CHAPTER ONE "The Art of Noise"

Art Scene

CHAPTER ONE "The Art of Noise"


Project: Harpers International- Fall -2010
Location: World Monument Fund Gallery- 15 east 27th street Ground Floor
Time: Saturday June 26, 2010
Photographers: Ron Contarsy and Seth Karecha
Assistant: Robin Banica- 646-284-1054
Second Assistant: Nixxi & Francesca
Duggal Spotlight: Karl Rudisill-
Lighting: Broncolor by Bron Imaging Group supplied by Duggal
Consultants: Jim Reed/ Christie Guzman- BronImaging Group
Editor: David Widjaja- 347-426-6541
Models: Polina Solvo/ Ford Models/ Agent Michael Bruno
Ania Kisiel/ Next/ Agent Derek
Hair: Dante Blandshaw/ WT Management/ Agent Aida
Make Up: Roberto Morrelli/ Link NYLA/ Agent Lisa
Manicurist: Ann Marie Walts
Our first production location established with Ron Contarsy was at the World Monument Fund Gallery hosting Jane Gennaro’s artwork entitled “Feed the Models.” Jane’s collection presented on her website: shows a unique style of almost human-form cutouts while using fashion magazine pages as an original, she then reshapes the model figure by simply cutting out a new image using a small pair of scissors. Jane cut wiry, curvy and elongated shapes from the magazine pages while maintaining a pseudo- abstract form of the model in part. Duggal Visual Solutions was instrumental in Jane’s exhibit by not only participating as a co-sponsor, but also printing all of her work on a combination of large aluminum sheets, wood and canvas. It was the perfect backdrop for Ron Contarsy’s theme “The Art of Noise.” Karl Rudisill from Duggal Spotlight had previously arranged with Jane to shoot this production during the last days of her exhibit in the gallery. The World Monument Fund Gallery has gone through a face-lift recently with a renewal of the interior. Parts of the original brick walls and steel gerter support beams were exposed while other walls were layered with stainless steel sheets covering doors and passage ways for an amazing aesthetic combo of textures. This combination of  colors and array of materials was what caught Ron’s eye when choosing a location for his Harper’s International magazine shoot.

Once everyone started arriving, much of the logistics had to be worked out for specific shots. While garment bags were being hung and accessories laid out on tables, Ron was busy with his assistants and Christine Guzman from Bron Imaging Group setting up lighting. The external light in the gallery coming through the window was essential in configuring the Broncolor lighting system to work seamlessly with the ambient light, as the windows in the gallery could not be covered. The gallery has a lot of reflective surfaces that have to be combined with the ambient light and lighting system. Christine was a wizard at assisting Ron with the setup Duggal supplied for this production. It was Ron’s first time working with the newest Broncolor system- yet with 30 years of experience under his belt as an international fashion and beauty photographer, the design, functionality and ease-of-use aspect of  this system made it easy for Ron to configure. The color control settings, white balance and flash settings of the power packs and parabolic umbrella ring light were measured and set with Christine’s assistance. Ron spent some time with Jim Reed from Bron Imaging Group prior to the shoot to familiarize himself with the total operation of the power packs and lighting system.

While Ron was busying himself with the lights and location, David Widjaja was scurrying about getting all the outfits in order, steam pressed and accessorized for the first shot. Polina Solvo from FORD Models and Ania Kisiel from Next Models were being prepped simultaneously between hair styling by Dante Blandshaw from WT Management and makeup by Roberto Morelli from Link NYLA. Anne Marie Waltz was following up with the manicure of all the nails for that finished haute couture look. Alvin Fung from Chungkit Fashion Blog stopped by during the early prep stage of the production to meet up with Jane Gennaro at the gallery to get a personal tour of her exhibit. On his blog site Alvin supports all forms of artists, music, entertainment and fashion as well. He has been an integral part of the industry for 15 years as a successful art director. Jane gave him an up-close-and-personal view of her work and explained the philosophy behind it. Alvin eventually did a follow up story on his blog. He later met up with photographer Ron Contarsy for the first time back stage. Ron described his theme line and how it will work with Jane’s art form as the back drop. Using computer technology, Ron showed Alvin how he was able to pre-shoot ideas in his mind by working with a computer and combining location, clothing and styling to formulize extravagant productions such as this story for Harper’s International even before the first frame is captured. He gave Alvin a backstage walk through to get a good view of the exceptionally talented artists he personally chose for this production.

Once Ron finally completed the lighting arrangement and snapped off several test shots, he made some detailed adjustments of flash settings and camera exposure. He viewed the on board color checking and final placement of key lights and strobes, and the crew was ready for the first outfit. Dante did an amazing job with the lifts, extensions and styling on Ania and Polina’s hair as Roberto performed an extreme makeover on both girls that worked well with the hair styling and David’s wardrobe selection for this storyboard. Anne worked her magic on the nails with exclusive  design just for this shoot. Both Ania and Polina were fabulous. The artistic theme line needed that extra wow factor and physical agility from the models, portraying in part, certain artistic aspects of the art of Jane Gannaro that served as the backdrop of each shot. Ron prepped the models prior to the first shot by showing them images on his computer of what he was expecting to bring out the edgy form and movement necessary to capture the essence of the styling, wardrobe, hair and art work for this story. The Broncolor lighting system was the trump card that allowed Ron to move from texture and reflective surface qualities to ambient light combinations without the obtrusive hard flash from strobes bouncing throughout the room between metal, glass, brick and concrete. He was able to easily overlap the strobes mixed with the expansive output diameter of the parabolic umbrella ring flash. “It was the Broncolor system that made the day with lighting technique in this location with all this bouncing going on,” according to Ron. It was a sophisticated lighting scheme between four flash heads, reflective light, external light and the parabolic umbrella all working in unison to create the smooth light he fashioned without any obvious overlaps, black holes or harsh flash from strobes.  Ron did an exceptional job by bringing out the details in all the black outfits – the real test of a true expert.

Karl Rudisill captured the entire production of the day’s shoot from the arrival of the team and all the preliminary production to the final shot of the day. He scurried about shooting both still and video all in digital format. These images were taken for upcoming articles and story telling, as well as archiving of the production future projects. This is one of the aspects of Duggal Spotlight. Karl is a fashion veteran, attending and participating in hundreds of fashion productions around the globe such as fashion shows in Paris, Milan and New York to catalogs, editorial shoots, magazine productions on location to fashion campaigns and advertisements. Rudisill has also worked in commercial television and music video productions. He was a professional photographer in Europe for several years before finally integrating his skills into his own graphics and printing company located in Italy. Rudisill moved back to the states and opened up a shop in Manhattan specializing in marketing and promo items for the fashion industry – eventually working for Duggal Visual Solutions. Working with Ron in capturing his production in digital format and viewing the images of the day after each outfit, Karl was able to collaborate behind the scenes in creating a visual story of images that are rarely seen outside of the crew on set. Duggal Spotlight brings to life the events behind the camera and backstage as they occur along the course of the entire production – giving credit to all the artists and staff involved.

The day of “The Art of Noise” ended in visual and artistic euphoria as Ron et al viewed the images in a final go over on his computer before calling it a wrap. Everyone was thrilled with the results – including Jane – as they all viewed the images on Ron’s computer screen. Jane was excited to think of how the models portrayed the clothes along side her work and how the make up and hair styling worked so well with her vision of her art form. She was truly impressed with how Ron was able to direct and capture the movements and form of the models to mold his images into the upcoming story in Harper’s International. Ron was extremely pleased with the outcome, resulting from the lighting schemes he was able to create with the Broncolor lighting Duggal supplied him with. The hair and makeup was exceptional and both models performed to the beat of the drums with edgy forms, shapes and poses that complimented the wardrobe, hair, makeup and styling-  and of course, Jane’s art. The production of “The Art of Noise” for Harper’s International was more than just a production for cast and crew; it was a day where everyone pushed the envelope of creativity to the brink.