The Painted Desert series grew out of a great collaboration with the performance troupe Vessel. The project was commissioned by the Mesa Arts Center and is perhaps best described as a merging of photography, costume design and performance art. We put a lot of planning and hard work into an initial photoshoot in the Painted Desert. But the real highlight of the project was presenting it in front of a live audience—as we have now done at several venues in Arizona, including Spark Festival in Mesa, the Public Art Program in Glendale and, earlier this month, the Phoenix Art Museum.
As a photographer, I’ve presented my images in a variety of formats and venues over the years—magazines, gallery shows, books, film, etc. But this is the first time I’ve used photography as part of an interactive experience. The photographs are projected on people and objects as part of the performance. When we presented the show at the Mesa Arts Center, the entire complex became a moving art gallery of sorts, with images flowing across walls, ceilings, floors, and even people in the audience. As you can see in the photos below, the Vessel performers became living screens for the projected images. (In the fourth image, I appear alongside Rachel Bowditch, camera in hand.)
Vessel is the brainchild of Rachel Bowditch, a respected performance artist recently named one of today’s 100 top creatives by Origin Magazine. It was a joy and an honor to work with her. For more about Rachel’s work, check out her website Vessel Project.
Here are a few more photos from the series. For more images, check out the slideshow here.