By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Posts Tagged ‘Staten Island

Fleeting Treasures

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By William Carter

I arrived in New York City in the summer of 1962. Toting two Leicas, I hunted for a job and an apartment. I gravitated to a part of the Lower East Side which was later re-christened the East Village.

Since I had begun my career in California doing informal photographs of children, my first self-assignment was to extend that practice to these fresh surroundings. I spent a day with a couple of kids at Coney Island. I traversed dim wells behind tenements that served as de facto playgrounds. I dropped in on friends of friends living with their daughter in an artistic shack on Staten Island.

Half a century later, those freshly seen scenes keyed off my retrospective book, Causes and Spirits. Below are examples, plus a couple of images omitted from the book. I only met the Staten Island girl for a few minutes, but she graces the book’s front cover, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has requested the vintage original print. But what happened to that girl? By now she would be around 60.

The subsequent lives of the other kids remain just as mysterious. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, photography resembles jazz in that both art forms – like modern life in general – often express moments that are the most pungent when they are the most fleeting.

William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Staten Island, New York, 1962

Staten Island, New York, 1962, Causes & Spirits, jacket & pg. 29

Coney Island, New York, 1962

Coney Island, New York, 1962, Causes and Spirits, page 39

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

Lower East Side, New York, 1963, Causes and Spirits, page 31

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

Lower East Side, New York, 1963, Causes and Spirits, page 33

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

Lower East Side, New York, 1963. This photograph and the one below were made within moments of the one above.

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

 

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Written by bywilliamcarter

August 17, 2016 at 3:10 pm

History of a Cover Image

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Byways of Photo Memory

 
“One never knows, do one?” That famous quote, attributed to pianist Fats Waller, can be applied to photographs.

My day’s jaunt from Manhattan’s Lower East Side to Staten Island in November, 1962 was a fun journey with casual friends. Preserved on film, some of the moments are shown below. Fifty two years later, I have no idea of anyone’s name, but one of the pictures is being used on the May 2014 cover of Sun Magazine, as it was on the cover of my 2011 book, Causes and Spirits.

We stopped at the little girl’s house for an hour at most. We had taken the Staten Island Ferry, and later visited the Catholic Worker’s Peter Maurin House (but those are other stories).

I was using a Leica which was later ripped off my neck during a riot in Ma’an, Jordan (yet another story).

I guess we old folks are story tellers.

Here are scans of the uncorrected original shoot on 35mm Tri-X, dust spots and all. Do you know which became the cover image? Answer next time. The girl(s) must be around 60 now.

History1Image 1

History2Image 2

History3Image 3

History4Image 4

History5Image 5

History6Image 6

History7Image 7

History8Image 8

History9Image 9

History10Image 10

Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

April 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm

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