Viewing entries tagged
Exhibit

Hollywood & Fine

Hollywood & Fine

My Next Gallery Exhibit Opens April 8th!

The Venice Institute of Contemporary Art is an initiative designed to recognize and present artists who reflect the incalculable influence Venice, and Southern California in general, has had on the art world and culture at large.  ViCA founder and curator Juri Koll has personally invited me to exhibit work in their upcoming show, Hollywood & Fine, the first curated gallery to open in the A.G Geiger Fine Art Bookstore.

"In it's inaugural exhibition, the A.G. Geiger Gallery and the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art (ViCA) presents a group exhibition of work focusing on Hollywood - from glitter and glamour to the gutter, from personalities and people to pipe dreams, from dreams to songs of dust. "

HollywoodAndFine

The Opening Night Reception kicks off on April 8th at 6pm, and you're invited!  Visit the event on Facebook to RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/259443611180538

See you there!

Help Support My Journey to Art Basel

Help Support My Journey to Art Basel

The Obnoxious Liberals Series Is Coming To Miami!

I'm proud to announce that TXTURE Magazine has invited me to exhibit pieces from my Basquiat-Inspired Bodypaint Portrait Series "Obnoxious Liberals" this year at their annual Miami Art Basel event, #TheArtFactory!

Miami Art Basel is an annual international art fair in Miami Beach, seeing visitors in the tens of thousands as hundreds of galleries present works from countries and artists all over the world. The rest of Miami comes alive with art as well during this time, and TXTURE Magazine has teamed up with Art & Sol Studios in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District to put together an event on December 3rd to showcase new and emerging talents from across the US.  

I couldn't be happier to end this year with such an amazing honor, as it was only this past January that I exhibited prints of my work for the first time ever at the RAW:Hollywood showcase.

This Is Where I Need Your Help

In order to make my Miami exhibit the best it can be, I have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise a portion of the funds necessary to print and prepare this gallery.  Since the date is so close to last month's debut of the Obnoxious Liberals series at the Exchange Room Gallery, I'm having a bit of trouble covering these expenses myself while still in the red from my previous outing.

The Kickstarter campaign is essentially a fire-sale on prints, ranging from 4x6 tests all the way up to the 20x28 exhibition pieces I'd like to create for Miami.  Any donation of $10 or more receives an exclusive print in return, and 8x10s from the Obnoxious Liberals series can be had for as little $25.  Click Here to visit the Kickstarter to purchase your print and help me make my Art Basel exhibit one for the books!

Thank you!

The Time Has Finally Come For My First Solo Photography Exhibit!

The Time Has Finally Come For My First Solo Photography Exhibit!

A few months back I shared a little insight into the creative process of developing the concept that would soon become my first ever solo photography exhibit, a collection of abstract bodyscape portraits inspired by the neo-expressionist paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Now after five months of shooting, Obnoxious Liberals: A Bodypaint Tribute To Jean-Michel Basquiat will open on October 15th, 2016 at the Exchange Room Gallery of Il Tramezzino UCLA!

Come enjoy the Opening Night Reception on October 15th at 7pm, featuring live art and entertainment with music from DJ Santana of TruthSeekers Radio 90.7 KPFK, a live bodypainting session, guest photographic work from Sahmia Ase, and live spoken word performances, with free food and drinks courtesy of Il Tramezzino Italian Restaurant and free beer courtesy of Golden Road Brewing!

Attendance is FREE for all ages!  (Must be 21+ to drink).  RSVP on Facebook and visit ExchangeRoomGallery.com for more info! 

The Exchange Room Gallery is located at 110 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095

See below for parking details:

Parking Structure 4 is located at:  221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Parking Structure 4 is located at: 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

So Now What?

So Now What?

Finding New Motivation

If you haven't noticed, I really haven't been shooting much this year.  Even everything I've posted on Instagram so far was work I completed last year, save for a few previews and tests.  Call it a lack of inspiration, lack of funds, lack of motivation, or all of the above.  On Instagram, I like to switch back and forth between posting street and portraiture, colour and black & white, 35mm and medium format, etc. as a way of keeping the curated gallery aesthetic of the page intact.  So after finishing my medium format color portrait series, the next logical step in the progression was to go back to black & white street.  Only I didn't have any black & white street left to post, meaning I'd need to go out and shoot some more.  Yet for whatever reason, I just didn't.  In retrospect, I guess I don't find Los Angeles to be that inspiring of a place for street photography, but it was more than just that.

At the beginning of the year I knew I wanted to get something different out of my work in 2016.  Shooting is a lot of fun, but is that it?  I've been dreading the day I actually sit down to add up all of film-photography related expenses from 2014 and 2015 only to come to find I'm several thousand dollars invested in a hobby that at the end of the day is just that, a hobby. (Hopefully it's not that bad, but I ain't lying when I say #StayBrokeShootFilm).  At the end of the day, I do go through an unnecessarily large amount of trouble and expense to manually expose film, lab develop and scan negatives, transfer everything to a computer, color-correct often mediocre lab scans (a result of unsupervised batch-scanning), sort them, and finally transfer them to my phone, all so that my photos can find their final resting place on Instagram amongst memes, selfies, what people are eating for breakfast, and the small and dedicated niche of other film photographers who typically reside in Europe and Asia.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Instagram for being the sole reason for my gallery debut in January, but I just don't think it's truly the best place for the kind of work I want to make (ridiculous censorship included).  And I do love displaying my work at these gallery shows, but let's be honest, people go to group art shows to support their friends and have fun, not to buy art.  I get the feeling this isn't a sustainable business model.

So this year I decided, you know what, I'm gonna scale back.  I don't want to have ten rolls of film to develop at the end of every month, and I don't want to crowd-fund anytime I need to print anything because I'd have no money left to create display pieces otherwise.  I was going to simplify, shoot exclusively black & film street photography using a single camera and lens combo for the rest of the year, and continue working to build my audience of fellow film photographers on Instagram by providing quality content of my own and engaging with theirs.  Meanwhile, as if on cue, the Facebook-owned Instagram adopted the Facebook model of aggregated news feed posts, meaning people would no longer be able to log into Instagram and see all the photos I posted in chronological order by just scrolling down their timelines.  Instead, now some mysterious Facebook-esque "news feed optimization algorithm" will determine which of my updates my followers get to see and when.  What that meant for me was, now a significantly smaller percentage of my followers would ever even see my work, and if they did, they'd see it in the manner, time, and order (if at all) that Instagram dictated.  And that's, for lack of better terms, fckin stupid.

If you know anything about me as a filmmaker, you'll know the Kubrick in me has a real problem giving up control over the presentation and viewing conditions and of my work.  It's for this exact reason that my short film To Police probably won't ever be released in full online.  If you wanted to see it, you needed to come to the theater to see it.  The second I put it on Youtube, the second people are watching it on their iPhones from the toilet, and I just don't think that's how a film about the shooting of a teenager by a police officer should be viewed.  But I digress...

So now what?  I even tested this new Instagram algorithm, and found that if I posted the exact same (crowd favorite) photograph now that I did a year ago I should expect about 200 less Likes.  Which doesn't sound like much, until you consider that a year ago I had roughly 5,000 less followers that I do now.  I had to more than double my follower count just to be able to reach only 200 less people.  And for me, Likes aren't so much about social validation as they are about engaging with a core audience of fellow photographers, filmmakers, and enthusiasts who actually do appreciate my work, so I do find visibility to be very important.  Particularly when this is the very same audience I intended to reach with the launch of this website in order to convert Instagram followers to Subscribers and Subscribers to Print Owners.  Because at the end of the day, the only way I was going to be able to keep shooting at the rate that I was would be if print sales could cover my expenses.  Now, with a significantly smaller percentage of people even aware that I have a website where I sell printsI get the feeling this isn't a sustainable business model.  

(I also found that charging darkroom prices might not be the best way to start out, so you'll be happy to know I am currently researching alternative, affordable print methods without compromising quality.  More on that next week).

Which brings me to today.  I'm now two group art exhibits in when it dawns on me that, like everything else in life, skill and merit are absolutely trumped by proximity and relationships.  Whether or not my photography is good enough to be hanging on the walls of true art galleries actually has absolutely nothing to do with who I know that could actually get my work into true art galleries.  And this is an important distinction for any up and coming photographer to make nowadays.  Sometimes your success as a photographer has absolutely nothing to do with what your photos look like.  So, let's just say I've found my next door, and have given my foot its next target.  I may not be shooting much at the moment, but what I am doing is laying the foundation for my first ever solo photography exhibit.  I've found some interested parties as a direct result of networking at the I AM Group Show, so hopefully I'll be able to make a fortuitous announcement in the very near future.  From there, it'll be time to move into permanent galleries.  

All in due time, all in due time...

I AM: Group Art Show

I AM: Group Art Show

ART . MUSIC . FOOD . FREE

What more could you ask for?

I'm proud to announce that my second official photography exhibit will be up and on display in The Exchange Room Gallery at the Il Tramezzino Italian restaurant at UCLA from April 23rd until July 31st!

The official gallery opening will begin at 7pm on the 23rd and feature live music from RnB singer/songwriter David Vines, DJ Santana from TruthSeekers Radio 90.7 KPFK, food and drinks provided by Il Tramezzino, a live installation painting by The Exchange Room Gallery's own Suzan Z, and the collective work of 16 visual artists!

This is a FREE event for ALL AGES!  So mark your calendars and get ready for a night of food, art and entertainment!

Except for parking.  Parking isn't free.  It's still in Los Angeles after all...

But everything else, yeah... Free.


PARKING AND LOCATION INFO

THE EXCHANGE ROOM GALLERY

UCLA ANDERSON SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

110 Westwood Plaza F211

Los Angeles, CA 90095

In case you missed it, PARKING ISN'T FREE.

In case you missed it, PARKING ISN'T FREE.

Visit ExchangeRoomGallery.com for more info!

RAW:Hollywood Presents Futures

RAW:Hollywood Presents Futures

My First Photography Exhibit

"Instagram?  You mean the place where people take pictures of their food and put dramatic filters on their bathroom selfies?  Yeah, no thanks." - Corey Deshon, circa 2010

Okay, I'll admit it, I was never an early pioneer of the emerging social networking trends, despite studying Information Technology for nine years.  Even as of today, I don't have a Snapchat, I don't have a Vine, I'm still not really sure what Periscope is, I've retired from Facebook, and literally the only reason why my Twitter account exists is because I figured I might as well claim the name @CoreyDeshon, because who knows what I might need it for one day.  (I will say I am actively trying to use it now.  We'll see how that goes).

But Instagram, I must say,  has certainly pulled its weight.  I finally joined in 2014 after my shoot with Ama, who convinced me that it would be well worth it to promote my work.  After all, I was really only shooting because I loved it, so why market?  Well, this is why...

FuturesBanner

After a year and a half working up a pretty decent following (hoping to cross the 9k followers mark next month), my photos began getting some attention in places I'd never think to find them.  One of those such places was an event in San Diego, that if I remember correctly had something to do with women's empowerment.  I really have no idea what the event actually was, because they didn't exactly ask if they could use my photos.  But no harm done, as they did their due diligence by ensuring to credit my name as the photographer and link back to my Instagram.  And to be honest, I'm actually quite proud of this, since I do try to ensure that when photographing women, I do so in a way that is respectful, empowering, and unexploitative.  So for this event to receive my photos that way must mean I'm doing something right haha.  But anyway...

A few weeks after this event I get a call from one of the Showcase Directors of RAW Artists, inviting me to come display my work their upcoming showcase in Hollywood.  It turns out, someone saw my work at this event, traced the photo back to Instagram and eventually my old website, found my contact information, and asked if I'd want to exhibit.  And that, my friends, is why every photographer should have an Instagram.

Well, the RAW Showcase was tonight, and it was one of the best experiences I've had in my photographic journey to date.  Check out some photos below:

(RAW Showcase photos courtesy of Jeffrey SmallwoodFlip Cassidy, and Gil Riego).

Not only was this my first time ever exhibiting my work in print, but it was my first time ever printing photos as well.  (Read more about the series I chose to print in my interview with Pixel Magazine here).  Naturally, I chose to go with all darkroom printing methods, to ensure the heart of analogue still remained a key factor of my exhibit.  I can't wait to showcase again with RAW, and to continue printing my photos for display.  Making prints has been a long time coming for me, and this was certainly the jump start I needed to begin the new year strong.

Prints from the showcase and more are available for purchase now in the store!