I am a portrait photographer
from New York City. I work out of
lower Manhattan, near the South Street Seaport.
My first photographs were photographs that talked – called
"audiographs" – which were photographs that had
looped cassettes behind a framed image, and photographs that moved
– called "kinetographs" – which were photographs
that were attached to moving motors. The "kinetographs"
were commissioned for window displays at Bloomingdale’s
in the late l970’s. I photographed a documentary on Studio
54, the legendary New York disco, in late summer l978, and they
immediately were included in the International Center of Photography
exhibition: "Fleeting Gestures: Treasures of Dance Photography."
I became interested in formal studio portraits in 1979 while observing
it’s lower Manhattan youth (my peers) and it’s present
counter-culture, and decided early on to use a single-light source
and simple mottled backdrop, and when I needed to, I would set
this up as a portable studio, one highly mobile. This was then
used to document global sub-cultures. Many of the projects –
referred to as "Social Studies" – became documents
of indigenous people. These include projects on Haiti, Australian
Aboriginals, Native Americans, Scandinavian Laplanders, Israeli
Druzim, Moroccan Berbers, Alaskan Yupik, Spanish Gypsies, Turkish
Kurds, Central African Pygmy, and Panamanian Cuna and Chocoe.
These projects also included Death Row Inmates, Drag Queens, and
Cowboys. Stylistically, they were always photographed formally
on the backdrop, and contextually, or environmentally , with 2
1/4 Rolleiflex black and white images, which were meant to be
companions to the studio portraits.
Sitting with President Bush