“NUN GUY” is one of my favorite creations! I love him/her because it is ambiguous. Is it a nun? A sailor? Or a man wearing a prayer cap in an archway? I love art that plays games with your mind, that you can see several different things in one image. I have another character like this I call “One Eye Guy”. Both characters I work with a lot.
I like posting this prayer every year around this time. ..I hope you like!
Thanksgiving Day ~ Every Day Prayer~
Thank you for my head, my heart,
my hands, my feet.
Thank you for my shelter and food to eat.
Thank you for my eyes, my nose, my ears, my voice…
Thank you for my freedom…my freedom of choice!
by Bethann Shannon
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
“100 Strangers Praying” ~ Photoboth/ Performance Art by Bethann Shannon
Copyright Bethann Shannon
Photo Booth Art / Performance Art by Bethann Shannon
100 Strangers Praying
Times Square 1986
I moved from Washington, DC to New York City in 1986 with a mission to find a doll maker for an angel I had a dream about. I took a job as a cocktail waitress at the brand new Marriott Marquis Hotel on Times Square.
In those days, Times Square was quite a bit different than it is today…filled with Triple X movie houses, crowded video arcades and hundreds of poor, penniless, homeless, desperate, and some dangerous souls wondering around the surrounding streets.
After work, I often stopped at an arcade called “PLAYLAND”. I would quickly run into the photo booth inside and take random shots documenting my mood at that moment. One day I found myself praying, really praying…praying hard for help.
The photo booth was an impromptu sanctuary in the midst of a chaotic world. It was private, quiet and reminded me of a church confessional…I closed the little curtains, put a dollar in the slot and started to pray. I remember feeling deep despair that day. I needed help. I needed God to be real.
Shortly after, the picture popped out, I was struck by the beauty of the image of prayer, I decided to continue for one year as a spiritual, if not literally self reflective exercise.
There was also part of me that felt like “Here! I have actual proof that I was praying!” Perhaps I could do an experiment with God?…Will he answer my prayers?…How long does it take to have prayers answered? Or even if there really was a God to validate my prayers? I was consumed with questions about God, spirituality and prayer.
My personal struggles with Faith, God and Religion is a reoccurring theme in my life and my art work.
It was a few days into the project when I found myself thinking about other people…I started watching the people in the arcade and on the streets of Times Square….Do they pray? What do they pray for? How do they look when they pray?
It was at that moment I decided to include strangers in this series of photographs. It was very spontaneous and accidental really…not calculated or planned.
I began approaching strangers everyday for 4 months to pray with me in that photo booth…these are the results…
100 STRANGERS PRAYING
Photo Booth Art Bethann Shannon with stranger praying
Copyright 1986 – Present
COPYRIGHT 1986 to 2009
All Rights Reserved
Ambiguous art by me, Bethann Shannon…
Is it a nun? Or a sailor? Or a man in a prayer cap in an archway?
I also have “One Eye Guy” , another of my characters that is “ambiguous”!
I work with both “The Nun-Guy” & “One Eye Guy” a bunch!
Is it a nun? A sailor? Or a man with a prayer cap in an archway?
Another “ambiguous” painting by outsider artist Bethann Shannon.
Copyright 2009 to Present
All Rights Reserved
Wanting to share some Performance Art from 1986 I did in NEW YORK CITY/ Times Square….
100 Strangers Praying & How To Pray
I found myself praying (really praying!) in a photo booth, in NYC, on Times Square, 1986.
I really loved the pictures of me praying and started a series of self portraits. My plan was to take a praying self portrait everyday…but then…
I got curious about other people…
Do they pray?
What do they pray for?
And how do they look when they pray?
I started approaching strangers everyday for 4 months to pray with me.
These are some of the pictures from that series at these links:
Copyright 1986 -Present
All Rights Reserved