Portraits

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.

Don Was and Jose James

Jose James invited me to the studio to hear the mix for his new album due out next year. It is produced by the legendary Don Was who I have wanted to meet since 1981 when I first heard his album  Was (Not Was) a crazy mix of disco, rock, politics, jazz and everything else that said ‘America’ to me. So finally I got to make this portrait of the two of them standing in a jungle of vintage microphones at Sear Sound. Don is not wearing shoes – like another great producer Rick Rubin who I photographed in 2011 barefoot at the New York Library talk for the launch of the book Def Jam Records: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label. And btw Jose’s album sounds just amazing

Omaha Labor Day Parade 2014

Vietnam Veteran J Pestal on the float

Kids in Saints jerseys from the River City Reds

Girls from ‘North O’

The Rogers family from the Operating Engineers Union Local 57

The Labor Day Parade in Omaha starts early. People are gathering on Cass and 16th in downtown Omaha for the start of the parade. Floats, marching bands, unions of firemen, electrical workers, steel workers, a huge statue of a cow on a trailer, it seems like nothing has changed since the 1960′s here. It is beautiful sunny day and the people of the Great Plains are sitting expectantly on the curb waiting for the parade to start and to celebrate the flag and the idea of being American.

Omaha Intertribal Powwow

Umo^ho Indian Powwow “In the beginning our souls were like stars in the sky”

BBQ Omaha

George Perkins and his wife Ossy just happen to have the best BBQ in Omaha- they pull up their ‘Perk’s Bar-B-Que’ smoker on a Thursday in a mall on 85th and Center and stay until Saturday. The menu is simple: rib sandwich, pulled pork, hot links, slab of ribs, chicken all smoked with firewood from friends’ trees. George has been making BBQ for 50 years – he says “I’m not bragging. I’m the best I know”.