'm going to try to paste in this link that will allow you to vote on the Minted site. Please vote for me if you can as it would make a world of difference to me to know that I have your support.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 07, 2016

A Week of Wondrous Celebrations

This week marks several wondrous celebrations. For starters, tomorrow is Chinese New Year. Welcome, my friends, to the year of the monkey. If that were not enough, Tuesday is Fat Tuesday or the height of carnivale in New Orleans and other points. This year, I would be remiss if I did not send a special shout out to Bobbi Lane and David Nightingale (aka Chromasia) who are off photographing the Carnivale in Venice. Following these two on Facebook and social media has really demonstrated how lovely the celebrations in Venice can be, as they are producing some fantastic work documenting the festivities. I really wish I were off shooting with them and love seeing the subject in these very capable hands.

What is it about celebrations such as the ones this week that make us take out the cameras? There's something very appealing about pageantry and costumes. They allow us to both hide parts of ourselves and to reveal plenty. In this image, you can tell there is a man inside that puppet. There's a man in there and, quite frankly, he's almost frighteningly familiar with a cigarette lighter (of sorts) as he was able to make lots of fire on short notice. All well and good, as I did not get too close, but you can guess a few things about him, even without being able to see his face. For starters, you can probably guess he is either Chinese or of Chinese origin, as he was participating in a Chinese new year celebration in Austin. Next up, tradition is import to him-you can tell by the way he works the puppets. There's just so much revelation under that puppet and yet you have no idea what his face looks like.

In some ways, you don't have to know. I think it's more powerful to not know, to actually imagine what he might look like or what his life might be like. Can you imagine him going to work or to school? Do you think he has children? Do you think he practices his puppet working skills (I can tell you for certain, he does in fact do that but then, I cheated and actually spoke to him.) Even without me telling you the details you can fill in the blanks.

Celebrations do this. They give us our heritage, our history. It's the same history that helps forge us, helps make us who we have become and defines who we might be. We get a lot of traits from our upbringing, from our family, from our culture, and celebrations put this on display. It's little wonder they are photographed so much, as they help define who we are, who we might become, who our children are going to be, and the like. Family, traditions, heritage, culture, it's almost too easy to commit these things to film (or digital camera sensor as the case may be, though that does not sound nearly as romantic.)

So, yes, this week we mark celebrations of all sorts. I hope you have your camera ready and make the most of these treasured celebrations.

Until next time...

(This image from the archives.)