A Year in Review: 2017 / by Neal Auch

So...  2017 has come and gone and the sacred rules of blogging now demand that I write up a summary post.  So let the summarizing begin!  

Creative Output

While I tend to avoid talking about my personal life in any detail in this space, the truth is that my photo output has decreased a bit over the last year since so much of my time and energy has gone into raising my baby from a helpless blank slate of an infant into a mobile little beast that toddles about my home leaving chaos in their wake and making dinosaur noises.  That's been fun an amazing and inspiring, but it's not really the focus of this page, so let's talk about photos of dead stuff, shall we?

 My portrait of model Oscar James grace with the severed head of a pig.

My portrait of model Oscar James grace with the severed head of a pig.

I kicked off 2017 with a portraiture session with Oscar James Grace, a wonderfully talented model, and a close friend, who is based out of Toronto.  I thought it would be funny to submit one of the shots we did to the delightful Tumblr page CritiqueMyDickPic.  Oscar and I got an A for our effort (!) and I had a delightful time reading the comments, which were a nice mix of folks who were very angry, folks who were kind of angry, folks who wanted to fuck Oscar, and folks who thought I was trying to make an unsubtle jab at David Cameron.

 A pair of skulls, marked with graffiti, in the Catacombs of Paris.

A pair of skulls, marked with graffiti, in the Catacombs of Paris.

After a wonderful trip to Europe with the spouse I added an entire new gallery to my site -- Empire of Death -- which catalogues my portraits of the dead in the Catacombs of Paris.  While I have a number of projects in the pipeline that do not involve photographing dead animals, this was the first such project to come to completion.

 A close-up view of the eye of a pig, with the skin peeled off.

A close-up view of the eye of a pig, with the skin peeled off.

And...  Finally, of course, my work with meat and dead animals is also ongoing, and I added a bunch of shots to my gallery Inside quite recently.  (See this post for a summary.)

Art Shows

I had a surprisingly productive year in terms of selling art.  When the weather is decent I generally try to do as many Art Crawls as possible, this year I managed to make it out to three events and I met lots of awesome and interesting folks. 

TBOTB_halloween2017-v1.jpg

This was my first year participating in the Bazaar of the Bizarre, which was super fun and awesome.  I did two events, one in Toronto (for Halloween) and one in Hamilton, and both were fantastic and fun and I am endlessly grateful to all the lovely people who stopped by my booth to chat and buy prints and also to the organizers who let me show my wares and who put in all the hard work to make awesome events like this happen.  You are all awesome!

Press & Media

 Still life arrangement of cow foot, chicken feet, duck gizzards, pig intestines, dead flowers, and tea set.

Still life arrangement of cow foot, chicken feet, duck gizzards, pig intestines, dead flowers, and tea set.

I was very honoured to have my still life work featured in Float Magazine, and also to be interviewed on the blog The Phoblographer.  The latter interview led to a lively (and sometimes hilarious) series of emails and comments which prompted me to write up a bunch of posts clarifying my thoughts about the ethics of eating animals.

The Future

I have two pieces of very exciting news for Feb.  Neither is quite ready to be shared in public but stay tuned!  In addition to these super-secret mysteries I am also hard at work on a couple of new (non-meat related) photo projects which I hope will be ready to share before 2019. 

Happy new year to all!