Portraits

Black Panther Film Festival

Sad to hear about the passing of the brilliant director Albert Maysles (above) who I photographed at the 3rd Annual Black Panther Film festival. He directed ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Grey Gardens’ amongst so many great documentaries.

A huge fan of his work, I asked if I could take a portrait of him after the screening of a documentary about the Angola 3 at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. I took a couple of shots’ he asked to see them and declared I needed to get in closer and reshoot them. The final shot (above) got his approval. Thank you Mr Maysles.

another MashUp – CES

“Big Daddy Issues”  Another great MashUp this time by the artist CES. who began hitting trains in 1983, he was a writer for the legendary FX crew. The piece features ‘Rat Fink’ a character created by artist Ed “Big Daddy” Roth who conceived Rat Fink as an anti-hero answer to Mickey Mouse. CES has Rat Fink brilliantly shaving a tag into Big Daddy Kane’s fade.  CES explains: “I choose the photo for the fact Big Daddy Kane was my shit back in the 80’s – got to see him perform several times back then as well.”

Wild Style

Two legends meet at the Bond Street studio : Cey Adams working on a ‘Wild Style’ collage, Charlie Ahearn dropping by with my ‘Wild Style’ beanie.

Paris and Ford Models

Two weeks ago, driving through Paris in the Ford Models company car, suddenly the Eiffel Tower appears – its still a thrill – feel like a kid seeing it for the first time. All day shoot for Christel Vatasso the fabulous director of Ford Paris (below). I photographed a band ‘Air Bag One’, the DJ Clara Deshayes, actor Isham Conrath,  some of the models and the staff. Finished late champagne at the office, editing the photos, Paris is beautiful, we had a great time

Gay Talese

I photographed the writer Gay Talese (above) for the cover of Jocks & Nerds this summer. He is a true gentleman, a legendary writer of many books and magazine stories,  and a super stylish dresser. In 1966 he wrote a classic story for Esquire called ‘Frank Sinatra Has A Cold‘  a brilliant piece of writing which became one of the most celebrated magazine articles ever published. I sent Gay a couple of prints from our session and he sent me the typewritten thank you note below. Thank you! Mr Talese.

Bill Cosby

I first fell for Bill Cosby when the 1965 TV series I Spy was screened on British TV. Robert Culp and Bill Cosby played a couple of cool secret agents masquerading as tennis pros and was shot in ‘James Bond’ type exotic locations. ‘I Spy’ was the first American television drama to feature a black actor in a lead role and was banned by certain television stations in the South.

Years later I was commissioned to shoot Bill Cosby for a poster for his Nickelodeon show Little Bill. I was very excited to meet him. It was a studio shoot and after waiting for 4 hours he finally stepped on to my set, Dr Cosby, as we were instructed to call him. was not cooperative. I managed to shoot one roll -12 shots- and he was done.

It is a shame to see your ‘heroes’ fall.

Millions March

A week ago people took to the streets in cities all over the US to protest the Mike Brown and Eric Garner verdicts and the unnecessary shooting of unarmed people by the police. The march in New York City was attended by an estimated tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators. The NYPD presence was small and respectful.

Sadly the story of this beautiful peaceful march attended by people of all ages and races has now been turned into another media fueled story about the hunt for 5 people who may or may not have punched members of  the NYPD on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Yesterday tragically 2 policemen were murdered in Brooklyn by a crazed former felon from Baltimore.

Although this horrendous murder seems to be casting a shadow over the peaceful demonstrations that took place all over the country last week nevertheless it is clear that our justice system is flawed and racism lives large in the USA. Captain Ray Lewis(pictured below) a retired Philadelphia police captain at the march said ” I will not stand by while law enforcement is administered only to the poor and disenfranchised while the rich flaunt their immunity”.

Grouper

The artist Liz Harris aka Grouper has a new album called ‘Ruins’ I shot this photo of her for the current Interview Magazine on a rainy afternoon below Canal Street.

ARTISTS AT BEMIS, OMAHA NEBRASKA

This year I was invited to be an artist in residence at Bemis in Omaha Nebraska. I spent almost seven weeks there over August and September. I was given a huge studio with a table, two chairs, a bed, kitchen and bathroom. My mission was to fill the white walls with photographs. I did workshops with the North Omaha teens, and photographed the Omaha residents at the Labor Day Parade, a black biker club picnic, a powwow, a three day rodeo, people on the streets, abandoned buildings, and much more. I became obsessed with documenting the other artists in residence there – we had bonded over pot luck dinners, drinks at La Buvette (the local hangout), Cubbies supermarket in the gas station, thrift store expeditions and art talk. Here are the portraits we made in the Bemis studios.

BALAM BARTOLOME artist

AUDRA WOLOWIEC artist, sculptor

DAVID HARPER artist, sculptor

KIRA GREENE artist

CEY ADAMS artist, creative director, graffiti artist, book designer

ANGELA DRAKEFORD artist

KENNETH ADKINS artist, sculptor

HEATHER HART sculptor

LEON JOHNSON artist, book binder, printer, chef extra ordinaire
SAMANTHA FIELDS artist, weaver

DEVEL CRISP spoken word artist

DI MAINSTONE sound artist

LAURA CARLSON painter , performance artist, punk, feminist

Swoon in New Haven

Site Projects brought me to NewHaven to photograph Swoon (above with Olivia and Josh)  installing a beautiful piece of art close to Yale. And hung the JB_MASHUP show at Manjares Cafe  838 West Rock Ave.