A New Project For 2018Monday, August 21, 2017
|Juan Manuel Sánchez & Nora Patrich
Luke 4:24 -King James Version
And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
My grandmother often said it in Spanish, “Nadie es profeta en su tierra.”
Today I was contacted by the Georgia Straight and asked if I was going to be available for my yearly (only one of) contribution as the photographer for the Straight’s Fall Art’s Preview. I have been doing this for at least 10 years.
I looked at my Rosemary and she nodded, “No.” At one time when I had to do awful retirement ceremonies for Canadian Pacific Limited (held at the Terminal City Club) I would look to her and her expression was a damning one that said, “We need the money. You go.”
That is no longer the case. But it still hurts. It all started with the debacle of magazines and newspapers going under and the moribund state of journalism in Vancouver. Then I let go of my studio on Granville and Robson as money coming in was less than money going out (a classic case of the leaky tank problem). The phone stopped ringing and soon I was aware that my career was as dead as that of DVD stores.
I held on to the Straight job with the idea that it made me at the very least minutely relevant. But today I finally figured out relevance, legacy and having a memorial park bench are three things I do not need for contentment and perhaps (who knows?) happiness.
I believe that after having worked with some of the best art directors of the magazine world not only in Canada but abroad that I am now a much better photographer than ever. But my kind of skill is not needed. At one time the Globe & Mail would contact me a week ahead to photograph some visiting luminary to our city. This, gave me time to research and plan my shoot. I compared notes with the then arts reporter Christopher Dafoe. We would then tackle the assignment together.
Now those people do not come. They opt for phoners or email interviews from LA and send a handout photograph. My kind of style is dead.
The secret for survival in our beautiful city is to never become bitter. If you are bitter you end up blaming others.
The secret (my secret and it is free for the taking) is to continue with what one does best in some different way.
Paradoxically my different way is to go back to my roots at around 2000 when I began exhibiting my photographs in local art galleries. I did that for 10 years and my Rosemary complained of the framing expenses. But she backed me up otherwise in an uncritical silence. Bless her.
Now my next project will be a joint show with Argentine artist Nora Patrich which will be in a lovely downtown gallery in Buenos Aires called Galería Vermeer. The owner of the gallery, Enrique Scheishon is below centre, with artists Alfredo Plank and Juan Manuel Sánchez A lot of the work will include joint colaboraciones and individual stuff rich in eroticism. This is stuff I cannot place in my blog or otherwise show in any gallery in this city. It will be a relief to exhibit in a third world country's city, Buenos Aires (at least 15 million souls), where there is a tad more liberlism in how they view the arts. The word innapropriate is yet to enter their lexicon.
|Alfredo Plank, Enrique Scheinsohn, Juan Manuel Sánchez
The show will combine our individual work and what we called and called “trabajos conjuntos” or “colaboraciones”. For quite a few years Patrich, her husband Juan Manuél Sanchéz and I worked on projects where we would combine drawings, sketches and photographs on subjects that centered on our longing for the nostalgic times of our pasts.
|Nora Patrich, Roxana & Alex
Patrich will be in town, visiting from Buenos Aires where she now lives, this Saturday. On our agenda is to look through hundreds of photographs (postcard sized) she took of our colaborations with lovely models (of both sexes) in my studio, and other locations. I must admit that I am a bit embarrassed about them as most of the pictures have my rear end most visible as I stand behind my medium format camera. We are going to scan the best and they will be on a computer for our opening in August/September 2018 showing two artists and this photographer working.
Juan Manuel Sánchez died on October 6, 2016. I would equate him as an artist of the calibre (in our Canada) Jack Shadbolt but would add that Sánchez was an influential member of the Grupo Espartaco, artists who protested the governments of repression of Argentine military juntas through their art and with a rich output of murals.
|Juan Manuel Sánchez 2016
It is irrelevant if I sell anything. What is important is that I am returning to my place of birth and perhaps both St. Luke and my grandmother are wrong.