The other day I was privileged to have lunch with a very dear friend of mine. Don Sergeant, an extremely bright, creative and dynamic Vietnam war veteran, whose main responsibility in this world is to save lives; a beautiful man. When we finished lunch, I stopped by The Forge Gallery and said hello to another dear friend, Phil Rachelson. Phil is not only a great artist, he also has the ability of generating great designs in his gallery. He displays the artwork in a way; it’s pleasant to the eye and geometrically sound. It’s a special Christmas show, to all the ships at sea, if you have an opportunity stop by and support the artists and the gallery. Great art at great prices. -Joe D.
To all the ships at sea, last week ranged from brutal to inconceivable, and back to brutal cubed. I was suffering from negativity, which was probably my doing because I allow things to bother me. Well, enough of that. A young man showed up on our doorstep with a number 2 pencil and a tape recorder and interviewed JoAnne and myself. Separately, as a matter of fact, which I thought was a pretty innovative way of doing it (“no white lies, you’ll get caught!”). There’s something about a consummate professional; there’s an aura about them. In my experience, they’re bright, intelligent, soft spoken, and honest. I’m talking about Michael Hartnett. I normally have some minor defense mechanisms in place, but Michael was able to have me drop them in about ten seconds. Great interviewer, again I was totally impressed. We talked a little bit about some of his art and he showed me this beautiful illustration with which I fell in love. Then he explained that he makes them in the woods. Makes a record photograph and within hours it disappears. The initial concept threw me for a loop. You mean I can’t take it home? I can’t put it on my wall? It’s not archival? It’s here today, gone tomorrow? Then I gave it a little bit more thought and realized how brilliant it is. Just like us; here today, gone tomorrow. He’s written a novel called Tales of Allamucha; expect to see it on Amazon in the upcoming future. What a breath of fresh air! This is Joe DiMaggio signing off. PS, he was writing an article on JoAnne and myself for The Milford Journal. Check out the July issue.
“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.
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.
Hi to All the Ships at Sea,
It’s a little known fact that JoAnne and I had an illegitimate son, by the name of Dylan (just joking.) Please understand across the studio just came a comment…”You’re out of your mind what are you saying?.” So let’s just be honest, I am out of my mind, I agree, it’s just the nature of the beast. Dylan at a very young age had a babysitter, by the name of Dennis Wheeler. Dennis’s art is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. In my humble opinion he is one of the finest artists of our time. In those days we lived on the sea and rainbows were relatively commonplace. They usually happened after it rained…I never quite did figure that out. One day Dylan decided to paint rainbows. He painted, I don’t know, somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty different rainbows. I think JoAnne said to him one day, “Why don’t you sit outside on the stoop and maybe you can sell the rainbows to people who pass by.” (You can tell who the mercenary business person is in our small company) That’s why she is the brains and the beauty.
Dylan sat outside with the rainbows as people would come by and pick them up for 2 cents each. The timing on this was approximately ten months after Musician Doug Stegmeyer went on to playing bass on a different plateau. There was a knock on the door and it was Peggy Stegmeyer, who lived down the street. In her hand was one of Dylan’s rainbows. She very softly said, (I am paraphrasing) “Joe, this is the first time a smiled in almost a year.” I’ve been known to say, all the great things in the world are free and occasionally a great piece of art may only sell for 2 cents. But it made some one very happy.
All the Best, Joe D
As a man or woman makes the journey from birth to death along the way they meet people who change their life. It’s given with our parents and family. There are maybe 8 or 10 people who radically changed the direction of my life other than my parents of course . Today I will just talk about one – Will Barnet who passed away November 13 at age 101.
My partner JoAnne Kalish had an assignment to photograph Will and she did these amazing and iconic portraits of Will and they became close. One day Will invited us to lunch and on that day I learned more about art, art appreciation and art history in a very short period of time then any other time in my life.
There will only be one Will Barnet – He was a warm, kind, generous, exceptionally talented, and a humble human being. I’ve been known to say the greatest things in life are free. On New’s Years Day 2012 Will Barnet gave us a million dollar gift by merely calling to wish us a Happy New Year. My God does it get better than that?
To all the ships at sea; we very rarely see a photograph of JoAnne and I together because most of the time she’s working on one specific project and I on another. The one good thing is we always agree; she says black, I say white, she says up, I say down. It makes for one hell of a relationship. Artistically, it really works. She is an extremely fine photographer and a difficult producer. As for me; best described as pain in the ass. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Recently, there’s been a new artist community social network organization, the Milford Arts Alliance Open Gallery Tour, and we’ve had our first gallery opening for them which was extremely successful. A total of 60 clients came through with four sales. Great conversation; I thoroughly enjoyed it. A big thank you to Amy Bridge and her publication The Milford Journal, and a big thank you to Micheal Hartnett for a great photo. Have a great weekend.
Back in the day a trip to Rome would be incomplete without a once-in-a life-time experience of seeing one the greatest and most popular works of art known today. I have been back at least a dozen times, and I always discover something new in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. It was commissioned by Pope Julius the II and was painted between 1508 and 1512. Back then, with the proper credentials I was able to photograph the Chapel for fifteen minutes before it opened. Today photography is no longer allowed, and when I ask why, security explained, that they sell photos, so there is no need to take one. Rules are rules, and we all must adhere to them. I found it very interesting that photographers with 35mm cameras are stopped but people with I phones and such were not. It seemed a bit unfair to me. I normally try to spend more then an hour trying to study the color, balance, and composition. I always leave the Chapel with my jaw on the ground, and when someone says that my photos are a piece of art I am humbly appreciative, but we all know better. Tip for today, as always pre-select shutter speed aperture, focus, over-expose by three quarters to 1.5 stops, camera on silent mode, lay the camera flat on a bench, accidentally hit the self timer button and hopefully you will have a precious image of one of the greatest pieces of art of all time. The rules are the the rules, don’t break them.
As a photographer and a film maker, I have the ultimate obligation to make my clients happy. They pay me and they expect to get what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. That’s my job and I do the best possible job I can do. Of course, you always try to push the envelope or think out of the box, all of those cliches, which I interpret as putting a little of your own style into the visual medium. As a mentor and a teacher, I feel the same obligation. I take it very seriously and sometimes I go back to the studio and I wonder, “Did I do a good job, did they get it, were they able to make a better photograph?” Sometimes you know, sometimes you don’t. In every workshop there are a few photographers that shine brighter than the rest. They’re not necessarily the best photographers, but they put forth one hell of an effort. Ann Raine is a California girl who’s been transplanted to the East Coast. She loves Arabian horses and she loves photography. Attached you’ll find three of her photos and a link to several more. I’d like to thank Ann for the kind words. She motivates me to do a better job. As the truth be known, I constantly learn from the students. The student becomes the teacher, and the teacher becomes the student.
“I’ve attended numerous photo-walk workshops with Joe DiMaggio over the last several years, and I keep returning for a number of reasons: Great mentoring, interesting photographic venues, but most importantly, every time I participate in one of these day-long events, I feel a freedom to experiment, a license to open up and go-for-it (photographically speaking.) I am not as concerned about getting every photo perfect as I am in pushing the limits of my skill and knowledge, by practicing and experimenting to ultimately get the great photo!”
About 10 years ago I had a amateur photographer ask me to accompany him to a framer’s shop in a small town in PA. He had to pick up some large pieces. We pulled up to what appeared to be a huge Brooklyn New York Factory. Suffice to say it was overwhelming. We walked up a couple flights of stairs, I looked around and there was an awful lot of space. He returned home, I went back to the studio and figured I’d never see that space again and you know what I was right. I will never see that space again.
Yesterday my partner JoAnne and I took a ride to see paPA. As it turns out it’s the same factory, whoops, no not the same! Both Ron & Yvonne Parker have taken a turn-of-the-century Silk Mill and made it into an absolutely magnificent gallery space. Oops not a gallery space but an ArtSpace. From ceiling to floor it’s drop dead fabulous! It’s drenched in beautiful available light and when the available light starts to diminish their spotlights take over. If it was empty and did not have one piece of artwork it would be amazing. But once you add the eclectic artwork, you as the visitor take a voyage to a different time and place.
Both Ron and Yvonne are thinking way outside the box. They’ve subdivided their 33,000 square feet into three separate spaces and that’s just the first floor. You can envision an artist’s loft in the second space which could house at least a dozen different artists all working at the same time. Actually upwards of 20 if they wanted to.The third space you could envision as an art space for music, poetry readings etc. You could put anything in there. Then there’s a space, let’s call it the boiler room that would make a perfect theatre for multi-media shows and films. The acoustics are really great. All of this on the first floor. I will let Ron and Yvonne tell you about the rest. The outside area is large enough to put together anything from an outdoor concert to a open air art show similar to the shows in Greenwich Village. Granted it’s not around the corner but it is more than well worth a visit. I can’t wait to see what it will look like next year. They’ll probably utilize More’s Law… They have a special opening next Saturday “Yvonne Parker and Friends” July 16
paPA website – http://www.papa18473.com