I am writing once again from the comfort of my home and from the uncomfort of my own problematic computer. (More on that next time.) I returned home last night after a week spent visiting my friend Dave Levingston, and I want to thank Dave and his lovely wife Emily for the hospitality they showed me during my visit.
Dave and I visited Chicago for a couple of days, then returned to Ohio where I photographed some models, both in and out of the studio. For the last full day of my visit, I accompanied Dave up to the River's Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, Michigan. The occasion was the "meet the artists" reception for the Secret's Revealed exhibition, a show in which a couple of Dave's photographs are included.
(Wyandotte is located south of Detroit and seems like a nice town, and as it's located a short distance across the water from Canada, with Canada clearly visible, I guess the residents of the town are all experts on Canadian affairs.)
The gallery is spread over three floors, and upon arrival we proceeded up to the second floor, where the exhibition is being held. Dave and I walked around trying to find his art works on wall, without success. Then we headed back toward the stairs, and I heard Dave say "Duh!!!" Sure enough, there they were - Dave's photos - on the wall right by the stairs! We'd passed them by without even bothering to look on the wall there. You can see Dave in the photo below, repeating the pose from his self-portrait at the bottom, with one of his beautiful art nude photos above it.Afterwards, I walked around a bit, speaking with some of the visitors, artists and the hostesses working the event. I was most pleased, though, to meet some of the other photographers with work in the show whose work I had seen online. One of these was local photographer Jim Young, who can be seen below standing next to his print in the show.
The other was Joe Crachiola, one of the voices behind the blog, What We Saw Today. I had seen Joe's name among the list of photographers in the show and had hoped that he would attend, but as he has recently moved from Detroit down to New Orleans, his attendance seemed unlikely. Nonetheless, all of a sudden he appeared at the top of the stairs and was greeted warmly by those who knew him. I did get the chance to speak with him briefly, but not nearly enough to ask him about his move to New Orleans and his life in photography. I hope that I will have that opportunity some time in the future.
Still, I'd be lying if I didn't say that the person I was most happy to see was Iris Dassault. Iris is a model and a photographer, and an all-around beautiful, talented, charming and intelligent woman. I had photographed Iris a few years ago and had not seen her since that time, and it was wonderful to catch up with her and talk about the things we've done in the past few years. I told her that she was the first (and so far, only) model that I've photographed who made dinner for ME afterwards - as it's usually the other way around. I hope I have the chance to work with her again before too long.
Overall then, it was a very nice evening at the gallery, and you can see a few more photos below.
Dave L, hostess, yours truly, Iris Dassault
Well, as I'm writing this from my computer at home, which - as I've written recently - cannot connect to the disc drives where my photos are stored, you may wonder why photos are appearing with this posting. The photos are here because I edited, saved and then posted them to the blog here on Dave L's computer in Ohio yesterday morning. Now that I'm at home, don't expect to see any more photos here until I get my new computer.
A Sad Day
It was with great sadness today that I read the latest posting on Univers d'Artistes by Chris St. James. Basically, Chris wrote that he is losing his battle with multiple sclerosis and is bringing the blog to a close.
Though I had never met Chris in person or even spoke with him on the phone, I did think of him as a friend through our correspondence and limited collaboration on Univers d'Artistes. Chris was kind enough to write some features about me and my work, and often posted examples of my art nude photography.
When Chris was unable to continue with the blog due to his undergoing medical treatment, he entrusted the care of Univers d'Artistes to Iris Dassault and me, giving us the password and allowing us to update it as best as we could. (It's a bit ironic, then, that I met Iris a couple of nights ago, as I've described above, and talked about those days.)
I was really frightened then that Chris would be unable to continue with the blog at all, and that he hoped that Iris and I would fill his shoes - something I knew that I could never do (and I suspect Iris could not do, either).
The two of us made occasional posts to keep things going, but I was thrilled when Chris returned - mostly for the fact that the condition of his health was well enough to allow him to do so.
Eventually, Unbearable Lightness joined up and took a major role, and I tried to continue helping in whatever small way I could, but I think Chris always remained the heart and soul of Univer d'Artistes.
Now, it all seems to have come to an end. Looking back, I have to say that all of the art nude photographers whose work Chris helped bring to light and to a wider audience owe Chris a debt of gratitude, as he truly loved the art nude genre. We should all wish him peace and comfort in whatever time he has left.
At times like this, I guess I'm like everybody else in being at a loss for what to say, so I will just say this:
Rest easy, mon ami. Your spirit and energy will be remembered by those you touched. May your soul go gently into the night.