Friday, May 7, 2010

Madrid, Spain (Woman With Red Hair And Blue Dress Outside of Carrefour)

This is the print that came home with me at the end of I 95.  This is the print that the Lookers, which I have been posting the last 3 days, were regarding.  When offered the option of taking a piece, just one, from an exhibit it is easy to start to be a little crazy.  With more than 200 prints available (minus the one Ruben had staked out early) I ran through the list of considerations.  Iconic?  The boy doing a flip on the mattress, the red steps which became the cover of America, If You Reading This...?  One that references historic photographs?  The green ceiling of angles which nods to Eggleston as well as Weston but is so beguiling in its own right?  It is easy to become childish in the sense of "I Don't Want to Choose!!"  "I Want Them All!!"

I loved this image from the first time Zoe posted it while in Spain.  It is a portrait which embodies all of the humanity of the subject as well as the artist.  The gaze is direct, the posture bold but there is no confrontation in this woman.  She is.  The backdrop includes the faded/wiped out/disconnected text which runs through so many of the I 95 images.  Text as information, text as symbol, text as landscape.  Formally, the balancing of the red and green bags with her dress and fabulous hair creates movement which belies the dead center composition.  This is one of the most recent images included in the final I 95, a photograph made in the 10th year of the project.  Made in Spain it is an indicator that the project took Zoe from the freeway which runs through her neighborhood (and has served as the metaphor and gallery for this work) to the bigger world, yet has found/stayed within that which unites us all.  I don't know this woman, and probably never will, but I love everything this photograph tells me about her.  She makes me smile.  What better gift could she and Zoe give me?

Technical notes:  The tissue surrounding the print is acid free tissue brought along to place the print on.  All of the prints are laminated and given a full adhesive backing to mount them to the pillars.  When 4:00 comes and they are all peeled down it is best to have something to stick them to.  If you look closely there is a chip of paint from the pillar stuck to the bottom right edge of the print itself.  I have no idea what it will do to the life of the print but love that it adds a bit of terroir.   The 4 round objects are 2 pound weights (think bean bags with beautiful leather covers) that are holding the print flat since I had to roll it and place it in a tube to safely transport it on the plane.

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