Since childhood, I have been blessed to be surrounded by strong capable women. Perhaps they did not feel like they were so strong at the time but they were. My bandmate Amy had asked me to photograph her daughter Stella and I jumped at the chance. Amy is a strong and capable woman who seeks her own path and in doing so, marches to the beat of a different drummer. Single parenting is never easy I know but she makes it appear graceful and deliberate. I am proud to know her and Stella is blessed to call her Mother.
“To be sure, I had, and have, spent the better part of my post-college life growing up in the public eye, with my shameful warts, big and ugly, looming there for the world to see; and it has been a mighty battle trying to be a man, a Black man, a human being, a responsible and consistent human being, as I have interfaced with my past and with my personal demons, with friends and lovers, with enemies and haters. As Tupac Shakur once famously said to me, “There is no placed called careful.” On the one hand, Tupac was right: There is not much room for error in America if you are a Black male in a society ostensibly bent on profiling your every move, eager to capitalize on your falling into this or that trap, particularly keen to swoop down on your self-inflicted mishaps. But by the same token, Tupac was wrong: There can be a place called careful, once one becomes aware of the world one lives in, its potential, its limitations, and if one is willing to struggle to create a new model, some new and alternative space outside and away from the larger universe, where one can be free enough to comprehend that even if the world seems aligned against you, you do not have to give the world the rope to hang you with.”
As a kid, my mother and grandmother used to drag me along to their "beauty shop" appointments. I could bring along a toy or a good book to occupy my time. The scientific smells, cacophonous sounds and waggish visuals of the community of women still resonates with me.
“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you dies each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.”
"If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: ‘It’s gonna go wrong.’ Or ‘She’s going to hurt me.’ Or, ‘I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore …’ Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down."
Always nice to see this wonderful couple, Don and Jana Jagoe who are such advocates and supporters of the arts at the IMC Nuit Blanche Summer Gala Party at Bellevue House, Newport, RI.
Newport, Rhode Island has always fascinated me with its rich history significance, arts and culture and interesting people and the Island Moving Company's Nuit Blanche gala event was no exception. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ronald Lee Fleming who lives in the Bellevue House in Newport where the event took place. The grounds were whimsical and wonderful with every architectural and landscape detail beautifully placed to create a magic playground for the evening's ballet performances. Ron is an accomplished man who has written several books on the urban landscape covering preservation, corporate visual responsibility and placemaking, most recently The Art of Placemaking: Interpreting Community Through Public Art and Urban Design. Thank you Ron for opening your home to IMC and the larger community for such a worthy cause.
Honored to once again photograph the Island Moving Company's Nuit Blanche "Dance is in the Air" Gala Fundraiser. If you love ballet, superb food/drinks and summer parties at a Newport Mansion please consider attending! Ticket info:
My photographs are an attempt to understand the process of creation. They represent a pilgrimage seeking answers to which the questions as well as the answers are wordless. I regard photography not just as a way of seeing but as a way of living, a search or a journey worth making.