By MATTHEW NASH
In October of 2006, Big RED & Shiny was included in the PRC|POV exhibition at the Photographic Resource Center. This show featured 30 artists, groups or companies that PRC members considered important for the future of photography and art. We were quite happy to be included.
For PRC|POV we produced a one-of-a-kind, hand-bound book of the first 49 issues of Big RED & Shiny. We would have included the first 50 issues (that was the plan), but #50 wasn’t launched until after the deadline for the book. I still have the volume, sitting on my shelf, and I am constantly in awe of it. Weighing in at 650 pages, and featuring nearly 500 articles, essays, reviews and columns, it is a physical manifestation of all the hard work and commitment that has gone into making our little pink website what it is.
Since the creation of our book for the PRC, Big RED & Shiny has seen a lot of growth and changes. It’s amazing to think that in such a short period of time, we published our first print annual, and have a second on the way. We have launched our news blog, Our Daily RED, and taken on James Nadeau as an editor. Steve Aishman, a regular contributor, launched his regular column “Reports from the Phantom Zone.” Our acceptance of limited advertising affords us the opportunity to explore other projects as well, with our current energy directed toward publishing a book of Thomas Marquet’s “The White Cube” series. Equally as exciting, our out-of-towncontributions and readership have grown by leaps and bounds, bringing new conversations and artists to the discourse of New England, and promoting our artists to the rest of the world.
For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of my involvement in Big RED & Shiny is meeting new people and discussing the art and culture of New England with them. In the past year I have spoken at numerous colleges and conferences about what we do. When I see the excitement in the eyes of the audience, the recognition that anyone can join this conversation, and the willingness to participate, I know that we are doing something right.
So, Happy Birthday to us, and Happy Birthday to you, our readers, who make our work worthwhile. Blow out some candles, sip some champagne, and check out our archives for a glimpse at how rich and amazing the arts in New England have been. Celebrate by re-reading a few of your favorite pieces, or find new ones you may have missed. I have a book on my shelf that proves there are at least two phone-books worth of essays there, and if that isn’t a great birthday present, I don’t know what is.