Day: May 4, 2018

Van Gogh


Painting. That’s what I wanted to do. Of my three greatest influences, two are painters. Only one is a photographer. Ernst Haas. The painters are pretty well-known. Van Gogh and Georgia O’Keeffe are known even among folks who don’t have much interest in art. Haas is well-known to the older photography community. The younger photographers don’t seem to know or care about the history that brought us to this time. I started thinking about this as I was reading the catalogue for the exhibition, “Van Gogh & Japan,” being shown now in Amsterdam. To my eye, what looks complex is very simple. The complexity is built in layers. That’s painting. I’m a photographer. Try as I might, I have no talent for actually putting the brush to paper, or canvas. So, I studied Ernst Haas as much as my painting muses. He was a photographer who was represented by Magnum. He worked for Life Magazine. He had advertising clients. He was a “special photographer” on movie sets. That meant that he made a lot of pictures that …