I had the assistance of five people in realizing this installation, which took approximately seven years to complete. Each of these five people is an artist in her/his own right. Their contributions varied in quantity and kind, but were based on their individual skill sets as well as availability. All but one person had some prior association with Brighton Press, a publisher of fine artists’ books, next to which my studio is located.
In the process of working I regularly asked these five helpers for their aesthetic and philosophical opinions regarding what we were working on, and I frequently followed their advice when it was given. Thus it can be said that these assistants were collaborators. Although all ultimate decisions were mine, as was the artistic vision, I believe the input of the artists who assisted me made it a stronger project. In fact it would have been impossible to have accomplished it without them.
No grant money was involved in subsidizing this endeavor. (“No animals were harmed in the making of this film…”) Financed solely by me. Assistants were paid by the hour for their labor, or per individual piece. The remuneration they received probably did not adequately reward their loyalty, dependability, work ethic, and time.
Jenny is a book artist and graphic designer who works under the name Evidence of the Hand. She graduated with an MFA from SDSU in 2008, in Design and Book Arts. She helped facilitate the altering of the books, which were finished several years before the tableaux. The techniques and materials used in the book alterations were widely varied from piece to piece; elements were added and changed.
Working from Christine's sketches and descriptions, Jenny made the modifications using both digital and hand-rendered means. Some changes had to be attempted repeatedly until they seamlessly integrated into the original book. The digital additions were done on a MacBook Pro with Epson pigment-based K3 inks.
After fabrication of the books, she assisted in the conceptual and structural fabrication of tableaux, as well as ordering of vintage objects and creating the website for this body of work.
Anne Reas has been an editorial and children’s book illustrator, whose primary medium is dry chalk pastel. She received a BFA in illustration at Art Center College of Design and has done work for publications at Random House, TIME for Kids, Cricket Media, and Condé Nast, among others.
Anne illustrated the child figures that interact with the tableaux. Working off of Christine's distinct memories of 50s era clothing, she was aiming for a rendering style somewhere in between Norman Rockwell and the Dick and Jane illustrations.
James Renner was one of the founding members of Brighton Press, with which he has also published The Mouse and the Woman (1988), and Soliloquy (2007). These books are housed in over thirty public collections. He has had seven solo shows of his sculptures, drawings, and collages along with numerous group shows across the country. He was born and still resides in San Diego.
Martin is a master printer and production designer at Brighton Press, where she began as an apprentice in 1987. She has a BFA in painting, printmaking, and sculpture from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a certificate in architectural drafting from the Phoenix Institute of Technology. Her published artwork is housed in numerous public and private collections in the United States. Her paintings and book arts have been exhibited both locally and nationally.
Noé Olivas is a visual artist who received his BA in Visual Arts from the University of San Diego. He worked on many of the structural pieces for the project, but additionally brought his youthful point of view and experimental concepts. Born in San Diego, his artwork investigates the Mexican-American identity as a Californian. He is currently pursuing his MFA at the University of Southern California.