Friday, June 3, 2011

[Flashback Friday] Noah's Choice

Now that we've seen the top 17 favorites of my original 365 skulls from Citizen Agent, Abby, and Tatman it was decided that I would do the first Flashback Friday of year 5.0.

I'm frequently asked what is my favorite skull, and that's a really tough thing for me to answer. Realistically I just enjoyed the experience of making them and my favorite was always the one I was going to make next. That said there are several that I particularly liked because of the specific experiences around them. Since the co-editors have actually already shown many of those, I though I'd pick a few that haven't been showcased yet to share a bit about...

357. Nude (but Safe for Work) Skull

I knew I wanted to do this for a while, but the logistics of it were daunting, so I waited til near the end to figure it out. I had initially wanted about 8-10 people to use in it, but on the day of the shoot none of the people that I enlisted showed up! Luckily I had two friends that had asked if they could come along at the last minute and so I ended up just working with the two of them. It made the shoot way more difficult since I really needed more people to make anything vaguely resembling a skull. The solution was to have them do two poses which I would put together in Photoshop later. Of course I didn't have my computer with me during the shoot so I just had to hope that they would actually work out. Luckily the image came together in the end. I particularly was happy that it's very different from Salvador Dali's well-known skull made of nudes.

329. Skull Ray

I knew I couldn't end the project without using my own skull at some point. I had no idea how I was going to be able to get an x-ray done though. And then at a party a friend of a friend revealed that they taught medical students how to use x-ray machines! Of course I immediately asked if they would be willing to x-ray my own head and astonishingly they said yes. We went after hours to the building, which was pretty eerie and I lay on the x-ray table (after doing a few tests with a special acrylic encased skull first) in my street clothes, which is definitely an odd experience. I wanted to include a prop to make it clear that this was really a one-of-a-kind x-ray and not just something I found. I actually taped an opossum skull (which I had gleaned myself from one that died in my backyard) to the side of my head to get this to work. I display it with an actual hospital lightbox, which is currently on the piano in my living room.

314. Skullevision

My friend Carol, who was a big supporter of the project (and actually provided the wall for another day's project) gave me this TV figuring I could do something with it.  I loved the fact that it actually still worked so I decided to paint directly on the screen with acrylic and allow the image to show through when it's turned on. This is one piece you really have to see in person, it's incredibly captivating and every show is interesting. I've had it on (with the volume turned down) at parties and people can't tear their eyes away from it. I highly recommend you do this to your own television set.

101. Tattoo Skull, Self-Inflicted

After finishing my first 100 skulls I knew I had to do something big to celebrate the achievement. I don't remember how I came up with the idea to tattoo myself, but once I thought of it, I knew I had to do it. Luckily a friend who is a professional tattoo artist let me use their equipment and helped me with the process (including requiring me to wear latex gloves... in case I contaminated myself?). It didn't hurt at all and I was actually a bit surprised how easy it was to do. I'm very tempted to do this again. The best compliment I got was that the tattoo artist was impressed with how well I did on my first try and said that I could definitely be an apprentice if I ever wanted to start a new career! I love the fact that this is permanently a part of my body and a wonderful reminder of my crazy year.

So what are your favorites from year 1.0 of Skull-A-Day and why?


Stefan said...

I love the tattoo. I've been inked twice and considering getting another. Either a Dia de los Muertos type skull or something from Jose Guadalupe Posada.

Zook said...

I've been offered, and am currently debating taking part in, a tattoo apprenticeship and have already decided that my first self-tattoo will be one of my trademark skulls on my left hand above the "web" between my thumb and forefinger...