Each month we bring to you a showcase featuring the work of a photographer whose work we deem as a must follow and for June's edition of the #audioloveshowcase we present the photographs if the talented 'Cathy Foreman' . We have been fans of Cathy for some time now and especially love the mixture of photography and art that effortlessly blend into pieces of art worthy of hanging in the walls of your home. A true creative at heart, Cathy's love for music, art & photography shines through in every shot whilst displaying beautiful timing that is characteristic of great concert photography.
We caught up with Cathy about her photography background and unique style. Read the full interview below!:
AL - Tell us a bit about your background that led you to combine art and photography in such a unique way
CF - Truly, there is no formal background or training, Ive always loved art and always loved music. When i started photography almost five years ago I never thought id be where I am nor doing what I do today. It's a healthy mix of the two for me. It allows me to explore my creative side while providing a different insight into the world of concerts and live music events
AL - What has been the best compliment you have received on your work?
Last year while covering the Richmond Jazz Festival, I had an opportunity to chat with Eric Roberson. I had just covered an event at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), where he was one of the opening acts for The Floetry Reunion Tour – anyway, I was showing him a piece that I had completed of him, from that show, and had recently posted to IG. To my surprise, he was like, “Oh, that's you? You did this piece on Marsha Ambrosius with these swirls.” So I pulled up the piece really quick, on my phone, and he said, “Yes, that's it!.” I have to tell at that moment, I kinda blanked out for a second or two because here I am showing him a piece on him and he’s talking to me about another piece that he had seen. To me, that was crazy. I had never thought about the Artists looking at my work of other Artists or even as a whole, only the pieces I would tag them in. That was a huge deal for me and probably one of the best compliments/moments I had experienced up through that point.
AL - We noticed that you have put together a few exhibitions. Tell us a bit more about these and when your next one is scheduled?
CF - My first exhibit was part of a huge group exhibition, consisting of more than 400 Artists worldwide; that one was in Milan, Italy. Initially, when I was contacted, by one of the curators, I thought it was a joke. I almost deleted the email, but something about it caught my eye. We had just been to Italy the year before and I remembered they were in very beginning stages of setting up this Expo. And that's what did it for me; that recollection. I dug in and completed my due-diligence before I responded … you know just to confirm it was legit and it was. The rest as they say, is history. I had four pieces in that show.
The next invitation came from the UK, The Global Art Agency for the 2016 Oxford International Art Fair. Being honest, I thought, “lightning does not strike the same place twice.” So again, I completed my due-diligence and this one was legit as well. I almost did not participate in this one though. You see, part of the agreement was that you physically had to be there, with your work. Coming off our trip to Italy for the first show/expo, it simply was not financially feasible to pull off. That's when I found this silver lining - I could participate in the digital portion of the show. Once that was confirmed, I was on my way. For this exhibit, again, it was a group exhibition of more than 140 Artists worldwide and I was blessed to have three different pieces show in Oxford, England.
My most recent show, was a Solo Exhibition in Atlanta, Ga at APACHE Café. The office manager of the Café had been in Raleigh a couple of years before speaking poetry at an event I was covering. Later I sent her a piece I had completed of her and she loved it. She suggested that I showcase some work there. At the time, I had really just started delving into this more creative and textured side of my work, so I had no real portfolio to showcase. Fast forward two years, I had a host of work and after coming off two international shows, I really wanted to do something domestically and preferably closer to home. I remembered that conversation and wondered if she would still be interested in showcasing my work. So I reached out and she was on-board. She put me in touch with the curator for the café and we were off. Automatically, the talk was about a solo show and to make it happen, I had to have at least 20-30 pieces. Well I certainly had that, now it was a matter of selection. I have to tell though, everything was and had happened so quickly, I was in shock and had to take a minute to catch my breathe. Over the course of the next months, I curated my own work and came up 20 pieces. After many conversations, it was all set and SUSPENSION: Sound and Emotion of Music was set to open with an Artist Talk on April 25th. We delivered the work for installation the week before and came back the following Monday for Opening Night. Overall the show was a success and it definitely has driven me to do more to get my work out to the masses.
I have a couple of things I'm working on; they are still in the beginning stages of development, but there is definitely more to come … in the near and not so distant future.
AL - What is the process involved in converting your photographs into unique pieces of art?
CF - What I can tell you is at the base of the majority of pieces, is a photograph that I have personally shot at a live performance and a very small percentage from an iPhone shot captured from my tv. I can also tell you that the process is quite like painting, for me. While there are no “literal” brush strokes, there are figurative strokes made with my mouse. I add, shape, shift and color until I feel the piece is complete. There have been times, when for all intents and purposes, a piece was complete or on its way to completion, but it simply did not delivery the moment or the feeling of that moment, so I'll scrap it and start from scratch.
I can tell you that each piece is about a memory of moment that I was able to suspend through my lens; that's what I build on, that image …that moment. Sometimes I listen to the Artist’s music, in an effort to get back to that zone. Then, there are other times I feel the energy of their suspended animation and that guides me through completion.
AL - Who has been your favourite artist to shoot in concert and why?
CF - Wow! That's a tough one. I absolutely LOVE Artists who are animated. That animation feeds my creativity. It also plays a major part in the process because most of my work is portraiture. So Artists like: Ledisi, Avery Sunshine, Chris Turner, Jesse Boykins III, Kobie Watkins, Grace Jones, Ty Taylor, YahZarah and Gary Clark Jr deliver that type of animation where I can get lost in the creativity of their respective pieces. But if I had to choose one, I would say Grace Jones, if for no other reason … she - is - LEGENDARY! An opportunity like that usually only comes around once in a lifetime, especially the more “graceful”, s/he becomes or when they have more or less faded into obscurity. So you jump at the opportunities and do everything within your power to be in that space … in that time … to make your mark.
Find out more of the work of Cathy Foreman below:
Twitter - www.twitter.com/reflectionsxcf
Website - www.reflectionsbycathyforeman.com
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/reflectionsxcf/