Friday, September 28, 2012

Substance is nothing. Appearance is everything

I was complaining into the phone with MaryBeth, my fine east coast writer friend and then I said the above. Unfortunately its true. Intense week...month ...year. Coop and Stephanie came to visit and arrived 3 days early which meant I had one quarter inch of my home cleaned and neat. I forgot they had dogs. Dogs aren't good for negatives and transparency that live on the floor so they moved to the Loew's Ventana resort, two minutes from my place. We ate and looked at the Danny Lyon exhibit and took fotos in my new t-shirts. Coop gracely brought me his new book published by Baby Tattoo, "Idle Hands: The Art of Coop. Everyone should own a copy.
They drove from LA to Chicago to visit Stephanie's folks then straight to Tulsa to visit his then over to Cdillac Ranch outside Armarillo to do early morning drizzle nude photos then to me.

Here is a photo Coop took of me trying to suck on Stephanie's ample left boob. She's wearing one of my new t-shirts (Big Time Threads) as shorts. My backyard. My bad luck.

They were anxious to get back to LA but we stopped at Terry Etherton's gallery for the exhibit of Danny lyon's Chicago OUtlaw Biker club photos that became "The Bikeriders" (1967). Lyon's the best. I own "Coversations with the Dead", his alarming photos inside the Texas Prison system. In it he claims he hasn't gotten close enough to his subject till he is tossed out. I know the feeling (rationale). I also own "the Destruction of Lower Manhattan" (1969), photos of the demolishing of the old building to build the World Trade Center.
Danny Lyon is my idol. My day in the late afternoon in the late Sevenites my phone rang and the voice said "hello, this is Danny Lyon". Automatically I shouted into the receiver "Fck you! Why would my hero be calling me?"He laughed and said he needed to know about my publisher, Addison House.
Besides the Tucson exhibit he will be talking and showing one of his films Oct. 5th at 6 p,m at the Center of Creative Photography.

Along with the price list the Etherton gallery had included a May 8, 1963 letter to Danny from Hugh Edwards at the Art Institute of Chicago. He praises the work Danny has done on the bikers and wishes he could help get it published with txt by someone like "Burroughs, James Jones, or John Dos Passos. "
"This time you have gone farther on and present the exciting subject without getting between it and camera. Thank you and God for not too often served social messages in these pictures. In them you evoke and provoke emotions and are modest about your own self-expression....I like photography best when it is a medium of presentation and does not impose interpretation". Brilliant remark and something for me and all other photographers to think upon.
One of my oldest friends, Bob Richardson is finally showing his fine paintings (portraits) at the Downtown Subscription 376 Garcia st. Santa Fe, N.M. 87501. Oct. 2 to Oct. 31st. Bob has unsuccessfully avoided the label `artist' but the portraits (of moi and other old friends) makes the description stick.

This is one of his fantasy portraits. The only accurate aspect of the painting is the stairs and (maybe) me that morning. Bob and I had a son together, Willie Bo Richardson who has grown up to be a fine artist, teaching at two institutions in Santa Fe and exhibiting often in Manhattan. This time in a group show at the Phillips de Pury entitled "Watercolors" 
I'll have a number of new paintings in the exhibition WATERCOLORS

viewing 1 – 19 October
hours Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm Sunday 12 – 6pm
Phillips de Pury & Company 450 West 15 Street New York 10011
Enquiries 212 940 1200 PHILLIPSDEPURY.COM

You can planely sea Bob and my influence on Willie Bo's work.

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