“For every love affair, there are pictures” Stevie Nicks
What do rock goddesses do when they leave the stage? Take Polaroids, it seems.
Stevie Nicks may be on tour now, but her photography is stationary on display at the Morrison Hotel Gallery at 116 Prince Street for the month of October
When viral meant sickness, and the interwebs were far off, Stevie Nicks was exploring photography, while on the road with the biggest rock band in the world at the time, between 1975 and 1987.
This was the time when private photos were private, no negs could be found, no digital images hacked. One image was the original, and the only way you would see it, was if the owner wanted you to.
In this new exhibit, you see some amazingly high res scans of Polaroids made by Stevie Nicks, blown up to massive dimensions. Nash Editions took care of the printing.
Self portraits, sure, and the known persona of the artist gets presented and stretched here. The images illustrate a creative mind that after giving a performance to thousand, comes back to a hotel room and continues to create in a different medium.
Photography can be a solitary endeavor, and perhaps after the intensity of the group/audience dynamic, the relative quiet of a singular exploration gave her a different release. The immediacy and singularity of the Polaroid image, that one of a kind imagery with instant gratification, appear here as a testament to the always on, visual mind.
The fact that she kept shoe boxes full of these images, underscores her connection and feeling of importance of these photographs.
Honestly, though: how many photographers out there have thrown away images?
Whenever I see a series of self portraits, I look for a revelation, a glimpse into the truth of the subject. We can all find our most flattering angle, Ms. Nicks has many, but what have you told me different?
Along with photographs depicting an almost monochromatic zen to the series, there are 3 images in particular, that show the subject at her most stripped down, vulnerable self. You’ll have to see them yourselves at the gallery.
Make no mistake, this is not a metaphor for any lack of strength.
This is why this exhibit is important for her fans, and as a photographic glimpse of a time period.
You get the artist after what could be big performance or event, creating new stories, plus the sprinkle of a different reality. Unfettered, simple, self portraits. These images give you an insight you may never see.
As the show opened, Mick Fleetwood, joined her as she walked from photo to photo, describing private notes to him as his tall frame bent down to her voice, almost on her toes. It was a very sweet scene.
STEVIE NICKS ON HER SELF PORTRAIT POLAROIDS
I wanted to learn how to become a photographer and since I don’t sleep at night, I started thinking, who am I going to ask to stay up all night and then do a show the next night? I’m not going to get Christine (McVie) to be my model. She’s going to say, ‘Are you crazy? I’m going to the bar. Bye.’ Then I thought, well, why not use a plant and I moved on from there.