Archive for March, 2009

Would YOU help me select pictures for an exhibition?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

So, as an experiment, if you’d like to help me select pictures for a portfolio to go forward for an exhibition, I’d be interested in hearing alternative opinions. Would you like to participate? If so please leave a comment here, or email me, and I’ll tell you how to do it.

The Themed Exhibition

Monday, March 30th, 2009

We visited a great gallery on Friday – one that even showed interest in my kind of work – so the prospect of a show comes closer. The next question is: What to show?

My last project, volume one of The Constant Eye, was more of a retrospective, I suppose. I had hoped that the strength of my point of view coupled with a particular technique would provide a theme in itself, but I fear the world isn’t ready to accept this! So, subject matter rules, and I should probably do a show on a single subject.

The obvious subject is Bulls. I’ve been taking pictures of the fiestas in eastern Spain that involve bulls running through the streets of the small villages for a couple of years now, see this post, and certainly have enough pics to chose from for a good show.

How can I afford an exhibition?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The costs of mounting an exhibition are become so prohibitive. It seems the only way I will be able to show anywhere other than a café in the future will be to raise thousands in backing, and give away most of the income from print sales back to the gallery. The cost of the prints alone is huge, let alone mounting and framing.

With that kind of financial commitment I think I should really have a book to promote and sell as well, to make the most of the opportunity. That’s what I’m looking into now.

So – if you’re a publisher of photography books, get in touch!

Another day, another gallery opening

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

The gallery in question this evening was Galeria Kessler-Battaglia in Valencia, and a great evening it was. The exhibition was Sergi Cambrils “Historias Cocinadas”, a collection of delicately executed drawings/collages/paintings, full of wit and beauty.

The best thing, though, was the friendliness of the gallery hosts who, in stark contrast to the last gallery, offered us wine and chatted with us in a mixture of three languages, telling us about the work and the gallery itself. Truly refreshing and well worth the time it took for us to visit the place.

It’s quite amazing the difference a bit of hospitality makes to ones appreciation of an exhibition. Actually, it’s not that amazing. It’s common sense. What’s amazing is that so many gallerists fail to appreciate this basic fact.

Needless to say, when it comes to my next exhibition, I’ve no doubt which approach I’ll prefer.

Gallery opening like Coventry

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Some galleries are really extraordinary. The last opening we were invited to, at a gallery in Valencia that shall, for the moment, remain anonymous, was a typical example.

The two of us wondered in past someone leaning nonchalantly in the doorway holding a plastic cup half full of wine, and who didn’t even glance at me as I passed, into a very good little gallery space – quite small, but well finished and lit. There must have been about a dozen other folk there, clutching their plastic cups. We wandered about, had a look at the 5 or 6 pieces in the show (which were not bad, but included a couple of very large digital photographs that I can only describe as conceptual). This took us about 15 minutes.

Then we stood around, waiting for the gallerist – or the artist – to come and introduce themselves, tell us what it was about. Or at least offer us a plastic cup of cheap fizz. Nothing. Not even did anyone acknowledge us.

What’s up with these folk? What do they have a gallery for? To show and sell work? Or is it just some kind of toy, like a dolls house where they can re-arrange things and invite their friends to have a look?

We gave them another five minutes to notice us, and then left. Clearly nobody expects to sell any work from this gallery at any rate.

Christopher Sims: Guantanamo

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Kudos to Christopher Sims – he managed to get photographic access to the US military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, including the cell blocks in Camp Delta, and he’s taken some pretty good pictures too. You can see some of the pictures on the Civilian Arts Project site.

In this post a few weeks ago I discussed the nature of this type of prison, and the improbability of the US allowing access to Camp X-Ray – the original prison camp – if it still exists. Maybe they will, but for the moment we have Mr Sims’ pictures, which are all the more powerful for not including any people.

He clearly felt, as I did at Theresenstadt, the contrast between the guard’s family lives and those of the prisoners.

And before anyone gets offended, I should point out that I do not equate what happened at Theresienstadt with Guantanamo, except that they were both built to contain individuals that the authorities did not want roaming free.