Went fishing yesterday; caught fifteen good-sized stripe bass and bluefish. Ate one bass for dinner. We had Wok and Roll, the Chinese place on Main Street, cook it up. It doesnÔÇÖt get fresher than this. Driving out of Montauk I realize why I like this place so much. I grew up outside of Philadelphia in a town call Media, PA (how apropos is that?). Every summer we would go to the Jersey Shore and get a house for a week on Long Beach Island. I always liked it. It wasnÔÇÖt honky-tonk like Wildwood or built up like the Hamptons, it was about the beach. All the houses were simple and the restaurants unpretentious. Montauk has those rough edges. I know I could walk in with sand on my feet and get something to eat. The Hamptons is really Manhattan by the beach with all the fabulous restaurants or maybe Westchester by the beach with all the manicured lawns.
My brother-in-law is getting married on Long Island this weekend, so we decided to get a head start on it and head for Montauk for a few days. I love the beach and so does my family but we have seldom gone to the Hamptons. I live in Westchester and that makes the Hamptons particularly far. As a matter of fact, it would take forever with the typical rush hour traffic. Even mid-day here on a Tuesday we came to a crawl several times. I guess the only way to get here is by helicopter. IÔÇÖll have to remember that next time.
Usually we like to go to lakes. We are all very active and we water-ski, wakeboard and I mountain bike. We have an old Sunfish that friends gave us, so itÔÇÖs a great vehicle for my kids to get wet. Flipping the boat over is the only reason they sail. On the 4th of July, we spent a lot of time with some friends who have a ÔÇ£campÔÇØ on Lake Piseco in the Adirondacks.
Back to Montauk. We had lunch at the classic Lobster Roll restaurant, also called ÔÇ£LunchÔÇØ, then hung at the beach. I saw this couple come by and they got very animated about something they were building or designing. The guy was designing something in the sand with his foot. Were they designing a house. Outlining their expenses. Stories everywhere.
Here’s what they were drawing:
My new office is almost complete (I moved from Spring Street after 14 years; my building was sold to a new landlord). I have a corner office on 28th street now with eight windows. So I wanted to take advantage of the light. Several of the walls are made of Lexan (Designed by Architects David Hacin and David Takenken of Hacin + Associates, Boston).┬á They distort the view in an interesting way. Going to have to do a shoot here.
On the way back we saw a Bank of America billboard I shot in Texas. I still get a thrill when I see a photo I did in itÔÇÖs final presentation (magazine, billboard, internet). It was a shot of an Hispanic dad and kid for B of A. The trouble was I donÔÇÖt think the media was right. It was in Chinatown.
Today I photographed Wangechi Mutu at her studio in Brooklyn. She does these amazing paintings and collages. I really love her pieces. You canÔÇÖt just glance at them; there are so many layers to them, so casual viewing is not allowed. Considering how violent and somewhat shocking her pieces are she was very soft spoken and kind to work with. Her space is a floor in a brownstone she owns. I photographed her as part of my artistÔÇÖs series. For several years, I have been randomly taking portraits of artists. The project started for me when I photographed, Kim Heirston, for Vanity Fair. She is an art consultant. She made some connections for me and we began collaborating together on who to take pictures of. But lately I have been building on the series by having the artists recommend other artists.
I have always enjoyed meeting the artists and seeing how they work. We always see art on nice clean white walls in a gallery but this grounds it more for me. Plus I get to find out more on their creative process. Talking about the different things that inspire them to make their art is inspiring to me.