Monday, December 3, 2007

Entropy & Extropy

My current major project is ‘entropy and extropy’. My intent is to explore the relationship between increasing chaos and disorder - entropy - on the one side, and the sustaining forces of ecology and life on the other side - extropy.

This new work will continue with the visual elements that I have previously dealt with in the “soft forms in hard place” and the incomplete “8x10” series. In particular the figure / ground juxtaposition will continue to contrast worn, eroded and tattered materials and artifacts with the human body as a living, breathing and sustaining force.

The human form symbolizes ecological and life processes. In this regard, the female figure is a more apt metaphor since the female most represents fertility and reproduction.

One difference between my previous projects and this one is the effort to express my vision across four classic layers: the portrait (or headshot), the fashion shot, the figure and finally the mixed media compositions.

Face shots: portraits or headshots with a look that it relates to the entropy setting – for example faces framed by windy strands of hair or showered by rain or waterfalls.

Fashion shots: – Here is where “eco chic meets industrial decay” comes in. The vision is a high fashion, sexy, erotic feel to show that fashion can counter the industrial decay that seems to confront our world. I have been joined by Tara White of Embody Designs who has met my challenge by creating 'eco chic' through the use of sustainable and recycled materials.

Figure: – My objective is to juxtapose - through layering, intertwining and intersecting - the life form with the inanimate form. In particular I am trying to pose the figure(s) so that the edges, ridges, planes and undulating topography of the body evoke a sense of 'path' - meandering or purposeful - but still a path.

Fine art: The top layer of this project is the merging of many of the other elements. Intersections and layers continue to be fundamental compositional elements in my work. I believe that the photographic exposure represents the momentary intersection between the continually dynamic and unfolding reality and the photographer’s vision. That moment is not all there is. There are the uncountable moments that precede the photographic exposure in the life and development of the photographer. Then, there are the moments that follow - in the electronic darkroom; then as pigment is applied to paper or canvas - as the final image is created. These moments lead to the final moment of communication with the viewing audience.

It is important to me that all four layers carry between them common look and style. That is a key artistic challenge of the Entropy and Extropy project.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Heaven, Hell and Making Up Noelle

To paraphrase the cliché one photographer's hell is another's heaven. As the TTC trundled me along to Kevin's studio gray clouds scudded across the sky and it was unseasonably warm and humid. Heaven or hell? Will a downpour spoil the shoot, will my makeup melt and fall? I was a makeup artist at the mercy of the elements and, at the moment, a slow transit system.

The mood in the studio bordered on exuberant. Kevin felt the weather, hence the lighting and mood, was perfect. It was his shoot so his opinion was paramount. Tara's two designs, a futuristic geometric print dress and a skirt, top, and vest ensemble, all made from cast off fabrics and rubber, looked wonderful on Noelle's small lithe frame. "Every woman should own at least one corset," she proclaimed as Tara laced her into a fetishist's dream. I had to agree.

But the makeup? Thankfully Noelle arrived with a fresh clean face, unlike so many models who come to photo sessions wearing their own foundation, a touch of blush, or more. Why wear makeup when you know you're going to be made up by a pro? Primer, a bit of concealer, foundation...on like silk. Eyes...gray-green gradient shadow, red liner, colours inspired by the clothes, setting and purpose. Bronzer and blush brought out the contours of Noelle's face and lip colour sans liner -- I hate unnecessary lip liner -- breathed lushness into her look. I felt she was camera ready but would the rest of the crew? The response to my work was unanimous, Noelle looked lovely and was ready to shoot.

The crew took off to the location while I stayed behind and fussed with makeup and prepped for the inevitable touch ups that would be necessary for the upcoming studio session. The weather had deteriorated to the point that I was afraid Kevin's plans for photographing Noelle amidst a forest of rusted re-bar would be scrubbed. I needn't have worried, everyone returned fired up over how well the shoot went. The Eco Chic project was off to a flying start.

The rationing and restrictions imposed on the fashion industry by the Second World War forced most designers into creative hibernation. Depending upon how we treat our planet and her resources we may face similar restrictions again. Innovative design and use of materials, the kind seen in the Eco Chic project, could insure that fashion will continue to flourish.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Pics from Eco Chic #1 shoot

We are purposely not showing the whole pieces made by Tara - all will be unveiled in time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What is Leslie Spit?

The Leslie Street Spit, is an artificial spit in Toronto, Canada, extending into Lake Ontario. It is about 5 km long.

The "Spit" is really quite remarkable. It is the home of thousands of birds including about 290 migratory species and about 45 breeding species. Artificial habitats suitable for birds and other wildlife are being developed. There are many parts of the spit which seem to be very rural and completely unlike the busy city only minutes away.

In its own way, Leslie Spit is a delight - a thing of beauty. What is particularly interesting to the Eco Chic team is that it is all created from recycled materials.

So the Leslie Spit is a very suitable setting for Eco Chic's first shoot.

Tara created two outfits for this shoot. One is a sexy backless dress made from a huge men's shirt. The other creation is crafted from many other recycled materials - washers, ball chain and a collection of found fabrics. It featured a jacket cut from a recycled sheet of black rubber.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Eco Chic Shoot #1 - With Noelle

Hey we did it!!! I do not want to say much more because Alexandra wants to write a note about our first shoot but I just wanted to say - hey we did it. Here is Noelle looking gorgeous with Alexandra doing her make-up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eco Chic Meets Industrial Decay

Nearly everyone now realizes that we need to do things differently to avoid serious environmental impacts. The results of 150 years of economic growth, consumption and industrial development have included global warming, species extinction and toxic pollution.
To reverse these trends will take many changes in the way that everyone on this planet treats our nest.
This project looks at how the fashion world might do its part. It contrasts environmentally friendly clothing against a background of industrial decay.
Eco chic means different things to different people. Our eco-chic focuses on conserving resources by reusing and re-purposing cast off materials . Materials can come from any found source - natural, industrial, period or modern .
This eco chic line should be intended for evening and glamour events. It is soft and sexy, with a futuristic edge – achieved in part by borrowing from native American spiritualism and primitive, tribal aesthetic and mixing that with a medieval flavour.