Saturday, May 19, 2012

Snap! Fashion Night

Snap Orlando was a three day photography celebration showcasing the work of renowned international, national and local photographers. Fashion night was held in the “Urban Wild” Space Wendy(400 Pittman St). This turned out to be an empty warehouse behind the Sheraton Hotel near the Bob Carr Theater. Lion King was being performed at the Bob Carr so parking in the neighborhood was difficult. Luckily Terry and I left my truck down in the parking garage where she works. I had a press pass and Terry was a bit upset that she might have to pay $25 to get in. As soon as we entered the warehouse, Wendy Wallenburg was there to greet us. We then walked right in. It was still early in the evening and the place wasn't crowded. While Terry searched for a bathroom, I hunted for my sketch.

Artist Andrew Spear was working on the second of two murals he was doing on the cinder block walls of the warehouse.  Using thick Krink permanent markers, he was transferring a crosshatched ink drawing based on one of the photos in the show. A woman was hugging the neck of a stag. Andrew stood stoically on his ladder adding the finishing touches to the animal's neck and head. He worked non-stop the whole evening to push the mural towards completion. He came over to greet me. We admire each others work since we share an affinity for the power of line. Of course admirers would interrupt his work but Andrew would embrace them and speak about art with enthusiasm. Naked couples embraced in photos encased under plastic sheets.

When I was done with my sketch, a fellow named Frank asked if he could flip through the pages.  Terry asked me for my press pass so she could go in the VIP area while I worked. With my sketch done, I went to go find her. I marched into the VIP area like I belonged, but one of the female bouncers stopped me saying I needed a ticket. I tried to explain that I was press but she wasn't buying it. I was wearing a suit but still had on my hiking boots. A dead give away that I didn't belong. Tommy Cannalonga, a gallery owner, greeted me from inside and as I turned to greet him and shake his hand, the bouncer said, "Oh, all right, go on in." Later I thanked Tommy and he said, "I knew that would help."

Sara Segal told me about the photographer's lectures she had been to that morning. She explained how photographer Frank Day's work had its roots in the history of European and American Landscape painting. She mentioned the Hudson River School's Frederic Church and I knew of his huge paintings. She pointed to a man seated alone on a couch and it was Frank, the same man who had flipped through my sketchbook. Frank had wide set eyes and a small nose on which thick glasses were perched. Sarah began talking to him about his work as Terry and I listened in. Terry bragged that she took some pretty crisp pictures with her cell phone, and she showed Frank a photo of our pet cockatoo. Frank was quite amused. Later photographer Gregory Scott joined us. Terry was convinced she knew the designer of his shirt and he allowed her to inspect the label on the inside of his collar. Across the way a man was tweaking another man's nipple as a photographer took a digital picture of a large red dragon tattooed on a woman's back.

By the time Terry and I left the VIP tent, the fashion show was already over. Terry and Wendy had an ongoing commentary going about the horrible fashion mistakes by many of the women in the room. Wendy was particularly offended at some of the purses. I was amazed at how many people were on cell phones. I held my cell phone up to my ear even though no one was on the other end, just so I looked like I fit in.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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