[PROJECT] Promotional Photography: Theater of Cruelty

Theater of Cruelty is a comedy variety show named after the work of French playwright, theater director and actor Antonin Artaud (1896 – 1948), in which Artaud aimed at stripping away the security of the audience and expose the uncomfortable and ambiguous reality underneath. 

Performed at the Lyric Cinema Cafe in Fort Collins Colorado, comedians Ryan Nowell and Erik Lindström gather together talented comedians and performers to create a series of shows that include short films, musical acts, and various forms of experimental comedy that rails against the sycophantic. It's a show for those who appreciate intelligent, authentic, and uncensored humor. 

A side note: despite the suspicious nepotism this really is an ingenious series of performances. 

Shown is a series of promotional photos taken of Ryan and Erik for this month's performance on April 30th. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Lyric Cinema Cafe or click here: Lyric Cinema Cafe|Theater of Cruelty

(click on the images to view in lightbox)

And just for the hell of it I created an animated gif.

Maurice Sendak on the Highest Compliment He Ever Received

"Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

— Maurice Sendak, author Where The Wild Things Are

My Top 3 Favorite Talks on Creativity

John Cleese talks about getting past creative blocks, the habits that facilitate creativity, the function of the subconscious mind during the creative process, and how psychological blind spots can effect ones ability to asses skill.    

Brené Brown sits down with Chase Jarvis to discuss the roles of fear, shame and vulnerability, how creating work that makes you feel exposed inspires others, the dangers of unexpressed creativity, her reaction of fear and regret that immediately followed delivering her wildly successful TedTalk appearance, who's opinions you should care about, and cultivating a mindset of brazen courage.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, delivers a fascinating talk on the dark side of success, how we can change our relationship with the creative process by adopting perspectives from our ancient predecessors and how this mindset has changed the creative process of Tom Waits, Ruth Stone, and herself. 

Black & White: A 5 Day Photo Challenge

Recently a local photographer friend of mine, Kimberly Chiaris, on Facebook asked me to participate in a 5 day black and white photo challenge that was making the rounds among the photographers on the social platform. While many photographers were digging into their archives to share previously unseen work I used the opportunity to get back into a groove of doing photography on a more regular basis. 
Here is what I came up with:

Day 1: An experimental photo with my best friend, Holly, taken during the Orionid meteor shower. I wanted to see if it was possible to do a long exposure ending with a manual pop of light to light the subject and foreground. We took several images and I began playing with light painting with a flashlight. Holly and I really like to play and she frequently comes up with hilarious ideas during our shoots. This time she suggested kneeling down in the ditch showing just her floating head in the grass. Watching the images come up after processing we were laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. 

Day 2: After spending some time out and about taking photos during the day I sat down to process and realized I had forgotten to turn my image stabilizing back on after my long exposure shoot, resulting in some blurry sub-par images. I decided at the last minute to do a self portrait. I teased my hair and played for an hour in a pitch black room with my speedlite flash. I chose to post this one as the little hole within the hair creates an optical illusion, confusing the eye and making the viewer wonder which way I'm actually facing. Being a fan of the odd this was my favorite image of the night. 

Day 3: During a trip to a corn maze and Halloween event at a farm in Wellington with my best friend and her family, a pig got lose after being injured. It took four men to wrangle the pig and take it to get treatment. A more photo-journalistic image. 

Day 4: An Unknown Creeper in the Woods. A long exposure light painting with a tiny flashlight. This was an unintentional collaboration with a stranger in the woods who was playing with his cell phone during the exposure. Happy Halloween.  

Day 5: This was taken shortly after leaving a talk at The Center for Fine Art Photography with the photographer Cole Thompson called "Why Black and White?" I had learned a lot about long exposure techniques from his blog and this evening he shared more about his process. I used this information to change the way I shot and processed this image. I shot in Raw + monochrome so as to preview the black and white image during shooting, and used a tablet to dodge and burn after making my regular adjustments.  

[PROJECT] Heidi Kirkpatrick: Lost and Found

In October 2013, The Center for Fine Art Photography awarded Portland based photographer Heidi Kirkpatrick a solo show at the gallery after she was selected for the Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50. For her third year in a row. 

Combining photography and objects, Heidi's exquisite work tells of family, heritage, loss, love, death, and womanhood. I had the privilege of working with her on an exhibition catalog for her solo show and, I have to say, it was a fantastic experience. 

We recently combined forces again to create a second edition of her book. The latest edition includes photographs of her installation at The Center for Fine Art Photography, snippets of her interview in January with Aline Smithson of LENSCRATCH, and background information on some of her pieces in the book. 

Her book is currently on exhibition until September 28th at The Phoenix Art Museum's INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks

You can check out Heidi's website and support her and The Center for Fine Art Photography by purchasing a second edition copy of her book, Lost and Found, here.