Most people know Grover Cleveland as America’s only President to serve two non-consecutive terms. Fewer know him as the former Mayor of my hometown of Buffalo NY, and later as a Governor of New York State who was praised for his honesty and constant opposition of political corruption.
But now a new story is being told about Grover Cleveland, one that takes a “mostly accurate” look at the life of this “near great’ President and mustache enthusiast who continues to fly under the historical radar. The Life and Times of Grovey Cleves is a collaboration between outspoken illustrator Mickey Thoren Harmon and writer Scott Mancuso that tells the story of Cleveland’s days as a young bachelor and foodie in Buffalo during the city’s rise to prominence; to his rapid and reckless political ascent from Mayor to Governor to 22nd (and later 24th!) President of the United States in just three years.
Originally envisioned as a small exhibition Harmon’s drawings that revolved around his fascination with the political figure, the concept later grew into a more fully fleshed out publishing project with the involvement of Mancuso and the fabulous Western New York Book Arts Center who helped produce the limited edition work.
While you may no longer be able to get your hands on a print copy of this unique examination of the history of one of America’s more interesting but lesser known Presidents, you can still learn a little bit more about the man himself by checking out a digital version of The Life and Times of Grovey Cleves here.
In the weeks leading up to me moving out of my old studio I spent a lot of time shooting small personal projects like this duo of portraits of the stylish and talented media designer Devin Caskie. Equipment had been packed up and stored for the duration of the renovations we had planned at the new space and I had a short period of downtime between two major projects that allowed me to work on some images that had been stuck in my head for a while like this one. Devin and I have a mutual friend in makeup artist Nicole Barry who brought us together for this project and knew that I would find Devin’s unique style very interesting.
This project marks my first time collaborating with Mark Montalvo of Skin Digital, a wonderful retoucher and digital artist who has handled the post-production on a number of projects for me lately. I am excited to partner with such a talented creative to make unique imagery and bring even higher production value to personal and client assignments alike. Working with Mark has been a great experience so far because we approach the post-production aspects of an image with a similar philosophy and because he is able to decipher my often rambling and scattered retouching notes.
Some of my personal selections from my project with designer Morgen Love.
Cyberoptix Tie Labs has long been one of my favorite designers of unique men’s accessories. Bethany Shorb runs one of the largest ecologically friendly and solvent free screen printing shops in the country, making thoughtful and bold statements in the creation of unique neckwear while minimizing any environmental impact in her hometown of Detroit, MI. Outside of her work as lead designer for Cyberoptix, Bethany has also toured the country with her experimental musical project Toybreaker and designed riveting couture fashions outside the accessories market, including the touring wardrobe for Skinny Puppy’s 2004 world tour.
I photographed several of the Cyberoptix Tie Lab designs last year for a designers feature run in an independent alternative fashion magazine. A small series of editorial images were created for the piece using one of Western New York’s most decadent and luxurious restaurants as a backdrop, it was a brilliant location to shoot Bethany’s ties in, awash in rich red velvets, dark woods, and accented with stunning collections of distinct objects ranging from avian taxidermy to a collection of rare vintage spirits. It was the perfect setting to allow some interesting vintage menswear to be infused with the punky edge and darkly intelligent tie designs that Cyberoptix provided. I knew that I had become an instant fan of Bethany’s work when I had decided on the spot to buy several of the ties she had provided for the production rather than returning them to her, most notably Raven and Gasmask, they have since become favorite pieces of my wardrobe.
I was excited when Bethany wanted to use one of the images from the original editorial, after it had initially run, on the Cyberoptix homepage to promote her ExLibris tie. The combination of her tie design laid over part of the image as well as the typography she come together to create an alluring whole, one that I was extremely happy to be a part of, especially given Bethany’s reputation as a young, popular, and passionate designer who is creating stunning yet environmentally responsible garments in a city generally held to be outside of the major fashion markets.
Over the past few months I have been working with designer Nubby Twiglet on creating a new brand and visual identity to accompany my work. Recently Nubby featured my brand on her own blog, giving her readers a rundown on how we created several of the elements that I now regularly use to represent myself.
Stop by her blog and check out the whole article to get some great insight from a brilliant designer into my branding and identity. From overall brand development, to web implementation, logos, print pieces, and future promotions, Nubby was able to help me develop a visual language to support my photography work in an elegant and professional way that I could not be happier with.