Friday, May 22, 2009

Steve Martin

Because a number people have asked about him, I am posting my picture of Steve Martin.

Time: the late eighties. Place: our loft on Lafayette Street, New York City. The buzzer rang. I answered it. "It's Steve Martin", the voice said.

"Please come up. Ninth floor."

I waited at the entrance to the loft, wondering nervously what the size of his entourage would be. How will I get them all out of the way. Out stepped Mr. Martin from the elevator, dressed in a trilby hat, tie and blazer... alone. No agent, publicist, friend, lawyer, body guard, or wife.

Once I asked a writer who came to a shoot not to talk to the subject while I was photographing him, but he persisted, so I asked him to wait, please, downstairs, in the coffee shop. He was furious. I like not a soul present when taking a photograph. After all, I wouldn't interrupt the writer if he was writing or interviewing.

Mr. Martin drank some coffee, liked it, made polite conversation, telephoned his wife about the purchase of a painting and never made a funny remark or told a story. He disappeared to the bathroom three or four times. He complied with my directions from behind the camera with absolute exactness.

As we saw Mr. Martin off at the entrance to the elevator, one of us asked if he liked cats. "Oh! I love them, why?"

"We weren't quite sure what to do." Caroline said. "We have three. But in case you didn't like them we put them in the neighbor's apartment for the morning.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon, the English painter, would be one hundred years old this year. I am posting this photograph a little late in the day, as his exhibition has already been seen in Madrid and London, but it has turned up at the Metropolitan Museum here in New York this week.

I took the picture in the late seventies. When he arrived at the studio, he sat down in front of the camera and fell asleep. He did not mind at all being woken up and stayed awake while I took the picture. He had an especially pleasant voice and gentle manner.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Touching Hats

Here and below are lovers. Different generations and less ardour in one than the other but both equally touching. Here I asked if I could take their picture but said very little. They were happy to look at each other. This was taken in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, NY.

Russian American relations

These lovers were taken at the Russian department's V-Day dinner at Vassar College. The young man, Andrew, is Russian and his friend, Michelle, is American. They have one thing in common with the "Touching Hats" : their lips are about the same distance from each other. The older couple's lips stayed at this distance; these two continued forward toward each.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An accident waiting to happen

As dog owners go this man is a good one. He warns you as you approach him not to take a step nearer as his dog will bite you. This, of course, may not be true; he may just not like strangers addressing him. But he agreed to being photographed.

He was sitting outside Tillie's in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY.

Mother, child and friend

This group were sitting next to the man with the dog at Tillie's . (See above.)