Monday, March 19, 2018

Fotofest, Houston, March 15-18, 2018

  Very intense as always in Houston for the Fotofest Meeting Place.  The Meeting Place is a portfolio review.  You get 20 minutes at a table with a curator, publisher, gallery folk, collector, et.  You get to pick from a list and you get most of your list.  Extra reviews can be scheduled in open slots if you can get them.  There's a fee of nearly 1000.00 for this event. It usually fills up early.  There are three four-day sessions.  Biennial.  I was in Session 2.   It's a serious thing.

  Cindy and I stayed in the Whitehall hotel.  That's another grand for expenses.  Downtown Houston clears out and closes down on the weekends so you can starve on Saturday if you aren't prepared.  We took a food box.  Usually you are eating out of a coffee bar or a sandwich shop while they charge you 29 bucks a night to stow your car.

  Every evening there is a bus tour of photo galleries or museums.  One night is the open Portfolio night where all the registrants get half a table to spread out your work.  That's open to the public.  Hectic schedule.

  Great reviews in general.  Called a genius couple of times.  I show silver prints which stand out in a digital printer world.  My presentation seems relaxed, (I think), but shows two bodies of work.  The Blackfork Bestiary gets shown and then Magic & Logic.  I concentrated on the local Texas collectors and institutions.  Got to show to the Menil, Lamar University,  Foto-Relevance Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts Gallery, Houston Center for Photography and others.  I included The Guardian newspaper and one German collection.  Also the Cincinnati and Milwaukee museums.  Plus collectors.  The Houston group got fairly fired up.  There is a lot of my work down there but looks like there will be more.  Maybe shows.  Nobody ever starts laying 100.00 bills on the table but follow-up is the key.

  Cindy, who is a keen observer of people, went along to help on my side of the table and watched faces for reactions to certain prints.  Some of them were prints I didn't suspect.  Very valuable info to get.

  This was a huge hit, and I didn't show any landscapes until the second two days.  Everyone wants me to explain the shadow.  My general policy is never to explain the mystery in a photograph.  It's kind of the wrong question anyway.  "Tell me about this image", or "what were you thinking when you shot this", or even how did you recognize this as a photograph?  "Describe your work flow."

But everyone wants to know what the shadow is.  It was liked by locals and internationals alike.  If they only knew- the whole Shiprock portfolio is shadows, more than anything else.

Another favorite:

  Anne Tucker paused on it for a long time while my 20 min clock ran.  She said I had "feminized Weston's Nautilus."  And she said it like it was an interesting thing.  I just showed this as a set of contacts talking about my work flow.  Several other folks picked it out.

Plus this and this and this, et.:

 So now I'm home.  I'm broke.  What else is possible?

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