May 14 2017

Moai, Sitting for Portrait – Exhibition at the Lincoln Gallery

 

My “Moai, Sitting for Portrait” series will be featured at the Lincoln Gallery in Loveland, CO for the month of June with an opening reception on June 9th. 

Here is the artist statement for this series:

In January of 2015 I spent two weeks photographing the Moai of Easter Island. This fulfilled a lifelong dream, one that started when I was 17 and read the book “Aku Aku” by Thor Heyerdahl. I became fascinated with the Moai and they have been on my mind and influenced my art for these many years.

As I traveled to Easter Island and tried to imagine what I would encounter, something interesting happened: I fell asleep and dreamt that I had invited the Moai to come and sit for a formal portrait. 

When I awoke I thought “why not?” 

I knew there would be challenges: the Moai are reserved, aloof and almost unapproachable. They had suffered greatly at the hands of outsiders and the question was: would they come to trust me? 

Distance was the first hurdle to be overcome: the island is small by automobile standards, but when we are talking about the Moai who walk everywhere, traversing the island to get to my makeshift studio could be difficult. Then there was the Moai’s physical condition: many were incapacitated by war and the ravages of time and could not make the journey. And how would I accommodate the size of the Moai, with some towering 33 feet tall? 

Facing these challenges and armed with nothing more than a dream and hope, I issued the invitations…but would they come?

Initially only a few came; the younger and less suspicious ones. But slowly, as word spread of their experience, others started to arrive.

Photographing the Moai created some interesting situations: one older Moai refused to allow me to photograph his face and turned his back on the camera. Another arrived with a hawk and insisted on having his portrait taken with the bird atop his head. Several Moai with bullet wounds, inflicted by outsiders, insisted that I document those scars.

And there were tense moments, as two rival Moai came together face-to-face in the studio, but which ended well when they agreed to be photographed together. And there were touching moments as old friends were reunited after years of separation.

The Moai are quiet, stoic and could even been described as “stone-faced.” And it’s true, not once was I able to photograph a Moai smiling, but instead they have a dignified poise that transcends time.

 

Here are the exhibition details:

The Lincoln Gallery, 429 N. Lincoln Ave, Loveland, CO

Opening Reception: Friday, June 9th from 6 – 9 pm

Artist Talk: Friday, June 9th at 6:30 pm

If you are in the area, I hope to see you there!

Cole

 


Mar 6 2015

Moai, Sitting for Portrait

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 2 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

In January of 2015 I spent two weeks photographing the Moai of Easter Island. This fulfilled a lifelong dream, one that started when I was 17 and read the book “Aku Aku” by Thor Heyerdahl. I became fascinated with the Moai and they have been on my mind and influenced my art for these many years.

As I traveled to Easter Island and tried to imagine what I would encounter, something interesting happened: I dreamt that I had invited the Moai to come and sit for a formal portrait.

When I awoke I thought “why not?”

I knew there would be challenges: the Moai are reserved, aloof and almost unapproachable. They had suffered greatly at the hands of outsiders and the question was: would they come to trust me?

Distance was the first hurdle to be overcome: the island is small by automobile standards, but when we are talking about the Moai who walk everywhere, traversing the island to get to my makeshift studio could be difficult. Then there was the Moai’s physical condition: many were incapacitated by war and the ravages of time and could not make the journey. And how would I accommodate the size of the Moai, with some towering 33 feet tall?

Facing these challenges and armed with nothing more than a dream and hope, I issued the invitations…but would they come?

Initially only a few came; the younger and less suspicious ones. But slowly, as word spread of their experience, others started to arrive.

Photographing the Moai created some interesting situations: one older Moai refused to allow me to photograph his face and turned his back on the camera. Another arrived with a hawk and insisted on having his portrait taken with the bird atop his head. Several Moai with bullet holes inflicted by outsiders insisted that I document those scars.

And there were tense moments, as two rival Moai came together face-to-face in the studio, but which ended well when they agreed to be photographed together. And there were touching moments as old friends were reunited after years of separation.

The Moai are quiet, stoic and could even been described as “stone-faced.” And it’s true, not once was I able to photograph a Moai smiling, but instead they have a dignified poise that transcends time.

 

See the entire series here

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 38 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 31 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

 

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 27 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 25 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 19 - Final 2-20-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 17 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 7 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 4 - Final 3-5-2015 1000

 

2015-1-1 Moai Sitting for Portrait No 1 - Final 1-20-2015 1000


Jan 16 2015

You shoot a lot, you hope a little and you’re grateful to get just one or two.

Harbinger No. 22g
Harbinger No. 22 – Tongariki

I’m back from Easter Island and have begun working on the several thousand images I shot. Many were very long exposures and that gave me lots of time to think, and one thought that I had was:

You shoot a lot, you hope a little and you’re grateful to get just one or two.

And that’s the truth: I shot a lot of images and while I’m hoping for several good ones, I’ll be grateful to get just a few. It’s funny how when you’re viewing images in the field every one looks like a killer, but the reality is that the public will only see about 1 out of every 250 images that I shoot. 

And while it’s important to create great images, it’s almost equally as important to only show the good ones!

~~~

I’ll be presenting my work to the Alpenglow Camera Club in Granby, Colorado on Wednesday, February 4th.

My presentation is entitled “Why Black and White?” and we will be meeting at the Granby Public Library at 7 pm.

If you’re in the area, I’d love to meet you!

Cole