Klingon Gothic

American Gothic parody-homage with Klingons: Male and female Klingons photgraphed in front of the home used in Grant Wood's American Gothic painting. Photo by Jason Tracy
A few weeks ago, I had the great privilege of photographing two very unique individuals in a truly iconic location, not to mention finally realizing an idea I’ve had rattling around my head for the last ten years. The image is obviously my¬† homage to the famous painting “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. The gentleman above is commander JaPa Trekkan Martok of the IKV Black Thunder. His companion’s name proved too much for me, and she took pity on me by telling me that her human name was Marcie.

A little backstory: I’ve had the idea to do a parody/homage to this painting for so long I can’t even remember how or when it first came to me. I though it was amusing, and it would be different, but for some reason I just always stopped myself before even starting on the project. Until recently, I was honestly afraid to try and get this image made. But for those of you that know me, and those that have read the handful of posts on the blog so far, I’m entering a new phase of my career, and I’m in the driver’s seat. I’m taking control, and I’m going to start making things happen. This image was a success for me before I even set up a light, or clicked the shutter. Why? Because I said to hell with my doubts and sent an email that said, “Hi, my names Jason. I’m a photographer from Kansas City, and I’ve got a fun/crazy idea for an image.”

- Thanks to Molly and the staff at the American Gothic House Center being such gracious hosts, and even answering my email in the first place. Also, to JP and Marcie for driving down to Eldon from Des Moines that Saturday.

- Thanks to Beth Howard, who actually lives in and runs her business, the Pitchfork Pie Stand, out of the American Gothic House. (I honestly can’t imagine living in house that actually has its own visitor center and has people coming daily to stand in front of it with a pitchfork and pose for pictures, but I digress)

- Thanks to my lovely and supportive wife, who didn’t even laugh when I mentioned the idea, and packed me a sweet ass sack lunch to take on the road with me. (It was like the first day of school for god’s sakes!)

For the lighting setup, check out my Flickr page
For behind the scenes photos, check out the Facebook page

show hide 6 comments

Kat - I love this shot. I think is great. Having the Klingons wear their clothes under the actual clothes from portrait was a great touch.

Brooke - I think this is awesome. Not only am I a HUGE scifi fan, but I’m one of YOUR biggest fans, Jake. This shot was truly inspired.

Anna - Very cool Jas!

Ryan Nicholson - This is a success on a number of different levels. Keep the ball rolling my friend!

Sam - Ha! You know, serendipity I guess… I’m just finishing formatting a short comic ebook titled the Secret Lives of Kliingons (the misspelling is deliberate, to avoid potential copyright issues, since it’s a parody) and I realized that I needed to create a cover image for it to go on my store and Amazon and I thought I might make the cover image a parody of the American Gothic painting… so I start searching for reference on Google and here I find this at the top of the search results. Nice work, Jason. :D

From the home front: Beth Howard’s ‘American Gothic’ house; Small Cool Contest winners; Walmart store sells tiny portable homes; garage conversion | WorldFlashNews.com - [...] house, which has appeared in countless parodies, including those featuring Klingons and Miss Piggy, has captivated Howard. She misses it when she’s away and said that when she [...]

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