Tag Archive | "photography"

Robert Giard’s Return to the East End

Tags: , , ,


"Hedge and Hillocks," a photograph by Robert Giard.

“Hedge and Hillocks,” a photograph by Robert Giard.

By Sam Mason-Jones

Robert Girard is remembered as one of the East End’s most enterprising and successful photographers, with his career spent capturing the formal likenesses of an array of literary figures, including Edward Albee, Allen Ginsberg and Adrienne Rich. Since his death in 2002, the Robert Giard Fellowship has channeled the spirit of Mr. Giard, supporting visual artists with the awarding of an annual grant.

After 12 years of operating out of New York City, the Robert Giard Fellowship is returning to the photographer’s East End home for a benefit. The evening will take place at the home of Sue Shapiro at 280 Gerard Drive in Springs on Sunday, August 24, between 5 and 7 p.m. In addition to the silent auction of one of Mr. Giard’s original works, “Hedge and Hillocks, 1984,” the evening will include a speech from the guest of honor, Mark Doty, an American poet and memoirist, and winner of the National Book Award for Poetry.

Tickets for the event are $125 and can be purchased at nycharities.org.

Mermaids Discovered in Montauk

Tags: , , , , , ,


Montauk bartender, Sag Harbor Gym trainer and women's roller derby star Samantha Duane, as photographed by photographer and Montauk local James Katsipis for his "Mermaids of Montauk" series.

Montauk bartender, Sag Harbor Gym trainer and women’s roller derby star Samantha Duane, as photographed by photographer and Montauk local James Katsipis for his “Mermaids of Montauk” series.

By Gianna Volpe

Before in-water surf photographer James Katsipis had even arrived at the Montauk Beach house for last Friday’s opening of “Mermaids of Montauk,” one of the show’s 18 photographs had already been sold.

“Mermaids” is the babely black-and-white portrait series already barreling through East End’s social media waves this summer, even though its photographer—lifetime local Mr. Katsipis of Montauk—hasn’t yet finished shooting it.

“I made a Facebook artist page, an Instagram and a Twitter and as soon as I put up, ‘For booking and info, please contact montaukmermaids@gmail.com,’ my phone would not stop buzzing,” said Mr. Katsipis. “I can’t even go through all the messages because it would take too long, it’s crazy… Everywhere I go people are telling me they love the series. In fact, after Mike Williams—a huge fashion photographer—saw it, he personally called me and put it on his site, Imagista, so now you can go there to check out the updated ‘Mermaids’ works.”

The shots are dramatic – many a model immersed in murky waters—but that’s exactly how Mr. Katsipis likes it.

“These aren’t the Tahitian blue underwater shots you see of girls swimming,” he said. “This is real deal Montauk—cold, dark and moody.”

And though these gorgeous “Mermaids”—most of whom are nude or near so—may be splayed across Montauk’s rocks or appear at rest as they look coyly into the camera, they are by no means beach bunnies.

Mr. Katsipis, 31, said the series is an homage to the surfers he grew up surfing alongside, so when it comes to his subjects, these are generally women who know how to lean in.

“Growing up in Montauk all the guys would surf, but the girls were out there, too,” he said. “They were right there with us when the waves got big—taking off charging, getting their ass handed to them and going back for more. They’re not sitting on the beach going, ‘Oh my God the waves are too big.’ They’re watermen just like us—true mermaids—like Ariel Engstrom. She’s gorgeous and she surfs pipeline in Hawaii…. A lot of these girls are great swimmers, so it is really easy to shoot with them.”

Mr. Katsipis said he’s been shooting “Mermaids” nearly every afternoon this summer after his neighbor, hair and make-up artist Chris McCracken of Montauk’s C.M. Hair Studio, works his water-proofed magic on the models.

“We do the dry stuff first so their hair doesn’t get messed up, and then toward the end we’ll put them in some really sexy outfits that’s really just sheer cloth and we’ll get them wet so it’s pretty much see-through,” said Mr. Katsipis. “I like to make sure the girls are comfortable…. I’ll be talking to them because I want to know about my subject and I’m always asking them questions to get their mind off of the camera. Some girls are a little apprehensive at first, but once we start swimming, everyone loosens up.”

He said the awkward nature of aqueous photography makes breaking the ice all the easier.

“We’ll make a joke of it because water is going up our noses,” he said. “It’s not as glamorous as the photos might make it look sometimes. You can ask the girls—it is a lot of work and the water is unseasonably cold, so some of the girls are shivering, blue—you know—hypothermic… We had to start bringing robes to the shoot so we could get them in the robes, stick them in the car with the heat on and start again after they warm up.”

You can check out the series by searching @montaukmermaids on Twitter, or by searching “Mermaids of Montauk” on Facebook or Instagram.

More photos from “Mermaids of Montauk” by James Katsipis:

"Mermaids of Montauk" series by James Katsipis.

BGYdA6rELwxaur6KnPxvKuroYfZdPJQsPJH03HsM5RQ,zDN37y0x2YKmQ65eOGrVKlnMMQz2litz1q3vGpYcRco

Amanda Beckwith of East Hampton, as photographed for the "Mermaids of Montauk" series by James Katsipis.

Amanda Beckwith of East Hampton, as photographed for the “Mermaids of Montauk” series by James Katsipis.

Stefanik Shows with SCCC Staff

Tags: , , ,


John Stefanik of Sag Harbor is currently exhibiting his black and white photographs in a group show at the Elizabeth Fox Overton Gallery in the Riverhead Free Public Library.

The show, which includes eight other artists who teach or work at the Suffolk County Community College’s Eastern Campus, is running until July 25. The other artists included in the exhibit are Jeannette Fischer, H. Alan Feit, Margery Gosnell-Oua, Cheryl Dons kind, JoAnn Dumas, Dawn Lee Di Peri, and Meredith Starr. It was curated by Chris Vivas.

The library is located at Osborne Avenue, with the main entrance on 330 Court Street. For more information, call (631) 727-3228.

Sag Harbor’s Joe Pintauro’s Photographs On View at the Peter Marcelle Project

Tags: , , , , , ,


“The Tree, Its Shadow and the Hill on Ocean Road” C-print, 60 x 50 inches by Joe Pintauro.

“The Tree, Its Shadow and the Hill on Ocean Road” C-print, 60 x 50 inches by Joe Pintauro.

By Tessa Raebeck

Inspired in part by John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Joe Pintauro is showing a selection of photographs in “Arcadia,” named after “the bucolic world of nature under the pressures of time,” according to the Peter Marcelle Project, which is hosting the exhibit.

The exhibit captures the rapid changes of the environment and architecture on the East End. In “The Tree, Its Shadow and the Hill on Ocean Road,” Mr. Pintauro captured a tree on a hill, with its shadow stretching into the green landscape beyond. Taken five years ago, the scene in the photograph is hard to recreate today, as the landscape is almost unrecognizable.

“Nature, art and time often collaborate to uncover a deeper, unexpected truth, a new metaphysical profile to objects and places. Time humbles material things, including mankind and his works, making for opposing notions as to what nature gives to art and what it takes away,” Mr. Pintauro wrote in his description of the show.

“Arcadia” opens Saturday, May 31, at Peter Marcelle Project, 4 North Main Street in Southampton. For more information, call (631) 613-6170 or email cmccormick@petermarcellegallery.com.

Spring Preview at the Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor

Tags: , , , , ,


Daniel Jones, “Flying Point Beach Impressions” photo. Courtesy Tulla Booth Gallery.

Daniel Jones, “Flying Point Beach Impressions” photo. Courtesy Tulla Booth Gallery.

By Tessa Raebeck

Presenting a special “Spring Preview” of this summer’s exhibitions, Sag Harbor’s Tulla Booth Gallery will show new and classic work by seven photographers.

Tulla Booth, Herb Friedman, Daniel Jones, Karine Laval, Eric Meola, Blair Seagram and Stephen Wilkes will show their photographs, many featuring familiar East End landscapes.

An opening reception will be held Saturday, May 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit is on view starting May 2 and through May 28 during gallery hours, 12:30 to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For more information, visit tullaboothgallery.com or email tboothgallery@aol.com.

Four Painters, a Sculptor and a Photographer at Sag Harbor’s Grenning Gallery

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


A photograph from Sebastiano Vitale's "Raw Horse" collection, which will be shown at the Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor.

A photograph from photojournalist Sebastiano Vitale’s “Raw Horse” collection, parts of which will be shown at the Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor. Photo courtesy of the Grenning Gallery.

By Tessa Raebeck

Sag Harbor’s Grenning Gallery will open its season Saturday with a new show featuring an eclectic mix of artists across several mediums.

The young artist Kristy Gordon, discovered by the gallery last year, will show her surreal paintings of people and water. In “Collective Consciousness,” a man in scrubs, a woman in jeans and other ordinary New Yorkers tread through green water as if it is an urban street.

“Collective Consciousness” by Kristy Gordon.

“Collective Consciousness” by Kristy Gordon.

Maryann Lucas of Sag Harbor will show “Lilies by the Window” and other floral and still life paintings in her second show at her hometown gallery,

Having just completed his first major public commission, a giant bronze statue in Philadelphia of former Flyers coach Fred Shero, Chad Fisher will show his half and full life size “Deadly Sins” bronzes, statues of seven classical figures engrossed in each of the deadly sins.

One of California’s premiere plein air painters, Karl Dempwolf will exhibit colorful paintings of “Crystal Lake” and other Western landscapes. His friend and fellow Californian Ben Fenske will show his paintings of Catalina Island.

Italian photojournalist Sebastiano Vitale is presenting his “Raw Horse” collection, photographs of horses in different capacities across the world, from Spanish clubs to farms in Argentina. Using the categories of wildness, elegance, ritual, game and work, Mr. Vitale has captured horses in the polo clubs of Santo Domingo, the horseback fighting festivals of Indonesia and the nomadic culture of Mongolia, to name a few.

The opening reception is Saturday, April 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Grenning Gallery, 17 Washington Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 725-8469 or visit grenninggallery.com.

"7 Sins Group" by Chad Fisher. Photo courtesy of the Grenning Gallery.

“7 Sins Group” by Chad Fisher. Photo courtesy of the Grenning Gallery.

Fish Eye View Highlights Long Island’s Life Underwater

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


A photo of a seahorse by Chris Paparo.

A photo of a seahorse by Chris Paparo.

By Stephen J. Kotz

From the surface, the teeming ecosystem of an East End bay reveals itself in glimpses: a bluefish breaking the surface; a school of silversides darting through the shallows; or a spider crab moving slowly along the edge of the eelgrass.

But for Chris Paparo, who has been taking underwater photographs for more than 25 years and is better known as the Fish Guy, the view is decidedly more detailed.

This Saturday, Mr. Paparo will present a free slide show and lecture, featuring his underwater photography, “An Underwater Journey of Long Island Through the Eyes of a Fishing Biologist,” at the office of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

CCOM executive director Jeremy Samuelson said he first learned about Mr. Paparo from his Facebook page, Fish Guy Photos, and was eventually intrigued enough to invite him to speak as part of CCOM’s environmental education outreach efforts.

“We all suffer a bit from this National Geographic thing in that we think the only beautiful things worth saving are halfway round the world,” said Mr. Samuelson, “but his photographs show you find them right here in our backyard.”

By day, Mr. Paparo, who received a degree in marine biology from Southampton College, manages the marine sciences center at the Stony Brook Southampton campus. “It’s exciting to have gone to school here as an undergrad and be back here for the next phase of the college’s life,” he said. Besides overseeing the facility’s operations, Mr. Paparo leads tours and field trips for visitors to the marine science center from local schools, museums and other community groups.

Before joining the university’s staff, he worked for four years at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation and another 13 years at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead as its educational coordinator and one of its rescue techs.

“The reason I went into marine science is my dad took me fishing when I was six, and I’ve been hooked ever since,” he said.

Besides giving lectures on his underwater photography, Mr. Paparo finds time to write a naturalist column for On the Water magazine and contribute to Fisherman magazine.

Mr. Paparo, who said he was certified as a scuba diver in 1993, first took up underwater photography as hobby. In recent years, “it’s snowballed a bit” with the advent of first the internet and later Facebook. Today, he said, every chance he gets he grabs his scuba gear and his Canon underwater camera rig, to explore beneath the surface of local bays.

Those who attend his lecture will see photographs of fluke, striped bass, porgies, puffers, winter flounder, sea bass and many other fish species. “Now you are going to see it from their point of view,” he said.

“I start with all the important game catch and then show the by catch, the crabs, snails, clams and end with the exotics, the tropical fish that come up in the summer time,” he continued.

Over the years, Mr. Paparo has photographed everything from tiny seahorses, which frequent the bays—“you have to know where to look for them,” he said—to sharks out in the ocean, although the latter he photographs from the safety of a boat.

“I haven’t seen any sharks diving, but I haven’t ventured out in the ocean to do any ocean diving,” he said. But he goes out with a friend and they tag and release sharks. “One of the makos we tagged off Shinnecock in 2012 was found 2,200 miles across the Atlantic,” he said. “It’s neat when you get a recapture like that.”

But Mr. Paparo said he has seen his share of sharks close to shore. “They are very abundant around here,” he said. “I’ve seen makos in the inlet. It’s just a matter of being out there and if you are out there the amount of time I am your chances of seeing them go up.”

Last year, Mr. Paparo said he was thrilled to see a string ray he estimated at 3-feet in diameter swimming around Ponquogue Bridge in Hamptons Bays. Although he was unable to photograph the fish, he caught it on video.

“I still get excited when I find an octopus,” said Mr. Paparo, who added that he has never seen one while diving, because they are very elusive creatures. “We collected two last fall, little guys,” he said. One was in a net, another came up with the anchor. “The first one was about the size of a gum ball, and the other one was even smaller, about the size of my pinky nail. If you didn’t know what you were looking for you would have missed them.”

Mr. Paparo said many amateur photographers fail to recognize how much work goes into capturing images of wildlife. “If you only go once, you won’t necessarily get the chance,” he said. “You never know what you are going to come across. And just because you saw it doesn’t mean you are going to get the picture.”

Mr. Paparo’s talk takes place at CCOM’s office at 6 S. Elmwood Avenue in Montauk. Admission is free and reservations are not required. For more information, call CCOM at (631) 238-5720.

 

Peering Into the Reutershan Trust

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Hobie Betts

By Claire Walla


What is the Reutershan Trust and how does it work? That was the discussion at Monday’s Sag Harbor Board of Education meeting which focused on the nature of the trust and was initially spurred by questions stemming from board members. Specifically, board members wanted to know what role does the school plays in overseeing costs related to the trust.

In the end, however, the presentation — given by Reutershan trustees Bob Schneider and Peter Solow — had little to do with funding. Schneider and Solow instead spoke at length on the merits of the privately funded art program created by Sag Harbor resident and architect Hobart “Hobie” Betts.

But it was just as well, said school board member Walter Wilcoxen, who in a follow-up interview noted that, coincidentally, Betts passed away Monday, the same day the trust was being presented to the school board. Wilcoxen felt it important to point out the program’s merits.

“Our art program would be decimated without it,” Wilcoxen said. “It’s so important that Hobie stepped up [to create the trust].”

The Reutershan Trust — named for Betts’ close friend Donald Reutershan, who until his death had been actively involved in the Sag Harbor School District — was established in 2000 with an endowment of $1.8 million. Each year, the fund generates somewhere between $40,000 and $80,000 in interest which is used for the sole purpose of fostering artistic programs within the Sag Harbor School District.

According to Solow, who administers the program for the district, “The thing that makes the program effective is that, from the very beginning, there was a vision provided by Hobie of what art education should be — and that vision was connected to the idea of bringing professional artists into the district. The program was really designed to create authentic artistic experiences for kids.”

Solow proceeded to run through 60 slides featuring images of Pierson students making, presenting, or discussing artwork — from photography projects like “Me By the Sea,” in which students documented their lives in Sag Harbor; to drafting projects, like the Bell Monument; discussions with professionals in the art world such as Vogue editor Andrew Leon Talley and workshops with world-renowned Spanish painter Perico Pastor and Condé Nast photographer Francine Fleischer.

Earlier this year, board members discussed the program’s financial structure, questioning whether or not the program met state regulations and how the trust should be classified under the purview of the school.

“In a sense, it’s a little similar to Y.A.R.D. [Youth Advocacy and Resource Development],” Wilcoxen explained. “If the money is run through our accounts at the school” — as had been the case with Reutershan until this year — “then the purchasing policies have to follow our purchasing guidelines, and they’re pretty strict.”

For example, Wilcoxen noted that the school requires administrators to go out to bid before purchasing any goods or services. But for a service like the Reutershan Trust, which uses money to bring artistic professionals to the school to work with students, Wilcoxen said it simply doesn’t make sense to bid-out services.

“How do you put out three bids for an artist,” he asked.

In the end, the board decided to keep all financial transactions with the trustees themselves, rather than with the school’s business office. Trustees Bob Schneider, Greg Ferraris and Marsha Heffner now have the authority to sign-off on all expenditures, with financial decisions guided largely by Ferraris who is a certified accountant.

“With regard to the trust, that’s not really our money, so we didn’t feel that we should have to oversee that money as closely as the money that the taxpayers give us,” Wilcoxen continued. “We suggested that the fund itself approve the money [it spends], and in that way they can act however they see best.”

As Schneider pointed out, the program functions according to the vision and the values initially set forth by Betts: “Pride of Place, Service, Commitment to Community, Citizenship, Good Works, and Engagement with the Greater World.” And in the wake of Betts’ death, Sag Harbor School District Superintendent Dr. John Gratto said he didn’t see the trust functioning any differently in the future.

For Schneider, the value of the trust is clear. He noted the courtyard at the middle/high school — which took four years to construct and is still an ongoing project — and the fact that students can do photography, printmaking and drafting work as examples of opportunities the trust has provided.

“Students get to work with materials that would otherwise be too expensive for the school district to get,” explained Schneider, who was principal of Pierson Middle/High School when the Reutershan Trust was founded. He continued, “The art program without the benefit of the trust would not be the vibrant program that it is today. It really has distinguished the Pierson art program from any other art program that I know of.”

More Than Just Photos

Tags: , , ,


John Messinger doesn’t want to talk about his photographs, about their locales or their subjects; he wants the narrative of his work to remain a mystery.
“I can talk about each place, about what makes it unique, about the culture,” said the 24-year-old photographer.  “But I think the place is unimportant.”
Messinger’s belief is that by removing the story behind the image, the viewer is able to identify with it more easily and see it the same way he does, as representative of the overall human experience.  His first solo exhibition, “Chasing the Wind: Underfoot, Overhead and All Around,” opened at Romany Kramoris Gallery last weekend, and is his attempt to capture the “serendipitous moments” that best reflect humanity, like a young boy holding up a fresh caught fish or two kites hovering over an old man’s head.
“In a way, we’re all flying a kite, or catching a fish, or chasing the wind,” said Messinger.
The images, 16 in all, were culled from trips to Salvador de Baia on the northeast coast of Brazil and to Court Vila, Vanuatu in the South Pacific. All of the photos, whether of a goat sitting amidst a dilapidated building or two kids lying down in the surf, have a child-like innocence to them. Children, Messinger mentioned, live life the way he would like to, without fear and expectation.
His exhibit is unique in that the photos have no titles and his signature is nowhere to be found. Without the small sign taped to the gallery’s window, no one would even know it was his work. That though, is exactly what he was shooting for.
“A very small percentage of the world’s population looks at the name under a photograph when it appears in a newspaper,” he said. “In knowing that, I realize it’s the recording of human history, or human experience, that is important. It’s not my name or my existence. It’s not about me.”
His photos have a quiet, spiritual aspect to them. The silhouette of a man’s head in the foreground, while a soccer ball is suspended in mid air above, appears almost staged. A young boy carrying a stick twice his size on the beach seems so serious, the viewer is pulled into the moment, hoping he doesn’t drop it. They are all Messinger’s way of trying to portray more than simply a snapshot in time.
“There’s a guy, Wendell Berry,” said Messinger. “I’m paraphrasing, but he said that if we were to think about the human experience — history, evolution, the whole thing— as a container, most photos act as relics or ornaments within the container. But there are a select few who are able to create windows and doors that look through the container or beyond it or deeper into it, however you want to look at it. What I’m attempting is to create windows and doors.”
Messinger’s mother is Colombian and he spent part of his childhood growing up there before returning to the East End, eventually graduating from the Ross School. He said perhaps he’s tapping into that part of his childhood with this exhibit.
“Maybe that’s why I find myself in these warm places with warm people,” he said. “It does bring me back to a place in my past.”
Though not something he would readily admit to himself, he said, his travels might also be a type of spiritual quest.
“I had to have a friend point it out to me, but there is a purity there when it comes to living, like Dante’s ‘Paradisio.’ There’s a purity of priorities. That’s in a way what we’re all striving for. In our own way, we’re all searching for enlightenment.”
Chasing the Wind: Underfoot, Overhead and All Around is on view at Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street, through August 7.