It's my project so I might as well go first.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This is my friend Kevin. As an artist I was really interested in what everyone's thought labels would be. For the most part I really loved what people had to say and was struck by the generosity of sometimes strangers to reveal some small part of themselves for this project. Everyone that volunteered was included even if their DYMO label was a little on the boring side or their photo not as exciting. So I ask my friend Kevin what his DYMO was going to be and he said 'AGOG'. Kevin, who is no longer with us, was smarter, wittier and better read than the rest of us, and the best he can come up with is 'AGOG'? Jesus Christ. For the first time I told someone that their thought sucked and to come back when they came up with something better. Of course we ended up shooting it Kevin's way. I love this picture of him and have learned to love 'AGOG'.
This beautiful little girl is the youngest in a family of 3 children all of whom I've had the opportunity to paint. When she and her Mom were at the studio, taking preliminary photos for her portrait I asked if I could include her in the project. She looks like a little angel to me.
This is Guy again. Can't you tell what kind of person he was just looking at his hands? He used to carry around little business sized cards with the names of the N.H. Senators and Congressman and their contact information on one side and Art. 10 NH (Right of Revolution) text from 1784 on the other, to hand out. Google it, very interesting. I still have mine. And while you're at it Google Guy Chichester, everyone should live that big a life.
Mike was a lovely guy who had lost his father and brother in quick succession, had dropped out of school, back into school, and was struggling. A talented artist, he was learning the tattoo art by using his body's left side as a testing ground. He really couldn't be strange enough to suit his need. I remember thinking at the time that altering his appearance in such a drastic way was his way of grieving for his family. I hoped that his grief would subside before he hurt himself too much.
'Search of Zion' was one of my next door neighbor's lawn guys. Not only was he beautiful but I was endlessly fascinated by his dreads. Anyway my neighbor Pat said the DYMO Project wouldn't be complete until it included the the handsome lawn guy. He surprised me so much with the Search of Zion that I never asked him what and why.
This guy came over to do his DYMO photo after his wife and child had already done theirs. He had a cold and was feeling used up and disgusted. We've all had those moments in our life that we felt that everyday was just a matter of shoveling shit against the tide.
'Curiosity is a sign of feminine beauty.' is a Victor Hugo quote. When I first started the DYMO Project I thought people would be labeling themselves with pretty obvious and simple statements. Certainly not delving too deep into their psyches for the good of the project. Proving me wrong once again is 14 year old Katy Horrigan, who is apparently better read than I was at that age.
Like I've mentioned I had a sign-up sheet for DYMO volunteers at an open house at my studio. Got a whole bunch of willing people. So anyway, this guy Bing signs up for what he thinks is my mailing list and is surprised to find he's going to be a subject in the project instead. So I don't waste anyone's time I always email ahead with questions so I'll be prepared when they get to the studio. When I ask Bing (gotta love that name) for his DYMO quotes he says he has 2. The first is, 'Having sex with children hurts them forever.' and the second is, 'I can change.' Jesus Christ what the hell does that mean? Is he a creep? Is he worse than a creep? No he is a councilor for troubled kids in the system. One of the nicest and most memorable people I had the pleasure to meet while working on this project.
Not only did Bing agree to be photographed for the project he put the call out to friends and coworkers. 'Yes' was Bing's boss, another person you could imagine working with troubled children. It was very dark in the studio that day and my camera was acting up so I didn't think I had gotten anything. The negative was basically unprintable but I think that kinda adds to the overall feeling of her expression and the simplicity of what she is saying.
I love this photo. I liked the label. I liked the guy. His name is David McPhail and he is a well known children's book author and illustrator. He showed up at the studio with his friend Bing (I told you about Bing) wearing a cape, a modern day dandy of the Frank Lloyd Wright variety. But unlike FLW, David was lovely and humble.
I have known Bryon since he was 6 years old. Read 'Blueberries for Sal' with him everyday while he was learning to read. Now he's a grown up, with a house and business of his own. I try not to feel old when I see him. He certainly deserves more than to be 'everyone's best friend.