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IMAGES FROM THE BLOG


Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Subway Portrait (Today)

3:14:20 PM    


Papaya King

2:30:03 PM    

Good morning funny man,
I'm on my way to work-but have to ask for help. The computer is all futzy-even got a crash warning and now the printer's not working. I turned evrything off and on again, but something's not right. Any chance you could talk us through whatever it is during the week? - Clueless

Dear Clueless,
Since you all have the flu in that house, no visits without a hazmat suit.
DB

- - -


David:
Due to time constraints from my editors, I may have to postpone your story for the first issue, move it to another issue. - Inked Magazine

- - -


Dave:
Wall Street Man 1 arrived today via FedEx. It's a wonderful print.
Thank you. It's framed and hanging in my gallery beside my other two Beckermans.
K. from Texas

PS. The matted print survived shipping nicely, thanks to your sturdy
packing.
I have it framed in black metal, under glass. It's beautiful.

- - -


dave, just wanted to thank you for Winter Reservoir print.  I visited NYC a few years ago (in a storm!), and it brings back wonderful memories.  Fantastic.  L. Iowa

11:40:08 AM    

Epiphanies are rare, and not always true.

That being said, I did have a revelation about my own work. It seems to me, lately for sure, but earlier on as well, that I have unconsciously been trying to do - how can I put this - Saturday Evening Post covers. For those youngsters out there who don't know what the Saturday Evening Post cover was - think Norman Rockwell.

The epiphany tale began while I was trying once again to define for myself, 'Street Photography.' And it dawned on me that just because you photograph 'in the street' doesn't make you a street photographer. Street Photography is actually a style of shooting and presentation.

In the best street photography, there is a sense of almost inchoate moments coming together and bouncing off each other. Ideas are half-formed. There is usually some angular, gritty vision. Not always. There is the delicate side of street photography as well, but again - there is almost always a sense of quickness - the camera as a fast moving recording device.

That has not been what I've been after. You don't take a 4 x 5 view camera into a subway car (10 years ago) to capture the fleeting moment - especially when better tools are available.

Even though some subjects may glare at me in the picture, or run away, or smile, or be completely unaware of my presence - if you were to take many of my pictures and convert them to a painting - you would be surprised at how they are mostly about composition and light and story. Especially when people are subjects, there is an attempt to illustrate some aspect of a story. The story may be funny or depressing - but the people shots are almost as if they had been models for a illustration.

And so I asked myself where this quest for illustration might come from since I can assure you we did not get The Saturday Evening Post. And the answer was simple: children's books, mystery books, (you could include Comic Books but I don't think they were much of an influence in terms of style), were all illustrated.

We had lots of hard covers of Dickens, of Twain, all in illustrated editions, books that I pored over as a kid and I can still remember the illustrations they held.

One other thread of this revelation (if it turns out to hold water) - began at the hotel the other day where I noticed that the room all had old prints (1890's) on the wall: carriages cantering down a rural hill outside of London. And I got up close to the image and while I was still sick from the bad hamburger, I spent my time studying the design, how the driving was placed in the carriage, how each horse was caught in mid-stride (and probably wrongly shown), and how much I liked this print. This English print from a time and place I had only read about in children's books and Sherlock Holmes stories. Not great paintings. But great illustrations.

And as epiphanies will - one idea joined another - what was street shooting - not what I was doing. Where was I first exposed to illustrations? Children's books. So why should I even want to recreate such things?

Ah - yes. Those were how I escaped from life in the Bronx - which could be cruel and miserable. Those were my happiest moments - going through those serial books on a rainy day and looking at the pictures. Wow. That was a rush. I was unconsciously trying to recreate the illustrations from childhood books. That would explain all the kids in the pictures. In fact, I even have several pictures I took of children reading.

So here I am, trying (I must say again, without realizing it) to recreate my own happy moments spent as a child with illustrated books but on the streets of Manhattan (for the most part). I can only say - is that true - or am I trying to tie things up with a neat bow? I'm not sure.

6:11:55 AM