Blogs Centerpoints Gene Pittman

Assistant Photographer at Walker Art Center.

Plant as Decorative Element in a Gallery

One aspect of my position as a photographer here at the Walker is to document the exhibitions. This has been an ongoing process dating back to the beginning of the Walker Art Center. While reviewing images of past exhibitions, I began to notice something now absent in the galleries, potted plants.  Up until the opening […]

One aspect of my position as a photographer here at the Walker is to document the exhibitions. This has been an ongoing process dating back to the beginning of the Walker Art Center. While reviewing images of past exhibitions, I began to notice something now absent in the galleries, potted plants.  Up until the opening of the Barnes building in 1971, potted plants were a staple in the galleries.  While there are few exhibition views containing patrons, the plants were always present.  In these images they seem to act as the stand-ins for the patrons, sometimes aloof and in the background or congregating around the radiator as if in discussion.  And then there are those that are really into the work, standing in front of a sculpture’s light, their shadows enveloping the work.

Due to a multitude of reasons, plants only reappear in the galleries if they are part of the artwork.  Many of the plants seem to have been around for many years and well taken care of by the staff.  Enjoy this look at Exhibition Photography and Plants from the Walker archives.

Artist Portrait: Ty Evans vs. Rip the Ripper

Last month, videographer and skater Ty Evans was at the Walker to discuss his work (http://channel.walkerart.org/detail.wac?id=5093) and lead a workshop on video techniques with local videographers and skaters. As part of the Walker’s long tradition of doing visiting artists’ portraits, Ty was brought down to the photo studio for his portrait. I wanted to do […]

Last month, videographer and skater Ty Evans was at the Walker to discuss his work (http://channel.walkerart.org/detail.wac?id=5093) and lead a workshop on video techniques with local videographers and skaters.

As part of the Walker’s long tradition of doing visiting artists’ portraits, Ty was brought down to the photo studio for his portrait. I wanted to do something slightly different by having Ty cut a simple hole in the background paper and place his head through.

As soon as I told Ty my idea, his eyes lit up and he was totally into it. He began cutting slowly and we talked a bit about some ideas, but nothing was really working. Then as soon as he got his head through, he said this is a lot like the the Ripper graphic from Powell-Peralta skateboards. Not being a skater, it took me awhile to recall the image.  Little did I know that Ty skated professionally for Powell-Peralta. This was the moment where my idea morphed into a collaboration.

At the end of the shoot, we decided Ty should break through the paper. Immediately, he began swinging his crutches upwards and outwards, sending paper chunks all over the studio.

This was probably one of the more fun portraits and certainly the most destructive one to date. Thanks Ty.
Powell-Peralta RipperTy Evans

at the end of the shoot, Ty: 1, Background Paper: 0

at the end of the shoot, Ty: 1, Background Paper: 0