BLOG #130 1/29/2016
These are some of the Longo paintings from his series.
I have written before (“INSPIRATION” BLOG #126,1/15/2016)
about the “borrowing” of ideas in art as well in virtually every aspect of human creative endeavor. The theme of borrowing in art is a rich one, so I’m writing about it again, and probably not for the last time.
In this blog I offer what I hope are a few interesting “human” occurrences.
The respected photo editor at NEW YORK MAGAZINE, Jody Quon, called me one day to ask if I’d make a photograph for the cover of the magazine referenced by the series “Men in the Cities” by the great American artist, Robert Longo. The cover story dealt with the emasculation of former “Masters of The Universe” on Wall Street.
I knew Longo’s work well, and even today vividly recall spending a few hours in 1989 at his major show at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art viewing, studying and admiring his work. I told Jody I would be interested, but said that before committing to the assignment I wanted to speak with Longo to make sure my “borrowing” would be okay with him. I also said I’d only do the photo if the magazine would place, right next to my cover credit, an acknowledgement of Longo’s work. She said, immediately, “Yes. Of course.”
I then called Longo whose studio, coincidentally, was located only a few blocks from ours in SOHO, in downtown Manhattan. When I asked for his permission to make the photographs, he responded, “Sure, go ahead, and thanks,” adding that this particular series had been referenced many times, almost always without credit, i.e. stolen. He was really appreciative that I had asked and wondered if maybe we could meet sometime. As fate would have it, we did happen to meet a few months later at a dinner party. Friendships can, on occasion, be formed through all sorts of unexpected connections.
I worked with a marvelous professional dancer (to me professional dancer almost always equals marvelous) @MichaelScirrotto who made wonderful images—even repeatedly falling to the floor upon my direction; here is a series of them.
And, since the image was to illustrate the article, “The Emasculation of Wall Street,” this was the final image.
During any shoot, I do all I can, however seriously focused I and others are, to mix in some fun. I believe most of us do our best work when we’re open, relaxed, and having fun. Illustrated here is our distinguished photo-editor, Jody Quon, demonstrating the New York Magazine’s “cover.”