The Art World. Elite & private, admittance is generally expensive. One either buys their way in via purchase of art, (preferably expensive art) or enters as a scholar, which of course requires a considerable investment in work, also viewed as time, which as we’ve all been told, is money.
Or you can do it the easy way and be born into it. That’s me, I’m in by proxy.
For the longest time this was uncomfortable in the extreme. I knew little of Matisse but for family stories handed down and had no exquisite works to show, lend or talk about. I was in effect, devoid of any compelling contribution save of course for my name, and no longer content with this, decided to change things up. I determined that if I could just meet some of the elite members of this private society, I’d feel better about my own place in it. But how? What could I do to break the ice that might allow me through those truly private doors?
At the time, digital photography was just starting to take over and I was determined to hold off for as long as possible. This would be a project done in the old style. Classic environmental portraits, wooden camera, big tripod, lights, film & Polaroid. Yeah baby.
Pretty much immediately there was a snafu in in that most of the people I wanted to photograph were not only in France, but spoke only French, a language that despite my heralded lineage, I have never mastered. But I let that minor detail slide and dove in regardless. 10 years and 23 portraits later 13 of my subjects have since passed. 13 people I never would have met had I not done the project, each of whom, in their own way, made an indelible mark on my own relatively young life.