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Getting Into Face with JoJo Baby and Sal-E
Legendary club kid, doll maker, makeup artist, costumer, and penis-sculpture enthusiast JoJo Baby costars with his clubbing companion, Sal-E, in Bernard Colbert’s lush new 12″ x 12″ coffee-table book Getting into Face: 52 Mondays Featuring Jojo Baby and Sal-e
For 17 years, Bernard has been perfecting his craft, working in the field of commercial and advertising photography.
‘In the vibrant community where I live and work, I find what I have
always been searching for- a sublime energy. Nightlife activity blends
with the arts and diversity of self expression abounds. Here, I can
freely pursue my dream: to document and celebrate that spark within,
which defines the unique nature of our human experience.’
performance artists JoJo Baby and Sal-E use their bodies as canvases to
become inspired and whimsical conceptual characters, executed with
expert skill using original, theatrical makeup and costumes. In more
than 100 portraits, photographer Bernard Colbert rigorously captures
these two performance artists in genius moments as psychedelic Hindi
gods, comic book villains, fantastical creatures, astronauts, and much,
Colbert’s stunning portraits document these delightful
transformations over a five-year period and are the same body of work
featured in the Clive Barker documentary titled JoJo Baby. Through
Colbert’s collaboration with JoJo and Sal, viewers can experience a
front row seat to an ongoing show which has been entertaining club goers
in Chicago for two decades. This is a portfolio for the visually
adventuress and fans of true creative vision.
Every Monday night, JoJo Baby with friend Sal-E have gone to work as
hosts of Chicago’s largest and longest running house-music dance party,
the Boom Boom Room, which is currently on hiatus from its usual location
at Green Dolphin St., 2220 N. Ashland Ave., while the building
undergoes renovation. It took the duo hours to prepare, and Colbert was
there every week to capture the endlessly entertaining process. He said
he usually only had 10 to 15 minutes to photograph them before they went
“Sometimes they would show up and I would look at what they were
wearing and try and quickly comprehend what they were up to, because
sometimes it’s high concept and it’s not obvious right away,” Colbert
said. “It’s interesting right away, but it’s like, ‘What the heck is
going on?’ So I scramble and try and make it happen.”
Colbert, who took courses in commercial photography at Columbia from
1989–1991, said he loves portrait photography and has been drawn to
performers such as models, musicians and athletes—people who are both
interesting and like being photographed.
The combination of unplanned imagination and spontaneity kept Colbert
continually inspired. He said the most successful images captured an
indescribable magic that would often occur.
“It was something that would elevate it from an interesting time to
really high art, and it’s something that fascinates me,” Colbert said.
“It feels elusive, but when you find that you can do it time and time
again, it’s really fun to keep trying to do it.”
The book will also be available at local
bookstores in Chicago and Amazon.com.
Getting into Face: 52 Mondays Featuring Jojo Baby and Sal-e