Finally the day that I have been thinking about and mulling over is here. The first day of the year 2012 and the first day of my new photo and blog project. Crap.
Having come up with the idea of blogging everyday about a “gay” issue and combining it with a self-portrait or a gay themed image (that is my get out clause if I get fed up with self portraits), I have been struggling to crystallise the idea more completely but a crowded holiday season put paid to that idea. So here I am, day one, with no more information than I started with about a month ago. Crap.
So, a word about me then, dear reader. I’m a photographer, artist, gay man, food lover, technology liker and user, wannabe debater, hugger, lover, and, well, just me. I don’t think of myself as anything really special (though that would be nice), but I do often have things to say. I also take pretty good pictures too. As an artist studying for my MFA in Photography at the University of Kentucky I am always working on some new project or another and this is my latest one. The idea came out of a test project that I shot last October where I took a self-portrait everyday of me with something that I purchased. On the days that I didn’t buy anything I just took a self-portrait. It was an interesting experience in some ways, and got me to thinking some more. Would I be able to keep that up longer term than just 30 days? Would it be interesting? Would it fit with my larger body of work which at the moment tends to focus on the idea of collecting, cataloguing, and documenting. Who knows, but I thought it would be worth a shot.
I didn’t really want to carry on with the photograph of the purchases though. While interesting (mildly) and sometimes humourous, it didn’t have the depth or the connection that I wanted. And it wasn’t really something that I was that interested in myself. You see, I had already bought the item. I knew what it looked like already. All I was doing was showing it to you. Interesting from a cataloguing and documenting perspective, but still a little too surface and shallow oriented really. So I wanted something deeper. Who knows, I may return to it some day. Thats the beauty about art…..
As someone who is interested in politics to a degree, but is very interested in politics that affect me as gay man, I wanted to find a way to connect myself to a topic and to combine it with a photographic record. I’m curious to see whether my reaction to gay issues in the news, along with my response to the issue, would manifest itself visibly in me or in what I chose to take pictures of. Would I have happy self portraits on the days I talked about happy issues? Or would they be miserable portraits on the days that the issue was not so happy. There in lies the aspect of documenting and investigation that appeals to me. At the very least I would end up with 365 self portraits of me, the homo in this particular world, as a record. The fact that it is also the year that the US has a general election is also fortuitous. It will, I suspect, give me lots of material to work with. And really, does the art world need yet another one a day series of watching someones beard grow…..?
So I guess I have worked out a little what it is all about. I’ll find an issue online each day that relates to being gay and I’ll publish it here. I’ll discuss it too. Some days will be just a few lines. Others will be a lot longer. Variety is the spice of life, right? I’ll also do a self-portrait too. I’m going to set up my camera in the basement of my house and do the shot down there each day. For now that is the plan. Maybe some days I’ll throw in a different shot taken somewhere else. Some days there will be props. Some days there will not. But also be aware that these are not intended to be “portraits” in a well lit, glamour kind of way. They will be me, up against a bare wall with a camera in front of me. This is about documenting, not about looking lovely (though i’ll try…. 🙂 ). Those who have read my personal travel blog over the years say they like my blogs, so lets see how this one develops and matures. I am always being coached by other artists to let it flow a little more, so I’ll give it a go. Let it flow, let it flow,let it flow…..
So there you have it. Tune in tomorrow and see where the project take us.
Big love to you all!