Call an optimist,
She’s turning blue
Such a lovely color for you.
So begins the A Perfect Circle song Blue; a piece of lyric which has confused and mystified many fans. Go to any fan site and you’ll see countless variations on the meaning of the words, including what the words actually are. I did my research and dug around until I actually found Maynard James Keenan, the writer of the lyrics, speak about them in rare plainness.
It’s about denial. It’s about seeing someone in trouble, someone who can’t swim (neither can the singer, as it turns out) who has begun to drown. As the person in trouble begins to turn blue, instead of realizing that their death is near, the singer compliments the beautiful hue. It’s a wonderful vivid picture of deep, deep denial.
I have wanted to do a photo based on the song for years. I pitched my concept to countless photographers, who always turned it down. Photographers always turned my ideas down. While it frustrated me at the time, I’m glad for it now. If that frustration and lack of self expression hadn’t built up in me as it did, I wouldn’t have had a reason to turn to self portraits as an outlet. It took a while, even once I decided that I would do it as a self portrait, for me to figure out exactly what it would like like, how it would be blocked out, the set, etc. And then one day, as often happens for me, when I was thinking about something else entirely, it all flashed into my head. The best way for me to solve a problem is to not think about it. My brain does much better work when I’m not breathing down it’s neck.
So, here we are:
At first I was terribly intimidated by getting all the angles right; of the camera, of me-on-thebed, of me-in-front-of-the-mirror, without cutting off the me-on-the-bed, etc. But, it ended up being pretty simple actually. Just took a little tinkering. I shot the me-on-the-bed first, then slathered myself with blue eye shadow and drenched my hair for the me-in-front-of-the-mirror. Oh my, it took an awful lot of blue eye shadow. And I still had to enhance it post production. I was sneezing blue powder for a week. I am quite pleased with the drips of water on the vanity surface… and yes, Geoff, I was standing on a towel, so none of it got on the floor 🙂
Tomorrow I’m off for a shoot I’m very excited about with my favorite female model. Wish me luck!