This time last year, Gray released his pop culture inspired series, Bon Voyage, and today, almost exactly 1 year later, he has released his second installment of images that celebrate the jet set life while cruising at 30,000 feet. As we pull the wheels up for round II and its new passenger list, we thought it'd be fun to do a Q & A with the man himself to talk all things Bon Voyage.
The 1960s are a time in our history that I am often inspired by as it's reveled in glamour and an idea of the jet set lifestyle. It's something that I really connect to and consequently has found its way into a lot of my work. In fact, just last month I released my brand new series, Gray Malin at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, which is an excellent point of reference of how influencial this time period is in my modern day offerings. Aside from conjouring visions of yesteryear, Bon Voyage was also partly inspired by a William Eggleston photograph I saw years ago. I began to take pictures of my own hand holding a cocktail while traveling, then would post it to Instagram...which eventually inspired the Sprinkle Carry-On Kit.
From there, I began to think about creating a series based on my own version of portraiture, a series of images that would focus simply on the hand and its cocktail. You look at the glass, the beverage itself, their accessories and from there, you can begin to get an idea of what each passenger is really about.
Excellent question! Never one to keep things simple, I decided that I wanted to photograph this series while actually in a plane...while it was flying at cruising altitude. Enter the California based commuter airline, Surf Air, to help my team and I accomplish this ambitious idea. The Behind the Scenes post from the first installment offers a great elaboration on how we achieved the creation of these images, and I'm happy to say that Surf Air was there to help again for round II.
It’s sort of like playing the game, where you answer the hypothetical question, “If you could have anyone to your dinner party - alive, dead or fictional - who would it be?” Well, this is my spin on answering that question, only instead of dinner, they're joining you aboard a first class journey. I mean, just imagine what it would be like to clink glasses with The Blonde or chat up The City Girl and share a breathy laugh with The Diamond Starlet? I don't know about you, but I would be beside myself!
From a history-making politician to an iconic entertainer to an acclaimed artist, it's always a fascinating crowd aboard a Bon Voyage flight. I think the best part of the entire series is choosing whom and why you'd want to have with you, as the possibilities are infinite...as are the passengers themselves.
Well, they all required their own bit of research as well as props to accesorize the shot, but I wouldn't say one was more difficult than another. In some cases, we played with a couple options, such as with The French Queen, who I shot with a glass of champagne as well as with the shot seen today. I wasn't sure the cake would read the way I was envisioning but the resulting image turned out to be better than I could have ever imagined!
I always say that when I'm creating new work, it's always with the ultimate goal of ending up on one's walls. Bon Voyage is no different, but this series more than others, I truly envision in pairs or more...as if you're walking down the aisle of a plane or joining the other passengers in the onboard lounge. It's also really hard to pick just one, right? So to elaborate, I like the idea of two of more Bon Voyage framed prints decorated together and if I could suggest a few locations in the home I would say..
Sure, it's an obvious choice but its hard to argue how well it dresses up the bar area, not to mention it will kick start endless conversation. Depending on how much space you have to play with, you can either line them in a row or stack for maximum exposure for your fabulous friends.
In our new house, there is a built-in vanity in one of the guest bedrooms. I knew right away that Bon Voyage would be instrumental in decorating this feminine nook. Now that I have a vanity of my own, I've been noticing them in a lot of my friend's and family's homes, so I know there are plenty of you out there with the same opportunity to decorate.
Whether you have a small functional entrance into your home or a grand amount of space to utilize, the Bon Voyage series is a great way to greet yourself and your guests. A trio of medium framed such as The City Girl, The Sharpshooter, and The Diamond Starlet will fill the walls to perfection, and solo framed The Surrealist will just the pop of color you need as you walk through the door.
I can not confirm or deny the answer to this question, but I will say I'm certainly open to passenger suggestions. Who would you like to see in Bon Voyage III?
Wow..talk about leaving us wanting to more and pondering the next passenger list! Thank you Gray for answering all of our Bon Voyage related questions and thank you all, as always, for following along with us. To see the latest in Bon Voyage, look no further than right here and stay tuned this week for some more fun with the latest editions to this series.
xo Team GM