Guest Post by Manita Brug-Chmielenska
Have you ever tried to photograph sequins? Let me assure you .. it is HARD! Hard to capture the richness and colour spectrum.. hard to avoid glare.. like shooting into window panes! And hard to shoot over 50 items all the while documenting their every irregularity and still making them look good! But that is what you do when photographing for an Etsy shop.
My friend Dina Knapp, an artist featured in UPPERCASE issue # 18 and her late husband, a poet, were inveterate collectors, amassing an amazing array of outsider and Haitian art.
When Jeffery died in 2010, Dina set about making sense of life and their collections. She decided to say goodbye to the Haitian Voodoo Flags and Spirit Bottles they had collected and hello to Visionary Voodoo, her new Etsy shop.
Dina and Jeffery were first introduced to Haitian art through a show at Brooklyn Museum in 1978. It was a major exhibition that included paintings and sculpture by all the contemporary Haitian masters. Jeffrey, a poet and educator, connected to the pure authentic, primitive quality of the works. Dina, on the other hand, connected to the simple scenes of everyday life depicted in the paintings, and the materials the artists used to express themselves. The sewn pieces in particular resonated for her.
This show changed their life.