good evening and welcome and we’re so very glad to have you join us tonight to celebrate our summer exhibitions there are these are all truly wonderful exhibitions they range from a delightful interactive that I know that you’re all going to want to play with in the songs of summer exhibition which is the current iteration from the museum’s superb Audubon collection to our southern artists southern art ? exhibition which features the work of 25 of the artists represented in the facing south exhibition and before I speak to you about that project please indulge me while I thank my staff for the wonderful job that they have done in preparing and installing these shows Scott Mike Andrew Colleen Janet Delhi Andy Danielle and Jessica congratulations on a job well done now which brings me to Dennis Harper who you will hear from in a few minutes as part of our program tonight and I wanted to say a special thank you to him for being the kind of curator who makes me and the entire museum look good every day and I always appreciate your good work now tonight you will have the singular opportunity of hearing from both the curator and the artist in our question-and-answer version of Inside the Actors Studio that award-winning TV show on Bravo has been revealing intimate portraits of our favorite actors for over 18 years I looked on the internet today and i’m not sure what we are going to find out today but you never know meanwhile let’s talk about Jerry Siegel the artist Jerry came to us with a portfolio of portraits of southern artists over four years ago and we knew that we not only wanted to do an exhibition of this work but also wanted to produce a major publication of the work and it was only a matter of how and when seeing our very positive reaction to the work Jerry assured us that he needed much more time to get things done and so we made lists of places for him to visit in the South people to talk to get names of artists and he went forth and the photographs multiplied he made beautiful beautiful images of extraordinary people some we knew of some we had only heard of others we had absolutely no idea where he got them from but we were about to find out and and and so we have as you see from the exhibition and from the catalog it soon became clear that we were going to have to rein in mr. Siegel limiting the project to 100 images which we have today on exhibit but understand that this is an open-ended project I’m sure he is still making artists portraits as well as producing many of the beautiful documents that he does of the South its people its places its peculiarities its passions of course its problems I want to thank our special donors who made this project possible but I cannot because they have asked to remain anonymous so I mentioned them only to remind all of you that such sponsorship is the lifeblood of so much of our programming and exhibitions so even though I can’t tell you who they are or if they are even in the room help me thank them please and finally special thanks to our catalog essayists the all the artists who took part in the project some of whom are in the audience and hopefully they’ll introduce themselves to you during the reception and our good friends at the University of Alabama press the catalog is beautiful and you’ll want to get a copy intent Dada that’s my next line he’s stepping on my lines and I said if you’re really nice to him Jerry might be able to sign it tonight Jerry you have a pen good ok now if you will help me give a warm welcome to the artist Jerry Siegel and the curator Dennis Harper Marilyn said that i’ll be doing James Lipton but I promise I won’t ask you your favorite sound your these beds good and whether or not you believe there’s heaven and that sort of thing this is it so this is heaven this is that so but we will have that kind of James Lipton like format basically just to calm it down a little bit a little bit more casual the I think it’s a summertime treat to be able to have a conversation with the artist and that was really the way that Jerry was

working a conversation with his subjects with the camera but getting to know them and then capturing their character and their personality on film or in digital form but before I go into my Lipton life cards I thought I might give Jerry the opportunity to say a couple of things before I jump in thank you I just wanted to thank all of you for coming out thank you to Marilyn and joke on Smith museum for making this happen into Dennis and all y’all’s hard work and Scott and you had the list you got to remember everybody it’s a museum but thanks to all of y’all for making this happen and all the people who’ve come out and familiar faces and family I appreciate it and look forward to catching up with all y’all after the top thank you and you’ll have to beg I’ll beg your indulgence because i have a little technology here of just some of the images that might be able to pull up in case it illustrates the point that Jerry’s making so if you see me fumble with fingers just watch him so I guess really the first question ought to be how did all this begin started with just my love of shooting pictures of people I don’t know if I thought of it as portraiture at the time but my first love was shooting people and two of my dearest friends were mary ward brown a writer and Crawford Gillis who was in the show a painter and I used to spend time with them and I photographed the two of them and shortly after I photographed another artist in Selma John Lapsley and sort of had it a few things going it’s Crawford and right on the heels of that bill allen at the georgia museum and i asked me to shoot lamar died for his book that he was doing the truth in things and so I dad did it four or five portraits and there was a few other ones that I had shot Charles shonda was another early one and Bill suggested that I had this great series going of late career southern artists so it sort of started out as late career there’s not many young artists that we have a couple and it was just a passion for shooting people and meeting artists it was just a it was so much fun to go to their studios to sit down and talk to them but the Genesis was just love of shooting people so you didn’t really set out to had no idea that I remember so official did it was gonna be facing south in 1994 yeah now you you knew some of the artists beforehand obviously and you got to meet new acquaintances along the way I’m sure that most of the artists that you came across welcomed you and supported this project but I just wonder if any of them were anyway suspicious of your intentions or you know were reticent in any way I don’t think there were any suspicions I was beyond fortunate that the artist that I really there was there was several groups are artists that I had met that I wanted to photograph their artist whose work I admired that I wanted to photograph and then they’re artists that I just knew reputation and a lot of times it was an introduction one of the real interesting parts was old photograph an artist I photograph photograph an artist down in Mississippi and he didn’t make the show but he was one that didn’t make it but he said well if you you know like what I do you need to see John Boehner in Nashville and john boehner said well if you’re going to shoot come to Nashville let me introduce you to the greatest person I know it’s my ex-wife can either shoot chamber attic which is interesting but it was always a domino effect when artists would introduce me to three more artists and those artists would introduce me to others so it was a combination there was really not any pushback from anybody a few people asked what what was the final project and how long did I want to take a tacho Meyer had an introduction with her and she said well how long do you need and I said well I like to come in and sit down and chat for a little bit and she so i can give you 30 minutes and i remember saying miss comer 30 minutes is exactly what i was looking for and that’s exactly i remember getting back in my car after the shoot and it literally had been 30 minutes it was I don’t think she knew that but it was she was gracious for a very short period of time and some of them I spent two hours with four hours with it just all depended on how busy they were and what my schedule was but no pushback I go and there’s kind of a tacoma myrick she’s up on the screen she does look in control she was the grande um yeah the very nice and we I mean in in that 30 minutes time we went in we sat at her house she told me a little bit about the African art she

collected and we went to her studio as well which was pretty amazing behind her but it was now other artists you had mentioned once about alférez and his stories Steve he was the one that I really got lucky on Enric afns as a sculptor in New Orleans and when I photographed him he was 94 and had an introduction through a gallery owner Donna / at New Orleans and I called and said I’d like to come over he said okay great and I found out later through my brother and other people who knew him and about him that his wife was 25 years his junior was very protective of him and she happened to be in Mexico at the foundry working it’s on some pieces so I went to his he had an old church that had been renovated into a studio in New Orleans and we spent about probably five hours and I asked a few questions he was loved to talk love to tell stories and he was one of them every one of them was interest i could tell you an interesting story about all one hundred and forty or fifty but I asked him if he knew Diego Rivera based on his age and he said I a new Rivera he had his deed max you guys think said he’s a phony in a son of a yeah he was a bad as he hung with brought the cops’ll gets a big hat of his daughter thinks he’s part of the revolution ass but one of my favorite parts of it was at the very end I’d been with him for quite a while I said I really shouldn’t take him over your time you know let me say goodbye and he said no no don’t go I want to show you the new work I’m doing and he was in 94 years old and before I could go he had to share with me this new project that he was doing and that just always stuck with me that 94 he was still engaged and doing new things and that’s just he’s one of the real interesting yeah well you know you you mentioned a little bit about how you came across some of these artists say bill island or Marilyn or I may have suggested some angel you one artist would mention three others you could you talk a little bit more about that process of how you know we we know how these names came to you but what happens after you hear a John Doe over in Jacksonville what what happens then usually if is it a cold yeah usually it’s a phone call you know emails is one way to do it but always I think that most of them with phone calls that I remember I always tried to pick up the phone and make contact as opposed to just you know especially in the early days I’m it started in 94 so there wasn’t much as it as it progressed probably the last few years shooting it was easier to email and contact and actually send images which I think probably helped the process a lot you know I think when people would you know when I’d ask him to sit and explain what I was doing and I would send I’m a handful of images you know people have always responded to the the images luckily and they were pretty receptive there I act I really can’t think of anybody that would turn me down there were a couple of interesting ones like LV hull of him kosciuszko and nub matters I never contacted them they didn’t know who I was I just literally knocked on the door I’d been seeing Bernie items in Columbus and he said you know LD and I said no I don’t he told me where kosciuszko wasn’t I said home so I drove around kosciuszko and when as I’m looking for a folk artist and they said what I said lady who makes folk art they said well there’s some lady around the corner has all this crazy stuff in her yard so I drove around there and I drove around and kept asking people and walked up and just knocked on the door said her uld hall and she said huh huh and it up spending a couple hours with her and I’m not sure she understood completely what I was doing but she was generous with her time and she was great fun to talk to and you just pull up with a digital camera or a 35-millimeter camera I always travel with more stuff and what I like to do is walk in with one camera in one lens or I have a small backpack but I my approaches if the sitter is more relaxed whether it’s an artist I’m photographing or a commercial assignment if the people is comfortable and relaxed you’ll get the best portrait they’ll relax and I can remember shooting people and our sudden they did you talk to them and they let their guard down or they’ll get bored and they’ll go it’s like don’t move don’t move that’s it you know and you wait for that that moment but I prefer to shoot with available light with one camera and I have there are pictures that you’ll

see in there this light just wasn’t good and had to bring out one light and but I always tried to make it feel as natural as possible and you said that kuhlmeier sort of gives you the bum’s rush after half an hour but what’s a typical session an hour two hours everyone’s different I was with Marshall Boden for over six hours and I finally said I really have to go cuz I was going down to some to Mississippi from Clarksdale and had a can’t remember now it’s almost an hour drive and I wanted to get down there before the end of the day and someone were a little bit different I think at the end when I’ve talked to a few people there was an artist in Birmingham and when I showed up she said so what do you want to do so it was a because I’d already the book was in place earlier on it was when I can’t say I’m working on this project and I’m hoping so be a book in an exhibition and here’s the work that I’ve done and here’s what I’ve where I’m that on it at the very end with some that we were doing they knew it was a book and it became almost a little bit more well let’s shoot the picture as opposed to when I went and saw George to row and just said we sat down and probably talked for an hour and a half before I ever picked up the camera so everyone’s everyone’s a little bit different I wonder if you have maybe it’s hard to decide it’s like weighing the characteristics of your children do you have any favorite or eight one or two favorite images or can you do that ask me today and ask me tomorrow I’ll tell you something but I really enjoyed Marshall Bolden and certainly have an image when my night Marshall is talk about him he’s in his 90s I brought him up several times obviously but he’s a portrait painter and probably one of Mississippi’s most famous or important artists but because he does portrait see he shoots pictures of his subjects and he has some background in photography so we talk a little bit for photography but it wasn’t as much the connection on photography as much as the connection of how to make a portrait and what you’re looking for and what’s a good portrait and what’s not a good portrait and it was just a real it was just a real ease with us you know some people you just nobody was not nice nobody wasn’t gracious everybody was wonderful but there was he was just one that just was like being with family or something they ended up spending the whole morning with him I wouldn’t had lunch with him and his wife and went back to the studio and like I said I finally had you know in there certain images that I like just which I think that rack or always translates into a good image no because sometimes the the report was good in the image wasn’t as good and sometimes the image was was probably not as good but or maybe it’s just for me what I like you know as images respond to certain images because of emotion and I’ve told this story about other work not this work but I was doing a show and I kept putting in an image and the galleries kept taking it out and she finally said I know you like that but it really kind of sucks and she and I realized when we talked about it more that it meant something to me because the time in the place sometimes it was a great experience with the artist or a great time of day or just something that yeah my emotions don’t relate to everybody’s so for me it was a personal thing you know the best images the ones that I respond to that all of you respond to and has a universal field appeal but sometimes I have my own personal attachments and don’t relate to everybody else so it’s hard to see it objectively because yes yes and that’s when I love working with you know with you and Maryland on this and other curators I work with I love to see how y’all will pull images because you see it in with fresh eyes and I’ve been looking at examine just some of them for 94 96 for a long time and I get attached to them well as I was saying to the docents this morning it was a joy working on the project but there were some curiously frustrating months when we would we would pour over six or seven or eight variations of one subjects views and find some that we really liked and narrow it down and choose one and then two or three days later maybe a week later Jerry would send me an email with another image and he said what do you think about this and it’s a knockout and said Jerry where was that and he said well yeah I didn’t like it till

yesterday so it it does it constantly changes and there’s i think when i leave a shoot i have something in my head probably not as much as I did earlier but even now if I go to a shoot and I’m shooting there’s usually something especially digital you see it on the back of the camera I see something I think is a shot and I really a lot of times it takes stepping away from and I always like to look at it and getting get into it but if you step away from it and come back to it with fresh eyes without thinking about this is what I wanted to say or this is what I was looking for this really worked for me you’ll find some gems in there that you didn’t know you had and well you know obviously this is a very focused body of work pardon no I’m indebted actually a very specific body of work the portraits of southern visual artists that you’ve been working on now for just about two decades but I wonder if we could maybe ease off of that fruit I’m in and talk about some of the things that you’ve worked and worked on in the past other projects you’re working on now other subjects that have captured your attention to sustained it in the body of work well most of the work that I’ve done for the people don’t know me i was i was born and raised in selma and have only lived in the south and very connected to it still and so I’ve always shot whenever I was home but I think in late early two thousand eight he died in two thousand right after that I started shooting more round sale my noticing buildings were gone and I had this new panorama camera and started shooting a lot of panorama images of the of the area which made me start thinking about the black belt region in general and the things that were important growing up so I kind of went away from just panoramas it all ties together but one way from the panoramas to shooting iconic images that I remember growing up and there was a picture of the kitchen that we all hung out in there was the temple that we grew up then there’s what’s hit there’s awkward Gary who had a gallery to sound mother of all of these but some of the iconic things r uncle jerry’s house and this was at his house and his mother lived to be a hundred and six and they would take turns going up and down in the chair and from that it just kind of shooting some pictures in the house focused me on the house for a little bit and i did a whole portrait I really consider all the work that I do portraiture even others not people in the shots but the next picture daddy’s clothes in the closet were a lot of these shots somebody said when the nice thing is it was there’s always humanity in your images whether the people are there you always feel the presence so I did this whole portrait of the house which was called route to about 3 40 80 which was the dress when we were kids has changed several times and I’m the temple kind of morphed into a project called ten Jews left which is what’s left of the Jewish congregation at the temple Mishkin Israel and one of my favorite images into all these things are all separate bodies of work from route 22 tin Jews left to the black belt but they all have come together in the University Press and universe that my own presence now doing a book it’ll be in 2014 which will be a combination of all this work because it really all does fall under the black belt and me responding to the things that I grew up with and the things that I remember and a portrait of a poor to the South you know with outlets you know it’s not it’s not Atlanta and it’s not a Birmingham in bigger cities but this app has changed a lot but when you get into the small towns and the rural areas it’s very little has changed and it’s quite unique and interesting what about your earliest works um do we have how did you start off working seriously as a photographer well I was attempted college which was not a very good just one thing I didn’t do well at I think we have some early stuff and ended up in a night class photography class it was a continuing education class it wasn’t part of the curriculum and at the end of the class they showed a bunch of slides by different famous photographers and one of them that they are the teacher liked was Diane Arbus and that was second year

second or third year in college I had just got my camera when I was 19 so that was sophomore year some in junior year at that point I was just totally hooked and was captivated with taking pictures had to do it I shot a lot of people on the streets a lot of portraiture but she was the influence and did that for quite a while and you know during all this time I was also a commercial photographer advertising photographer and shot for coca-cola and bellsouth and product shots and colin powell and jimmy carter and hank aaron so it’s always even through all the the product stuff the focus has always been on portraiture and people now you’re your uncle Jerry had a at a gallery in Selma and so you had experience with first-hand with art and artists meeting artists from a young age did that affect you was at the earliest spark to make you want to become an artist yourself I don’t think so I had this you know weird this is like the snippet that I remember being a kid and having a little flimsy easel set up in the living room so at some point when I was a kid I thought I wanted to paint but there’s no evidence that I ever this is nothing no evidence that ever did a painting or a drawing or anything and even though Jerry had the gallery I don’t really remember hanging out down there and being done involved with him until I was in my late 20s so after you had already raked up the camera roster and I was really much more interested in for I mean photography is art but I was really once I got into college I wanted to take pictures because a good friend down there had all these great pictures of going to tell your ID and going to the beach and all of his friends and that’s what I wanted to do was take pictures of all my friends and all these great things and I’d shoot a jazz fest and Mardi Gras and then I took this class inside the work of DNR bus and that’s when it really excuse me became more of a focus on really wanting to be a photographer and then later I kind of because of that I started getting more interested in our in general what are you working on concurrently with these artists in their studios we’ve got the black belt series still working on the black belt series and still shooting artists I’ve done four or five birmingham birmingham artists recently there’s they skew w a little bit younger I really not that the young artists aren’t great but I’d love the the you know my great aunt pom-pom lifted 106 I’ve always enjoyed that my best friend’s is Mary Brown is 95 and I love sitting down and talking with people of older than me there’s a certain wisdom that they give to me and it’s just a generosity of spirit that I’ve noticed with the artist not that the young artist that I’m going in their studios now and photographing aren’t but there’s just a different level of wanting to give back well you know minute ago you were talking about your conversation with mr. Bolden and what makes a good portrait what makes a good image I wonder you know when if you could come back to that for you what is it besides that personal connection you know the formal qualities how do you know when you’ve when it clicks how do you know when you’ve connected well I respond to him when I feel like I’ve when they relaxed and given me sounds weird to say when they’ve given me the portrait but if I spend time with somebody and they found that relaxed point where they you know have gone from being aware of the camera to us just talking in the way that I like to shoot that there you know there are times when I’ve used flash and it’s been beneficial beneficial but i prefer i guess i don’t know for sure when i shoot when it’s the best portrait the best feedback is the feedback that I’ve gotten for family and friends of artists and they say you you really captured them because it’s not even four hours is a good amount of time but in the big scope of thing I call somebody your email somebody and say I’d like to come photograph you they agree we pick a time I show up and to 24 hours later I’ll leave and if I managed to you know capture a little bit that tells a little bit of story that people number one like to look at and maybe make some inquisitive a little bit when a little bit more about that artisan I feel like it’s been successful but the biggest thing that I enjoy morning thing is there’s a portrait of a guy named Bill Morlan and he had had a stroke and I

went to photograph him in he moves around the apartment a little bit he was still trying to paint and he was painting but he got around very slow and we were shot in the studio for a few minutes we went back in sat in the living room and there’s a shot of him just sitting in the charity she’s sort of leaning on his hand and I’ve always liked a shot and I don’t know now if it’s the story but I got the greatest note from his wife that said you know Bill really enjoyed being with you it was a fun and great day for him but more than that we really used somehow managed to capture bill the way we knew him because he was not the same bill he didn’t get around he didn’t have the same energy and wasn’t the same guy and there’s several stories another artist in Charleston they Manning Williams who was in early stages of dementia and his family in one of his students he was the mentor to said you don’t know how you captured him he’s two weeks ago he was a different person but somehow in the time you spent with him you really captured the essence of who he was somehow it came out then that means a lot you know that you know it has a mortal lasting value I appreciate that it was interesting in our talk this morning with the docents about yeah different artists and their attitudes about making art and of course many of them are self-taught artists a lot of them are academically trained artists some of working in very traditional genres others are experimental and someone asked about asked the question whether you had photographed any photographers then and there are there several in there and you know they and perhaps some of the painters I won’t name one of the one of the names myself you can bring MF if you want to who are very manipulative in their own imagery and very controlling and perhaps you might relate what you said about the photography and and i think i was in how the photographers I don’t know if intimidated is the right word but there was a different it took me longer to relax with a number of the photographers something I think because I’m being a photographer I’ve had my photograph done and I’m looking at somebody going why are you shooting me from there the lights horrible you know yeah yeah and I don’t know if they thought that but when a photograph William christenberry auragole stone you know it was neither I was you know a little bit for a few minutes I mean they made me feel realities christenberry was such a gentleman and it was easy to talk to and we were out in the woods and that made it a lot easier and you know I hurt you know you hear all kinds of stories about eggleston but is he was as nice as he could be but I feel like I have people loved that shot and I love it it’s one of my you know I think it’s a really strong image but I think in some cases he probably he was aware of what what he how he was posing more so they’re so and I remember looking through a lot of the different proofs you had and just about all of them he had the same pose you’d let you get a little closer he push you back sometimes they were I think he knew he knew what he looked like through your lens well I think I’ll all the artists I mean you know being an artist you know it’s all about light and how the light hits things and how you build a painting and I think all art is probably have an idea of what’s going on when I’m photographing them but I think photographers probably maybe a little bit more into go and why are you over there and now you said that they were supportive of your efforts but some maybe weren’t reticent but they might have been a little shy no you know this image yeah Benjamin asked him he was living Jones in German Jones and he said yes I can shoot you but I really don’t want to and I showed up at his house and he said can we do it in a mask and actually this image was part of a show called artist photographing artists and they actually showed the image of him with the mask and I think he probably prefers it we ended up we ended up this image which i think is a really great image of him and it kind of that he was and it wasn’t that he didn’t want to be photographed he was just painfully shy and you know we Marilyn and I and of course you as the artist had the privilege of being able to see a lot of iterations and I know it would have been nice if we had two more galleries to be able to have smaller versions of some of

the variations but I think you know for instance we have the hue Williams here and his was a good case of having a really difficult time trying to narrow down the one for the book and for the exhibition and you know maybe if I pull them up this this is the one that we weren’t chose but perhaps you could even but we had talked about some of the other images right I’m be Madonna but everybody was so nice and he was so nice when I was there and the studio was just amazing there were so many great things going on his drawings the the wire pieces his drawings were were great backdrops and amazing pieces to see the light was great in there and every it’s just everything worked sometimes you kind of you know every now and then never been a couple that I felt like I was had to work real hard not very many but with you everywhere there were so many good ones and he just maybe it was he was really comfortable in his skin and really felt comfortable with me but they really there were so many nice shots to choose from it was it was hard and I still go back and forth you know and when I which one I like a mile of the one in the show that they’re all they bring something different the one I really love this shot it doesn’t tell you as much about it doesn’t give you as much insight maybe on if that’s maybe a little bit too much but usually I try to include some some piece of art or home or environment to give you a little bit of sense of who they are and where they are give you a little bit inside I think it’s a really great portrait but you don’t know when one of the things that Julian Cox wrote in his essay for the book the Julian is the former curator of the high museum and now as the chief curator at the deyoung was about your inclination to show the studio and in many cases it was a portrait of the studio that helped to support the personality of the finger and they were as he put it they were with at one with with their art you know really before it and you really do see in a lot of these images that immersion and you know even though the body ends here in the studio picks up there right and a lot of these you really see that connection I think probably photographing them in their studio probably worked in my favor as opposed to their portraits a lot of people have photographed Southern writers in not that they don’t have their work space but a lot of them are portraits against bag drops and different things but when you can I think most artists are probably most comfortable when they’re in their studio and surrounded by their work so I think that probably worked to my advantage to include that and to just have them in that environment and then you know the photography exhibition in the book are both include both black and white and color images and you know we have examples here of the same image same image both formats and you know perhaps you might say something about how well when I was wondering when i first started shooting it was the days of film there was no digital so everything I shot was with a leica camera or house of LED camera and it was all film and I loved black and white and thought that’s all that I would ever do and in two thousand or two thousand one I got the digital camera for commercial work and realized how much i love the immediacy of it back in control again not working with any labs or to print or process or do anything at that point I didn’t have my darkroom and we looked at several images radcliffe being one of them that originally we looked at in black and white and we all agreed that was a must but then we saw the color image and it was stronger and so we just decided it instead of trying to make it consistent stay in black and white just to go with the the best and some images just worked better in gym Herbert see right there it would be a really nice image in black and white but the color is is so important especially in his paintings and his paintings right yeah and so you know with with him the scale of his paintings overwhelms the figure they think in the photograph that you chose I think you did bring it back down to human scale rather than some of these where he it’s a little bit of playing with it you know I was I wanted to show the scale of the work and in some cases I brought him forward and the one that’s in the show so that he would you really see him and some of the earlier shots he become so

small you maybe it was when you get as much as you get a better sense so the scale of his work and maybe you don’t get quite as much of that scale in the shot in the show but it was a give-and-take to be able to really see him and focus on him and get his personality and you know you with some artists who again are strong image manipulators this is bo bartlett he seems very aware anyway they were imposed and he was he was a you know he was one of the and this is not a bad thing but he was one of the few that really was active in shaping a lot of the shots a lot of the times you know he’s not here is he I was humor name cuz I didn’t think it was the case but there are times that he would say well let’s go do this and I say okay listen you know I was up for anything cuz she never know when I’m not always right but there was we shot quite a bit and it was like let’s try this and let’s go here and then I would always you know try to get back to where I thought the light was nice or where I thought I saw interest but it was it was it was like when we were picking the images it was a collaboration and it always is but he took a much more interest in actually things that he thought would be good and what he wanted to be shoe show in that was interesting in as far as I never asked anybody somebody said why’d you shoot on in his underwear well I didn’t ask him to you being just got out of the hospital and I went to visit and he was in his underwear he showed me his scars like up there was sooo picture this will be great but I didn’t ask anybody to dress a particular way so everybody just knew I was coming and when I photographed Frank Fleming I think he had been in the yard working for a couple of hours and some people got dressed and you know so it was I didn’t want to put any of those parameters I didn’t want it to be about me it’s really about the artist and letting them be themselves well I know we want to save enough time for some of them audience questions but is there anything that you wish I had asked you well trying to think if there’s anything that I’ve discussed before I or anything we talked about what the does since it we’ve skipped about him I can’t think of anything I mean it was just been I mean the show is amazing not because it’s my work it just looks great in there y’all did such a great job of hanging I was just really moved when I saw what the book is wonderful it was more than I could ever hoped for but it’s been an incredible journey to be able to go out and meet probably at this point one hundred and sixty or seventy artists and they’ve invited me to their homes and their studios and shared with me their work and their thoughts on how they do things and what they like and don’t like I mean it’s been pretty amazing I’ve made a lot of really good friends and had some really amazing people and seeing a lot of great art great well maybe we could greenhouse lights up a little bit and I’m sure that there are other questions that some of you might want to ask oh let’s see yes David for our final reasons i’m showing the art of the background are you increasingly then taking the original photograph in color then digitally converting it black and white later on or more uniform presentation and then um no subjects really didn’t have a choice I think there might have been one who wasn’t happy with an image but out of 171 is pretty good odds actually we ended up leaving him out of the book right it was an interesting so do we won’t go into he wanted too much I mean I always tried to send prints and send multiples of you know here’s one I like here several that I like but it wasn’t there was there was usually not the there was an artist in South Carolina who’s in the show who asked to see the images and he had had some help things and he was concerned about you know one side and you know but he wanted to see the images and have the approval but he said that up front but for the most part I show up and shoot and you know thank everybody in sin prints and you know offer any help I can and they’ve been generous and but usually it’s it’s my

choice or mine adenosine narrow ins card shop it depended on the person and how I love to take pictures there’s been lots of times that I’ve said you know we could keep going there’s great picture still to be had without a code meyer i was still shooting film and i had two cameras actually i did shoot some color film which I very rarely did bow shot part of two roles so probably not more than 40 images total I’m trying to think of you know in some cases probably you know hate even admitted six hundred images you know in the old days I’d be 20 rolls of film but with with digital and I have a happy you know shooting without conscience you know there’s no so it’s easy to go bang bang bang bang and make sure you get just that nuance I mean it’s amazing how one shot I’d be the exact same but just this much of just a slight turn or a look of the eye and will change it so I have a habit of hitting when I see something hitting it three or four times sometimes sometimes it’s just one frame calendar and it was I went in it was the first day of matter and i went there studio and we sat down and she leaned over on her hands and I said don’t move in a photograph tur and I think I shot probably a part of a role that day and it was the first rain than ever shot over and sometimes it’s the last frame or one of the last two or three frames but so there’s there’s no rhyme or reason it just depends on the lights good you shoot a lot if everybody’s having fun yeah Lynn do I you cell phone all day long have at it you want to say two thousand pictures of my dogs on my feet but I don’t use it for for the artist you know yeah I shot a picture we were out in Vegas and I shot of a picture of an Elvis impersonation impersonated made up about a 14 inch print that looks nice it’s not the quality of what’s hanging in there but it’s my the megapixels in my phone is the same as my first professional digital camera yeah it’s come a long way yes okay well well not all of them are born in the south and really it is a strictly a geographic distinction some of them were born here and moved away Francine many Andrews was from Georgia but he spent most of his career in New York others were born elsewhere art Rosenbaum who came in here is one of the subjects and he was born in upstate New York but he ended up in Georgia in the mid 1970s and has made a name for himself on the art scene and music scene but it’s based in in Georgia it you know some people have passed through very quickly and some have stayed a long time and we tried not to focus on you know native absolutely Native artists although many of them are they certainly don’t do art that is homogenous it’s not southern subject not southern and in fact in the corollary exhibition of the couple of dozen artists who are depicted in the book you know I tried to show the range of treatment that these artists and makers produce and let you know you as a viewer decide whether there’s a common accent and that’s really why there’s a question mark in the essay that I put in the catalogue discuss the visual arts in the South but also in that exhibition so absolutely strictly have a set foot have they resided you know in the south for some time when artists wrote me a real long email letter and said he didn’t think he belongs and shouldn’t be included because he was from New York his art had nothing to do with the south and went to a lot of detail I said yeah but you’ve been in the south for 40-something years now and so it was

really it was it was Geographic you know I mean Benny Andrews hasn’t been here but he was born and raised in the south and there’s a whole it could it could go the other way I could go to New York and there’s 20 or 30 artists on that I have it written list checked always right and list and write names down that are from Birmingham from the south that have made their way to New York and spent almost their entire career and then in New York that could fit you know probably haven’t done that costa’s salotti excuse me it’s a lot easier to get in a car and drive to Athens or drive around Alabama Louisiana Mississippi than to fly to New York but you know we were talking earlier about how some areas of whether it’s the west coast or New York or Chicago where there’s a lot of promotion of the local artists or artists who are indigenous or you know reside and work there and perhaps there’s less of that that takes place in the south and so why shouldn’t we promote and acknowledge the artists who are doing significant work but you know not all of the artists that you depicted are well-known some of them are have very small spheres of a claim I guess absolutely still doing great work right Wow while Evan I was born and raised in Selma and I live in birmingham now I was in Atlanta for 29 years and I’ve been in Birmingham for three years so I the south is really all I know I mean I’ve you know I’ve traveled to New York in a little bit but the south is is really a minutes and take a boy out of the south but I mean that’s who I am in in the early days i did about the time I got into the digital world I had quit doing the darkroom work I was doing a lot of commercial work and it was it was easier to take 20 rolls to the lab and have them do it my studio was in a lab I had a good relationship with the owner and they would do the work I always printed my own stuff up until about two thousand one what do you consider manipulate there’s some photoshop involved but no I’m not a I’m not I don’t I don’t do I worked with a guy and Atlanta my mentor he did multiple exposures we did animated animation cells and did these you know put wild put together I mean it’s nothing more manipulated than Ansel Adams did with his negatives I mean I control contrast and I control density and color it’s all about making a good final image it depends on you know obviously news it takes on a different thing when you manipulate it but it’s all about making a final image I can i’m more of a somebody said to me once you’re a better picture taker than you aren’t picture maker and i think i can make good pictures i’ve worked in the studio for so long but I capture things and I’m from more the old school of being on the street with the early stuff or spending time with people in capturing a moment as opposed to going in with an artist and setting up for lights and having everything scripted of how I want the shot to be is that it does that make sense is there anything you miss about film and getting chemicals and miss my cameras mr. Jeffries the new cameras have no soul every two years or so there’s a new one that comes out when I still have my like as in my household lads and I’m a Hasselblad I bought in nineteen eighty nineteen eighty-six was about the first body in some of the lenses were used lenses there were 20 years older than that and they’re still as good now as they were then so there was never any lifespan and you had them forever and ever and I’m sorry won’t embarrass you but you just spent a couple of weeks at the handed center on the residency working on something besides photography and we do have one of his paintings and the adjacent gallery that segues into that group but you don’t even have to talk about it but I just wanted to brag on you that you are a multimedia artist as well and a

little southern subject matter here I think with the shacks as well I’ve done a couple a little bit of painting I just love to do love putting my hands in the painting and I’ll tell this one story and then we’ll go it started with a re miller and Don and I used to go see him all the time and I was talking to him one day and asked him about a piece he was working on and he looked at me said just paint what’s in here shorty you ready and I’ve got all these paintings of shorty you know and I just started working with markers and then eventually got some paints and just kept playing with it well we can carry on the question-and-answer out in the reception so please join us out there and thank you all

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