Tuesday, December 29, 2009

blackout/whiteout!

2009 for me, was a year of recovery, both physical and mental. I didn't feel like I made great leaps and bounds, instead I built a foundation. Economically the ground upon which this was built was shaky, but I was able to make things possible I never foresaw. I first shot with Jenn An a few months into 2009, a couple months later, she started filming with America's Next Top Model which ended with her tied for third place. My last proper shoot of the year was one of her first since the show finished. In that time, I could tell we had both grown a great deal. Among my Christmas gifts was a Canon 430EXII flash, a shoot-through umbrella and a light stand - I also picked up a set of radio poppers while I was at B&H right after Christmas. I got to use my new lighting setup for the first time with Jenn, for our shoot in my house-studio; we started working on a series of images using black and white spaces/clothes/objects for a stark, dramatic feel.

photography/prop styling/hair: laura kicey • model/wardrobe/makeup: jennifer an

wisp
wisp © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

framework
framework © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

with a twist
with a twist © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

egress
egress © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

chandelier
chandelier © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

heated
heated © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

Not long after my first shoot with Jenn, I scored an amazing job doing all the photography for Cookie A's newest book (which is coming out in February!), Knit. Sock. Love.
Just as that project finished, I was pulling together sponsorship funds and shipping off on my unforgettable trip Iceland with Sandra by way of kickstarter.com in its inaugural year. My relationship with Terrain continued to grow through the summer, while they worked toward the release of their ecommerce site, meanwhile my construct entitled disintegration went into production and finally appeared on shelves in Urban Outfitters! The constructs also were published for the first time in the book Beyond Architecture. Throughout the summer, I took numerous daytrips with Goldberg, including the Poconos and orchestrated several styled shoots with a host of new and familiar faces, including a triumphant shoot in the Huber Breaker with Tanya, a double-model shoot with 28 Crash! Vintage, and an anniversary shoot with Kirsten and Matt at Laurel Hill. I also had my work appear on the walls of the State Museum of Pennsylvania and in the Skylight 307 Gallery in Philly, where I won an honorable mention.

In terms of my health, 2009 was my chance to devote myself to undoing the damage of two years spent in and out of the hospital, failed surgeries, a sedentary life with too many weeks spent on bed rest and an erratic diet supplemented with drugs and unpleasant treatments. I got a WiiFit last Christmas which helped me lose 15 pounds over the course of 6 months, and back in September I got an EA Active for Wii which kickstarted a stagnating workout routine so I was able to end the year having lost a total of 22 lbs, but more importantly I had regained much of my strength and stamina, plus I was able to stop taking all medications which was a huge victory for my system. I still have a ways to go to get back to my fighting weight, but feeling healthy and energetic in the wake of having sunken so physically low is an amazing feeling- one which I will not take for granted.

In the last few weeks of the year, I spent a great deal of time fine tuning the designs of not one but three books, which I am seeking publishers for in 2010. First and foremost, I completed the Iceland book exactly as I had envisioned it - as a combination of the piece I wrote and a selection of photographs. I also put together a book of constructs and a book of abandoned structures - which was rooted in my Living Rooms series which was shown at Cafe Estelle at the very beginning of 2009.

the frozen sea
the frozen sea © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

jingle
jingle © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

winterberry
winterberry © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

We were struck with a record-breaking blizzard that dumped up to 2 feet of snow on Philly, just in time for me to go out and explore with my brand new 85mm f1.8 lens. Weeks later, dingy piles of snow are still lingering.

Just after Christmas, my dear friend Spatial K made a trip to the East Coast. I hadn't seen her in 3 years - and Goldberg and I met up with her, Navid, and John Curley for a jaunt around NYC, including my first ever visit to B&H. We had some delightful Belgian wafflery at Petit Abeille, then took a touristy turn towards the Brooklyn Bridge (which I'd never actually seen up close either) and Central Park to sate Navid's brother and father who had never been to NYC.

gilt
gilt © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

woven
woven © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

midnight in the garden
midnight in the garden © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.


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As a means of avoiding the disaster that was last New Year's road trip + stomach flu, Goldberg and I stayed on NYE, made dinner and relaxed (=conked out before 9:30pm). For New Year's Day, I was invited by some flickr friends to bear witness to that most disturbing Philly New Year tradition: The Mummers.


toejam
toejam © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

winner
winner © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

fur on fur
fur on fur © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

plumslobbered
plumslobbered © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

spoils
spoils © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

rose parade
rose parade © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

All reports indicated that the lack of Mummer funding on the part of the city has hurt the overall Fanciness of the parade. It also seemed to take a toll of the number of parade onlookers. Overall it was a far more mellow affair than I had expected, though I didn't visit the 2nd Street area, where they are known to get a bit more rowdy.

The urge to visit Delaware struck on what was the coldest day so far this winter. Goldberg and I were determined to do some exploring, even if only from inside the car. I wanted to revisit an abandoned flea market in rural Delaware that I first stopped at early in 2007, though I had passed it many times since. The winds bit at us, straight through many layers, and the tubs of odds and ends normally puddled with water, rusting with time and the elements, were frozen in blocks of ice.

The house on the property has a porch piled deeply with merchandise, high over my head, with a narrow path reaching the door. It had never occurred to me to try the door before, just presuming that it would be locked as the sign said closed. Goldberg was standing on the porch by the door and I asked him if he tried the knob. To our surprise it opened. He stepped inside, I behind him and he called out "Hello? Hello!" and received no answer. When we fell silent, we could quite distinctly hear music - country music playing on a radio. The piles of stuff in the front room nearly met the ceiling, which was covered with lamps and birdcages. You could barely see through to the next rooms, and upon hearing the music, I panicked and had to leave the house. Goldberg lingered a minute. I regret not having carried on a bit, but I am not too keen on bumping into people in their own homes, no matter how curious I am.

golden chariot
golden chariot © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

frozen tides
frozen tides © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

panning for gold
panning for gold © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

shade
shade © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

spectacles on ice
spectacles on ice © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

ski lift
ski lift © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

ice preservers
ice preservers © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

gourmet
gourmet © Laura Kicey, All Rights Reserved.

One final item - I've entered a SELF contest over at Artists Wanted, with a series of my hand 'portraits'. There is a juried portion and a public favorite portion, with prizes for each. If you have a moment, please go vote for me - HERE - you can vote once every 24 hours and there is no need to register. I appreciate ever vote I can get, so thank you! Happy New Year to both new readers and those who have stuck by, in this, my 5th year of blogging!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Bernie said...

Sounds like a great year. Glad you're finally feeling better. Got the book today. It's great, as I imagined it'd be... the photos, stories, design, everything. Congrats, and cheers to more success.

2:04 AM, January 06, 2010  
Blogger helveticaneue said...

Hey man thank you! I haven't even see the book in its final form yet, but it is on its way, hopefully I find no glaring errors! Glad it passed muster with you. My year pales in comparison to the amazing things you've done this year! I felt like I was making up for lost time this year and didn't even put a dent in what I need to accomplish really - it is nice to see everything together in one place so it doesn't feel completely fruitless. Gotta make some trips happen and getting a publisher is top of the to do list.

Here's to a wildly creative 2010.

2:57 PM, January 06, 2010  

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