40 over 40—A collection of black and white nudes opens
Saturday, March 17, 2012
6PM – 9PM
at Museum of Cultural Arts Houston, benefits Pink Door
Exhibition runs through:
March 17 – April 17, 2012
Mon-Friday 10am – 4pm
Sat & Sun by Appt. only
Houston, Texas… 40 women. 1 photographer. Four years of work. 40 unique black and white prints now known as 40 over 40. The unique collection of black and white prints, which illuminates the unique spirit of its female subjects, spans four years; but what a journey for the photographer, Jeff Myers, and the women who volunteered to participate. A VIP premiere of 40 over 40 will be held March 14 at Hotel Granduca. Pink Door and Museum of Cultural Arts Houston will receive a significant portion of the proceeds from the VIP premier event. The exhibition will then open to the public on March 17 in conjunction with FOTO FEST at the Museum of Cultural Arts Houston. MOCAH President, Reginald Adams, commented, “Celebrating culture and diversity is a cornerstone of our work, so we are delighted to host the 40 Over 40 exhibition here at MOCAH during Fotofest 2012 as we feel that the photography of Jeff Myers is a perfect reflection of diversity through the photographic arts.”
There is really nothing normal about 40 over 40. What started as a simple favor for a friend blossomed into a massive production, spanning four years. But what a journey for everyone involved, many of whom confess to life-changing behaviors, including for some a rebuilding of self-esteem. Myers took on the project for a friend who wanted to be photographed nude to mark a special occasion. But, somehow word spread and the project took on a life of its own. Myers said, “Being able to capture the spirit that exists in women over forty has been a journey that I will never forget.”
All of the subjects who participated volunteered for this project. All of them were just normal, everyday women. Most of them were from Houston, although one did travel in from another state. Two women are breast cancer survivors. Many are wives and moms encouraged by their kids and spouses to do something they had always wanted to do. For some, participating marked a milestone birthday. For others, it was the chance to cross off an item on their bucket list. But, all of them were nude.
“I photographed the first forty women that volunteered, explained Myers. “ I did not photograph fifty and cherry pick the prettiest women. I photographed what was presented to me and stopped at 40, regardless of shape, or race. For my part I made it as simple as possible, a single light source on black seamless paper printed on archival paper, using archival inks. No photos were retouched.”
What did the women see when they saw the exhibition for the first time during a private screening? Most saw themselves in a very different light. Words like “liberating,” “freeing,” more “self-confident” were expressed. “I did this for me,” said many of the women. “Before this all I saw were my flaws. This has made me proud to grow older and show the world that beauty is ageless. True beauty comes from within.” Indeed.
40 over 40 dispels the myth that age and beauty are mutually exclusive. This collection of black and white nudes expresses the inner beauty and spirit which resides in all women regardless of background and circumstances. 40 over 40 was a 4-year project photographing 40 normal, everyday women who volunteered to participate. The exhibition runs March 17-April 17 at Museum of Cultural Arts in conjunction with FOTOFEST. Proceeds benefit the Museum and Pink Door.
The mission of Pink Door is to help all women cancer survivors begin a new life after cancer.
The organization was founded October 2007 by Cortney Cole in honor of her mother, Gayl Ann Gronauer Cole. Pink Door’s Women’s Cancer Resource Center provides information on job links/careers, healthy living, national and local cancer support groups/nonprofits, a doctor’s blog for the latest in medical information on cancer, as well as Survivor’s Speak – A blog for women cancer patients and survivors have received help from Pink Door.
For more information visit www.pinkdoornonprofit.org
MOCAH is a not-for-profit cultural arts organization co-founded in 1999 by artists, Reginald and Rhonda Adams. The evolution of the Museum of Cultural Arts, Houston began from the founders’ vision to create an arts institution without walls, an organization that will go to the people who are unable to come to it.
Through our combined programs we have served over 15,000 at-risk underserved youth in communities across Houston. Our programs have operated in over 30 public schools throughout the city. MOCAH has invested more than $1.5MM in community art projects and civic art commissions throughout Houston, providing over 70 professional and emerging artists with employment opportunities.
The gallery is located at 908 Wood Street, Houston, TX 77002
Jeffrey D. Myers has been a commercial photographer based out of Houston, TX for over 30 years. His work has been published internationally in numerous magazines, annual reports and books. He has photographed assignments in over 20 countries around the world, and he has won numerous awards for his commercial work. His commercial work has been exhibited in the Professional Photographers Showcase at Epcot Center.
In the last few years he has been exploring his artistic side, taking the skills that he has learned as a commercial photographer and translating them into creating art.
40 over 40 is his first solo exhibit.