Newburgh N.Y. based artist . . DANIEL GIORDANO,
Photo by KATY GRANNAN in her new portrait series, ‘We The People’, 2020,
named for the recent KARA HAMILTON series of brass pins calling upon the country . .
to vote !!
image via Art in America / courtesy SALON 94

Daniel is wearing one of the ‘We The People’ pins in his hat, and another at his neck.

the absolutely striking & deeply poetic photo . . is featured in a resonant essay, A NEW MEANING FOR ‘WE THE PEOPLE’, written by GLENN ADAMSON for Art in America, and posted this past Oct 13, 2020.
see: ‘A New Meaning for We The People’ by Glenn Adamson – Art in America

some take-aways:

~ “Toronto-based artist KARA HAMILTON (is) best known for her sculptures, featuring pieces of concrete, brass instruments, and other found objects . . originally trained as an architect / she also makes actual jewelry, a practice she’s been able to maintain during the coronavirus lockdown.”
~ “as a medium of communication, campaign buttons have been swept into the desk drawer of history / but for Hamilton, that made the genre all the more attractive.”
~ “she set to work, carving a series of designs in pink wax & then casting them in brass.”
~ “tears are a recurrent theme, rolling forth from an eagle, a bumblebee, an elephant, a flower.”
~ “repeated throughout . . are the letters ‘US’, referring at once to America, and those who live in it together.”
~ “KATY GRANNAN . . has been a close friend of Hamilton’s since the two women attended graduate school at Yale some twenty-five years ago.”
~ “Grannan’s signature strategy: making intimate (photo) portraits of complete strangers.”
~ “she says that photography, for her, ‘is almost an excuse to engage with people’ . .”
~ “For the photographs in support of ‘We the People’, Hamilton & Grannan chose Newburgh, New York, as their shooting location. . one of those rough-and-ready Hudson Valley towns that boomed for decades before finally going bust / but a few factories still operate & other s have been converted into artists studios, indicating a nascent wave of gentrification.”
~ “Newburgh is also a place of historic importance, having been Washington’s headquarters during the last year of the Revolutionary War.”

the pins are being sold via SALON 94, all proceeds going to charitable causes: FairVote & the Earthjustice Action Center.

some of my notes:

~ the varied & very diverse subjects of the series, don’t seem to be identified by name, least not as the photos are titled / presented . . in this article.
~ but, now you know, that’s . . Newbugh-based artist DANIEL GIORDANO, who in fact works out of an old squat brick warehouse – that formerly manufactured winter coats, and was his originally Italian immigrant family’s generations’ old business, now defunct.
~ sometimes the old industrial warehouse is also the site of pop-up shows / street parties curated by Daniel, often in partnership with friends / though now it is mostly a multi-level showcase / including storefront, for his own work / mostly sculpture. a huge upper floor serves as his studio. Daniel is like an intellectual-magnet-on-steroids, by nature, and so the place has become a hotbed of local artistic community energy, and of the growing Hudson Valley art community at large . . and is therefore, now referred to lovingly, or at least with honest respect: as ‘Vicki Island’ for its many facets !!
the pop-up gallery was indeed called: Vicki.
named for Daniel’s aunt Vicki, who used to run the last phase of the coat manufacturing.
~ go INDIE !!!!

~ one last / very personal take-away:
re Grannan’s . . ‘seeing photography as a way to engage with strangers’ / yes !! that’s for sure.
but in my case, I don’t take portraits of strangers per se, so much as I get drawn to ‘strangers’ to me, in the art world / drawn to their talent, like a moth to flame. the more unknown, and indie – the better !!
that’s how I know Daniel.

~ and, ps he wasn’t a ‘total’ stranger to Katy, as he has been friends with Kara – through her friendships within the Newburgh community.

~ and one last / very off-the-wall, personal observation:
it’s completely a vast vast wonderment, and very compelling to me, as to how . . a ‘blonde’ Italian or at least of said ancestry . . appears to channel, and so poetically: Native American.
and, it’s not just the hat, because it doesn’t channel: cowboy / at least, not to me.
its something about the posture. the spray of violet flowers at his wrist.
it must be that indie . . rebel spirit !!
that authentic connected-ness to the landscape.
and the way that landscape is staged around him /
such is the power of photography. and in this case, Katy’s.

Kara’s pins . . also speak to Native imagery, as re-told through her eyes.
and, it’s a good thing to re-tell native folkways / and in any means possible – keep it alive, and not just flickering. Native imagery and thought, has become a newly & increasingly powerful stylistic on the art & thought of this land again, and that’s always a good thing.
it is only: win win. and if it sends you scrambling / looking with new eyes at Native American art and folk crafts / seeking out written poetry, and origination tales – so much the better, and . . amen.

these photos, but obviously particularly with regard to this one of Daniel . . resonate with the need to give both ‘poetic’ and ‘political’ voice . . to all the ancestors / both Native & immigrant . . who smashed up against each other in the past / but now hold the fate of the country in hand.
as we realize the Native American ancestors – had so much right, and we had so much . . wrong.

long live the ancestors !!
long live the new . . rebels !!
long live . . Indie !!
long live . . DIY !!

site of Vicky . . hardcore Indie / sometime pop-up gallery
his authentic upstate ancestral / early industrial / family-run Hudson River warehouse.