July 12, 2010

The Influence of Arnold Newman Exhibition, July 26 – August 14

This summer, The Maine Media Workshops has organized a weeks worth of events to honor the memory of photographer Arnold Newman, who taught at MMW for many years. One event is a group photography exhibit of former assistants and students of his who also happen to have affiliations with the workshops.

I had the pleasure – others would say pain! – of assisting  “Mr. Newman” (to you and me)  while I was working one summer at MMW, and then during my very first weeks as an photographer’s assistant in New York. Arriving in New York back then, I was green. I could not plug in a Dyna-Light pack. Fortunately for me, neither could he! Mr. Newman was old school: tungsten hot lights and long, long exposures. And ties.

I arrived at his studio just off Lincoln Center early one September morning in 1990. I remember he did mention something about wearing a tie. I dressed for the day well enough, but really forgot about the whole tie thing. I mean, who the hell wears a tie anymore?

Well, he did. And he preferred his assistants to as well.

I was greeted by a slam of books on the table and “god dammed assistants, go get a tie.” Arnold’s dear wife, Augusta, kindly and calmly directed me to a vender in Lincoln Center.

And I still have that cheesy polyester tie in my closet.

In any event, I am proud to have been asked by Elizabeth Greenberg, the Director of Education at MMW, to participate in this show. The print I selected for the show (below) is from a project of mine in Scotland. I think it’s a proper homage to the portrait master. I am also pleased to have kept up my long association with the workshops over the years. After all, it’s really where it all started for me.

School Boys. Keith, Scotland 2002

School Boys. Keith, Scotland 2002