Saturday, May 3, 2014

Photography History

I began my photography studies as an extension division student at the Parsons School of Design which was the art division of the New School in New York City. The chairman of the photography department was documentary photographer Benedict Fernandez, who had been the teacher of my photo teacher. So I had a direct connection to Ben. After I left my day job as a systems analyst for a Wall Street commercial bank (the only 'straight' job I ever had - thank God!) Ben, through my teacher, made it possible for me to travel to Moscow as part of a group of students with a grant from Nikon/Time Magazine to produce an individual project.  That was my first immersion into the world of documentary work. After a time I lost touch with Ben, but ran into him again in 2007 at the Photo Expo in New York. He gave me the opportunity to put on a solo show of my work at his gallery in Hoboken, NJ - The Almanac Gallery. Over the course of his long career as a photographer and educator, Ben has facilitated the same kinds of opportunities for many photographers.

Ben has a show of his work dating from the 1960's - 70's at the Bronx Documentary Center, and was featured this past week on the New York Times Lens Blog. This past Friday I attended the opening of his show at the Documentary Center where I took some pictures of Ben (surprise, surprise, eh?) entertaining the crowd with stories of a bygone era.