Happy Birthday Blog!

This May Talleen Hacikyan’s Art Blog turns one year old. I recently received a gift in the mail, thanks to a blog I wrote in August 2008, Ode to the Aubergine. According to the detailed statistics at unblog.fr, this is the most popular posting on my blog. In it I speak about the Stray Eggplant project by Laura Gentry. For this ongoing endeavor, the artist creates one- of-a-kind ceramic eggplants with whimsical messages and distributes them through refurbished cigarette machines. Eggplant owners are invited to send an original photo of their purple ceramic plants to a website for posting in the owner’s gallery.


When I wrote about the Stray Eggplant project I never imagined that Laura Gentry would track down the blog! Not only did she read it, she posted an excerpt of Ode to the Aubergine on her blog, Gentry Joint, and last but not least she sent me an eggplant! She explained that she composed the message on my eggplant after reading my artist’s statement on my website. My personalized eggplant reads, “Forces beyond their control.”

These days I’m always on the lookout for little projects for a quick creativity fix. The eggplant photo turned out to be a fun activity that I managed to work on while supper was simmering on the stovetop, which may explain why I photographed my eggplant against the kitchen cupboard.


Although the photo was staged and shot within twenty minutes, the creative process took place mentally beforehand. Over the days preceding the photo, my family and I were watching the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments. I say days because the film lasts three and a half hours. This movie is filmed in Technicolor, and features mise en scènes that cry, “Studio scene!” and others that are obviously filmed in the great outdoors of Egypt and the Sinai. I love the studio scenes. When Moses’ birth mother sends him in his basket down the Nile I could practically feel the plastic reeds and smell the chlorinated water. The quality of light in these artificially staged scenes is unique. The actors are drenched in floodlights–there isn’t a shadow in sight. It’s always high noon in these scenes! What I like best about this film is its theatrical quality and this is the atmosphere I wanted to create in my photo.

I suspended my eggplant with nylon thread from a branch. It kept twirling and capturing the writing proved to be a challenge. To deal with these forces beyond my control, I used a trick my son taught me. This consisted of depressing the shutter button halfway and keeping it that way until I want to snap the photo, at which point I pressed it all the way down.

Instead of marking my blog’s birthday with a cake, I am celebrating with my eggplant. I am keeping it in my studio as a reminder that sometimes the forces beyond our control bring unexpected, wonderful surprises, in the mail and otherwise!

Talleen Hacikyan

Thank you Laura Gentry.

Photo #1 from Stray Eggplant website
Photo #2 Talleen Hacikyan

Read Laura Gentry’s blog about this blog…and see my « Technicolor eggplant » photo in her eggplant gallery.

5 Réponses à “Happy Birthday Blog!”

  • Happy b’day! And thanks for all the interesting insights.

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