Sunday, September 7, 2008

Photographic Entry for the Robert Morris Univ. Show

This handsome group was photographed on Labor Day, 1978, at Garing's Farm in Zelienople, Pennsylvania, about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh. This campground of about 100 acres is comprised of small cottages situated along the Connequenessing Creek. On Labor Day each year, the residents have a parade and a progressive drinking party where each cottage and their family members dress up to fit a particular theme.

I was wandering around this campground early one afternoon, and stumbled into this gathering where the family members had decided to dress in mock KKK outfits. You can see the reaction that at least one member had to my taking photographs. True, they are only joking, but why would anyone even consider this kind of a theme? Disturbing, no?

The print that I'm submitting to the Robert Morris Faculty Show is an archival digital print, 24 x 18 inches, printed as a Quadtone on 100% rag, textured fine art paper. The print is being framed with a beveled, 8 ply museum board mat, conservation glass, and a simple black frame.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Robert Morris University Faculty Show

I started teaching a course at Robert Morris University several weeks ago. The course is Portfolio, a class for Senior Graphic & Web Design students. As you might imagine, the objective of the course is to prepare the "Final Portfolio" which will be used to get a job or to get into Graduate School.

RMU is having a Faculty Show on September 25, and I've been working on preparing my entries for the show. I settled on submitting a collection of work that will include both Fine Art  as well as Design related work. In the Fine Art category I'm submitting a photograph, a mixed media piece, and the drawing shown above. The drawing titled "Heroes" depicts three of my favorite people: John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter, and Ayn Rand. Keynes the famous British Economist advocated among other things that markets and the private sector operate best without state intervention, this fits my independent political views. Schumpeter is the Austrian economist, former Harvard Professor who borrowed the phrase "creative destruction" from Karl Marx and gave it a capitalist twist. By Schumpeter's definition, "creative destruction" is a process in which old ways of doing things are destroyed and replaced by new ways—the Silicon Valley set are famous for using this phrase. This idea forms the basis of entrepeneurial capitalism—again, something dear to my heart. And then there is Ayn Rand. Well, I loved "Fountainhead" and in particular, the fictional character Howard Roark, the architect who choses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic ideals. I can't say that I've ever actually done that, but I do admire the thought.

This piece is actually an archival digital print, 24 x 18 inches, and is a composite made from three separate drawings in sketchbooks. I scanned the drawings, did a "live trace" in Adobe Illustrator--converting them to "vector art" so that I could manipulate the paths and line weights. I then opened an EPS of the Illustrator file in Photoshop, created a Quadtone image, primarily so that I could create a super-rich black. The print has tremendous depth of tone— a very dark brown/black. This is being framed now along with the other work which I'll post later.