My love of visual art comes entirely from my father. He graduated from The School of Visual Arts in New York City in the 1970s. Despite majoring in something other than photography (Fine Arts, perhaps?), post-graduation, it was photography that became his passion.
He converted my old bedroom into a darkroom and we spent countless hours mixing chemicals, watching images emerge from what was once an unassuming sheet of paper and hanging them from a clothesline strung around the room. We would sit in the darkness, a dim red light hanging above our heads. We would wait. We would work. And then we would wait some more.
When he was not working his “regular job” (i.e. the one that paid the bills), he was either in his studio (which used to be our living room), his darkroom or sketching at the kitchen table.
Years after he passed away, I continue receiving packages from friends and family that have come across his caricatures, notes, drawings, and sketches. But this, the image below, is one of the most personal my father ever left for me. Four months and 12 days before he died.
It is a perfect example of his child-like nature. This is what he quickly added to the guest book at my birthday celebration, for no other reason than this is just Something He Would Do. I would find sketches and doodles on cocktail napkins after events. It’s just how he passed the time. Thinking. Looking. Examining. And sharing pieces of his perspective with me. It’s how I learned to see the world, Through the Lens.