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Eiteljorg Insider | 5 Questions with Photographer Blake Little

by Johanna Blume, Eiteljorg Assistant Curator of Western Art | Jan 17, 2014

Blake Little is a sought-after commercial and celebrity photographer in Los Angeles, and his client list includes publications such as Time and Entertainment Weekly, and celebrities Steve Carell, Colin Powell, and Jane Fonda. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he competed in the gay rodeo. On Saturday, Feb. 1, the Eiteljorg will open Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo. It showcases photos taken by Blake during that time.

Johanna Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator of western art, asked the renowned photographer five questions to help you learn about how he works, his favorite people and his dream project.

 1. If you had to spend a day not using any technology, what would you do? 
 If I was in LA, I would hike in the hills near my home and make a trip to Los Angeles County Museum of Art or MOCA downtown and stop in a local neighborhood restaurant for a great lunch. 

 2. What do you listen to while you work?
KCRW Radio (NPR's Local Station). It has the best music, news, and commentary. It’s one of the great things about LA.

 3. If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
 I would be a landscape architect, I love architecture and gardens. My mother taught me to garden and to appreciate the benefits of the earth.  

 4. If you could invite anyone to dinner who would it be and why? BONUS POINTS: What would you serve? 
 Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Nadav Kander; three incredible photographers I respect so much.  I would serve homemade pasta, fresh salad, dessert, and a great red wine.

 5. What’s your dream project?
In June of 2012, I received an art grant to photograph cowboys in and around Calgary, Alberta. For 10 days we photographed cowboys and western culture; everyone from professional cowboys at the Calgary Stampede to feed lot workers in rural Nanton, AB.  I would love to do another grant project like this in Europe, Australia, or another part of the world.  It was so rewarding and creative to do an intense extended period of shooting on the subject of my choice with a full crew and production team…my dream project. 

 Here's a look at some of the photos you'll see in Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo.
Gordon Fiedor
Blake Little
Gordon Fiedor Close Up, Los Angeles, California, 1989
Image courtesy of Blake Little

Blake Little
Roping Practice, Scott Terry, Phoenix, Arizona, 1989
Image courtesy of Blake Little

Blake Little
Chute Dogging, Phoenix, Arizona, 1989
Image courtesy of Blake Little

The Eiteljorg plans to travel Blake Little nationally after the exhibit closes on July 13, 2014. The timeline and venues for the traveling exhibit are to be determined.

Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo and associated public programs, at the Eiteljorg are a part of the museum’s Out West series. The series, created and produced by independent curator Gregory Hinton, illuminate the many contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities of the American West, and celebrate the diversity of the region.

Meet Blake Little Friday, Jan. 31, at the opening party for his exhibit.

Opening night preview party
Friday, Jan. 31
$20 per person for members
$30 per person for nonmembers
6:00 p.m.        Complimentary wine and food pairing course
6:45 p.m.        Performance by the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus
7:15 p.m.        Tour the exhibit with the artist

Opening day
Saturday, Feb. 1
Included with general admission
12:30 p.m.      Indy Men’s Chorus performs
1:30 p.m.        Blake Little special program featuring Little, curators and gay rodeo participants
3:00 p.m.        Informal gallery talks with visitors

 Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo is proudly sponsored by the Eiteljorg Museum with additional support provided by William L. Fortune, Jr. and Joe Blakely.

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