Intro by Weir McBride
For veteran New York photographer Joe DiMaggio, July 4th remains a time for gratitude. “I am one of the luckiest people in the world. Many of my friends are artists, whether they be painters, writers, poets, musicians photographers or what have you. What’s the term that is used- starving artists? Every once in a while, I tend to complain and moan about the state of the union. Several friends have reminded me if you don’t like the state of the union you can go somewhere else. To be honest, I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world a couple of times. Every once in a while, I remember to get on bended knee and kiss the ground as I’m fortunate enough to live in the greatest country in the world. Think about it…
“The photograph of the model’s hand was a silhouette done on a transparent white background with 4 electronic flashes on the white background. The photo was originally done on Kodachrome 25 with the Singh-Ray UV Filter. The film was rewound and reloaded back into the camera and a 2nd front lit image of an American Flag with a fan blowing on it was shot over the silhouette. The original photo had no help from photoshop because it was actually done before photoshop existed. Well what do you know — this older image has just been selected as a magazine cover and the client asked that the transparent white background be changed to blue as it would not work well with their logo. Hmm, have we heard this before? My photoshop skills are minimal at best and I intentionally keep it that way. Twelve to fourteen hours a day is enough work. An assistant gave me a hand and we dropped the blue into the background for the client.
“This second photo was inspired as I was splitting wood for my fireplace and saw the inside grain of one particular piece of wood. I picked up a my EOS 5D Mark III, 100mm Macro with the Singh Ray Hi-Lux filter and made several frames. I then shot one of my small American Flags and my assistant was kind enough to blend them together.”
To keep track of all that Joe and JoAnne are currently involved in, you need to visit their frequently up-dated website You can also learn more about their workshop projects and fine art photography. http://www.dimaggio-kalish.com and http://www.dimaggio-kalishworkshops.com
“I hate artist’s statements. They are pretentious, and I am pretentious enough without adding to it. I have read too many statements about artists who are “exploring psycho/sexual boundaries” or artists who are “Concerned with the tension between x and y…” These statements are more for the artists, to convince themselves that they are creating something meaningful and of value. I reality you buy art because it connects with you, or it matches your couch, not because the artist was “depicting the hypocrisy of gender roles in a post modern America”. I am much more interested to hear what you think about my work, then to tell you what I think about it.”
There are very few things that motivate me to the point of screaming, jumping up and down, or possibly wetting myself. I was introduced to a young man by the name of Thann Clark and I went to his webpage. What you’ve read above is his artist’s statement. I am totally blessed that most of my friends are artists, whether they use oil, water, pen, pencil, cameras, blues, jazz, poetry, or ballet; they’re all artists. I strongly recommend to Thann that he should get his statement copyrighted and trademarked, because if he doesn’t, I’m going to steal it. This artists statement could go on from here to infinity. I’m throwing a photo in here just because I want to. Just for people to keep records, the above gorilla photograph was the number one selling greeting card for over two years. Canon EOS, 600 f4, 1/100th at f4, ISO 100, Gitzo monopod.
Why would anybody put up this genre of photograph in June when obviously the photograph as taken in the dead of winter? That’s funny, I asked myself the same question. There are two basic reasons: the first is I just found this photo I had been trying to find for the last few years for my book, so I scanned it and now you have an opportunity to see it, and the second is I just liked the feeling. It makes me feel warm. Two lovers outside a coffeehouse in Greenwich Village. Very cold and snowy night. One grabbed shot, EOS camera, 85 1.2, ISO 200, 1/60th at f2. No rhyme or reason, I just like it.
A quarter of a century ago, you couldn’t walk the streets of Dumbo unless you had an armed guard. It has now become one of the most chicy-chic places in the metropolitan area. Multi-million dollar construction— oops, I used the wrong word. I used the m word when I should have used the b word. What a great place to make photographs. Join JoAnne and myself on the late afternoon/early evening of Thursday June 13th from 4-9. Check it out on the Adorama Workshop site. It’s all good, it’s all great, it’s all magic. One opening left for the rodeo workshop.
To all the ships at sea,
If it’s May, it has to be the Indianapolis 500. This photograph was selected by Sports Illustrated as the third greatest photograph in the last 100 years of the 500. They reproduced it in the centennial issue and on their website. That’s the good news, the bad news is they never asked me. Does the word “copyright” mean anything to anyone? Who said “power to the people”? No, it’s “power to the corporation”, step on all the people. In this society, we all have to play by the same rules. Actually, I think someone wrote that in the Constitution. To my friends; go out and make some great photos. Capture history with a camera. Life is good, life is great. Health and happiness to everybody, even SI.
Dennis Wheeler is one of the finest artists in America today. He has to his credit: his work is in the permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art, and his artwork is in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. When he talks about Andy, he’s not talking about Andy Rooney; he’s talking about Andy Warhol. He also has 40 Time covers to his credit. He’s one of the smartest and most creative people I’ve ever met. Extremely bright, creative, and quite humble. If you ever have an opportunity to be in Hillsdale, stop by his gallery. It’s absolutely awesome. And he makes a mean martini! How bad could it be?
Have a great day, Joe D signing off.
To all the ships at sea, I remember the first time that JoAnne photographed Richie Havens at a great club called My Father’s Place. What was so outrageously cool about clubs like that is that you could be literally five feet from a superstar. So for the cost of a beer, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, life was great; at least before the no photograph rules. I remember I was so jealous; I was in California and she was with Richie. Richie invited JoAnne and her friend into the dressing room, signed some autographs, and was just plain Richie, which means he was just a great guy with a great attitude; never a prima donna. Super voice and super guitar.
To All the Ships at Sea,
I have a very dear friend that I have the utmost respect for. She constantly reminds me not to use certain terms. Well, I know she’s right and for the most part, I always listen to her. I’ve decided to take two words out of my vocabulary. One word is “no”…not in my vocab. Second word is “but”…not in my vocabulary (do I occasionally slip? Absolutely). Anybody following my blog knows that my dear friend Bert Sugar has moved on to the Irish Bar in the sky, where the double cutty sarks are wrapped around the perfume of cigar smoke (there was a day when you could smoke in bars). While researching for my book, Shooting From the Inside Out, I came across this note the Sugar man sent to me. I’d like you to look at it, read it, close your eyes and just think good thoughts. On that note, I wish you health and happiness.
All the Best,