Rube Photographer in the Big CityAs I reported earlier, I recently managed to garner an honorable mention in in The Camera Club of New York’s (CCNY) 2009 National Juried Competition for my photograph of a Savannah Police Statue. The CCNY, established in 1884, is the oldest camera club in the country and among the most respected. A total of 300 photographers submitted their work.
On Saturday, I attended the reception for the competition exhibit, which was held in a Manhattan gallery. All the winning photographs were on display and many of the winning photographers were present, including the top three finishers: Antonio Chirinos, Mark Fernandes and Curtis Hamilton. It was humbling to say the least.
There were handouts with bios and artist statements from all the winners and I believe just about everyone but me had a degree in photography (most commonly an MFA) and had previously exhibited their work nationally and/or been selected for other juried competitions.
I faked my way through my bio since I've done that often enough in my crime-fiction writing career, but the artist statement really had me sweating. I'd never done one before. Here's what I came up with:
"Savannah Police Statue" comes from a documentation of crypts, funeral monuments and statues undertaken to illustrate my Fall 2009 novel, The Big Wake-Up. In making the image, I sought to emphasize the dripping Gothic atmosphere as a contrast to the rather severe and rigidly upright (stainless steel) representation of law enforcement.I was particularly leery of having the thing made public because I had poked fun at artist statements in my novel Candy from Strangers. Here's what PI August Riordan says about one from a character who has an exhibit at a Noe Valley Starbucks:
I lingered a moment at the table and then went back to the photo exhibit. I found an artist statement tacked up in one corner ... which included quotes from Plato, Carl Jung and the obligatory reference to Joseph Campbell.I guess mine quite wasn't quite that pretentious--despite my use of the word "documentation"--but I did find it hard not to do what I ascribed to the character in Candy: watching people as they examined my photograph!
It's for sale at the gallery for the low-low price of $300 throughout the rest of December. Get it while it's hot.