BFA Photography Department faculty member and principal of boutique creative services firm C.O.D. Inc., Jordan Schaps, and photographer Benjamin Martin (BFA 2010 Photography) recently completed a collaborative artwork for the Miami City Ballet (MCB) celebrating the opening of its new season. The photographs, which have been turned into 10-foot-by 38-foot banners, grace the front façade of the MCB’s facilities in Miami Beach. Schaps and Martin were invited to create the project by Ben Miller, MCB’s director of marketing and communications, who thought the visual motion present in Martin’s photographs would be a good fit for dance.
Schaps, former creative director for New York magazine and Martin first met in 2010 through SVA’s Mentors program, which helps introduce new talent to the New York City arts community by pairing students and industry leaders to create new work for an exhibition. Stephen Frailey, chair of the BFA Photography Department, co-chair of the MPS Fashion Photography Department and curator of the Mentors exhibitions said, “Mentoring is the heart of our program. Like our faculty, mentors come from every corner of the photography community, they help students do their best work, and get inspired to keep growing as professionals.”
While serving as creative director on the Mentors project, Schaps was continually impressed by Martin’s unique photographic style of painting people—photographing them, then digitally altering the images to create original artworks. For the Miami Beach project, the two created photographs of MCB School student Ella Titus, who posed in each of the first five ballet positions while Martin painted her legs, took photographs, and then altered them digitally to create the resultant images.
In a recent article for the Miami Beach SunPost Weekly, Schaps said, “This whole project has been a dream collaboration. In my long career, I’ve worked with very famous photographers—photographers with one name, to photographers with three names. Benjamin will join those famous artists, and in a short time. He’ll probably eclipse many of them!”
Images: (top) Benjamin Martin and Jordan Schaps, Five Positions, 2011. (bottom) Front of Miami City Ballet. Photos courtesy of MCB.