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Rarities: Photography and Paint 2004—2010 - C. Shoup

“For sure—there is a highway on which I travel into the future, but my mind is questioning and restless. Sometimes, a thing comes along that encourages me to get off the road. I chase one seemingly random idea to one more idea and another...until I reach an end point, and the inspiration evaporates, and I’m done with the exploration, and I walk back to the highway. “There are times when I return carrying gold. There are other times when in my hands is coal. Gold is shiny and pretty; coal is useful in a fire. Either way I win. “Rarities is a portfolio of gold and coal—it’s a presentation of some things I’ve returned with in the past 6 years of traveling off road. “The pieces that follow don’t necessary “fit” into any developed series, so rather than let these misfits wander about on their own, I’ve corralled them into this single place. Enjoy!”

“An alphabet written with the full moon... “How it happened: I was experimenting with lunar images. Once, during one full moon, I drug the camera lens across the sky while the shutter was open, and the developed photograph showed a smeared line of white moon that (when viewed under the right frame of mind) could have been interpreted as a letter of the alphabet... “The insight led to a purposeful exploration. When the next full moon appeared, I went out with the intention of dragging the camera in the shape of letters. It took five months and a lot of rolls of film, but I eventually created an entire alphabet! I framed it, and the first full moon alphabet sold immediately. “This is my second alphabet. “A” through “F” are solely the moon. The “G” and “h” and “M” and “N” have traffic stoplights smeared in the frame. And some other environmental factors appear. Awesome!”

Full Moon Alphabet #2 2004 Twenty seven 35mm photographs; mounted on painted canvas; framed in solid oak 24� x 48�

“Amanda was hard at work on her masterpiece Au Revoir Monsieur Jinx, which took six months to complete. During that same period I worked like a madman on a large photographic series. The calm of her process seemed particularly inviting, and during a night of personal chaos I asked if I could sit down and paint next to her. “So there I was, quieted in the shadow of her work, trying to think of something cool to paint, and into my mind popped a memory from my childhood: those Saturday afternoons spent watching really fantastic ninja movies. “I thought, How can I manifest that memory in the present? Eventually I realized I could create a painting depicting me performing the most courageous act any husband could do for his wife: the act of protecting her from ninjas! This composition has a masterful, circular reading.” Wife—I will protect you from ninjas 2008 Oil on solid oak; recycled countertop samples; framed in walnut 24” x 36”

“Ah—here is a piece that is more about the beauty of the process than the completed product... “A relaxing day spent outdoors in the autumn environment of water and stones...and an overwhelming desire to put down the camera and work with my hands…. “Perchance a passing crow—who for surely would not be allowed in the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenzeto—had his day to perch atop this wellwrought reproduction of its more famous counterpart.”

Reproduction of the Statue of David at Rock Creek 2007 Hand-stacked limestone, various mosses 20” x 60”

“These paintings represent a big leap from my habitual work. “The snapping turtle and red-tailed hawk were characters that populated the world of my youth. “I expect to add a third piece—a coyote—to complete this series.” Snapping Turtle 2009 Oil on solid oak; gold-painted aluminum; framed in walnut 24” x 24”

Red-Tailed Hawk 2009 Oil on solid oak; gold-painted aluminum; framed in walnut 24� x 48�

“The State of Indecision. I once wanted to tear it down—then the State hired me, effectively suppressing my rebellion by making me a paid part of its ranks. At first I maintained the dream that Oh No! The State won’t distract me with spoonfuls of its money! “But the life support offered by the State lifted me out of poverty, and my cushy new lifestyle caused me to realize that no—I couldn’t bite the hand that fed me... “I am now an official photographer for the State of Indecision. I may not agree with all of its archaic philosophies, but I am paid well.”

(Top) Flag for the State of Indecision; 24” x 48” (Lower Left) Logo for the State of Indecision; 18” x 8” (Lower Right) Official Portrait of the Logo for the State of Indecision 12” x 18” 2005 — 2007 35mm photographs

“I was drawing trees in my sketchbook, and I finished mounting a series of tiled photographs on oak panels and had three pieces of “leftover” wood, along with enough walnut to frame the panels. “I decided I would paint each panel a solid color and then use black oil paint for each tree. “They turned out great. I hoped to sell them as a triptych to a single buyer, but I was in a position to sell the “green” piece alone and did so. “In the future, I plan to construct similar trees on 8 foot by 4 foot solid oak panels. They will absolutely define a large public or private space.”

Oak Trees 2008 Oil on painted oak panels 18” x 24”

“This is the only piece in any of my portfolios consisting of a solitary black and white photograph. “The story? There was a brutal, drenching afternoon thunderstorm. By four o’clock it cleared up. I was leaving to capture a few images of the aftermath and Amanda said, “You should go to the river. I bet you can get good reflections of the sky on the water.” “I drove to the Perry Farm in Bradley. I planned to walk the trail to the river. The parking lot was empty. Everywhere were large puddles. I got out and saw in the puddles monochromatic colors and reflections. So I laid on the damp asphalt, rested the camera body directly on top of the parking lot, and captured this image without ever getting to the river.”

She Wanted a River 2006 35mm photograph 12” x 18”

“The librarian at the school where I work threw out an old book of maps—they were thick, beautiful plates. I rescued the book. It sat in my workshop for 3 years. Then I had the idea to mount and paint over them, leaving the map beneath as the image. I sold both of these (for real cheap!) at local markets. I’m currently finishing new pieces.” Sun; Bike 2010 Recycled world maps; paint 10” x 16” 16” x 20”

Rarities - Photography and Paint 2004 - 2010  

This portfolio includes those pieces I've created while wandering "off the road."