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Faces of Downtown Scene is a portrait project dedicated to New York’s experimental performance community.
Faces of Downtown Scene is a portrait project dedicated to New York’s experimental performance community.
144 backers pledged $9,601 to help bring this project to life.
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About

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Faces of Downtown Scene - portrait exhibition.

$9,601

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ABOUT

New York Downtown Scene is a community of experimental performance artists who create their work in unconventional locations around the city, with unlimited imagination and limited budgets. My involvement with this community started six years ago when I moved to New York with a dream to photograph theatre and dance. 

While I was starting to know this community of creative people I realized how crucial it is not only to document the performances but also the creators themselves, people who make the shows but often hide behind the roles or backstage. I started this project in November 2016 by making a list of everyone I knew in New York and inviting them to my studio. 

PROCESS

Portrait session in progress.
Portrait session in progress.

All of the portraits are photographed in the same setting: black backdrop, natural light and medium format film camera. Each session was unique with people arriving in different states of mind. Sober, drunk, before going to protests, after their last chemo, between rehearsals, while celebrating life's highs or coping with grief. From the very beginning, I wanted to make the session special for them, that's why I chose a medium format film camera as my tool and the formal portraits of 19 century and Renaissance paintings, as my inspiration. For the past two years over 200 members of Downtown Community had their portrait taken.

Laurie Berg / Dance and Jewelry Artist
Laurie Berg / Dance and Jewelry Artist
Raja Feather Kelly / Artist
Raja Feather Kelly / Artist
Erin Douglass / Radiohole
Erin Douglass / Radiohole
Me with members of Radiohole theater company after our session.
Me with members of Radiohole theater company after our session.

EXHIBITION

Invisible Dog Art Center
Invisible Dog Art Center

I am excited to present part of this work at The Invisible Dog Art Center in January 2019.

This will be the first showing of this body of work to a larger audience as printed images and also my first solo exhibition in New York. Presenting this exhibition at The Invisible Dog feels like coming home because so many of the artist I photographed performed there. 

For the exhibition, I have chosen 37 portraits. Each will be printed in 20x20in size, mounted on 3mm black sintra and framed with a custom-made frame. The exhibition will take over the entire space of the Main Gallery at The Invisible dog and will cover all the walls in one line from January 4th to February 16th.

WHAT DO I NEED THE MONEY FOR?
[PRINTING + FRAMING]

It is extremely important to me to show the portraits of those people in the best possible way. Also, I want to the project to remain analogue and local, from the beginning to end.

All photos are shot on Kodak Portra 400 6x6 film and all the prints will be hand printed by the legendary printer, Julie Pochron from Pochron Studios located at Red Hook, Brooklyn. For over 20 years, Julie has been working directly with artists providing the highest quality fine art prints to galleries and museums in New York and abroad. Framing will be done by another local, Jeff Burke from Boerum Frames. The whole process will be made with my full involvement. It will take about 3 months to complete this work.

WHAT do YOU get?

$25 Instagram Love and Postcard 4x6in.
$25 Instagram Love and Postcard 4x6in.
$45 Mental Portrait: Describe yourself in three words.
$45 Mental Portrait: Describe yourself in three words.
$50 Invitation to a VIP Pre-Show party.
$50 Invitation to a VIP Pre-Show party.
$50 set of 3 postcards.
$50 set of 3 postcards.
$100 Studio Flowers prints.
$100 Studio Flowers prints.
$100 Studio Flowers prints.
$100 Studio Flowers prints.
$450 A print from the project in 20x20in.
$450 A print from the project in 20x20in.
               
$1000 Family portrait. Take your loved ones to the studio.
$1000 Family portrait. Take your loved ones to the studio.

To thank you for supporting this project and this community, I created some exciting rewards including drawings, postcards, and prints. There is also an opportunity to become a part of this project and sit in the same exact setting so I can shoot a portrait of YOU! 

WHY?

Faces of Downtown Scene is an on-going artistic archival that I am honored to create and maintain. By supporting this project you will help me to bring more visibility to the Downtown Scene and the people behind it. This exhibition is a first step I'm taking towards a bigger goal - a book with all of the portraits I took for the past two years.

WHO?

Maria Baranova is known for photographing downtown theatre and dance in New York. Through this, she gained a unique access to the experimental performance community and expanded her photographic work to portraits in her long-term project, "Faces of Downtown Scene". Maria has photographed performance at dozens of venues, including Performance Space New York, New York Live Arts, MANA Contemporary, MoMA PS1, The Invisible Dog Art Center, FIAF, Watermill Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center and many more. Select publications include The New York Times, Time Out New York, Village Voice, Theatre Magazine, The New Yorker, Exeunt Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, BOMB Magazine, Boston Globe, among others. 

Risks and challenges

The biggest risks of this project are time and money.

I reserved a year prior to the opening to research on printing and framing processes. After testing a few places I'm now confident in the team that will print and frame my works. During the past 20 years of being a visual artist, I self-produced a number of successful shows in different countries and my experience in graphic design will allow me to save money on printing materials and rewards.

The funding for this exhibition is coming from several places including commision fee from Invisible Dog Art Center.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Instagram Love.

    THANK YOU delivered via Instagram Story.

    Includes:
    • 1 x Instagram Love
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Instagram Love + Postcard.

    Get a shout-out on my Instagram Story and a Postcard with an image from the project, size 4x6in. Delivered to your home.

    Includes:
    • 1 x Instagram Love
    • 1 x Postcard 4x6in
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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Mental portrait.

    Describe your self with 3 words and I draw your portrait. Delivered to your home.

    Includes:
    • 1 x Mental portrait hand drawn on art on art paper 4.5x6.6in
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    VIP Pre-Show party.

    Join me for an intimate pre-show party with some refreshments and Japanese bites at Invisible Dog. The time and day will be provided by printed invitation, delivered to your home and e-mail.

    Includes:
    • 1 x Invitation to the pre-show party for 1 person.
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Set of 3 Postcards.

    Receive a set of 3 postcards with images from the show. Delivered to your home.

    Includes:
    • 3 x Post card, 4x6in
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    Mental portrait and Pre-Show party.

    Mental portrait and invitation to pre-show party together. Make the best out of it. Receive hand drawn mental portrait and join me at an intimate pre-show party. The time and day will be provided by printed invitation, delivered to your home and e-mail.

    Includes:
    • 1 x Mental portrait hand drawn on art on art paper 4.5x6.6in
    • 1 x Invitation to the pre-show party for 1 person.
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    2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Studio Flowers.

    Limited edition. A print from my new project "Studio Flowers". Those are medium format film portraits of Flowers that ended up at my studio one way or another. Inkjet print on Epson 330ml Art Paper. Catalog of the images will be provided upon request.

    Includes:
    • 1 x Inkjet print, paper size 8.5x11in, picture size 6x6in
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Secret portrait.

    You will receive one portrait from the project, of my choice, printed at Pochron Studios. Who will it be? Only one way to find out...

    Includes:
    • 1 x C-Print 10x10in with signature.
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 450 or more About US$ 450

    Print from Faces of Downtown Scene.

    Limited edition. A print from the project, printed at Pochron Studios. Browse www.facesofdowntownscene.com to select the portrait you want.

    Includes:
    • 1 x C-Print 20x20in with signature.
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    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    Portrait in Gowanus Studio.

    Come to sit for 1-hour portrait session. Same set, same light as the photos at the exhibition. Receive one scan with online publication rights and one 10x10in C-Print Printed at Pochron Studios, with signature. Become one with Faces of Downtown Scene.

    Includes:
    • 1 x One hour photo session for one person.
    • 1 x C-Print 10x10in with signature.
    • 1 x Low Resolution Scan.
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Family portrait in Gowanus Studio.

    Come and bring your family to sit for 1-hour portrait session. Same set, same light as the photos at the exhibition. Receive one scan with online publication rights and one 10x10 C-Print , printed at Pochron Studios, with signature. Become one with Faces of Downtown Scene.

    Includes:
    • 1 x One hour photo session for up to four people.
    • 1 x C-Print 10x10in with signature.
    • 1 x Low Resolution Scan.
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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    EVERYTHING.

    Why not? An Instagram shout-out, a full collection of postcards with images from the show, invitation to a pre-show party, mental portrait, secret portrait of my choice in size 10x10, non-secret portrait of your choice in size 20x20 and 2 photo sessions along with prints and scans. And my unlimited gratitude for supporting this project!

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    One Frame Only Portrait.

    During the last two days of my Kickstarter campaign visit my Gowanus, Brooklyn studio and challenge me and yourself with One Frame Only portrait. Photographed with Hasselblad medium format camera on film.

    Includes:
    • 1 x One Frame Only portrait session at studio
    • 1 x Medium Resolution Scan
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Funding period

- (31 days)