Photograph / JERRY SHORE. Courtesy Daniel Wolf, Inc
He died in '94. The accompanying article is quite good, captures him well. It made me cry some more. Somehow this 'lanced' some emotional boil. But it was cathartic, so I'm pleased.
And, yeah, I grew up in Nu Yawk, from about three years old. Lived there mostly until 1990, when I moved to LA. Now, I'm an Angelino through and through.
Courtesy Daniel Wolf, Inc.
We see New York, and sometimes, as Henry James asked us to, we “do it”—explore and conquer it—but what we see when we see it is so far unlike what we experience when we’re doing it that the difference itself can become a subject for art. The city sneaks up on us in pictures, and we are startled to see what it looks like even when what it looks like is just us, doing what we really do. We respond to truthful depictions of New York with the same surprise that we feel when we hear a recording of our own voice.
This surprise is one of the subjects of the extraordinary, lost—or, actually, never found in the first place—American photographer Jerry Shore. Shore did New York, was done by it, and then became a kind of artist-martyr to the act of seeing it. In the last decade of his life, Shore, after twenty years as one of the leading short-form commercial directors of his time, fell down a well of alcohol and isolation. He died in 1994, at the age of fifty-nine, and left behind four thousand photographic prints, most of New York City streets, in Queens and Manhattan, in Turtle Bay and Chelsea and the old meatpacking district. Only one of them had ever been sold. The collector Daniel Wolf bought all of Shore’s work, in 1995, and has archived it, so that, for the first time, it is possible to see the range and intensity of what he accomplished, and discover an original New York eye.
Jerry Shore’s story is simple, in many ways typical, and in most ways sad. He grew up in Oxford Circle, a lower-middle-class Jewish neighborhood outside Philadelphia, and, along with his twin brother, Fred, attended art schools at a time when Philadelphia had a great many of them. “He loved art,” Fred says. “He just lived everything visual.” He came to New York in the early sixties, like so many others, intending to become a painter—he worshipped de Kooning and Hofmann and Kline.
On May 9th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
A traveling salesman was driving past a farm when he saw a pig with three
wooden legs executing a magnificent series of backflips and cartwheels.
Intrigued, he drove up to the farmhouse, where he found an old farmer
sitting in the yard watching the pig.
"That's quite a pig you have there, sir" said the salesman.
"Sure is, son," the farmer replied. "Why, two years ago, my daughter
was swimming in the lake and bumped her head and damned near drowned, but that
pig swam out and dragged her back to shore."
"Amazing!" the salesman exlaimed.
"And that's not the only thing. Last fall I was cuttin' wood up on
the north forty when a tree fell on me. Pinned me to the ground, it did.
That pig run up and wiggled underneath that tree and lifted it off of me.
Saved my life."
"Fantastic! the salesman said. But tell me, how come the pig has
three wooden legs?"
The farmer stared at the newcomer in amazement. "Mister, when you
got an amazin' pig like that, you don't eat him all at once."