Shade Fanfare Revisited With A Dash Of SubtletyMonday, July 22, 2013
It was a hot drought on the last days of August, in 1991 when I received a call from my friend Brian Lynch who was the curator of an upstart photograph gallery on Beatty Street. He told me, “Alex I just received a cancellation for an opening that was to happen in September. Can you put something together and give me a show?”
I looked at some of my hostas in my garden. The drought had kept the slugs at bay and I knew I could also get some hosta leaves from my friend Ken Knechtel who ran a hosta nursery. I also knew one of the most beautiful women I had ever met. I obtained a box full of leaves and met up with Lisa Montonen one afternoon. I shot her with different hosta leaves with the idea that the name of the particular hosta would suggest the pose. I used one softbox and opted for a pitch black background.
And so the Exposure Gallery had its show and looking back I know it is one of the best shows I ever had. Incredibly it all happened with a perfect model in one afternoon. To top it all Chris Dahl, then art director for Vancouver Magazine designed a beautiful poster for which all I have as evidence of it is a real Xerox copy.
Because it was 1991 and I was a youthful 49 year-old, my modus operandi was to find any excuse; citing art was the best one, to persuade a woman to take it all off for my camera. It was also important for that youthful idiot that I was to show as much of that which you were not supposed to see. In spite of that the resulting photographs did have a generous amount of tasteful subtlety!
Now at age 70 I have looked at my negatives and found gems, the more subtle ones that I never used for the show with the exception of the one chosen by Dahl for his poster.
I think that they may be as fresh today as I thought they were when I helped Lynch hang the show on September 7, 1991.