Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Terms of Service BS

"You uploaded a photo that violates our Terms of Use, and this photo has been removed. Facebook does not allow photos that attack an individual or group, or that contain nudity, drug use, violence, or other violations of the Terms of Use. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children who use the site."

Since being on the Internet, I've always had to be concerned where I can post my artwork. As most people that know my art have seen, my work is not pornographic, violent or in any way, shape or form inflicts harm on anyone regardless of age, race or culture. In fact, my work couldn't be any less offensive than it already is...

Upon signing Terms of Service agreements (via Facebook, MySpace, etc.), I believe I adhere to those rules listed above...all except the mere term nudity. Nudity does certainly have a sensual and sexual connotation, but in the fine art world, it is accepted, expected and legitimized. However, nudity in fine art is also a symbol of vulnerability, confrontation of personal issues and other psychological enigmas. To take it a further step, as some see a nude photograph as exploitation of the subject, if I am showing myself nude, then who is being exploited?

And what about nudity in painting, sculpture or mixed media? Are those pieces absolved from the Terms of Service?

I strongly believe that as we approach the year 2011, nudity in art should be made an exception on public sites as long as there are the above rules applied - no harm is being done to anyone, period. The only thing I can find a problem is if the nude in question is a model, not the artist, where a model release would be required that allows the artist to publish the piece.

As gray as this subject may appear to those in charge of so quickly plastering the Terms of Service tag on the least threatening, it is more black and white than made out to be.

In other words, leave my naked body alone and go after the real criminals that are hurting children and those that need saving.

Image removed:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Seeking Kali

Aforementioned image has been submitted to the collaborative project, "Seeking Kali". From the little I know, Kali (or Shiva - the many armed female icon) is the Goddess of Destruction and Wrath - assuming she is like a Mother Earth figure. With all of the 2012 predictions, the very real issues we have with our earth, and the music I've been listening to lately (the German neo-medieval group Faun, for instance) - I felt it was a sign for me to create an image for this.

Here is the image once more, but please go to the Seeking Kali blog and check out some pretty awesome imagery:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Much Much Needed Update

My dear readers, how I am sure you are bored and have given up on ever reading any new words from me. I wish I had a lot to update. I am still in between many concepts and have shot quite a bit of film but very little I actually love. Have more ideas brewing, though and hope I can work on some of them even as the cold of Winter is now upon us.

It's been since October so let me see...I did a living statue performance at the Ray Johnson: A Book About Death opening on November 3. It got rave reviews which I am pleased about.

I've been added to the blog of artist Ria Vanden Eynde entitled "The Body-Nothing Else: Women Artists Changing Bodies" - An honor! Please copy and paste the link: http://womenartistschangingbodies.blogspot.com/2010/11/annmarie-tornabene-78.html

I went to FaerieCon in November as well. What a time! I went to show off my wings but I also went to see if my work would have some kind of niche there. My thought, in the end, is that my photography doesn't belong on a calendar, bookmark or greeting card. I also learned that unless I had a spouse that can pay for everything, I can not dedicate as much time to making art as I would love to. Having said that, my loving and generous husband provides as much as he can and I don't ask for more from him. I just need to try and make the most of my free time as I can to make art....and I do try.

Damn Facebook.....

I will leave you with a fairly new image though. The leather headpiece was an acquisition from FaerieCon. Handmade by a wonderful artisan named Donovan. Love it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time to update

It was a very busy end-of-Summer and I wish I could say it was all related to art but sadly, it was just work. Because of that, I have been in a funk, thinking about future endeavors with what pays the bills and just trying to fit making and promoting work in between it all.

There are several video projects that I am in the middle of, photographing some random ideas just to make me happy and today, I began a self-portrait painting. I think the painting is more to get out of my head for a bit. It will be interesting to see what I end up with. I don't have a background in painting, but modeling for painting classes for years have helped me pick up some things.

Next week, I will be modeling with a painter who has the face of Zeus. I know I will shoot a roll of film of just his face. It is beautiful. Not sure what I will do with the 2 of us that I haven't already said.

Most importantly, Wednesday, November 3, from 5pm to midnight, is the exhibition of Ray Johnson's A Book About Death, which I have a piece in. I will be doing a living statue performance as well that I am looking forward to.

Well, I am getting back to this painting. I am so into the process!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My new inspiration!

For a long time. I had played with the idea of performance video as another entity of my art-making. I made some videos that never saw anything outside of my hard drive but more lately, I've been drawn to it. It only seems natural since my photographs are already still performances, so something, or I should say someone finally inspired me to move forward and do it.

Robyn Bellospirito - yes, that is her last name. She is just as beautiful in spirit as her name. She is a painter, photographer but most prominently a performance artist. She performs via video and in public, busking while dancing. She has health problems that sometimes prevents her from doing a lot but she does what she can and tries to not let those problems stop her from living. We got together today and spent 6 hours talking about ideas of collaborating. Next week, we make our first videos together. We are kindred spirits, relating to so many facets of our lives and I can see this becoming a great friendship/working relationship.

I am so excited!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Post About My Recent Weight Loss

I want to set the record straight here and finally get it all off my chest.

I have lost approximately 105 pounds in the last couple of years. I did it mainly to take control of my health and so I can feel good and live a long life. And I do feel very good. I admit to being happy that I can fit into smaller and more fashionable clothes but for the most part, there is a strange self-consciousness that's come with the way my body looks now - which includes lots of hanging, loose skin, similar to that of a much older body. That is my issue though that I will tackle slowly and surely, even if through my artwork....

However, regardless of my opinions of myself, I am shocked and amazed at the comments I receive from people - strangers and those I have known, only in the peripheral over the years, especially in the art community that I model for. So without further ado, I will rant -

Just because I now look this way does not give you the right to now tell me your honest opinions on what I looked like before:

"You really were larrrrrrrge!"
"I was getting worried there for awhile. You don't seem to strain when you move anymore".
"You had that surgery, didn't you?"
"Something must have scared YOU to make you lose all that weight!"

Or the best ones:
" You are much prettier now than before"
"You really are half the woman you were"
"Wow! You've lost THAT much? KEEP GOING!"
"Your husband must REALLY love you now!"

Everyone becomes an expert in how to maintain weight loss, too:
"Now you just need to tone up that skin, that's all"

And lastly are the ones who run up to me, as if I am some guru and ask:
"What's your secret?" and "How did you do it?"

Come on! It is engrained in us all of our lives what it takes to eat right and be healthy. Less calories, more moving. SIMPLE.....

It is difficult. We are creatures of habit and like to stay comfortable in everything we do. Also, there are lots of good, fattening foods out there and I still indulge in some in order to make my life more livable. However, as we ALL know, everything needs to be in moderation. But, in the year 2010, one can walk into any eating establishment or grocery store and find low-fat and low-calorie alternatives that are really delicious and satisfying. It makes losing weight that much easier.

So, I tell people what I did and do (lower carbs, walk more, etc.) and then they start with the excuses, as if I care about what they are or are not doing:
"Oh, I can't give up regular cheese."
"Oh, I can't do that much walking."
"See, I love sweets too much."
Then there you have it. It's all about CHOICES. Why people need to tell me their excuses is beyond my understanding. I am not here to tell you what you should do about losing weight. I am not here to talk about anyone else, period. So guess what? DON'T ASK ME FOR ADVICE, especially when you have a rebuttal for every sentence I utter.

On the outskirts of these people and their comments are the ones that truly think before they speak:
"You look so beautiful! But then again, you always were. It's just different now, that's all."
My favorite is:
"You went from looking like a beautiful Reubens to a beautiful Modigliani."

and from my husband:
"I love you. ALL of you in every form from the inside to the out. You are healthier now which means you will be with me that much longer."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Being Gothic is so last generation

I think it may still be "in vogue" with younger people but I grew up in the era where black hair, clothes and lipstick was popular and were what is now called "emo". Teens and young adults alike were attracted to the dark side where death was considered glamorous, or at least to look dead was. I wore black to hide my fat - plain and simple. I am sure there were very real reasons why this fashion statement/trend became so popular and for those that took the statement to the bitter end, I feel remorse. Some of these people actually did hang out in cemeteries, catching what they might think was a glimpse of what death truly was, even if there wasn't much to understand there.

I fear dying. I try hard not to envision the coffin, my funeral...just the thought of not being here anymore frightens me.

I have experienced people dying my whole life. As one of the youngest in my family, the older relatives died when I was fairly young. I was at my grandparents' funerals when I was 13 and 16 years old respectively. Coming from an Italian-Catholic background, we had the open-casket-lay-them-out-for-3-days thing which didn't make things any easier but to this day, when I look at a body in a coffin, it's almost surreal. How can these events not stay with me?

This last year has been more difficult. 2 deaths, much illness and the constant feeling of waiting for the next person to die has consumed me. Even when I was hearing about celebrity deaths, which we hear about all the time, was affecting me.

As a matter of fact, September is the anniversary of my father's death and since then, I can't seem to stop being consumed by it all. The "Angels" series I started work on, as well as other photographs of me in cemeteries seems to be coming so naturally.

Oddly enough, those holy grounds don't scare me at all. People laid to rest surrounded by beautiful representations of angels and saints is good. "Becoming one" with the angels in my work comforts me.

So is my work considered "Gothic" for lack of better terms? I don't think so. I just see it as a real expression of experiences I am trying to deal with. That those experiences happen to be about death and the spiritual is just the topic at hand. It's something I have seen many an artist deal with in their work.

I do, however, see fans of my work in the long black corset dresses feeling a sense of distance from others and feeling misunderstood. I can relate to that.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

An update

I know it's been awhile since I've updated but honestly, things have been a little slow in the art-making department. A few things have been buzzing - I will have 2 pieces in a group show next month in a gallery in Huntington, NY, I donated a piece to LI Artworks to help the BP oil spill wildlife survivors and I am submitting a piece for a book about death based on Ray Johnson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Johnson) .

I have also applied for a grant through Women in Photography to help fund the new "Angels" series. Aluminum sheets and image transfers add up financially, so I am praying I get this award.

And speaking of metal plates, yesterday, I took a solar plate printmaking class. If anyone knows basic printmaking techniques, this is a more modern way of doing printmaking. The metal plate is coated with a gelatinous light-sensitive emulsion. You take a photograph or drawing on acetate, put it over the plate and expose it to uv rays. Wash it in water, replace plate under the uv rays to harden and oilla! your plate is made. Ink the plate and run it through the press and go "ooh and ahh!" The great thing about doing this is that it is much easier than most other printmaking techniques. More importantly though, it is a non-toxic way to make prints.

The cons? The plates are very expensive. An 8 x 10 costs around $16 so in order to do a series of 15 images, plus paper and ink - would be a bit exorbitant. The other con is that you need a printing press - costs in the thousands - so you can either rent time in a printing studio, or in my case, make friends with the printmaking professors at the colleges and see when they are around for me to use their press.

I will post a photo of my final print later, but I have to say, the experience was an exciting one and had that same feeling when I was in the darkroom. Perhaps, this will lead to something but we will see.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I haven't had the desire to develop these last 3 rolls of film that I shot last week. Perhaps this really is it to the "Not Wonderland" series......thoughts include, "am I stopping too soon?" "did I fail at digging deeper?" However, I started to feel my ideas were getting sillier as time went on and every time I look at the work, I don't really know what else I could say about it. Then I suppose I've made the right decision to end it now.

Today, I applied for a grant sponsored by the Women in Photography based here in NY, funded by LTI / Lightside Photographic Service. The main award is $3000 and is to fund one woman photographers' project. Another award is $1000 in Kodak materials. Naturally, the first award is the more favorable of the two. I get sick to my stomach and become so negative every time I apply for one of these. Up until now, my negativity was reinforced by the rejections. The only grant I was ever awarded was a $600 one that was not based on merit but by need. This one, as have the others been, is based on strength of project. I applied to help support the new "Angels" series. Image transfers on aluminum will be an expense and after looking at the images, I felt the queasiness start.

Then I convince myself that if I don't get it, it's not a big deal. Lots of women photographers are applying, it only cost $20 to submit, and there are always other opportunities.....still, the ugly voices are inside my head and it's tough to get them out. Notifications are not until September 1 so there is no use getting stressed for 2 months.

Perhaps it's time to just sit back and relax.....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A reflection with a little whine

I have been attempting to conclude my "Not Wonderland" series but one of the problems I have is the strong desire not to photograph in public spaces. If they are isolated, that is fine and perfect, but when there are people, specifically, LOTS of people, I stress out, lose focus and become drained rather quickly. I have felt that way when photographing in general. So imagine the challenge of being photographer and model as, mix in adding more models and then having to make sure we are not seen. It is a lot of pressure for me. Nobody is ever fully nude when I shoot in public, but we are partially so, and to a point where I can see it being a problem for me if bystanders were to come, watch and/or report. When I work in isolation, I am much calmer and can really concentrate on what I am trying to say.

This is it. I shot 3 rolls of film today. If I get nothing, so be it. If I get something, a bonus. Whatever the outcome, I am officially done with "Not Wonderland".

Friday, June 4, 2010

New work

I was going to wait until the images were completed, but I am excited to share these -


please copy and paste into your browser. For some reason, the link button never worked for me here.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

life got in the way

The last few months has brought quite a bit of illness and death in my family, so when I haven't been exhibiting and/or speaking, I have been dealing with that. I have been struggling to create in between it all and I have a few new images I am working on. I am bouncing between a series of saint-related work, and the Not Wonderland series. I hope to conclude Not Wonderland in the next several weeks but here are 2 images from the saint work. One is a re-work and I like this treatment much more than the original, I think.

Here is a photo my friend Chris took of my models and me the other day when I did a shoot, mainly for fun. I honestly need to stick with the urban surroundings but this location always calls to me. Note the purple Holga - camera of choice for the last year and a half :)

In the meantime, I have also reworked my Blurb book including some Not Wonderland photos. Order your copy today!


Friday, May 7, 2010

LIPulse magazine

A local dining/arts magazine called LIPulse did a 2 page spread on me and my work which I am pleased about. it is in this month's issue so local Long Islanders, look for it at your newsstand (though it is free), art store or art league. Some restaurants might have it as well.

For those of you not local, here is the web version - note: my website is www.annmarietornabene.net not com.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday morning post

I made small but significant renovations to my studio the last couple of weeks. I got rid of a useless shelving unit and replaced it with one that actually holds a lot. My 15 + years of artwork is now safely stowed away and out of my way. I was also able to pack up all of my darkroom equipment that I hope will get donated soon enough, otherwise it will end up in the basement stored away for all eternity.

The best thing, though is now I have a space to draw again. it's been so long and after this post, I will start on something. My drawing skills are not wonderful since I don't have the time to do it everyday but I enjoy it.

Aside from that, I have been re-assessing the blurb book I created. I realize it's expensive and the print quality is inconsistent through them. I really only wanted to create a book for promo purposes and if I make a few dollars selling a few that is a bonus. I decided to give lulu.com a try. Talk about aggravation with their layout program. First off, you have to use the program online. They do not have a downloadable one. You have to have your images exactly the size one of their page layouts (which are not great) could fit into. This is all trial and error. One can create the whole book in InDesign or some other program but other than Photoshop, I am not well-versed in others. The process is more time consuming than anything else. They are slightly cheaper than blurb and I ordered the book last night. I will see if it's anything worth spending the money on. For England, I would love to have 10-15 copies to either give to a gallery or sell while there.

I need to get out and shoot more for the "Not Wonderland" series but I'm not feeling it just yet. I will go when I am ready.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

work made during the VA trip

Not sure if any of these are exhibition-worthy but the every experience I have in shooting is exciting. I do like the images a lot and the dress and crown really hit the mark. I am looking forward to using that crown in future shoots, too.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Virginia art talk

Aside from a bad flight, I had a really good time in Virginia. I arrived late Tuesday morning in Newport News and was escorted by a student to the college where 2 photo classes welcomed me with a huge spread of food! I don't eat some of what they have but the tables consisted of shrimp rings, BBQ pork, chicken salad, pasta salad with chicken and feta cheese (that was amazing!), spinach/artichoke dip, chips, cakes, chocolate bon bons....it was really something else. I then did one-on-one critiques with the students for about 3 hours. Shar, my hostess, is a full time photography professor at the school and the one that invited me and the last time I saw her was about 10 years ago at an SPE conference. We are and will be forever FAB family members (will explain the FAB in another post).

I also met with the theatre manager, Tori - yes, there is a real theatre in the auditorium of this school, where I did my talk. Apparently, she is one of my biggest fans and is very awesome - sweet and generous.

The talk went well. My main problem is not talking enough. The hour-long talk seems to always end in 40 minutes. Somehow, I will have to figure out how to stretch it. Still, I got questions! That is always good. And what's even better were these 2 female students that came up to me afterward and told me how much they love my work and how much they can identify with the body image stuff. One girl started to cry as she had grown up with eating disorders. She kept asking me how I was able to just face and accept myself. We chatted for quite awhile and it was very rewarding.

During the day was very fun. I had been asking my Shar for a couple of weeks if there was a way we could go shooting somewhere interesting and that I would bring my camera and white flowy dress. She told me her responses kept getting bounced back to her, so naturally, I brought nothing. She hooked me up with a Holga and even better - Tori hooked me up with a wedding gown and made me a fairy crown. We went to Fort Monroe to shoot.

It seems performance art is where I am sort of headed so I asked a soldier to come kiss my hand. Not realizing how much trouble he could get into, I pleaded. I did tell him he could keep his back to the camera so he reluctantly did it. I also asked 3 men in ties to come pose with me.They did very willingly! I will have photos of that soon.

In the meantime, I couple of digital shots of me in the dress :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

One more

I set up this shot on a whim. My model, Tim is an artist himself, and when he came to visit me during my residency, I said I wanted to do a "pieta" but with the roles reversed and him looking like his usual bad ass self. Interestingly, he didn't come across as one in any of the frames but looked so gentle. What's more interesting is that in reality, although he comes across as rough, he is a husband and father of almost 3 kids - his wife is pregnant with their 3rd. The dichotomy of him is wonderful and I think I captured his nurturing side. I love this one.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Simon - the white knight

I am pleased with this image and Simon was such a great sport!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home at last!

Saturday night's talk went better than I expected. 20 people showed up on a night of heavy rains, wind and flooding. Amazing! I got stuck on a word I couldn't think of and I cried when talking about my father - that certainly came as a surprise to me. I hope I can keep it together in Virginia!

The director of the arts council was not there. She should have been. I was also told by Beth that my work wasn't to be covered up, and that the person that did it, didn't have the authority. I just hope nothing is touched during the rest of this month. However, it's beyond my control.

I got in late Saturday night, driving through the storm, and only unpacked my car yesterday - Monday. Today, I have 6 rolls of film to develop now. I am eager to see how everything turned out, especially the horse photos! I also need to start matting and framing my work for the Oyster Bay show so I could drop it off before my Virginia trip.

Whew...better get started!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 5 progresses - a summary of the week thus far

Its 5pm and I have down time. I have a few hours to kill before my friend comes here for dinner so I thought a good time to write. I was told that a reporter from the local press (Southampton Press and LI Pulse magazine) will be interviewing me tomorrow about my work and the residency program. I have decided to say about the program that I am the first candidate, that the program has a lot of potential but as of right now is in the growing stages and needs funding. I figured that statement is fair. It neither praises them for being fantastic, nor grinds them into the ground for not taking artist residencies very seriously (my real thought).

The bottom line is that a successful artist residency comes with:
- a stipend of some kind
- a private studio space with 24-hour access and not to be shared with others during the course of that residency.
- something worthwhile for that particular artist to come for - perfect example: if you invite a photographer to do this, offer them a fully-functional darkroom, not one that only provides chemistry to print and not anything to develop film.

My opinion is that these are very reasonable terms that I don't think requires that much more funding.

As I may have mentioned, one of their goals is to get international artists. What I have stated above is exactly what they need to do before they even consider that.

It is dark and rainy out at the moment. Perhaps a nap seems a good idea....

Day 4 - Yesterday really

I just woke up at 9am - which is late for me - because I had such a busy day yesterday. I did 2 photo shoots, one of which really took up most of the day to plan. It was me with 4 models and I don't know how well it actually came out. I shot 4 rolls of film with it so I have to have ONE good shot. I created a very odd setting of me in Victorian corset and poofy skirt writing in my journal with a feather pen surrounded by creatures. I had one with a bow and arrow aimed at a bunny woman with an apple on her head. I had a ram woman pouring tea for herself and the table my book was on was another creature. I shifted scenes with a creature taking pictures of me with a vintage camera and the others looking bored and then a few other variations.

The second shoot consisted of a printmaker I am friends with who looks like a bad ass in real life (though he is the father of 2 going on 3!!) I wanted to create a modern day Pieta so I was in Jesus' place and the hooded "bad ass" was Mary. I am really looking forward to seeing the negatives for that!

Today is kind of a wind-down day for me. Packing my car of some things and meeting friends for lunch then dinner. Tomorrow The Husband comes out and in the evening is the talk and then I go home!!!!! I will still update tonight and on Sunday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 3

I woke this morning feeling quite ill but luckily it faded a bit early on. I managed to get a few image transfers started. At lunch, I was invited to the staff meeting that included pizza and salad. Apparently the director of the arts council had no idea what kind of work I did.


I was under the assumption that since I was invited by the program coordinator to do this because she loved my work, that everyone at the council felt that way. It turned out that only the director didn't know my work. I talked a little bit about it. I then sat through an hour of their meeting that I felt would be rude if I just got up and left. I was bored to tears though....

Went into town to run a few more errands and agreed to myself that I would not spend another dime while I was out here. I printed out new promo cards, since I had the advantage of their inkjet printer. I was also able to hang one of my pieces in their gallery with a sign announcing my show. I was very happy about that!

Afterward, I continued working on my transfers while I sorted out my models for tomorrow's photo shoot. That will be an all-afternoon fun fest!

I admit that I am lonely. I was hoping to get together with friends out here that I hadn't seen in years but that didn't quite work out. I was also hoping I had more energy to want to see people, but in reality, I just want to be home with my husband and pets.

I am grateful for the time off but I don't feel like I am accomplishing all that much, artistically. I think part of it is that it is only a week. It's tough to get a whole lot done, especially when other things had to get done (putting up a show, preparing for an art talk and interacting with the arts council). So far, the horse experience is what's made this trip, I hope tomorrow's shoot and Saturday's talk are good enough to make the trip even more worthwhile...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 2

Censored? Well, of course I was! When I was invited to do this residency, they knew the type of work I do. However, because there were a couple of music lessons given to children today, in the room my work is hanging in, "they" did this to 2 of my images:

I was told that they were going to "just take them down" and I told them if they did that, I would be leaving. They thought I was joking. I moved the paper up to where the tape was at least on the wall, not the plexiglas I paid a lot of money for. The lessons are now over and I promptly removed the paper. Let's hope these children never go into the gallery or come to my talk Saturday night.

In lighter news, I did something crazy and amazing today. Meet Simon:

Simon is an Irish Spot Horse - apparently one of the tallest horses bred. I posed on top of him in my flowy white dress!! Yes - me - who never got on any horse ever. The owner was present, holding his reins as well as I (I will, of course have to Photoshop her out) and I had this wonderful woman Tara - the media coordinator at the arts council who brought me to this horse farm to begin with - was able to click the shutter on my Holga.

It was unbelievable!!!! I was scared and exhilarated all at once! It made all of my frustrations vanish, even if just for a short time. Simon was actually pretty calm but when I first got on him, he was a bit jittery, wanting to take off. My leg and butt muscles are feeling it now. I am really looking forward to developing that film.

Tara said to me, after we got into the car heading back here that I was so brave to get onto a horse for the first time ever and to pose, sans eyeglasses, too. I don't know if I can call it being brave or being crazy but I am so glad I did it.

And I think I made a friend in Tara.....so all is not lost.

Tomorrow, another zany day during this residency. I was invited to have lunch with the whole staff. I thought that was nice....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 1

I got to Rverhead at 11-ish and Beth, the residency coordinator, was already here raring to go. She helped me bring in my car-full'o'fun which consisted of photo gear, props and art supplies....oh yeah, and clothes/food. I am really enjoying this apartment. You will see from the photos, the East End Arts Council did put forth the expense in making this a cozy environment.

After I unpacked a little, Beth and I hung my show. The space is FAR from ideal but I already had agreed to this whole thing and wasn't about to break the commitment. I was told Benjamin Genocchio might come out and look at it. That would be a good thing - I hope - as long as I don't get accused of the awkward space. By the way, Benjamin is the art critic for the Long Island edition of the NY Times. He gave me a favorable review a couple of years ago and it would be wonderful if I got another one - especially this being a solo show. I just wish it was in the main gallery. It would just make more sense, even if it's just one wall.

The room that 3 of my photos are doubles as my work studio. It is large, lovely and so bright. I plan to use it to shoot in as well as my transfer experiments. On Saturday night, it will be the room I do my artist talk in.

So, I am making the best of it out here. It's a warm night. I went to run a few errands, had dinner and will settle in with an episode of House. Tomorrow starts creation time!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I leave for Riverhead, Long Island for a week of uninterrupted art-making. I will be meeting with Beth in the morning to hang my exhibit and go through the slide presentation for Saturday night's artist talk. Then I will unpack and get settled. On Tuesday, I will be driving out to Southampton to draw a bit from a model and then back to "my place" to start on some transfers. Wednesday, will be spent really cooking on some new work. Thursday, I have a photo shoot planned for the afternoon and Friday, back to cooking. I'm not going to post on what I will be doing right now but all attempts will be recorded on here on a daily basis.

I'm getting pretty excited!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

coming along....

All of my images are printed for the 2 exhibitions this month. I ordered the plexiglass and I packed most of my supplies for my art-making in Riverhead next week. I posted an ad on Craigslist for models for next Thursday's photo shoot and am going to decide what images I want to put on my hard drive to use in my transfers. Yeah, I am going to experiment with image transfers with monoprint over them. Why not? I figure using oil-based mediums would be best doing away from the pets in a better ventilated area anyway.

Need to make up more business cards and get my head together with a list of details I may have forgotten.

In case I haven't posted the promos:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Art and Snow

About the snowstorm we just had. NY encountered about a foot, at least here in South Ozone Park Queens it did. I had 2 days off - pros - I got to really organize myself and my studio and figure out what I need to do and buy in the upcoming weeks. Cons - I lost over $300 in work because of the school shut-downs and I was really counting on that money to help me with these upcoming purchases.

I am going to try to remain positive and hope that I am expecting some checks in the mail soon.

In the meantime, to add to my already full plate, I have been asked by a crazy but cool curator of the Chase Edwards Gallery - a gallery that just opened on Long Island but has a history - to be part of this 8-woman photo show that opens on April 3. She (the curator) loves my work and tells me that my work will stand out above everyone else's. That is nice to hear but then she sends out the information....she has a list of 6 themes/locations in which the 2 photos of each must be of. Here is her crazy list:

1) something in Oyster Bay
2) The planting fields
3) a black and white photo
4) something red
5) a street sign
6) the miracle mile shopping center Manhasset

I called her and told her that I didn't have time to shoot specifically for an exhibition and she told me to just go through my work and choose pieces that fit into the categories. I was successful with most of them. I have to go out and shoot 2 locations though - Oyster Bay and the miracle mile shopping center. I plan to get decked out in my white flowy gown (with long pants under!) and go to these places on Monday. Why am I doing this? Most importantly, I am told this curator brings in 500+ people at her openings and hell, it's actually fun to be able to have someone tell me where to shoot and me be able to shoot it in my own style.

Yesterday, I spent time working on the 2 images of "something red" and this is what I came up with.

The images themselves were "left-overs" from my Rabbitholes shoot, though looking at "Poppy", I am wondering why I never used it. I plan to post it on my website regardless. I think the red works rather well in them - red is such a symbolic color - usually meaning the end of innocence and boy does that fit into my work.

Latest version of Blurb book should arrive any day now. I won't be able to purchase lots of them right now but plan to do so for my England trip.

Right now, I just need to figure out when to frame 18 photos within the next several weeks :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

March is going to be crazyyyyyyyyyy!

Yes, I actually typed in mulitple "y"s at the end of crazy but it's the only way I can describe it! As if my artist residency isn't enough, now I have a second artist talk that I will be doing in a college in Virginia at the end of March. I am excited about it, no doubt. I am rarely given the opportunity to speak about my work so it will be nice and great practice to do so. I better get a move on with the iphoto presentation, considering what angle I want to hit. I can either do a history of me and my work or I can focus on the last few years....hmm...

Yay for exposure!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


So, one of my friends was posting on his journal about martyrdom (in an amusing kind of way) the other day and it reminded me of the photos I posted here recently. No, I do not think of myself as a saint or a martyr. I was born and baptized a Catholic but don't really feel like I belong to it. In fact, I don't really have a strong belief in any religion, but I suppose aspects of Paganism might be the closest thing I can get my head around. Still, growing up in an Italian-Catholic house surrounded by many symbols, especially statues and photos has had an effect on me.

I get plagued with dreams of being judged by others all the time. I also become, at times, consumed with the question of what happens to us when we die and the concept of Heaven and Hell (again, not something I am convinced exists, but just an idea to be comforted by). I think I want to explore this in my work, even if it leads to nothing...

My aforementioned friend responded to this by saying "Make it a good heaven, one where healthy young ladies in steel brassieres come sweeping down on horseback to carry the deceased off to a celestial hall with feasting, quaffing, and wenching. It sounds much more fun than the pale milquetoast Methodist hymn-sing of Christianity."

Hmm..I just might do that!

He is so awesome :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An Irish Poem I've discovered

The singer/songwriter Kate Rusby sang this poem on her album "Hourglass". Apparently, Sinead O'Connor also sang a version of this, among a few others. Personally, Kate's version is the most moving.

I AM STRETCHED ON YOUR GRAVE (17th century Irish poem, anonymous, translated)

I am stretched on your grave and I'll lie there forever
If your hands were in mine I'd be sure they would not sever
My apple tree my brightness, it's time we were together
For I smell of the earth and I'm worn by the weather

When my family think that I'm safe in my bed
From morn until night I am stretched at your head
Calling out to the earth with tears hot and wild
For the loss of the girl that I loved as a child

Do you remember the night O the night we were lost
In the shade of the blackthorn and the chill of the frost
Oh thanks be to Jesus we did what was right
And your maidenhead still is your pillar of light

The priests and the friars, they approach me with dread
For I love you still, my life and you're dead
I still will be your shelter through rain and through storm
And with you in your cold grave I cannot sleep warm

And with that:

Monday, January 11, 2010

wondering how....

I worry all the time. I have many things I need money for this year - my trip to England, materials to print my work, a costume I plan to have designed for a shoot and materials for me to bring to my residency.

I work 2 jobs as it is. The reality of not having the creative life is frustrating. I have ideas written in my journals but lack the time and money to bring any of them to fruition.I applied for NYFA's fellowship that I should hear about in May, I believe. $7000.........My grandmother always told me never to pray for money, so I won't. I pray that there are ways money will come to me without sacrificing any more of the precious time I have on off times.

I found this image on a website from year's ago and am wanting to find it on a disc somewhere in my studio. I know I saved a hi-res version of it and would like to rework it a little. Not sure what it means for me to be digitally combining myself with statues of saintly figures but I'll play with the idea for now.