Concentrating these days on art, video and portraits, I no longer document events as much as in the past. While often fun and visually interesting too many planners overlook the long-term possibilities when it comes to visual documentation and therefore pay too little attention to the necessary details of preparation and execution, let alone the budget. However, when a significant event comes along that encompasses full-on portraits of key attendees it always captures my interest.
Such was the case earlier this year for the 40th Anniversary Gala for New York’s Symphony Space. I was contacted by the organization because, as I was told, my work for them in the past had made those occasions very special and, as such, they wanted my approach again for this year’s event. Well, flattery will get you everywhere. And as my work back then had always encompassed the opportunity not just for event documentation but performance & resulted in some of my favorite studio-like portraits it was even more enticement to say “yes.” Sweetening the mix was the fact that the event would be held at Capitale, one of the truly grand event spaces in the City.
Above it all, the main floor that is, there is a bit of a catwalk/balcony that not only provides a special vantage point for “the wide shot” but also will lead you to a section of the building where there exists two, very grand rooms (probably once, in its initial incarnation, having been offices for the old bank’s officers). One of these with it’s red-velvet curtains, modern lounge chairs and gold walls was embodiment of dramatic. My assistant and I had a fun time setting up a 10-light array to portray the performers for the evening’s festivities.
Meanwhile, for film lovers, especially fans of the Coen Brothers, on the heels of yesterday’s dramatic hearings in the Senate, I greatly appreciated this note regarding Stephen King’s reaction, including as it did an astute reference to a favorite film of mine, worth noting.