Pier Pressure 30" x 40" x 1.5" coated archival canvas $5000
Date and Time of day: Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 1 PM
Location: intersection of 11th St. and Central Avenue "The Sun On the Edge" sculpture, at the roundabout.
To celebrate PRIDE month (the 20th anniversary in St. Petersburg), a group of soon to be trained specialists, helped me create this historic image.
Although the composition for this image was conceived almost a year prior to the shoot date, the "plan" to actually shoot it was only put into action 11 days prior to the actual photo. The headquarters of this top-secret mission was established during a 30 second conversation and "knuckle bump" (while walking), with Mark Ferguson ("Ferg") on June 2, 2022.
For many reasons, not the least of which, was that this would require a lot of assistance, I sought the help of a local couple, Jennifer and Lili, who worked with me on another major outing (shooting the MFA on Beach Dr), to help pull off this caper. With their help, and experience as nude volunteers, this amazing group of people were brought together in less than two weeks! This seemingly random group of women who came together for this photo shoot, quickly became a cohesive unit moving in perfect harmony, mostly.
One of the goals of this caper was to try and set a new record for the number of nude volunteers in one image, which currently stands at 19, set in Madison Wisconsin in 1995. Having set this record just one year into this experiment called "Harvey photos", I had no idea how rare an opportunity it was going to be to work with so many people at one time. I have now organized thousands of outings with various size groups and, the fact of the matter is, any group larger than five, is a "large" group.
I fly the local colors all day long, so if someone is documenting any of this, they will see me proudly wearing my "Bred in St Pete" Craft Kafé T-shirt and my "Ferg's World" truckers hat. Ted and Ed at Craft Kafe', on Central Avenue, have provided gluten-free morning delicacies for all my volunteers, a very important element that starts the day on the right foot.
Today the 21 member team, the largest group ever in St. Petersburg, consists of; 9 people volunteering to be nude subjects, 9 security, plus a dedicated getaway driver for me (with a lifted truck, and a window that rolls down between the cab and bed), we also have Bill DeYoung from "The Catalyst" documenting the entire process and myself. The energy in the air the morning of June 14, was palpable.
Having 28 years of experience, 27 years of that, trying to beat my record of 19 Nudes, I was optimistic about beating the old record because of the snowballing popularity that has been progressing since my first visit to St. Petersburg in 2014. I am 100% convinced that at one point we had more than 19 people, with ample security to assure a smooth execution of the top priority image (Flower Power), including what would have amounted to about a 40% participation by men. Every city has their own certain dynamic, for example in Los Angeles, the majority of volunteers were men, in Seattle mostly women, here in St. Petersburg, the women definitely dominate the men when it comes to having nerves of steel. In retrospect, the nine individuals that showed up on this sweltering hot summer day, where the perfect nine people to shoot this all-important PRIDE celebration photo, having 20 people or more in this image would've been too many.
Adrenaline is a serious drug, it can act as an appetite suppressant and causes one to be easily distracted, but believe me when I tell you, if it is your drug of choice, I have a pure dose for you!
Shot on 35mm film, this image was created in 1994, during a rare studio shoot at a 200-year-old farmhouse in Ann Arbor Michigan.
Title : Flower Power, 36" x48" x1.5", archival canvas, acrylic paint $10,000
Title: Halftime 30" x 40" x 1.5" archival canvas acrylic paint $5000
archival canvas 16" x 30" x .75" 1/1 artist proof (AP) $500
Beyond the Horizon
Pier Pressure 40" x 60" x 1.5" coated archival canvas $12,000
In 2019, when I found out I was going to be one of the featured artists at the Dali Museum for the annual Dali Dozen show, I felt it was time to get out of my comfort zone and make a painting of one of my more popular images from this area, the St. Petersburg Pier.
I've always been a fan of Andy Warhol's work, I thought it was just brilliant how he could take a popular, well-known public image (an electric chair, accident pictures from news stories, Marilyn Monroe etc…), and make limited edition paintings of them. Of course he had original paintings too, but he mostly "Warhol'd" other people's images, I'm Warholing my own images. The more of them I make, the more they are starting to look like Peter Max.
My multistep process begins with converting the original file to a black-and-white photograph, then making it super contrasty to separate the gray scales. At that point, each element of the image is singled out so there is no "bleed" into the rest of the image, from here, the first step of colorizing begins. After the entire piece is meticulously gone through, and the color palette is selected, the image is printed on paper or archival canvas and stretched onto various thickness stretcher bars. After that, I hand-paint it.
One day when I was working on a painting with my easel out in front of the Salty Nun on Central Avenue, a woman came up to me and asked exactly how I made the piece I was working on, I told her I was painting a photograph I had recently shot, and she said "oh my gosh, you have a great memory!"