Over the past several weeks I’ve been frantically preparing for my next photo show — my largest exhibit yet with (hopefully — we’ll get to that in a moment) as many as 13 photos on display at The Village Gallery in La Jolla. Prepping for an exhibit includes the following steps:
- Create art
- Come up with ingenious titles for the art created in step 1
- Have everything framed, selecting frames and mattes that capture the spirit and feel of the piece
- Prepare backing labels for each framed piece
I consider steps 2 and 3 to be almost as important as the art I create in step 1, sometimes agonizing over titles for several weeks until something magically fits and flows. I concentrate on a theme, name characters, comment on social issues, poke fun at the absurd… whatever fits. Notes are jotted, sentences are formed, the dictionary and thesaurus are consulted for obscure words or obtuse ideas. Perhaps this obsession with title comes from my burning desire to publish. Ah ha! Take that literary world!
Framing is another matter altogether. The accepted presentation for photography is stark, simple, dramatic… boring. Black frame, white matte, (economical) emphasis on the art. Nice and professional — and it looks good, too!
From the beginning I’ve wanted my art to be presented in a way that compliments whatever absurdity I’m trying to communicate. So, I’ll walk into the framer with an idea in mind for each piece: “I’d like a frame that looks as if it would have hung in an old Mexican church….” or “Something with a proper Victorian feel, with sort of a needlepoint matte….” or “Do you have anything kind of dreamy, with a soft suede matte….” It can take a long time to match the piece to a frame and a matte, but I usually like the result — for a price. Nice framing, as they say, ain’t cheap!
This past weekend I picked up three of the pieces I’m hoping to include in my upcoming show — which will open in 2 or 3 weeks. Two of the pieces are holdovers from Wind-up Dreams & Vinyl Nightmares, neither of which have previously appeared in one of my gallery shows, while the third is my self-portrait from last year. Two of the pieces came out great!! had the title piece to Wind-up Dreams printed at 2o”x 30” and framed in a heavy, sculpted wooden frame with a light green matte that will be the centerpiece of my new exhibit. My self-portrait was framed in an ornate silver frame that I liked so much I’m having another photo framed in identical fashion. For the third piece… the jury is still out (a gray matte? what was I thinking?!?!).
At the same time I brought in my 8 brand new, never-before-seen photos for their day in the framing sun. As always, I had notes on each piece and managed to select all the framing particulars for each piece within an hour and a quarter — which, for me, is some kind of record! I’m hoping that I made good selections, as I was a bit rushed by guilt near the end as other customers began queuing up behind, waiting for the framer to complete my order. While I didn’t settle on any flat black frames, I did select a few light colored mattes.
I’ll be debuting my new photos on the web site in conjunction with the exhibits opening on June 12th. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share the titles the framer used to identify each piece. Note, these are not my titles, these are simply what the framer saw in each piece. Ready? Off we go….
- Bowling nuns
- Woman with money
- Woman with money (2)
- Woman with green man
- Woman with fire
Stay tuned to see what these generalized descriptions look like in real life. Now, to keep my fingers crossed waiting for the last of the photos to be framed and ready to take their place in my largest exhibit yet.