Jerry isn’t scheduled to perform at the nearby Albion Area Fair this summer, so we decided to visit him at the Akron, OH Arts Festival. Django– the monkey on his back– is named for Django Reinhardt, the Belgium gypsy jazz guitarist, and is the greatest photographers distraction I’ve ever worked with. She so mesmerizes her admirers that it seems I can blast a flash off in a stranger’s face from two feet away without being noticed. After following Jerry around for hours during the past two Albion Area Fairs, we become friends, and he has been able to use a number of the pictures for his own publicity purposes. I recently emailed to let him know that he has a dedicated galley on my website, and when he took Cheryl and I and out out for a Bob Evans dinner after festival hours, he remarked that he never thought he’d see himself on a website that makes him look like an IBM executive!
During the cold season, Jerry has a small scale baking business, and quite unexpectedly just before Christmas this year, a package full of wonderful cookies, bread, and caramel/chocolate treats arrived– much to our culinary delight!
Ron has long experimented with photography and video of his paintings, and a few years ago made a series of self-portraits that he refers to as “flashovers.” Ron Mann’s dedicated page
|© Ronald Mann||© Ronald Mann|
When I expressed disappointment that the originals are now lost, Ron simply said, “let’s shoot some new ones.” Last year we did copy photographs of Ron’s more recent paintings, and I ordered traditional film slides from the digital files. Ron had resumed his projection experiments, and in July, I was finally able to make it up to Clio for a two days. Ron insisted on his taking the couch, and proved to be quite a cook! He has mostly taken himself out of his more recent flashovers, but has a number of willing models for his frequent sessions. He’s established quite a following and reputation as Clio’s exotic resident artist!
|© 2011 Ronald Mann||© 2011 Ronald Mann|
Ron has used sandwiched slides for multiple effects, and in addition I brought along a couple old slide projectors– allowing us to project different images onto separate areas. So, shamelessly stealing (make that “appropriating”) Ron’s idea, and with him back in as the subject, we spent two late nights projecting the artist’s work back onto himself.
Although I could barely contort through the door, Ron took me on a ‘wild ride’ around the Clio area in his hot rod. It’s a familiar sight and receives some shouts and waves as it roars by. We stopped in to try and arrange for models to come by that night, but my being there probably scared them off, and it turned into “boys-only” photo shoot. The next day, as I drove my Corolla home at the highway speed limit, I could hardly wait to see the results. Art-shaman Ron (see top self-portraits) had led me on a journey through the walls of some of my self-imposed boxes.