I had an amazing time at the Kansas City Oddities & Curiosities Expo last Saturday. It was one of the largest events I've ever attended and I don't know if I'll ever be a part of something bigger save for the events in a larger metropolis. I made some new friends, talked about my work, and saw a lot of other great work. I'll be attending the Oddities & Curiosities Expos in Chicago (July 21st) and New Orleans (Aug 18th) later this summer. Along with a local Oddities event on June 2nd here in Omaha.
The event itself had an unreal turnout and any vendor there will attest to that. The line to get in was literally over a mile long at one point with traffic backing up on to the interstate. Very cool to see and made me feel very privileged and humbled to be included as one of the artists for the expo. I met all types of people. Some who said they've never seen work like this before, and others who laughed and said they can make crap like this themselves so why the hell would they pay me?
Something that happens frequently, and surely I'm not alone in this, is that I enter a feedback loop with my work. I have the support of my friends and the ones who don't support me don't follow me. So there's a bit of redundancy and disconnect. Where I might feel like something is right to me and I believe in the work for my own reasons but that doesn't always translate to a total stranger. Ultimately that's what matters to me because I love my friends but I'm not making work for them or to gain their favor. I want connection beyond time and place and social status.
I was very happy with the feedback I received on the Divine Hunters series which are the large wax pieces of the figures in the woods. (can be seen on instagram) It was very rewarding to see people physically shiver, announce, "now that's creepy", and stop in their tracks to stare at these figures staring back at them. And then move in closer. They are meant to have that effect. Both in ambiguity of process and subject matter. They are essentially mirrors, hunters of hearts, neither good nor evil. An open canvas for the viewer to project. Sometimes you just don't know. I get engrossed in the work, I want it to have this effect, I hope it will. But will it? I'm still not 100% sure on that and I don't really want to ever be. It motivates me to keep tweaking and refining and trying new things.
The Divine Hunters will be on display(and for sale) for a solo exhibition February 1st, 2019 at the Petshop Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska. My goal is to be done with the series by the end of the summer and begin working on some new BDSM/red room/sexually primal work late summer/early fall. I'll be doing the rest of the Divine Hunters shooting over the next couple of months when we get those great foggy mornings from the rain mixed with heat.