This piece is about good-byes, sort of. It's about celebrating the "was" and moving onto the "next." What am I celebrating? What am I going to? Well, the celebrating, or basking, is in the swan song of certain staples of my recent images seen in this piece. There is a growing collection of retired objects I've been using as metaphorical fodder that I have decided, for now, to put to rest. Seen in this one: the bowler, the ladders, the apples, the field of flowers, and the umbrella. The case he is holding is the case for the antique projector I bought and used in "the Critic" and "the Workforce." It's not that I am tired of these objects, not at all, it's just about moving on, of side-stepping stagnation.
Finding the perfect object to symbolize a concept or a feeling is not easy. I have very particular tastes. The ladder, seen here, for example, was not easy to find. You cannot find a simple ladder like this in Home Depot - they now have latches and modern designs, and all that gets in the way of the purity of a symbol like a ladder. So finding this was slow going, and once I had it, I wanted to get my bang for the buck. I have, and I love most of the pieces I made with it, so it's sad to see it go, but I have to move on, for my own sake.
So what is this saying, knowing all this is a farewell to conventions? Well, the inspiration for this piece is two-fold. Firstly, it is me saying goodbye to my tried and true symbolic objects, a final party to bring the crew together once more. My dapper gentleman is floating away from the scene, off to the higher planes, and the field of ladders and metaphors will soon be gone. The fruits of all this symbolic exploring rain down, a nice yield from a fertile period. In the distance, something new - the massive silos are actually telescopes I recently borrowed from a friend (thank you, Charlie). Perhaps they are symbolic to the exploring I will have to do to find new ground.
As I shot a whole series with new model Zack Barnes, this last blast of bowler/ladders/field/et al may go a few more before the final curtain is drawn, but I wanted this one to be a personal commitment to the unknown, or leaving these well-worn ones behind for awhile.
Secondly, this was largely inspired by the movie poster of the film "Being There" - the last one starring Peter Sellers before his death. It was a beautiful image (not sure who did it) that I remembered from all those years ago as a child. In hindsight, it is very Magritte, so clearly my affections for his style were being tapped from an early age.
This is the second image from my session with Zack Barnes, and I promise to actually use a shot with his face showing very soon!
Zack can be reached for modeling inquiries at:
A note about the title: I was THIS close to calling this, tongue-in-cheek, "the Unbearable Lightness of Being There" but I just couldn't pull that trigger, so, having conjured up Kundera, I chose this title from his work, thinking it was more appropriate to my image.