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Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

April 29, 2010

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Today I'm going to show you another spectacular light show from MASS MoCA's new seven-artist exhibition, Material World, as well as a giant red sculpture by a young woman who wrestles rope.

The light show, shown here, is by Alyson Shotz. Titled The Geometry of Light, it is made from plastic Fresnel lenses, silvered glass beads and stainless steel wire.

Suspended like a hammock it spans a large gallery. Its silver lenses provide most of the light play. Entering the gallery I didn't grasp that each lens is a thin, flat disc because they morph into geometric shapes. The work casts shadows on the floor and one end wall that become a lovely and integral part of the work.

Shotz is very hot in the art world. Her work is owned by 16 museums, by my count, and in the last eight years she has had more than 20 solo shows. She is represented by the Derek Eller Gallery in New York.

"Alyson Shotz makes ethereal sculptures that seem to dematerialize matter," said ARTnews in a January article.

Another way of looking at it is that she makes sculptures that materialize light.

In it's flyer on the show, MoCA puts it this way: "Shotz makes the invisible visible."

“It’s getting myself to think about space and gravity and light - these basic elements of life - and then making art that maybe gets other people to thing about it," she said in the ARTnews article.

The artist, whose studio is in Brooklyn, started her college career in geology at the University of Colorado, but switched to RISD to study art.

A work by Shotz, which was also constructed of the lenses - which are ridged to focus light - made the cover of sculpture magazine in November 2008.

Before you get to Shotz installation, you hit Tobias Putrih's amazing Re-projection: Hoosac (See my April 27 post) and Orly Genger's Big Boss, the most labor intensive piece in the show.

According to MoCA, she created her big red piece from 100 miles of heavy rope, but a guard told me they didn't use it all.

One thing pleased me tremendously: Genger makes it herself, using only her hands.

So this young woman has invaded the machismo culture of massive-scale sculpture using muscle power to build her pieces, where the men like Richard Serra have to have their work formed by industrial machines or fabricators.

It's such hard work that she pins up photos of body builders in her New York studio.

Village Voice critic R. C. Basker in 2007 compared her work to "lava flows" and that is a very apt description for this show.

At first the sculpture seems confined to the comparatively small space in the first photo, but then it breaks through that wall and spills out into a large space. (The photo above only shows part of that poetic sprawl.) 

"I first started working with this process when I was stuck with other work I was making and picked this up simply as a way to keep my hands moving," she says in an interview on Saatchi Online.

"I kept crocheting all these different shapes with whatever material I could get my hands on. At the time, I wasn't thinking of it as a way to make sculpture but rather a way to get me through a tough time."

Genger graduated from Brown in 2001 (I graduated from the same school 52 years earlier) and started showing immediately.

This is a portrait of Genger standing before one section of her installation at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The image was taken from the Saachi site.

You can see a video of the artist struggling to crawl under a massive installation she had at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. I don't know why she's doing it, but it gives you an idea of her strength and tenacity.

April 27, 2010

 

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

From the pictures I had seen in The Eagle, I didn't expect much of MASS MoCA's new exhibit, Material World.

Boy was I wrong. When I got to the second floor at the opening reception Saturday, I was overwhelmed. There, running the length of that large space, was Tobias Putrih's amazing Re-projection: Hoosac, 2010 (above and below). I went back to North Adams yesterday to take these pictures.

It's a tunnel of light formed with countless strands of clear fishing line and a powerful spotlight.

As you move around the gallery, the piece keeps reconfiguring, its changing cross section defined by dots, its length by streaks of light.

The installation was inspired by the Hoosac Tunnel - built in the 1800s at a cost of 193 lives - that burrows through the mountains into North Adams.

You can walk in Putrih's tunnel like the workers' ghosts. It transports you into the dark. How far you can go is limited only by your height. The farther you walk into it, the closer the slightly slanting lines of monofilament come to your head, until you can't proceed without stooping.

The moment I saw this piece I went manic, over-stimulated by its beauty.

Forging through the galleries I hit another brilliant light show, Alyson Shotz' hammock of silver disks aptly titled The Geometry of Light, 2010 (below). I'll have more on this one in another post.

And Orly Genger's sprawling, labor-intensive Big Boss, in which she knotted 100 miles of rope.

I talked with Putrih briefly, telling him how much I liked the Hoosac Tunnel piece. You could pick him out because he glowed with pleasure.

Putrih was born in Slovenia and went to art school there and in Germany. Currently he has another museum show, The Promises of the Past, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

At the reception an attractive woman came up to me, said hello and, sensing that I didn't recognize her, asked if I didn't remember speaking to her the day before.

My mind still drew a blank. For the moment I couldn't even think where I was the day before.

Anyway she is Josie Browne, the director of Max Protetch, a major New York gallery, which represents Putrih.

I told her I never recognize people until I've seen them many times - which is true - and apologized.

We had spoken at Protetch Friday about the current show of large, subtle photos of clouds taken by Keita Sugiura. She told me they changed with the light. And demonstrated that by turning off the lights.

"Do you see the magenta in this one?" she asked. I did. It hadn't been there before.

Protetch also represents another artist at MoCA, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, a Williams graduate whose upside-down glass house occupies the museum's football-field-sized main gallery.

Here's a final shot of Putrih's piece. I took it because I found that kids really like a number of the exhibits. The little girl, who was wearing those sneakers that light up when you walk, and her brother were coming back from a walk down the tunnel.

She told her mother minutes later that she didn't want to leave. That was the second time in two days that I had heard a kid begging not to go. How often in the history of children and art museums has that happened?

P.S. I just have to throw in another picture of Putrih's piece. I guess I'm still manic.

 

 

April 27, 2010

Part Two

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Hallelujah. What a relief. This is the end of my self-portrait marathon - Day 29 (above) and Day 30 (below).

This morning, for the first time in a month, I don't have to think about starting the day by taking my picture.

And you will be spared my face showing up every other day.

In the top photo I'm with two of my new paintings, both works in progress. While I always work in series, for one of the few times in my so-called career I haven't picked a direction. So I'm messing around.

The finished version of the abstract is shown in Part Three of this post.

 

April 27, 2010

Part Three

Photos and Paintings by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

As a follow up here's the finished version of the abstract that showed up in this post and in my April 23 post.

It's a mid-sized painting, about four feet high, of acrylic and skims of dried acrylic paint I've peeled from various containters.

I think you can see the dried pieces better in these shots.

 

 

 

April 25, 2010

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

  

Friday I went to New York City on Gallery Quest 9. During the course of the trip I shot 257 photos in galleries and on the streets. Today's post focuses on people I saw, like the cool twosome above. I love her T-shirt.

The fact that you like the shirt does nothing to address the main question: Have you come up with a gallery yet? Not even close. But I'm having a lot of fun looking.

The quality of this picture isn't great, but how often have you seen a photo of two old, wheelchair-bound women being pushed across a busy intersection in opposite directions. And it was hard to get. I was across 10th Avenue from them and had to shoot between a momentary gap in heavy traffic.

This woman is on the phone as she waits to cross the street. I thought her shoes were extraordinary.

On the subject of crossing the street, here are two girls who I was afraid were going to get hit by a car.

See that white bus on the left. It had just stopped and the girls were afraid it would leave without them.

"Wait," they shouted.

They were so anxious to cross that they were like race horses in the starting gate.

"You'll get killed," I called to them.

Then there was a slight break and one girl bolted for  the other side. But the other, sensibly, didn't follow because cars were still bearing down. Meanwhile, the bus pulled away.

These girls crossing Ninth were more cautious. I thought the one in the center had a wonderful profile.

Another good looking subject was this pouch waiting for his owner to come out of the coffee shop.

This scene is in the subway.

And this one isn't. It's 10th Avenue at West 24th Street.

What about the art I looked at? I'll show you that another time.

Now I have to give you today's addition of my Self-Portrait Marathon. It's Part Two of today's post.

April 25, 2010

Part Two

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

I didn't play by the rules in getting Friday's self portrait. My rule is it's supposed to be  one of the first things I do after getting out of bed. But I got up at 5:20 because I was catching the train in Wassaic and didn't have time.

This was a lucky shot. I was taking a picture of my reflection in a large yellow window when this bike messenger wheeled by. This is the window.

And below is Saturday's shot, taken by the rules this time. You can see I haven't even combed my hair. I'm in the kitchen.

I've hit you with a dozen photos today. If you have dial-up, I apologize.

P.S. Oh, one more thing. We went to the opening reception for Material World at MASS MoCA last evening. That show is exhilarating. I'll have to go back to get some photos for the blog.

 

April 23, 2010

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Today it's all about me. Me, Me, Me.

Babbie's right, I'll have to admit it: I'm self absorbed.

Sue Me.

I'm nearing the end of my Self-Portrait Marathon. The photo above represents Day 25. I've pinned the Three Graces up to my studio wall again. They need some more work. Beside them is my latest painting, an abstract. You'll see it change in Day 26 below.

Here I'm trying to stop the paparazzi who have just entered my studio, having heard that I'm the next big thing.

"Hey, guys, you can't just barge in like that," I'm telling them. But I didn't really mean it. What I'd really like is them to hold off long enough for me to brush my hair.

Look for their shots in Art in America, ArtForum and Modern Painters.

 

In this one I'm either getting a little too familiar with the middle grace or facing the firing squad. From the look of my shirt, I've already been hit by their bullets but my body hasn't figured it out yet.

Also, looking at the first stage of my abstract again, I like it better than the current stage. That's the way it goes.

 

 

April 21, 2010

Part One

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

North Street's in bloom. I don't know the species of the trees. But they are spectacular. There's a beauty to Pittsfield's linear, one-street business district, with its old buildings largely intact.

Although it was greeted by many as a severe blow when the proposed downtown shopping mall was killed by Mayor Charlie Smith, in the intervening years I've come to think it was a blessing in disguise.

Under the renewal plan, all but one of the buildings on the west side of the street between Columbus Avenue and West Street would have been demolished. And the one left standing would have been the building that has become the Beacon  Cinema complex. And little more than it's facade would have remained.

A giant platform would have been built from North all the way back to Center Street. That platform would have provided the surface for what essentially would have been a suburban mall transported to the city. The sloping site would have provided room for a large parking garage under the platform.

Eventually the mall was built in Lanesboro.

Many of the empty storefronts have been taken over by shops and eateries like the classy Shiro suchi restaurant above and the small, enticing Avara Amore next to it. While the downtown isn't bustling like Great Barrington's yet, it has been moving in that direction under Mayor Jim Ruberto.

I had lunch at Shiro yesterday. I was supposed to meet Steve there but he never showed up.

 

 

April 21, 2010

Part Two

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Time marches on for the great Month of Self Portraits. Above is my shot for Day 24. I'm making my breakfast. It's about 9:30 and I've just rolled out of bed. Babbie's been up since 7. I put the camera on a cabinet shelf to get this shot.

And here I am about to take a bite of the fruit laden oatmeal while it's steaming hot. The trouble with eating this way is between spoonfulls I have to get up and depress the camera shutter again.

In this project, I take dozens of pictures of myself every morning. While I'm reading the paper above, I'm reading a novel below. Or pretending to.

Babbie says I don't read novels because I listen to them on my pocket CD player. Don't know why I was sucking in my cheeks in this shot. Beauty is not my strong point.

 

 

April 19, 2010

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

This looks pretty straightforward, doesn't  it, this Day-22 self portrait in my 30-day  project. But take a harder look.

This picture hasn't been altered on the computer or otherwise. How do you explain it?

Here's Saturday morning's shot. It's Red Riding Hood with Red Riding Hood. The shot was taken by my computer. Red Riding Hood on the wall includes me filling in as one of the vampires of London. Red is pushing me under with one of her boot-shod feet, while I try to hang on to the painting's grid.

Still eight days to go in the self portrait project. I promise not to make it a 365-day affair.

This shot was taken yesterday about 6 p.m. from the Ponterril fields above our house.

As I write I'm looking at the new painting I showed you April 17. Sort of cool isn't it? I pinned it back up in my studio so I can do a little more work on the bodies.

 

 

 

April 17, 2010

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

This is my latest painting. It's bigger at the bottom than the top in this shot because it was spread on the floor when I took it from a stool.

Since my previous painting had been the Union Jack (see my April 13 post), I decided to go with the flag them again.

This is the Greek Flag. Once I had it painted in, I was wondering what else to use and came up with the Three Graces, an ancient Greek sculpture.

Adding the thigh high red boots was an after thought. The bodies could use a little more work.

Yesterday was our 50th anniversary, a red letter day. This photo of Babbie and me was taken at an Eagle party when we were in our 30s.

We started dating when she was a junior and I was a senior at Washington Irving High School in Tarrytown, New York.

After our first date, I came home and woke my parents up to tell them I was going to marry Babbie.

That date was the time, famous in our family, when we went to see a double feature at the Music Hall. When I tried to hold her hand, she said, loudly, "Grier, what are you doing?"

All my friends and their dates were in the back row behind us.

"I just wanted to know what time it is," I said, trying to save face.

On Monday at school the guys kept asking me, "Grier, What are you doing?" and "What time is it?"

I didn't mind. After the movies we had gone to Pincus's and had sodas, and then prowled the streets for an hour or two playing follow the leader, which she initiated. I loved it. And I was falling madly in love with her.

That was 1953. So we've been together, with a few interuptions, for 57 years. That's a long time to spend with someone like me.

 

April 16, 2010

Part Two

And now for the feature that is causing readers to abandon this blog in droves. The current installment of Self Portrait a Day for 30 Days.

One immediate revelation if you look at the top photo, taken April 15, is that my right leg and foot are striped. As you can see in the next shot, sneakers and pants hide the secret.

 

 

 

April 15, 2010

Part One

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

This is Park Square, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the town where we've lived since 1965. It is Pittsfield's best place. The city is just finishing a project to make the traffic flow more directly and safely. That's why you see all the orange traffic cans.

This is 7 North Street, the Civil War era building that holds down the square's northwest corner. Park Square is basically the city's hub. The streets branching out from it are North Street, South Street, East Street and West Street. I love these points-of-the-compass names.

The handsome Budweiser truck, below, is heading for East Street. I took the pictures late Tuesday afternoon.

The picture below is off subject. But I like it. I shot it Saturday night at a performance of Stephen Petronio's dance company performing his piece I Drink the Air Before Me. It was staged at MASS MoCA in North Adams.

This world class museum of contemporary arts, located in a sprawling mill, is the best thing to happen to Berkshire County, culturally, in the last 50 years, as far as I'm concerned.

Certainly Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony, draws a lot more people. But classical music is not my cup of tea.

 

April 15, 2010

Part Two

Now as punishment for sticking with me through my project - A Month of Self Portraits - here are two more. On top I'm in front of one of my Jeanne d'Arc paintings. It was taken April 13. The one-eyed wonder was taken April 14.

Babbie says this project demonstrates self absorption. I tell her that there's more to it than she thinks. The idea was to see if I could come up with something fresh every morning for 30 days.

One thing it demonstrates conclusively: the only photographer who'd use me is a model is myself.

 

April 13, 2010

Part One

Photos and Paintings by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

This is the finished version of the new painting I first showed you in my April 9 post. As you can imagine this is not a piece I slaved over for weeks. This six-foot-high Union Jack on a raggedly cut piece of canvas was knocked off in a matter of hours.

And that felt liberating after the days and days I had poured over each painting in my Runway Series, which I hope to return too.

This slap-dash approach was inspired by Chris Martin, an artist who spoke at Williams College last week. He told us not to be afraid to fuck up a painting. Those were  words I needed to hear after a six-week bout of painters' block.

In the detail shots below, the  medallions are clumps of acrylic I have been pulling from mixing containers over the last year.

This is my self-portrait for Sunday.

And this is Monday's. I was lying on our black sofa when I shot this.

 

April 13, 2010

Part Two

Craig Walker learns he has won the Pulitzer Prize. Photo by REZA A. MARVASHTI of the Denver Post. Pirated by Grier Horner.

Craig Walker, a good friend and former co-worker at The Berkshire Eagle, yesterday won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism for feature photography.

His was the sixth Pulitzer awarded to the Denver Post, where he has worked since the late 1998.

The prize was awarded to him for a series of photographs taken over the course of two years that traced the life of a young soldier, Ian Fisher, from high school graduation, to military training, to fighting in Iraq and returning home.

Quoting from the Denver Post website this was his reaction:

Immediately after the announcement, Walker wore an expression of dumbfounded joy.

"What am I supposed to say?" he wondered. "I'm speechless."

"The people who deserve the real thanks are standing right here," he said, gesturing to Fisher and his family. "I don't know how to thank them for sharing over two years of their lives."

"I'm ecstatic for him," Fisher said.

If you remember Craig's photography for The Eagle, you probably already sensed that he was bound for big things.

The Post gave this web address for his winning photos of Fisher in war and peace. It didn't take me there at 2 a.m. but maybe it will work now. I have seen them and they are superb. Here is one below. Ian is the soldier in the center.

 

 

April 11, 2010

Part One

Photo by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Belatedly I'm bringing you photos of Paul Graubard's opening last Wednesday at the Ferrin Gallery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

I was holding off because I wanted to include video of the event. But I'm new to video and I'm still editing what I shot.

This opening was the most fun of any I've been to. Paul and his wife, the poet Karen Chase, were not only full of insight but kept the audience laughing. One of the fascinating things to watch is how enraptured and supportive they are of each other. Donald Clark of Ferrin interviewed them.

In seventh grade, Paul said, he had an art teacher who insisted the class do still lives, a chore he considered tedious.

"I wanted to strangle her - literally," he said. "There are a lot of teachers I didn't like but none (other than her) that I wanted to kill. It must have meant I had a pission for art I didn't know about and anyone who killed it was my enemy."

I print it sounds anything but funny. But the way Paul, with his animated delivery, told it he had the crowd in stitches.

Want to know how this artist starts his day in his North Street studio? He does a little dance. Sometimes he and the paintings have conversations while he works.

"This one said, 'I need some purple over here,'" the retired Lenox psychologist said.

Circus Parade

Ezekiel Saw the Wheel

Jonah Got Hungry, a work that has grabbed attention on two international art blogs.

His humor carries over into his work. How many artists bring you Jonah fishing for his supper in the belly of the whale, a fire prepared so he can cook his catch?

Donald Clark said the gallery thinks so highly of Paul's work it is taking three or four of his paintings to Art Chicago to show at Ferrin's booth there.

While Paul's work falls into the Outsider Art category, Donald said, it isn't influenced by other painters.

"It's pure Paul," he said, "and that's why this work is so alive and so vital."

Paul and  Karen with their friend, the artist Joe Sam, left, and another friend whose name escapes me.

 

April 11, 2010

Part Two

Self portraits by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved  (as if anyone would swipe them)

And here for your edification and delight are two more self portraits in my 30-day project. Above is Day 13 and the computer proof sheet below is Day 14.

 

 

April 9, 2010

This is the first painting I have done in the last month. Maybe six weeks. While I have been cutting paper dolls and pasting them into patterns in the meantime, I have been unable to paint. It made me feel like I was shattering.

I owe the end of the draught to a New York artist, Chris Martin, who did a rain dance to creativity at Williams College last Tuesday.

Miller is a 50ish guy, bald, wiry, who critic Jerry Saltz recently called one of the country's s under appreciated painters. His talk was supposed to be held in a Lawrence Hall lecture space. But instead he moved it to a smallish classroom. As students filed in he flipped them oranges and candy. The he ripped out pictures of masterpieces from a book he had bought at the Clark that afternoon and handed them out. He ripped up newspaper and other stuff and scattered the stuff around the floor.

He said he wanted to talk in a room that looked scuffed up. Because, he indicated, that's the way he approaches painting. Works don't have to be beautiful, he said, their surfaces can be messy.

Sometimes he takes his time with paintings and sometimes he attacks them. He'll start 70 paintings in 70 days and then work on them as a group until they're done in his eyes. He'll go through periods where the program is to paint a large painting every day.

And some of his paintings are very large. Take this one:

It's about 11 feet high. And that's not as big as he goes. He showed one monster that was so big he painted on the flat roof of his apartment in Brooklyn, a hole cut out in one spot to accommodate a vent pipe.

His message was all about freedom, attack, the ability to not think in terms of doing something great each time you start, but of feeling free to do battle and to win or lose.

"I like the word absurd and I like the word fucked up," he said.

I situations where the painter loses control and loses his his sense of who he is and how to make a good painting "you can surprise yourself."

His message to throw caution to the winds was the right one for me. I tackled the one at the top on a lopsided 76" high canvas without a plan - which is unlike me. And when I had knocked off the British Union Jack section, I started attaching chunks of acrylic paint I have been saving to use on a painting.

This thing may be finished or not. I'll take a look at it later today. Maybe I'll know then. Maybe I won't. I want to crank out a few more in the next few days. Doing this one was liberating.

 

 

 

April 9, 2010

Part 2

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Here are self portraits for Day 11, above, and Day 12, below. We're getting close to the halfway point in this project in which I have set the goal of taking a shot  of myself every morning for a month.

 

 

 

April 7, 2010

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

OK. Here are the Day Nine and Day Ten photos from my self-portrait-a-day-for-30-days project. I was going to bring you stuff on Susan Hauptman, whose drawings I saw recently at Forum Gallery in New York, or about Chris Martin who talked about his art at Williams College last night.

But I ran out of steam about 12:45 this morning. This is my fallback position.

  Yesterday I drove over to Amherst to eat with my friend George Malloy. We talked about the lives and deaths  of our parents and our fathers' service in World War II, about writing, craziness, the end game and stuff. We had a fine time.

I did some painting when I got home. After supper I drove up to Williams. Martin talked about his painting the way he paints - boldly and with flair.

By the time I got home, David and Cookie Bates had arrived. They're spending a couple days as they head north to their home on Lake Ontario near the Canadian boarder.  We always look forward to their visits and make an annual pilgrimage to their place in late summer.

 

 

The photo at the top of this post is April 5th's and this one is April 6th's. In yesterday's my reflection is up to its nose in the lake at the bottom of Lee Fanning's wonderful print  Morning Mists.

 

Tonight my friend Paul Graubard is having an opening at the Ferrin Gallery in Pittsfield. It runs from 6:30 to 7:30. Then at 7:30 Donald Clark of the gallery will interview Graubard and his wife, the poet Karen Chase. I'm looking forward to that. Here's the painting on the card for the show, stories from the Bible and other places. .

Here's a bonus for sticking with me through all these self portraits. (Don't despair, there are only 20 more.)

I just grabbed this item from today's artdaily.org  This early painting by Liu Yi, Bright Road, sold for $2.45 million Sotheby’s spring sale in Hong Kong of contemporary Asian art. This has been taken by some to indicate the art market continues its climb out of the recession. Someday I think Paul Graubard's paintings will be going for big money at auction.

 

 

April 5, 2010

Part 1

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

Sometimes you get lucky when you point your camera and depress the button. That happened to me Saturday when I was walking along Pontoosuc Lake.

The sun was getting fairly low in the sky, but not setting, and it was casting a stripe of gold across the lake.

But the stripe broadened in the camera's eye - some optical thing I don't understand and didn't expect - and what came out of the camera was all liquid gold.

 

 

April 5, 2010

Part 2

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

"What am I going to shot myself doing tomorrow?" I asked Babbie Saturday night.

"Why do you have to shoot anything?" asked Babbie, who's bemused by the project.

"Because I have to shoot one every morning for a month. That's the project."

"Do you really people would be upset if you missed a day?"

We both laughed. Nevertheless the project marches on.

At the top is Easter Sunday's self portrait. I'm pretty pleased with that one. No trickery like double exposures was used to get it.

This was Saturday's. I'm wedged between a cylinder bearing my mother's image on the left and a painting of Hannah and Laura at Rattlesnake Mountain on the right. They were the subject of a year-long project that ended with a solo show at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

And this was the shot I took on March 28, the day the project began. One thing this project has done is make me aware my ears are huge. I already knew I had hoods over my eyes amid bags under them, a less than classic nose, a long upper lip, a thin mouth, to list a few things evident in these shots.

So far eight days, eight photos, not counting the 250 or so I took to get to the eight.

 

April 3, 2010

Part 1

This is the latest in my Runway series. It is roughly 21 inches square. Like the first two of this  collage group it borrows from fashion designer Gareth Pugh and filmaker Ruth Hogben. See my March 30 and March 26 posts for the previous entries in this style.

Making these is like cutting out paperdolls. I cut out images I print from the internet. The spokes on this wheel of fire come from the figure below on Hogben's video of Pugh designs.

Very few women in my life have flashed me like this. In fact I think an acurate count would be zero.

 

 

April 3, 2010

Part 2

Self Portraits by Grier Horner/All Rights reserved

Here are two more days in my month-of-self-portraits series. In the one at the top (shot April 2) I am in front of a painting by the late Ray Librizzi.

And below (April 1) I am in our bedroom. Babbie and I put up the drywall two years ago - or was it three. Anyway since then I've been taping the joints. Off and on. Mostly off. Out of patience, Babbie has decreed we have to finish. So for the last week I've been doing the final sanding and touch up work.

Now we're ready to put up the woodwork. We're torn between reapplying the old wood with its battle scars or buying new boards. I'll keep you posted.

The black diagonal form at the left of the picture is my extended arm, the one that's holding the camera.

      

 

 

April 1, 2010

Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

I still think about the times when I ran with wolves. Once you've done it you can't forget.

I don't know where this small pack came from or where they've gone. They are supposedly extinct in New England.

They're pegged as vicious marauders. But they weren't like that, at least I didn't witness that side of them.

That first moonlit night in November when I answered their call, they growled as I approached them slowly through the tall grass. They sniffed at me suspiciously. Somehow I wasn't afraid. Maybe that's why they accepted me. Maybe they just liked the way I dressed.

The one in this picture - I called him Lobo - let me put my arm around him, pet him like a dog. He was nothing like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. I admired him. You just looked at him and knew he was smart and brave and free.

One night I realized the seeming magic that had let me keep up had deserted me. I told the panting wolves my days with them were over. Of course, how would they understand. They just nuzzled me.

For three nights after that they howled.

I knew they were in the Beautiful Field on the edge of the woods.

Resisting the urge to join them was the hardest thing I've done. Babbie helped anchor me. And I got through it. I really had no choice.

On the fourth night it was silent.

Sometimes I dream we're running again, over the Beautiful Field, cutting by the isolated house where the dog whimpered when we passed, out across the GEAA golf course and then crashing through the underbrush to the path in the woods and on to the overgrown Piggery and up along the ridge.

In some versions of the dream, I try to regain my form, jogging a half mile at first, upping that gradually and then starting to open up, starting to anticipate the wonder of being with the pack.

But then in one exhilarating run my legs go wobbly. I slow in the dream, stop, drop to my knees gasping for air. My heart feels like it will explode. I know I have to give in to the realities of age.

Below are two more of the self portraits I was telling you about in the last post. They're taken every morning just after I get out of bed. Babbie says that I look 85 and hung over in the March 29th shot. She says if I keep running this stuff people will stop looking at my blog. Do not desert me oh my readers...

Self Portrait with Headband, March 30, 2010.

Self Portrait with My Portrait of Linda Baker-Cimini, March 31, 2010.

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