Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adventures in Chicago - Day 5 (in three parts)

On my morning walk to the L, I stopped to grab a delicious scone & coffee at Bake.
I'm not sure this is the best place to advertise (here)
Baked goods at Bake
I had enough time before my afternoon shoots  & head down to The Art Institute of Chicago.  I thought I would have time for at least one other museum, but I could of spent the entire day there. It is a beautiful museum, filled with light airy spaces with apparently the world's third largest collection.  I became obsessed with a couple of galleries filled with walls and walls of entire miniature living spaces.  Like little doll houses but built into the gallery wall.    I literally had to drag myself out of that room so I could actually see the rest of the museum.

And I'm glad I did because what happened next has never happened to me in my entire photographic career or in my art looking career, EVER.  I was standing next to an older gentleman who was looking at a Lewis Hine photograph of a little girl (2 girls actually, he pointed out another one in the background) and he turned to me and started reading the wall label out loud (I have never seen that by anyone other than a docent).  When he realized I wasn't his family, he went looking for them, and called his grandson over. "I need my grandson to see this.  To see the importance of this photograph.  To see the dangerous jobs children had to do."  

I learned so much from that brief encounter.  One: art actually does make a difference to real people's lives; Two: I am grateful museums have collections (and show them); Three:  This project has  become almost as much about the process of traveling and the interactions that happen while I'm shooting or in between shoots as it is about the final end product of the portrait.   I think I have known that for awhile, but this is the first time I've been able to articulate it.   I also think its the reason I have tried to be so vigilant about documenting everything I see & do, down to meals and modes of transportation.

Does anyone know of a grant where the guidelines are "go out and see the world, document it and report back"?

Light in the hallway
Ceiling
Shadow
I couldn't figure out whose house this was and then I realized it was the little miniature house!
Long shot of the miniature room

3 generations of family in front of Lewis Hine child labor factory worker photograph
New contemporary wing
trees outside the museum
restaurant
wishing well
I thought it was an installation piece, but then I realized it was actually the train yard
view from the patio
another view from the patio
and another
Millennium park
Jaume Plensa installation at Millennium park
Jaume Plensa installation at Millennium park (under construction - I love the workers white hard hat through the bricks)
Then back up to Logan Square to shoot Isak.  He is also a fellow artist, we met a bunch of years ago in Portland because we were in the same studio building.  Like Magalie, yesterday's portrait, he also left the east coast to go to grad school at SAIC.  We caught up over tea in his sweet apartment, with the living room turned into a studio.  Which was great because I got to see the giant and beautiful painting he just finished.  I still am not quite sure how he got the canvas up there to begin with.
Isak's street in Logan Park
Isak and his big beautiful painting
Isak's kitchen
Isak's living room / studio
I love it when I see vinyl in someone's house
My next shoot was hard to get to via public transportation, so Kate graciously offered to pick me up.   Our parents have known each other since we super little, and I used to babysit for her.  I'm not sure how long its been since we've seen each other, but now she is an employment lawyer, married to Erik  & has a beautiful two family in Chicago.  We caught up over beers and I heard the woes of their home renovations (something I can easily relate to) and then they took me for fabulous mole enchiladas at Mixteco.

Top notch liquor cabinet

Kate basks in the afternoon light while we wait for Erik (and I spot two of my landscapes on the wall!)
Kate & Erik (dear god, please let that reflection in the TV show up on the film as well)
I want to be perfectly organized like this
And have beautiful flowers kicking around the house like this
Kate & Erik pick a beer for me to try
Calamari salad
Kate & Erik


Mole enchiladas





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