I remember running around the Getty Museum with Richard Meier. I remember watching Frank Gehry place his head into a mini replica of Disney Hall. What I remember over my 40 years as a photographer is astonishing, because I remember.
Moments of time in my life are events of a lifetime. I have merely wanted to be present in the realization of living.
For the 80’s and part of the 90’s I captured the lives of artists and significant cultural participants. From the mid 90’s Architecture and the art of Design have ruled my visual sensibilities. I have never been able to escape the detailed beauty of design.
September 11th 2001 awakened a visual monster in me. The privileged years that followed enabled me to see hands and computer designs that have shaped the way we live and breathe. But it took a catastrophe to totally immerse me into a culture of people who have shaped the way we see the world’s design today.
I had met Herbert Muschamp, the New York Times Architecture through Philip Johnson in 1998. Following 9/11 Herbert and Richard Meier and others decided that the best way to crawl out of the rubble of destruction was to create a rebirth downtown.
Herbert and Richard invited me to record the gathering of famed architects. The voices of Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Arata Isozaki, Raphael Vinoly, Bernard Tschumi, Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Steven Holl and dozens more were called upon to contribute. I was merely a guy with a camera.
Moments have mattered to me more than any other part of my photography career. Living in the moment while factors are being decided for our lives has always been a goal. After a few days of indecisions, a decision was made to have a competition. I could not have asked for a better position to be in. A Planet of Architects and for a single sterling moment my camera was at the center of the universe.
For weeks I ran to Norman Foster’s team meeting. Then to Vinoly and Fred Schwartz’s team. Eventually saw Libeskind’s team and then Greg Lynn’s team and so much more. I was privy to the inner sanctum. I didn’t know there was an even darker deeper inner sanctum?
I landed at the Meier team. At one point I realized that I had to capture the emotional strains. Weeks of trying to be a fly on the wall was hellish. The rewards were innumerable. To be able to watch the architect’s creative process was part of my dream. I was living my dream. Charles Gwathmey kept me afloat as politics raged through all of the teams. Chess was played like a “Game of Thrones” instead of the “Art of War”. Winning was the goal. All weapons were utilized. And my camera snapped.
I have made hundreds of portraits of Architects. I have photographed thousands of buildings. The presence of my camera during those dozens of architectural gatherings was possibly seminal to my next steps forward as an architectural photographer.