When I first arrived in Boulder last summer, I was determined to find the community that had eluded me in my adult life. I met with anyone who would see me, then asked to meet their friends. Christian Macy gave me a big hug. Scrib gave me a seat at the table. Erica O’ Grady gave me an even bigger hug (sorry Christian). Caffeinated Mornings invited me to share my work. Boulder Digital Works made me an artist in residence. Sina Simantob took me into the inner sanctum of the City Club and showed me a gallery I could inhabit. Eight months later, here we are.
I have taken pictures almost every day since the age of 7. Photography has taken me all over the world, and opened many doors. It has supported me, frustrated me, astonished me, all the while becoming a part of how I interact with everything.
My photographs are stories before they are photographs. They are exchanges with the subjects, exchanges about the feelings within us and between us. A zillion photographs are taken everyday, yet we are all still trying to capture what we are feeling. I have the same itch to get at that feeling that I had as a child.
This work was all born from the same heart in very different circumstances.
There is Sophia Loren who did her own hair and makeup and strapped on a leaf blower in Beverly Hills.
There is Ewan MacGregor on the set of Big Fish posing for an article on smoking for Maxim magazine.
There is the only posed picture of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates together. They were whispering the most competitive craziness to each other while smiling at me. The photo was featured on the cover of Fortune magazine and has since become an iconic moment.
There is Diane Sawyer who was not that comfortable taking pictures until I played a bootleg recording of Bruce Springsteen singing, “I would drive all night just to buy you some shoes” from a show we had seen the night before at Madison Square Garden.
There is my son Jackson indulging his father while a shark slithered by, and my son Asher owning the porch in Maplewood for that precious moment before it passed hands.
There is our cover boy, Claudio Carneiro, a performance artist via Cirque de Soleil now star of Brazilian SNL.
Then there is Glenn Beck shooting himself in the foot. Somehow I find myself Glenn Beck’s “communist” friend. It is a relationship based on the trust and friendship of two people who could not be further apart politically. Glenn had just called Obama a racist on the air, and I phoned him up and told him that what he said was insane, and he had just shot himself in the foot. Weeks later I took Glenn out in the desert and created that moment.
My photographs are based upon finding the place we are all connected. The camera is my rabbit in the hat. Even more now than ever. Ideas I never would have found without my camera. Here on the wall to share with you.