These are the Days of Our Lives-Queen

This is such a beautiful song I just had to share it. Always makes me cry.

My Lecture at the Alaska State Museum Juneau, Alaska

Friday November 15, 1999

Radio Show

Radio Show
Santa Fe New Mexico
January 16, 2020 11AM to 12PM

LINK TO RADIO INTERVIEW

El Rito Studio Tour October 5th and 6th.

Hope to see you there! Lots of great Artists on the Tour and a beautiful time to head up north!

Excellent Blog Post by Steve Immel

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2019

Going nowhere fast

Link to Steve Immel’s Blog

Longhor, Texas,David Michael Kennedy 2006

Two weeks ago, Cris Pulos, Terry Thompson and I spent 2-1/2 amazing hours with renowned photographer David Michael Kennedy at his studio and home in the village of El Rito an hour or so southwest of Taos. I wish that Bill Davis, the other member of our monthly breakfast foursome, had been able to share the experience. He would have loved it. Our audience with the famed platinum-palladium printer was the result of Cris’s persistent efforts. I know there was a lot of back and forth to make it happen. It sure was worth the effort. Thanks, man.

Since I visited David’s studio in 2016, a visit during which I purchased a small framed platinum print of a longhorn steer, he has expanded his workplace and added one of the most impressive darkrooms any of us has seen. We had some serious studio envy.

The gallery space within his studio was as expansive as any in a major city and there were at least seventy framed photographs on the walls, each a masterpiece. If the test of great photographs made by a great photographer is that you know whose work it is from across the room, David Michael Kennedy passes with flying colors. Simply seeing that extraordinary display was worth the price of admission. That we sat in easy chairs and enjoyed two hours of wide-ranging talk about the state of photography today; David’s personal journey from the go-to rock and roll and album cover photographer in New York; his self-taught mastery of platinum-palladium printing; and a smattering of our long but modest careers was the bonus. He could not have been more engaging and open. He said we were always welcome and I intend to take him up on that.

Bob Dylan, 1985, David Michael Kennedy

Theories about the decline of fine art photography were an overarching theme as they always are when devoted photographers get together. In fact, no discussion among photographers is complete unless it eventually goes “there.” Name recognition notwithstanding each of the four of us were saddened by our star in the photographic galaxy, and that recognition and sales have been fleeting and heading toward nil.

On that subject David leaned in to say, “I’m confused.” He could have said “disappointed” or “disillusioned.” 

David suggested that the art business in general is in the tank, that it’s broader than just photography. Millennials don’t buy art. They buy experiences. They’ll safari in Kenya or trek to Machu Picchu but won’t buy a $500 photograph. At least that’s my theory, a theory supported by the fact that photography workshops are moving off-shore and are more about new places, cultures and cuisines than learning skills.

And everybody is a photographer. Most folks think they can do what we’re doing after fifty years of practice. Everybody has a social media outlet for their work. Instant gratification is there for the taking. Even the compositionally impaired can grab a good image from time to time. It’s like golf. The occasional par keeps a hacker in the game.

David related a story. He was visiting his Taos gallery, since folded but that’s another story, and overheard a besotted young gentleman contemplating the purchase of one his prints. He knew that the youngster was in a new relationship with his girlfriend by the way he swaggered. David described the photograph as a classic Rio Grande Gorge vista. The dude debated whether to buy or not to buy until the girl told him, “You can do that, babe. You don’t have to buy it” Naturally, he decided that he could and another sale was buried in the graveyard of broken expectations. I asked DMK how he could hold his tongue. He shrugged.

On the plus side there was a modicum of comfort knowing we were in good company when a photographer of David’s stature was struggling to sell his work, too. I offered an analogy to the restaurant business and to the adage, “Misery loves company.” In my restaurant life I would commiserate with my competitors when sales were down. We’d complain to each other about how bad business was and I’d take heart. So, it isn’t just me.

But I countered the misery loves company excuse by saying that even when you and most of your peers are in a death spiral somebody else is kicking ass. Somebody is killing it when you’re dying. You have to figure what does work. I’m giving that advice to myself more than anybody else. My good friend John Farnsworth suggested that you need to identify what everybody else is doing and do the opposite. I’m not entirely sure about that angle. Maybe you just have do it differently and better. If they like it enough, they’ll buy it. However, that premise leads to the abyss of self-doubt if you’re not selling.

Ultimately, we identified digital photography and social media as the assassins of our beloved art form. It’s been made too easy and this is from a person who usually has no problem with fast or easy. And a dope who doesn’t know an f-stop from a traffic stop can reach an instant audience. David Michael Kennedy told us, “I hate easy.” Or more accurately he has a love hate relationship with easy. He hates himself for secretly liking speed and ease. The man spent fifteen years learning and mastering the painstaking platinum-palladium process. He’s one of the best in THE WORLD. But being a tried and true process guy, he just might like the journey as much as the destination. I do not suffer that malady.

He showed us a recent portrait made with his Sony 7 series digital camera albeit equipped with a Leica lens from a film camera. He boasted, “I don’t think you can tell that this is Palladium from a digital camera.” We could not. It looked like rest of his incredible work to us.

More on Alaska Positive

Call for submissions for Alaska Postive A biennial exhibition of Alaska photography

Now in its 49th year, Alaska Positive encourages photography as an art form in Alaska. The next call for entries for Alaska Positive will open September 3, 2019. Entries will be juried by nationally renowned photographer, David Michael Kennedy.

Guest juror David Michael Kennedy’s photographic career spans over 40 years. His works are held in museum collections including the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Institute. Kennedy’s career started in New York with commercial photography including iconic portraits of musicians, actors and artists. In 1986 he moved to New Mexico to focus on fine art photography. His name is synonymous with New Mexico landscapes. Kennedy’s images are materialized through the platinum/palladium printing technique, a pre-digital, by-hand process at which he is considered one of the best in the world.

In addition to receiving recognition for their work, photographers whose photos are selected for Alaska Positive 2019 will compete for several cash awards. Kennedy will bestow one Juror’s Choice award for $300, and two $150 Awards of Recognition. The awards are sponsored by the Friends of the Alaska State Libraries, Archives and Museum (FoSLAM). Kennedy will also select some photographs for Honorable Mention.

Alaska Positive will open at the Alaska State Museum on December 6, 2019 and run through February 15, 2020. The exhibition will then travel to museums throughout Alaska including the following:

  • Sheldon Jackson Museum: March – May, 2020
  • Wasilla Museum & Visitor Center: June – September, 2020
  • University of Alaska Museum of the North: October – November, 2020
  • Haines Sheldon Museum: mid-December – February, 2021
  • Cordova Historical Museum: March – mid-April, 2021
  • Valdez Museum: May – September, 2021

Exhibit dates are subject to change.

Call for submissions for Alaska Positive 2019 will open September 3, 2019 and close October 12, 2019 on CaFÉ, callforentry.org. For more information contact the Alaska State Museum curator of exhibitions by calling 907-465-4819 or e-mailing Jackie Manning

PhotoNexus 2019

Please see: https://binhammerphotographs.com/photonexus/
For the schudule and other information. It should be a great weekend! Hope to see you there!

The New Movie on the Studio and Gallery in El Rito, New Mexico

MA MutualART

https://www.mutualart.com

Very cool site! Your go-to source for art information, MutualArt offers access to auction prices, personalized updates, and data on over 300,000 Arists!