Coming Up Oranges

I spent the past 10 days in the Washington DC area, visiting some friends. Of course, news of the inauguration of Donald Trump was everywhere. While I was gallivanting through the city, platforms were being set up. Roads were blocked. Police were everywhere. So many portable toilets.

And, of course, I took the opportunity to make some work. I always try to make a narrative when I travel some place, a little something that isn’t too deep and something I don’t have to explain or think too hard about. So, here, have a little narrative, in dishonor of my country:

Bless my homies Sean and Dana, for posing in really tourist-y style photos and letting me Photoshop oranges over your faces (even though I do love the ridiculous faces hiding under the fruit…)

The last image, of the swear-in, was taken from Google. I added the oranges, of course.

I also took out my Polaroid Sun600 and shot with the orange and black Impossible Project Film, to make some “orangescapes.”

I’m not happy with who we have as “president.” I’m actually terrified. I cried for a long time after the results came in, and not just because who I wanted didn’t win the election. I’m scared for my future, the future of my friends. I’m afraid my rights will be stripped from me, that I will be less than a citizen. I’m appalled that this nation elected a RAPIST to be our leader, and, quite frankly, when I see Donald’s face I feel sick to my stomach. And we have to survive the next four years, some how, some way.

Making art is part of my survival tactic. I’m in a position where I can do that– but do not get me wrong. This is not some romantic “suffering makes art” bullshit. This is my way of surviving. I’m not a martyr, I’m not making myself out to be some victim. I’m just trying to live, and the only way I know how is to create.

I also made tweets, because Donald loves to tweet. It’s like, the best, believe me.

So, there you have it. I hide behind humor to mask my pain.

Happy Shooting and Making and Hell Raising!

Even More Ideal Instances

Here we are again, with more altered, vintage Polaroids. Have fun.

There will be dozens of more posts about this, so stay tuned. If this is your first time seeing this project, feel free to click here to find out more.

Happy Shooting!

Polaroids of Long Lost Family

I do this thing where I collect old Polaroids of people I don’t know, and I “adopt” them. It’s kinda sad when you think about it, how someone didn’t want their family photos or there wasn’t anyone left in the family to want them. So, I’ve been collecting them. Because every photograph deserves a home.

It’s admittedly a strange action, especially the “adoption” part. There’s some tension there; I know that these people will never truly be my family and I don’t know anything about them, and, also, what gives me the right to take ownership of their precious memories?

Since I’ve gathered quite a few Polaroids, I decided to do something with them for a project. I decided to make an attempt to map out this complicated tension by writing, painting, and collaging onto the pictures, kind of like scrapbooking– and we scrapbook our precious memories, right? I was trying to make these memories my own, but the frustration that this is not possible became clear as I worked on the project.

When I was working on these, I was wondering what the people in them are up to today. I have no idea if these people are dead or alive, and I probably will never know. It’s a melancholy thing.

But as my dancing-friend-who-just-baptised-his-newborn-would-say: YOLO .

And yes that is the same guy.

Also that little boy who is crying in every picture? What a little punk.

For some, I made up my own memory of the person in the photo or the event. For others, I responded to the content and altered the space around it. Some are just commentary from me, because I think I’m hilarious.

I just imagine a gallery space filled with a grid of these ridiculous photographs. And, who doesn’t love looking at awkward family photos? It’s like a train wreck you don’t want to look but you do anyway. Kind of like my life.

Well that’s all for now. If any of you are going to be in New Orleans for the Society for Photographic Education conference next week, shoot me an email or something and maybe we can meet up there and talk about photography! Yay new people!

Happy Shooting!

Sewing on Polaroids

I busted out the Polaroid 600 after looking through some really inspiring work on Flickr. I was especially inspired by ester.helloo!,who sewed on one of her Polaroids. I’ve been meaning to sew on a particular image of mine, and I was inspired to tweak my idea (my initial idea was to print an image on fabric.) So I snapped a Polaroid of my photo I shot a couple months ago, sewed on it, scanned it in, and tweaked the colors. The film in my Polaroid 600 is super-duper expired to the point it’s almost impossible to make out the images, so even though it felt weird to be editing film, I feel justified. Plus the result is really awesome.

I’m extremely happy with this. Do you ever have a project in mind, and you just can’t seem to get what you need for it, or the lighting isn’t working, or your model keeps cancelling, or the sky is falling or the apocalypse is four days before Christmas? This was one of those projects that just wouldn’t let me win. I would love to do more of these, but I only have 2 shots left in my Polaroid 600, and for continuity’s sake (I do love continuity) I won’t be shooting more of these on different film. So, I’ll either do two more or won’t do two more. We’ll see how I’m feeling I suppose!

That’s all for now. Keep shooting!

Unexpected Polaroid Adventures

I was thrifting recently and I came across a Polaroid 600 camera. Skeptical, I started doing my camera checks to see if it worked. I popped it open and went to check the shutter release and- FLASH!- out pops a lovely Polaroid of the ceiling I accidentally took… I didn’t know the camera had film in it! And, to my pleasant surprise, there were four more shots left on it. The film looks pretty expired, but given the right subject I could make it work.

I decided to surf the web and see what other people have done with their Polaroid film. I was originally looking for subject matter to inspire me, but my search eventually turned to different experiments to do to the film. From bleaching to sticking them in dishwasher. I wasn’t feeling utterly ambitious and confident in these methods (and to be honest I couldn’t find any tutorials…) so I took to burning the picture I accidentally took at the thrift store.

Yeah, you read that right.

I burned it.

Now, I’m not a pyromaniac, and I’m not particularly fond of fire. With the assistance of my father, sister-in-law, and a couple sparklers, I managed to get some interesting results.

I probably breathed in some toxic chemicals that I’m going to regret 50 years down the road, but whatever. Anything for art, right?