Why Don’t You Take A Picture It Will Last Longer by Gerard O’Connor in collaboration with Marc Wasiak and Harry Rekas
Exhibition dates: October 15 – November 12, 2009
Why Don’t You Take A Picture It Will Last Longer celebrated the grand opening of Colour Factory Gallery. The mural colour images, aptly named Pirates, Bordello and Beach are captured as intricately choreographed scenes in the studio, with some shoots involving up to forty different characters. An intense amount of pre-production work is required in creating these elaborate narratives. The images are retouched by Harry Rekas to create a series of tableaux vivants – some based on drawings by Robert Crumb; others inspired by Hogarth’s paintings of everyday, lower-class people in social situations. The decadent bordello interior is presented alongside a scene of piratical tyranny. Also, being exhibited for the first time is the Alma Park series. These dramatic images playfully toy with notions of innocence, danger, stereotype, and fetish. Iconic 1940s housewives are depicted, influenced by Betty Paige and films of the horror genre. Leading from these eerie outdoor locations we then enter the luxurious interior space of Cyril’s Rats and Epiphany’s Sheep. Mimicking a filmic moment from Charles Dickens, shot on locations styled to look like sets, they reflect the chaotic trappings of a life lived through obsession and possession. Nearby, the character of Rocket Girl is pictured standing naked in a sun burnt field, a projectile missile strapped firmly to her back. She is vulnerable yet at the same time strong. Notions of theatricality and the cinematic provide critical entry points into the exhibition as a whole.
Gerard and Marc have been working in collaboration with retoucher Harry Rekas for nearly ten years, predominantly in the fashion industry, while also collaborating on their independent photographic art projects. Drawing upon Marc’s expertise as a stylist and Gerard’s photographic experience, their working methods involve all aspects of image design, including casting, costume, set-design, direction and lighting. Harry’s background involvement with the acclaimed Large Magazine adds a third dimension to theses works. Renowned for their commercial work here and overseas, their work always playfully encompasses life and celebrates diversity.