The Long Way Home


Homage to Sherman
October 8, 2013, 6:46 PM
Filed under: Art Gallery | Tags: , , , , ,
the letter

the letter

Last month, Utata published an “Homage” project dedicated  to six photographers: Eggleston, Bassman, Sherman, Brassai, Yeager and Barth. I chose Cindy Sherman, particularly her Untitled Film Stills, for the way she explores fiction through photography. As I shot the project over the course of a few weeks – a frame here and there, in different locations while on the road – I realized how uncomfortable I felt shooting an “homage”: what did that mean, exactly? How do I approach this without simply replicating her photos? I focused on the spirit of her Film Stills and not the Stills themselves. For instance, 1950s and 1960s movies and TV shows inspired a lot of her photos; I’m inspired by 1970s films (especially supernatural horror). I used expired Polaroid film to emulate those film colors and tones that I remembered seeing as a kid. She used herself as “actress,” often dressing in costumes and wigs to create characters; I did not do this, but instead relied on setting and clothing to distinguish “characters” in each frame.  In the introduction to Untitled Film Stills, Sherman talks about how she’d have friends and family stop the car on road trips because something along the way caught her eye for a potential scene; I do this all the time and while it often drives my loved ones nuts, they appreciate it later when I show them how awesome a forgotten place is beautiful or spooky or strange: if we’re lucky, these things come together in one image. It makes me happy to take part in a group of such talented, supportive photographers – make sure to view the entire project here.

cross creek

cross creek

the stranger

the stranger

hangin' on the telephone

hangin’ on the telephone

318

318

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11 Comments so far
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Sherman’s work always reminded me of something that might be outtakes from a few episodes of Alfred Hitchock Presents or maybe the Dick Van Dyke Show – not from the shows themselves, but from bad takes or just goofing around on the set. (all good things).

When I first saw your photos ( specificlaly these ), I thought much the same thing, though maybe outtakes from Manos: Hands of Fate or Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living. I really appreciate the colors and am a bit envious of the work you put into them. I just push a button, while you’re actually planning stuff with backstories. (all good things).

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Comment by Eric

Manos! I love that you mentioned this one because that movie – despite all the (awesome) bad parts – has that pretty scene where the family is in the car and we get that shot of desert scenery but it lasts about a million years in movie time and goes absolutely nowhere with the plot (ha!).

For projects I like to construct stories, but I still do a lot of “button pushing” too – that’s part of the fun of travel, never knowing what story you’ll find on the road.

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Comment by Lisa

I love what you do here! great homage, beautiful and honest.

Regards from Chile

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Comment by Diego Rivera Gomez

Diego – Thank you for reading and for your kind words, that’s so nice to read/see : ).

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Comment by Lisa

I really like “318” and “Cross Creek”. Those photos feel like summer!

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Comment by Bill

Thanks! Funny because it was pretty chilly the day I took “318,” almost fall-like.

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Comment by Lisa

My favorite is that one from Cross Creek. The colors make it look like a painting.

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Comment by Jeff

thanks <3! i can't believe that turned out, considering how hot that day was – i thought the film would melt!

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Comment by Lisa

Cindy is one of my favorites. Great homage.

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Comment by motherblue212

I remember! I thought of you and Brent at times while taking these. She and Woodman, of course.

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Comment by Lisa

Woodman, Of course. XO.

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Comment by motherblue212




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