So, for the past year, I made a great acquaintance with a true hero by the name of Rene-Julian Praz. Rene heads the NGO Link Pour Aides. It is a great organization committed to raising awareness that HIV, unfortunately, is still a very present/deadly disease that needs not only our attention but our money to help those in need. A year ago, I was asked to contribute my photography (along with 99 other photographers). Honored would be gauche. I was stunned that they even knew who I was; But, I was more than happy to help in any way possible. Rene had asked for a photograph that was of my sensibility that could be auctioned off at their annual charity event last year. So, as not to take it the task lightly, I wanted to shoot something that showcased NYC as the AIDS virus hit NYC very hard in the early 80’s through the early 2000’s. So, I knew that I wanted the photo to be quiet, black and white, and provocative. I shot a nude for the project. But, I didn’t want the photograph to have a prurient interest. So, I kept the subject in heavy shadows. This was the result:
Did I mention that this was shown at the salon at the Louvre (Paris)? So, yeah, my work was shown at the Louvre which still makes me scream. If only for one day, I was there. So, at the end of the day,the photograph worked well for the auction. I was very happy and truly moved by the result. This year, I was asked again (along with 99 other photographers). And, I shot a much larger series. Several agencies in NYC allowed their models to pose nude for the project. Ultimately, only two images were chosen for this project. The theme this year was a bit less dramatic. But, I wanted it to be very ME. I wanted to tie my work to who I am. And, it was tough. I shot at The Window. IF you follow my blog, you know The Window. I have only two windows in my studio. And, only one of those windows gets any light. Almost every single subject that I have shot over the past 5 years has been shot at The Window. So, I felt that it was most appropriate. I shot over 50 men for the project. Some changed their minds to be in the project. But, many were more than happy to pose. The very first person who sat for me can’t be identified. But, he was Amazing and very involved in helping me. I will always be grateful to him. And, the 2nd guy that was selected has become an awesome friend. He was fearless and stayed in the character that we developed.
So, today, November 13, 2013 my two works are at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. I have never been happier to have been asked again. And, I have never been happier knowing that I am in some way helping someone live their life a bit healthier, fuller. I don’t kid myself. I know that more needs to be done. Nor, am I aligning myself with what Rene has been doing along with other countless nameless heros who continue to work (many for free) to help many others. I thank God. And, I would like to thank every booker who sent people to me from Allen Osborne, Dave Fothergill, Wil Hill, George Brown, Earnest Williams, Natalie Kates. Also, to the many models who helped me either by posing, finding props, getting me coffee, cleaning the set etc etc. I can’t thank you enough. And, finally, to the many friends who sat for me, edited the selections and gave time, a smile, a hug, or brioche from my favorite bakery while I continued to shoot: THANK YOU!!!!
Please support and help what moves you. It is so important for the soul. I don’t usually go there too much on my blog. But, I am very happy that my work is hanging at the Palais de Tokyo. If anyone is in Paris, it is open until Midnight tonight. So, you have time. GO.
But, check out more here: http://www.aides.org/