In 2010 I had a concept in my head one day that I should photograph my favorite subjects (Clowns) without their performance costume and makeup and match it with a performance shot. The ‘Unmask’ shot would be black and white and the performance shot in color. I decided to call it The Clown UnMask. I began shooting in Feb. 2010 with one of the funniest clowns I know and admire. Glen Heroy.
I followed up with many more (almost 50) until I stopped shooting the series in 2016. Here is a comprehensive list of the performers (with links to the original posts) I documented in my ‘hallway’ studio. In the order in which I photographed them. Full post are reached by using the links. Some portrait are provided for visual excitement!
(The wall came down in 2016 so the series was discontinued)
The cast was warming up for the show when I arrived at La Mama.
“Clowns Ex Machina is an all-women clown troupe. Their newest full-length show, Clowns Full-Tilt (at LaMaMa in November) has nine women clowns, including creator and artistic director, Kendall Cornell”
Modern art has many ways of being created. Creating is a personal thing.
“Parts of Clowns Full-Tilt were based on famous works of art and other 2-D representations of women. Three guesses about the masterpiece represented here.”
Comedic visual tableaux were a wonderful ongoing theme.
“The show was filled with many surprising revelations!”
In a perfectly empty room, what is Beauty? What is Art? In a roomful of spirited women clowns, can Clowns Ex Machina even hope to answer those questions? In their newest show, Clowns Full-Tilt: A Musing on Aesthetics, Kendall Cornell and her troupe of 8 women clowns flim-flam some lofty answers. They match their humor against the 2-dimensional – flattening themselves into famous paintings, even squeezing themselves into one-dimensional, stock characters of advertisements and TV.
Through a series of short vignettes, songs and dances, they create an absurd and chimeric brew of animated great art and shallow cosmetics commercials, as they explore the chains of culture, and the perversion of pure impulse. From an exuberant foundation of sheer folly, arises a sophisticated, multi-media evening of clown theatre.