Some days it really is like I've stumbled into the Twilight Zone, and an alternate universe Ian is lucky enough to have an whirlwind adventure or celebrity encounter that seems totally surreal when compared to my usual life.
I was heading into the city today, simply because I'd had to forfeit my usual comic-buying jaunt on Thursday night to attend Night #2 the annual Year 6 musical. Suddenly, a Twitter message came through, reminding me that TV celebrity Andrew Günsberg's "365: A Year of Self Portraits" exhibition was coming to a close... today! I had intended trying to get to this, not really realising that I'd totally run out of days! Had I not already been on a train, I probably would have just admitted defeat.
My trusty iPhone helped me triangulate on the location of MART Gallery in Surry Hills - and off I went. A cheery Andrew G greeted us warmly as each browser entered the gallery. Many new arrivals seemed to be old acquaintances. Typically, Andrew was setting up his beloved, overworked camera to take a new self portrait!
Although he and I have a mutual friend (in Andrew Mercado), I'd never had the chance to meet Andrew G before. His long-running hosting stint on "Australian Idol" makes it seem like he's a part of everyone's furniture (esp. that flickering, rectangular piece in the corner!) I'd been closely following his progress on his "365 Days" photographic project on Flickr, as I'd started my own version (not self portraits, though) just a few weeks before his.
The exhibition was great! Compared to the demanding work involved in Andrew's year of self-portraits (lugging a huge camera, lenses and two lights all over the world), my own "365 Photos" project now feels like a bit of a cheat. I simply snapped off a pic a day on my trusty iPhone. (I was thrilled with the result, and it's fun looking back at a year of memories. Good self discipline, too.) But it was great meeting Andrew at the exhibition today.
I was excited that the very first photo I'd seen of his on the Internet - Day 91, of Andrew encountering an ancient television camera at the ABC studios - was still available for sale. Yeeha! I ended up selecting two smaller prints as well: Day 29 (a casually-dressed Andrew leaping into the air) and Day 120, working with musician James Morrison on an episode of "Australian Idol".
Saying my farewells to Andrew, Mel and little Pippet (the Gallery's resident canine, who loved the smell of Jack on my trouser hems), I wandered off to have a late lunch, and to wait until the exhibition closed and I could collect my purchases straight off the wall. While munching on my sandwich, I began to wonder if I should have asked to take my own photo of Andrew, or with Andrew - or whether taking pictures in a gallery of photos was simply not the done thing. Just then, I happened to notice that Andrew had sent an image to his Twitter account, via his Blackberry, and when I opened the shot... I was right in the middle of it!
Click on this thumbnail to see the larger Twitpic.
Certainly not my most flattering angle. Had I known the photo was being taken, I'd have surely sucked in my gut!
But the fun was not over! As I was preparing to upload this blog entry, Andrew posted to his own blog the self-portrait that he was taking as I entered the gallery today. Lo and behold, I'm in that one, too, just over gallery owner Mel's shoulder!
Pippet, Andrew Günsberg and Mel (and I!) at the Mart Gallery.
Day 125 of my own "365 Photos" project - 12 September 2009.
Omigosh! I only just found out that Andrew G's wife, Israeli model/actress Noa Tishby, was MACO Corporal Amanda Cole in "Star Trek: Enterprise"!