Group Exhibition and Book, Museum of the City of New York,
"America's Mayor: John Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York," May 2010.
My photography education began at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California, from which I graduated in 1956. Some reasons for my gratitude to Brooks are in a statement I wrote in May 2007, in remembrance of one of my instructors:
I was very moved to learn of the death of Herb Boggie. My earliest remembrance of him goes back so many years to October 1954, when I began studying at Brooks Institute. I was an arrogant and hopeful 17-year-old from the Bronx, with a turbulent life which included a big love for photography. Mr. Boggie was teaching Basic Sensitometry and Elemental Photography. There were, as I recall, about 30 students in the class. It already says something about the man that he could minister to so many at such an exciting time in our lives. I remember gratefully how he represented the Brooks Institute Philosophy of "Learn by doing," particularly in relation to the basic filter lesson; which has stayed with me all these years. If a student's composition wasn't just right, Herb Boggie would say "Reshoot and reprint the assignment." He encouraged respect for exactitute, which is so necessary. I remember with fondness the way he labored over teaching me the Bellows Extension Formula, which I had trouble with. He even sent an older student to work with me, to make sure I would measure the bellows correctly and learn the formula. Half a century later, I can still compute the formula and I always think of him gratefully for this.
My experience at Brooks Institute enabled me, in 1961, to welcome and value this principle of Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by the poet and philosopher, Eli Siegel: "All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves." Studying Aesthetic Realism has enabled me to see the relation of art and life that all artists yearn for.
I learned the basis of art from Aesthetic Realism. It is this principle, and I quote
Mr. Siegel directly: "The world, art, and self explain each other: each
is the aesthetic oneness of opposites."
I want all photographers to experience the thrill of learning how such opposites as the immediate and
the permanent, logic and emotion, simplicity and complexity are made one
in a good photograph--and how we can learn from art to compose these opposites
beautifully in our lives.
I had the honor to study in classes
taught by Mr. Siegel, the most sensitive and knowledgable of scholars,
and to be studying today in classes taught by Ellen Reiss, the Chairman
of Aesthetic Realism.
Some Milestones in My Career
1. One-Man Exhibition, New York World's Fair, New York, Hall of Education, 1964.