A Look Back at 2011
2011 was an interesting year. When I start to think about it all, I lose track of everything I created, events I was a part of, and so many other things. For several years I’ve done a video slideshow featuring the best art and photography I did throughout the year. This year I decided to do something a little different. (I also got lazy and didn’t want to spent all that time editing video)
There are a few things from the past year I’d like to write about. Obviously, it’s not a thorough overview. They’re some of the first things that came to mind… and just for shits and giggles, I’ll turn them into awards.
The Most Popular for the Wrong Reasons Award: Angel’s Devil
This photo from the summer continues to get reblogged and favored on Tumblr (It has close to 900 notes). I should be happy about it, but I realize that its continued viral status brings up a fundamental problem with the kind of work I do and putting it online. It spread because of the subject matter. Whether it’s Tumbler, deviantART, or any other number of sites, nude photography will get more views than anything else. Most people who see it don’t care about who created it because they only care about seeing a naked chick strapped to a bed. That doesn’t do me much good because they aren’t curious about who made the image and won’t dig deeper to see what else I’ve done.
The “Hey, I Paid for That Room!” Award: Asphysxia at the (unnamed hotel)
One August morning I received a FedEX envelope from an intellectual property lawyer that represents a hotel group. I stayed at one of their hotel rooms in Los Angeles and also did a photo shoot there. They weren’t happy about that and asked that I remove the photos from my website and not refer to their trademarked brand name again. (I go into more detail in this post) So, I took down the photos and avoided a lawsuit. Now nobody can see the photos because of some anal retentive jerks.
The Trying Something New Award: David de Lara vs. The Model
An artist shouldn’t limit himself too much. He should try new things when ideas and opportunities present themselves. The RAW Artists show on September 15th was one of those occasions. I’m not really much of a performance artist. Too much of what I’ve seen is just silly or so fucking pretentious that you need to read the artist’s statement to understand it. With that said, I wanted to do something that people didn’t know was a show and get their attention because it seemed to genuinely be happening.
That was my thinking for this event. In addition to showing some of my artwork, I also did some live art. However, I wanted to add a little something extra. The night of the show I did life drawing of the model for several hours and we planned to do the performance right before the event’s fashion show finale. The story was I was somewhat of a jerk to her throughout the night and, during the last pose, I kept telling her to remove clothes before deciding she should pose nude. She didn’t want to and stormed off. I chased after her, we yelled, she threw a drink at me, ripped off my shirt, and made me pose instead.
It got a great reaction. People cheered when she threw the drink at me and tore my shirt off. Then a small crowd gathered as I posed and played model. I’m not sure how many saw it but I’m glad we were able to get some people’s attention. I played it off as a real event even though it was done with a bit of a wink to the audience (I was wearing sock garters, boxers, and a wife beater for comic effect) and that carried over into the online world afterwards.
I planned on doing a follow up to the performance. First a video of the incident would appear online. Then I would find it and feel compelled to respond so I wouldn’t look like too much of a bad guy. When I see it now I don’t like how the follow up video worked out. It could have been done a little better. What really disappointed me though was I don’t think anybody really saw it. The initial video did get some reactions but there weren’t any for the second.
So maybe this is a case of learning that some things don’t need to be stretched out… or that I’m still not at the point where I can make something like that work online…
Whatever the case, I still get a laugh out of it due to the fact that I can get away with doing things like this. I’m not sure where I wanted it to go in the end but that was a lot of work to build up to a dick joke.
The “I Don’t Think This is Dirty” Award: David de Lara vs. Google AdWords
2011 was the first year of this new website and I’ve been working on helping it grow and find an audience. Some of that included using some free advertising credits. That didn’t work out great though.
Google AdWords considers www.daviddelara.com an adult site. So, my site would only appear during sexually explicit and pornographic searches. While I won’t argue that I have made some images that could be considered pornographic, none of them appear on my site. I made a decision not to show certain content. This site does contain nudity though and there’s still the fine line of what’s art and what is pornographic. It’s different for everybody and art didn’t win that round.
This also goes back to my first point about being caught up with horny people using the internet not doing me much good. I own my .XXX domain name. I wonder if I’m being dared to use it.