In Production

He's in production.

   -He's what?

He's in production.

     -What's he in production for, making cars or something?"

I think he's printing his pictures for a show he's having.

      -Oh, no big deal, right?

Well, he's not answering his phone and nobody's seen him for weeks. I guess it's a big deal to him.

       -Those artists, man.They're kinda whacked, right? I try to stay away.

Actually, hopefully said without pretension, it is an intense time. It takes some serious focus, working with blinders on to get the best from pictures that sit there on a computer screen. I've never thought that was easy, to go from screen size and back lit to print size and on paper. And honestly, the tools aren't that good. I am sorry, but there is still a huge disconnect from screen to print. I simply do not know what it is until I've got a print of it, printed to size. I know, now the print almost doesn't matter for most of the people most of the time. But I "show my work" meaning I make my pictures to be seen on gallery and museum walls. Think about this: say you or someone else working for you makes a bad print from a good file. Too much sharpening or not enough, color casted or not sharp where it should be, no detail in bright whites or deep blacks, too flat or too contrasty, tonalities not adjusted well. Not good. Talk about having your act together. This represents you, this print on the wall. I can't tell you how many times I have dismissed someone's work because I am seeing it poorly printed. In portfolio reviews and to students I always tell them to make the print as the absolute best it can be for where they are right now in their development. This is simply doing the best that you can.

Something new for this show which I'll share here, this new work to be shown at 555 Gallery in September. As the prints tend to be large (I think the smallest so far is 22 inches square) there is really no way to see them unless they're mounted. So that's what I am doing. I make them then cart them off to be mounted and then when done bring them to the studio to look at. Will some get edited out and not shown? Yes, exactly. Once mounted Susan Nalband (the owner of 555 Gallery) and I will meet to decide yes or no. That's something else that is different here, this is a collaboration between Susan and I as we are co-curating this show together. 

There are many different ways decisions are made about what work gets hung in shows, of course. Co-curating is one, where the artist and the gallery or museum decide together what work will be in a show. Another is when the artist is told what work is going to be hung (sounds cold, doesn't it?). Another is when the artist decides everything, perhaps when work is shipped to a show far away. Best is when there is a level of communication and trust between the two parties. The artist often needs to work to listen to this "partner", to understand the gallery or museum's needs and objectives and also to grapple with intention verses outcome. It is not uncommon for an artist to believe the work is perceived one way and for the place showing the work to look at it differently. 

What's the stuff he's printing?

      -Some photos he's calling Monsters.

Monsters? Like werewolfs and zombies?

      -More like Halloween masks and mannequins.

Really? That's some weird shit. Like I said I try to stay away.

Permalink | Posted July 11, 2015