It's been almost six months since Bob Carey's world completely changed. The photographer (who grew up in Phoenix, but now works in New York) had been working on a series of self-portraits -- in each, he wears only a large tutu surrounded by landscapes and city scenes across the country.
And this October, Carey can a few more epic backgrounds to the list -- National Football League Stadiums.
Carey started photographing himself in a tutu as a means of expression when his wife Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer more than six years ago. The series (which he calls "Ballerina") has been showcased in galleries and museums and quickly caught the attention of a few foundations that approached his with an opportunity to raise money for breast cancer research.
From Ballerina "The Tutu Project" was born, and has since been featured on The Today Show, Carson Daily, and Yahoo! News (to name a few). And Carey announced this morning that the NFL will support the project by granting access to stadiums across the county, including The New York Giant's MetLife Stadium, Indianapolis Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium, and the Arizona Cardinals' University of Phoenix Stadium.
On October 7, Carey says he'll take to the field with his wife and breast cancer advocate Linda Carey, along with more than 150 breast cancer survivors during the New York Giants/Cleveland Browns half-time show.
And in the middle of the fan chaos, cheering, and noise, he'll make a photograph.
Carey says he's sure the experience will be surreal. His photography career began when his dad bought him a camera after he'd been in a skateboarding accident as a teenager. He played football for Scottsdale High and took up skateboarding when the potential of a football career was too much pressure. "I always wanted to play football for ASU," he says. "So it's a little weird, a little full-circle -- and really cool."
"After seeing The Tutu Project's inspirational photographs and learning more about the Carey's efforts to help those who are affected by breast cancer, we knew our teams would want to show support," NFL Director of Community Affairs Anna Isaacson wrote in a release sent out this morning. "We are looking forward to launching our fourth annual Crucial Catch campaign this October, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, and we are pleased to be adding a relationship with The Tutu Project to our outreach."
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Details on future stadium visits are stil in the works, Carey says, along with a partnership with Bloomingdales. (He'll make an appearance with Linda at the flagship store at 59th St. and Soho in New York City on October 17, where he'll sign books and present a special tutu photograph made in the Bloomingdales store.)
Bloomingdales will also sell Carey's self-published book, Ballerina, with a forward by Amy Arbus and backstory by New Times contributor Kathleen Vanesian. The net proceeds from the book's sale will go directly toward breast cancer organizations Cancercare.org and the Beth Israel Department of Integrative Medicine Fund. His goal is to raise $75,000.
To sponsor the project or pre-order a copy of Ballerina, visit the Tutu Project website. And to see more of Carey's work, visit his online portfolio. Carey is scheduled to return to Phoenix for Tutu Tuesday on October 2 at Mesa Arts Center, where an exhibition of his work is currently up through December.