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Alive in a totally new way

When we think about photography we think about photographs – yet I have so rarely printed my work.

Several weeks ago I unrolled a tube with prints that were made in India. They are massive and bring my pictures to life in a way that is so different than seeing the images on a screen.

I had just gotten access to an empty swimming pool in the same building I have my studio. The five subjects were all brought to my door by my friend Paul Cure who organizes panels under his curiosity umbrella We Need To Talk. Everyone climbed to the bottom of the pool and we took photos in the beautiful southern light. We made these giant prints for the event.

Filling the walls with really big prints is like feeling the subjects all breathing together in the room: the athlete, the blues musician and the yoga teacher. Everything is locked in: their expressions never change, the light never shifts, the subjects don’t get older – not even for one second.

The photographs are alive in a totally new way.

I was asked to moderate a talk last week at the Conference for World Affairs with the French Photographer, Maurice Sherif. I knew nothing about Maurice and had to do my research. I found one article on the loneliness of being a photographer which really rang true (“if love belongs to the poet, and fear to the novelist, then loneliness belongs to the photographer”).

Maurice and I decided to meet before his presentation. I picked him up in one of the gorgeous houses up at Chautauqua – pointy French leather shoes, dusty pink shirt, black vest, herringbone blazer- nice cologne.

The first thing he does is sign the most beautiful handmade B/W gravure print over to me. A haunting image from under a bridge somewhere in Paris.

We talked about the ideas around leaving a legacy…prints…books…evidence of our work.

So I’m starting to experiment more with prints.

Yesterday, Stephie, the kids and I all looked at photos of the moments just after the kids were born. We had never looked at them together before. Both boys were a little bit taken aback by their very younger selves that had been hiding hard drives all these years. Asher asked, “Are those good memories for you? Were you happy when I was born?”

It is time to blow those pictures up, too.


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