Portraits

Take the 6 train

6-train-2

Compelled to take a photograph of these guys on the 6 train platform tonight at Union Square.

Streetbird Harlem

MARCUS-SAMUELSSON

Take the B train to 116 street and Frederick Douglas Blvd. Marcus Samuelsson’s new spot Streetbird is (to quote reggae artist Dr Alimentado) ” The best dressed chicken in town” . The restaurant feels like home – thanks to the lovely staff, decor echoing the Harlem hip hop street vibe and a few of my photos on the walls. Food is off the hook, street flavors, rotisserie chicken, mac and cheese, corn bread and great cocktails.

Ron English on Bowery NYC

ron-English

The legendary Ron English has a new piece on Bowery and Lafayette.

Know for his “culture jamming“, modifying advertising billboards like Camel cigarettes, replaced with Ron’s creations The Cancer Kids painted in the same style. His detailed, prolific oil painting skills are credited to his early background as an art reproducer.

English coined the term POPaganda to describe his mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones.

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”.