Kamp Grizzly is a company that makes vibrant, creative, and beautifully edited videos. During my last visit to Portland, I got to go visit their HQ! Their loft space is great not only because they offered me energy drinks that taste like cream soda and let me chase their dog around. The office is full of little camp-like treasures and outdoor equipment that has been functionally used within the workspace. Its what would happen if Todd Oldham designed an office for Ted Nugent.
A few weeks back, Alex came out to the Cotton Candy Machine gallery/shop, in Brooklyn, to show off his tumors….and things that were mistaken for tumors!
Alexs art work is incredible. Its usually brightly colored, full of boils, squiggly lines, and little happy reoccurring characters that are always having an adventure within his own world. He works harder than anyone I’ve ever met, to constantly create something new in his own witty and vibrant style. His dedication to his work always shines through and is constantly evolving into something new. One of the things I love most about Alexs work is the way that he presents it. Alex goes above an beyond to always try and make an event that represents him, as memorable as possible for both novice observers and serious critics.
He’s thrown fake birthday parties equipped with balloons and pizza and a raffle drawings for prints. He even used to host weekly movie nights where he would paint something and give away prints of it, to coincide with the movie he chose to play that night.
He keeps his work fun, personal, sometimes random, and always beautiful with its own unique style. It very much reflects who he is as a person, in that way.
For this art show called “Tu’mor or not Tu’mor”, Alex started with the idea of embracing the fact that people tend to compare the weird lumpy monsters he creates, to tumors. He dressed up like talk show host Maury Povitch, covered his body in cancerous looking lumps, and curated his show of black sillouettes under the staged name “Tu’maury”. He turned his art show into a game show! People were brought up to guess if the painting they were about to see was a tumor or not, in order to win prizes.
For those who couldn’t make it out to the show, I constructed a video version so you can play at home!
We also made a little b&w zine of his tiny tumor characters that are also displayed in the gallery. I even got to add some characters of my own! The Tumor Town zines were given out to the first 150 people to show up to the shows opening.
I had a fun time helping him with the finishing touches of the show and taking photos through out the process. Some photos of which got shown off through fancy art sharers like Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose!
Alex did a recap of his show, on his own blog. I figured I’d share some photos I took from the week I got to linger around the Cotton Candy Machine until the wee hours of the morning, too!
Genavieve is an awesome makeup artist and was kind enough to spend her Saturday giving Alex his tumor.
I was also SO happy to see my Smo and James that night
This was the night I find out, through Smos beard, that even facial hair can form split ends!
All of the paintings, drawings, and wall mural from Alex Pardees show are on display at the Cotton Candy Machine in Brooklyn, NY until the end of the month. So if you feel like you’ve completely missed out, you haven’t yet!
I’ve owned far too many Lomo cameras, through out the years. I like the idea that each toy camera can give a photo a completely different look. The control freak in me doesn’t really care for how completely unfocused that look usually ends up despite my efforts to create the stillest environment for a shot.
My friend Derek is absolutely amazing with the Lomo Sprocket Rocket and when we got to talking about how blurry all the rest of their cameras are, the La Sardina came up. It was a brand new addition to Lomo, at the time. Its an easy to use 35mm camera that was modeled to look like a sardine can. Apparently, the focal point can be pretty sharp, and it has a wide angle that isn’t so intense that it leaves your photo with black corners and everything else in a bubble, like their fisheye does.
Ever since then, I’ve been lurking around on blogs and Flickr accounts of La Sardina owners. Day dreaming. Last week, a friend of mine who works with Lomo said he had one that wasn’t getting much use and allowed me to test it out indefinitely. It was a very happy day in Brooklyn.
He packed it with a roll of 800 speed film, that rad looking fog horn of a flash, and a couple of flash filters. I spent the next day walking around the city flipping its switches and knobs, recklessly. Maybe, due to my excitement, I did it a bit too recklessly. I got my film back and felt like I was looking into fogged glass after drinking a bottle of cheap vodka. Most of them were unrecognizably blurry.
I told Alex how discouraged I was with the results, and he gave me some great obvious insight. First he asked “Did you use the flash on them?” I responded after a long pause. A pause that I used to figure out if he had somehow magically seen my photos before me, all the way over in California and was being a smart ass (turns out he was just being smart) ”Only for one…the only one that came out clear…”
the settings I used for said photo.
Then he brought up another good point. He reminded me that not all photos have to be in focus to be an interesting photo.
He’s right. Its something that I’ve let myself forget through out the years of shooting and trying to always improve myself. I’ve grown so accustom to my digital SLR where I have control over everything in order to make the photo look exactly how I want to. I then remembered that I wanted this camera to learn with. To take something that I could only choose between two focal points (far away and close up) and challenge myself to make that photo recognizable as my own despite the natural way the camera functions.
At that point, I went back over the photos I took and realized that I do like some of them, quite a bit! So myy new little La Sardina is already restocked with some of my favorite color saturated film (Kodak Portra 400), the flash is stuffed with a brand new battery, and I’m ready to continue to let go of control and have fun with my new fun toy!
Heres some of my favorite photos from my first attempt with the La Sardina:
I would never be able to try and define my personality, but I feel like the guts of my purse do a pretty good job of doing just that. In my bag, this week, I’ve been wielding the following very important items:
A dog-cat bubble bottle/ whistle/ classy necklace from the flea market. (Best dollar I’ve ever spent in my life.)
iPhone with my homemade eye-phone case
2 straws filled with delicious honey, for sugar ingesting emergencies
Some animals that I recently saved from the grocery zoo
My arts n crafts to-go bag*
Blistex deep renewal lip…stuff (It turns your lips into vanilla and velvet)
Bond No. 9 travel perfume (It turns your body into gardenias and marvel)
Disposable camera, for capturing sleepy bums, pink and blue skies, poorly painted walls, and other things that just look better with film.
Yu Be hand cream (a glycerine based moisturizer that leaves my hands feeling smoother than chinchilla fur)
My wallet/ oversized Metrocard holder
*I seem to use the small bag within my bag almost more often that anything in the bag, itself. Its probably because its full of the following fun craft items:
Cute ice cream stickers, for making a boring note into a fun treat!
Embroidery floss, for sewing fun notes into hotel pillow cases and sneaking hearts onto Alexs’ hoodies
A metal crayon tin from FAO Schwarz. Right now, they have a ton of crayons to choose from and you can fill a tin up with 10 of your favorite colors. Its way fun! (Plus, opening it up on a warm day, smells SO good)
Assorted pens. (I am currently coveting Gelly Roll glitter pens and tiny tipped Micron 005 pens)
Things that were not featured in this post, that are usually on me, include the digital camera I shot these photos with and my keys, which I didn’t even realize were missing until the moment I set up the shot. Hmm…
I recently started dedicating more time to making new friends! I’ve made friends with a lot of things that some people may consider a nuisance or too scary to even imagine becoming friend with. Turns out that all they need is some love to be able to show you their softer side.
Their softer side happens to be made of felt and up for sale on my Etsy shop!
If you feel like you make have a good home for an abominable snowman, a fun adventure for a shrunken giraffe, a healthy home for some cavity filled teeth, or a clean watering hole for some lampreys, you should check out the new friends I’ve sewn together!