“Peony Study (for Georgia O’Keefe)” (2011) has an ever-so-slightly ironic title; the level of irony that you can only get by comparing yourself to a world-famous first-rate 2nd-rate painter.
And, like most titles, it came after the fact. Georgia O’Keefe, cranky old curmudgeoness extraordinaire, is anything but a “girl’s girl”; and this subject matter was certainly not her main interest; still, she is justly famous for her alarmingly intimate, sexually-charged renditions of flowers, in which each fold and frill, every nook and cranny is delineated with salacious loving care and served directly and defiantly in your face.
This piece was first seen at Rouge Concept Gallery in April and May, 2012 (as seen in the picture, at left). It recently went to someone’s home on approval – and they loved it so much in situ that they decided to purchase it. SOLD!
It is always a pleasure to know that one’s work is going to a good home, with people who take delight in viewing it, and who chose it out of all the profusion of images available.
Nine more prints are available of this work before the edition is closed. In the image above, the work was printed at 45 x 30″, then matted and framed in white. Other sizes can be created, though I don’t print this one smaller than 22 x 17″. Certain pieces just need that large-scale presentation.
If you are interested in a purchase, or would like to see other samples of my work, use my contact form to set up an appointment. Alternatively, please call 416 802 6163.
So nostalgic, these snapdragons, like peonies, evoke a simpler time, countryside, childhood, the unmediated, the unburdened.
My article “I am not a camera” is out today, published online in a nifty little ezine called Life as a Human. You’ve got to love that name…! I was invited to discuss three of my images, and I describe my process and recent creative breakthrough.
You know, I think you might enjoy it. And it’s short. Short but pithy. I dare you to say that out loud.
“Sunflowers”. David Roddis. © 2014. All rights reserved.
It has taken me several years and hundreds of attempts to begin to get the results I wanted with my images of sunflowers. At first I couldn’t articulate what was wrong, but it certainly had to do with playing it too safe.
I wanted to portray a kind of ferocity that suggests the blazing sun itself; and more than that, a sun that will eventually burn out… The image above is definitely moving in the right direction.
What do you think?
It took me nearly a year, from August 2013 to today, to figure out what I wanted to do with these images of “chocolate” dahlias (my description, not official!) from St Lawrence Market.
David Roddis, “Dahlia arrangement in maroon/green”. 2013. © David Roddis, 2014. All rights reserved.
The method was to follow my nose and know that I wanted the flower to be barely recognizable, but for the colour variations to be there. In practical terms, this meant bringing OUT the darker tones and toning DOWN the brighter ones and especially any specular highlights (shiny spots – think of a flash being reflected on a piece of metal).
I’m fairly pleased with this result. Which doesn’t mean I won’t revisit it sometime, probably tomorrow!
Because, you have to understand – I don’t take pictures of what I want to see. The pictures are just raw material. What I want to see is in my head. So I start with something reasonably close to that, and bring it out.
Sometimes I want to see something that I didn’t expect. So I arrange the situation accordingly.
But what I hardly ever, ever do these days is arrange a shot and take a picture of it and then be happy. Why would I do that?
[July 26: post-script: this is going to be hellishly difficult to print effectively... stay tuned...]
Tombeau : 08:13:13PM
© David Roddis, 2014. All rights reserved.
A tombeau is a formal posthumous tribute to a public figure and is originally a musical offering. The French composer Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937), for example, composed a suite of pieces for piano (which he then orchestrated) called “Le Tombeau de Couperin”. This bears analysis: Couperin was a French composer during the time of Louis XIV and was celebrated for his keyboard works. So this is, at first glance, a “tombeau” or tribute to Couperin, and Ravel has created exquisite pastiches of Baroque dances that reek of Ravelian nostalgia and a mysterious, aching loss.
But then comes the twist: look again at the dedications, for each of these pieces in the suite is dedicated to a friend who lost their lives in the Great War. So this Tombeau de Couperin is also a tombeau for Ravel’s lost companions.
Well, it just slices the top of your head off, scoops out your brains, and throws them in a ditch. Then it tears your heart out.
Here’s a YouTube video of Angela Hewitt playing the entire suite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mgw8pV4iPM
It was last year that I started the process of creating a series of these cathartic images. I have yet to assign them people or events, so right now they are “freestanding dilemmas”.
The piece you see above is one of these tombeaux without an anchoring event. It does possibly represent someone, something, that I have lost in the past year; I have charged it with the task of carrying that weight into the future and suffering under the burden. Poor baby! But rather you than me…