Not your run-of-the-mill cosplay photo series. Fine Art that promotes freedom of expression and embracing imagination
I will not be by a computer when kickstarter completes in less than 2 hours but wanted to let everyone know we do not end this thing like the series end of The Sopranos and a simple fade to black...there is more up my sleeve. I have 250 dollars away from hitting an incredible 125% of what I asked for and thus a very special picture more out there than the tube sock one. The journey continues well beyond today after 5:30PM...this is only but the beginning and I thank you for carrying me on your backs the first steps of the journey....I can finally run the rest of the way.
Update 6: 30 hours to go and the momentum and message keeps growing!!! I feel like I shot for the moon, landed on it, and suddenly Mars does not look that far away.
Update 5: 50 hours left! Lets get this to 125% funded. Credit card fees, 3% charge from kickstarter starts adding up and taking away from this. We have guaranteed that this will succeed.
Update 4: The 100% Goal has been reached!!!! 12, 907 has been donated with 2 days left to spare. My budget was set for the bare minimum...lets go for advancing it for something greater!!!! Words can not express my gratitude and how thankful I am to everyone. I've cried enough tonight to know that this is something truly special.
UPDATE 3: FINAL WEEK!! It's all or nothing folks on the donations. $5000 to raise for me to reach my dream....Are you my hero?
UPDATE 2: New Incentive Group Added at $300.
UPDATE 1: ALMOST HALFWAY!!! Keep it up people! 14 days of recruiting of my heroes to fund this project.
The Concept of Heroes + Villains
Heroes + Villains, is a four show photography series, exploring adults reconnecting with their childhood imagination and pretending to be either comic book characters, fairy tale characters or even Saturday morning cartoon characters.
The Heroes + Villains collection is based around adults reconnecting with their childhood and remembering what it was like to pretend. As people age their imagination gets lost somewhere in the shuffle of adult life. Stress takes over. The dreams shift from the fantastical to, for some, just getting by and making ends meet. We are basically trained to let go of our dreams and adventures after a certain point.
This collection strives to bring that sense of wonder back to adults, taking into consideration that not every boy or girl wanted to be the conventional choice of characters. No one is denied the opportunity in this series to be whomever he or she so desires. Some believe that they can never grow up to become the heroes of their childhood. This series will prove to unseat that mentality.
This show is a social experiment on the iconic status of these characters. These images do not ignore the past in social and art history but often embraces it in the context of the world today. This series is a celebration of individuality and the idea the one can be anything or anyone they desire to be. If you imagine it, it can come to life.
The Heroes + Villains series has been a personal journey which began a little over a year ago. It is a challenge to myself to become more experienced in different realms of photography and as a means to discover my own voice and find who I am within my own work. Each issue is meant to be stylistically different from the other. Like comics, each new issue builds on the motifs established in the previous issues. I’ve designed Heroes + Villains to have 4 distinct phases:
Issue #1 – Marvel Comics Universe – Focus on Introduction to Character Concepts & Visual Style
Issue #2 – DC Comics Universe – Focus on Classic Art Motif and Narrative Photography. Introduction to environment.
Issue #3 – Comics/Cartoons/Fairy Tale – Focus on High Fashion Art and Modern Art Motifs.
Issue #4 – Comics/Cartoons/Fairy Tale – Black/White Photography of Models 65+ of Age.
To date, I have successfully produced the first two issues on my own, garnering exposure locally and globally, in both print and electronic form. Some common trends have emerged from those two shows...
1. The escapism sought after works for both the model and the viewers bringing an overall sense of nostalgia.
2. Cosplay (Costumed Character/Performance) Photography is predominantly female models showcased at face-value character representation. Heroes + Villains has focused predominantly on men and shifted the focus from just character representation to something deeper within each piece. These images are multilayered focusing on fine art, pop culture, and emotional evoking based on the overall connective theme.
3. Heroes + Villains has elicited discussions of praise or disdain over the way these characters are represented in comparison to their literal counterparts. However, they are almost always identified correctly.
The Kickstarter Request : Can u be a HERO?
The concept of Heroes + Villains Issue #3 is to photograph characters in a more high-fashion aesthetic. The models are still bound by the previously agreed upon rules: 1) everyday items for the props and 2) costumes/characterization cannot be 100% literal. To date, there has been a maintaining of child-like creativity in the character portrayal. To expand upon the past and present something new, the rules have been modified. The child has been allowed to grow up a little bit. As children grow up and become more curious of whom they are and where they fit, the world opens up to an entire new set of choices for them to make. Transition goes from following the rules given in the past to deciding your own to play by.
As with any good hero and villain story, there must be a TWIST. The twist for Issue #3 is reversing the genders, portraying the characters through inventive use of cross-dressing costuming. Male models will be portraying female characters and the women will be male counterparts. This will provide a more otherworldly experience disconnecting the model and viewer from the everyday norm. This will range from true drag, camp and humor to having other gender clothing factor in but not take away from the model's gender. This visual theme seems ideal for high-fashion style imagery. The costumes are allowed to be more intricate than before and we go from innocent portrayal of characters into realms that embrace at its core; individuality and a true testing of these characters iconic identity.
Issue #3 is a show for everyone who was told they could not or should not be a certain character due to social conformity. This show allows for the models to embrace the chance to be those characters they were denied and is proof you can be anything you want to be, if you have the confidence to be yourself. Marvel Comics’ “X-Men” were conceived during the Civil Rights Movement and later related to represent the Gay Rights Movement and LGBT issues of equality. They were a team of people considered different and outcasts. Standing together they were able to do so much good for the world both in comic book form and perhaps those that read the books and got the message of hope for equality. By doing a show of these iconic characters in this manner, it emulates that theme and celebrates it in real life. It embraces being different. The hope is to have the character’s universal appeal help promote a change in the way people view one another. All people on this earth are different and unique to themselves. It’s always best to celebrate that difference than to scorn it.
There are 35 models currently signed up for Heroes + Villains Issue #3. The models are as diverse and eclectic as the characters they will portray. They are straight, gay, male, female, Black, White, Asian, lean, not-so-lean, ages 24-60 and have all enthusiastically joined this endeavor because they believe in the message it brings. Heroes have always risen above the norm to make a difference in the world. They are the role models and the idealized versions of who we should be. Heroes save lives and break barriers for those who cannot. Heroes + Villains Issue #3 attempts to emulate that idea of breaking these particular barriers through my models and concepts.
What I am seeking through kick-starter is assistance to have this project fully funded as I head into Issue # 3’s production. This is my largest show to date with the opening of Heroes + Villains’ Issue #3 scheduled to commence in the fall in Atlanta. Up until this point I have been predominantly my own hero in putting together this series for each showing. I’ve worked with what I had available to me. Through inventive uses of everyday items, a very limited budget and an incredible support group, the Heroes + Villains showings have been able to come to life.
I am at the point that I am looking to take the next evolutionary step in my work. The hobby is transforming into a potential career. But I need help in realizing the potential of this particular issue and what has been described. The creative scope of Issue #3 requires more than the shoestring budgets that worked for Issues #1 and #2. It is going to require more creative costumes, props, make up and slightly better equipment to push this concept that has succeeded twice prior into new territory. Determination and goals go a long way, but not always all the way… No doubt preparation for this show opening will involve at least 75 hours of shooting time and countless hours processing and prepping to prove this point that one person can make an impact and difference. But this is not one person doing this. This is many that have gotten behind this. There are models that trust me to put them in front of the camera for this and potentially even you the backers that have spent the time reading about my passion project here. It is up to this kickstarter to determine if it will be more of the same or that evolutionary step that I feel confident in finally taking.
In the event this kick-starter is not successful then that just means I am meant to keep on how I have been doing before. I’ll know slow and steady will win the race in the end. The level I am striving for will be reached eventually. But I try today because I will always throw myself out there. You never know what you can do unless you set aside pride and humility and just go for your dreams and ask for help when you actually need it for something to come alive.
When asking for something like this all monies should be accounted for and disclosed. Here are the things added to the budget in order to get this off the ground in the direction I would like to see it. The costume budget has been kept at a minimum because it should still be done with creativity vs. extravagance and models are partially responsible for collaboration on outfits. It’s a modest goal but with your help may be attainable.
Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8L IS II - $2,500.00 + tax
Alien Bees – Busy Bee light package - $1307.09 + tax
2 Softboxes for lighting equipment - $100
Portable Battery Unit - $75
Photography Bag - $50
Props $125 limit/per shoot (35) = $4,375
Printing/Mounting of Fine Art Pieces (35)= $2000 estimate
Make-up Artist (charged per hour)- $2500 estimate of (41 hours)
Total Budget - $12,907.09 Estimate
The Kickstarter Exclusive Incentives
The (4x6) Postcard Prints are exclusive to Kickstarter Donors at this size. Signature will be printed on cards, but hand addressed by the artist.
The (6.67x10) Comic Book Prints that will be sleeved and boarded just like comics. All images are exclusive to kickstarter donors at this size. Prints will be hand-signed by the artist.
All 14x21 prints and 18x27 special editions are from the "canon" collection of Heroes + Villains that can be viewed at www.etsy.com/shop/philipbonneau
If you have made it this far all I can do is end this with a thank you for taking the time to learn more about Heroes + Villains and my work. This kickstarter project’s success is based on your support and belief in what has been presented.
If you cannot contribute financially it is absolutely ok. Money is not required to be a hero. Spreading the word makes all the difference in reaching more people. The more that are aware of this goal, the more likely I will be to reach my dreams from your help.
Yeah...I'll make a certificate saying your a certified member of the Justice league or Avengers. That sounds fun.