"Gentlemen’s Paintings" is a photographic portrait series of middle-aged women, inspired by the paintings of Goya.
Please help me reach my goal!
I have photographed 12 women so far, 28 to go. My plan is to exhibit 40 portraits of 40 women. Accompanying every image, will be an interview with each participant about their views on aging and self-expression. These interviews will be posted on the Gentlemen’s Paintings blog in text and HD video format. When exhibiting these 40 images, I would also like to loop the interviews on at least two TV monitors, and include excerpts of the interviews in text format to hang by each portrait. See below for more information about the why, what, who and where of my project. To see the portraits please go to http://gentlemenspaintings.tumblr.com/
I am seeking funding support (See Phase II) to print and frame forty, 24x30 images, and to give a small stipend to Ryan Skinner, Lighting Technician, and Paige Huffman, Studio Assistant, for their time and expertise in helping me bring my exciting project to light!
Phase I Conceptualization, organizing shoots, taking photographs, processing and posting images to the GP website and blog, securing funding, self-promotional efforts
Phase II 24x30 Digital Prints* @ 40x$40 ea. $1600.00+8.75% tax ($140.00)=$1740.00 24x30 Aluminum Frames @ 40 x $65 ea. $2600.00+8.75% tax ($228.00)=$2828.00 Ryan Skinner $500.00 Paige Huffman $500.00 TOTAL $5568 + 5% to Kickstarter $278 = $5846.00
*Medium: Fugi-flex Prints Fujiflex is a durable polyester based print material with an incredibly high gloss finish (similar in look and feel to cibachrome prints). The combination produces ultra sharp prints with superb color saturation.
Phase III Includes shipping and packing and misc. exhibition costs.
About This work-in-progress, titled "Gentlemen’s Paintings," is about self-expression; it is simultaneously a comment on societal attitudes about the “appropriateness” of middle-aged women according to contemporary societal standards. Women, in their 40s and 50s, face the complicated transition between youth and old age and many struggle to define their public persona and image.
Gentlemen’s Paintings is a photographic reflection of this struggle unbound by societal norms. This project is also a personal exploration into my somewhat uncomfortable relationship to Southern California’s societal environment where attaining youthful beauty at all cost is considered an important achievement. As a middle-aged, east coast, ex-urbanite woman, the process of attempting to assimilate into this new arena has been a challenge and has challenged my notions of what it means to “age gracefully.”
In the 18th century, Francisco Goya painted a series of portraits of society women called “Gentlemen’s Paintings,” which serves as the inspiration for this project. Not only did he paint provocative portraits (presumably for an audience of male patrons), he also painted portraits of aristocratic women in bucolic settings who faithfully embraced their current mores -- at least by their outward appearance. My project is a modern take on Goya’s work, where I depict women who are able to take many more liberties. I use the context of San Diego’s paradisiacal landscapes to further draw a connection to Goya’s work and thereby create a juxtaposition to my urban past.
‘Gentlemen’s Paintings’ is an apt title for my project because an important component of my work is about “audience.” Goya painted his Gentlemen’s Paintings series for a particular audience. In my own series of photographic images, instead of making these images for a targeted demographic, the subjects themselves beg the question about “audience.” For this project, I ask the models to choose clothing that best expresses their personality, but something that they would wear on any given day. I want to know: For whom do these women dress? What aspects of their personalities led them to choose the way they express themselves? What are their feelings about aging -- especially in the context of southern California?
In this project, I am also interested in the relationship between painting and photography. These images are fully inspired by the medium of painting. “Realism [in painting] doesn’t require verisimilitude but only just enough visual cues to exploit the mind’s credulity.” (1) In this case, photography is very similar to painting, not because we view a photograph as an irrefutable statement of reality, but because we regard the medium as a malleable tool in the service of the imagination. In this series and in all portraiture, the sitter and the photographer collaborate to create the perfect image, revealing only a partial truth. Making a photograph or a painting is a performance. There is the narrative, then there is the truth.
(1)Peter Schjeldahl, Onward and Upward with the Arts, “The Flip Side,” The New Yorker, November 29, 2010, p. 42
These forty, 24x30 images will be digitally printed with archival inks on fugi-flex paper and will be presented in aluminum frames flush with the image surface. They are all shot with a Canon 5D Mark II.
I am indebted to Ryan Skinner, for his lighting expertise and labor on this project, and to Paige Huffman for her sharp eye, support and enthusiasm. Thank you to all the great women for participating in my project, especially Lisa Orr and Adriene Hughes.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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My sincere thanks and your name on a special "Exhibition Made Possible By" page on my website with a link to your blog, website, or business. A hand-written GP postcard designed by ME, created by MOO
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You will receive one 11”x17" signed poster of the exhibition invitation, plus the first reward.
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A set of 10 GP photo postcards. The extras from the $25 level. Lots of thanks & appreciation!
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A GP girlie or guy cotton tee designed by NM_Studio. The extras from the $50 level. Lots of appreciation and love!
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A beautiful soft cover GP book designed by me and created by BLURB, which will include "on the set" shots and the portraits, plus interview text. Your name will be printed in all publication materials (book and exhibition). The extras from the previous levels. Lots and lots of appreciation and love.
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One signed limited edition 11x14 print from GP (your choice). The extras from previous levels. Lots and lots and lots of appreciation and love!
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The Hardcover book "Goya: Images of Women." Two or more signed copies of limited edition prints, your choice. The extras from previous levels. Absurdly massive appreciation and love!
- (35 days)