Located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Fuchs Projects was founded by Rafael Fuchs in 2012. As Fuchs observes. “Bushwick, the way I see it, is a place where people do things. When I first arrived here, I was fascinated by the fact that I don’t have to go very far if I want to create a frame made or metal, if I want to create/order a wooden cabinet, or even if I want to buy a thousand fortune cookies. Within a distance of a couple of blocks away from my place I can find metal welding shops, wood shops, clothing manufacturers, cement factory, book binders and many other different manufacturers.
“It is definitely an industrial zone (at least, by the Morgan Ave. stop of the L train, where my studio is), which has been changing its status to more residential zone. Yet, the structure still exists, and the factories that have been converted to residential spaces or studio spaces for artists (as painters, sculptor makers, musicians, dancers, photographers and more) still keep their characteristics. Due to the industrial structure, Bushwick has become a hub for many artists that have been coming here in the past 10 years or so, in order to find a big space for a relatively low rent, in order to create their art, although the rent has gotten higher in the past two years.”
Opening Friday, September 5 at 6:00pm, Fuchs presents a collection of his work titled, “100 Polaroids From the Turn of the Millennium.” On view through October 5 at 56 Bogart Street #1E, Brooklyn, “100 Polaroids” is a tribute to the medium itself.
As Fuchs reveals, “I love Polaroids. Nothing compares in the whole photography realm to the experience of those seemingly ‘endless’ moments of anticipation for the image (you just took) to be processed, and, magically, be revealed on the surface of this blank...Polaroid. Sometime I want to repeat that magic and shoot just with Polaroids, since they have their own characteristics and charm.
“In this current digital photography era, it is my choice to shoot with Polaroids every so often, with whatever Polaroids that are left on my shelves or whatever I can find in the stores, (since the Polaroid company ceased its production on Feb. 2008.)
“Back in the turn of the Millennium I used the Polaroids, mostly, as a tool to predict what the images would look like before I would transition to shoot with films, using the same settings of the camera. The magic was always there, but the Polaroid served more as a necessary step in the course of a photo session. The Polaroid also helped communicating between me and the subjects, and established trust and intimacy. It was also an affirmation to the photo editors, art directors, or PR people that were on the set, regarding the direction that the photo shoot was going.
“In the show ‘100 Polaroids From The Turn Of The Millennium’ I decided to put together a collection of Polaroids that I took as a part of photo sessions that I was commissioned to do with people that were shaping (or about to shape) the face of culture and society at that era (especially the American society), and were about to put a lasting imprint on our society.”
The subjects range from Entertainment (Burt Reynolds, Emily Watson, Heather Graham, Julia Stiles, Geoffrey Rush, David Blaine, Nathan Lane) to Literature (Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers, R.L. Stine, Candace Bushnell, Harold Bloom, Walter Mosley,J.K. Rowling); from Music (Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Michael Stipe, Tony Bennett, Sean Paul) to Commerce (George Steinbrenner, Barry Diller), and beyond.
Fuchs notes, “I am selling the originals. I am also making editions of prints just to a few Polaroid images that my laptop ‘deformed’ the colors on the screen when it was over-heated, and I embraced and captured that transformation and dramatic shift of colors. For this show, I am setting a very affordable price, since I am sure that a savvy collector will grab that opportunity to have this body of work in their collection, which will enable me to continue with my gallery project.
“The decision to cross the path and become a gallery owner and show my work there (while, still, being an active photographer), came to me in 2012 after the closing of two galleries that I had solo shows in. I took notes from other artists in the area of Bushwick (as well in other parts of the world, and in different eras), that opened their own exhibit spaces, and decided to show my own work whenever I am ready, and have also a space for emerging photographers, mostly from the area.
“Another reason that prompted me to open my own gallery is the fact that I've been producing quite a lot of bodies of works, and I didn't think that any gallery will be able to accommodate those different works in the pace that I would like to show. For me, showing the work is a part of the process of growing. I like to challenge myself (and the viewers) by taking a chance and putting up a body of work of mine, even though that I know that months later, in a retrospect, I would realize that at least 40% of it should not be on the wall at that time or, at least, not in the presentation that I chose for that show. It is very different to view work on a monitor than to see it printed on the wall, and the gallery space is my laboratory.
“I don’t consider myself as the best sales person. I am a photographer, first, then a dealer. I might be very engaging talking about my work, but I know that in the gallery and art world you have to be very slick, persuasive and shrewd at times. I’m none of the above. Although I did, successfully, place artworks in new homes (as you’d say in the gallery world) for quite a few works of the artists that show at the gallery, including myself. In my opinion, succeeding in a gallery world is being able to place artworks in museums. I am on my way of getting there.
Sometimes I think about myself as an outsider in the world of photography, although, I know that a lot of people would not agree with me.”
Photographs by Rafael Fuchs
Visit Fuchs Projects
Curated by Miss Rosen
John Cameron Mitchell