Large Format Flashback with Greg Gorman
School is almost over, and I can't help but think of all the wonderful opportunities I've gotten over this past year. Exposure to great art makers, gallery walks, teachers who inspire more than they know, behind the scenes of studio houses and equipment stores, and so much more. I really have gotten more than I imaged from this year in New York City. As much as I can not wait to put my feet up, and take a deep breath, I am going to miss this year a lot. I think that this year was the most important year of my being thus far.
One of my mentors at School of Visual Arts, Katrin Eismann, is a great friend of Greg Gorman. Greg has shot more than many celebrities and familiar faces in his style of great light and character. He has shown internationally, throws workshops, and has books and books of stellar photography. Funny thing is, I didn't realize some of the photographs were his as he was showing his work, but they have been re-blogged over and over again throughout my tumblr.
Luckily, we were able to have a week with Greg Gorman in our work space, where we all were in the studio all day (more for me - I can't stand it in my dorm, so I have slightly moved in to the studio) monday through friday. A week long class that we referred to as "Large Format Printing", were we took our thesis that far, and followed through with a set of prints, and decided on how we would show them in a show. Editing, color corrections, new color renderings, entirely new edits... It was a whirlwind. Starting each morning with a lecture, to turn into one on one meetings with our mentors and Greg alike, we went through our thesis ideas - made decisions on display, chose images, re-edited, some re-shot.
For me, this included making some new pieces. Luckily, I move pretty fast, and have a huge archive from the memories he picked for my pieces.
Overall it was an amazing process - learned a lot. I was unsure of the edit chosen, because I had so many ideas... too many ideas. My scattered brain had tried to think about my project in so many ways, with all different edits/displays/formats/frames/colors... I am always second guessing my next move in the project, so when we were told to bring in our thesis so far... I came in with all of my self-portrait prints (around 40... the max is supposed to be 20...). Greg picked the edit within a couple of minutes, I can only wonder what my facial expression was... 1st, I was amazed that he liked what he did and how he transformed my project into a simple form so easily, but then I started second guessing everything.
I think I actually was a bit frustrated. The way I explained my work to him was a weird one. Sometimes, words slip my mouth differently than I mean them too.
For those that do not know, my thesis is named "Mind Chatter", and it is about internal conversations, basing them off of my own experience. Until early this year, I avoided trying to get to know myself, and used any opportunity to try and shut out my mind and it's whiny tones for some self love. I had avoided myself and any kind of spirit, until I felt spiritually and emotionally empty. Now, I wish to know myself, give myself some love from myself, and to be able to have a cup of coffee with myself and not want to crawl out of my own skin. This series was created to confront myself and my needs. Figure out how this head of my works, and to grow more comfortable in my own skin.
But, instead of saying this to Greg, I kept saying the word "double take", "confront", "ignore", and "raise the fog". He picked 4 images, and then I created two more to match the pattern that he saw. He saw the 6 images, two next to each other that matched the same scene, with flipped confrontations, framed borderless on black boxes. I had my work cut out for me - Fixing scenes to match color was a challenge, and looking closely at the prints... especially when I am still unsure of what I look like, was a really different process for me. I am so used to churning things out, and moving on to the next image, not sticking with images - letting them sit with me, plant a seed and watch them grow.
Since then, I've really taken the time to inspect my prints, look at my work, let them grow off of each other. It was a great experience, and Greg is a really amazing mentor.