September 27, 2006
A friend of mine is a successful photographer known for doing a certain kind of work... large format cameras, spectacular handmade black and white prints using obscure processes, etc... He's an obsessive photographer who shoots in other styles, but his other work some digital, some shot on 35 clashes in theme and style with his classy 'brand.' To avoid sullying his good name he created an alternate persona and started showing the alternate work under that name. All contact with the outside world is through associates in on the joke. As part of the joke he invited several other photographers to shoot in the style of the alternate persona to create a body of work. The problem is the alternate persona has been successful. The work has sold, been in shows, etc. Dealers and collectors want to meet the artist. The artist always refuses and the refusals of course serve to enhance his popularity. Now an important magazine has asked to interview the artist. The question is what to do. Do the interview and risk a slip up, continue to be mysteriously unavailable and continue the joke, or spill the beans and risk lonelygirl15 type resentment?