I’ve been taking pictures since elementary
school, when I started with a Brownie box
camera. But when I hit eighth or ninth grade,
my father gave me a Voigtländer Bessa I, a
very fine camera for a kid, and I started
developing my own film and making contact
prints. Before I graduated from high-school,
a friend of ours gave me a rickety old 5-by-7
enlarger, and I was on my way.
The picture to the left is the only one I’ve
had published. It appeared in Drummer back
around 1980 in a two-page bleed that led off
an article about other photographers, who all,
unlike me, were fully famous. Like
Nowadays, photography means digital
photography, and digital means color,
since certainly nobody would manufacture
a black-and-white-only camera. And I’ve gone
along with the trend, with a nice digital camera
that I now use exclusively. But I grew up with
monochrome, and the word “photography” really
means black and white to me. Even though I know
I’m not color-blind, I claim that I see in black
and white; it’s certain that none of my color
pictures have turned out as well as these.
To come back to the pictures, the top shot was
one of the images I submitted for a one-man show
(my only!) at Stompers, a gallery on West Fourth
Street, in the very heart of Greenwich Village, in
April of 1981. I was terribly impressed with myself.
The show was a succès d’estime, but there was not
a single print sold.
There were several
boyfriend that is, in the
Stompers show, but
when I got home to
graphing shots from
from the Lives
and Deaths of Ken became
my most important
Here, to the left, is
Ken abases himself
before the Persimmon
Goddess, from 1982.
Above that is Help
is Near, from 1991.
Tentatively entitled He looks on in approval,
this one is comparatively new, dating from
You can see a picture of the
outside Marseille, that I had
in mind before
I made this picture.
In January 2014, after a year in Saint Paul,
I felt that I had
to get working with film, so
I pulled out my cameras and
pictures of Ken. Here he is with his
West of the Los Angeles Police
Department, whom he met
in the early
years of this century. Their relationship
much stormier than this picture would
title? Ken knew the relationship
could not last.
In the winter of 2014-15, I started noticing
some of the dead annuals
were looking. I stole some dead
from neighbors, I took some of my own,
in the path leading to the neighborhood
some wildflowers and other
dead things. I took pictures,
a few successful,
most not, but this is one I liked.
I don’t think
it needs a title.