The Quest for a Guggenheim – Submitting a Portfolio / An Example Portfolio that Failed to be Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

The Quest for a Guggenheim – Submitting a Portfolio / An Example Portfolio that Failed to be Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Part 3 in a 4 part series…

Well, if I was awarded a Guggenheim this post would have been entitled The Quest for a Guggenheim…An Example of a Winning Portfolio. In any case, I’ve always been of the nature of; if you can’t go left, go right. So, I will still make use of my experience whether as a winner or as a loser.

Once your application is submitted you will be notified by email if the Foundation wants to see a sample portfolio. I don’t think the Foundation notifies you if they are not interested in seeing your work examples.

Here is the email I received…

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Guggenheim Competition – Request for Submission of Work Examples

10/11/15

Dear Mr. Teoli,

To begin the work example submission process, please log in to our competition website:

https://competition.gf.org/applicant/login.php

Thank you for your participation in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Competition.

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The work example registry website is very straightforward and easy to use. You can send in a maximum of 20 prints. Just be careful you follow the instructions. If you hit the wrong ‘submit button’ by mistake you cannot add additional prints to the registry.

For registering your photographs you will need high res JPEG’s, preferably a title to each work, size, year created and medium.

See:

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/the-importance-of-naming-your-digital-files/

The order of submission should match how the portfolio is presented if you want a certain flow to the viewing. If you feel the need to explain your work there is space for the details on each submission entry.

Normally it is advised to send your most recent work and for it to be focused in your project pitch area. I did this more as an experiment, so I broke with tradition and sent varied samples of my work going back to the 1970’s film era right up to my infrared flash work. As I wrote in my previous post, as an artist that is true to my art…I always do as I like. So I broke with tradition and worked outside of generally accepted convention.

My portfolio was 11 x 14 inches housed in a clamshell case. You can send large portfolios, but the foundation puts a size limit on what they size they will accept. Whatever the size you do send, include a check to reimburse return shipping costs or you may not get your portfolio back. The portfolios are usually sent back in May or June…mine came back in July.

Once the registry is complete and submitted you will receive a confirmation and bar coded shipping label to include with the portfolio shipment.

Here is the registry confirmation I received…

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Dear Mr. Teoli,

Thank you for your participation in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Competition. Your work examples have been registered. Please print out the included list of work examples, and enclose it with your items. Print out the attached set of mailing labels and affix the appropriate label to your package, and send it to the Foundation so that it arrives during the week of November 16 – 20, 2015.

If you are unable to use our label on the outside of your package, please print and enclose the attached set of shipping labels along with your materials AND write your Application ID# (listed below) on your package.

Our mailing address is as follows:

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
90 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016

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WORK EXAMPLES:

Application ID: xxxxx

Daniel David Teoli Jr.
xxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxx

Image: New Year’s Eve…Skid Row Bar (Img#: 1) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (1971) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Two Blind Beggars (Img#: 2) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (1972) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: The Sunlit Slipper (Img#: 3) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (1973) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: At the Rodeo (Img#: 4) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from artists’ book Whoop-Whoop (Img#: 5) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Polar Bear (Img#: 6) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2012) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from Bikers’ Mardi Gras (Img#: 7) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Cruise Ship Lets Out – Americans on Vacation (Img#: 8) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Carla and Babydoll (Img#: 9) (Size: 11 x 14)
Cruise Ship Lets Out (2012) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from Biker’s Mardi Gras (Img#: 10) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2013) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from De Wallen: Amsterdam’s Red Light District (Img#: 11) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from Piercing Darkness (Img#: 12) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2015) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
Woman bending backwards kissing man. Infrared flash photograph.

Image: Selection from Piercing Darkness (Img#: 13) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2015) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
Woman squatting. Infrared flash photograph.

Image: Selection from Piercing Darkness (Img#: 14) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2015) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
Man kissing woman with man wearing a shirt with 2 women kissing in background. Infrared flash photograph.

Image: Selection from Piercing Darkness – Multitasking (Img#: 15) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2015) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
Infrared flash photograph.

Image: Fourth of July 2013 CV (Img#: 16) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2013) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Stepplechase (Img#: 17) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2006) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Deer Still Life (Img#: 18) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2013) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Man with Cock Ring (Img#: 19) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: The Lost Princess (Img#: 20) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2013) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
__________

REQUESTED RETURN INFORMATION

Return Via: Regular Mail

$20 return shipment enclosed.

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Here is the portfolio I submitted that failed to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship…

12 img033-2-2 SPOT MR

Two Blind Beggars copyright 1972 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

'Sunlit Slipper' Copyright 1973 Daniel D. Teoli Jr V16.

Rodeo copyright 2013 Daneil d. Teoli Jr. mr

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

21Whoop-Whoop 21 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Bikers Mardi Gras Cover Copyright 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

St. Martin 11 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

?????????????????

Selection from 'Bikers' Mardi Gras' artists' book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

27 De Wallen Artists' Book Copyright Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr.

Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C

Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 2015 Daniel D Teoli Jr. mr - Copy

PD Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr- Co

BMG Project Infrared Flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr - Copy

Fourth of July 2013 CV Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Steeplechase Copyright 2005 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Deer Still Life Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

46 Man Cock Ring Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. LR.

Lost Princess Copyright 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

When the Foundation receives your portfolio you will get an email confirmation with an attached PDF inventory of your work examples.

Here is the confirmation I received…

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12/1/15

Dear Mr. Teoli,

Thank you for your participation in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Competition. We have received your work examples, which have been processed and added to your application. Please review the following summary of your submission.

Image: New Year’s Eve…Skid Row Bar (Img#: 1) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (1971) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Two Blind Beggars (Img#: 2) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (1972) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: The Sunlit Slipper (Img#: 3) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (1973) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: At the Rodeo (Img#: 4) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from artists’ book Whoop-Whoop (Img#: 5) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Polar Bear (Img#: 6) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2012) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from Bikers’ Mardi Gras (Img#: 7) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Cruise Ship Lets Out – Americans on Vacation (Img#: 8) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Carla and Babydoll (Img#: 9) (Size: 11 x 14)
Cruise Ship Lets Out (2012) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from Biker’s Mardi Gras (Img#: 10) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2013) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from De Wallen: Amsterdam’s Red Light District (Img#: 11) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Selection from Piercing Darkness (Img#: 12) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2015) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
Woman bending backwards kissing man. Infrared flash photograph.

Image: Selection from Piercing Darkness (Img#: 13) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2015) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
Woman squatting. Infrared flash photograph.

Image: Selection from Piercing Darkness (Img#: 14) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2015) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
Man kissing woman with man wearing a shirt with 2 women kissing in background. Infrared flash photograph.

Image: Selection from Piercing Darkness – Multitasking (Img#: 15) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2015) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print
Infrared flash photograph.

Image: Fourth of July 2013 CV (Img#: 16) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2013) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Stepplechase (Img#: 17) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2006) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Deer Still Life (Img#: 18) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2013) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: Man with Cock Ring (Img#: 19) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2014) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

Image: The Lost Princess (Img#: 20) (Size: 11 x 14)
Archival pigment print. (2013) (Qty sent: 1), Print/Photo Print

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Although my portfolio was centered around the social documentary theme, the portfolio varied greatly. It covered a number of my past and future projects as well as a wide variety of photo techniques. If you wish to present a more conservative portfolio you may wish to stick to a couple of projects or even just one.

No one can say for sure what will bring home the Guggenheim. I’d advise you to solicit online or f2f portfolio reviews from past Guggenheim Fellows for the development of your work examples portfolio to give you the best chance at success. In any case, my portfolio failed to make the grade, so that is all that can be said of it.

You will not get any feedback from the Foundation as to why you were rejected. There is a lot of prejudice against circular fisheyes, selective color and hyper real HDR which were all parts of my portfolio. I could have left it out and submitted a plain Jane portfolio, but I felt I should submit examples of what I’d be using in the projects I pitched to the Foundation.

If you are rejected realize that it is a great honor just to be asked to present a portfolio to the Foundation. You can always reapply for the next Competition. In my own case, I wont be reapplying. I doubt whether I will ever have 2 better or more Guggenheim worthy projects to present to the Foundation.

The 2 projects I pitched: The Americans…60 years after Frank and Piercing Darkness are 2 of the best projects I’ve ever had in the nearly 50 years I’ve been doing photography. Either of them, even if taken singly, were well worth a Guggenheim Fellowship in my opinion. But…I don’t pick the winners or hand out the money.

While money is stored energy and usually lubricates the creative process for most artists, money is not the end all. If money was the bottom line then only the richest artists would produce the greatest work.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/is-it-easier-for-the-rich-photog/

One change I’d make if I could do it over again would be to add to each photo, where it is apropos, that the photo was a candid photo. For instance, this beach photo may looked posed, but it 100% candid and taken only a couple feet from them while I walked right between them.

St. Martin 11 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

In the past people have asked me if The Lost Princess below was my daughter or was it posed. Well, she is a stranger kid on the street and it is 100% candid.

Lost Princess Copyright 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Is the next one posed or candid?

27 De Wallen Artists' Book Copyright Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr.

100% Candid!

Getting all the facts out in the open is important nowadays. There is so much posed and staged bullshit photography being passed off as street photography nowadays. Maybe it would not have made a difference in my case, but at least it wouldn’t be on my mind as something I could have done better. When you give a project your all, you can release it and move on if things don’t work out…always try to do your best!

To be continued in part 4…

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Women of the Beat Generation Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Girls of the Beat Generation

A forthcoming six volume artists’ book series by social documentary photographer Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/girls-of-the-beat-generation-artists-book/

A complete list of artists’ books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/artists-books-by-daniel-d-teoli-jr-2/