Saturday, May 10, 2014
The Ruby Bird Portfolio
Sonia Soberats is one of the subjects of Frank Amann's documentary film he's currenlty filming- SHOOTING IN THE DARK.
Sonia invited me, as well as Victorine Floyd Fludd and Hashim Kirkland to join her in shooting some of her light paintings she has planned. It's a series thats autobiographical in nature, and illuminates different memories and points in her life.
We spent a day recently in Brooklyn's Ruby Bird studio workimg on Sonia's ideas, while Frank's very nice film crew expertly scurried round and round us, moving things and adjusting all sorts of unseen aparatus.
Sonia asked me to bring in my easel, brushes and some art work for one of her light paintings, which shows me making a painting of Vicki and Hashim while Sonia sits by admiring the scene around her.
Here's the "Ruby Bird Portfolio". These are light paintings of the work that wasn't put on the walls of the studio set, but remained in my portfolio because they needed strong gaffer tape to adhere to the brick wall, and that would have ruined the delicate paper.
These are light paintings of charcoal drawings. They're not representational often, and some use the slivers, and dimly looming globes of other worldly moons that hover above striped, folded fabric surreally. Who sees the other side, the far side of the moon? Even the most sharply sighted person can't ever see those bright craters and ancient lava beds - a symbol of blindness - a symbol of...nothingness.
Another drawing depicts an x-ray of a Caravaggio painting. X rays are used by art restorers to see beneath the surface, to the underlying, rough structure of a painting's earliest stages.
The re imagaining forces the charcoal drawing into existence again after thiirty years. I dont think I'd have made this series if I hadn't gone to the studio that day, i try to be mindful of opprotunities to make images. I'm not concerned about the purity of any media and in fact its exciting to blend photography and traditional drawing.