Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why social media matters and excerpts from an article about Day & Night

If you've been following this blog or watching my other social media outlets, you know that I've been getting a lot of press lately. I thought it might be useful to understand why that's happening.

Back in January, I was invited to join a web site called Lens Culture. I was only slightly aware of them, but after going to the site and realizing it wouldn't cost me anything, I joined and posted a couple of my projects there.

In June, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks at an artist residency in the north Georgia mountains. I wrote about it here. When I returned I posted a number of pictures from a new project called American Flea on my Lens Culture page. Then on August 6, Lens Culture posted American Flea in the Spotlight position on their home page as one of their Editors Picks.

Within a few days, apparently after seeing my work on Lens Culture, a number of widely read blogs ran pieces about another project of mine, Day & Night. These included Beautiful Decay, Dark Silence in Suburbia, Design Taxi, and USvsTH3M. These stories were re-posted dozens, possibly hundreds of time, all over the world, in a variety of languages.

Then came the two big ones. About August 22, Distractify and Huffington Post each ran stories. Distractify's was about American Flea and Huff Post's was about Day & Night. These sites get millions of hits a month. I immediately saw the hits on both my blog and my Lens Culture profile page skyrocket. This in turn has generated a number of inquiries from web publications asking permission to run various projects of mine.

The big question is (or should be), that's nice, but is there any income involved in all this? Well, I've just signed with a picture agency in the UK to syndicate Day & Night worldwide. They're confident that there will be print sales to magazines internationally. So that's a good thing.

Most of the pictures in Day & Night were taken in 2009 and 2010. I've had them exhibited in a number of shows in Atlanta, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. Now I'm hoping, after all this publicity, some curators will take notice. I'd like to show this work again.

Another nice result was the posting this week of Day & Night on the web site, Feature Shoot. Their writer, Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein did an e-mail interview with me and I'm especially pleased with her insightful comments at the beginning. Below is an excerpt, posted with her permission.

"For Day and Night, Atlanta-based photographer Forest McMullin explores sexual desire and its relationship to human identity, photographing individuals and couples once throughout their daytime routine and again in the privacy of their own bedrooms. On the left, we find a standard vision of middle-class American men and women, enjoying the conventional activities of daily life; in the righthand frame, we discover the same subjects adopting nighttime fantasy roles, morphing into dominatrixes, bondage players, cross-dressers, swingers, and furries.

"In arresting diptychs, we are presented with two sides of the same human coin, the easily accessible public self set against the vulnerable sexual self. In these stolen moments of intimacy, in which the protagonists radiate a palpable sense of confidence, the gap between what we consider to be ordinary and atypical is diminished, reduced to the space as narrow the thin white border that separates the images. Here, we are asked to abandon judgements for a deeper understanding of human erotic diversity. McMullin’s sitters are remarkable for their perceived eccentricity, but they ultimately become surrogates for us all, boldly bringing to light private yearnings that most keep in darkness."

I have no idea how long this will last. But it sure is fun for now.

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