Me Too

When Vesa posted his view on online identities and hiding behind an artistic identity he touched upon a most interesting subject. A subject that obviously resonates with most of us as the comments were instant. Mike added his story (a completely different angle, traumatizing the Balakov family with LEGO images for generations to come) and I can only add my own, different angle to it as well. Continue reading “Me Too”

Pike Place Market

Hej, Boris Here !

Me2 is stuck in one of his rabbit holes shooting our next great adventure for all of you to enjoy, and I must say I am starting to get the hang of sharing the odd post with you all here as the other half of Me2 (this is my third post to be precise). So what better way to celebrate than to look back at the fantastic week we had in Seattle now that the dust and excitement of the opening week has settled and share some of the highlights and insights from my end. Some personal experiences and some landmarks you should go and explore yourself when you visit Seattle and our awesome show (shameless self promotion).

Shelly made this fantastic list of things to see and do in the larger Seattle area when we were not busy with the preparation and execution of the “In LEGO, We Connect” exhibition in the International District (still open for you to visit until the first week of April, shameless self promotion continued) and the first on her list was Pike Place Market.

Pike Place Market, is a bustling closed market place, full of great shops and a fantastic photo location to get the ambiance of this real live market, just a stonecast away from the waterfront. We visited the Market a few times during our week in Seattle and I must say it is beautiful and iconic. I recommend you try to go early on a weekday if you have the chance.  10 AM is when the Craft Market starts, but you can go there for early breakfast and some fresh fish as well. Off course you can go later in the evening if you want to do some night shoots (on my to do list for our next visit as I visited it without tripod) or enjoy one of the many restaurants like we did one beautiful evening with great company.

Walking through the market and just getting all the colors, smells and visual details of every little stall is just a pleasure for the senses. A sensory overload best to explored without all the tourists on a Sunday afternoon and as you can see plastic toys are everywhere keeping a safe eye on all the goods. Did anyone see Jaiken ?

dinocsaur-001-169
Jaiken ?

The neon signs both in and outside are for me not just an iconic landmark of Seattle, but an iconic landmark of the US and its culture and made me wonder back to early childhood memories of neon, milkshakes and Happy Days on the television. Who remembers Fonzie ?

The lower floor has a fantastic collection of little stores to make you take an even deeper dive into American culture with mint condition Playboy and Time magazines from the early fifties and sixties featuring both their own iconic photography styles to genuine Star Wars collectibles.

Pike Market Place

Seattle’s farmers market, established in 1907 is really a must see and has this true authentic feel to it and is full of photographic opportunities for all kind of photographers (from touristic snapshots, wedding, portraits to city and HDR). This place is iconic and a very good representation of the old Seattle you can still smell in a lot of other places around the city. No wonder it was the first on Shelly’s list.

And there is more here than just the market. Opposite of Pike Market Place you will also find the very first Starbucks (that awesome overpriced value selling coffee brand we all love) and an ideal place to take a quick selfie (a very popular photography style these days) for those of you who like historic landmarks of industry and retail as a backdrop.

And then there is the Gum Wall.

The Gum Wall Too
Vesa Shooting Safe

The gum wall is just around the corner of Pike Market Place (the stairs down the pig), and while some of us liked to stay a good few inches away of this colorful stickiness and paradise of shapes, colors and germs alike, others went full in and explored the depth and richness of this artistic composition of chewed plastic*.

Seattle Gumwall
The Gum Wall Up Close

While it may sound crazy, the gum wall really connected with me and did feel like a smorgasbord of molten plastic and raw ideas yet to come to live. A happy place for Me2 to go into unconstrained thinking and rediscover new adventures. It just gave me a completely different dimension to being stuck in plastic, yet being connected.

After the stickiness of the gum wall a fresh breeze of salt air is in order, and a stroll down to the waterfront (Seattle is a city of hills, so photographers pack wisely if you plan to go hiking across town with all your gear) gives you access to the Aquarium (we skipped that one), the Ferris Wheel (another iconic landmark and ideal opportunity for long exposure photography, more on that in one of my next posts as I share with you are freezing tripod adventure) and some more.

All worth the visit, but none of them beats my colorful gum wall just around the corner of Pike Place Market.

Boris

Pike Place Market and its gum wall is just a good 30 minutes walk away from the Bryan Ohno Gallery and for sure worth the visit when you are in Seattle !

Stay tuned for more reflections in my next posts on Seattle taking a deep dive into deception pass, the space needle and rock photography.

* The gum wall is made up of chewing gum. Chewing gum is considered a polymer. And polymers  are the cornerstone of plastic. No wonder both Me2 and I felt at home.

Last Night in Seattle

Wauuw. This week has been an awesome wooden roller coaster for us here in Seattle and we are slowly reaching our first stop. Our very first fine art photo exhibition grand opening in the Bryan Ohno Gallery, (down town in the International District) was a fantastic success with more than 500 plus awesome people passing by and staying to share the moment with us and explore the stories behind our works (the gallery was packed) and we even had a queuing line to get into the gallery at a certain moment in time .

A great week of meeting Shelly (@xxsjc) and Vesa (@avanaut) in real life (this was the first time we actually met beyond IG, email and hangouts alike); a week of exploring the wondrous lands of Seattle and its scenery; a week of meeting old IG friends in real life and discovering new friends along the way; a week of meeting up with the next generation of toy photographers and long distance family from Victoria; a week of beautiful photo walks in federal wet lands, gum walls and sculpture parks alike; a week of talking to the next generation artists and art collectors alike.

A week long wooden roller coaster ride of great fun, new friendships; deep emotions and tears of joy and excitement.

Just as we like to take the Instagram instant like experience to the next level and make our work stand out and make you pause, reflect and enjoy the art for a little longer than the average  three seconds it takes to like an image on IG (you know,  this experience of going big into a gallery and making you stop and enjoy and even let you take it home). Just like that we will relive our roller coaster experience of this week here with you over the coming weeks and try to share all our genuine moments through the eyes of the artists and share some insights we discovered here in Seattle (including some great behind the scenes material).

For now, if you did not visit the show and are in the neighborhood, do go and have a look (it is still up for another 4 weeks, and we are extremely stoked about it). If you feel like spreading the word on Reddit, your social platform of choice or just good old snail mail or phone call to your great aunt or old girlfriend alike we would appreciate it and we may end up having a hot dog together in Seattle.

lunch-001-169The show is running the full month of March and will cross into Seattles Comicon weekend, so make sure you explore the works while you have the chance.

It is my last night here in Seattle, but I am sure I will come back. This city and its people stole my heart …

Space Needle

Thank you !

Boris

The Man Behind The Plastic

Hello World ! Me2 asked me to come out of the proverbial toy closet and tell a little bit more about the man behind the plastic and share with you some of the early days when Me2 and I set out on our first adventures. It all started a good  4 years ago with a new “little” creative project when Me2 was introduced into our family.

It did not take long before our “little” companion started to flood my own IG account and spam my Facebook timeline with his plastic pictures.

One of the most epic first shoots Me2 and I did abroad was Me2 and the Sfinx shot at location in Malta.

The Sfinkx - Page IThe Sfinkx - IIThe Sfinx - III

It was the beginning of a new era.

Soon thereafter Me2 convinced yours truly he should get his own IG account, followed by Flickr, WWW, SmugMug, Twitter, … (the whole package) and the rest is history.

I have never made a secret I am part of the Creative Crew behind this little fellow, yet Me2 has been kind of secret about it, putting rightfully the focus on himself and his latest work.

So, when we were discussing the year ahead Me2 flagged to me I should get more actively engaged again (he needed some “outing”) as he would have difficulties in getting his own ESTA approved to visit the USA and he needed a human to chaperone him.

I must admit I was slightly flabbergasted.

A little plastic man of about 4 cm that has no problem in getting to conquer the Sfinx, travel to The Death Star™ and Beyond™, and post pictures on IG seriously outnumbering my own little IG account there needed me for an ESTA.

Why ?

And then he told me.
He got himself not only stuck in plastic, he also got himself exposed in an art exhibition, with some other great plastic friends in Seattle and he needed the man behind the plastic to come along.

I was and still am soooo very proud  that Me2 got an exclusive Art Exhibition in Seattle together with Shelly Corbett (aka xxSJC) and Vesa Lehtimäki (aka Avanaut) that I could only say yes.

Yes, to come out of the toy closet and be the man behind the plastic.

Expect some more human updates from me here on Stuck In Plastic in this New Year.

See you all in Seattle !

Boris

PS. My personal blog can be found here.