We have been posting a lot about the publication of "Wig Heavier Than a Boot" by photographer David Johnson and poet Philip Matthew. You may be wondering why we are so excited about this milestone for one of our artists. David is a professional photographer who is pursuing a career in fine art photographer and education. He currently is Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Iowa. His goal is to secure a tenured position at a college or university. There are many things that are looked for in this career path. It is expected that while he teaches he also continues to research and make new art, much like a chemistry professor is expected to research and discover new information. All academic disciplines require being published along the path to tenure.
The book is the culmination of a collaborative project by Johnson and Matthews. Publisher Kris Graves describes the project: "Revealing Petal--a drag consciousness as whom Philip manifests to write, and David photographs--the project crosses art-making rituals with isolated performances within domestic spaces and pastoral landscapes. Taken together, the resulting photographs and poems reveal dynamic relationships between author, character, and observer. By articulating a specific creative process in which one identity becomes two, the project in turn opens up a conversation about gender expression through an art-historical lens."
The result of this project is a beautiful book filled with haunting, sometimes ethereal photographs of Philip or Petal in settings such as farmland in rural Wisconsin, the coast of North Carolina, a small church, an art museum in St. Louis, alongside poems that "hybridize their (Philip and Petal) perspectives, enacting a relationship that is surreal, empowering, and unbearable."
This book is available for pre-order through krisgravesprojects.com/store/wigs and will be available at the gallery after an October release.