Our photo collage, ‘Call Me!’ is included in this stunning online art exhibition: ARTdemic https://www.i19gallery.com/artdemic opening 5/12 and running through 6/30
The inspiration for this collage started with music but has evolved to represent something greater.
After many conversations about music and art and frequenting the same music and art venues and galleries in NYC and the local SOMA area, Thea Kearney and Nancy Cook both found they had a shared interest and pursuits in both music and visual arts. Thea has been playing guitar for decades and songwriting and Nancy has been a DJ at famous venues like The Limelight in NYC.
In the past few years they have both exhibited visual work in local venues like 1978 Gallery and Pierro Gallery. Thea works mainly in painting, photography and mixed media shadowboxes inspired by the Dada and Surrealist art movements and Nancy works in fiber, textile and installation art that uses various mediums to challenge the borders of nature and design.
Back in Fall of 2018, after attending Porchfest they started talking about forming a new band. Nancy was still a DJ for local SOMA events and branching out to work in event planning and booking local bands in the area and Thea had been playing in the local band Dollar Store Riot since 2012 but, wanted to start a new project. She approached Nancy with the idea of starting an all-female band. Eventually, they found a local drummer CJ Jeiven, and then, bass player Kristy Ranieri joined the band. They were in the process of practicing for their debut performance in June 2020 with a full set of material including originals and covers. When the pandemic came to the area. all live shows and band rehearsals had to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
After the shock subsided, the band agreed to record a 5 song E.P. in lieu of the June debut show. Originally planning to have someone else record the songs, they soon realized that this wouldn’t be possible and so they are now collaborating on recording remotely from their homes. Thea has previous experience with sound engineering and home recording, so she is producing the E.P. and coaching the band to record their parts from home. The album is slated for release in 2020 on Sea Dragon Records.
Nancy had an old vintage phone that she found at a flea market and thought it would be great to use for some photos promoting the e.p. and in particular their original song called, “Everybody Wants to Be a Rock Star” that has the lyric lines “call me up on the telephone” inspired by an obnoxious voicemail message and the idea that everyone wants to be a rock star in some area of their life.
The idea was that we all photograph ourselves with the phone for the band promo and so we passed the phone from one person to the next taking turns leaving it on our doorsteps and then emailing the photos taken back to the group. The phone became a symbol of the go between and form of communication but in a new modern way via iPhone photos and emails much like dropping shared recording equipment at each other’s homes and sharing audio files will be in upcoming weeks. When the call for artists was put out Nancy and Thea wanted to participate and talked about how they could submit art for the show. These photos with the vintage phone became a symbol for communication during a pandemic, but in a different way than it’s original use back in the 1970’s.
To give the photographic collage a retro feel we put the imagery in old fashioned slides from the same time period that the phone would have been used. The slides on top of a bedspread pattern in the background harken back to days when many a teenager would have been laying on their bed chatting to their friends on a rotary phone like the one in the photographs. The cord going through the middle of the collage symbolizes obstruction and the COVID-19 virus thrown onto our lives to wreck havoc and leave all of our lives forever changed. And, yes, they also like Blondie.
Art Concept: Nancy Cook, Thea Kearney. Photography: Nancy Cook, CJ Jeiven, Thea Kearney, Kristy Ranieri. Photo Editing: Thea Kearney