“so i was reading that article where you were complaining about someone using your photo and how people get sad for not getting a pat on the back…
and i was thinking about how i always help other people, and then rarely get credit for it.
Dude. i fucking took this picture, and made the back drop, and told you how to stand and what to do… i know it’s not a big deal, but apparently, it is.”
So who is today’s irate customer? None other than my dear friend Brittonie Fletcher! You can see her work and alternative process workshops here. Apparently she caught wind of all the complaining I’ve been doing all over the internet and it opened up some old wounds. God knows we both tried our best to scar each other over the years. I met her almost as soon as I started at Massart, and she took me under her wing, introduced me to people and bought whiskey for me (I was somewhat under the age of 21 at the time) I used to live like a vertical block from her on Mission Hill, and when it was cold and the landlord refused to fix the heat we would gather around her super dangerous 1950′s space heater and she would teach me all about the world, as we shivered underneath sweatshirts and blankets. Weird stuff, like how to snort strawberry snuff, or how all bike messengers are junkies with their hearts on there sleeves and there lives on fixed gears. In exchange I used to wake her up to go to class (we had like every other one together, she used to fill out my schedule for me) and share whatever intoxicant I had on me, not just with her but with her crazy art school salon that gathered nearly every night around her kitchen table. We collaborated and fought over all sorts of stuff, and I think it culminated in the Weegee Polaroid above.
Here’s the story as I remember it. The polaroid 20×24 shoot was insanely tough, ‘Weegee’ was the last picture to be taken and I didn’t even want to do it. Brittonie spearheaded it, and without her it wouldn’t have happened. Me and Her can argue over the details, but what I remember was giving her my copy of naked city, with a post it note on it and saying “print big please help I must go” and she thought about it and said “We need like 5 yards of paper Eddy” and I thought about it and said “Lets scam it off of Joe Seaward” who just happened to be making HUGE prints for his Institute series about MIT check that stuff here joeseaward.com/The_Institute.html, I’ve always been a fan of his. He agreed if I figured out how to pay him back later (the definition of charity by the way!) and after that I shot other lesser polaroids 20×24′s. Then at the end of the shoot Brittonie came in and said, we are ready! Rosie my sister had bought me a strawberry flavored blunt to use as a prop and it was Brittonies constant ego stroking that made me into Weegee for like 2 minutes and Keitaro Yoshi’s (www.yoshiokafoto.com/) expertise that got it on instant film.
You can watch this 5 minute documentary by Jeremiah Burbank of the whole process and see that it took too many people to even name to do the whole shoot. The whole process took an insanely busy 12 hours, forget about prep time and prop gathering. If you are wondering I was using the 4×5 as a kind of preview of the framing, that insane giant cabinet in the beginning is THE polaroid 20×24 (one of like 8 in existence) and the man ‘running’ it (more like feeding the beast) is Keitaro Yoshi!
This story deserves to be told. I love collaboration, its just weird for me to be on the other side of a MASSIVE large format camera, and all those lights got to my head. Art is ideas, and great Ideas have many fathers and mothers and its hard to pin down all the ego’s sometimes, I think I figured it out.Thanks Brittonie for this picture and like what 3 years of back scratchin and throat choking, it made me the man I am today. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.