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‘Cocoon Series’

E.E. McCollum distorts the human body, challenging the way we see the nude form.

 By Lynn Norusis

Cocoon Series #41 & #3, Courtesy of E.E. McCollum. Torpedo Factory.
Cocoon Series #41 & #3, Courtesy of E.E. McCollum.

Ten years ago Eric E. McCollum’s friend was diagnosed with a terminal illness and while struggling with the loss of that friend he asked himself, “What would I think if that was me? Have I done with my life what I want to do?” 

When he was just six years old McCollum received his first camera. He and his father learned how to develop film. As he grew older he kept at the craft but grew frustrated that he wasn’t quite as good at it as he hoped, so he began to pursue other interests. After his friend was diagnosed, though, he answered the question he posed to himself. “I had neglected my creative side, so I came back to it.”

This month, McCollum, a member of the Multiple Exposures Gallery and the Art League, will host an Art League Solo Show at the Torpedo Factory showcasing “Cocoon Series,” an exhibit displaying the art of the human body.
Through the display of 15 of his pieces, which have been three years in the making, McCollum depicts the sensations that come attached with viewing the human form.

“[It’s a] different way of seeing the nude figure. … For me it’s more than just a design experience, it’s also an emotional experience. Some photos that aren’t classically pretty pictures, but they are emotional.“

While portrayals of the nude body date back to the first pieces of art, McCollum hopes to bring something new to the table, “It isn’t just about the whole body, but about the way the material gives a different view of the face … the emotionality of the image. If there is something I contributed I think it is that, in addition to the sculptural part.”

The models play an active role—one of uninhibited, fluid movement, with little direction, throughout the shoots—and it is a creative environment that McCollum values. “If there is that basis of trust, it becomes fun, playful.” Using the nylon body cocoons, body paint and mud, it freed both McCollum and the models to “think about the figure in a different way.”

Asked about what he hopes his audience will take away, McCollum says: “[The audience] creates the art, the meaning as well. I don’t think the artists has the ultimate say on what it means.” 

Opening reception:
March 13 from 6:30-8 p.m., open to the public
Show running: March 13 through April 7

(March 2014)

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