Welcome, let’s all prepare to be whisked to the magical land of candy. Be warned, candy is very addicting and at Jubilee’s the candy is the tastiest in the world. ― Derek Ailes, Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]Wow, here we are already at the last week of July and it feels as though I don’t have nearly enough done to show for it. Sure, the garden has been a moderate success and we’ve traveled a bit to see family, but we’ve not taken many pictures. At times, the weather hasn’t been cooperative; this has been the wettest summer on record in Indiana, and there’s a decent chance of more rain today and tomorrow. My nature is to push myself to keep up with a schedule that, perhaps, isn’t as realistic today as it was fifteen years ago when there was something new to shoot every day, often multiple times a day. That absence of new pictures bothers me.
Then, I look at the collection of pictures we’ve chosen for this week, part of a series called Texture, shot throughout the year in 2010. We didn’t shoot them all in one day. We didn’t even shoot them all in one month. The earliest shoot was done in March, and we strung it out all year with the last shoot taking place mid-December. As a result, we have a full set of images, almost enough to have run two weeks, with a wide array of diversity across the group. We had time to experiment, which was good because only a couple of the shoots came out the way I anticipated. A couple of the concepts were absolutely disastrous. Had we been on a tight production schedule, those two could have killed the whole project.
By spreading the concept out over a year, we were able to figure out what worked best. Lying down produced better results than standing. A popular powdered children’s drink burns when the powder comes into contact with sensitive areas of skin. Taco seasoning doesn’t wash off for almost three weeks. Having a ticklish model doesn’t help. Recruiting models wasn’t as challenging as it is for some projects, though, because they were able to see what we were doing along the way. We posted images soon after they were shot and that made the project more interesting. While some of the first images were full-length, we eventually decided that it was closer, more macro shots that look best, so we didn’t need to cover as much of the body to get the desired effect. [/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Texture is a series that finds its roots in some very basic, childish, perhaps even primal need to get dirty. Prior to embarking on the series, we played around with mud and paint and sand and even coffee grounds on a few occasions because it photographs similarly to sand. There’s something about dirt on skin that feels natural, that connects us back to the planet in some psychological way I’m not able to explain. Getting dirty, connecting with our environment, is what generates some of our happiest memories as children. Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but getting dirty is definitely a lot more fun.
Expanding on that concept, candy seemed like a natural fit for the project. Sure, it meant having to crush it in some cases, but with today’s photo all we had to do was looking in the baking aisle of the local grocery for chips and pieces. Putting a variety of candies in cookies and milkshakes has been a popular enough activity that finding crumbles wasn’t difficult at all. The one question was a matter of which ones would actually look good against the skin. Some worked better than others because even small pieces of chocolate melt against the 98.6° warmth of the human body. And no, one really doesn’t want to eat them afterward. We used a thin layer of petroleum jelly in most cases to help the candy (or whatever other substance) to actually stay in place. This mix of toffee and chocolate managed to look good without smearing all over. The flower was a nice finishing touch.
We grow up with our parents constantly admonishing us to not play with our food, and when it comes to candy there was the added warning to not get it all over the place. Candy can be very messy, and at times very difficult to clean. Chocolate does stain, after all. Yet, what we found across this project is that the texture created by getting personal with food is interesting, surprising, and at times quite alluring. What those candy crumbles do to the landscape of the human form is rather exciting. Be warned, this could be addicting.[/one_half_last]