Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blood Donor

Blood Donor. Stitched words: Saving Lives One Pint at a Time. Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. Hand stitched and beaded. 25" x 17" unframed; 31” x 25” framed.  Click on image to enlarge.

This is the first piece I worked on while at the MacNamara Foundation artist residency on Westport Island, Maine during the autumn of 2008. I'd already created the xylene transfer before leaving South Carolina but hadn't put the layers together or even thought about stitching it.  It was a smart choice to bring…. something with which I was familiar.... something perfect on which to begin working in a new setting.  Once I started, I was instantly at ease even though this was the first time I used any brilliant color on one of the portraits.  Red, however, is the obvious choice for a blood donation decision.

I'm honored to know this businessman who has donated over 75 pints of blood and often holds blood drives in the parking lot of the Biscuit House, a breakfast restaurant he owns. I shot the photo as he stood in the window for "take away" orders.

He didn’t tell his wife about participating in the series.  She learned about it on the evening of the CYBER FYBER exhibition opening at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in January 2009 where I had it on display with several other portraits.  Her friend saw it and called her saying, “Did you know your husband’s picture is at an art gallery?”  Puzzled, she asked him and he responded, “Oh, yeah.  This artist asked me to pose.”  The next day the proud wife came to see the piece.  She was thrilled with the entire concept, the portrait of her generous husband, and told me this story!

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