White Gallery: The First Review Is In!

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

To all the ships at sea, take a look at our first review!

“From Commercial to Fine Art

 By Leon Graham

“Raindrop” is currently on display at The White Gallery. photo by Joe DiMaggio

“Crossing the Line,” now at The White Gallery in Lakeville, is a collection of work from three talented commercial photographers, good friends with award-winning credentials, who now make fine art  for their own pleasure. Throughout their careers they created images for magazine publishers, advertising agencies, major companies. Now they bring the same eye and originality to these very personal photographs.

Dennis Wheeler is best known for the many Time magazine covers he created. And created is the right word, because he made covers that were collages designed to grab attention on newsstands as well as comment on the cover subject in powerful ways. Four silhouetted male profiles — red, yellow, white, black — overlapped for a story on leadership in America. A cover on the sex explosion showed a young man and woman facing each other with much of their bodies covered by a giant fig leaf zippered down the middle.

At the White, Wheeler shows complex mixed media collages of carefully arranged objects, drawings, little photos, slashes of paint both long and short, all on brilliantly colored backgrounds.

“Pasture” stands out for its evocation of land and horses and the suggestion of fences. Made in browns and blues, the work is focused on a central black-and-white image of horses eating in a pasture. A gentle horse face peers at us from behind the pastured animals; there are small pictures of lakes too. All lie on swirls of thin, colored lines that suggest fencing wire.

JoAnne Kalish was the first woman photographer at Sports Illustrated. She is known for her ability to capture light and motion, as well as for the sensuality of many images. Her pictures of vegetables — two bell peppers at the White show — are luscious, rounded, inviting. Her pears are erotic and painterly. Even the two dogs meeting in “Venezia” seem about to begin a romance.

Kalish’s “Eiffel” is a pyramid of luminosity as if reflected in water. Her “Reflections” catches a small boat to the left tied up on a narrow canal, while buildings are reflected abstractly in the water on the right, which has the sheen of a mirror.

Kalish’s partner, Joe DiMaggio, is also a former Sports Illustrated and Time magazine photographer. (His and Kalisch’s images of professional hockey are now shown at the NHL Hall of Fame in Canada.) He worked for many advertising agencies, won many art direction awards. He is a master of suggesting motion in still photos. “Chevelle” shows a bright and shiny wheel cover that seems to be catching a passing landscape on its surface. In “Frankfurt,” a group of people are blurred so they appear in motion.

“Raindrop” catches a pearl of water as it is about to fall from the wide brim of a black cowboy hat that glistens from the moisture. We see only the nose and mouth of a man, who sports a marvelous neck bandana studded with white stars. “Infinity” is made of double yellow highway lines stretching into the distance between hazy trees and road shoulders that appear to converge up the road. It is wonderfully composed.

“Crossing the Line” continues at The White Gallery, 342 Main St. in Lakeville, Conn., through Sept. 9. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 860-435-1029 or go to www.thewhitegalleryart.com.

 

“The Lakeville Journal, COMPASS,” August 4, 2016″

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Wheeler 41A9786

© Dennis Wheeler

Some Things Never Change

XEROX AD

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

I was in the process of shooting a national ad for Xerox and I was working with a great art director named Bob Green. I desperately wanted to shoot the ad in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but Bob wanted to shoot it in Florida. Guess where we shot it? We shot it where the client wanted it to be photographed. Why? Because he’s paying the bills and it’s always sunny in Philadelphia. Oops! I mean Florida. It was a long, difficult and tedious shoot- one of those shoots where you know you’re going to get only one usable frame out of thirty images. Everything just has to be perfect and, as we all know, there is nothing perfect in this world. Well, maybe something… Pete Turner, Neil Leifer… okay, I’m just trying to be funny. Two really great photographers. The only way we could actually get the angle that the client wanted was to get a hundred and fifty foot crane and go over the high tension wires. So at this point, obviously, I didn’t want to tell Bob Green that I was deathly afraid of heights. The way I get around my problem with heights is to put a camera around my neck, and then I feel I am protected from the elements; it may not work for everybody, but it does work for me. The ad campaign went on to win an Art Director’s award. Bob was happy, the client was happy, the buyer was happy – me, not so much. Welcome to the world of photography, where everything is a compromise.

To all the ships at sea, this is part of a chapter in my new book, “Joe DiMaggio: Recalling My Adventures from the Golden Age to the Digital Age of Photography”.

Some of the most time consuming and frustrating things when it comes to advertising photography are the one, two, and three days of preproduction, the day of test shooting, the selection of models, the half day of wardrobe fitting, waiting for the right light, lens selection, the exact fit into the layout… and when you finally nail it, there’s a combination of the two R’s – rush and relief, rapidly followed by a serious cocktail or maybe two.

Then the artwork goes back to New York, and the art department decides to write the Gettysburg Address on your photograph. I’m pretty sure they could have gotten a few more words in. It’s all good.

Xerox Assignment Saatchi 495

Xerox Ad © Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

2nd Amendment, I don’t think so.

Hi to All the Ships at Sea,

2nd AmendmentI received an assignment from HBO to do an illustration on hand guns in America. There were approx 357 children killed with handguns the year of the assignment. The photo editor gave me carte blanche to do anything that I wanted to the photo. What you see is a multiple exposure done in the studio with a real 357 magnum with 6 dyna-lites against a clear background. Person holding the gun was silhouetted, then I rewound the film and shot the american flag on top of the silhouette (effectively, there was no exposure there) and by over exposing the corners by 2-3 stops I blew the flag out and just left the hand with the American flag wrapped around the gun. The photo won a few awards when and when people see it today they presume it was done in Photoshop, but it was done in the camera. Entitled 2nd amendment (I never put titles on work).

Two days ago the Senate knocked down the gun bill. Photographic blog, not a political blog…I must watch my language. They should all blank, blank, blank and be totally ashamed of themselves. How much money do they take on the side from gun manufacturers and the NRA? We are taking the greatest country in the history of all mankind and we’re turning it into a third world country. The English couldn’t beat us, the French couldn’t beat us, the Germans couldn’t beat us, the Russians, the Chinese, the Koreans. We’re going to destroy ourselves. anybody who knows me, I love to be happy but with what’s going on today in this world, I’m sorry, we need to get with the program. Go out and make a photograph of your wife…your children…we’ve got enough guns. If you want to shoot something, make a photograph. For the record, I own 6 guns so I am not ANTI-guns. Camera: NikonF 55micro and a grease pencil. Exposure: 1/90th of a second at 22 and 1/90th of a second at 5.6.

All the Best,

Joe D

You can now follow me on Twitter @dimaggio_photo
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The Snake

© Joe DiMaggio

The great author Berry Stainback wanted me to do an illustration for his book on Kenny “The Snake” Stabler, the premiere Oakland Raiders quarterback. To put it mildly, Kenny did not have an alter boy reputation. Let’s put it this way, Kenny may or may not have done things that were illegal, something I would not know anything about. And he may or may not have had more than one drink a day. Again, it’s not for me to say. The art director gave me cuarto blanco to do any illustration I wanted, and this was the cover illustration.

Done with a Nikon f2 55mm micro lens, one overhead wink light, one reflector, and one small electronic flash behind the helmet and bottle. I believe the exposure was 1/90 of a second at f8 ISO 64, but don’t hold me to it. See you next week, Joe D

My First Major Advertising Film Shoot

Approximately 20 years ago I was contracted by Saatchi and Saatchi to do a 20 minute short film on a multi-billion dollar corporation in California.

I had a relatively small budget of $350,000. My first job was to hire a production company. I also hired a co-director. My responsibility was producer and co-director. Everything was in order and three days before the shoot, the director was called out of town on another project. He was replaced by Charles Rudnick. Even though I had no relationship with Charles, but he was the consummate professional. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do hands on himself. You couldn’t get a better film maker in that particular situation. When the crew was scheduled to go from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the first director wanted to come back and I said “no way Charles is going to complete the film with me” and that’s exactly what we did. Thus a long, prosperous relationship started. Charles and I have a mutual respect for each other and we’ve worked on several projects over the years. Effectively we’ve become interchangeable. Okay, maybe I’m stretching it a little bit. In many ways, he’s drop dead fabulous.

Charles’ wife, Carmen, is the owner/chef of Tommaso’s, one of the finest & well-known Italian restaurants in San Francisco. On any given day, you can walk into Tommaso’s and see John Waters, Nicholas Cage, Francis Ford Coppola, or even my dear friend, Bill Shatner and his lovely wife Liz. I just received a phone call from Charles to tell me that his mother passed away. She was a very special lady. Forgot to mention…Charles’ father was a physicist at UCLA.

Charles sent me the above photo of his parents.

Isadore Rudnick (his dad)