Monday, August 17, 2009

Successful Exhibition Opening

The debut of Censor This!, seems to have been a success. The opening reception saw over 170 patrons viewing the images and no one ran out screaming! I do kid, but I was concerned that this body of work might be too much for the average gallery patron. It was played up as an erotic exhibition. It received some wonderful press that also eluded to it's content, and the gallery owner played it up beautifully before the patrons walked trough the door as they were greeted by a waiver to sign by a topless Chippendale style doorman. So if they didn't know what they were walking into before, they sure did them.
For those of you who have read the many postings I have written about for this show often. I was a bit apprehensive on it's acceptance. I am now more relaxed now that the show has opened and with the comments I overheard and those said to me directly. People were extremely gracious and accepting of the work and for the most part, got it. Comments ranged form applauding me for being brave enough to show erotic art in Harrisburg, to the photographer must be a gay gentleman because his male models are too attractive!

This show was a success but might not have ever come to light if it wasn't for my family and friends who have supported me in my artistic ventures.

I have to thank a few people who without their help this wouldn't have happened. First of my wife, whose love, support, patients, understanding and a steady brush helped me not only create this body of work but also helped me paint our latex clad hostesses.
I'd also have to thank Jason and the entire staff at the ArtHouse Lounge for putting on a first rate event complete with it's own soundtrack.
I can't forget our lovely hostesses, Lucy and Chast and our handsome doorman, Robert.
I also need to thank a very good friend, Charles, who helped me frame my images and also took the photographs posted on my Facebook profile of the opening reception.
And finally all my friends who wished me well and some of those who actually trekked to Harrisburg to be there, including my wonderful daughter and her boyfriend. I really hope he wasn't too shocked!

The exhibition is on display through August 29th and if you can make to the ArtHouse Lounge in Harrisburg, I would love to know your thoughts on the show.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Confidence, Nervousness and Fear

My exhibition is only three days away and I am going through a roller coaster of emotions.
When this first started as an idea by the gallery owner, I had great confidence in my ability to pull it off. Why not! I have been a photographic artist for over 25 years. This is what i have been asking for, what i have wanted. I can pull this off in spades and set the art world on it's head.
Confidence Meter on it's Highest Level.

Then the photo sessions. With each passing session I saw images that I really was proud that I produced, confidence meter still at high.

Once I decided that I had the images and had an exhibition, then came the printing process. As many of you who have read this blog know, that became an issue.
Confidence meter falling slightly.

Then I was rescued by McKenna Labs who saw the art in my images and help me complete this body of work.
Confidence meter back on high.

Then came the framing. (Thank you Frame Maker II of Feasterville for beautiful mats and frames!)
3 days of cuts, broken glass and second guessing.
Confidence meter falls to the nervous level.

I looked at them again, I think this was the first time I have looked at all of the images together as a completed collection.
Nervousness definitely has taken hold.

Then this morning I get what was supposed to be a very uplifting and supportive email from the gallery owner. Letting me know how much he has invested in this exhibition, how much it means, etc etc.
FEAR has taken hold.

I know I am an artist and without emotions there is no art. For those who know me I can get a weepy at a movie. But when it comes to my work I am pretty confident. OK except when it comes to a solo exhibition. My wife is fond of telling the story of my last solo exhibition where I was laying on the floor of our living room, an hour before the opening saying I wasn't going. I don't remember that happening, she says it's selective memory.

So, at this point we are 3 days, and 19 hours away from what I hope will be a successful exhibition.
How do you judge success? I'll save that for another post!

If you are interested in coming to the exhibition opening reception it is Saturday night, August 15th from 6 to 10ppm at the ArtHouse Lounge, 217 N. 2nd St. Harrisburg, PA For more information you can visit

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What does it cost to Smile?

I recently returned home from a trip across the country and while I was on the last leg of my flight to San Francisco I wrote this:

I am on the last leg of a trip that feels like I have been traveling for days. Two planes, six hours in the air and plenty of time staring at people in the airports.
One thing I have noticed in all this is that it seems that people have forgotten to smile. Are they upset that we no longer get food on flights? Are they just depressed?
On this last leg of my journey from Chicago to San Francisco I am counting myself lucky that the flight attendant is extremely pleasant and accommodating. Why is this the exception and not the rule?
It seems that most people have forgotten what it is to be courteous, pleasant and polite. Maybe it's all this technology and texting that has removed us from actual human contact that we have forgotten how to be, well human? :(
Cyborgs walking through life avoiding eye contact, looking at the ground scowling. That unfortunately seems to be the norm now a days.
It's days like this that I try to smile even more, be extra polite, go the extra mile. To some I might be a bit off. (No comment from those who know me personally) But when someone actually smiles back I consider it a small victory for the happy people.
Try it, smile at a stranger. It might get contagious!

I would like to that the crew of Southwest Air's flight #1641 from Chicago to San Francisco last Saturday July 25 for making my flight a very pleasant one.