Sunday, February 26, 2012

Self-portrait with mom, 2012

Here's the newest picture of me and my mom.  I took the first image in this series in January of 2005, two weeks after my chest surgery, but didn't think to take the next one until 2010.  I now have photos from 2005, 2010, 2011, and here is 2012.  My plan is to continue to take this photo annually, documenting how our bodies change over time. 

Self-portrait with mom, 2012

This photo was made this past January, exactly four days after I got that tattoo on my chest.  For those of you with tattoos, you know that day 4 is when a new tattoo looks its absolute WORST.  Mine looked awesome for the first 3 days, and on day 4, it was peeling everywhere.  I thought that would show up in the photograph, but it doesn't really, so that's good, though even if it had, I would have left it in the name of accurate documentation.

It is interesting to me to look at these photos I am creating and to examine my own body.  Since this photo was taken, I've been working pretty adamantly on changing my body through diet and exercise (see cheesy cell phone photo below):
  
February 22, 2012

It has still only been a short amount of time, but I am hoping that by the next time we make a photo together, I will look really different.  As someone who isn't on testosterone, I am interested in how far I can push my body through weightlifting and diet towards better health, but also towards a more masculine appearance.  I know from past experience that my body changes- gender-wise- pretty drastically when I weigh less and am more muscular, ranging from my arms and chest to more subtle signifiers, such as the shape of my jawline.  

My chest surgery left me with dog ears (extra fat/tissue near the edge of the incision) on the sides of my chest, which I have always disliked and had a revision for in 2011, six years after my original surgery.

Revision, 2011

But, as you can see in the 2012 photo of me and my mom, my dog ears are not totally gone, which is due in part to my weight.  So, here's hoping by the time we make another photo together, I will have been able to change my body enough to diminish those dog ears.  Not only do I not want to have another revision, but I actually think it wouldn't do any good without losing weight first. 

Over the years, I have photographed my body whether or not I am happy with it (even pre-surgery), more as a means to understand it than anything else.  Looking back, I am always glad I did, even if I didn't like how I looked at the time.  I am interested to see how continuing to make these photographs with me and my mom plays out in terms of how we each relate to our bodies, and to how they change over the passage of time.  It is no small commitment on the part of my mom, either, and I am grateful she is on board with my sometimes emotionally demanding journey to understand my life and the world around me through my photographs.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

All framed up

My three photos are all framed up- one is heading to the Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, and the other two are headed to the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta.  I thought they looked pretty in their frames so here are some photos:




Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shows, publications, and lectures in 2012

I can hardly believe it's 2012, which I'm sure is due in no small part to the fact that my first winter in Chicago still hasn't really arrived.  It is a lovely 45 degrees outside, and I'm writing this blog post with my windows open.  Bizarre.  In any case, 2012 is shaping up to be a very exciting year.  Here's a bit of what's happening (or going to be happening) in roughly chronological order:

I'm thrilled that new work from Transcendence was recently included in F-Stop Magazine's Portrait Issue along with quite a wonderful group of portrait photographers.


Two of my images, Landen and Hunter, will be included in "Lust" at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.  This show was curated by David Bram, the editor and publisher of Fraction Magazine.  I am thrilled to be a part of this show and work with this wonderful gallery. 

Landen, 2011

Hunter, 2011

In March, I'll be heading to San Francisco for the Society for Photographic Education conference and am looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new people.  If you're going to SPE, drop me a note and say hi!  I'd love to meet up with other photographers while I'm there.

My photograph Gregg was juried by Todd Hido into the SPE Member show taking place at the RayKo Photo Center Gallery.  I'll be at the opening reception on Saturday, March 24 from 6-8 pm and I'd love to see you if you're on the west coast or in town for SPE. 

Gregg, 2011

In April, I'll be heading to Boston to give artist talks at Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts College of Art, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Art institute of Boston, and Harvard University.  I'm excited to be heading back to my old stomping grounds and visiting the classes of Shellburne Thurber, Bruce Myren, Anthony Scibilia, Gina Kamentsky, and David Hilliard.  I also have a photo, JulianAnton, in the MassArt auction, which I'll get to see while I'm in town.

JulianAnton, 2011

I've got a couple of publications on the horizon as well.  Berklee College will be publishing new work  from Transcendence, along with an artist interview, in their visual arts magazine, Fusion.  Wellesley College is publishing a selection of work from Coupled with an introduction by Karen Irvine, Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, in the Wellesley College Women's Review of Books.  I'm also in the design phase of a book of work from Transcendence, so expect more information about that in the near future. 

Lastly, I'm planning a solo exhibition of my newest work at the Schneider Gallery in Chicago from September 7-October 27, 2012.  I'll post more information on that show as it gets closer.  I'm looking forward to showing in my new city! 

And, of course, amidst all of this, I'm busily making new work, which includes working on a brand new project and also making a series of handmade, intimate artist books.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2012 brings!