A bit of sad news to start out a Monday morning is that Leah Chase passed away yesterday.
Both Joe and I met Leah Chase in New Orleans approximately 20 years ago. She agreed to open up the restaurant and kitchen for us so we could do a series of portraits of her in her renowned Restaurant Dooky Chase which was legendary and loved by many. If you were in town you had to go there and so many famous people did. The restaurant was known for serving presidents, as well as freedom riders. Martin Luther king, James Baldwin, Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole, Barrack Obama and George W. Bush all have eaten there. In a city operating under Jim Crow laws Dooky Chase became the only upscale restaurant where African Americans could gather.
Leah was totally dedicated to the restaurant and the community which she was very much a part of. She was considered a central cultural figure in the politics of New Orleans and the national struggle for civil rights. She was also a major promoter of art. During our conversation Joe mentioned that he had just done a cover story on Syvia’s restaurant in Harlem for American Way Magazine and on the owner Sylvia Woods. The two of them were sisters of a kind. Both trend setters and entrepreneurs in the food/restaurant business and in society. One in Harlem and one in New Orleans. Both women will be missed as they played a vital role in bringing people together.
Everybody’s a photographer nowadays but some have been photographers much longer than you! They make their living from it!
This is an assignment I had with a model I worked with several times in the past. He was looking for something different and this is what I came up with. I wanted to depict – attitude, proudness, confidence and strength.
As an artist you sometimes search for a theme that you want to delve into because it speaks to you. A good theme is one you can build on and one which can grow. Months can go by when I find myself not producing meaningful work and then one day something pops into my head and there it is.
I want to say thank you to some special friends that helped me out – Eileen, Mary, Julia, Wendy & Chloe and behind the scenes – my partner Joe DiMaggio and Jerry
I’d like to share an article I did in the April 2018 issue of the Milford Journal on Blues Musician Bobby Kyle. I’ve always considered Bobby to be multi-talented and I’ve known him for a long time. Bobby has a new album out called “It’s My Life” and if I can make a suggestion….I think you should pick up a copy and find the time to go see him & his band live. He’s a phenomenal artist and you’ll be glad you did!
I wrote and illustrated the article and because my partner Joe DiMaggio, has been working with Bobby for many years, he also contributed photographically as he has some incredible photos of Bobby. Joe also has a chapter on Bobby Kyle in his book “FILL THE FRAME” and if you’d like… a signed copy can be purchased directly from us or you can purchase one through Amazon.
I’m including a pdf of the article in case you don’t have access to a copy of the Magazine (click here -) kyle Below is the cover of Bobby’s latest CD and a link to his website http://www.bobbykyle.com/index.html
I RECENTLY CAME ACROSS A CARD WITH A PAINTING OF WILL’S ON IT CALLED SLEEPING CHILD (1961) PUBLISHED BY THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. INSIDE I FOUND A BEAUTIFUL LOVE NOTE THAT SOMEONE HAD WRITTEN. THIS PAINTING HAS BECOME MY FAVORITE AND I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE IT.