10x10 Exhibition - My First Gallery Showing
In the middle of winter in 2017 I came into contact with a Torontonian artist James Fowler. We became fast friends and I learned that he curated an annual show during pride featuring lens based, queer, artists. Not just photographers, but video artists too! I knew I had to take part and James was gracious enough to have me a part of the 2018 ‘class’ of 10x10. Immediately after meeting him to confirm my involvement... I immediately spilled James’ coffee on him... Oops?
This was my first show, and I wanted to do it right, but I should back up a bit... Starting in 2010, this exhibition has featured ten queer artists, each photographing ten queer artists resulting in an exhibition of one hundred artists every year for the past eight years, and going on for another two (10 Artists with Ten portraits each for Ten years).
Being from the East Coast, I knew that I wanted to feature some of the people that I know and love from there, as we are often underepresented in the arts world and I wanted to celbrate the east coast. I made a descision – of my ten artists I would show five people FROM the east coast and five people ON the east coast.
I wanted to have the images be dark and moody, with gelled kicklights that show the Pride colours, or at least an approximation of them. Knowing that half of the artists would be from the east coast, and half of them would be on the east coast: I decided to split them down the middle. Keeping the people ON the east coast gelled on the left, and the people FROM the east coast gelled on the right, and have them split top and bottom. I had it all mapped out in my head... Then I just had to get them shot.
In November of 2017, I contacted my subjects and took a flight out to Nova Scotia, it was great to see my stomping ground and get to work. I stayed at a friends home in downtown Halifax, rearranged his dining room and made myself a little studio for two days. I shot four of my five people for this half of the shoot while the fifth, Samson, I photographed while they were in Toronto for a while. I wanted the images to all look like old paintings – almost make my subjects look like soldiers painted in the renesscance. I see art as a defence against the world and I wanted to portray that.
When I had all of the images shot I did some intense editing: ensuring they were all visually cohesive and making them look like a whole piece. From day one I had an image in my head and I really feel that I made a full execution of my vision – going as far as to overlay images of canvas on the photos to give that texture.
Overall, being a part of 10x10 was a life changing experience. Being able to show my work in that context, with the nine other incredible artists is something I will remember forever. Thank you James, and 10x10, for allowing me to be a part.
Onwards and Upwards,
David J. Fulde