EYE FOR A STY – TOOTH FOR THE ROOF is collaborative series of figurative studies by Danny Fox & Kingsley Ifill, produced in Los Angeles during a four-month period, beginning in October 2019. Initially intended simply to extend the conversation that has been taking place between the mediums of drawing and photography since the late 19th century, it ultimately explores the love, trust and honesty that can still be shared amongst artist and subject, despite the negativity and confusion that permeates the surrounding world.
Introduction text by Lorraine Nicholson
“It was only a matter of time before I saw my friends naked, and at once. Different permutations I had experienced, heard whispered about over too-loud music and sips of whatever was handed to me. These rumors, accepted as fact, cloaked our lives with a heavy surreality. And we were not alone. This was Los Angeles, after all, a town populated by believers in a dream that died before many of us were born. The photos in this book were taken between October and December 2019. A typical So-Cal winter, temperatures often pawed at one hundred degrees, reducing our backyards, for those of us lucky enough to have them, to crackling squares of dirt. Looking at these works, I am reminded of the relentless dust that blew through our homes and mouths, uninvited. To keep floors clean, one would have to sweep several times a day, and no one did. This exhibition is as much a portrait of those unseen twirls of hair that collected in the corners as it is of a group of people. Intimacy, after all, is in the details.
Standing before the artists’ patchwork wall of drawings and stills, Danny pointed to a crease of skin running vertically across a certain subject’s stomach. “She will kill me for including this,” he said. “But to us, this is beautiful.” I agreed wholeheartedly, more comfortable, like many of the women contained in these pages, on the other side of the camera. After all, the people captured in this book are creators in their own right. There was a deliberate knowledge, for all of us, that we were in direct conversation with the objectification of women and cancel culture, global warming and misconduct in the arts. In today’s world, even doing a decent thing can feel like a rebellious act. And so just months before turning thirty, I would agree to appear nude amongst other artists I admire, also nude. As the fruit stickers that would eventually adorn our portraits suggest, we were ripe. This book captures our bodies after the hardness of childhood had disappeared, yet before our bodies soured. Here we answer a very contemporary question: who, in their right mind, would subject themselves willingly and on purpose? The answer, of course, is creators. Objectifiers in their own right who understand the delicate ecology of the artist and muse.”
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