It all came about in Palm Springs this past year when my friends and I went to dinner one night and the restaurant has a gallery of local artists with their works for sale. In that was a photo of an abandoned motel north of Palm Springs on old US 66 that I've photographed many times. I'm not one to criticize others work, but there was in all honesty, nothing special about this picture other than the subject matter, and the composition was more of an average snapshot than a great photo. This person had it marked for sale for $200 too.
After the legislative session got out and I once again started looking at things to do with my life other than politics, and after having a few comments on the photos I've taken while out exploring the backroads on my motorcycle trips, I thought I'd look into the idea of a show. Here in Seattle we are very fortunate to have lots of coffee houses that showcase local artists and their work. So I started asking around and long story short, the Alki Beach Starbucks offered me a show the entire month of September. Given the space, i was able to selct 11 of my best ones to display and offer for sale.
I was still a bit hesitant though. Some professional photographers have let me know that they don't think I'm very serious about my photography because (confession time here) my shots are taken with an I-phone and an app called "Hipstamatic". To them, I'm not an real artist. My friend Chris ironchefpinoy though who actualy IS a serious photographer and who teaches photography at various institutions of higher education in San Diego told me "that's just egotistical jealous BS! It's not 'what' you use to take a picture, its the fact that you can see the beauty in what you are shooting and reflect it in your shots that makes one an artist." He's right. I think the reasons these photos "work" -- in capturing the feel of an abandoned roadside relic -- is precicely because of the Hipstamatic application on the phone, which actually has a very good camera built in.
So with his encouragement, as well as the support and encouragement of a number of other friends, I set off down this path. At my friend Garland's birthday party, at his suggestion, we showcased about 50 shots on the big TV using "Apple TV" (the adventure in setting that up is a story in itself that I don't have time for now). All the folks there scrolled through them and we narrowed it down to about 20.
Gary Gardner was born in Denver, Colorado, raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and has roamed extensively throughout the Intermountain West, as well as all over the US, Canada, and the UK. He’s always been fascinated with the loneliness of abandoned places along the highways – where people once lived, laughed, worked, loved, and played. Where they were born and where they died. Where now the only sign of a life lived is what was left behind when they moved on.
All of these prints are available for purchase, signed, numbered, and framed by the artist. For information please contact...
This past weekend I went down to Starbucks in the hours before they closed and started hanging the prints. They have a system of wires and adjustible hooks that is already in place, so using that system I chose my favorite 11 shots out of the 20 we had framed, and that worked well together, and spent a few hours hanging and adjusting them.
Who knows? Maybe this is the start of a new adventure...http://www.flickr.com/photos/grgardner/sets/72157630260656388/
And if there's one you'd like to buy, well, you know where to reach me!