I'm working on staging my first exhibition of photographs -- not mine, those of an Italian photographer, Guido Doria. It's instructive to learn what goes into it, even when it's at a non-traditional venue like Bacchus, which will hang the works in its lovely solarium.
Today, I'm waiting for the photos to arrive from Italy and Guido tells me they're packed in crates he made himself so I'll need an electric screwdriver to open them when they get here.
The image of opening the crates brings to mind old photographs I've seen of art museums hanging shows in those salon settings, with works displayed on nearly every available inch of wall space. It makes me want to go to the car to get a crow bar to pry open the crates like they do in films, when the European gadabout "scientists" return from Africa with a haul of looted treasures.
Luckily, my treasures -- or more appropriately, Guido's treasures -- aren't stolen. But I expect that I'll be protective of the precious cargo within the crates. Guido's black and white photos are hard-won. He only opens his shutter when the conditions are perfect.
When I suggested to him that I'd love to have Doria photos of a couple specific places -- Guido photographs lots of things but his photos of the vine-laced hills Monferrato area of Piedmont are what will be on display here -- he replied that he would do it but it would take time as he only takes photographs when the conditions (clouds, light, setting) are "divine."
The results, I didn't tell him, make that perfectly clear. You can see them for yourself at his site (below) or by coming to Bacchus from Sept. 7 to 30. There is an opening reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, which is free and open to all. A donation from each photograph sold during the exhibition will be made to MPS' Italian Immersion Program at Victory School.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.