The Tutu Project Gallery Event, occurring Friday, May 3 at TheLabNYC, is a long-awaited public presentation of Bob Carey’s self-portrait series, “The Tutu Project.” It was 2003 when commercial photographer Bob Carey first slipped on a pink tutu and photographed himself to begin The Tutu Project, “as a lark,” in his words. At the time, Bob and his wife, Linda, had just moved from Arizona to Brooklyn, and as exciting as the move was, as Bob explains, “it was 180 degrees from what I knew. So I took the old, mixed it in with the new, and kept the tutu handy.” Just six months later, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer, and with the unnerving prognosis came a newfound significance to Bob’s self portrait series. Through Linda’s remission and an unexpected recurrence in 2006, Bob’s photos have continued to provide some much-needed comedic relief and spontaneous moments of levity.
Bob and Linda subsequently created The Carey Foundation, which provides services and assistance to women diagnosed with breast cancer, survivors, and their family members. The official mission of The Tutu Project is, “to support the fund raising efforts of The Carey Foundation for women with breast cancer. We strive to bring laughter and understanding to a community that has endured far too much.” The photographs became a viral internet sensation, and the overwhelmingly positive response inspired Bob to publish a book of his self-portraits, Ballerina, from which net sale proceeds will go directly to The Carey Foundation. Bob will be signing copies of the book at the The Tutu Project Gallery Event, and because PocketWizard manufacturer LPA Design is co-sponsoring Friday’s festivities, 20 pink PocketWizard Plus III’–signed by Bob–will be auctioned to fundraise as well. The Tutu Project Gallery Exhibit opens the following day, Saturday, May 4, during which Bob will be formally presenting his images in a lecture, “Personal Photography Projects.”