60+ Portraits of female/male Burlesque stars shot naturally and in their performance outfits. 250 LIMITED EDITION Hardcover bound books
CHECK OUT www.vansarki.tumblr.com TO SEE POLAROIDS AND MORE DIPTYCHS OF THE PERFORMERS!
Articles / Press about this project:
SIGNED LIMITED EDITION PRINTING
SO THRILLED THE BOOK WILL BE PUBLISHED! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED THE PROJECT!
UPDATE #1: I AM DOING ANOTHER ROUND OF PORTRAIT SITTINGS. SHOOTING AT LEAST 10 MORE PERFORMERS!! Perle Noire, Julie Atlas Muz, Angie Pontani, Marlo Marquise, Maddy Mann, Kita St. Cyr, Nasty Canasta, Gal Friday, Matt Knife, etc.
This is my first go at publishing. It would be my first book and a very important one to me. It was and continues to be such a thrill meeting these portrait sitters and hearing their stories. Watching them transition from an everyday person on the street to full on performance piece, it is quite a moment I can tell you. And I wanted to do my best at giving this moment justice. I hope I was successful but who knows really.
The content for the project is well on it's way there. I have taken portraits of over 20 performers in my studio on a medium format digital back. I have also taken video and polaroids of the performers. Each performer will have a four page spread in the book. The first page will be a page of polaroids. You will then turn the page to a natural portrait and performance portrait side by side (see the photographs below). This will be followed by a blank page. Some of the performers so far include: Scotty the Blue Bunny, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Legs Malone, Minnie Tonka, Tigger!, Dr. Flux, Gin Minsky, Calamity Chang, Lil Miss Lixx, Evelyn Vinyl, Grand Mafun, Francine Burlesque, Hazel Honeysuckle, Stella Chuu, Dangrrr Doll, Machine Dazzle, Molly Crabapple, Magdalena Fox, Miz Margo, Pinkie Special...
The major challenge in funding this project is the cost of having the series properly produced into a substantial book. Because I am printing such a small run of 250 books, each book is not cheap. To print the book the way I envision at 9x12 or 8x10 inches, each book will cost between 40 to 90 dollars to produce depending on how much money I raise. I also have shipping and storing costs and all the time I have put in to this. I am not making any money on this project. But that is just fine with me because the joy this project has brought to everyone is more than enough bounty.
The idea for the project came about when I discovered a friend of mine from college is a burlesque star in NYC and I have always found performance, any type of performance, compelling. The costumes are so lavish and ornate but because I knew my friend as my friend and not as her stage presence I had the urge to strip these performers down and show them in their natural state.
I am a believer that people have multiple personalities. Hundreds if not thousands. We can be a great many things. I wanted to show this in a more literal way that can translate this idea through a photographic series. I drew these ideas from the Buddhist notions that "the ego isn't an entity but rather a process in time" and Virginia Woolf's comment in Orlando "a biography is considered complete if it merely accounts for six or seven selves, whereas a person may well have as many thousand."
I have also come to believe that Oscar Wilde was correct when he said "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” So I think a person's true being is captured physically when they are natural and have no hair or make-up, no mask to hide under. And then a persons true emotional and intellectual being is captured through interaction when they are wearing a mask. So my diptych portraits of each scenario in this series are trying to show a human at it's most complete state. Obviously this is not possible to show a human's completeness through two photographs, but in the figurative sense I hope the idea translates. This is the foundation for this project.
Also...please check back periodically for updates on the project and if you are outside of the United States and are interested in one of the rewards not offered with International Shipping please message me and we will try and work something out!
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My goal is to make a 250 print limited edition run of the series. To do this I need to raise at least 10,000 dollars. The more money I raise the nicer the book can be. Many details during printing and binding separate a good book from a great book and I want this to be a great book. Details such as a slip cover, custom linen fabric, foil stamping and embossing, paper and ink quality, the stitching and book binding all greatly effect the finished product. I am setting a goal of 7,500 because this is what I think I am capable of raising. If I only raise 7,500 dollars I will either have to do a run of 200 instead of 250 or cover the additional costs with my own money. Either option is doable and I will do whatever is necessary to make sure this book is something special and feels substantial. I want you to love this book as much as I do.
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