Fourteen of the city's most promising photographers and visual artists team up for an exciting new event:
Aug. 20, 7 p.m.
The King House
AUTHORS Laura Hutson Hunter
To hear Alex Berger tell it, the series of art events he calls 7x7 is the result of a puzzle he'd spent years trying to solve: how to get photographers — a creative but often solitary bunch — to collaborate with the same fervor as the actors and musicians he counted himself among in the past.
“Photographers tend to be thought of as lone wolves,” Alex says. “But I personally reject all of that. I've always found benefit in fellowship with other artists regardless of medium.”
In a nutshell, 7x7 is an event that randomly pairs seven photographers with seven subjects. At past events, Alex has paired photographers with fashion models, dancers, even skateboarders. With Alex's controlled but spontaneous collaboration, the results are unique each time.
That comparison to actors and musicians is one Alex comes by honestly — the London-born photographer studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and he's also recorded and toured as an independent singer-songwriter. But it's as a photographer that he's really found his tribe, and for the upcoming Nfocus event at The King House, he's extending it to include visual artists for the first time.
The idea for pairing photographers with visual artists came from a conversation Alex had with his friend Olasubomi Bashorun, an artist who will be participating at The King House event. “Ola told me about the collaborations that Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat made together,” Alex says. The two pop-art stars would often get together to trade artworks and let the other artist paint on top of their already completed work. “That was the spark that led to the formation of this particular event,” he says.
At the event, the 14 participants — seven photographers and seven painters — will meet and be paired up randomly. The duos will go out on their own, and in a set amount of time, the photographer will shoot the artist they're paired with. That photo shoot is the first collaboration, and Alex explains that it can be either a traditional portrait, an action shot, or anything the pair would like. Then, the photographer will upload and edit the pair's favorite photo, printing it right there on site. The print will go back to the artist, and then — just as with the Warhol-Basquiat model — the artist will do whatever they want to the photograph.
“They can paint on it, cut it up and put it in a jar — whatever,” Alex explains. They'll have a few hours to work, and once the time is up, the photographer will take a final photo of that piece of art. The end result is the real collaboration. Those images will be on display that very evening at The King House, and the original artworks will be auctioned off to benefit Together Rising. For more info, visit 7x7.productions. Keep reading to meet the seven photographers and seven painters participating in the event.
Aug. 20, 7 p.m.
The King House
Meet the Photographers
Meet the Visual Artists
Wendy Walker Silverman