You and Me on a Sunny Day, 2014
Rocky’s series of 135 large-scale photographs is conceived as a silent film in the form of a sequence of stills.
Rocky’s series of 135 large-scale photographs titled You and Me on a Sunny Day is conceived as a silent film in the form of a sequence of stills. The works, seen in order, tell the story of an elderly woman recollecting, and at times dreaming about, her deceased husband and his youth as a champion long-distance runner. All of the interior shots were made in the artist’s own San Francisco apartment, which he transformed into a complex mise-en-scène for the unfolding narrative. To complete his monumental project, Rocky spent every Sunday for five years photographing his downstairs neighbor, Gilda Todar, in the lead role.
The astonishing clarity and richness of detail in the prints is the result of a painstaking process of shooting up to twenty-two individual high-resolution photographs for each final image, using digital technology to create a fantastically seamless montage.
Every Sunday evening for five years, Rocky brought Gilda (1927—2017) up for a photo shoot on a set that he had spent all week decorating as if it were the 1950s. It took half an hour to make one image, and the next week they did it all over again — a process slower than clay animation.
By the time the project was finished, these upstairs-downstairs strangers had a rapport that brings to mind “Harold and Maude,” and Rocky had 135 huge prints that he could hang on a wall end to end to tell a story, starring Todar. Continued at San Francisco Chronicle
Photography from this series is in the permanent collection at the Berkeley Art Museum (BAM/PFA) and the Tweed Museum of Art.