I never liked John Kerry, but I went down to Ambler, Pennsylvania to ring doorbells for him because the alternative was so bad. When you get whupped the only think you can dream about is picking yourself up off the floor and kicking some ass - later on. Just ask Saint Blue
Ever since I met the Ruby Sisters running around and telling corny jokes in their wonderful voices at a wacky Brooklyn wedding in a book store, I wanted to photograph and record them. They appear here as end-of-the-summer Saints.
I was a walker, a pilgrim once - crossing El Camino de Santiago (a pilgrimage route of the Middle Ages, celebrating St. James) 700 miles across northern Spain. The route, they say, predates the Catholic era, hearkening back to Pagan times and having some relationship to the stars. It was satisfying in a primal way to move as the ancients did, on foot, day after day, marking your progress on a human scale and you sensed those who had gone before you. Below: I photographed Spaniards that I met along the way with a banner I made.
The Ice Cream Eaters is a little snippet from the short film, The Basement Tapes, I shot in 2004. In this scene we have three goofballs, Paolo, Harry and Mickey. I bought several tubs of strawberry ice cream for this shot and Harry (my nephew) told me that in the next movie it had to be chocolate.
The Tech Saint is Kaya Kimoto - my animator extraordinaire, flash genius and web designer. She's helped me create almost all of my saints, so when I wanted to make an homage to the techies that save us when our computers go insane, she was the obvious choice.
El Jefe, the Chief, is your typical Hispanic badass. The model is Noe, my assistant Erin's husband. The kid that appears is their son Royce. The first time I went to Mexico I was knocked flat by those funky religious altars put together with cast iron, frayed fabric, photos, candles and crepe paper. If I could make a living building sets like that I'd be out of my mind with gratitude. This Saint is in that vein esthetically - but it's El Jefe's command to do things your own way.
Saint Katherine is based on those lovely
Catholic Saint devotional cards. The prayers on the back are simple, straightforward poerty and heartbreakingly humble. They intertwine a sense of
hard-world tribulation with naked hopes for deliverance. If you are a believer it's the Saints who are gonna save you from the hard times. The model is the soulful faced, illustrator, Katherine Streeter.