16th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
First Place, Views Beyond the Peninsula


"Pigeon Pursuing Portraits"
By Dotti Cichon

About Dotti Cichon

Click on photo for larger image.

Born a photographer, Mountain View's Dotti Cichon revels in portraying her subjects in unfamiliar contexts.

A veteran winner of the Weekly's photo contest, Cichon makes a living as a photographer, artist and curator, producing photos that challenge the eye, forcing -- or inviting -- contemplation.

"Pigeons Pursuing Portraits" also poses a puzzle.

What's going on? Why is the chair empty? Why are there people far away, but none close?

On one of her trips to Venice in the winter, Cichon said she came across the supplies of a woman who makes a living taking photos of tourists in the Piazza San Marco -- but business was so slow, the photographer wasn't there.

Most people only get to see the Piazza when it is packed during the summer, Cichon said.

In the winter, it's a different place entirely.

Honored to win yet again, Cichon said the photo "just speaks Venice to anyone who has been there. . . . I love the old camera, which just reinforces that going to Venice is like going to another time."

Cichon, who is known as D. Cichon, is juggling several other projects as well.

Recently, she pinned insects to photographs of "deceptively pretty trash" and then snapped a shot.

She also recently became intrigued by the links between humans and rust -- both need air and water, Cichon said.

She's been transferring rust from old metal objects to fabric and paper, but she hopes to raise the money to imprint a rusty object on a tile capable of withstanding the conditions in space. The tile would then be released, bearing the message of humanity to other worlds, Cichon said.

Closer to home, Cichon has been selected to participate in the San Jose Museum of Art's interactive exhibition on "What connects the Bay Area Community: Identity" on June 7.

Cichon said she plans to display a human form, which visitors will add to by photographing a body part. For example, someone taking a shot of an ear would have to remove the existing ear and then pin on a photo of his or her ear, Cichon said.

--Becky Trout

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