Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Photoshoot

Several months ago I was asked if I would like to pose for Leonard Nimoy's (yes... Spock) next photography project and help shoot documentary footage of it. I'd worked with Leonard on a couple of shows in the past and jumped at the opportunity.

The project was to capture the subject's "secret self".

From the R. Michelson Galleries website:

In November 2008, Leonard Nimoy was at R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts, to begin his latest photographic journey: The identity Project. We gathered 100 subjects from all walks of life: artists, clergy, politicians, business owners, and asked them the question, Who do you think you are?

As Mr. Nimoy wrote: I am hoping to be surprised and delighted by what shows up in front of me. Anything from full costume to nudity, and I would encourage all of it. The "Secret Self" is the most provocative idea. Do you have a secret self?

Each subject was videoed as Mr. Nimoy interviewed them and created a portrait of their “alternate identity.” The results will be revealed in a major exhibition beginning in the summer of 2010 at MassMOCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) in conjunction with R. Michelson Galleries.

Everything went pretty normal... at least by Northampton standards. I'd missed the first day when the woman came in with her sheep.

The way we had it set up, my friend Luke was on the main camera for a wide shot and I was using a handheld dv cam to the right of the subject for close ups.

So when one of our artists showed up with her assistant for her turn, I planted myself about three feet away from her, just out of the shot. Mind you, this artist does sweet little hand painted engravings, usually Judaica themed.

Karla set up an easel with paper on it and placed her assistant on a stool directly in front of her, ostensibly to draw her. I was kneeling on the ground and blocked Karla and the assistant tight in the shot. I paid no attention to what was actually on the paper, or I might have been prepared for what came next.

The assistant hikes up her skirt to reveal... everything. And I'm there... staring straight up into it all and feeling like I was on the set of some soft core porn flick. At this point I'm kind of committed to the shot as well. So I roll with it.

Then Leonard's wife, who helped direct the photoshoot, starts yelling out, "Show more of your vagina."

It was also at this point that I heard my wife and kids arrive on the other side of the curtain which separated the prep area from the shoot.

So... if you'd like to see how it came out, here's Karla's secret self... and a link to some of the rest of the photos.

By the way... the naked dude with the dog? My friend Barry Moser from the prior blog.

Mine hasn't officially been released yet, although I have it. I'll post it when I get the go ahead.


Jeffrey Byrnes said...

Wow I am shocked and surprised!

Joey B said...