I spent two days there at the PhotoAlliance portfolio review in March, and for some reason, I barely remember any of the work, or the people I met at the review table.
So today, for the first time ever, I’m only going to share the portfolios that stuck in my brain.
Sure, you could say it was the California weed, (and maybe it’s true,) but I’ve been stoned plenty of times and still remembered everything.
With respect to my few days in San Francisco, the location, the meals, walking through the city, sitting by the bay, I can recall all of it in my mind, easily.
(Damn, I’d eat a plate of those noodles right about now.)
But it’s far more likely that particular group of artists did not stand out, for some reason.
Not enough juice to the work, or the conversations.
Thankfully, two artists made an impression.
(Three, if you count Pamela Gentile, whom I once wrote about for the NYT, but we didn’t really look at new work. I just remember chatting.)
I met Jacque Rupp at one of the online portfolio reviews, back in 2020, or ’21.
(Really, can anybody remember which year was which?)
Jacque lives in NorCal, and I remember her black and white, documentary project about immigrant, farm-worker communities along the coast, near Gilroy.
I published those images here, and wrote about our conversation, with respect to how an “outsider” can do the research, work with non-profits, and earn the right to share stories from other communities.
Which she had been doing.
So that was my context for our IRL meet in March.
I was therefore NOT expecting “The Red Purse,” a series of intimate, color self-portraits that explored middle-aged, female sexuality.
It was weird, and personal, and not like anything I could recall.
In my mind, now, when I close my eyes, I remember slip dresses. The color red. And Jacque there before me, in the flesh.
I didn’t need to go to her website to look it up, because fragments of the images were living in my mind.