People often tell me to put a muzzle on my over-active imagination. Maybe those exact words don’t come out of their mouths, but I can tell they’re thinking it based on the look on their face. I know this sounds presumptuous because I’m not a mind reader; however, it’s pretty clear when someone gives me the shut-the-fuck-up look! This usually comes after I verbally offer up some crazy concocted course of events, generally starting with a “what if…?”. A sight or a sound wafts its way up to my senses, initiating the daydreaming. The result is a hypothetical story riddled with questions. Curiosity then dictates that I must get answers; thus, these questions are the fuel that set my projects in motion. I don’t think my stories are that far-fetched. Then again, I bet George Lucas partially believes a Star Wars-like scenario could really happen. Wookies and men living together, now that’s ridiculous!
San Francisco provokes people to walk. I did my fair share of this when I lived in the city. It seemed I was always passing giant window displays, courtesy of department stores like Macy’s, Louis Vuitton and H&M. The mannequins would be there inside the windows showing off the latest trends in fashion. One day while strolling past these artful displays, I started to wonder what it would be like if a mannequin befriended a child. Please keep in mind that in the context of this story the mannequin described can easily be a living model or a plastic-like model found in the windows displays. This is open for interpretation. The meaning of mannequin is actually interchangeable. In contrast to the modern English definition, the French word “Mannequin,” dating back to the 1830s, refers to a young female employed to model an outfit. Anyhow, after walking past these window displays, day-after-day, questions about this odd relationship began bubbling up, such as
- What would a day in their life be like?
- How would the two interact?
- What kind of role would the model play in the child’s life and vice-versa?
- What kind of reaction would the rest of the world have to this strange relationship?
After chewing on this idea a bit, I decided to create a fashion series telling a tale of models and their children friends.
The title of this Project is “Play Date.” The images convey a strong sense of design through the use of shapes, linear perspective, implied and psychic lines. The primary importance of the images is to call attention to Fashion through the use of contrast. I wanted to insert uncommon fashion not usually found in suburban environments. My goal was to either make the fashion contrast the surrounding environment or to relate the fashion to the environment. As the project and I evolved, I started to take on more intellectual ideas like incorporating my own subtle commentaries on various social, interpersonal and/or psychological topics.
Here’s an example to help illustrate these points:
In “Caught,” the little girl in the window watching the sexual act take place is based on a personal experience. In the image, the viewer is catching the little girl as she’s trying to figure out what the woman on the porch is doing. One night, when I was a kid, I built a fort out of pillows and blankets next to my parent’s bed. They didn’t know I was there. In the early morning hours, I woke up to the sound of my dad trying to get rascally with my mom. This freaked me out! I popped up and ran out of the room. I think most people can relate – accidentally catching their parents in a sexual act.
Here is the mood board that helped inspire other elements of the image.