Sunday, June 13, 2010

art, process, portrait

visual artists are often good at talking about their work-in-progress; writers, often less so. so while i was in Banff, i decided to listen in on as many art talks as i could, to see how people talk about their work. in the process, i discovered some fantastic art. AND as an extra bonus, i was even recruited for some art projects-in-process--probably because it's cheaper to use writers than models or actors. one of the projects was a video by Michele Provost, which involved getting dressed up in historical costumes (i ended up in a blue satin robe that made me look like the Victorian Hood of a good way, right?) and the other is a series of photographs that are equal parts contemporary portraiture & 15th-century chiaroscuro.

this is work-in-progress from Petra Stavast, the Dutch photographer who was in residence at Banff & who is working on a long series of portraits taken with a cellphone. considering how unenthusiastic i am about cellphones, i was surprisingly happy to sit still for the shoot... probably because Petra was really charming & her studio is in the woods, about as far from the mad shouting of cellphone beeps as you can get. and i like the idea of using cheap nasty contemporary technology to make something slow & sometimes beautiful.