Mulder Dreams

So, I have this plaster cast of David Duchovny’s face…yes, I realize that’s a little weird. When I show this to people they usually say ‘Where did you get that?’ when I think the real question is ‘Why the hell do you HAVE that?!’

In my defense, this was part of the decor around our XF Pinball machine back at the old house. The machines (We had XF, Star Wars, and Elvira) sat in a nook off the living room, and I had the face and some other memorabilia decorating the nook. We sold the pins back in 2003 and put the money into the Airstream, and so ‘Mulder’ has been kicking around ever since. Hung on my office wall for a long time, eventually got stuck in a drawer I rarely used, so every year or so when I went to look for something in the drawer I’d open it up and be momentarily shocked to find a head in it!

I got the idea that maybe I could turn him into a cool piece of art that I would want back on my wall. I contacted Tonette and Cindy, a couple multi-media artists I know from photo club. We discussed all the things we could do to him, but I kind of wanted to be non-destructive. Back when XF was big, it cost me like $20 tops, and they were plentiful. I looked up on eBay to see if I could get another one in case we broke it, and nobody sells them anymore, so I held off on the project because I wanted to make sure I didn’t accidentally destroy him.

The following month we got a new assignment for photo club – take an object and photograph it everywhere you go for a month. Photograph it in every way you can think of. Free yourself to find new ways to see things. Tonette immediately encouraged me to use Mulder. ‘I can’t do that’, I said, ‘people will think I’m crazy and my husband will kill me if I drag this around with me everywhere!’

But really, it was for the best…

Just to see if the idea would work, I took Mulder outside and buried him in the leaves in the backyard. Right off I got my favorite shot of the whole project!

 So I tried some other shots…
I tried de-saturating colors to make him stand out or disappear
Tried some detail shots. Wrapped him up in a scarf and played with textures.
At this point the project is a go, because I’m having fun. Time to break out the speedlight and play with lighting a bit. I was taking a portrait class at the time, and wanted to practice with lighting, but Dave got impatient if I wanted to flash him over and over again. Turns out Mulder just patiently takes it. I spent hours doing all the lighting tricks I could think of, like the classic lighting techniques, including the one at the top of this post, edge lighting, silhouettes, etc.

The only rule is you can’t get plaster wet, otherwise I would have dipped him in water and played around with reflections and distortions. But, I can do that in photoshop.

 And maybe a star chart would be a nice background, because, you know, it’s Mulder.

And let’s try projecting something onto the face. Like maybe the XF logo, or a classic shot…

Well, you can’t expect everything to work, but it’s fun to try.

By now Dave was enjoying this ridiculous project as well, and we were going on vacation to the Olympics, so Mulder came along with us! Here’s Dave trying to find places to pose Mulder in the forest.

We took him to the beach and buried him in the rocks.

I like it when you don’t see him right away.

By the time we got back from vacation and it was photo club time again, so the project was over. I called it Mulder Dreams, since he looks like he’s sleeping, and it was very well received, but I’m not sure I’m done. It was so much fun, I have a few other ideas I’d like to try on him. I warned them, they probably have not seen the last of Mulder.


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