Monday, November 2, 2015

Make This Tucson Burlesque Book a Reality, Get Rhinestone Pasties

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Burlesque is a big deal locally. Now, Tucson Burlesque is (hopefully!) coming to you in book form.

Steve McMackin (you might know him as the art director behind Edible Baja) is a photographer intimately familiar with the Old Pueblo's burlesque scene:
In October 2010, Black Cherry Burlesque asked me to photograph their 2010 Halloween show. It was a ton of fun, and a real technical challenge to photograph the performers. So I came back for their next show... and the next... and the next… after 5 years, 150,000 photos, 1,100+ acts, 150+ performers and 50+ shows it's time to bring these photos off of Facebook and into the real world. This is the best of the best: about one photo per one thousand taken is being selected for inclusion in the book. 
Honestly, just watch his video about the project. The photos are beautiful.

The book's existence depends on how its Kickstarter goes, and the fundraising effort has a bit of ground to cover: McMackin has set the goal for $22k and the deadline for Dec. 1.

Ambitious? Absolutely—but there is good reason: 
My photos have until now only been seen on Facebook, whose compression algorithms do awful things to photos. Even in print, most people do digital printing for short-run books, which doesn't have the sharpness or deep blacks that will really make these photos shine.

So we are going for the gold and are getting the book printed at an offset press, with CMYK plates, with careful color checking, in a nice thick hard-bound book. If we get funded, we'll start with a 9" x 12" book at 160 pages, but if we meet a few stretch goals, we can get a larger, 12" x 12" book with 200 pages for the same price.

This is going to be a really nice book that you can leave on the living room table. I've picked out a few thousand of my favorite photos, and as soon as the kickstarter funds I'll start designing it. I'm also planning on writing a little about some of the photos and telling some interesting stories, but the focus is burlesque performances.

Foggy on the concept of burlesque? McMackin lays it out like this:
According to no less an expert than Ida Tapper, co-founder of Don't Blink Burlesque, burlesque is the art of the tease and the celebration of the body. Performers of all kinds and types participate - all kinds of people, big and little, loud and quiet, sweet and menacing, feminine and masculine. It's a little bit dance, a little bit comedy, a little bit vaudeville, a little bit striptease, and a whole lot of entertaining. This book showcases where we see burlesque performances at their finest – on stage! 
I personally want to add the black and white shirt to my "Keep Tucson ____" collection, but I bet you guys will be more excited about the rhinestone encrusted pasties Pisa Cake will be making for some of the donors.

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About The Author

Chelo Grubb

Bookworm, cat lady, journalism enthusiast.
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