Friday, May 8, 2009
Marla Rutherford / The Character Project
Amidst the masses at the crowded gallery I see her, holding a digital camera out at arm's length and pointing it at herself. It's like her Facebook page has come to life, before me. She stands a foot taller than myself. She is supported tonight by a wooden cane in one hand, limping among the crowds. She has a posse. Always grouped around her, they seem to be her support system, physical and otherwise. I ask her if I can photograph her and she pretends to be intoxicated. She is L.A. based photographer Marla Rutherford, in SF to celebrate The Character Project exhibition.
With her tonite is stylist Shannon Amos, Superstar Lenora Claire whom I met a few years back in the basement of a church in L.A. during a Sex Machine lecture.., Angela Aaron, Hiroshi Yoshida..oh, there are so many people in the posse I realize I haven't even met them all. Here is her brother from Monterey, asking her if she has found a husband...here is her Dad, calling on the cell phone. More posse members and their friends arrive... the evening ends and I'm bidding farewell to people whom I haven't yet met. This is the life of Marla Rutherford, at least for tonite.
What's behind the work? Here is the opening paragraph of M.R.'s statement on the work, I think she nails it here:
You can't walk up to strangers on the street, ask them to lunch, and expect them to tell you their life story in detail. But you can ask people to model for you and then, during the photo session, get them to reveal their history. Photography gives you a golden ticket into other people's lives, a chance to venture beneath the stranger's facade. That's what I love about it.
See her work HERE.
See The Character Project HERE.
top: M.R. acting crazy for the camera middle: Shannon Amos and Lenora Claire bottom: M.R.'s images